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Thread: Talbot Fortune Agency

  1. #1
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin Aeneas's Avatar
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    Talbot Fortune Agency

    I'll start with a big apology--I tried to get into the Bewares index, but got error message. So, I will dare and start a new thread.

    Has anyone heard anything, or can share regarding the Talbot Fortune Agency?

    The information I have shows that both John Talbot and Gail Fortune are ex-editors with big publishers. They only accept e-queries. Their web site is low key, there seem to be no other 'tricks'. I've seen bytes about them in Publishers Weekly.

    Does anyone know anything, or heard anything about them?

    Thanks.
    Last edited by Aeneas; 10-18-2006 at 03:14 AM.
    Aeneas

  2. #2
    Procrastination is its own reward K1P1's Avatar
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    Preditors and Editors lists them as having sales, but no further information:

    Talbot Fortune Agency, The: $ A literary agency. Further information unavailable.
    I was able to took at the Bewares Index, but didn't see a listing for either of them or the agency.

    Edit: from their web site http://www.johntalbotagency.com/ - Gail Fortune only has one book deal listed (published with William Morrow), but John Talbot lists a number of authors. You might want to look at each of them. A quick glance shows Simon & Schuster and Doubleday.

    Another update - on their web site they have a "deals archive." Have you looked at it? They list a number of "major deals," which the categorize as >$500,000, plus lots of lesser ones.
    Last edited by K1P1; 10-18-2006 at 04:35 AM.

  3. #3
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin Aeneas's Avatar
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    Talbot and Fortune

    Thank you so very much! Yes, I looked at 'deals' and each agent's books. It looks quite varied, but, unless I am missing something, not too bad. Do you agree?

    Gail Fortune is not a member of AAR, John Talbot is. I think she is very, very new with the agency, from the little I was able to find out. I tracked the agency through the annoucement in PW that she has joined Talbot.

    I like that they accept email queries. It makes it simple.

    Thank you again. If you have any other thoughts, I would appreciate it. And, finally, I was able to get into the Bewares.

    Aeneas

  4. #4
    Procrastination is its own reward K1P1's Avatar
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    Aeneas, I'm very new at this, so don't speak with any authority. I just happened to see your post and do some checking when no one else answered. It still pays to do some more research.

    For example - check with the authors of the books they sold - do they recommend the agent? Do they acknowledge the agent in the book and/or on their web site/blog? My experience when I began looking at individual books and authors represented by my future agent was that at least some of them were approachable by e-mail and were happy to describe their experience with the agent. A personal recommendation made me feel much more comfortable.

    Check the other sites that cover agents and scams: http://www.sfwa.org/beware/
    http://www.agentquery.com/
    etc.

    Search the web for any complaints about them.

    Ask Victoria Strauss to do a check for you.

    I'm sure some of the more experienced agent-trackers will show up here soon to comment.

  5. #5
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin Aeneas's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Fortune and Talbot

    Thank you again very much. Your advise is great and very valuable. I will do as you suggested. You may be 'new', but you certainly have acquired a lot of wisdom in this; unlike me... who got 'caught' by an ineffective agent. But, that's a story for another day.

    Aeneas
    Aeneas

  6. #6
    Procrastination is its own reward K1P1's Avatar
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    I learned everything I know right here and at the Writers Beware web site. By far, some of the best advice I got, both here and from friends who are writers and editors, was to look at books similar to mine and check for acknowledgements to agents. It worked like a charm. Have you tried that?

    Best of luck to you in your agent search!

    And, please, share your information on the ineffective agent here if you feel comfortable doing it and have not already done so.

  7. #7
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin Aeneas's Avatar
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    Yes, I know what you mean--this site is an absolute gold mine, both in resources and in the experience other people bring to it; and their willingness to share.

    I have not checked for aknowledgements, and thank you for pointing it out to me. This is, you are right, probably the best advise. I am going to start doing this right now.

    Thank you again. And BTW, my mother used to be a fabulous knitter. I am all thumbs...
    Aeneas

  8. #8
    banned as an incurable tosspot
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    Aeneas,

    Did you submit to Talbot Fortune? I'm thinking of submitting a query to John Talbot so I'd appreciate anything anyone can add to this thread, good or bad.

    Thanks.

  9. #9
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin Aeneas's Avatar
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    Hello, Carmy. Yes, I did, an e-query, as they prefer it that way. They are also very specific as to what they want or don't want. So far, I have not received any kind of acknowledgement, either way. Since it has been about five weeks, I have checked it off as 'no go.'

    They say on their site that they have a very high volume of queries--which I expect since equery is so easy. What troubles me is the statement that because of the high volume, if they do not wish to represent your material, they would not provide any communication. So, one could be waiting for Godot for a long time...

    I do find this approach rather high handed and discourteous, and certainly disdainful of the writer's time and effort.

    I am considering a follow up email, although at this point I have no further interest in it. It doesn't bode well of how they treat their clients.

    Be that as it may, do submit. What have you got to lose? Just don't wait for them and submit to others as well. That's what I did. In retrospect, I should have ignored the equery requirement and sent hard copy.

    Aeneas.
    Aeneas

  10. #10
    practical experience, FTW Manat's Avatar
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    I submitted to them by e-mail over 4 months ago and never got a response. I crossed them of my list.

  11. #11
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin Aeneas's Avatar
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    I crossed them off my list also at this point, although it's only been four weeks. They were the first agency I've sent a query, and they're water under the bridge by now. I have sent them a follow up email at the end of the four weeks, though. I have no expectations.
    Aeneas

  12. #12
    banned as an incurable tosspot
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    Thanks Aeneas and Manat. I appreciate your input.

    It costs nothing to submit, so I will, but with few expectations.

    It would take them about two seconds to email a thanks-but-no-thanks reply, prewritten and copied into a Reply Mail. That they don't bother speaks volumes -- and that goes for other agencies and publishers, too.

    I'm waiting for the day when all those high-handed and discourteous agents and publishers beg me for my next manuscript. The only problem is -- would I be able to hold back on mailing them an 'answer'.

  13. #13
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin Aeneas's Avatar
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    I am waiting for the same day! And please don't hold back. I won't. Hahaha. I'll let you know if I get an answer to my follow up. Yeah, sure.
    Aeneas

  14. #14
    Moderator In Name Only AW Moderator Roger J Carlson's Avatar
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    I've noticed an increasing number of agents who say that if you don't hear back from them, consider it a 'no'. I've decided not to submit to any agent like that. It makes me wonder how many of their clients' emails they conveniently ignore.

    I believe that professionalism starts with courtesy. People who are discourteous in small, unimportant things (like unsolicited queries) are capable of discourtesy in large things.

    That said, I also don't waste my time waiting for a day when I can snub them back. Forget 'em and move on.
    --Roger J. Carlson

  15. #15
    practical experience, FTW Tilly's Avatar
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    I think there's an additional problem with expecting silence to mean 'no'. Long waits are normal in the submission process, so unless there's a timeframe, there's no way of telling if they haven't got back to you yet, or have rejected you.

    I can't see any such time frame on their website.
    Last edited by Tilly; 11-23-2006 at 12:00 AM.

  16. #16
    Been my experience that the longer you wait for a response, the greater the chance it will end in rejection.

  17. #17
    practical experience, FTW
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    Quote Originally Posted by JAK
    Been my experience that the longer you wait for a response, the greater the chance it will end in rejection.
    Bummer, JAK. Is this really the case? That has been my greatest fear, especially since an agent I very much want to represent me has had my full for the past five months; and when I emailed for a "status check" a couple months ago, I was told that my work was "still under consideration."

    I remain a diehard optimist, as my username implies, but alas, I'm starting to wonder if my optimism has been, um, misplaced....

    -hopeful

  18. #18
    I *am* Catwoman...and Gini Koch WPR Dominatrix JeanneTGC's Avatar
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    I've gotten fast and slow rejections. I've had someone interested take quite a while to reply and also had someone interested reply quickly. Speed didn't seem to indicate much more than I hit Agent A during a lull and did not hit Agent B during a slow time.

    Speed also didn't, and most of the time probably doesn't, equal acceptance. There are just some who will respond faster than others -- doesn't make their "no" any more or less meaningful than the slower "no" reply. And a slow reply doesn't make their "yes" any less exciting, either.

    I think the best thing to do is to ensure that you always have more than one query out at a time and that you also keep on working on your next, or multiple, WIP. Always have something else going on than just hanging about, waiting for that "one agent" to reply. It makes both the waiting and the rejection easier, and makes the acceptance that much better (because you can say, "Whoo ha! And, when you're ready, I also have THIS to show you.")
    Jeanne

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  19. #19
    practical experience, FTW
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    Thanks for your wise words, Jeanne!

    They are MUCH appreciated.

    -hopeful

  20. #20
    Super Browser triceretops's Avatar
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    I'm drumming my nails on a counter waiting for 10 publishers to get back to me. They. Are. All. Overdue. I hope this is not a trend, and that it has something to do with the holidays. I keep yelling, but I keep hearing an echo out there. Never seen it this bad before.

    Tri

  21. #21
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin Aeneas's Avatar
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    Cool

    Quote Originally Posted by triceretops
    I'm drumming my nails on a counter waiting for 10 publishers to get back to me. They. Are. All. Overdue. I hope this is not a trend, and that it has something to do with the holidays. I keep yelling, but I keep hearing an echo out there. Never seen it this bad before.

    Tri
    Same here. I am afraid unless you've got some uber agent walking it in for you, it's slooooooooow. I have to say though, that all the publishers I've written in the UK, and agents, (and film producers/directors) were all quick to answer, very courteous and when they actually wanted to see my stuff they used email. They said no immediately; they said yes, we want to see, a bit slower, but still quick. Actual buying, that takes time.
    Aeneas

  22. #22
    banned as an incurable tosspot
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    We'll see what happens.

    I have several queries out to agencies and publishers so I won't be waiting around for them.

    Has anyone submitted an email query anywhere and asked for notification when the mail is opened?

  23. #23
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin Aeneas's Avatar
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    Yes, I have. I am set up to receive notification. However, I never did get it. The other side can set up to bypass the notification. I am doing the same thing on my computer.
    Aeneas

  24. #24
    banned as an incurable tosspot
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    Uh-oh, I didn't know they could do that. I guess there's no point in upsetting them by asking for notification.

    I've just blasted off one query, and I'm about to do one for Talbot Fortune. I'll let you know if I hear anything.

  25. #25
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin Aeneas's Avatar
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    Best of luck, Carmy. Let's see what you get. I would be quite interested. I'll let you guys know what I get. If I get; when I get...
    Aeneas

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