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Thread: Cambridge Literary Associates

  1. #1
    Requiescat In Pace Requiescat In Pace
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    Cambridge Literary Associates

    Writer Beware has received numerous complaints over the years about this agency, which is an AAR member, but, through semantic games, still manages to charge upfront fees before a sale is made.

    They have a poor sales record, charge fees, and most publishers told us they tend to automatically "ignore" submissions from them.

    I sure wouldn't submit to them!

    -Ann C. Crispin
    Chair, Writer Beware
    www.writerbeware.com

  2. #2
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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    Ann, could you confirm you're talking about Cambridge House Books? (I ask because the only Cambridge I find on AAR is Cambridge Literary Associates.)
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  3. #3
    Moderator In Name Only AW Moderator Roger J Carlson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CaoPaux
    Ann, could you confirm you're talking about Cambridge House Books? (I ask because the only Cambridge I find on AAR is Cambridge Literary Associates.)
    I wondered if they were the same. Some years ago Cambridge Literary asked me for a partial of my book. I sent it, and then they fell off the face of the map. I assumed they went out of business.
    --Roger J. Carlson

  4. #4
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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    Nope, still kickin' (presuming this is the same Cambridge you submitted to): http://www.cambridgeliterary.com
    ICAO
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  5. #5
    Super Browser triceretops's Avatar
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    Cool

    Please query by postal mail before sending in a manuscript. Your query should include a synopsis and an appropriate SASE. We are only accepting submissions from well-published authors.

    Well, that limits things a bit.

    Tri

  6. #6
    Moderator In Name Only AW Moderator Roger J Carlson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CaoPaux
    Nope, still kickin' (presuming this is the same Cambridge you submitted to): http://www.cambridgeliterary.com
    Same bunch but they were in Newburyport MA. They still promote their editing service, but it's $3/page. Then it was $2.25.

    The only thing I can say about them is they asked for the manuscript then vanished. They didn't return emails and letters I sent were returned un-forwarded. Their phone was disconnected. Perhaps it was simply a mixup.
    --Roger J. Carlson

  7. #7
    Requiescat In Pace Requiescat In Pace
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    I was talking about the Cambridge Literary Agency. Sorry for any confusion this may have caused.

    -Ann C. Crispin

  8. #8
    Now departed. Rest in peace, Scott, from all of us at AW Requiescat In Pace Popeyesays's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by triceretops
    Please query by postal mail before sending in a manuscript. Your query should include a synopsis and an appropriate SASE. We are only accepting submissions from well-published authors.

    Well, that limits things a bit.

    Tri
    It's confusing. They use the term "query" and "submission" without making them synonymous.

    Therefore I would suspect that they accept queries from anyone, but will take routine partials without request only from established authors? Of not?
    Confusion reigns. I don't think a query would hurt, then they can accept or refuse it and if they want a partialor full they ask for it?

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  9. #9
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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    Aha! Thanks, Ann.

    Popeye, read Ann's warning again: this is not an agency worth your postage (especially if this is typical of the "well-published" authors they accept http://www.authorhouse.com/BookStore...kid~33403.aspx).

    Evidence suggests that most queries get a "our editing service is for you!" response.
    ICAO
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  10. #10
    EasleyEd
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    Quote Originally Posted by CaoPaux
    Aha! Thanks, Ann.

    Popeye, read Ann's warning again: this is not an agency worth your postage (especially if this is typical of the "well-published" authors they accept http://www.authorhouse.com/BookStore...kid~33403.aspx).

    Evidence suggests that most queries get a "our editing service is for you!" response.

    A note on Mike Valentino, who runs Cambridge Literary with his father.

    I've been with them for a while, and Mike's been shopping my work. Maybe I've been impatient - which is entirely possible.

    I sold my own first two novels myself and he has my third. I'm not in a big hurry for the third, and the first can switch publishers any time... the contract on that one has expired and is being read, he says, by bigger houses.

    I've worked like hell on the second book to market it. It's with a small publisher without much of a marketing budget. That leaves me to sell it.

    The contract on it expires next year. The third book is a sequel to the second.

    Confused how that works with Mike? He's a great guy, but he has yet to sell any of them. Ed's doing all the visual marketing. Ed's doing all the visual pimping. Ed's the sucker pounding pavement.

    Maybe my publisher and Mike are working for me. Bless their souls, but I'd really like to see some checks, please.

    Mike's not taking new clients last I heard. I may be wrong.

    Oh, want to buy a good book, meet me at Barnes and Noble on the web.

    Google me. Google me hard.

    That's E.D. Easley

  11. #11
    practical experience, FTW
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    They don't even respond to referrals!

    I have friends who are clients--two of their books were sold to a Christian publishing house--and they said to use their name as a referral.

    I did, first by e-mail.

    No response.

    Then I sent the query by mail with a SASE.

    No response.

    I told my friends. They were embarrassed and said they heard he was busy and not taking new clients, but it was terribly awkward for them.

    So I would agree with everyone else and SKIP this firm.

  12. #12
    Lost in the cyber jungle pandora_6666's Avatar
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    the site says they are only taking on well published authors at this time.
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  13. #13
    AW Addict nicolesingslave's Avatar
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    Adding links to this thread.
    From their website, http://www.cambridgeliterary.com/about.html ,
    "Ralph and Mike Valentino (father and son) own and operate Cambridge Literary. Both are Harvard graduates and members of the exclusive Association of Authors Representatives (AAR)."

    From their submission webpage, http://www.cambridgeliterary.com/submissions.html:
    "Please query by postal mail before sending in a manuscript. Your query should include a synopsis and an appropriate SASE. We are only accepting submissions from well-published authors. We do not charge any fees to represent either books or movies. And there are no reading fees."

    Michael & Ralph Valentino
    Cambridge Literary, 135 Beach Road (Unit C-3), Salisbury, MA 1952, USA
    cambridgelit@aol.com

    Michael & Ralph Valentinos' have AAR & $ on P&E:
    http://www.anotherealm.com/prededitors/pealm.htm
    http://www.anotherealm.com/prededitors/pealr.htm

    Both are listed on AAR:
    http://www.aaronline.org/mc/director...arch=valentino

    31 hits on Amazon for Mike Valentino:
    http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_ss?ur...ino%22&x=0&y=0

    1 measly hit on Amazon for Ralph:
    http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_ss?ur...ino%22&x=0&y=0


    15 hits on Amazon for the agency:
    http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_ss?ur...tes%22&x=0&y=0

  14. #14
    Fiction Writer rbuckley9104's Avatar
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    Background Check

    Can anyone provide information on agents Ralph and Michael Valentino of Cambridge Literary Associates? I made the mistake of paying them $666 to represent me and my manuscipt. I was rewarded with a total of three telephone conversations over a lenghty period and now they don't answer their email.
    Last edited by rbuckley9104; 03-26-2010 at 09:31 PM. Reason: grammar

  15. #15
    Writer Beware's Faithful Igor Richard White's Avatar
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    I haven't personally heard of them, but in the future, if ANY agent ever asks for money up front, run, do not walk, to the nearest exit.

    Agents work for commissions.

    Period.

    This message required by Yog's Law.

  16. #16
    Likes metaphors mixed, not stirred Chris P's Avatar
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    Preditors and Editors (www.pred-ed.com) says "not recommended," but doesn't state why.

    Although the hefty fee when most agents only get paid when the book sells is a good clue...
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  17. #17
    Who's going for a beer? waylander's Avatar
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    They say on their website http://www.cambridgeliterary.com/ that they are members of AAR and do not charge fees to represent books or movies. They also have a bunch of impressive sales listed.

    Real agents do not charge fees upfront.

    I suggest you refer them to the AAR with the proof that they charged you a fee
    Last edited by waylander; 03-26-2010 at 09:45 PM.

  18. #18
    Writer Beware's Faithful Igor Richard White's Avatar
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    Here's a link to earlier reports about them on Absolute Write.

    They're not very favorable to these "agents".

    I imagine a mod will merge this with the older thread pretty soon.
    Last edited by CaoPaux; 03-26-2010 at 09:42 PM. Reason: threads merged, thanks :)

  19. #19
    Girl Detective Stacia Kane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by waylander View Post
    You paid them upfront means they are scammers.
    Real agents are not paid upfront, not ever

    Yeah, ditto. I don't need to see anything more than "I paid them" to know these guys are scammers who couldn't sell a ms to a real publisher if they tried, which they probably don't.

    I hate to say it, because it's your money and I know how you must feel, but you should cut your losses and run. Find a proper agent next time.

    Good luck!
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  20. #20
    Pernicious...n'stuff. Leukman's Avatar
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    $666, huh?

    What a number. Call me superstit supersteesh sooperst crazy, but that would've made me wonder right there...

  21. #21
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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    Website hasn't been updated in ages, and they're no longer listed on AAR. Most recent activity is Ralph publishing a book under his own name: https://www.createspace.com/3626347
    ICAO
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  22. #22
    Mildly Disturbing Filigree's Avatar
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    It's a 130 page paperback with a current Amazon ranking of 6,708,644. There are no customer reviews.

    His Amazon bio says: "Ralph Valentino: has been the owner of the Cambridge Literary agency for fifteen years. His client list includes celebrities and best-selling authors. He is a graduate of Harvard University and a member of the exclusive Association of Authors Representatives (AAR). He ghostwrote many novels. This is his first book under his own name. As an agent, he has represented big names like Jonathan Cain of Journey."

    As for Jonathan Cain, a quick search on Amazon turned up Journey sheet music and some 1980's novels from Zebra about MPs on the streets of Vietnam War-era Saigon. I have no idea if this is the same author. Whatever Valentino sold for Cain, it hasn't left that big a mark on search engines.

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