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Thread: Circle Literary Agency (Sam Vargo)

  1. #1
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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    Circle Literary Agency (Sam Vargo)

    ...
    06-19-2006, 11:57 PM
    Popeyesays
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    Circle Literary Agency (Sam Vargo)

    ----------------------------------------------------------

    A pretty new agency in Florida, started February this year. I can't find anything about them other than a note in Author Network.


    "The Circle Literary Agency was founded in February, 2006, to help serve the needs of a neglected group of serious writers with talent who are having a hard time in finding commercial publication. This new agency is being very aggressive in putting together a list of authors and accepts and reads all short, synopsis queries. Especially interested in writers from the U.S.A., Canada, the U.K. and English speaking world. Will consider works in all languages, however, is work is accompanied with a translation in English. Interests: 75 percent fiction, 25 percent nonfiction. Major focuses: Mainstream, Adventure, Mystery, Horror, Fantasy, Science Fiction for fiction; "expert voice," criticism, "how-to" process analysis and biographies for nonfiction. No short stories, poetry, occult, erotica. No Reading Fees; but may charge for reimbursement of postage, supplies, photocopying, faxes, telephone calls for agenting. Query first with a 300-400 word synopsis of complete book, brief bio and cover letter (accepts both snail mail and e-mail queries for synopsis at circle_agency@yahoo.com. If interested will ask for a three chapter sample with outline of complete work. If we still like your work, we'll ask for the complete ms. Samuel S. Vargo, owner and founder. Address: 1115 Edgewood Avenue S, #545, Jacksonville, FL 32205. Phone: (904) 993-1358 (no telephone queries, please, use e-mail or snail mail only).
    -----------------
    Not being able to find anything _P&E or here, I though I would ask.

    I sent out three query's to agents from Author_Net. Vargo wrote back and asked for a full MS. Apparently my synopsis and query must be getting better.

    I queried on May 28, 2006 and he replied today - so that's about three weeks - as far as I can tell the worst scammers reply a lot faster than that.

    Regards,
    Scott
    __________________

    -----------------------------------------------------------------
    Last edited by Popeyesays : 06-20-2006 at 12:00 AM.
    06-20-2006, 12:24 AM
    MartyKay
    Lector Itero Neurotic

    Google search on "Samuel S. Vargo" found this page so it appears that a 'Samuel S. Vargo' is a writer.

    The phrase "help serve the needs of a neglected group of serious writers with talent who are having a hard time in finding commercial publication" rings warning bells -- linguistic markers anyone?

    I'm thinking "inexperienced agent"...

    (Cue the agent, entering the thread in five... four...)
    __________________
    06-20-2006, 07:15 AM
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    Scott, there are so many red flags with this agent that I hardly know where to start.

    Briefly: Real agents work on commission. They get paid when they sell your work. Asking you to pay for postage and such before a sale is just another way of collecting fees without calling them fees.

    An agent doesn't have to be an out-and-out scammer to damage you. An inept agent can do it with the best of intentions. There is nothing to indicate this man has any sales, any contacts in publishing, any experience in agenting or publishing, or any clue about how agents really work.

    You're not looking to see whether an agent is bad enough to cross off your list. You're looking to see if he's good enough to be on your list. A useless agent is worse than no agent, and this one just screams "useless."
    __________________
    06-20-2006, 10:43 AM
    victoriastrauss
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    Quote:
    Originally Posted by MartyKay
    I'm thinking "inexperienced agent"...
    Me too.

    The source Scott cited, Author-Network.com, is typical of online agent listings--it includes some good agents but also a number of bad ones (including our favorite agent whose first and last names begin with B). Not a good way to identify agents to query.


    - Victoria
    __________________
    06-20-2006, 11:26 AM
    Popeyesays
    Board fanatic

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by victoriastrauss
    Me too.

    The source Scott cited, Author-Network.com, is typical of online agent listings--it includes some good agents but also a number of bad ones (including our favorite agent whose first and last names begin with B). Not a good way to identify agents to query.


    - Victoria
    Thanks for the heads up.

    Scott
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    II 2016: 2017:

  2. #2
    Now departed. Rest in peace, Scott, from all of us at AW Popeyesays's Avatar
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    I thought I'd give an update on The Circle Agency and Mr. Vargo.
    I had sent a query and was asked for a manuscript with the notation that his agency knew how popular sci-fi military technothrillers were and I should send him a full manuscript. I did and asked about the agency here. Apparently Mr. Vargo reads Absolute Write, because he became quite irritated that he was the subject of discussion in the manner in which he was discussed.
    He called me last week wanting to know if I wanted him to read the manuscript, which I answered sure-he already had it in hand-why not? He then seemed to get angrier and angrier about the discussion about him, though he wasn't blaming me, I'd just asked a question, after all. Now he read it (half-way anyway) and I thought I would post his rejection letter, as an example of professionalism.

    Date: Wed, 12 Jul 2006 16:12:29 -0700 (PDT)
    From: "Samuel Vargo" <circle_agency@yahoo.com> Add to Address Book Add Mobile Alert
    Yahoo! DomainKeys has confirmed that this message was sent by yahoo.com. Learn more
    Subject: rejection letter Re: Absolute Write June Posts were lost,. . . .
    To: "Scott Saylors" <popeyesays@yahoo.com>

    Scott Saylors,

    I regret to inform you that I am not going to offer any representation for your work. This work is an unpublishable piece of typing, from my estimation. It needs basic building block techniques like detail, description and example. The characters are flat and so is the plot. If you are serious about getting a novel published I would suggest that you start off by learning how to write one. Well through half the ms., I still was undecided on what type of genre this thing should fall into - is it a military novel or a sci-fi novel?

    Join a creative writing fiction group, learn online if you don't want to be bothered with people. Do something but quit blaming agents for your pathetic shortcomings as a true "hack" writer.

    I'll return your mss. if you send me $25 in the mail - bank check or money order only (no personal checks, period). I will have to take away from my pressing responsibilities to take care of this for you and after all we've been through so far, I'm not going to do you any favors. You should know by now that if you want a ms. back, you must send a SASE with the ms. Keep in mind, as well, if you and your little "complainers" group keeping maligning me and my efforts as an agent, I'll file even more legal actions against you all. If I don't get the check in the mail by next Friday, it's going in the dumpster.

    - Sam Vargo
    Okay, damnit, I blog http://cscottsaylorsbooks.blogspot.com/
    Sword of the Dajjal e-book, Published by BooksForABuck.com May, 2007 ISBN: 978-1-602-052-2 http://www.booksforabuck.com/sfpages...rd_dajjal.html
    Out in print early 2008 from Blu Phi'er
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  3. #3
    Super Browser triceretops's Avatar
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    Cool

    My goodness, he certainly went out of his way to put a foxtail up your keester, and it was rather obvious that he DID blame you for supposed harm. That was truly a needless critique, or rejection letter, since it was filled with so much venom. I would not take it seriously, given its hurtful presentation. Perhaps if he read the script entirely, he would see the SF and military elements--either that or taken his hateful blinders off.

    Tri

  4. #4
    figuring it all out
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    Wow.

    I think no further discussion is needed about Mr. Vargo; that letter speaks louder than anything a third party could say.

    That's a lot of abuse packed into one letter, Popeye. Glad you seem to be handling it with equanimity.

  5. #5
    annoyed and annoying roach's Avatar
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    I don't know where you are Popeyesays, but $25 to return a manuscript? *the mind boggles*
    Eggplant Literary Productions,
    A small electronic speculative fiction publisher.

  6. #6
    5 W's & an H Sassenach's Avatar
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    "even more legal actions"

    Be very afraid.
    I feel God in this Chili's.
    -Pam Beesley









  7. #7
    Writer Beware Goddess Absolute Sage victoriastrauss's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Popeyesays
    Keep in mind, as well, if you and your little "complainers" group keeping maligning me and my efforts as an agent, I'll file even more legal actions against you all.
    Oooooh. Scary.

    What a nasty letter. Sympathies, Scott. Don't take it to heart.

    - Victoria

  8. #8
    Your Genial Uncle Absolute Sage James D. Macdonald's Avatar
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    Woo! A cartooney! All I need now is a Flounce and I'll have a Bingo!

  9. #9
    Gone
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    Wow, that rejection's so danged professional it makes my head spin.
    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

  10. #10
    Happy to be here kristie911's Avatar
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    All I can say is...ouch. I'd pitch that rejection right in the trash and I always keep my rejections. Very personal, very unprofessional.
    A computer once beat me at chess, but it was no match for me at kick boxing.

  11. #11
    Working In A Coal Mine... Sonarbabe's Avatar
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    Oh my dear lord! Some one didn't eat his Wheaties this morning, I see. Good gracious. Well, one thing is for certain, I don't think anyone who stops by AW or more than likely P&E or probably Writer's Beware will have any doubt what kind of agent this gentleman is. Am I right?
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  12. #12
    Now departed. Rest in peace, Scott, from all of us at AW Popeyesays's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by victoriastrauss
    Oooooh. Scary.

    What a nasty letter. Sympathies, Scott. Don't take it to heart.

    - Victoria
    If I'd taken it to heart I would have been embarrassed to post it. I've had much more favorable and competent review so far--and I HAVE taken that to heart and worked to improve the MS and my continued writing. Judging from Mr. Vargo's web based writings, I'd say he hasn't published anywhere at all, and I have. So, I have taken it with a box of salt. You know the really funny thing is I queried with the line Quewry/sci-fi military-political technothriller/Sword of the Dajjal (85,000 words).

    If he can't figure out that such a thing as military sci-fi exists, that's his problem. He might read Elizabeth Moon or David Drake.

    Thanks for you concern for my feelings, everybody. But I am just fine. I'm writing some short stories in the same setting as Sword of the Dajjal for submission to magazines right now. They're taking place about eighty years before and chronicle the misadventures of a merchant vessel and her crew. They should be fun to read. They're fun to write.

    Regards,
    Scott
    Okay, damnit, I blog http://cscottsaylorsbooks.blogspot.com/
    Sword of the Dajjal e-book, Published by BooksForABuck.com May, 2007 ISBN: 978-1-602-052-2 http://www.booksforabuck.com/sfpages...rd_dajjal.html
    Out in print early 2008 from Blu Phi'er
    Jars of Doom out mid 2008 from Blu Phi'er
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  13. #13
    Sockpuppet Hunter MartyKay's Avatar
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    What a prat.

    " I still was undecided on what type of genre this thing should fall into - is it a military novel or a sci-fi novel?"
    -- err.. I've got at least six or seven sci-fi/mil type books. Forever War, Hammer's Slammers, Mercenary... sigh.

    "Do something but quit blaming agents for your pathetic shortcomings as a true "hack" writer." -- yep. See, you are a failure as a HACK writer. You should HACK more.


    "if you and your little "complainers" group keeping maligning me and my efforts as an agent, I'll file even more legal actions against you all" -- Hey Sam?? Kiss this.

    Scott, Good luck.

    marty
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  14. #14
    Your Genial Uncle Absolute Sage James D. Macdonald's Avatar
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    How to tell Sam isn't really an agent: Even after he discovered he hated the book, he kept reading.

  15. #15
    Now departed. Rest in peace, Scott, from all of us at AW Popeyesays's Avatar
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    I have the whole string of e-mail correspondence if anyone is interested.

    Regards,
    Scott
    Okay, damnit, I blog http://cscottsaylorsbooks.blogspot.com/
    Sword of the Dajjal e-book, Published by BooksForABuck.com May, 2007 ISBN: 978-1-602-052-2 http://www.booksforabuck.com/sfpages...rd_dajjal.html
    Out in print early 2008 from Blu Phi'er
    Jars of Doom out mid 2008 from Blu Phi'er
    http://www.bluphier.com/

  16. #16
    Your Genial Uncle Absolute Sage James D. Macdonald's Avatar
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    I just have to ask: What convinced you to submit a work to this bozo in the first place?

  17. #17
    Now departed. Rest in peace, Scott, from all of us at AW Popeyesays's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by James D. Macdonald
    I just have to ask: What convinced you to submit a work to this bozo in the first place?
    Well, he was not an obvious bozo at first. The first query went out before I asked any questions. I'd looked for him on the web and at P&E and such.
    His first response was rational.
    "Scott,

    If you don't mind spending a few coins, send the complete ms. to us for a perusal. Make sure you add a SASE if you want it back (we don't mark up the mss. we read so it'll be good for another, but if we like it, we'll use the copy to send to publishers after all ink is signed). No promises/no guarantees now though.

    We realize how popular this genre is and we read a lot of full sci-fi fantasy mss. in their entirety.

    - Sam Vargo/owner of The Circle Literary Agency"

    I knew he was NEW, I did not know he was paranoid. Remember back to selling your first novel, Jim. Did you actually sell the first one, or did you agonize over trying to get someone to take it seriously.

    I have a requested partial out to John Jarrold right now, so I am not just looking for a whacko.

    Regards,
    Scott
    Okay, damnit, I blog http://cscottsaylorsbooks.blogspot.com/
    Sword of the Dajjal e-book, Published by BooksForABuck.com May, 2007 ISBN: 978-1-602-052-2 http://www.booksforabuck.com/sfpages...rd_dajjal.html
    Out in print early 2008 from Blu Phi'er
    Jars of Doom out mid 2008 from Blu Phi'er
    http://www.bluphier.com/

  18. #18
    Your Genial Uncle Absolute Sage James D. Macdonald's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Popeyesays
    Did you actually sell the first one, or did you agonize over trying to get someone to take it seriously.
    Neither. (To be totally accurate the first one is still in my desk drawer.) But agonizing is a waste of time.

    Aim high. Start at the top and work down.

  19. #19
    Mostly Ignored spike's Avatar
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    Save it

    Save the letter. When your book is published and you are famous, it will serve as an amusing anecdote.
    I should be writing. Now. I mean it.

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  20. #20
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    When your book is published and you are famous, it will serve as an amusing anecdote.
    Hell, it's an amusing anecdote now.

    I like the bit where he goes from "agency knew how popular sci-fi military technothrillers are" to "still confused what type of genre this thing should fall into - is it a military novel or a sci-fi novel" !

    Maybe I missed part of the original thread, but what was so bad about what was said of him? All there seems to be is that someone pointed out that there are 'a lot of red flags' and that it is likely that he lacks experience.

    Sheesh - they are hardly controversial statements.

    Mac

  21. #21
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Popeyesays
    "...(we don't mark up the mss. we read so it'll be good for another, but if we like it, we'll use the copy to send to publishers after all ink is signed)."
    This is an awesomely clueless statement. For example (and in no particular order):

    • Even if not marked up, a read ms will be thumbed, smudged, and stained.
    • It means he cannot/will not make suggestions to improve the ms before submitting it to publishers.
    • It infers that not only will he submit to only one publisher at a time, he presumes said publisher will a) return the ms b) in condition suitable to pass on to the next.
    ICAO
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    I've never known any trouble that an hour's reading didn't assuage. -- Charles DeSecondat

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  22. #22
    practical experience, FTW jkorzenko's Avatar
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    Oh, wow, Scott. What an experience! Best of luck.

  23. #23
    Writer Beware Goddess Absolute Sage victoriastrauss's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Popeyesays
    We realize how popular this genre is and we read a lot of full sci-fi fantasy mss. in their entirety.
    If he had any expertise in the speculative fiction market--even as a fan--he'd have called it SF or science fiction, not sci-fi, which is considered a pejorative term within the SF/fantasy/horror community. I don't want to get into an argument about how silly this is/isn't--I'm just saying that this is how the community perceives it, and an agent (even a good one) who uses the term "sci-fi" (hyphenated or not) is probably not familiar with the market.

    - Victoria

  24. #24
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin Jesstears2u's Avatar
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    Date: Wed, 12 Jul 2006 16:12:29 -0700 (PDT)
    From: "Samuel Vargo" <circle_agency@yahoo.com> Add to Address Book Add Mobile Alert
    Yahoo! DomainKeys has confirmed that this message was sent by yahoo.com. Learn more
    Subject: rejection letter Re: Absolute Write June Posts were lost,. . . .
    To: "Scott Saylors" <popeyesays@yahoo.com>

    Scott Saylors,

    I regret to inform you that I am not going to offer any representation for your work. This work is an unpublishable piece of typing, from my estimation. It needs basic building block techniques like detail, description and example. The characters are flat and so is the plot. If you are serious about getting a novel published I would suggest that you start off by learning how to write one. Well through half the ms., I still was undecided on what type of genre this thing should fall into - is it a military novel or a sci-fi novel?

    Join a creative writing fiction group, learn online if you don't want to be bothered with people. Do something but quit blaming agents for your pathetic shortcomings as a true "hack" writer.

    I'll return your mss. if you send me $25 in the mail - bank check or money order only (no personal checks, period). I will have to take away from my pressing responsibilities to take care of this for you and after all we've been through so far, I'm not going to do you any favors. You should know by now that if you want a ms. back, you must send a SASE with the ms. Keep in mind, as well, if you and your little "complainers" group keeping maligning me and my efforts as an agent, I'll file even more legal actions against you all. If I don't get the check in the mail by next Friday, it's going in the dumpster.

    - Sam Vargo
    [/quote]

    This Sam is a fool face bag who needs to learn how to deal with people better. For him to take your questions as you dissing him (I'm so 80's) he has serious issues and they're not People's magazine. Well if he reads this board then I am sure he is getting an eye full from everyone and I hope including me.

    I wouldn't throw that letter away at all. I would post it somewhere to warn others of him. As a matter of fact send it to P and E. I am sure they love that one.

    Try to get the word out about the foo (the L left out intentionally)! I am also questioning why he is asking for $25 to send your MS back. I personally belieive he will pocket that money.

    Thank you so much for sharing with us.
    Last edited by Jesstears2u; 07-14-2006 at 12:26 AM.

  25. #25
    Now departed. Rest in peace, Scott, from all of us at AW Popeyesays's Avatar
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    This Sam is a fool face bag who needs to learn how to deal with people better. For him to take your questions as you dissing him (I'm so 80's) he has serious issues and they're not People's magazine. Well if he reads this board then I am sure he is getting an eye full from everyone and I hope including me.

    I wouldn't throw that letter away at all. I would post it somewhere to warn others of him. As a matter of fact send it to P and E. I am sure they love that one.

    Try to get the word out about the foo (the L left out intentionally)! I am also questioning why he is asking for $25 to send your MS back. I personally belieive he will pocket that money.

    Thank you so much for sharing with us.

    I did not send an SASE for the MS because I can print another. It cost $8 to mail it first class. I think that he was clueless enough to not understand that the mail carrier is NOT going to take outgoing manuscripts from him to lug around in his bag. In a real agency there will be multiple manuscripts going out at the same time and the agency will HAVE to send someone to the post office on a nearly daily basis to mail weighty stuff, even if the postage is paid by somebody else.

    He must think he's entitled to reimbursement for his time to trek to the post office.

    Regards,
    Scott

    Charter Member and past president of the Sam Vargo "Whiners Club"

    I think I'll put that in every post, to help Sam get more google hits.
    Okay, damnit, I blog http://cscottsaylorsbooks.blogspot.com/
    Sword of the Dajjal e-book, Published by BooksForABuck.com May, 2007 ISBN: 978-1-602-052-2 http://www.booksforabuck.com/sfpages...rd_dajjal.html
    Out in print early 2008 from Blu Phi'er
    Jars of Doom out mid 2008 from Blu Phi'er
    http://www.bluphier.com/

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