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Thread: SR Literary Agency / J Publishing Company

  1. #1
    practical experience, FTW
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    SR Literary Agency / J Publishing Company

    http://www.srliteraryagency.co.uk/

    Is it just me, or does this lot look flakier than Professor Flaky "The Flakester" McFlake?

    It's supposed to be a London based agency, but can't see an address, and in their FAQs, they talk about a "publishing attorney". Er, they say they are London based, so that should be 'publishing lawyer', unless they are trying to be all international.

    No such name seems to be registered at Companies House (where all limited companies are listed)

    anybody heard of them?


  2. #2
    Old Hand in the Biz Barbara R.'s Avatar
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    Hard to say, but I wouldn't submit. They're new, so no track record. They don't give their names or backgrounds. And then there's this:

    [[[[What publishers do you work with?
    Usually, we work with the major publishers but we are not limited to them.]]]

    If they're new, what does "usually" mean?

    [[[How much do you charge for your services?
    Please contact us and we will provide you the information.]]]

    Wrong answer. The right answer is "We charge the standard percentage: 15% for domestic, 20% for foreign and other subsidiary rights."

    But the absolute tip-off: they're seeking poetry and short story collections. Since these are virtually impossible to sell, I conclude that they're trolling for vanity-publishing clients.

  3. #3
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    Hi Barbara, yes, funny you should say that, I noticed it 5 mins after the above post, and nearly sprayed my tea across the room. Troll alert!


  4. #4
    Who's going for a beer? waylander's Avatar
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    Nothing on the site to indicate who the agents are and what experience they have.

    Would not touch with a ten foot pole.

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  5. #5
    The cake is a lie. But still cake. shaldna's Avatar
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    They say they have a proven track record, but there is no information about their agents or clients or recent deals at all.

    They are mentioned on Vaani.org as http://www.vaani.org/p/membership_03.html

    V has now established a partnership with a new and upcoming literary agency that focuses on women writing and specifically Asian women. The literary agency is SR Literary Agency Ltd based in London UK. The unsolicited submissions are invited so please go ahead and and get in touch with V to submit your initial proposal to them. They deal with fiction, non-fiction and poetry collections.


    But aside from that I couldn't really find anything about them.
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  6. #6
    Tired and Disillusioned Momento Mori's Avatar
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    SR Literary Agency Website:
    Hello and welcome to the online home of SR Literary Agency Ltd.
    I really hope that this is a typo because I did a search for SR Literary Agency Ltd on Companies House and nothing came up. It's a criminal offence under section 1197 of the Companies Act 2006 to hold yourself out as a limited company (i.e. use the word "Limited" in your company name) if you are not a duly incorporated and registered company. Both the entity and all officers of the same can be subjected to a fine for breach.

    SR Literary Agency Website:
    We are a newly founded literary agency, and hope to serve UK, and the rest of the world.
    There's no information on the website about its agents or rights managers and therefore nothing to indicate that they can serve either the UK or the rest of the world.

    SR Literary Agency Website:
    We offer a full range of literary agency services, ranging from small local projects to major national work, and everything in between.
    I have no idea what this means and I suspect that neither does SR Literary Agency.

    Agents represent manuscripts in particular genres and they sell the same.

    SR Literary Agency Website:
    We do not charge anything for the services we provide before we have found you a publisher of your choice. Please contact us for more information.
    That's good, but it doesn't seem to be born out on the rest of the site.

    Apologies but I've had to split the flog into 2 posts as the shitty formatting on their shitty site is throwing out my cut and paste.

    MM
    Last edited by Momento Mori; 01-16-2012 at 08:35 PM. Reason: Shitty website design for SR Literary Agency

  7. #7
    Tired and Disillusioned Momento Mori's Avatar
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    There's nothing on the website to indicate where in London this entity is based and that rings alarm bells for me. It's not unusual for an agency to only want electronic submissions, but you should always know where they're physically based.


    SR Literary Agency Website:
    Can I meet with you before submitting my work?
    Unfortunately, as interesting as this may sound, this is something that cannot be accomplished. When the Agency has decided to represent a writer, and an agreement has been reached, then a meeting is appropriate and possible.




    This isn't my experience with UK agents. Most want to meet with you or at least have a telephone conversation with you prior to making the offer of representation because it helps them to get an idea of what you're looking for in terms of a career and what you're like to work with. I'd be suspicious of anyone who doesn't want to meet you until after you've agreed a contract.


    SR Literary Agency Website:
    How long has the Agency been in business?
    SRLA is a new business.
    The fact that they can't even give a straight answer to their own FAQ question doesn't inspire confidence.

    SR Literary Agency Website:
    What publishers do you work with?
    Usually, we work with the major publishers but we are not limited to them.
    Uh-huh. In the absence of any information on your sales, I guess we have to take your work on that.


    SR Literary Agency Website:
    How much do you charge for your services?
    Please contact us and we will provide you the information.

    But ... you said that you didn't charge for your services. Was this a lie?

    SR Literary Agency Website:
    Should my work be copyrighted?
    As soon as a writer finishes a manuscript, it is automatically protected under copyright law. However, many writers are more comfortable securing an official copyright certificate prior to submitting their works to agents and editors. When a writer sells a project to a publisher, the publisher will register the copyright in the author's name.

    You don't need a copyright certificate to query an agent in the UK. It's a waste of your money to get one.

    SR Literary Agency Website:
    How do I know which agent is right for me and my project?
    First, find out which agents represent the type of work you have created. Second, trust your instinct. Although agents are a unique and persuasive breed, you should be able to tell whether an agent has read your project and loves it and wants it to become a success. You want an agent who will find an editor who loves your project, too. Of course, always have an agent with a successful sales record, like we do, and one who meets with publishers frequently.
    This is all good advice. Such a shame that the SR Literary Agency website doesn't contain details of its agents or their preferences or their sales history to allow you to check.

    MM

  8. #8
    The cake is a lie. But still cake. shaldna's Avatar
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    It's the complete lack of information that is troubling - no address, no agent names, no client information, no deals, nothing.

    Just an info@ email address.
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  9. #9
    Writer Beware Goddess Absolute Sage victoriastrauss's Avatar
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    SR Literary's domain is registered to Smita Rajesh, who also appears to be the chair of VAANI, based on her LinkedIn profile. Per the profile, she also appears to be the Director of J Publishing Company Ltd--which would seem to pose a conflict of interest with the literary agency.

    The verbiage on J Publishing's website suggests to me that there are fees involved. And--look here!--they seem to have published Ms. Rajesh's own book (using a pen name, but she claims the book on her LinkedIn page).

    - Victoria

  10. #10
    Tired and Disillusioned Momento Mori's Avatar
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    J Publishing Limited is a registered company in the UK BUT the bad news is that it's been late in filing its Annual Return so the Registrar of Companies has issued a first Gazette notice on 8th November 2011 with a view to striking the company off the register. If that happens, then the state can effectively put the company into insolvency.

    I notice from the J Publishing website that some books aren't due for release until April of this year. If this is the case then I'd strongly recommend those authors to look to get their rights assigned back to them now because if the company goes under, it is open to the liquidator to keep those rights or sell them onto third parties without your consent. A liquidator could also make an author buy the rights back at what s/he determines to be a fair price.

    MM

  11. #11
    The cake is a lie. But still cake. shaldna's Avatar
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    and suddenly it's all so much clearer. this is why I love this board.
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  12. #12
    Wilde about Oscar aliceshortcake's Avatar
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    J Publishing Company sings the same old song: http://www.jpublishingcompany.co.uk/p/services.html

    At J Publishing Company we want to help writers see their work in print. We understand the feeling that motivates a writer to write and one they feel when looking at the final printed producted.
    Nice proofreading!

    Over the last ten years the publishing industry has undergone rapid change, driven by business pressures and multinational companies.
    Change driven by multinational companies? I'm not sure what they're trying to say.

    As the publishing industry is changing so is the author's mindset. They no longer want to feel that rejection from all corners firstly by the literary Agents and then by publishers.
    I would suggest that at least part of this change in the author's mindset is due to entitlement - "I've written a book and I deserve to be published!" - and the culture of instant gratification.

    As a direct result, there are now fewer major publishing companies in the UK, and those that do exist concentrate on publishing high volume titles that have a proven track record, or publishing books by big names, TV tie-ins, and the like.
    Oh, FFS. Do the people who write this sort of nonsense ever set foot in an actual bookshop? Every time I visit my local Waterstone's I come across novels by unknown first-time writers, some of them published by the big-name publishers and some by small presses who still manage to achieve bookshop placement.

    So, more titles are being published but, paradoxically, there is less opportunity for new authors to get that elusive publishing contract. And in an industry already over-subscribed with submissions from would-be authors, that has created a black hole for most writers intent upon publication.
    At least 90% of the stuff sent to publishers doesn't have a snowball in hell's chance of being published. It's either not good enough or not commercial. All the authorial enthusiasm in the world will not make the book-reading public buy unreadable self-published books, not that there's much chance of them stumbling across these doomed volumes on Amazon.

    I'm also amused by the number of non-J Publishing titles available from their bookshop!
    http://www.jpublishingcompany.co.uk/p/book-shop.html
    Last edited by aliceshortcake; 01-17-2012 at 06:29 PM.

  13. #13
    Writer is as Writer does Terie's Avatar
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    They no longer want to feel that rejection from all corners firstly by the literary Agents and then by publishers.
    Right. Because, yanno, until the last ten years, I (and every other writer I know) wanted to feel rejection.
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  14. #14
    Wilde about Oscar aliceshortcake's Avatar
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    You little masochist, you!

  15. #15
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    SRLiterary Agency is a legal entity. It is a fairly new company as stated on the website. It doesn't deal with vanity publishers. J Publishing Company is a small and recent publishing company and offers both traditional publishing deals and publishing services to its clients. This is done even by many well known publishing names in the industry due to current market status. Please contact the respective companies directly with any further queries. Thanks.

  16. #16
    Girl Detective Stacia Kane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SRLiteraryAgency View Post
    SRLiterary Agency is a legal entity. It is a fairly new company as stated on the website. It doesn't deal with vanity publishers.
    So who does it deal with? What are its most recent sales? Who are the agents working there and what is their publishing experience/background?


    J Publishing Company is a small and recent publishing company and offers both traditional publishing deals and publishing services to its clients.
    What does that mean, exactly? Do you offer advances? What is your distribution? What is your royalty rate? What rights do you take?

    Who are your employees and what is their publishing experience and background? What "publishing services" do you provide--are you saying (as I think you are) that you are also a vanity press, or offer services like paid editing?


    This is done even by many well known publishing names in the industry due to current market status.
    Yeah, the fact that a few publishers offer vanity publishing doesn't mean "many well known publishing names in the industry" do so or support it, or that it's a good thing to do.

    And "current market status?" What, you mean the "status" that most publishers are doing just fine and reporting profits pretty much in line with what they've been for years?

    Please contact the respective companies directly with any further queries. Thanks.
    Or you could answer our questions here, seeing as how you showed up to join the conversation.
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  17. #17
    Tired and Disillusioned Momento Mori's Avatar
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    SRLiteraryAgency:
    SRLiterary Agency is a legal entity.
    I didn't say that it wasn't a legal entity. I said it wasn't a registered company and according to Companies House website, it still isn't a registered company. And unfortunately for you, it is still a criminal offence to hold yourself out as a registered company when you are not duly registered with Companies House. I'm doing you a favour by telling you this because if someone should let your local Trading Standards office know about your website, Smita, then you're leaving yourself open to a date at your local magistrate's court. So sort your website out.

    SRLiteraryAgency:
    It is a fairly new company as stated on the website.
    No, it isn't a fairly new company. It is not a company. It is not registered on Companies House. If you persist in holding yourself out as a company, Smita, then I'm going to call Essex Trading Standards myself and shop your misleading arse to the authorities.

    SRLiteraryAgency:
    J Publishing Company is a small and recent publishing company and offers both traditional publishing deals and publishing services to its clients
    J Publishing Company Limited is still, as at today's date, subject to a procedure to be struck off by Companies House for failure to maintain records.

    As for being a recent company, it was formed in 2010, so it's not that recent and for a new company, you fell foul of the authorities remarkably quickly.

    Seriously, it is not hard to keep your filings up to date.

    SRLiteraryAgency:
    Please contact the respective companies directly with any further queries.
    I'd love to, Smita, but one of your companies doesn't exist and the other doesn't look like it'll be around for much longer.

    MM

  18. #18
    The cake is a lie. But still cake. shaldna's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SRLiteraryAgency View Post
    SRLiterary Agency is a legal entity.
    Can you define 'legal entity' for us please, just so we all understand the context?

    I ask because the website claims that the company is a Private Limited Company ( 'Ltd' ) except it's not registered as such, so some clarification would be appreciated.


    It is a fairly new company as stated on the website. It doesn't deal with vanity publishers.
    But who DOES it deal with? What recent deals has it done? Who are it's agents and what are their experience? Who are the clients? While I understand the desire for secrecy when a deal has not been formalized, I find it highly suspicious when there is NO information at all.


    J Publishing Company is a small and recent publishing company and offers both traditional publishing deals and publishing services to its clients.
    Publishing services? I presume you are referring to pay for editing etc?

    This is done even by many well known publishing names in the industry due to current market status.
    No. It's really not.
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  19. #19
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Dear Momento Mori
    The very fact that I have bothered to create a login id here shows that I can stand my own ground here. Thanks for your constant advice but please keep in mind that if I have started a company I would know what is legal and what is not. If I have one registered company then I would have other one registered too. There's a thing called trading name. Please do not bother going to any authorities as it would be a waste of time on your part.

    I feel insulted by these comments when I have not been contacted for information by even one of these people who think they know so much about me. I am a person who is working hard to do something here, if there's a delay in filing my company accounts its my problem and I'm fully capable of dealing with it. Just because I own a few companies you have no rights to judge me.

    I am a hard working, honest person and am trying to establish a business here. A business doesn't become big overnight and I am not a rich person, only investing my own hard earned tax paid savings and hard work to help like minded writers. My intentions are honest and I go out of my way to help authors who deserve to be heard.

    I cannot tell you my whole story here but please before jumping all the guns you could've very easily contacted me and asked these questions given that you've obviously spent some time to research me. These are the very first rules of any investigation that you should get your facts right before tarnishing someone's reputation. If I would've refused answers then you could've continued with your personal investigation/vendetta on me.

  20. #20
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Also some facts for those who are interested, by the time this discussion started SR Literary Agency Ltd registered quite obviously as Smita Rajesh Literary Agency Ltd was already under dissolution. Even though I do not need to say this but just to underline, I have all the documents to prove this. The reason was very simple, as pointed out by someone here, it was also conflicting with my other interests and I had to make a decision which I did.
    The reason why I bothered to reply in this forum was simple, the members were not only targeting the literary agency they were also targeting, my other companies and most importantly my own reputation by being personal and mean without bothering to get all their facts right.

  21. #21
    Such a nasty woman SuperModerator Old Hack's Avatar
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    According to Companies House, the Smita Rajesh Literary Agency was dissolved on 21 February of this year.

    The website linked to in the first post in this thread now returns a 404 error (which means there isn't anything at that address any more), but on 25 February of this year--that's four days after the company was officially dissolved--the website was still in place, and still claiming to be a limited company.

    VAANI's website still claims that SR Literary agency is one of its supporting partners.

    I see nothing inherently scammy here: quite the opposite. I wouldn't mind betting that the people behind this company are honest and full of integrity, and filled with good intentions. However, when I look for a publisher I prefer one with appropriate experience and a strong track-record of publishing good books which sell in good number. I see none of that here, and with all due respect to the publisher under discussion see nothing which would make me keen to submit to them.

  22. #22
    Girl Detective Stacia Kane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SRLiteraryAgency View Post
    Dear Momento Mori
    The very fact that I have bothered to create a login id here shows that I can stand my own ground here. Thanks for your constant advice but please keep in mind that if I have started a company I would know what is legal and what is not.
    Momento Mori is a solicitor. I think I'll trust her to say what is legal and what is not, especially when public records show that you do not in fact know.


    If I have one registered company then I would have other one registered too.
    Except you didn't, correct?

    There's a thing called trading name.

    There's a thing called the law, which dictates what you're allowed to use as a trading name.



    I feel insulted by these comments when I have not been contacted for information by even one of these people who think they know so much about me. I am a person who is working hard to do something here, if there's a delay in filing my company accounts its my problem and I'm fully capable of dealing with it. Just because I own a few companies you have no rights to judge me.

    So there was a delay in filing your accounts, then? But didn't you say above that there wasn't and you know what is legal and what is not, thus implying that you would never have violated those laws?

    And actually, when you open a business, people have every right to judge its quality. Every right in the world. That's how business actually, you know, works: consumers make judgments and put their money or their work or whatever else behind those judgments.

    If consumers did not have the right to make such judgments we wouldn't have a free market system. We would have a communistic one, and no one would need literary agencies or vanity presses because consumers would not be able to buy books.

    Surely as a businesswoman you understand that?


    I am a hard working, honest person and am trying to establish a business here. A business doesn't become big overnight and I am not a rich person, only investing my own hard earned tax paid savings and hard work to help like minded writers. My intentions are honest and I go out of my way to help authors who deserve to be heard.
    No one has said you're a rich person. No one has said your intentions aren't honest. No one has said you're a bad person.

    What we have said, and are saying, is that "agent" and/or "publisher" are NOT entry-level jobs, and publishing is a very complex business that takes time to learn. What we have said, and are saying, is that you know nothing about publishing, that your business(es) were/are not properly registered, that your website is confusing and vague, that your editing and written communication skills are subpar, and that you seem to have absolutely zero experience in publishing, which means signing with either your agency or publishing house is not a good idea for a writer who wishes to have a career or books in stores or even make pocket change from his or her books.

    We do actually know the industry, which means we are actually more qualified than you are to make those judgments.


    Want to prove us wrong? It's very simple. Tell us your experience (your verifiable experience) in commercial publishing. Give us a list of verifiable sales to publishers who require agents to submit. Give us concrete facts.

    I cannot tell you my whole story here but please before jumping all the guns you could've very easily contacted me and asked these questions given that you've obviously spent some time to research me.
    Why can't you tell us your experience? That's the one and only thing that would change our minds.

    We are under zero obligation to contact you. And we don't need to. Your website tells us everything we need to know, because again, we actually know what it should say as opposed to what it does say; we know what to look for; we know the players in the industry; we know the correct terms you failed to use.


    These are the very first rules of any investigation that you should get your facts right before tarnishing someone's reputation. If I would've refused answers then you could've continued with your personal investigation/vendetta on me.

    But you haven't actually given us any answers, just sort of vague declarations and accusations. What facts did we actually get wrong? Please do tell us. I'm sure we'd all be happy to know.

    If you want us to stop saying you have no experience and there is no evidence you can sell books, it's very easy. Share your experience. Give us your credentials. And then we'll apologize and be done with it.

    But the fact that you failed to do what any actual industry professional would have done and immediately given us those tells us what we already knew: you have none.


    Quote Originally Posted by SRLiteraryAgency View Post
    Also some facts for those who are interested, by the time this discussion started SR Literary Agency Ltd registered quite obviously as Smita Rajesh Literary Agency Ltd was already under dissolution. Even though I do not need to say this but just to underline, I have all the documents to prove this. The reason was very simple, as pointed out by someone here, it was also conflicting with my other interests and I had to make a decision which I did.
    Okay, so you claimed the company was called SR Literary Agency Ltd., and referred to it publicly under that name and ONLY that name, but it was not actually called that or registered under that name? And we were supposed to know this how? Should Momento Mori have spent several hours checking random possibilities for what "SR" could have meant--Super Rad, Spider Rite, Silly Records, Sad Rickshaw, etc.--in hopes that "SR" might mean one of those? Should be all have just automatically known that the company name you claimed on your website was not the actual NAME?

    Claiming it's our fault for not researching properly when you gave misinformation is like telling a child all their lives that the color "blue" is called "chair," and then blaming them for not figuring out that you were kidding.


    So you closed the agency because one of the comments here made you realize it was a conflict of interest? I'm glad you realized it was a conflict, but again, if you actually had any experience in or knowledge of publishing you wouldn't have needed to be told that. You would have known already.


    The reason why I bothered to reply in this forum was simple, the members were not only targeting the literary agency they were also targeting, my other companies and most importantly my own reputation by being personal and mean without bothering to get all their facts right.
    No one is being personal. Show me one place where a personal comment is made about you, other than comments about your professional qualifications. Those are not "personal." They are pertinent.

    No one is being mean. We're sorry you don't like what we're saying, but it's not meanness. It's the desire to keep writers from being hurt and victimized. Again, this is not personal. I'm sure you're a fine person and you take food to the elderly and smile at babies and whatever else. But I don't care. because this isn't about whether or not you're a good person, it's about whether or not you are a publishing professional in whom authors should place their trust, and unfortunately, I'm afraid the answer is no.

    Again, go ahead and prove me wrong.
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  23. #23
    The cake is a lie. But still cake. shaldna's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SRLiteraryAgency View Post
    Dear Momento Mori
    The very fact that I have bothered to create a login id here shows that I can stand my own ground here. Thanks for your constant advice but please keep in mind that if I have started a company I would know what is legal and what is not.
    Please don't get defensive and angry. No one is attacking you. There were questions and points raised which were based on information which is freely available to the public - including information which you have placed on your own site.


    I feel insulted by these comments when I have not been contacted for information by even one of these people who think they know so much about me.
    Again, all I see are people raising points based on the information you have provided to the public. This is the same information that anyone considering dealing with you in a professional capacity will also have access to.


    I am a person who is working hard to do something here, if there's a delay in filing my company accounts its my problem and I'm fully capable of dealing with it. Just because I own a few companies you have no rights to judge me.
    If you can't file your accounts on time then why should I, as a writer, think that you would pay me on time? As pointed out, not filing your accounts on time can have serious knock on effects for the company. It's not a personal attack, it's a serious question about a business matter.

    I am a hard working, honest person and am trying to establish a business here. A business doesn't become big overnight and I am not a rich person, only investing my own hard earned tax paid savings and hard work to help like minded writers. My intentions are honest and I go out of my way to help authors who deserve to be heard.
    This alone is worrying. I'm married to a publisher, so I know all about the costs involved for starting up these sort of businesses. You simply cannot do it on your savings. There is no fallback, no cushion. In addition, there is no distinction between your money and the companies money. There are lots of grants out there for creative companies, and the government runs lots of local schemes and business support centres which can help you formulate a business plan, source and apply for funding etc, and it's all free.


    I cannot tell you my whole story here but please before jumping all the guns you could've very easily contacted me and asked these questions given that you've obviously spent some time to research me.
    Again, if I was considering your company I would do a brief search and if I wasn't seeing things that inspired me then I wouldn't bother. Most writers are like that. The fact remains that there are some issues with the way the companies are presented to the public.

    In addition - there have been many questions asked on this thread, including questions I have asked, all of which remain unanswered by yourself. If you can't respond to a simple question here, then why should I bother to email you with it?


    These are the very first rules of any investigation that you should get your facts right before tarnishing someone's reputation. If I would've refused answers then you could've continued with your personal investigation/vendetta on me.
    Seriously, stop with the dramatics. The only one who is potentially tarnishing your reputation here is you.

    As a businesswoman you should be aware that histeronics in public places dont' help your reputation. No one has a vendetta against you - trust me, we don't care that much.

    But there were serious questions asked, and points raised which were cause for concern for anyone who was considering dealing with you or your company(ies). These are queries and concerns that would have been raised with anyone, it's nothing personal and it's not about you. It's about your business and business practices. If you have nothing to hide then you have nothing to worry about.
    TORCHWOOD - where the slash is canon

    Yes, I read Twilight. Yes, I hate it. No, I don't have to give you a reason why.


    Here be snark : www.clairewriteswords.wordpress.com

  24. #24
    Hapless Virago IceCreamEmpress's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    6,442
    Since the company is dissolved, per Smita Rajesh's comment #20, the discussion of SR Literary Agency is moot.

    As for J Publishing, I wouldn't recommend it based on the lack of general business acumen and publishing-industry-specific knowledge Ms. Rajesh has displayed to date. Well-intentioned, honest, generous people who don't know how to run a publishing business successfully may be lovely as neighbors or dinner guests, but as publishers I would personally steer clear.


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