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Thread: Barbara J. Zitwer Literary Agency

  1. #1
    maestrowork
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    Barbara J. Zitwer Literary Agency

    Got a response from them. From their website, it seems like they have represented some legit authors with real publications. However, P&E says "not recommended" because they wanted "only Latino and Asian" writers. Is that a problem? (p.s. I'm Asian) Are there any more legit issues with them to be "not recommended"?

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    James D Macdonald
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    Re: Barbara J. Zitwer

    Here's the full text of the P&E entry:

    <blockquote><strong><em>Quote:</em></strong><hr>Barbara J. Zitwer Literary Agency: a literary agency. $ Not recommended. 11/29/03: a writer reports agency interested in Spanish and Chinese writers only.<hr></blockquote>

    Looks to me like the "not recommended" came first, while the 11/29/03 update was informational.

    You might try writing to Dave privately to see what the scoop is. Also ask Ann or Victoria.

    <a href="http://www.agentresearch.com/" target="_new">www.agentresearch.com/</a> indicates she may charge an up-front fee.

  3. #3
    DaveKuzminski
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    Re: Barbara J. Zitwer

    She charges for copies up front. Optionally, writers can provide the agency with ten copies. The recommendation is not based upon what the agency prefers to represent.

  4. #4
    maestrowork
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    Re: Barbara J. Zitwer

    Other than charging for copies (or requesting) are there anything worth worrying about? If they have sold titles...

    (read one comment on the net that she's a "prolific" seller)

  5. #5
    DaveKuzminski
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    Re: Barbara J. Zitwer

    Please understand that there are some fine lines of logic that have to be followed in cases such as this. IF P&E makes exceptions to its criteria, then that leaves it open to criticism that it's been bought off or plays favorites. For our recommendations to carry any weight against those who would scam other writers, P&E has to apply its criteria equally.

    We rely upon writers recognizing that the agency has a track record of sales and that our recommendation can generally be safely ignored in such cases. That is why we try to list whether an agent or agency has legitimate sales to its credit.

    Edited to fix verb usage. Really, I know how to use verbs properly, but I lose sight of what's written at times in these boxes.

  6. #6
    vstrauss
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    Re: Barbara J. Zitwer

    Also, at least in the past, this agency offered an expensive critique service to writers it rejected (I haven't gotten a report of this in at least a year, though).

    Zitwer has quite a number of sales.

    - Victoria

  7. #7
    maestrowork
    Guest

    Re: Barbara J. Zitwer

    Thanks, Dave and Victoria. So I gather that she may charge for some services, but at the same time, she has had quite a number of legit sales. It's kind of a buyer beware type of thing.

    Thanks!

  8. #8
    SRHowen
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    Not always Dave

    I have more than found P&E a useful site. it saved me from some scams because once I read that an agent was not recommended, I went and did research and made up my mind if I wanted to sub to that agent or not. I also often e-mailed Victoria and asked her about any agency I was not sure of.

    Not everyone will do this, they will see not recommended and move on.

    And i do see that you put that little $ next to agents who have made legit big sales, most of the time. In the cases where you skip that for whatever reason, and the agent does make good sales, a writer who doesn't do research would skip over that agency. And if they went to the agent's web site--and saw legit sales listed, say the agent claims to rep John DeLancie and Ed Greenwood, and lists many sales in the past year to big houses--I know I would have thought, Hey, but Dave at P&E says and therefore I would suspect the agent's claims.

    The trouble with finding an agent is that there is a sea of them out there, and some do not take on unpublished writers AT ALL.

    So if you don't do your research and make sure your listings are fair and accurate (as in the case of legit sales) you may be excluding an agent who indeed will take on unpublished writers.

    Perhaps you should expand that little $ symbol to say legit sales, but So the writer can make a better assessment. And be sure that you have included the fact that an agent with fees or that sometimes gives the option of paying a fee is listed in the first place as having a good sales record.

    After all, P & E is every writers (or should be), first stop on the agent highway.

    Shawn

  9. #9
    DaveKuzminski
    Guest

    Re: Not always Dave

    Well, what P&E is doing is posting that dollar sign next to anyone who's made a sale this year. This leaves out some who had sales in years past but not this year. The reason for this is that we don't have access yet to sales for anything prior to this year. In some cases where the sale wasn't posted to any of the sources P&E uses, we may never have that information.

  10. #10
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Angry Barbara Zitwer Agency BE WARNED!!!!!!!!!

    Barbara Zitwer got back to me today. She wants to charge me 3200.00 to fix the big problems in my novel. She wrote to me with tons of praise when she was half way through then pulled back after she finished and said she could only do it with an upfront fee.

  11. #11
    Seen 'em come, seen 'em go Gravity's Avatar
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    Cheese on a cracker. One would think, with so much info on the Net about this type of stuff, these agents would get a clue and cut it out. I mean, $3200 for an edit?? A good writing group can help you with it for free.

    Sheesh. I'd say the word is definitely out.

    John

  12. #12
    delicate #!&@*#! flower Perks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gravity
    Cheese on a cracker. One would think, with so much info on the Net about this type of stuff, these agents would get a clue and cut it out. I mean, $3200 for an edit?? A good writing group can help you with it for free.

    Sheesh. I'd say the word is definitely out.

    John

    That's a good point. Why DO they still do it?? I'm still a writing toddler, but I know that it doesn't take much research to know what to look out for. How do they get away with it? At $3200, I guess you need only a very few victims to make it worth your while...

  13. #13
    practical experience, FTW
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gravity
    Cheese on a cracker. One would think, with so much info on the Net about this type of stuff, these agents would get a clue and cut it out. I mean, $3200 for an edit?? A good writing group can help you with it for free.
    Babs is obviously a scammer -

    But $3,200 to have a professional editor do a major edit on a 100K word manuscript is not out of line. The amount of help one can get from input from a writing group is limited by the ability of the writer to apply the feedback. Editors do more than merely critique.

  14. #14
    practical experience, FTW Trapped in amber's Avatar
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    Thanks for the warning.

    You can check an agency you're querying here, at Preditors and Eitors and Writer Beware:

    http://www.anotherealm.com/prededitors/pubagent.htm

    http://www.sfwa.org/beware/
    Last edited by Trapped in amber; 06-29-2005 at 12:40 AM.
    Please feel free to correct my spelling, punctuation and grammar if the urge takes you. I'm trying to improve.

  15. #15
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Thanks

    Thanks for commenting.
    I have been bummed out all day.

  16. #16
    Never Surrender AW Moderator Maryn's Avatar
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    That is indeed bummerific, but be thankful you found out before signing that $3200 check, eh? Relax this evening, count blessings if you're the type, then start fresh tomorrow.

    Maryn
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  17. #17
    practical experience, FTW Cheryll's Avatar
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    Smile

    I agree with Maryn. Fix yourself a cold one and sit back and think about what you can do with that $3200 that you did NOT send to this scam artist!

    Not making light... I know it's disappointing to get a "nibble" that turns out to be a scammer. Been there, done that.

    Cheryll

  18. #18
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Thanks

    Thanks. It really helps to know that others are out there dealing with this...tough stuff. Good luck to everyone. I feel better knowing I am contributing to stopping this kind of thing from happening to someone else.

  19. #19
    practical experience, FTW D.J.'s Avatar
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    Smile

    Quote Originally Posted by ganesha6
    Thanks. It really helps to know that others are out there dealing with this...tough stuff. Good luck to everyone. I feel better knowing I am contributing to stopping this kind of thing from happening to someone else.
    That's right, you are definitely helping others by your post. Sorry, I also know how it feels. Just hang in there, think of how you didn't lose the $3,200 and do count your blessings like other posters said!
    Donna

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

  20. #20
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Smile Thanks

    Thanks again.....

  21. #21
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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    http://www.barbarajzitweragency.com/index.html

    FWIW, the Spanish & Chinese thing (from the Submissions page):

    We are actively looking to represent Hispanic writers who are living in the US and writing in English or Spanish and Spanish writers from every country whose work can appeal to US readers as well as international readers. We read Spanish so if you are writing in Spanish, you need only send an English synopsis with your manuscript. We are working with many Chinese writers and looking for other young, modern Chinese authors. We are very keen on representing authors from all over the world. When a Spanish or foreign language manuscript is submitted to us, it will usually take us at least one month to respond.
    ICAO
    ---------
    Achievers strive for excellence. Perfectionists drive themselves to extinction. -- A Grapple A Day
    I've never known any trouble that an hour's reading didn't assuage. -- Charles DeSecondat

    II 2016: 2017:

  22. #22
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Barbara Zitwer, legit?

    Hey,

    Does anyone have any current info on this agency? There was some speculation a few years ago, but nothing solid. They have Matchstick men on their website and a few other sales that are traceable on amazon (though not necessarily traceble back to them). Anybody had any direct dealings?

  23. #23
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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    ICAO
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    Achievers strive for excellence. Perfectionists drive themselves to extinction. -- A Grapple A Day
    I've never known any trouble that an hour's reading didn't assuage. -- Charles DeSecondat

    II 2016: 2017:

  24. #24
    practical experience, FTW
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    I'm a year late with this I see, but I didn't do my homework and just sent an email query to Barbara J. Zitwer, and it bounced--for which after reading these posts, I thank my guardian angel!

    I'd been a little uncomfortable when on the submissions part of her website, the very first thing was that she only accepted email queries, while the very last thing said queries must be sent to this address--a mail address.

    I can't help just out of curiousity wondering if she got caught...or writers [unlike me ]got smart.

    still alive

  25. #25
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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    The mailing address is for manuscript submissions, not queries.
    ICAO
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    Achievers strive for excellence. Perfectionists drive themselves to extinction. -- A Grapple A Day
    I've never known any trouble that an hour's reading didn't assuage. -- Charles DeSecondat

    II 2016: 2017:

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