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Thread: [Agency] William Clark Associates

  1. #1
    Ruled by Dachshunds smallthunder's Avatar
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    [Agency] William Clark Associates

    I finally received a response from Wm Clark Associates.

    On the "up" side: They would like to read the first 50 pages of my manuscript.

    On the "down" side: It took more than 3.5 months to receive a reply to my original query letter.

    Just thought I ought to post this as a follow-up ....
    "'Reeling and Writhing, of course, to begin with,' the Mock Turtle replied; 'and then the different branches of arithmetic -- Ambition, Distraction, Uglification, and Derision.'

  2. #2
    Ruled by Dachshunds smallthunder's Avatar
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    Red face Help! What can I offer Wm Clark?

    In the more than 14 weeks it took William Clark to reply to my query with a request for a partial, I attracted the interest of several other agents. Right now, six agents are considering the first few chapters of the manuscript. Note, however, that William Clark wrote:

    "Please send the material (including a copy of your original query letter) to me at the address below ...

    I prefer to read material on an exclusive basis, and return the courtesy by agreeing to consider your work in a timely manner. ..."


    Of all the agents who have requested partials, William Clark is probably the agent whose representation I would want the most. So, how can I delicately phrase the info that I cannot provide him the exclusivity he prefers? What can I provide him in lieu of exclusivity -- a promise to give him 'dibs'? No, that's not a good idea -- just a promise to ... what?

    Any ideas?
    "'Reeling and Writhing, of course, to begin with,' the Mock Turtle replied; 'and then the different branches of arithmetic -- Ambition, Distraction, Uglification, and Derision.'

  3. #3
    Preditors & Editors Requiescat In Pace DaveKuzminski's Avatar
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    Send it with a simple statement that you won't send the material out to any other agents for the next (fill in the blank) weeks. You can't promise exclusivity because of the others who are considering it, but you can limit further viewing since I noticed that he "prefers" but apparently is also being realistic in how he stated that.
    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.


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    Hagiographically Advantaged AW Moderator HapiSofi's Avatar
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    Someday, when you're the client of a literary agency, you'll think it's entirely right and proper for them to put almost all their effort into their existing clients, and to deal with the slush on an "as possible" basis.

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    Ruled by Dachshunds smallthunder's Avatar
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    Umm, what does all this have to do with ...

    ... granting something other than 'exclusivity' to Wm Clark Associates?

    One: I did not, as HapiSofi seems to think, mean to imply that Wm Clark should have gotten back to me faster, ignoring his current clients in the process.

    [i.e. "Someday, when you're the client of a literary agency, you'll think it's entirely right and proper for them to put almost all their effort into their existing clients, and to deal with the slush on an "as possible" basis."]

    My question was, since such a long time passed between my original query and the request for a partial, and other agents already were considering it, what could I do about his preference for exclusivity?

    Two: I understand where Aascher585 is coming from regarding popular culture, but I find his comments about "Crap Artists" out of line here.

    [i.e. "That this is a natural and perhaps inevitable consequence of creating such artifacts in a capitalist mass society doesn't change the fact that, the last time I looked, 99.8% of the product of the publishing process in "the Western World" is CRAP, the people who make it are CRAP ARTISTS, and the middlemen (agents) who promote it are CRAP MEISTERS."]


    This is because -- hey -- I am a writer who is looking to entertain first. If I can slip in some education while the reader isn't paying attention -- great. But I'm not looking to write the Great American Novel That Will Cause Millions to Weep, Reflect, and Devote Themselves to World Peace. I appreciate it when I read a novel and, hours later, I realize that has taken me out of my world/worries for a while.

    ANYWAY -- back to my original question regarding Wm Clark. Perhaps I can offer him 'exclusivity' regarding the rest of the manuscript, if he so desires?
    "'Reeling and Writhing, of course, to begin with,' the Mock Turtle replied; 'and then the different branches of arithmetic -- Ambition, Distraction, Uglification, and Derision.'

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    Around and About SuperModerator Birol's Avatar
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    I'm keeping my day job williamfromkc's Avatar
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    I'm a little confused here. The index sends me to this thread for the William Clark Agency but this looks like it belongs to the Perkin's agency. No matter. Some SA will tranfer this post to the right home. Here's my experience with William Clark: queried him last month. Received a form rejection 27 days later. Typical "maybe another agent will be interested". Just once, I would like a rejection to MENTION some of these names of the mysterious agents who would be interested. I know. It's a line of fiction meant to comfort but instead cruelly mocks.

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    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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    (Split from Perkins thread. (Thanks, Victoria!))

    Adding link: http://www.wmclark.com/
    ICAO
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  9. #9
    figuring it all out
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    Well, I'm in a bit of quandry as well. I've been cold calling agencies since the end of January with my first literary novel. I've had (in addition to my share of turn-downs) 3 requests for fulls. Those are, obviously, still outstanding and based on what I've read here I can expect them to be so for a while, no?

    But Wm Clark just responded to my query from early Feb and asked for the first 50 pages and an exclusivity. Small thunder, did you end up promising to send it no further? How did WC respond? Also, how long did he take to get back to you? The other 3 agencies are also top notch and it's really hard for me to say which way I would go, were I so lucky as to have a choice. Any tips you can offer would be great since you were in a similar situation would be great.

    Also, as a side note to anyone reading, how often does a request for a full turn into representation (when a partial has already been viewed, obviously). This process is nerve wracking.

    Thanks!
    Last edited by finewritingfinewine; 02-25-2008 at 12:33 PM.

  10. #10
    Super Browser triceretops's Avatar
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    I would really suggest that you not "cold call" agents on the phone in order to pitch. It might have worked out for you, but it is kinda frowned on.

    But, hey, good luck on those requests and I hope you hit it with the agent of your choice.

    Tri

  11. #11
    Somewhere in the hills.... Appalachian Writer's Avatar
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    That's odd. Last year, I queried Clark and was rejected shortly thereafter with one of those lovely form letters. Clark hails from my neck of the woods, Roanoke, VA, and I thought that would make him at least take a longer look, but NO! I, a fellow Virginian, was summarily dismissed.
    Remember; GONE WITH THE WIND was rejected 132 times!


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  12. #12
    Historicals and Horror rule donroc's Avatar
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    He sent me a 3 page single spaced suggestions for revising my historical, which I mostly followed, and he sent another two pages single spaced rejecting it.





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  13. #13
    figuring it all out
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    Thanks for the replies. Sorry if I didn't explain myself. I used "cold call" as a euphamisim, short hand for the process of approaching an agent without a personal recommendation or other connection. In my head, that's "cold calling," but done in the industry accepted terms of a traditional query following website/publishers marketplace guidelines.

    Eek. As a former book editor, I can't imagine just picking up the phone and pitching my idea. Or rather, I *can* imagine and thus would rather visit the dentist for an unmedicated rootcanal than start that process!
    Last edited by finewritingfinewine; 02-26-2008 at 01:05 PM.

  14. #14
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    time

    Did anyone have William Clark request a book proposal for nonfiction? I'm wondering what his current turnaround time is. Thanks.

  15. #15
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Wink William Clark Associates

    Hi all. New here! I just sent my 50 sample pages of my memoir to Wm. It only took 27 days for a response to unsolicited query. Having sent in a sample, I am anxious to see how he responds. Cool agent. Wow list of books.

    Before receiving your first "send 50", how many queries did everyone send out? To date, I've sent 18, and got 12 polite "Keep hope alive" letters, until now. woohoo. Did you all edit your faces off before sending the sample? My editor friend has a friend whose book, Faking It is represented by Wm--said he heard good things. He seems to have a rep for negotiating quickly once he likes.
    Has anyone heard back?
    Best of luck! Mia

  16. #16
    Been a long time... OneTeam OneDream's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Appalachian Writer View Post
    That's odd. Last year, I queried Clark and was rejected shortly thereafter with one of those lovely form letters. Clark hails from my neck of the woods, Roanoke, VA, and I thought that would make him at least take a longer look, but NO! I, a fellow Virginian, was summarily dismissed.

    Hey, I'm from Roanoke. Didn't know William Clark was from there too...

  17. #17
    practical experience, FTW
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Musgrave View Post
    Did anyone have William Clark request a book proposal for nonfiction? I'm wondering what his current turnaround time is. Thanks.
    I am wondering the same thing. Sorry I can't be of more help.

  18. #18
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    William Clark turnaround...

    He has had my requested 50 sample pages for almost five weeks. I am patient. My editor does say it's a long time considering he expresses responding quickly. i am just happy I have not received the email rejection!

  19. #19
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin Blueridge's Avatar
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    This agent no longer accepts e-queries. You must submit using their online web form.

  20. #20
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    William Cook told me he wanted exclusivity for two weeks for my nonfiction book proposal. I sent a follow up about a month later. He emailed me immediately saying: "I like it very much and have suggestions."

    I wonder if this is a set up for a rejection letter along with suggestions - i heard that from an earlier poster.

    He sent "I have suggestions" - but hasn't sent them yet. "I have suggestions"? Okay - what are they? Talk about mental cruelty.

    And as far as not complaining about agents who do not get back to you in a reasonable time frame, because you will want them to spend all their time working with you if you become a client - is a load of crap. I have a writing coach who has helped authors get published and he says tell them all your sending it to other agents within "x" weeks. The heck with him. He says it works. Waiting for 6 months is absurd.

    Also John Schuster "The Literary Group International" asked for my book proposal and 30-day exclusivity. I have heard nothing in over 2 months. I followed up with a reminder and still no response whatsoever. Now that's just down right rude, but I guess I'll have to live with it. Life is short. I don't have time to wait without knowing what the heck an agent thinks.

    Mike J/

  21. #21
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    funny - i meant William Clark - and i take back everything - he's a good man. I kid- i just spoke to him on the phone and he sent me an agent contract that I am reviewing, and he really likes my book proposal. Long way to go. But I spoke too soon. Yet the literary group international is still absurd in their lack of timely response.

  22. #22
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin Blueridge's Avatar
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    Congratulations, Mike! What great news. My period of exclusivity with him ended yesterday, so today I sent material to two other agents who had requested the proposal and the manuscript during the time William Clark had the exclusive. Would love to be represnted by Mr. Clark, though.

    All the best to you.

  23. #23
    fame-seeking floozy donut's Avatar
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    Anyone else here actually represented by Clark? I am, and would love to chat with another one of his clients. Rep or PM me if you are...
    PS - on submission

    I will be in the bar
    with my head on the bar

  24. #24
    practical experience, FTW Adam Hammonds's Avatar
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    To Dave (or anyone):

    I got a 50 pager from WC with the usual 'prefer exclusivity' thing today. You mentioned I should attach a note saying I won't send the ms out to anyone new for X weeks. What does X equal? 2 weeks? Is that too short?

    Also, should I really just send this with the ms or should I send an email first and ask if this is okay?

    Thanks to all.
    Adam

  25. #25
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin Blueridge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Adam Hammonds View Post
    To Dave (or anyone):

    I got a 50 pager from WC with the usual 'prefer exclusivity' thing today. You mentioned I should attach a note saying I won't send the ms out to anyone new for X weeks. What does X equal? 2 weeks? Is that too short?

    Also, should I really just send this with the ms or should I send an email first and ask if this is okay?

    Thanks to all.
    Adam
    I gave him three weeks exclusivity, and received an e-mail from his agency telling me the date on which they received the package.

    I sent those 50 pgs on Sept. 11, and have heard nothing since then. So much for his promise of timeliness.

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