The AW Amazon Store
Buy Books by AWers!

 

Welcome to the AbsoluteWrite Water Cooler! Please read The Newbie Guide To Absolute Write

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 43

Thread: [Agency] Rights Unlimited, Inc.

  1. #1
    Always a writer Daughter of Faulkner's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Southeastern, Massachusetts
    Posts
    195

    Question [Agency] Rights Unlimited, Inc.

    Thanks to the thread monitor for his help. This is a legit agency and Longden is the Director.
    Last edited by Daughter of Faulkner; 08-23-2005 at 08:04 PM. Reason: Help given from Monitor
    Always a writer,
    Eileen St. Lauren
    Author

    http://mysite.verizon.net/eileenstlauren

  2. #2
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Coastal Desert
    Posts
    13,023
    Here's the contact info, if anyone else wants to check them out.

    http://www.rightsunlimited.com/#
    ICAO
    ---------
    Achievers strive for excellence. Perfectionists drive themselves to extinction. -- A Grapple A Day
    I've never known any trouble that an hour's reading didn't assuage. -- Charles DeSecondat

    II 2016: 2017:

  3. #3
    Always a writer Daughter of Faulkner's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Southeastern, Massachusetts
    Posts
    195

    Question Rights Unlimited, Inc., Al Longden - "fishy" contract clauses

    Andy or anyone, please help with these contract clauses--are they normal?


    He did not talk to me about my characters or story line nor say, "I love your work..."

    Thank you so much!

    clauses below please see 7-9 and 13
    • For purposes of computing the Agency’s compensation, “gross receipts” shall mean any monies remitted by any publisher, licensee, purchaser, or other acquirer prior to any deductions for foreign agent’s compensation, expenses, bank fees, and any required foreign or U.S. withholding taxes.
    • The Agency is authorized and entitled to order up to twenty (20) copies of the Work(s) from the publisher or Author at the Author’s expense, for the purpose of pursuing subsidiary rights sales.
    • The Agency will remit to Author all monies due as collected, as well as furnish Author with a copy of any royalty statements rendered by publisher to Agency, within thirty (30) days following bank clearance of checks, or the notification of an electronic transfer of funds, paid to the Agency.
    • Author shall provide the Agency AGENCY with a non-refundable reimbursement of $250.00 per title upon signing of this agreement for photocopying or submitting other copies of Author’s material to third parties. This amount represents full compensation for ordinary domestic expenses such as postage, telephone, copying (excluding the cost of copying an entire manuscript or substantially all of a manuscript). If AGENCY pursues foreign sales, the Author shall reimburse AGENCY for the copying, if necessary, of the manuscript and foreign postage, said expenses not to exceed $250.00. If the Agency incurs additional expenses on the Author’s behalf, the Agency will not do so without Author’s consent. In any event, if Author does not pay such agreed upon or approved costs, AGENCY shall be authorized and entitled to deduct such amounts from any amounts payable to Author by AGENCY under this Agreement. It is understood and agreed by Author that any legal fees that may be incurred in order to protect any of Author’s rights are not a normal operating cost and that Author will be directly responsible for the payment of any such costs as well as any other non-enumerated costs.

    • Author understands that the Agency will exercise reasonable care of Author’s materials that are provided to the Agency, but Author acknowledges and confirms that the Agency shall not be responsible for any such materials in the event of loss, theft or any damage thereto.
    • Author agrees to hold the Agency harmless and indemnify the Agency against any claim, demand, suit, action, proceeding, recovery or expense of any nature whatsoever, including, actual costs and attorney’s fees, arising from any claims of libel, slander, obscenity, unlawfulness, invasion of privacy, unfair competition, and/or infringement of any kind, without limitation, under any law, Agency / and/or statute, based upon, arising from, and/or related to any editorial matter contained in the work(s) or in any manner related to the work(s).
    • The effective date of the Agreement shall be the date of its complete execution (the “Effective Date”).
    • The initial term of this Agreement shall be three (3) years from the Effective Date, renewable automatically for two (2) consecutive terms of one (1) year each, unless terminated earlier pursuant to paragraph 13 below.
    • Subject to paragraph 13 hereof, this Agreement can be terminated by either party by giving written notice to the other via certified or registered mail to the address last known. Any such termination shall become effective ninety (90) days after delivery notice thereof (the “Termination Date”). During the ninety (90) day period after notice of termination, but before the Termination Date, the Agency will continue to exercise all of its rights under this Agreement without impediment or restriction by Author or any of Author’s representatives.
    • In the event that this Agreement terminates for any reasons whatsoever, the Agency shall continue to be entitled to payment and receipt of its agency commission on all contracts initiated, negotiated and/or concluded during the term hereof and any extensions thereof. For all works that the Agency has submitted to a third party for licensing consideration, but not under contract with the Agency prior to the Termination Date, the following shall apply: Within ninety (90) days the Author shall be obligated to reimburse the Agency for all expenses covered in paragraph 9. If, within ninety (90) days after the Termination Date, Author enters into an agreement covering any of Author’s rights in the work with a person or firm that the Agency initiated contact, and/or submitted material, for the disposition of those rights prior to the Termination Date, said agreement shall be deemed to have been concluded by the Agency, and the Agency shall be entitled to receive its full agency commission as provided for in this Agreement.
    Last edited by Daughter of Faulkner; 09-03-2005 at 11:42 PM.
    Always a writer,
    Eileen St. Lauren
    Author

    http://mysite.verizon.net/eileenstlauren

  4. #4
    Super Browser triceretops's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    In a van down by the river
    Posts
    13,498

    Talking

    Eileen--I don't like the $250.00 upfront fee at all. I didn't even have to read further than this. Such fees, if they are at all deducted would come out of the advance as standard fare. Ask him who he represents and for his past year's record of sales. That will tell you everything about him. Sound like a typical fee agent to me.

    Wait for someone else to chime in here.

    Triceratops

  5. #5
    Gone
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Posts
    3,587
    DoF, here's all you need to know: Author shall provide the Agency AGENCY with a non-refundable reimbursement of $250.00 per title upon signing of this agreement for photocopying or submitting other copies of Author’s material to third parties.

    That's an out-of-pocket fee. You're with a crap agency. Get out before you sign.

    As for returning our work, don't worry about it (unless, heaven forbid, you sent him your only copy). Agencies like this can't sell manuscripts, so it's not like they can steal yours and sell it somewhere. If you don't plonk down the $250, they'll toss the MS in the trash and move on to trying to bilk someone else.

  6. #6
    Been a long time... OneTeam OneDream's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    From the East Coast, now stuck in Iowa.
    Posts
    1,109
    Quote Originally Posted by Aconite
    DoF, here's all you need to know: Author shall provide the Agency AGENCY with a non-refundable reimbursement of $250.00 per title upon signing of this agreement for photocopying or submitting other copies of Author’s material to third parties.

    That's an out-of-pocket fee. You're with a crap agency. Get out before you sign.

    As for returning our work, don't worry about it (unless, heaven forbid, you sent him your only copy). Agencies like this can't sell manuscripts, so it's not like they can steal yours and sell it somewhere. If you don't plonk down the $250, they'll toss the MS in the trash and move on to trying to bilk someone else.

    You beat me to it. So, in big, bold letters. DO NOT SIGN! RUN, RUN AWAY!

  7. #7
    Preditors & Editors Requiescat In Pace DaveKuzminski's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    5,033
    If you have that contract in an electronic file, I'd like to receive a copy of it. By the way, what's the agency's business name?

    Please, everyone, remember this. It is not libelous to mention an agency by name while asking if it's okay. So, mention the damn names! It gets tiring going back and forth trying to give out information when these questions can be answered in one exchange if you gave out enough information to begin with!
    When it comes to PA, the royalty check and the reality check arrive in the same envelope.

    Remember to be kind to writers who step in PA. They really don't know how bad it smells.

    The difference between PA and WLA? None. Both have the stench of dead and dying books emanating from their doorways.


  8. #8
    practical experience, FTW Dhewco's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Posts
    650
    • The initial term of this Agreement shall be three (3) years from the Effective Date, renewable automatically for two (2) consecutive terms of one (1) year each, unless terminated earlier pursuant to paragraph 13 below.
    [/QUOTE]



    This is another part I don't like. It is, in effect, a five year contract. That's too long. Look for a contract of one year. Someone else has already mentioned the up-front money issue. While there are a couple of legit agencies that ask for small upfront postage, 250 is way too much. Any money is iffy, and you'd have a hard time finding an agency that makes sales and still collects such a large fee.


    David

  9. #9
    Preditors & Editors Requiescat In Pace DaveKuzminski's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    5,033
    Any upfront fee is too much. Some of those scammers go in for quantity knowing that many individuals won't question the loss of $25 or $50 dollars if told it was for postage and phone calls. Get a hundred authors sending in either of those amounts and you have a fairly substantial income each month.

    Remember, the IRS has only the scammer's word about how much he actually earned each year. He can claim most of that incoming money was used for business expenses when very little or none of it was used in that way. So long as the business expenses remain reasonable, it's unlikely that the IRS will perform an audit. End result? The scammer has a nice income each month from only a few hours of effort. In fact, he could probably claim so little as income that he might even qualify for food stamps and other assistance.
    When it comes to PA, the royalty check and the reality check arrive in the same envelope.

    Remember to be kind to writers who step in PA. They really don't know how bad it smells.

    The difference between PA and WLA? None. Both have the stench of dead and dying books emanating from their doorways.


  10. #10
    practical experience, FTW Dhewco's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Posts
    650
    I'm not going to argue the feasibility of a small upfront postage fee. I agree that 99 percent are scammers. But it's been said on this board that there are some out there with verifiable sales and still have a small fee. To label ALL of them as scammers would thus be incorrect.

    I will no longer go with one with a small fee, but that doesn't mean that others can't have a sale that way.

    David

  11. #11
    Persisting AW Moderator Maryn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    The Old Country
    Posts
    39,160
    Eileen, don't worry about getting back the paper copies of your novel manuscripts. They're worthless--not in terms of the novel they contain, but because you will one day print fresh, crisp new copies to send to an agent who checks out. The pages' return is certainly not worth adding to the stress you're already experiencing.

    Don't give these dawgs--whom you've caught in numerous lies and attempts to get money out of you--anything at all except a certified letter, return receipt requested, which states that you are formally withdrawing all your works sent for their consideration. Costs less than $5, which is cheap for peace of mind about whether these bozos will bilk you, yes?

    Maryn, wishing hard for the safety of those you're concerned about
    Last edited by Maryn; 09-03-2005 at 09:23 PM. Reason: Typo--what's new?
    Get to work. Success isn't built on the power of your dreams.


    Brick by Brick, a ménage à trois novel
    Taming the Wilde, FemDom spotted--and striped--in the wild
    Men in Love, anthology about--hey, you're already there, aren't you?
    Maryn Says, an irregular blog almost never about writing
    The Occasional Tweet

  12. #12
    Banned
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    San Diego, CA
    Posts
    502
    There are several issues I have with this, including that certain clauses seem a bit contrary. I'm also not 100% comfortable with the $250 up front (per title!). Thirty days to remit funds seems bit long to me. I would want it to be no longer than ten business days from the day the check clears, if not sooner. I would say that there is no point to a "term" of the Agreement if the Agreement may be terminated upon 90 days' notice. Also, the 90 days' for termination is a bit long for domestic. For foreign, it could make sense.

    I suggest you run this by an attorney who knows something about agency agreements, or the Authors Guild legal department. Please note that I am not an attorney and the advice given here is not to be construed as legal advice.

    I think it makes sense to ask ANY agent who he represents and how he might approach your book. I have an extensive website demonstrating who my clients are and what projects I've sold or handled. What's he got?

    Best,
    Andy

  13. #13
    I really do look like this. azbikergirl's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    not in AZ anymore...
    Posts
    886
    My agency agreement did not ask for money up front, nor did it state the agent was entitled to any free copies of my book. It also is for a term of one year, renewable, not three and not automatically.

    Compare with this AAR agency's agreement, published for all to see:
    http://www.larsen-pomada.com/agree1.html

    Edit: Check out this article on agents and up-front fees:
    http://www.sfwa.org/beware/agents.html
    Karen
    writing as KC May


  14. #14
    Banned
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    San Diego, CA
    Posts
    502
    Every agent requires copies of the books for subsidiary rights purposes. And I'd guess every representation agreement says the agent can order copies and charge them back to the author. This one is unusual in that it LIMITS the number, actually.

  15. #15
    Always a writer Daughter of Faulkner's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Southeastern, Massachusetts
    Posts
    195

    Smile Thank you everyone!

    Thank you for your words and support. It means a great deal to me.
    Always a writer,
    Eileen St. Lauren
    Author

    http://mysite.verizon.net/eileenstlauren

  16. #16
    Apex Predator Jaws's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Loitering just offshore on the Silicon Prairie
    Posts
    582

    Oh Dear...

    Some of these clauses may be "normal," but that doesn't make them "good"… or even "acceptable." The numbers correspond to the bullet clauses in the original posting; may I suggest that the original poster mark the correct numbers for clarity?

    3. This is inconsistent with AAR standards, which require a ten-day turnaround. And, frankly, there's little excuse for anything more than that, except in those rare instances in which the agent is gone and the entire office is closed. (The agent might also argue constructive v. actual receipt, but an agent with a record of prompt and accurate payment will get appropriate slack from the client.)

    4. Remember Yog's Law, the short version: Thou Shalt Sign Checks Only on the Back. The author is already providing substantial capital to the agency in the form of intellectual property; if the agency is so cash-tight that it needs to charge up front for photocopying (not to mention that $250 per work is absolutely exorbitant), is that really the best agency for an unpublished author?

    10. Some ridiculous landmines hidden in here. For one, it requires the author to reimburse the agent immediately for costs—which, in light of that $250 per work deposit, there shouldn't be—even if the agent terminates the author (and not the other way around). Ordinary contract law would allow the agent to recover extraordinary expenses; that's all that an author should accept.
    CEP
    blawg: Scrivener's Error (includes links to main site)
    Any legal comments in this message are general commentary only, and not legal advice
    for your specific situation. You should not rely on such comments — or any other published
    comments, by me or anyone else — as anything other than general guidance.
    Unfortunately, no scam agents, vanity publishers, or other similar carrion-eaters were bent,
    folded, spindled, or mutilated in creating this post (not for want of motivation).
    Of course it's "fine print" — it's small and red.

  17. #17
    Apex Predator Jaws's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Loitering just offshore on the Silicon Prairie
    Posts
    582
    Guys, there are two threads going on this topic. Would a Kindly Moderator please consolidate them? The other one is in the "Ask the Agent" area. I've said my piece there.
    CEP
    blawg: Scrivener's Error (includes links to main site)
    Any legal comments in this message are general commentary only, and not legal advice
    for your specific situation. You should not rely on such comments — or any other published
    comments, by me or anyone else — as anything other than general guidance.
    Unfortunately, no scam agents, vanity publishers, or other similar carrion-eaters were bent,
    folded, spindled, or mutilated in creating this post (not for want of motivation).
    Of course it's "fine print" — it's small and red.

  18. #18
    Always a writer Daughter of Faulkner's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Southeastern, Massachusetts
    Posts
    195

    Thumbs up Thank you Jaws

    A great deal of help you have given me and others.

    I tried to fix the numbers and no luck. The entire line gets off balance so sorry for your agrivation.

    I also tried to delete the other one but for me, that did not work either.

    Again, I really appreciate your help!

    God bless you~
    Always a writer,
    Eileen St. Lauren
    Author

    http://mysite.verizon.net/eileenstlauren

  19. #19
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Coastal Desert
    Posts
    13,023
    ICAO
    ---------
    Achievers strive for excellence. Perfectionists drive themselves to extinction. -- A Grapple A Day
    I've never known any trouble that an hour's reading didn't assuage. -- Charles DeSecondat

    II 2016: 2017:

  20. #20
    Always a writer Daughter of Faulkner's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Southeastern, Massachusetts
    Posts
    195

    Exclamation Rights Unlimited, Inc.

    RU, Inc. and Al Longden offered me a three year contract that would automatically renew for two years after the first three. RU also wants $249.00 for each book upon the signing of the contract for postage / copying. I was to provide the monies to send my novel overseas to market, and he was going to pass me to yet another agent whom I had never met once I signed the contract. He never wrote one intelligent word about my work rather about me, the person. It took him 9 weeks to return all of my samples and I had to resend him the SASE's for he could not locate them. He has only been an agent for a few mts.

    And if you fire him, he wants to be paid for all office expenses for 90 days after termination of contract, and all sorts of other "landmines."
    If you want to know more about RU, Inc. feel free to e-mail me.

    I would strongly suggest that if RU, Inc. or an agent with RU, Inc. offers you a contract to have a lawyer look it over.

    Best wishes to all writers!
    Always a writer,
    Eileen St. Lauren
    Author

    http://mysite.verizon.net/eileenstlauren

  21. #21
    Banned
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    84
    My agent told me that many submissions to publihers are via emai, i.e., no expense at all.

    I looked at agentquery and writersmarket and this agency is listed on both, which doesn't mean anything one way or the other. It is possible that this is one of the rare legitimate agencies that charges an upfront photocopying/messenging fee.

    However, agentquery says they don't want to list agents with any upfront fees, so I wonder if someone should blow the whistle on them.

    I also note that they list no clients or sales--saying that those parts of their website are under construction.

    I will grant the fact that their agents seem to have had a legitimate work record prior to establishing this agency. One worked at Peter Rubie's agency.

    I'd proceed with caution. Ask a lot of questions--including sales and possibly asking to speak with other clients about their experiences.

  22. #22
    'Twas but a dream of thee El Jefe MacAllister's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Out on a limb
    Posts
    21,458
    Threads merged. Hope I didn't make too much of a mess.

  23. #23
    atlongden
    Guest

    Reply to All - A Longden

    Dear Friends and Colleagues,



    I have been reading this thread for the last while and thought that it has become more than appropriate to try to set the record straight. First, Rights Unlimited IS a legit agency with over twenty years in the industry. We have had the privilege of representing authors such as Dr Robert Atkins, Dr Ruth, John Grisham, Richard Steinberg, Gyo Fujikawa, Mercer Meyer and countless others for both foreign and domestic rights (and more recently movie/theatrical rights as well). Our emphasis over the last year has been to garner more domestic authors and less foreign rights transactions but we have a long history of doing both. I came to the agency in January having been a Publisher within the Harcourt family of companies for over six years and a consultant in a myriad of matters to such firms as the Associated Press, Mia Vita and The American Bible Society. All tolled, I have over 27 years within the publishing industry in a variety of executive positions. My dealings with the Daughter of Faulkner were unfortunate and unintentional and had nothing to do with her unique abilities as a gifted writer. The sample contract DofF was given was supplied by a new agent who is no longer with us, who insisted that our agreement was out of date. As it turned out and as you already know, she was incorrect. Rights Unlimited has never charged nor ever will charge or collected an upfront fee to any author.



    As to the other points discussed, Andrew Zack clarified many as it relates to copies for foreign rights use. The contract term (though 3+1+1) in general is flexible depending on the client and whether there are multiple titles involved and can be terminated with a 90 day notice for any reason. The 90 days may appear lengthy but is again, intended for clearing the foreign rights pipeline.



    In closing I hope this has clarified some of the issues related to this thread and I would hope that I can contribute to any other questions about agent/author/publisher relations as they come up.



    Thanks, as always, Al Longden

  24. #24
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Coastal Desert
    Posts
    13,023
    That does clear up a lot, sir. Thank you for dropping in!
    ICAO
    ---------
    Achievers strive for excellence. Perfectionists drive themselves to extinction. -- A Grapple A Day
    I've never known any trouble that an hour's reading didn't assuage. -- Charles DeSecondat

    II 2016: 2017:

  25. #25
    Always a writer Daughter of Faulkner's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Southeastern, Massachusetts
    Posts
    195

    Lightbulb Good read but not true

    Mr. Al Longden sent me the contract himself not another agent. However, he did want to pass me along to another agent who I have never met once I signed with him. When I contacted her former boss they would not give a recommendation.

    David Gernert, who is John Grisham's agent, told me himself that Mr. Grisham was never represented by Rights Unlimited but that years ago someone at that agency sold some of John's Foreign Rights to his early books.

    Dr. Robert Atkin's wife and his people told me sorry that they have never heard of Rights Unlimited representing him. Clueless who RU was.


    Dr. Ruth may have once been represented by RU but not today.

    Mercer Meyer is not represented by RU either.

    Harcourt has no record of a Publisher by that name. Another sister company that went out of business has information on that name, though.

    Mia Vita and The American Bible Society have nothing to offer in the way of a recommendation. Perhaps, all of the above knew him by a different name. I don't know.

    I have no intention of taking apart anyone's credits or claims either. In the wonderful age of the I-Net all you have to do is a Search and see / read for yourself who has done what with their lives. Often people switch careers later in life and become writers, agents, whatever. I don't know, really. But I do believe that some agents and publishers should write fiction, though.

    No one at Rights Unlimited ever returned any of my phone calls or offered to waive their $250 signing fee x two either. The contract was for 3 years with an auto renewal of 2 years with an author paying all office expenses after 90 days if terminated. It was filled with other "landmines" as my entertainment attorney pointed out. Outdated or not a landmine is a landmine. Unfortunate or unintentional to me, still no one at Rights Unlimited has ever retracted the offered contract and it would have stood if signed outdated or not. In fact, this is the FIRST time I have heard that the said contract offered was anything more than a dream come true for this writer who has written for well over 10 years every day, holiday, with job or without job, sick, well, near death, with four eye surgeries during the last year alone with high hopes of one day seeing her books in print.

    It was a crying shame that this had to happen to me for the day before my last surgery I had spent 5 hours printing out both my novels to send to RU and told my doctor in Boston all about this agency before they put me under and it all turned out to be just another story for me to tell....

    It is my hope and prayer that one day I find the right agent for me and my work and the same for all of you and your work. That, my fellow writers, comes straight from my heart.

    In closing, God bless us everyone!
    Always a writer,
    Eileen St. Lauren
    Author

    http://mysite.verizon.net/eileenstlauren

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Custom Search