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Thread: The Vines Agency (Jimmy Vines)

  1. #1
    Elder Scrolls devotee
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    Angry The Vines Agency (Jimmy Vines)

    I received a reply from James Vines, but I snail mailed the query. On his web site, he specifically says not to email queries.

  2. #2
    Ruled by Dachshunds smallthunder's Avatar
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    The Vines

    Hmm, I wonder if I originally e-mailed or posted -- either my notes are off (very possible) or the "2005 Guide to Literary Agents" misled me (also very possible). Thanks for raising this point --
    "'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
    Hagiographically Advantaged AW Moderator HapiSofi's Avatar
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    The primary responsibility of agents isn't to assess and reply to queries and submissions from potential clients; it's to take care of the clients they already have. This may mean that they don't respond as quickly to queries as you'd like, or in some cases that they don't respond at all. That's frustrating for you, but it doesn't necessarily mean they're bad agents.

    I can't vouch for the rest, but James Vines is definitely for real.

  4. #4
    Never Surrender AW Moderator Maryn's Avatar
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    Jimmy Vines was the former agent of someone in my critique group. Initially he responded quickly (apparently he is quick to 'pounce' on certain contest winners, like my friend) but after an initial flurry of activity, he was slow to respond to her inquiries about further progress. When she finally demanded a report of his efforts to sell her book, he'd made none--wasn't even sending it out--and they ended their contract that day.

    He does sell books, but if he never gets back to you, it may not be the loss it seems to be. My friend said his enthusiam for her ms. seemed to have been fairly quickly replaced by his newer enthusiasm for someone else's, and upon asking around, found others with similar stories.

    Maryn

  5. #5
    What? I have a title? Julie Worth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by smallthunder
    Greetings!
    Of 25 literary agents/agencies I have queried, five have not yet responded. I don't know if they are laggards or lost causes, but I thought I might as well throw out their names to hear what others have to say and/or let others know for future reference:

    Willliam Clark Associates -- 8 weeks, 2 e-mails generated generic e-mail receipts

    McHugh Literary Agency -- 9 weeks, 2 e-mails, nothing (not usual, I've read)

    Dee Mura Literary -- 9 weeks, 2 e-mails, nada (not usual, I've read)

    Southern Literary Group -- almost 8 weeks, nothing in the mail

    The Vines/James Vine -- 9 weeks, e-mail, no response

    I’ve had form rejections trickle in as much as a year later. I wonder why they bother. (And, come to think of it, perhaps they don’t. Perhaps it’s just spring cleaning, going through the pile and stuffing every envelope with a rejection.)

  6. #6
    practical experience, FTW
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    Vines Agency: Mail query sent Oct. 7. Rejection received Oct. 25--a rubber stamp on the query letter.

    Dee Mura: Mail query sent Oct. 4. Second mail query sent Jan. 27. E-mail query sent Mar. 25. No response at all.

    A pox on both their houses!

  7. #7
    Inked Mom WVWriterGirl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vomaxx
    Vines Agency: Mail query sent Oct. 7. Rejection received Oct. 25--a rubber stamp on the query letter.
    Me too (well, not the dates, but, you know...)! That one really made me growl.

    WVWG
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  8. #8
    practical experience, FTW
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vomaxx
    Vines Agency: Mail query sent Oct. 7. Rejection received Oct. 25--a rubber stamp on the query letter.
    Same here. Query sent Oct. 23; rubber-stamp rejection received on Nov. 8.

  9. #9
    Elder Scrolls devotee
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    Maybe that's why Vines doesn't reply to email queries. He can't rubber stamp them...

  10. #10
    Never Surrender AW Moderator Maryn's Avatar
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    Exclamation Jimmy Vines Agency Closed

    I’m just back from a meeting of my writing group, where one member had recently returned from the Sleuthfest convention in Florida.

    There she learned that her former agent, Jimmy Vines, has retired or quit the business somewhat abruptly. Apparently Vines notified only two of the writers he represented. The woman in my writing group tells us Marcia Talley was not notified; upon learning her agent was no longer in business, she was able to get a new agent quickly.

    Vines’ clients who attended Sleuthfest did not realize he was no longer attempting to place their novels. He ran a one-man office, so there isn’t anyone picking up where he left off.

    Sages, share your wisdom: What should writers who are waiting for a reply from Vines do? Does that change depending on whether he's got a partial or a full ms.? What about those whom he represents?

    Maryn, not among them
    Get to work. Success isn't built on the power of your dreams.


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  11. #11
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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    I'm more parsley than sage (hee-yuk), but I expect that queriers could just write him off and go on to the next one. For actual clients...dunno, especially if there are any royalties due. Were it me, I'd certainly want a letter from him with an official statement of release or something, and a list of what editors are looking at my ms, to pass on to my new agent.
    ICAO
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    Achievers strive for excellence. Perfectionists drive themselves to extinction. -- A Grapple A Day
    I've never known any trouble that an hour's reading didn't assuage. -- Charles DeSecondat

    II 2016: 2017:

  12. #12
    Writer Beware Goddess Absolute Sage victoriastrauss's Avatar
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    I'd heard a rumor that Vines was leaving the business.

    It's no big deal for people who submitted material to Vines in hopes of getting an offer of representation; as Cao suggested, they can just move on to the next agent on their list. For his clients, it's another story. If indeed he didn't notify them that he was leaving, it's really irresponsible. Not only should you not have to find out secondhand that your agent is no longer your agent, there are all kinds of logistical issues. What about contracts in negotiation? Submitted mss. that need to be followed up on? Rights deals in progress? I'd be pissed.

    - Victoria

  13. #13
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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    Per GalleyCat, Vines is effectively closed.
    ICAO
    ---------
    Achievers strive for excellence. Perfectionists drive themselves to extinction. -- A Grapple A Day
    I've never known any trouble that an hour's reading didn't assuage. -- Charles DeSecondat

    II 2016: 2017:

  14. #14
    AW Addict nicolesingslave's Avatar
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    From their website, http://www.vinesagency.com:
    "NOT ACCEPTING SUBMISSIONS. DO NOT SUBMIT QUERY LETTERS. THANK YOU."

    LOL, it's all in caps.

  15. #15
    Never Surrender AW Moderator Maryn's Avatar
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    My further understanding on Vines is that he left abruptly due to a health matter which is not mine to disclose. It was serious and precludes his working as an agent for the foreseeable future.

    Maryn, whose critique group member got this from a client of Vines'
    Get to work. Success isn't built on the power of your dreams.


    Brick by Brick, a ménage à trois novel
    Taming the Wilde, FemDom spotted--and striped--in the wild
    Men in Love, anthology about--hey, you're already there, aren't you?
    Maryn Says, an irregular blog almost never about writing
    The Occasional Tweet

  16. #16
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Jimmy Vines here.

    Someone pointed out this forum page to me, so I read through it.

    My literary agency is still very much in business; however, I stopped making new submissions in November of 2005. In accordance with my discussions with the authors, I continue to handle business on any deals for which I am the agent of record.

    I do not have, nor have I ever had, any "serious health matter" (thank God).

    Good luck to all of you in your writing endeavors and all else.

    Sincerely,
    JV

  17. #17
    Never Surrender AW Moderator Maryn's Avatar
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    Hello, Jimmy, and welcome to you. We're glad to hear we've been misinformed of any health issues and hope that continues to be the case. I for one appreciate your clearing up the matter of whether you're in business.

    Maryn, tipping her hat (of course I wear a hat when I'm here)
    Get to work. Success isn't built on the power of your dreams.


    Brick by Brick, a ménage à trois novel
    Taming the Wilde, FemDom spotted--and striped--in the wild
    Men in Love, anthology about--hey, you're already there, aren't you?
    Maryn Says, an irregular blog almost never about writing
    The Occasional Tweet

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