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Thread: [Agency] Sassafras Book

  1. #1
    figuring it all out
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    [Agency] Sassafras Book

    Hello everyone,

    I am just curious if anyone has any knowledge of this agent: Michael Suswal and Donna Morris from Sassafras Book. They come up on www.agentquery.com as a new agent. According to their profile, they have limited experience as an agent, and according to their website, they talk indepth about the digital market and how they act as your publisher in the digital realm. Has anyone know or heard of Sassafras Book? Their submission guidelines seems odd... they request a query letter with the full manuscript as a Pdf-file. I never heard of an agent who goes straight for the full manuscript off-the-bat.

    What I gathered from their site is that they have 3 clients but no sales to go with it. As a writer, I would like to have an agent with some sort of sales record. I included a link straight to their website, if anyone wants to check it out. Would anyone here feel comfortable sending their manuscript to them? Just curious...

    http://sites.google.com/a/sassafrasb...sassafrasbook/

    Thanks...

  2. #2
    Not as sweet as you think Aggy B.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stargazer11 View Post
    Hello everyone,

    I am just curious if anyone has any knowledge of this agent: Michael Suswal and Donna Morris from Sassafras Book. They come up on www.agentquery.com as a new agent. According to their profile, they have limited experience as an agent, and according to their website, they talk indepth about the digital market and how they act as your publisher in the digital realm. Has anyone know or heard of Sassafras Book? Their submission guidelines seems odd... they request a query letter with the full manuscript as a Pdf-file. I never heard of an agent who goes straight for the full manuscript off-the-bat.

    What I gathered from their site is that they have 3 clients but no sales to go with it. As a writer, I would like to have an agent with some sort of sales record. I included a link straight to their website, if anyone wants to check it out. Would anyone here feel comfortable sending their manuscript to them? Just curious...

    http://sites.google.com/a/sassafrasb...sassafrasbook/

    Thanks...
    Personally, I would not be comfortable sending them anything. The book blurbs on their site are not well written (to my mind). (Not to mention the site itself is hard to read and unappealing.)

    There's very little there that inspires my confidence in Sassafras Book's ability to represent my work well.

    (Also, this might be better in the Bewares, Recommendations & Background Check forum.)

    Aggy, killing it with parentheses today
    _________
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    OF LIPS AND TONGUE
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    OF SHADE AND SOUL: Available now!


    A.G. Carpenter
    @Aggy_C

  3. #3
    Such a nasty woman SuperModerator Old Hack's Avatar
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    Moving this from Ask The Agent to BR&BC.

  4. #4
    Just the facts, please
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    They claim digital publishing expertise, yet don't spend the few bucks it takes for a domain of their own? Pass and don't look back.

  5. #5
    Your Genial Uncle Absolute Sage James D. Macdonald's Avatar
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    Amateurs. Pass.

  6. #6
    Grr. Argh. Thedrellum's Avatar
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    From the bio of their Acquisitions Editor, which is not a good sign:

    "Donna has studies English literature and grammar at the masters level and has years of teaching experience."

    Also, from the site I'm confused as to whether they are acting as agents or publishers (or both). As others have said: Pass.

  7. #7
    Wilde about Oscar aliceshortcake's Avatar
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    I'm confused. From the Sassafras website:

    Sassafras works in both the print and digital space. When going to print, it is important to bring the author’s book in front of the right editor. Publishers work with particular genres, but they also each have their own personality that needs to considered before approaching one of their editors. Sassafras has the relationships to instinctually know which manuscripts work for which publishers.

    Additionally, we have experience organizing the correct format of the “pitch” to each editor’s preferences. In the digital space, Sassafras acts as your publisher. Anyone with the knowledge of the digital market share and how to convert files can self-publish, but to have a successful book run is much harder. Four of the top ten books sold on Amazon in 2011 were self-published, but they were expertly marketed. Strong, consistent, and constant marketing are absolutely necessary to make money in the digital space. After all, marketing and distribution are the main jobs of a print publisher, so why not of a digital publisher too?
    FromDonna Morris' AgentQuery profile:

    Sassafras isn't as interested in the kind of book as much as the quality of book. We also look for authors who are willing to stand on their proverbial soapbox to promote their book.
    http://agentquery.com/agent.aspx?agentid=1189
    So - Sassafras is a digital publisher with no books AND an agency with three unpublished clients?

    More about president Michael Suswal:

    Serial entrepreneur and Literary Agent; Michael has been working in the publishing industry for three years. He has acquired in depth knowledge of all digital platforms and technologies and has contacts with dozens of acquisition editors at dozens of publishers in the book publishing world as well as contacts with magazines, comics, and audio books. He has been to the 3 largest book fairs in the last few years. He has been to London Book Fair, Book Expo America (NY), and Frankfurt Book fair, and has closed digital publishing deals at all of them. He has done marketing for various successful projects in publishing and other industries.
    https://sites.google.com/a/sassafras...ok/our-company
    From his LinkedIn profile:

    Business Development Manager (Commissioned)
    Language World Digital
    March 2012 – February 2013 (1 year)Seoul, Korea
    Language World Digital is the leading company in Korea bringing English language books to the market. Delivering great books to schools, libraries, and straight to the consumer.
    Michael works with publishers to help them get their content into a blossoming market.

    Business Licensing
    SmartEbook.com
    July 2010 – December 2011 (1 year 6 months)New York, NY
    Working with the world's largest publishing companies to license and distribute their books, magazines, comics, movies, audiobooks, etc. through a digitial platform. Opening new channels for sales, maintain relationships, manage development of applications, and consult on marketing strategies.
    http://www.linkedin.com/pub/michael-suswal/21/454/51b
    Finally, from the SB 'Team' page:

    Others
    Sassafras works with several others on an as needed basis, such as editors and media outlets, and can therefore provide authors with a high level of service and advice.
    https://sites.google.com/a/sassafras...ok/our-company
    I'm relieved to know that the person responsible for the poor writing on SB's website won't be editing their books.

  8. #8
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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    No change to site. Of the authors listed, Din Payne's book was published Oct '14 by Solstice (under the name Din Ka).

    ETA: No further activity. Burghley has since self-published. No sign of Hadi.
    Last edited by CaoPaux; 02-13-2017 at 05:18 AM. Reason: updating w/o bumping
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