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Old 01-29-2005, 02:16 AM   #76
Julie Worth
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Re: Footnote

She’s evidently preparing an insanity defense.
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Old 01-29-2005, 12:32 PM   #77
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the agent who cried wolf

Hey, I can join the happy list. Not long ago, I completed my first novel, and have sent out a number of query letters. I received the following from Ms. Robins, which appears to be the her typical missive:

"After passing your project through Acquisitions and Editorial, I must say, I'm impressed. We find that you have a marketable idea. This being said, I would welcome the opportunity of representing your work."

Fortunately, I had read numerous Internet sites about her with information similar to what we are finding here. So my antennae were up. Called her this morning, and after some quite cordial preliminaries, she started talking about how the AAR promotes the idea of agents charging fees for their time and services, and they all do it. She distinguished between "reading fees," which are not OK, and fees for other services, which supposedly are. When I balked at paying fees, she said perhaps they were not the agency for me. I simply said that it appeared the websites were accurate, and hung up.

Yes - all you new authors - avoid this woman like the plague. She is a b-a-a-a-d person.

Mikey T
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Old 01-30-2005, 03:57 AM   #78
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Re: the agent who cried wolf

Quote:
rubbing salt in Darkman's wounds
Sorry, Darkman. That wasn't my intent. If you've paid for someone to help you improve your book, I hope that money is well spent, and will result in a sale to a publisher, where you can recoup your initial outlay.
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Old 01-30-2005, 11:51 AM   #79
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Please read all posts on Cris Robins

She sent me the exact same email .. word for word, concerning my memoirs. Here it is
Good afternoon Pamela,
After passing your project through Acquisitions and Editorial, I must
say, I'm impressed. We find that you have a marketable idea.
This being said, I would welcome the opportunity of representing your work.
Give me a call at: - to discuss the particulars. I will be in
the office all next week. If this is not a good time for you please send us
e-mail as to a better time.
I look forward to working with you to find this project its rightful home.
Warmest regards, Ms. Cris Robins
Senior Literary Agent

I spent a few days mulling it over, and called her on Monday. She wasnt' in, but I left a message for her. She called me back on Tuesday, and told me about her services. I knew it was going to be fun when she started our conversation with "What can we do for you?" Yes, she asked for $3200. That would be for a year. She said no other fees (as if it weren't enough). I asked her for references, and she said it would be useless to try to contact anyone, but then gave me an email address. (Please).
Making a long story short, I did 2 days of research online, and even found out that her "references" are her alias names. (I found that out on this board). She called me on the telephone Friday to ask me what I had decided about hiring her for my agent and I told her that I had done research and found out that her references were actually ficticious, written by herself. She said "Well, I guess I burned some bridge of trust, and I won't do that again." We hung up. Anyway , she then sent me another email, pretending she was the editor reference she gave me, and told me I was very rude for making up my mind about Cris so soon. This left me with a sick feeling, that she must be a real nut. I do think she probably has some talents, but I would go out on a limb and say also that I think she is a mentally deranged person. And, the authors she lists on her website, I would guess that they are ficticious, or she didn't agent them.

I checked about 10 of them online, and couldn't find anything published by most of them, but 2 were published authors. So, whats truth and what's lies is hard to surmise. But what I do know is, I'm not going to pay her $3200 to find out how much of it is the truth.
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Old 02-06-2005, 08:14 PM   #80
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Re: Please read all posts on Cris Robins

Oh, the names of the authors on her list are real (or at least mine); it's just a list of people she's scammed. I'm glad you're not one of them :-).
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Old 02-06-2005, 10:47 PM   #81
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Ouch!

So, thats actually a list of people she has bilked out of money?

That takes some nerve.
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Old 02-07-2005, 01:31 AM   #82
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Re: Ouch!

she didn't come out and say it, but anyone that's been through the process knows that's just a list of people she's scammed, disguised as a clientel list to sucker more people in. You have a point...that is some nerve on her part.
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Old 02-07-2005, 05:06 AM   #83
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Cris Robins is a thief then

Well, she is. Shout it from the freakin nearest mountain.
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Old 02-07-2005, 09:38 PM   #84
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I've said this before...

and I'll say it again. Is there any other business that contains more scam artists per hectare than writing? Sheesh!
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Old 02-07-2005, 09:49 PM   #85
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Re: I've said this before...

Well, yes, there is. It's called politics.
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Old 02-07-2005, 09:53 PM   #86
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Yeah

Probably. Anything that promises to fulfill people's dreams. Modeling, Acting, probably anything that is a long shot to be good at.
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Old 02-08-2005, 10:24 PM   #87
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Re: I've said this before...

Dave, Americans are fond of making cheap jokes about politicians, but in fact many people who make careers in government and electoral politics are deeply committed. An elected official who fulfilled his or her campaign promises to the letter would be like an editor who never rejected a manuscript: maybe clueless, maybe a scammer, but unquestionably not doing their job.

If you want an industry that has a higher density of scammers than ours does, check out Hollywood. They're knee-deep in fairy dust and dreams, the general public's understanding of what goes on there is even hazier than their understanding of book publishing, and there's a hell of a lot more money involved.
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Old 02-08-2005, 11:21 PM   #88
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Re: I've said this before...

I agree that many of them should be deeply committed.

I'm very much aware that Hollywood is densely populated with scammers.
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Old 05-06-2005, 09:52 PM   #89
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When I was young and naive I also fell for the Robins Agency. But as I was still in high school, they didn't get that much money out of me. They edited my manuscript, but it was more like copyediting than the type of editing that cuts off the fat and actually streamlines your manuscript (as I know now it should be). They represented me for about four years, at which time September 11th occured. I received a letter informing me that because of the economic impacts of this disaster, they had to shut their doors. As I have finally become more aware and inquiring about the writing business (and left that naive high school girl behind) I have found this obviously isn't the case. I can't describe my dissapointment at having found this to be a scam, but better late than never. I just can't believe they didn't drop me in a formal and professional manner. They had to lie about it on top of all their other scam tactics. I agree...run, run, run for the hills and find a truly lefit agent to represent your work. Good luck everyone!
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Old 05-06-2005, 10:55 PM   #90
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More than one scam agent used 9/11/2001 as an excuse for suspending work. It was pure bosh. The industry didn't shut down. After the anthrax scares, some publishing houses did get twitchy about opening packages sent by strangers -- which, you'll note, is pretty much the definition of slush.

(At the house I know best, the senior editors didn't think it was proper to make the junior staff open potentially lethal packages; but making that decision didn't mean the senior staff had any more time in their day than they'd had before, so the slush languished unopened. Various schemes were proposed. In the end, the junior staff, conscious that they were being squeezed out of their mingy little corners and cubicles by the constantly increasing volume of unopened slush, staged a quiet revolt and held a junior-staff-only slushkill. The slush was duly opened and dealt with in the usual fashion, and turned out to contain nothing more lethal than very, very bad prose.)

The idea that a brief period of disturbed business dealings could take down a literary agency gets less and less believable the more you know about real agents' finances. It takes half of forever for agents to start making any money, and when it does start it starts slowly; but it likewise takes half of forever for the money to stop coming in.

It's not uncommon for scam agents to announce that they've suffered some kind of disaster. Thing is, at the start of a scam agency's relationship with a writer, the obligation's theoretically all on the writer. He or she has to write a good book. Then the agency and the author hook up, and everything's promises. The author's letting them rep his or her swell book (which they swear they love), and the agency's going to do wonderful things with it.

As time goes by, especially time during which the author is paying money to the agency, the obligation gradually shifts over to the agency: shouldn't they have done something by now? Haven't they been sending the book out? Didn't they say they knew what they were doing?

If the agency then suffers some setback or disaster, they're no longer under such immediate obligation.

How that works depends on the way they're running their scam. If (for instance) they've taken money to publish the author's book, the disaster gets them some breathing space, but the author is bound to come back. Sometimes this leads to long strings of disasters, multiple snakebite injuries, all kinds of heartwrenching flimflam. If the money was for representing the author, the agent can claim to be going out of business, dump the old clients, and troll for new ones who won't yet have pointed questions to ask about why nothing's happened with their book.

A list of the supposed woes that have befallen scam agents would be highly amusing.
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Old 05-06-2005, 11:07 PM   #91
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HapiSofi
A list of the supposed woes that have befallen scam agents would be highly amusing.
A very good idea!

To any folks who have dealt with agents or publishers who have offered such excuses, if you will contact me with the particulars, I would like to gather those for possible publication as a look into how some scams dump their authors. Your identity will remain confidential unless you wish to be acknowledged in any manuscript I succeed in seeing through to publication. I can be contacted at prededitors@att.net. It would probably be good to mention Scam Book as the email subject.
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Old 05-06-2005, 11:44 PM   #92
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Keep up the good work!

Guys, this is good news day. We saved another one!

http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=12087
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Old 05-09-2005, 09:56 PM   #93
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B.J. Robbins or Cris Robins?

Has anyone had any practical experience with the Robbins Literary Agency? I mean real dealings with them...I'm getting conflicting info...some are good and some are bad...

Thanks!
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Old 05-09-2005, 10:05 PM   #94
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There are two agencies by that name.


Chris Robbins is an out and out scam artist. (Cris).


Look on the agents thread .......there's plenty there about her.
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Old 05-10-2005, 01:33 AM   #95
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B.J. Robbins of Los Angeles, California is a successful literary agent. Cris Robins of St. Louis, Missouri is a scammer. Check the index for threads on her.

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Old 05-10-2005, 03:14 AM   #96
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Talking

Two b's, or not two b's, that is the question....

*ducks and runs*
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Old 05-11-2005, 03:52 PM   #97
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CaoPaux
Two b's, or not two b's, that is the question....

*ducks and runs*
CaoPaux, you've been waiting your whole life for that, haven't you
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Old 05-11-2005, 07:50 PM   #98
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MartyKay
CaoPaux, you've been waiting your whole life for that, haven't you
Yes, yes I have.
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Old 05-11-2005, 08:37 PM   #99
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I have had a first hand experience that makes me want to run and hide. I sent her a list of questions and had heard nothing for two weeks. Yesterday she sent an e-mail "I haven't heard from you"..."I still want to represent your work" blah, blah, blah....

I am thinking if she really wanted to represent my work, she would have answered the questions I had.

Oh, and one other thing that got me...in one of the threads about her, someone posted the exact e-mail I received!
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Old 08-17-2005, 08:21 AM   #100
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Inappropriate Subbing

I received a submission from Cris Robins "Senior Literary Agent" today pitching a, well I don't know what it is as the submission is a PDF file I have not yet opened and the cover letter doesn't give a word count.

How totally inappropriate is this submission? Let me count the ways:

1) Eggplant Literary Productions currently only accepts novellas, does not pay an advance, and does not require an agent.

2) Reading the guidelines would have immediately clued the "agent" into the fact that I only accept attachments as RTF and TXT files.

2a) Speaking of guidelines, none of the other information that I request is in the cover letter: word count, author contact information, etc. Hrm. Let's see what happens when I open the PDF file (don't worry, I have firewall and anti-virus protection so the file has a clean bill of health). Nope, no information, but now looking at the page count and the synopsis it appears that I'm being pitched a short story. *boggles*

3) While EP is doing pretty well in e-books sales, it's not enough money yet to justify a legitimate agent's troubles in submission. (And did I mention that we don't require agented submissions?)

*sigh* This is just plain old stupid silly. I have half a mind to hunt down the author and educate her on what her "agent" is doing for her.

And yesterday I received an invitation to search Yet Another Display Site.

It's been a bad day. I'm grumpy as hell. And I'm starting to wonder if my name has been added to some chump list that circulates in the lower circle of Hades that scammers inhabit.

Anyone thinking of signing with the Cris Robins agency, be warned, your works are being pitched to the completely wrong market.

*grump*
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