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Thread: Thoth Literary Agency

  1. #1
    azbikergirl
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    Thoth Literary Agency

    Has anyone worked with this group? I can't find any info on their successes, despite the claim of 30 years experience. They are in Littleton, CO.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    JohannaJ7
    Guest

    re:

    www.writers.net/agents/28366

    Over 30 years of experience, yet they're not members of the AAR "yet"? But on the other hand, they say they have over 30 years of experience in "the arts", not as agents, so for all we know they could have spent the last 30 years making paint-by-numbers kits.

    I know I've seen a thread about this agency--maybe even on this board--but I can't remember how it went. So right now, all I can say is that their "mission statement" says nothing about sales, just a bunch of Dr. Phil-ish stuff.

  3. #3
    Vomaxx
    Guest

    Thoth

    I can testify that their rejection letters are written on quite expensive-looking stationery, with a full-color Ancient Egyptian logo (of Thoth). So they must be making money somewhere.

    Also, they give personal attention to even their rejectees (if that's a word): in response to my first-five-chapter submission (they accept those), I was told that I should get right to the point without the "unnecessary frou-frou," that parts of the submission break continuity and are dull, that my sample felt disjointed in many spots, and that "the overabundance of repetitive adjectives, and redundant adjective use, makes [sic] the story feel overwritten."

    So you can see that they try to help all those who apply, for which I, at least, am very grateful.

    (I'll show 'em someday....)

  4. #4
    CaoPaux
    Guest

    Re: Thoth

    Interesting. Here's their website: www.hawaiianhulahips.com/...aryagency/

    Judging from info found on their host domain...

    "Your generous donations make it possible for HAWAI'IAN HULA HIPS, INC./HULA HALAU HO'OPALAMA to take its educational services, at reduced rates, to K-12 schools, senior centers, museums and educational facilities throughout the United States.
    OFFICES IN DENVER, COLORADO"

    ...I'm guessing Hula is their 30 years in the arts. I don't get any scam vibes, but seems obvious they're a new venture. IMO, well-meaning, but only time will tell what they can accomplish.
    --------
    ETA: From what people posted later, this place is sounding odder and odder.

  5. #5
    vstrauss
    Guest

    Re: Thoth

    I've gotten questions about them. Haven't been able to find any sales, or any sign of previous publishing/agenting experience.

    - Victoria

  6. #6
    sqrrll
    Guest

    Re: Thoth

    I save some of my most interesting rejection letters and the one from this agency definitely fits the bill. I also got the same expensive stationary for the rejection letter.

    The agent wrote a two-page letter that included questions (I was almost tempted to write back and answer them. Felt like I was back in the fifth grade), advice, and corrections. The agent also went as far as to copy one of my submitted ms pages, edit it with a red pen, and send it back to me with notes.

    While I may agree or disagree with some of the agent's points, I have to say they went above and beyond and I appreciate it. I doubt they are scammers since the agent went to all this trouble for a rejection. And they are very professional (and thorough).

    Not sure what the deal with their sales situation is, but it was one of my favorite rejections and maybe I'll submit to them again some day just for the free critique

  7. #7
    azbikergirl
    Guest

    Re: Thoth

    Thanks everyone! I had queried them recently and sent the first three chapters of my novel.

    I was told that I should get right to the point without the "unnecessary frou-frou," that parts of the submission break continuity and are dull, that my sample felt disjointed in many spots, and that "the overabundance of repetitive adjectives, and redundant adjective use, makes [sic] the story feel overwritten."
    Interesting! This is word-for-word the "personal" response they sent me, also. I was also told that the ms. was "frought" with spelling, punctuation and formatting errors, yet I could find NONE. I sent the exact submission to a writer friend who's a whiz with those sorts of technical issues and she found none either. This, and a few of the other comments, made it difficult to take their feedback seriously, and now that I know it was, indeed, a form letter, I'm even further inclined to dismiss the agency as "not for me."

    Karen

  8. #8
    sqrrll
    Guest

    Re: Thoth

    I noticed the same thing when they sent the rejection letter. They told me my query letter was filled with mistakes, but yet I found none. Interesting indeed.

  9. #9
    CaoPaux
    Guest

    Re: Thoth

    That is interesting. Was there any push to get "professional" editing.

  10. #10
    sqrrll
    Guest

    Re: Thoth

    Not for me. She was very nice and professional. Maybe a touch too critical for a rejection, but nothing ridiculous. No pushing for editing or fees or anything like that.

  11. #11
    azbikergirl
    Guest

    Re: Thoth

    No, not to me either.

  12. #12
    Vomaxx
    Guest

    Re: Thoth

    Verrryyy eenteressting..... So the "personal reply" is a canned spiel, huh? That makes me feel a little better.
    (I don't really think my first 40 pp. are all that bad.)

    Thoth did not try to sell any editing services to me.

  13. #13
    azbikergirl
    Guest

    Re: Thoth

    One of the comments they wrote to me was "Lastly, what's with all the underlines?" (Where I wanted italics to appear in the finished pages, I used underlines in my ms. as is suggested by pretty much every manuscript formatting web site and book I've seen so far.) They went on to say, "You don't underline thoughts; they are italicized." I was tempted to write back and ask just how many manuscripts have they actually seen. :rollin

  14. #14
    JohannaJ7
    Guest

    Re: Thoth

    One of the comments they wrote to me was "Lastly, what's with all the underlines?" (Where I wanted italics to appear in the finished pages, I used underlines in my ms. as is suggested by pretty much every manuscript formatting web site and book I've seen so far.) They went on to say, "You don't underline thoughts; they are italicized." I was tempted to write back and ask just how many manuscripts have they actually seen.
    They definately spent the last 30 years making paint-by-numbers kits, then. If they don't even know about formatting-standards, they're not going to do anyone any good.

    As for their standard reply of "helpful critique", they might refer you to an editing-service if you reply to them and ask them for more advice, or to thank them or so on. That way they can say they don't solicit people, they're just replying to requests/questions from writers who asked for help. But judging by their comment about "all the underlines", they might just be completely clueless.

  15. #15
    Slave to the metal Rhush's Avatar
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    Thoth Literary?

    I read the previous thread on Thoth, but I was curious as to whether they have made any deals with ligit publishers?

  16. #16
    Qoilant
    Guest

    Thumbs down They seem to be a joke....

    I wish I'd seen the previous thread before signing with them. Thoth was an absolute and total joke. I ignored my instincts after they had a hissy about broaching the topic of contract negotiations, which was my first mistake. My only consolation is that the year wasted on them was one in which I had no time to submit for other things going on in my life.



    Their website (which is currently not working) claims to nurture talent and blah blah blah. After receiving marked up manuscripts (with the requisite remarks about underlines vs. italics, showing again how little they knew of the publishing industry standards), I had to edit their edits because many were simply wrong (what's kept me busy is starting my first year teaching high school English). While I grant that they caught some of my typos, which was helpful, they weren't great.



    I am rejoicing they don't have the perseverance to go beyond 6 or 7 rejections for a year's worth of having the manuscript (geez, if we gave up after that...). Besides finding out now that they were screwing up by submitting my work as YA, I had to beg for updates, which were sketchy and sporadic at best.



    I also think I irritated them because I had the nerve to ask twice in one week for an update. All in all, they were unprofessional, and I don't think they had any more pull than if I'd submitted myself (one rejection I did get forwarded this week at the conclusion of the contract sounded like the publisher thought the agent was the author, which I take to mean that they did the same old not reading it but pulling out the names to plug into the form letter).



    Their root website was for hula dancing, so agenting is a side thing. I think they should stick to that and the paint-by-numbers, because good agents they are not. The only positive I can say is they didn't charge me anything. I guess I got what I paid for for the year .

  17. #17
    One Hit Wonder? Kasey Mackenzie's Avatar
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    Sorry to hear you had such a bad experience, Qoilant. Good luck with finding a better agent in the future! =)
    Good things come to those who wait...and work their tails off!!!


    Coming Soon on Kindle: Reborn in Fire

  18. #18
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Thoth Literary Agency

    I had a novel accepted at Thoth a year ago. The agent sent it back with many genuine typos flagged. I reprinted it. After a couple months she sent me rejection letters from three major publishers. After a request for an update several months later, she sent a list of half a dozen additional publishers who had rejected it. Then she seemed to lapse into torpor. In response to another request for news last month, she said she had tried to place it but failed and wanted to terminate our relationship. By that time, that was my plan, too. My impression is that she's probably legitimate but not too experienced.

  19. #19
    Writer Beware Goddess Absolute Sage victoriastrauss's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by michaeloppen
    My impression is that she's probably legitimate but not too experienced.
    This is why I don't like using the word "legitimate". What I think you mean in this context is "not a scammer". But what the word suggests is "a professional agent". An inexperienced agent who has no sales is not a professional agent. Such an agent may indeed not be a scammer--in fact, s/he may have abundant good will and lots of enthusiasm-- but she isn't any more likely to sell your manuscript than the scammer is.

    - Victoria

  20. #20
    blueiguana
    Guest

    Thumbs down

    Yes, I remember this agency's rejection letter very clearly, and this was over two years ago. What stuck out in my mind were the unprofessional random comments written in red pen on my query letter. They crossed the line of constructive criticism and lurched into the area of snide remarks.
    Sure, I had comments on over half of my rejection letters for the now represented manuscript in question. All agents had something helpful and - if not rightfully critical - just plain nice to say. For some reason, I remember Thoth really hit a nerve with me (and after reading this thread, I'm glad I ended up having nothing to do with this agency).

  21. #21
    Quixote without a cause Jeff's Avatar
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    The web site is back up, for any interested:

    http://www.hawaiianhulahips.com/thot...gency/id1.html

    This, from their site, piqued my interest:

    "We are not interested in receiving poorly written submissions from authors with grandiose attitudes; don't compare yourself to Jane Austen, J.R.R. Tolkien, etc. Blackmail never works--don't tell us that you'll only send your manuscript to us if we can guarantee you will be published. Write stories that make sense; research everything down to the bone; think about what you're writing and don't leave people wondering what you meant. Most importantly, be proud of your work; no self-deprecation."
    So as I read this, it means that if I send them a poorly written submission, have a gradiose attitude while comparing myself to Jane Austen, JRR Tolkien, etc., try to blackmail them, write a story that does not make sense, do not research anything, don't give a thought to what I am writing and leave people wondering about what I meant it is all pretty much okay as long as I am proud of my work and not self-depreciative in my correspondence to them (since they state that that is the most important thing). (read underline as italics if you choose)

    Uhm... Huh?
    Last edited by Jeff; 06-07-2005 at 02:12 AM.
    "We'll move up into the mountains so far that we can't be found..."

  22. #22
    13th Triskaidekaphobe Richard's Avatar
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    A quick reminder:

    http://www.hawaiianhulahips.com

    Professional. Yes.

  23. #23
    blueiguana
    Guest
    Wow... no website is better than a website of that sort.

  24. #24
    One Hit Wonder? Kasey Mackenzie's Avatar
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    Ack! My eyes, my eyes! *shudder*

    They may be a perfectly fine business, but that website is atrocious.
    Good things come to those who wait...and work their tails off!!!


    Coming Soon on Kindle: Reborn in Fire

  25. #25
    practical experience, FTW
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    Hmmm... they are in Colorado. I wonder if there is much demand for "Hula Halau Hoopalama" in Denver or Pueblo? (Maybe that's why they opened a litarary agency??)

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