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Thread: Eaton Literary Agency (Ralph Eaton)

  1. #1
    The Mighty Alexander! Adam_Atlantian's Avatar
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    Eaton Literary Agency (Ralph Eaton)

    I saw them in Writers Digest and thought i might submit my work to them. I don't have to pay anything but i just wanted to know if anyone has dealt with them before or knows if they are ligit.

    Thanky much.
    When the Darkness comes...... I will be there. I promise.



  2. #2
    practical experience, FTW Tilly's Avatar
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    P&E says they charge a fee and are not recommended.

    http://www.anotherealm.com/prededitors/peale.htm

    Not a good result on the free service at this site:

    http://www.agentresearch.com

    Thinking about it, did you see their name as an advert, rather than in an agent list? Adverts aren't a good way to find agents to submit to, because successful agents have subs up to the ceiling and don't need to advertise on the whole.
    Last edited by Tilly; 08-16-2006 at 02:10 AM.

  3. #3
    Your Genial Uncle Absolute Sage James D. Macdonald's Avatar
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    If you see an agent advertise in Writer's Digest that means "Cross this one off your list right now."

  4. #4
    One Hit Wonder? Kasey Mackenzie's Avatar
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    I definitely agree with Uncle Jim. Agents that have to advertise in Writer's Digest are NOT the type of agents you want "representing" your work. My suggestion is to keep looking. Good luck!
    Good things come to those who wait...and work their tails off!!!


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  5. #5
    I heart Malamutes! :-) JerseyGirl1962's Avatar
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    What UJ and Kasey said. Legit agents receive so many queries/manuscripts that they don't need to advertise.

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  6. #6
    practical experience, FTW c2ckim's Avatar
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    Unhappy Eaton Literary Agency

    I had dealings with them in the past, in 1984 to be precise. I tied for second place in their contest but they said my work needed editing and they recommended an editor( for a fee) of course. I told them thanks but no thanks. I asked them to return my manuscript but it somehow got lost in the mail. Haven't seen it since.

  7. #7
    Writer Beware Goddess Absolute Sage victoriastrauss's Avatar
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    Writer Beware has gotten a number of complaints about Eaton, which appears to be a front for an editing service. As far as I know, it has no track record of commercial sales, though it has been around at least as long as Writer Beware has been (since 1998).

    - Victoria

  8. #8
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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  9. #9
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin luckygyrl1005's Avatar
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    Eaton Literary Agency

    Has anyone heard anything good/bad about this agency? I sent them my query letter, and now they want to see my manuscript. Before I get excited, I wanted to see what everyone has heard.
    Cara Boynton

  10. #10
    Click on search at the top, choose advanced, type in Eaton and then choose "search titles only" in the drop down box.

  11. #11
    Well, gosh, if you were going to move the question you might as well just delete my response. I was just trying to teach her how to fish 8)

  12. #12
    practical experience, FTW scriptor's Avatar
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    Can you trust Writer's Digest or should I not even look there?

  13. #13
    Preditors & Editors Requiescat In Pace DaveKuzminski's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by scriptor View Post
    Can you trust Writer's Digest or should I not even look there?
    Regardless of what publication an agency is advertising within, avoid that agency. The overwhelming majority of agencies that advertise are not legitimate because the majority of legitimate agencies have so many submissions that they don't need to advertise.

  14. #14
    i write words
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    A while back I sent them my manuscript...they then asked for my address. They sent me a contract with both pros and cons and a request for $135 to edit it. They seem to have sales, though... I haven't signed anything yet. Suggestions?

  15. #15
    Writer Beware Goddess Absolute Sage victoriastrauss's Avatar
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    Aidan, apart from the fact that there are complaints about this agency and it has already asked you to pay it money to edit your manuscript (a conflict of interest: if someone who is recommending editing will be making money from the recommendation, how can you trust that the recommendation is in your best interest?) what makes you think they have sales?

    They have a Markets page on their website, which lists some books, articles, and stories by some of the people who've won their "contest." There's no indication that Eaton helped these people get published. (Plus, most of the publishers are smaller presses that accept unagented manuscripts--so no agent was needed to begin with.)

    - Victoria

  16. #16
    i write words
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    Thank you for your prompt reply. I declined the offer.

  17. #17
    practical experience, FTW
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    Eaton literary again, but this time really strange

    Hello,
    I'm new here and in the world of writing as well. I wrote 3 fiction novels for fun, but when all the people around me persuaded me to try to publish a certain one of them declaring that it's good, I decided to go for it.
    here is what happened with me:
    I read about eaton literary contest and decided to participate, a week later they sent me an email telling me that my novel was good enough to entert the contest, they also said that they want to offer a representation, and of course they asked for editing fee. I read here some bewares about this agency, So I politely turned their offer down. The strange thing was that after 2 days they sent me another message telling me that they decided to reduce the fees so I can go further with the project! I turned them down again. What I want to say is that an agency trying that hard to work with your manuscript means that either this manuscript is outstandingly good (mine isn't that good, so jump to the next assumption) or that they are really a cover for a editing agency.
    Another advice: Sometimes you only get one shot, don't miss it because I missed mine. Never try to contact an agent untill you have a completed well edited and read many times manuscript.
    Finally: How many rejection letters should one get before deciding to let go of this project and try his luck with another one?
    here is the plot of my book, tell me what do you think:

    After accidentally he almost ended her life and put her in a coma, a troubled young man tries to get his 10 years old sister back by entering her own mind, fighting against her fears, his fears, and a mysterious mind-twister villain called The Cyclone.
    thanks, and sorry for the lengthy thread

  18. #18
    Tam, na Koncu Drevoreda Ruth2's Avatar
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    How many rejections can you stand? Seriously. Finish your book. Run it by some beta readers. Take their advice to heart. Write a query letter. Polish that until it's succinct. Send your query out in batches of ten to twenty. If you get no response, rework your query, send that one out to another batch of ten or twenty. Keep doing that until you get a nibble. Thirty, forty, fifty rejection's until acceptance isn't unusual.

    In the meantime, write another book. Repeat the above.

    As far as your plot goes? It depends on how well you write. The premise sounds good but agents don't represent plots; they represent books.

    Good luck!

  19. #19
    practical experience, FTW
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ruth2 View Post
    How many rejections can you stand? Seriously. Finish your book. Run it by some beta readers. Take their advice to heart. Write a query letter. Polish that until it's succinct. Send your query out in batches of ten to twenty. If you get no response, rework your query, send that one out to another batch of ten or twenty. Keep doing that until you get a nibble. Thirty, forty, fifty rejection's until acceptance isn't unusual.

    In the meantime, write another book. Repeat the above.

    As far as your plot goes? It depends on how well you write. The premise sounds good but agents don't represent plots; they represent books.

    Good luck!
    Yep, this is exactly what I'm doing; sending queries, taking the feedbacks and re-fixing the query, and then send it again.
    And about "how well I write" this really an important matter, how can I know that my writing is good? I let many people around me read it and they said it's good, but I need some professional opinions. Any suggestions?

  20. #20
    Tam, na Koncu Drevoreda Ruth2's Avatar
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    Go down to "Beta Readers, mentors" etc and ask around. Also, post your query in the Share Your work forum in "Query Letter Hell". Trust me-- it is aptly named but it will help you immensely. If you get active in a forum here that fits your work, you may also be able to find a beta reader there. It's good protocol to offer to beta-read someone else's work as well, plus in beta-reading someone else's work, it helps you develop a more critical eye towards your own.

  21. #21
    Writer Beware Goddess Absolute Sage victoriastrauss's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by supernegm View Post
    The strange thing was that after 2 days they sent me another message telling me that they decided to reduce the fees so I can go further with the project!
    You aren't the only one who has been offered reduced fees after refusing to pay--I've heard from several writers who had this experience with Eaton.

    It's amazing to me that they are still in operation, with exactly the same M.O. they were using in 1998 when Writer Beware first began gathering documentation.

    - Victoria

  22. #22
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    I was suckered by Eaton many years ago - I was 17 and had just finished my first book. I entered their contest and was so happy they wanted to represent me - I believed this was how publishing worked, so my mother and I shelled out several hundred dollars for their editing services. I signed their form - I don't remember what it said exactly and it's over 10 years ago now so I have lost track of it. They said they sent my book around to a handful of publishers and they were dismayed no one wanted it!

    Anyway, it put me off trying to get published for many years because I figured I couldn't afford it but after learning more about the industry, I started writing again and am much more educated about how things work. My question is, I am almost ready to send out a book I just finished - but I want to make sure Eaton does not still have some legal hold over me because I signed their form back when I was 17. I would hate to sell a book and then have them come after me for their cut! Do you think I can just write to them and tell them that I am ending the contract? Or do I need to do something more official?

    Thanks!

  23. #23
    Writer Beware Goddess Absolute Sage victoriastrauss's Avatar
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    The copies of Eaton's contract I have on file are open-ended--there's no termination date--so theoretically you would need to formally terminate the contract in order to be free and clear. Also, while the contract doesn't make Eaton your exclusive representative--which means they'd have no legal grounds to kick up a fuss or make a claim if you sold your book--it does give the agency "first right of refusal" on your "literary output, excluding poetry, children's material, fillers, screenplays, stage plays, and newspaper materials." Again, theoretically, they could say that they should have had the chance to look at your book first.

    However, given that Eaton's business model is built on tricking writers into paying for editing, and also considering their lack of commercial sales, I think you could make a convincing argument that the contract was never valid, because it was offered to you under false pretenses (i.e., that the agency was a real, competent literary agency). I feel certain that no reputable agency (which WOULD demand exclusivity) would consider you bound by a contract like this. Also, given the number of writers that pass through the agency, I think it's very doubtful that they even remember you were a client, or would recognize your name if you did sell your book; and in the extremely unlikely event that they did, it's hard to imagine they'd have the chutzpah to make a claim, especially since the claim might land them in court, in which case their business model would be exposed.

    All in all, I think you can safely leave Eaton deep in your past, where it belongs. If it would make you more comfortable, though, you could send them a brief email saying you signed with them on X date and are terminating per the provisions of the contract (you don't have to explain why you're terminating), and keep it for your records. The risk there is that Eaton might try to solicit you, but if they did you could just ignore them.

    (Note: this is NOT legal advice--I'm not a lawyer.)

    - Victoria

  24. #24
    It's my turn! newbound's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by James D. Macdonald View Post
    If you see an agent advertise in Writer's Digest that means "Cross this one off your list right now."
    Really? Dang, that thing was my bible when I started marketing my work. Of course, it never did me any good! LOL

    But as far as Eaton goes? No, I don't think they are legit. They don't charge anything to look at your stuff, but they will only represent you if you let them edit your work. And their rates are outrageous. They convinced me that it was necessary, and I spent a whole bunch of money for edits that didn't get my book placed anywhere, and I didn't even get an electronic copy of the book to use elsewhere.

    So basically, that money was wasted. Don't know if they have improved, since this was over five years ago. But I will NEVER again go with any literary agent who expects any money up front. Better yet, I won't go with any agent at all.
    Last edited by newbound; 06-21-2011 at 01:16 AM. Reason: fix typo

  25. #25
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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    Let's just say they recently placed a fellow with Black Rose Writing and leave it at that.
    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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