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Thread: Joan Brandt Agency

  1. #1
    k2g
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    Joan Brandt Agency

    Has anyone worked with or have any info on The Joan Brandt Agency out of Atlanta, GA?

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Writting broad batgirl's Avatar
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    Any connection with Joan Brandt of Sterling Lord? That is/was Amiri Baraka's agent, which complicates the search if they're not the same person. She isn't currently listed there, so maybe it is the same person, left NY and off on her own to Atlanta?

    The Brandt agency is listed on P&E but without notes one way or the other. No sign of a website, only snail address. They appear in various listings of agents:
    The Joan Brandt Agency
    788 Wesley Drive
    Atlanta, GA 30305-3933
    (404) 351-8877
    Contact Joan Brandt

    Toni Kelner cites a Joan Brandt as her agent here, in a joking award speech. She's been published by Kensington and Five Star. I'm not sure either of those require an agent for submissions.

    I found a listing for a client, Tony Hays, a Tennessee writer on WritersNet, who has two books out from Iris Press, who say outright that they're very small. I'd be surprised if they paid any substantial advances.
    Yikes! "An important goal of Iris was, and still is, to give talented but underappreciated writers an audience and to help them reach their potential."

    So, um, not a lot of web-presence or visible track record. You could maybe contact Toni Kelner, who seems very nice on her website.
    -Barbara
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  3. #3
    i am dragon. roar. Aprylwriter's Avatar
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    I know Kensington does not require you to have a literary agent, because one of the editors requested a partial from me and I don't have an agent.

    Which Five Star are you talking about? Does anyone have a link? There's one publisher called Five Star Books and another called Five Star Publications...

    Apryl
    WHEN I am a best-selling author...did I say when? Yes! WHEN! Not "if."

    "I have no particular talent. I am merely inquisitive." -Albert Einstein

  4. #4
    Writting broad batgirl's Avatar
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    Kelner's website says "Without Mercy, coming from FiveStar Mysteries". That's all I know. She had a mystery series with Kensington, and is co-editing an anthology with Charlaine Harris (to be published by Ace) - she and Harris are both Southern writers, so I'd suspect the linkup came that way.
    Five Star Mysteries previously discussed here. I seem to remember they market to libraries, and pick up series that have been dropped - so perhaps Without Mercy is the latest in the series Kensington was handling? If so, better than a poke in the eye, but not really a step up from Kensington.

    Not looking really impressive for J Brandt thus far.
    -Barbara
    Last edited by batgirl; 05-10-2007 at 02:40 AM. Reason: adding link to previous thread
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  5. #5
    Now departed. Rest in peace, Scott, from all of us at AW Popeyesays's Avatar
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    Five Star has several imprints. They concentrate on high quality hard-bound books for libraries.

    I submitted there without an agent, they declined my science fiction novel, very nicely.

    Regards,
    Scott
    Okay, damnit, I blog http://cscottsaylorsbooks.blogspot.com/
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  6. #6
    Super Browser triceretops's Avatar
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    Yep, same with me.

    Tri

  7. #7
    i am dragon. roar. Aprylwriter's Avatar
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    It's probably better just to submit to those two publishers without an agent. Kensington still has my partial.

    Apryl
    WHEN I am a best-selling author...did I say when? Yes! WHEN! Not "if."

    "I have no particular talent. I am merely inquisitive." -Albert Einstein

  8. #8
    Writting broad batgirl's Avatar
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    To return to the actual topic, I'd say that there are many, many agents to try before one is reduced to seeking one who is way out of NY and has no discoverable sales to agent-only publishers.
    Back in 2004, someone asked about her on Caveat Scrivener, and silence was the stern reply. If she were making worthwhile sales, something would surely have shown up between 2004 and 2007.
    k2g, I hope that answers your question.
    -Barbara (pretending to be authoritative)
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  9. #9
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    I've been with Joan Brandt since 1992, and I'm mostly pleased with her. She does sell to agent-requiring markets. No, Five Star does not require an agent, but I made the deal with them myself after Joan went to a lot of effort to sell WITHOUT MERCY to the big guys. I decided I'd rather go with a small press than not sell the book, and that's what I did.

    As for my connection with Charlaine Harris, it's purely personal. We've known each other for years, and for over a decade we've been part of the promotion group Femmes Fatales.

  10. #10
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    And yes, Joan is the same Joan Brandt who was with the Sterling Lord Agency. She opened her own agency while still in New York, and moved to Atlanta some years back because of her husband's work.

  11. #11
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    As for Five Star, the way it works is that you submit to Tekno Books, the book packager. The acquire for all the Five Star lines other than romance. I can answer questions about them, too, though since my book hasn't come out from them yet, my experience is still limited.

  12. #12
    Writting broad batgirl's Avatar
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    Hi Toni, thanks for filling in some background, and best of luck with your FiveStar mystery - is it in the Laura Fleming series?
    Do you know what other sales Joan Brandt has made? It's a very good sign that she has experience with a major agency, obviously, and certainly there are good agents who aren't in NYC. It's just a bit difficult to know whether someone is the right agent for you when there's so little information online about what she's looking for and what sort of books she represents.
    Thanks for answering k2g's questions, and welcome to Absolute Write!
    -Barbara
    will crit for rep points
    "Your commas are pretty good." TNH
    okay, I have a blog



  13. #13
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Thanks, Barbara. WITHOUT MERCY is the first in a new series, and very different from the Laura Fleming series. (I use cuss words and everything!)

    Honestly, I don't know much about Joan's other clients. I know Kensington author Barbara Block used to be a client, but she isn't any more, and I don't know why she left. (Barbara is still with Kensington, but goes by Isis Crawford now.) Joan likes mysteries, but not serial killers, and general fiction. No SF or romance, I'm afraid--she has her blind spots.

  14. #14
    practical experience, FTW Toni1953's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ToniLPKelner View Post
    Thanks, Barbara. Joan likes mysteries, but not serial killers, and general fiction. No SF or romance, I'm afraid--she has her blind spots.
    how about paranormal mysteries, or would that fall under SF?
    Toni
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    Out now: CLAWS FOR ALARM, the second Nick and Nora mystery
    coming December 2016: OF CRIME AND CATNIP

  15. #15
    practical experience, FTW Moon Daughter's Avatar
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    Toni, I think it would probably be ok.
    YA Paranormal 70k (still plugging away)
    YA Thriller 86,000 (trunked)

  16. #16
    k2g
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    Thanks Barbara, Scott, Appryl and Toni for your info on Joan Brandt. I'll keep her on my list of possible agents to represent my general fiction novel.
    Thanks again.

    Garr Parks

  17. #17
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin River Rat's Avatar
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    update

    I queried this agent for my historical novel based on her profiles at Agent Query and LitMatch, both of which list historical fiction as one of her areas of interest. She sent my query letter back to me with a note in red ink stating that she doesn't handle historicals. Just thought I'd let you know.

  18. #18
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Exclamation An awful woman!!!!!!!!!!!

    I queried her some six months ago and got a very rude response. Was hard to believe.

  19. #19
    figuring it all out
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    Red ink? I guess you're lucky she didn't give you detention and homework over the weekend.
    Rest in peace Don LaFontaine, the real movie announcer guy. Can you imagine the symphony of Don, James Earl Jones and Charlton Heston having a conversation?

  20. #20
    figuring it all out
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    I got a nasty letter from her returned with my partial. Rather than just politely declining, she chose to be insulting. I can't imagine working with someone like this. I see from the other posts that I'm not alone.

  21. #21
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    I got a rather pointed response from her as well, but it was accompanied by three chapters that she had marked up. A few of her suggestions were more a matter of style than something that could be labled as "right" or "wrong", however most of her comments were valid and left me with the realization that I really did need to read and revise the manuscript at least one more time before submitting (she suggested reading it out loud to "understand why her pen had been busy"). She has a rather harsh way of stating her mind, but I think in my case I wasted her time on a project that was not quite ready to be unveiled and therefore I do not fault her for her comments.
    She did leave me with a glimmer of hope: "The plot line remains of interest- you're probably two or three rewrites away from having it ready for serious commercial consideration."
    Chris

  22. #22
    figuring it all out Yvettesgonefishing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CKelly View Post
    I got a rather pointed response from her as well, but it was accompanied by three chapters that she had marked up. A few of her suggestions were more a matter of style than something that could be labled as "right" or "wrong", however most of her comments were valid and left me with the realization that I really did need to read and revise the manuscript at least one more time before submitting (she suggested reading it out loud to "understand why her pen had been busy"). She has a rather harsh way of stating her mind, but I think in my case I wasted her time on a project that was not quite ready to be unveiled and therefore I do not fault her for her comments.
    She did leave me with a glimmer of hope: "The plot line remains of interest- you're probably two or three rewrites away from having it ready for serious commercial consideration."
    Chris
    There's something to be said for an agent who'd take the time to do all that. I've heard of a lot of agents who just don't sugar-coat anything or beat around the bush, so the manner in which some have said she responds isn't off the beaten path, I think. I'd have been encouraged by such a rejection. It wasn't simply dropped in the mail.
    ___________________________________________

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  24. #24
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin Westie's Avatar
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    I'm dragging this thread up from 2009 as I've been unable to find any information on this agent. The links to the sales listed on Amazon don't appear to reference Joan Brandt.

    Does anyone have any recent information on her or is this agency one of the ones to stay away from?

    Is Toni Kelner still with this agency?

  25. #25
    Eugene Dubnov Eugene's Avatar
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    Joan Brandt? Anybody? Up-to-date?

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