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Thread: The View Literary Agency (JD DeWitt)

  1. #1
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    The View Literary Agency (JD DeWitt)

    Anyone heard of this one? I got her off Publisher's Marketplace, but she's not listed on P & E.

  2. #2
    Writer Beware Goddess Absolute Sage victoriastrauss's Avatar
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    Adding link: http://www.theviewlit.com/

    Publishers Marketplace: http://www.publishersmarketplace.com/members/jddewitt/

    A spot check of the "leading clients" doesn't turn up any publications. No sales mentioned on the agency's website.

    From The View's About Us page:

    "JD has always carried a passion to be a literary agent. To make that happen, she has spent the last four years making necessary contacts in the publishing industry, researching the field, and acquiring a talented staff, which includes a contracts manager."

    Making contacts how? What's JD's professional background? Who are the talented staff? Until those questions can be answered, the jury's out on this one.

    And continuing:

    "TVLA's goal is to build and nurture our client's careers and to establish unknown talent into the industry. We will not stop at selling an author's work, but will see it through to commercial success with our marketing guidance."


    A bit of a red flag here, since, a focus on "unknown talent" is often a hallmark of an agency started by an inexperienced person, or by a frustrated author who thinks he or she can do better than all the agents who sent him or her rejection letters.


    - Victoria

  3. #3
    Writer Beware Goddess Absolute Sage victoriastrauss's Avatar
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    I also found this: The View Talent Agency. Once again, no info about staff or their professional backgrounds.

    - Victoria

  4. #4
    What's up?? sharla's Avatar
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    JD Dewitt - The View

    Any other news on this agent? She has requested a full, and before I send, I want to be sure.
    Sharla Lovelace
    National Bestselling & Award Winning Author

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  5. #5
    figuring it all out The Gunshark's Avatar
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    Sent off a query and synopsis. I will let everyone know what happens.
    Currently Working on a Fantasy Story. Have magic, will travel.

  6. #6
    Grumpy writer and editor Absolute Sage Gillhoughly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sharla View Post
    Any other news on this agent? She has requested a full, and before I send, I want to be sure.
    There are still no sales listed on the website. None.

    The only book titles are what the agent has on her nightstand. (Good grief. That was a WTF? moment for me. Why in hell would she mention THAT?? )

    My agent's site lists titles sold, authors they represent.

    The photos on the View website are not book covers.

    No writers are listed as clients.

    The "agent" has apparently never apprenticed at a literary agency--which would be really really helpful!--but has always wanted to be a literary agent.

    I've always wanted to be in a James Bond movie. Still waiting.

    This could be a well-meaning incompetent, who can be worse than a scammer or no agent at all.

    Here is her profile. Again- absolutely nothing to indicate she has ANY experience.

    Enthusiasm and liking to read just aren't enough for this kind of job. You have to know the editors and what they're looking for. You have to understand literary contracts even if you have someone "on staff" to do the legal stuff.

    I strongly suggest give you this one a pass and sub to someone who's got sales on their resume, not just good wishes.

    Victoria has provided some very good reasons to go elsewhere. Let someone else be the guinea pig.

    Here's a legit agency: http://www.knightagency.net/

    Check out that website and compare it to the View site.

    It's a no-brainer which one looks like they can do you some good.

  7. #7
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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    Aw, c'mon. She links to AW, so she can't be all bad.

    I find one mention of someone signing with her: http://sarahgarrigues.blogspot.com/ Nothing after the initial announcement, tho'.

    Alas, agent is not an entry-level position. Best to limit your queries to those with verified sales.
    ICAO
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  8. #8
    What's up?? sharla's Avatar
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    Thanks to everyone. I got her off Publishers Marketplace and she's on P&E so I thought she was okay.
    Sharla Lovelace
    National Bestselling & Award Winning Author

    THE REASON IS YOU
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    "It's four o'clock in the morning, damn it..." Sir Elton John

  9. #9
    Grumpy writer and editor Absolute Sage Gillhoughly's Avatar
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    Alas, no, a mere mention can mean that nothing has yet been reported against them, but also that nothing is in their favor. Clues from their website and what they DON'T say can tell you a lot.

    Get yourself over to Knight and see if you can interest someone there!

  10. #10
    What's up?? sharla's Avatar
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    I've already queried Knight, am one of many in waiting there. And many other places as well.

    DeWitt is in PubMarketplace and I did find that at least three of the clients listed are writers, I think the others are actors from her other business, the talent agency. Under "Rights" these three writers are listed with their novels, repped by DeWitt, in May 2008. I don't know what that means, is that meaning they haven't sold yet?
    Sharla Lovelace
    National Bestselling & Award Winning Author

    THE REASON IS YOU
    BEFORE AND EVER SINCE
    JUST ONE DAY

    My website. Come on, you know you want to.
    Facebook. I'm here, too.
    Twitter. All over it.
    Goodreads. Aren't you interested? Just a little?
    "It's four o'clock in the morning, damn it..." Sir Elton John

  11. #11
    Girl Detective Stacia Kane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sharla View Post
    Under "Rights" these three writers are listed with their novels, repped by DeWitt, in May 2008. I don't know what that means, is that meaning they haven't sold yet?
    Yes.


    No sales* = do not query. Period. No matter where they're listed, no matter how many spiffy bells and whistles they have on their website or how enthusiastic and golly-gee-we-want-to-help-people they seem. If they haven't made a sale*, they don't get your query.

    I know it sounds harsh, but I've seen too many writers sign with ineffective newbie agents and spend years spinning their wheels. Please. SALES are the criteria. SALES are what you look for first and foremost.

    Once you've seen their sales, then you can look at what genres they rep and who their authors are and if they seem like they'd be a good fit for you. Don't waste your time wondering that stuff about an agent without sales.


    *Note: The exception to this--the only exception--is a new agent at an established agency. Chances are that agent will have been an assistant for some time and will be handling their clients under the guidance and supervision of an established and successful senior agent. A new agent at an established agency is a very good bet. An agent from an established agency breaking out on their own? Excellent bet.

    A former marketing consultant or shop clerk or CEO who really likes books and decided to set up shop as an agent? Do NOT pass go!
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  12. #12
    Always writing AW Moderator Calla Lily's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DecemberQuinn View Post
    *Note: The exception to this--the only exception--is a new agent at an established agency. Chances are that agent will have been an assistant for some time and will be handling their clients under the guidance and supervision of an established and successful senior agent. A new agent at an established agency is a very good bet. An agent from an established agency breaking out on their own? Excellent bet.

    A former marketing consultant or shop clerk or CEO who really likes books and decided to set up shop as an agent? Do NOT pass go!
    QFT. Tattoed on my brain.

  13. #13
    aka Sadistic Mistress Mi-chan M.R.J. Le Blanc's Avatar
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    If you can find the titles online, they're published. If not, they're not. If they are published, check out who the publisher is. That'll say a lot as to who she's able to sell to - for example if it's a vanity or amateur press that gives you an idea of the contacts she doesn't have. If it's a publisher that doesn't require an agent, well that gets a little muddy. Sometimes it's because all other avenues have been exhausted, sometimes it's another case of the agent not having the contacts at better publishers.

    From what I've seen on here though, any publisher or agency who delves into more than one business like DeWitt with talent agency and writing tends not to be that great overall.
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    Grumpy writer and editor Absolute Sage Gillhoughly's Avatar
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    What the others said.

    If this agent had sold ANY books they would mention it on the website.

    If this agent had worked at a literary agency, it would be mentioned.

    My agent started out at Spectrum, then moved to another one, but under her bio she mentions how many years she worked at Spectrum and has a list of writers she reps and books she's sold.

    You can no more announce "I'm now a literary agent" to the wide world than you can state "I'm now a brain surgeon! I have lots of enthusiasm and want to help people!"

  15. #15
    starting over Marian Perera's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DecemberQuinn View Post
    No sales* = do not query. Period. No matter where they're listed, no matter how many spiffy bells and whistles they have on their website or how enthusiastic and golly-gee-we-want-to-help-people they seem. If they haven't made a sale*, they don't get your query.
    This is excellent advice. An ineffective agent is worse than no agent at all, because with the former, you're wasting time at best.

    Don't even query them, because if they accept - especially if they do so enthusiastically and tell you how fantastic your writing is and how they would like to help launch your career - it will be difficult to say no.
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  16. #16
    Gloriously Disfunctional Cherelle's Avatar
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    The View Literary Agency

    Hey, does anyone know anything about this agency. I found them through publishers marketplace. There isn't a whole lot of info and the link seems to link back to their page on publishers market place. They deal exclusively in women's fiction and romance. I was just wondering has anyone queried them or does anyone intend too?

  17. #17
    What's up?? sharla's Avatar
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    JDDewitt requested a full which I sent, before I checked on here. No info on her anywhere so I was suspicious when there were no sales. She finally responded on my full, with a "I love your mc, she's hilarious, love funny stories, but no thanks. Would love to see more of your work, but not this." Basically, that was it.
    Sharla Lovelace
    National Bestselling & Award Winning Author

    THE REASON IS YOU
    BEFORE AND EVER SINCE
    JUST ONE DAY

    My website. Come on, you know you want to.
    Facebook. I'm here, too.
    Twitter. All over it.
    Goodreads. Aren't you interested? Just a little?
    "It's four o'clock in the morning, damn it..." Sir Elton John

  18. #18
    Tired and Disillusioned Momento Mori's Avatar
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    Weird. I went back through the list of clients listed on their Publishers Marketplace page and the only book details I could see were as follows (assuming they're the same people):

    - Robert Weintraub had a book with the vanity press Authorhouse (which appears to precede the formation of the agency)

    - Caroline Gregory has a children's illustrated book with Sortis Publishing (which I've never heard of and appear to be v. small).

    - Darren Hughes has a number of books listed but all are out of print and appear to be through self-publishing or v. small presses.

    The agency is apparently still not registered with the Association of Author's Representatives (qualification for membership is sales for 10 different literary properties in the 18 months preceding membership).

    Bsaically, sharla, I don't think you've missed out on anything.

    MM

  19. #19
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    The View Literary Agency

    Greetings,

    I'm always happy to answer any questions anyone may have about my agency. My email is jd@theviewlit.com.

    I usually send form letters to authors, but every once in a while, I feel like going out of my way to be encouraging. Here is the email I sent to one of the above posters.

    Hi (name removed),

    I just wanted you to know that although I'm not going to be able to take
    on (title of work removed), your writing is fun and engaging!

    I love a story that makes me smile, your main character is hilarious! I
    just wanted it to be more about her than her sister. In the future, I'd
    love to see anything else you write, or even now, if you have another
    finished work.

    Thanks for sharing this with me, I wish you the best!
    ~ JD


    I do agree with most of the posts written here about being cautious of new agents, and am glad there is a forum such as this for writers.

    I currently have my author's works being considered by S&S (Pocket), Grand Central, Avon/William Morrow, Dorchester, Kensington and others. Of course, all of these are at my say so but as mentioned above, I welcome any dialogue with anyone who may be concerned about me or my agency--I know I have to prove myself.

    JD DeWitt
    The View Literary Agency
    Last edited by jddewitt; 05-07-2009 at 07:10 AM.

  20. #20
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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    Agency site is 403, so it may be being revamped. Talent site is still up, but hasn't been updated in a while. Per PM page, has sold one (1) book to Dorchester.
    ICAO
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    Censorship always defeats its own purpose, for it creates in the end the kind of society that is incapable of exercising real discretion. -- Henry Steele Commager
    Achievers strive for excellence. Perfectionists drive themselves to extinction. -- A Grapple A Day
    I've never known any trouble that an hour's reading didn't assuage. -- Charles DeSecondat

    II 2016: 2017:

  21. #21
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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    PM page is gone, as is website. Is still listed on talent agency site, though. One more sales report on PM (to Carina, in '11), for same client she sold to Dorchester -- who is also the only one I can find to still list her as their agent.
    ICAO
    ---------

    Censorship always defeats its own purpose, for it creates in the end the kind of society that is incapable of exercising real discretion. -- Henry Steele Commager
    Achievers strive for excellence. Perfectionists drive themselves to extinction. -- A Grapple A Day
    I've never known any trouble that an hour's reading didn't assuage. -- Charles DeSecondat

    II 2016: 2017:

  22. #22
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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    Aha! Ceased agenting to become Indie Publishing Consultant (http://indiepublishingconsultant.com/) and found River Valley Publishing (http://www.rivervalleypublishing.com/newsite/).
    ICAO
    ---------

    Censorship always defeats its own purpose, for it creates in the end the kind of society that is incapable of exercising real discretion. -- Henry Steele Commager
    Achievers strive for excellence. Perfectionists drive themselves to extinction. -- A Grapple A Day
    I've never known any trouble that an hour's reading didn't assuage. -- Charles DeSecondat

    II 2016: 2017:

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