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Thread: [Agency] Inkwell Management

  1. #1
    erich v
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    [Agency] Inkwell Management

    Carlisle & Company literary agents, on their website, require writers who submit their product to agree to certain terms. Most of these terms seem fine with me, except this following stipulation:

    "Carlisle & Company and/or any of its clients may have created, may create, or may otherwise have access to materials, ideas, and creative works which may be similar or identical to the Material with regard to theme, motifs, plots, characters, formats, or other attributes; and (v) I shall not be entitled to any compensation because of the proposed use or use of any such similar or identical material that may be or may have been created by Carlisle & Company and/or any of its clients or that may or may have come to Carlisle & Company and/or any of its clients from any other independent source."

    Does this seem fishy to anybody else but me?

    I would appreciate some input on this.

    Thanks,
    erich v.

  2. #2
    emeraldcite
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    Re: Agents/publishers

    erich: you might want to post that as its own topic on the board. you might get more responses that way.

  3. #3
    New kid, be gentle!
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    [Agency] Inkwell Management

    This is a recommended lit agency, according to Pred & Ed. I actually found it because I was looking up information on Michael Carlisle. At any rate, they have a "release for unsolicited mss.[sic] via electronic submission"

    http://www.inkwellmanagement.com/submissions.html

    I was okay with most of it until I came to part under the "I agree that..." parts three through five. I read it as an 'just in case one of our peeps comes up with a story pretty much identical to yours, you can't touch us' but it seems to me it has an underlying implication that, if by chance one of our clients shoud accidentally see your stuff, and decide to write the same damn story, we aren't liable.'

    Is this the norm?

  4. #4
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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    Such CYA clauses aren't uncommon with agencies that deal with a lot of script/screenwriters (which are even more paranoid than print writers about idea theft). Whether such clauses are effective, enforceable, and/or something to be concerned about, I dunno.
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  5. #5
    Writer Beware Goddess Absolute Sage victoriastrauss's Avatar
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    That clause isn't there to enable the agency to rip off your work with impunity; it's to protect the agency against frivolous claims of infringement. It's routine in the film industry; you don't run across it all that often in the book world, except, as Cao says, where agencies deal with a lot of film/dramatic stuff.

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  6. #6
    stepephen
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    This is definitely a legit agency. They represent The South Beach Diet Books, Shopaholic series, Anthony Bourdain, etc. They also do lots of celebrity memoirs, such as Tina Turner and an upcoming Andre Agassi.

  7. #7

    Cool At Inkwell?

    Has anyone heard of Melissa Mickelson at Inkwell Mangement Co?

    I queried two other agents there over the past four months, and received two rejections from them. Then a month later received a request for a full from Melissa whose name is not on the website. I'm guessing either a new agent there or an assistant. I know it's a top agency. Any other specific info appreciated.

  8. #8
    practical experience, FTW BrookieCookie777's Avatar
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    Can't say that I"ve heard of her - but usually if there are complaints on someone they will be easily found. I would trust but check around just to be sure. I can't see Inkwell hiring someone who would bring their name down.
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  9. #9
    Heck Why not?
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    Hello... newbie here. Was just wondering what the typical turnaround time is for snail mail submissions to Inkwell? Thanks, all.

  10. #10
    jchapin
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    Inkwell Management, copyright questions

    Hi, new writer, just finished my first novel and am now in the process of flogging it to agents in NYC and environs (am in Nova Scotia). I opened the site for Inkwell Management, www.inkwellmanagement.com, and see under their submission heading a great little disclaimer that includes the following: iii) InkWell Management and/or any of its clients may use without obligation to me any material which is not legally protected; (iv) InkWell Management and/or any of its clients may have created, may create, or may otherwise have access to materials, ideas, and creative works which may be similar or identical to the Material with regard to theme, motif, plots, characters, formats, or other attributes; and (v) I shall not be entitled to any compensation because of the proposed use or use of any such similar or identical material that may be or may have been created by InkWell Management and/or any of its clients or that may have been created by InkWell Management and/or any of its clients that may have come to InkWell Management and/or any of its clients from any other independent source.

    Now, I know I'm new and all that, but what I think I'm hearing here is that if you happily sign this and send in your cherished work, they can steal it. Am I wrong here? The larger query is, what does everyone do to copyright their stuff??

    Many thanks!
    Jennifer

  11. #11
    Summer time Blues Pamster's Avatar
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    Supposedly it's copyright protected by putting your legal name to it as soon as you've written it, but it sounds like from that it is no longer the case and they are trying to push the legal issues to make us go to extreme lengths to copyright protect our work. I wouldn't sign such a document...

  12. #12
    First, in the United States anything that is copyrightable is automatically copyrighted when it is created. For a writer, that means it is copyrighted as soon as it is written. Note: I said anything that is copyrightable. Ideas are not copyrightable. Only the execution of ideas (i.e. the actual story or article) is copyrightable.

    Second, it's tough to say from just that snippet of the contract. It *sounds* like they are protecting themselves if you submit something similar to what someone else has already submitted that is in the pipeline to be published. It's not common, but I've seen it done. I think it is more common on the screenwriting side of things.

    There is nothing in that wording that leads me to believe they are trying to grab any rights. For example, (iii) is really just saying "if you send us something that is public domain we can use it without your permission". (iv) is what I said above: two works on a similar idea. (v) is just protecting them where (iii) or (iv) are concerned.

    Of course, I'm not a lawyer, so these are just my opinions.
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  13. #13
    practical experience, FTW jkorzenko's Avatar
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    iii) InkWell Management and/or any of its clients may use without obligation to me any material which is not legally protected;
    You're already legally protected. The moment you write something, as long as its original, it's yours.

    (iv) InkWell Management and/or any of its clients may have created, may create, or may otherwise have access to materials, ideas, and creative works which may be similar or identical to the Material with regard to theme, motif, plots, characters, formats, or other attributes;
    This is what Havlen said -- it's a simple disclaimer that you can't sue them for similar or like work that's already been bought, being bought, almost bought.

    and (v) I shall not be entitled to any compensation because of the proposed use or use of any such similar or identical material that may be or may have been created by InkWell Management and/or any of its clients or that may have been created by InkWell Management and/or any of its clients that may have come to InkWell Management and/or any of its clients from any other independent source.
    You can't sue them for a project that sounds like yours.

    There really is nothing wrong with any of the above clauses. To me, I'd guess Inkwell has run the legal gambit at least once and their attorneys have determined that these statements are worthy disclaimers.

    Julie
    Last edited by CaoPaux; 05-26-2008 at 10:59 PM. Reason: fixing HTML

  14. #14
    Your Genial Uncle Absolute Sage James D. Macdonald's Avatar
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    It means they spent too much time in Hollywood.

  15. #15

    Cool [agent] Londi Gamedze?

    Does anyone know anything about Londi Gamedze over at Inkwell Management? I can't find any information on her at all.


  16. #16
    Cluck that. Twizzle's Avatar
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    hmm.

    so, one site says Kim Witherspoon takes snail queries only. another site says she's not taking any unsoli queries. and inkwell's site just gives addresses.

    anyone? Bueller?

    *sigh*

    I hate querying.
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  17. #17
    In the Center of things Vandal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Twizzle View Post
    hmm.

    so, one site says Kim Witherspoon takes snail queries only. another site says she's not taking any unsoli queries. and inkwell's site just gives addresses.

    anyone? Bueller?

    *sigh*

    I hate querying.

    I sent her snail mail. She sent a rejection three weeks later.
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  18. #18
    Cluck that. Twizzle's Avatar
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    hi ho hi ho it's off to snail I go then. thank you!
    "You're not a schmuck. You're just sort of a schmuck."-Giant Baby 2010

    "Actually, I take that back. There's no 'sort of' about it."-Giant Baby 2011

  19. #19
    Where did I put me specs? euclid's Avatar
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    Red face Ripped off again?

    Quote Originally Posted by jkorzenko View Post
    You're already legally protected. The moment you write something, as long as its original, it's yours. Julie
    Is this true? Following cancellation of my contract with 'Writers Literary Agency', I paid $70 to CRS / IPRO for copyright protection of my manuscript. I can't believe I was ripped off again?

  20. #20
    Where did I put me specs? euclid's Avatar
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    I have a question (well, several questions) about Inkwell.

    1. Are they new?
    2. Does Michael Carlisle work there?
    3. Does he represent Robert Harris (who wrote Fatherland)? I thought I read somewhere that he did/does.

    I found Helen Zimmerman's agency. She lists Robert Harris as one of her clients. I read somewhere that R. Harris's agent (along with about 20 other agents) was leaving PFD and taking Harris with him/her.

    4. Is Helen Zimmerman's agency new?

    It's all very confusing

  21. #21
    Hapless Virago IceCreamEmpress's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by euclid View Post
    Is this true? Following cancellation of my contract with 'Writers Literary Agency', I paid $70 to CRS / IPRO for copyright protection of my manuscript. I can't believe I was ripped off again?
    Sadly, you were ripped off again.

    There's no need to register the copyright of an unpublished work.

    Also, if you filed yourself, the fee would have been only $35.

    I strongly recommend that you read The Shortest Distance Between You and a Published Book by Susan Page and The Street-Smart Writer by our own Jenna Glatzer. Both books are really helpful in outlining the process and pitfalls of getting published.

  22. #22
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by euclid View Post
    I have a question (well, several questions) about Inkwell.

    1. Are they new?
    2. Does Michael Carlisle work there?
    3. Does he represent Robert Harris (who wrote Fatherland)? I thought I read somewhere that he did/does.

    I found Helen Zimmerman's agency. She lists Robert Harris as one of her clients. I read somewhere that R. Harris's agent (along with about 20 other agents) was leaving PFD and taking Harris with him/her.

    4. Is Helen Zimmerman's agency new?

    It's all very confusing
    1. No
    2. If you mean this Michael Carlisle, yes.
    3. Mr. Harris a client of Inkwell's, so it's possible.
    4. No. Check the Index to find the thread for her agency.

    Quote Originally Posted by IceCreamEmpress View Post
    There's no need to register the copyright of an unpublished work.

    Also, if you filed yourself, the fee would have been only $35.
    It's $45 now, alas. But still way less than $70.
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  23. #23
    Hapless Virago IceCreamEmpress's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CaoPaux View Post
    It's $45 now, alas. But still way less than $70.
    If you file online, it's still $35.

  24. #24
    practical experience, FTW Crinklish's Avatar
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    Robert Harris agent

    Quote Originally Posted by euclid View Post
    3. Does [Michael Carlisle] represent Robert Harris (who wrote Fatherland)? I thought I read somewhere that he did/does.

    I found Helen Zimmerman's agency. She lists Robert Harris as one of her clients. I read somewhere that R. Harris's agent (along with about 20 other agents) was leaving PFD and taking Harris with him/her.
    Michael Carlisle at Inkwell represents Robert Harris, author of Fatherland and, more recently, The Ghost. Helen Zimmerman represents Robert W. Harris, author of 101 Things Not to Do Before You Die.

  25. #25
    practical experience, FTW
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    Is Catherine Drayton of Inkwell living in Australia? I heard somewhere that she was, and I'm curious how this affects her business dealings in the U.S.

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