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Thread: Jeff Herman's Guide / The Jeff Herman Agency

  1. #1
    spywriter
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    Jeff Herman's Guide / The Jeff Herman Agency

    I have heard a lot of good things about this book, so I bought it. However, having looked through it now, there are some agents in there that we have all talked about here...and not in a good way.

    I was burned once with Writer's Market...anyone want to talk on this book?

  2. #2
    vstrauss
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    Re: Jeff Herman's Guide to Agents

    Jeff's book does have some bad agents in it. I haven't yet found a print guide that doesn't include at least a few. Jeff's book has fewer than some, and the wealth of information it provides makes it one of the better market guides around, IMO.

    - Victoria

  3. #3
    maestrowork
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    Re: Jeff Herman's Guide to Agents

    Unfortunately, you still have to do your own research....

  4. #4
    DaveKuzminski
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    Re: Jeff Herman's Guide to Agents

    Having heard that a number of agent guide books each had a few bad agents listed, I decided that the only way to effectively deal with that problem was to list all agents and post a rating on each. Then if one turned out to be bad, P&E's visitors would see the rating and could decide for themselves.

    But otherwise, I believe that Herman's book is among the best for sale.

  5. #5
    Vomaxx
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    Re: Jeff Herman's Guide to Agents

    Has anyone used the "2005 Guide to Literary Agents" (Kathryn Brogan, ed.) put out by Writer's Digest? I found it more useful than the Herman book. Herman is really more for publishers than agents, and a lot of the agent stuff seems to me irrelevant or self-indulgent (e.g., What do you think about editors? If not agenting, what would you be doing? Do you watch the Sopranos? Geez, is he paid by the word?)

  6. #6
    Magus
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    Re: Jeff Herman's Guide to Agents

    About the 2005 Guide to Literary Agents, you're going to find that a lot of them are fee-based agencies, and would clearly avoid them, much like those found in the magazine. I've seen them and they're not worth 2 cents.

  7. #7
    Bleaumoon
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    Re: Jeff Herman's Guide to Agents

    I agree with maestrowork, who by the way has written a fine review.

    There is a great deal to be said for doing your own research. I believe that finding the "right" agent is like finding the "right" person to marry--you must have chemistry, respect, many of the exact same things that you look for in mate like trust, and so on. And although not necessary but a bonus, if can you connect with an agent that is an editor that would be great!

    What kind of material do you write?
    Look for someone that would be a good fit for you and your voice as an author would be my suggestion.
    And if you have been published at all perhaps someone there can suggest an agent or editor for you.

    I think that Victoria S. would be a great writer for a book featuring agents considering all her experience and willingness to lend an ear to those in need.

    All good wishes and hopes in finding the "right" agent I send your way!

  8. #8
    katdad
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    Re: Jeff Herman's Guide to Agents

    About the 2005 Guide to Literary Agents, you're going to find that a lot of them are fee-based agencies
    Absolutely avoid fee-based agencies. But the book clearly separates the non-fee from the fee people. And it also shows AAR members and so on. There may be a few scammers in the listings but generally it's pretty well done, I think.

  9. #9
    pencilone
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    Re: Jeff Herman's Guide to Agents

    Do you think that there is a big difference between 2004 and 2005 editions? I have the 2004 for both books and I was wondering if maybe they are too outdated.

  10. #10
    spywriter
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    Re: Jeff Herman's Guide to Agents

    For Herman's and WM, all I can say that a reference book is only as good as the people who provide the info. The 2004 guide is fine if no one is bothering to update their info. However, I did notice that some people have a new office location. That's a good reason right there to get a new one. ALSO....I noticed a substantial difference between the 2003 and 2004 WM. There were a lot more agents.

  11. #11
    Your Genial Uncle Absolute Sage James D. Macdonald's Avatar
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    You should never use just one reference book. Use several, then ask around, then check for yourself.

    The current edition of Jeff Herman's Guide to Book Publishers, Editors & Literary Agents 2007 (Jeff Herman's Guide to Book Editors, Publishers, and Literary Agents) (Paperback) is here.

  12. #12
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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    Jeff Herman has a website now: http://www.jeffherman.com/
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  13. #13
    practical experience, FTW
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    Does anyone have experience with him as an agent?

  14. #14
    practical experience, FTW
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    I just wanted to ask again if anyone has any thoughts on him as an agent. Thanks.

  15. #15
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin Scott Mathews's Avatar
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  16. #16
    Never Surrender AW Moderator Maryn's Avatar
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    I crossed him off my list of potential agents long ago, and here's why.

    I queried him many years back. My SASE came back postage due (how quaint!). So I paid fifty cents or so to get this fat letter. I'm thinking, Could he have been so impressed that's a contract?

    Nope. My SASE was stuffed with brochures and flyers for Jeff Herman products. He didn't even bother to include a rejection. No, he made me pay to read his crummy advertising. That's decidedly underhanded, not the kind of person I'm willing to deal with.

    So I won't buy any of his products or consider him as a potential agent.

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  17. #17
    banned as an incurable tosspot
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    Vomaxx said it -- self-indulgent.

  18. #18
    Writing Anarchist DeleyanLee's Avatar
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    He was invited to a local RWA conference as a speaker. He was booked for that weekend but his wife came in his stead. I can't speak for him, but even though, at the time, the agency didn't rep Romance, she showed up and participated and while she couldn't address the Romance market specifically, she was very open about marketing in general. She was gracious and interesting and very informative.

    I don't know about him, but she (and shame on me for not remembering her name off the top of my pointy little head, but this was more than 10 years ago) was wonderful. Don't know if she's still with the agency or not.
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  19. #19
    practical experience, FTW
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    I never ended up querying him. Maybe that was a good decision. Thanks.

  20. #20
    Oy. firstmidnight's Avatar
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    re:

    I queried this agency and got a reply from an Alison Work (she's not listed as an agent on the website though). At first, they asked for a manuscript, but I explained I only had a proposal ready. She was nice and said that a proposal w/ sample chapters was just as fine.

    Anyone have experience with querying them? proposals? I'm nervous!

  21. #21
    New kid, be gentle!
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    I queried and got a request for full 10/09. Did appreciate that when he requested full, they acknowledged a huge backlog which might mean longer wait on hearing back from full submission. Working myself up to compose status email this coming week, and will let everyone knows how that turns out!

    Lydia

  22. #22
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin ripple's Avatar
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    I received a request for a full (hard copy) in mid July. So far I have not been able to get a response from the agent who requested it. The agency seems to have a decent rep, and I am sensitive to backlogs, etc, but it cost 20 bucks to copy and send and I think a quick reply, at least saying they received it, or you'll hear back from us in five months, or something like that, is a courtesy.

  23. #23
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Lydia, did you ever get a reply from Jeff's Agency about your submission? After I queryed his Agency I received a request for a submission also and send one in, via email, on 05,15,2011. Funny thing is there is nothing on his website that has been posted since 2007. On his request he just said to send in, what is mentioned in the above note, but there was nothing mentioned, so I sent in my completed manuscript. I can't seem to find out anything, about him as an agent, or his agency other then what's on his owLydian wbsite.
    Last edited by Ycats; 06-04-2011 at 08:26 AM.

  24. #24
    Crypto-fascist Soccer Mom's Avatar
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    I've unapproved those posts for now, guys. Let's wait until we find out if someone's account has been hacked. Thanks.
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  25. #25
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    I was wondering about the Jeff Herman agency--thanks for the quick response. Can't wait to find out more.
    Last edited by cassjmb; 05-23-2012 at 07:45 AM. Reason: Newbie--thanks for telling me about the Search option.

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