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Thread: Writer Beware's 20 Worst Agents

  1. #26
    Charlie502
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    I wish I had found this board and this topic sooner.
    I thought New York Literary Agency was legit and paid them $85.
    They said it was an evaluation fee. I fell for it.
    Yeah it was stupid, I know that now. I guess we all learn as we go.

  2. #27
    Gone
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    Quote Originally Posted by Charlie502
    I wish I had found this board and this topic sooner.
    I thought New York Literary Agency was legit and paid them $85.
    They said it was an evaluation fee. I fell for it.
    Yeah it was stupid, I know that now. I guess we all learn as we go.
    Don't ever think you're stupid for being conned, friend. Con men are very good at what they do. They make it convincing. Don't kick yourself for falling for it. Appreciate that you're wiser now, and work to educate yourself even more, but don't call yourself stupid, okay?

    Welcome to AW. Hope you hang around.
    Winner of Uncle Jim's Whoo Hoo Super Writer Award and Nomad's Most Use of Vowels in a Screen Name Award as well as Maryn's Only Person on AW Whose Name Anagrams to "I, Octane," "Act I (One)" and "Nice tao" Award in addition to batgirl's Culpeper Award for Botanically Erudite Screen Name plus awatkins' AW's Most Creative Srounger [sic] of Rep Points Award not to mention azbikergirl's Arizona Most Awarded Writer Award and also Dawno's Most Interesting Signature Line Award

  3. #28
    NewroticGirl
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    Angry I just had to join and post...

    Sad to say, I briefly WORKED for BBLA.

    What a scam. You think $300 for representation is bad? When I was there, she charged something like $675 a year.

    *shaking head*

    Her "office" was her garage -- without heat. To keep me warm while I worked, she did laundry -- the dryer vented into the garage. If she ran out of laundry, the work day was over.

  4. #29
    I write novels
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    Interesting.... When I checked the new posts at the Speculations Rumormill, I found three posts, all from the same IP address, making bogus complaints about Uncle Jim and Victoria Strauss. My guess is that it's someone from the Writer Beware list. Other guesses?

  5. #30
    Still Here! Alan Yee's Avatar
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    I think that any complaints about Uncle Jim, Victoria Strauss, or Ann Crispin are only written by scammers who know those three are spreading the word about them. There's no other explanation.

  6. #31
    a work in progress
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    Quote Originally Posted by NewroticGirl
    Her "office" was her garage -- without heat. To keep me warm while I worked, she did laundry -- the dryer vented into the garage. If she ran out of laundry, the work day was over.
    That's freakin' hysterical. I mean, in hindsight, of course. But still--I wish I'd made this one up. I may end up stealing it for a short story.
    Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little (Niki)

    Author, occasionally published. Watch this space for more, or visit the amazing actually writing blog. (It actually writes!)

  7. #32
    Stephen S. Power
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    clarification

    I'm a senior editor at Wiley. I would like to clarify that two of these agencies, The Literary Agency Group and The Robins Agency, should not be confused with those of two far more well-regarded agencies, The Literary Group International and The Robbins (two b's) Agency.

  8. #33
    Apex Predator Jaws's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aconite
    Don't ever think you're stupid for being conned, friend. Con men are very good at what they do. They make it convincing. Don't kick yourself for falling for it. Appreciate that you're wiser now, and work to educate yourself even more, but don't call yourself stupid, okay?
    Absolutely. I represent authors who've been conned. Two of my clients are doctors, four are university professors… and one is a judge. They did nothing wrong other than believe plausible lies. That's how cons work, folks: They're designed to not only separate people from their money, but keep them from realizing they've been had afterward.
    CEP
    blawg: Scrivener's Error (includes links to main site)
    Any legal comments in this message are general commentary only, and not legal advice
    for your specific situation. You should not rely on such comments — or any other published
    comments, by me or anyone else — as anything other than general guidance.
    Unfortunately, no scam agents, vanity publishers, or other similar carrion-eaters were bent,
    folded, spindled, or mutilated in creating this post (not for want of motivation).
    Of course it's "fine print" — it's small and red.

  9. #34
    Your Genial Uncle Absolute Sage James D. Macdonald's Avatar
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    It's a common trick for scammers of all varieties to take names that are very similar to legitimate firms.

  10. #35
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stephen S. Power
    I'm a senior editor at Wiley. I would like to clarify that two of these agencies, The Literary Agency Group and The Robins Agency, should not be confused with those of two far more well-regarded agencies, The Literary Group International and The Robbins (two b's) Agency.
    Excellent point, sir, thanks for dropping in to make it.

    Trident Media and Noble House are two others off the top of my head. All the more reason to make sure one has the exact and full name of the entity being researched.
    ICAO
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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:

  11. #36
    practical experience, FTW
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    I'll add my name to the chorus of "me toos" -- if you don't mind I'll put it on my site in the next few days.

    Bleh. I hate scammers.

    Leva
    Last edited by Leva; 04-24-2006 at 10:24 PM.

  12. #37
    The Arthurian Addict. FolkloreFanatic's Avatar
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    I really, really hate it when scammers take similar names, because it means that I automatically distrust the similar-sounding names. Bastards.

  13. #38
    Hagiographically Advantaged AW Moderator HapiSofi's Avatar
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    Newrotic, you worked for Barbara Bauer? More! Tell us more! I am just transplendently eager to hear all about it.
    Winner of the Best Drycleaner on the Block Award.

  14. #39
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Quote Originally Posted by NicoleJLeBoeuf
    That's freakin' hysterical. I mean, in hindsight, of course. But still--I wish I'd made this one up. I may end up stealing it for a short story.
    Hah! I had the exact same thought!

    Karen

  15. #40
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Hi Victoria

    I saw your list of 20 worst agencyies. I have come close to going with NY literary agency and the Robins agency. I noticed "BK Nelson" agency. Is that the same one that has an office in Colorado? She goes under "The Nelson Agency" i believe

    thanks

    first time writer (tonyb)

  16. #41
    Megalops Erectus Silver King's Avatar
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    Are you referring to Kristin Nelson? If so, she's wholly legit. (I'm not an expert on these affairs, however, so please wait for 2nd and 3rd opinions.)

    You can visit her blog here: http://pubrants.blogspot.com/

  17. #42
    Your Genial Uncle Absolute Sage James D. Macdonald's Avatar
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    BK Nelson, one of the Twenty Worst:

    http://www.bknelson.com/

    Kristin Nelson, completely legitimate:

    http://www.nelsonagency.com/

    Remember what I said about scammers taking names very similar to legitimate companies, hoping to profit by the confusion?

  18. #43
    annoyed and annoying roach's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by James D. Macdonald
    BK Nelson, one of the Twenty Worst:

    http://www.bknelson.com/

    Kristin Nelson, completely legitimate:

    http://www.nelsonagency.com/

    Remember what I said about scammers taking names very similar to legitimate companies, hoping to profit by the confusion?
    Does anyone know if legit agencies have gone after scammers for trademark infringement? Maybe it wouldn't be worth the price of pursuing the scammers in court but I wonder if they (legitimate agents) wouldn't have an interest in preserving their name brand when it is clear that such confusion exists.
    Eggplant Literary Productions,
    A small electronic speculative fiction publisher.

  19. #44
    5 W's & an H Sassenach's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by roach
    Does anyone know if legit agencies have gone after scammers for trademark infringement? Maybe it wouldn't be worth the price of pursuing the scammers in court but I wonder if they (legitimate agents) wouldn't have an interest in preserving their name brand when it is clear that such confusion exists.

    Names aren't trademarks.
    I feel God in this Chili's.
    -Pam Beesley









  20. #45
    Grumpy writer and editor Absolute Sage Gillhoughly's Avatar
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    The only writers listed with BKNelson I never heard of; the books listed are apparently available only through Nelson, not Amazon or other venues. There is nothing on forthcoming titles, they're stingy with practical information, and what's with that guest speaker stuff?

    On my agent's site there is an extensive list of dozens and dozens of writers I have heard of (and read!), links to their websites, and lists under each name of books sold through the agency.

    On my former agent's website: another long list of clients and books sold, click on a name, go to a website.

    On the website of an agent I've heard mentioned most of my professional life: a lengthy list of recent and forthcoming books, plus a notice that they will only look at MS from writers who have sold to bona fide publishers. (Guess that leaves out Publish America. )

    So...there's three legit agencies with certain points in common: lists of writers, links to websites, books out, books to come, and submissions guidelines. I found all the details in less than 5 minutes worth of googling, and not one trace of rocket science know-how was needed.

    And then there is the "mystery agency." I'm thinking the only way to get more info from it is to become skilled in the ol' Vulcan mind meld...only I don't wanna get that close to anything that smells THAT fishy!

  21. #46
    Now departed. Rest in peace, Scott, from all of us at AW Requiescat In Pace Popeyesays's Avatar
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    The BK Nelson Literary Agency and Lecture Bureau can assist authors and speakers in many areas. Prices are charged on a project by project basis. If you have a question about a particular service listed below please call or write to us today.

    Literary Representation Self Publishing Consultation Manuscript Evaluation Editing Published Writer Promotions Ghost Writing Book Sales Professional Speakers Affiliate Program

    I think I got the real killers in red ink - red being the universal symbol for DANGER

    I sent an agent query to the lady in Denver today.

    Regards,
    Scott
    [B]Okay, damnit, I blog [URL]http://cscottsaylorsbooks.blogspot.com/[/URL][/B]
    [B]Sword of the Dajjal[/B] e-book, [SIZE=2]Published by BooksForABuck.com May, 2007 ISBN: 978-1-602-052-2 [URL]http://www.booksforabuck.com/sfpages/sf_07/sword_dajjal.html[/URL][/SIZE]
    Out in print early 2008 from Blu Phi'er[URL="http://www.fictionwise.com/eBooks/eBook47261.htm?cached"][/URL]
    [B]Jars of Doom[/B] out mid 2008 from Blu Phi'er
    [URL]http://www.bluphier.com/[/URL]

  22. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by roach
    Does anyone know if legit agencies have gone after scammers for trademark infringement? Maybe it wouldn't be worth the price of pursuing the scammers in court but I wonder if they (legitimate agents) wouldn't have an interest in preserving their name brand when it is clear that such confusion exists.
    Forbes did something along those lines (IIRC, to C. Lee Nunn's agency, which was using the Forbes name to imply a connection that didn't exist).
    Winner of Uncle Jim's Whoo Hoo Super Writer Award and Nomad's Most Use of Vowels in a Screen Name Award as well as Maryn's Only Person on AW Whose Name Anagrams to "I, Octane," "Act I (One)" and "Nice tao" Award in addition to batgirl's Culpeper Award for Botanically Erudite Screen Name plus awatkins' AW's Most Creative Srounger [sic] of Rep Points Award not to mention azbikergirl's Arizona Most Awarded Writer Award and also Dawno's Most Interesting Signature Line Award

  23. #48
    haz a shiny new book cover Christine N.'s Avatar
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    No, names aren't trademarks - business names are part of the businesses' image, though. Or else Encycolpedia Brittanica wouldn't have won a settlement from PA/PB.
    Christine

    Young Adult Fantasy Author

    A CURSE OF ASH AND IRON: Coming Spring 2015 from Curiosity Quills Press

    "The Watchmaker's Ball" (short story), to be included in BEWARE THE LITTLE WHITE RABBIT (anthology), coming April 14 from Leap Books


    Represented by Jordy Albert of Booker Albert Literary

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  24. #49
    Apex Predator Jaws's Avatar
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    I'm afraid the following comment is incorrect on many levels.
    Quote Originally Posted by Christine N.
    No, names aren't trademarks - business names are part of the businesses' image, though. Or else Encycolpedia Brittanica wouldn't have won a settlement from PA/PB.
    • Names are trademarks
    • EB's complaint was for trademark infringement
    • In IP disputes, settlements often have as much to do with the perceived cost of litigating as with the merits of the case


    Trademarks are both easier and harder to use as a basis for a lawsuit.
    • On the one hand, a trademark (generically, "mark," as there are also "service marks" and marks based upon geographical origin, among other variants) need not be registered. They need not be exclusive, as marks can be limited by the type of commercial interest they represent (for example, "Ford Motor Company" and "Ford Dairy Farm" can both use the mark "Ford" for their respective purposes). Mere use of a mark is not inherently an infringement, as infringement requires (at least as the law stands today) use in the stream of commerce.
    • On the other hand, one must also demonstrate likelihood of confusion, not just copying, to win a trademark infringement action. This usually requires consumer-preference and -confusion surveys, expert opinion, and a lot of money. The remedies available for copyright infringement are also a lot more attractive than those available for trademark infringement, except in the most egregious circumstances.

    Authors grievously underestimate and misunderstand trademark theory and how it applies to publishing. As a general rule, most authors—and even a lot of lawyers—consider only copyright law relevant to whether something is an inappropriate copying or borrowing. Too often, the courts have let litigants get away with that, but largely for procedural reasons well beyond the scope of anything on an Internet discussion forum.
    CEP
    blawg: Scrivener's Error (includes links to main site)
    Any legal comments in this message are general commentary only, and not legal advice
    for your specific situation. You should not rely on such comments — or any other published
    comments, by me or anyone else — as anything other than general guidance.
    Unfortunately, no scam agents, vanity publishers, or other similar carrion-eaters were bent,
    folded, spindled, or mutilated in creating this post (not for want of motivation).
    Of course it's "fine print" — it's small and red.

  25. #50
    RMealey
    Guest

    NY Literary Agency

    Thank you for the list, wish I was aware before I contacted the above firm and I guess Whitmore Publishing of PA. Both whose contacts I got from Firstwriter.com

    Frankly this is all new to me but one just doesnt know where to go to deal with honest agents. NYLA accepted my partial manuscript and now states it needs to be edited, I accept that but after reading about them in Writers.net, here I hesitant to even consider further interaction.

    As to Whitmore Publishing also reviewing my manuscript, again Im now hesitant.

    I am a novice at this Im simply writing a book others have told me they have enjoyed what they have read thus far and maybe merits to be published. But I seem to have opened a pandoras box not knowing whom to trust.

    Thanks for pointing where I should not tread.
    Last edited by victoriastrauss; 05-14-2006 at 02:03 AM. Reason: Edited to remove long quote of original message

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