First, let me just say that I'm new to the board--greetings to you all. Hope everyone had a great weekend.
I just spent 3 hours reading past postings of this site, and wow! There's a scam a minute going on out there. The input has been quite beneficial and I'm sure it will save me some wasted time and pain in the future.
I have a question, but first a few brief comments; I have a great deal of empathy for my fellow writers out there. Having read the horror stories I'd like to say that when dealing with some of these agencies, several times I barely escaped with my scalp as well. I, too, was offered a contract with the infamous Dr. Vanderbeets of West Coast Literary, and I almost took the bait. At the time I'd written 2 books and had landed an agent for neither (suffering well over 300 rejections by e-mail and paper), and I was a bit desperate. But I researched the guy, sucked it up and said no.
Then I was pegged for a sucker for ST Lit., that well-documented shyster, and after reading up on them said no to them as well. Other agents wanting upfront money like Barrie James of newauthors.org and Ronald Laitch of Authentic Creations and Phil Benedict all pegged me for an easy mark, and I almost fell for each and every one of them. I'd say I was lucky not to have succumbed.
Then only last week I was offered representation for my second book by Andrew Whelchel III, and planned to take it, until I logged onto this site and found out about the $375 he plans to ask me for. Can you believe it? I actually had the temerity to believe I'd actually once again landed a reputable agent, only to read up on him and have my heart fall into my stomach. Lucy pulls the football out from under my feet again.
You know, writers are busting their asses trying to create a work of art that hopefully someone might want to read someday, they have to practically beg a reputable agent to even look at their work, and then you've got these other evil bastards out there praying on the innocent. I will say that they've contributed to my passage from naive young writer to well-oiled cynic, so I have to thank them for that. But dreams are being shattered all over, and if you'll pardon me for saying so, these scam artists should be crucified.
Then some good news. I finally, after months and months of rejections and untold expenses, got an offer of representation for my first book that charged no upfront fees from a fledgling agency that opened in February of 2004, called Team Doubleclick. Eureka! So all you struggling writers out there--don't give up. If I can suffer through 300 rejections before landing an agent, you can too.
However, having said that, the book has been agented for nearly 8 months and has not sold (perhaps it sux). And now that this long, meandering post is nearly complete, that brings me to my question: Victoria, do you have any record of sales for this agency? Is 8 months a reasonable amount of time to expect to wait before publishers come knocking? How 'bout a year? Thanks for your help.