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mbagrad
05-26-2008, 12:26 PM
I recently received a response regarding agents that charge fees for administrative services such as photocopying and other administrative duties. I didn't realize that was a legitimate charge and that it's also sometimes included in the writer's contract.

That type of information is why this website is so important and I do appreciate the feedback.

So that being said, can anyone out there provide a list of legit fees that an agent might charge vs. unethical fees that signal fraud or an unethical agency?

alleycat
05-26-2008, 12:28 PM
Any sort of "reading fee" would be a signal that it's not an agency you want to deal with.

Parametric
05-26-2008, 05:35 PM
The distinction (as I understand it) is between fees charged up-front and fees deducted from the proceeds of a sale. In the former case an agent can bill you for expenses regularly without ever needing to make a sale - even if the fees are minimal, it decreases their incentive to sell your work and can leave you without a sale and out of pocket. Conversely, some legitimate agents do charge minimal expenses for submissions, postage, telephone calls etc, but these should be deducted from your 85% of the sale. No sale, no expenses. The agent takes 100% of the financial risk.

lkp
05-27-2008, 02:30 AM
Some of the biggest and most prestigious agencies do charge for submission expenses, and charge upfront, so it isn't always a sign of a scam. Andrew Wylie is one, if I am correct. I think if the agency has significant sales in your genre, I wouldn't worry too much about it.