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devharry
10-03-2004, 04:10 AM
Hi,
I am new to this forum and happy to have access to it. Has anyone had experience with Andrew Whelchel from the National Writers Literary Agency? If so, would you share?

vstrauss
10-04-2004, 09:40 PM
NWLA charges an upfront fee. I've gotten reports that vary from $350 to $475. This really isn't typical of established agents; standard practice to let the expenses accrue and deduct them from the writer's advance. I think the upfront fee must be a recent change for NWLA; previously, it asked clients to provide postage and all full ms. copies (which also is atypical).

Some aspects of the agency's contract are nonstandard, notably the lack of any mention of the use of co-agents and split commissions. This is a pretty significant omission, and suggests to me that NWLA may not attempt to market its authors' foreign rights.

NWLA does appear to have some sales, and provides a list on request. I've checked this list; of the books that can be found on Amazon, there's no sale more recent than 2002 (assuming at least a year between the sale and a pub date of 2003). If this represents the sum of the agency's sales, it's not a strong record for an agency that has been in business for a number of years.

- Victoria

spywriter
10-12-2004, 02:02 AM
I did some looking for you too and I found out that he attends numerous conferences with big name agents, authors and publishers. Many of his sales are in the film area (unpublished novels). During my research, I found several articles that said that Western agents often charge a postal deposit since the cost of sending MSS to NY is more expensive. So, it's not unheard of, especially for a new agency. I also like that he talks to Hollywood since many of the Central Park Westers never leave CPW! P and E list no complaints either. Best of luck to you...let us all know.

DaveKuzminski
10-12-2004, 03:20 AM
Spywriter is slightly incorrect. National Writers Literary Agency is "not recommended" by P&E.

vstrauss
10-12-2004, 07:38 AM
>>I found out that he attends numerous conferences with big name agents, authors and publishers.<<

This means very little. Many marginal (and some scam) agents are frequent conference attenders. Writers' conferences, unfortunately, don't always do all they could to vet their guests.

>>Many of his sales are in the film area (unpublished novels).<<

I suspect that "many" is kind of an exaggeration, at least based on the sales info the agency sends out, which lists just one unpubbed novel that has been optioned (the studio's website, however, makes no mention of the project). The sale of unpublished novels to Hollywood is one of those writerly pipe dreams, like the million dollar advance. Sure, it happens, but it's fairly rare.

>>During my research, I found several articles that said that Western agents often charge a postal deposit since the cost of sending MSS to NY is more expensive.<<

Those articles were misguided. Charging upfront--for anything--is nonstandard practice among successful agents, and this doesn't vary based on the part of the country they're from.

>>I also like that he talks to Hollywood since many of the Central Park Westers never leave CPW!<<

No, they use co-agents for this, recognizing the limits of their own expertise. They also use co-agents to sell overseas, which, as I noted in my previous post, isn't allowed for in NWLA's contract.

- Victoria

spywriter
10-12-2004, 07:32 PM
Ok, so I stand corrected on the P and E thing. NWLA is NOT RECCOMENDED, but they do NOT have a warning for Andrew himslef...just a $ sign. I just looked it up.

I agree that NO MONEY is what to look for, but I talked with a Non-fiction writer in NY who has published numerous books and he said that a small fee would not deter him, if the agent has a record of sales.

I am not saying for you to go with him, but as far as I can find, there is no legal action against him. BTW, Thank you Victoria for the information.

On another note, has anyone ever dealt with Maya Rock at Writer's House and if so, what did you think of her?

spywriter
10-14-2004, 05:41 AM
In my boredom, I tried to find his website, but the only website linked to him was the National Writer's Association, which advertises Self Publishing and editing services. (There was no mention of him, or any agents, but they did list a lady with his last name). Victoria? Anyone? Have you seen it and if so, am I the only one who is confused?

DaveKuzminski
10-14-2004, 05:57 AM
Spywriter, P&E generally places warnings only beside the agency listings since agents may come and go within an agency. Warnings are posted beside individual names only when it becomes apparent that those are sufficiently warranted.

As well, P&E tries to present a fair representation of the facts for both sides. If an agency has a legitimate sale to its credit, the agency deserves to have that mentioned even if P&E doesn't recommend that agency.

vstrauss
10-25-2004, 08:59 PM
Spywriter, it all seems to be part of a family operation run by the Whelchels. NWLA is an offshoot of the National Writers Association For a time it was listed on the NWA's website.

The NWA, as far as I can tell, is not a major writers' association, and seems to exist mostly as a series of local chapters plus the self-publishing service.

- Victoria

Lee Tasey
12-05-2004, 02:17 PM
Has anybody heard of this guy? He sent a letter saying he'd represent my book. Thing is, he wants 375.00 for copying/mailing fees. Is this legit?

Lee

Stace001
12-05-2004, 02:24 PM
Hi Lee,

The rule of thumb is, if an agent is requesting money up front, steer clear. Their commissions are received AFTER they've sold the ms, so my advice to you would be, if he wants money up front, stay away from him. It's not a good sign.

maestrowork
12-05-2004, 03:03 PM
Did you query him or did he contact you on his own? Anyway, I agree. If the agent asks for money up front, usually it's not a good sign.

Dhewco
12-05-2004, 08:13 PM
I can't really tell you anything about this agent. But I agree that the 375 dollar fee is fishy. That's a bit much. My agent asked for a one-time 60 dollar postage fee; but only after working with me for seven months, doing editing and proofing free of charge.

I would steer clear of an agent asking triple-digits. Heck, I would have steered clear of the 60 dollars if we hadn't had such a great working relationship.


David

James D Macdonald
12-05-2004, 09:45 PM
Is this legit?

No.

vstrauss
12-05-2004, 11:13 PM
There's a more detailed discussion of this agency here:

p197.ezboard.com/fabsolut...=541.topic (http://p197.ezboard.com/fabsolutewritefrm11.showMessage?topicID=541.topic)

- Victoria

spywriter
12-06-2004, 12:56 AM
Hey Lee...

Sent you something to your EZINBOX. Good luck.

-spywriter

jmwebcenter
12-06-2004, 11:33 AM
Hello, I am here because like another post person, I received a contract from Andrew Whelchel. I have not signed it though. My hitch is the up front money in the hundreds of dollars range.

My 2005 Guide to Literary Agents lists him and his agency has 52 clients and made 22 sales last year. I found it odd that one of his bigger listed clients on one site, CJ Box, is now currently with Ann Rittenberg.

I also thought it strange that two days after I got his request to read the manuscript, I got one from Andrea Brown. I got his contract for representation the same day I got her rejection after reading the manuscript. Is this just a very strange coincidence?

I plan on calling him later this week and asking him some hard questions. Also, asking him some opinions on the book to make sure he actually read it. Fish for some details you could only know by reading the whole thing.

Lee Tasey
12-06-2004, 01:47 PM
Hey, I would say pass on AW. He's sketchy.

Pavel9
12-06-2004, 08:46 PM
I e-mailed a query to Andrew on November 10th and received a request for my manuscript the very next day. Here is the e-mailed response:

Thank you for sending your query to me. At this time I would like to request a copy of your proposed work. Please remember to include return postage, as our budget does not allow for the return of manuscripts. I also request you send a print out of this entire e-mail including your original query. All manuscripts should be unbound and double spaced. We DO NOT accept e-mail attachment submissions or text within the body of an e-mail for submissions.

Please also keep in mind that the review process can take several weeks. I do read each submission I request myself while managing the careers of up to fifty people just like you. Therefore I would ask for your patience and understanding.

Generally I do not require any type of exclusive look at a manuscript. Publishing is a business where time can seemingly stand still and I would never want to hinder anyone's chances by asking for a manuscript and keeping it for several weeks holding you back from opportunity. Feel free to submit the work to other agents, should you receive interest in the manuscript from someone else you should feel free to call us so that a decision can be made more quickly.

I look forward to reading your work and hopefully adding it to the list of fifty or so titles we place each year.

Sincerely,
Andrew J. Whelchel III
National Writers Literary Agency
3140 S, Peoria St, #295
Aurora, CO 80014
(720) 851-1959 Telephone
(720) 851-1960 FAX


I mailed it out the following week and just this weekend I received a contract - - along with the request I send him $375.00.

Either this guy is really hungry for new business or dear 'ol Andy needs some Christmas shopping money. I am going to call Andy today and ask him "Why he feels he can place my novel." I have a feeling he will feed me some bland, generic lines and will not be able to site any specifics about my work.

I will update after I call this joker.

Pavel9
12-06-2004, 10:07 PM
www.dailynorthwestern.com...31c5f0786c (http://www.dailynorthwestern.com/vnews/display.v/ART/2004/05/13/40a31c5f0786c)

Above is a link to an article where it appears Whelchel has taken a young girl and her dreams of publication for a long sleazy ride. He claims her book will not hit shelves for another 2-3 years?

From the Article:

But the title "novelist" may be misleading -- the book, "Folklore," hasn't hit the shelves yet, and Fine's agent says he doesn't expect it to for another two to three years. It's just one of the frustrating parts of a publication process that other students at NU know all too well.

Fine's high standards and self-scrutiny are only a couple of reasons why her literary agent, Andy Whelchel, thinks she could be "the next big thing."

"I think she has an amazing amount of talent," said Whelchel, who represents about 70 clients, including several best-selling authors. "Her writing style is so mature. I really think in the long run she will be one of the better authors of her generation."

vstrauss
12-06-2004, 10:16 PM
There's a couple of other threads about this agency, one of them from just a few days ago.

- Victoria

Pavel9
12-06-2004, 10:39 PM
Thanks. What kind of documentation/proof does P&E require to label this Agent for what he is . . .?

DaveKuzminski
12-06-2004, 11:32 PM
Forwarded copies of emails are a good start toward documenting any problem businesses.

spywriter
12-07-2004, 12:00 AM
I am afraid that I agree with the panel. I thought that all agents in Writers's Market were legit, so I once defended him to the forum, but I have since learned a lot from this group. I have done some research on him and my opinion now is to RUN. One of my own experiences was with a lady at church. She can't write for anything and she sent him a query. Guess who asked for her manuscript. Actually, my research on him had led me to question quite a few agents....including my own. There are a lot out there and a lot of 'em are good. You just have to find them.

From what I understand, he doesn't have a lot of contacts. I think Victoria pointed out that he hasn't had a current sale in like 2 years. And if CJ BOX left him....kinda makes you go HMM....

Good luck to you...let us know what happens.

maestrowork
12-07-2004, 12:04 AM
Definitely not all agents listed in Writer's Market are legit. I learned that after being contacted by Harris. I just wish Writer's Market would be able to weed out these agents from their list because seriously, I think a lot of writers treat their list as the Bible and would not even think that some of these agents could be crooks.

jmwebcenter
12-07-2004, 12:51 AM
Thank you all so much for helping me like this. I was planning on calling him too on Tuesday and see what he has to say, although I can't think of anything that will make me sign the contract.

Only 375 dollars? Mine was for 475. Damn. Christmas must be getting tighter by the day.

I had done general searches on agents I sent querries to, but from now on I will do a much deeper vetting before hand. I had assumed a certain level of legitimacy from the Writers Guide and didn't think it necessary.

Pavel9
12-07-2004, 12:58 AM
I just called, and after approximately 9 or 10 rings Tess picked up. She said he wasn't in (big surprise) and took my number.

If and when he calls back I am going to shred him, just like he shreds the dreams of aspiring writers and has the nerve on top of that to take our money under such false pretenses.

You can only truly hope that what goes around comes around, and if not in this life then maybe the next.

spywriter
12-07-2004, 01:50 AM
You can always call his mom sandy:lol ...she shares an office with him. SHe runs a POD/editing firm located in the same exact office. HOW CONVENIENT! I found it when one writers site mistakingly put her website as his. I think it's the national writers association. Let us know if you call!!!! This is like a mini-soap.

On an unrelated note, please keep your fingers crossed that MANUS asks for more.......I dare to dream.

Pavel9
12-07-2004, 01:58 AM
Wow, Andy called me back already . . .and no, I didn't shred him. I think because I come from a corporate background I was able to clearly see what his deal is and why some people may not clearly see. Or maybe people just wanna hear what they wanna hear. Regardless, Andy's first comment to me is that his background is marketing not editorial. He claims $375.00 is the approximate cost of sending out 15-20 packets of my manuscript to various publishing houses--which includes postage, copying costs, etc. If the manuscript is not picked up by the first 15-20 houses (big surprise) good 'ol Andy will send out your manuscript once more for a fee, I can safely assume. Whelchel seems to get a few people published using a "numbers game" marketing strategy, which of course you pay for.

Of course Andy could not recall the title of my book and assured me that everything is first read by his reader, who used to work for Simon & Schuster--she could have been a receptionist for all we know. After his reader gives the green light he then reads it himself and makes notes *cough ...BS ...cough*

The Bottom line: Whelchel is too hit or miss and is more a pay-for marketing agent than a literary agent. It truly appears like he is living off a few sales and even fewer legit clients. I think a writer would have the same odds, if not better, by simply sending the work to publishers themselves. He seems like a nice guy and all but he seems too eager just to take anyone's money who has three-hundred-pages and a dream.

After doing some more research I came across an interview featuring Andy in the Rocky Mountain Writer. rmfw.org/downloads/Feb_2003_e-RMW.pdf (http://rmfw.org/downloads/Feb_2003_e-RMW.pdf)
In the article--and as he stated to me on the phone--he notes that he is stubborn and persistent when sending out a project. "Andy once sent a book to 120 different editors before the book finally sold to Dell", the article notes. Wow, impressive. But how many books will that writer have to sell in order to make up for the hundreds, possibly thousands of dollars they paid Andy "the Marketeer" to finally find a home for this book? And how many writers have paid and are still paying that will never get placed.

spywriter
12-07-2004, 02:32 AM
So what have you decided? Are you staying with him or dumping him?

Pavel9
12-07-2004, 02:36 AM
You're shitting me, right?

Pavel9
12-07-2004, 02:38 AM
Are you Whelchel in cognito, Spywriter? After all, you did defend him. And then after reading my entire post your only comment is: Are you gonna give him the doe anyway?

Dude, come on.

spywriter
12-07-2004, 02:39 AM
What I meant was, did you tell him to screw off? How did the call end? WHen he hung up the phone, what was he saying about you? "Boy I've got another one on the hook" or "Wow...i''ve been caught?"

You did say that you already gave the money and signed right?

spywriter
12-07-2004, 02:43 AM
I don't know how quite to answer your last post. If you have read what I wrote, I warned you about him, along with the others.

As I understood it, you already signed and gave money. Perhaps I am confused. If so, I apologize. No need to be rude to me.

Pavel9
12-07-2004, 02:46 AM
I think right from the get-go he knew I was very weary and just told me his deal while sprinkling a little sugar on top. First thing he told me was he is more a marketer than an editor--that said it all right there to me. Someone who is dreaming of bright lights, big checks, and public signing events is going to interpret that as he is a hard working agent who is going to send out my book to as many publishes as neccesary, even if the ultimate outcome leaves them broke and unpublished. Andy has a really gosh, golly-gee grandfatherly way of coming across.

My honest impression would be, imagine you dear grandpa as a used car salesman. Harsh, but true.

Pavel9
12-07-2004, 02:51 AM
Spywriter, I never once inferred that I had signed the contract or been desperate enough, gullible enough, naive enough to send this piece of @#%$ shyster one red cent. I'd sooner write a check to a crack addict than to Andrew Whelchel.

Sorry if I came across as rude. My sincere apologies. I'm just another dime-a-dozen frustrated writer who temporarily saw a glimmer of light, only to quickly see it was another charlatan holding a flashlight, running down the tracks screeching "choo-choo!" Maybe one day my real train will come in . . . maybe.

spywriter
12-07-2004, 03:06 AM
I re-read your earlier post and recognize that I misunderstood what you had written. Sorry to have implied that you "got taken". Thanks for sharing your experience. I am sure that you helped a lot of writers today. Good luck.

Pavel9
12-07-2004, 03:10 AM
I hope so.

spywriter
12-07-2004, 03:17 AM
You did. I sent you something to your EZINBOX. Remember that you are among friends here. We all want the same thing, that's why we need to stick together and keep writing stuff like this. Again, best of luck on finding an agent. Now...I do believe it's Miller time.

Pavel9
12-07-2004, 03:39 AM
Lil early for Miller time, my friend. But alas self-medication is a temporary fix for the unpublished writer blues. I stress the word temporary.

arainsb123
12-27-2004, 06:59 AM
I recommend reading Ten Percent of Nothing to learn more about why upfront fees of any kind are illegitimate. There's so much potential for abuse there.

James D. Macdonald
07-13-2005, 12:01 PM
There isn't one perfect source for information on agents. You have to check 'em out in multiple places.

The question isn't if some agent is bad enough to cross off your list. The question is whether some agent is good enough to put on your list.

ronazz
08-19-2005, 12:00 AM
Hopefully the following will save someone time and money.

I received a contract from NWLA around the1st of April.
The document was a photcopy which was not properly aligned in the Xerox, thus parts were cut off. Further, the contract was terribly written, with abundant spelling and grammatical errors. A most unprofessional piece of legalese--laughable really. And of course, there was the request for up-front money. I trashed the contract and never responded. Today I received an e-mail from NWLA, with an attachment reference to the contract they sent in April. I deleted the e-mail without response or opening the attachment.

DaveKuzminski
08-19-2005, 02:56 AM
Today I received an e-mail from NWLA, with an attachment reference to the contract they sent in April. I deleted the e-mail without response or opening the attachment.

Please, send such emails to P&E at prededitors@att.net. We can always use more documentation.

bloemmarc
08-19-2005, 03:24 AM
Hopefully the following will save someone time and money.

I received a contract from NWLA around the1st of April.
The document was a photcopy which was not properly aligned in the Xerox, thus parts were cut off. Further, the contract was terribly written, with abundant spelling and grammatical errors. A most unprofessional piece of legalese--laughable really. And of course, there was the request for up-front money. I trashed the contract and never responded. Today I received an e-mail from NWLA, with an attachment reference to the contract they sent in April. I deleted the e-mail without response or opening the attachment.
Yes, that is pretty laughable, and unprofessional. But on the same token, I have an intercultural professor who claims that he is very picky on editing, spelling errors and such, in our reports. Yet, I find alot of spelling errors in his lectures all the time. College professors are professionals, or at least supposed to be to.

Aconite
08-22-2005, 11:02 PM
Yes, that is pretty laughable, and unprofessional. But on the same token, I have an intercultural professor who claims that he is very picky on editing, spelling errors and such, in our reports. Yet, I find alot of spelling errors in his lectures all the time. College professors are professionals, or at least supposed to be to.
Which has what to do with the topic?

maggie
11-29-2005, 07:49 AM
I'm attending a conference soon at which Mr. Whelchel will be interviewing for possible representation. I've informed the conference committee about the upfront money some people are being asked to submit with a signed contract. They are quite adamant that this isn't true. Do any of you have hard copy proof that you would be willing to share with me that I might show them. Any identifying info, of course, could be blocked out.

Thanks!
Maggie

James D. Macdonald
11-29-2005, 07:52 AM
Maggie -- you might want to contact Victoria and Ann privately: beware@sfwa.org

victoriastrauss
11-30-2005, 12:06 AM
As of my most recent documentation (July 2005), Mr. Whelchel appears to have discontinued the upfront fee (which he charged from early/mid-2004 at least through early 2005). He's going back to his previous policy, which was to bill monthly for postage and photocopying costs. This still isn't typical practice, but it's not as atypical as the upfront fee.

He's also added a subagent clause to his contract (previously, there was no mention of subagents and split commissions at all).

All this is good. I just wish I knew more about his track record--I really can't find any info on recent sales.

- Victoria

CrazyWriter
12-06-2005, 12:25 AM
Being one of the naive schmucks who handed over my $475 to Andy a year ago without so much as a blink, I now beg for guidance.



I had other agents interested in my ms about the same time as Andy. Is it in bad taste to contact them now and let them know I may soon be available, since the warm fuzzy feeling I had for Andy has been replaced by a pulsating pit in my lower abdomen?

James D. Macdonald
12-06-2005, 12:28 AM
I hope you didn't burn any bridges back a year ago, sending one of those silly, "Ha ha ha, you suck, I have an agent now!" letters that authors are sometimes tempted to send.

In any case: For guidance on finding an agent, try here ... http://www.neilgaiman.com/journal/2005/01/everything-you-wanted-to-know-about.asp

CrazyWriter
12-06-2005, 12:45 AM
Thanks for the link!


And I'm happy to report that I am not one to pee on the shoe of the person(s) I may need to walk beside me, just because someone else has already grabbed my hand. If I sent very nice letters back, will the bridge I'd like to re-cross welcome my tread? Or should I unearth my hammer and nails and start building again?

CaoPaux
12-06-2005, 01:06 AM
Well, presuming your previous notice was a polite "hi, thanks for your interest, but I just signed with somebody", I'd think you could send the requested material with a letter along the lines of "hi, you previously expressed interest in my ms. It's become available again, so here you go."

Hopefully, you've spent the interim revising and polishing so it's even better than when you first queried. :)

CrazyWriter
12-06-2005, 03:55 AM
Perhaps I'm an even bigger schmuck now than I was a year ago when I signed with Andy, but I've spoken with him, and whether it was smoke he filled a certain orifice with or not, I feel better about his representation. That said, he better make $475 go a long way, because the two dimes I have left to rub together are staying in my pocket with the lint and bubblegum wrappers that keep them company.

CrazyWriter
12-06-2005, 05:12 AM
Thanks CaoPaux. That's great advice for potential future need. And you can rest assured: as is true of anyone blessed (or cursed as is true on occasion) with writer's blood, my work doesn't sit dusty for long.

EasyRider
12-07-2005, 03:46 AM
The National Writers Association is run by Sandy Whelchel. She charges $ to evaluate manuscripts and claims to forward them to the appropriate agent. However her SON, Andy Whelchel, runs National Writer's Literary Agency. See any conflict here? You decide.

EasyRider
12-07-2005, 06:21 AM
If that's the case, AW should have refunded my whole $375 when I parted company with him recently. All I got was a $20 check and a funky list of supposed submissions. He charges apx $22+ to copy each manuscript, even though I sent him extra copies, then $22+ each to mail them (total almost $50 per submission). The beaten-up copy he returned to me cost about $3.60 to ship. In a year, he only did 6 submissions, some were to contacts I had provided.

I learned the hard way that the only place a writer should sign a check is on the back.


As of my most recent documentation (July 2005), Mr. Whelchel appears to have discontinued the upfront fee ...He's going back to his previous policy, which was to bill monthly for postage and photocopying costs. This still isn't typical practice, but it's not as atypical as the upfront fee...

- Victoria

CrazyWriter
12-08-2005, 02:32 AM
I am so glad I sat on top a fan to get the smoke cleared and terminated him before morning. It's hard to let go of a dream when you see some light, but it turns out he just shines it in his clients' eyes so they don't see what's really going on. He didn't copy me on even one letter--not those he sent, nor those he got back. And perhaps the "quarterly" statements he was supposed to send accounting for my "deposit" for costs just got lost in the mail, but I didn't get those either.

I wrote P&E and requested they put him on their really not recommended list so others may avoid the trap we fell into.

DaveKuzminski
12-08-2005, 04:05 AM
I wrote P&E and requested they put him on their really not recommended list so others may avoid the trap we fell into.

They've been not recommended by P&E for some while now. What's more, they're not happy about that, either.

CrazyWriter
12-08-2005, 04:42 AM
I saw he's "not recommended"--too late, though-- but others are "Strongly not recommended." Andy and National Writers Literary Agency should fall under that category. I can't imagine any worse than him except, perhaps, an agent who steals client work. Iíve got my fingers crossed he isn't one of these guys too! I'd like to see P&E list specific issues with the agents they don't recommend, which may help to dissuade these folks from being dirt bags. Writers have enough to worry about without our "advocates" working against us! When I mentioned P&E to Andy his comment was something along the line of Yeah, I need to tell them to get off my back.

Apparently more people need to climb on!

Ashleen
01-30-2006, 11:32 PM
Merry hi, all!

I'm new here, just today -- and this weekend at the Society of Southwest Authors' Wrangling with Writing conference, a friend of mine and I both had meetings with Andrew Whelchel. I ended up at this site when I couldn't find a site for him or his agency.

He didn't say anything to either of us about fees, but asked me to mail him samples of my work and took the samples my friend had with her, and showed us both great enthusiasm. Now that we've seen the comments in this forum, we are trying to consider it a "writerly experience" to have encountered someone who may be a bum agent; and instead of being depressed about it, to use the energy of our excitement for the work of continuing to look for agents. http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/images/smilies/tongue.gif (And I'm sending my packet anyhow, because this is a situation in which, like Frank Zappa, I'd rather be wrong than afraid.)

I met another agent at this conference: Nancy Gallt. Couldn't find a website for her, either, though I did see her mentioned as the agent for several books, and as a speaker at several conferences. Has anyone had any experience with her??

Thanks & blessings,
Ashleen O'Gaea
Tucson, AZ

(Ashleen@Juno.com)

the1dsquared
01-31-2006, 02:27 AM
Ashleen, Preditors and Editors lists Nancy Gallt with a $ which means she has verified sales. Good sign. http://www.anotherealm.com/prededitors/pealn.htm

Ashleen
02-02-2006, 06:43 PM
Someone wondered how Whelchel or any agent could make 22 submissions in a year, and an answer came back, "simultaneous submissions." I was under the impression that agents sent queries first, or checked by phone with their contacts at publishers. No?

I'm also hearing that Whelchel's discontinued the practice of asking for expenses up front, and now bills monthly. I've only been with two other agents, one new to the biz and one established, and neither of them ever charged me for copying or postage.

I heartily agree with whoever said something like the only place a writer should sign a check is on the back. ;)

Blessings & thanks to all who've shed light on this agent dilemma,
Ashleen

James D. Macdonald
02-02-2006, 07:17 PM
Agents can, indeed, make simultaneous submissions (they're called "auctions"), a thing that individual authors can't do.

What does he bill monthly for? I look askance at any agent who looks for a check from any author, for any reason, at any time. He should take his expenses out of the advance when the book sells.

CrazyWriter
02-06-2006, 03:17 AM
Ashleen, DO NOT SIGN WITH HIM! I'm out $475, because I bought into his enthusiasm, and apart from a few initial letters and the contract he sent me, I didn't hear a single word from him, not about how he was spending my money, nor about who he was submitting my work to. It's been nearly 2 months since I terminated my contract with him and asked for the return of my fees--the whole $475 should be available, since I've received nothing from him indicating he used it to actually send out my ms--and I've heard NOTHING from him, despite follow up inquiries.
I understand your excitement with the prospects he (pretend) offers; I fell for them myself, but I'll bet the same $475 I lost--hmmm, can't really do that now that it's gone, can I?--that if you sign on with Andrew, you'll regret it and be out money you could have spent sending your query and ms out to agents who might actually do something productive with it.
If it sounds like I'm on a rant, it's because I am. I wasted a year with that man, and if there's any such thing as Karma, he's due for lightening to strike. How about you not be wrong OR afraid? Send your info elsewhere!

SuspenseWriter
02-11-2006, 01:22 AM
I received a contract from Andrew this past summer. I called him about the upfront fee and he removed it and advised he would bill me monthly/quarterly. As of now, I have received no bills--nor have I received any advances. I know part of our job as writers is to sit and wait, but now that I have come across this thread, I wonder if I am waiting for nothing. Is there no one with any positive feedback about Andrew or his agency?http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/images/smilies/emoticoncry.gif

batgirl
02-11-2006, 01:52 AM
Hi Suspense, and welcome. I'm sure there'll be others along in a minute to tell you this, but the best thing is to terminate your contract asap, and start looking for an agent who doesn't bill you. It doesn't matter how they collect, upfront or monthly - the only legitimate collecting comes when you're signed by a publisher.
And as has been said by wiser and more experienced people than me, your job isn't to sit and wait, it's to start your next (and better, because you've had practice now) book.
-Barbara

SuspenseWriter
02-13-2006, 05:35 PM
barbara: thanks so much for your response. to date, whelchel has not asked for any money, although he says he has been shopping the manuscript. he would have to give me a damn good accounting, though, if he did ask for dollars.
i have already begun #2, but just hoped against hoped that andrew was legit. it appears no one is rushing to tell me that he is, though and i am thoroughly bummed!
the thought of terminating and starting again with all the rejection letters is overwhelming, but barring anyone shouting out that they have had success with him, i guess that's the only path.
sadness.

HapiSofi
02-15-2006, 03:51 AM
Someone wondered how Whelchel or any agent could make 22 submissions in a year, and an answer came back, "simultaneous submissions." I was under the impression that agents sent queries first, or checked by phone with their contacts at publishers. No?I find it very hard to believe that anyone could make 22 sequential submissions in a year. The industry just doesn't work that fast.

If a real agent is making multiple simultaneous submissions, it's because they're goosing the recipient publishing houses to act quickly. In that case, you should have a sale by now. But you don't, so either the submission's bad enough that no one feels any sense of urgency about it (sorry, I'm just explaining how things work), or the agent is incapable of getting anyone's attention in the industry, or both, or the agent's lying about the submissions.

I'm also very dubious about 22 submissions because few books are suitable for 22 different publishers. Even if an agent is shopping it around to a bunch of houses simultaneously, 22 is an awfully large number. If we're talking about one book, 22 is an excessively large number.
I'm also hearing that Whelchel's discontinued the practice of asking for expenses up front, and now bills monthly.He bills monthly for copying and postage? If he's your agent, fire the SOB. He's been lying to you.

Charging for copying and postage does explain how he could claim to have done 22 submissions in a year. He's charging the author per submission, and claiming to have made submissions far in excess of reality. It's next to impossible for authors to find out whether a claimed submission actually happened.
I've only been with two other agents, one new to the biz and one established, and neither of them ever charged me for copying or postage.That's right. There are certain very limited circumstances in which some agents charge for some copying jobs, but those have nothing to do with newbie authors.
I heartily agree with whoever said something like the only place a writer should sign a check is on the back.And setups like this are the reason Yog formulated that law in the first place.

victoriastrauss
02-15-2006, 06:41 AM
If a real agent is making multiple simultaneous submissions, it's because they're goosing the recipient publishing houses to act quickly. In that case, you should have a sale by now. But you don't, so either the submission's bad enough that no one feels any sense of urgency about it (sorry, I'm just explaining how things work), or the agent is incapable of getting anyone's attention in the industry, or both, or the agent's lying about the submissions.Or the agent is blitzing. That's always the first thing I think of when I see something like this.

- Victoria

SuspenseWriter
02-15-2006, 08:27 PM
It appears there is no good news coming forth about Andrew Whelchel...however, (as I keep saying)--he has not billed me at all and tells me he is shopping my manuscript. So long as there are no charges--bogus or otherwise--and so long as there are no other agents scrambling for my work, my quandry is whether to sit tight with him and perhaps shop for another agent during the fallow period, or break it off officially.
It absolutely boggles my mind that there is NOT ONE good word being said about him, although, it would seem that those who are happy with him and have actually been published through his efforts, would not be online here worrying about other people's work being handled properly.

Aconite
02-15-2006, 08:42 PM
SuspenseWriter, the problem is that every editor and publisher this guy submits to is one more your next legitimate agent can't submit to.

And if you think the people here speaking out against him haven't been published, you didn't do your homework.

SuspenseWriter
02-15-2006, 08:54 PM
Sorry Aconite--I was not slurring the writers in these posts at all. I recognize that there are many published people involved in this thread. My thought was that the writers who have been published as a result of Whelchel's efforts would most probably not be online here commiserating with others who have had unfortunate experiences with him. There is no doubt in my mind that Andrew has led some serious writers down the primrose path--he has clearly gotten comfortable with deposits and not followed through. My thought was (call it wishful thinking) that anyone who actually has gotten published through Andrew would not be at this particular website...
Of course, I was hoping that 15 or 20 writers would jump in immediately after my post swearing they are now rich and famous as a result of Andrew's work...after all, I am a writer and my imagination is often in control of my mind, while logic hides deep within!

batgirl
02-16-2006, 02:51 AM
Hi Suspense,
sadness, yes, to feel that you're at the bottom of the mountain you thought you'd climbed. Not fun at all. But at least you have the experience now, and some idea how to spot a scammer next time. If you've been browsing the threads here, you know about checking Preditors and Editors, and Writer Beware to get information before you submit to someone else.
I wish I could tell you different, but on the occasions when people do pop up to defend their beloved-and-falsely-maligned-heroic-agent, nine times out of ten they're sock-puppets.
If it's any consolation, there are plenty of people on these boards who've been rooked by scammers, and have gone on to be published for real. No one will look down on you for being hooked. Have a look around - when you feel ready, put your query letter up in the Share Your Work query letter section, and get it critiqued before sending it out again. It couldn't hurt - and there's no charge http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/images/smilies/wink.gif
-Barbara

SuspenseWriter
02-16-2006, 08:22 PM
Thanks for the pep talk! My query letter is good--they always ask for a sample of my work when I send it out. I'm also told the novel is a "real page turner," but for some reason, that's as far as it goes. I've read enough stuff out there to recognize that my book is better than a good number of those on shelves in book stores. I suppose I just have to find an agent who recognizes that as well.
I appreciate everyone's support.

spywriter
02-21-2006, 10:13 PM
I had to write....

You know that famous author, CJ BOX, that Andrew Whelchel always gets credit for? Well let me tell you a little story....

CJ Box met Whelchel at a writers conference and over a drink in a bar, Box told Whelchel all about his book. Not too far away sat a publisher, who was also attending the conference. She overheard the conversation and said that she would like to read the book. Whelchel signed him immediately and the rest is history. So, it is true that Andy WAS his agent when he got his book deal, but Andy didn't do a damn thing to earn his money AND if Andy was so good, then why did Box change agents? Kinda makes you go HMMM..... (I think Box is with Rittenburg now), but he sure ain't with Andy.

To all my writing friends....STAY AWAY FROM WHELCHEL. There are TWO really good reasons.

1. A writer friend of mine sent her book to Andy and got a contract within 3 weeks of her query. WHen I took a look at her MS, I almost died. While the plot idea was great, she was disorganized, she didn't know her characters, she had typos left and right (even on the 1st page) and so on. I couldn't believe that ANY agent would have signed her with that slop.

2. Due to that horrible MS, I sent the stupidest query to Andy that you could ever imagine. Guess what....yup! He asked to read it. Need I say more?

I am so sorry to all of you out there who refuse to beieve that Andy is one of the bad guys...but he is. End your contract, cut your losses and RUN like hell.

CaoPaux
02-22-2006, 01:46 AM
Heh. Thanks for the anecdotes, Spywriter. What happened with your friend? I hope she escaped unscathed.

workingriter
07-08-2006, 06:41 PM
I so enjoy listening to wannabe writers cry about how unfair life is. "Andy didn't respond. Andy didn't sell my book. Andy thinks I can write, how foolish of him."

Andy sold my book in 3 months. He's professional, courteous and most importantly, willing to take a chance on an unpublished writer.

I paid him $475 and never looked back. Manage your career people. The dream of sitting in an ivory tower and thinking deep thoughts while occasionally cashing a royalty check is unrealistic. If you want answers, demand them. Call him every day. Fill up his e-mail. Take control. Publishing is a business. Andy is a business man. You need to treat it like a business. If you have faith in your abilities (not just a word processor and pipe dreams of being the next Hemingway) then find an agent with some credentials and work with him instead of just whining about him. Andy's not the biggest agency in the world and he's not the best known rep in the business but he's willing to take a chance on (talented) first timers who aren't the best bet for success either.

It's not up to you to pick an agent, especially your first agent, it's up to him to pick you. Think for just one second about how many manuscripts an agent has to slog through. Is it so unreasonable to ask to be compensated for reading a thousand turds to find one semi-precious stone? You want him to drop everything to help polish and sell your manuscript yet you're not willing to put some skin in the game. Keep dreaming. There are lots of agencies out there that don't charge any fees, they also turn up their noses at 99.9% of the first timers who contact them.

You're actually blaming Andy for being optimistic and asking to see what turn out to be dreadful novels. God forbid he gives you a shot. If you send him your manuscript and never hear back from him, get a clue. It stinks, but at least he gave it a chance. There are lots of agents out there who dismiss eventual best sellers based on a query letter. You tell me, which is the better system?

Call it a copying fee or a mailing fee or whatever. Andy has done right by me. I can't stop you from trashing him but I can at least point out that it sounds like very sour grapes and finger pointing over the author's lack of either talent or commitment.

You're not going to sign with the biggest agent in New York without any writing credits. CJ Box changed agents after Andy got him published. What's wrong with that? He started with a small agency, established some credentials and moved up. Makes sense to me. The only thing that illustrates is a lack of appreciation for what Andy did for him.

Spywriter's rumor that a publisher in a bar asked to see Box's manuscript and all Andy did was hand it over seems pretty unlikely. If the publisher asked Box to see the manuscript, why did he sign with Andy at all? Makes a cute story but not very realistic.

By the way, Spywriter, who's your agent?

Maybe I should just let it go, the more time you spend here, the less time you spend competing with me in the marketplace. I just hate to see a nice guy like Andy get bashed.

victoriastrauss
07-08-2006, 07:15 PM
Workingwriter, which publisher did Mr. Whelchel sell your book to? What's the title? Thanks.

- Victoria

Roger J Carlson
07-08-2006, 07:37 PM
I so enjoy listening to wannabe writers cry about how unfair life is. "Andy didn't respond. Andy didn't sell my book. Andy thinks I can write, how foolish of him."

Andy sold my book in 3 months. He's professional, courteous and most importantly, willing to take a chance on an unpublished writer.

I paid him $475 and never looked back. Manage your career people. The dream of sitting in an ivory tower and thinking deep thoughts while occasionally cashing a royalty check is unrealistic. If you want answers, demand them. Call him every day. Fill up his e-mail. Take control. Publishing is a business. Andy is a business man. You need to treat it like a business. If you have faith in your abilities (not just a word processor and pipe dreams of being the next Hemingway) then find an agent with some credentials and work with him instead of just whining about him. Andy's not the biggest agency in the world and he's not the best known rep in the business but he's willing to take a chance on (talented) first timers who aren't the best bet for success either.

It's not up to you to pick an agent, especially your first agent, it's up to him to pick you. Think for just one second about how many manuscripts an agent has to slog through. Is it so unreasonable to ask to be compensated for reading a thousand turds to find one semi-precious stone? You want him to drop everything to help polish and sell your manuscript yet you're not willing to put some skin in the game. Keep dreaming. There are lots of agencies out there that don't charge any fees, they also turn up their noses at 99.9% of the first timers who contact them.

You're actually blaming Andy for being optimistic and asking to see what turn out to be dreadful novels. God forbid he gives you a shot. If you send him your manuscript and never hear back from him, get a clue. It stinks, but at least he gave it a chance. There are lots of agents out there who dismiss eventual best sellers based on a query letter. You tell me, which is the better system?

Call it a copying fee or a mailing fee or whatever. Andy has done right by me. I can't stop you from trashing him but I can at least point out that it sounds like very sour grapes and finger pointing over the author's lack of either talent or commitment.

You're not going to sign with the biggest agent in New York without any writing credits. CJ Box changed agents after Andy got him published. What's wrong with that? He started with a small agency, established some credentials and moved up. Makes sense to me. The only thing that illustrates is a lack of appreciation for what Andy did for him.

Spywriter's rumor that a publisher in a bar asked to see Box's manuscript and all Andy did was hand it over seems pretty unlikely. If the publisher asked Box to see the manuscript, why did he sign with Andy at all? Makes a cute story but not very realistic.

By the way, Spywriter, who's your agent?

Maybe I should just let it go, the more time you spend here, the less time you spend competing with me in the marketplace. I just hate to see a nice guy like Andy get bashed.
Workingriter,

With all due respect, when a new member's first post is to rush to the defense of an agent or publisher being discussed here, our first thought is that the new member (you) is a sockpuppet, that is, a person masquerading under a false identity for the purpose of misleading others.

Such posts have a tendency to sound very much alike, even when written by different people. Above, I have highlighted in red, phrases that are typical of such posts. The word "wannabe" is often used in an attempt to make people feel unimportant. Another is asking who THEIR agent is.

In addition, there are usually statements of how tough the publishing world is, how first-time writers CANNOT obtain representation by a big agency, and how the agent in question is willing to take as chance on new writers (as if big agencies do not). Of course, none of this is true.

My first thought is that you are Whelchel himself or a close associate. If you are not, I deeply apologize. However, given this climate, you'll need to do a little more than make unproven claims of how he sold your book. You can do this easily by answering two questions:

What is the name of the book? Who is the publisher?

Please don't say you are afraid to give this information because of fear of repercussions. I can't think of a legimate author, agent, or publisher who wouldn't leap at the chance to publicize the book in a forum such as this. The only reason for not giving this perfectly innocuous information is because no such publishing deal exists.

James D. Macdonald
07-08-2006, 07:44 PM
I can't stop you from trashing him...

Sure you can, friend. You can tell us the title and publisher of the book he sold for you.

workingriter
07-09-2006, 04:31 AM
Kensington Books. Working Title: In Plain Sight. Scheduled for release in the fall of '07.

Let me clear up a couple of other things as well.

1. This entire thread is purely subjective. I understand your skepticism. Everyone's entitled to their opinion. I'm not going to change your mind and you're not going to change mine.

2. Don't be so defensive. It's nothing personal. I stood up for a friend of mine who was being unfairly blasted.

3. I am indeed a close associate of Andy's. He's my agent, and I think, a good one.

Also, you can check:

MEDILL SOPHOMORE TORY FINE LANDS
PUBLISHING DEAL FOR HER NOVEL

in the Newsletter of the Center For The Writing Arts (http://www.northwestern.edu/writing-arts/newsletters/CWA%20Newsletter%20WQ05.pdf) for an example of Andy working with a first time author. Probably just another sockpuppet. You know how easily Northwestern University can be duped.

By the way, lest you think I'm a "sockpuppet," Michaela Hamilton is my editor at KB since Jeremie Ruby-Strauss has moved to another house.

James D. Macdonald
07-09-2006, 08:01 AM
MEDILL SOPHOMORE TORY FINE LANDS
PUBLISHING DEAL FOR HER NOVEL

Royal Fireworks Press. 'Nuff said.

In Plain Sight came out from Kensington in 1997. Are they recycling titles now?

workingriter
07-09-2006, 07:02 PM
James D. Macdonald

"Royal Fireworks Press. 'Nuff said."

What does this mean?

dink
07-09-2006, 07:12 PM
You know that famous author, CJ BOX, that Andrew Whelchel always gets credit for? Well let me tell you a little story....

Kensington Books. Working Title: In Plain Sight. Scheduled for release in the fall of '07.

By an amazing coincidence, the above-mentioned C.J.Box wrote a book called In Plain Sight, published by Putnam in 2006. Who could believe that one agent could sell two identically-titled books to two different publishers at almost the same time? There's something not right here.

workingriter
07-09-2006, 07:15 PM
Workingriter,


In addition, there are usually statements of how tough the publishing world is, how first-time writers CANNOT obtain representation by a big agency, and how the agent in question is willing to take as chance on new writers (as if big agencies do not). Of course, none of this is true.



Of course first-time writers land big agencies. And people are occasionally struck by lightning. I didn't say first-time writers can't get a big-name agent. I said it is extremely rare. Please don't misrepresent what I said.

Saying, "none of this is true," is just as inaccurate as saying, "all of this is true."

workingriter
07-09-2006, 07:18 PM
By an amazing coincidence, the above-mentioned C.J.Box wrote a book called In Plain Sight, published by Putnam in 2006. Who could believe that one agent could sell two identically-titled books to two different publishers at almost the same time? There's something not right here.

If you check Amazon.com, there are several books titled In Plain Sight. That's why it's called a working title. There's actually very little chance my book will be published with that name.

You're also suggesting Andy is still representing CJ Box. Is that true?

victoriastrauss
07-09-2006, 08:56 PM
James D. Macdonald

"Royal Fireworks Press. 'Nuff said."

What does this mean?Royal Fireworks is a non-advance-paying publisher (which means that there's no incentive for a reputable agent to work with it) with a non-standard, author-unfriendly contract that, among other things, takes ownership of copyright (another reason why a reputable agent has no incentive to work with it). I know a Royal Fireworks author whose books are still being sold by the company; he hasn't gotten a dime in royalties in years.

C.J. Box is currently represented by Ann Rittenberg, and has been for at least the past couple of years.

Congrats on the sale to Kensington, workingriter. I wish you all success.

Guys, feel free to discuss the subject of this thread, but the cheap shots at workingriter's sale to Kensington are out of line.

- VIctoria

workingriter
07-09-2006, 10:13 PM
Victoria,

Thank you.

Have fun everyone. i've had my say.

James D. Macdonald
07-10-2006, 01:58 AM
James D. Macdonald

"Royal Fireworks Press. 'Nuff said."

What does this mean?

It means, "Until the rise of the author mills Royal Fireworks Press was perhaps the worst publisher in America, and everyone in the business knows it."

Roger J Carlson
07-10-2006, 05:46 PM
Of course first-time writers land big agencies. And people are occasionally struck by lightning. I didn't say first-time writers can't get a big-name agent. I said it is extremely rare. Please don't misrepresent what I said.
No, you did not say "it is extremely rare", you said, "You're not going to sign with the biggest agent in New York without any writing credits". That IS saying that first-time writers can't get a big-name agent.

Please don't try to misrepresent something YOU said.

And it is not even "extremely rare". Take a glance at PublishersMarketplace.com. Every month you'll see several first-time authors that have big-name agents who have sold their books to real publishers.

workingriter
07-11-2006, 04:56 AM
Roger,

Forgive me. You're entirely right and I am entirely wrong. Everyone who's ever written anything more extensive than a shopping list is now rolling in cash and virtually beating desperate agents away from their door.

I don't know why the intellectual elite of the nation such as yourself are forced to put up with the likes of me.

i should never have disagreed with you. thank you for correcting me. i'm a better person for it. I shall now slink away and never darken your enlightened door again.

Aconite
07-11-2006, 05:10 AM
workingwriter, you showed up with an attitude the likes of which we usually see in sockpuppets, and your behavior since hasn't changed my opinion one bit.

If being here is such a trial to you, do by all means feel free to remove yourself from the source of your pain.

Gravity
07-11-2006, 05:34 AM
Roger,

Forgive me. You're entirely right and I am entirely wrong. Everyone who's ever written anything more extensive than a shopping list is now rolling in cash and virtually beating desperate agents away from their door.

I don't know why the intellectual elite of the nation such as yourself are forced to put up with the likes of me.

i should never have disagreed with you. thank you for correcting me. i'm a better person for it. I shall now slink away and never darken your enlightened door again.
_______________________________________

Drama queens. Ya gotta love 'em.

victoriastrauss
07-11-2006, 05:43 AM
We're getting waaaay off track here. Let's try to dial it down a bit.

- Victoria

Sassenach
07-11-2006, 05:43 AM
In the immortal words of Ferris Bueller:

"It's understanding that makes it possible for people like us to tolerate a person like yourself."

Roger J Carlson
07-11-2006, 04:39 PM
Roger,

Forgive me. You're entirely right and I am entirely wrong. Everyone who's ever written anything more extensive than a shopping list is now rolling in cash and virtually beating desperate agents away from their door.
Now who's misrepresenting whom?

My point is not that every new writer can obtain a big name agent, but that it IS possible to do so if your writing is good enough. The proof is that many first-time authors have done so and continue to do so.

One of the hallmarks of literary scams is how they will play up the impossibility of new writers being published unless they pay someone (the scammer) to fix it up for them. They'll throw around figures like 99% of all first books are rejected, without figuring in the quality of the work submitted.

The fact is if your work is publishable, you CAN get representation without paying the agent a fee. If it's not publishable, why pay an agent to represent it? It won't get published anyway.

victoriastrauss
07-11-2006, 06:47 PM
We've gone way off topic with this thread, and tempers seem to be getting frayed. I'm going to close things down temporarily for a cooling period.

- Victoria

victoriastrauss
07-23-2006, 08:33 PM
Unlocking, as promised.

- Victoria

MartyKay
07-24-2006, 09:58 AM
<whistles>

CaoPaux
07-24-2006, 07:17 PM
*rustles in the underbrush*

Uchimata
07-26-2006, 08:45 AM
I guess my current wish is that I'd done some more searching on the web before my co-author and I signed a contract with Andy Whelchel about 14 months ago.

I suppose our excuse is that after 9 months of sending out query letters and receiving about 15 rejections it was very encouraging to get a positive response from an agent who wanted to read our work, and then to have his assistant write and say that he wanted to offer us a contract.

He did ask for $475 as an "advance" against expenses, which although we knew wasn't common didn't seem exhorbitant, so we sent in our check and signed the agreement.

We were promised bi-monthly updates on who he sent our work (a novel length manuscript) to, detailed information on what the responses were, and updates on where he planned to go and who he planned to approach next. This was in late March or early April of 2005.

We got one update in June of 2005 (rather sketchy, but an update nonetheless), then nothing. We wrote to his office in August asking about the next "update" and got a response from his assistant that Andy was traveling, that many publishers took the month of August off, and that we'd get our next update in October.

October came and went, as did most of November. We wrote again, and Andy responded that he was very busy, but would get back to us "after Thanksgiving."

Nothing. We wrote again in February, pointing out that in nearly a year we'd had only one update.

In March, after another email request for information, he provided us a listing of who he'd submitted our work to, and a breakdown of the expenditure of the $475 "advance". Interestingly, by a strange coincidence, the "expenses" he detailed came out to within $15 of the $475 advance. The "detailed explanation" was nothing more than a listing of contacts with "passed" or "no answer yet" next to them.

None of the rejections had any indication as to why the work was rejected, or any feedback from the contacts or Andy at all.

We emailed him again, and asked for copies of the rejection letters, some idea as to why the work had been rejected, more details.

Nothing.

At the end of June we asked again for more information, getting a little more firm this time. "Hello?" we said. "Are you alive? Are you still in business? Are you getting these inquires from us??"

He responded with "oh, somehow all your emails ended up in my spam filter. I'll get back to you after the 4th of July weekend with a complete response."

Today being July 25th, we have still heard nothing, and have decided to fire the *&^%$ and move on.

So - if anyone who's reading this is even remotely considering working with Andy Whelchel - think again, and again, and again.

I have no complaints about our work not being accepted for publication. Disappointment, surely, but that's part of trying to get a first work published, right?

What I have problems with is being promised regular feedback and getting none. Being told "I'll get to you after Thanksgiving" and "I'll get to you after the 4th of July" and getting nothing.

I guess what I was looking for is called "integrity" - and in my opinion, this guy has none.

I personally think Whelchel is (remember, this is my personal opinion only, not necessarily a statement of fact) a slimy, dishonest, lying, scheming scumbag. I believe he is primarily interested in getting as much money as he can from up front fees and has little or no interest in providing any real literary agent's services to the poor fools (like us!) who are naive enough to trust him and send him our money.

Is it possible that he may have helped someone - or some two - folks get published? Sure - I guess if you have enough stuff come across your desk, even without trying very hard you might eventually get something published.

Are there people out there who like him? Sure - heck, even Hitler's mother probably liked him, at some point.

But - I'd very strongly suggest that anyone even remotely considering working with this turkey reconsider seriously. And if, after reconsideration, you're still thinking about working with him, stop and reconsider some more.

Just our two cents worth...but hopefully maybe this will help save both time and money and maybe a little bit of your dreams for each of you who read this.

Luck to all!

Then go somewhere else - this guy is a waste

Tilly
07-26-2006, 02:30 PM
Welcome Uchimata, and thank you for sharing your experiences. I hope you find a new agent soon. :)

Kasey Mackenzie
07-26-2006, 07:52 PM
I'm sorry to hear about your negative experience with this agency. Best of luck with the publishing process in the future.

Victoria Fine
07-29-2006, 12:38 PM
Dear Uchimata and other posters,

My name is Victoria Fine and I am a client of Andrew Whelchel's. I was informed tonight (Jul 29) that Whelchel was involved in a private plane crash and is currently in the hospital in serious condition. This undoubtedly caused the latest delay in his response to you.

I have noticed that people have discussed me, and my client relationship with Whelchel. I have written before to the website to ask that these comments be taken down because I consider the unfounded accusations of being "taken in" insulting and untrue. They were not taken down so I suppose I should make a statement here while I'm at it.

I've been a client of Whelchel's for several years now, and have a good working relationship. He has never charged me any fees, has been responsive to my calls, is inventive and dogged in his pursual of deals for my manuscripts, and has helped me sign a contract for my first novel "Folklore," due out later this year through Royal Fireworks Press. You can confirm this through several articles online and through an article in the May 2005 TimeOut Chicago. I have thus far had no problems with RFP as Strauss suggested, and in fact both Whelchel and my lawyer said the contract I've signed with them was fair and even beneficial to me, as an author. I've since been working with them and have no complaints with them, either, during the publishing of my book. For those who criticize RFP, that's an entirely different issue, but I would like to say that with Whelchel's help this contract has gotten my foot in the door at other publishing houses and because of this first publishing publicity, I now have great interest from other houses, such as Hyperion, for other manuscripts. I am happy with the opportunities that Whelchel and RFP have provided me. I agree with the other writer who said you must take these opportunities and run with them proactively.

I am fairly sure that the reason you never hear any positive comments on this website about Whelchel are that his happy clients never go searching for forums to talk negatively about him. It appears that is more a pursuit of frustrated or angry people. I wouldn't have found it myself if it hadn't come across it under a search for my own name. And if people do post positive posts, as in the case of the other writer who came to Whelchel's defense, they are systematically slaughtered by other posters. So it's little surprise that many people call for "positive experiences" or a denial of what they believe about NWLA and hear nothing in return but like minds.

I suggest people who take these posts seriously consider who is posting them, and consider also the class-action lawsuit that several small literary agencies are filing against these websites and the organizations and people who have been paid to post accusations on them. I don't think it's my responsibility to detail that here, but it is a very serious issue that has affected several small houses and literary agencies in the past couple of years.

Ultimately, I want to clear my name here, as any criticism of my career here is absolutely unfounded and unfair. Further I would like to defend Whelchel's name here. I am surprised the website never responded to my original requests but hopefully this will go through. The lack of original reaction to my complaints makes me wonder at the incentives of the website operators and whether this is really an impartial posting site.

Sincerely,

Victoria Fine

waylander
07-29-2006, 01:05 PM
OK so I get to start against the latest sockpuppet. I'll leave plenty of space for everyone else.


I am fairly sure that the reason you never hear any positive comments on this website about Whelchel are that his happy clients never go searching for forums to talk negatively about him.
Victoria Fine

Funny how when a question is asked about a legit agency, writers who have had dealings with them post within a couple of days recording their positive experiences. Or had you not noticed this because you've not looked at any other threads on this site?

BTW you might want your agent to have a word with Royal Fireworks Press as there is no mention of your forthcoming book on their site.

victoriastrauss
07-29-2006, 06:48 PM
I have thus far had no problems with RFP as Strauss suggested, and in fact both Whelchel and my lawyer said the contract I've signed with them was fair and even beneficial to me, as an author.Victoria, can you tell us if RFP owns the copyright on your book, and whether or not you were paid an advance?

I am fairly sure that the reason you never hear any positive comments on this website about Whelchel are that his happy clients never go searching for forums to talk negatively about him. It appears that is more a pursuit of frustrated or angry people. There have been some positive comments, including yours. The purpose of a forum like this one is to let the various posts speak for themselves, so that people can make up their own minds.

I suggest people who take these posts seriously consider who is posting them, and consider also the class-action lawsuit that several small literary agencies are filing against these websites and the organizations and people who have been paid to post accusations on them. I don't think it's my responsibility to detail that here, but it is a very serious issue that has affected several small houses and literary agencies in the past couple of years.This is a myth put about by one or more agents who are angry that their nonstandard business practices have become known and are being discussed on the Internet. There is no class action lawsuit. There aren't even any individual lawsuits. No one is paying anyone to say anything. Whoever told you this was misinformed (to say the least).

- Victoria

James D. Macdonald
07-29-2006, 06:50 PM
1) I do hope you'll drop by to tell us about your experiences, a year after your book has come out from Royal Fireworks Press.

2) The line about how posters here are "angry and frustrated people" should be on the Bingo card.

3) That "class action lawsuit" is a myth, and you don't want to be associated with the people who are promulgating it.

4) Dire Event X Has Happened to the Agent (and/or his/her family) and That's Why Event Y Has/Hasn't Occurred is an excuse we've heard so often from ... well, marginal ... agencies that we've grown wary of it. If Andrew was actually in a plane crash, I'm sorry for him. Was this crash reported in the press anywhere?

Roger J Carlson
07-29-2006, 08:30 PM
Dear Uchimata and other posters,

My name is Victoria Fine and I am a client of Andrew Whelchel's. I was informed tonight (Jul 29) that Whelchel was involved in a private plane crash and is currently in the hospital in serious condition. This undoubtedly caused the latest delay in his response to you.

Victoria FineAccording to the FAA, no crashes have been reported between 7/25/2006 and 7/29/2006. When exactly was this crash and where did it happen?

Might I suggest that if someone has lied to you about Whelchel's plane crash, they might have lied to you about other things as well?

Buffoon
07-29-2006, 11:52 PM
I'll chime in that I've seen some very positive threads about good agents. Gushing, even.

I'm starting to think that not everyone knows what is meant by "sockpuppet", since even after one appears and is called out as such, they just keep coming.

Andrew Jameson
07-30-2006, 03:12 AM
OK so I get to start against the latest sockpuppet. I'll leave plenty of space for everyone else.
I'm starting to think that not everyone knows what is meant by "sockpuppet", since even after one appears and is called out as such, they just keep coming.Dial it back, guys. There's every indication that Victoria is a real person and no one's sockpuppet. (Check out this pdf newsletter (http://www.northwestern.edu/writing-arts/newsletters/CWA%20Newsletter%20WQ05.pdf) from NWU.) You may be skeptical of her information and her objectivity, but knee-jerk labeling of people who hold contrary opinions as sockpuppets is counterproductive.

JennaGlatzer
07-30-2006, 03:56 AM
I'm going to try to go easy here because I understand you're being lied to and that you have reason to want to disbelieve us.

However, if you're going to question my motives, don't beat around the bush. Why do I have this Bewares Board? Because I got scammed twice early in my writing career and didn't want that to happen to anyone else, and thought there should be a place where writers could warn other writers about bad experiences.

Is this an "impartial" site? No, it's pro-writer, pro-honest agents and publishers, and anti-scammer.

And I just ran a search of every e-mail message I've received since 2005, and the words "Victoria Fine" are not in any of them. Whatever you sent did not reach me. But don't let that stop you from jumping to wild conclusions about how that must mean I pay people to post complaints here. Or... whatever.

Peggy
07-30-2006, 04:06 AM
According to the FAA, no crashes have been reported between 7/25/2006 and 7/29/2006. When exactly was this crash and where did it happen?

Might I suggest that if someone has lied to you about Whelchel's plane crash, they might have lied to you about other things as well? It could be this:

http://www.denverpost.com/news/ci_4058293

Roger J Carlson
07-30-2006, 06:08 AM
It could be this:

http://www.denverpost.com/news/ci_4058293No. That crash happened on Saturday July 16. As you can see here: http://www.ntsb.gov/ntsb/brief.asp?ev_id=20060718X00962&key=1

The FAA has a database which lists ALL of the aviation incidents and is updated daily. Here's the link to the database. http://www.ntsb.gov/ntsb/query.asp

Put 7/25/2006 and 7/29/2006 in the date fields and no records will be found.

Note: Now I can't actually say this is NOT the accident that Whelchel was supposedly in, just that it's not an accident between the time period I mentioned.

If Victoria can tell us any specifics about the accident, we can look it up.

James D. Macdonald
07-30-2006, 07:53 AM
Got it. The one on the sixteenth is the one we're looking for:


Instructor Charles Kaminski and his student Andrew Whelchel survived the nosedive landing, but the plane was not as lucky. The front of the single engine 1946 Aeronca Champ collapsed upon impact and the crash left the aircraft bent cleanly down the middle.

http://www.parkerchronicle.com/site/tab8.cfm?newsid=16941081&BRD=2713&PAG=461&dept_id=559193&rfi=6

victoriastrauss
07-30-2006, 08:02 AM
Thanks, Jim. Hopefully this will put this discussion to rest.

- Victoria

Buffoon
07-30-2006, 11:21 AM
Well, I'll be jiggered. Best of luck with the recovery, Andrew.

Sassenach
07-30-2006, 10:23 PM
Uncle Jim is the research God.

MartyKay
07-31-2006, 12:12 PM
EDIT: I've removed all the other bits as I feel I was either unfair or overly defensive in posting them, and as I state in a later post, I apologise for that.

This, however, stands:

I suggest people who take these posts seriously consider who is posting them, and consider also the class-action lawsuit that several small literary agencies are filing against these websites and the organizations and people who have been paid to post accusations on them.
Oh, that's great. The class action lawsuit of whom, pray tell? The twenty worst agents list?
Also, please note that I am not paid to come here. I do it for the entertainment value and all the sockpuppets I can eat!
Edit: I'd like to point out the I don't believe Victoria Fine is a sockpuppet.


I don't think it's my responsibility to detail that here, but it is a very serious issue that has affected several small houses and literary agencies in the past couple of years.

Yeah, like Deering, Literacy Agency Group, Edit Ink: they have been seriously affected by this kind of site.


Ultimately, I want to clear my name here, as any criticism of my career here is absolutely unfounded and unfair.
... I'm sorry, but the only mention of you at all was that article, which is being QUOTED by another person.


Further I would like to defend Whelchel's name here. I am surprised the website never responded to my original requests but hopefully this will go through.
As pointed out above, Jenna searched old email and found nothing: however, since you didn't mention a timeframe this isn't surprising. EDIT: Jenna has since searched from 2004.


The lack of original reaction to my complaints makes me wonder at the incentives of the website operators and whether this is really an impartial posting site.
Sincerely,
Victoria Fine
Nice way to end it, too.

Edit: That last bit got up my nose, as it implies some form of agenda on the part of the site. Please note that this board does have an agenda -- one of informing people of bad agents and publishers and helping to identify them.

James D. Macdonald
07-31-2006, 04:04 PM
http://www.llbbl.com/data/RPG-motivational/page_10.htm

First poster on the second row, "Phobias."

victoriastrauss
07-31-2006, 06:59 PM
Geez, people. Scale back the hostility here.

It's one thing to dispute the ridiculous statements of obvious sockpuppets like the ones in the LAG thread, or absurd mischaracterizations of the publication process like the stuff we sometimes see from defenders of POD, or regurgitation of publishing myths like "good agents aren't interested in new writers so you might as well go with a fee-charger."

It's another thing to dispute someone's personal account of their own individual experience. Unless you yourself have personal experience that refutes what they say, you have no possible way to know for sure that they're fibbing--even if you suspect it. The plane crash report is one example (there really was a crash--just not on the date suggested by Victoria's post). The challenge to Victoria's statement that she didn't pay fees is another example. The fee was instituted in 2004--but Victoria signed with NWLA in 2001 or 2002 (I know this from my own correspondence with her).

Not everyone is a sockpuppet. We need to remember that, and not be so quick to jump from zero to confrontational.

- Victoria

Kasey Mackenzie
07-31-2006, 07:55 PM
This would be, what, two years ago?? And, the posting above mentions you by your SURNAME. "Fine".

You went looking on Google for "Fine". And came to this page. That is amazing. You then sent off a request to have it... removed or altered, and then... didn't come back here AGAIN for two years?


No opinions on this agency one way or another. Just wanted to point out that if Victoria Fine did a Google search for Victoria Fine without including quotation marks around it, she would in fact pull up any pages with both the word Victoria and the word Fine in it. (Obviously other variables could be involved). So if her surname was mentioned on the same page as any posts mentioning Victoria Strauss, for instance, they would pop up on a google search for Victoria Fine.

Just wanted to point out that you can't really use that as a reason to refute her other statements.

batgirl
07-31-2006, 08:10 PM
An addendum to Kasey's point - the title of Fine's book is mentioned. Googling one's name and book title seems like an entirely reasonable thing for an author to do. She might even have added her agent's name to refine the results.
-Barbara

Buffoon
08-01-2006, 12:19 AM
Not trying for controntation with this one -- just genuinely curious.

Does anyone have any info on the lawsuit mentioned in VF's last post - the one where small publishers are supposedly suing websites for paying posters to trash said publishers... sorry if that is a poor representation. I admit this was that part of the post that made me jump to the puppet conclusion, since it sounds outlandish, at least when put this way. Has anyone heard of this lawsuit, and if so, what's your take on it?

Again, just curious since the premise sounds so bizarre.

JennaGlatzer
08-01-2006, 12:26 AM
I've had my current e-mail address since July of 2004. So, to be thorough, I just searched the entire history. Nothing with the words "Victoria Fine" in it.

CaoPaux
08-01-2006, 01:10 AM
Buffoon, are you referring to this?


I suggest people who take these posts seriously consider who is posting them, and consider also the class-action lawsuit that several small literary agencies are filing against these websites and the organizations and people who have been paid to post accusations on them.Pure bunk. IIRC, Writer Beware discussed such threats on their blog a few weeks ago.

Buffoon
08-01-2006, 01:19 AM
Yep, that's the one. Thanks! For some reason when I looked at the thread before, the first couple of posts from Jim and Victoria S were not showing up... now I see them, and I see that they already addressed the issue.

victoriastrauss
08-01-2006, 07:46 AM
Some agents (and publishers) are feeding clients the story of an imaginary lawsuit as a way to deflect clients' concerns about negative information on the Internet. For instance, both Lee Shore and the tentacles of LAG claim to be taking legal action against "detractors." There's no reason to assume that the clients are aware that it's bullsh!t.

- Victoria

MartyKay
08-02-2006, 09:18 AM
You're right, Victoria: I don't think Victoria Fine is a sock puppet and she is relating her own point of experience.

I wasn't aware that the agency went to fee paying after she became a client, and the explanation that searching for her name and book would have hit this page hadn't occured to me.

Ms Fine: Apologies if you thought I was being overly hostile. Still, I'd like to point out that you have been misinformed regarding any current court case, or whether there are paid posters on this site.

I'll add a comment to my previous post.

Uchimata
08-06-2006, 05:38 PM
Of course I am sorry to hear about Andy's accident and wish him a full and speedy recovery.

BUT - does that explain all of the lengthy delays and non-responses and blatant failures to live up to his promises and commitments to my co-author and me over the last 12 months? Not even remotely.

Our relationship with him began with hope, with excitement, and with an exremely positive outlook on our part. I used to teach at San Jose State University, and I always told my students that in my mind they began each semester with an A - and that if they wanted something lower than the A, they'd have to work for it, have to convince me that they weren't an A student.

We began our relationship with Andy expecting him to be a quality agent. We obviously didn't sign a contract with him thinking that he was going to be a waste of time. If we'd had that expectation, we wouldn't have signed the contract.

But we NEVER got the bimonthly "updates" that he promised, he never responded to our inquiries on even a remotely timely basis, he never gave us the feedback that we requested.

OK - so he was in a plane crash in mid-July.

Does that explain why we never got the promised bimonthly updates? No.

Does that explain why he didn't respond to our inquiries from November to March? No.

Does that explain why he didn't carry through with his promise to get back to us "right after the 4th of July weekend"? No.

Andy accepted us as clients, made clear written commitments about what he would do for us, then absolutely neglected his responsibilities, failed to live up to his promises, and has - as I think most if not all of you would agree - earned himself an F grade as our agent.

Am I willing to stick with an agent for the long term while he/she works to get our works published? You bet.

Do I understand that getting published as a first time author is difficult, challenging, and very often a long and bumpy road? Of course.

But I believe that like most things in life it requires a strong commitment and open lines of communication by both parties to the relationship - and Andy sure sure as heck betrayed our initial confidence in him.

Lastly, Victoria Fine seems to be suggesting that Andy's "Happy Clients" never post comments on this or other websites about him because "they're happy." It is only angry people who make comments like mine.

Perhaps she's right - happy people don't often complain - but read through my first post, and then glance over this one, and tell me whether anyone who's had the experience that my co-author and I have had with Andy could not be angry? If we're angry, it's because Andy hasn't lived up to his promises, has betrayed our confidence, and left us disgusted with him.

Now, Victoria, please tell me is there some reason that you can think of why we shouldn't be angry?

Roger J Carlson
08-06-2006, 05:51 PM
As an AW mod (although not the mod of this forum), I'd like to say that this is a good example of the kind of posts we want here: arguing facts and not personalities. Good job, Uchimata.

spywriter
09-22-2006, 01:45 AM
Okay Gang...

I know I have been too busy to follow things on the board lately, but I have spent some time catching up and I have to speak.

Friends....I wasn't completely honest with you for a while becasue I was so embarassed of something. I WAS a client of Whelchel's for four months in 2004 before I ran away from him. Here is my story....

Whelchel asked to read my entire novel with the first query. Zuckerman, Manus, Wheeler, Dystel, Venture and 40 others asked to read the first three too. Quite a showing for your first book, huh? Well, none of them asked for anymore than the first three. As I started to re-read my book, I realized that I had some MAJOR probelems and understood why no one wanted it. It was at that time that Whelchel sent me a contract. Because all the others turned me down, I was suspicious. Before signing the contract, I called him and he took my call right away. I asked him what his favorite part of my book was, AND HE COULD NOT THINK OF A SINGLE PART OF THE BOOK. I know...WARNING! But then he said a lot of things that made sense..."I read so many..." and so on, so I left it alone. I also told him that I didn't have the $495, and he said, "That's ok." When he said that, I signed the contract and sent him the money anyway. I know, DUMB. BTW, I had not found this web site yet.

In the days and weeks to follow, he never answered any emails, calls or letters. He set up THREE phone conferences with me, and stood me up for them all. WHen I was finally at the end of my rope, he wrote and said that he had been in the hospital gravely ill. I felt horrible for having doubted him. COncerned for his well being, I called his mother at the National Writer's Association (they share the same office) and I told her how concerend I was for her son. When I spoke about his "hospitalization", she got quiet. Then she said AND I QUOTE, "Andy wasn't in the hospital. He had a root canal last week and he's been sleeping on my couch some, but he wasn't in the hospital." So there...his own mother dimed him out. With that, I promptly ended my contract.

You know what? In the course of four months, he had spent all of my $495, and never explained how or why. I was going to pursue it, but then I read your website and just wanted to be done with him.

As far as my story about CJ Box, for the life of me, I cannot remember where I read it, but it was on the web, on some writer's magazine thing. I will hunt for it, but you have my word that I did NOT make that up. I wish I had.

About seven months ago, another writer emailed me (Andy has mass emailed a bunch of his writers so we had each other's email addresses) and the guy who wrote had the same story. He checked with ten others and we all had the same story.

Anyway, I do feel bad for not 'fessing up earlier, but I was soooo embarassed that I had been taken. Since Whelchel plays the numbers game, I am sure that he does get a sale from time to time, but this guy is a scammer and I hope and pray everyone who reads this RUNS away from him.

Please forgive me, my friends.

-Spy

victoriastrauss
09-22-2006, 02:26 AM
Thanks for 'fessing up, Spy, and no apologies necessary.

I too have seen the story about CJ Box--I think it was on a website where writers tell the story of their first publication. Can't remember the URL, but I do remember the story.

- Victoria

JD9
10-03-2006, 10:27 PM
I just got an answer from this guy the other day, word for word the same as what someone else posted here. Is there even still a need to gather up evidence on him? (In case he sends me one of those contracts and fee demands).

spywriter
10-05-2006, 10:33 PM
Not really sure what you're asking. We can't tell you what to do; we can only tell you what has happened to us. If you want to risk it and go with him, that's up to you. I think you'd be wasting your time though. He will make your blood boil with frustration. Best of luck....

John Menkes
10-10-2006, 11:32 PM
I guess my current wish is that I'd done some more searching on the web before my co-author and I signed a contract with Andy Whelchel about 14 months ago.
Thank you for your input. It has save me a lot of trouble and disappointment.
John Menkes

JeanneTGC
10-24-2006, 09:45 AM
Just joined after reading all the posts in this thread, and had to comment, because I'm sort of sitting here, wondering if I met the same guy most of you did.

I met Andy Whelchel at the SSA conference in 2002 (I *think*...might have been 2003; I can dig out my materials if I need to :-D). It was my first writing conference, I didn't really know what I was actually supposed to be doing there, and Andy spent a lot of extra time with me during our interview (I was his last of that day so he had the time). He was incredibly supportive, and far nicer to me than most of the other agents I met. He looked at everything I'd brought with me, gave me some lovely feedback, and told me he was particularly intrested in two projects, and that I should send to him when they were done.

I finished my fantasy novel first, and sent it to him. He read it, came back with a lovely, supportive rejection letter. Told me that he thought it was very good but he didn't feel he had enough contacts to place it, had six other clients he was trying to place, and didn't feel right about taking the book and then not being able to focus on it.

We corresponded via email a little bit, and he confirmed that he was still interested in my other novel, set in the Old West. I went on to continue writing, working on a variety of projects.

I saw him again this past January at the 2006 SSA conference. I didn't have a set meeting with him, but went up to him before the interviews started, just to say hi. He remembered everything about me -- my name, what I did for work, home life, all the books I'd been working on when we first met -- and he asked if I'd placed the fantasy novel or the Old West one yet. I told him that the fantasy was with an agent (and that IS a horror story, similar to the one I read about most of you having with Andy, but that's for another thread), but that I was on my zillionth rewrite of the Old West novel, and asked him if he would still like to see it. His response was an enthusiastic yes.

We also talked about what else he was at the conference looking for, and among those were screenplays or works that could be turned into screenplays. We discussed my science fiction novella, and I sent that to him.

Again, he read it, sent me another lovely rejection letter, saying that my writing was good, it was obvious I'd put a lot into the novella, but he'd been having no luck selling the screenplays and screenplay-adaptable works he had and didn't think it was right to add on another. Again he wished me luck and expressed hope we'd find a project to work together on in the near future.

Never at any time in my dealings with him has Andy ever been less than professional and supportive. The few suggestions he gave me for how to improve my novel set in the Old West were dead-on and extremely helpful. His encouragement was all I had to go on for a long time after that first conference because I'd dealt with some other agents who were seemingly unaware or unconcerned that they'd shredded all of my self-esteem in fifteen minutes.

Never has Andy done to me what it seems he's done with most of you -- offer me a contract for a book that wasn't ready or that he didn't feel he could place. I have no idea if his contract asks for money up front (and Ben Bova already gave me THAT lecture at a different SSA conference, so I know not to go there!), because I've never seen one from him. I can also say fairly confidently that I can write well. I have had positive comments from other agents, and again that other agent who had my fantasy novel was very positive in her praise (again, not for this thread). While I'm sure that my writing, just like everyone else's, will be improved with a professional editor's influence, I am not writing dreck.

He's also been very responsive to me. I have waited far less for a response from him -- be it via email or snail mail -- than I have from anyone else I've dealt with (other than, you know, the immediate form letter rejections -- those come nice and promptly, LOL).

Now that I've read this entire thread, and seen the "stay away" note on the P&E site, I'm in a sort of odd position. My novel set in the Old West is finally finished. I've been looking forward to sending this to Andy for 4 or 5 years now (I've lost count, but again, if I need to, I can dredge up the exact dates). I've been hoping that he would become my agent, because he has truly seemed to care about my writing career all this time.

But this doesn't sound much like the guy the majority of you have dealt with. At all. And now I honestly am sitting here, wondering what in the world to do. I realize that most of the community is going to scream, "Run, Forrest, ruuun!" But then there are at least a couple of folks who've had a good experience. The practical part of me says, yeah, run. The other part says, hey, he's never done that to you at all, give him the benefit of the doubt and your own experiences.

So, other than the "run!" comments, anyone have any other suggestions?

No matter what, I can say this about Andy definitively -- he gave me the praise and encouragement I needed to go on when I really was wondering if I should ever go through the absolute agony it is to get published. So maybe that's worth taking a chance, even after all the bad experiences almost all the rest of you have had?

soloset
10-24-2006, 09:41 PM
I'm sorry you're in such a quandary. And congratulations on the completion of your novel!

Unfortunately, nice and personable is no guarantee of competent and professional. What has this agent sold recently that you've heard of? Are his contract terms fair to both parties, and considered standard in the industry? What do the usual sources say?

You've put a lot of work into your novel. Setting aside your personal connection to the agent for a moment, would you, if you were coming at this fresh, consider this agent?

Also, it's not an "either or" situation. If Mr. Whelchel is a legitimate agent who is interested in your book, why wouldn't other legitimate agents be interested in your book as well? There's no reason you can't query several agents about the book and see who nibbles.

It's ultimately your decision, but please, please get all the information you can before making it. And best wishes, no matter what you decide.

JeanneTGC
10-24-2006, 10:10 PM
That's a very good point, soloset. I send multiple queries out on my other works, why not this one? Thanks -- that bit of logic helps a lot!

Robert Walton
10-26-2006, 09:36 PM
Here is my perspective on Andy Whelchel: He is a god-awful, terrible agent. His strategy is one of "a numbers game". He accepts 75% of the manuscripts he receives, provided they are legible and have even an inkling of potential. He will then send your manuscript to as many publishing houses as you wish to pay him to do so. He will keep sending it and sending it and sending it out, once again - a numbers game, hoping some publisher in some market will have some interest in your project. But you will have to pay him for the time, postage, office expense of mass-mailing your manuscript from British Columbia to the Bahamas, and back.

Simply put, if you throw enough crap at a wall once in a while clumps will stick. And hence is his two or three actual titles he placed, including hounding C.J. Box at a conference and selling one book for him. The second Box saw success he saw to getting a new, reputable agent.

Whelchel is a bottom feeder. Steer clear at all costs.

victoriastrauss
02-12-2007, 09:40 PM
National Writers Literary Agency has been folded into Global Talent Representatives, Inc. (http://www.globaltalentreps.com/)

- Victoria

PVish
02-13-2007, 07:30 AM
According to the spelling on the website, it's "Global Talent Representitives."

brianm
02-13-2007, 11:00 AM
According to the spelling on the website, it's "Global Talent Representitives."

No, the spelling is correct... Representatives.

victoriastrauss
02-13-2007, 07:16 PM
Check the copyright notice. The mis-spelling is there. LOL! I didn't even notice that.

Shall we take bets on how fast they fix it, now it's been mentioned at AW?

- Victoria

zizban
02-13-2007, 07:20 PM
5pm Friday (Eastern). That's my bet.

roach
02-13-2007, 07:28 PM
Shall we take bets on how fast they fix it, now it's been mentioned at AW?


AW, proofreaders for scammers!

Roger J Carlson
02-13-2007, 07:42 PM
According to the spelling on the website, it's "Global Talent Representitives."It's a psychic talent agency.

Their slogan: "We're not half-baked. We're medium-rare."

Saundra Julian
02-13-2007, 08:09 PM
AW, proofreaders for scammers!

So you're saying they're a scam?

brianm
02-13-2007, 08:38 PM
According to the spelling on the website, it's "Global Talent Representitives."

Sorry, PV! I should have read the entire page.

victoriastrauss
02-13-2007, 09:15 PM
Based on the reports I've gotten and the info here and elsewhere, I don't think they're a scam. I don't think they're a very effective or successful enterprise, though, at least in regard to representing book-length works to commercial publishers.

- Victoria

Lauri B
02-13-2007, 09:21 PM
Very diplomatically said, V.

Saundra Julian
02-13-2007, 11:17 PM
Thanks, Victoria...:D

roach
02-13-2007, 11:57 PM
Based on the reports I've gotten and the info here and elsewhere, I don't think they're a scam. I don't think they're a very effective or successful enterprise, though, at least in regard to representing book-length works to commercial publishers.

- Victoria

*stands corrected* That's what I get for trying to make a funny.

brianm
02-14-2007, 12:19 AM
A lesson in jumping to conclusions. Not everyone is out to scam writers. Thank you V for your efforts, energy, and knowledge. I am humbled by how you and so many others give back to all of us.

In a world that seems to comprise mainly of the take, take, takers... I am often surprised by how many people are actually give, give, givers.

CaoPaux
02-14-2007, 04:25 AM
A lesson in jumping to conclusions. Not everyone is out to scam writers. Ineffective agents can be worse than outright scams. For example, every venue an ineffective agent shotguns your book to is one that a better agent cannot pursue legitimately. With scammers, there's a good chance your book is never submitted at all, so you could start fresh once you escape.

Add in the fees, and the NWLA thread proves the line between ineffective and scam is very thin indeed.

EasyRider
04-17-2007, 01:50 AM
Could it be that Victoria Fine is related to Whelchel? His mother is in business with him ...hmmm...

EasyRider
04-17-2007, 02:02 AM
National Writers Literary Agency has been folded into Global Talent Representatives, Inc. (http://www.globaltalentreps.com/)

- Victoria

Just because Andy Whelchel changes the name of his agency doesn't mean he's changed his way of doing business. It's over two year since I went through my ordeal with him, and I'm STILL getting emails from other writers who felt burned by him.

fieryphoenixe
06-06-2007, 08:09 PM
Yes, this is what I suggest, after being with him for a year. One, the title of my book was not even in the contract. Two, do not sign even if he says don't worry about the money.

I had him for a year and never got a call back after I signed, now I'm trying to publish the book elsewhere.

Look for someone else.








Hello, I am here because like another post person, I received a contract from Andrew Whelchel. I have not signed it though. My hitch is the up front money in the hundreds of dollars range.

My 2005 Guide to Literary Agents lists him and his agency has 52 clients and made 22 sales last year. I found it odd that one of his bigger listed clients on one site, CJ Box, is now currently with Ann Rittenberg.

I also thought it strange that two days after I got his request to read the manuscript, I got one from Andrea Brown. I got his contract for representation the same day I got her rejection after reading the manuscript. Is this just a very strange coincidence?

I plan on calling him later this week and asking him some hard questions. Also, asking him some opinions on the book to make sure he actually read it. Fish for some details you could only know by reading the whole thing.

fieryphoenixe
06-06-2007, 08:41 PM
Stop thinking about the 375 or 475 he charges or charged, I WASTED A YEAR AND HALF WAITING ON THIS MAN, going on two years now. I want my year and half back. Here I am thinking he's doing something, and he's...actually, who knows what he's doing. But he's not returning my calls, I know that, and it takes him months to return my e-mails if he does at all.

Even though the title of my book doesn't show up in the contract, I still want to cancel. SO HOW DO I CANCEL A CONTRACT WITH THIS MAN IF HE DOESN'T RESPOND TO PHONE CALLS OR E-MAIL? Certified mail???

And yes, I feel bad for those of you who paid money, he told me he wasn't worried about it. So I never sent anything. I'm just saying, in that year in a half, I could have self-published my book and got it out there.

Man, talk about getting burned. If anything, because I was burned (going on two years now) any future agent/publisher, whoever, I won't simply jump in just because it looks good. So some good did come out out of this. But still!!!

I JUST FOUND THIS SITE TODAY ARGH!!!!

Thank you everyone for confirming my suspicions.

The man seems so nice on the phone, beware.

All the best,
Rick

smenders2
12-30-2009, 06:11 AM
It's nearly 3 1/2 years later and I could not find a title by Victoria Fine on Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble online, nor Google Book Search. Wonder what happened to it? Could Ms Fine be a sockpuppet after all?

CaoPaux
02-07-2011, 05:01 AM
Website hasn't been updated since '06, but there are recent sales on PM to Kensington and the like.

CaoPaux
02-04-2017, 11:39 PM
Not finding any activity after '14, and -- depending how many men of his name lived in Colorado -- he might in fact have passed away in '15. Anyone have recent contact?