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Thread: The New York Literary Agency: Warning

  1. #1
    Writer Beware Goddess Absolute Sage victoriastrauss's Avatar
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    The New York Literary Agency: Warning

    The New York Literary Agency is one of several new "agencies" under the umbrella of The Literary Agency Group Inc. The Literary Agency Group Inc. appears to be a spinoff of the infamous Stylus Literary Agency (until recently known as the ST Literary Agency), owned and operated by Robert Fletcher. Writer Beware has received scores of complaints about Stylus Literary/ST Literary, which charges fees, promotes its own paid editing services, and submits in a haphazard fashion to inappropriate publishers (when it submits at all). It uses a boiler room-style operation, with clients receiving substantially identical e-mails and responses.

    Right now, the Literary Agency Group Inc. umbrella appears to embrace the following:



    More, no doubt, to come.

    Writer Beware has documented that these agencies all operate in much the same way, using the same boiler-room-style approach as the original Stylus, with nearly identical intake materials and contracts. Right now, the main focus of the operation appears to be persuading writers to buy paid critique services (at a cost of between $50 and around $90) and editing services (anywhere from $99 to over $2,000) from a service that's described as a "sister" company but in fact appears to be under common ownership with the agencies (this is a conflict of interest: if an agency can make money by recommending critiques or editing, how can the writer trust that the recommendation is in his/her best interest?). There may also be other paid adjunct services, and it's possible that there are vanity publishers somewhere in the mix.

    Neither Stylus Literary Agency/ST Literary Agency nor any of its spinoffs have any commercial book or script sales, as far as we're aware--despite their claims to the contrary.

    There's a more detailed discussion of the whole scheme in the ST Literary Agency thread.

    - Victoria
    Last edited by victoriastrauss; 10-11-2005 at 09:42 PM.

  2. #2
    Your Genial Uncle Absolute Sage James D. Macdonald's Avatar
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    New York Literary Agency claims (on their "about" page):

    Some of our contacts include editors at Random House, Regan Books, Bantam Dell, Henry Holt & Co., TOR, G.P. Putnam & Sons, Globe Pequot Press, Simon & Schuster, Doubleday, along with many other companies and imprints.
    I found that interesting. So I asked my friends at Tor (note: It's Tor, not TOR) about New York Literary agency. Here's what a very senior editor at Tor told me: "I never heard of them."

    Know something? If you went to those other houses and asked the editors there, I bet you'd hear the same thing. Except, perhaps, for Globe Pequot (a small press). After Dario Castagno sold his book to Globe Pequot, for some reason he asked Robert Fletcher to negotiate the contract for him. Of course Globe Pequot might not recognize the name "New York Literary Agency." Bobby Fletcher was calling his little scam "ST Literary Agency" at the time.



  3. #3
    I Heart Mac Absolute Sage Lauri B's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by James D. Macdonald
    New York Literary Agency claims (on their "about" page):



    I found that interesting. So I asked my friends at Tor (note: It's Tor, not TOR) about New York Literary agency. Here's what a very senior editor at Tor told me: "I never heard of them."

    Know something? If you went to those other houses and asked the editors there, I bet you'd hear the same thing. Except, perhaps, for Globe Pequot (a small press). After Dario Castagno sold his book to Globe Pequot, for some reason he asked Robert Fletcher to negotiate the contract for him. Of course Globe Pequot might not recognize the name "New York Literary Agency." Bobby Fletcher was calling his little scam "ST Literary Agency" at the time.


    Not that it's relevant, but Globe Pequot was bought by Lyons Press. They are pretty midlist.

  4. #4
    practical experience, FTW ANNIE's Avatar
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    Question ? on The New York Literary Agency

    Hi- New to this site and was wondering if anyone knew anything about the new york literary agency. I queried them online and they requested to see my manuscript via e-mail attachment. P&E had a not recomended after their name but no reason why. Anyone know? Thanks for any info.-Annie

  5. #5
    The late, the great XThe NavigatorX mdin's Avatar
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    Hi, Annie. I believe New York Literary Agency is a subsidiary of ST Literary Agency. (Someone please correct me if I'm wrong.)

    That makes them very, very, very, very, very, very bad. Very bad.

    My Art

  6. #6
    practical experience, FTW D.J.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ANNIE
    Hi- New to this site and was wondering if anyone knew anything about the new york literary agency. I queried them online and they requested to see my manuscript via e-mail attachment. P&E had a not recomended after their name but no reason why. Anyone know? Thanks for any info.-Annie
    RUN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I found this board after doing a search on Stylus Literary Agency. You might search for that thread and have a good long read on these people. What I learned as I understand it, their aliases are as follows:The Literary Agency Group (don't confuse this with The Literary Group who are well thought of), The Christian Literary Group (makes me very mad being that I wrote a Chritian ms), ST Literary Agency, Stylus Literary Agency, and drum roll please...
    New York Literary Agency.

    Disappointing but hey, I found great board full of very helpful people! Welcome.
    Donna

    No, life isn't fair, but sometimes we need to be thankful it isn't. - me

  7. #7
    practical experience, FTW ANNIE's Avatar
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    Thanks for the information, I had a bad feeling about them.

  8. #8
    Your Genial Uncle Absolute Sage James D. Macdonald's Avatar
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    More:

    The New York Literary Agency

    Stylus Literary Agency

    Read it all and tell your friends.

  9. #9
    Moderation in All Things AW Moderator Roger J Carlson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by James D. Macdonald
    More:

    The New York Literary Agency

    Stylus Literary Agency

    Read it all and tell your friends.
    Hey, UJ. Have you added this information to the ST Literary thread?
    --Roger J. Carlson

    If you've received spam from me, my apologies. My gmail contact list was stolen and they spoof me every couple of months. Nothing I can do, but if you get spam from roger.j.carlsonATgmailDOTCOM, just put the address in your block list. I still receive email there, but I don't send from that address anymore.

  10. #10
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger J Carlson
    Hey, UJ. Have you added this information to the ST Literary thread?
    Yup, plus Victoria made a separate thread for each "agency", and I've got all the aliases in the Index.
    ICAO
    ---------
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    I've never known any trouble that an hour's reading didn't assuage. -- Charles DeSecondat

    II2014: 2015:

  11. #11
    Leid: X09
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    Interesting. I had given a synopsis of my novel to the New York Literary Agency, and their fast response and candy-coated automated message about how they were accepting me made me leary. So, I looked their name up and 'lo and behold--I found this.

    Though I have discarded any communication with NYLA, and since this is my first post on the board ever, I'm looking for agencies with good names. I am a science fiction and fantasy writer with a hint of ancient civ. This section of the board has the agencies of threat, but what are some of the good ones?

    - Tara Newberry

  12. #12
    ArtistInBleu
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    NY Literary Agency?

    THe NY Lit Agency just sent me a contract. I was so excited and signed and mailed my contract out today. My stepfather sent me this website today as well, after my mailing, hence to say, I wrote the NYLA an e-mail and told them I wanted my contract voided. They said I had 72 hours to doso and my gut said to do it. Was my gut feeling correct?
    I have an 80,000 page Thriller/Horror novel completed and can't seem to find an agent who doesn't come up with an article somewhere on line with the wrods,"RUN" after it.
    Can anyone out there help me.
    Sincerely
    ArtistInBleu

  13. #13
    Your Genial Uncle Absolute Sage James D. Macdonald's Avatar
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    Have they asked you for money yet?

    Please see the big dicussion of one of their sister agencies, Children's Literary Agency, up in the Children's Writing board.

    Also, see the long ST/Stylus Literary Agency Thread.

    Read 'em, make up your own mind.
    Last edited by James D. Macdonald; 06-26-2005 at 05:20 AM.

  14. #14
    ArtistInBleu
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    ArtistInBleu

    No, they haven't asked for money yet! Just a one time 70.00 fee to help edit my book. They said they want nothing until they get it published, then 15%.

  15. #15
    13th Triskaidekaphobe Richard's Avatar
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    "No, they haven't asked for money yet! Just a one time 70.00 fee to help edit my book."
    Re-read that sentence, please.

  16. #16
    practical experience, FTW Trapped in amber's Avatar
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    They have asked for money. Think of $70 multiplied by many, many authors. That's how this agency makes its money. What you're looking for is an agency that makes its money through commissions on sales to publishers. That way, they have an incentive to sell your book.
    Please feel free to correct my spelling, punctuation and grammar if the urge takes you. I'm trying to improve.

  17. #17
    Your Genial Uncle Absolute Sage James D. Macdonald's Avatar
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    New York Literary Agency

    More threads here about the whole Literary Agency Group and its subdivisions:

    The Christian Literary Agency
    Stylus (ST) Literary Agency
    Children's Literary Agency I
    Children's Literary Agency II
    The Literary Agency Group

    Use the "Search" function to find more mentions of these people.

  18. #18
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Oh, no...

    Quote Originally Posted by ArtistInBleu
    No, they haven't asked for money yet! Just a one time 70.00 fee to help edit my book. They said they want nothing until they get it published, then 15%.
    I have just signed a contract with the same company...let me tell you, the next fee would have been a $100 fee for an independent critique...does anyone know how I get my money back for this? They will not respons to my emails and I have not been able to cancel my contract with them. HELP!!!

  19. #19
    practical experience, FTW D.J.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sinner1047
    I have just signed a contract with the same company...let me tell you, the next fee would have been a $100 fee for an independent critique...does anyone know how I get my money back for this? They will not respons to my emails and I have not been able to cancel my contract with them. HELP!!!
    Oh, they've changed it now. I guess we made such a big deal out of the third party critique done by a sister company...LOL!
    My dealing with them was with one of the aliases, "Stylus Agency" who had suppossedly just been bought out by "The New York Literary Agency," or something like that.
    I had written them to ask about the "third party critique" and a few other questions. Then "googled" and found out all of the horror stories described on this board. The interesting thing, is that they have never answered my questions. They just never wrote back. I asked those questions before I had even heard the "bad press." I guess, they just didn't like the fact I asked probing questions and for names so I could check things out, etc. Until I asked questions I'd been the best thing since sliced bread!
    So sorry you are having to deal with this. Best of luck. You will find tons of helpful and knowledgeable people here to guide you.
    Donna

    No, life isn't fair, but sometimes we need to be thankful it isn't. - me

  20. #20
    Writer Beware Goddess Absolute Sage victoriastrauss's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sinner1047
    I have just signed a contract with the same company...let me tell you, the next fee would have been a $100 fee for an independent critique...does anyone know how I get my money back for this? They will not respons to my emails and I have not been able to cancel my contract with them. HELP!!!
    If the contract is still the same (the most recent one I've seen dates from just a couple of months ago), you can cancel with 90 days' notice in writing after 90 days if there's no sale. Since this agency has never and will never make any sales, this means you can terminate with 3 months' notice 3 months after the date you signed the contract. Just send an e-mail to that effect (and be sure to keep a copy). You don't need a response for the termination to be effective.

    If you want to try and get your money back, send the agency an e-mail citing the negative information you've found online, and requesting a refund. Send cc's to the following Better Business Bureaus:

    BBB Serving Southeast Florida and the Caribbean
    2924 N. Australian Avenue
    West Palm Beach, FL 33407
    http://www.bbbsoutheastflorida.org/

    BBB of Metropolitan New York
    257 Park Avenue South
    New York, NY 10010
    WWW: http://www.newyork.bbb.org

    This covers all bases, since the agency has a NYC mail drop address, but is based on Boca Raton, Florida. I've heard from a number of authors who've been able to get full or partial refunds by doing this.

    - Victoria

  21. #21
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Oh, no...

    Thank you for all your help. Just to let you know (and so if anyone searches this site) the agency that they referr you out to nowadays is Writers Literary or Rapid Publishing. Writers Literary is the name NYLA calls them, Rapid Publishing is what they are under in Paypal. I am so upset about this; anyone want to start a group litigation against this company???

  22. #22
    Empirical Storm Trooper MadScientistMatt's Avatar
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    Interesting - Rapid Publishing is owned by Robert Fletcher, who also owns the agency. Did they actually claim it was an "independant" critique in their correspondance with you?

    See this post for more info: http://absolutewrite.com/forums/show...94&postcount=9

    Since you paid with PayPal, you might be able to dispute the charge on your credit card. After all, they did sell it to you under false pretenses.

  23. #23
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Oh, no...

    Hmmmm, that is intersting. It says, and I quote, "We REQUIRE a 3rd party independent critique." And then goes on to tell me that I can use someone else as long as they follow their format, blah, blah, blah. When I asked for more names, none were provided and I Paypaled the $80. Then they asked for $100 for editing and that's when I asked questions, especially since the editing was to be done by, none other, Writers Literary a.k.a. Rapid Publishing. I have lodge a complaint with Paypal (they can't refund on services rendered though) and made my bank aware of the situation. But again, if anyone is interested in group litigation...

  24. #24
    Preditors & Editors Requiescat In Pace DaveKuzminski's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sinner1047
    It says, and I quote, "We REQUIRE a 3rd party independent critique." And then goes on to tell me that I can use someone else as long as they follow their format, blah, blah, blah. When I asked for more names, none were provided and I Paypaled the $80.
    I'd contact the FBI and FTC concerning this.
    When it comes to PA, the royalty check and the reality check arrive in the same envelope.

    Remember to be kind to writers who step in PA. They really don't know how bad it smells.

    The difference between PA and WLA? None. Both have the stench of dead and dying books emanating from their doorways.


  25. #25
    Your Genial Uncle Absolute Sage James D. Macdonald's Avatar
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    Let's not forget New York attorney general Eliot Spitzer. He's the guy who took down Edit Ink. The fact that these bozos call themselves "New York Literary Agency," have a New York mail drop, and pretend in all their communications that they're actually located in New York would, I think, put them into his baliwick.

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