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Thread: Veritas Literary Agency (Katherine Boyle)

  1. #1
    Elle est arrivťe! Barbarique's Avatar
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    Veritas Literary Agency (Katherine Boyle)

    *
    Last edited by Barbarique; 08-31-2007 at 03:57 AM.
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  2. #2
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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    Preferring first-hand info, I'd go by the guidelines on her site. Also, it never hurts to include a line like "Per your website..." to let the agent know where you're coming from, so to speak.

    Best of luck!
    Last edited by CaoPaux; 07-10-2007 at 01:56 AM. Reason: lost a preposition
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  3. #3
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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    Since the OP withdrew...

    Veritas Literary Agency. Katherine Boyle, agent.

    http://www.veritasliterary.com/
    ICAO
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  4. #4
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Katherine (Katie) Boyle - Veritas Literary Agency

    Hello all,

    I got a request for a proposal and partial manuscript from Katie Boyle (Veritas Agency) off a query letter that I sent her. Anyone had any experiences with her? She seemed very nice and enthusiastic over the phone.........

  5. #5
    Hapless Virago IceCreamEmpress's Avatar
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    No experience with her, but I've read quite a few of the books she has represented. Good going, cambeaux!

  6. #6
    What? I have a title? Julie Worth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cambeaux View Post
    Hello all,

    I got a request for a proposal and partial manuscript from Katie Boyle (Veritas Agency) off a query letter that I sent her. Anyone had any experiences with her? She seemed very nice and enthusiastic over the phone.........

    Katie called you! That never happens to me, unless they've read the full and decided to represent me. Then they hear how insane I sound, and they say, ahhhh...yeah. We'll put that contract in the mail.
    Last edited by Julie Worth; 02-16-2008 at 04:36 PM.

  7. #7
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    An agent has offered me a contract - Is this a GOOD DEAL?

    I've been offered a contract from an agent, but I need some feedback on the "legalese." Thanks to everyone on this site for posting so many tips that have been helpful to me from the initial query to the book proposal and beyond. I'm going to post the contents of the agency agreement (sans the names - agent and author) and was wondering if y'all can give me some feedback on whether this is a good agency agreement. The agent has been very nice and responsive, but I just want to make sure I've got my back covered.

    March 12, 2008

    To: XXXXXX
    Re: Agency Agreement

    Dear XXXXXX:

    I shall be pleased to serve as your literary agent to obtain offers for rights in yourliterary work tentatively titled XXXXXX, attached to and made a part of thisagreement, (the Work), on the following terms and conditions:

    Duration: My term as your exclusive literary agent for the Work shall beginMarch 15, 2008, and end on March 15, 2009, unless we agree in writing to extendthe term, or unless either of us gives the other 30 days’ notice of termination.

    My Authority: During the term, you authorize me to negotiate for thedisposition of publication rights in the Work throughout the world, but youreserve the final control over any agreement, which shall bind you only if yousign it.

    My Efforts: I’ll use reasonable efforts to obtain one or more offers to acquirepublication rights for the Work from reputable, established publishers. I’ll keepyou informed of my efforts, present all offers to you, and advise you about themand other matters.

    My Compensation and Reimbursement: My compensation shall be 15% of yourgross receipts from the sale or other disposition of rights in the Work and worksderived from it, and if I appoint a film or foreign sub-agent, or if another agentrepresents your literary material, the combined commission for all co-agents willnot exceed 20%. You also agree to reimburse me for reasonable out-of-pocketexpenses for postage and photocopying I incur on your behalf, not to exceed$200 without your permission. I’ll obtain your permission before I incur otherexpenses on your behalf.

    Payments to You and Me: I may arrange for those gross receipts to be paiddirectly to me, and I shall hold them separately from my own funds. I maywithhold my commission and reimbursement from the gross receipts, payingyou the balance within three business days after I receive them (unless my bankplaces a hold on deposited funds, when I shall pay you the third business dayafter the hold is released).

    Examination of My Books: You may examine my books that deal with myagency relationship with you, on reasonable written notice, during normalworking hours, at my place of business.

    Effect of Sale of Rights after Termination of Agreement: If you sell or transferpublishing rights in the book within three months after the agreement terminatesto a person or company to which I submitted a proposal for the sale of thoserights during its term, I shall be entitled to my full commission. My right tocompensation for a sale or disposition of rights under this agreement, onceearned, shall continue even after the agreement terminates.

    Representing Competing Works: As a literary agent, I may represent clientswhose work competes with yours. You agree that I may do so.

    Your Warranties, Representation, and Indemnification: You represent andwarrant to me that you have the right to make this agreement without impairinganyone else’s rights, and you agree not to make any commitment about the Workor works derived from it that conflicts with this agreement. You shall indemnifyme and hold me harmless against any claim or loss based on your breach of theprovisions of this paragraph.

    Disagreements: If we disagree about this agreement for the way it is applied, weshall resolve the disagreement in the following order: First, we shall discuss it. Next, we shall mediate it with a mediator we choose, whose expenses we shallshare. Finally, we shall arbitrate it in San Francisco, California, before anarbitrator with knowledge of the publishing business who we choose. If we can’tagree on the arbitrator, each of us will appoint a representative who will chooseone. The arbitrator may award reasonable costs and fees to the winning party, and the arbitration award may be enforced in any court with jurisdiction.

    Independent Review: I urge you to have this agreement reviewed byindependent counsel of your choice, and you acknowledge your understandingthat to do so is desirable.

    Changes: This is the entire agreement between us, and we may change it only inwriting signed by us both.

    Acceptance: If you accept this agreement, please date and sign the enclosed copy and return it to me.

    I look forward to working with you.

    Sincerely,

    XXXXXXXXX

    Agreed and accepted:

    __________________ , 2008

    SSN -________ - _________ - _________

  8. #8
    A Free Range Aspergian johnrobison's Avatar
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    That looks pretty standard to me.

    The real question: Is this an agent who can sell the book?

    I did not sign an agent agreement until I had accepted an offer for my first book. That's not unheard-of, but neither is signing a contract like this. It varies.
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  9. #9
    I'm super! Thanks for asking Siddow's Avatar
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    Congrats!

    I don't see anything in that agreement that raises an eyebrow. 15% domestic, 20% foreign, a protective clause to the agent just in case you decide to fire him/her and take the random house deal on your own...pretty standard stuff.

    Again, congrats! I don't have an agent, so hopefully someone who does (or IS) will come along and poke any holes that i simply don't see.
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  10. #10
    Lost in the Fog rugcat's Avatar
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    My opinion: This contract is perfectly reasonable and standard, with no red flags.

    One caveat: The language seems a bit unprofessional (in a legal sense) compared to my own contract and other other contracts I have seen. This would make me wonder about the experience of the agent. But in essence it's not unreasonable at all.

    Perhaps Victoria or someone with some actual expertise will weigh in.
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  11. #11
    Hapless Virago IceCreamEmpress's Avatar
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    This looks quite standard to me. I would check it against the guidelines and links you'll find in the "Author-Agent Agreements" section of the SFWA "Warnings and Cautions" page. (You'll find the subhead about three-quarters of the way down the page.)

  12. #12
    Preditors & Editors Requiescat In Pace DaveKuzminski's Avatar
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    The contract looks all right on the surface, but who is the agent? If you don't want to mention the name publicly, then use a private message or email.

  13. #13
    Congrats, but think twice about providing SSN. Too much identity theft in the world like it is.

  14. #14
    Oh, what a ride GJB's Avatar
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    All good comments. As to SSN, the agent will need it when and as she collects money for you, but not before if you want to be picky.

    On the simplicity of language, I'm a lawyer, have been for a long time. Arcane language is slowly fading into the middle ages from whence it came. In those days scribes were paid by the word. Good modern contracts are written in plain English. My agent's contract is even shorter and equally easy to read, and she's been around long enough to have sold over 1500 books.

    So, if this agent loves your work, don't let the K (that's legalese for "contract") get in the way. g.

  15. #15
    Hapless Virago IceCreamEmpress's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JAK View Post
    Congrats, but think twice about providing SSN. Too much identity theft in the world like it is.
    You absolutely have to give your Social Security Number to your agent, because they will be reporting your income to the IRS (seeing as you'll be getting paid through them).

    I suppose you could tell them that you'll share that after you make a sale, but I think that would be a bit paranoid.


    And I agree with Gravity--I think this is a nice rewrite from legalese into ordinary language, not unprofessional at all.

  16. #16
    practical experience, FTW CasualObserver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cambeaux View Post
    Representing Competing Works: As a literary agent, I may represent clients whose work competes with yours. You agree that I may do so.
    I'd like to double-check on this clause here. I've heard this is a no-no. The BookEnds agent blog just wrote this last Friday:

    Much of an agent-author relationship is built on trust. You trust that Iím not going to take on another author thatís directly competitive with your work. Sure, Iím going to take on more cozy mystery authors, but Iím not going to take on another author writing a knitting mystery. Thatís a series that would cut into the exact market for the knitting mystery series I already have, and do you really want to find out that your agent is also representing your biggest competitor?
    What's the consensus here on this?
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  17. #17
    giving resonant directions JamieFord's Avatar
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    Pretty standard. Have you check the agent's sales history? Have they given you the names of other clients to call as references?

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  18. #18
    I *am* Catwoman...and Gini Koch WPR Dominatrix JeanneTGC's Avatar
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    I'm most confused by the fact that the contract is for one year only. Was that something you negotiated? Something this agent does standard? Is it the agent's working method that if they don't sell for you in one year it's goodbye? And, is that because this contract is for one book/work only, not all your works?

    Just questions I'd ask if I were the one looking at it.

    Congrats, by the way! This is an exciting stage to be at!
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  19. #19
    practical experience, FTW Claudia Gray's Avatar
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    Many agency contracts have specific time limits -- one year is not uncommon.

    As others have said, the terms of this contract look appropriate.

  20. #20
    Writer Beware Goddess Absolute Sage victoriastrauss's Avatar
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    Since this wasn't a question about a specific agent, I've moved it from Bewares & Background check to this forum.

    In the "My Compensation and Reimbursement" paragraph, I would strike "and works derived from it" from the first sentence. Suppose this agent sold a book for you. Suppose you parted ways with the agent. Suppose you then hooked up with another agent, who sold a sequel to the book or some subsidiary right in the book that the first agent hadn't sold (such as film rights). Would the first agent be entitled to a commission on those sales?

    Otherwise it looks pretty standard to me. But as others have said, a standard contract doesn't mean a thing if the agent doesn't have a track record (or, if new, doesn't have publishing industry experience). Be sure you're familiar with the agent's sales history.

    - Victoria

  21. #21
    She of Many Names Irysangel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by IceCreamEmpress View Post
    You absolutely have to give your Social Security Number to your agent, because they will be reporting your income to the IRS (seeing as you'll be getting paid through them).
    Actually I would like to point out that you either need to provide a SSN or a TIN (Tax Identification Number). The agent needs this information because they will be sending you a 1099 at the end of the year, and this information is then submitted to the Social Security Administration and IRS for reconciliation.

    It's very simple to get a TIN with the IRS (go to their website, it's very user-friendly, but I'm a tax nerd at the dayjob so this could just be me) if you feel uncomfortable with giving someone this much information and it will serve you in every capacity just as a SSN would, without any of the identity-fuss.

    Hope this helps!
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  22. #22
    You should give a SSN these days only as a last resort. And that's not being paranoid. At the day job, we encrypt it from patient records and employee records, and do not use it for id's. Every day another laptop or database is stolen / hacked.

  23. #23
    Ooo! Shiny new cover! Absolute Sage Cathy C's Avatar
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    Looks pretty good to me. The only thing you may want to address (and it's no big deal if you don't) is that the payment arrangements will survive termination of the agreement. The reason for this is: 1) in the event that particular agent leaves a firm; 2) or if a dispute become NOT amicable and 3) if the agent has sold a book, they will continue to be the agent/agency on that book forever. I'd hate for you to drop "to the bottom of the stack" when money comes in. I've seen that happen to other authors more than once. The publishing agreement will require the payments to be made to that agent forever (nothing you can do to change it) so you need to protect the funneling of that money into your hands if anything happens.

    If it's in writing, it's enforceable by a court/arbitrator. If not . . . maybe not.

    But CONGRATS! Good luck and may you sell quickly, for obscene amounts of money!
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  24. #24
    Hapless Virago IceCreamEmpress's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JAK View Post
    You should give a SSN these days only as a last resort.
    You have to give it to people who are paying you. Although I suppose the Tax Identification Number thing is a work-around for that, but you'd have to get one. Have you done this instead of giving your employers your Social Security Number? If so, how has it worked out for you?

    Seriously, it's not like agents want your Social Security Number for some frivolous reason--they need to issue official tax documents regarding your compensation. I think one would need to be exactly as cautious, and no more cautious, about giving one's Social Security Number to an agent as one would be about giving it to an employer.

  25. #25
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Thanks for the feedback.........

    Really appreciate the feedback from all of you. Since much of the responses centered around who the agent is, I think I can go ahead and say that its Katherine Boyle from the Veritas Agency. I was very pleased with the enthusiasm that she showed for my work. I'm not so good with business matters, and wanted some opinions on the contract. Thanks again...........

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