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Old 10-24-2005, 10:41 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rommeldawg
I am curious as to your last paragraph, though. You seem to indicate that, if Authentic Creations submits my manuscript to ABC Publishing House, and ABC were to decline extending an offer to contract, that, in the future, if I were to procure Top Notch Agent to represent me, ABC would flatly not consider the work.
Not quite. Top Notch Agent might well decline to approach ABC Publishing, because it had already rejected you. Editors who've rejected manuscripts generally don't want to see them again, and a good agent won't risk her relationship with an editor by submitting something she knows the editor doesn't want to see.

Editors do remember what they read. Not infallibly, I suppose, but it's certainly a good possibility.

What if there are several editors at the publisher or imprint? Resubmission is a possibility in that case. But for many publishers and imprints, rejection by one editor is considered to be rejection by all. (Not fair? Maybe. But it's a buyer's market, and buyers get to set the rules.)

Some houses log submissions, some don't. For those that do, you may be able to slip by if you change the title. But again, if you run into that editor who remembers reading (and rejecting) your work, that editor won't be happy.

Of course, you don't have to tell Top Notch Agent that your work has been rejected by ABC Publishing. But if she submits there and the editor sends it back with a note saying "Sorry, I've already seen this", Top Notch Agent is not going to be very happy with you. That's not a good basis for an author-agent relationship.

Honesty is definitely the best policy, even if it makes you less appealing as a client. If you do decide to seek a new agent, you are going to have to let that agent know where your work has already gone.

- Victoria
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Old 10-24-2005, 11:59 PM   #27
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I signed with AC in the late spring 2005. Although skeptical... I was eager and optimistic about landing an agent! Over a few months, I became increasingly uneasy... since AC would not answer my questions about how I was being pitched in the marketplace, etc. Finally, after being honest with them about my jitters and reasons for asking quesitons, Ron Laitsch sent me an email saying that they were terminating my contract. So, essentially, they fired me before I could fire them!

During my time with them, according to the records they sent, my MS was sent to 3 or 4 houses... with a photocopying bill of about $75.00.

I agree with Victoria... over time, the longer you stay with an agent like AC, the more your MS gets shopped inappropriately, and, then you have to pay for it in copying/shipping costs too!

I sleep better not having AC represent me.... oh, and although they said that they would send a formal termination of my contract in the mail.... I am still waiting. It's ok... the email was enough... I have continued to send my stuff out!
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Old 11-23-2005, 07:18 AM   #28
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The Missing Posts

Sonny said:

Quote:
I am (rather was a client). I had started to read similar feedback on the agency not calling or emailing. (It is true, they don't). When I wrote with my concerns and made brief mention of my friends agent, this was the reply back: the letter very clearly articulates the way in which they operate with clients. It answers many of the questions I have seen on this thread:

Dear (Sonny)
We are quite busy selling books, which does not always allow us the
time we would like to spend with our authors. It is always refreshing to
know that some agents have a small enough operation to spend time with their authors to discuss routine rejection letters. That certainly
would appeal to some authors who require substantial personal attention during the difficult process of locating a publisher.

It has always been our position that an author should find an agent
that fulfills the author's needs for personal attention. Comfort levels
in the relationship are important. Many authors love the way we move
their work through the process. This is why we are to be listed as one
of the twenty best agencies in an article to be published in March of
next year. However, for some, such as yourself, we do not fulfill those
expectations. This is the reason we make cancellation so easy for the
author and for us. That way both agent and author can move on to other projects or agencies more in keeping with their expectations.

It appears it would be best for you to be represented by your friend's
agent. That agent has the time to spend on personal calls to discuss
rejection letters, something you desire. To make that transition easier
for you, you may treat this E-Mail as our cancellation notice. You are
free to move forward with your new agent.

In conclusion, we wish you the best of luck in your writing career and
hope to see your book in print very soon.

Mary Lee Laitsch
Authentic Creations
DaveKuzminski said:



Quote:
Quote:
Originally Posted by peyton67
During my time with them, according to the records they sent, my MS was sent to 3 or 4 houses... with a photocopying bill of about $75.00.



Did they furnish you with the rejection responses or merely tell you that those houses rejected you?
Maryn said:

Quote:
Quote:
Originally Posted by peyton67
During my time with them, according to the records they sent, my MS was sent to 3 or 4 houses... with a photocopying bill of about $75.00.

Without knowing the length of your novel I can't be sure that's outrageous, but I did a small amount of math. Say your novel was 100,000 words. At 250 to the page, that's 400 pp. Say they sent it to four houses all at once, so they needed four copies--and paid nearly 20 cents a page? Where'd they do it, the Post Office? The Library?

Unless your novel was a big fat one, they actually made a tidy profit from their copying fees. Pretty scummy, IMO.

Maryn, who rarely gets to use the word 'scummy'--thanks!

DaveKuzminski said:


Quote:
Oh, one more question. Did they provide you with the original receipts for the copying? Since it's becoming your expense, you have a right to those for tax purposes. They don't.

Sonny said:

Quote:
I only received two of the supposed rejection letters. I am not being egotistical and thinking that they probably haven't been rejected...just that I have no proof. Except for the two letters.

I am of course going to be requesting the receipts for tax purposes as well as the rejection letters.

Can I ask for feedback on the tone of their email and their response: Is this how a client should expect to be treated?
Sonny said:

Quote:
You captured very clearly how I felt about landing these 'agents'? Oh, and unfortunatley for me, my manuscript was 467 pages and 560 pages so I've wasted over $300 with them! $75 seems much more preferable.


Quote:
Originally Posted by peyton67
I signed with AC in the late spring 2005. Although skeptical... I was eager and optimistic about landing an agent! Over a few months, I became increasingly uneasy... since AC would not answer my questions about how I was being pitched in the marketplace, etc. Finally, after being honest with them about my jitters and reasons for asking quesitons, Ron Laitsch sent me an email saying that they were terminating my contract. So, essentially, they fired me before I could fire them!

During my time with them, according to the records they sent, my MS was sent to 3 or 4 houses... with a photocopying bill of about $75.00.

I agree with Victoria... over time, the longer you stay with an agent like AC, the more your MS gets shopped inappropriately, and, then you have to pay for it in copying/shipping costs too!

I sleep better not having AC represent me.... oh, and although they said that they would send a formal termination of my contract in the mail.... I am still waiting. It's ok... the email was enough... I have continued to send my stuff out!


DaveKuzminski said:

Quote:
I don't see why not.
victoriastrauss said:



Quote:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sonny
Can I ask for feedback on the tone of their email and their response: Is this how a client should expect to be treated?

No. The tone of the e-mail is snarky and unprofessional. Successful agents are busy people; they can't be calling you all the time just to hold your hand. However, they should be willing to call you or e-mail you as often as is needed, which depending on your situation might be once a year or twice a day. And they should always respond promptly if you contact them with a question or concern--you're their client, after all, and will be paying them a not-so-insignificant portion of your income if they succeed on your behalf. This isn't an issue that should even need to be discussed; it's an inherent part of a good business relationship.

A good agent certainly won't fire a client just for asking for an update. I've heard from other writers who were given the heave-ho by Authentic Creation when they asked awkward questions. Note how the e-mail turns the question back on you: instead of simply saying that it isn't their policy to update clients and leaving it there, they add two extra paragraphs designed to make you feel like a jerk for even asking.

I'm going to be watching for that article that names them as "one of the twenty best agencies".

Did the two rejection letters you did receive mention your book, or were they form rejections?

- Victoria
Dhewco said:

Quote:
I'd like to say something about rejection letters from unprofessional agencies. I would still call he publisher and make sure the letter is official and not a fake. The one rejection letter my agent agreed to send me was on poor paper, had a cheesy letterhead, and looked very unprofessional indeed. I can't be sure it's a fake, but it looks like one. (I don't know a phone number for Kaeden Books. Don't get me started, my book isn't even for their age group, lol)

BTW, my agent was Vera DeVaney...she has her own thread on Bewares.

Anyway, that's my two cents on rejection letters. Verify them, if you can, if you doubt the agent in any way.


David
Sonny said:

Quote:
Victoria,
Thank you so much for your lengthy and informative response! As for my rejection letters from the publishers, they did specifically mention the works. In addtion, the senior editor at one of the major publishing houses stated: "This is a very well-researched work and it certainly is a lot of fun. Mrs. "C" is a very talented writer. We are passing, however, because we feel the work might be too small for our very commercial list." There was some other info. there. In my calls to Authentic Creations, all I was inquiring as to whether this was standard form rejection, what recommendation they could make, etc...

Now I'm concerned as I face the quandry: How can I present this work to other agents/publishers if: 1)I have no verifiable proof with the exception of the two letters who reviewed it and who rejected it. 2) do I abandon this work because it is now tainted by the submission made by Authentic Creations.

Per the advice of a very published author over at Avon (Harper Collins), I've drafted a polite letter requesting all copies of cover letters sent by Authentic Creations as well as all rejections.

As for the article naming them one of the top 20 agencies...I had rather hoped they would make mention of the prestigious magazine which is recognizing their 'services'. What course do I take at this point should I not receive any information confirming where my work has been? How do I resolve this and present these works to other agencies in lieu of Authentic Creations statements that I've been 'rejected' without proof?

One more question: Say I manage to get this work (rejected under Authentic Creations) published on my own or by another agency. What rights does Authentic Creations have to the royalties once their submissions were rejected.

Thank you once again for your very valuable time.
I appreciate your time and support; especially after the crushing disappointment I feel with Authentic Creations' unprofessionalism.

~Sonny


Quote:
Originally Posted by victoriastrauss
No. The tone of the e-mail is snarky and unprofessional. Successful agents are busy people; they can't be calling you all the time just to hold your hand. However, they should be willing to call you or e-mail you as often as is needed, which depending on your situation might be once a year or twice a day. And they should always respond promptly if you contact them with a question or concern--you're their client, after all, and will be paying them a not-so-insignificant portion of your income if they succeed on your behalf. This isn't an issue that should even need to be discussed; it's an inherent part of a good business relationship.

A good agent certainly won't fire a client just for asking for an update. I've heard from other writers who were given the heave-ho by Authentic Creation when they asked awkward questions. Note how the e-mail turns the question back on you: instead of simply saying that it isn't their policy to update clients and leaving it there, they add two extra paragraphs designed to make you feel like a jerk for even asking.

I'm going to be watching for that article that names them as "one of the twenty best agencies".

Did the two rejection letters you did receive mention your book, or were they form rejections?

- Victoria
victoriastrauss said:



Quote:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sonny
As for my rejection letters from the publishers, they did specifically mention the works. In addtion, the senior editor at one of the major publishing houses stated: "This is a very well-researched work and it certainly is a lot of fun. Mrs. "C" is a very talented writer. We are passing, however, because we feel the work might be too small for our very commercial list."

This is a nice, personal rejection, and shows that the editor really did read your work. It's also encouraging--she passed not because she didn't think it was publishable, but because it wasn't suitable for her imprint. What this suggests to me is what I've heard from other editors: Authentic Creations doesn't always target its submissions very effectively. It's possible that a different agent would not have submitted to this editor at all.
Quote:
do I abandon this work because it is now tainted by the submission made by Authentic Creations.
There are two issues here. How many submissions did they make for you? If only a few, it's unlikely that the market for your work has been exhausted, even if the submissions were well-targeted. The second consideration is the one above: it's quite possible that the submissions weren't well-targeted--that your work was submitted to unsuitable publishers/imprints--which means that the real market for your manuscript may not have been tested. So it may well be that your ms. still has a fighting chance.
Quote:
Per the advice of a very published author over at Avon (Harper Collins), I've drafted a polite letter requesting all copies of cover letters sent by Authentic Creations as well as all rejections.
This is what I would have advised also. I do suspect, though, that you won't get what you've asked for. I've heard from other AC clients who repeatedly requested this information and didn't receive it (despite the fact that AC's contract requires them, on termination, to "provide a list of publishers and other interested parties still considering possible publication or purchase of the work").

You do need to find out where your ms. was sent, if you can. Whether you look for another agent or decide to approach publishers on your own (which wouldn't be my recommendation), you need this information, because if a publisher has already rejected a ms., you can't usually approach it again with the same ms. Did AC send you invoices for photocopying and postage? Other clients have told me that the invoices mention which publishers were approached.
Quote:
As for the article naming them one of the top 20 agencies...I had rather hoped they would make mention of the prestigious magazine which is recognizing their 'services'.
Yeah, me too. If it's any of the two or three I think it might be, it wouldn't be the first time an article of this sort was published without adequate research.
Quote:
One more question: Say I manage to get this work (rejected under Authentic Creations) published on my own or by another agency. What rights does Authentic Creations have to the royalties once their submissions were rejected.
According to the most recent AC contract I've seen, AC claims commission on any sales that result from contacts they made or negotiations they initiated prior to termination of your relationship with them, even if the sales occur after termination (this is pretty standard). So if a publisher they approached made you an offer as a result of their submission of your work, you'd owe them 15% even if you used another agent to close the deal. They have no claim on new submissions made by you or another agent, however.

- Victoria

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Old 03-15-2006, 11:40 PM   #29
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"Best" agencies?

[QUOTE=James D. Macdonald]Sonny said: This is why we are to be listed as one of the twenty best agencies in an article to be published in March of next year.


Do you think they were referring to the current (April) issue of Writer's Digest? They are listed as one of 23 agencies open to submissions from unpublished writers.

I'm glad I checked this board first!
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Old 03-16-2006, 12:26 AM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Luna
They are listed as one of 23 agencies open to submissions from unpublished writers.
*indelicate snort* Does WD really infer there's a limited number of agencies that accept unpublished writers? It's the agents who don't accept unpublished writers which can be counted without having to take off a friend's shoes.
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Old 03-16-2006, 01:17 AM   #31
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Writer's Digest has been moving more and more into All Vanity All the Time territory.
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Old 03-16-2006, 01:34 AM   #32
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Time to make 'em a Beware topic? It's like Whitmore, IMO: they used to be something, but now....
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Old 09-13-2006, 07:25 AM   #33
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Ok folks - more on Authentic Creations. After sending query letters to 30 agents, I heard back from two - one who wanted to see 50 pages, and then passed, and Authentic Creations, who looked at my manuscript for two months and then offered me a contract.
After all I've read, I feel uneasy signing with them. That said, however, it seems like all the other feedback I've gotten is negative. This is my first book and although I love it and think it's great it seems others disagree! Many of the queries I sent included no writing, but some others did - I got to select the sample chapters to send. I've been rejected by all these except AC.
So - although I think my book is better than MANY fiction books I've tried to read (how do some of those get published, anyway???) my rejections are telling me something. I'm not even sure AC READ my manuscript - they probably just want my money. Their wanting to represent me tells me very little about my book's marketability.
I'm kind of feeling that they (AC) may be my only option. If, in fact, my manuscript does have merit, won't it sell itself regardless of being presented by AC and regardless of me having been treated unprofessionally? (which I anticipate, based upon past messages posted here.)
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Old 09-13-2006, 07:55 AM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Reluctant Artist
I'm kind of feeling that they (AC) may be my only option. If, in fact, my manuscript does have merit, won't it sell itself regardless of being presented by AC and regardless of me having been treated unprofessionally? (which I anticipate, based upon past messages posted here.)
Nope. If you read over the thread, you'll see there are a number of indications that AC doesn't target its submissions appropriately. Say you write SF. It doesn't matter how much merit your MS has if AC sends it to a YA publisher, does it?

Have you seen the Share Your Work forum? You can post your query letter there and get excellent feedback that might at least help reassure you everything's okay.

And welcome, by the way.
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Old 09-13-2006, 04:58 PM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Reluctant Artist
After all I've read, I feel uneasy signing with them. That said, however, it seems like all the other feedback I've gotten is negative. This is my first book and although I love it and think it's great it seems others disagree! Many of the queries I sent included no writing, but some others did - I got to select the sample chapters to send. I've been rejected by all these except AC.
So - although I think my book is better than MANY fiction books I've tried to read (how do some of those get published, anyway???) my rejections are telling me something. I'm not even sure AC READ my manuscript - they probably just want my money. Their wanting to represent me tells me very little about my book's marketability.
I'm kind of feeling that they (AC) may be my only option. If, in fact, my manuscript does have merit, won't it sell itself regardless of being presented by AC and regardless of me having been treated unprofessionally? (which I anticipate, based upon past messages posted here.)
Hi Reluctant Artist,
Thanks for joining us at the Cooler. I'm not even sure where to start here: your post indicates that you recognize that your book is probably not ready for publication, since you say "my rejections are telling me something," "I'm not even sure AC READ my manuscript--they probably just want my money," and "their wanting to represent me tells me very little about my book's marketability." So why on earth would you, for one nanosecond, consider signing with a company that you already know will treat you unprofessionally at the very least, and will steal your money and do absolutely nothing for you, at the worst?

It sounds like your manuscript isn't ready for publication. Okay, so no big deal: get some feedback here (as the above poster suggested); find a critique group; rewrite. Then submit again to legit agencies and publishers.

If you sign with a company like AC after reading this and rereading your own post, then shame on you. That would be an absolutely ridiculous decision.
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Old 09-14-2006, 02:47 AM   #36
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Ouch

Thanks, Soloset, for your helpful comment. Nomad, I thought your remarks were pretty harsh. I haven't had anyone say "If you do this, then SHAME ON YOU" since I was three...... This experience is torturous enough without having to read criticism from other writers!
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Old 09-14-2006, 03:04 AM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Reluctant Artist
Thanks, Soloset, for your helpful comment. Nomad, I thought your remarks were pretty harsh. I haven't had anyone say "If you do this, then SHAME ON YOU" since I was three...... This experience is torturous enough without having to read criticism from other writers!
You might want to research a little better before you dismiss her words. http://www.nomadpress.net/

1) Keep writing and improving.
2) Find a legitimate agency or publisher.
3) Profit!!!
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Old 09-14-2006, 04:08 AM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Reluctant Artist
This is my first book and although I love it and think it's great it seems others disagree!
Don't we all wish this was true!

The fact is, harsh as it may seem, first novels are mostly unpublishable. Writers are like mothers. We fail to see the flaws of our own creation even if said flaws were the size of an elephant. We want to believe that what we've created is perfect and the next best thing. The reality is, often it's not.

I'd suggest getting feedback on your novel, either finding a critique group or using the Share Your Work forum here. Read Uncle Jim's writing thread and learn it by heart, then look at your work objectively. Maybe the same thing that happened to me will happen to you: you'll realize you're not quite there yet.

Best of lucks with your novel, though! Remember, many of us are in the same boat you are!
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Old 09-14-2006, 04:46 AM   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Reluctant Artist
Thanks, Soloset, for your helpful comment. Nomad, I thought your remarks were pretty harsh. I haven't had anyone say "If you do this, then SHAME ON YOU" since I was three...... This experience is torturous enough without having to read criticism from other writers!
Hi Reluctant Artist,
Yeah, "shame on you" does make me sound like I'm treating you like a 3-year-old. Sorry about that one. I just get incredibly frustrated when I see posts like yours: you KNOW that this agency is no good; you KNOW that your work hasn't received positive feedback from legitimate agencies, which means that you need to revise it; you even say that the agency is probably only out for your money, and you are still seriously contemplating signing with them. It makes me want to put you in a time-out until you can think logically about the situation.
I've said this to many authors and I'll say it again to you: I know you want to be published, and I know it's terribly disappointing when you love what you've written but no one else seems to feel the same way. I have been there. But publishing is a business, and you need to think like a business person. Is this good business? You, yourself have already said no. So why chuck your brains out the door here?
Take a step back and look at your manuscript again. Post parts of it on Share Your Work: many people here at AW give really terrific feedback. Revise your manuscript based on the critiques you've been given by the agencies that have rejected you. Join an online writers' group for more feedback. Write a manuscript that REAL agents and publishers want. Don't settle, don't sell yourself short, and don't be satisfied with what might not be the very best work you can do.

Good luck--but please don't sign with a lame-o agency.
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Old 10-06-2006, 11:39 PM   #40
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Thumbs down Authentically Bogus

I gave up a year due to Authentic Creations wasting my time and my own failure to adequately research the agency (information that was readily available had I simply Googled their name). I blame myself for basking in the afterglow of landing an agent's attention and only later finding out inadequate their services were.

I recently got an e-mail from another gentleman that was considering signing with Authentic Creations. I told him to proceed with caution and he soon got the same bad vibes I did.

For almost a year I was told Authentic Creations had submitted my book proposal to Bantam, Ballantine and Crown. That pretty much sums up what they did during my the time they represented me. Since they never provided me with the rejection letters (if there were any), I'll have to assume they did.

And we know what "assume" makes you and me.

It's not that I think The Laitschs are bad people, but if there was ever any creedence to the notion that an agent has to be located near the centers of publishing, Authentic Creations proved it for me.
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Old 10-07-2006, 08:25 AM   #41
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Well, I also recieved a contract offer from Authentic Creations, and after listening to my own intuition and reading posts on this web site I did not sign with them.
The only good thing their offer did for me was give me the impetus I needed to take an objective look at my work, to try to evaluate it as an editor might. I found a lot to change, and now, after a thorough polish job, I'm even more confident I'll find a reputable agent, and then a reputable publisher. If this book doesn't get published, it won't be because it isn't excellent (if I do say so myself).
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Old 12-03-2006, 04:02 AM   #42
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Thought I'd add to this. When I first began submitting a couple months ago, I sent out a query to this agency. They sent back a very strange "we're interested" letter that detailed an 8 cents per page for photocopying rule that they have. Thought it was odd, researched them a bit more, found AW and decided to pass on Authentic Creations. So, thanks All!
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Old 11-14-2007, 01:17 AM   #43
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Egad! How could we endure so long without a link? http://www.authenticcreations.com/index.htm
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Old 07-28-2008, 06:00 AM   #44
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I visited that link a few months ago, but it's no longer a working website. I'd say avoiding Authentic Creations is everyone's best bet.
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Old 07-28-2008, 06:47 AM   #45
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Hmmm. Site was cached as recently, so we'll keep an eye on it to reappear. In the meantime, if anyone wants to save the text: http://www.google.com/search?q=site:...US272&filter=0
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Old 07-28-2008, 07:33 AM   #46
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Ronald was my agent for about a year. What a waste. Sigh. If only I knew then what I know now. He's a lawyer. That should have tipped me off to begin with. Just kidding!!!

Now I have a wonderful agent with a well-established agency, and I'm relieved Authentic Creations is just a bad memory...
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Old 07-28-2008, 05:36 PM   #47
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Looks to me that they make money on photocopying and not on actual book sales.
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Old 07-28-2008, 06:33 PM   #48
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I met Ron and Mary Lee at a conference in May '06. They sat on a panel with Tracey Adams and what follows is strictly my opinion. Tracey (very successful, very legit, die to work with her) was very nice and eager to share knowledge and experience. Just a pleasant person. Ron (again, my opinion) was slimy, snobbish and a real smart-ass. Very condescending. His wife was little better.
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Old 10-01-2009, 05:28 PM   #49
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Ron Laitsch died almost two years ago (after a liver transplant and a very lengthy illness) and Mary Lee (his wife) closed down the agency. They were my agents for several years and quickly sold my first book to a medium-sized publishing company in New York. My second book also.
I enjoyed working with them very much and I'm grateful they took a chance on a first-time author. They were always very encouraging.
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Old 02-14-2011, 02:38 AM   #50
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Authentic Creations

I realize it's all moot now, but my late husband was represented by Ron Laitsch, for a novel, for maybe nine months. My sense was not good, although he was a very nice man. I didn't get the sense he had the best contacts, although I know he was committed to new fiction writers. He did charge me for photocopying.
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