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Thread: Benedict & Associates / B.A. Literary Agency / R. Castro Literary Agency

  1. #1
    RejectME
    Guest

    Benedict & Associates / B.A. Literary Agency / R. Castro Literary Agency

    I know they are fairly new and not listed on P&E. On Authorlink, they are listed as having a bunch of clients, but no sales yet. Is this a reason to stay away or might it be because they are new, they have yet to close the deal, so to speak.
    I realize they charge for photocopying and postage, but no upfront fees or reading fees. The principle is a guy named Phil Raia and I can't find anything about him through a google search.
    Victoria, have you heard anything?
    BTW... I'm new to this forum. My name is Jay:party

    Thanks folks!

    Jay
    Last edited by James D. Macdonald; 07-13-2005 at 10:44 AM. Reason: Changed title

  2. #2
    vstrauss
    Guest

    Re: B.A. Literary? Anyone know?

    I haven't heard anything about this agency. Their listing at Authorlink doesn't look encouraging (25 unpublished clients, no sales). Unless the agent(s) have some kind of previous professional experience in publishing or agenting, I'd say there's a good chance this is another one of those well-intentioned amateur operations that will probably never make a commercial sale.

    - Victoria

  3. #3
    HapiSofi
    Guest

    Re: B.A. Literary? Anyone know?

    I'll second Victoria. If they're not honest, you don't want them. If they're honest, they're gormless, so they can't do you any good and you still don't want them.

  4. #4
    KIM060405
    Guest

    benedict and associates

    anyone have experience using them?

  5. #5
    XThe NavigatorX
    Guest

    re

    They are "Not recommended" by P&E and a little background as to why can be found:

    www.fictionaddiction.net/...=&offset=5

  6. #6
    RejectME
    Guest

    Benedict & Assoc = BA Literary (Phil seems to have an al

    I just thought I would chime in this topic. I found a listing for BA Literary on a site about 6 months ago and e-mailed a query for the hell of it. The agency was listed as being run by PHIL RAIA.
    I got a response a couple of days later which asked for the whole manuscript. He said:

    "I read your query with much interest. I would like to see the entire manuscript, but first a few things about our agency. WE DO NOT charge editing or reading fees, but in the event of representation WE DO EXPECT the author to absorb the postage and copying costs of submissions to publishers. Average cost per 100 page submission is $8.75, billed to the client as they are sent out. If this is acceptable, please reply before sending your manuscript to:
    B A LITERARY
    1062 MANILA DRIVE
    BAREFOOT BAY, FL 32976
    Sincerely,
    Phil Raia"

    I knew this was a scam so I e-mailed him back and asked for some additional information. I wrote:

    "That seems like a resonable approach. I shall send you the manuscript as soon as I can get a copt printed.
    Is your listing on Authorlink updated, or is their anything else you can tell me about the agency and your backgroundin the field? As well as perhaps some recent sales etc..."

    He replied:

    " There is one change, the address. I have repeatedly tried to have the change made to no avail. The address is as follows,
    B A Literary Agency
    1062 Manila Drive
    Barefoot Bay, Florida 32976
    Any other questions you feel are important, I would much rather answer them by phone. E-mail is too impersonal. I can be reached at 772-663-4255 9 AM to 4 PM, EST Mon. thru Fri.
    I am looking forward to seeing your work.
    Sincerely
    Phil Raia"

    HaHa! I knew this guy was screwing people and probably loved it when I told him I thought it was a reasonable approach. The fact of the matter is that it ISN'T and he seems to be garnering money from people and just pocketing it. Why else would he have an alias.
    I think both P&E and WB might want to look into posting the name "Phil Raia" along with any other alias this dude might have.

    Thanks,

    JLG

  7. #7
    vstrauss
    Guest

    Re: Benedict & Assoc = BA Literary (Phil seems to have a

    I got a query about BA Literary recently that led me to the Phil Raia-Phil Benedict connection. The addresses for Benedict & Associates and BA Literary are the same, as are the fees and their description.

    It's not the first time a fee-charging agency has attempted to escape negative online information by changing names. West Coast Literary Associates, for instance, which charges $95 upfront, has recently re-launched as California Literary Services. I know this not just because the literature for the two agencies is almost identical, but because the URL for California Literary is registered to the owner of West Coast Literary.

    Note to fee-chargers: please, stop making it so easy for us watchdogs. We like a challenge.

    - Victoria

  8. #8
    jreeswilliams
    Guest

    Re: Benedict & Assoc = BA Literary (Phil seems to have a

    you mentioned california literary services. my husband just received a letter from them asking for the entire manuscript after they read 30 pages. they stress they do not charge any fees. i know they are a new agency with james haversham as the agent. do you have anymore information on them or him?

    thanks, deb

  9. #9
    Arecksilverhand
    Guest

    Need info on these agencies, please.

    hey everyone,

    Tonight as I was searching the net for info on several agencies. Then I ran accross this board! As such, I am hoping to pick up some info on 7 agencies that have requested my manuscript.

    B A Literary Agency (Phil Raia)
    Nelson Literary Agency (Kristin Nelson)
    Lawrence Kingman Agency (Lawrence Kingman)
    Sedgeband Literary (David Duperre)
    West Coast Literary (Richard Vanderbeets)
    The McCarthy Agency (Shawna McCarthy)
    Talcott Notch (Gina Panettieri) NO INFO NEEDED ON THIS ONE, READ ALL THE POSTS.

    Any and all info would be appreciated. I am a new novelist just trying to learn all the ins and outs of this entire process.

    One more thing, I would like clarification on something. West Coast charges $95 up front, for shipping/handling/mailing. All my research is contradicting itself. Some say NEVER pay fees...while others say 'many' agencies wil charge fees based upon mailing/shipping/handling/etc...that THESE fees are ok?

    So please, can anyone tell me if, or when I should ever pay fees...and how the process truly works...AND what is acceptable for me to do.

    Thank you so much

    Eric

  10. #10
    HapiSofi
    Guest

    Re: Need info on these agencies, please.

    Shawna McCarthy's real; the rest aren't. Aside from Shawna, the only names I recognize on that list are ones I know as baddies. You could probably look up the lot of them yourself at Preditors & Editors.

  11. #11
    James D Macdonald
    Guest

    Re: Need info on these agencies, please.

    A useful agent has sold books that you've heard of and can find on the shelves of your local bookstore.

  12. #12
    vstrauss
    Guest

    Re: Need info on these agencies, please.

    Kristin Nelson is a newish agent who's still building a track record; before setting up her own agency she worked for another large, established agency.

    Shawna McCarthy has been an agent for some years and has a solid track record.

    BA Literary, Lawrence Kingman Agency, Sedgeband, and West Coast are all fee-chargers with no or minimal sales. Writer Beware has received multiple complaints about all of them.

    - Victoria

  13. #13
    Arecksilverhand
    Guest

    Re: Nelson, etc.

    Thanks for all the great info guys.

    Out of any of those, are there any people that are 'absolute' no?

    And, should any submit a contract, what are things I should ask for?

    I saw in one of these posts...to ask about the entire fee charging process should they NOT charge you up front. What I mean by this...is some ask for all paid expenses...to be taken after contract, but the key word is all (travel, motels, food, etc etc.)

    I got way of topic...what are good questions for me to ask? sales? What is an average amount of sales for a reputable agent?

    Contract length? Those are all I can think of...what else is there?

    Thank you

    Eric

  14. #14
    HapiSofi
    Guest

    Re: Nelson, etc.

    Areck, I have to know: how did you put together that list?

    As for fees: Zero. None. You don't pay for anything -- not for copying, not for postage, not for travel expenses, not for phone bills, not for [fill in the blank]. I don't care what they say.

    There are some rare and arcane circumstances in which a real agent might ask for limited reimbursement on certain one-time expenses. At the point that those come up, if they ever do, you won't be a newbie asking for agent recommendations.

  15. #15
    Arecksilverhand
    Guest

    Re: Nelson, etc.

    I submitted 20 queries to various agents...15 email...5 snail mail...checking to see if I would actually get a response.

    I found all of these agents on a web site called "Fiction Addiction"

    I tried to make sure everyone that I submitted too has a website...so I would at least know whether or not the agency accepted my genre of writing, which is fantasy.

    After that, I waited...as it stands now I have heard back from 18/20 agencies...11 delcining...and the 7 that are mentioned asking for a manuscript submission.

    PS All of these people who I submitted to are people who accept email queries. Those that responded, replied within 15 minutes-2 weeks of me sending the query out.

    I hope that answers your question. I feel so newbish. This entire process has been a great leap forward.

    Eric

  16. #16
    vstrauss
    Guest

    Re: Nelson, etc.

    Some suggestions for agent-hunting, Eric--

    Don't use the Internet as your primary research source. The Internet can be invaluable for followup research on agents you're interested in querying (here's an article of mine that gives some tips on this: www.sff.net/people/Victor...ecord.html ). But agent lists you find online are often compiled by people who don't have the knowledge to vet the agents they include, or else are databases where anyone can enter information--either way, they're likely to be outdated or filled with questionables. A good print guide is a better place to start--I like Jeff Herman's Writer's Guide and also Literary Marketplace, but there are many others. (Note: print guides aren't perfect either--they all have a sprinkling of questionables, so do some extra research.)

    The presence (or absence) of a website means nothing. Many top agencies don't have websites. Scads of questionable and scam agents do have websites. How to tell good from bad? A good agent's site will prominently include recent sales information (specific sales information--author, title, publisher--so it can be verified) and background info on the agents. A bad agent's website won't mention sales (since the bad agent probably has none) and may not even list the names of the agent(s) involved, much less their resumes (since they are unlikely to have any relevant expertise).

    Don't confine yourself to agents who will accept e-mail queries. Reputable agents are more amenable to e-mail queries than they used to be, but paper is still the norm. One of the ways that questionables lure writers is by allowing e-mail queries, which they know that writers are eager to make. That's not to say that every agent who accepts e-mail queries is questionable--but if you rule out paper queries, you're automatically excluding most of the best agents.

    Never take an agent listing--wherever you find it--at face value. Always do additional research to assure yourself that the agent is successful--and do it before you query, not after. It'll save you a ton of time and question in the long run.

    Make an effort to find publications or writers' groups targeted to your genre. You can discover much agent/publisher/industry information that way. For SF/fantasy, there are a plethora of resources, including:

    - Speculations (a market newsletter with discussion forums): www.speculations.com/
    - Locus Magazine (reports monthly on who's sold what to whom--a great way to find out about agents who sell fantasy and SF): www.locusmag.com
    - Chronicle: (ditto): www.dnapublications.com/sfc/

    - Victoria

  17. #17
    spywriter
    Guest

    Re: Nelson, etc.

    Eric....once again, I am new to this, but I read something in your last response that alarmed even this newbie....

    My contract does not have me paying for hotels, travel,etc...that's her dime. I personally would NEVER go with an agent that asks for that. Also, you wrote "after contract". Do you mean after the agent contract or a publishing contract? You shouldn't pay either way, but I would be even more alarmed if your agent is asking for that after signing a contract with her/him.

    I know, I know....:head It's sooooo frustrating.

  18. #18
    spywriter
    Guest

    Need info on this agent please.....

    Phil Raia
    B A LITERARY AGENCY
    BAREFOOT BAY, FL 32976

    P and E does not reccomend him...wanted to know what you guys know.

  19. #19
    snarzler
    Guest

    Re: Need info on this agent please.....

    That P&E does not recommend them is a strong indicator to not consider them but I personally don't consider agents in Florida to be useful in trying to get a New York publisher.

    Sometimes Dave has specific information about an agent/publisher/group, other times he gets it from Ann or Hapi or Jenna [etc] or the scammed themselves. Have you done any other searches on this person/agency?

  20. #20
    DaveKuzminski
    Guest

    Re: Need info on this agent please.....

    When you're looking for information on Phil Raia, include Benedict Associates Literary Agency in your search since the two are one and the same.

  21. #21
    vstrauss
    Guest

    Re: Need info on this agent please.....

    Under both his identities, this guy charges upfront for postage and copying. According to reports Writer Beware has received, He "blitz" submits (sending submissions scattershot to a laundry list of probably poorly-chosen publishers) and "bundles" submissions (stuffing several in a single envelope). He has no sales that I know of, for either agency.

    - Victoria

  22. #22
    snarzler
    Guest

    Re: Need info on this agent please.....

    And Victoria! I knew I forgot someone important.

  23. #23
    Dhewco
    Guest

    Re: Need info on this agent please.....

    Ummm... I just want to say an agent doesn't have to live in NY or LA to be competent. With the era of Vid-phones, email, fax, and other such, agents can live where they want. Hoping on a plane to meet an editor who wants to talk isnt' that big a deal with the bargain fares you can get these days.



    David

  24. #24
    spywriter
    Guest

    Re: Need info on this agent please.....

    Thanks to all of you...

    Normally, this info might disappoint me, but not today! I spiced up my query and received five agents asking to read my stuff...and only one of them was a loser! Yeah for me!

    Still waiting on Manus though....My kingdom for some news!

    Anyway...thanks so much. I will stay away. Maybe Jeff Herman needs to reconsider that agent's entry into his book?

  25. #25
    snarzler
    Guest

    Re: Need info on this agent please.....

    David

    I realize agents can be successful anywhere which is why I added the modifier. And those agents can help create successful authors who also can live anywhere.

    I just Personally queried agents in CA or NY.

    Andrea 0]

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