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Thread: Fenton Entertainment Group

  1. #1
    wrighter
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    Fenton Entertainment Group

    Anyone have any info on Fenton Entertainment Group out of Michigan? It's run by Robert Fenton. And is this agency related to Fenton Literary Agency in Colorado?

  2. #2
    I heart Malamutes! :-) JerseyGirl1962's Avatar
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    First off, welcome to the AW boards!

    I checked Preditors and Editors - Robert Fenton ("affiliated with the Fenton Entertainment Group") charges a $350 reading fee.

    Stay away.

    ~Nancy
    Screw the new blog, I've resurrected my old blog: Writerly Stuff.

    I twit, therefore I am?

    Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work. ~Thomas Edison

    It took me fifteen years to discover that I had no talent for writing, but I couldn't give it up because by that time I was too famous. ~Robert Benchley

  3. #3
    Writer Beware Goddess Absolute Sage victoriastrauss's Avatar
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    Yup. $350 reading fee, according to Writer Beware's most recent documentation. And no recent sales that I can discover.

    - Victoria

  4. #4
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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    There doesn't seem to be any connection between Robert L. Fenton in MI and Fenton Literary Agency in CO. Do you have any more info? The only listing I find for F.L.A is on AuthorLink, which is a dubious source, IMO.
    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
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    I've never known any trouble that an hour's reading didn't assuage. -- Charles DeSecondat

    II 2016: 2017:

  5. #5
    wrighter
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    Fenton Entertainment Group

    Thanks for info confirming what I already suspected. I'm currently signed with Fenton in Michigan, paying a large monthly fee for representation. After a few months of rejection letters from legit publishers, I received the "good news" that I'd been accepted by a publisher....Publish America, which as everyone knows is a print-on-demand publisher. Any advice on getting out of this contract?

  6. #6
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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    Ye gads! If that ain't the last nail in Robert's creds, I don't know what is.

    Anyway, go over your contract with a magnifying glass for a termination clause. And email Victoria/Writer Beware for further help.
    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:

  7. #7
    Preditors & Editors Requiescat In Pace DaveKuzminski's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wrighter
    Thanks for info confirming what I already suspected. I'm currently signed with Fenton in Michigan, paying a large monthly fee for representation. After a few months of rejection letters from legit publishers, I received the "good news" that I'd been accepted by a publisher....Publish America, which as everyone knows is a print-on-demand publisher. Any advice on getting out of this contract?
    You really need to consult a lawyer. Make sure you keep a copy of all contracts and emails from him and from you. Keep also any emails from others such as PA to show as evidence should you have to take him to court.

    Having said that first, my reaction would be to stop paying, tell the "agent" there will be no more payments, and that he no longer represents my work. If he threatened me with going to court, I'd dare him to do so and point out to him that I would show the court that he tried to sign me up with a scam publisher. I'd also let him know that I would counter-sue to recover what was paid to him for representation that he failed to provide. My guess is that he'd cross you off his list and concentrate on his other victims.
    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
    Empirical Storm Trooper MadScientistMatt's Avatar
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    I take it you're talking about the Fenton contract - hopefully he doesn't require you to sign PA's, too! That one is unsigned right now, right?

    I have to wonder... would he also insist on his 15 cent cut of the advance on deals like that?

  9. #9
    Writer Beware Goddess Absolute Sage victoriastrauss's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wrighter
    Any advice on getting out of this contract?
    First, check the contract to see if there's a termination clause. If so, invoke it per the requirements in the contract.

    If there's no termination clause, send a registered letter (return receipt requested) to Mr. Fenton telling him that you're terminating the contract as of the date of the letter (or if you want to be more conciliatory, two weeks from the date of the letter), and instructing him to immediately cease all efforts on your behalf, including but not limited to submitting to publishers. Whether or not you get a response, this should be sufficient.

    It's arguable that the contract was never valid anyway, because it was presented to you under false pretenses (i.e., that Mr. Fenton has the ability to sell your book to a legitimate publisher), but to be safe, you should take whichever of the actions above are appropriate for you.

    I have documentation that Mr. Fenton charges a reading fee, but I only have anecdotal reports of monthly fees. I'd love to get documentation of this. Please e-mail me at beware@sfwa.org.

    - Victoria

  10. #10
    wrighter
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    Fenton Entertainment Group

    Thanks to all for information. Victoria, if you want to see the contract I'll be glad to make a copy and send it to you. Just leave me a snail mail address here, and I'll get it in the post. My e mail has been acting up lately, so I'd rather use regular mail for such correspondence.

  11. #11
    Writer Beware Goddess Absolute Sage victoriastrauss's Avatar
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    It's PO Box 1216, Amherst MA 01004. Thanks.

    - Victoria

  12. #12
    wrighter
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    Fenton Entertainment Group

    Victoria, a copy of the contract is in the mail. You should be getting it in two or three days. Thanks again.

  13. #13
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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    Oh, look, a website... http://www.robertlfenton.com/
    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:

  14. #14
    Super Browser triceretops's Avatar
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    Robert L. Fenton specializes in nonfiction, fiction, women's fiction, historical romances, action & suspense; limited poetry, children's photographic books. He can handle film & scripts. No unsolicited manuscripts - preliminary letter or telephone call first. Submit outline and sample chapters. Reading fee ($350). An additional retainer along with a percentage may be charged for representation. Please contact us for further Information

    It's $350 PLUS an additional retainer WITH a percentage. The guys got some really boated credits and claims.

    What a ripoff.

    Tri

  15. #15
    Writer Beware Goddess Absolute Sage victoriastrauss's Avatar
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    Update since my last post: I now have documentation of truly enormous "retainers" charged by Fenton--up to $15,000 per year (!) This guy has Cris Robins beat!

    Still no sales...

    - Victoria

  16. #16
    In the Yellow Woods
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    Do you have a story idea? Is it any good? For Only $25, Robert L. Fenton will critique an outline of your story. Follow the 2 easy steps below to start your path to writing excellence.

    After you have submitted Your Story and payment is received, Robert will respond within two weeks with your critique.


    Step 1.Tell Me Your Total Outline

    Enter your high concept in 5 or 6 sentences; list your major and minor characters, and a summary
    .

    Step 2.Make $25 payment
    Step 3. Send entire manuscript - Go!

    Step 4. Make $350 payment - Go!

    Step 5. Calculate your annual disposable income - Go!

    Step 6. Make payment of disposable income - Go!

    Step 7. Repeat steps 1-6 on an annual basis - Go!
    I am returning this otherwise good typing paper to you because someone has printed gibberish all over it and put your name at the top.

    Professor of English, Ohio University.

    Pedantic Alert: The above is quotation #689 from Michael Moncur's (cynical) Quotations.

  17. #17
    AW Addict nicolesingslave's Avatar
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    I found 4 hits on Amazon.com:
    http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_ss?ur...ton%22&x=0&y=0
    :-O
    So the word out on Mr.Robert L Fenton is stay away?

  18. #18
    Writer Beware Goddess Absolute Sage victoriastrauss's Avatar
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    Check those hits.

    One is for a self-published book (via Booklocker) by Robert L. Fenton. If this is the same Robert L. Fenton, it's not terrific validation of his skill as an agent.

    One is a mention, from a book on director Jonathan Demme, of an associate producer named Robert L. Fenton. Same guy? No way to know.

    One is a mention of "lawyer Robert L. Fenton" who built a Tiki restaurant in 1967. Same guy? It's possible, but irrelevant.

    One is from the Acknowledgmentssection of a book from an academic press, thanking "Robert L. Fenton," among other friends and colleagues, for advice and criticism.

    Except possibly for the first, none of these hits relate to Robert L. Fenton the literary agent. Even if they did, the fact that he charges $350 upfront plus thousands of dollars in retainer fees is really all one needs to know.

    - Victoria

  19. #19
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by victoriastrauss View Post
    Check those hits.

    One is for a self-published book (via Booklocker) by Robert L. Fenton. If this is the same Robert L. Fenton, it's not terrific validation of his skill as an agent.
    'Tis, complete with review by Kirkus Discoveries: http://www.robertlfenton.com/threewisemen/
    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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