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Thread: The MacAllister is a tyrant and Hapisofi was mean to me thread

  1. #101
    Cultus Gopherus MacAllister Medievalist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by escritora View Post
    What I find surprising is that you founded a one-person literary agency about six months ago and you aren't working horrendous hours. Everyone I know that started and runs their own business work horrendous hours, especially a one man show in the infancy of their start up..
    I don't know any agents who don't work way more than 40 hours a week. The most "successful" agent I know personally, in spite of repping genre fiction and niche non-fic that's appeared on the NYT and other lists bluntly told me that she could afford to be an agent because she had a trust fund with royalties from a deceased parent.

    Some of the agents I most favor, repping people with names you'd recognize, make less than 20K a year, after six and seven years as full time agents.

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  2. #102
    Your Genial Uncle Absolute Sage James D. Macdonald's Avatar
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    Why don't you highlight where she said it and then write to her asking how she made such a factual error?
    When you'd concealed it -- not listed it -- on your About page? You expect her to be a mindreader? Here's what you just said here:

    I don't have Pearson on the About page because I hated the job. It makes me cringe when I think about it. I don't care if that would bolster my claims as an agent or convince someone to send work to me. I hated it.
    How could she make such a factual error? How could she not?

    And tell me, did you learn anything while you were there? Was this the job that you took just out of uni in order to get your hand stamped?

    [
    Quote Originally Posted by mathewferguson View Post
    ]I realised that publishing was its own little secret society with rules and structures and the only way in was to play along. So I did. I got a terrible job waaaaay down on the totem pole at the educational publishing company because I knew that I only had to get my hand stamped. Once I was inside the secret society I could move to another publisher.

    I was right.

    I spent a year with the educational publisher and then moved over to Funtastic Publishing as an editor.
    I presume you also meant Pearson here:

    My first job out of uni was a wasted year skill-wise and the whole point of it was to get my next job.
    That's the point where HapiSofi commented:

    That is, you took the job in bad faith.
    Now here you are, telling us that this is the job that qualifies you to be an agent, that you did too work for a trade publisher, and that those who have read what you've written and judged you harshly thereby are wrong, wrong, wrong.

    Consider, please, that you didn't actually learn anything while you were there, just as you claim, and that this ... lack ... is apparent to the folks who genuinely have experience; that you might as well not have been there at all, and, thus, don't have a clue about trade publishing.

    That is certainly a valid reading of the thread.

    (Do not, for a moment, think that 500 posts is too great a bar for anyone to read the entire thing. It's barely over twenty pages. Reading for comprehension is not a rare skill.)

    But this is all beside the point. It would make no difference if you spent the first year out of uni working on a sugar plantation--if you were currently selling books to publishers.

  3. #103
    My brother loves me thiiis much! :) som1luvsmi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mathewferguson View Post
    Mac was listed as the final person on the thread (before James made another comment) before it was locked. And she just wrote that the post deletion was hers.
    Then perhaps you should have approached a Mod and asked what happened. And yes, she did admit that. She also said that it was unintentional and was currently trying to rectify the situation.

    Quote Originally Posted by mathewferguson View Post
    It can't read smoother if I didn't change it. That was what it was about - addressing the idea that I changed it.
    I believe she said that she may have read it incorrectly the first time. Both she and I seem to be giving you the benefit of the doubt. She was stating, if I read it correctly, that *that* was the kind of things she had been asking about, and that she'd like to see more of the same.

    Quote Originally Posted by mathewferguson View Post
    Did you read the thread before on me? It was up in high 400 to low 500 posts before people who had been flaming on previously suddenly decided to pretend to be calm little souls simply seeking information on me. No one bothered to ask me any of those questions at the start. It was too little too late. I thought the background check was you know, about background checks.
    It would seem only rational to refer people directly to what you had previously stated, then, would it not? This is where the linking comes in.


    Quote Originally Posted by mathewferguson View Post
    What concrete evidence would you like to see? What concrete evidence would satisfy you? Further to that - what concrete evidence do you think actually exists?
    If I am trying to get a job, it is a common practice for a potential employer to ask for a resume and references. As an agent, don't you think that that is the least you can offer? Direct links to pages where your qualifications are posted? Medi did as much with the agents she listed. And if you don't have a clientèle built up, then you should publish those links to your writing and editing credits. This is where the whole 'backgrounds check' comes into play. Telling everyone to go Google it for themselves is a little off-putting, to say the least.

    Quote Originally Posted by mathewferguson View Post
    If you Google "adapted by Mathew Ferguson" or "written by Mathew Ferguson" then you'll find about twenty titles or so where the information is connected with the book. That is a tiny amount of the projects I did at Funtastic. At one stage there I had my name down next to about 130 simultaneous books going through.
    That's great! Provide a link for all those asking about it.

    Quote Originally Posted by mathewferguson View Post
    There is a non-fiction title called A Golfer's View for which I was the editor. The only proof? I'm thanked in the acknowledgments.
    Again, that's great news! Provide a link or show where one can look it up.

    Quote Originally Posted by mathewferguson View Post
    People on here are asking for proof of a level that no person would ever be able to provide. Prove that I worked at Pearson. How? Get a letter from HR?
    You are trying to build a client base. Provide whatever is asked with any means necessary. Show potential clients that you'll put the work in for them.
    Because that is a portion of who is paying attention.

    Quote Originally Posted by mathewferguson View Post
    Provide concrete evidence that you negotiated a contract. How? I'm sorry but I don't keep copies of confidential documents. I can talk about contract clauses if you want to see if I know what I'm talking about. But no one bothered with any of that.
    You don't keep copies??? Umm...you should probably change that tactic right now. That is a very good way to get burned in business.


    Quote Originally Posted by mathewferguson View Post
    I'm very open to being convinced. I just have this little thing about evidence. Evidence is what can convince me. If someone says that agents work horrendous hours then, silly me, I don't automatically believe it to be true. There are a lot of people who talk up how hard they work. My evidence on agents was gained through being their direct target for nearly two years and then subsequent dealings.
    Ah, see this is where I think you're flat out wrong. Nothing I've read any either of the threads would indicate to me that you are open to anything but defending yourself.

    I'll say it again.
    Take a step back.
    Breathe.
    Don't keep going on about this in the heat of the moment.
    Ask yourself if this is really the place you want to be.
    If it is, then in a calmer moment, ask yourself what can be done differently.

    Because right now, you're not winning yourself any allies or clients.

    Maybe you could ask a contemporary in your field for some advice as to how to address this problem. Either way, I think that you should just take a while to cool off.
    ~Sarah~

    "Karma's a bitch. Consider me her predecessor."

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    Do not weep for Assassin Kitteh. She rides alone...because she must.

  4. #104
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    Hey Birol - congratulations, you've got to be one of the few who has actually bothered to read the About page before writing. I'm glad that you have the basic research skills that other people lack.

    My answers :-)

    Quote Originally Posted by Birol View Post
    By stating that you “[sold yourself] as a writer,” it implies that you were not really a writer, but were merely pretending to be one to get a job for which you were not otherwise qualified.
    Define "writer" for me. It doesn't imply I was not really a writer but merely pretending. You are reading a lot into "as a writer". What is a writer? Someone who has been paid for writing? Someone who writes? Someone who has published? I wasn't pretending to be a writer. I was/am a writer. Even when I had no professional credits I was still a writer.

    Quote Originally Posted by Birol View Post
    This leads to some questions 1) what was your profession before you landed this job
    I was working at an educational publishing company.

    Quote Originally Posted by Birol View Post
    2) do you habitually misrepresent yourself

    Do you still beat your wife? Seriously? This is your question - do I misrepresent myself as a matter of habit or do I misrepresent myself on a case-by-case basis. Please, think about what you are saying. The answer is: I never misrepresent myself in any way. I am honest to a shocking degree.

    Quote Originally Posted by Birol View Post
    3) if you misrepresented yourself then, how can a writer seeking an agent be assured you are not misrepresenting yourself as an agent now, 4) as an agent, are you going to misrepresent the writers in your stable to editors and publishers?
    I'll put these two together because they are meaningless in light of my previous answer. Nice how you assume stuff to. I've never misrepresented myself. Never. Not once.

    Quote Originally Posted by Birol View Post
    As recently as 2003, then you did not have enough experience or industry information to be able to negotiate a paying contract for yourself?
    It wasn't experience or industry information that was lacking. I knew writers got paid. I just didn't care back then. I wanted publishing credits and I was willing to work for nothing to get them. I can assure you that had I asked for money, I would not have received the job. I traded money for experience. It was an excellent deal.

    Quote Originally Posted by Birol View Post
    As a writer, how can I expect you to be able to do better for me?
    It has been six years. That is a long time with a lot of work in there. I'd add that I've been supporting myself as a freelance writer and editor since the end of 2005. My ability to support myself hinged greatly on being able to negotiate.


    Quote Originally Posted by Birol View Post
    Okay, less than six years ago, you switch from giving away your work to working for pay. Congratulations. Still, the flippant “sensing that selling writing for nothing was not a fiscally advantageous strategy” does little to reassure writers that you are a skilled contract negotiator.
    It's a joke. Funny. Ha ha. Can't you sense the tone of the site. Humour. Laugh. Enjoy. This is something that has been forgotten on this site: I love to laugh and taking the piss is what we Australians do best.

    Quote Originally Posted by Birol View Post
    Some specific titles would be nice. What publishers have you worked with? Which authors? What do you mean by “acquired a children’s fiction series”? From whom? For which publisher? Did you represent the author(s) and negotiate their contract?
    This rather generic list tells me nothing, other than you can string lists together.
    Do you know how long that About page was originally? I showed it to my friend and he said to cut out most of it because it was exhausting reading through it. I don't list every publisher because the list is long and for some of them I did barely any work for. Other times because they are small.

    I represented my publisher with the acquisition work. Why would I represent the author when I was working full-time in-house as an editor?

    Let me ask you this, regarding specific details: will it make any difference to you or anyone else? If I write "I acquired X" what will it mean? My name isn't on it. The only proof of anything is that I was at the company at the same time as the publication date.

    I think I said to someone else: I'm not going to be fooled into thinking if I hand over specific details of various projects that it is going to mean a thing. I don't suddenly think HapiSofi is going to come out and say "Sorry Mat, you did actually work at a trade publisher. I apologise.".

    I'm not being evasive but I'm well passed the point of thinking that it makes any difference to anyone.

    Quote Originally Posted by Birol View Post
    Again, if you want to have the authority you’re claiming and if you want me to respect that authority, I need names and titles. Which publishers? Which authors and illustrators?
    You need names and titles? Is that SOP for Bewares and Background checks? I haven't seen a thread where an agent is asked to turn over all the names and titles. If they have sales then they have them on their website. I think you're asking for more than anyone has ever been asked for before. I tell you the children's series I worked on back then and people see it is now out of print. Oh, and it doesn't have my name on it. So what does that mean? Nothing. It doesn't prove that I did the work I say.

    Quote Originally Posted by Birol View Post
    What type of marking and sales material? Fliers? Ad copy? White papers? Blurbs? For which companies?
    Anything. Everything. If it has words I've probably written it. Blurbs, emails, sales copy, marketing letters, advertising material, pitch documents, concept documents.
    What is a company list going to do? Prove that I've been a freelance writer?

    Quote Originally Posted by Birol View Post
    Now this is interesting. You negotiated contracts? With which publishers for which authors? What do you mean by “dealt with royalty payments”?
    See, you probably think you’ve given specifics, but you really haven’t. Up to this point, it’s been vague laundry lists which really don’t establish you as anything other than a freelancer. It certainly doesn’t provide any assurances that you have the industry connections to be an agent or have the knowledge to represent a writer in contract negotiations. Your laundry list of personal writing credits is rather general. You don’t have a niche at this point. You’re taking work where you can get it, which is obviously not consistent in any one industry. If I’m looking at you as an agent, I need to know who you’ve represented and where you’ve sold their work. Who are your inside contacts?
    I negotiated contracts on behalf of my publisher. I helped freelance people negotiate their contracts (either directly or indirectly). I helped an author and illustrator take their series away from a bad publisher and go to a good one. Sorry, can't talk about that.

    I distributed royalty statements to authors. I monitored sales. I signed off on all payments and invoices.

    Yes, the About page is general rather than minutely specific. The level of detail you think needs to be there is ridiculous. Most people wouldn't know what I was talking about. Only other editors or agents would know the terms. Again, you seem to think that a minute accounting is required. When an agent with sales simply lists their sales, do you expect such an accounting then or are the sales enough?

    I wasn't "taking work where I can get it."

    Quote Originally Posted by Birol View Post
    Now this is very worrisome, because, oftentimes, people who want to be agents who don’t have the industry qualifications and who are only interested in making money end up charging writers. While they may have started with the best intentions, they shift from being a bad idea for writers, which is where you seem to be now, to being a scammer.
    This is talking about making money for my publisher. My job was to make them as much money as possible. This is not worrisome is it? Did you not understand that I was talking about my job with Funtastic still?

    Quote Originally Posted by Birol View Post
    Between 2003 and 2005, in the span of two short years, you claim you went from working for $0 to working to managing for Disney? This is quite the leap. The type of alleged success that makes industry news. And, yet, I have never heard of you and, again, you fail to list specifics. No titles. Why is that?
    I don't claim I was managing for Disney. From my about page "managed the Disney publishing license for Funtastic". Clear?

    It wasn't quite the leap it appears. A publisher who is more than willing to hand over responsibilities quickly put me in this position. It was made official in my position description. This wasn't industry news because Funtastic barely reported anything to anyone. It was only in later years that editorial hires even got press.

    So, to be clear, I was still at Funtastic and my official job title was still editor.

    Quote Originally Posted by Birol View Post
    Wait. You said you were editing before. Now, in 2005, you’re just starting to freelance? Which is it?
    Did you read and understand? "At the end of 2005, Mathew took the plunge into freelance writing and editing."

    A few weeks off the two-year mark I quit Funtastic and went freelance.

    Quote Originally Posted by Birol View Post
    You’re claiming proofreading as a qualification for being an agent? Really? And writing submission reviews? Seriously? You do understand this is entry level, don’t you?
    Don't sneer so much at the jobs. I'm not claiming proof-reading as a qualification for being an agent. It is a description of what I did on my way to where I am. It's also something people understand.

    Quote Originally Posted by Birol View Post
    Again. Congrats. Glad you got paid, but again, what does this mean for any writers you’d represent?
    Gee, let's think. Perhaps that if a guy from Melbourne, Australia can get his work on Qantas and British Airways then maybe he's not a halfwit. Maybe, just maybe he has some skills. What does that mean for writers I might represent? That I'll get them places. I took myself from zero publishing credits.

    Quote Originally Posted by Birol View Post
    Oh. Whoa. Stop. And what sort of “agent advice” did you give? So far, you’ve listed nothing that qualifies you to give any sort of “agent” advice, whether it be free or otherwise.
    I'm sorry you don't understand the complexities of my work. Editors don't just fix grammar you know? Editorial positions can differ greatly from company to company. As I said, I got a lot of responsibility very quickly and did a lot of stuff.

    Quote Originally Posted by Birol View Post
    And more with the free. If you can’t manage your own career any better than this, why should a writer trust you with theirs?
    Free is an accepted path into many areas. Even when I was working full-time I did free work. It's not always about the money. Sometimes it is about the publishing credit or the experience or the connection. Sometimes it is about getting into someone's office to talk with them. The price of admission is free. The prize is worth it.

    I do what it takes to get somewhere. I understand about career paths and building skills and credits. I know all about working for free so you can beat other writers. As an agent I'm always trying to make my client money but if they wanted to build writing credits for some reason, I wouldn't say no to free. Just don't do too much of it.

    I'd never go free for a book or something major. I'd go free for an article though to get a publishing credit. If it doesn't take too long then it is a good return.

    Quote Originally Posted by Birol View Post
    Yeah. You really don’t know what an agent does, do you?

    Yeah… “stunning leap of ego” pretty much describes it, and I’m not referring to the company name.
    I do know what an agent does. The final sentence is a joke. A bit of fun. You remember fun don't you?

  5. #105
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    Quote Originally Posted by James D. Macdonald View Post
    When you'd concealed it -- not listed it -- on your About page? You expect her to be a mindreader? Here's what you just said here:



    How could she make such a factual error? How could she not?

    And tell me, did you learn anything while you were there? Was this the job that you took just out of uni in order to get your hand stamped?

    [

    I presume you also meant Pearson here:



    That's the point where HapiSofi commented:



    Now here you are, telling us that this is the job that qualifies you to be an agent, that you did too work for a trade publisher, and that those who have read what you've written and judged you harshly thereby are wrong, wrong, wrong.

    Consider, please, that you didn't actually learn anything while you were there, just as you claim, and that this ... lack ... is apparent to the folks who genuinely have experience; that you might as well not have been there at all, and, thus, don't have a clue about trade publishing.

    That is certainly a valid reading of the thread.

    (Do not, for a moment, think that 500 posts is too great a bar for anyone to read the entire thing. It's barely over twenty pages. Reading for comprehension is not a rare skill.)

    But this is all beside the point. It would make no difference if you spent the first year out of uni working on a sugar plantation--if you were currently selling books to publishers.
    My first job was with the Australian Council for Educational Research - known as A.C.E.R. Press. It wasn't Pearson.

    HapiSofi said I had not worked at a trade publisher. She didn't ask me. She didn't read where I mentioned Pearson in the thread (although I admit it was small and in passing).

    She didn't try to verify anything at all. She blurted out that I hadn't worked for a trade publisher.

    She did this because she assumed. She assumed that every single person I've worked for is listed on my About page.

    She was wrong. And what is really frustrating is that no one bothers to point it out to her. It's just me saying where is the proof?

    How can she know the things she claims to know?

    The answer: she can tell.

    Mindreading or psychic powers isn't evidence. She made a dumb statement because she got caught up in crucifixion rather than asking a question first.

    If I want to leave a job off my About page because I hated it then that's my lookout. I'm not trying to hide it. I don't list ghost-writing there either because I hated it.

  6. #106
    Hagiographically Advantaged AW Moderator HapiSofi's Avatar
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    HapiSofi replies to Mat that she has replied over and over again, in far more detail and with far more accuracy than Mat has; and what's more, she's kept track of the arguments, which Mat has utterly and completely failed to do with her arguments, his own arguments, Mac's arguments, Lisa's arguments, Jim's arguments, Birol's arguments ... one could go on, but one needn't.

    When Hapi replies directly to Mat, it provokes him to further rounds of reeling and writhing and fainting in coils. When she replies to Mat, but not directly, he doesn't get the jokes.

    You know who's under-praised here? Izz, who keeps Very Good Track of arguments. Hurrah for Izz!

    ===

    It's occurred to me what's really funny about this imbroglio. (Imbroglio: lovely word. And has anyone else noticed Mat's dogwatched vocabulary...? But I digress.) Anyway. What's funny is that Mat's absolutely having kittens over having to deal with a forum full of writers and editors and legal counsel and the like.

    Dear God Almighty, why does this man want to be an agent? Has he no sense of self-preservation? To be an agent is to condemn himself to a lifetime of interacting with people just like us, only he won't be able to afford to be rude, or careless with his facts. And you know, some of them will be far more obsessive about the facts than we are.

    Mat can't admit he's been wrong. Mat's easy to upset, and when he's upset he stops listening. Mat can't ramp down an argument. Mat can't cope with having people say or imply less than laudatory things about him. It all makes me think he's done less research about agents and their authors than I've done about his notional CV.

    Mat, you poor helpless gowk, being called a lying sack of shit barely registers on the agent's seismograph. Authors are vulnerable, imaginative, prone to paranoia, and bitter in their disappointments. Their business agents -- which is where the term comes from -- get the brunt of that. When their relationship breaks down -- and it does, oftener than you might think -- what frequently gets poured down upon the poor agent's head is all the scorn, frustration, and terrifying inventiveness of a professional author who's been terribly disappointed. If you're lucky, you'll hear it over the phone. Less lucky, they'll unburden themselves to their fellow writers, most likely in a bar somewhere. If you're unlucky, it'll see print.

    You know the first documentary evidence we have of some phenomenal percentage of the minor Elizabethan playwrights? It's a jointly-written letter of complaint to their agent Philip Henslowe (that fellow played by Geoffrey Rush in Shakespeare in Love who's having his feet held over hot coals in the opening scenes of the movie) because they're all in debtors' prison and they want him to get them out. Henslowe's really the first person in English literature who fulfills the role of an agent, though he had other business interests as well. There are two main sources of information about him: his own records, and his authors' complaints.

    I think you need to read the Oxford Book of Literary Anecdotes. Seriously. It's all about what life is like in the vicinity of authors. If you want the short version of that description, it's only occasionally like spending a week getting roasted on AW, but it's a lot more like that than any kind of "normal life." It's a terrible thing to say, but we really are a representative sample.
    Winner of the Best Drycleaner on the Block Award.

  7. #107
    Your Genial Uncle Absolute Sage James D. Macdonald's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Medievalist View Post
    Do you realize how many Web sites and forums you've performed on? Do you realize that the same issues keep coming up, over an over?
    Could you provide some links, Medievalist?

  8. #108
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    Quote Originally Posted by Medievalist View Post
    I don't know any agents who don't work way more than 40 hours a week. The most "successful" agent I know personally, in spite of repping genre fiction and niche non-fic that's appeared on the NYT and other lists bluntly told me that she could afford to be an agent because she had a trust fund with royalties from a deceased parent.

    Some of the agents I most favor, repping people with names you'd recognize, make less than 20K a year, after six and seven years as full time agents.
    How many hours do you think those agents work? 60? 80+? Is it 12 hours a day five days a week and some on the weekend?

    On 15% commission it means $266,666 of advances/royalties per year just to earn $40K. It is scary.

  9. #109
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    HapiSofi never said that Mat never worked at a trade publisher, just like she never said that he'd never read slush.

    Mat is wrong again. He can't keep track of his arguments
    Winner of the Best Drycleaner on the Block Award.

  10. #110
    Cultus Gopherus MacAllister Medievalist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mathewferguson View Post

    How full of shit do you want to be?

    How about we put the quote in within context?

    *
    So that was back in 2003. A lot has changed since then, including me working and supporting myself entirely with freelance writing and editing since the end of 2005.

    Now do you understand why I worked for free back then? And do you understand it has absolutely nothing to do with my ability to make a paying deal today?.
    No, actually I don't. I think it reveals that you possibly got what you deserved.

    I think the fact that you have no credentials listed suggests that you don't have anything to list.

    I'm neither an agent, nor an editor, nor someone planning a career in writing.

    So let's pick a year that you keep obsessing over; 2003.

    In 2003 I was a full time grad student in a Ph.D. program. I also taught three undergraduate English classes. I also tech edited four books (since you're all excited about proof and credentials and what not, these four:

    Cohen, Dennis and Michael E. Cohen. Teach Yourself Visually iLife. Visual, May, 2004.

    Bove, Tony and Cheryl Rhodes. iLife All-in-One Desk Reference For Dummies. John Wiley and Sons, 2003.

    Cohen, Dennis R. and Bob Levitus. iLife Bible. Hungry Minds, 2003.

    Levitus, Bob and Dennis R. Cohen. iTunes, iPhoto, iMovie, and iDVD Bible. John Wiley & Sons, 2003.

    I was the typesetter and production editor for a collection of scholarly Celtic studies essays.

    You can find all of these fairly easily online or off.

    I did none of these for free. I was paid.

    Now, I did do other stuff for free--I read friends technical books and commented, and I was a Webmaster and reviewer for a popular review zine. I helped a few people with Celtic myth stuff.

    So what I want to know is where did you get these skills and training?

    And if you have these skills, why don't you sound like you know what you're talking about?

    And why do you keep using comma splices? I can't honestly say I've ever seen an editor indulge in them. Bad form you know.

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  11. #111
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    HapiSofi should go to bed like a douce and sober huswife. Goodnight, all.
    Winner of the Best Drycleaner on the Block Award.

  12. #112
    . JJ Cooper's Avatar
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    For those seeking an Australian Literary Agent to represent them, may I suggest your first point of call be - Australian Literary Agents Association

    Also, contact local State Writers Centres such as The Queensland Writers Centre or The Sydney Writers Centre.

    I do not know Mr Ferguson or of his credentials. I'd always advise writers to contact Australian State Writers Centres to assist in their search for Australian representation (agents and/or publishers).

    JJ
    My first thriller, The Interrogator, was published by Random House Australia in August 2009.

    My second, Deadly Trust, was published by Random House Australia in August 2010.

    Random House Page - 'White knuckle writing from Australia's answer to Andy McNab'



    www.jjcooperauthor.com

    'Raw, tough, and uncompromising - exactly what a great thriller needs to be.'
    Lee Child, International bestselling author

    'A rip-roaring plot that bursts from the gate and never lets up.'
    Lisa Unger, International bestselling author

    'Packed with intrigue and authentic detail, full of twists, THE INTERROGATOR is a memorable debut.'
    Jeff Abbott, International bestselling author

  13. #113
    Around and About SuperModerator Birol's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mathewferguson View Post
    Define "writer" for me. It doesn't imply I was not really a writer but merely pretending. You are reading a lot into "as a writer". What is a writer? Someone who has been paid for writing? Someone who writes? Someone who has published? I wasn't pretending to be a writer. I was/am a writer. Even when I had no professional credits I was still a writer.
    These might be your answers -- and, yes, I read all of them -- but you lost all credibility with this one right here.

    You have no interest in having a meaningful dialogue or providing accurate information to anyone who might be willing to consider you as an agent.

    You won't provide specifics. Other than Funtastic, you will not name publishers, titles, or authors, something any reputable agent or editor would do as a matter of course.

    You expect me, and all writers, to accept your credentials on faith, without specifics, while you demand evidence and specifics of others.

    You try to claim that my questions pose a logical fallacy rather than answer them, even though the words you yourself have used point to the necessity of such questions being asked. Meanwhile, you, who would be an agent and would like to represent people who earn a living through their words, are careless in your own word choices.

    You fail to realize the difference between negotiating a contract for a freelance assignment and a contract for a book deal. (HINT: They are vastly different.)

    You fall back to the old-standby of "you can't take a joke" when your credentials and logic fail.

    You admit that your list of credentials is not quite as you represent it or would prefer us to believe.

    You fail to comprehend that specifics do, indeed, make a difference over generalities when it comes to choosing an agent.

    Nor do you recognize, or possibly even care, that your freelance work has done nothing to qualify you for the business of being an agent.

    You want us to honor your recent work for a major airline. Fine. Great. That's a fantastic freelancing gig. Congratulations. And, yet, writing a children's activity book for an airline has nothing to do with being an agent.

    No matter how much you'd like freelancing to qualify you to be an agent, it doesn't. Nothing you can say will change that. They are two different beasts. And that, Mathew Ferguson, is a fact.

  14. #114
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    Quote Originally Posted by HapiSofi View Post
    HapiSofi replies to Mat that she has replied over and over again, in far more detail and with far more accuracy than Mat has; and what's more, she's kept track of the arguments, which Mat has utterly and completely failed to do with her arguments, his own arguments, Mac's arguments, Lisa's arguments, Jim's arguments, Birol's arguments ... one could go on, but one needn't.

    When Hapi replies directly to Mat, it provokes him to further rounds of reeling and writhing and fainting in coils. When she replies to Mat, but not directly, he doesn't get the jokes.
    You were wrong in your very long posts. You said stuff about me never working at a trade publisher. You didn't bother to ask a question first - you just blasted.

    You wrote I have a shaky grasp of book editing. I've worked as a book editor since 2004 and been bloody good at it too.

    You did some really terrible web research and your little bio of Funtastic was so terribly wrong. Why didn't you ask me some questions first rather than making statements? I'm honest about what Funtastic was and what they did.

    You seem to have made assumptions about what my editor position entailed. It was broad to say the least. But you didn't ask. You just blasted.

    I think I'm still in disbelief that a website I held in such high esteem could be so vicious and mean-spirited. There is actually a difference between shredding some fraud and shredding a guy with six years of publishing experience who happens to think things you don't.

    Yes, I talk about SEO and blogs and eBooks and lunchboxes and licensing and chapter extracts and all kinds of stuff. Merely mentioning this stuff doesn't mean I don't know anything about traditional publishing.

    So what I think I can call up practically anyone and talk to them? That has been my experience for years. I talked to senior editors, a publisher, a studio manager and an assistant editor last week. All people I didn't know until I picked up the phone. I've been emailing back and forth with one of them since then. It's not impossible. I'm not relying on it as the entirety of my position but people need to stop pretending agents have contacts in every publisher in the country. They don't.

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    You keep saying that Mat and not showing it. Can you quote Hapi saying it please?

  17. #117
    Your Genial Uncle Absolute Sage James D. Macdonald's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mathewferguson View Post
    You need names and titles? Is that SOP for Bewares and Background checks? I haven't seen a thread where an agent is asked to turn over all the names and titles. If they have sales then they have them on their website. I think you're asking for more than anyone has ever been asked for before.
    I don't think so. See http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/...read.php?t=529 et al.

    Please note too that that particular thread dates back to 2003. 2003 isn't that shockingly long ago.

    Mat, please. This is unseemly. You are doing yourself no favors. Walk away; make sales, come back (or not; nothing compels you) with those sales in hand. That's all that really matters.

  18. #118
    . JJ Cooper's Avatar
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    Just wanted to clarify that even if Mr Ferguson abides by the Australian Literary Agent's Code of Practice, if he has only recently commenced work as an agent he's not elibigle to become a member for a little while.

    Australian Literary Agents' Association Code of Practice

    Agents must have been in the business for 3 years representing authors or have been responsible for the execution of a minimum of 10 contracts. Agents who have earned over AUD$250,000 in commission in a two-year period also qualify.

    No agent shall be admitted if they are also employed by a publisher.

    No agent shall charge a reading fee or an editor’s fee and if they do so they shall not qualify for membership.
    It's always gonna be a tough gig starting out, and there is no shortage of Aussie Writers seeking representation.

    JJ
    My first thriller, The Interrogator, was published by Random House Australia in August 2009.

    My second, Deadly Trust, was published by Random House Australia in August 2010.

    Random House Page - 'White knuckle writing from Australia's answer to Andy McNab'



    www.jjcooperauthor.com

    'Raw, tough, and uncompromising - exactly what a great thriller needs to be.'
    Lee Child, International bestselling author

    'A rip-roaring plot that bursts from the gate and never lets up.'
    Lisa Unger, International bestselling author

    'Packed with intrigue and authentic detail, full of twists, THE INTERROGATOR is a memorable debut.'
    Jeff Abbott, International bestselling author

  19. #119
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    Quote Originally Posted by Birol View Post
    These might be your answers -- and, yes, I read all of them -- but you lost all credibility with this one right here.

    You have no interest in having a meaningful dialogue or providing accurate information to anyone who might be willing to consider you as an agent.

    You won't provide specifics. Other than Funtastic, you will not name publishers, titles, or authors, something any reputable agent or editor would do as a matter of course.

    You expect me, and all writers, to accept your credentials on faith, without specifics, while you demand evidence and specifics of others.

    You try to claim that my questions pose a logical fallacy rather than answer them, even though the words you yourself have used point to the necessity of such questions being asked. Meanwhile, you, who would be an agent and would like to represent people who earn a living through their words, are careless in your own word choices.

    You fail to realize the difference between negotiating a contract for a freelance assignment and a contract for a book deal. (HINT: They are vastly different.)

    You fall back to the old-standby of "you can't take a joke" when your credentials and logic fail.

    You admit that your list of credentials is not quite as you represent it or would prefer us to believe.

    You fail to comprehend that specifics do, indeed, make a difference over generalities when it comes to choosing an agent.

    Nor do you recognize, or possibly even care, that your freelance work has done nothing to qualify you for the business of being an agent.

    You want us to honor your recent work for a major airline. Fine. Great. That's a fantastic freelancing gig. Congratulations. And, yet, writing a children's activity book for an airline has nothing to do with being an agent.

    No matter how much you'd like freelancing to qualify you to be an agent, it doesn't. Nothing you can say will change that. They are two different beasts. And that, Mathew Ferguson, is a fact.
    You read a lot into "selling myself as a writer". You asked me if I was pretending to be a writer. What does that mean? What is the difference between someone calling themselves a writer, someone being a writer and someone pretending to be a writer.

    You took a perverse interpretation of "selling myself as a writer".

    The reason I ask you what names or places or explicit details would mean to you is that I made the mistake of saying how much slush I had read before I knew what the boundary was.

    It's very easy for people to say "how much?" and then when I reveal they say "NOT ENOUGH!".

    What I'm asking you is to define your boundaries. Is three books and three authors and three publishers enough? Or do you want to see 10?

    I really do want to know.

    Also, six years of experience is now apparently not enough. Managing millions of dollars of books - not enough. The issue isn't over whether I did what I say or not it's that it doesn't matter if I did it or not, it still doesn't qualify me.

    So what if I put up the front page of my Pearson contract? Does that mean you'll now believe me? So what if I can talk intelligently at length about contracts (which no one has asked me about at all) - does this mean you'll believe me?

    I'd even add this: what level of sales of what type would you need to see before you believe me? Three books and 100K in advances? Perhaps six books?

    Can you show me a link where a new agent gives the level of explicit detail you demand?

  20. #120
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wayne K View Post
    You keep saying that Mat and not showing it. Can you quote Hapi saying it please?
    I've quoted it directly to her about four times already.

  21. #121
    Around and About SuperModerator Birol's Avatar
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    No you haven't. You've... Nevermind. It's an hour past my bedtime.

    Night all.

  22. #122
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    Quote Originally Posted by JJ Cooper View Post
    Just wanted to clarify that even if Mr Ferguson abides by the Australian Literary Agent's Code of Practice, if he has only recently commenced work as an agent he's not elibigle to become a member for a little while.

    Australian Literary Agents' Association Code of Practice

    It's always gonna be a tough gig starting out, and there is no shortage of Aussie Writers seeking representation.

    JJ
    I do abide by their Code of Practice. I dare say my own Code of Practice goes a bit further actually. Such as: No member shall refer clients to editors with whom they have a financial relationship.

  23. #123
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    Quote Originally Posted by Birol View Post
    No you haven't. You've... Nevermind. It's an hour past my bedtime.

    Night all.
    Read the original thread. It's there.

  24. #124
    . JJ Cooper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mathewferguson View Post
    I do abide by their Code of Practice. I dare say my own Code of Practice goes a bit further actually. Such as: No member shall refer clients to editors with whom they have a financial relationship.
    Excellent - may I suggest that this would be the kind of information potential clients would seek. All the best.

    Cheers,

    JJ
    My first thriller, The Interrogator, was published by Random House Australia in August 2009.

    My second, Deadly Trust, was published by Random House Australia in August 2010.

    Random House Page - 'White knuckle writing from Australia's answer to Andy McNab'



    www.jjcooperauthor.com

    'Raw, tough, and uncompromising - exactly what a great thriller needs to be.'
    Lee Child, International bestselling author

    'A rip-roaring plot that bursts from the gate and never lets up.'
    Lisa Unger, International bestselling author

    'Packed with intrigue and authentic detail, full of twists, THE INTERROGATOR is a memorable debut.'
    Jeff Abbott, International bestselling author

  25. #125
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    Quote Originally Posted by mathewferguson View Post
    Read the original thread. It's there.
    I did read the entire thread. I don't see it.

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