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Thread: The August Agency

  1. #1
    FordGunter
    Guest

    The August Agency

    I recently e-queried the above agency, and this was the reply:

    Your response and your first 1,000 words have us intrigued, so you've earned your way to the next step.

    Please visit the website for The August Agency if you haven't already, then send the full manuscript to the address below marked "Requested Material - 1/11," both in hardcopy and on a floppy diskette or CD, accompanied by a copy of this original query letter of yours. Also include a proposal with the types of info editors need in the way of supporting materials (snappy bio, photo, overview/synopsis, competition, marketing, etc.). For info on how to prepare a proper proposal you can consult any of several good books, such as ones by Elizabeth Lyon, Michael Larson, or Jeff Herman.

    There's no need to send it express -- save your hard-earned pennies -- and please don't require a signature for delivery. (You don't want to be the one whose name I'm cursing because I have to stand in line at the post office...) Also, there's no need to include return postage, we'll email our response to you, probably within 90 days. But be sure to include your email address -- you'd be surprised how many don't, and that just gums up the works.

    Take your time, be yourself, be creative. Knock our socks off!

    PS: Yes, being a writer for 12 years before becoming an agent, I understand your caution. Also: FYI: We'll be at the Wrangling With Writing Conference in Tucson at the end of the month. Wrangling With Writing 2004 Come and meet us -- and learn a lot about the book publishing industry, too!

    Cricket Pechstein, Agent
    The August Agency
    www.augustagency.com
    cricket@augustagency.com
    4200 60th Court, Vero Beach FL 32967


    The website says the authors page is under construction. Anyone know anything about these guys? Her partner's name is Jeffrey McGraw.

  2. #2
    vstrauss
    Guest

    Re: Christina Pechstein/The August Agency

    The August Agency is a new agency, but only Jeffrey McGraw (a former editor with one of the large publishing houses, Harper, I think) is the only one who's new to agenting. Ms. Pechstein worked for some years with New Brand Agency, which has a small track record but is not much of a player, and then struck off on her own in 2001 to form the Christina Pechstein Agency. Since that time, I've never been able to pick up any sales for her. To be fair, I haven't gotten any complaints either.

    She's one of those habitual conference attenders.

    - Victoria

  3. #3
    JohannaJ7
    Guest

    re:

    They asked for your full manuscript, photo, marketing (that's the publisher's job, not your agent's) and so on after seeing 1000 words of your ms? Heh.

    My gut says "stay away". But then, my gut says the same thing about lbfbooks, so I might be wrong. But I decided to check out this agent's website anyway ( www.agentcricket.com/ ).

    Looking at her bio, it seems as if she's very into marketing, but doesn't seem to have any connections. Furthermore, her website is awfully big on talking about "our enthusiastic writers" (translation: writers who are naive enough to do whatever the publisher and/or agent tells them, including buying his/her own books and doing all of the promotion) and "finding the best publishing home for that book and that author (which sometimes is not the one with the biggest advance)" (translation: who cares if they only give you a $1 advance, you'll be published!).

    We feel a literary agent is, among other things, an author's accomplice, advocate, ally, anchor, champion, coach, commando, compass, conductor, confessor, confidante, consultant, counsel, cover, cowboy, critic, defender, dragon-slayer, drummer, editor, envoy, evangelist, expert, financial advisor, fire-eater, flesh peddler, fortune-teller, go-between, guardian angel, hand-holder, handler, harmonizer, helper, henchman, interpreter, jungle guide, keeper, knight, liaison, lobbyist, magician, mediator, medicine man, musketeer, negotiator, ombudsman, partisan, partner, pearl-diver, pilot, prophet, promoter, protector, psychic, referee, representative, scout, scrapper, shaman, sharpshooter, shoulder to cry on, shrink, sounding board, steward, Superman, surrogate, swordsman, sympathizer, tower of strength, umpire, warrior, witch doctor, and wizard.
    No, see, an agent's job is to get your ms into the hands of good editors who work for good publishers.

    Seems to me as if she's using a lot of words to gloss over what she's not going to be able to offer you.

    - No impressive experience as an agent.
    - Lot's of fancy pep-talks, but no actual proof of what she can do.
    - The August Agency is based in Florida, while all the major US publishers are in New York. That Jefferey person is listed as a "New York Contact", but Christina herself is in Florida.

  4. #4
    vstrauss
    Guest

    Re: re:

    Ooh, I missed the photo. That's tres unprofessional. Your gut and mine are saying the same thing, Johanna.

    - Victoria

  5. #5
    NicoleJLeBoeuf
    Guest

    Re: Christina Pechstein/The August Agency

    Your response and your first 1,000 words have us intrigued, so you've earned your way to the next step.
    "You've earned your way to the next step"??? With an opener like that, my sleaze-bucket sensor alerts would be going off, too... Yick! Please tell me that real, legit, reputable agents don't respond to queries like that.

  6. #6
    spywriter
    Guest

    Re: Christina Pechstein/The August Agency

    FORD!

    STEP AWAY FROM THE BAD AGENT.......

    I was creeped out from beginning to end. THe photo thing sent off bells, but the alphabetical agent description turned my stomach. I guess she had nothing else to do than to go through a dictionary picking out words to describe herself.

    Check this agent out from your rear view mirror my friend.

  7. #7
    spywriter
    Guest

    Re: Christina Pechstein/The August Agency

    "We feel a literary agent is, among other things, an author's accomplice, advocate, ally, anchor, champion, coach, commando, compass, conductor, confessor, confidante, consultant, counsel, cover, cowboy, critic, defender, dragon-slayer, drummer, editor, envoy, evangelist, expert, financial advisor, fire-eater, flesh peddler, fortune-teller, go-between, guardian angel, hand-holder, handler, harmonizer, helper, henchman, interpreter, jungle guide, keeper, knight, liaison, lobbyist, magician, mediator, medicine man, musketeer, negotiator, ombudsman, partisan, partner, pearl-diver, pilot, prophet, promoter, protector, psychic, referee, representative, scout, scrapper, shaman, sharpshooter, shoulder to cry on, shrink, sounding board, steward, Superman, surrogate, swordsman, sympathizer, tower of strength, umpire, warrior, witch doctor, and wizard.

    Um....why am I the only one bothered by this descrption? This is too much...way too much.

  8. #8
    FordGunter
    Guest

    thanks

    Thanks for all the helpful info. I'm new to this group, but I'm impressed by all the responses! Thanks again!

    Ford

  9. #9
    DaveKuzminski
    Guest

    Re: thanks

    It never ceases to amaze me that a significant number of agents and publishers suddenly close or move their websites when those are mentioned in a watchdog site. It's almost as if they're desperate to validate what's being stated.

  10. #10
    JohannaJ7
    Guest

    re:

    Spywriter, my favourites on that list are "evangelist", "prophet" and "surrogate". Surrogate for what, exactly?

  11. #11
    spywriter
    Guest

    Scammer

    Yeah...but what about PEARL DIVER? We can ask some of the board elders, but I know that when I'm looking at agents, I want to know if they will me MY PEARL DIVER.

    Thanks for the chuckle Ford...sorry it's kinda at your expense. BUT! Know that we have all been there. (I'm actually kinda still there.)

  12. #12
    JohannaJ7
    Guest

    Re: Scammer

    And who doesn't need a "flesh peddler" in this day and age?

  13. #13
    spywriter
    Guest

    description

    I don't know who is the bigger loser...me or her? Her for writing SEVENTY THREE DESCRIPTIONS or me for counting them all!:eek

    Ladies and gentlemen....this..this is ridiculous. I am going to stop right here because I can make jokes about this lady all night. Although, I can't believe I forgot SHARPSHOOTER and COWBOY. :lol Come on...I can make fun of almost every one. I'm done!

    Although I do have one more question...don't suppose she wanted a naked photo? It so would not surprise me. Nope Ford...try again. Sorry....

  14. #14
    Pellegrina Leoni
    Guest

    Her description...



    Ick. Just... ick. :x

  15. #15
    Stace001
    Guest

    Re: Her description...

    Pellegrina, I'm with you...ICK!!:x

  16. #16
    Billy Markham
    Guest

    August Agency

    My name is Lance Hawvermale. Under the pseudonym of Erin O'Rourke, I published the women's fiction novel Seeing Pink. Publisher's Weekly said, "Deftly written, O'Rourke's debut is full of appealing characters and moments that sparkle with tenderness."

    The hardcover sold out of its first print run in less than five weeks. The trade paperback edition was released in September.

    How does this pertain to the topic at hand?

    Cricket Pechstein is my agent.

    Cricket landed this book deal for me and brokered a nice advance. You may check out the Erin O'Rourke website at www.erinorourke.com.

    I feel I must respond to the uninformed opinions expressed in this post. Cricket is playful, enthusiastic, and an aggressive marketer of her clients' work. Her recent partnership with Mr. McGraw bodes well for all of us she represents. Cricket is currently in communication with Five Star (a division of the Thompson/Gale Group) concerning my advance for a murder mystery series.

    Before Cricket, I wrote 13 novels and failed to find a publisher. After Cricket, everything changed, and I am now able to write almost full time. In other words, Cricket has done a huge amount to get me very close to obtaining my dream of being a full-time novelist.

    I invite you to go to Amazon and check out Seeing Pink, and stay tuned in 2005 for more novels from me, all thanks to the efforts of Cricket Pechstein.

  17. #17
    JohannaJ7
    Guest

    Re: August Agency

    Billy/Erin/Lance: I fail to see how the success of your book is because of your agent. As far as I know, your publisher published, marketed and sold it, so you should be thanking them. And yourself, of course. The sale of your ms to Five Star was probably your agent's doing, so thank her for that, but giving her the credit for everything good in your writing career is a bit over the top, I think.

    Cricket is playful, enthusiastic, and an aggressive marketer of her clients' work.
    You forgot "flesh peddler".

  18. #18
    spywriter
    Guest

    bad agents

    Johanna....you totally made me spit out my cereal! (you are too funny!)

    As for Lance....I want to give you a HEARTY congratulations on the success of your novel. I am still out there trying to get mine in the bookstores, so I really am excited for you.

    All we are saying is that she does not come off sounding professional and I would never feel comfortable with her representing me. I am glad she got the job done for you. I wish you continued success. However, her 73 word description is a little over the top and too much for my tastes.

  19. #19
    vstrauss
    Guest

    Re: August Agency

    Lance, congrats on the success of your book. Do you know if Ms. Pechstein has made any other sales besides yours?

    Five Star is a smaller publisher, which accepts submissions from unagented authors.

    - Victoria

  20. #20
    Billy Markham
    Guest

    Re: August Agency

    Billy/Erin/Lance: I fail to see how the success of your book is because of your agent. As far as I know, your publisher published, marketed and sold it, so you should be thanking them. And yourself, of course. The sale of your ms to Five Star was probably your agent's doing, so thank her for that, but giving her the credit for everything good in your writing career is a bit over the top, I think.
    What can I say? I'm defending my agent, if only because she so routinely goes to bat for me. You may not like the "unprofessional" way she presents herself on her old website, but I find her to be one of the most personable and empathic people I know. And yes, she is my pearl-diver, and I love her for it. I understand writers expressing reservations about an agent--that's what these boards are for--but when the comments degenerated into personal remarks about a total stranger, I felt the need to comment, as she is no stranger to me.

    All we are saying is that she does not come off sounding professional and I would never feel comfortable with her representing me. I am glad she got the job done for you. I wish you continued success. However, her 73 word description is a little over the top and too much for my tastes.
    Perhaps you're right, the old website was a bit too "friendly" for some. But that's just the way Cricket is. She wants to love her clients as much as she loves their work. Let me also say that Cricket has never charged a reading fee, and has always negotiated to get me as large an advance as possible; she is a professional to the hilt. More than that, she calls me every now and then, just to make sure I'm writing. And I need that kind of inspiration!

    Do you know if Ms. Pechstein has made any other sales besides yours?
    I've never met any of her other clients, as I seldom have the chance to attend writers' conventions.

    Five Star is a smaller publisher, which accepts submissions from unagented authors.
    This is both true and untrue. Five Star publishes several dozen titles a year; not too bad an output for a "smaller" publisher, though they're certainly not Random House. And they do not accept unagented submissions. In fact, these days they don't accept submissions at all. This is a change that happened after they purchased my manuscript. Now all hopeful books must first pass through a team of editors working for Tekno Books, a subcontracted book packager; these folks cull the potential keepers from the slush pile, and then send them to Five Star editors for the next level of review.

    All that aside, I just want to say that my own list of descriptive nouns includes the word Defender. Cricket got my career going. I would stand in front of her with a shield any day.

  21. #21
    JohannaJ7
    Guest

    Re: August Agency

    but when the comments degenerated into personal remarks about a total stranger, I felt the need to comment, as she is no stranger to me.
    Personal remarks? There has been some joking around on this thread, but only about things your agent has said about her role as an agent.

  22. #22
    Billy Markham
    Guest

    Re: August Agency

    Oh, and I suppose I want to say that if you don't feel as if Cricket isn't the right agent for you, based on the information on her website, then by all means don't submit your material to her. Her specialty is crime fiction, though her new partnership with Mr. McGraw (whom I've yet to meet) has expanded their interests to include many other genres, including nonfiction.

    If you do submit, rest assured that she is a reputable agent . . . just a somewhat quirky one.

  23. #23
    Gotstoknow
    Guest

    Re: August Agency

    I have just completed a writers conference this week-end where both Cricket Pechstein and Jeffery McGraw were in attendence along with other well know agents and editors.

    I found both Ms. Pechstein and Mr. McGraw were honest up front and on the money in what they told us. My personal meeting with them, I found them interested in my projects and gave me up to date information on publishing that match what others presenters at the conference were saying.

    The publishing business is changing. The push and shine of getting your book out to sales in your hands, don't wait for someone else to do it.

    I, for one, will not be sitting around waiting for the checks to roll in without getting out there and meeting my readers! I want them to buy my next book and my next. They must like me and my story... not my editor or agent!

    SH Bausch

  24. #24
    Billy Markham
    Guest

    Re: August Agency

    Gotstoknow,

    What conference were you attending when you met Cricket and Jeffery, if you don't mind my asking?

    Lance

  25. #25
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
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    Coastal Desert
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    Christina Pechstein of The August Agency LLC

    Stated specialty is "emotional fiction".

    http://www.augustagency.com/submissions.htm








    (Heh heh, heh heh. They said "resonate". Heh heh, heh heh.)
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    II 2016: 2017:

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