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Thread: [Agency] RO Literary

  1. #1
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    [Agency] RO Literary

    http://www.roliterary.com/

    Just a warning that while this agency offers feedback on rejected partials, which is nice of them, they are unprofessional in what they do with your email address afterwards. Namely, they'll sign you up for their mailing list without your permission. They could easily ask for permission by including a checkbox in their submissions form, but they don't.

    When I politely asked them why they'd signed me up - since, after all, maybe I had completely forgotten that I'd written 'please add me to any mailing list you ever produce' in my query letter - and pasted in the relevant paragraph from Wix's terms of use about requiring consent for opting in, they informed me that "On [date] you submitted a query for representation to our agency for your manuscript through this email. We are happy to remove you from our email list. We apologize for any inconvenience we have caused you."

    Black mark against them. If they can't follow rules or genuinely apologize for messing up (or even recognize they've done so), that's not a great indication of their ability to behave professionally in other areas.

    Not much else out there. Laura Rothschild's LinkedIn says she was a "Writer & Life Entrepreneur" for 15 years. Before that she was a photographer, a post-production supervisor, and a nurse/EMT in the Air Force where she "Wiped people's derrière's for a living" [sic]. Sandra O'Donnell's shows she has a PhD in history from Arizona State and had a boutique publishing company in 1996 (no indication when that ended) which had a publication in 1998.

    Looks like they opened in January. Four clients listed.

    I'm sure they're very nice people and genuinely care about authors - instead of 'rejecting' queries/manuscripts they 'pass with love' - but I'm not seeing any indication that either of them have contacts or recent/extensive experience in the publishing industry.

  2. #2
    Your Genial Uncle Absolute Sage James D. Macdonald's Avatar
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    Once again, "agent" isn't an entry-level position. And writers should think long and hard before giving these (undoubtedly nice and well-meaning) folks manuscripts for their on-the-job training.

  3. #3
    A dash of pure Slytherin oceansoul's Avatar
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    This happened to me with a small publisher recently and I got legitimately enraged. The publisher requested a full, never got back to me, but started spamming me with their 'cover reveal' and 'upcoming titles' emails. The height of unprofessionalism.
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  4. #4
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    What really stings is that Wix offers no way to report someone using their mailing list for spam, even though what RO Literary was an explicit violation of their ToC. 'Abuse' is restricted to things on websites they host. The only other possible option I found had all the tickets publicly accessible.

    Oh well, lesson learned about not doing my due diligence about agents before querying.
    Last edited by tsrosenberg; 04-04-2016 at 08:57 PM.

  5. #5
    Mildly Disturbing Filigree's Avatar
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    RO is also appearing on #MSWL (Manuscript Wish List) along with some other questionable publishers.

    This M/M space opera
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  6. #6
    a demon for tea EMaree's Avatar
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    The unsolicited adding of authors to a mailing list isn't restricted to wee, dodgy publishers either. A certain reputable UK agency do it, to the frustration of every querying British writer. It's a really shoddy business practice.
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  7. #7
    Your Genial Uncle Absolute Sage James D. Macdonald's Avatar
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    I'm certain that "Add everyone who writes to you to your mailing list!" appears on lots of "How To Grow Your Internet Business" advice sites.

  8. #8
    practical experience, FTW josephperin's Avatar
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    While they did 'pass with love,' they also directed me to the agency's podcast and signed me up for their newsletter. I find both bad business etiquette. My day job isn't in the industry, so perhaps I'm mistaken in thinking it's bad form.

  9. #9
    Perpetually Tired ZachJPayne's Avatar
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    I raised my eyebrow a bit at the fact that associate agent Nic Goodall is only looking for "man books" in fiction. I haven't seen that before and, frankly, I'm not sure what a "man book" is.

    I mean, I own a copy of The Vagina Monologues, and I identify as a man, so . . .
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  10. #10
    practical experience, FTW DeannaR's Avatar
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    RO Literary

    http://www.roliterary.com/

    Does anyone has information on this agency? I was unable to find an old thread, or info on P&E. There were a few things that jumped off the "about" page that has me wondering. Any information would be appreciated.

    Thanks.

    ETA: Thanks for adding this to current thread
    Last edited by DeannaR; 08-29-2016 at 10:04 PM.

  11. #11
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    RO Literary Agency

    Is anyone familiar with this agency?

    They aren't on Publisher's Marketplace, or Query Tracker, but I happened upon their podcast, and decided to send them my query.

    They added me to their 'mailing list'.

    So - despite the fact they haven't responded to my query yet (its been less than a week, so that's not the concern) - I am getting spam-like updates about their goings-on.

    It seems presumptuous and unprofessional to me, but I'd like to know what others think.

  12. #12
    Grr. Argh. Thedrellum's Avatar
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    Link added: RO Literary

    They don't seem to have any agent experience; as many on this world will echo, agenting is not an entry-level job. This doesn't mean that they are doomed to failure, but that there path to success is probably going to be rockier than those new agents who have trained under established agencies or who have been editors at the Big 5. They seem well-intentioned, which is a plus, but good intentions can only get you so far.

    It is not a good sign that the two deals they tout on their website are for Amberjack Publishing, whose thread on Absolute Write is here. Amberjack is a publisher you can submit to on your own without an agent.

  13. #13
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    This seems like sour grapes, my experience has been very different.

    Wow! I have to say I'm a bit surprised. I was expecting a thread about how much you all love RO. I stumbled on this thread after doing a search for RO Literary on the web to send the link to a friend. My experience with RO and particularly Sandra is very different from what you all are saying here. I met Sandra at a writer's conference in July. I was sitting in a room off to myself in tears. Sandra came over and asked if she could help. I'd just been through a brutal round of agent speed dating, where one agent told me that I should cut out one of the main people who influenced my life from my memoir because "she just doesn't seem real or that important." And another agent told me that she didn't bother to read the pages that I submitted months in advance because she is "too busy." She handed me notes from her 20-year old assistant and said they might help. And then proceeded to talk about how tired she was from all the travel. I found the experience demoralizing and devastating. Part of my conference fee was to talk to agents and that was the response I got from two very well-known agents. Sandra spent two hours with me. She wasn't being paid at the conference. She was there working on a book of her own. She approached me as a writer, concerned about another writer. She had me talk through my story and suggested ways that I could strenghten the narrative. She encouraged me and told me not to let that experience keep me from writing my story. I only realized she was an agent after she gave me her card and told me to contact her if I wanted her to look at my query or pages before I sent anything out. I asked around about her and other people at the conference said that David Lipsky praised everything she said about publishing in their workshop and saw her as a big help when answering questions about agents and publishing. She may not have been around as an agent for a long time, but she's been in publishing for a very long time and knows her stuff. I signed up for RO's blogs last summer and I've been blown away by how helpful the information is that they put out. I've learned so much about querying, writing a good query, revisions and more than I can list here. They don't charge for anything they do. They just seem to love helping writers because they get how hard it is. I certainly wouldn't call information about a subject I need to learn as much as possible about spam. So hearing people complain because an agent who wants to help is really baffling to me. Especially when the information is free and very well researched. I guess it is easier to come on here and trash someone who is working hard and really cares about writers, than it is to simply click unsubscribe me which is at the bottom of everything I've gotten from them. The rejections and the lack of support can make us all a little bitter. I've been there too, but I felt I in this case, I had to set the record straight here. I'm going to let them know this thread is here because they may want to address some of these comments themselves.
    Last edited by CynthG; 03-05-2017 at 12:50 AM.

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