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Thread: Joy Harris Literary Agency

  1. #1
    nffacethemusicjunocom
    Guest

    Joy Harris Literary Agency

    New Elite Literary Agency
    Sydra-Techniques
    Joy Harris Literary Agency
    Last edited by CaoPaux; 07-22-2010 at 12:22 AM. Reason: removed jumble of ancient HTML

  2. #2
    Victoria
    Guest

    Agencies

    Joy Harris Literary Agency is legitimate and established, with a good track record of commercial sales.

    New Elite charges reading fees of several hundred dollars, promotes its own paid editing services (a conflict of interest: if the agent can make a profit from recommending editing, how can the writer trust that the editing recommendation is in his/her best interest?), is run by someone with no prior publishing or agenting experience. As far as I know it has made no sales.

    Sydra Techniques charges an "intake" fee of $129 and a per-submission fee of $14, and functions not as a literary agent but as a literary broker (sending submissions scattershot to large numbers of publishers rather than carefully and personally targeting editors). Once upon a time it was a small non-fee-charging agency; a bit over a year ago it deliberately transformed itself into a fee-factory. Again, as far as I know it has made no sales since the transformation.

    - Victoria
    Writer Beware
    www.sfwa.org/beware

  3. #3
    eraser
    Guest

    Victoria

    I just want to say "thanks" to you Victoria for your many valuable insights and comments. I'm glad you're keeping an eye on us over here.


  4. #4
    Victoria
    Guest

    Agencies

    My pleasure!

    - Victoria

  5. #5
    absolutewrite
    Guest

    Re: Agencies

    Ah, yes, I meant to welcome you, too, Victoria. It's great to have you around! You're aces in my book.

  6. #6
    Cymraes32
    Guest

    Are these Agencies reputable

    Sydra is currently under investigation. Don't submit to them.

  7. #7
    unregistered
    Guest

    Don't submit to Sydra!

    Don't submit to Sydra! It's under investigation. An article pertaing to it can be found at

    www.fortunecity.com/riven...ipoff.html

  8. #8
    reef
    Guest

    Question about board

    Why is this thread at the top of the Bewares list on June 18th even though its latest post is dated March 20th and other threads have more recent posts? I see this happening a lot, on different Abs. Write boards at different times.

  9. #9
    absolutewrite
    Guest

    Re: Question about board

    I noticed that too, reef! Hopefully just a temporary glitch.

  10. #10
    eraser
    Guest

    Re: Question about board

    I think it only happens with polls and I suspect it's because someone either "votes" or clicks on "show results" which bumps the thread.

  11. #11
    absolutewrite
    Guest

    Re: Question about board

    Ahh! Thanks, eraser! That explains it!

  12. #12
    DebutanteAuthor
    Guest

    Joy Harris Agency--Agent?

    I have done a lot of research, which included reading most of this board--thank you contributors. I tailored my approach to publishers and agents. I sold a few pieces to magazines on my own, and my second book is being considered by a major house.
    Until I began exchanging letters with the editor I would potentially be working with at MajorHouse Publishing, I had not heard positively from any of the agents I contacted. Now I have an agent who claims to be from the Joy Harris Agency in New York who "heard about my wonderful manuscript and would love to represent an overlooked talent" such as myself emailing me.

    I checked a few places, including the AAR and while there are decent things about the agency, no one recognizes this particular person as an agent there. I have not contacted the agency directly as yet.
    I've noticed an odor to this 'offer' as the only place I shared this particular email address was on this manuscript-which I did not send to the Harris agency. The editor has a rather good reputation and I do not think they would back-door me to the 'agent' for a fee. However, is it possible for this 'agent' to have obtained my manuscript-or a copy-somehow in order to finagle themselves a piece of my pie?
    I have not replied to the 'agent', nor am I seriously considering it. I am curious though if this is a common occurrence or if I have run into a bizarre or new scam?

    Thanks for all past and future advice.

    DA

  13. #13
    maestrowork
    Guest

    Re: Joy Harris Agency--Agent?

    Just call the agency and ask to speak to that person (since he/she solicited you), or ask if that "agent" is part of the agency. A quick and easy way to verify.

    My question is, how did the "agent" know of your ms?

    Side note: if Major House is considering your ms, perhaps you shouldn't jump on just ANY agency that quickly. You should do your research and target some specific agencies -- big names, for example -- and tell them that Major House is seriously considering your ms, and you'd like to work with the agency to get a deal... that's your calling card. Instead of some random person contact you... just my opinion, of course.

    The Joy Harris agency is legit. They're member of AAR, and according to Writer's Market, they sold 15 titles last year. Small, but legit.

  14. #14
    vstrauss
    Guest

    Re: Joy Harris Agency--Agent?

    Debutante, I agree this sounds weird, especially the stuff about "overlooked talent", which is the kind of verbiage you don't usually see from non-questionable agents. But as maestro says, the Joy Harris Agency is legit. It's possible the editor might have mentioned you to the agent--if she's planning to make an offer on your book, you will need an agent--but if so she should have told you. (And I agree that you should shop around, agentwise--if you get an offer, you'll be in a good position to do so.)

    I think the advice of phoning and asking to speak to the person who contacted you is good. If they're really with the agency, they should be glad to speak with you, since they solicited you. If they're not with the agency (though I'm at a loss as to why they'd claim to be), you'll discover that too. The agency may also want to know if someone is taking their name in vain.

    Let us know what happens.

    - Victoria

  15. #15
    James D Macdonald
    Guest

    Re: Joy Harris Agency--Agent?

    A couple of things are raising the hairs on the back of my neck.

    Perhaps all is on the up-and-up. Please proceed judiciously.

  16. #16
    HapiSofi
    Guest

    Re: Joy Harris Agency--Agent?

    It is legitimate to contact the agency and ask whether this is one of theirs. If she is with the agency, it's legitimate to ask her where she's getting her information.

    She says she's heard your book is wonderful. The likeliest original source of that opinion is your potential editor. That doesn't mean the editor told the agent about it, though she might have. If the editor's that serious about the book, she'll be talking it up in-house. Any of the in-house people who've heard about it might have mentioned it in this agent's hearing.

    Referring to you as an "overlooked talent" does seem a bit manipulative, but I could be misjudging her. Maybe she's just trying to be nice. Authors frequently think their talents are overlooked.

    If you're in the market for an agent, wait until you get an offer from your prospective editor, say "Yes thank you, and I'll get back to you," and phone your first-choice agent. Having an offer in hand is an excellent inducement. If your first-choice agent says no, go for your second. This process won't take long, and shouldn't involve many iterations.

    If Joy Harris would have been on your list of desired agents anyway, fine. If not, you're now aware of her, which improves her chances with you and does no harm.

    It's still not a sure thing, but this episode augurs well for your chances of selling the book.

  17. #17
    DebutanteAuthor
    Guest

    Re: Joy Harris Agency--Agent?

    I will go post by post.

    maestro:
    I do not know how this 'agent' learned of my manuscript. They did not mentioned it in their email, nor did they give its title or anything about it.

    While Joy Harris was farther down, it was on my list. I did not want to irk anyone there should this person have turned out legitimate. After all, aren't writers supposed be grovellingly grateful that any agent deemed to speak to them?

    My plan is still to wait for a serious offer from MajorHouse before I contact the agents/agencies on my list. Should the House decline, I still will re/contact a very small list letting them know there is interest, would they like to represent me, etc.

    Victoria:

    Your site has been valuable to me in avoiding a number of traps that could have ensnared my little manuscript. I thank you for having the courage to shine lights into bad corners. :clap

    The email is rather scammy in its tone. It addresses me by my pen name, does not mention the manuscript by name or any details, and was sent to an email address set up specifically for that manuscript.

    I am going to contact the Joy Harris Agency and ask if this "agent" works for them, though I suspect I will be explaining why I'm not a frustrated writer trying a new plea instead of making clear that there is a potential scam out there with their name attached.

    I will let you know what happens. I would hate to think Melanie (or someone of her ilk) has decided to drag a good name through the scum instead of creating their own mess.

    James/Uncle Jim:

    Thank you very much for your "Writing with Uncle Jim" thread. I gained some very valuable information from it. When my official site gets up, I am linking all of your workshops to it. :hail

    To reiterate-I am sticking with my original plan of contacting agents/agencies after I receive an offer. Should I not receive one from MajorHouse, I will contact a slightly smaller list to let them know there is interest in my manuscript, would they be interested in representing me and it?

    But I am also calling the Harris agency in the morning. I didn't want to offend anyone, but they certainly should know about this, especially if/when this person turns out to be using their name for potentially shenanigans.

    Hapi:

    I have sent a query and synopsis a few places, both agents and publishers. The "agent" didn't mention any details about it, only that "they heard it was wonderful". My mother said the same thing about my SuperPickle comic series when I was eight.

    I would really like to think the editor is gushing all over the place and people are climbing in all over to get to me first. Alas, this "agent" has been the only positive contact in regards to this manuscript in months.

    I think the "agent" was trying to butter me up into signing with them; to chain me to a contract, use my already established contact to boot-strap a deal and then use me as the "success story" to bring in others. I would like to think better, but I have no reason to--at this point.

    The Harris Agency was on my list of smaller agencies. I am still in debate as to whether I should recontact the bigger agencies first, or go to the smaller ones, many of whom I did not contact initially-though I probably would have had better (and possibly swifter) results.

    I believe in signs. Just not the ones along the road. Burmashave made me sad.

    Thanks again everyone.

    DA

  18. #18
    maestrowork
    Guest

    Re: Joy Harris Agency--Agent?

    While Joy Harris was farther down, it was on my list. I did not want to irk anyone there should this person have turned out legitimate. After all, aren't writers supposed be grovellingly grateful that any agent deemed to speak to them?
    No. Never believe that. An agent "represents" a writer -- a writer does not "work for" an agent. Don't ever let anything tell you that you should be "grateful" for an agent's grace.

    It's a business relationship. Nothing more, nothing less. An agent is not your mother or God.

    If an agent claims to be from Joy Harris and says he's interested in your work, you have EVERY right to contact him and check him out. If he's legit and he does work at Joy Harris, he would be happy that you take the initiative. If he's a scam, then you will know once and for all, won't you?

    Just call. And thank us later.

    p.s. just to clarify, is that the Harris Agency or the Joy Harris agency? They are different and as you can read on the Beware forum, the "Harris" agency is to be avoided.

  19. #19
    James D Macdonald
    Guest

    Re: Joy Harris Agency--Agent?

    Maestrowork is quite right. I don't grovel to a business partner engaged in a mutually profitable relationship with me, and neither should you.

  20. #20
    SRHowen
    Guest

    exactly

    You should have a good relationship with your agent and not feel as if anything you do will make them rip up your contract.

    They are people as well. LOL

    You will have to share things with your agent that may affect deadlines etc, I had a bad car accident and then the place i work at was robbed at gun point, I needed to tell my agent both things. My computer died and i had to wait three weeks for the new one to come, I had to pick up the phone (no e-mail) and tell him that.

    It is a partnership and thinking your agent is god :hail will not be good for you or your book. If your agent is one that edits, you may have to say--NO I will not change this. If you are afraid of your agent or of losing your contract with them, then how will you do that?

    You have to feel comfortable enough to be able to pick up the phone and call when you have a question or a problem. And your agent should keep you updated on what is going on with your book.

    A two way partnership.

    Pick up the phone and call.

    Say, Hello, my name is so and so. I was contacted by so and so from your agency saying they were interested in representing my "novel title."

    They can then ask you questions--or they will forward your call to the agent. If they say, Huh? We don't have an agent by that name--then you can tell them what the e-mail said. And about the claims this "agent" made.

    Shawn

  21. #21
    HapiSofi
    Guest

    Re: exactly

    Jim's right: No grovelling! If an agent takes you on, it's because he or she thinks you're going to be profitable and creditable. And keep your chin up. You've already sold writing. You're going to sell more. This is just passing weather.

  22. #22
    RobABard
    Guest

    Re: Joy Harris Agency--Agent?

    Probably too late for you ... wonder how you're
    doing ... but ...

    publishing houses have "publicity" departments
    which will verify whether a literary agent has
    an ongoing relationship with their house. This
    should sufficiently nail down if your agent is
    legitimate.

  23. #23
    HapiSofi
    Guest

    Re: Joy Harris Agency--Agent?

    publishing houses have "publicity" departments
    which will verify whether a literary agent has
    an ongoing relationship with their house. This
    should sufficiently nail down if your agent is
    legitimate
    Publicity? That would be an oddly organized publishing house. Editorial is the primary department agents deal with, though Contracts has to know about them too.

  24. #24
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin scarletfox's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
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    26

    Are these good agents?

    Hi, I'm just wondering if these are good agents to consider, or if you guys could tell me about any good agents who work with both adult and YA fiction

    Ok, the agents I'm considering are:

    Joy Harris

    Brandt and Hochman Literary Agents Inc.

    Barbara S. Kouts

    Thanks!

  25. #25
    What? I have a title? Julie Worth's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
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    !!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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    5,198
    I donít now if thereís a policy here, but Iíd really like to see each agent addressed separately, with their names in the title.

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