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JPLangsdorf
04-10-2007, 04:35 PM
If there's already a thread for this, make the necessary redirections/deletions/etc. I searched the index and didn't find anything on Phenomenon, however.

The two things that make me wary: First, their website is on Geocities. Second, running a google on both the agency name and contact (Pamela Trayser) turns up nothing. I'm also probably a little suspicious 'cause this is the first agency that's wanted to see my full manuscript.

So does anyone know anything about Phenomenon/Trayser? Any previous experiences? P&E says they're legit, but that doesn't mean they're a 'good' agency. Thoughts?

James D. Macdonald
04-10-2007, 04:54 PM
http://www.geocities.com/phenomenonbooks/

P&E doesn't necessarily say they're legit, P&E says they exist. There won't be a warning or a $ unless someone's supplied information about them to Dave.

JPLangsdorf
04-10-2007, 04:56 PM
Oh! I misunderstood how the site works. Thank you for the clarification.

I will go and hide my shame, now.

victoriastrauss
04-10-2007, 06:17 PM
Writer Beware hasn't had any complaints about this agency, but we have gotten some questions. What I can find on the agency--a MySpace page, a few online listings, a sparse website--doesn't look encouraging. I don't see any evidence to suggest that the owner, Pamela Trayser, has a professional background in agenting or publishing, or any other field that would qualify her to be a literary agent. I'm sure she's well intentioned--but good intentions are not the same as skill, and without skill, the odds of success are slim.

- Victoria

Aprylwriter
04-10-2007, 08:34 PM
I was just going to ask about them. I saw their post on writers.net, but I could not find anything else about them online.

Apryl

victoriastrauss
04-10-2007, 09:38 PM
I was just going to ask about them. I saw their post on writers.net, but I could not find anything else about them online.That's an answer in and of itself.

- Victoria

Aprylwriter
04-10-2007, 10:25 PM
Yep! :) I didn't send them a submission. Has anyone else sent them anything?

Apryl

JPLangsdorf
04-10-2007, 10:53 PM
Only me, apparently. Maybe I'll ask for some credentials, see if there's ANYTHING to this agent.

EDIT: Well, technically I only queried and included a sample chapter (as they request). Haven't followed through on that request, yet.

Aprylwriter
04-11-2007, 12:46 AM
Ahh, okay. If you don't find anything on them, and they ask to see a full manuscript, you can always decline. I know they have a myspace page, like Victoria said, but otherwise I haven't found anything else.

Apryl

JPLangsdorf
04-11-2007, 01:12 AM
I sent her a message asking (as politely as I could manage) for names/titles of other authors she represents and/or personal biography information.

I'll let you all know if I hear anything.

Times like these I feel like such a rookie. Which I am. :)

Aprylwriter
04-11-2007, 07:39 AM
That's okay, sometimes I do too, and thanks for wanting to let us know what she says. I tried to look up her name online, instead of the literary agency and I still couldn't find much. Hopefully she will be able to give you more information.

Apryl

JPLangsdorf
04-12-2007, 05:48 AM
Today I received a very polite and informative email from Pamela Trayser, responding to my questions. Without reposting the (rather long) email here, the lack of information about them seems to boil down to youth. The agency is only two months old, so it might be a bit early to tell.

She dropped a few names, talked about what they do and what they're aiming to do, etc. The 3 authors they represent so far were not named, but I they haven't been shopped around yet, anyhow.

She did try to emphasize that she was pretty picky about what manuscripts she accepted. I hope I didn't offend her.

Anyway, just thought I'd pass along the info.

Aprylwriter
04-12-2007, 06:09 AM
Thank you for telling us! :) It was very informative.

I am probably going to pass up on sending them a query, especially since a well-known agency still has my partial. There are a few new, legitimate literary agencies, but they are very hard to find. I would go with the already established literary agents who are interested in taking on new clients.

Good luck with your writing, JP! :)

Apryl

veinglory
04-12-2007, 06:53 AM
It would be informative if they stated prior industry experience. Otherwise, what did it really tell you?

JPLangsdorf
04-12-2007, 02:31 PM
It would be informative if they stated prior industry experience. Otherwise, what did it really tell you?

They did. It's not especially extensive, and seems to be mostly magazines and compilations. Not exactly the strongest case. Sorry I failed the mention that in the earlier post.

I'm not saying I'm crazy about them or anything, just that they did clarify themselves to me. It's not ideal agenting experience. I'll probably keep an eye on them, see if they have any first-year success, but I think Apryl may have the right idea about pursuing more reputable agencies.

victoriastrauss
04-12-2007, 05:56 PM
Experience in the magazine world doesn't translate into book publishing expertise--two very different areas of expertise.

- Victoria

veinglory
04-12-2007, 06:44 PM
Not to be habitually negative, but did you also check what that role was and what kind of magazines and compilations? It pays to know exactly what you are getting into to make sure that is really what you want--some roles are teen slush readers and some magazines are made in the basement with a stapler. The main thing an agent provides is familairity with what various editors want--and that editors will read the book on their recommendation.

Just Me
04-12-2007, 07:43 PM
First, their website is on Geocities.
For me, that alone would be reason enough to run far, FAR away. :tongue

~JM.

RRBrooks
04-26-2007, 04:18 AM
I got a prompt request for full ms and sent same. It would be nice if we actually knew that they made a sale to a publisher. I will see what comes back.

davesbad1
05-04-2007, 08:48 PM
I sent a query to Pamela Trayser last month. She not only replied promptly, she told me she liked my story idea, made a constructive suggestion, and asked me to resubmit. She might be young and she might be in the process of starting up a new agency, but at least she showed interest in me--which is more than I can say for these successful established agencies, which don't respond at all. If it turns out that Ms. Trayser is willing to take me on, I'm willing to at least give her a chance.
Isn't that how this profession is supposed to be run in the first place?

TheEnd
05-04-2007, 09:01 PM
Here is their Myspace page:

http://profile.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=user.viewprofile&friendid=168298210

TheEnd
05-04-2007, 09:41 PM
And just because they have a Geocities website doesn't make them necessarily shady. Triada USA has a Geocities site (http://www.geocities.com/cjstender/) and they have reputable sales. Just my two cents.

Calla Lily
05-14-2007, 07:51 PM
She not only replied promptly, she told me she liked my story idea, made a constructive suggestion, and asked me to resubmit.

Same here, this morning.

Am I willing to tweak for a resubmit? Is the Pope Catholic? :D

I know that it's exactly what it seems--an invite, and she can still decline, but a realistic woo-hoo nonetheless!

Jacob Spire
06-04-2007, 05:50 PM
This is a contract I am asked to sign.
Is there anything suspicious in it?
It looks good to me, though I don't trust my own opinion, being the naive person I am.





AGREEMENT (hereinafter, "Agreement"), dated X, sets forth the relationship between the literary
agent, X, (hereinafter, "Literary Agent"), and
the author, Y, (hereinafter, "Author").
1. LITERARY AGENT REPRESENTS AUTHOR

For the term of this agreement, Author hereby retains Literary Agent:

(a) To represent Author for the sale of all of the following works (hereinafter, "Represented Works"), written or to
be written by Author and not covered by a prior un-agented sale or prior agency agreement: (1) all book-length
fiction and/or non-fiction; (2) all full-length feature screenplays and/or full-length or series-length television scripts,
and (3) any other writings that Author and Literary Agent may agree upon and specifically stipulate in writing,
unless the agency deems the property to be unmarketable in its presented form. Author hereby agrees to make
available to Literary Agent all above mentioned works for consideration for representation.
(b) To negotiate sales (hereinafter, "Represented Sales") of (1) Represented Works in the U.S., its territories, and
Canada (hereinafter, "Domestic Sales"), (2) Represented Works in non-domestic markets (hereinafter, "Foreign
Sales"), and (3) derivative or secondary rights in the Represented Works (such as film, TV, recording, or other
dramatic media) anywhere in the world (hereinafter, "Subsidiary Sales").

(c) To receive payments and royalties from all Represented Sales so long as the contracts for such sales remain in
force.

Author attests that, during the term of this Contract, Author will employ no other literary agent to represent Author
for Author's Represented Works, and that Literary Agent has exclusive representation rights to all appropriate works
as indicated above. If some of Author's book-length and/or full-length material is to be excluded from this contract
because it is covered by a prior agreement with another agency, list those titles to be excluded from this agreement
here:

1. _____________________________________
2. _____________________________________
3. _____________________________________
4. _____________________________________

2. CONTRACTS

Literary Agent shall use best efforts to promote Author's Represented Works. No proposed Represented Sale shall
be binding unless approved by Author in a signed contract (hereinafter, "Represented Contract"). Author may, in
writing, authorize Literary Agent to sign contracts on his or her behalf.

3. AGENT'S COMMISSION

Literary Agent shall be entitled to a commission (hereinafter, "Agent's Commission") equal to fifteen (15) percent of
all Domestic Sales, twenty (20) percent of all Subsidiary Sales, twenty (20) percent of all Foreign Sales, and twenty
(20) percent of all Film and Television Sales.

4. SUBSIDIARY RIGHTS

Subject to Author's reasonable consent, Literary Agent shall engage all subsidiary or co-agents whom Literary
Agent believes best represent Author in Foreign Sales and Film and Television Sales.

5. EXPENSES BORNE BY LITERARY AGENT

From Literary Agent's Commission, Literary Agent shall pay (a) all subsidiary or split commissions required by
foreign or subsidiary agents, and (b) Literary Agent shall not be reimbursed for such normal costs of
conducting business and need not account for them to Author. Any costs above and beyond normal costs of
conducting business shall be approved in writing by both Author and Literary Agent. Literary Agent shall be
reimbursed by Author for any specific expenses incurred only if listed under an "Amendment to Expenses Borne by
Literary Agent."
6. DISBURSEMENTS

On behalf of Author, Literary Agent shall collect all payments due Author under any Represented Contract
("Author's Payments") and shall, within fifteen days of the funds clearing, disburse the amount of such Author's
Payments to Author, less any Literary Agent's Commission and less any mutually approved expense charges.

7. STATEMENTS

In January of each year, Literary Agent shall provide Author with an annual statement showing all Author's
Payments, Agent's Commissions, and other itemized deductions for the previous calendar year, if applicable.

8. NOTICES

Literary Agent and Author shall promptly send each other copies of (a) any legal notice under any Represented
Contract, (b) any important communication from any publisher under any Represented Contract, and any material
correspondence.

9. TERM

This contract shall remain in force for a minimum of twelve (12) months from the date of execution and shall be
automatically renewed indefinitely following that period of time, subject to the following: (a) this contract may be
terminated voluntarily after 12 months for any reason by either party upon thirty (30) days' prior written notice to
the other, detailing causes for termination, sent via certified mail, return receipt requested, to the addresses below:

If to Literary Agent, X.

If to Author, at author's address or at such address as either party may designate in writing to the other.

After termination, Literary Agent shall continue to administer Represented Contracts which Literary Agent
negotiated while this Contract was in force and retain Agent's Commission on those Represented Contracts.
Literary Agent may make no further sales of the Represented Works.






10. CONTACTS

Mail sent to Author in care of Literary Agent may be opened by the Literary Agent and dealt with, unless it is
apparently of a personal nature, in which case Literary Agent shall forward it to the Author promptly. When Author
is approached directly by any party interested in Author's Represented Works, Author shall inform Literary Agent
immediately and refer the party to Literary Agent.

11. AMENDMENT

This Agreement contains the entire agreement between the parties hereto. It supersedes any prior agreement and
may be amended in writing by mutual consent.

This agreement may not be assigned by either party without the written consent of the other.

In the event that Literary Agent dies, leaves the agency business, or commits a substantial breach of this agreement,
Author or his heirs and assigns may revoke all rights granted to Literary Agent hereunder.

JimmyD1318
06-04-2007, 06:07 PM
The person to ask would be Uncle Jim. He could make sense of all of the gobbley gook.:D

Also naming the Agent would help. How do they rank on P&E?

DaveKuzminski
06-04-2007, 06:12 PM
Yes, who's the agent? If you want advice, we need to know who's involved because there might be other information we're aware of such as whether the company fulfills the contract in the full spirit intended.

Jacob Spire
06-04-2007, 06:31 PM
Pamela Trayser. Apparently, she's been moving ahead since the last post here about Phenomenon Books. She's naming here clients now, and claims to be making progress with selling three manuscripts.

victoriastrauss
06-04-2007, 06:59 PM
The contract is pretty standard. I'm not crazy about Clause 9, which doesn't let you terminate the contract for 12 months and, if you do terminate, requires you to state cause. Better would be the ability to terminate at any time without the obligation to provide an explanation.

There's a more urgent issue than the contract, though. I've gotten a few questions about Ms. Trayser, I can't find any evidence to suggest that she has a professional background in agenting or publishing, or that she's qualified to be a literary agent. No doubt she's well intentioned, but good intentions are not the same as skill--and without skill, the odds of success are slim.

I'm merging this with the Phenomenon Books thread.

- Victoria

Jacob Spire
06-17-2007, 06:14 PM
Moreover, she's very thorough. Sent me back my first four chapters, all typos and stylos and grammos corrected. Impressed me very much.

Susan B
08-19-2007, 10:16 PM
The agency also has a blog, where they give tips for new writers on how to get an agent. Interestingly, they also make a case for doing without an agent, in some situations. (Including self-publishing).

Hope they do well. Makes me think about Uwe Stender/Triadus, another agency that was new a few years ago but has been doing pretty well lately with placing some books--and reportedly very well-liked by its clients.

http://phenomenonbooks.blogspot.com/

CaoPaux
11-19-2007, 06:40 AM
Updating link: http://www.phenomenonbooks.com/

cslarsen
02-18-2008, 06:09 PM
I've been working with Pamela as my agent for about 4 months. Excellent to work with and provides great details on where/when she subs each month. She helped me pickup a contract with Lerner Publishing (Millbrook Press) on a Non-fiction title for a series coming out in 2009. Even got me a nice advance. So she's definitely legit. And I've gotten better exposure through her - having several full ms sent to big name editors.

Hope that helps.
Chris (C.S.) Larsen
www.cslarsen.com (http://www.cslarsen.com)

Calla Lily
02-18-2008, 06:18 PM
Pamela rocks.

She has my thriller ms. at 4 publishers and my mystery at 3 others. She got 3 editors to request the mystery before I finished it. (I needed to up word count a bit.) She communicates, she makes excellent suggestions, she respects my creativity as a slightly skewed writer. :D

Did I mention she rocks? :D

Julie Worth
02-22-2008, 12:13 AM
Did I mention she rocks? :D

She's been in business for a year, has a long list of clients, but no sales. How is it that she rocks?

Calla Lily
02-22-2008, 12:17 AM
She's sold cslarsen 's book (books?)--post #32 above. She has my books and the books of several other clients at more than one publisher, and at more than the basement stage of the process.

Julie Worth
02-22-2008, 12:22 AM
She's sold cslarsen 's book (books?)--post #32 above. She has my books and the books of several other clients at more than one publisher, and at more than the basement stage of the process.

I missed that one.

Stlight
03-10-2008, 01:39 AM
What threw me was her request for a list of at least 3 books similar to yours. Might not have bothered me if I could think of three, but can't.
Stlight

Calla Lily
03-10-2008, 03:45 PM
I learned about proposals at a writers' conference. From one of the best "how-to" people: Randy Ingermanson. He analyzed his successful proposal for his first book, Oxygen. He and his co-author broke everything down into sections, then used bullet points within the sections--similar to a resume. That's where I learned to define my target market, and where I learned how to cite 3-5 similar books. The books I chose (like the books he chose) are not the same as mine. Rather, they have similar themes or major elements.

If you want to know the format for the book comparison, PM me, and I'll give you mine.

JoNightshade
08-26-2008, 09:38 PM
I was Pamela's client for 6 months, but decided to end the relationship for various reasons. (Just wasn't the right agent.)

Since then, two of her other clients have ferreted me out via Google and contacted me, asking about various concerns. It seems she has not posted on her blog for almost two months and has not been answering her own client emails for at least a month. I wouldn't have said anything, but I just found this on P&E:

"Pamela Trayser: No longer agenting. A literary agent with Phenomenon Books Agency."

Now I'm wondering, has she closed her agency and not told any of her clients? What's going on here?

Calla Lily
08-26-2008, 09:44 PM
Working on this. I'll keep you all posted.

WritersNotesAdvocate
08-27-2008, 04:17 AM
I've been one of Pamela's clients for a little over a year now and was surprised when I saw the previous two postings and when I read the P&E listing.

I contacted P&E by email and received this reply when I inquired about the basis of the listing: "Another writer claiming to be a client of hers emailed the notification along with a letter allegedly from her about leaving agenting."

I emailed Pamela today; if I receive an official reply, letter, or communication I can drop by to summarize it. I can't say how much this would sadden me: I received an incredibly encouraging email a month earlier noting that two editors at a huge publishing house had read my work and it hadn't been passed on (as of yet). Boy was I hoping and praying! May God bless all however this turns out in the end!

DaveKuzminski
08-27-2008, 06:39 AM
Because of the conflicting information I've obtained for this agency, I've just finished uploading tomorrow's update to the P&E sites so that listing is now showing the closing as unverified. However, I believe the conflict originated at the source because the information I've received contains similarities that can't be dismissed as being from two sources.

WritersNotesAdvocate
08-27-2008, 11:14 PM
To follow up on my last posting, I emailed another client of Pamela's. I don't feel it's my place to state the individual's name or Pamela's personal matters on a public forum, but the gist of the email was that Pamela has indeed left agenting due to a serious matter--medical, I believe, involving a family member--to pursue work that was more immediately profitable.
Perhaps this person was Dave's source--not sure. However, a clearer picture seems to be emerging. I pray for Pamela and her family and wish them the best; however, I hope, when time allows, she will contact all of her clients regarding contract releases and / or submissions still circulating out there. Sorry I don't have better news.

victoriastrauss
08-27-2008, 11:20 PM
I too have received info that suggests that the writing is on the wall for this agency. I echo WritersNotes in hoping that Ms. Trayser will be professional enough to let all her clients know the situation as soon as possible.

Am I surprised by this outcome? No (http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showpost.php?p=1256860&postcount=4).

- Victoria

IceCreamEmpress
08-27-2008, 11:21 PM
WritersNotesAdvocate, have you had any correspondence from Ms. Trayser yourself? Because it seems odd for her to write some of her clients and tell them she's leaving agenting and not others.

WritersNotesAdvocate
08-28-2008, 12:05 AM
Hi, IceCreamEmpress:

To answer your question: no. I've left a voice message (the recording was still active as Phenomenon Books Agency) and emailed, but I've received no official word. To be fair to Pamela, I only called today and emailed yesterday, so not much time has passed. I don't want to hound her if there truly is a family issue. My heart truly does go out to her if that's the case. I also don't feel confortable spouting out the author's name I found this info out from (perhaps this author will post at some point anyway), but I just asked myself: if (a) it is true that Pamela hasn't emailed anyone in for a bit, then (b) what authors would she have to stay in contact with? Who'd be most likely to know or speak with her first? For that reason, while I still need to hear it officially and don't mean to sound pessimistic, at this point I believe the P&E posting is correct.

IceCreamEmpress
08-28-2008, 12:51 AM
Well, I don't want to judge her--I've dropped more than a few professional balls myself when dealing with family crises--but it does seem to me like someone leaving the profession should try to notify all of her clients as simultaneously as possible.

I hope she works those issues out, and then finds another line of work that gives her what she needs to deal with the family stuff.

advice4writer
08-29-2008, 01:18 AM
Hi all. Yes, Phemonenon Books is dead. I was a client of Pam's since December 07. In the beginning - things were great. Subbed to all the big places, got some responses. A few big name editors had my manuscript since January, still considering.

During the summer - Pamela went on hiatus. Her kids were out of school, and she blogged only a few times in June, then stopped. She also stopped responding to my emails. She said that she was going on a meet & greet trip to NYC, and after she continued to ignore my emails, I finally called her. She mentioned at that point that everything was back on track and was fine, just that she'd been busy.

More time goes by. I email once more, asking for a sub report. No answer. I email again, this time, after a few days go by, she responds with a succinct message saying that there has been a health issue in the family and she didn't know how long it would affect things, so she was closing the agency.

That was it - no formal letter, nothing. I do feel for her in her situation. It must have been hard to accept a closing. HOWEVER - here's the thing that really got me. In her email - she casually stated that she had pulled all of my existing submissions. Yes, let that sink in. Not only was that breach of contract (I know - what contract, she's closing) but there were some big name ed's who were still considering at the time. I don't understand why she didn't leave them alone just in case.

I find it very strange indeed that no formal notice has gone out - either to her clients directly, or on her blog, or on the website, which should be shut down. I'm sure hundreds of queries are still being sent in. I at first was paranoid - thinking perhaps she was singling me out and only telling me she was closing. I have been in contact with several other clients, though, who all report that she hasn't been in contact with them, either.

If anyone else has any light to shed, I would appreciate it. It's been a roller-coaster of emotions for me.

IceCreamEmpress
08-29-2008, 01:31 AM
In her email - she casually stated that she had pulled all of my existing submissions.

Wait, WHAT!?!?!?!? Why on Earth would she do this? That goes beyond "dropping some balls while dealing with a family crisis" to SO UNPROFESSIONAL one can barely stand it.

I mean, if she had the time to withdraw submissions from publishers (and WHY, for Baal's sake?) she had the time to, you know, send a form letter or email to all of her clients.

Again, I feel for her in dealing with the family crisis, but this is just not cool. And yes, this is one of the reasons that it's better to avoid working with new literary agents who don't have a background either in the agency field or in publishing. Experience is one of the things that helps people make solid professional decisions in a crisis.

Calla Lily
08-29-2008, 02:07 AM
I've been keeping my mouth shut. Except to want to smash things.

Yes, I know all the stuff I posted above, and y'all are free to lecture me if you think it'll help others.

Cue Donna Summer: I Will Survive. And so will all 29 of us.

victoriastrauss
08-29-2008, 04:19 AM
HOWEVER - here's the thing that really got me. In her email - she casually stated that she had pulled all of my existing submissions. Yes, let that sink in. Not only was that breach of contract (I know - what contract, she's closing) but there were some big name ed's who were still considering at the time. I don't understand why she didn't leave them alone just in case.

Wow. Just wow. That is beyond unprofessional. I am just really gobsmacked that she'd do this. Why not leave the submissions in place, which would give you something to go to a new agent with? Instead, she has destroyed any chance you had with those editors--and also with the imprints they work for, because they aren't likely to want to see your ms. again, even with a different agent. In effect, this is screwing you twice.

I'm shaking my head.

- Victoria

Calla Lily
08-29-2008, 04:27 AM
FWIW, her email to me indicated that she might be following up on my subs. I emailed her for clarification but received no reply.

advice4writer
08-29-2008, 05:48 AM
Callalily - when did she email you? recently? i just don't get it - she's closed, but not really? The old adage is true, fellow writer's, listen up and listen good: no agent is better than a bad agent. Let's remember that instead of just riding the high of having someone else appreciate your work.

Calla Lily
08-29-2008, 05:55 AM
Tuesday the 26th.

Calla Lily
08-29-2008, 09:17 PM
If there are any former clients of Phenomenon Books on the boards, please pm me NOW.

Little Red Barn
08-29-2008, 10:21 PM
Wow. Just wow. That is beyond unprofessional. I am just really gobsmacked that she'd do this. Why not leave the submissions in place, which would give you something to go to a new agent with? Instead, she has destroyed any chance you had with those editors--and also with the imprints they work for, because they aren't likely to want to see your ms. again, even with a different agent. In effect, this is screwing you twice.

I'm shaking my head.

- Victoria

This is such a heart-wrenching punch-in-the-gut statement I felt I needed to come in and give a hug and prayer to all of you. I'm so very sorry.

But I would encourage you to think, HOPE, ACT and realize editors and or future agents are human too and would hopefully not hold the victims accountable for this agent's missteps...

J.Reid
08-29-2008, 10:39 PM
With all due respect to the other knowledgeable commenters here, may I offer some encouragement. Pulling a submission doesn't close off submitting again to that editor or that publisher.

Most editors won't have read something unless poked a couple times, particularly if submitted by a new agent or someone they don't have history with. If they haven't read it when it gets pulled, your new agent (and this isn't a poorly concealed offer to query me at all) will be able to submit again.

Little Red Barn
08-29-2008, 10:55 PM
With all due respect to the other knowledgeable commenters here, may I offer some encouragement. Pulling a submission doesn't close off submitting again to that editor or that publisher.

Most editors won't have read something unless poked a couple times, particularly if submitted by a new agent or someone they don't have history with. If they haven't read it when it gets pulled, your new agent (and this isn't a poorly concealed offer to query me at all) will be able to submit again.
::SMOOOCH::: Exactly the encouragemt these good folks need, THANK YOU!!!! Now everyone look at Lil's sig,
hugs

JennaGlatzer
08-29-2008, 11:44 PM
Despite my neverending love and admiration for Victoria, yep, I'm with J. Reid-- no worries. I honestly don't think that having her pull the subs changes anything with regard to whether or not those editors will look at the works again with a new agent-- if they hadn't read them yet in the first place, it makes no difference. If they were about to reject anyway, they'll reject when the new agent tries. And if they read and liked it, they'll be happy to hear from your new agent (or you directly).

Sorry you all went through this, but hang in there. Stick to agents with track records next time. Hard lesson learned. Onward and upward!

Calla Lily
08-29-2008, 11:50 PM
:e2flowers for Jenna.

And for Victoria :e2flowers and Dave K. :e2flowers who've given some terrific advice throughout. (Long live PM's! :))

mspswi
08-30-2008, 05:12 AM
I had two manuscripts that Phenomenon Books submitted to three large publishing houses. She supplied me with a submission report, so I know the editors who she suppossedly submitted to. Is it appropriate for us to contact those editors to see if they really had the submissions, and if they in fact were pulled?

Calla Lily
08-30-2008, 05:15 AM
I did, mspswi, and so did at least one other of her former clients. All I got so far were "out of office" autoreplies. :) I'm looking ahead to the Tuesday after Labor Day, when everyone's back in the office.

advice4writer
08-30-2008, 09:14 AM
Having read this thread, is it out of place to ask: what are the chances that she never submitted your work at all? It seems she was trying to keep clients happy while building a new agency. It might be that she reported what she wanted to happen, rather than what really did. Just a suggestion. If she didn't submit your work, you or your new agent are completely in the clear to continue trying, which is really the best outcome in the long run.


Bingo. I've been wondering the same thing. I know she had mine at several places - she did forward along a few of their emailed responses, BUT, the other editors? Who knows, for sure. The delicate thing to consider is How To Word what happened in future query letters - or some might say - if at all to mention what happened. I myself am keeping it short and sweet in my current queries, stating:

"I have found myself in a difficult situation regarding my current novel, 'X'. My agent has recently encountered a health problem and has decided to close her agency. Thus, I am seeking new representation."

I am sharing this only because I know other P.B. clients might find it helpful. Janet - if you're reading this - thank you. I actually sent you a query already and you promptly rejected - that's ok, not for you. I do want you to know that we appreciate the advice from such a 'tell-it-like-it-is' agent.

Right now I'm dealing with 2 nyc agents - BOTH of whom have notable sales and a goodish length of experience under their hats.

cheers

J.Reid
08-30-2008, 11:47 AM
If at all possible try not to get too paranoid about whether she sent your work out. Most likely she did. It doesn't sound like she was trying to dupe anyone, it just sounds like she got in over her head.

Even if you contact the editors, there's not much they'll be able to do if they respond at all.

Shoot out some (ok a lot) of query letters this weekend.

WritersNotesAdvocate
08-31-2008, 01:38 AM
Hi. I'm just posting again as a former Phenomenon Books Agency client to try (whether successfully or not) to put a few people at ease regarding whether or not manuscripts were submitted (though I think J. Reid's point is the essential one to remember).

Upon receiving advice from a few kind people, including another previous client, I contacted one of the big houses that had been holding my manuscript since January (according to submission reports). The publisher was Twelve (part of Hachette). They responded to my email within one day (what classy people they are!) and told me that they had passed on my manuscript. They even offered their sympathies for my newly unagented status, so I personally doubt very much the rejection had anything to do with that. While that wasn't the news I was looking for, it does, in my opinion, verifty that (1) in my case (and most likely in the case of other clients) that the manuscripts were sent where indicated at least as late as January of this year, if not later still, and (2) that not all big publishers will snub a follow up directly from the author given the situation. Some might even reply (like Twelve did) just to help the author in question. While it'd be greater still to get a new agent and go from there, for those who aren't so lucky, at the very least there's hope for a reply.

Hope this helps ease someone's pain just a little. If not--oh well, I tried.

Stlight
08-31-2008, 01:54 AM
I found what writersnoteadvocate said to be true. Long long ago way back in the mid-90s before Absolute write -my agent went down - they later became infamous for it. I was given a list by one of the secretaries of where my novel had been sent. It went some fascinating places for its genre, but that’s another story. I snail mail wrote to all the publishers on the list including SASE. Some wrote nice letters back about receiving and rejecting the mss and the reasons, usually it wasn’t what they published. A few scribbled a line across my letter and returned it to me - but they still answered. Every last one of them answered. Even the ones who said they rejected out of hand anything my agent sent, were pleasant to me.

I think as the man said, in this field a frequently the only thing we have to fear is fear itself.

Who was the agent? Out of business still I hope. They wrote a book about her, it’s called Ten Percent of Nothing. Which proves you can recover from a bad agent. It takes less time with AW than it did alone.

Stlight

Calla Lily
09-27-2008, 08:39 PM
A quick update:

Per the contract, I sent my official letter severing our agreement via certified mail, return receipt requested on 8/28. It came back to me today, 9/27, with a Post office printout sticker reading: "Return to sender. Unclaimed. Unable to forward."

I'm glad now I emailed her the same day I sent the letter, and that she responded. That correspondence is captured on my hard drive and in my Outlook.

rosepddle
09-27-2008, 09:22 PM
Wow! I just read this whole tread and as I was minutes away from adding Phenomenon Books to my list of agents to query, I have to say thank you to AW. I went from mild concern to outright horror while reading this thread. I'm so happy that AW exsists an that I do my homework! Good luck to all of you who had to start over.

WritersNotesAdvocate
10-01-2008, 01:47 AM
Dear AltoidAddict:

I just wanted to post to say congratulations! As you mentioned you signed two weeks ago, I hope you had a party thread to celebrate. If not, I hope one starts soon. May you get a great publisher and an obscenely large advance!

jaypers
10-01-2008, 07:19 PM
Man. Without this site, there'd be a lot of writers getting screwed by her still having a website up. This is the first place I check after finding an agency. Thanks AW for being here for us! Saved me some time and money!!!

Geosteph
10-02-2008, 07:18 AM
I, too, had them on my list. I found them in the Guide to Literary Agents just about a month ago. But I checked P&E first and when I saw what was there, came here. Wow!

crazewriter010
10-14-2008, 11:26 PM
Oh! I misunderstood how the site works. Thank you for the clarification.

I will go and hide my shame, now.

wait wait how do you use the website again i am a little confuse.... my head is dark clouded with pollution of confusion.... how did you able to contact Pamela Trayser.... oh yeah any advise on the query??

Calla Lily
10-14-2008, 11:32 PM
Phenomenon Books is no longer an agency, even if the website hasn't been taken down.

tbrosz
10-19-2008, 10:08 AM
The main website is not a "real" website any more, but one of those generic ad sites that pops up when you try to pull up a defunct web address.

Last entry on her blog (http://phenomenonbooks.blogspot.com/) was in July. Definitely an "ex-agency."

What I thought was weird last summer was that she only wanted submissions from October-December and March-May.

cslarsen
01-27-2009, 06:39 AM
FYI, I was a client of Phenomenon Books Agency, I believe her only sale. I recieved an email from her last fall, indicating pretty much what has been said above. What has frustrated me, is that I have not recieved my final advance check from them. Let that be a lesson to everyone - be very, very, very, very, very careful which agency you sign up with. As for now, i'm agentless, but published with several books out! So I can't complain too much...

sarahw
04-05-2009, 04:34 AM
I was an client of Phenomenon Books too. I never did receive any correspondance from her, but have since found myself another agent. Did anyone ever really hear what happened?