View Full Version : Agent Contract Question - need help asap!

02-07-2006, 02:34 AM
Hi there!

I received an agent contract from what I believe to be a reputable agency in NY. I have some questions around the wordage and would really appreciate feedback on this.

It is as follows:

Billable expenses include Xerox copies, overseas phone and faxes. Possible travel and entertainment can follow sale of book. The fee of $100.00 to be sent to Agent with executed contract, is for Messenger service and/ or Priority Mail. Outside editors, "book doctors", or additional collaborators are the responsibility of the Author.

I am new to this and want to ensure that I understand before I sign.

Are these normal contract conditions and what do they mean?

Thanks in advance!


Cathy C
02-07-2006, 02:41 AM
The fee of $100.00

This is your first warning sign, davidhburton, and you're wise to ask the question. Don't sign the contract or send a check. Agents shouldn't ask for money. They get paid AFTER they sell your book.

Are you willing to share the name of the agency, or have you at least looked through our Index of Agents (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=792)to check to see if we have any data on them?

02-07-2006, 02:55 AM

I thought it was a bit odd. I won't name the agency, but they are not listed on the index. They ARE however listed on preditors and editors with a $ next to their name and no indication that they are not reputable.

Cathy C
02-07-2006, 03:59 AM
For those who might read this thread, after off-post discussion about this agency (name withheld at david's request), the agency is a well-established, selling company with legitimate sales to major publishers. Up front charging is not a trend I like to see in agents, but it is a legit company. Sigh... :(

02-07-2006, 04:21 AM
The fee of $100.00 to be sent to Agent with executed contract, is for Messenger service and/ or Priority Mail. Heh. Yes, an exception that proves the "rule". At least they specified what it was for; I'd make 'em itemize such expenses and refund any they don't use. :poke:

But congrats, David, on landing a Name Agency!

02-16-2006, 09:51 PM
My agent contract doesn't detail anything about xerox copies or mailing. I offered to take care of the submission expenses, but he said he'll take care of it. He already sent 10 submissions out, so I'm sure the expenses will come out of the advance when/if it sells.

Measure the enthusiasm your agent has about your project.

02-17-2006, 05:38 AM
If this is the agency I suspect it is (based on the $100 upfront), it does have sales--but its contract is problematic.

I also question "travel and entertainment can follow." Charging the client for travel and entertainment is not standard.

- Victoria

03-10-2006, 05:45 PM
I'm laughing out loud! Victoria, you know exactly who the agent is and thank you all for your comments and feedback.

I, too, was concerned about the verbage in the contract. In the end I decided against going with this agent.

They indicated to me that they would be taking a leap of faith if they were to incur the $100 charges up front for mailing....I think that if they truly believed in me, they should be willing to do that.

Thanks again!

Daughter of Faulkner
03-11-2006, 08:10 AM
Rights Unlimited Inc. offered me a contract last year similar to that only it was $250 upfront upon signing... I did so much research on this agency and my advice to you is: In short, run don't walk away.

Take care and beware!