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Thread: [Agency] D.C. Jacobson & Associates, LLC

  1. #1
    figuring it all out Leigh86's Avatar
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    [Agency] D.C. Jacobson & Associates, LLC

    I looked and couldn't find athread on here for them, so I guess I'll start it. They're a strictly Christian agency and they have a pretty impressive looking website and according to it, he used to work at Multnomah. From what I can tell, they must be relatively new.
    Anyway, I'm wondering if anybody has any extra info about them besides what's on their website. Thanks so much!
    Last edited by Leigh86; 03-12-2009 at 09:20 AM.
    Lord... I need an AGENT!

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    aka Sadistic Mistress Mi-chan M.R.J. Le Blanc's Avatar
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    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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    He has a couple clients published by David C. Cook (the first in 2007). I'm not sure what "published in association with D.C. Jacobson" means, though.
    Last edited by CaoPaux; 03-16-2009 at 10:09 PM. Reason: left out a word
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  4. #4
    figuring it all out Leigh86's Avatar
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    Well, I heard back from them today. They said my novel sounded "intriguing" and that they wanted to see more. So that's good news!
    Lord... I need an AGENT!

  5. #5
    practical experience, FTW
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    D.C. Jacobson

    I have a Christian novel and I found D.C. Jacobson. Through their website I quiered them and they asked for a partial. I was elated. I got an email back from them declining but...and here's where I need some help. Though they declined they did say that they offer a wonderful consulting service. Here is some of what they wrote me:

    "However, we do see potential in this project and would like to help you achieve your publishing goals. You may want to consider DCJA’s unique consulting services; our purpose is to guide aspiring authors (who we believe in) to maximize their project’s potential. Our team of publishing professionals works together, combining 30+ years of industry experience, to perform in-depth evaluations of your work and give you access to some of the same personalized coaching our contracted authors receive.

    Note: The DCJA consulting packages are a high-value, low-risk investment in your writing career. By the end of our process, you will have a tighter book concept, a professionally prepared proposal, and the tools necessary for you to land an agent or publisher (or to go the self-publishing route if you choose). And if by the end of the process, DCJA decides to represent you, we will reimburse your consulting fees."


    To me this seems a little odd. Does anyone else think this way? Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.


  6. #6
    aka Sadistic Mistress Mi-chan M.R.J. Le Blanc's Avatar
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    It's more than odd - it's a conflict of interest. If they get money from you via this package, they have zero incentive to actually rep you and sell your book. Real agents make their living on that 15% commission, so you better believe they're going to bust their butt to sell your work. Someone like this, no incentive. They may manage to sell books, but I wouldn't be surprised if other agents have then beat in number of books sold.

    Don't bother with these guys. Everything they're offering to help you with through that package you can learn how to do here, at AW - for free. Stick with someone with track records. You can look up agents on www.agentquery.com to start.
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  7. #7
    Steel Magnolia & Snarky Pants Juneluv12's Avatar
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    Fabulous! I have a YA partial out with them right now. I've got partials and fulls out with Christian and Secular agents. I also have a adult novel I wanted to send as well.

    Argh, this really makes me mad!
    Last edited by Juneluv12; 05-05-2009 at 11:29 PM.

    JtBH: YA Contemp: Agented

    "Without the bitter, baby, the sweet just ain't as sweet."--Vanilla Sky

  8. #8
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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    Well, that certainly reveals what "published in association with" means. Bleah.
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  9. #9
    figuring it all out Leigh86's Avatar
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    Yeah, I have a partial out with them right now. While I'm disappointed about hearing this, I'm NOT surprised. The second time I looked at their website, I saw the "consultation" thing.
    Umm...Isn't that EXACTLY what a literary agent is supposed to do as a part of your contract? And last time I checked, that's what the 15% is supposed to be for.
    And I agree, Juneluv12, it's frustrating and sad to see how many of these "Christian" agencies are doing stuff like this.
    Oh, well. Moving on to somebody else!
    Lord... I need an AGENT!

  10. #10
    practical experience, FTW
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    Thanks Le Blanc for the advice. I thought it was a little strange. Makes me mad really. And you're right, you can find the advice right here, for free. "Yeah let me see a partial, yeah get my hopes up that maybe, just maybe this might be the time I get an agent, yeah pay a lot of money for us to...blah, blah, blah."

    At least the lesson was learned before money was sent. Thanks.

  11. #11
    figuring it all out Leigh86's Avatar
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    Big thank you from me too! I spent 20 min. or so pouting and now I've moved on. I've been doing this just long enough to know that to be in this business, you need to have thick skin, so I guess I'll just keep on trucking!
    Nothing ventured, nothing gained. BIG hugs all around!
    Lord... I need an AGENT!

  12. #12
    Steel Magnolia & Snarky Pants Juneluv12's Avatar
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    I'm almost tempted to send an email for clarifcation. I've heard of people withdrawing their manuscripts for consideration, and I wouldn't hesitate to do this. I've got to recheck my dates. She said she would be back to me within 2-4 weeks. I'm thinking I'm inbetween the 2-4 week mark.

    JtBH: YA Contemp: Agented

    "Without the bitter, baby, the sweet just ain't as sweet."--Vanilla Sky

  13. #13
    practical experience, FTW
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    I'd be very curious as to what they say. I'm wondering if the email they sent me was just their form letter to try to draw people in to take advantage of their consulting services or maybe it was just for my manuscript. Maybe they'll offer you a contract right away. Let us know how it turns out.

  14. #14
    aka Sadistic Mistress Mi-chan M.R.J. Le Blanc's Avatar
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    Their site is pretty clear. The man who started the agency has a 'publishing career', which I'm guessing means he's had books published. Fine, great. But that's no qualifying experience to be an agent. There's also a lot of misinformation i.e. agents disappearing after the contract, new authors having a hard time finding success. And the additional services is a HUGE flag. It questions their incentive to sell books if they're making money on the side. And any agency who is dependant on something like this I would question their ability to sell books. There's plenty of good agencies out there making their money on selling books, and nothing more. Those are the agents you should be focusing on.
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  15. #15
    Steel Magnolia & Snarky Pants Juneluv12's Avatar
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    Mr. Jacobson was kind enough to promptly reply back to my question about his agency. He said it was okay to share my response with others here on the board, so here it is.

    I read through the message board and was fascinated to read M.R.J. LeBlanc’s post: “Their site is pretty clear. The man who started the agency has a 'publishing career', which I'm guessing means he's had books published. Fine, great. But that's no qualifying experience to be an agent.” If he had read our website or done a bit of research, he would have seen that I was actually the owner and publisher of Multnomah Publishers for fourteen years and helped authors like Dobson, Blackaby, Alcorn, Piper, Feldhahn, Gunn, Kingsbury, and Rivers produce bestselling, life-changing books. After selling Multnomah to Random House in 2006, I started this agency, focusing on deep relationships with very few authors with whom my colleagues and I have a high capacity for friendship and shared vision. We invest a significant amount of time in our contracted authors and of course do not charge them for any of our services, just the standard 15% commission.

    Our Consulting Services were born out of a demand from unrepresented authors for publishing coaching. We receive several submissions and queries each day, and have done our best to share helpful tips with authors we can’t represent, instead of just sending a typical nondescript “pass” email. But, what we’ve found the past two years is that every time we respond to someone with a few insights, they come back with more questions, wanting more advice on how to improve their proposals and book concepts. Unfortunately, we can’t invest the time into an in-depth response to every one of the hundreds of submissions we receive, as our foremost responsibility is servicing our represented authors. We began offering Consulting Services this spring out of a desire to help unrepresented authors whose book ideas legitimately have potential but aren’t at the level we would represent or is likely to be picked up by another reputable agent or publisher. Our team spends several hours providing in-depth feedback and suggestions and charges a rate that’s fair for the level of service we provide.

    There is no conflict of interest because we don’t charge any fees from the authors we represent and if we consult with an author who we end up signing down the road, their consulting fees would be fully refunded. Our heart is to continue working closely with a few represented authors and to also lend our experience and insights to consulting clients we think will most benefit from our services.

    I hope this response helps clarify our intention. Please feel free to share this info with your associates on the AW site and encourage them to become more familiar with our site if they’re interested in learning about us.


    JtBH: YA Contemp: Agented

    "Without the bitter, baby, the sweet just ain't as sweet."--Vanilla Sky

  16. #16
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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    Hmm. Any mention of clients or sales?
    ICAO
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    II 2016: 2017:

  17. #17
    aka Sadistic Mistress Mi-chan M.R.J. Le Blanc's Avatar
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    Well I'm a she, not a he (since he indicated he was reading this board ).

    Quote Originally Posted by Juneluv12 View Post
    If he had read our website or done a bit of research, he would have seen that I was actually the owner and publisher of Multnomah Publishers for fourteen years and helped authors like Dobson, Blackaby, Alcorn, Piper, Feldhahn, Gunn, Kingsbury, and Rivers produce bestselling, life-changing books. After selling Multnomah to Random House in 2006, I started this agency, focusing on deep relationships with very few authors with whom my colleagues and I have a high capacity for friendship and shared vision. We invest a significant amount of time in our contracted authors and of course do not charge them for any of our services, just the standard 15% commission.
    I don't recall seeing that, but it's completely possible I missed it. I think it would have been appropriate to put it in the about us/The DCJA Story section, since that's usually the first place people go. It's where I went, anyway, and with the title of that section expected to hear more about how DCJA came about, and not just what they do. Just an observation.

    Quote Originally Posted by Juneluv12 View Post
    Our Consulting Services were born out of a demand from unrepresented authors for publishing coaching. We receive several submissions and queries each day, and have done our best to share helpful tips with authors we can’t represent, instead of just sending a typical nondescript “pass” email. But, what we’ve found the past two years is that every time we respond to someone with a few insights, they come back with more questions, wanting more advice on how to improve their proposals and book concepts. Unfortunately, we can’t invest the time into an in-depth response to every one of the hundreds of submissions we receive, as our foremost responsibility is servicing our represented authors. We began offering Consulting Services this spring out of a desire to help unrepresented authors whose book ideas legitimately have potential but aren’t at the level we would represent or is likely to be picked up by another reputable agent or publisher. Our team spends several hours providing in-depth feedback and suggestions and charges a rate that’s fair for the level of service we provide.
    Quote Originally Posted by Juneluv12 View Post

    There is no conflict of interest because we don’t charge any fees from the authors we represent and if we consult with an author who we end up signing down the road, their consulting fees would be fully refunded. Our heart is to continue working closely with a few represented authors and to also lend our experience and insights to consulting clients we think will most benefit from our services.
    But see, this still is a conflict of interest. One, because it's very easy for this to get abused and two it gets into really murky territory. At the very least, it's guilt by association because there are many agencies out there who do do this and not to anyone's benefit but their own. Plus, this hints to me that the agency cannot support itself on sales alone, and relies on the income generated from consulting services in order to run. Not a good sign. I can understand the desire to help the authors being rejected, but there's a reason other agencies don't do this. It's because they simply don't have time - they're working with their own clients and selling books. Would they, if they did have the time? I'm sure many would. But it's not a reality. And the fact that your agency spends so much time helping authors you've felt the need to offer a consulting service to compensate your time (which in that respect I can't fault you for wanting to be compensated for your time) it's time taken away from selling your clients' books. Successful agents agent as a full-time job, not as a part-time job or in conjunction with something else.

    I have no problems with consulting services, as long as they're fair and really offer what they advertise. But an agency who runs one in conjunction with their agenting does not inspire much confidence at all. As a writer, I want to know you can sell my book - knowing you're spending a significant amount of time with a consulting service would make me wonder just what kind of effort my work is getting. I'm sure you're probably with the best of intentions, but as I've stated there's a reason agents don't do this and why it is not offered.
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  18. #18
    What happened? ChristineR's Avatar
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    They offered consulting services to someone they declined, which is a huge red flag. The implication is that they might accept him--and refund the money--if he buys the consults. This person apparently had no thought of getting consulting services before the submission.

    Also, (and I feel like a heel for saying this) the fact that they call themselves Christian is another red flag. There's nothing wrong with only agenting Christian books, but the implication is that they are more trustworthy than other agencies with conflicts of interest because they are Christians. But scammers are smart enough to realize that sticking that label on yourself is more likely to make vulnerable writers overlook suspicious offers of consulting services.

  19. #19
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin heidi willis's Avatar
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    This is my first post here, so I'm a bit nervous diving into the waters, but I'm not new to writing and agent hunting, or researching, so I'm going to put in my two cents anyway.

    Firstly, I think spending any amount of time in this business can make us all cynical. There are so many things to watch out for, so many scammers ready to make a buck off our hopes and dreams... it's so easy to lump everyone together.

    I did extensive research on DCJA before submitting to them. I was worried initially that there is so little about them on the internet. But what I have found about Don Jacobson as a person has made me more than comfortable.

    If you google his name you will find out a lot about his history... the fact that he started, owned and sold Multonomah Press, and treated it as a ministry. He OWNED one of the largest Christian publishers! He went on to build a coffee growing business, also as a ministry and mission. He doesn't need an agency for income. He has money enough to not have to do this kind of business. But he does it because books are his passion, and because he truly wants to use his life to glorify God. He has some deep ties in the Christian community. I think his reputation as a person and a businessman were more than enough to make me trust his agency.

    I don't think anywhere he says on the website that he is more trustworthy because they are Christian. It is, however, important to know they only rep Christian books because that cuts down on getting submissions they don't want. That saves both their time and the author's.

    As for authors they've repped, the list is impressive. Some authors with very established careers started with him, which he listed above in his answer. Not all of them are with him now... perhaps because he stopped working in publishing for a few years and they moved on, and now he's back but they have other reps? That would be a question I'd ask. He has, however, made some very big deals in the past.

    I submitted a query to them two months ago and got a very nice, personal and encouraging reply asking for a partial and synopsis. Recently I received a very nice and personal reply asking for my full.

    I don't know what the end result will be. If they offer their consulting services, I will politely decline. But my interactions with them so far don't indicate that it is anything other than a way they've tried to help struggling authors who don't research on the internet or take writing classes or have the foggiest idea of where to begin.

    If they call and I get the chance to speak with them, or by grace work with them, I'll come back and let you know what I find out.

  20. #20
    figuring it all out Leigh86's Avatar
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    Just received an email declining representation for me, but they OF COURSE offered their consultation packages. Thanks, but no thanks. Oh, well. Moving on.
    Lord... I need an AGENT!

  21. #21
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin starlight's Avatar
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    Confused

    I recently queried D.C. Jacobson and assoctiates about a novel and recieved a reply back asking for a complete book proposal with several sample chapters if available. I am prepared to send a synopsis, partial, full, whatever, but not a book proposal. Since when do people ask for book proposals on a completed work of fiction? Maybe I'm just being ignorant, but I really don't know what they are looking. Advice anyone?

  22. #22
    Who's going for a beer? waylander's Avatar
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    Sounds like a response appropriate to a non-fiction submission.
    E-mail them back and ask for clarification

  23. #23
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin starlight's Avatar
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    Yeah, I think I'll do that. Thanks. Or maybe I'll just remind them my manuscript is fiction and send them the synopsis and first three chapters. After reading all the post on here, I'll admit, I'm not really expecting much. Probably they just want to consult for me.

  24. #24
    Steel Magnolia & Snarky Pants Juneluv12's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by starlight View Post
    Yeah, I think I'll do that. Thanks. Or maybe I'll just remind them my manuscript is fiction and send them the synopsis and first three chapters. After reading all the post on here, I'll admit, I'm not really expecting much. Probably they just want to consult for me.
    I'd actually emailed Victoria just a week or two about them detailing my experience.

    I initially gave them the benefit of the doubt after emailing for clarification on the "consulting" part. Then I got back a rejection on my partial for my YA. They outlined some pretty minimal things that were "wrong" with the book. I asked for the chance to revise and to submit a proposal for my adult novel. She said yes.

    Then a few weeks later they came back with this....that they felt my novels were two secular(never mentioned this with the YA in the suggestions), and that they mainly handled non-fiction(never mentioned this before).

    I would seriously consider this before taking the time to do a proposal. I hate to say it, but i really think their business is sham!

    JtBH: YA Contemp: Agented

    "Without the bitter, baby, the sweet just ain't as sweet."--Vanilla Sky

  25. #25
    figuring it all out Leigh86's Avatar
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    I got another email from them the other day reminding me of their consulting services. They also wanted to see if I was still pursuing a career in writing.
    And they said, AGAIN, that they were "intrigued" with my novel. Well, if they were so intrigued, then why did I get a rejection from them in the first place?
    I don't really understand this so called Agency.
    Last edited by Leigh86; 07-29-2009 at 06:44 AM.
    Lord... I need an AGENT!

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