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sharonsharon
09-29-2011, 08:32 AM
I had sent a book to an agent who loved it but could not take it- She told me to send to other agents. SO, i did but none wanted to see the manuscript. Through a series of synchronistic events, a person at random house really loves my book and is working on it to show people. I am wondering if I should ask them to be my agent as they are obviously doing the work of an agent by re-writing and then showing it around.

anyone know if this is possible as i do not want to offer if it is not.

Lucy
09-29-2011, 08:41 AM
A person at Random House is not going to be your agent. She might be your editor, but if you want an agent, you have to go through an agency.

It would be very odd to "offer" to let her represent you.

Drachen Jager
09-29-2011, 09:04 AM
I doubt she could even accept. I'm sure people who work at publishing houses are not allowed to put themselves in conflict of interest with the company like that.

hillaryjacques
09-29-2011, 09:15 AM
I had sent a book to an agent who loved it but could not take it- She told me to send to other agents. SO, i did but none wanted to see the manuscript. Through a series of synchronistic events, a person at random house really loves my book and is working on it to show people. I am wondering if I should ask them to be my agent as they are obviously doing the work of an agent by re-writing and then showing it around.

anyone know if this is possible as i do not want to offer if it is not.

Perhaps I'm misunderstanding. You're saying an employee of Random House - the publisher - is rewriting your book...on her own?

Or she has suggested revisions to you which you are working on?

areteus
09-29-2011, 12:54 PM
Conflict of interests in this case, definitely. Can she, for example, in all honesty send your book to another publisher? Would she?

Personally, I would see this as it is - a person inside the company is taking time out to edit your work in order to present it to higher level employees of her company in the hope it may get take up. If, after all of this, the book still gets rejected (nothing is certain and so much is dependent on personal opinion - she likes it but will her boss or her bosses boss?) she'll send it back to you saying 'It's good but it's not for us, try another publisher' and then you will have to go through the whole process again.

An agent, on the other hand, should know enough about the industry to suggest the best targets for the book and hit those most likely to suceed first and will keep hitting publishers until one of them takes it or she runs out of options (in which case, she'll end the contract).

waylander
09-29-2011, 01:38 PM
Does this RH person have any personal contacts with agents who might be suitable? A manusript that comes with such a referral is likely to be looked at much more favourably.

shelleyo
09-29-2011, 02:20 PM
I had sent a book to an agent who loved it but could not take it- She told me to send to other agents. SO, i did but none wanted to see the manuscript. Through a series of synchronistic events, a person at random house really loves my book and is working on it to show people. I am wondering if I should ask them to be my agent as they are obviously doing the work of an agent by re-writing and then showing it around.

anyone know if this is possible as i do not want to offer if it is not.

This sounds as if that person is personally working on the book. Agents don't do any of the writing or rewriting for you. Sounds like kind of a strange situation, frankly.

If this person isn't an agent, would you really want him or her negotiating contracts for you, and doing things he or she doesn't know how to do?

Shelley

Undercover
09-29-2011, 03:40 PM
I agree with Shelley here, it does sound strange. Knowing someone at RH is great, but if they're an editor, couldn't they refer you themselves? I mean, I guess it can happen working directly with the publisher, but like someone else said, I think, isn't that going against the guidelines at RH?

Susan Littlefield
09-29-2011, 06:33 PM
She's rewriting your work to show it around? Why? What is her job title?

I would not allow anyone to rewrite my work. I would allow editorial suggestions, though, and decide whether to take them or not.

You want to ask her to be your agent, but an agent does not rewrite other's work. An editor does not even do that. From what I understand, a book doctor does rewrite work.

I agree with those who say that this sounds really strange.

Toothpaste
09-29-2011, 06:58 PM
No editor would just take a manuscript and make changes on it. An editor recommends changes to the author who then decides if they want to make said changes and how to do it.

Would you mind telling us how you met this person from Random House?

Btw, we are truly trying to help here. We are concerned that the situation does not sound right. And we want to make sure that you are being treated in a professional manner.

But to answer your question, no, it makes no sense. An editor isn't also an agent. Both jobs are all consuming, and it's not possible to do both at the same time. Further, as someone else pointed out, it's a conflict of interest.

Filigree
09-29-2011, 07:20 PM
This all sounds very dangerous.

Undercover
09-29-2011, 08:04 PM
Yeah, be careful...and NEVER pay for anything, whoever they say they are, you don't want to get screwed over in anyway. I'd be leary just handing it over if I didn't really know exactly who this person was.

Drachen Jager
09-29-2011, 08:26 PM
It doesn't sound too bad to me. It just sounds like an overzealous intern trying to leapfrog her way up by helping develop a manuscript. It might not end well, but it's unlikely to end in a total disaster either.

Giant Baby
09-29-2011, 11:47 PM
Make a list of actual agents you'd like to work with (other than those who've already passed) and hold on to it. If you get an offer from RH, you probably won't have much trouble soliciting one to broker the deal for you and earn that fifteen percent.

kellion92
09-30-2011, 01:10 AM
The "rewriting" part is the red flag. Editors don't rewrite. They have suggestions and ask you to do this, often before and also after a contract.

However, it's pretty common for picture book authors to work directly with editors (including Big 6) without agents, so that's not a huge red flag. If the editor wants to buy the book, Sharonsharon, you may not need an agent at all, or you could try to use the offer to get an agent to represent you. You may have better luck that way, since it's tough to get a PB agent if you're not an illustrator. You almost certainly need a portfolio of polished manuscripts, not just one.

Here's a good article from Harold Underdown's excellent blog, The Purple Crayon:
http://www.underdown.org/agent-not-needed.htm

Good luck.

ETA: I seemed to remember that this was a PB manucript. If so, normally when you query agents with picure books, you send the full manuscript along, so they don't have to ask for it.

Miss Plum
09-30-2011, 08:48 AM
It doesn't sound too bad to me. It just sounds like an overzealous intern trying to leapfrog her way up by helping develop a manuscript. It might not end well, but it's unlikely to end in a total disaster either.
That's what I'm getting, too.

Toothpaste
09-30-2011, 04:07 PM
It doesn't sound too bad to me. It just sounds like an overzealous intern trying to leapfrog her way up by helping develop a manuscript. It might not end well, but it's unlikely to end in a total disaster either.

Why not be wary? When something doesn't sound quite kosher, isn't it worth just taking a step back and double checking that everything is cool? It's quite possible that all is well, but when something smells off, it's worth checking it out to see if the something is rotten, or just really quality cheese. <---extended metaphor alert.

I'm not sure why it's a problem asking for more information and making sure that everything going on is above board. The very simple question of "how do you know this person works at Random House" doesn't seem unreasonable. It might be a simple answer, "Because we met at Random House" or "I subbed to Random House". And that would be pretty decent proof. But it could also be "Because we met at a party and she said she worked there" and that's not quite the same thing.

E. S. Lark
09-30-2011, 04:33 PM
I agree with Toothpaste. From where I'm standing, it sounds like this person from RH might not work there at all. Call me paranoid, but there are a lot of flags bouncing around in my head about this.

How did this person find you? Did she ask for the query or sample chapters first? Why is she rewriting your book? Editors give notes yes, but they don't edit your book personally. It doesn't matter if you hired the editor or if they work at one of the big six.

They make suggestions and it's up to you to pick and choose which to follow.

How long has this person as your manuscript? Do they have a title, blog, personal website? Are they listed on RH anywhere?

Like I said, I'm paranoid. It (might) be an intern, but I doubt it. This sounds more like someone pretending to be someone they aren't.

Old Hack
09-30-2011, 05:27 PM
I had sent a book to an agent who loved it but could not take it- She told me to send to other agents. SO, i did but none wanted to see the manuscript. Through a series of synchronistic events, a person at random house really loves my book and is working on it to show people. I am wondering if I should ask them to be my agent as they are obviously doing the work of an agent by re-writing and then showing it around.

anyone know if this is possible as i do not want to offer if it is not.

I don't think sharonsharon hasn't been back to AW since she started this thread, so we are still waiting for clarification for her.

Meanwhile, though, I have to agree with Toothpaste et al who have been a little wary about this story. Editors don't rewrite other people's work for them, no do they show work to other publishers. I think sharonsharon should be wary and should ask the editor concerned exactly what's happening, to what end, and what's going to be expected of her.

Little Ming
09-30-2011, 09:55 PM
I'm also worried about the "rewriting" angle. If this person hasn't been officially "hired" to "rewrite" the MS, and depending on the amount and extent of "rewriting" that has been done, this person might have legal claim to the MS as a co-author.

Jamesaritchie
09-30-2011, 10:25 PM
If this person actually works in an editorial position at Random House, I wouldn't worry about a thing. However it sounds, it's kosher.

If this person holds some other position, such as secretary, etc., anything except editorial, you need to contact Random House and let them know what's going on. They should straighten it out quickly.

Editors very seldom rewrite, but it's not unheard of, at least to a degree. "Working on it to show people" may mean nothing more than a thorough editing, which can, and often does, mean line editing. Line editing can be considered rewriting. The sentences usually, not always, but usually, say the same thing, but in a better way.

This may be what the person is doing before showing it to the acquisition board.

pangalactic
09-30-2011, 10:35 PM
Editors very seldom rewrite, but it's not unheard of, at least to a degree. "Working on it to show people" may mean nothing more than a thorough editing, which can, and often does, mean line editing. Line editing can be considered rewriting. The sentences usually, not always, but usually, say the same thing, but in a better way.

I haven't published much yet, but this isn't what I've heard of the editorial process from the many people on this board who have published extensively. Can anybody else shed some light on whether this would be normal practice? It doesn't sound right to me at all. Particularly the last sentence (bolding mine, of course).

sharonsharon
09-30-2011, 10:47 PM
Not dangerous- THis person is one of top people at random house- i dont want to say what department he is in. Their spouse saw my book and gave it to him. I know he is really there and a professional. HE asked for my permission to work on it- and if i did not know his partner, i would not have allowed it- but it is all on the up and up. He did not ask to be my agent. He is not asking for money-I know these people. they are the head of a department- not a secretary. I Was asking about the agent thing as i was thinking about it- they did not ask but wanted to work on it a bit.

sharonsharon
09-30-2011, 11:00 PM
i am reading a bit of some responses now- I am a native new yorker- not stupid- know the people- know they are real- no money-not an intern... grateful that they saw the gem in it that I know is there. I am the one asking about agents, since all agents passed on my query letter- the one agent that saw the manuscript loved it but could not take it.(long story)...so this was a great doing, and it happened by chance. But, I won't ask them to be my agent- just asking how that is done, or if possibility. The person looking at it has created bestsellers. So, no need to warn me --if i did not know them i would be concerned as well. But nice to have my back covered by you guys- thank you for all the info and also concern.:)

quicklime
09-30-2011, 11:02 PM
well, I'm still finding this a bit odd that he's randomly asking to re-write your book.....

That said, you can ask anyone to be your agent, including me, your cat, or a homeless guy. Some make better agents than others, and some literally can NOT agent, although you can ask them. Your guy may well be contractually barred from being your agent, but aside from that there are lots of questions as to if he would be a good agent, there is the conflict of interest, etc. etc. etc.....

I think your best hope is he can help some folks see your stuff, and raise your place in the pile a bit. But he likely can't be your agent, and almost certainly SHOULD not.....

Alwaysinspired
09-30-2011, 11:11 PM
Not dangerous- THis person is one of top people at random house- i dont want to say what department he is in. Their spouse saw my book and gave it to him. I know he is really there and a professional. HE asked for my permission to work on it- and if i did not know his partner, i would not have allowed it- but it is all on the up and up. He did not ask to be my agent. He is not asking for money-I know these people. they are the head of a department- not a secretary. I Was asking about the agent thing as i was thinking about it- they did not ask but wanted to work on it a bit.


I think it's fine to have him work on it, but I wouldn't ask him to be your agent. You're better off finding someone who is already established in that capacity. Maybe this person at Random House could recommend someone. I'm assuming he deals with agents all the time, so he must have a pretty good idea what agent might be a good fit for you and your work.

Hillgate
09-30-2011, 11:17 PM
I don't find this odd: maybe SharonSharon's book is extremely good (high concept, sequel-worthy, new angle etc etc) and just needs a bit of work to get it right. It's obviously not crap or the RH person would not be wasting their time. :)

IceCreamEmpress
09-30-2011, 11:17 PM
I still don't understand what's going on.

You say this person has "created bestsellers." Is he an editor? If so, he should not be your agent, and cannot be your agent. Is he a book packager? If so, he should not be your agent, and cannot be your agent. Is he someone who used to be in editorial, and is now in some kind of higher-up administrative role? If so...you get the drill.

Someone who is affiliated with one publishing house cannot be the agent for a manuscript. Full stop. An agent's function is to send manuscripts to different publishing houses and obtain the best deal for their clients; it should be apparent why someone who works for Random House isn't in a position to do that.

If he is going to be your editor, he is getting paid for that work by Random House. If he is not going to be your editor, he still shouldn't be paid for introducing your work to the colleague who will be your editor.

It would be inappropriate for you to offer to pay this person to represent your work, and a huge breach of ethics for him to accept. If you do get an offer from Random House, then approaching agents to help you negotiate your contract would be the right thing to do.

Best of luck to you with the project.

DeadlyAccurate
09-30-2011, 11:18 PM
So, no need to warn me --if i did not know them i would be concerned as well. But nice to have my back covered by you guys- thank you for all the info and also concern.:)

Maybe you don't need the warning, but inexperienced writers reading need to hear them even if they weren't the one asking the question. Writers here see a lot of people fall for scams, so this board tends to err on the side of making it clear when something needs a closer look.

Lucy
09-30-2011, 11:20 PM
I'm with IceCreamEmpress. But I'll go a step farther and point out that the OP's writing is full of grammatical errors - so I am doubly confused.

OP, please just query agents. Tell them what is going on. But just keep querying. If it's good it will get picked up, either through your RH contact or someone else.

Terie
09-30-2011, 11:22 PM
But he likely can't be your agent, and almost certainly SHOULD not.....

There, fixed that for you. :D

An employee of a publisher CANNOT also be an agent. Period. Full stop. Massive conflict of interest. And the head of a department? No way, not happening, and it would probably offend him if you asked. That's just not how it works.

The most he will do is pitch your book to the acquisitions committee at Random House. If that turns into a publishing offer, you can approach a few of your top-choice agents to see if they're interested in taking you on since you have a contract in hand.

But you really shouldn't ask anyone who works for a publisher to be your agent. You seek amongst reputable agents for an agent.

sharonsharon
09-30-2011, 11:26 PM
it is not randomly asking- he read it but feels he needs to polish it up before showing it- makes sense as his job is to sell books and he has created successes for them. If a cat or an intern there asked to rewrite my work I would say no- (Unless of course the cat was a published author) He was very careful in asking if it was o.k, and because i trust him and know his spouse.....well it does not seem off- in fact, it was a beautiful miracle. The first agent who loved it told me to send it to publishers- well now for some amazing reason, it is in the hands of someone at the top publishing house in the world. I will take that as an answer to my prayers.

That being said, I am grateful for the advice, and would be concerned too if it was someone i did not really know worked there and also if i did not know them in some way....and i was also praying for help on the book as I went as far as I could with it...but it is a pearl that needs polishing.

sharonsharon
09-30-2011, 11:28 PM
He will be showing it to editors there for help and he wants to polish it up first- that is all. grateful though for your help though as I wont be asking him to represent my work- looking forward to what it looks like when he is done though. It is a concept and that is what he sees in it- and he would never even take the time if it was not worth it. so that in itself is a good sign. As you all know the agent thing is difficult- I have not had any accept- and the one who read it loved it and told me to send directly to publishers after the person she recommended me to never got back to me- so hey this odd thing happened that got it into a publishing house. Thank you angels (I had been praying a quite a bit)

IceCreamEmpress
09-30-2011, 11:30 PM
it is not randomly asking- he read it but feels he needs to polish it up before showing it- makes sense as his job is to sell books and he has created successes for them.

Okay, you continue to tell us nothing about this person's job, so we're just going to have to guess, I suppose.

If someone in publicity or marketing at Random House is helping you with your book, that's great, but GET AN AGENT. This person cannot be your agent. Full stop.

Please pay attention to this.

Bubastes
09-30-2011, 11:31 PM
The first agent who loved it told me to send it to publishers-

This doesn't make sense to me. If the agent loved it, he/she would've signed you on as a client so he/she could send it to publishers and get a commission.

sharonsharon
09-30-2011, 11:36 PM
the agent has legal conflict which means legally she could not take it as it had same theme as another book- a friend in advertising said it means she signed something legally with another author- and yes ice cream you are right with the department they are in...

but if they accept it then I will get an agent and I am sure then a frigging agent will accept me as a client :)

sharonsharon
09-30-2011, 11:37 PM
lord knows how long it will take to see the rewrite, but will tell you all if it worked out.

Susan Littlefield
09-30-2011, 11:50 PM
Random House or not, it now sounds like someone is editing rewriting/doctoring your book for you after which time you will try and land an agent. Am I correct?

stormie
09-30-2011, 11:53 PM
lord knows how long it will take to see the rewrite, but will tell you all if it worked out.
I've read through most of these posts, and I still don't get this--the editor is doing the rewrites, not making suggestions for you to rewrite it. This just doesn't sound right.

Cyia
10-01-2011, 12:00 AM
sharonsharon, please don't take this the wrong way, but you really don't sound like you know enough about publishing to be submitting something.

Are you saying that Icecream Empress is correct about this person being in marketing or book packaging? Because those are two wildly different things, and neither of them would be a "top" person at a publisher.


but if they accept it then I will get an agent and I am sure then a frigging agent will accept me as a client

You can't count on this. If you've got a deal on the table, then MAYBE an agent will take you on, but not always. The agent still has to love your work AND believe there's something for them to do.

Your writing, as shown here in this thread in and others you've participated in, isn't publication standard. Marketing people DON'T rewrite books for authors. They just don't. And they certainly don't work on books that aren't under contract to their publishing house. It could be a conflict of interest if the book they're working on competes with another title. (FWIW, the belief that an agent can't legally take on another client because of an agreement with an existing one is flawed, too.)

You're very eager, and right now you're floating on a lot of euphoric assumptions. Please make sure this person isn't someone feeding off your enthusiasm to revolutionize writing.

Uncarved
10-01-2011, 12:08 AM
No matter what happens, please come back and let us know what happened. There are soooooo many red flags on what you've told us.

Toothpaste
10-01-2011, 12:09 AM
How about instead of us guessing we just ask the questions:

What department is he head of? Since you said he would be seeking advice from editors, I assume not the editorial department.

Is he in fact editing your work for you or is he going to read it, offer you editorial suggestions, and then have you make the changes?

And please please please don't think in our asking these questions we think anything negative of you. We are slightly concerned and want to help. But it's hard to know exactly what is going on without specifics. For example, your explanation how he got your manuscript was very helpful in determining he legitimately works for Random House. Now we don't have to worry about that.

For the record, I know that everyone here would be thrilled to learn that this was all legit and above board and a true opportunity for you. No one wants this to turn out bad, nor to try to warp your mind or something to think a sincerely good situation isn't one. We just want to make 100% sure that this situation is what we hope it is. That's all.

sharonsharon
10-01-2011, 12:20 AM
I am actually laughing at the person who said my writing in threads is not publishing standard. I am writing in a frigging thread. I do not write in threads as I do in book. Also dealing with a pretty serious chronic illness. I do not take the energy to edit my responses in threads! That comment made my day.
Cyia- my dear. I have family member who is in the publishing business and a sibling who has published books. You assuming i know nothing is enjoyable. Even if i did not have those contacts, i find your comments rude.
I did not use my family connections because i do not want to.
THis person is a person at RH is the head of a department and loves it- loves it enough to polish it to show it around. What people don't get about that is confusing. Yes it is odd, but miracles happen. IT is an unusual book that has never been done before. Please excuse me if this response is not publishing material, but it is not meant to be published as a book!

That being said, other then Cyia, I am grateful for the concern and responses-

sharonsharon
10-01-2011, 12:23 AM
cyia, i do want to say something nice though. I did look over your response and it is publishing material. no copy editing needed and clear.

Toothpaste
10-01-2011, 12:27 AM
Sharon - I appreciate how you feel about people saying what they are saying about your posts, but please don't be offended. Have a read of all the other posts in this thread, none read like yours. This isn't a typical forum, where people take shortcuts with their posting. You might find it laughable to write to a certain standard in a forum, but for us here, as writers, we actually take the time to articulate our thoughts in our posts as we would for most other media. The reason? We're claiming to be authors, so maybe we ought to try to write to a certain standard. Also? Mistakes like this can happen. People judged you based on your previous posts and how you phrased your thoughts. I for one thought English wasn't your first language and worried that you had misunderstood some of what had been promised to you.

Again, in other forums, sure write how you want. But do have a look how everyone here presents themselves. Sure, we're not exactly formal, but we do try to write "properly", and not internet speak. And one tends to accept that there is a received norm in certain situations to which you adjust. For example, I won't swear in front of my grandparents, but I will with my friends. It's gauging a situation and understanding it. Please don't be offended.

quicklime
10-01-2011, 12:29 AM
sharon,

you're getting very close to losing folks who are trying to help you....


you get pettish and defensive when people ask you for more information, if pressed beyond the initial evasiveness, so ciya was working off of all she had--you can't blame her for that, or at a minimum, you shouldn't, because I can assure you publishers will also use whatever you give them instead of chasing you for more.

We're trying to help. For reasons that elude me, you're trying to make that harder for us, instead of easier.

sharonsharon
10-01-2011, 12:32 AM
I find it to be rude. As i said, I have a debilitating chronic illness and what you may find important (Like making my thread posts appear to be harvard material) means very little to me. I am very thankful for the advice about the agent. That being said,
for someone to make assumptions about me or my street smarts or publishing business smarts is laughable. Just goes to show perhaps you should not judge a book by it's cover. Once again, I know this person. They are who they say they are, and have made books into bestsellers. I know their spouse quite well, and they see the potential. The rest is in G-ds hands.

Cyia
10-01-2011, 12:33 AM
S People judged you based on your previous posts and how you phrased your thoughts. I for one thought English wasn't your first language and worried that you had misunderstood some of what had been promised to you.


This.

My assumption wasn't ESL, but rather than the person posting was about 16 and over-eager at the prospect of promises she might not fully understand.

No offense was intended, but it doesn't pay to sugar coat things when the person being spoken to doesn't seem to be listening or answering direct questions. People here want to help.

sharonsharon
10-01-2011, 12:34 AM
I am grateful for the help, and also said that many times. When the help becomes abusive and also judgmental then I have a right to speak up. If i lose people like that, well I am grateful. Of course I do not want to give out this persons job and name for privacy reasons.

Also, you saying you felt I was 16 is another rude comment. Why would i tell you who this person is and what department they head? My question was about agents. I am actually quite jaded about the publishing industry. I told you i have family in the business. How on earth are you helping by telling me it does not seem like I am publishable or that I come off as a 16 years old? Perhaps you are from another part of the country then me, but in NYC, we would call that snobbish and rude. Is snobbish the correct use of the word? I actually had a gut feeling not to post this thread, and my intuition was correct. Luckily that is always strong, and i will listen to it more.

quicklime
10-01-2011, 12:38 AM
I find it to be rude. As i said, I have a debilitating chronic illness and what you may find important (Like making my thread posts appear to be harvard material) means very little to me. I am very thankful for the advice about the agent. That being said,
for someone to make assumptions about me or my street smarts or publishing business smarts is laughable. Just goes to show perhaps you should not judge a book by it's cover. Once again, I know this person. They are who they say they are, and have made books into bestsellers. I know their spouse quite well, and they see the potential. The rest is in G-ds hands.


if you're going to dismiss those you seek help from, perhaps you're going about this the wrong way. You have my sympathies for your condition, but that doesn't change anything of what I said, nor does it change the fact you still haven't really answered toothpaste's questions. When you come seeking help, there is some expectation you meet folks halfway.

quicklime
10-01-2011, 12:40 AM
I am grateful for the help, and also said that many times. When the help becomes abusive and also judgmental then I have a right to speak up. If i lose people like that, well I am grateful. Of course I do not want to give out this persons job and name for privacy reasons.

nobody asked you for the name.

Call me abusive then, because I've had about as much fun in this thread as I can handle....exercise your right to speak up to your heart's content; you want to make things difficult it seems, and I'm not interested in playing.

Best of luck,
Quick

Uncarved
10-01-2011, 12:41 AM
If you knew as much as you claim to know about publishing then you wouldn't have had to come into the forum and ask your question.

Get defensive, think us rude, but we've saved thousands from the hands of "traditional publishing" people like PA and greedy folks that wanted your funds and not your book.

There are several published authors here. Some self-published, some have books with the Big Sister Six publishers. Some have movie deals. Some have six figure advances. We are ALL trying to understand, guide, and help.

If you think that rude, then good day to you.

sharonsharon
10-01-2011, 12:47 AM
I am going to ask to have this thread taken down, because it is really disgusting. The lesson here is to listen to my intuition next time. Good luck, and I am looking forward to my book being published. thank you to those who answered with kindness and true help. i do appreciate it.

Cyia
10-01-2011, 12:54 AM
Mods don't delete threads except for spam, or by request in Share Your Work. Eventually it will drop off the main page.

If this is your definition of "disgusting" you really aren't ready to have anything out for public scrutiny. The passive-aggressive thing doesn't do you any favors.

DeadlyAccurate
10-01-2011, 12:56 AM
That being said,
for someone to make assumptions about me or my street smarts or publishing business smarts is laughable. Just goes to show perhaps you should not judge a book by it's cover.

Who said anything about your street smarts? Telling you something seems off about all this and asking if maybe everything is as on the up-and-up as you think it is isn't the same as pointing and laughing and calling you dumb. No one has done the latter. Don't take offense where none is intended.

As for judging your publishability by your posts, why shouldn't we? Writers tend to write well, because we like expressing our thoughts using the tools available to us, and because we respect our readers and want them to understand what we're saying.

So yeah, when I see bad punctuation, no capitalization, homonym errors, and unclear thoughts throughout multiple message board posts, I start to think the publishing situation they're involved in may not be as good as they'd hoped.

Phaeal
10-01-2011, 01:03 AM
That said, you can ask anyone to be your agent, including me, your cat, or a homeless guy. Some make better agents than others


Cats don't make good agents -- they're way too self-absorbed. Not that there's anything wrong with that. Meow.

Uncarved
10-01-2011, 01:05 AM
Cats, on the other hand, are great book cover designers.

sharonsharon
10-01-2011, 01:06 AM
i am not going to be returning to this thread. I have to say even the posts after my last post about taking it down continue on with ego, cruelty and also judgment. Passive aggressive I have never been accused of before, but what was interesting is that I found many of the posts here to be just that. saying i was 16- that english was not my first language- that i don't know what I am doing and on and on just like my run on sentences.

I asked a question and was thankful for the help, but then it became an attack on me personally. This in itself is laughable as none of you know me personally.

As for this opportunity at RH, I am grateful. I am blessed that this person saw my work for what it is. I am blessed that He is helping me. My book is spiritual and is heart based. This thread is quite the opposite. One thing I am thankful for is that my intuition is correct.

Once again, and I mean this with all my heart, I am thankful for those who were helpful and responded out of kindness. I am. When My book is published, I will come back here to tell the tale.

sharonsharon
10-01-2011, 01:07 AM
I agree cats would make good agents.

sharonsharon
10-01-2011, 01:11 AM
"As for judging your publishability by your posts, why shouldn't we? "

I am sorry, but after seeing this i had to post. What this person said expresses it more then I ever could with my flawed writing skills. This says it all. The world is crazy. Keep judging.

Uncarved
10-01-2011, 01:12 AM
when your book is published, do post it here.



And no, if you read the thread carefully we said we "didn't know if you were 16, if you were ESL, or what the deal was at first". Never did we say you were 16 or ESL. Careful reading, along with careful word selection, is what writers do. At least, published ones.

sharonsharon
10-01-2011, 01:17 AM
I thank God for Mattie Stepanek. He was an angel on earth and a published author with a disability, who taught the world about love. He had more then some writers who have perfect writing skills and punctuation. He had heart, and he got published as well. He had it all.

Phaeal
10-01-2011, 01:17 AM
Jack Russells make good agents because they never sleep and they are great at jumping up into editors' faces, MS clenched in jaws, until the editor gives up and reads the damn thing.

Pit bulls can also get quick results.

Labs are too lazy. Besides, they're always sweeping MSS onto the floor with their tails.

Poodles are only interested in celebrity MSS.

(Wait! Do I have enough yet for my new picture book about cute animals in publishing?)

Bubastes
10-01-2011, 01:19 AM
Why wouldn't you want to write a properly-written post in a forum called "Ask the Agent"? Impressions count.

sharonsharon
10-01-2011, 01:24 AM
I do not think you get it. Let me explain. I do not care about impressions. I did not expect people to judge me for my writing. I do not put effort into the posts as I have a serious disability that makes the simple things difficult. Perhaps because of my life lessons, I do not care about the things you might care about. If I was writing to an agent, I would put time and effort into it. All of my Query letters and my manuscript are edited.

I have never been to a forum that judged, nor do I care what you think of me. I could never have imagined that the thread would take the turns it did, but it taught me good lessons. I also am thankful for the people who answered me without judgement.

Adobedragon
10-01-2011, 01:25 AM
Jack Russells make good agents because they never sleep and they are great at jumping up into editors' faces, MS clenched in jaws, until the editor gives up and reads the damn thing.

Pit bulls can also get quick results.

Labs are too lazy. Besides, they're always sweeping MSS onto the floor with their tails.

Poodles are only interested in celebrity MSS.

(Wait! Do I have enough yet for my new picture book about cute animals in publishing?)

And greyhounds work really fast, but only for very short periods of time.

I'm sorry. What were we talking about?

Toothpaste
10-01-2011, 01:26 AM
I'm sorry you feel this way. For my part, I never thought for a second thinking you ESL made you less of a person, or not intelligent. It simply meant that when a language isn't one's first honest mistakes can be made and I wanted to help you. I have said over and over that all I have wanted to do is help you. You say that you came here with one question, and that this thread went off in a different direction. The reason it did was because in asking that question, we made assumptions about your knowledge of the industry (even before I was in the industry I had done enough research to know that people who work at publishing houses can't also be agents at the same time). It wasn't an assumption of "OMG, she's totally stupid and I am so much smarter than her and I'll show off" it was "Okay, she doesn't understand how the industry works, but she is also saying that she has someone offering to edit her work for her which tends not to be what professional editors do, oh gosh, I really really hope that she isn't being taken in by anyone. I'd better get more information to make sure that everything is kosher."

Yes, we went off on a tangent. Because we were concerned for you. How terrible of us.

You ask how on earth anyone could think you were 16 or ESL, but at the same time admit you weren't putting thought into the way you were writing your posts. It was a mistake on our part, based on the impression you were giving off to us. It is fine for you not to care what we think of you, as you say, but then you can't care that we make mistakes based on the fact that you don't care how you come across. We aren't judging you, we are trying to get to know who you are based on very limited information. How we communicate is an excellent indicator (usually) of our extended personality.

I am very happy that this is all above board, I am very happy that you are getting the chance in the industry you deserve, and I am very sorry you have a chronic illness. All my intention in this thread since the beginning was to help you. Not judge you. Not even when I thought you didn't speak the language. Why would I judge someone who can't speak English? Heck, I'm always really impressed with people who write in a language that isn't their own, that makes them much smarter than I am.

Just trying to help here. I'm sorry you had to take it the way you did. But if you re-read my posts I don't think you can accuse me of any snobbery. Oh. And I come from Canada. Not everyone here is from the States.

sharonsharon
10-01-2011, 01:33 AM
I did not feel any snobbery from your posts. I did feel it from others. Also. we never know what someone is dealing with and so it is important not to judge. As I said I am grateful, but some of the posts were full of anger and judgement. The woman who said she thought I was 16 and not ready to publish anything reeked of snobbery. Perhaps, I am wrong about her. Perhaps she was coming from her heart. I would like to think that, But I am very intuitive, and she was not coming from her heart. Toothpaste. I did not feel attacked by you and thank you for your kind words.

I do have family in the business, but do not want help from them for personal reasons. I do know this man who offered help and so I know he is on the up and up. I am grateful for the help, but some of the judgement was harsh and not needed. It is what it is.

Polenth
10-01-2011, 01:38 AM
The reason people are concerned is it's not clear if he's offering editing suggestions to help you polish it before he shows it around, or he's rewriting it without your input. People are concerned it's the latter. For some reason, you're choosing not to answer any question about what help is being offered, which means people are left having to assume the answer.

Rather than focusing on a few things people said that you found rude, and getting into long arguments about those things... it's in your best interests to clarify what the person is doing with the manuscript. That way, people can offer advice.

As it stands, you seem set on turning your advice thread into a flame war, which isn't going to help you. You're only seeing the bad, not the attempts to help you.

sissybaby
10-01-2011, 01:45 AM
sharonsharon - I may have misunderstood your post, but I believe you said that the one agent who had read it, loved it.

This may explain part of your problem with acquiring an agent, if your book is as remarkable as you claim.

When querying PBs, you always include the complete text. You probably know that already since you have been submitting to agents, but just in case it slipped your mind, I hope this gentle reminder will not upset you.

I hope all goes well for you in this endeavor. I have had more than one agent say they loved one of my PBs, but so far it still hasn't found a home. Many times agents want to know you have other work available that will make the agreement more lucrative.

sharonsharon
10-01-2011, 01:45 AM
He is rewriting then showing to me for my input of course. I am not turning this into a flame war. I am expressing my feelings about judgement and cruelty shown by some. My question is you remember was about an agent. It was not asking if this guy is on the up and up. That I know. If I had asked if he was legit, then those questions would make sense. I am sure he is. If he were not, I would never give my manuscript to him.

sharonsharon
10-01-2011, 01:49 AM
sissy, the agent wrote me a personal letter. She even referred me to an agency as she could not take it. She acted as a referral. In fact, we had many letters back and forth, and she then told me to try to get it to a publisher. From Querytracker I see most of her letters are form, but she took the time to tell me what she thought of it. I am interested in seeing how he polishes up the manuscript and then I will go from there.

Toothpaste
10-01-2011, 01:50 AM
I did not feel any snobbery from your posts. I did feel it from others. Also. we never know what someone is dealing with and so it is important not to judge. As I said I am grateful, but some of the posts were full of anger and judgement. The woman who said she thought I was 16 and not ready to publish anything reeked of snobbery. Perhaps, I am wrong about her. Perhaps she was coming from her heart. I would like to think that, But I am very intuitive, and she was not coming from her heart. Toothpaste. I did not feel attacked by you and thank you for your kind words.

I do have family in the business, but do not want help from them for personal reasons. I do know this man who offered help and so I know he is on the up and up. I am grateful for the help, but some of the judgement was harsh and not needed. It is what it is.


I tend to think the best of people and maybe that leads me into some trouble sometimes. Nonetheless, I will say I truly don't believe anyone here was trying to hurt you or lord anything over you. Sometimes people here can be awfully blunt, and it took me some time to get used to it myself. But when someone says they don't think you are ready to be published, it's actually coming from a good place here. It's one of the few places that such a sentiment is not meant as a put down but as help.

Let me explain.

So many people come to these boards as victims of scams. They were told, "You're ready to be published! Trust me!" And they do. And then bad things happen. What we try to do here is work at whatever level a person is at. And if they are saying that they get a lot of rejections, we don't automatically blame anyone - the author nor the agents/publishers - until we get the facts.

Sometimes it's as simple as a badly written query that needs a tweak. Sometimes there isn't a big enough market for the book, which has nothing to do with the author and her abilities. And sometimes, yes, the writing just isn't good enough. Yet. That's the important word: yet. We don't stop with "You're work isn't ready yet." Once it is determined that the writing isn't publishable (yet), we work together to make it so. Instead of filling someone's head with false hope which means they won't ever actually work on fixing the problem and getting published, we help make a dream come true by teaching new writers new technique etc so they become authors who write well enough to get a book deal. Why? Because the people here really do care. That's why I have stayed part of this forum for so long.

All that said, I have no idea if your work is brilliant or not. I will trust you and the fact that you have had such good responses that it is. I am just explaining why when someone here says that, it isn't actually an insult.

My point: I think we all got off on the wrong foot. Many assumptions were made on all sides. The silly thing is that none of us have an axe to grind. We all want the same thing, to wade through this mire of publishing and have some support at the same time.

Things went wrong in this thread. But it was an accident, a mistake. I truly truly do not believe anyone here was deliberately trying to humiliate you or hurt you.

Guys - can we maybe just start again with all this? Forget about the tension and the silly jokes about cats etc. Just move on?

Uncarved
10-01-2011, 01:59 AM
*moves on*

But wanted to add...with as many times as you say "but I'm disabled" or "I've a disability" as an excuse or as a reason to why you are posting differently than you would if you were talking to an agent, to realize that there are many many here that are disabled as well.
I for one have two chronic pain conditions. I write daily. Several thousand words a day. I make a full time living doing so.

You said, and I quote, "If I was writing to an agent, I would put time and effort into it".... and then post this thread in "Ask the Agent"..... wouldn't we assume that posting in Ask the Agent you would be asking something TO AN AGENT? I mean no disrespect, but when you post to Ask an Agent or to a publisher, whether part of a forum or not, I'd have my post up to snuff. Just sayin'.

And with that. I will leave. But sincerely, good luck. I hope that you are as wry as you say you are and that it works out for the best. We're only trying to help.

Lucy
10-01-2011, 02:05 AM
This whole thread is very confusing. You're a writer who doesn't write very well on message boards, you have an editor who is writing your book... you claim to know everything about publishing but can't even define the terms.

If you're still reading, I hope you send your ms to agents and get picked up because whatever you're doing with the RH guy is bizarre enough that nobody here either understands it or gets behind it. So just go the straight arrow route and query agents.

Good luck with it.

Stacia Kane
10-01-2011, 02:11 AM
Sharon, I've been reading this thread and had intended to comment before; unfortunately I didn't have time, and now I see it's taken an unexpected turn.

I truly hope you believe that we all do hope for the very best for you. Some concerns were expressed. Perhaps they were worded badly. Clearly they hurt and upset you and I promise you no one here intended for them to do so.

Editors don't usually rewrite and then get the author's approval. In your case that is obviously different. Nothing wrong with that. But because it's not what we're used to, some people were concerned. I think we can all agree that being concerned for others is a good thing, though, right? When you think of how many people might hear of a fishy-sounding situation involving another person and just shrug and turn their backs?

Obviously the concerns in this case were unfounded. I think everyone is relieved to hear that.

To answer your question, no, you cannot ask this person to act as your agent. But you can ask them to recommend an agent to you, or if nothing else you can hire a good publishing attorney to look over and negotiate/help you negotiate any contract offered. I can think of two names off the top of my head to try; Elaine English and Eric Ruben.

I wish you the best of luck, and I hope you'll stick around and get to know us all and let us get to know you. As Toothpaste said, we seem to have gotten off on the wrong foot, but there's always a second chance, right?

Polenth
10-01-2011, 02:12 AM
He is rewriting then showing to me for my input of course. I am not turning this into a flame war. I am expressing my feelings about judgement and cruelty shown by some. My question is you remember was about an agent. It was not asking if this guy is on the up and up. That I know. If I had asked if he was legit, then those questions would make sense. I am sure he is. If he were not, I would never give my manuscript to him.

Like I said, I think you're focusing on the bad, to the point of not seeing the good. We get a lot of new posters here who've been scammed and mislead, but don't know it yet. They're always enthusiastic, excited and sure everything is fine. They're hostile if anyone tries to ask questions, because after all, everything is fine. Until the penny drops and they realise it was all a lie.

This is why questions of legitimacy come up, even when it wasn't the exact question asked. No one's trying to be an evil meanie by asking questions to see if it's genuine... it's the reverse. They're asking because if it wasn't genuine, you'd get hurt.

I'm glad it is all above board in this case. But we're not going to stop asking those questions when people turn up, because most of the time, it turns out it wasn't the real deal. Sometimes, asking those questions saves someone from being scammed. I realise you found it offensive, but it really did come from a position of trying to help you, not a purposeful attempt at being cruel.

sharonsharon
10-01-2011, 02:56 AM
I thank you all for your concerns and I am sure people get scammed all the time. I grew up in NYC. I would never give money to anyone and have a very good gut feeling about people. I can see where this thread would go that way in that no matter what I said people were convinced and still are that this person is a scammer. I would never in anyway give my manuscript to a scammer or anyone I did not know. I know this person's spouse and as I said this person has the position he says he does. There is no money asked for and I know them. No matter how many times I say this though, some persist. I understand what it is like not to trust anything. I understand all too well. I said again and again thank you, and truthfully I am even thankful for some of the judgmental nasty comments as they helped me clear things on other levels for me- for my own healing.

The comment about me using my disability is not correct. I am quite amazed I can still write as well as I do. To say that we all have disabilities and that someone has a chronic pain condition is another judgement as if they know the level of my disability. I did not use it as an excuse. When I am bombarded by letters that made it seem I was being accused of being a poor writer and also ESL, I brought up this aspect of my life. Truth is my disability has given me the insight to write the book I did.

I believe everyone is concerned and I can understand why. If I thought that this was the case here, I would know right away. I think people should continue to warn people, but also know that not everything is a scam. I still though believe that judging me and my writing on posts on a thread is ludicrous and cruel.

I can understand it all must seem out of a movie. Someone from a top publishing house likes a manuscript and wants to polish it up before they submit it. If I did not know he is the real deal then it would be very fishy. I had to pinch myself when I found this out. Whatever comes of it, it is a wonderful gift to have someone edit without me having to pay. It is also a gift that he saw the essence of it and the potential.

I would hope in the future people can warn people without attacking their thread writing skills or expressing some of the other things that were said. I am not 16. I am a 43 year old woman. I do have a disability that affects my cognitive skills as well as physical limitations. This is not an excuse. It is truth. Many thanks again and thank you for the concern and warnings.

Uncarved
10-01-2011, 02:59 AM
I thank you all for your concerns and I am sure people get scammed all the time. I grew up in NYC. I would never give money to anyone and have a very good gut feeling about people. I can see where this thread would go that way in that no matter what I said people were convinced and still are that this person is a scammer. I would never in anyway give my manuscript to a scammer or anyone I did not know. I know this person's spouse and as I said this person has the position he says he does. There is no money asked for and I know them. No matter how many times I say this though, some persist. I understand what it is like not to trust anything. I understand all too well. I said again and again thank you, and truthfully I am even thankful for some of the judgmental nasty comments as they helped me clear things on other levels for me- for my own healing.

The comment about me using my disability is not correct. I am quite amazed I can still write as well as I do. To say that we all have disabilities and that someone has a chronic pain condition is another judgement as if they know the level of my disability. I did not use it as an excuse. When I am bombarded by letters that made it seem I was being accused of being a poor writer and also ESL, I brought up this aspect of my life. Truth is my disability has given me the insight to write the book I did.

I believe everyone is concerned and I can understand why. If I thought that this was the case here, I would know right away. I think people should continue to warn people, but also know that not everything is a scam. I still though believe that judging me and my writing on posts on a thread is ludicrous and cruel.

I can understand it all must seem out of a movie. Someone from a top publishing house likes a manuscript and wants to polish it up before they submit it. If I did not know myself and him. If I did not know he is the real deal then it would be very fishy. I had to pinch myself when I found this out. Whatever comes of it, it is a wonderful gift to have someone edit without me having to pay. It is also a gift that he saw the essence of it and the potential.

I would hope in the future people can warn people without attacking their thread writing skills or expressing some of the other things that were said. I am not 16. I am a 43 year old woman. I do have a disability that affects my cognitive skills as well as physical limitations. This is not an excuse. It is truth. Many thanks again and thank you for the concern and warnings.


no if you read it carefully I said that MANY here, not ALL, have disabilities. That I myself have two chronic pain conditions. Didn't say you did.
Again, reading carefully can help you realize what is actually being said instead of what you are thinking we are saying.

You are just bound and determined not to read the posts as they are written and put in whatever you think we are really saying. What we are really saying is what we are typing.

sharonsharon
10-01-2011, 03:21 AM
yes you are right I am bound and determined not to read the posts as they are written and to put in what I think you are saying.

I am bound and determined to do this. It is my mission in life. Nothing I think I am reading is real. Everything I feel is wrong. You got me pegged. Thank you.

Thank you for pointing that out to me.

CaoPaux
10-01-2011, 03:27 AM
Glad we got that cleared up. Since your question has been answered many times over, I'm closing the thread so y'all can move on to more productive things.