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Thread: The Grable Group (formerly The Nashville Agency) Tim Grable

  1. #1
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    The Grable Group (formerly The Nashville Agency) Tim Grable

    Any word about this agency?

    It didn't get a great review in P & E but I'm wondering if anyone had a different experience.

    The main agent is Jonathan Clements

    I appreciate the feedback!

    Much thanks!

  2. #2
    Absolutely Fazed
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    Link: http://www.nashvilleagency.com/Home.html

    I don't see anything on their site that indicates they've sold any books or have any experience in selling books to publishers or have any experience in publishing at all. Their staff page lists a lot of employees, not one of which has the title of agent.

    If Dave gives an agency Not Recommended, he usually has a good reason for it.

    Edited to add more information.

    One of his clients: http://www.daddydoyouloveme.net/ (warning sound and video) who appears to be published with New Leaf Press. I know nothing of this publishing house, though they seem focused on selling to readers, they're specialized, and their covers are nice. I also don't know whether the writer sold the book with or without the agency's help, since the publisher doesn't require an agent for submissions. But that's the only sale I found, and Dave still notes "poor contract" on P&E. In the absence of better information, I'd find agents who show a stronger history.
    Last edited by DeadlyAccurate; 03-12-2008 at 11:37 PM. Reason: Removed first sentence now that thread's been moved.

  3. #3
    Writer Beware Goddess Absolute Sage victoriastrauss's Avatar
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    Their author-agent agreement is nonstandard. I'm not at my desk right now so I don't have the specifics, but among other things, it includes an interminable agency clause. When I have access to my files, I'll post more.

    I've also been unable to find any sales for this agency.

    - Victoria

  4. #4
    Hapless Virago IceCreamEmpress's Avatar
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    What are Jonathan Clements's qualifications as a literary agent? There's no information given about any of the staff members, just their photos.

    With all the actual literary agencies in the world, it seems like one wouldn't bother querying this spinoff-of-a-speakers'-bureau unless one is interested in some kind of hybrid representation.

  5. #5
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Very helpful everyone. Thanks so much.

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    Writer Beware Goddess Absolute Sage victoriastrauss's Avatar
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    As promised, here's the exact language of Nashville's interminable agency clause (my bolding):

    It is understood that if rights to the Work have been sold during the term of this Agreement, Agentís interest in the Work is irrevocable, and such irrevocable interest thereby and t hereafter extends to any and all subsidiary rights arising from the Work. In recognition thereof, and in such case, Author hereby:

    (a) acknowledges and agrees that, regardless of when made or by whom, any and all contracts or agreements (and any extensions or renewals thereof and substitutions therefor) regarding the Work are covered by the terms of this Agreement;

    (b) agrees to arrange for all such contracts and agreements, regardless of when made or by whom, to name Agent as Authorís agent of record; and

    (c) agrees to arrange for any monies due to Author from agreements or contracts covered by the terms of this Agreement (regardless of when made or by whom), and accruing after termination of this Agreement, to be paid to Agent, which will then deduct commissions and unreimbursed expenses and remit to Author as provided for above.

    In other words, if the agency sells your manuscript, it is the Agent of Record for that work and all its subsidiary rights forever--no matter who made the sale or when the sale was made.

    And that's not all. The author also has to provide $1 million worth of insurance, and name the agent as an additional insured. No, I didn't make that up. Here's the actual language:

    Insurance. Author hereby agrees to provide copies of its insurance policies in amounts sufficient to Agent, but no less than One Million Dollars ($1,000,00.00) per occurrence, with Agent named as additional insured.

    Other concerns:

    - The author must appoint the agent his or her attorney in fact, with full power to sign agreements on the author's behalf.

    - A 30% commission is charged for foreign rights sales, where co-agents are used. This is high--20-25% is more standard.

    - The agent claims "the perpetual right" to use the author's name and other information for publicity purposes.

    - Reimbursible expense includes not just the normal photocopying, postage, and purchase of bound galleys or finished books, but travel and "any other cost and expense related to Agentís services hereunder."

    - Victoria

  7. #7
    Hapless Virago IceCreamEmpress's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by victoriastrauss View Post
    And that's not all. The author also has to provide $1 million worth of insurance, and name the agent as an additional insured. No, I didn't make that up. Here's the actual language:

    Insurance. Author hereby agrees to provide copies of its insurance policies in amounts sufficient to Agent, but no less than One Million Dollars ($1,000,00.00) per occurrence, with Agent named as additional insured.

    The mind, it boggles.

    Boggles.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by victoriastrauss View Post
    And that's not all. The author also has to provide $1 million worth of insurance, and name the agent as an additional insured. No, I didn't make that up. Here's the actual language:

    Insurance. Author hereby agrees to provide copies of its insurance policies in amounts sufficient to Agent, but no less than One Million Dollars ($1,000,00.00) per occurrence, with Agent named as additional insured.

    Other concerns:

    - The author must appoint the agent his or her attorney in fact, with full power to sign agreements on the author's behalf.

    - Victoria
    That's one way for an agency to make money without selling any books. I really wouldn't want to be in a position where I'm worth more to my agent dead than alive.

    Actually, that's a heck of a story idea, isn't it? "Bob's book isn't selling and the mortgage payment is due...I think I'll bump him off."
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  9. #9
    Absolutely Fazed
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    Dead peasant insurance for an agent? Sheesh, my husband wouldn't get a million bucks if I kicked it.

  10. #10
    practical experience, FTW Khazarkhum's Avatar
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    30%, plus you have to foot the bill for travel? And then you get knocked off for the insurance money. Wow. What a deal!

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    It's all happening... talps's Avatar
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    I think I'd rather be repped by the Geico gecko...
    Quid quid latine dictum sit, altum videtur.

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    Due diligence

    I know two established, well-published authors who work with Jonathan and have nothing but good things to say about him. He's got a proven track record that is easily found on Publisher's Marketplace (including a NYTimes best seller and sales to McGraw-Hill, Zondervan, Revell, Doubleday, etc).

    I met Jonathan at a conference recently and asked him about the points raised here. I've been told that the objectionable clauses aren't a factor in their literary contract at this point. Some of the 'objectionable' clauses in the contract may have come from the entertainment management side of the business.

    After doing my own research and talking to people who work with him I wonder if maybe it's time to update this information? (Of course, this kind of thread keeps him from being bombarded with endless queries, so maybe it's not all bad!)
    Last edited by CAWriter; 05-06-2009 at 03:48 AM.

  13. #13
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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    Writer Beware Goddess Absolute Sage victoriastrauss's Avatar
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    Hope they've improved their author-agent contract from the one I saw about a year ago.

    - Victoria

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    Quote Originally Posted by victoriastrauss View Post
    Hope they've improved their author-agent contract from the one I saw about a year ago.

    - Victoria
    I've just seen their contract and can say that none of the clauses highlighted above are included at this point.

  16. #16
    Writer Beware Goddess Absolute Sage victoriastrauss's Avatar
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    CAWriter, can you share the contract with me so I can verify the info? I'd love to be able to say that the Nashville Agency has improved its terms.

    Contact me at beware@sfwa.org. All information shared with Writer Beware is held in strict confidence.

    - Victoria

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    Nashville Agency -
    Can anyone update me on this agency and Jonathan Clements. I was going to e-mail a query to him a month ago but he hasn't changed his website much since before Victoria's last post in May. Is he safe or not?

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    I would say that any agent or publisher that would ask for a million dollar policy on you in case you die, common sense would tell you to run for the hills, and don't look back at all. I thought Pa and Tate and strategic and the rest had hit a low, and they have but this is really low. I cant believe they even have the nerve to put that in.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by wanda45451964 View Post
    I would say that any agent or publisher that would ask for a million dollar policy on you in case you die, common sense would tell you to run for the hills, and don't look back at all. I thought Pa and Tate and strategic and the rest had hit a low, and they have but this is really low. I cant believe they even have the nerve to put that in.
    I've seen a more recent contract than the one described here, and the objectionable clauses aren't in it, including the life insurance policy.

  20. #20
    Writer Beware Goddess Absolute Sage victoriastrauss's Avatar
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    Again, I'd love to see a copy of a current contract, in order to update my records. PM me here or contact me at beware@sfwa.org.

    - Victoria

  21. #21
    Writer Beware's Faithful Igor Richard White's Avatar
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    I'd like to see CAWriter show up anywhere on Absolute Write other than this thread.

    Seems interesting this is the only place they show up, especially when people grouse about this Agency.

  22. #22
    Tired and Disillusioned Momento Mori's Avatar
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    CAWriter:
    I've seen a more recent contract than the one described here, and the objectionable clauses aren't in it, including the life insurance policy.
    How come you've seen a copy of their contract? Have you been offered representation?

    MM

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    On the verge of greatness Nya RAyne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Momento Mori View Post
    How come you've seen a copy of their contract? Have you been offered representation?

    MM
    I seriously doubt you'll get an answer to that question.
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    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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  25. #25
    practical experience, FTW
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    Quote Originally Posted by Momento Mori View Post
    How come you've seen a copy of their contract? Have you been offered representation?

    MM
    I don't show up anywhere else on Absolute Write because I came here initially when I met Jonathan at a conference and was looking for information about him as part of my due diligence. The issues raised here were flags for me too, so I asked him (and some of his current clients) about them. I also asked editor friends who've dealt with him their opinions of him. The questions were answered to my satisfaction and I was offered a contract. Because a contract is a confidential legal agreement, I didn't feel it would be appropriate for me to send a copy of it to Victoria (which I explained to her via email).

    For the record, I am a published author (multiple books with major CBA publishers) and I have had other representation. I'm not a newbie and I'm not naive. I do think Jonathan has been misrepresented in this thread; I (futiley, I think) hoped to give first-hand information to offset the speculation and uninformed opinions that have comprised most of this thread.

    If you have any other genuine questions, PM me.

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