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Thread: [Agency] Trident Media Group

  1. #301
    aka Sadistic Mistress Mi-chan M.R.J. Le Blanc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DerekJager View Post
    I think it's really important that we do all we can to "sell" our book to the agents--so I think the idea that I already had it professionally edited, had got a well known person (even tho a killer!) contribute, and lined up some experts may have helped.
    Not necessarily with regards to the editor. For the most part, it seems agents don't give preference to a ms that's been professionally edited over one that hasn't. A lot of books have been picked up and published that were never professionally edited before being picked up, and I'm sure it's likely that they beat out a few that were. Editing's only half the battle; it's the story you have to tell that agents are more interested in. Obviously we're responsible for presenting a ms that's reasonably free of grammar, spelling and other such mistakes, but professional edits I don't think factor in as much on the decision as you might think they do.
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  2. #302
    practical experience, FTW
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    Andrew, you can private message me via the administrator--just click on my profile and if you aren't able to do it yet, he/she will forward it.

    Le Blanc, I didn't mean to imply that agents are more likely to "pick us" if we have a "perfect manuscript" -- you're absolutely correct that the story is the thing and I had PLENTY of rejections--more than 40 I think--before I got the five "hits."

    Because of the nature of my book, the idea that I had already had it vettered, edited (by someone most all editors/agents know) only helped in that I think some of the agents felt that I had a handle on the business and went the extra mile.

    I even have the advertising campaign ready---!

  3. #303
    aka Sadistic Mistress Mi-chan M.R.J. Le Blanc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DerekJager View Post
    I even have the advertising campaign ready---!
    ...isn't that usually the publisher's job? Or does non-fiction work a little different?
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  4. #304
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Re: Not Giving Up

    Wow, thanks for the votes of support everyone. It is much appreciated.

    Copperpockets: not Miller, another agent at Trident.

    By lesser agency: I mean one that gets perhaps 100 queries a week instead of a thousand. I'd like to increase my chances.

    I'm not giving up. Definitely not. Just giving up on the idea of a big, powerful agency. I've contacted a number of them and most don't even respond.

    Made it through the first couple of rounds at the Sandra Dijkstra agency, but in the end was rejected. Also received the nastiest rejection of my career from Russ Galen (why, I have no idea). I realize there are people who love this person as an agent, but I'd have preferred the non-response of Trident, and will never, ever recommend him to another writer.

    I've searched the bookstores for other books similar to mine, but can't really find another book like it. When I do see something that's sort of in the same vein, either the agent is a big name who doesn't accept unsolicited submissions, or the author didn't mention him/her in the acknowledgments.

    At the moment, I'm well and truly stumped.
    Last edited by DeterminedNovelist; 01-10-2009 at 12:14 AM.

  5. #305
    Entertainment Ronin
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    Determined,

    Very unusual to hear that about Galen--when he doesn't like something, the writer usually just gets silence in response. How long ago was this when you received a nasty rejection from him?

  6. #306
    aka Sadistic Mistress Mi-chan M.R.J. Le Blanc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeterminedNovelist View Post
    I've searched the bookstores for other books similar to mine, but can't really find another book like it. When I do see something that's sort of in the same vein, either the agent is a big name who doesn't accept unsolicited submissions, or the author didn't mention him/her in the acknowledgments.
    A lot of agents don't accept unsolicited submissions; generally that means query first. Unless of course you're referring to referrals. I could imagine how annoying it must be to get tons of mss and partials when you didn't ask for them, and I can understand agents who just toss those out especially if they have guidelines that indicate you query first.

    I don't know if it's any indication as to how good an agent is if they're not mentioned in acknowledgements; probably very little. I have a couple books with no mention of the agent, and these are books by reputable agents. Selling the book is the agent's job - it's what's required of them. While I'm sure they do appreciate it when a client publically acknowledges them, I don't think they really care all that much. They have other mss they need to sell; if they're the type who fret because x client didn't thank them, I'd wonder if they're worth working with.
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  7. #307
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Several months ago. Other writers' mileage may vary with Galen. I've simply never gotten a response like that. A room full of rejections to go with the drawer of acceptances sure, just not one like that.

  8. #308
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin copperpockets's Avatar
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    I queried Russ Galen 883 days ago (yes, that's not a typo) and have never received a response. Obviously, he's not interested; why can't he add my email to a listserver that will fire off more of the great Rejection Boilerplate agents so relish dishing out? Just so I'm certain he (or someone) saw the query and consciously declined it. That would have prevented me from querying him a second time 15 months later with a fresh letter (also never received a reply to that one).

    Just a modest proposal.

  9. #309
    Pernicious...n'stuff. Leukman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Noah Body View Post
    Well, I must not be in the spam filter...

    Scokim assistant to me
    show details 2:24 PM Reply


    I will be out of the office from Wednesday, January 7 to Friday, January 9. I will respond to all calls and e-mails upon my return on Monday, January 12.

    Guess who I'll call on January 13?
    At least you now know that your communication went through. I sent a status query on the 6th and have had no response. I should've waited one more day, then at least I'd know it was sitting in his inbox.

    Anyway, good to know he's out these two days since I can take that into account for a response time (or lack thereof). Thanks for sharing.

    Look forward to hearing the result of your call.

  10. #310
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    Quote Originally Posted by M.R.J. Le Blanc View Post
    A lot of agents don't accept unsolicited submissions; generally that means query first...

    I don't know if it's any indication as to how good an agent is if they're not mentioned in acknowledgements; probably very little.
    Sorry for the confusion. By unsolicited, I mean the agent isn't open at all to queries by writers who haven't been personally recommended by someone the agent personally knows. If you go to agentquery.com, in the listings for many of the top agents you'll see a notation like "not accepting unsolicited queries." What I understand that to mean is the agent isn't even going to look at your query. I don't send a manuscript to anyone without querying first.

    Also, the reason I look at the acknowledgments is not to determine if an agent is a good one or not. Rather it's to learn the name of the agent who represented a book of a type similar to mine. For instance, if I like XYZ book, and I think there's a chance the agent who represented it might also like my book, I glance at the acknowledgments, hoping the author will have thanked that person. If I know the agent's name, I can go look up his/her policies regarding queries (i.e. are they accepting unsolicited queries or not?). I find it's one of the quickest, easiest ways to do a little market research, and personalize a query letter.

  11. #311
    aka Sadistic Mistress Mi-chan M.R.J. Le Blanc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeterminedNovelist View Post
    Also, the reason I look at the acknowledgments is not to determine if an agent is a good one or not. Rather it's to learn the name of the agent who represented a book of a type similar to mine. For instance, if I like XYZ book, and I think there's a chance the agent who represented it might also like my book, I glance at the acknowledgments, hoping the author will have thanked that person. If I know the agent's name, I can go look up his/her policies regarding queries (i.e. are they accepting unsolicited queries or not?). I find it's one of the quickest, easiest ways to do a little market research, and personalize a query letter.
    Try searching the book on Google. That might bring up the agent's name even if they're not in the acknowledgements
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  12. #312
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Quote Originally Posted by M.R.J. Le Blanc View Post
    Try searching the book on Google. That might bring up the agent's name even if they're not in the acknowledgements
    You're right, and I have tried that. In a couple of cases, I've gotten lucky, but a lot of times, the agent remains a mystery. Unfortunately, lately it's been just when I've found a book I think might be applicable.

    Noah Body: LOL on the "silence."

  13. #313
    Who's going for a beer? waylander's Avatar
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    I presume you've been through our own AW list of fantasy agents here http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=42019

    It is very often the case that it is easier to gain an offer of representation from a new agent than an established one. Russell Galen probably only takes on one or two new clients a year whereas someone just setting up might take on 15.

    It took me 3 attempts to get a response to my query from Russell Galen
    Last edited by waylander; 01-09-2009 at 03:57 AM.

  14. #314
    practical experience, FTW
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    About 15 years ago, I took a year off from advertising (I'm a copywriter) and worked at a publishing house to see what it was like "from the inside."

    What I learned--and has been confirmed from writers--is that in 99% of the cases, it's up to us (unless you have a $$ track record) to promote your book, as we all probably know. And you don't want to pester the publicist/publicty/marketing department with ideas or suggestions, but if you have ideas for ads or promotions for your book, they tend to be open and welcoming to the ideas--saves them the work.

    I'm fortunate because of my ad background to have a sense of how to go about it, but to answer the question, YES, it's up to the publisher to put dollars behind the book.

    It used to be they would invest $1 behind each copy they were going to publish. In other words, most first novels (back then) sold 3000-5000 so they would plan on spending $5000 to promote the book.

    Back then, I think it costs about $30,000 for a full page ad in the NY Times book review, so you can see that $5000---even back then--didn't go far.

    Working with the publishing house, they have mailing lists they use but perhaps no money for your book. If you pick up the printing costs and labor, you may gain access to their list. For example, a simple postcard mailing to book buyers every three weeks--called "pulse marketing"--can be cheap and effective.

    Your bookcover on the "face" of the postcard, and on the address side, ordering information (by book rep for that territory) and maybe any blurbs you have.

    Anyway, that's what I mean by I having the ads figured out -- they can use them or not, but I'll certainly promote the book.

  15. #315
    Word Count Slayer JenWriter's Avatar
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    Many agencies take a very long time to respond to material. It isn't just Trident. Publishing is a very, very slow business. Just because it's taking some time for them to respond doesn't mean they're being scammy or stealing anyone's manuscript ideas.

    Personally, I've received nothing but prompt responses from the agency, and after meeting Scott in person, I think he's a great agent.
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  16. #316
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Unpublished and non-celebrity authors querying Trident: should they offer representation, please be aware that their contract contains several onerous clauses. Having once signed an agreement containing similar terms at an equally large agency, I was determined not to make the same mistake. I forwarded the agreement to my attorney, who is experienced with book publishing. Trident refused to negotiate the clauses, which included a three-year (!) term, and "rights in perpetuity" to any all permutations of the writer's work. The agent - who's been an agent for about an hour - rescinded the offer of representation. Writer Beware, indeed.
    BTW - To copperpockets, had the same experience with Elblonk. The rudeness, arrogance and unprofessionalism in publishing has increased exponentially since I began authoring books.

  17. #317
    Writer Beware Goddess Absolute Sage victoriastrauss's Avatar
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    I've heard from a number of people that Trident's contract contains an interminable agency clause, but I've yet to actually see a contract. If anyone would be willing to share, in complete confidence, I'd be very grateful: beware@sfwa.org.

    Interminable agency clauses are not writer-friendly, to put it mildly, and there has been much criticism of them by writers' groups, including the Authors Guild. But either these clauses are becoming more common, or writers are more alert to them, because I'm getting an increasing number of reports of agencies, large and small, that include them in their contracts.

    - Victoria

  18. #318
    Writer Beware Goddess Absolute Sage victoriastrauss's Avatar
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    I've gotten several complaints now that this thread has been derailed (I agree), with requests to split off the posts about nefarious thieving agents into a new thread. I'm going to lock the thread for the time being while I do that.

    - Victoria

  19. #319
    Writer Beware Goddess Absolute Sage victoriastrauss's Avatar
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    The posts about evil idea-stealing agents have been moved to Take it Outside. Hopefully we can now resume discussion of Trident Media Group.

    - Victoria

  20. #320
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    Thank you Victoria.

  21. #321
    Pernicious...n'stuff. Leukman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by victoriastrauss View Post
    The posts about evil idea-stealing agents have been moved to Take it Outside. Hopefully we can now resume discussion of Trident Media Group.

    - Victoria
    Muchos thankyoos.

    And on that note:

    Has anyone had any communication whatsoever from Miller since the first of the year?

  22. #322
    Entertainment Ronin
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    Well, not to continue to sow seeds of discontent, but I did just call over there regarding my submission from last August. The assistant said she'd look into it to ensure they received it, so that's it for now. Can't ask for more than that, I guess.

  23. #323
    figuring it all out Dev's Avatar
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    I'm just entering these waters...I sent a query to Mr. Miller on 28 November, and just received a full request this morning. I'll send it out today, but based on the traffic from you guys, I'm feeling a little wary.

    Best of luck to all of you.

    --Dev

  24. #324
    Entertainment Ronin
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    Hey, congrats...we're now neck-and-neck!

  25. #325
    God of Squirrels David McAfee's Avatar
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    I received a request for material from Mr. Miller today, as well. I queried him on 12/9/08.
    If I had a signature, you'd be reading it right now.

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