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MyTorchIsBroken
05-17-2007, 04:56 PM
Has anyone heard of the Tarisai Literary Agency? I've just had a manuscript accepted by a publisher through them, who wants 500 to publish. This sounds like vanity to me, but has anyone ever heard of them or had any experience with them?

http://www.tarisai.co.uk/

Thanks....

herdon
05-17-2007, 05:02 PM
All I can suggest is to run away as fast as you can.

Though this did make me laugh:

"Tarisai Literary Agency is aware of the demands of the industry and will not make irresponsible suggestions for clients wishing to approach publishers. However, where work is deemed not only well-written, but also potentially commercial, we will suggest publishers either for client to approach directly, or in exceptional cases we will forward work ourselves after discussion with author."

In exceptional cases they'll act as an agent... funny stuff for a literary agency.

xhouseboy
05-17-2007, 05:12 PM
Have you already paid the agency any fees? I noted that on their site they state that payment to them can be made by paypal when the contract is signed.

The paypal logo on the site is a big red flag in itself.

James D. Macdonald
05-17-2007, 05:24 PM
No real agent sells a book to a vanity press.

Any publisher that wants you to pay them is a vanity. You don't need an agent to sell to a vanity.

Here's Tarisai's URL: http://www.tarisai.co.uk/index.html

Their charge of 80 to negotiate with publishers fills me with wonder. Heck, the whole webpage fills me with wonder.

Under "Our Archievements" (which, you'll note, they spelled wrong if they meant "achievements"), they list three books which all came out from arima publishing (http://www.arimapublishing.co.uk/), a pay-to-play vanity house.

What was the name of the publisher with the 500 fee?

My advice: find a real agent.

HapiSofi
05-17-2007, 08:15 PM
I'll second what Jim said. There's no way that Tarisai Literary Agency can be legitimate.

Real agencies don't charge their clients for negotiating with publishers, or for anything else. The only way they make money is by taking a fixed commission on sales. And real agencies emphatically don't sell their authors into vanity houses, ever.

If Tarisai has a pattern of selling its clients into one vanity house, Arima, then it very likely has an interest in that operation or has arranged to receive kickbacks from them. There are lots of vanity houses, and since it looks bad for Tarisai to have placed almost all its clients with the same publisher, you have to assume there's a material reason all their business is going to Arima.

If you've paid fees to either company, but especially Arima, do what you can to get the money back. It was gotten from you under false pretenses.

I'm as amused as Jim is by the copy on Tarisai's website:
Tarisai Literary Agency is aware of the demands of the industry and will not make irresponsible suggestions for clients wishing to approach publishers. However, where work is deemed not only well-written, but also potentially commercial, we will suggest publishers either for client to approach directly, or in exceptional cases we will forward work ourselves after discussion with author.
Tarisai has no idea what literary agents do. They gather the business has something to do with submissions, and they've heard that agents negotiate with publishers on behalf of their clients. What they've missed is that submitting clients' manuscripts to publishers is dead standard procedure for agents, and a central part of their work.

The third paragraph tells the same story:
Disclaimer: we cannot take responsibility for manuscripts lost in the post. Never send the only copy of your work. We may, if we cannot find suitable publisher or editor, return your work unread, along with your cheque.
Tarisai has seen references to agents submitting work variously to publishers or editors, but doesn't understand that they run in tandem -- i.e., that when you've found a suitable publisher, you've also found a suitable editor. More disturbingly, they think that finding a suitable publisher or editor precedes reading the client's work.

I've been referring to the Tarisai Agency in the plural, but Tarisai may be a one-man or one-woman business. If so, that person is Tarisaishe@yahoo.com, who may or may not be a 24-year-old Seventh Day Adventist from Zimbabwe who speaks English as a second language and is inclined to be a bit of a conspiracy theorist.

batgirl
05-17-2007, 11:38 PM
Near the bottom of the TArisai page, just above the Cakes & Bakes Bakery advert, there's an email address for tarisaishe@yahoo.co.uk, which would support that idea. Elsewhere the full name is given as Tarisai Ziyambi (presumably not the senator?) This poem (http://voicesnet.org/anniversarypoems/poempoetry87402.htm) is by someone of that name, make what you will of it.

The spelling 'archievement' is used again in a link to a BBC interview. I'd look further, but the consistent spelling of knight-errent is making me twitch.

ETA: o bugger, this is just painful. I looked at the author's website (and yes, she spells it errent all the way through) and there's a link to an interview with her. The poor kid. It's really unfair that someone can do this to her.

"Donna, of Festival Close, in Festival Heights, Etruria, has always been a keen writer but this is the first time she has been published. Soon she hopes to be mentioned in the same breath as millionaire writers like JK Rowling and Terry Pratchett. ... Donna is not yet set to give up her day job as she has received no money up front from the publishers, but will cash in on royalties if the book sells."

Bugger.

-Barbara

HapiSofi
05-18-2007, 12:16 AM
Errent. Archievement. I don't blame anyone for being unable to spell in English, but I will blame them for not running their page through a spellchecker.

MyTorchIsBroken
05-18-2007, 01:18 AM
Many, many thanks for all your help and suggestions. I am now wise enough to know if any agent asks for money that they are to be kept clear of, especially as I know that the copy of the manuscript I sent them was, well, lets say a little below par...

Just to set everyone's mind at rest, no I haven't paid anything over at all. The only people to see my money pre-publishing will be professional manuscript editors, and then only after getting advice from this site.

I got their website from the FirstWrite.com site, and thought they were legit. Ah well... Onto the next round of submission/rejection....

victoriastrauss
05-18-2007, 01:43 AM
Ah, another amateur agency touted by FirstWriter.com. FirstWriter does not screen the agencies it lists, and thus lists many bad ones. We've had many writers come here asking about questionable or amateur agencies as a result of seeing a listing at FirstWriter.

- Victoria

CaoPaux
11-29-2007, 03:34 AM
I'm not finding any "Archievements". Their front page now reads:

Welcome to our site


Tarisai.co.uk aims to offer variety of services to our web community.
Tarisai Literary Agency has helped a number of authors to publish their work, contact us and get published.
You can also buy books direct from our site via our online book shop.
Tarisai.co.uk also offers poetry competitions and will publish best poems annually.
Tarisai.co.uk will also arrange for your security. We can get you door supervisors, dog security, alarm systems, cctv services and other personal security needs.
We also sell office stationary provide stationary order services for offices, universities, colleges, schools and other service sectors.
Tarisai.co.uk also offers advertising services via bill boards, newspapers, television and leaflet distribution.
Self Publish today with us at very competitive prices.
The head, it aches.

IceCreamEmpress
11-29-2007, 03:59 AM
I'm not finding any "Archievements".

Hey, at least their office is stationary! That's an archievement in and of itself, yes?

CaoPaux
02-11-2011, 06:44 AM
Site is now a mash of Under Construction and members-only pages.