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Old 06-03-2005, 07:56 PM   #1
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Writers Literary Agency / The Literary Agency Group / LAG /TLAG

The Literary Agency Group Inc. appears to be a spinoff of the infamous Stylus Literary Agency (until recently known as the ST Literary Agency), owned and operated by Robert Fletcher. Writer Beware has received scores of complaints about Stylus Literary/ST Literary, which charges fees, promotes its own paid editing services, and submits in a haphazard fashion to inappropriate publishers (when it submits at all). It uses a boiler room-style operation, with clients receiving substantially identical e-mails and responses.

Right now, the Literary Agency Group Inc. umbrella appears to embrace the following:
More, no doubt, to come.

Writer Beware has documented that Children's Literary Agency promotes the same sorts of paid services, and uses the same boiler room-style methods, as Stylus; there also seems to be a vanity publisher somewhere in the mix. We haven't yet gathered any documentation on the other two, but we are betting that they operate in much the same way.

Neither Stylus Literary Agency/ST Literary Agency nor any of its spinoffs have any commercial sales, as far as we're aware--despite their claims to the contrary.

There's a more detailed discussion of the whole scheme in the ST Literary Agency thread.

- Victoria
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Old 06-03-2005, 08:25 PM   #2
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Discussions at AW:

Children's Literary Agency I
Children's Literary Agency II

Christian Literary Agency

Stylus (ST) Literary Agency

New York Literary Agency


The Screenplay Agency

The Poets Literary Agency

===============

See also Strategic Book Publishing/Eloquent Books and American Enterprises Group / AEG Publishing Group / Authors' Edge.

The Florida Attorney General's investigation into Fletcher and his activities.
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Old 06-24-2005, 03:59 AM   #3
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Check out this, from: http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=8286

Quote:
Literary Agency Group Response

In my role as the VP of Corporate Affairs for the Literary Agency Group I am keen to respond to the postings on this message board. Some of you may know me in my other role, as the Senior Agent for our children's division (The Children's Literary Agency). Again, in our determination to minimize administration costs, one or two of the personnel within our organization are asked to wear more than one hat.

With that introduction, I apologize in advance for the length of this posting.

The Literary Agency Group is keenly aware of the negative messages on these boards and frankly we are concerned by them as well. Please allow me to give you our analysis of the situation and a suggestion about how to proceed.


There appear to be three categories of people on these boards.
-------------------------------------------------------------------
1) The first category are the 'industry watchdogs'. These are people that derive some level of psychological benefits from 'exposing' fraud, scams, etc. WE HAVE CONTACTED THESE PEOPLE NUMEROUS TIMES AND OFFERED TO ANSWER THEIR QUESTIONS ON A PUBLIC FORUM FOR THE BEST INTEREST OF THE INDUSTRY AND THE WRITERS. They have refused or ignored our requests. What does that tell you? It tells me that they aren't interested in the truth, it tells me that they are interested in more visitors to their website. Also, they have blocked our rebuttal posts and deleted our prior posts. In short, a very one-sided message board!

2) The second category are people that have worked with us, for whom we haven't been successful, and they are blameful, pointing fingers, etc. Basically just jumping on the bandwagon because they would rather feel 'took' than acknowledge that their work wasn't good enough to sell. We call this the sour grapes crowd.

3) The third category, whom we feel the most sorry for, are authors who stumble into this mess. Many of these authors just decide not to continue, and may lose the one real chance that they ever had to secure representation.

So, what to do?....
------------------------
First, go through the message board and try to find anything of substance. What we see is repeat, repeat, and each time something is repeated, it gets more and more outlandish. Our favorite was that "we steal work and sell it to China". ugh.

Go through the boards and send me SPECIFIC questions. Actually, I'll save some time here, and answer them now because we've heard them all before...


Q) You charge fees.. that sucks.. no one should charge a writer anything... you should get paid only if you sell something... and various flavors of this misconception.

A) We do not charge fees. We ask writers to improve their work and a critique and editing (sometimes) is part of that process. And, we ask for mailing expenses if it happens. The odds are so against new writers that we've learned that we can only invest our time with writers that are willing to pull their own weight. Writers that aren't willing to pull their weight, we call the "something for nothing" writer, who is regurgitating old mantras about how if an agent charges anything, they are bad. Guess what, if your name was President Clinton, we'd waive our fees too.


Q) You've never sold anything... the author sold it.. blah, blah

A) We now have 4 deals. The most recent is with an UK publisher. (Note: because of the vitriolic people on these boards we don't post our deals because the instant we post a name, the really creepy and scary people that hate us start sending this crap to the posted name. We've got the documents and if ever needed our lawyers can pull them out.) We assisted every author with the contract on those 4 deals. We actually have emails from the publisher complimenting us on the fair job we did for our author. Yes, in two of the deals the author found the relationship, and in two of them, we found the relationship. In all 4 deals we provided SIGNIFICANT value to the contract negotiation and the post-publishing support. The thing that is lost in all this is that very, very few literary agents have even one deal under their belt. Also, we did a measurement in April and we had 68 open and active discussions with buyers about our authors' work. We expect a few more deals by the end of the year. You might also be interested to note that we also find really bad contracts for our authors and we recommend that they don't accept them. We've seen more contracts than anyone you know and we bring that expertise to our clients.


Q) You use Form Letters and you are impersonal...

A) True or false, we have answered every email that that our authors send us? I know the answer is true. To me, that's personal service. Yes, we use form letters for billing, acquisitions, status reports, etc. Our lawyers like us to say it the same way, every time. Should that really be held against us? By using every method possible to keep our admin costs down, we can spend our money selling for our authors, it's that simple.


Q) The people who work at your company are scam artists, thieves, and have records... etc.

A) This is the grapevine at it's worst. We aren't, we aren't and we don't. You ever heard of miss-identity and identity theft. We have learned that it's impossible to curb this situation. Also, did you ever ask why writers have used pen names since time began, and why agents are so hard to get to? One reason is because some crazy writer has stalked every agent that we know at some time.

Q) Your office in New York, isn't listed on the sign.

A) Oh, this is a good one. Have you ever rented office space in New York? You don't get signs unless you take a floor. We have phones, desks, and a shared conference room, and if you want a big office to come feel comfortable in, go to an Agency that spills money like water. We'd prefer to save our money for marketing our writers.


Q) They say you take anyone... how can that be?

A) We take anyone that is willing to take the steps necessary to improve their work. That's why we use the critique to WEED OUT those authors that want something for nothing. If an author is willing to grow and improve, then we feel that they deserve a shot at success. We are one of the few agencies that will even talk to an unpublished author. The critique is an impartial, 3rd party analysis of the work. It shows us where the author is, and it also protects us from an overzealous agent.


Q) If all this is so untrue, why haven't you done anything about it?

A) We've tried. We're filing lawsuits against Victoria Strauss and a few other message board owners, but for the most part, anyone can say anything, so we have just learned to live with it, and to hope that the real authors, the ones we want as clients, can see it for what it is.


So, in conclusion, spend time looking for any real and substantive items on the boards, and let us try to answer the question as best we can. But first, please let me repeat our business model. We want writers who are willing to help themselves, we ask for defraying administrative expenses, we have sales, and we have detractors.

However, in the end, you the writer must be the one that decides what to do. If you are unwilling to spend any money to improve your writing, then please go away. If you are willing to take a small chance with us, then give us a try.

Either way, we wish everyone the best in their writing careers.



Sincerely yours,
Georgina Orr, VP Corporate Affairs
Literary Agency Group
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Last edited by CaoPaux; 06-24-2005 at 04:04 AM. Reason: Fixed link
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Old 06-24-2005, 04:15 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CaoPaux
Georgina, I saw your post. I have a question that has never been answered from your agency. If you would, please answer this for me? I was offered a contract with Stylus (I was also told your agency had just been bought out by The Literary Agency Group.) provided I would agree to a $50-$100 third party critique. If I didn't know of anyone I would be given one of your sister companies to use. I emailed back to Jill by two emails typed in and one by hitting "reply" so that your "filters" would not be the cause of no response. I asked how a third party critique could be done by a "sister company." Doesn't that negate the essence of "third party?" I also asked who that might be so that I could check out their credentials. I never recieved a response. Upon "googling" I found this board. I've really appreciated their honest answers. How about your answering my questions?
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Old 06-24-2005, 04:15 AM   #5
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I was just doing a search over at Publishers Marketplace and this one popped up:

Robert West The Literary Agency Group years 7+ ST Literary Agency specialized in working with previously unpublished authors. We work with both book and screenplay writers in all genres. We are aggressive users of technology and work with writers from all over the world using the Internet. We are not into self-publishing and we do not charge reading fees.



----------

I had a little snicker over it but easy to see how someone new might get sucked in.
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Old 06-24-2005, 10:19 PM   #6
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Exclamation pwned!!!11!1!!

Busy body that I am, here’s Uncle Jim’s Line-By-Line(tm) from later in above-mentioned thread (edited to remove blank lines, anal-retentive that I am).
-----
Quote:
Originally Posted by Georgina Orr
In my role as the VP of Corporate Affairs for the Literary Agency Group I am keen to respond to the postings on this message board.
Excellent!

Isn't it true that Children's Literary Agency was created solely to take some heat off Stylus (ST) Literary Agency? Is it true that you haven't sold any books, ever, to anyone?

Quote:
Some of you may know me in my other role, as the Senior Agent for our children's division (The Children's Literary Agency).
Great! What books have you sold? Which editors do you know best?

Isn't it a fact that no one knows you in any role? You're a stealth agent -- and that's impossible. An agent's job is to be visible.

Quote:
Again, in our determination to minimize administration costs, one or two of the personnel within our organization are asked to wear more than one hat.
Are any of those "hats" selling books to publishers?

Quote:
With that introduction, I apologize in advance for the length of this posting.
No, please, go on. Just remember that anything you say can be used against you in a court of law.

Quote:
The Literary Agency Group is keenly aware of the negative messages on these boards and frankly we are concerned by them as well.
As well you should be. Anyone searching for your web page runs into link after link of accurate information long before they find your false and misleading site.

Quote:
Please allow me to give you our analysis of the situation and a suggestion about how to proceed.
Yes, please do. Here's my suggestion for how to proceed: Go out of business. Find an honest job. Pay restitution.

Quote:
There appear to be three categories of people on these boards.
People who warn writers against scams, writers, and scammers.

Quote:
-------------------------------------------------------------------
1) The first category are the 'industry watchdogs'. These are people that derive some level of psychological benefits from 'exposing' fraud, scams, etc.
Yes, I admit it. Saving a new writer from making a costly mistake does feel good.

Quote:
WE HAVE CONTACTED THESE PEOPLE NUMEROUS TIMES AND OFFERED TO ANSWER THEIR QUESTIONS ON A PUBLIC FORUM FOR THE BEST INTEREST OF THE INDUSTRY AND THE WRITERS.
YOU'RE LYING.

Names, dates, places? Oh, you mean you never did contact anyone. But since you're willing to answer questions in a public forum, here we go:

What have you sold? Titles, authors, publishers, dates.

Quote:
They have refused or ignored our requests.
Another lie.

Quote:
What does that tell you?
That you're a liar.

Quote:
It tells me that they aren't interested in the truth,
There's someone here who isn't interested in the truth, but that person isn't me.

Quote:
it tells me that they are interested in more visitors to their website.
You're aware that Writer Beware and Preditors & Editors don't sell ads?

Quote:
Also, they have blocked our rebuttal posts and deleted our prior posts.
Neither Preditors & Editors nor Writer Beware even have messageboards for you to post on. Your posts, and Robert Fletcher's posts, and posts from Paul Anderson and Peter Parente are still here for anyone to read. You're posting right now.

Quote:
In short, a very one-sided message board!
In short, a crude lie that anyone can see for themselves is a lie.

Quote:
2) The second category are people that have worked with us, for whom we haven't been successful,
That's "nearly everyone," isn't it? You're talking about the people who paid their money and got nothing but a run-around in return.

Quote:
and they are blameful, pointing fingers, etc. Basically just jumping on the bandwagon because they would rather feel 'took' than acknowledge that their work wasn't good enough to sell.
The old "Blame the Victim" trick. If their work wasn't good enough to sell why in the world would you have represented it?

If you did represent works that weren't "good enough," actually submitted it to publishers, the publishers would soon learn that you submit trash, and would treat your submissions like any other piece of unsolicited slush. So which is it, Georgina? You're lousy agents or you're scam agents?

Quote:
We call this the sour grapes crowd.
I call it the "eyes opened too late" crowd.

Quote:
3) The third category, whom we feel the most sorry for, are authors who stumble into this mess.
Have their eyes opened, and escape in the nick of time.

Quote:
Many of these authors just decide not to continue,
And save themselves time, money, and heartache.

Quote:
and may lose the one real chance that they ever had to secure representation.
A bad agent is worse than no agent at all. The ones who avoid your traps, who have commercial works, will find real agents who can genuinely represent them. That isn't any sort of tragedy.

Quote:
So, what to do?....
Go out of business. Find an honest job. Maybe if you make a full confession to your local district attorney, turn state's evidence, you won't go to the hardbar hotel with Robert Fletcher.

Quote:
------------------------
First, go through the message board and try to find anything of substance.
There's gobs of it.

Quote:
What we see is repeat, repeat, and each time something is repeated, it gets more and more outlandish. Our favorite was that "we steal work and sell it to China". ugh.
That claim was made by one individual -- probably based on Robert Fletcher's own claim that he was working some kind of deals in China. It was debunked right here by one of the AW regulars, well over a year ago.

The fact is that ST Literary and its little collection of daughter agencies can't sell works in China. Or anywhere else.

Quote:
Go through the boards and send me SPECIFIC questions.
What have you sold? Title, author, publisher?
Which editors do you work with most often? Which do you know best?
What's the actual physical location of your office?
What are the names of your agents? What is their prior experience in publishing?

Quote:
Actually, I'll save some time here, and answer them now because we've heard them all before...
Those are questions you've heard many times, but have never answered.

Quote:
Q) You charge fees.. that sucks.. no one should charge a writer anything... you should get paid only if you sell something... and various flavors of this misconception.
No misconception. Literary agencies -- real ones -- make their money by selling books to publishers. Not by charging fees. Not by having their authors pay fees to "sister companies" that you also happen to own.

Quote:
A) We do not charge fees.
No, you send authors to other people (who just happen to be you) to pay their fees.

Quote:
We ask writers to improve their work and a critique and editing (sometimes) is part of that process.
For a fee. While I can't prove that you ask your writers to pay that fee every time, it's certainly most times, isn't it?

Quote:
And, we ask for mailing expenses if it happens.
Real agencies get reimbursed for legitimate expenses out of the advance after the book sells. If the book doesn't sell, they eat the loss.

Quote:
The odds are so against new writers that we've learned that we can only invest our time with writers that are willing to pull their own weight.
That is, pay a fee.

Quote:
Writers that aren't willing to pull their weight,
That is, pay a fee...

Quote:
we call the "something for nothing" writer,
A better term would be "professional" writer or "savvy" writer, or "reasonable" writer.

Quote:
who is regurgitating old mantras about how if an agent charges anything, they are bad.
Which happens to be pretty close to the truth.

Quote:
Guess what, if your name was President Clinton, we'd waive our fees too.
Waive your fee? I thought you just said that you didn't have a fee. Were you lying before, or are you lying right now?

You know something? My name isn't President Clinton either, but I don't pay fees. Neither do other writers who know what's what.

Quote:
Q) You've never sold anything... the author sold it.. blah, blah
Very true.

Quote:
A) We now have 4 deals.
Name them. Title, author, publisher, date.

But tell me -- you've been in business (according to your man Robert West) for "7+ years." Is four deals in seven years what you're boasting of? That's pretty pathetic.

Quote:
The most recent is with an UK publisher.
Name them.

Quote:
(Note: because of the vitriolic people on these boards we don't post our deals because the instant we post a name, the really creepy and scary people that hate us start sending this crap to the posted name. We've got the documents and if ever needed our lawyers can pull them out.)
Yeah, I just bet. Those "creepy and scary" people don't seem to trouble real agents. You know, the ones who post deals all over the place, all the time.

Wouldn't the best way to take the wind out of the sails of the "creepy and scary" people be to prove that you've sold a book somewhere, to someone?

Quote:
We assisted every author with the contract on those 4 deals.
I just bet you did. I'd love to see those contracts to see what you missed.

Quote:
We actually have emails from the publisher complimenting us on the fair job we did for our author.
Really? Who?

Quote:
Yes, in two of the deals the author found the relationship, and in two of them, we found the relationship.
So, fifty percent of that pitiful four deals were made by the authors themselves? What did they need you for? By your own admission you've only been able to sell two books, ever?

What were those two books?

Quote:
In all 4 deals we provided SIGNIFICANT value to the contract negotiation and the post-publishing support.
Oh, yeah, right. You allowed poor Dario to sign a contract for royalties based on net. That's sure some significant value, you betcha.

Quote:
The thing that is lost in all this is that very, very few literary agents have even one deal under their belt.
Then they aren't really literary agents either. Maybe they're for-a-fee scammers, maybe they're people who woke up one morning and decided to be literary agents without having a single clue what it entailed. All of the real literary agents have sold multiple books, recently.

Quote:
Also, we did a measurement in April and we had 68 open and active discussions with buyers about our authors' work.
Which means precisely nothing.

Quote:
We expect a few more deals by the end of the year.
Sure, deals that you'll refuse to name.

Real agents announce their deals. You don't announce your deals (assuming they even exist). Therefore, you aren't real agents.

Quote:
You might also be interested to note that we also find really bad contracts for our authors and we recommend that they don't accept them.
Operating at the level you do, I bet you do see really bad contracts. When I recall that some of the authors you've boasted about have "sold" their books to pay-to-play POD vanity houses or e-book publishers, well, yes. You've very likely seen some lousy contracts.

Quote:
We've seen more contracts than anyone you know and we bring that expertise to our clients.
Are you entirely sure? I know quite a few people, and some of them have seen an awful lot of contracts. I wonder if maybe I personally haven't signed more contracts than you've ever seen.

Quote:
Q) You use Form Letters and you are impersonal...
It's easy to set up an autoresponder.

Quote:
A) True or false, we have answered every email that that our authors send us? I know the answer is true.
True or false, you've offered a contract to every one of them. Email is easily automated. Merely responding isn't a very high bar.

Quote:
To me, that's personal service.
To me, that's BS.

Quote:
Yes, we use form letters for billing, acquisitions, status reports, etc.
And, remarkably, for the rejections that you pretend to get from publishers that you supposedly sent the works to. Isn't it amazing that so many publishers respond to all your submissions with exactly the same words?

Quote:
Our lawyers like us to say it the same way, every time. Should that really be held against us?
Yes.

Quote:
By using every method possible to keep our admin costs down, we can spend our money selling for our authors, it's that simple.
And you've sold how many authors that way? By your own admisison, two. Which you refuse to name.

Quote:
Q) The people who work at your company are scam artists, thieves, and have records... etc.
True.

Quote:
A) This is the grapevine at it's worst. We aren't, we aren't and we don't. You ever heard of miss-identity and identity theft.
So you're trying to say that the Robert M. Fletcher of 699 SW 8th Terrace, Boca Raton, Florida, who was convicted of securities fraud in the state of Washington is someone other than the Robert M. Fletcher of 699 SW 8th Terrace, Boca Raton, Florida, who ran ST Literary Agency? And it never occurred to him to say, "Hey, wait a minute, that's some other guy"?

Quote:
We have learned that it's impossible to curb this situation.
Weirdly, other agents don't seem to have this problem.

Quote:
Also, did you ever ask why writers have used pen names since time began, and why agents are so hard to get to?
Writers use pen names for a wide variety of reasons, which you wouldn't know about or be interested in. Agents are hard to get because it's hard to write commercial-grade books.

Quote:
One reason is because some crazy writer has stalked every agent that we know at some time.
You don't know a lot of agents, do you?

Why is it that real agents make it so easy to find them? Why do they announce their deals? Why do they post their addresses and phone numbers? Why don't you?

Quote:
Q) Your office in New York, isn't listed on the sign.
More than that, it isn't in the building.

Quote:
A) Oh, this is a good one.
It is. It's a killer. I was the person who checked. Not only aren't you on the sign, the security guard didn't have you, in any of your incarnations, listed on his master list of tenants.

But since we're on the subject, could you please describe the sign in the lobby of your building? What material is it made of? Where's it located?

Where is the security guard's station?

Quote:
Have you ever rented office space in New York? You don't get signs unless you take a floor.
This is purest BS. Tenants who rent considerably less than an entire floor are on signs all over Manhattan. It's the only way multiple-tenant office building can work.

Quote:
We have phones, desks, and a shared conference room,
Really? What's your phone number? Who are the tenants who rent space to your right and left? What do you see directly across the street when you walk out of the building's lobby?

Quote:
and if you want a big office to come feel comfortable in, go to an Agency that spills money like water.
I'm not particularly interested in a big office. But an office would be nice. What's your physical address?

Quote:
We'd prefer to save our money for marketing our writers.
Name one.

Quote:
Q) They say you take anyone... how can that be?
By using an auto-responder to offer a contract to anyone who writes.

Quote:
A) We take anyone that is willing to take the steps necessary to improve their work.
That is, pay a fee.

Quote:
That's why we use the critique
Paid for by the author to some company that happens to be owned by the same people as own Children's Literary Agency/The Literary Agency Group.

Quote:
to WEED OUT those authors that want something for nothing.
That is, the authors who wisely refuse to pay a fee.

Quote:
If an author is willing to grow and improve,
And pay a fee....

Quote:
then we feel that they deserve a shot at success.
Which they'd get if they saved the fee money, worked on their art, and submitted their work to legitimate agents.

Quote:
We are one of the few agencies that will even talk to an unpublished author.
Another lie. Real agents take on unpublished authors all the time.

This is also inconsistent with one of your earlier lies: If most literary agencies (as you claim) don't have even one sale under their belts, then most literary agencies talk to no one other than unpublished authors.

Quote:
The critique is an impartial, 3rd party analysis of the work.
How is it "3rd party" if it's performed by one of your "sister companies"? (And it's for a fee, isn't it?)

Quote:
It shows us where the author is, and it also protects us from an overzealous agent.
Do you have a lot of overzealous agents on staff? What does an overzealous agent do -- try to sell your clients' work to publishers?

Quote:
Q) If all this is so untrue, why haven't you done anything about it?
Because Robert Fletcher would do anything to avoid entering a courtroom again.

Quote:
A) We've tried. We're filing lawsuits against Victoria Strauss
Have you actually filed a lawsuit? Or did you limit yourself to sending empty threats via your lawyer-in-a-box who charges you $17 a month for "legal insurance"?

Quote:
and a few other message board owners,
Who have uniformly ignored you.

Quote:
but for the most part, anyone can say anything, so we have just learned to live with it,
Since you know you don't have a leg to stand on.

Quote:
and to hope that the real authors, the ones we want as clients, can see it for what it is.
Real authors can definitely see you for what you are.

Quote:
So, in conclusion, spend time looking for any real and substantive items on the boards,
What have you sold?

Quote:
and let us try to answer the question as best we can.
How much does your typical client wind up spending?

Quote:
But first, please let me repeat our business model.
Charging fees to authors for worthless services.

Quote:
We want writers who are willing to help themselves,
By paying a fee....

Quote:
we ask for defraying administrative expenses,
Through fees....

Quote:
we have sales,
That you're unwilling or unable to name....

Quote:
and we have detractors.
Who have the truth and the evidence on their side.

Quote:
However, in the end, you the writer must be the one that decides what to do.
Work on your art, and submit your work to legitimate agents. A useful agent has sold works that you've heard of.

Quote:
If you are unwilling to spend any money to improve your writing,
Which happens to be the wise course....

Quote:
then please go away.
And count yourself lucky.

Quote:
If you are willing to take a small chance with us,
That is to say, pay a fee...

Quote:
then give us a try.
And kiss your money goodbye.

Quote:
Either way, we wish everyone the best in their writing careers.
And I wish you the best in your next career.

Quote:
Sincerely yours,
Georgina Orr, VP Corporate Affairs
Literary Agency Group
Say I wanted to buy the movie rights for one of your clients' works. How would I get in touch with you? What's your phone number? Your street address? How would I even know you represent him? You keep your client list a secret.

Real agents don't work that way, Georgina. The sooner you realize that, the better for everyone.

------
All hail, Uncle Jim!
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---------
Achievers strive for excellence. Perfectionists drive themselves to extinction. -- A Grapple A Day
I've never known any trouble that an hour's reading didn't assuage. -- Charles DeSecondat

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Old 07-14-2005, 08:29 PM   #7
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I would also like to add that Georgina is the "agent" that was assigned to my manuscript thru New York Literary Agency (just another name for all this bologna) and that I was also referred to Andrea and Sherry as contacts. Needless to say, I can't get any of them to write me back, and the NYS Division of COrporations has no active listing for this, or other affiliated, companies.
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Old 09-24-2005, 09:44 PM   #8
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victoriastrauss is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsvictoriastrauss is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsvictoriastrauss is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsvictoriastrauss is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsvictoriastrauss is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsvictoriastrauss is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsvictoriastrauss is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsvictoriastrauss is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsvictoriastrauss is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsvictoriastrauss is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsvictoriastrauss is so great that we've run out of appropriate compliments
As of August or September 2005, The Literary Agency Group Inc. has added a new member: The Poets Literary Agency.

Writer Beware now has considerable documentation not just on Stylus Literary and Children's Literary, but on New York Literary and Christian Literary. The contracts used by all these agencies vary in small details, but are substantially similar. The accompanying materials are identical. All refer clients to the same editing service, Writers Literary, a so-called "sister" company run by a former "agent" with Stylus.

We don't yet have documentation on Poets Literary, but we're sure we soon will. Sigh.

And no, none of these agencies has yet sold a book...

- Victoria
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Old 09-24-2005, 10:39 PM   #9
James D. Macdonald
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James D. Macdonald is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsJames D. Macdonald is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsJames D. Macdonald is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsJames D. Macdonald is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsJames D. Macdonald is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsJames D. Macdonald is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsJames D. Macdonald is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsJames D. Macdonald is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsJames D. Macdonald is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsJames D. Macdonald is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsJames D. Macdonald is so great that we've run out of appropriate compliments
Meanwhile, in another thread, Victoria mentions this ad at Publishers Marketplace from Bobby Fletcher and his pals:

http://www.publishersmarketplace.com...pl?job_no=1521

"Copublishing addresses reducing your risk as a publisher. We have authors that desire to avoiding the self-publishing stigma and wish to work with a qualified publisher.

"Furthermore, we have determined that they have the quality and the money to match their desires.

"Our authors and their works are completely edited. We vouch for the quality of the work and the professionalism of the author.

"We have exceptional work in every genre including children's, self-help, gardening, science, romance, history, Christian, etc. ....

"Why shoulder all the risk? We have authors that will pay you to work with you. We believe that this is the new model for the future."
They're looking for publishers who are willing take the author's money. Trolling for vanity presses.

But wait! There's more!
"Writers Literary provides a complete range of editing, writing, and consulting services to aspiring authors. We've already weeded out the non-serious authors."
Weeded out the non-serious authors? We know what they mean by that. They aren't presenting authors with commercial works -- they've "weeded out" the authors who aren't ready to pay, and pay, and pay.

When Robert M. Fletcher says "serious author" he means "one who has a fat checkbook and isn't afraid to use it."
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Old 01-05-2006, 05:45 PM   #10
Greg Fitzgerald
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Thanks guys for saving me!

Last night I got an email to say from the Children's Literacy Agency to say that my work had commercial potential, after their 'evaluation team' had finished with it. Of course, I was required to get a critique done. I checked the critiquing company they used. I found it through one of their testimonials and it looked extremely suspicious with no details and editors 1-6, no names.

So I started to use my brain and do a search on them and found this message board. The more I read the more it made sense.

I definitely don't need scamming agents. I've had a short story published, which means I can get more published and build up a list of writing credits to send to a reputable agent or publisher in support of my manuscript.

I don't think writers that fall for scammers are stupid. If you can write well you are definitely not stupid. But hope can be a powerful and dangerous motivator if it's false hope and leave you vulnerable to the predator-parasites. Unfortunately enough writers will fall for it to keep the scammers in luxury.
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Old 01-19-2006, 12:42 AM   #11
Grumpier2
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Angry The Children's Literary Agency Scam

I was this close to signing a contract with this company when I fortunately talked to one of my critique partners and he advised me to check out this site. I was knocked off my feet when I read all this stuff. Not only did they want me to pay for a critique, they stated in their contract (which I'm posting here) that they only charged 10% of the GROSS!!! Generous . . . don't you think???


Hopefully, this will help another aspiring writer. Here's what they sent me:
Congratulations and my warmest wishes for our mutual success! And again, we thank you for your understanding and your acceptance of our business philosophy. We look forward to working with you and because you have indicated such a strong commitment to your work you can rest assured that we will be excited and committed to doing what we can to work just as hard for you!


PLEASE READ THIS INFORMATION CAREFULLY AS IT WILL SAVE YOU TIME AND REDUCE YOUR STRESS (and mine!):



1. Attached is our Contract for Agency Representation.
================================================== =
It is simple and straightfoward and we've used it for years. It is also non-negotiable. I'm happy to answer any questions that you may have, but 99% of the time we will not make a change to it if requested. If you want to have a lawyer look at it, by all means do so, but we've spent great time and energy with our lawyers making it simple enough for a business person to understand.

You don't have to be nervous because you can back out very easily. We very clearly state that your 'out' from the contract is that you can fire us in 90 days if we don't perform or you don't like our services for any reason. This rarely happens, but it's there for you if you want it.

Your work is completely safe and remains your work. You keep your copyright and this contract is only for the work you submit, not all your works. (You can discuss other works later with your agent).

We are not trying to tie your hands in any way, and as you will see from the contract, we only get paid if you get paid. There are no other payments to us.

We ask that you regular mail us two signed copies of the contract. The address is within the document. International authors can either fax the contract or mail it. Please allow up to 30 days to receive the counter-signed contract back in the mail. The contracts are sent to our NY office and depending on the travel schedule of our President, it may take that long to get them signed and back to you.

We ask that you get the critique started in parallel with sending in the contract. Send in your contract at the same time you are getting your critique. Don't wait for the critique to send in your contract.



2. Referral for the Critique/Evaluation
===============================================
As we mentioned in the prior email, if you have a critique or evaluation similar in format to those we sent you earlier please send it to us along with your contract. (Don't email it separately, we have a hard time matching it up. Simply print it and put it with your contract). If you want us to tell you if what you have is acceptable then email it to me as quickly as you can.

If you do not have a critique, please email the following address and tell them that we referred you.

AdminChildren@writersliterary.com All you have to say is "Sherry referred me".

They will send you a very clear set of instructions on how to proceed with the critique, send your manuscript, payment, etc.

Writers Literary offers a discounted price to referrals that we send them ($69). We send them so much business that they will prioritize your work and this will speed up the entire process. We can also lean on them if we need to make them work more quickly!

When they complete your critique they will send it to you and to us at the same time. Remember, we are unique in that we are willing to help you develop your talent, so there is no need to worry about what the critique will say.


What's Next?
=================
During the next 30 days we should receive your contract and your critique. Once we receive your contract and your critique is finished and in our hands, you will be put in touch with your Agent. At that time the Agent will review the critique with you and the two of you will develop a strategy to market your work as quickly as makes sense given the information that we see in the critique.

The Agent will then become your primary contact and will answer questions, guide you, and hopefully, before too long, come to you with the good news of a sale! (Note: we never, never promise a sale, that's a checkbox for you within the contract by the way).

I am happy to answer any questions that you have and I have enjoyed our interaction. My sincere best wishes for your writing career.

Best regards,
Sherry - VP Acquisitions




A Few Frequently Asked Questions (I can't resist, you know me by now)
================================================== ======
Please send the contract in parallel with getting the critique. That way we'll have you in the system when the critique is finished. Don't wait to send in the contract until your critique is completed. Send the contract in immediately and please allow 2-3 weeks for notification that we received it.

If you need an extension, simply email me and we automatically grant one, so don't stress if for some reason you haven't heard from me. Non-US authors are automatically granted an extension.

If you have a critique already please be sure it matches the thoroughness of the critique example we sent you. If it doesn't we will reject it. If it does, we will move forward quickly. If you want me to look at it just email it to me.

What's Next? Once the critique process is complete you will be connected to the Agent that will be working with you. You will discuss 'next steps' based on the results of the critique. As we mentioned in a previous email, we are willing to develop talent so there is no need to worry unduly about the results of the critique.

We look forward to working with you. Once we receive your contract and enter it into our system you will receive an email confirmation.

In the meanwhile don't forget to contact adminChildren@writersliterary.com to get your critique started. They will tell you exactly how to proceed. Send in your contract in parallel with having your critique done.


Please note:
============
If for some reason you don't get your contract back in a timely fashion (say 30 days) please email contractadmin@theliteraryagencygroup.com and they will find out what went awry.

I have enjoyed interacting with you but my role with you is now finished. I am in charge of new author acquistions only. If you need help with something let me know though, and I'll endeavor to assist you.

Best regards,
Sherry Fine - VP Acquisitions



Best regards,
Sherry Fine - VP Acquisitions

Our Pledge To You:
==================
* We respect what you have accomplished thus far as a writer.
* We believe that great authors are made, not born. We are willing to develop talent.
* We pledge straight talk in a confusing and old-school industry.
* We can't promise a sale. We can promise a professional relationship.


p.s. Missed Emails, Spam, Whitelists, and other reasons for lapses in communications. We are very, very diligent about returning every email that we receive within a couple of days. The same is true for our vendors and suppliers. IF YOU DO NOT RECEIVE A COMMUNICATION AND YOU BELIEVE THAT YOU SHOULD HAVE, PLEASE, CHECK WITH US AND WE WILL SEE WHAT HAPPENED. Please don't jump to negative conclusions. The Internet is not 100% foolproof and we are very sensitive to our clients' expectations and our promises about timely communications.
-----Original Message-----
From: GRUMPIER2@aol.com [mailto:GRUMPIER2@aol.com]
Sent: Saturday, January 14, 2006 3:01 PM
To: Sherry@childrensliteraryagency.com
Subject: Re: Children's Literary: Positive Review

Dear Ms. Fine,

I want to thank you for your positive review of 'Tubby Tumbleweed's Christmas.'

I am sending you the reply you requested. I, too, believe we must trust one another if we are to do business together and that your recommendations for a professional critique editor would be a distinct advantage for both of us.

1) I understand how a critique protects each of us and will improve my writing (or validate that I'm as good as I think I am). Please send your contract and a referral for a critique service. I will get the critique
underway as soon as I hear from you. We have to start trusting each other somewhere and I am committed to my writing as a business.

Sincerely,

Bert Owens

In a message dated 1/12/2006 3:44:57 PM Central Standard Time, Sherry@childrensliteraryagency.com writes:

Thank you for everything that we have received from you thus far. Our
review team believes that your work has commercial potential and we would
like to proceed further with you. We believe we would like to represent you.

Basically, we feel that your concept and writing thus far has potential and
that if polished and presented properly, we can sell it. To take the next
step, please let us take a minute to tell you a little bit about how we
think and the way we do business.

Best regards,
Sherry Fine - VP Acquisitions

p.s. We apologize in advance for the length of this email. This is at the
behest of our lawyers. They like it when we say it the same way every time.
If this email appears truncated at the bottom, please let me know.


INCUBATING TALENT: We Are Willing To Develop New, Fresh Talent.
================================================== =======================
We did see a few improvements are needed, but don't worry, we receive very
few 'ready-to-go' manuscripts. Most manuscripts that we receive need some
level of polishing before we can submit them to buyers. Some need very
little polishing. Some need a lot. Over the years, we've learned that it
is worth our time and effort to do what it takes to develop new talent.
We've learned that incubating new talent makes good business sense.

We'd hate to lose a good writer by not accepting someone who is willing to
improve. There are very few literary agencies that will take the time to
develop talent. Most barely return emails. We've answered every email
you've sent us, and we've kept our promises regarding turnaround times. We
hope that you will acknowledge that our level of communication and
professionalism already far exceeds that of other literary agencies. We
pledge this same level of professionalism and courtesy in all subsequent
communications should we work together.


HOW CAN WE TRUST EACH OTHER?
================================================== ==
You don't know us, and we don't know you. We like your work, and hopefully
so far, you appreciate that we have treated you professionally and
efficiently. Yes, we use forms, but that's so that we have more time to
answer your questions about specific problems or nuances. We are looking
for authors that are reasonable in their expectations and in their own
evaluation of their work. We don't want prima donnas.

If we were in your shoes, we believe you should be looking for a
professional relationship with professional people who will ultimately
benefit your writing career, whether your work is sold or not. We never
promise a sale. However we do promise that we will work with you on a
professional basis and do what we can to promote you and your work to our
buyers.


What do we mean by "Polish Your Work"?
================================================== =
As you would imagine, we are very, very concerned about what we present to
our buyers. At a minimum they expect the mechanics of punctuation, grammar,
spelling, and format to meet or exceed industry standards.

I think you would agree that your work can use some level of polishing.
However, we don't think you should take just our word for it, we would like
to have an independent review of your work that shows you where the
improvements can be made.

From a trust factor, it's like an investor trusting a certified public
accountant ... if there is an independent review on the table, we can each
relax and trust each other, and spend our time strategizing marketing, not
arguing over whether the work is ready to present or not.

What we have learned over the years is that nothing is more invaluable than
having a unbiased, critical review of an author's work as a roadmap for
bringing the work to market. In writing circles this is called a critique.
We want you to have a critique of your work. You might already have one, or
you may need to get one. Here's what one author had to say about his
critique.

-------------------------------------------------
--------------------------

Dear Sherry: The critique was more favorable than I had anticipated. I'm a
long time editor, of academic works, and I know from experience that good
authors appreciate good critiques. As for my own writing -- again
academic -- I have always taken criticism well. I don't always go along with
everything the critic says, but I try the best I can to incorporate anything
I feel is worthwhile. And that's what I did today. Within minutes I was at
my desk and my laptop, trying to find out what I could do to satisfy this
critic. I also wanted to judge how much work would be required, how long a
re-write would take, and so on. If you have that option, you can pass along
my thanks to the critic. And you can say that I will try to turn it into a
popular book, not an academic treatise. As an academic, I'll never be able
to put that aside completely, but I'll do my best. And I suspect I can do
it within a month or two. You service is phenomenal.

----------------------------------------------
----------------------------


HAVING A CRITIQUE PROTECTS YOU from unscrupulous agents. Having a critique
protects US from egocentric writers who think their work is just fine like
it is. If the critique says, "green light - good to go" then we can start
marketing immediately. If the critique says, "some improvements can be made
in grammar, punctuation, etc", then we can pause with you while those
changes are made.


WHAT DOES A CRITIQUE LOOK LIKE?
=======================================
Here are some links for sample critiques from one of our vendors that we
respect. (We realize that not all of these apply to you, but we want you to
see how versatile and powerful this critique format is.) Also, please
realize that a critique is a fast overview. It is NOT a line edit.

http://www.writersliterary.com/Critique-children-ya.rtf
http://www.writersliterary.com/Criti...dren-rhyme.rtf
http://www.writersliterary.com/Critique-poetry.rtf
http://www.writersliterary.com/Critique-christian.rtf
http://www.writersliterary.com/Critique-novel.rtf


YOU MAY ALREADY HAVE A 3RD PARTY CRITIQUE A good number of our applicants
do.
(As a serious writer, you should get one every year or two).
================================================== ====================
As we mentioned, if you already have a 3rd party critique, please let us
know. It must match the level of detail that you see in the examples above.
If you have an associate that you believe can do your critique, then be sure
to send us their credentials first for approval. Please don't try to
critique your own work. (Yes, we've seen that happen and we can tell
immediately.) Also, many people ask if they can get a friend to do the
critique, or a teacher, or an associate. The answer can be yes, but the
problem is that if they don't do editing for a living, then it's like asking
anyone to do something for free, it takes longer, and it may not be done
correctly.

The critique should be inexpensive, usually around $60-$80 depending on the
company you choose. It will tell each of us if the work is ready for
marketing right away, or if more polishing is required. As we mentioned if
you have a critique already, great, if not, we can provide a referral for a
critique service.

As we've mentioned before, we need a common platform of trust from which to
begin the representation process together. Many authors wonder if the
critique just leads to more and more editing. The answer is NO! Editors are
very integrous people, if they say a work meets or exceeds industry
standards, then we can all trust their opinion. Once an editor says 'good
to go', then everyone can move to the next step.

In summary, the critique protects you from unscrupulous agents that will try
to tell you that you need endless rounds of editing. Once you have a
critique you are in a much stronger position in your writing career.


PLEASE NOTE: WE ARE NOT ASKING FOR MONEY.
We want you to have a critique by a qualified industry professional.
================================================== ====
MANY AUTHORS MISUNDERSTAND THIS SIMPLE REQUEST. We don't want you to pay
us, we want you to have a critique to start our relationship so that we can
start from the same page. (If I told you the number of writers that accuse
us of using this to take their money, you would be flabbergasted.)


Many authors ask, "why we don't do the critique as part of our Agency?".
================================================== =====
In the old days, perhaps that occurred. However in today's competitive
world we must focus almost entirely on our core competency, which is selling
your work. Our company relies on editors to work with you to bring your
work to industry standards. We are not editors, we are sales professionals.
We contract out all editing work. (As you might imagine, it turns out that
editors are usually lousy salespeople, and we love the editors we work with
dearly). This point is worth spending extra time on, we aren't editors, we
are sales professionals, and those are two VERY different skill sets.



---------- One more positive response from an author about the
critique ----------------------------------

Dear Sherry: Thank you so much for your quick responses and
professionalism. It was so refreshing to hear an unbiased critique of my
work for the first time. I have hungered for it since I've been writing.
Someone actually read the whole script and took the time and care to provide
a professional critique and show me the areas that need improvement. I am so
determined to make my work a success, and it helps me to know what my
strengths are and where I need improvement. Thank you, and please pass on a
big thank you to my editor.

---------------------------------------------------------------
------------------------------------------------------------------------



IN CONCLUSION:
=============================================
Please review the critique sample links above. Think about how powerful an
'excellent' critique would be to the selling process and how it will give us
the confidence we need to put our reputation on the line for you.

Think about how it protects you, protects us, and how it provides a meeting
point so that we can trust each other and move forward on the same page <get
it? "same page" grin>


Thank you again for your time and consideration. We look forward to working
with you and developing your writing career together.

Sincerely,
Sherry Fine - VP Acquisitions

P.s. Instructions for the next step are at the bottom of the email after the
FAQs below




Typical FAQs that we see at this stage:
=================================

Q) I have a critique, what do I do?
A) First look at the critque and compare it to the examples above. Many
critiques are long on plot and character development. The critique that we
prefer includes that PLUS a strong focus on the mechanics.. i.e.
punctuation, grammar, format, and spelling. If your critique does not
address those mechanical elements we will ask you to get a new one. However
if your critique is reasonably close to our examples, then simply let us
know that you have one, and we'll send you the contract, and then you put
your critique in with the contract when you send it in.

Q) I need a referral.
A) We will provide you with a referral to someone we trust and who discounts
their prices to our clients. You can certainly use any qualified person to
do the critique if you know one, but they MUST have been in the industry.

Q) How long should a critique take?
A) It should take about two weeks. It should cost no more than $60-$80. It
should be thorough. Many "old style" critiques are long on plot and short
on mechanics. The critique that we desire will not only include commentary
on the plot, it will also critically review grammar, spelling, punctuation,
and the mechanics of writing. We know, we know.. it's all of our least
favorite aspect of writing, but to succeed as a writer, your mechanics must
meet or exceed industry standards.

Q) Do I have to pay for it or does the publisher provide for the final
polishing and editing?
A) Both.... As your agent, we need it to be 'great' before we will pitch it,
and then, if the publisher wants to make changes, then they will pay for the
changes they desire.

Q) What if the critique says my writing is horrible? Will you still
represent me?
A) The critique will never say that your writing is horrible. The critique
will point out your strengths and weaknesses. It will come from a coaching
point of view, not from a judgmental point of view. As we've mentioned
earlier, our Agency is different in that we are willing to develop talent.
We will not fire you because of a poor critique.

Q) My teacher/friend/pastor/writer/PhD/English Teacher...... can do the
critique right?
A) Yes, maybe... we've seen very poor work from PhD's, teachers, and most
writers. If they haven't had a stint as a true editor, then usually they
aren't going to do a good job.


Q) My work is my work, It's special and i'm not changing anything...
A) That's fine, but we do insist that spelling, grammar, and punctuation
meet or exceed industry standards. We have a saying, "if you put 10 editors
in a room you will come out with 15 opinions". Ultimately, the final
decision is yours. If you don't agree with them, we are on your side,
especially about subjective items. On the mechanics and formatting issues
we side with the editors.


Q) What do the buyers/publishers think of this model that you use?
A) Frankly, our buyers know that when we pitch a work, that we've put the
writer through the proverbial wringer! Our buyers know that our writers can
understand a contract, comply with reasonable requests, and that we've
weeded out the 'something for nothing' writers that are basically lazy about
their craft. This hyper-competitive industry will only reward the best, and
that's our commitment to our buyers, and to you.


Q) How do I know that this won't turn into endless rounds of editing that I
have to pay for?
A) At some time and some place, we have to trust each other. We believe
that this is where it has to start. Your risk is $60-$80. Our risk is that
our internal cost of our time with you at our hourly rate is easily greater
than that amount. (And you never pay us for that time, we don't charge any
fees as we've mentioned earlier). So, we'll spend the time to work with you
if you'll do your part to make sure your work is the best it can be. Unless
the critique points out the need for substantial rework, there shouldn't be
any more fees. That's why we require an independent 3rd party for the
critique. This protects YOU from an unscrupulous agent, and it protects US
from egocentric writers.

Q) I'm still nervous, what does your contract say?
A) First you keep the copyright to your work, and second, you can fire us in
90 days. Our contract includes the following two clauses designed to
protect you. There are no payments to us in the contract unless we sell
your work.

Here is the exact language in the contract:
-----------------------------------------------------------------
1)The copyright and ownership is specifically retained by the AUTHOR for
this work and all works submitted to, and accepted by, the Agent. The
Writer does not grant to Agent or any other party any right, title or
interest of any kind in any copyright, ownership and/or any other
intellectual property right contained in or as a part of any work of the
Writer submitted to the Agent. The Agent agrees to make no claim to any such
right, title or interest, however denominated.

2) The Writer/Producer may terminate this Agreement after 90 consecutive
days of no sale by Agent.

------------------------------------------------------------------

So, if you don't like us, or we don't perform, you can fire us in 90 days,
and we clearly state that you keep your copyright so there is no chance of
us claiming your work. We don't know how much more 'safe' we can make it.
(If you think we are going to steal your work, then you are too paranoid to
work with us anyway and we're happy if you decline). Other than that, the
contract is for one year duration, and we ask for a reasonable 10% if we
sell your work.



================================================== ============
IN CONCLUSION.. THE NEXT STEP IS SIMPLE ...
Please "Reply" to this email with one of the following three statements:
================================================== =============

1) I understand how a critique protects each of us and will improve my
writing (or validate that I'm as good as I think I am). Please send your
contract and a referral for a critique service. I will get the critique
underway as soon as I hear from you. We have to start trusting each other
somewhere and I am committed to my writing as a business.

or,

2) I have a critique already. Please send me your contract and I will
include my critique with the contract when I send it in.

or

3) "Thanks but no thanks, I've never heard of such a thing".. or some
variant of that...



================================================== ==============

In conclusion, no matter what your reply, I truly and sincerely wish you the
best in your writing career and I want you to know that I have enjoyed our
interaction immensely thus far. Continue to follow your dreams, and it is
my deepest hope that you succeed with your writing career.

I remain, yours truly,
Sherry Fine - VP Acquisitions







Hello Sherry,

Attached is my story, Tubby Tumbleweed's Christmas. I wrote it in
WordPerfect 12, but, I also have MSWord if you have a preference.

I'm hoping you enjoy your adventure with "a tumbleweed" and want
thank you for requesting to see more for it.

Also, thank you for not wanting long-winded e-mails about other
stuff.

Looking forward to hearing from you,

Bert Owens

ANSWERS BELOW

In a message dated 12/28/2005 10:10:40 AM Central Standard Time,
Sherry@childrensliteraryagency.com writes:

A. How long have you been writing, and
what are your goals as a writer?
I've been writing for the last 30 plus years. Once I discovered
computers in 1990's, spell checkers, grammer checkers, etc., my goals
changed.
I decided to get serious about becoming published.

My goals now are to:

1. creat encouraging, up-lifting, teaching-softly, fun
tales

2. present my stories in as near finished format as
possible

3. locating an agent to find the perfect places for my
stories

4. have them published and animated.

BIGGEST GOAL 5. to have my stories make a difference for just 1 heart


B. Do you consider your writing 'ready-to-go',
or do you think it needs some polishing.






I consider my writing as 'ready-to-go' as 'I'-can-go' with it. I am always
willing to listen to advise offered and accept criticisims with
appreciation.

.






The Children’s Literary Agency, Inc.
“Focused Exclusively on the Children and Young Adult Marketplace”
Ofc. 866-876-4488
www.ChildrensLiteraryAgency.com 917-591-1916 Fax

Greetings and Congratulations!
The Children’s Literary Agency is prepared to offer you a contract for acceptance as our

client for Agency Representation based on:

1) the manuscript you submitted,

2) the information that you have provided to us and the plan of action that we agreed

upon.

In the sole opinion of the Literary Agency, if any of these items are inaccurate or

misleading this contract may be withdrawn at any time. This
contract offer is good for 14

business days from receipt.
(This deadline can be automatically extended by 10 days if

you contact us via email and request an extension). We give a deadline because we accept

only a limited number of authors in any time period and we cannot have contracts “hanging

out there”.

Some authors ask “why did you accept me?”
Based on our interactions, you have

agreed to follow a plan of action that will lead to your work being of the highest quality,

and we believe that our odds for success are greatly enhanced. In short, we believe that we

can sell your work. We never promise a sale, but we do believe you have a solid chance of

success.

We look forward to working with you. Congratulations again.
.

Best regards,

Sherry Fine – VP Acquisitions

The Children’s Literary Agency

p.s. What’s Next? Please execute two copies of the contract and send them, along with a

note about your critique (date started, etc.) to the address in the contract. PLEASE send in

the contract at the same time you are having your critique done. If you don’t have a

critique already please contact
adminChildren@writersliterary.com . Once we have your

critique and contract you will start working with the Agent who will be assigned to market

your work.

The Children’s Literary Agency, Inc.
“Focused Exclusively on the Children and Young Adult Marketplace”
Ofc. 866-876-4488
www.ChildrensLiteraryAgency.com 917-591-1916 Fax

AGREEMENT FOR LITERARY AGENT REPRESENTATION

CHILDREN’S LITERARY AGENCY: THE LITERARY AGENCY GROUP

Page 1/3 of CLA Contract
This “Agreement” is between ______________________________ [the “Writer/Producer”] and The

Children’s Literary Agency, Inc. [The “Agent”] as of _____________, 200__ (please enter the date you

sign the contract) for only the work entitled:

__________________________________________________ ___________________

(Hereinafter “Work”)
Other Works Should Be Submitted Separately.
NOW, THEREFORE, for the consideration set forth in this Agreement Agent and Writer

intending to be legally bound hereby, mutually promise and agree as follows:
The copyright and ownership is specifically retained by the Writer for this work and all

Writer’s works submitted to, and accepted by, the Agent. The Writer does not grant to Agent or

any other party any right, title or interest of any kind in any copyright, ownership and/or any

other intellectual property right contained in or as a part of any work of the Writer submitted to

the Agent. The Agent agrees to make no claim to any such right, title or interest, however

denominated.

The Writer warrants that he is the sole and exclusive owner of the Work and that the

work does not infringe on any other copyright
.

The Writer agrees to indemnify Agent against any judgments, liabilities, damages or loss

related to copyright or ownership.

The term of this contract shall be one year from the above date and must be renewed in

writing for each successive term. The Writer/Producer may terminate this Agreement after 90

consecutive days of no sale by Agent. Renewals and terminations via email are deemed

acceptable.

The rights granted in this pertain to written creative work prepared by the

Writer/Producer for print, television, radio and motion pictures to be sold in the geography of the

United States of America.

The Agent is entitled to a ten percent [10%] commission on gross compensation accruing

to the Writer/Producer from any contract negotiated under this Agreement. This paragraph shall

survive termination of this Agreement. (This means that if we help you with a deal, you can’t

fire us and take away our commission).

The Agent is not responsible for damage or loss or return of any material.

The Writer/Producer shall do his utmost to finish his work on time as per the terms of

contracts he has entered into. The Agent at his discretion may use the Writer/Producer’s name or

pen name and the name of the work in promotions for the Agent and to promote the Work.

The Writer/Producer also agrees that all leads, contacts, communications, documents,

emails, forms, and business processes employed by the Agent are considered confidential and
The Children’s Literary Agency, Inc.
“Focused Exclusively on the Children and Young Adult Marketplace”
Ofc. 866-876-4488
www.ChildrensLiteraryAgency.com 917-591-1916 Fax

trade secrets and as such shall not be disseminated in any form or format without the express

written permission of the Agent. This clause survives termination of the Agreement.

The Writer/Producer has final say on any and all proposals or contracts delivered by the

Agent. The Writer/Producer is the only signer on any contract with a buyer.

The Writer/Producer acknowledges that the Agent will act only as an advisor and

negotiator. The Agent specifically states that he is not an attorney, and is NOT providing legal

advice.

The Writer/Producer will supply the Agent with an electronic version of their creative

work in a common word processing format (rtf, doc, pdf) for the Agent to submit the work to

potential clients.

Both parties will make themselves available to each other within reason for any purpose

outlined in this Agreement. Both parties agree that any disputes will be settled in and governed

by the laws of the State of New York.

This Agreement is binding on the Writer/Producer and Agent and their respective heirs

and assigns. However in the event of a sale, insolvency or other change in the ownership or

operation of The Children’s Literary Agency, Inc., the Writer at his sole discretion may choose to

terminate this Agreement on 90 days notice. In the event of a termination both parties agree to

not disparage the other party in any form.

In the event that this Agreement is terminated for any reason, the Agent, his heirs and/or

assigns may continue to collect all commissions due on existing contracts negotiated under this

Agreement. If an existing contract between the Writer/Producer and any client is renewed, the

Writer’s Agent/heirs and or assigns may collect commissions on renewals until the existing

contract with that client is terminated.

This is the entire agreement. All changes shall require signatures of both parties.
WRITER/PRODUCER HAS THE RIGHT TO CANCEL THIS CONTRACT WITHOUT

QUESTION, WITHOUT RECOURSE, FOR 72 HOURS AFTER MAILING.
The Author may specifically EXCLUDE a contact that you have already made who might

sell or buy your work write them in here, up to a maximum of 3. If a sale occurs to, or

through, any of the following people or companies the Agent is NOT entitled to a

commission. (In other words, if we don’t find the buyer, we don’t deserve a commission.

You will find that we are very straightforward in our business dealings.)

1 __________________________________________________ ______

2 __________________________________________________ ______

3 __________________________________________________ ______
The Children’s Literary Agency, Inc.
“Focused Exclusively on the Children and Young Adult Marketplace”
Ofc. 866-876-4488
www.ChildrensLiteraryAgency.com 917-591-1916 Fax

Page 3/3 of CLA Contract
Self-Published authors please note: Your existing contract must give you the right to cancel or must

clearly state that you maintain all rights. If you are in doubt please check with your attorney or

forward us your contract for review.

THE WRITER/PRODUCER ALSO ACKNOWLEDGES THAT AT NO TIME AND IN NO FORM

HAS AGENT GUARANTEED THAT A SALE WILL BE MADE. _______ Writer Initial here.

I HEREBY CERTIFY THAT I AM OLDER THAN 18 YEARS OF AGE. _______ Initial here. If

you are not over 18, please have a parent or guardian execute the contract.
The Literary Agency Group, Inc.

The Children’s Literary Agency Writer/Producer

_____________________(sign) ___________________________(sign)

Robert West - President

Print/typed Name:_________________________

Address: ____________________________

City/State/Zip: ____________________________

Phone: ____________________________

Email: __________________________________________________ _____

PLEASE BE SURE YOUR EMAIL IS LEGIBLE!
Pay particular attention to 1,l,0,O,2,Z, etc.…

PLEASE MAIL TWO SIGNED COPIES OF THIS CONTRACT TO:

The Children’s Literary Agency

Contract Administration Department

275 Madison Ave, 4
th Floor

New York, NY 10016

You will be notified via email upon receipt of your mailed copies. Please allow

approximately 30 days for the return of your fully executed copy.

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Old 01-19-2006, 01:44 AM   #12
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Another one here who just got 'accepted' by CLA. Somehow it all seemed to easy, given the breadth of work they 'represent', the speediness of the reply, and the fact that they never mentioned anything about my work in their responses. I was contemplating responding that I'd already had my book critiqued, just to see what their answer was, or having someone else submit, say, the Gettysburg Address, to see what the response would be. However, I googled them first and came across this. Tsk, Tsk to you board regulars/owners for defaming this obviously honest and philanthropic people! ; )
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Old 01-19-2006, 02:34 AM   #13
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My, oh my, does this mean I can't call The Literary Agency Group a blivet?
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Old 01-19-2006, 02:39 AM   #14
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Dang you, Dave, making me stop and Google.

http://catb.org/~esr/jargon/html/B/blivet.html
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Old 01-19-2006, 03:31 AM   #15
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Quote:
It is simple and straightfoward and we've used it for years. It is also non-negotiable. I'm happy to answer any questions that you may have, but 99% of the time we will not make a change to it if requested.
Uh, it's "non-negotiable," but 1% of the time, they'll make changes? IOW, it's negotiable.

Quote:
You don't have to be nervous because you can back out very easily.
I always like it when a salesperson tells me why I don't have to be nervous. It lets me know I should be nervous.
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Old 01-19-2006, 10:07 AM   #16
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"...we must focus almost entirely on our core competency, which is selling your work."

Gee!

Nearly nine months ago, on 04/22/05, Robert M. Fletcher said: "
At this time the process that Ms. Strauss decries as a foul scam has 68 manuscripts under request by publishers, 3 book contracts in negotiation, and 3 movie options in various stages of negotiation."

If their "core competency" is selling literary works ... these guys must be incredibly incompetent. Have any of those 68 manuscripts "under request" been sold? How about the 3 "in negotiation." Have they sold? How about the three movie options "in various stages of negotiation"? Have any of them moved on to actually being optioned?

Did all those deals fall through? If you were just batting .100 you'd have managed to sell six or seven of them. If those authors had just thrown their manuscripts into the slush piles one or two of them might have sold.

Again, Robert (or Sherry Fine, or whoever you're calling yourself this week): What have you sold? To whom? Titles, authors, publishers, dates.

(Oh, and Fletcher said he was suing Victoria. To the best of my knowledge that hasn't happened yet either.)


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Old 01-20-2006, 01:13 AM   #17
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I read the linked critiques, and very enlightening they were. Three at least found minor errors in punctuation (in one case, an extra space between words) in the first paragraph of the story, and stuck in a boilerplate warning that such minor errors give an editor or agent the impression that the author Just Doesn't Care, and so they will throw the mss away, and never tell you why.

I guess it's one way of cutting down the slush pile - oddly, not mentioned in the all-encompassing Slushkiller list. Yet I cannot believe that TNH would have missed it. Perhaps 'author misplaces occasional commas' is new since Slushkiller was compiled?

-Barbara (who misplaces commas and is thus DOOMED in big scary letters)
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Old 01-20-2006, 04:55 PM   #18
Roger J Carlson
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Here's an interesting statement in the Christian Critique:

Quote:
God’s Will: Love in the First Century strikes me as a good title. (I limit myself to “strikes” only because I’m too little acquainted with “Christian literature” as a genre to render a more certain judgment.)


Why is this person critiquing Christian literature if he or she is so little aquainted with it?
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Old 01-20-2006, 05:01 PM   #19
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Actually, the whole idea of the boilerplate critique bothers me. It gives the appearance of dilligence on the part of the one giving the critique without any real substance.

I think most of us could come up with a few good things and a few bad things about any work. Spelling and grammar are important, of course, but what about things like story arc and character development? Once you get past simple line-editing, these things are difficult to quantify, especially in a boilerplate format.

These critiques give the novice author a sense that their work has been critiqued when in fact it has not.
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Old 01-21-2006, 12:38 AM   #20
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The repetition, the generalisations, the concentration on the first few pages or even sentences, the way any mention of a later part of the story was quite clearly taken from the synopsis or the author-provided list of characters, the admissions of ignorance.... This is their bait, for heaven's sake! This is the best they can be bothered to do?
It annoys me greatly that they believe that's all they have to do, and that the fear-mongering (misplaced commas=DOOM!) and the tone of assurance will browbeat their clients into acceptance. It smells of arrogance and contempt.
Gah.
I think the poetry critique is written by a different person, by the way. It's much tougher, and verges on being a real critique (until the last paragraph where the rote speech kicks in). The others are fluff and have a similarity beyond the boilerplate - but it's hard to tell.

Some snippets:
"The manuscript is currently 45,900 words in length. For a story told from the first-person point of view, as this one is, the length is acceptable."
"Except in experimental works of fiction (which this is not), convention dictates that you start a new paragraph every time you change speakers. This is a simple courtesy to your reader so that he or she doesn’t have to guess each time who’s speaking. (Many contemporary writers don’t believe in courtesy – hence, many contemporary writers flaunt this dictum.)"
"Only one question remains: Can you find the modern-day equivalent of a John Tenniel to supply you with illustrations commensurate with your prosody?"
"Try to avoid using passive voice wherever possible. Editing of the manuscript can take care of these if the author finds it difficult to spot all them.
Example:
I was filled with youthful pride in my brash accomplishment.
Proposed change:
Youthful pride from my brash accomplishment filled me."


Ow.
-Barbara
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Old 01-21-2006, 12:42 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by batgirl
...hence, many contemporary writers flaunt this dictum.
Surely they meant flout?
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Old 01-21-2006, 01:07 AM   #22
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Gosh, would that be one of those common errors that cause editors to think a writer Just Doesn't Care and consign him/her to the round file?
I'm not sure 'prosody' is the right word for a children's story in rhyme, either.
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Old 01-21-2006, 03:16 AM   #23
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I don't know about you, but if I were reading a story and it was full of sentences like "Youthful pride from my brash accomplishment filled me," it would be in the SASE and heading back to the author in about one heartbeat.
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Old 01-21-2006, 03:30 AM   #24
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James D. Macdonald is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsJames D. Macdonald is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsJames D. Macdonald is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsJames D. Macdonald is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsJames D. Macdonald is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsJames D. Macdonald is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsJames D. Macdonald is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsJames D. Macdonald is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsJames D. Macdonald is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsJames D. Macdonald is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsJames D. Macdonald is so great that we've run out of appropriate compliments
Quote:
Can you find the modern-day equivalent of a John Tenniel to supply you with illustrations commensurate with your prosody?
And by golly, I bet they can!

Three gets you seven that the talented artists of RapidPublishing.com are the ones who will be recommended as modern-day John Tenniels. (By a weird coincidence RapidPublishing.com is owned by Robert M. Fletcher....)

Oh, yes ... from http://www.m-w.com/ ...

prosody


1 : the study of versification; especially : the systematic study of metrical structure
2 : a particular system, theory, or style of versification
3 : the rhythmic and intonational aspect of language
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Old 01-22-2006, 05:00 AM   #25
newt
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Ugh. And here I was kinda excited. I also got a "see potential in you" e-mail from "Sherry." Once I started reading the critiques, I noticed that it seemed like an in-house agency. I got suspicious and did a more through online search and came across this site. But here's a question: They say you can get it critiqued by someone other than a referral. Has anyone done this? What was the response?
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