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I have an offer of representation from an agent. I've read all of your advice and the agent has been answering all of my questions. The agent seems reputable, but still new. My only concern is that the agent wants to charge me a small "deposit" against commission. The contract states "this deposit will be repaid from the Literary Agent's commissions or upon time of termination of this contract less any amount already refunded." I did confront the agent about my unease of the deposit, and the agent said that some agents charge a deposit and some don't. The deposit would be made via Paypal. Should I be concerned? Thank u for your help.
You can ask her what she thinks.
That doesn't sound good to me either. If you like you could send me the agent's name by private message, in confidence of course, and if I know the agent I'll let you know what I think of them.
Other checks you can do yourself: does this agent represent writers you've heard of, who are successful in their fields? Have they made multiple verifiable sales to major publishers? Do they have a lot of good experience working in publishing (and here I mean in trade publishing, working for successful print publishers, reputable agencies?)
When you say, "...but still new" does that mean "yet to make their first sale"?
What qualifications, other than "willing to represent me," does this agent have?
This screams "red flag" to me.
The fact that you have to PAY the agent in advance of any sales is ridiculous. What if your book doesn't sell blockbusters out of the gate or takes months to gain momentum? Whatever amount you've got to pre-pay is going to stay there or do you have to keep "topping it off"?
No. Just... no. You can do better and your book and writing skills deserve better.
They've been an agent for only a year and have had their agency for the same amount of time. The agent has made sales and reported that 2/3 of all of their clients books have been sold. The agent did list some reputable publishers, but there's no way to verify this. Of the client's listed on the agency's site, the links go to Amazon and the publisher is listed as CreateSpace or some other self-published press. I did question the agent about this and their reply was that the agency is still new and in the process of signing with large and small publishers and named a few reputable ones. The agent agree that it did not make sense to have me "self-publish" with their agency.
In terms of qualifications, the agent has been a writer/editor/book critic for several decades in what appears to be prominent presses/magazines/newspapers.
That's exactly my concern. It doesn't seem like the agent is trying to scam me. Maybe the agent is just new and naïve?
What are the policies of other agents in the agency?That's exactly my concern. It doesn't seem like the agent is trying to scam me. Maybe the agent is just new and naïve?
I have a publisher's marketplace account and can look up this info, if you want.
PM me the agent's name and I'll do it.
I signed with a newer agent (back when I signed). BUT she was at a very established agency and had been an agent's assistant for a number of years before that.
I've checked the agent out. Doesn't look good to me. I'd move on. I hope you find someone better next time!
I wouldn't buy into that one - I've NEVER heard about having to make a deposit or any sort of pre-paid arrangement with an agent in order to get them to sign you. And it makes no sense, when you think about it - how much money are you going to give them in advance of sales? Ten dollars? A hundred? A thousand? And when do they take it - when they expect royalties to come out? When the book's released, the one they haven't even sold yet?
They may not be intentionally scamming you - it might be another one of these "I've got a way to re-invent the wheel!" but it's not a good idea, IMO. It complicates things and, frankly, smells to high heaven. What's to stop them from taking the money at any time?
Is the agent in question an AAR member? I'm not sure how they would feel about this practice--maybe contact them and ask?
Thanks for everyone's feedback. I've decided that I won't be signing. This agent seems very fishy.
Does anybody have any information on which agency is being referenced in this post on today's QueryTracker blog? https://querytracker.blogspot.com/20...e-you-fee.html
edited to add: This is an unnamed legitimate agent at a legitimate agency. The agency has apparently changed the terms of its agreement with authors and now said to be charging $250/year to rep an author and charging "a $500.00 cancellation fee should the author terminate the contract."
Last edited by Anne_B; 02-02-2017 at 12:30 AM.
I don't know who that agency is. But I wouldn't describe them as a legitimate agency with that clause in their contract.