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Thread: Ferguson Literary Agency (Cheryl Ferguson)

  1. #1
    MelissaM
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    Smile Ferguson Literary Agency (Cheryl Ferguson)

    Hi All -

    Glad to be here at Absolute Write!

    I have a question...

    Does anyone know anything about Cheryl Ferguson of the Ferguson Literary Agency? I haven't been able to find out much. Where can one go to find an agent's clients or their sales?

    Thanks in advance.

    Melissa

  2. #2
    Writer Beware Goddess Absolute Sage victoriastrauss's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MelissaM
    Does anyone know anything about Cheryl Ferguson of the Ferguson Literary Agency?
    There's very little information floating around about this agency. I can discover just one sale for it, to BET/Arabesque.

    I've been told that in the past, Ms. Ferguson charged a reading fee, and also that she has promoted her own paid editing services (a conflict of interest. Many agents work with their clients to polish manuscripts for submission, but they don't charge for this). I've also heard from writers who asked about the agency's sales, and were told either that the info wasn't revealed until a contract offer was made, or that it wasn't revealed until after contract signing. This is peculiar. There aren't any confidentiality issues involved in disclosing recent sales, even if the books haven't yet come out, and an agent has no reason to be hesitant about mentioning them--unless, of course, the agent is trying to hide a poor track record.

    Where can one go to find an agent's clients or their sales?
    Some suggestions are here.

    - Victoria

  3. #3
    figuring it all out Petsey's Avatar
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    Agent Info - Vivian Beck

    Has anyone dealt with or have any information on Vivian Beck or The Ferguson Agency. They deal mostly in Romance. There does not seem to be much info on them. Nothing really except a name on P&E. Any information would be appreciated.
    Thanks
    Petsey

  4. #4
    Preditors & Editors Requiescat In Pace DaveKuzminski's Avatar
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    P&E often posts just the names in hopes of gaining more information from someone who might have dealt with the agent in question. Remarkably, it does generate some responses and produce more information for us to offer to everyone, but it's a slow process and usually takes a few months.
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  5. #5
    figuring it all out Petsey's Avatar
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    Thanks for the responses.
    Petsey

  6. #6
    Dreamer of dreams, teller of tales Absolute Sage Susan Gable's Avatar
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    The Ferguson Literary Agency is currently recognized by RWA. These are the RWA standards for recognition:


    Agents must prove that they are commission-based and do not charge fees to authors beyond reimbursement of verified expenses that are not deemed excessive and are agreed to in advance by the author. Also, agents shall either be associated with a known agency or own her/his own business for a period of three years or longer, or agents shall list ten clients for whom they have sold novels within the previous three years, or agents shall list three clients for whom they have sold romance novels within the previous year, or new agents shall be associated with an agency known to RWA.
    Make of that what you will.

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  7. #7
    practical experience, FTW Provrb1810meggy's Avatar
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    About Ferguson, they don't seemed experienced to me. I looked at the agent bios and none of their credentials seem relevant.

  8. #8
    Fantasy writer bloemmarc's Avatar
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    Hello, Could I ask some advice from someone regarding this agency.

    Last month, I had received a letter from Firebrand telling me to resubmit at the end of the summer when she is not so stuffed with clients at the current time if I haven't found representation before then. So there is some interest in my manuscript there.

    I also queried the Furgeson agency using my old query letter in which I still had my story at only 45,000 words. I have since put it at 99,000 words, but accidentally e-mailed out the old one instead. She told me that she believes it has potential, but needs to be longer, which it is now ofcourse. So there is interest there to. The question is, how do I write her back and tell her that my story really is much longer than the original 45,000 without sounding like I don't have a clue.

  9. #9
    Your Genial Uncle Absolute Sage James D. Macdonald's Avatar
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    Honesty is the best policy.

    Don't worry -- your story stands on its own. Agents can handle flaky authors, a fact for which all authors should be profoundly grateful.

  10. #10
    Fantasy writer bloemmarc's Avatar
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    It does show on their website that they are AAA members though.



    Quote Originally Posted by Provrb1810meggy
    About Ferguson, they don't seemed experienced to me. I looked at the agent bios and none of their credentials seem relevant.

  11. #11
    Now departed. Rest in peace, Scott, from all of us at AW Requiescat In Pace Popeyesays's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bloemmarc
    Hello, Could I ask some advice from someone regarding this agency.

    Last month, I had received a letter from Firebrand telling me to resubmit at the end of the summer when she is not so stuffed with clients at the current time if I haven't found representation before then. So there is some interest in my manuscript there.

    I also queried the Furgeson agency using my old query letter in which I still had my story at only 45,000 words. I have since put it at 99,000 words, but accidentally e-mailed out the old one instead. She told me that she believes it has potential, but needs to be longer, which it is now ofcourse. So there is interest there to. The question is, how do I write her back and tell her that my story really is much longer than the original 45,000 without sounding like I don't have a clue.
    Quote it as 95,000 words and say the "4" was just a mistype?

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  12. #12
    In the end, it's just you and the manuscript job's Avatar
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    As an update to the thread here -- the Ferguson Agency has been removed from the list of RWA-recognized agencies as of the 2007 RWA Romance Writer Report.

  13. #13
    Writer Beware Goddess Absolute Sage victoriastrauss's Avatar
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    Any word as to why?

    - Victoria

  14. #14
    In the end, it's just you and the manuscript job's Avatar
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    I haven't heard anything on this.
    I don't spend much time on the RWA and Romance boards, so I wouldn't have.

    Puzzles the heck out of me, frankly.
    But there it was in the RWR in black and white ...

  15. #15
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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    Judging from the website, they never reopened after a hiatus: http://www.fergusonliteraryagency.com/announcements.htm
    ICAO
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  16. #16
    Still the wrong side of Saskatoon Saskatoonistan's Avatar
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    A couple of things:

    I'd submitted to this agency before I learned about this exceptionally good forum, though at the time, I'd checked out P&E (May 2007) and there were no red flags. (P&E later listed them as "not recommended" but that has since been changed and their status isn't on the P&E poop-list any longer.)

    To make a long story short, Cheryl Ferguson actually CALLED me at home after receiving a partial quite enthusiastic about what she'd read and was quite emphatic about receiving the full MS. This happened in May 2007 and I submitted the full printed version of my manuscript shortly thereafter. Anyhoo, I've heard nothing from Cheryl Ferguson since then, I've emailed requesting that my MS be returned (I pre-paid the postage for her so it could be sent back to Canada, eh?) and she hasn't responded.

    She has updated her website to include the following updates:

    "A Romance Writers of America Approved Agency

    The Ferguson Literary Agency adheres to the standards and practices of AAR"


    As mentioned, she is no longer on the P&E poop-list, but as far as I'm concerned, she definitely SHOULD because baby, that MS of mine ain't coming back anytime soon, eh?

    Yeah I know, sucks to be me.

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  17. #17
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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    Open again, but still no sign of sales. At this point, I'd write off your ms; not the least because they're e-sub only.

    Would a RWA member please confirm they're back on the "Approved" agent list?
    ICAO
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  18. #18
    Eternal Lurker smlgr8's Avatar
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    I checked the listing in the RWA website and they are listed, however, I don't believe they are necessarily "approved" any longer. They are listed as "eligible" agents and the criteria for that seems to be that they are acquiring romance-writer clients.

  19. #19
    Eternal Lurker smlgr8's Avatar
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    Also FWIW I'd spoken personally to Ms. Ferguson some three or so years ago when she expressed an interest in my ms. She was very nice and enthusiastic, but as for sales, I didn't get the impression she had made very many. I could never verify this one way or another, however.

  20. #20
    Still the wrong side of Saskatoon Saskatoonistan's Avatar
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    I think (vaguely recall, actually) that she had one sale - can't remember to who, I just remember seeing it online. In hindsight, what really got my radar going was the fact that she called me after seeing the partial that accompanied my query. Anyhoo, another lesson learned. I would, however, be interested in learning why P&E took her off the poo-poo list. Anyone? Anyone?

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  21. #21
    C'est la vie! vixey's Avatar
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    I just received a partial request from this agent. Looking upthread, I see there may be some issues with sales and communication. I'll send the partial along, though. What strikes me as interesting I sent the query almost 6 months ago. And the partial request is for a detailed synopsis and the first 3 pages (not chapters).

    Any current information would be helpful. Thanks!
    Vixey

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  22. #22
    Still the wrong side of Saskatoon Saskatoonistan's Avatar
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    I wouldn't waste the time or the postage. I sent a 350 page manuscript from Canada and she didn't even have the courtesy to acknowledge receipt. I would be shocked and amazed if you actually hear from her.

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  23. #23
    C'est la vie! vixey's Avatar
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    Sorry about what happened. She's requested information via email. I figure I've got nothing to lose.
    Vixey

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  24. #24
    Listening to my other selves Erin's Avatar
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    I'm surprised she's still around. She left the agenting business for a while. In 2004, she called me at home on a Sunday and we spent a wonderful hour talking about my synopsis & partial. But she didn't ask me to resubmit. It was the strangest phone call (although I was excited to be talking to ANY agent). Finally, I asked if I should revise and resubmit and she agreed to look at it again. Which I did, and even after tracking her down at the RWA conference the next year and refreshing her memory, she never responded.
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  25. #25
    Girl Detective Stacia Kane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by smlgr8 View Post
    I checked the listing in the RWA website and they are listed, however, I don't believe they are necessarily "approved" any longer. They are listed as "eligible" agents and the criteria for that seems to be that they are acquiring romance-writer clients.
    I don't mean to hijack, but is this true? RWA doesn't even bother to provide a list of legit agents with legit sales for its paying members anymore, but will link to any scammer who says they're looking for romance-writing clients?

    Sheesh. Do they even pretend to be anything more than a social club anymore?
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