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Thread: Wolcott Literary Agency

  1. #1
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Wolcott Literary Agency

    Though I found these guys through a literary agent search engine, it turns out they charge a reading fee, so stay away. From their response to me:

    Thank you for your interest in Wolcott Literary Agency. We would be interested in reading your manuscript. We specialize in genre and mainstream fiction and non-fiction for publication as mass-market paperbacks and hardbacks. We are always looking for new, talented clients to represent. Due to the enormous volume of manuscripts and mail we receive we charge a reading fee for all manuscripts submitted unless you have been previously published in the same field or genre. We will send you a detailed evaluation and critique of your work in addition to considering representing you within 45 days. We charge $150 to read and evaluate full manuscripts, and $50 for short stories that are part of a collection to 10,000 words.

  2. #2
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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  3. #3
    Writting broad batgirl's Avatar
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    That's quite poorly written. They say 'by charging fees' when it should be 'in charging fees', use 'found' where the sense suggests 'found out' (ie discovered or uncovered), use 'talented' to modify 'writing', and I'm pretty sure they don't mean 'average' when they say that 'the market average is 15%'.
    It reads more like a pitch for editing services than for agent services. If so, I'd prefer to have my work edited by someone with a more polished command of the language.
    On a minor point, they charge $50 for reading a short story, then claim "The ONLY money we earn is our commission from the sale of your works!" Which may be true in the sense that the reading fee is unearned.
    -Barbara
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  4. #4
    'bye soloset's Avatar
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    Nice. Their about page says they've been in business since 1996. P&E says not recommended.

    Wolcott Literary does charge reading fees, unless you have previously been published in the same field or genre by a non-subsidy publisher*, but there are benefits in doing so and they are two-fold. 1.) We GUARANTEE to read and evaluate each and every manuscript we request to see within 45 days.
    Oh, they guarantee it. So it's all right. Wait a minute... they guarantee they'll read and evaluate for $150 smackers. Isn't that what legitimate agents do for free?

    And the blue text on mottled gray background has officially turned the pinched feeling behind my eyes into a full-blown headache.

    We are aggressively seeking out new talent for representation, and we understand how much of an asset timely and personalized responses from agencies can be to the writer. We are expanding our agency rapidly, and a great percentage of the manuscripts we review are selected for representation.
    Wow. My $150 bucks is buying me a timely and personalized response. Hmm, let's see... timely and personalized, $150, versus possibly not timely or personalized but possibly either or both, free. Tough, tough call.

    Of course, they could just chuck out a form letter with my name and book title merged into it, or for $6 an hour hire some kid to "insert vague but pleasant line of encouragement here" on each letter.

    Does "I am in the wrong business" have a cute acronym like "IMHO"? It should, given the number of times I think it looking at some of these companies.

    If we see something marketable in your writing, even if there are flaws or format problems, we will work with new writers to get their manuscripts into the shape they need to be in for approaching publishers.
    Shucks, that's awful sweet. With all that working with and getting into shape, it's a wonder they have any time to, you know, actually make sales.

    I'd bet a donut if I had one that the next step is referal to an editing service anyway. Bleh!

    (I just clicked back to the main page to see if this was a joke and now I'm really blinded.)
    #

    Nothing’s inherently wrong with telling; nothing’s inherently wrong with showing. . . .
    When Picasso paints a canvas using only blue, you can still tell that he knows what he’s doing with color. When I paint a canvas using only blue, you will be quite certain from the result that it’s because I have no clue what to do with red or yellow—and you won’t be too sure I’ve got a grip on blue, either. Learn all the colors; then choose whichever seems right at the moment. Master the whole craft. ~ Keith Snyder

  5. #5
    Super Browser triceretops's Avatar
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    Cool

    Lay you odds they have hundreds of clients, too. They wouldn't have the time or resources to copy, address, and send out all those manuscripts for a stable that large. they even admit that they're accepting authors all the time. It's a factory

    Tri

  6. #6
    Writer Beware Goddess Absolute Sage victoriastrauss's Avatar
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    The Wolcott Agency has been around for years (Writer Beware has gotten many reports of its fees), but as far as I know has never made a commercial book sale.

    P.S. This is a textbook example of why it's not a good idea to search for literary agents online.

    - Victoria

  7. #7
    I'm keeping my day job williamfromkc's Avatar
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    Victoria-
    What's wrong with searching online if we stop by PE and watercooler before sending the query?

  8. #8
    Writer Beware Goddess Absolute Sage victoriastrauss's Avatar
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    I'm about to put up a blog post on that very subject. Stop by later this evening.

    - Victoria

  9. #9
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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    Writer Beware's posts on how to Use Caution on the Internet: Part 1 and Part 2.

    As for Wolcott, the site's gone and I find no further activity.
    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:

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