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Thread: Tribe Literary Agency / Wheelhouse Literary Group

  1. #1
    Still the wrong side of Saskatoon Saskatoonistan's Avatar
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    Tribe Literary Agency / Wheelhouse Literary Group

    Just an "under construction" page on their website. Anyone ever hear of them. I think it's a one person operation with an agent named CH Foulk.

    Tribe Literary Agency
    Last edited by Saskatoonistan; 12-23-2009 at 04:23 PM.

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    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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    Supposedly it's two people: Cari Hawks Foulk and Jonathan Kellerman.

    Lots of chatter from authors signing with them, but nothing about sales (and they've been open at least a year). Cari is/was a freelance editor. I'm not finding anything on Jonathan, except that I doubt he's the prominent author of the same name.

    Tribe's Twitter page (http://twitter.com/tribelit) states they're...

    Doing the agent thing a bit differently.. an imprint of Wheelhouse Literary Group
    Google finds no other mention of Wheelhouse.

    On Cari's original page (http://twitter.com/chfoulk) there's an entry praising Phenix & Phenix, which is especially troubling because so many of Tribe's clients are currently self/vanity published.
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  3. #3
    Still the wrong side of Saskatoon Saskatoonistan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CaoPaux View Post

    On Cari's original page (http://twitter.com/chfoulk) there's an entry praising Phenix & Phenix, which is especially troubling because so many of Tribe's clients are currently self/vanity published.

    I wonder if the Gorn will have to make an appearance in this thread.

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  4. #4
    Hagiographically Advantaged AW Moderator HapiSofi's Avatar
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    Agents aren't imprints. This outfit smells wrong.
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  5. #5
    Banned AryaT92's Avatar
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    Cari is very passionate about the clients she takes on, she definitely is an active agent in the sense that she will keep you completely in the loop throughout the process, frequent emails, phone calls, etc. I received a contract from this agency, it seemed legitimate and it was negotiable, though they might be new they have connections and I have nothing bad I could say about my experience with them.

  6. #6
    Independence Day AW Moderator regdog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Saskatoonistan View Post
    I wonder if the Gorn will have to make an appearance in this thread.
    I'll take that bet. Gorn before the thread flips to the second page
    Last edited by regdog; 12-28-2009 at 11:27 PM.
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  7. #7
    Banned AryaT92's Avatar
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    Who's Gorn?

  8. #8
    Still the wrong side of Saskatoon Saskatoonistan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AryaT92 View Post
    Who's Gorn?
    He's this dude - I often post a pic of him on threads about various agents where there is little sales information or questionable business practices. Not saying that Tribe is questionable at all, mind you - it would be nice to see what kind of sales specific experience they have, not to mention actual sales to legitimate publishers.


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  9. #9
    Writer Beware Goddess Absolute Sage victoriastrauss's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AryaT92 View Post
    though they might be new they have connections
    I've seen this claim for them, but as far as I know it has yet to be verified. Can you tell us what the connections are, and how you know they exist? Thanks.

    - Victoria

  10. #10
    Banned AryaT92's Avatar
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    I dealt with Cari Foulk and the partner is not Jonathan Kellerman but Jonathan Clements..

    If you look him up he has sales to Random House, Harper Collins, Simon & Schuster and Putnam/Penguin to ABC, NBC, Hallmark Hall of Fame etc.

  11. #11
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AryaT92 View Post
    I dealt with Cari Foulk and the partner is not Jonathan Kellerman but Jonathan Clements..

    If you look him up he has sales to Random House, Harper Collins, Simon & Schuster and Putnam/Penguin to ABC, NBC, Hallmark Hall of Fame etc.
    Ah, thank you. I took the name from one of Tribe's clients.

    Where am I to look up Mr. Clements re: sales, etc.? The only agent on PM with that name is with The Nashville Agency.
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  12. #12
    Banned AryaT92's Avatar
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    From what I understand they are joining the Wheeler group which owns Tribe Lit. the sales will transfer accordingly.

  13. #13
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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    Are you saying The Nashville Agency is joining Wheelhouse, or that Jonathan is joining Tribe (presumably closing TNA)?
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  14. #14
    Banned AryaT92's Avatar
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    To my understanding all of his current clients are moving to Wheelhouse/Tribe.

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    Hagiographically Advantaged AW Moderator HapiSofi's Avatar
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    Could you tell us where you heard that? Just curious.
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  16. #16
    Banned AryaT92's Avatar
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    From Cari personally and his name was in the contract they sent which verified it, not that it needed verification... They are connected because I queried The Nashville Agency and she was the one who responded.

  17. #17
    Praise Tiamat SeanTPoindexter's Avatar
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    I recently signed a contract with Tribe Lit. I was on the verge of self-publishing, but Cari convinced me it would be in my best interest to not do so. Having already signed a contract with a self-publishing company, Cari assisted me in getting out of the contract and getting my money back. She has been very supportive and communicated with me often.

    My contract was standard, straightforward, and clear. Terms were fair and negotiable, and NO money was requested up or fee assessed. In fact, my contract forbids it. The names Cari Foulk and Jonathan Clements were both on the contract, and it includes a 30-day termination clause if I decide I no longer wish to be represented by Tribe Lit. As per any above-board literary agency, they only get paid when I get published.

    Cari was optimistic, but realistic about my chances of publication. She has high hopes for my work, but has given me a pragmatic estimation of the time involved in finding a publisher. In other words, no "pie-in-the-sky" promises often made by crooked agents.

    Several inaccurate statements have been made on this thread. Whether these are genuine mistakes or outright attempts at deception is irrelevant. Allow me to correct them here:

    1. As has already been pointed out, Cari's partner is Jonathan Clements. He is formerly of the Nashville Agency, and recently started Wheelhouse Literary. He brought all his clients with him. It is unlikely that a respected, successful, accomplished literary agent would go into business with someone he didn't think was capable of getting writers published...OR one who was crooked.

    2. Tribe Lit is not now, nor has it ever been, listed as an "imprint" of Wheelhouse Literary. The message claiming to "quote" that from Cari's twitter was made on 12/28/2009. I queried the agency on 12/22/2009, which was the day I followed Cari at http://twitter.com/tribelit. On that very day, the word "imprint" did not appear on her profile. It said then, as it says now: "Doing the agent thing a bit differently.. in partnership with Wheelhouse Literary Group"

    3. I scoured Cari's personal Twitter timeline at http://twitter.com/chfoulk for dates from the 22nd back several weeks and found absolutely no mention, praiseworthy or otherwise, of Phenix and Phenix. I may have missed it.

    4. Tribe Lit has not been in business for a year. As of my contract date, they had been in business for a month as per Cari's direct words to me. Cari Foulk was an independent editor, but is now a literary agent. She brings her contacts in the publishing world from her work as an editor, coupled with the professional publishing history of her associate, Jonathan Clements, to her work as a literary agent.

    5. That some of Cari's clients have previously self-published their work is only "troubling" if one assumes that a writer would only self-publish because they wrote a terrible book, OR if the literary agency in question pushed the client towards self-publication with company to which they may be connected or receiving a kick-back. As Cari actually convinced me NOT to self-publish my book is evidence that this is not the case.

    I'm glad I could clear all this up. However, I think it would be better in the future if any writers have any questions about an agency to contact that agency directly, or do as I did and contact authors represented by the agency and ask questions (like, "has the agent asked you for money?" or "without specifics, are the terms of the contract fair and/or negotiable?") I realize that was what the original poster was attempting to do, but the conversation was quickly side-tracked by false information.

    Most crooked agents expose themselves as such right away by asking for money, trying to get you to pay for editing services, or urging you into self-publishing. Whether Cari is a good agent remains to be seen, as she's only been at it for a short time. However, she certainly has a lot of energy and enthusiasm for the work of her clients, and she has not done anything outside the accepted standards of a literary agent.
    Last edited by SeanTPoindexter; 01-14-2010 at 06:48 AM. Reason: corrected spelling and a link.

  18. #18
    Banned AryaT92's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SeanTPoindexter View Post
    she certainly has a lot of energy and enthusiasm for the work of her clients, and she has not done anything outside the accepted standards of a literary agent.
    Vouch.

  19. #19
    Writer Beware Goddess Absolute Sage victoriastrauss's Avatar
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    I don't think the concern was that the agency or its staff were "crooked." The concern was whether they had relevant professional experience. Clement certainly seems to. Things are less clear for Foulks.

    It's been said several times that Cari Foulks has professional editorial experience, but no specifics have been provided (I haven't seen them, anyway, and there's no info at Tribe's website). I'd be interested to know what her experience is.

    I also don't understand the relationship between Tribe and Wheelhouse Literary. If Tribe is Cari Foulks and Jonathan Clement, why is Clement also running a second agency? Or is Wheelhouse more/different than an agency? Inquiring minds want to know.

    As to the "imprint" thing--I do remember seeing it, and was able to find a cached version.

    - Victoria

  20. #20
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SeanTPoindexter View Post

    2. Tribe Lit is not now, nor has it ever been, listed as an "imprint" of Wheelhouse Literary. The message claiming to "quote" that from Cari's twitter was made on 12/28/2009. I queried the agency on 12/22/2009, which was the day I followed Cari at http://twitter.com/tribelit. On that very day, the word "imprint" did not appear on her profile. It said then, as it says now: "Doing the agent thing a bit differently.. in partnership with Wheelhouse Literary Group"
    Cache dated 12/29: http://74.125.155.132/search?q=cache...ient=firefox-a Cached dated 1/3: http://74.125.155.132/search?q=cache...ient=firefox-a

    3. I scoured Cari's personal Twitter timeline at http://twitter.com/chfoulk for dates from the 22nd back several weeks and found absolutely no mention, praiseworthy or otherwise, of Phenix and Phenix. I may have missed it.
    Which is why I link to it in my post.

    4. Tribe Lit has not been in business for a year. As of my contract date, they had been in business for a month as per Cari's direct words to me. Cari Foulk was an independent editor, but is now a literary agent. She brings her contacts in the publishing world from her work as an editor, coupled with the professional publishing history of her associate, Jonathan Clements, to her work as a literary agent.
    Ah, I see I misread a date posted in the European convention (incidentally, the same post which gave me Kellerman rather than Clements). http://www.lukeromyn.host56.com/index.php?news&nid=9

    5. That some of Cari's clients have previously self-published their work is only "troubling" if one assumes that a writer would only self-publish because they wrote a terrible book, OR if the literary agency in question pushed the client towards self-publication with company to which they may be connected or receiving a kick-back. As Cari actually convinced me NOT to self-publish my book is evidence that this is not the case.
    Yes, that would be troubling, but I was more concerned with her steering self- and vanity-pubbed clients into expensive promotion efforts.

    I'm glad I could clear all this up. However, I think it would be better in the future if any writers have any questions about an agency to contact that agency directly, or do as I did and contact authors represented by the agency and ask questions (like, "has the agent asked you for money?" or "without specifics, are the terms of the contract fair and/or negotiable?") I realize that was what the original poster was attempting to do, but the conversation was quickly side-tracked by false information.
    And I think it would be better for the agent to provide the information.

    Most crooked agents expose themselves as such right away by asking for money, trying to get you to pay for editing services, or urging you into self-publishing. Whether Cari is a good agent remains to be seen, as she's only been at it for a short time. However, she certainly has a lot of energy and enthusiasm for the work of her clients, and she has not done anything outside the accepted standards of a literary agent.
    The accepted standard for a literary agent is to intern with an established agency before striking out on his/her own. Details of Ms. Foulk's background would do wonders to assure potential clients that she has the experience and contacts to sell their books to commercial publishers.
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  21. #21
    Praise Tiamat SeanTPoindexter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CaoPaux View Post

    The accepted standard for a literary agent is to intern with an established agency before striking out on his/her own. Details of Ms. Foulk's background would do wonders to assure potential clients that she has the experience and contacts to sell their books to commercial publishers.
    We will see.

    Apologize for missing the cached use of the word imprint. Sure it was a mistake. It's been corrected.

    If you're concerned about Cari's experience, you may wait for the website to be complete or query her directly.
    Last edited by SeanTPoindexter; 01-14-2010 at 08:08 AM. Reason: Forgot something.

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    Praise Tiamat SeanTPoindexter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by victoriastrauss View Post
    I don't think the concern was that the agency or its staff were "crooked." The concern was whether they had relevant professional experience. Clement certainly seems to. Things are less clear for Foulks.

    It's been said several times that Cari Foulks has professional editorial experience, but no specifics have been provided (I haven't seen them, anyway, and there's no info at Tribe's website). I'd be interested to know what her experience is.

    I also don't understand the relationship between Tribe and Wheelhouse Literary. If Tribe is Cari Foulks and Jonathan Clement, why is Clement also running a second agency? Or is Wheelhouse more/different than an agency? Inquiring minds want to know.


    - Victoria
    Then inquire. An email address is listed on the website, and everyone apparently knows where to find her on twitter.

    It is my understanding that Wheelhouse Literary Group is a GROUP of agencies headed by Jonathan Clements, formerly of the Nashville Agency. I infer this by the use of the word "group" in the name of the business. Tribe is one of these groups.

    Why would Clement go into business with someone he didn't think was going to be able to sell writers to publishers? Furthermore, the fact that Cari is connected to Clement enough that he would go into business with her is evidence that she has at least one legitimate contact in commercial publishing: Jonathan Clement.

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    Banned AryaT92's Avatar
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    I assume she would be using Clements contacts as well.. So her publishing experience is as good as his if they are working so closely..

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    Praise Tiamat SeanTPoindexter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CaoPaux View Post
    The accepted standard for a literary agent is to intern with an established agency before striking out on his/her own. Details of Ms. Foulk's background would do wonders to assure potential clients that she has the experience and contacts to sell their books to commercial publishers.
    From http://www.sfwa.org/for-authors/writer-beware/agents/

    "Agents are most likely to become successful if they have actually worked in publishing, or trained at a reputable literary agency. People who come to agenting without this kind of professional background are at a significant disadvantage."

    Emphasis added.

  25. #25
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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    I'm glad we agree. What is Ms. Foulk's experience in publishing?
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