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Thread: 1000 Literary Agents

  1. #1
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    1000 Literary Agents

    I couldn't resist sharing:

    The boss is in Acapulco till February or March, and he left me in charge till his return.

    I am not going to remove the listing.

    The listing does not contain any copyrighted information--and you know it, unless you know nothing about copyrights. The listing contains only publicly available information or fair-use snippets.

    You called at 2:05 A.M.. At about the same time, you sent the same email message from the contact page many times. Obviously, you have your panties in a knot. You can't tell me that you do ordinary business at 2:05 A.M.. I think you were having a snit fit. Put away your dog-eared copy of PORTNOY'S COMPLAINT, get off the toilet, and calm down.

    Generally, literary agents are pea-brained, teeny-weeny, anally retentive, third-grade microcephalic morons who can't write or think worth a cat's turd. They use the equivalents of Cliffs Notes to judge the writings and intellects of others--because their own minds can't encompass anything larger than a short note. They think they are hot shit on golden platters, though they are cold turds on paper plates. I am sure that none of this applies to you--I am mentioning these literary-agent traits only to clarify why I am not disposed to react "kindly" to an agent's rudeness.

    Perhaps later, when I have forgotten your rudeness, I will emend the listing to say that you do not accept queries. In the meantime, you should quit pestering me about this tempest in a teapot that is stirring and intoxicating you.

    For Christ's sake--or, more likely, Yahweh's--don't worry about the appearance of publicly available information on the Internet.

    Shalom,

    Kim Servasso



    Please see the attached PDF for a letterhead version of this email.

    24 December 2007
    1000LiteraryAgents.com
    Yadu Digital, Inc.
    P.O. Box 213
    W. Terre Haute, IN 47885

    To Whom It May Concern:

    I have tried to reach you by email and phone, but your email form appears not to work correctly and your phone appeared to answer but there was no machine. I will attempt to fax this letter, as well as email it to the address on your registration page, and then, if necessary, mail it US Mail.

    I am writing to request that you remove all information regarding myself and my firm from your website, 1000literaryagents.com. The information you have is out-of-date and not complete. As I am unable to police every posting on every website whenever my information changes or my areas of interest change, I request that you limit any reference to me or my firm to a single link to my website at www.zackcompany.com.

    As it states on our home page: A note for those building sites for authors: Please do not infringe on the copyright of our site. Please do not copy or reproduce any information from our site on your site. You may link to my site, but that is all. Do not put our mailing address or any other contact information on your site. Thank you.

    I would appreciate your immediate cooperation with this request.

    Thank you and happy holidays.

    Best wishes,

    Andrew Zack
    President
    The Zack Company, Inc.
    www.zackcompany.com

  2. #2
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    Last night, I discovered this site had a listing for my firm. It still had me in NYC, even though I haven't lived in NYC since May 2006. I went to their contact page and tried to send an email. It kept bringing me back to the same page, as though my email was not sent. I tried to call and get a fax number, but there was none. I went to betterwhois and tracked down another email address and sent the email quoted above as being in the PDF. I then got the response I did from Ms. Servasso. 1000literaryagents.com is another one of those aggregators and apparently not even a very good one, given how out-of-date their information is. But that an employee would respond to a reasonable and professional request in such a manner as this goes to show you what agents are up against in trying to be sure authors are getting good information.

    Z

  3. #3
    Your Genial Uncle Absolute Sage James D. Macdonald's Avatar
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    Andy, I'd suggest you stop trying to police the Internet.

    Instead, just slide pre-printed rejection notices into the SASEs of the folks who don't follow the guidelines you post on your own site. The rest of 'em? Forget 'em.

    Life is too short.

  4. #4
    Everything is what it seems. Will Lavender's Avatar
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    I agree that this seems like a bit of a tempest in a teapot, if you catch my drift, but I can't help but to find Ms. Servasso's e-mail...interesting. (I have to admit that I laughed out loud a couple of times. The Portnoy's Complaint line? Effing classic.)

    However, I wonder if "the boss" knows Servasso is firing off e-mails like this. I mean, is this the attitude that 1000literaryagents.com espouses? If so, then why even run the business? They should just post her e-mail on their front page with a disclaimer: GENERALLY, AGENTS SUCK. AVOID THEM.

    Sort of a limited frame of mind, I think.

    Yet, I detect a bit of hyperbole in a few of those lines.

  5. #5
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    Personally, I find the email anti-Semitic, not to mention obnoxious and grossly unprofessional.

    As for policing, Jim, is it your feeling that I should allow them to post incorrect information about me and my firm, including an out-of-date mailing address, so that authors are misled about what I'm looking for and told to send it someplace I no longer live? And if they find the correct address--when the post office returns their mail--but still have incorrect information about what I'm looking for, will you be paying me for my time in reading all of those useless queries?

    I "police" the internet a couple of times a year to catch sites like this and ask them to remove my information because I don't have the time to notify a dozen websites every time I change what I want. Meanwhile, none of those sites has the specificity to describe what I want. They say fantasy when I want very specific types of fantasy. They say women’s fiction when I want only certain kinds of women’s fiction, not all women’s fiction.

    In the end, sites like this cost authors money because authors waste thousands of dollars every year printing and mailing queries or submissions off to agents based on out-of-date or incorrect information. This also wastes agents’ valuable time, processing useless queries, that could be better spent reading the queries of those used a primary, rather than secondary, resource. Rather than chastising me, you should be thanking me for caring and wishing that other agents put in the effort, IMHO.

    Z

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by James D. Macdonald View Post
    Andy, I'd suggest you stop trying to police the Internet.

    Instead, just slide pre-printed rejection notices into the SASEs of the folks who don't follow the guidelines you post on your own site. The rest of 'em? Forget 'em.

    Life is too short.
    I usually agree with this philosophy, but I know many agents (big, midlist, small) who google themselves in order to keep a close eye on the buzz surrounding their reputation and current submissions info. While agent sales should (and do) speak for themselves, there is no denying the power of a few snarky words on someone's site and how those words can blow into a shark-infested feeding frenzy. Each agent must decide whether a site is big enough to make a negative impact on their career should there be a case of misrepresentation.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by priceless1 View Post
    I usually agree with this philosophy, but I know many agents (big, midlist, small) who google themselves in order to keep a close eye on the buzz surrounding their reputation and current submissions info. While agent sales should (and do) speak for themselves, there is no denying the power of a few snarky words on someone's site and how those words can blow into a shark-infested feeding frenzy. Each agent must decide whether a site is big enough to make a negative impact on their career should there be a case of misrepresentation.
    I think he means Andy is taking this a little too far, which I agree.

  8. #8
    Hapless Virago IceCreamEmpress's Avatar
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    Well, it's certainly useful information for us to see that at least one employee of 1000literaryagents.com is unprofessional and rude. I think there may be other useful information in this thread as well.

  9. #9
    Accordion Dreams Susan B's Avatar
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    I have never heard of this site--and it is not impressive.

    I looked up my agent's contact information--and her address is also wrong. (Granted, she moved her agency in the last 6 months, and she's still in NYC, but it doesn't speak well for the accuracy of their information.)

    Mostly, the inappropriate (and yes, anti-Semitic) "rant" by the employee is troubling.

    I agree with Icecreamprincess--it's good to make writers who are looking for agents aware of the limitations of this "service."
    Accordion Dreams: A Journey into Cajun and Creole Music, University Press of Mississippi (January '09). Now available!

    Visit my author site!

    My revised 2008 NaNoWriMo novel, The Music Camp Murders (84,000 words) is now officially a trunk novel.

    Working on a memoir about ethnic roots, family secrets, and a famous writer who died under mysterious circumstances.


  10. #10
    Your Genial Uncle Absolute Sage James D. Macdonald's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by priceless1 View Post
    ... I know many agents (big, midlist, small) who google themselves in order to keep a close eye on the buzz surrounding their reputation and current submissions info.
    Then there are many agents, big, midlist, and small, who are cat-waxing.

    The problem with policing the internet is the same as the problem with wrestling a pig: All that happens is you get dirty and the pig enjoys it. Except, with the internet, it isn't one pig, it's ten thousands pigs. And after you get done wrestling the ten-thousandth, you have to start over again with pig number one.

    The response you'll get from ninety-nine out of a hundred website operators will be words to the effect of "...and the horse you rode in on." The only question will be how politely they'll express the sentiment.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by James D. Macdonald View Post
    Then there are many agents, big, midlist, and small, who are cat-waxing.
    I couldn't agree more, and I was surprised at how many do this. I don't know of any who have actually engaged a site owner because, more often than not, the reaction is unprofessional and rude - not unlike the one being discussed here. Nonetheless, many agents do keep tabs.

  12. #12
    Preditors & Editors Requiescat In Pace DaveKuzminski's Avatar
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    I have to agree with both sides.

    P&E constantly receives submissions for book manuscripts because the writer failed to actually read the About page or the Submissions page. The Submissions page is very clear that P&E only accepts articles about writing. The About page clearly states P&E is a writer's resource. Then there's the New Books page which accepts only banners for newly published books by first time authors. Andy is right about writers reading the guidelines even though many writers fail to even look at those so the conclusion I have is that even with policing on his part, he'll still receive many submissions he doesn't want.

    And yes, the site offering his information should do a better job, but they do have a right to offer facts about Andy's site to writers because they're providing a service, whether it's free or not. About the only consolation I can offer Andy on this point is that the site will become defunct if it fails to strive for accuracy. In this respect, I think that a different approach will work better. Instead of complaining, just create a simple email to them that their information is inaccurate. Then leave it at that for a month. After that, just post a note on his own site that the information on such and such resource site is inaccurate if it hasn't been corrected. Google will eventually bring that comment up in searches about them. Just remember to update that comment once they do fix the accuracy.

  13. #13
    Somebody give me an A a_sharp's Avatar
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    Fact of life #1: Web management is a full-time job for at least one. That number goes up with website success and promotion.

    Fact #2: Literary agents are not web-savvy and shouldn't be. Enter at your own risk.

    Fact #3: Cross-links are beyond your control, an advantage on one hand, a liability on the other. They happen usually without your initiative.

    Fact #4: Bombardment and harassment go with. If you think the bogies will go away because of your posted policies and procedures, you're kidding yourself.

    I'm not sure e-agenting is a good thing for agencies, but I am quite sure it's great for wannabe writers because it speeds up the query process. While I sympathize with the agents suffering from cross-linked literary directories, it's too late now to complain.

    The remedy is to hire someone to deal with it for you. If you do, be prepared to pay that person more than you pay a first reader assistant.


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