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Thread: Robin Mizell Ltd.

  1. #1
    Who's going for a beer? waylander's Avatar
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    Robin Mizell Ltd.

    Another new one on the block
    http://www.robinmizell.com/

    Appears to have some background in publishing. No clients or sales listed at this time
    The usual caveats apply

  2. #2
    Summer AW Moderator Calla Lily's Avatar
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    *puts on fireproof armor*

    Because I got burned, yanno. New agent, looked good, sounded good to my hopeful and (I thought) cautious ears. Not in NYC or LA. Liked my spec fic. Offered representation.

    It did not end well.*

    And now here comes a new agent, not in NYC or LA, looks good, sounds pretty good--and takes spec fic.

    I don't think I can. Even tho I can count on one hand agents who want spec fic.


    *See the Phenomenon Books thread.

  3. #3
    practical experience, FTW Nandi's Avatar
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    Thanks, Waylander. I think I will query her. I'm not bothered by her Athens, Ohio residence, but with an apparent lack of NY background I do wonder about her deal-making ability.

  4. #4
    Who's going for a beer? waylander's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nandi View Post
    Thanks, Waylander. I think I will query her. I'm not bothered by her Athens, Ohio residence, but with an apparent lack of NY background I do wonder about her deal-making ability.
    Ask plenty of questions if you get an offer and be prepared to walk away if the answers don't add up.

  5. #5
    practical experience, FTW
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    Thanks Waylander.

    No agent is better than crap agent. I'm looking at her profile and I don't see anything that stands out in terms of her literary experience. I'm a new writer, so I can't be pretentious and say I'm only going to deal with high-profile, known agents. I'll sign with a new agent any day. But the point is that I'm gonna sign with an agent that has contacts and serious potential, even if he/she is not known.

  6. #6
    Who's going for a beer? waylander's Avatar
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    Very wise.
    In all honesty your best chances are when someone sets up as agent in their own right having previously been an editor at a major house or an assistant agent at a respected agency. You can trust that those people know their way around and have a good range of contacts.

  7. #7
    aka Sadistic Mistress Mi-chan M.R.J. Le Blanc's Avatar
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    As a matter of principle, she offers her clients' work to the most reputable large and small publishing houses without regard to the companies' practices concerning advances on royalties. It is each author's prerogative to choose the best book deal, taking into consideration the comprehensive package offered by a publisher.
    Does that worry anyone else? It's from her About page. Also what does it mean when someone says they have a decade of publishing experience in the corporate and government sectors? That really doesn't tell me anything, and I don't know what kind of contacts that person would have.
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  8. #8
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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    Very generally speaking, corporate publishing is stuff like policy manuals and annual reports, while government publishing ranges from city-hall pamphlets to wheelbarrow-sized congressional reports.

    She has experience with commercial publishing via her work with Writer's Digest, but it seems geared more toward marketing than sales. Personally, I'd wait until she reveals her clients and/or reports some sales before putting her on my To Query list.
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  9. #9
    aka Sadistic Mistress Mi-chan M.R.J. Le Blanc's Avatar
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    In her resources, she has that book How To Be Your Own Literary Agent. Sounds a bit like a conflict of interest.
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  10. #10
    Cover Me! Lainey Bancroft's Avatar
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    Aside from the fact that so much of her content is pushing 'social networking' for authors (which I do get is a necessary evil, but, ya know...) This particular line from her site tweaked me: Book-length short story collections suitable for electronic formats

    Since when do you need an agent to get an in with an e-pub?

  11. #11
    Not your kid brother's YA Red.Ink.Rain's Avatar
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    I sent her a query letter, just for kicks. Not expecting much, and still planning on being careful, but hey - it can't hurt to send one letter.
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  12. #12
    practical experience, FTW
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    I did the same yesterday. You never know. Jodi Picoult's agent was new to the agenting world and they took a chance on each other. Look where that got them.

  13. #13
    Not your kid brother's YA Red.Ink.Rain's Avatar
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    Alright everyone, I'd really like to have your feedback. Just got an email back from Robin Mizell, and she had this to say:

    If the first pages of your manuscript are any indication, I'm going to like your work. You have that elusive thing called a "voice," which, along with a plot of course, is crucial for a commercial sale.

    Before I ask you to send the manuscript, though, I'd like to know how old you are. If you're not yet 18 years old, or emancipated for some reason, we'll need to get one of your parents involved in any of our business dealings from the beginning. It's no problem, from my perspective, but it's necessary. Fill in the picture for me. Send me a brief bio and a couple of links to your best pieces for (Newspaper I work for), and we'll take it from there.

    Best regards,

    Robin
    As it turns out, I am over eighteen, and I will send her my best articles, but I'm still a little wary. This sort of seems too good to be true. Any advice from others who have worked with Robin would be awesome. Thanks!
    Last edited by Red.Ink.Rain; 01-08-2009 at 02:12 AM.
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  14. #14
    SHAZAM!! justinai's Avatar
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    Hmm, it sounds weird that she wouldn't want to see the entire manuscript. What if your plot sucks (not saying it does, but it is possible to have great voice and zero plot). Plus the link thing for a newspaper she works for is kind of weird.

    I'll be watching this thread, I'd like to see how this turns out.
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  15. #15
    aka Sadistic Mistress Mi-chan M.R.J. Le Blanc's Avatar
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    Yeah, seems kind of unusual that she's asking for that kind of info, especially the age thing, before she's even read the whole ms.
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  16. #16
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    Athens, OH!!!!!

    That's where I went to college. Who would've ever guessed lil' ol' Ohio University would ever be representin' the world of representation?

    Seriously. We're a little hippie/party school in the Appalachians. It's a badass place, imo, but not really a place I'd envision to hammer out book deals.

  17. #17
    Writer Beware Goddess Absolute Sage victoriastrauss's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CaoPaux View Post
    Personally, I'd wait until she reveals her clients and/or reports some sales before putting her on my To Query list.
    This is good advice.

    Red, if you were under 18 your parents would indeed need to be involved, but not until/unless she offered you representation. Sounds to me like she is trying to suss you out to see what kind of client you might be before making the time commitment to read your entire ms.

    - Victoria

  18. #18
    She of Many Names Irysangel's Avatar
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    Her website states the following about her credentials: Robin possesses a BA in English literature. Prior to becoming an author's representative, she accumulated a decade of publishing experience in the corporate and government sectors and worked as a freelance writer and copyeditor.

    Why is this so vaguely-worded? This could be anything. Heck, this could be a credit of my own since I am a technical writer that has portions of work 'published' on my company's web product. Helping your employer put together employee handbooks would qualify as 'publishing experience' but certainly will not help you land someone else a book deal. I'd love to see clarification on her credentials.

    FWIW, no sales on Publishers Marketplace at all. Not surprising if she is just starting out, but worth noting.
    Last edited by Irysangel; 01-05-2009 at 11:28 PM. Reason: extrapolation
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  19. #19
    Not your kid brother's YA Red.Ink.Rain's Avatar
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    Well, she emailed me back requesting the full manuscript and asking me to let her know if I was querying other agents. I told her I was, and I asked her if she would mind telling me a little more about her publishing background. I also asked if she charged a reading fee.

    Still waiting to hear back. I haven't sent the manuscript yet, mostly because I want to make sure she'll answer my questions first.
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    Strange and Beautiful: Magic never comes cheap.
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  20. #20
    aka Sadistic Mistress Mi-chan M.R.J. Le Blanc's Avatar
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    Yeah, the quote I posted up in post #7 had me a little worried also. It all makes me wonder if she has any relevant publishing experience. Seems not too unlike the conversation that comes up about publishing rights, and how just because you're a lawyer unless you have experience in publishing contracts your knowledge isn't going to mean much at all.
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  21. #21
    Not your kid brother's YA Red.Ink.Rain's Avatar
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    Last edited by Red.Ink.Rain; 01-08-2009 at 02:12 AM.
    City of Shadows: The only thing worse than a defect who is allowed to live is a defect who dares to love.
    Strange and Beautiful: Magic never comes cheap.
    Seven: In Dead Horse, Colorado, his story repeats itself.








  22. #22
    Not your kid brother's YA Red.Ink.Rain's Avatar
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    Last edited by Red.Ink.Rain; 01-08-2009 at 02:12 AM.
    City of Shadows: The only thing worse than a defect who is allowed to live is a defect who dares to love.
    Strange and Beautiful: Magic never comes cheap.
    Seven: In Dead Horse, Colorado, his story repeats itself.








  23. #23
    aka Sadistic Mistress Mi-chan M.R.J. Le Blanc's Avatar
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    How's this:

    Dear Ms. Mizell,

    I would like to thank you for your interest in my manuscript, but I have decided to withdraw it from consideration. I have contacted you with previous questions and have received no answer and thus I no longer feel comfortable continuing further. Thank you for your time and consideration, and I wish you all the best in your future endeavors.

    Respectfully yours,

    your name here
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  24. #24
    Not your kid brother's YA Red.Ink.Rain's Avatar
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    Last edited by Red.Ink.Rain; 01-08-2009 at 02:13 AM.
    City of Shadows: The only thing worse than a defect who is allowed to live is a defect who dares to love.
    Strange and Beautiful: Magic never comes cheap.
    Seven: In Dead Horse, Colorado, his story repeats itself.








  25. #25
    aka Sadistic Mistress Mi-chan M.R.J. Le Blanc's Avatar
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    No problem. I knew those workshops I took in college would come in handy in the future
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