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nffacethemusicjunocom
02-08-2003, 01:56 AM
New Elite Literary Agency
Sydra-Techniques
Joy Harris Literary Agency

Victoria
02-13-2003, 01:37 AM
Joy Harris Literary Agency is legitimate and established, with a good track record of commercial sales.

New Elite charges reading fees of several hundred dollars, promotes its own paid editing services (a conflict of interest: if the agent can make a profit from recommending editing, how can the writer trust that the editing recommendation is in his/her best interest?), is run by someone with no prior publishing or agenting experience. As far as I know it has made no sales.

Sydra Techniques charges an "intake" fee of $129 and a per-submission fee of $14, and functions not as a literary agent but as a literary broker (sending submissions scattershot to large numbers of publishers rather than carefully and personally targeting editors). Once upon a time it was a small non-fee-charging agency; a bit over a year ago it deliberately transformed itself into a fee-factory. Again, as far as I know it has made no sales since the transformation.

- Victoria
Writer Beware
www.sfwa.org/beware (http://www.sfwa.org/beware)

eraser
02-13-2003, 10:58 PM
I just want to say "thanks" to you Victoria for your many valuable insights and comments. I'm glad you're keeping an eye on us over here.

:)

Victoria
02-13-2003, 11:55 PM
My pleasure!

- Victoria

absolutewrite
02-19-2003, 09:28 AM
Ah, yes, I meant to welcome you, too, Victoria. It's great to have you around! You're aces in my book. :)

Cymraes32
03-15-2003, 01:08 PM
Sydra is currently under investigation. Don't submit to them.

unregistered
03-20-2003, 12:32 PM
Don't submit to Sydra! It's under investigation. An article pertaing to it can be found at

www.fortunecity.com/riven...ipoff.html (http://www.fortunecity.com/rivendell/perilith/179/ripoff.html)

reef
06-19-2003, 10:42 AM
Why is this thread at the top of the Bewares list on June 18th even though its latest post is dated March 20th and other threads have more recent posts? I see this happening a lot, on different Abs. Write boards at different times.

absolutewrite
06-19-2003, 04:10 PM
I noticed that too, reef! Hopefully just a temporary glitch.

eraser
06-19-2003, 08:51 PM
I think it only happens with polls and I suspect it's because someone either "votes" or clicks on "show results" which bumps the thread.

absolutewrite
08-06-2003, 10:51 AM
Ahh! Thanks, eraser! That explains it!

DebutanteAuthor
04-21-2004, 06:43 PM
I have done a lot of research, which included reading most of this board--thank you contributors. I tailored my approach to publishers and agents. I sold a few pieces to magazines on my own, and my second book is being considered by a major house.
Until I began exchanging letters with the editor I would potentially be working with at MajorHouse Publishing, I had not heard positively from any of the agents I contacted. Now I have an agent who claims to be from the Joy Harris Agency in New York who "heard about my wonderful manuscript and would love to represent an overlooked talent" such as myself emailing me.

I checked a few places, including the AAR and while there are decent things about the agency, no one recognizes this particular person as an agent there. I have not contacted the agency directly as yet.
I've noticed an odor to this 'offer' as the only place I shared this particular email address was on this manuscript-which I did not send to the Harris agency. The editor has a rather good reputation and I do not think they would back-door me to the 'agent' for a fee. However, is it possible for this 'agent' to have obtained my manuscript-or a copy-somehow in order to finagle themselves a piece of my pie?
I have not replied to the 'agent', nor am I seriously considering it. I am curious though if this is a common occurrence or if I have run into a bizarre or new scam?

Thanks for all past and future advice.

DA

maestrowork
04-21-2004, 07:10 PM
Just call the agency and ask to speak to that person (since he/she solicited you), or ask if that "agent" is part of the agency. A quick and easy way to verify.

My question is, how did the "agent" know of your ms?

Side note: if Major House is considering your ms, perhaps you shouldn't jump on just ANY agency that quickly. You should do your research and target some specific agencies -- big names, for example -- and tell them that Major House is seriously considering your ms, and you'd like to work with the agency to get a deal... that's your calling card. Instead of some random person contact you... just my opinion, of course.

The Joy Harris agency is legit. They're member of AAR, and according to Writer's Market, they sold 15 titles last year. Small, but legit.

vstrauss
04-21-2004, 07:43 PM
Debutante, I agree this sounds weird, especially the stuff about "overlooked talent", which is the kind of verbiage you don't usually see from non-questionable agents. But as maestro says, the Joy Harris Agency is legit. It's possible the editor might have mentioned you to the agent--if she's planning to make an offer on your book, you will need an agent--but if so she should have told you. (And I agree that you should shop around, agentwise--if you get an offer, you'll be in a good position to do so.)

I think the advice of phoning and asking to speak to the person who contacted you is good. If they're really with the agency, they should be glad to speak with you, since they solicited you. If they're not with the agency (though I'm at a loss as to why they'd claim to be), you'll discover that too. The agency may also want to know if someone is taking their name in vain.

Let us know what happens.

- Victoria

James D Macdonald
04-21-2004, 08:16 PM
A couple of things are raising the hairs on the back of my neck.

Perhaps all is on the up-and-up. Please proceed judiciously.

HapiSofi
04-21-2004, 09:39 PM
It is legitimate to contact the agency and ask whether this is one of theirs. If she is with the agency, it's legitimate to ask her where she's getting her information.

She says she's heard your book is wonderful. The likeliest original source of that opinion is your potential editor. That doesn't mean the editor told the agent about it, though she might have. If the editor's that serious about the book, she'll be talking it up in-house. Any of the in-house people who've heard about it might have mentioned it in this agent's hearing.

Referring to you as an "overlooked talent" does seem a bit manipulative, but I could be misjudging her. Maybe she's just trying to be nice. Authors frequently think their talents are overlooked.

If you're in the market for an agent, wait until you get an offer from your prospective editor, say "Yes thank you, and I'll get back to you," and phone your first-choice agent. Having an offer in hand is an excellent inducement. If your first-choice agent says no, go for your second. This process won't take long, and shouldn't involve many iterations.

If Joy Harris would have been on your list of desired agents anyway, fine. If not, you're now aware of her, which improves her chances with you and does no harm.

It's still not a sure thing, but this episode augurs well for your chances of selling the book.

DebutanteAuthor
04-22-2004, 04:34 AM
I will go post by post.

maestro:
I do not know how this 'agent' learned of my manuscript. They did not mentioned it in their email, nor did they give its title or anything about it.

While Joy Harris was farther down, it was on my list. I did not want to irk anyone there should this person have turned out legitimate. After all, aren't writers supposed be grovellingly grateful that any agent deemed to speak to them? :rolleyes

My plan is still to wait for a serious offer from MajorHouse before I contact the agents/agencies on my list. Should the House decline, I still will re/contact a very small list letting them know there is interest, would they like to represent me, etc.

Victoria:

Your site has been valuable to me in avoiding a number of traps that could have ensnared my little manuscript. I thank you for having the courage to shine lights into bad corners. :clap

The email is rather scammy in its tone. It addresses me by my pen name, does not mention the manuscript by name or any details, and was sent to an email address set up specifically for that manuscript.

I am going to contact the Joy Harris Agency and ask if this "agent" works for them, though I suspect I will be explaining why I'm not a frustrated writer trying a new plea instead of making clear that there is a potential scam out there with their name attached.

I will let you know what happens. I would hate to think Melanie (or someone of her ilk) has decided to drag a good name through the scum instead of creating their own mess.

James/Uncle Jim:

Thank you very much for your "Writing with Uncle Jim" thread. I gained some very valuable information from it. When my official site gets up, I am linking all of your workshops to it. :hail

To reiterate-I am sticking with my original plan of contacting agents/agencies after I receive an offer. Should I not receive one from MajorHouse, I will contact a slightly smaller list to let them know there is interest in my manuscript, would they be interested in representing me and it?

But I am also calling the Harris agency in the morning. I didn't want to offend anyone, but they certainly should know about this, especially if/when this person turns out to be using their name for potentially shenanigans.

Hapi:

I have sent a query and synopsis a few places, both agents and publishers. The "agent" didn't mention any details about it, only that "they heard it was wonderful". My mother said the same thing about my SuperPickle comic series when I was eight.

I would really like to think the editor is gushing all over the place and people are climbing in all over to get to me first. Alas, this "agent" has been the only positive contact in regards to this manuscript in months.

I think the "agent" was trying to butter me up into signing with them; to chain me to a contract, use my already established contact to boot-strap a deal and then use me as the "success story" to bring in others. I would like to think better, but I have no reason to--at this point.

The Harris Agency was on my list of smaller agencies. I am still in debate as to whether I should recontact the bigger agencies first, or go to the smaller ones, many of whom I did not contact initially-though I probably would have had better (and possibly swifter) results.

I believe in signs. Just not the ones along the road. Burmashave made me sad.

Thanks again everyone.

DA

maestrowork
04-22-2004, 08:31 AM
While Joy Harris was farther down, it was on my list. I did not want to irk anyone there should this person have turned out legitimate. After all, aren't writers supposed be grovellingly grateful that any agent deemed to speak to them?

No. Never believe that. An agent "represents" a writer -- a writer does not "work for" an agent. Don't ever let anything tell you that you should be "grateful" for an agent's grace.

It's a business relationship. Nothing more, nothing less. An agent is not your mother or God.

If an agent claims to be from Joy Harris and says he's interested in your work, you have EVERY right to contact him and check him out. If he's legit and he does work at Joy Harris, he would be happy that you take the initiative. If he's a scam, then you will know once and for all, won't you?

Just call. And thank us later.

p.s. just to clarify, is that the Harris Agency or the Joy Harris agency? They are different and as you can read on the Beware forum, the "Harris" agency is to be avoided.

James D Macdonald
04-23-2004, 12:15 AM
Maestrowork is quite right. I don't grovel to a business partner engaged in a mutually profitable relationship with me, and neither should you.

SRHowen
04-23-2004, 04:15 AM
You should have a good relationship with your agent and not feel as if anything you do will make them rip up your contract.

They are people as well. LOL

You will have to share things with your agent that may affect deadlines etc, I had a bad car accident and then the place i work at was robbed at gun point, I needed to tell my agent both things. My computer died and i had to wait three weeks for the new one to come, I had to pick up the phone (no e-mail) and tell him that.

It is a partnership and thinking your agent is god :hail will not be good for you or your book. If your agent is one that edits, you may have to say--NO I will not change this. If you are afraid of your agent or of losing your contract with them, then how will you do that?

You have to feel comfortable enough to be able to pick up the phone and call when you have a question or a problem. And your agent should keep you updated on what is going on with your book.

A two way partnership.

Pick up the phone and call.

Say, Hello, my name is so and so. I was contacted by so and so from your agency saying they were interested in representing my "novel title."

They can then ask you questions--or they will forward your call to the agent. If they say, Huh? We don't have an agent by that name--then you can tell them what the e-mail said. And about the claims this "agent" made.

Shawn

HapiSofi
04-24-2004, 09:37 AM
Jim's right: No grovelling! If an agent takes you on, it's because he or she thinks you're going to be profitable and creditable. And keep your chin up. You've already sold writing. You're going to sell more. This is just passing weather.

RobABard
06-19-2004, 02:41 AM
Probably too late for you ... wonder how you're
doing ... but ...

publishing houses have "publicity" departments
which will verify whether a literary agent has
an ongoing relationship with their house. This
should sufficiently nail down if your agent is
legitimate.

HapiSofi
06-19-2004, 05:24 PM
publishing houses have "publicity" departments
which will verify whether a literary agent has
an ongoing relationship with their house. This
should sufficiently nail down if your agent is
legitimatePublicity? That would be an oddly organized publishing house. Editorial is the primary department agents deal with, though Contracts has to know about them too.

scarletfox
03-15-2005, 08:20 AM
Hi, I'm just wondering if these are good agents to consider, or if you guys could tell me about any good agents who work with both adult and YA fiction

Ok, the agents I'm considering are:

Joy Harris

Brandt and Hochman Literary Agents Inc.

Barbara S. Kouts

Thanks!

Julie Worth
03-15-2005, 04:15 PM
I don’t now if there’s a policy here, but I’d really like to see each agent addressed separately, with their names in the title.

James D. Macdonald
03-15-2005, 04:46 PM
Joy Harris has made sales.

Barbara S. Kouts has made sales.

Gail Hochman and Carl Brandt have made sales.

As to whether they're right for you ... you're on your own.

For more see On the Getting of Agents (http://nielsenhayden.com/makinglight/archives/004772.html).

lekha
07-07-2005, 05:04 PM
is the rebecca pratt agency good?

nygirl
01-13-2007, 01:28 AM
Uh, I'd like to bring this thread back to the Joy Harris Agency. Has anyone worked with Joy or with any other agent there? If so, would you recommend them as agents? I know they are legitimate and not scammers, but I'm looking for personal feedback, from writers who've worked with this agency. Thanks!!

fuwanna
03-28-2007, 11:11 PM
Back in the early 90s I knew a number of writers who were represented by Joy Harris. She has--or had--some big sellers: Whitney Otto (How to Make and American Quilt) and now I believe Sena Jeter Naslund is also a client (Ahab's Wife). Some good writers she had back then (Louis B. Jones, for example) haven't published anything for about ten years after very promising and praised starts. I don't know if that has more to do with Mr. Jones or Ms. Harris. Jones may not have sold, in spite of the critical praise from the Times and Wash. Post, and after 3 books that don't sell publishers these days are likely to give up on you. (If they'd done that with John Irving, they would've missed out on the huge seller The World According to Garp).

She also represented my wife, a novelist, and in their interactions I observed her to be rather excessively cloyingly flattering at first with the first sale and then, as time passed, very hard to get a hold of and very hard to talk to. Someone on this thread referred to getting a questionable email in which an agent from the J Harris Agency referred to the writer as an *overlooked talent* or some such thing and that reminded me of Joy's rather fulsome manner. Perhaps this would be okay, but what I observed firsthand--and I certainly observed the effects firsthand on my wife--was that this initial gushy seduction was forgotten in the absence of another big sale and phone calls were not returned etc.

Maybe all--or many--agents are like this. They love you and gush over you when you're hot and new and fresh from a deal and lose interest if you don't follow it up with big stuff. But my wife's current agent is I believe more consistent, more professional, and I think this is a definite virtue.

Sorry to write so much, but that's what I know of the Joy Harris Agency I hope it is of use to you.

nygirl
04-03-2007, 12:17 AM
Thanks!! The JHA requested my manuscript and within days I received a reply: an email telling me that my novel was very good. The person added that the dialogue was great, and he had liked the characters and the narration. “However, I'm afraid I just do not have enough confidence that I could sell this to a publisher,” he added, so he had to pass.

I’m baffled.

James D. Macdonald
04-03-2007, 12:35 AM
It means, "Send it off to another agent."

nygirl
04-03-2007, 03:12 AM
Well, of course, but that doesn't change the fact that i'm baffled.by their reply: "Your novel is great, but I don't think I can sell it." Two agents have said the same thing, and I don't get it.
- Depressed in Manhattan

James D. Macdonald
04-03-2007, 04:16 AM
When you find an agent who does know who to sell it to, you're golden.

Meanwhile, write another book.

jamiehall
04-03-2007, 05:41 AM
Well, of course, but that doesn't change the fact that i'm baffled.by their reply: "Your novel is great, but I don't think I can sell it." Two agents have said the same thing, and I don't get it.
- Depressed in Manhattan

This means you're getting very close. Don't be sad. There are plenty of reasons why an agent won't take on a project they love. It doesn't reflect on the work, just on the match between the manuscript and the agency. If the relationship were dating, think of it as saying "You are gorgeous, but I'm gay." That isn't a reason to stop asking others, and it isn't a reason to keep pestering the one who already said no either.

nygirl
04-03-2007, 07:31 PM
Thanks, Jamie!

White Ginger
04-21-2009, 09:18 PM
I just got a request for a partial from Sarah Twombly at Joy Harris. Does anyone know anything about her? I'm delighted by the response, especially as my query to her last fall went unanswered, so I queried again this morning. Bingo!

Thanks in advance for the info.

White Ginger

Momento Mori
04-21-2009, 09:47 PM
There's a thread about them here. Seems to be a reputable agency with a track record of sales.

MM

hopeful09
09-05-2009, 12:29 AM
I sent a snail mail query on Aug. 25 and received my form R today. At least she let me knonw. I do appreciate the response.

ks.samya
10-27-2009, 09:32 PM
Does anyone know anything about the Joy Harris Literary agency? I just got a partial request from them, and have no clue on the wait time. Everyone else puts it in their request letters...the JHLA has very little web presence, it seems.

elissa
10-27-2009, 10:46 PM
go check the index of agencies in the bewares and backgrounds thread! :)

Sage
10-29-2009, 09:03 AM
Moved! :)

ks.samya
11-02-2009, 11:51 PM
Thanks so much for the Joy Harris information! I know people can be legit without having big accessible websites, but it's so hard to get a feel for them when they don't...

I gave her the partial...hope she likes it!

misselainie
01-18-2010, 07:47 AM
Hi. I can''t find any clues as to whether Joy Harris likes to see sample pages, sample chapters, or a synopsis with a query letter. Does anybody have any personal experience that would shed light on this question?

Mazurka
07-21-2010, 11:37 PM
Hi all, I'm a newbie here, both at AW and at the business of writing. I have what most of you might think to be a stupid question but I can't seem to get an answer to it...

I recently submitted a query to Sarah Twombly at the Joy Harris Agency and she asked for my full manuscript and an exclusive read, which I took to mean that I could not send the manuscript out to other agents. Is this correct? I agreed to it, of course, because I was excited that she wanted to read the ms at all. But not some people have been telling me that exclusive reads are a bad idea, that I should be able to explore my options, continue shopping agents, blah blah balh...

Any advice? I'm so lost here!

Chumplet
07-22-2010, 01:42 AM
Exclusives aren't ideal, but if you don't have other agents champing at the bit you can grant it, but only for a limited time. I believe two weeks is the norm, unless someone wants to jump in with a better answer!

Momento Mori
07-22-2010, 12:51 PM
Hi, Mazurka, and welcome to AW.


Mazurka:
Sarah Twombly at the Joy Harris Agency and she asked for my full manuscript and an exclusive read, which I took to mean that I could not send the manuscript out to other agents. Is this correct? I agreed to it, of course, because I was excited that she wanted to read the ms at all. But not some people have been telling me that exclusive reads are a bad idea, that I should be able to explore my options, continue shopping agents, blah blah balh...

Exclusives usually suck because you're committing your manuscript to one agent with no guarantee of getting an acceptance. If you're going to give them, then it's usually good practice to set a time limit in advance to make sure that at least you have some certainty on when it will be available to shop again (and it can also incentivise the agent to read it more quickly).

In this situation, because you haven't set a time limit before giving the exclusive, you're in a pretty tricky situation. My advice (and assuming that you don't hear anything sooner) would be to wait 3 months before contacting the agent (politely) to remind them that they have had the full manuscript exclusively for 3 months and you have not heard anything, and if you don't hear anything within a further fortnight, then you'll assume that it's a rejection and shop it around again.

MM

Mazurka
07-22-2010, 06:35 PM
Thanks guys! That's really helpful! The agency actually DID tell me that they would respond in 4-6 weeks, so I'm going to get queries ready and send them out after that time period, I think, if I don't hear from them.

adam.purple
11-30-2010, 03:05 AM
Has anyone had any luck querying Joy Harris? I submitted a query to her a few weeks ago, but no response so far. Is she a "no response means no" agent?

Thanks.

KelleyVitollo
11-30-2010, 03:37 AM
Has anyone had any luck querying Joy Harris? I submitted a query to her a few weeks ago, but no response so far. Is she a "no response means no" agent?

Thanks.

I saw on the submission page it says they will only reply to electronic submissions of interested. Was it an equery?

augusto
11-30-2010, 07:18 AM
Has anyone had any luck querying Joy Harris? I submitted a query to her a few weeks ago, but no response so far. Is she a "no response means no" agent?

Thanks.
Queried Joy Harris 3/10, no response. Tried Sarah Twombly, 7/22, form rejection signed: The Joy Harris Literary Agency on 9/22.

Empress Awesome
11-30-2010, 10:35 PM
Queried Ms. Twombly on the 28th. Now it's time to wait, I guess.

Empress Awesome
01-16-2011, 04:58 AM
Still waiting. But it hasn't been 3 months yet, so I guess it's all good.

adam.purple
01-16-2011, 06:01 AM
I did get a polite form rejection to my query, after about 6 weeks.

AderuMoro
04-12-2011, 07:30 AM
I had a peculiar case with Sarah Twombly. I had first e-queried her on December 22, 2010 and finally got a reply on February 10, asking for a partial and then the full after three hours of sending the first. She seemed quite excited about reading more, saying "We really enjoyed this excerpt, and would be delighted to read the balance of the manuscript...we can't wait to read more!" Though on March 2, she rejected it saying that the rest of the manuscript didn't "didn't resonate the way" they needed it to, even though there was "much to love."

:Shrug: At least it gives me hope about what I have written, but I'm now working on editing the manuscript again and making the first few chapters stronger.

GTrain
06-18-2011, 07:12 PM
I got a form rejection after 4 weeks, addressed "To Whom It May Concern". I guess "Dear Author" isn't as lame as I thought.

Lady MacBeth
08-01-2011, 05:58 PM
Has anyone been able to find more information on Sarah Twombly? She has my full, but there doesn't seem to be much out there on sales, etc.

Lady MacBeth
10-04-2011, 11:51 PM
I had a peculiar case with Sarah Twombly. I had first e-queried her on December 22, 2010 and finally got a reply on February 10, asking for a partial and then the full after three hours of sending the first. She seemed quite excited about reading more, saying "We really enjoyed this excerpt, and would be delighted to read the balance of the manuscript...we can't wait to read more!" Though on March 2, she rejected it saying that the rest of the manuscript didn't "didn't resonate the way" they needed it to, even though there was "much to love."



My experience with Sarah was very similar from the partial request onward. Her rejection for my full was virtually identical. It didn't resonate with her even though there was much to love.:Shrug:

CaoPaux
01-26-2013, 06:36 AM
Adding link: http://www.joyharrisliterary.com/

mbowman
02-05-2013, 11:23 PM
They sure are fast with their requests! I sent them a query letter last night around midnight after I got home from class, and THIS MORNING they requested the first three chapters!

I'm excited, from the research, she looks like a great agent!