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Thread: [Book packager/lit. agency] LifeTime Media, Inc.

  1. #1
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Last edited by Concerned Editor; 04-03-2009 at 05:35 AM.

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    Crack that WIP! Preacher'sWife's Avatar
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    LifeTime Media, Inc.

    I'm a first-timer, and I need your help. LifeTime Media, Inc. has requested my full manuscript, and I'm wondering if anyone out there has dealt with them as a literary agency? They advertise themselves as a book packager, publisher, and literary agency, and P&E has them listed with as "$ a literary agency", so I thought they would be safe. However, as I research them, I can come up with very little info. They did publish Billie Jean King's Pressure is a Privilege, but I can't find anything else they have published. They also don't list any books they have represented as a literary agency or sold to other publishers. As a matter of fact, their website looks like it hasn't been updated since before the release of Ms. King's book in May of 2008. Can anyone help?

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    Your Genial Uncle Absolute Sage James D. Macdonald's Avatar
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    Skillful Living by Michael Finkelstein (Hardcover - Jun 28, 2010)

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    She's Out There: Essays by 35 Young Women Who Aspire to Lead the Nation: The Next Generation of Presidential Candidates by Amy Sewell, Heather Ogilvie, and Robert A. Ripps (Hardcover - May 21, 2009)

    Pressure is a Privilege: Lessons I've Learned from Life and the Battle of the Sexes by Billie Jean King (Hardcover - Jan 1, 2008)

    Times Square 2000 by The New-York Historical Society (Hardcover - Dec 8, 1999)



    They seem to be a production house that's branching out into publishing.

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    Crack that WIP! Preacher'sWife's Avatar
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    Thanks for the list. If LifeTime Media, Inc. advertises as both a publisher and a literary agency, is it reasonable to assume that as a literary agency they would shop your book around to other publishers? At this point, I don't know what to think. I had originally queried them for representation as a literary agency. I know I have a lot to learn, so I would appreciate any advice you have.

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    Your Genial Uncle Absolute Sage James D. Macdonald's Avatar
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    Generally speaking, I don't recommend any agency that's associated with a publisher.

    As to how they are as publishers, non-fiction is a little outside of my beat.

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    Crack that WIP! Preacher'sWife's Avatar
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    My book is also fiction, and I noticed that everything they have published is non-fiction. I'm wondering if they are now trying to branch out into fiction. At any rate, I took a risk and wrote back to the person who requested my manuscript and bio, asking her for a list of past or future releases (prior to receiving your list). Did I burn my bridge with them? It's possible, but I expect people to be upfront with me. That's how we do it in Iowa.
    Last edited by Preacher'sWife; 10-27-2009 at 06:49 AM. Reason: removed name of book

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    Any publisher who is doing something other than publishing books is pretty much incapable of selling books to the public.

    Any agent or agency who is doing something in conjunction with agenting is an agent who can't support themselves because they don't have the tools to sell to legitimate houses.

    I'd go with someone you know has sold books like yours to legit houses. Don't take unnecessary risks.
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    Your Genial Uncle Absolute Sage James D. Macdonald's Avatar
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    It's possible that they agent fiction and publish non-fiction, and do freelance production for other publishers.

    Anyone who gets offended if you ask ... is someone you don't want anyway.

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    Thank you, my Genial Uncle.

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    Resident Curmudgeon Requiescat In Pace ResearchGuy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Preacher'sWife View Post
    I'm a first-timer, and I need your help. LifeTime Media, Inc. has requested my full manuscript, . . .
    Beware if they ask for money, in any form, any amount.

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    Crack that WIP! Preacher'sWife's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ResearchGuy View Post
    Beware if they ask for money, in any form, any amount.

    --Ken
    So noted, Ken. Merci.

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    Writer Beware Goddess Absolute Sage victoriastrauss's Avatar
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    Packaging and agenting in the same company pose a potential conflict of interest, as packaging is much more lucrative for the packager than agenting is for the agent.

    LifeTime's agency agreement may have changed, but as of 2006, it covered both agenting and packaging--allowing LifeTime to submit the author's work for publication but also to provide production services for it. Theoretically at least, this might motivate an agency to focus on publishers where a packaging opportunity existed.

    It's not really clear from its website which books LifeTime has agented and which it has packaged.

    - Victoria

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    Crack that WIP! Preacher'sWife's Avatar
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    Here is a list of publishers they have worked with, according to their site. It doesn't look too shabby to my naive eyes, but I don't know how long ago LifeTime worked with them. They are listed as "clients", so I would assume they packaged for them.

    Avery Publishing
    Berkley Books
    Crown Publishing
    Dutton Books
    Simon & Schuster
    Facts on File
    Harper & Collins
    Little Brown
    Nelson Publishing
    Plume
    Random House
    Regan Books
    Rodale
    Rutledge Hill Press
    Wiley Publishing

  15. #15
    Hagiographically Advantaged AW Moderator HapiSofi's Avatar
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    Packager, publisher, and agent? I wouldn't touch 'em. Too much unavoidable conflict of interest. Besides, none of those occupations should leave you enough spare attention and energy to pursue the other two.

    Also, allow me to say suggest very politely that the fact (if it is a fact) that a packager has worked with a bunch of reputable houses doesn't prove the packager is a straight talker or a straight shooter.
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    Another red flag I found--internship ratings:

    http://www.internshipratings.com/internship/342

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by James D. Macdonald View Post
    It's possible that they agent fiction and publish non-fiction, and do freelance production for other publishers.

    Anyone who gets offended if you ask ... is someone you don't want anyway.
    Well...interesting development here. As you know, I took a risk and wrote back prior to sending in my manuscript, asking them for a list of books they had agented out or published. I must add that I also pointed out that their website had obviously not been updated since 2008 (I'm naughty, aren't I?). A second editor wrote back and very nicely rejected the partial I had already sent in. I then wrote back, addressing my message to both editors, telling them I was confused because I had gotten a request from one of them and a rejection from another, noting that the rejection came in response to my request for a list of books as stated above. The original editor wrote back, apologizing, and then stated that after further review of the partial I sent earlier, they decided it was not what they were looking for at this time. They were both very gracious, which leads me to wonder if the original post of this thread--Concerned Editor--might possibly be an insider, who is working or once worked for them. I wouldn't be surprised, according to the comments on the internship review site to which I referred in an earlier post. So.....I thank the all of you for the sage advice, the interns and their reviews, and Concerned Editor for posting their cryptic thumbs down. My querying continues...........

  18. #18
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Re: LifeTime Media
    I did not really care for this company. They showed interest in one of my books. We had a conference call, which was dull, with no energy from them. It sounded like their were screaming kids in the background. When we ended the phone call, I was told someone would get back to me, and nobody did. Was not too professional, at least with my dealings.

  19. #19
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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    Website hasn't been updated since '11, which is when last books came out (was also LTM Books, LLC (ltmbooks.com), but that's gone now). However, there's relatively recent mention of someone signing with the agency side, so I'll reindex this under Agencies for the time being.
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  20. #20
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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    Nope, both sides closed in '11. (Ms. Grace's LinkedIn profile, FTR.):
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