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Thread: Agents charging Fees

  1. #251
    Keeper of the pace. popgun62's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AW Admin View Post
    A good agent is a blessing.

    A bad agent is a curse.

    There may be a middle ground; I've not found it. Yes, you can do without an agent, but a good agent has close personal relationships with editors and knows what they like and can call them up and get your ms. put in the editor's own hands.

    A good agent knows what your book will fetch as an advance, and has an idea of the potential future sales and rights worth in terms of money in your hands.

    A good agent will sell your book while you write another one.

    A good agent is like a top-notch defensive goalie, and protects you from the hockey puck of fate, so that you can go on writing.
    Well said and so very true
    Author of high-octane sci-fi, fantasy and horror!

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  2. #252
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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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.

  3. #253
    Ships full of vampires are hell. AW Moderator amergina's Avatar
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    Yes. Be concerned. I have never heard of a reputable agent doing this.
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  4. #254
    Herder of Hamsters AW Admin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sandybeach View Post
    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.
    That's weird. I'd contact Victoria Strauss at Writer Beware: http://www.sfwa.org/other-resources/...writer-beware/

    You can ask her what she thinks.

  5. #255
    Such a nasty woman SuperModerator Old Hack's Avatar
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    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?)

  6. #256
    Your Genial Uncle Absolute Sage James D. Macdonald's Avatar
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    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?

  7. #257
    Holding out for a Superhero... Sheryl Nantus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sandybeach View Post
    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.

    No.

    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.

    No.

  8. #258
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    I did email her and am waiting to hear back. Thanks!
    Quote Originally Posted by AW Admin View Post
    That's weird. I'd contact Victoria Strauss at Writer Beware: http://www.sfwa.org/other-resources/...writer-beware/

    You can ask her what she thinks.

  9. #259
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    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.

    for
    Quote Originally Posted by James D. Macdonald View Post
    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?
    - - - Updated - - -

    That's exactly my concern. It doesn't seem like the agent is trying to scam me. Maybe the agent is just new and nave?
    Quote Originally Posted by Sheryl Nantus View Post
    No.

    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.

    No.

  10. #260
    Rewriting My Destiny Cyia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sandybeach View Post
    The agent did list some reputable publishers, but there's no way to verify this.
    Do you have access to Publisher's Marketplace? If you do, then you can check for reported sales.

    That's exactly my concern. It doesn't seem like the agent is trying to scam me. Maybe the agent is just new and nave?
    What are the policies of other agents in the agency?
    Last edited by Cyia; 11-16-2016 at 09:09 PM.

  11. #261
    Ships full of vampires are hell. AW Moderator amergina's Avatar
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    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.
    Done: Syncopation -- Rockstars! Kink! Reunited snarky enemies to lovers!
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  12. #262
    Such a nasty woman SuperModerator Old Hack's Avatar
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    I've checked the agent out. Doesn't look good to me. I'd move on. I hope you find someone better next time!

  13. #263
    Holding out for a Superhero... Sheryl Nantus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sandybeach View Post
    It doesn't seem like the agent is trying to scam me. Maybe the agent is just new and nave?
    No.
    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?

    No.

  14. #264
    Scribe of the girls in the basement Marissa D's Avatar
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    Is the agent in question an AAR member? I'm not sure how they would feel about this practice--maybe contact them and ask?

  15. #265
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Thanks for everyone's feedback. I've decided that I won't be signing. This agent seems very fishy.

  16. #266
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    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.

  17. #267
    Such a nasty woman SuperModerator Old Hack's Avatar
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    I don't know who that agency is. But I wouldn't describe them as a legitimate agency with that clause in their contract.

  18. #268
    Mildly Disturbing Filigree's Avatar
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    Loiacono? I know she's doing that.

    This M/M space opera
    Blog: Blue Night
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  19. #269
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Quote Originally Posted by Filigree View Post
    Loiacono? I know she's doing that.
    Hmmm. Thanks. I just found a relevant thread here--see replies 12 and 13. http://absolutewrite.com/forums/show...anie-Loiacono)

  20. #270
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    My agent did not charge for reading my book either.
    This thread is very informative.

    Thanks
    Caroline J Thibeaux

  21. #271
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Thumbs down Don't Give Anybody Any Money

    Quote Originally Posted by erich v View Post
    What's the problem with agents charging fees?

    I would be glad to pay an agent a (reasonable, affordable) fee if he gets my book published!
    There is no reason to pay an agent any money. Their costs are minimal and even boutique agencies make enough in royaly percentages to cover those costs. Always remember and never forget: Money flows TO the author, not away.--OE

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