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Thread: [Agent] Artellus Limited

  1. #1
    summertime... Madison's Avatar
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    [Agent] Artellus Limited

    http://www.artellusltd.co.uk/index.html

    besides the book cover that immediately catches your eye... anyone know anything of this u.k. based agency?

  2. #2
    ... with the High Command Dave.C.Robinson's Avatar
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    I don't know anything about the agency, but I have seen some of the books on shelves. Those are real sales to real publishers.


    Grasshopper, you too can master the ancient martial art of BIC FOK. (Butt in Chair, Fingers on Keyboard.) Find me on Kindle: Against the Eldest Flame, the first Doc Vandal adventure; Amadar, a heroic fantasy adventure; Price of Imperium, space opera with a street-level twist.

  3. #3
    Who's going for a beer? waylander's Avatar
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    Leslie Gardner came to talk to my writing group. Very nice lady, very professional. She usually asks for full manuscripts as she prefers to dip in and out of them. Unfortunately she chose not to represent my novel, but I know someone who is repped by her and he recently landed a 3 book deal with Eos.
    Last edited by waylander; 07-11-2009 at 12:27 PM.

  4. #4
    AW Addict nicolesingslave's Avatar
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    this is from her website

    Artellus Limited has been operating since 1986 and is an international agency handling writers in all fields: we have art historians, military historians and scientists, journalists as well as writers focused on culture (fashion, celebrities); we are also interested in new fiction writers, fantasy and science fiction, crime genres, as well as “literary”.

    We welcome submissions from new fiction and non-fiction writers; first three chapters and synopsis in the first instance. We cannot accept electronic submissions. Please send all manuscripts and proposals by post.

    We represent writers to the world, book volume rights, and any exploitation of those book rights – to periodicals, to radio, films + TV, and to merchandising. We do not handle film or television scripts.

    Our writers live in the USA, in Europe, and Asia – the common denominator is that we are partial to their work. We are a full service agency, with colleagues based in all parts of the world, unless we handle rights directly in consultation with our writers (15% directly to the USA, 10% to the UK, 20% for translation rights).

    We are a liaison office for various Italian periodicals.

  5. #5
    It's cold out there dlparker's Avatar
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    I was just asked for a sample of material by this agency. I've since learned about the reading fee and read one author's complaints about excessive photocopying charges and failure to offer a written agreement.

    Does anyone have any more recent experience with this agency, good or bad, and whether they might be a good option for a science fiction author (and a new author)?

    Their list of clients seems highly diverse--including scientists and journalists as well as fiction authors (crime and horror).

    Thanks for suggestions. I'm excited to get a response, but concerned I might be falling into a worse situation than "no representation"...

  6. #6
    i'm a girl. (i have tendonitis) defyalllogic's Avatar
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    Submission Guidelines

    Fiction - Query With:
    Query Letter
    Synopsis
    First 3 Chapters
    Non-Fiction - Query With:
    Query Letter
    Instructions:
    Artellus Limited requests full manuscripts on a selective basis based on writing samples and covering letters. If they decide to read a full manuscript, they will also request a reading fee of 40 to be refunded if they represent the book.

    source

    complaint

  7. #7
    Writer Beware Goddess Absolute Sage victoriastrauss's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dlparker View Post
    I was just asked for a sample of material by this agency. I've since learned about the reading fee and read one author's complaints about excessive photocopying charges and failure to offer a written agreement.
    Can you provide a link to that complaint? I got a very similar report about Artellus a while ago, and am curious to know if this is the same person. Thanks.

    - Victoria

  8. #8
    It's cold out there dlparker's Avatar
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    Thanks for the responses...

    Victoria, "Defyalllogic" was kind enough to respond with one link. The name of the person there seems to be "Michael". I had actually found another, at:

    http://www.writewords.org.uk/forum/108_217836.asp

    The comment there was (extracted for reference here):

    I submitted to Artellus and they really liked the three chapters I submitted. Someone asked to read the entire ms. I spent a fortune printing a good copy. Each time Artellus wanted to send it to a new publisher they asked me to print a new copy. This cost me a fortune. Finally Artellus agreed to photocopy my ms. I was then advised that an agent should not be ending out a ms without a written agreement between us - i.e. I would not know how much they would finally charge me for photocopying etc. Artellus refused to give me a written agreement. So I left. Artellus retained �70.00 of my money. They held my ms for eighteen months without placing it. I then discovered that the person who was submitting my ms was having his novel published. All in all Artellus wasted eighteen months of my time. They did not offer their own constructive criticism of my ms. And they spoilt my chances with the publishers they submitted it to. Colleagues informed me my ms was too long for a first novel. I wanted all of you to be aware of my experience.

    I suspect this quote above refers to the one agent in their list who is also an author--Darryl Samaraweera. He has one book rep'd by Artellus.

    I am, of course, in a quandry. I have researched them and found Artellus made some legit sales to Faber & Faber, as well as St. Martins Press, in 2007/2008. And that they have rep'd both dark fantasy and noir crime, both of which I write.

    Some of the authors' comments I have read have said they were never asked for money, and some (who knows who's really talking here? One person? More?) have said they have been.

    I did go ahead and send the sample 3 chapters requested, but Victoria, dear, I know you try to look out after us, and some advice would be appreciated.

    My tendency now is toward: go for it (assuming any interest on their part after they look at my 3 chapters) until/if they ask for money. Explain that's not possible right now (and it sure isn't). If they don't want to go ahead then, fine, I look elsewhere.

    If they do go ahead without the fee, I ask for a written agreement detailing agreed-upon expenses (including copying) and a "shake hands and walk away" option if things don't work out.

    Thoughts appreciated. Again, thanks, folks.
    Last edited by dlparker; 09-14-2010 at 04:56 AM. Reason: Quote didn't come through... used italics in edit.

  9. #9
    Writer Beware Goddess Absolute Sage victoriastrauss's Avatar
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    I would also ask for a list of recent sales--within the past 12 months. That will tell you whether they're actively selling as of right now.

    - Victoria

  10. #10
    i'm a girl. (i have tendonitis) defyalllogic's Avatar
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    I emailed leslie, and asked if they charge a fee. Seemed the easiest way...

    No reading fee - tell whatever agency or site you saw this incorrect info on
    that we no longer do charge. We need to see first three chapters of
    completed work in hard copy. Thanks, leslie gardner, artellus ltd.
    quick response I might add.

  11. #11
    It's cold out there dlparker's Avatar
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    Wow, thank you both for the advice and help (Defyalllogic, you actually emailed her--thank you!!!)

    You know, out of dozens, and dozens, and dozens, of agents I sent queries to, almost all were non-replies or form email refusals (often automatically generated). I had exactly one other agent ever so much as ask for a sample. As she chiefly rep'd hard sci fi authors (also Brit), we weren't a good fit.

    It's downright energizing to just have a chance to finally LAY MY WORK IN FRONT OF A REAL PERSON. For the first time. (Smiles).

    - Danielle

  12. #12
    i'm a girl. (i have tendonitis) defyalllogic's Avatar
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    it sounded like an agency that I'd like to query in the future as well so I wanted to know the answer too.

  13. #13
    Who's going for a beer? waylander's Avatar
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    I stand by my comments above (#3).
    This is a respectable, professional agency

  14. #14
    It's cold out there dlparker's Avatar
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    Well, now I can permit myself some controlled enthusiasm ("wild" enthusiasm happens if they like my first 3 chapters.

    Glad that is now cleared up. And I'm glad to know that if the agemcy charged reading fees in the past, they wisely changed their mind. AAR, Writer Beware, AW and similar forums/organizations do a worthy job inspiring agencies to hold to professional standards of behavior... and making visible those who don't.

    So thanks all around, folks.

  15. #15
    Who's going for a beer? waylander's Avatar
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    I believe the source of confusion about the reading fee arises from the period when they would offer more detailed comment on a submission for a fee. Submission was always free, but if you subbed and paid you were guaranteed a critique. They have discontinued this policy to the best of my knowledge.

  16. #16
    i'm a girl. (i have tendonitis) defyalllogic's Avatar
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    in case anyone was wondering about maybe the fee is on the requested full versus the partial that is required (i was), I asked about that too:

    Just to be sure, that's no charge at anything except for the agent's
    percent of sales. Not the full or the partial, even if your agency
    rejects it?

    Thanks!
    ____________
    Correct - yes, commission once a sale is made.

    So, right from the woman herself.

  17. #17
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Exclamation

    Stay away from Leslie Gardner. My experience with her was entirely negative. She asked for the full after reading the query. Then, after reading the manuscript, she wanted me to agree to allow her to obtain what she called a 'professional reader's opinion.' (She didn't trust her own judgment?) I agreed. Some months later, I learned that the professional reader was a senior editor for Random House. The editor did not buy the story but stated 'the author clearly has talent.' As a new author, I was enthused by this (in spite of no sale) as the quality of my writing had been validated in a manner of speaking. I wish to emphatically state that, after getting the opinion she sought from Random House, she refused to offer me a contract. But, on this opinion, Gardner sent the manuscript to an editor at Hachette, a gentleman that works for Orbit Books. He contacted Gardner via e-mail in reply and told her that Orbit doesn't handle works of the paranormal, only science fiction and another genre I do not at this moment recall. So I went to their website and, sure enough, there was no reference to anything having to do with vampires, werewolves, ghosts, you name it. So I began to wonder if Gardner knew what she doing. She then sent it to a woman at another major publisher that replied by telling her she doesn't read horror stories. I contacted Gardner to ask her to disabuse the woman of the notion that my story is horror as it is much more an intellectual type of ghost story with only a nod towards horror. She refused! I also asked her to send the manuscript to Simon & Shuster as this is the publisher that handles Stephen King's works. She never did. Why? Because I don't think she knows anyone there, that she's not all that well connected. In six months, I remember receiving only three e-mails from her forwarded from publishing house editors. If I did receive more, it was only one more. And in spite of my additional requests to have her extend a contract, she just ignored me. Then! Six months after 'taking on' the manuscript, she sent me an e-mail to say she was 'withdrawing' from representing me. By that act, leaving me hanging as the manuscript was allegedly on the desks (unread) at this time, she severely damaged my story by doing that. No agent wants to pick up where another left off. And she knew that. (I should mention that during the time she was sending it out, another agent contacted me to say this could be 'a big book.' I turned this woman down in the false belief that Gardner would work with me until we had sold the novel.) In short, Gardner is bad news. There's no doubt in my mind that she would not have offered me a contract until/unless the manuscript sold. Probably the way she operates for any new author. Sending it to a mere handful of editors, some of them not even taking the time to read it(!) for the reasons you read here, is a breathtaking example of her work ethic. If I had known she was going to pull a stunt like that, was going to submit it to people that had zero interest in reading it, would have sent it to as few editors as she did, did not submit it to Simon & Schuster(!), I never would have agreed to let her send it out to anyone. Fortunately, my new novel is complete and is even better, now in the hands of a number of agents that have no complaints lodged against them on this board or any other.

  18. #18
    practical experience, FTW
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    Thanks Twincam, that's valuable but shocking reading. We have been warned!

    p.s, how's your book? Did you go back to that other agent?


  19. #19
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    I did go back but she was disinterested upon learning of my experience with Gardner -- likely more specifically the fact that editors had already been approached. None of that affects the story's quality, however. It's a great little yarn written for women that is set in a haunted house unlike any haunted house ever described in a novel. Gardner ruined my chances of selling it as quickly as I would have liked. If she had put an honest effort into it, it would be sold by now, and she would have my latest novel. But, no. As I said, stay away from this person. An agent read my newer novel (also a tale of the paranormal), told me he 'loved it' and sees series potential as well as theatrical potential. Other agents within the firm are taking their own look at it right now. Additionally, the full is in the possession of six or seven agents. Last week, two agents in the U.K. asked for partials. Gardner gave up on me after a dishwater effort. She is going to regret that.

  20. #20
    Tired and Disillusioned Momento Mori's Avatar
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    twincam:
    I wish to emphatically state that, after getting the opinion she sought from Random House, she refused to offer me a contract. But, on this opinion, Gardner sent the manuscript to an editor at Hachette, a gentleman that works for Orbit Books.
    Here's what confuses me about this: if she didn't offer you a contract, did you have any agreement at all that she would act as your agent?

    I'm just not understanding why you let her continue to submit your book to publishers if you didn't have a formal relationship in place first.

    twincam:
    I also asked her to send the manuscript to Simon & Shuster as this is the publisher that handles Stephen King's works. She never did. Why? Because I don't think she knows anyone there, that she's not all that well connected.
    The fact that she might not know an editor at S&S does not mean that she is not well connected. It just means that she doesn't know any editors at S&S.

    twincam:
    Then! Six months after 'taking on' the manuscript, she sent me an e-mail to say she was 'withdrawing' from representing me. By that act, leaving me hanging as the manuscript was allegedly on the desks (unread) at this time, she severely damaged my story by doing that. No agent wants to pick up where another left off. And she knew that
    It depends on where she submitted the book. If she was representing your manuscript, then you're entitled to a list of all editors and publishers where she submitted it (and frankly, you should have kept on top of where it was going).

    If she only submitted to 6 or so publishers (as your post suggests), then if your book was as publishable as you claim, another agent should equally be willing to try it with their contacts.

    twincam:
    (I should mention that during the time she was sending it out, another agent contacted me to say this could be 'a big book.' I turned this woman down in the false belief that Gardner would work with me until we had sold the novel.)
    So even though you didn't have a contract (which seems to be important to you), you didn't use this as a means of clarifying your relationship with Artellus?

    twincam:
    There's no doubt in my mind that she would not have offered me a contract until/unless the manuscript sold.
    How do you know?

    twincam:
    Sending it to a mere handful of editors, some of them not even taking the time to read it(!) for the reasons you read here, is a breathtaking example of her work ethic.
    I won't argue that you should have been kept informed of her submission strategy and her progress. But there are things here that you should have done as well, so I'm not sure the blame is completely in her court.

    twincam:
    If I had known she was going to pull a stunt like that, was going to submit it to people that had zero interest in reading it, would have sent it to as few editors as she did, did not submit it to Simon & Schuster(!), I never would have agreed to let her send it out to anyone.
    Sounds like you have a real bee in your bonnet about Simon & Schuster.

    twincam:
    Gardner ruined my chances of selling it as quickly as I would have liked. If she had put an honest effort into it, it would be sold by now, and she would have my latest novel.
    So you were just looking for a quick sale? Because if so, then you need to understand that publishing isn't like that. Everything goes slowly until it goes quickly.

    twincam:
    An agent read my newer novel (also a tale of the paranormal), told me he 'loved it' and sees series potential as well as theatrical potential. Other agents within the firm are taking their own look at it right now.
    Okay. Personally, I'd be happier if an agent asked me what I saw as being the potential of the book and where I was thinking of taking it sequel wise (if at all) rather than throwing out grandiose statements as to its potential - particularly as to its "theatrical potential" (and I say that as someone whose agent does sell film/TV/stage adaptation rights. The key thing is to sell the book first.

    I'm not saying that this agency is impeccable - in fact, like Victoria said above, I'd want to know where they've sold to in the last 12 months. However there's a lot of bitterness to this story that makes me question whether your expectations were in some part to blame.

    MM

  21. #21
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Don't you have anything better to do than whine over someone else's post? What was/is it about my post you do not understand? Obviously, a lot. Your comments make it seem you're an apologist for Gardner. Yeah, maybe you are. Maybe you work for Artellus and post under this screen name. I think that's it. In any case, did you read the other posts on this board? Am I supposed to believe I'm the only new author that has been refused a contract while she sidesteps the issue by claiming to want a professional reader's opinion? I now see her tactic as patently dishonest. She never told me this reader was a senior RH editor. So she is quite willing to submit a manuscript under false pretenses and quite unwilling to offer a contract no matter story quality unless, of course, the manuscript sells. In my case, with my permission to send it to this mysterious reader, she later sent it out to several other editors that, as I stated in my first post, flatly told her they wouldn't read it for their own reasons, one of which, as I also stated in my first post, made me wonder if she knew what she was doing. I was shocked when the Orbit editor chided her for submitting a story completely outside the company's area of focus. I'm sure you can explain that, however, but I don't intend to read anything more you write. Your reply to my post was sufficiently annoying and laughable. For example, out of nowhere you, in your infinite wisdom, think I have a bone to pick with S&S?! You do? If you're so perceptive, why aren't you hawking this skill as a fortune teller? This firm, sport, is the publisher that prints Stephen King's works, a genre in which I write, the genre of my novel -- a prime possibility to take on my work. Is that too complicated for you to comprehend? I asked her twice if she intended to send it to this company. No reply. Typical. She told me early on she knows the industry. Gee...I guess that knowledge doesn't extend to editor contacts at one of the largest publishers in the world. And you know what else? When I sent her the e-mail attachment of my manuscript, she initially wanted to charge me to print it out in her own office. Later she changed her mind. But it's my understanding that charging fees for one reason or another was SOP for Artellus in years past. Victoria herself noted such complaints about this agency. I'm sure you have excuses for those as well, apologist that you are. When I did raise the subject about a contract on several occasions, she ignored me there as well, each and every time. She's very good at not replying to e-mails. Like all authors, I put a lot of time and thought into that story. She mishandled it and spoiled my chances for another agent to take it on. I have now completed my new novel, one even better. Needless to say, she will never see it.

  22. #22
    Tired and Disillusioned Momento Mori's Avatar
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    Wow, it was obvious that you were angry but really, twincam, was there any need for that?

    twincam:
    Don't you have anything better to do than whine over someone else's post?
    You mean I should be doing something more productive like going to a writers' board and creating an account specifically to spit venom at an agent who allegedly done me wrong and sound completely hysterical while doing it? Because personally that just seems like such a waste of emotional energy.

    twincam:
    What was/is it about my post you do not understand?
    Isn't that clear from the questions I raised? That's usually a good clue as to what someone is failing to understand and wants clarification on.

    twincam:
    our comments make it seem you're an apologist for Gardner. Yeah, maybe you are. Maybe you work for Artellus and post under this screen name. I think that's it.
    Yeah. That's it exactly.

    twincam:
    In any case, did you read the other posts on this board?
    Yes. Did you?

    There were some questions about a possible reading fee, which were cleared up and then there was questions about their recent sales history. You're the first person here claiming a bad experience and that's fine. The whole purpose of the board is to allow people to post about bad experiences and ask questions. However there are ways of doing it without making it sound like a grudge, which incidentally, always hurts credibility.

    twincam:
    Am I supposed to believe I'm the only new author that has been refused a contract while she sidesteps the issue by claiming to want a professional reader's opinion? I now see her tactic as patently dishonest. She never told me this reader was a senior RH editor.
    I've got no idea if you're the only new author who she's refused a contract to and in fact, you have no idea either. You're making an allegation based on your experience. By itself it's not enough to suggest a pattern of behaviour but I agree that it is enough to raise questions about the agency.

    twincam:
    I'm sure you can explain that, however, but I don't intend to read anything more you write. Your reply to my post was sufficiently annoying and laughable.
    I'll be crying myself to sleep over that.

    twincam:
    For example, out of nowhere you, in your infinite wisdom, think I have a bone to pick with S&S?!
    I think you need to work on your reading comprehension, love. I never said you had a bone to pick with S&S. I said that I think you have a bee in your bonnet about them, i.e. you're obsessed with getting your book there because they publish Stephen King.

    twincam:
    This firm, sport, is the publisher that prints Stephen King's works, a genre in which I write, the genre of my novel -- a prime possibility to take on my work. Is that too complicated for you to comprehend?
    No. See above.

    twincam:
    She told me early on she knows the industry. Gee...I guess that knowledge doesn't extend to editor contacts at one of the largest publishers in the world.
    I also explained this to you.

    twincam:
    Victoria herself noted such complaints about this agency.
    I believe Victoria only mentioned one complaint but maybe she had more since then and maybe she's had people contact her with experiences like yours.

    twincam:
    I'm sure you have excuses for those as well, apologist that you are
    Thanks for the LOL. In the few years I've been on this board, I've been called lots of things but no one has ever suggested I'm an apologist for an agency. Usually it goes completely the other way.

    twincam:
    When I did raise the subject about a contract on several occasions, she ignored me there as well, each and every time. She's very good at not replying to e-mails. Like all authors, I put a lot of time and thought into that story. She mishandled it and spoiled my chances for another agent to take it on.
    Yeah, but with 2 UK agents recently requesting partials of your latest manuscript, it's still possible for someone to take on the first if it's as good as the feedback suggests.

    MM
    Last edited by Momento Mori; 06-05-2011 at 03:10 AM. Reason: Taking out some of the sarcasm.

  23. #23
    Who's going for a beer? waylander's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by twincam View Post
    . But it's my understanding that charging fees for one reason or another was SOP for Artellus in years past.

    This is incorrect

  24. #24
    Such a nasty woman SuperModerator Old Hack's Avatar
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    Twincam, I'd like a word with you.

    1) AbsoluteWrite's only rule is "respect your fellow writer". Please remember this before you post again.

    2) Please also remember paragraph breaks. They make your posts much easier to read.

    3) It's not at all unusual for agents to use freelance readers to assess their submissions. Some of these readers are editors from the big houses. This is not a problem. The agent is not doing anything dodgy here and for you to label her as "patently dishonest" for doing so is patently unprofessional.

    If I were you I'd step back from this discussion for a while. You're obviously upset by this: but I think you need to try to look at this from the agent's side too. I don't see a massive amount of wrongdoing here on the agent's side; but with all respect to you, I do see a writer who has got hold of the wrong end of the stick about a few things.

  25. #25
    practical experience, FTW
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    MM - you were asking for that. Twincam is a newbie, so a wee bit of sympathy mixed in with helpful guidance would have been better than sticking the boot in.

    If I was Twincam I'd be royally pissed off at this agent, and may come to the same conclusions. Whatever your take on it, there is some bad behaviour from this agent. Not massively, but enough to really wind up Twincam.


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