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Thread: Literary Agent Matchmaker / Your Book is Your Hook (Jennifer S. Wilkov)

  1. #1
    'Twas but a dream of thee El Jefe MacAllister's Avatar
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    Literary Agent Matchmaker / Your Book is Your Hook (Jennifer S. Wilkov)

    Just got this from an anonymous source (whom I absolutely trust) - apparently a number of agents and other publishing types have recently received a pitch for the “eHarmony” for Agents & Authors from a person calling herself "a Literary Agent Matchmaker [who is] here to help you."

    Here's the website in question:
    www.LiteraryAgentMatchmaker.com

    Her own description and a bunch more links:

    Why I Do It:

    In 2007, I was chatting with a few literary agents at a book publishing industry event.
    One of the agents jokingly said, "Hey, Jennifer, you know us and what we want. You know the authors and what they need to give us.
    Why don't you just match us up?"

    So now I do.
    Jennifer S. Wilkov
    www.jenniferswilkov.com

    Book Consultant & Business Mentor for Authors and Writers
    Your Book Is Your Hook!
    www.YourBookIsYourHook.com

    Host & Creator - The Next Bestseller(TM) Weekend Workshop
    Los Angeles * New York City * Miami
    Work with industry professionals to prepare, practice and polish up your book pitch!
    Learn how to pitch your book properly without the pressure of having to get it right the first time.
    Next Date: April 8 - 10, 2011 in :Los Angeles
    www.TheNextBestsellerTV.com/event

    co-Author
    Boys Before Business:The Single Girls Guide to Having it All
    Better Relationships and Better Business
    www.boysbeforebusiness.com

    Phone or Text Msg: [redacted]

    Get daily tips on Twitter: www.twitter.com/URBookIsURHook

    Jennifer is a Radio Show Host, Speaker, Best-Selling Author, Award-Winning Freelance Writer,
    End-to-End Book Consultant, Literary Agent Matchmaker, Ghostwriter, Copywriter, Entrepreneur

    Listen to the "Your Book Is Your Hook!" Radio Talk Show each week
    on the WomensRadio Network at Tuesday 9am ET

    Let's Connect
    Twitter: www.twitter.com/jenniferwilkov
    LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/jenniferwilkov
    Facebook: www.facebook.com/jenniferswilkov
    YouTube: www.youtube.com/user/yourbookisyourhook
    I don't have to explain to you guys why this is a terrible idea at any price, right? But to add injury to insult, she's charging $1000/pop for her "service" which had me sputtering my beverage up my nose.
    Last edited by MacAllister; 02-03-2011 at 11:16 AM.

  2. #2
    Cultus Gopherus MacAllister Medievalist's Avatar
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    Some other links:

    http://www.datingyourmoney.com/

    Her book; take note of the publisher. E.S.P. Press Corp is her.


    http://www.authorsden.com/visit/auth...uthorid=109150

    Author's Den is a display site. They don't work. It's an opportunity for navel-gazing.

    Readers don't go there to find books, and neither do agents or publishers.

    This is not someone I'd want to work with. Or pay.
    Last edited by Medievalist; 02-03-2011 at 09:47 AM.

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  3. #3
    Shakespearean Fool DreamWeaver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JW on the Next Bestseller Workshop webpage
    Writers need an opportunity to practice, refine and prepare their pitch
    Just out of curiosity, what percentage of authors get picked up by an agent or publisher by face-to-face pitching vs querying via letter or email?
    Last edited by DreamWeaver; 02-03-2011 at 09:49 AM.
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  4. #4
    Cultus Gopherus MacAllister Medievalist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DreamWeaver View Post
    Just out of curiosity, what percentage of authors get picked up by an agent or publisher by face-to-face pitching vs querying via letter or email?
    Think about it: it's going to be much lower. Listening to a series of pitch-after-pitch is not an effective tool, honestly, for the agent. They lose time--it's more of an effort at outreach, and education than anything else.

    Pitching, by the way, is not something you can pickup; it's a skill that can be polished, but not acquired. And it's awfully dependent on variables that are not predictable or controllable.

    A query can be beta'd, and polished, and edited. You choose your time to submit.
    Last edited by Medievalist; 02-03-2011 at 10:20 AM.

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  5. #5
    Guinea pig in the laboratory of God timp67's Avatar
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    Astrologers should get in on this! They could charge money to hook authors up with the "right time" and "wrong time" to query.
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  6. #6
    Snakecakes cryaegm's Avatar
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    One of the agents jokingly said, "Hey, Jennifer, you know us and what we want. You know the authors and what they need to give us.
    Why don't you just match us up?"
    I'm kind of curious as to whom the agent is that "said" this.
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  7. #7
    Girl Detective Stacia Kane's Avatar
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    Sheesh on a cracker. I don't even know where to start.


    She lists GONE WITH THE WIND as having had thirty-eight rejections. That's incorrect. Margaret Mitchell met the editor who ended up buying it; she knew him vaguely and he was in Atlanta at the time. She gave him the ms. He started reading it on his train trip home, and he made an offer for it. It was never even submitted anywhere else, much less to thirty-eight different publishing houses; in the age of typewriters, how the heck would that even work? How would someone even know about the existence of that many publishers in 1936/37?


    Authors get rejected because they don't know:

    who to submit their projects to so they submit them to the wrong agent(s)

    how to properly present their projects with the expected industry standard documents & formats

    whether their book is ready to send to an agent

    You can learn all of that for free here at AW. Or at any number of other sites online, like Agentquery or QueryShark.


    I'm the conduit between the authors and the agents
    so everybody can get what they want:
    a great book that gets published.
    Actually, that conduit is called "email." And having an agent is no guarantee of publication. For that matter, it's not a guarantee the book is "great."

    Moving on... http://www.literaryagentmatchmaker.com/authors.htm


    Why You Absolutely Need
    a Literary Agent Matchmaker
    to Get Published
    Gee, I guess that's a new rule? Because I've been published quite a few times without one. So has everyone I know.


    Every writer runs the risk of getting rejected. In fact, more than 90% of authors often get rejected repeatedly.
    It's quite a lot more than 90%, actually. Also, your point is? No "matchmaker" in the world is going to stop a bad book from getting rejected.

    She then posts a list of authors who've been rejected (with the GWTW lie), as if that means anything at all. Or as if she could have prevented that from happening by giving someone a couple of names.



    In fact, some agents only take 3 seconds
    to review and reject what is sent in.
    That's because the vast majority of queries don't need more than three seconds. When there are four typos in the first sentence, or homophone errors, or the writing simply doesn't make sense, agents don't need to keep reading to know it's not going to be for them, and most likely isn't publishable at all.


    Agents are overwhelmed by the thousands of submissions every week, many of which are inappropriate for them and not in line with what they like to represent. Too many of them are improperly submitted and have to be trashed at first glance.
    Again, your point is? Sure, they get a lot of subs and a lot of them are wrong. I suppose if *every* writer in the world used [her] service, that might stop. But that's never going to happen.

    And if you really wanted to stop that from happening, you'd post that info for free or link to places where that info could be found.



    What A Literary Agent Matchmaker Does:

    Hi, I'm Jennifer S. Wilkov and one of my favorite services I provide authors, agents, publishers and the industry is literary agent matchmaking.

    As a Literary Agent Matchmaker, I help authors submit their projects properly to the right agents who work with books in their genre and category. I also prepare authors to connect with literary managers, Hollywood agents, publishers, speaking engagement bookers, booksellers and more.
    1. A "literary agent matchmaker" does nothing, because there's no such thing.

    2. How are you providing a service to publishers by being a "Literary Agent Matchmaker?"

    3. What does connecting them with bookstores etc. have to do with literary agents? And frankly, if you can do all that, why not be a personal manager, and quit pretending you have some sort of "in" with agents and bilking naive writers out of money?



    Why I Do It:

    I am passionate about helping other authors and writers get published, make a difference for humanity, and leave a legacy for yourself, your family and the human race.
    What's the difference between an author and a writer, again? And you know, while I'm very, very proud of my books, and I work hard to make them have a point or address a deeper issue...I really don't think they're making much of a difference for humanity. I really don't think the vast majority of books make a difference for humanity.


    I want authors like you to stop guessing what to do and who to send your book to. I also want you to stop getting rejection letters or wondering if an agent ever saw your book in the first place.
    What about the writers? Do you want them to stop guessing, too?

    You cannot stop anyone from getting rejection letters, FFS. You can't force agents to read full mss when it's obvious the mss are lousy.

    Sorry, but the vast majority of books that get rejected? Deserve to be rejected. Because they're just not any good.


    Why You Need One:

    It's time for you to start getting interest and the right representation for your book.

    To be successful, you have to know:

    how to find the right agents and

    how to properly submit your book to them

    AgentQuery.com and others recommend that you have a second set of eyes to identify the right agents.
    (Bolding mine)

    1. No, you do NOT need this service.

    2. AgentQuery recommends that? Where? I don't recall seeing that. It's nonsense. I can tell you the names of a dozen great agents right off the top of my head; I don't need another person to verify that, for example, Jim McCarthy or Ginger Clark or Laura Bradford or, geez, any number of others, including my own agent, are great agents and an asset to any writer's career.


    Here we go:

    Stop getting rejected and get published faster, easier and with less effort. Connect with the right agent who is going to be a champion for you and your book.
    Gaaaaah there are no freaking shortcuts in publishing!!! How can you get someone published "faster" or "easier?" For that matter, how do you get them published "with less effort?"

    There is no way this woman can guarantee someone they won't be rejected, unless she's specifically sending writers to scam agents.

    I review your project and documents – to confirm they are ready for submission before you submit them. I then support you with identifying 3 agents that represent books like yours.
    In other words, you glance over a query for typos and go to AgentQuery to grab three names from a rudimentary search. Maybe. This "service" is more ridiculous by the minute. THREE agents? Come on.

    And of course, this leads me to the Usual Questions: What is your publishing experience? How are you qualified to judge if a work is publishable? How long have you been in the industry?


    What You Receive When You Become a Literary Matchmaking Client:

    Research and identification of 3 agents in your book's proper genre

    Direct contact information of agents
    http://www.agentquery.com


    Proper submission guidelines, preferences and requirements for each agent
    A query letter should be no more than one page; about 250 words tops. The query should describe the book--particularly the plot and characters--in a quick, clean way. The formula for a query letter "hook" is here on the archived Miss Snark blog (where, incidentally, answers to thousands of publishing questions can be found. For FREE).

    With your query you send the first five or ten pages, usually (you can find that info at AgentQuery, as well). You ms should be double-spaced, in 12-pt Times New Roman or Courier font.


    Clarify which industry events to attend to meet & pitch agents for your book in person
    It's absolutely unnecessary to attend any of them, or pitch in person to anyone.

    Review of proper documents and package prepared by client for submission
    In other words, maybe a basic crit, done by someone with no verifiable publishing experience.

    Cost: $1,000 (this does not include writing your book proposal and/or sample book chapter)
    WOW.

    Well, gee, I just gave all that info here, so...make your checks payable to Stacia Kane. Thanks.


    There's no "About Me" on the site, but from what she says on her "Proposal Services" page, she's self-published and is, of course, a "Bestselling author." (She doesn't explain how she managed to get published without using a Literary Agent Matchmaker, btw. Of course, she is self-pubbed, so technically she didn't, but if she's going to say that she can't call herself a bestseller, and...oh, it's just so confusing.)

    I wish I had a dime for every self-published person who calls themselves a "Bestselling author." I'm sure she is a bestseller--at her own publishing house, where she only publishes herself.

    As a general rule...if they call themselves "Bestselling author[s]," and you've never heard of them...it means they're fluffing, or exaggerating, or not using the same criteria for "Bestseller" as people in real publishing do. Which means they should be avoided.


    A Google search for her doesn't bring up any lists on which she could be/is a bestseller, or any mention of real publishing experience.



    You don't have to figure it out on your own anymore. I'm here to help you. I'm an expert at doing this just like you are an expert at what you do.
    There is absolutely zero proof of any kind of expertise at doing anything related to agents or commercial publishing.

    *shakes head*
    Last edited by Stacia Kane; 02-03-2011 at 11:14 AM.
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  8. #8
    Cultus Gopherus MacAllister Medievalist's Avatar
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    Here's some interesting back story. I'm pretty sure she's not a feminist, either, which, you know, is a little disconcerting, frankly, in terms of publishing.

    And of course, there are all sorts of issues about running a publishing company--and offering yourself to rep clients to agents, and publishers. It's a definite conflict-of-interest problem.

    It's also a really bad idea to begin your "agent contact" process by spamming them with a poorly written written email that lists self-published books as a credit.

    It sorta screams clueless, self-aggrandizing, and less-than-professional.

    Given that agents receive in a single day, easily, 300 solicited and desired emails, that's really not a bright way to mark your turf in the literary firmament.

    So's to speak.
    Last edited by Medievalist; 02-05-2011 at 01:30 AM.

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  9. #9
    Such a nasty woman SuperModerator Old Hack's Avatar
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    Blimey.

    Just... blimey.

  10. #10
    Cultus Gopherus MacAllister Medievalist's Avatar
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    I'm sorry, this particular thread is making me want to quote poetry:

    Quote Originally Posted by Chaucer
    Ne was ther swich another pardoner,
    For in his male he hadde a pilwe-beer,
    Which that, he seyde, was oure lady veyl;
    He seyde he hadde a gobet of the seyl
    That Seďnt Peter hadde whan that he wente
    Upon the see til Jhesu Crist hym hente.
    He hadde a croys of latoun ful of stones,
    And in a glas he hadde pigges bones.
    But with thise relikes, whan that he fond
    A poure person dwellynge upon lond,
    Upon a day he gat hym moore moneye
    Than that the person gat in monthes tweye;
    And thus with feyned flaterye and japes
    He made the person and the peple his apes.
    Chaucer's Pardoner, from the General Prologue of the Canterbury Tales

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  11. #11
    Writer is as Writer does Terie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Medievalist View Post
    My mom got caught up in a scam like that, but on the 'employee' side rather than the 'investor' side. Also, the organisation never really got off the ground, so (as far as I know) there were never any legal proceedings against it.

    But....all my mom's friends (and, ahem, her daughter) kept telling her it was a scam and to steer clear. And my mom is angry to this day that her friends (and, ahem, her daughter) did that, that we kept running down this 'great business opportunity' and telling her not to get involved in it.

    My point? If it's patently obvious to the average Joe-on-the-street that a business opportunity is really a scam, why would anyone ever trust the judgment of someone who DID get suckered in?

    And that's even before examining Wilkov's street cred in the publishing industry, which, of course, is non-existent.

    Also? I personally helped a friend find an agent who eventually got her a six-figure deal. Which means I personally have more verifiable experience hooking up writers and agents....AND YOU DON'T SEE ME HANGING OUT A SHINGLE!!!
    Last edited by Terie; 02-03-2011 at 09:20 PM.
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    Tired and Disillusioned Momento Mori's Avatar
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    Everyone has said exactly what I wanted to say, but I did just want to mention this from the Marie Claire article.

    Marie Claire:
    I did so immediately, in October 2006. A month later, several plainclothes officers confronted me on my street. "You're gonna let us in your apartment, or we're gonna beat the door down," one of them snarled.
    I'd say that the woman has clearly never seen an episode of Law and Order in her life (I'm English and even I know about warrants and everything I know I learned from Jack McCoy) - but then she says:

    Marie Claire Article:
    The courtroom looked like something straight out of Law & Order, with old-fashioned wood-paneled walls, wooden pews, and a sign above the judge's head that said "In God We Trust."
    :sigh:

    MM

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    I heart Malamutes! :-) JerseyGirl1962's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MacAllister View Post
    I don't have to explain to you guys why this is a terrible idea at any price, right? But to add injury to insult, she's charging $1000/pop for her "service" which had me sputtering my beverage up my nose.
    And what Stacia says about Gone With the Wind is true (I have a biography of Margaret Mitchell that I've read several times).

    Hmm...let's see..too rich for my blood and false info about GWTW/Margaret Mitchell?

    Pass.

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    Barricade AW Moderator regdog's Avatar
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    I suppose egad would be an understatement and I wonder the same thing cryaegm does
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    The Little Aspie That Could KaiaSonderby's Avatar
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    Rikers!!!!????? Crap on toast sign me up! I wonder if she met her agent contacts there?

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    Writer Beware Goddess Absolute Sage victoriastrauss's Avatar
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    She's not the only one providing these kinds of "matchmaker" services, and her prices are in line with others I've seen. IMO, a total waste of money, even if she were just charging $50 or $100--there's nothing she claims to do that writers can't do for themselves, with a bit of time and effort.

    - Victoria

  18. #18
    Seen 'em come, seen 'em go Gravity's Avatar
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    Everybody, lets sing: "matchmaker, matchmaker, make me a match, give the crabs, and cause me to scratch..."
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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Medievalist View Post
    Here's some interesting back story. your turf in the literary firmament.
    The first time you accidentally get caught up in something unethical, maybe, maybe, we can believe it was truly accidental, something you had no idea was a problem.

    The second time...?

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by victoriastrauss View Post
    She's not the only one providing these kinds of "matchmaker" services, and her prices are in line with others I've seen. IMO, a total waste of money, even if she were just charging $50 or $100--there's nothing she claims to do that writers can't do for themselves, with a bit of time and effort.

    - Victoria
    To be fair, I pay a lot of people money to do things that I could do for myself with a bit of time and effort. I'm happy to pay someone to do things for me that I find tedious. Especially ironing.

    But I do expect them to have some skill at it, really.

  21. #21
    practical experience, FTW MicheleLee's Avatar
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    Anyone else think that article is horrible insulting? I mean, I think we all agree it's a pack of lies, but insulting too?
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    A new year, a new avatar Snappy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MicheleLee View Post
    Anyone else think that article is horrible insulting? I mean, I think we all agree it's a pack of lies, but insulting too?
    You took the question from my brain! It is insulting. This information is all available for free.
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  23. #23
    starting over Marian Perera's Avatar
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    And if you're wondering which is better for you - commercial publishing or self-publishing - you can find out for a small fee.

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  24. #24
    Spent the night with Jack Daniels JulieHowe's Avatar
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    Quoted directly from the website:

    "Hi, I'm Jennifer S. Wilkov and one of my favorite services I provide authors, agents, publishers and the industry is literary agent matchmaking."

    The prosecution rests, your honor.

  25. #25
    Cultus Gopherus MacAllister Medievalist's Avatar
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    The Twitter feed is revealatory.

    Trying to think of a word that means both clueless and greedy.

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