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Thread: Robins Agency / Writer for Hire (Cris Robins)

  1. #201
    Super Browser triceretops's Avatar
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    Cool

    Bannick--attention: Aruna is right on the money. I'm one of those that just picked up an agent, having never published a novel before. You MUST have a good query (hook), and an interesting book to get the attention of any legitimate agent. You're looking in the wrong places. Go to agentquery.com, and enter your genre, or pick up a copy of The Writers Market for complete listings.

    I'm dying to know what agents told you that you must be previously published before they consider your work. Names please?

    Triceratops

  2. #202
    Your Genial Uncle Absolute Sage James D. Macdonald's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bannick
    All the agents that say they will look at my work, charge.
    The deal is that all of them are scammers.

    Research agents before you waste your time querying them.

    And remember -- rejection is nature's way of telling you to write a better book.

  3. #203
    On a wing and a prayer aruna's Avatar
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    In fact, I just found a FOURTH poster here (I'd forgotten Brainstains) who recently snagged an agent as a first timer. There may be more I haven't seen.

    Here are some threads/posts telling their stories:

    http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=29926
    http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=27154
    http://absolutewrite.com/forums/show...2&postcount=24
    Last edited by aruna; 04-01-2006 at 04:48 PM.
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  4. #204
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    $3,200, Are You Nuts!

    Prior to finding this wonderful forum, I made the mistake of querying my screenplay to the robins agency.
    I finally got a telephone call from chris robins about two weeks later. I had already read about her scam here, so I was ready for her.
    When she asked me for $3,200, I told her for that much money, I could fly out to L.A. and personally hand deliver my script to every single agent in Hollywood.

    Thanks for the heads up everyone, it is greatly appreciated.

    Will

  5. #205
    practical experience, FTW HoosierCowgirl's Avatar
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    Cris wrote "...Those are just from the writers Ė the doctors, lawyers, judges, professionals and executives who have been looking for a professional agent who knows how to give them the respect and customer service they canít find with other agents. ..."

    I found this description of her clientele interesting.

    Ann


  6. #206
    Bannick
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    Question

    What if an agent charges for editing services? Is that cool, or is it a scam aslo?

  7. #207
    practical experience, FTW Tilly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bannick
    What if an agent charges for editing services? Is that cool, or is it a scam aslo?
    Run away if they charge for editing.

    You want an agent who makes their money by selling your book to a publisher, not from their authors' pockets.

    If an agent is trying to charge you upfront, run.

    Yog's Law: money flows towards the writer.
    Last edited by Tilly; 04-04-2006 at 02:33 AM.

  8. #208
    Writer Beware Goddess Absolute Sage victoriastrauss's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bannick
    What if an agent charges for editing services? Is that cool, or is it a scam aslo?
    It's a conflict of interest for an agent to double as a paid editor. If the agent can make money by recommending her own editing services, how can you trust that the recommendation is in your best interest?

    Agents who charge fees or sell services usually make most of their money from that. In other words, they're not selling manuscripts to publishers.

    - Victoria

  9. #209
    Bannick
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    Smile

    Thanks guys for all of the advice, it's much appreciated!

  10. #210
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Smile I second that

    Quote Originally Posted by Lee32940
    Run, don't walk, away from this agency and Cris Robins.:gone
    Since I live in St. Louis I thought it would be great to have an agency in my home town. I sent them a query with my phone #. I was excieted when they called back becuase I thought "Hey they really are interested in what I sent them and they want me to send them the whole manuscript."

    After talking to Chris Robins (the owner) she explained that the only fees they charge is when they find a publisher to sell my book. I was waiting for the other shoe to drop because this was to good to be true. Sure enought she followed with "Since you're a first time author you could put our agency on retainer for 3200.00 a year." Luckily I was expecting this so I didn't drop the phone. I told her i would get back to her. This was last week. She is still waiting for that phone call that I will not be making.

    tony

  11. #211
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    i second that

    Quote Originally Posted by vstrauss
    Me too. Robins used to run an editing referral gig; now her main thing seems to be asking for enormous retainers--the latest report I've gotten is $3,200--for a year of representation.

    Need I say that as far as I know, the Robins Agency (which has been in business at least since the late 1990's) has never sold a book?

    - Victoria
    I second that too.

    tony

  12. #212
    trmonet
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    Well, this has certainly been an eye-opener. If I hadn't found this site, I might have been the next victim of this so-called agent. When I talked to her on the phone and I heard the 3250 retainer fee, my first thought was that legitimate agents don't charge a reading fee. So, after I hung up, I immediately went out and sent out about 2 dozen inquiry emails to a number of other agency's about this and got several replies within an hour saying that agents get their fee's on commission and NOT on retainer/reading fee's.

    So, I will be passing on this too-good-to-be-true offer.

    I've been trying to find a legit agent. Does anyone have a suggestion on who I might contact that represents the science fiction genre?

  13. #213
    Who's going for a beer? waylander's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by trmonet
    I've been trying to find a legit agent. Does anyone have a suggestion on who I might contact that represents the science fiction genre?
    Go to Agentquery.com and run a search for SF agents.

    The likes of Joshua Bilmes, Shawna McCarthy and Caitlin Blasdell come to mind.

  14. #214
    Finestkind underthecity's Avatar
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    Trmonet,

    Welcome to AW. Regarding agents representing science fiction, visit agentquery and read everything on their site, and in the agent search drop-down box, look for "science fiction" and start there. Cross reference everything with Preditors and Editors. There are more online sources for agents, as well as Writers Market 2006 and Literary Marketplace in your local library.

    Good luck.

    allen
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  15. #215
    Cover Karma - 3 for 3 KICK@$$! Kasey Mackenzie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by first time writer
    Since I live in St. Louis I thought it would be great to have an agency in my home town. I sent them a query with my phone #. I was excieted when they called back becuase I thought "Hey they really are interested in what I sent them and they want me to send them the whole manuscript."
    Yes, it sucks to have such a scammer so close to home, eh? Congrats on avoiding her clutches, though!
    Good things come to those who wait...and work their tails off!!!


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  16. #216
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Cool smooth talker

    Quote Originally Posted by James D. Macdonald
    It's Dorothy Deering all over again.

    make that three almost suckers. one thing about her, she is smooth talker. she will tell you about representing you and then drop the bomb shell of 3200.00 for a retainer fee.

  17. #217
    Bannick
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    Question

    Okay i know that this isn't the place to ask this, but i have gotten good advice here. So, when it comes to getting my book edited, so it doesn't sound like crap when i send it to an agent, how do i go about doing that? I'm not a wizard at grammer. If you can't already tell. I don't have anyone around me good enough to go over my work and i don't have the time to take writting classes, so are there editors out there that will fix my work to be worth a damn in the real world, and if so what's the average they should charge?

    I thought I would get advice first before going fishing.

    Thanx

  18. #218
    Who's going for a beer? waylander's Avatar
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    OK. This one has been discussed before and it generates some disparate views.
    There are those who will say that you need to learn the grammar stuff yourself so that you don't need to hire someone for your subsequent books. You will also be directed towards various online critiquing groups who can help you, and I've certainly found these to be valuable.
    However, it is my view that hiring a top-level editor/book doctor to give your work a higher level of polish than these other resources can, is a worthwhile investment - I did it and if you wish to PM me I'll give you the details of the editor I used.

  19. #219
    Gone
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bannick
    Okay i know that this isn't the place to ask this, but i have gotten good advice here. So, when it comes to getting my book edited, so it doesn't sound like crap when i send it to an agent, how do i go about doing that? I'm not a wizard at grammer. If you can't already tell. I don't have anyone around me good enough to go over my work and i don't have the time to take writting classes, so are there editors out there that will fix my work to be worth a damn in the real world, and if so what's the average they should charge?

    I thought I would get advice first before going fishing.

    Thanx
    Bannick, the hard truth is that if you want to be a writer, you're going to have to learn how to write. Period. That means investing your time in learning your craft. If you aren't willing to make time to do that, you don't have the dedication you need to be a writer.

    If you have just one book you want to have published for some reason, you may decide to have an editor-for-hire go over it and help with it. This has many pitfalls.

    First, it's hard to find reputable, honest, talented editors for hire, because there are so many scammers and inept wanna-bes.

    Second, if you manage to find good editors, you can expect to pay an arm and a leg for their services.

    Third, without the basics of good writing, you may not be able to judge or to put into place corrections your editor offers.

    And fourth, without good writing skills, you won't be able to work with the editor at any publishing house that picks up your book to make corrections or alterations that editor suggests.

    So hiring an editor may seem like the easy way to fix your problem, but odds are it will only open up a different can of worms. My advice would be to spend the time and effort to learn to write well instead of spending money on an editor. The Index at the top of this page references several threads on this topic, by the way. You may want to go through them for a fuller discussion of pros and cons.
    Last edited by Aconite; 05-03-2006 at 04:25 PM.
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  20. #220
    chrisldahl
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    $8,300 Judgment Against Cris Robins

    There is a judgment against Cris Robins in Washington Superior Court (King County) for $8,320 for breach of contract, fraudulent business practice and consumer protection violations. Robins was served with a summons and complaint at her home on a Sunday morning a few months ago. This judgment will affect her credit and may lead to garnishment of her bank account, as well as a visit from the sheriff to collect on the judgment with cash or personal property, if Robins fails to pay or settle the judgment. I have also submitted complaints with the Better Business Bureau and the Missouri Attorney General's Office which both show up as Unresolved/Disputed.

    I will happily provide my complaint filngs or lawsuit documentation as sample drafting to make it easier for other to proceed against Robins. I found Robins 5 years ago in the Jeff Hermann Writer's Guide and believed her to be legitimate, having no idea as a hopeful new author that I would be defrauded. Feel free to contact me for more information. My efforts are directed solely at shutting down the Robins Agency and Cris Robins; I am happy to assist anyone interested in doing the same.

    Sincerely,

    Christopher Dahl, Esq.
    cdahl@wkg.com
    206-233-2997

  21. #221
    in a van down by the river eldragon's Avatar
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    So, finally Cris is telling the truth when she says her clients are lawyers?

    Go get her!
    Pam

  22. #222
    Pride Sheep Alan Yee's Avatar
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    That is very good news. How wonderful. She's one of the Top 20 Worst Agents. I believe she posted defensive comments on Ann and Victoria's Writer Beware blog a while back. It didn't help her at all, just made more people aware that she was on such a list.

    Good luck!

  23. #223
    annoyed and annoying roach's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chrisldahl
    There is a judgment against Cris Robins in Washington Superior Court (King County) for $8,320 for breach of contract, fraudulent business practice and consumer protection violations. Robins was served with a summons and complaint at her home on a Sunday morning a few months ago. This judgment will affect her credit and may lead to garnishment of her bank account, as well as a visit from the sheriff to collect on the judgment with cash or personal property, if Robins fails to pay or settle the judgment. I have also submitted complaints with the Better Business Bureau and the Missouri Attorney General's Office which both show up as Unresolved/Disputed.
    w00t! Thanks for posting this here. It's nice to see the battle against scammers make some progress.
    Eggplant Literary Productions,
    A small electronic speculative fiction publisher.

  24. #224
    Your Genial Uncle Absolute Sage James D. Macdonald's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by www.robins-agency.com/ann.htm
    However, the validity of our agency rests in that we have never had a claimed filed against us that we've lost in any court, jurisdiction, or government agency. THAT has to say something about the way we do business.

    Well, shucks.

    There is a judgment against Cris Robins in Washington Superior Court (King County) for $8,320 for breach of contract, fraudulent business practice and consumer protection violations.


    If the validity of the agency rested on never having been convicted ... guess they aren't valid any more, by Cris's own reckoning.

    That sure-enough says something about the way they do business.

  25. #225
    Cover Karma - 3 for 3 KICK@$$! Kasey Mackenzie's Avatar
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    Congratulations on the judgment, chrisldahl! You must be feeling quite pleased about that. It's very kind of you to offer others assistance in obtaining restitution from this agency. Kudos!
    Good things come to those who wait...and work their tails off!!!


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