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Thread: Reading Room Associates

  1. #1
    practical experience, FTW GeoffNelder's Avatar
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    Reading Room Associates

    A former Hill & Hill client found this agency on First Writer. They are based near Warrington, UK, and charge 350 for incidentals. Like the H&H agency the fee is returnable when royalties roll in.

    No mention of fees is on their website

    http://www.reading-room.org.uk/

    But the comments at FW mention them. Has anyone had dealings with them?

    Geoff

  2. #2
    practical experience, FTW Dollywagon's Avatar
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    Just out of interest, Geoff, you weren't thinking of approaching them, were you?

  3. #3
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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    Unless they can supply you with a verifiable list of clients you have heard of and/or can find their books on shelves in your local store, run far away fast.

    Strongly suggested reading: A brief note on linguistic markers (recognising scammers) and its sequel More linguistic markers.
    ICAO
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    I've never known any trouble that an hour's reading didn't assuage. -- Charles DeSecondat

    II 2016: 2017:

  4. #4
    practical experience, FTW GeoffNelder's Avatar
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    I can't run from them, their address is just down the road! <br /><br />
    Once bitten, Dolly, million times shy. I'd have to have all the assuances CaoPaux mentions, not have to pay, proof they really submit to publishers, and be very very desperate. So, no. <br /><br /> Geoff

  5. #5
    Now departed. Rest in peace, Scott, from all of us at AW Popeyesays's Avatar
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    If they are getting about $500.00 in fees already, what incentive do they have to sell your book? They only have to return it if they DO sell it.
    So, ask yourself, why should they bother to work for what they already have in their pocket?

    Regards,
    Scott
    Okay, damnit, I blog http://cscottsaylorsbooks.blogspot.com/
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  6. #6
    practical experience, FTW GeoffNelder's Avatar
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    Fear not, Pop I, I'm not going to make their pockets bulge.

    Geoff

  7. #7
    wishes you happiness JennaGlatzer's Avatar
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    Wow. Never heard of this one before, but glad you brought them up.

    From their front page:

    Getting published is a minefield for any new author
    A minefield?! The path to publication is strewn with dead bodies? Hardly. I instantly see this as a red flag-- it's the first statement on their page and it's meant to be an emotional appeal to writers. "Getting published is SO HARD for new writers! We understand!" Real agents have no need to "sell themselves" to writers. They're inundated with submissions.

    Manuscripts are put on the slush pile.
    Yes. And? The slush pile isn't a torment device (except to the unfortunate editors and assistants who actually have to read it). All that means is "manuscripts will sit in a pile somewhere for a limited period of time until someone gets around to reading them." Not exactly a tragedy.

    Agents only consider published authors.
    Lie! Lie! Easily disproven lie. Almost all agents will consider unpublished writers. They just have to be damn good unpublished writers.

    No one is willing to take a risk
    Lie again! Agents take on unpublished writers every day, and publishers buy the work of debut authors every day. Where do you think debut authors come from? Every writer was once unpublished. Someone "took a risk."

    We understand that and our aim is to make your life easier.
    How nice. Their other aim is to make your wallet lighter.

    Even if we only get your first novel published, we are happy to have helped
    What a loaded sentence. That's making it sound like it's a given that they'll get your novel published-- and possibly more. I'd love to see some proof of that. Do you see a client list on the site? A list of sales? I don't.

    Then there's the fact that their grammar is abysmal (some sentences have periods at the end, some don't; some words are randomly capitalized for no reason; they don't know where to place the world "only" in a sentence...), and the fact that they're virtually invisible. Real agents leave tracks. When they make sales, trade magazines have notes about it. Clients mention their agents in interviews and on the web. When they move or expand, publishing magazines and websites have info about it.

    This agency, on the other hand, has no Google tracks other than a "steer clear" thread at Writers.net here: http://www.writers.net/forum/read/10...5777b8aaee7672

    It's never okay for an agent to charge up-front fees. Some agents do charge for expenses (copying, postage, long distance calls) AFTER the expense is incurred, and written on an itemized list. The money for expenses is then deducted from the advance, not the other way around-- you're not expected to pay a flat rate for unspecified expenses that have not even occurred, then get that money back IF the book sells (which it almost never will, if you're with an upront-fee-charging agency).

    In short: No way, no how. Steer clear.
    I am no longer here. If you'd like to visit me, please find me at www.jennaglatzer.com or on Facebook. Thanks!

  8. #8
    wishes you happiness JennaGlatzer's Avatar
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    P.S. The person who registered their domain is Neil S. Chantrell. Not sure if this means Neil runs the "agency," but if so, here's his bio: http://www.beer.u-net.com/people.htm
    I am no longer here. If you'd like to visit me, please find me at www.jennaglatzer.com or on Facebook. Thanks!

  9. #9
    I heart Malamutes! :-) JerseyGirl1962's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JennaGlatzer
    P.S. The person who registered their domain is Neil S. Chantrell. Not sure if this means Neil runs the "agency," but if so, here's his bio: http://www.beer.u-net.com/people.htm
    A beer guy? Hey, I like U.S. micros, lots of different English ales, the occasional German lager and weiss beer, but...he's got something to do with this "literary agency"? The mind boggles.

    ~Nancy
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    It took me fifteen years to discover that I had no talent for writing, but I couldn't give it up because by that time I was too famous. ~Robert Benchley

  10. #10
    Your Genial Uncle Absolute Sage James D. Macdonald's Avatar
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    "...charge &#163;350...." is where you should stop.

  11. #11
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    And Again?

    Well done Geoff. I too went back to Firstwriter while I wait for a copy of the Handbook to arrive. The websight for the Reading room seemed suspiciously sparse and the search request had specified no fees.

    The oustanding thing was that the entry had 17 positive comments. Now I had trailed through from A to R before I came accross them. That number of comments simply don't appear on other agencies.

    As a recent sufferer of the Hill experience it sounds as if history may be repeating itself at Firstwriter. Just a thought.

  12. #12
    practical experience, FTW GeoffNelder's Avatar
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    The language is neater, but the MO is very similar.

  13. #13
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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    Site's gone, with no further mention. Looks like this minefield's been cleared.




    (Aw, c'mon! You knew that was coming.... )
    ICAO
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    Achievers strive for excellence. Perfectionists drive themselves to extinction. -- A Grapple A Day
    I've never known any trouble that an hour's reading didn't assuage. -- Charles DeSecondat

    II 2016: 2017:

  14. #14
    practical experience, FTW GeoffNelder's Avatar
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    Hopefully, their zero client list led them to take up knitting instead.

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