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Thread: Paul S. Levine Literary Agency

  1. #1
    honeywell
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    Smile Paul S. Levine Literary Agency

    Hi all. Wondering if any of you have had experience with this agent?

    Website: http://www.paulslevine.com/

    Also on Litmatch and agent query. Something makes me skeptical, though he seems legit.

    Any info appreciated!

  2. #2
    Sockpuppet
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    What makes your skeptical? He has an impressive record of sales.

  3. #3
    Your Genial Uncle Absolute Sage James D. Macdonald's Avatar
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    Levine was previously mentioned in this thread.

  4. #4
    honeywell
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    thanks for the info!

  5. #5
    Levine boasts in the "profile" on his website that "a nudist colony" and "various pornographers in the book and magazine business" were among the "biggest clients" of his first law firm.

    I have no idea why he would include that information in his profile, but the fact that he sees fit to list that information would make me think twice about having him represent me. Why would someone want to openly state that they once worked for a law firm that represented "various pornographers?"

    http://www.paulslevine.com/

  6. #6
    Sockpuppet
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    Why not if it's the truth?

    And looking him up in Publisher's Marketplace I see him listed as agent on several deals including a couple that are listed in the "good" category which is $100,000 - $250,000. So he would appear to be legitimate as an agent. However, he seems to be talking about acting as an attorney rather than agent in this situation.

  7. #7
    I just have to be faster. ajkjd01's Avatar
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    I met Paul Levine at a conference last year.

    Sadly, he does not represent the category I write (fantasy), but he seemed to know what he was talking about. He spoke at the conference about copyright issues, libel, slander, and other liabilities for writers. I ended up talking to him for quite a while at the dinner at the end of the conference (both of us being attorneys) and he seemed smart, attentive, and knowledgeable both about law and publishing.

    As for the nudist colony and the pornographers...those are two hot topics in First Amendment litigation. I can see why it would be mentioned to show that he's a passionate advocate of free speech and expression...something all of us writers care about as well.
    www.addiejking.com
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  8. #8
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Paul Levine

    I met him at a conference and I thought that he was extremely rude and unprofessional. You know how it is...I paid good $$ to attend this thing and pitch to an agent....I was very friendly and excited and he wasn't. He looked around the room while I was talking and refused to take the writing sample that the conference website said he would accept. He just gave me his card and told me to email a query...uh....hello...coulda saved some money on the conference and just queried him to begin with. A few weeks later I rec'd a one line email from him. I really hate to talk badly about anyone on this message board, but I am only telling the truth. If he is going to attend conferences, he could at least *pretend* to be interested in what I have to say. Again, sorry, but...he was just not a very nice guy.

  9. #9
    When I went to the San Francisco conference on February 15th, I avoided talking to Levine. As I stated earlier in this thread, Levine boasts in the profile on his website that "a nudist colony" and "various pornographers in the book and magazine business" were among the "biggest clients" of his first law firm.

    Is he looking for authors who would be impressed by that?

  10. #10
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Wink Paul Levine is my agent...may I clear the record?

    Hello Everyone,

    I hope long posts are allowed and not deleted, but I couldn't resist joining this forum to respond since Paul Levine is my agent...

    Many of you who are published authors will understand why I couldn’t resist posting about my experience with Paul Levine. The story I wrote was never intended to be a book. Well, the Universe intended it to be, but it took me awhile to get a clue. And Paul was a significant part of that cosmic intention.

    I first began telling Feel Free to Prosper: An Entrepreneurial Memoir of Synchronicity and Guidance on my network forum a year ago and just after I began, agent Paul Levine appeared out of the blue. I had actually found him on the Internet for a prosperity student of mine who already had a published book that I thought could be made into a film. Paul ultimately decided not to go with that project, but he was drawn to the few early segments of MY story and encouraged me to complete it.

    I could think of no better opportunity for a first time writer (who doesn't even believe she's a writer) than to have a literary agent dangle the possibility of representation. And I could think of no better example of “synchronicity and guidance” for a first time writer than for a story about synchronicity and guidance.

    Quite honestly, I never intended to write a book and didn’t really have the confidence that I could author a book. Lesson material, yes. Articles, yes. Forums posts, yes. But a book? That’s a whole different animal.

    I remember stating to a couple of people that the only way I think I could ever really write a book is if I had an agent or publisher behind me. Maybe then I would at least have the confidence that someone believed in it. That would be my inspiration. Little did I know at the time that the chances of a first time writer getting an agent were…well, you know. And I didn’t even have a finished product.

    So Paul Levine appeared…just as I was beginning to share how I used the Universal laws (that I now teach) to create and grow a business of two decades. And what I discovered a short time later was that Paul doesn’t even believe in Universal laws! I came to realize that that was actually a very good sign. That indicated to me that he must really believe that he can sell a product based on his expertise as an agent. I know this about Paul and he has told me this: He only takes on clients and properties that he can sell. He is very monetarily oriented and goes for big stakes. Ahhh…that’s EXACTLY what you want in an agent. So I figured he must have been brought to me via divine intervention.

    No agent can make a determination until reading the completed manuscript or in the alternative, a book proposal. In my situation, after I had sent him the first 25 “chapters” from my forum, he requested the completed manuscript instead of a book proposal, because my story was a memoir and not a “how to” book. I was relieved not to have to do a proposal.

    I completed writing my story on my Ryze forum over an eight-month period then converted it to a manuscript and delivered it to Paul. I didn’t hear from him for several weeks and then he called to tell me he had gone to Montreal to bury his father and read my manuscript on the plane.

    He loved the story. He signed me and is officially representing me as agent and attorney. He is doing everything he said he was going to do. My manuscript has been submitted to major publishers, including a few that I requested. He copies me on all correspondence. He encouraged me before he signed me. He has conducted himself professionally since he signed me.
    The only thing he has charged me for is postage for the mailings, which is standard.

    However, he has persistently pushed me to create a book proposal for a second “how to” book based on my Feel Free to Prosper program. He really wanted to go for a two-book deal, huge advance, etc. I resisted and have not done the proposal because it seemed too daunting of a task...remember, I didn't set out to do this.

    And yet in a year and a half, he has never given up. He continues to submit my manuscript. But he has been hounding me to get him that book proposal for the second book because of publisher interest. Although Paul lives close by here in Los Angeles, I have only met him once in person, when my student flew in from New Zealand to meet him at the beginning - before I knew he would be my agent.

    Now, to address a couple of your questions and issues…

    I checked out Paul’s website when we began and did google searches and found many large writers’ conferences where he spoke. As a teacher of mental and spiritual laws, I was somewhat surprised about the mention of the porn publication client. But I understood it to be an attempt at humor and to give contrast to his very quick and substantial rise as a lawyer and the notable credits that immediate followed as in-house counsel for Warner Bros. and Hearst. Perhaps a little shock effect for fun? He also shared his family information that included the names and unknown ages of his cat and dog. The photo on his website is weird and funny compared to the very professional photos he uses for his bio at the writers’ conferences. Again, I think it’s his style of humor. Yet his education is extraordinary, his clients and credits are substantial. I found that Paul is happily married, devoted to his sons and is a devout practicing Jew. He works from home and is very casual. He doesn't fit any mold.

    My conclusion from it all? Paul S. Levine is a colorful “character” but he knows what he's was doing.

    And knowing that thousands of writers, especially first time writers, are out there desperately seeking agents, and that he has stuck with me even though I have not given him the proposal he wanted, I cannot look a gift horse from the Universe in the mouth. So to speak. J

    Okay, now for the smattering of truth part…is Paul Levine rude?

    Yes, Paul can be rude. And also appear to be rude even when he’s not. And I have put him in his place a couple of times. So yes, he lacks finesse at times and there’s no real excuse. I have joked with friends about it. But I wonder, is that what agents of any kind are known for? Their finesse?

    If Paul was rude to you, trust me, it was not personal. It’s his way of saying he’s not interested. He was just not the right one for you. And it just might be HIS loss. It would be nice if he were more sensitive. No argument there.

    I just have to defend his reputation as an agent though. He really has believed in me and does his best (in his own style) to get me to do what I have to do. He has promoted my platform to the publishers and pushes me to take on this challenge. Sure it's self serving...he wants to make money. And that's exactly what an agent is for.

    So how did I end up here? I told Paul that if he and publishers were really interested in a proposal for that “how to” book, then I would find someone to help me write it. And I found that someone this week in just 24 hours. She spoke with Paul. She is impressed enough with my him and my material that she is willing to do the proposal with me as he wants (Michael Larsen style) and will do it for barter for my prosperity programs (which is what I had hoped to negotiate) and a fee from the future advance we get.

    Moral of the story: Look beyond appearances. Trust Universal Mind (or whatever you conceive that Intelligence to be) to bring the right people and the right elements together for your needs. If the situation isn't right, then hold fast to your belief that the right situation is just around the bend. Keep your attention and focus on what you do want, not what you don't want and you will be guided. That's exactly how I built a successful business for two decades and what my story is about.

    Marilyn


  11. #11
    Hapless Virago IceCreamEmpress's Avatar
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    Thanks for sharing your experience, Marilyn. I'm glad that this is working out for you. It's certainly useful to hear that kind of detailed feedback from one of Paul Levine's clients.

  12. #12
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    I just got back from spending this past weekend with Paul at the Novels in Progress Workshop in Louisville, KY. He's the real deal, folks. His client list and background is very impressive, and he brings home the bacon. He only takes clients he believes will hit pay dirt. Rude? Heh, yeah, he can definitely rub people the wrong way, but what can I say - that's his style. He's definitely not for everyone and is an acquired taste for those with weak constitutions. On the upside, you can call him an ass, and he takes no offense and would probably agree with you. I found him to be a likable guy. Then again, I have no heart...

  13. #13
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Cool

    Thank you Empress and Priceless...I'm glad to find I'm not the only one who understands Paul. And I even have a heart...

    I see we are allowed to post our sites, so perhaps you would like to read the story that Paul signed me for - the original version is free to read on the network forum. I promise that you will be inspired and look at your career and life in a whole new way:

    Feel Free to Prosper: an Entrepreneurial Memoir of Synchronicity and Guidance

    My website: www.FeelFreetoProsper.com
    Last edited by prosperitymentor; 03-18-2008 at 10:34 AM. Reason: Typo

  14. #14
    figuring it all out robertmblevins's Avatar
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    Agents don't generally enjoy being hit on by writers seeking representation when they attend conventions or conferences. All the good ones have strict rules about queries, etc. for possible representation...
    'Don't give up reaching for the stars...
    just build yourself a bigger ladder'.
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  15. #15
    Who's going for a beer? waylander's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by robertmblevins View Post
    Agents don't generally enjoy being hit on by writers seeking representation when they attend conventions or conferences. All the good ones have strict rules about queries, etc. for possible representation...
    I fundamentally disagree with this statement.
    Agents attending conventions expect to be approached by unagented writers
    I have approached agents at conventions and always received polite responses and, on occasions, invitations to send partials (bypassing the initial query stage).
    I know of one agent who, while publically saying he takes open queries, in reality has never signed anyone who approached this way. He recruits writers by introductions and those he meets at conventions.

  16. #16
    I write novels
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    Quote Originally Posted by waylander View Post
    I fundamentally disagree with this statement.
    Agents attending conventions expect to be approached by unagented writers
    It depends on the agent, and more important, the kind of conference. Some conferences include pitch sessions where writers pay an extra fee to have five minutes face-to-face time with an agent.

  17. #17
    Who's going for a beer? waylander's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beth Bernobich View Post
    It depends on the agent, and more important, the kind of conference. Some conferences include pitch sessions where writers pay an extra fee to have five minutes face-to-face time with an agent.
    Yes, clearly it depends on the agent.
    I was referring to WFC and World SF Cons

  18. #18
    I write novels
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    Quote Originally Posted by waylander View Post
    Yes, clearly it depends on the agent.
    I was referring to WFC and World SF Cons
    At conventions like WFC, etc., I think it all depends on *how* the writer approaches the agent. If they're having a casual, friendly conversation, and the agent asks about the writer's projects, then sure, it's okay for the writer to ask if the agent is taking queries.

    The key is to let the agent steer the conversation. If they aren't interested, they'll let you know pretty quickly.
    Last edited by eqb; 03-18-2008 at 06:45 PM.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by robertmblevins View Post
    Agents don't generally enjoy being hit on by writers seeking representation when they attend conventions or conferences. All the good ones have strict rules about queries, etc. for possible representation...
    Very few conferences have a rule about pitching to agents and editors. For the most part, the pitch sessions are the main reason we are invited. It's an implicit part of our job. Sitting through a weekend of pitch sessions is exhausting work because we have to be "on" at all times. We see several dozen authors every 15 minutes in a single weekend. It's not unusual to pitched to in the hallway while running to give a seminar, during meals, in the bathroom...Paul is one who finds the pitch sessions tedious for the most part. But make no mistake about it; he's looking for the golden fleece just like the rest of us.
    Last edited by priceless1; 03-18-2008 at 06:00 PM.

  20. #20
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Has Paul S. Levine now placed Marilyn's manuscript? Last threads were in March so it would be about 2 years now that PLS has had her manuscript and is trying to find a home for it.
    Come visit:
    debradarvick.wordpress.com

  21. #21
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Hi Debra,

    It's been a few months since you posted, but I just found the link to this forum in my files and thought I would drop in. And I find that I was the last topic in this post. I'm honored. :-) Or maybe y'all got tired of talking about agents.

    In answer to your question, yes, Paul Levine did his job. He got me the perfect multi-book deal with a major publisher - and my dream publisher, to boot. Marc Allen (New World Library) publishes Deepok Chopra (Seven Spiritual Laws of Success), Eckhardt Tolle (The Power of Now), - both of which sold millions - Dan Millman (Way of the Peaceful Warrior, last year's film) and other notables in my genre. To say the least, I'm thrilled. Marc is very hands on, handles me personally and anticipates similar results with my books. The first book is based on the proposal I mentioned above, not the memoir.

    Title:

    Feel Free to Prosper
    Two Weeks to Unexpected Income With the Simplest Prosperity Laws Available Today

    I finished the proposal on December 1. Paul sent the pdf proposals out on January 22. He wanted to wait until things settled in the publishing industry with all the layoffs, etc. The next day we began receiving responses, including Marc Allen's. I knew that was the publisher I wanted. And in dealing with Marc, I believe it was destined.

    So you cannot fault Paul because I dilly dallied for two years to get him the proposal on the "how to" book he wanted. That was my resistance. As soon as I did my part, he got an overnight deal.

    Since the proposal was based on material I have already written and now editing...the book release will be this Fall or in January.

    I'm happy. And I will summarize with this...I don't believe you will find many agents in existence who will take on a first time writer and push her for two years to get a proposal done (despite her resistance) and get that deal. What Paul did was way beyond obligation and industry standards. Of course, he believes that my books will sell millions. Marc Allen feels the same way. I say:

    From their mouth to God's ears :-)

    I would be open to making an introduction to Paul if anyone feels that their material would be right for him. But you can't take it personally if he doesn't take you on - I have referred others to him in the past and he passed. He will look at any referrals I give him though.

    Since I don't come here often, you are welcome to contact me through my website:
    http://www.FeelFreetoProsper.com

    Marilyn

  22. #22
    Been Here A While Feidb's Avatar
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    The Henderson Write'r Group Conference held in Las Vegas each year is specifically for authors to pitch their books to agents and to learn about the writing and publishing world. That is the whole point. And, to pay extra on top of the entrance fee just to pitch to an agent is ludicrous. The agents are invited specifically to do presentations and take pitches from authors.

    Action/Adventure/Thriller
    Icky Bug (Horror)
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    Good icky bug is a monster that eats half the characters, they say f***k a lot, and there is gratuitous sex that has nothing to do with the plot! LOL.
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  23. #23
    All ... shall soon be mine! rafi's Avatar
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    I checked out his website - is he an attorney or an agent??

  24. #24
    Been Here A While Feidb's Avatar
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    Both.

    Action/Adventure/Thriller
    Icky Bug (Horror)
    Fantasy (D&D plot driven)
    Science Fiction Thriller

    Web site: http://www.fredrayworth.com
    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MeleenasAdv...homepage_panel
    Twitter: @FredRayworth_Writer

    Rejections as of Dec 10, 2015 = 689
    Good icky bug is a monster that eats half the characters, they say f***k a lot, and there is gratuitous sex that has nothing to do with the plot! LOL.
    Seriously, Treasure Of The Umbrunna (fantasy) Out now!

  25. #25
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    I happened to stumble upon this post about Paul Levine: http://www.writers.net/forum/read/10/195601/195565Vf what do you guys think of it? I myself, was kind of shocked reading it!
    Last edited by Jim; 02-06-2010 at 10:54 AM.

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