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Thread: Sullivan Maxx Literary Agency

  1. #1
    Who's going for a beer? waylander's Avatar
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    Sullivan Maxx Literary Agency

    www.sullivanmaxx.com/
    Agents - Holly McClure and Jack Gonzales.
    Anyone know anything about these folks?
    They look new and don't list any clients. The only books listed are Holly McClure's own published with Bella Rosa books. Jack Gonzales says that he is an expert in the antiquarian book field. Hardly qualifications for becoming a successful agent.
    Last edited by waylander; 04-23-2006 at 04:28 PM.

  2. #2
    Your Genial Uncle Absolute Sage James D. Macdonald's Avatar
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    Be not the first by whom the New are try'd,
    Nor yet the last to lay the Old aside.

    -- Alexander Pope

  3. #3
    Writer Beware Goddess Absolute Sage victoriastrauss's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by waylander
    Hardly qualifications for becoming a successful agent.
    Exactly.

    - Victoria

  4. #4
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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    Odd. Holly mentions she was with "another small agency" before starting her own. Dosen't help unless she names the agency and/or provides info of her sales. And Bella Rosa "specializes in backlist reissues and original non-genre or out of genre titles by commercially established authors", yet I can't find anything else on her except stuff like this:

    http://www.publishingbasics.com/news...cclurebio.html

    (which reveals John is her husband, BTW)

    http://blog.selfpublishing.com/?p=27

    and this:

    http://www.georgiawriters.org/Festival-2005.htm

    Looking for an Agent?

    Holly McClure of Sullivan Maxx Literary Agency will accept, for critique and consideration, the first five double-spaced pages of your COMPLETED manuscript, a one-page, single-spaced synopsis, a self-addressed envelope with adequate postage for her response, and cash, money order or a check made out to Georgia Writers for $15 to defray expenses for bringing Ms. McClure to the festival. NO DRAFTS, PLEASE. The mailing address to send these critiques to Ms. McClure will be provided ahead of time to pre-paid registrants, only.
    And the SWA that she was president of...? Well, just look who Sullivan Maxx is listed with:

    http://www.southeasternwriters.com/links.htm

    FWIW, here's one of her clients.

    http://www.laughingowl.com/aleta/aletab.htm

    ICAO
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  5. #5
    Writer Beware Goddess Absolute Sage victoriastrauss's Avatar
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    Aha. That's why the name rang a bell. The "small agency" is About Words (a questionable agency that's discussed here). According to my files, she left it in late 2003. At that point, About Words had no sales, so Ms. McClure was track record-free. According to Sullivan Maxx's website, the agency was established in 2004...and still there's no sign of sales. This isn't good. An agency that's going to make it will start making sales within six months to a year of starting up. Any longer suggests that the agent(s) lacks expertise and/or industry contacts.

    Guess who else is at the Georgia Writers Festival that Ms. McClure is attending? Bobbie Christmas, the "book doctor" associated with About Words.

    - Victoria

  6. #6
    Who's going for a beer? waylander's Avatar
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    The latest Locus I saw listed a sale by Sullivan Maxx to Tor for Mad Kestrel by Missy Massey.

  7. #7
    practical experience, FTW Anonymisty's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by waylander
    The latest Locus I saw listed a sale by Sullivan Maxx to Tor for Mad Kestrel by Missy Massey.
    Uh, that'd be me, and it's actually Misty. *grin*

    Holly is a new agent, but she managed to get me a decent deal. I don't know anything about any of her other clients, but so far I'm happy.
    Misty
    A Hazardous Occupation (my site)
    http://www.magicalwords.net
    Writers shouldn't necessarily be mentally healthy - ask anybody."
    -- Tim Powers

  8. #8
    Who's going for a beer? waylander's Avatar
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    Huge congratulations on your deal.
    Would you like to share the story of it with us?

  9. #9
    practical experience, FTW Anonymisty's Avatar
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    Thanks! I'm still very excited myself!

    I met Holly at the Southeastern Writers Conference in St Simons Island, GA in 2004. In January of 2005, I submitted my novel to her, and she began shopping it around. Tor was interested, but wanted to see some changes. I took the editor's suggestions, rewrote the novel, and sent it to him again. In June of this year, while I was at the beach on a family vacation, Holly called with good news: Tor made me a hard/soft offer.

    I just signed my contracts last month. I don't have a definite release date yet, but it'll be sometime next fall.
    Misty
    A Hazardous Occupation (my site)
    http://www.magicalwords.net
    Writers shouldn't necessarily be mentally healthy - ask anybody."
    -- Tim Powers

  10. #10
    CraigFaris
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    I know Holly McClure

    Holly McClure is a terrific agent despite the small size of her agency. Her affiliation with Bobby Christmas (also formally with About Words) is simply guilt by association. She never recommended this service to me or any of her other clients that I am aware of. She took on Misty Massey's book and ended up selling it as a hardcover and paperback to Tor. At the same time she read my book, The Spectrum Conspiracy when no one else was interested and she immediately garnered interest in the project in New York.
    The book wasn't purchased, however, not because it wasn't good, but because it turned out that there was another book out there with three similar plot elements and almost exactly the same ending. My first draft was originally written in 1997, but wasn't ready for publication until 2003. By that time this other book had been published (in May of 2000). Similar books are published all the time, but unfortunately, no one had every heard of this guy until he wrote the Da Vinci Code.

    Just my luck...

    Craig Faris
    Published author of short fiction, winner of 13 literary awards

  11. #11
    Writer Beware Goddess Absolute Sage victoriastrauss's Avatar
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    As far as I can tell, Misty Massey's book is still Sullivan Maxx's only sale. Given that the agency has been in business for a couple of years now, that's not a very encouraging sign, even though the agency is small.

    - Victoria

  12. #12
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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    Jack is no longer listed as an agent. New agent: Susan Landreth.

    Lists several clients now, but it's unclear whether their books are claimed as sales. (Misty is still only author on Book List page.)
    ICAO
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  13. #13
    Writer Beware Goddess Absolute Sage victoriastrauss's Avatar
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    Most of the dates of the pubbed books seem to pre-date the agency's founding. Unless something's pending, it looks as if Misty's book is still the only sale here.

    - Victoria

  14. #14
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    I had a wonderful experience with Holly McClure and Susan Landreth: http://courtneydiles.wordpress.com/2...usan-landreth/

  15. #15
    Entertainment Ronin
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    Did they sell your book?

  16. #16
    phoenix blazing Parametric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Noah Body View Post
    Did they sell your book?
    I assume not, since the previous poster met them at a conference.

  17. #17
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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    Still no sales but Misty's.
    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:

  18. #18
    Entertainment Ronin
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    Quote Originally Posted by Parametric View Post
    I assume not, since the previous poster met them at a conference.
    I know, but hell...I could show someone a good time at a conference and even dispense some sage advice, but if I can't sell your book, then...

  19. #19
    Writer Beware Goddess Absolute Sage victoriastrauss's Avatar
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    Not for nothin', but...how sage could their advice be if they've only made one sale in three years?

    Writers' conferences really need to do their due diligence. They harm writers more than help them when they allow inexperienced people to pose as experts.

    - Victoria

  20. #20
    Entertainment Ronin
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    Exactly my point! And I'm sure their sage advice wouldn't be literary-oriented.

  21. #21
    What? I have a title? Julie Worth's Avatar
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    Sullvan Maxx recoommends:

    They managed to misspell two words of a three word sentence, including the name of the agency. That has to be a record.

  22. #22
    AW Addict nicolesingslave's Avatar
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    From P&E: Holly McClure: $ A literary agent at the Sullivan-Maxx Literary Agency. Known to be their president."
    http://www.anotherealm.com/prededitors/pealh.htm

  23. #23
    Cat hair collector PVish's Avatar
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    Is this agency somehow connected to this publisher: http://www.thomasmax.com? Some of their clients are published by Thomas Max. "Author" Holly McClure is pictured with one at a signing here (scroll to bottom of page).

  24. #24
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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    FWIW, I'm not finding any connection beyond the close-knit nature of southern publishing.
    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:

  25. #25
    reverse backward masker DanielKoehler's Avatar
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    Hobby Farm or Bait and Switch?

    I queried Sullivan Maxx in April in 2009 and soon got an email from an intern requesting a full MS in Word format. I sent it and received no reply. In July I emailed them about status, and the intern replied that they couldn't read the Word 2002 .doc. I resubmitted in pdf and the intern emailed that they had received it and could read it.

    I soon got several emails from The Scribbler's Retreat, a writers' conference on one of the Georgia Sea Islands, the name of the sender coincidentally the same name as the "intern" from Sullivan Maxx.

    I withdrew my submission today.

    Hawk Publishing in Tulsa (run by William Bernhardt, a best-selling author) also did pretty much the same thing when I submitted a query and sample chapter to them. I got back an email from Bernhardt complimenting me on the chapter but commenting that it "needed polishing" before it was "publishable." He invited me to attend his writers' seminar on "getting your book ready to publish" or some other such topic.

    I never got a rejection from Hawk on that query, either.

    Chumming your slushpile for seminar attendees is the literary equivalent of champerty and is crass and unprofessional.

    As to MS submissions, I was under the impression that you gave an agent a fixed length of time for an "exclusive" submission and they were obligated to reply back quickly. I had this experience with a full submission to Victoria Sanders Agency in NYC and they promptly and professionally complied in the three-week period they requested.

    I would concluded that Sullivan Maxx is a lightweight, even though I was impressed with Holly McClure, the principal, when I heard her speak.
    Daniel Koehler
    http://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/DanielKoehler
    http://www.danielkoehler.bizland.com/

    "The boys throw stones at the frogs in jest, but the frogs do not die in jest but in earnest."

    Bion of Borsythenes

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