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Thread: MC Literary Advisors / MC Literary Agency

  1. #1
    Horror Man seun's Avatar
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    MC Literary Advisors / MC Literary Agency

    http://www.mcliteraryadvisors.com/submissions.html

    There's nothing obviously dodgy about this. They appear to set out clearly what they do and what they offer, and yet...I've got the odd alarm bell going off. I'm probably just being paranoid but I get the impression most submissions would get the reply listed as number two here.

  2. #2
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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    http://www.mcliteraryadvisors.com/faqs.html

    Why should I self publish? It won't get me anywhere, will it?

    John Grisham, Beatrix Potter, Thomas Paine, Stephen King, Leo Tolstoy, Deepak Chopra, Virginia Woolf, Tom Clancy, Stephen Crane, Margaret Atwood, L. Frank Baum, William Blake, Robert Bly, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Lord Byron, W.E.B. Dubois,T.S. Eliot, Thomas Hardy, Ernest Hemingway, Rudyard Kipling, Louis L'Amour, D.H. Lawrence, Edgar Allen Poe, Alexander Pope, Carl Sandburg, Robert Service, George Bernard Shaw, Alfred Lord Tennyson, Mark Twain... Just a few great writers who started their literary careers by selfpublishing. The rest they say is history...


    Nope, there's nothing obviously dodgy about misleading people into paying for "self-publishing" services.
    Last edited by CaoPaux; 01-24-2011 at 10:13 PM. Reason: wonky line breaks
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  3. #3
    Horror Man seun's Avatar
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    It appears I stand corrected.

  4. #4
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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    Bleah, that does come off more snarky to you than them, doesn't it. Sorry about that. Proof I shouldn't post while cussing at the screen.
    ICAO
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    Censorship always defeats its own purpose, for it creates in the end the kind of society that is incapable of exercising real discretion. -- Henry Steele Commager
    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:

  5. #5
    Horror Man seun's Avatar
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    Nah. Just me being over-sensitive.

  6. #6
    Who's going for a beer? waylander's Avatar
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    Interesting that both the books they advertise on their website are from publishers that take direct submissions (and one of them is the subject of an extensive AW thread).

  7. #7
    Tired and Disillusioned Momento Mori's Avatar
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    MC Literary Advisors Website:
    Our key personnel have been headhunted
    from the publishing and film industry, in London, Madrid and Los Angeles.
    Don't know about anyone else, but I can't find anything on the website about who those "headhunted" personnel are. You'd think that if they're going to the trouble of head hunting people, they'd say who they were.

    MC Literary Advisors Website:
    Our advisory and reading panel is made up from several well-known authors,
    experienced agents and top Amazon reviewers.
    Again, I can't find any information on the site as to exactly who these people are. And as an aside (and speaking as a top 500 Amazon UK reviewer), I don't count being an Amazon reviewer as being a qualification for commenting on a manuscript.

    MC Literary Advisors Website:
    Here at MC Literary Advisors we have a wealth of knowledge in the publishing
    industry with contacts we have built up over many years.
    Yet there's nothing on the site to evidence this "wealth of knowledge".

    MC Literary Advisors Website:
    We promise to read all submissions and we will contact you within 15 working days of receipt of your submission. Check out our Self Publishing section HERE
    Speaking personally, I'm not filled with confidence by an entity that promises to evaluate a manuscript within 15 days in one sentence and is then trying to flog you its self-publishing arm in the next.

    As a general observation, I'm not comfortable with the fact that the website offers its own 'reviews' and news links that play on existing famous authors, e.g. Paul Auster, Jonathan Franzen and Richard Dawkins. Unless those authors have used or are otherwise connected with MC, it seems to me that it's open to someone thinking that they're trying to bring legitimacy through association.

    MC Literary Advisors Website:
    Our aim is to be open and honest with all authors and to help you see your book in print whether it is with a mainstream publisher or a small independent, or whether the best route is to self-publish. Do not be too despondent if we recommend the self-publishing route as this is a route many famous authors have had to go down.
    What concerns me is that it's a manuscript service that also offers a self-publishing arm, which could lead to the perception of a conflict of interest (i.e. that there is a financial incentive to them in pushing people to their own self-publishing arm). It would be good to know how they manage this risk (and of course, knowing who is actually doing the critiquing would be one way of mitigating the concern).

    MC Literary Advisors Website:
    The cost of our critique service is 99 for a critique of the synopsis and the first 3 chapters or a minimum of 10,000 words or 249 for a critique of the full manuscript
    99 quid is a lot of money to pay for a synopsis and 3 chapter critique, particularly if MC decide to come back to you with the following:

    [QUOTE]MC Literary Advisors Website:
    You will receive no more than a three-line email explaining that we have rejected your manuscript. We may indicate why, although this will not always be the case. You may argue that any manuscript can be self-published and, whilst this is true, we see no merit whatsoever in recommending publishing a book by vanity press if it is of poor quality. After all, it may well be read subsequently by someone else who is also influential in publishing and your image as an author tarnished forever. We also offer at a cost a detailed report which will give the reasons why the manuscript has been rejected.[/QUOTE]

    Firstly, if I've paid 99 quid I want a damn site more than a 3 line report and I definitely don't see why I should have to pay for more detail.

    Secondly, I'm assuming that the reference to "vanity press" is a Freudian slip. The whole point of a vanity press is that they don't care about the quality of your manuscript - they exist to take money from you in order to publish your book.

    Thirdly, I'm no fan of self-publishing (it has it's uses but is open to abuse) but I very much doubt that being a self-published author "tarnishes" your reputation as an author "forever". It is always going to be difficult to get a commercial publisher to take a book that's already been self-published, but if you have a different commercially viable manuscript then they'll want to pay for it.

    MC Literary Advisors Website:
    Your manuscript may need a rewrite. Again you may take advantage of our specialist critique service which will detail any weaknesses in the book and could also help identify areas that need strengthening such as the plot or the further development of the characters. Suggesting a rewrite however does not guarantee an acceptance by MC Literary Advisors next time round. We reserve the right to reject, reject and reject again if we feel that the manuscript is not up to standard.
    Again, this seems to me to leave open the interpretation of potential abuse. If MC is charging for manuscript editing service then it's always possible that a person may assume it's more in their financial interest to continue to require critiques in order to get an acceptance. Knowing who is involved in the critique process may help to mitigate this concern.

    MC Literary Advisors Website:
    At MC Literary Advisors we also act as agents.
    This is a conflict of interest. An agent shouldn't be simultaneously acting as self-publisher and critiquer (and definitely shouldn't be charging for critique services in any event).

    There's no information on who the agents are or their sales history - that's essential for a literary agency IMO.

    MC Literary Advisors Website:
    We will advise how you can organise istribution to Play.com, Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com (U.S.) You, the author, are in control and we will advise how to set up your own website with your own bookstore. We may also take the decision to review the situation and offer your book to mainstream publishers under contract with MC Literary Advisors.
    This is from their self-publishing page and it's worrying. Again - there's no information on which "mainsteam publishers" are under contract with their agency (something that I would expect to be set out as a minimum as it goes to their credentials).

    Then there's the fact that if they're as experienced in the business as they claim to be, they must know that commercial publishers are going to be wary of taking a self-published book and probably won't do so unless there are big sales figures to support it. And given that it seems they're leaving distribution entirely up to the author, it's unlikely that big sales will be made.

    MC Literary Advisors Website:
    Two of our executive directors are published authors and have first-hand experience of the publishing world. They know the pitfalls and can also advise on the best way to achieve publication of your manuscript. Another executive director also has extensive experience having worked for an international publishing company for a number of years.
    Who are these people? Why doesn't the site set out the names?

    MC Literary Advisors Website:Why should I self publish? It won't get me anywhere, will it?
    John Grisham, Beatrix Potter, Thomas Paine, Stephen King, Leo Tolstoy, Deepak Chopra, Virginia Woolf, Tom Clancy, Stephen Crane, Margaret Atwood, L. Frank
    Baum, William Blake, Robert Bly, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Lord Byron, W.E.B. Dubois,T.S. Eliot, Thomas Hardy, Ernest Hemingway, Rudyard Kipling, Louis
    L'Amour, D.H. Lawrence, Edgar Allen Poe, Alexander Pope, Carl Sandburg, Robert Service, George Bernard Shaw, Alfred Lord Tennyson, Mark Twain... Just a few
    great writers who started their literary careers by selfpublishing. The rest they say is history...
    Ah yes, the usual mix of dead people who published in a different age and misinformation as to the contemporary authors who self published. Excellent and so reassuring.

    MC Literary Advisors Website:
    Do you have specialists at your agency who handle movie and television rights?
    We have contacts in the film industry in London and Los Angeles and work closely with a television production company. We are also active in foreign rights
    So the answer is no - there are no specialists within the agency for movie and television rights. Also, I'd be disturbed that they claim to act on television rights but only work closely with one company.

    And again - no details on who any of these people are or who the contacts are with.

    MC Literary Advisors Website:
    What is your policy on charging clients for expenses incurred by your agency?
    This is set out in the agreement. The author's approval will be sought prior to any expenses being incurred.
    This would be of concern to me. My agent doesn't charge me for any expenses - it's included in the payment she gets on a sale and therefore incentivises her to make one. I'd want to review the agency agreement to see what is intended to be covered here and how.

    As discussed by other commentators, it seems that the agency has only got two sales to date and to publishers that don't require an agent to submit to them.

    MC Literary Advisors Website:
    Self-publishing - 999 - based on an 80,000 word manuscript and including copy-editing, cover design, interior book block, purchase of ISBN, provision of one complimentary author copy and statutory copies for the British Library and Copyright Libraries Agency. Please consult us for an estimate for a larger volume manuscript
    That's an obscene amount of money and there's nothing there that you can't do for yourself cheaper.

    All in all, there's nothing there to suggest to me that they're worth submitting to.

    MM

  8. #8
    Horror Man seun's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Momento Mori View Post
    All in all, there's nothing there to suggest to me that they're worth submitting to.

    MM
    I think you've summed everything up. Glad my alarm bells went off.

  9. #9
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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    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:

  10. #10
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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    Didn't survive '13. Most clients' books were pubbed through John Blake.
    ICAO
    ---------

    Censorship always defeats its own purpose, for it creates in the end the kind of society that is incapable of exercising real discretion. -- Henry Steele Commager
    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:

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