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Thread: Hill and Hill Literary Agency (Christopher Hill)

  1. #26
    Writer Beware Goddess Absolute Sage victoriastrauss's Avatar
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    I merged cptbear's question with the Hill & Hill thread, if anyone is confused.

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  2. #27
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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    06-11-2006, 02:43 AM
    Rupertblue
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    Hill and Hill

    Anyone know what has happened to these people? They used to be advertised on Firstwriter and now their entry has vanished. I know they had quite a large client base in the UK - have they ceased trading?
    06-12-2006, 01:55 PM
    CaoPaux
    Mostly Harmless

    Website is still there and still no sales listed.

    Still avoid.
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    06-21-2006, 08:49 AM
    pmcray
    Esteemed New Member

    Apparently, when the agency first started, H&H paid for a number of their clients to have Firstwriter subscriptions so that they could share their experiences of H&H with the wider world. H&H say that Firstwriter were always aware of this arrangement. A few weeks ago, Firstwriter noticed that several of the comments were from subscribers who had been paid for by H&H (had they forgotten so quickly about the original arrangement?). Firstwriter removed these comments. H&H got miffed and the whole agency has been removed from the site. (I wonder if m'learned friends were involved at any point.)
    06-21-2006, 01:21 PM
    Rupertblue
    Esteemed New Member

    H&H continued

    Any of the account holders care to comment?

    On another point, has anyone met any of Hill's editors/agents? I have only spoken to him by phone but apparently they have a 'large running staff'.
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  3. #28
    bluemac
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    Hill and Hill

    Hi guys

    Just wondered if anyone was with these guys or had heard about them? Thinking of querying them.

    Thanks.

  4. #29
    Who's going for a beer? waylander's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bluemac
    Hi guys

    Just wondered if anyone was with these guys or had heard about them? Thinking of querying them.

    Thanks.
    Don't go there. They will not help your career.

  5. #30
    Now departed. Rest in peace, Scott, from all of us at AW Popeyesays's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by victoriastrauss
    If this is Hill and Hill, they charge upfront fees. There are also a number of red flags at their website, including a total lack of information on who's actually running the agency; reference to a "proof reading and editing service"; and no sign of sales. A spot check of their listed clients doesn't turn up any publications.

    - Victoria
    I found one for Andrew Dilks as a co-author


    • The Missing Dimension: Governments and Intelligence Communities in the Twentieth Century

    Christopher Andrew David Dilks ;
    isbn: 0252011570

    Hardcover: 300 pages
    Publisher: University of Illinois Press (January 1, 1985)
    Language: English
    ISBN: 0252011570

    It has an Amazon Ranking of 1,896,000

    Of course its publication date is 1985, so what could it have to do with Hill & Hill



    Regards,

    Scott
    Okay, damnit, I blog http://cscottsaylorsbooks.blogspot.com/
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  6. #31
    Writting broad batgirl's Avatar
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    According to the MARC record for that title, the authors are actually David Dilks and C. Andrew. Not Andrew Dilks. So I'd call that another blank.
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  7. #32
    Mystery Shopper
    Guest

    Thumbs down Hill and Hill

    Been having a lot of difficulties with these people (or should I say 'person'). They have been sending identical 'updates' to me and a lot of other clients I have been in email contact with. On contacting Hill last week, he informed me that his office is now located in Spain. (?) Yes, make of that what you will.

    Another piece of advice for would-be or existing clients. Hill doesn't actually have any business premises. The 'agency' was run from his home. So whether he employed any staff or 'partners' I also leave open to your conjecture.

    There are lies, there are damned lies, and there are Hill and Hill. Avoid.

  8. #33
    Now departed. Rest in peace, Scott, from all of us at AW Popeyesays's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mystery Shopper
    Been having a lot of difficulties with these people (or should I say 'person'). They have been sending identical 'updates' to me and a lot of other clients I have been in email contact with. On contacting Hill last week, he informed me that his office is now located in Spain. (?) Yes, make of that what you will.

    Another piece of advice for would-be or existing clients. Hill doesn't actually have any business premises. The 'agency' was run from his home. So whether he employed any staff or 'partners' I also leave open to your conjecture.

    There are lies, there are damned lies, and there are Hill and Hill. Avoid.
    To my memory a residence in Spain by British subjects was a famous tax dodge. As long as the person remained living abroad they could avoid Inland Revenue.

    Is that still the case?

    Regards,
    Scott
    Okay, damnit, I blog http://cscottsaylorsbooks.blogspot.com/
    Sword of the Dajjal e-book, Published by BooksForABuck.com May, 2007 ISBN: 978-1-602-052-2 http://www.booksforabuck.com/sfpages...rd_dajjal.html
    Out in print early 2008 from Blu Phi'er
    Jars of Doom out mid 2008 from Blu Phi'er
    http://www.bluphier.com/

  9. #34
    In the Yellow Woods
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    Quote Originally Posted by Popeyesays
    To my memory a residence in Spain by British subjects was a famous tax dodge. As long as the person remained living abroad they could avoid Inland Revenue.

    Is that still the case?

    Regards,
    Scott
    Yeah, but they've got to be out of the country for a specified amount of time each year.

    In this case it's probably a bolt-hole. Spain's a favourite place when on the run from the authorities. Unless it's really serious, they're not going to break a leg extraditing them.
    I am returning this otherwise good typing paper to you because someone has printed gibberish all over it and put your name at the top.

    Professor of English, Ohio University.

    Pedantic Alert: The above is quotation #689 from Michael Moncur's (cynical) Quotations.

  10. #35
    practical experience, FTW Provrb1810meggy's Avatar
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    Their website reads like a cheesy advertisement. No legitimate agent will be busy with different colored fonts and capitlazing, trying to persuade you into querying. They'll just have submission requirements.
    Come check out my blog: http://meganetcetera.blogspot.com

  11. #36
    practical experience, FTW GeoffNelder's Avatar
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    I am with Hill & Hill Literacy Agency. Christopher Hill is a real person and I've met him in Edinburgh for a business meeting.I've also spoken to members of his staff on the phone.I cannot comment on his alleged moving to Spain, but I have sent him an e-mail to query that.I too have complained to him about their website. It was done for them rather badly. Sadly, it has not been updated for over a year. I believe a new one has been commissioned.I too am in touch with several of H&H clients. Some of have published works to our name, including me, but if any others would like to get in touch with me via my e-mail, I will be happy to correspond.Geoff Nelder

  12. #37
    In the Yellow Woods
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    Quote Originally Posted by GeoffNelder
    Some of have published works to our name, including me, but if any others would like to get in touch with me via my e-mail, I will be happy to correspond.Geoff Nelder
    What's the name of your publisher?
    I am returning this otherwise good typing paper to you because someone has printed gibberish all over it and put your name at the top.

    Professor of English, Ohio University.

    Pedantic Alert: The above is quotation #689 from Michael Moncur's (cynical) Quotations.

  13. #38
    practical experience, FTW GeoffNelder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by xhouseboy
    What's the name of your publisher?
    Good of you to ask. Refer to my website where details of my publications hang out.What is the name of your publisher?Geoff

  14. #39
    'bye soloset's Avatar
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    Just wanted to be sure I have the facts straight. Brambling Books is the publisher Hill and Hill sold your book to?
    #

    Nothing’s inherently wrong with telling; nothing’s inherently wrong with showing. . . .
    When Picasso paints a canvas using only blue, you can still tell that he knows what he’s doing with color. When I paint a canvas using only blue, you will be quite certain from the result that it’s because I have no clue what to do with red or yellow—and you won’t be too sure I’ve got a grip on blue, either. Learn all the colors; then choose whichever seems right at the moment. Master the whole craft. ~ Keith Snyder

  15. #40
    Writer Beware Goddess Absolute Sage victoriastrauss's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GeoffNelder
    I too am in touch with several of H&H clients. Some of have published works to our name, including me
    But has Mr. Hill sold any books for you, or for those other clients?

    I checked your website, per your invitation. I see two books, one published by Brambling Books (Brambling's website doesn't appear to be working, but this publisher appears to have published just two books, The Ardly Effect by Mitis Green in 2002 and your Escaping Reality in 2005--this is not exactly the track record of a thriving commercial publisher), the other from self-publishing service Lulu.com.

    - Victoria

  16. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by GeoffNelder
    Good of you to ask. Refer to my website where details of my publications hang out.What is the name of your publisher?Geoff
    The reason I posted the question is that I am confused as to why you would rely the services of Christopher Hill to self-publish. No disrespect to yourself. Nothing wrong with self publishing if that's what you want to do, but again I ask, why the need for Christopher Hill?

    My publisher? Don't have one. Never have had one. No need for one. I've got a very respected agent though, have had for several years now. We both do rather well out of the arrangement, but I'm not in the business of writing books, if that was your assumption.
    I am returning this otherwise good typing paper to you because someone has printed gibberish all over it and put your name at the top.

    Professor of English, Ohio University.

    Pedantic Alert: The above is quotation #689 from Michael Moncur's (cynical) Quotations.

  17. #42
    practical experience, FTW GeoffNelder's Avatar
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    Lulu is a printing service not a publisher. The publsiher of my Dimensions, is Adventure Books of Seattle.Both Brambling Books and Adventure Books are small-press publishers. I have not self-published any of my books. Hill & Hill was not my agent at the time I was accepted by those publishers. But Hill & Hill have bought copies of my Escaping Reality directly from BB to help in promotion of me as an author at Bookfairs and meetings.Hill have had my MS for a science fiction trilogy. They, as an agency, have access to mainstream publishers such as Crown Publishing Group. Unagented authors have no direct access to those publishers.The allegations against Hill & Hill on this forum have worried many of their clients, and I too am concerned. I hope to hear from him later today to clarify matters. When I met him in Edinburgh in person, and spoken several times on the telephone, he seemed a genuine and well-informed professional starting out with H&H as a new agency, even though he and others at H&H were said to have had decades of experience in the industry.No doubt I will be back.Best wishes, Geoff

  18. #43
    practical experience, FTW GeoffNelder's Avatar
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    Why are my paragraph spaces not showing?

  19. #44
    Comic guy Bartholomew's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GeoffNelder
    Why are my paragraph spaces not showing?
    Yeah, you have to go through and put hard paragraphs in manually, and you can't indent. Very annoying.
    I make a webcomic. Clicking it makes you awesome.

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  20. #45
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    After exhaustive research I felt compelled to spread my findings with people who I think need to know.
    To begin with the agency mentioned here have never been based in Scotland, I have several tentative links to Spain and others to London and Dublin. However I am now positive Spain is a focal point as links do tend to end there.
    I shall begin when I first signed with a company now extinct but baring great similarity to H & H. From other sources I found their contracts were exactly the same in content. The mailing address used was one in London, though at a later date I found this was a re-direction point. The service was fast and efficient but soon I began feeling I was being led down a dodgy path. The company had several “known authors” on board but on research these authors had a great deal on internet coverage but little in definitive print. Being of a legal profession I began looking into the practice of such agencies, unfortunately their contract was vague enough to allow for the fact that they had not breached any law. It is at this point I began questioning my “agent “ I was given the run-around and although I never truly believed in them I did cease questioning for a time. Alas matters came to a close and the agency closed, they has fulfilled their contractual obligations (this was a minimum of 10 submissions). However they left a trail of clients that had been given duplicated material and very similar promotion packages. I questioned the relevant authorities and found that the contract stated that the minimum submissions was all they were legally tied by, and that if they sent 10 letters costing £2.40 at the time I had no argument. As no claims were ever submitted in writing with signature any or all information gained was not of use. I delved further, names kept reappearing, Ashton, Wilkes, and Chambers. These individuals were not just involved in literary agencies, they were making money scamming, but within the law, I have confirmation that they delve in the realms of property development and god knows what else.
    I have found links to the Sunshine Literary Agency in California who also provide a very similar contract to H & H, a rather elusive Ms Hoffman was not forthcoming when I was able to track her down.
    Alas I live near Edinburgh and joyfully saw that an Agency was in my neck of the woods, at the time comments from Firstwriter were strong and I sent work in. Of course I received an almost duplicate contract. I decided then that I would play the game and see where this led, I also believed the comments on First writer (though never again).
    My representation began and immediately I noted the names Ashton, Wilkes and Chambers appearing so I decided that I would play along and try to find out all that I could. The address given for submissions was once more a mailing address and from investigation I found that mail would be diverted. Upon questioning the Royal Mail I was astounded to find out how easy this is to set up, especially to a box number abroad, though they stated they needed proof of address it seems when the mail is directed abroad there are few regards, they are just interested in securing the fee. The same can be said for British Telecom, diverting calls from a UK number is very easy especially in a competitive market. To cut short the address I was given was a mailing address, the number though allocated to an address was not actually taken there.
    I arranged a meeting, I asked to meet at the office and was told it would be better to meet elsewhere. I agreed, simply because I wanted a face to the voice. As I had been contacted by Ashton at times I stated that I wanted to meet with her. To my surprise I was met by both “Hill” and Ashton in Edinburgh. This was obviously a “class act” every question carefully answered and they fed off each other well. From the contacts I have made in regards to H & H there is definitely more than just one of them, to date I would say five, though I have doubts about the names given especially that of Hill, my thoughts is that this he is a Mr Justin Chambers. When I questioned him about Edinburgh he knew nothing of the place.
    I visited the premises declared on the site soon after, this was as I expected not offices and no one knew of the office.
    I once more contacted legal friends to enquire just where I stood, my frustration reached a peak when I was informed that from my findings there was no way any action could be taken. However I foolishly decided that the threat of such action might be worthwhile. I contacted the office with demands, they again led me a merry dance but time I was adamant.
    I left comments on several forums, hoping that others would question them if for nothing else serious inconvenience , I think this was somewhat successful.
    It now seems that these individuals have now fled the nest, the site is closed, the e-mails are rebounding with message of shut down and the phone go answered, BT have informed me the line is to be cut.
    I have now several friends in their sunny climate and they are watching matters for me very closely, I have evidence that they have done this on various occasions, in various businesses. As I mentioned three names always appear but I have a listing of who to be aware of: They are Ashton, Wilkes, Chambers, Lee, Rogers. They all appear with regularity, the names Hill, Baines, Turner and Bright are all new additions but all should be frowned upon. I am now certain of a link to Sunshine Literary Agency as well.
    I guess that the reason for this message is not to tell you all what is clearly already known, but to highlight the fact that these are not fly by nights trying to make a quick profit, they are organised and work within boundaries. If the law cannot help we must act together on this and make sure people are aware in the future. I am not sure whether I can leave an e-mail contact within the body of this message but invite anyone to contact me privately here.

    I was due to forward my message this morning but I have just received this e-mail from Ashton:

    “To All Concerned
    Please excuse this blanket e-mail message, a copy is being forwarded to all clients at this time.
    It may have come to your attention an extremely negative campaign against our company via the internet and in several cases in person and conventional mail. At first we were lax to respond and perhaps this has caused such problems.
    Now due to harrassment we are forced to respond to allegation and attack.
    It was stated some time ago that our premises in Scotland were due to be vacated, this has taken place in the last few weeks. We have always maintained an office in Almeria from previous business ventures. This is now our central office. Details of office and address will be forwarded accordingly.
    Comments of duplication etc were founded sometime ago, action was taken against the individual responsible, it seems the matter was to to a greater degree than first thought.
    Our contact details will change as the UK number id due to be unlisted and the e-mail addresses closed, this is due to a few reasons. The @HillandHill addresses are linked to opur website, this is now closed, and the btconnect address in closed due to account termination. our new site which will be starliteraryservice will be launched in October, contract details will be forwarded via post by the close of the week, Justin Chambers will forwarding e-mails from our new address by close of month. All current matters of representation will still be dealt with in the usual manner, all parties are aware of our change of location and contact details.
    We can only apologise for this scenario, and will forward the contact information as soon as possible.
    Please be advised that this e-mail address as all others will be terminated all response will be dealt with when we forward contact information from our new address.
    Claire Ashton”

    Of course starliteraryservice must be blackballed straight away! I will also post any new e-mail addresses that are forwarded so all can be aware.



  21. #46
    Comic guy Bartholomew's Avatar
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    The above message has been reformatted as a public service to my fellow forumgoers.

    CHEERS,

    B.

    ####
    privateeye
    Esteemed New Member

    Join Date: Sep 2006
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    After exhaustive research I felt compelled to spread my findings with people who I think need to know.

    To begin with the agency mentioned here have never been based in Scotland, I have several tentative links to Spain and others to London and Dublin. However I am now positive Spain is a focal point as links do tend to end there.

    I shall begin when I first signed with a company now extinct but baring great similarity to H & H. From other sources I found their contracts were exactly the same in content. The mailing address used was one in London, though at a later date I found this was a re-direction point. The service was fast and efficient but soon I began feeling I was being led down a dodgy path. The company had several “known authors” on board but on research these authors had a great deal on internet coverage but little in definitive print. Being of a legal profession I began looking into the practice of such agencies, unfortunately their contract was vague enough to allow for the fact that they had not breached any law. It is at this point I began questioning my “agent “ I was given the run-around and although I never truly believed in them I did cease questioning for a time.

    Alas matters came to a close and the agency closed, they has fulfilled their contractual obligations (this was a minimum of 10 submissions). However they left a trail of clients that had been given duplicated material and very similar promotion packages. I questioned the relevant authorities and found that the contract stated that the minimum submissions was all they were legally tied by, and that if they sent 10 letters costing £2.40 at the time I had no argument. As no claims were ever submitted in writing with signature any or all information gained was not of use. I delved further, names kept reappearing, Ashton, Wilkes, and Chambers. These individuals were not just involved in literary agencies, they were making money scamming, but within the law, I have confirmation that they delve in the realms of property development and god knows what else.

    I have found links to the Sunshine Literary Agency in California who also provide a very similar contract to H & H, a rather elusive Ms Hoffman was not forthcoming when I was able to track her down.

    Alas I live near Edinburgh and joyfully saw that an Agency was in my neck of the woods, at the time comments from Firstwriter were strong and I sent work in. Of course I received an almost duplicate contract. I decided then that I would play the game and see where this led, I also believed the comments on First writer (though never again).

    My representation began and immediately I noted the names Ashton, Wilkes and Chambers appearing so I decided that I would play along and try to find out all that I could. The address given for submissions was once more a mailing address and from investigation I found that mail would be diverted. Upon questioning the Royal Mail I was astounded to find out how easy this is to set up, especially to a box number abroad, though they stated they needed proof of address it seems when the mail is directed abroad there are few regards, they are just interested in securing the fee. The same can be said for British Telecom, diverting calls from a UK number is very easy especially in a competitive market. To cut short the address I was given was a mailing address, the number though allocated to an address was not actually taken there.

    I arranged a meeting, I asked to meet at the office and was told it would be better to meet elsewhere. I agreed, simply because I wanted a face to the voice. As I had been contacted by Ashton at times I stated that I wanted to meet with her. To my surprise I was met by both “Hill” and Ashton in Edinburgh. This was obviously a “class act” every question carefully answered and they fed off each other well. From the contacts I have made in regards to H & H there is definitely more than just one of them, to date I would say five, though I have doubts about the names given especially that of Hill, my thoughts is that this he is a Mr Justin Chambers. When I questioned him about Edinburgh he knew nothing of the place.
    I visited the premises declared on the site soon after, this was as I expected not offices and no one knew of the office.

    I once more contacted legal friends to enquire just where I stood, my frustration reached a peak when I was informed that from my findings there was no way any action could be taken. However I foolishly decided that the threat of such action might be worthwhile. I contacted the office with demands, they again led me a merry dance but time I was adamant.
    I left comments on several forums, hoping that others would question them if for nothing else serious inconvenience , I think this was somewhat successful.
    It now seems that these individuals have now fled the nest, the site is closed, the e-mails are rebounding with message of shut down and the phone go answered, BT have informed me the line is to be cut.

    I have now several friends in their sunny climate and they are watching matters for me very closely, I have evidence that they have done this on various occasions, in various businesses. As I mentioned three names always appear but I have a listing of who to be aware of: They are Ashton, Wilkes, Chambers, Lee, Rogers. They all appear with regularity, the names Hill, Baines, Turner and Bright are all new additions but all should be frowned upon. I am now certain of a link to Sunshine Literary Agency as well.

    I guess that the reason for this message is not to tell you all what is clearly already known, but to highlight the fact that these are not fly by nights trying to make a quick profit, they are organised and work within boundaries. If the law cannot help we must act together on this and make sure people are aware in the future. I am not sure whether I can leave an e-mail contact within the body of this message but invite anyone to contact me privately here.

    I was due to forward my message this morning but I have just received this e-mail from Ashton:

    “To All Concerned

    Please excuse this blanket e-mail message, a copy is being forwarded to all clients at this time.
    It may have come to your attention an extremely negative campaign against our company via the internet and in several cases in person and conventional mail. At first we were lax to respond and perhaps this has caused such problems.

    Now due to harassment we are forced to respond to allegation and attack.

    It was stated some time ago that our premises in Scotland were due to be vacated, this has taken place in the last few weeks. We have always maintained an office in Almeria from previous business ventures. This is now our central office. Details of office and address will be forwarded accordingly.

    Comments of duplication etc were founded sometime ago, action was taken against the individual responsible, it seems the matter was to to a greater degree than first thought.

    Our contact details will change as the UK number id due to be unlisted and the e-mail addresses closed, this is due to a few reasons. The @HillandHill addresses are linked to opur website, this is now closed, and the btconnect address in closed due to account termination. our new site which will be starliteraryservice will be launched in October, contract details will be forwarded via post by the close of the week, Justin Chambers will forwarding e-mails from our new address by close of month. All current matters of representation will still be dealt with in the usual manner, all parties are aware of our change of location and contact details.

    We can only apologize for this scenario, and will forward the contact information as soon as possible.
    Please be advised that this e-mail address as all others will be terminated all response will be dealt with when we forward contact information from our new address.
    Claire Ashton”
    Of course starliteraryservice must be blackballed straight away! I will also post any new e-mail addresses that are forwarded so all can be aware.
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  22. #47
    In the Yellow Woods
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    This mob sound like they're planning to scuttle the ship with the crew locked in the hold. They've just spotted the HMS Starliterary, and intend to board her and fly the Jolly Roger.

    Geoff, I'd jump ship now. You sound as if you could do a lot better. You're a SF writer and a Kaku fan. Anything inspired by Kaku deserves a better a start in life than representation by pirates.
    I am returning this otherwise good typing paper to you because someone has printed gibberish all over it and put your name at the top.

    Professor of English, Ohio University.

    Pedantic Alert: The above is quotation #689 from Michael Moncur's (cynical) Quotations.

  23. #48
    practical experience, FTW GeoffNelder's Avatar
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    Thanks xhboy, I'll ride the stormy seas for a few weeks first. I have invested a lot of time and energy in H&H - there's still a chance they might get me that elusive contract - can you see a hopeless optimist in this seafarer?Geoff

  24. #49
    Your Genial Uncle Absolute Sage James D. Macdonald's Avatar
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    I don't know anything specific about Hill and Hill, but I will say that it's a truism that having a bad agent is worse than having no agent.

  25. #50
    Writer Beware Goddess Absolute Sage victoriastrauss's Avatar
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    I have found links to the Sunshine Literary Agency in California who also provide a very similar contract to H & H, a rather elusive Ms Hoffman was not forthcoming when I was able to track her down.
    I've been tracking the Sunshine Literary Agency (the current owner is Pia Hoffman, who took it over from Carole McGinnis and Steve Greene in 2001 or 2002) under one managership or another since 1998. It's located in Mims, Florida, not California, and according to my latest documentation charges $175 upfront. I'm sure Dave has documentation on this agency also.

    Not to diss your research, privateye, and I could be wrong--but I find it hard to believe that Hill and Sunshine are connected. Hill's M.O. (contacting a set number of publishers depending on what you pay) is fairly common among questionable agents, and questionable agents' contracts often resemble one another.

    I'd love to know more about how you deduced a link between Hill and Sunshine, and also the name of the earlier company that you believe is Hill under a different name. It's not an uncommon ploy among questionable agents to change the agency's name in order to dodge bad publicity on the Internet. Please contact me privately if you prefer, either by PM here or at beware@sfwa.org

    - Victoria

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