I mentioned that I had taken my agent to court and it seemed to draw some attention. I thought I would tell you what happened.
A little over 16 years ago I wrote a book on blackjack titled PROGRESSION BLACKJACK. I picked up a WRITERS MARKET and sent queries to about 10 agents that indicated they would handle new authors. I signed a contract with the first one to send me a contract. She was an independent but did represent numerous writers. I found this out because she often sent me mail that was intended for other authors.
Amazingly she got Citadel Press to buy the book within a month. They were a subsidiary of Carol Publishing. All was going well! Being a first time author, Carol offered me $750 up front and another $750 when the final book was delivered. All money was to go to the agent and she was to take out her 10% and forward me the rest. I received the first $750 with no problem.
Several months went by and the book hit the stands. I did not receive the second $750. The first royalty check was due and I received nothing again. I tried to call the agent but there was no answer. I finally called the publisher and they said "we sent out the $750 months ago and the royalty check.
Finally I had the publisher send me copies of the checks and sure enough she had cashed them. I told the publisher to quit sending her the checks but they told me that they had to according to the contract. I finally went to a lawyer and sued the agent. The court action took place in my town (the judge that ruled lives across the street from me). I ended up winning and had her contract with me nulled. Sent copy to publisher and they have dealt directly with me ever since.
I had the $750 and 2 royalty checks stolen by the agent. In the long run I made out well because I have gotten every penny for the last 15 years. I should have known there would be problems when I first called the agent and a little girl answered with a "hello". The woman apparently had some financial issues and skipped town. I have no idea if she is still in the business.
Thought I would tell this story in case anyone here ever runs into the same thing. It is fairly easy to take them to court and most likely they will not show up. Just insure you get the cancelled checks from the publisher.
Now that I have written a new book I need to go through the whole agent thing again. I assume that going the WRITERS MARKET way is best. If anyone has any better ideas on getting an agent let me know. I sure hate the idea of all the money going to the agent. That sure seems backwards to me.
PS......Carol publishing was later bought out by Kensington and they decided to keep printing my book. It has done well.
thanks for listening,