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Thread: WL Children's Agency / Children's Literary Agency

  1. #1
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    WL Children's Agency / Children's Literary Agency

    Just wondering if anyone has heard/worked with this agency before. Would appreciate any feedback. Thanks

  2. #2
    Writer Beware Goddess Absolute Sage victoriastrauss's Avatar
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    I just got documentation on Children's Literary Agency (its website is here). Its scheme is getting clients to pay for editing and illustrations (any savvy children's book author knows that unless the book is a collaboration or the author is the illustrator, publishers provide their own illustrators and do NOT want to see illustrations with submissions) in order to make submissions "creative, compelling, and catchy" so that potential buyers will "differentiate our submittals from those of other agencies". They will, all right--and not in a good way.

    For those who've had a brush with ST Literary Agency (which by the way has been advertising on its site for children's book authors), the term "submittal" will have a certain...resonance.

    - Victoria

  3. #3
    Nefarious Ghost Fan AnneMarble's Avatar
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    The Children's Literary Agency?

    I was wondering if anyone knew more about The Children's Literary Agency. There is no information yet on P&E.

    Someone posted a Job-Op from them on the Copyediting list serv. They were looking for "telecommuting children's editors." Several list members were amused by the offer, because it looked like a heavy workload (they wanted a fast turnaround, yet they said that some of the manuscripts were in "not so great" shape), yet they didn't offer any information on rates.

    Although the one that got the biggest chuckles was a writer's offer to pay one dollar per page to help him turn an 800-page book into 350-400 pages. Oh, and he wanted an experienced editor. Oh, and he wanted an editor who could turn his book into a screenplay as well.
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    Your Genial Uncle Absolute Sage James D. Macdonald's Avatar
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    Appears to be the latest incarnation of ST Literary Agency of Boca Raton, FL.

  5. #5
    Nefarious Ghost Fan AnneMarble's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by James D. Macdonald
    Appears to be the latest incarnation of ST Literary Agency of Boca Raton, FL.
    Thank you!!!

    I'll post a warning about this on the Copyediting list.
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  6. #6
    Writer Beware Goddess Absolute Sage victoriastrauss's Avatar
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    See here for more information, Anne.

    - Victoria
    Last edited by victoriastrauss; 03-17-2005 at 10:21 PM.

  7. #7
    Nefarious Ghost Fan AnneMarble's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by victoriastrauss
    See here for more information, Anne.
    There it is! I was searching for posts on ST, not S.T. :Smack:
    THE Official FreakTM
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  8. #8
    Writer Beware Goddess Absolute Sage victoriastrauss's Avatar
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    ...bump...

    Just want to keep this visible, as there's some discussion in another area of the board.

    - Victoria

  9. #9
    Writer Beware Goddess Absolute Sage victoriastrauss's Avatar
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    More info on Children's Literary Agency...

    I concluded early on, based on the fact that CLA's contract was practically identical to ST Literary Agency's contract (including several features that until now have been unique to the ST contract), that CLA is a spinoff of ST (a little while ago, ST owner Robert Fletcher was supposedly stepping down to pursue other projects...I guess now we know what they are). Now there's more evidence.

    The editing service CLA recommends has a different name (The Writers Literary & Publishing Services Company) from the one ST recommends (My Editor is a Saint) but it's based in the same city (Clearlake Park, CA) and shares the same fax number. Clearlake is also the hometown of Mark Bredt, who is VP of New Author Services for My Editor is a Saint. Mark (who has self-published his own novel with Lulu) has worked as an agent for ST.

    The illustration service CLA recommends is RapidPublishing.com, which is owned by Robert Fletcher of ST and his business partner Paul Anderson. According to the current version of its website, RapidPublishing provides "professional services for writers and publishers." One of the main things it's done over the past few years is to process ST's invoices.

    There's also evidence that CLA is hawking expensive vanity publishing deals to clients. Stay tuned.

    - Victoria

  10. #10
    Fish Whisperer aka eraser's Avatar
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    PU. Stinky stinky stinky.

    Great work Victoria.
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    My book makes a great gift!

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    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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    Index updated.
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  12. #12
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    their contract April 2005

    Took it as far as I am prepared to: The contract (attached) lasts for 2 years. They assume lots of powers but they bind you to a previous agreement to work with their 3rd party editors and illustrators....

    and not once did they mention my work by name or ever send me a paragraph on what they liked about it. I thought everyone should see it so was agreeable to them to this point.

    Hi I am a children's writer/thriller writer/ sonnetier from the UK. Working on my first novel so you may see me around *s*

    Daniel
    Attached Files Attached Files

  13. #13

    Just wanted to say

    Thanks Victoria for all your hard work!
    Yep, it's my lil blog space... for the days when you lose your pen (deliberately)
    http://themegaphone.net/blog/?cat=43


  14. #14
    kayscats20
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    Same here, they do not tell you anything they like about your book or what they might not like for that matter. Dorrance at least gave me a summary of my book and referred to it and it's it's content frequently. But $ 8400.00.......$$$$$$ S T Literary was the same way as Children's, no real comment on the book or content.

  15. #15
    RobertF
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    A Rebuttal From Someone who knows... Mr. Fletcher speaks... and Initializes Lawsuit..

    At this time the process that Ms. Strauss decries as a foul scam has 68 manuscripts under request by publishers, 3 book contracts in negotiation, and 3 movie options in various stages of negotiation. Our lead author from Italy has just finished a US book tour and is a finalist in the Ben Franklin awards in New York. His work has now sold German and Australian and UK rights ... The totals given above are referenceable and documentable. We have to document everything given the scrutiny that we live under.

    I feel very sorry for new and emerging authors who have taken Ms. Strauss' advice and missed their chance to be included in the above totals.

    Anybody here try to get to a literary agent that will actually talk to a new author? It doesn't happen. So what happens because of Ms. Strauss and others, is that a new author goes through our process, does some research and then gets scared off.

    What's next for that new author? another 100 query letters to Agents? Another round of postage and time lost. We would have that author in front of real buyers within 30 days. That's the real truth, you can spend the rest of your life looking for an agent that will take you on for 'free', or you can get into a process that will tell you if your work is sellable very quickly.

    Our Agencies are willing to incubate new authors. We're willing to spend time working with them to improve their work We present options to them and they can choose any company that they choose for the services they need. We don't force it down their throat, what's the point in that? If an author is willing to be critiqued by a third party, edit and fix their writing, etc. then we're willing to give that author a chance. Otherwise, where does that author go... Maybe some of the bulletin board posters will start to help these authors free of charge.. .hmmm...

    That said, we're about to educate the bulletin board moderators and posters on what's fair play and what's foul.... we support fact based discussions.. we've offered to publish an interview with Ms. Strauss on numerous occassions. Frankly, she gets more validation from maintaining her point of view, than in really helping the industry, and recently she's crossed the line.

    We are beginning a series of lawsuits against her and other bulletin board moderators and posters. A literary agent must be facile in their use of lawyers. We keep 'em on retainer.




    April 15, 2005
    VIA CERTIFIED MAIL





    To: Victoria Strauss
    XXXXXXXX
    Amherst, MA 01002-2003



    Re: Our Client: Robert Fletcher
    Our File #: 314491



    Dear Ms Strauss:

    Please be advised that the Law Offices of Glantz & Glantz, P.A. represents Robert Fletcher. The firm is writing on Mr. Fletcher’s behalf with regard to defamatory statements about our client made by you to a third party.

    Mr. Fletcher advises that you have contacted one of his clients Michael Graham, and circulated untrue and derogatory statements about him and his businesses. These statements include, but are not limited to, untruths such as that he is engaging in unprofessional conduct in the publishing industry, that he does not disclose his interest in services he recommends to clients, and that he and his company are dishonest and guilty of unfair business practices.

    These statements adversely affect the reputation of Mr. Fletcher and his businesses. We have advised Mr. Fletcher of his rights under applicable defamation laws for such statements in the form of injunctive relief and the award of money damages.

    Accordingly, demand is hereby made that you immediately cease and desist circulating any further derogatory statements about Mr. Fletcher and his businesses. Demand is also hereby made for a public retraction and apology for these statements, within ten (10) days.

    Your failure to respond as demanded herein shall be considered as an intention on your part to refuse to amicably resolve this dispute between you and Mr. Fletcher. You will therefore leave us no choice but to advise our client concerning the avenues available under Florida and other applicable laws to enjoin publication of defamatory statements and recover money damages.


    PLEASE GOVERN YOURSELF ACCORDINGLY.



    Very truly yours,
    LAW OFFICES OF GLANTZ & GLANTZ P.A.
    Last edited by victoriastrauss; 04-22-2005 at 08:21 PM. Reason: Edited to remove Mr. Fletcher's thoughtful inclusion of my street address

  16. #16
    kayscats20
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    Robert, who will read manuscripts by an unknown author, help them get established without trying to take their last dollar plus any more they can get out of them? I have not found one that does not want money first. What happened to helping these new authors by reading their manuscripts, accepting those with potential and letting them pay the literary agency after their book actually hits the market? There are many of us who do not have funds, but if we did, we could have our own books printed and bound without the literary agency's or the publishers help. Instead of everyone bickering, please show us where the reputable literary agents are and the publishers.

  17. #17
    wjm
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    Quote Originally Posted by RobertF
    Anybody here try to get to a literary agent that will actually talk to a new author? It doesn't happen.


    Well, I've got one talking to me.

    Also, I don't think it was terribly responsible of you to post Ms. Strauss' address on the internet.

    wjm

  18. #18
    Preditors & Editors Requiescat In Pace DaveKuzminski's Avatar
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    Robert, I'm so ashamed. I confess. I've spoken to real agents who didn't demand an upfront fee.

    Off your prozac, huh, Robert? Well, tell your lawyers that I want my letter, too. I don't want to feel left out, especially since I stand with Victoria.
    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.


  19. #19
    Empirical Storm Trooper MadScientistMatt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kayscats20
    Robert, who will read manuscripts by an unknown author, help them get established without trying to take their last dollar plus any more they can get out of them? I have not found one that does not want money first. What happened to helping these new authors by reading their manuscripts, accepting those with potential and letting them pay the literary agency after their book actually hits the market? There are many of us who do not have funds, but if we did, we could have our own books printed and bound without the literary agency's or the publishers help. Instead of everyone bickering, please show us where the reputable literary agents are and the publishers.
    Kayscats,

    There are several ways you can find that sort of agent who does not want money first.

    1. The Association of Author's Representatives has strict rules about who they allow in. They forbid charging any upfront fees. Not all legitimate agents are members of AAR, but all members of AAR are legitimate agents. And if you go to the AAR home page and select Find an Agent, you'll be able to see their membership list.

    2. Pick an author you like who writes the same sort of books you publish. Contact this author and ask who their agent is.

    3. Look in the Agents section of Preditors and Editors.

    4. Pick up a copy of Writer's Market or its related guide to agents. Look through the listings - there are many listed with a good track record.

    5. There is a list of agents that Absolute Write will email you if you use the link on their front page.

    It's possible that successful Successful agents don't need to charge upfront fees. As a general rule, real agents do not need to advertise. Simply being a successful agent is often enough to get authors sending you querries and manuscripts.

    Good luck.

  20. #20
    Apex Predator Jaws's Avatar
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    And when Ms. Strauss actually receives the "letter" quoted below, I'll be glad to respond at her request. Methinks, however, that Mr. F won't like it. And that his lawyers won't, either.
    CEP
    blawg: Scrivener's Error (includes links to main site)
    Any legal comments in this message are general commentary only, and not legal advice
    for your specific situation. You should not rely on such comments — or any other published
    comments, by me or anyone else — as anything other than general guidance.
    Unfortunately, no scam agents, vanity publishers, or other similar carrion-eaters were bent,
    folded, spindled, or mutilated in creating this post (not for want of motivation).
    Of course it's "fine print" — it's small and red.

  21. #21
    Writer Beware Goddess Absolute Sage victoriastrauss's Avatar
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    My response to Mr. Fletcher's chest-thumping. (And no, I haven't received the letter yet.)

    - Victoria

  22. #22
    Writer Beware Goddess Absolute Sage victoriastrauss's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MadScientistMatt
    2. Pick an author you like who writes the same sort of books you publish. Contact this author and ask who their agent is.
    Most authors probably won't respond to a question like this--I know I don't--for fear that the person will then contact the agent and say the author recommended them.

    - Victoria

  23. #23
    Your Genial Uncle Absolute Sage James D. Macdonald's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by victoriastrauss
    My response to Mr. Fletcher's chest-thumping. (And no, I haven't received the letter yet.)
    Oh, dear. A certified letter that's taken more than a week to deliver? Is it possible that the letter was ... never mailed? Is it possible that the letter ... doesn't exist?

    I'm not going to post my commentary on Boppin' Bobby's post again -- you can read it in the Stylus Literary Agency thread.

    (And you can read my commentary on Bobby's earlier drivel here.)
    Last edited by James D. Macdonald; 04-29-2005 at 07:10 AM.

  24. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by James D. Macdonald
    Oh, dear. A certified letter that's taken more than a week to deliver?
    To be extremely fair . . . certified is just an add-on, and can be applied to first-class mail as well as Priority, etc. It's still unusual for a first-class letter to take a week to get somewhere, of course . . .

  25. #25
    Your Genial Uncle Absolute Sage James D. Macdonald's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RobertF
    We are beginning a series of lawsuits against her and other bulletin board moderators and posters. A literary agent must be facile in their use of lawyers. We keep 'em on retainer.
    Let's look at Glantz & Glantz, at their business model, and at what Boppin' Bobby means by "keep 'em on retainer." $17 a month through Prepaid Legal Services, Inc. -- a "Lawyer-in-a-Box" service.



    The Broward County law firm of Glantz & Glantz represents 32,000 families in South Florida - up from 6,000 in 1996, according to Ronald Glantz. The firm has 38 lawyers.

    Most of the business is done over the phone. Once a client calls, he or she normally receives a return call the same day from a lawyer who specializes in the subject.

    When a client wants to meet with an attorney face to face, but it's not feasible geographically for Glantz & Glantz, the firm will hire a lawyer in the member's area.

    At least one Tampa lawyer says legal insurance is a good thing - to an extent.

    "It helps deliver a good commodity at a fair price," said Bill Jung, who handles both criminal and civil litigation. "But it's a bad idea if you need sophisticated legal representation."

    Jung said he once represented clients who had legal insurance but whose lawyer had little to no experience dealing with federal cases.

    "(Handling cases in federal court) is like high-wire stuff with no net," Jung said. "It's an excellent program for the generalist. A disaster if you need a specialist."

    If they do know what they are doing, "more power to them," Jung said.

    But he warned: "It's kind of like HMOs. You better make sure your HMO has a good cardiologist if you need to see one for your bad heart."

    Read the whole article in the St. Petersburg Times.
    Last edited by James D. Macdonald; 04-22-2005 at 11:03 PM.

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