PDA

View Full Version : Scribe Book Company / The Literati Agency (Ang DePriest)



Idlewild
07-04-2007, 06:49 PM
Hi all,

Anyone have any experience with the Literati Agency? Angela DePriest there has requested my manuscript. P&E posts a storm warning given that Angela is also associated with a book company, Scribe. She even acknowledges this red flag on her Publishers Marketplace site. She counters that Scribe is a separate entity, and that Literati authors will not be shuttled there. My bigger concern is her apparent lack of book sales to date.

Thanks for any information you might pass my way.

James D. Macdonald
07-04-2007, 07:18 PM
Lack of book sales? Warning at P&E?

What attracted you to this agent to start with?

JerseyGirl1962
07-06-2007, 06:05 PM
P&E posts a storm warning given that Angela is also associated with a book company, Scribe. She even acknowledges this red flag on her Publishers Marketplace site. She counters that Scribe is a separate entity, and that Literati authors will not be shuttled there. My bigger concern is her apparent lack of book sales to date.

First of all...
:welcome:

Now to the meat of the issue...

You've got an agent associated with a book company, which means she's got a conflict of interest.

Then there's the lack of book sales. Why would you want to go with somebody who hasn't sold anything? (I take it that she didn't just set up shop this past week.) Treat yourself and your ms. with respect; start at the top agents and work your way down. And if you've already gone through a slew of agents without any bites, it might be time to tinker with your query letter.

Good luck!

~Nancy

DaveKuzminski
07-06-2007, 10:04 PM
Actually, according to correspondence from them, both agents have a conflict of interest.

herdon
07-06-2007, 11:13 PM
The lack of sales is the major thing. John Jarrold is a well respected agent that does book doctoring as well. It's always a warning sign, but the two can co-exist if the agent has integrity.

Without sales, though, that's when the red flag gets turned into a stop sign. Of course, without sales, it would be a stop sign anyways unless the agent was affiliated with a premier agency.

Popeyesays
07-07-2007, 02:14 AM
The lack of sales is the major thing. John Jarrold is a well respected agent that does book doctoring as well. It's always a warning sign, but the two can co-exist if the agent has integrity.

Without sales, though, that's when the red flag gets turned into a stop sign. Of course, without sales, it would be a stop sign anyways unless the agent was affiliated with a premier agency.

John Jarrold will not rep a book he has edited, nor edit a book he reps. That's an ironclad rule for him, it stops the conflict of interest before it begins.

regards,
Scott

herdon
07-07-2007, 03:27 AM
John Jarrold will not rep a book he has edited, nor edit a book he reps. That's an ironclad rule for him, it stops the conflict of interest before it begins.


As I said, the two can co-exist so long as the agent has integrity ;)

CaoPaux
07-10-2007, 12:42 AM
Adding link: http://www.theliterati.net/

batgirl
07-11-2007, 04:01 AM
Their 'mission statement' raises some red flags:
"we want to rewrite the book on publishing" (personally, I'd want an agent who wanted to sell my book, not undertake a crusade)
"Finally, The Literati aims to curb fiscal irresponsibility in the publishing industry and readjust the curve that makes publishing more equitable for all publishers and authors. Therefore we do not ask for grandiose advances; we prefer reasonable advances and higher escalating royalty rates for our authors. We also do not start or engage in bidding wars; we believe that is counterpro- ductive to growing partnerships between our authors and their publishing homes."

Angela DePriest claims several years experience in the publishing industry, including working for Thomas Nelson, which sounds pretty legit, though I agree that agenting and running her own publishing house sounds, if not dodgy, somewhat overwhelming.
Dan DePriest doesn't claim any specific publishing experience beyond a vague 'involved with books all his life' sort of thing - well, me too, but reading a lot and working in a library doesn't qualify me to become an agent.

The authors seem to be about half Christian-slanted nonfic (memoirs, advice, etc.) and about half Christian-slanted fiction, YA or literary/contemporary. One of them, Ronn Elmore, has been published several times, once at least by a recognisable publisher, other times by small presses or self-pubbed. He may be selling these through his ministry (and I'd wonder how many were sold before or without his agents).
I was mildly weirded out by seeing extensive synopses and covers for some books on the author pages, with
THIS TITLE IS
NOT YET
AVAILABLE
in the sidebar, along with estimated wordcounts and estimated dates of completion. That's not common practice, is it? To be hawking books that aren't actually completed? To be giving them covers and a table of contents before a publisher has accepted them?
-Barbara

Idlewild
07-11-2007, 04:11 PM
Thanks to all for your considered replies to my query regarding Literati. Hope to return the favor some day.

Momento Mori
07-16-2007, 09:03 PM
Hi, Brian and welcome to AW.


All but one of Ron Elmore's books have been published by the same publisher - Warner. Walk Worthy Press is an imprint of Warner (which is now Hachette). I know this because I worked there for two years until last month.

Do you know whether any of the books bought by Warner were ones represented by Literati?


I don't know anything about them except that they've sold at least one book to Penguin (I worked there too) and they have at least five book deals at Warner imprints (FaithWords and Little, Brown) in the past year

Do you remember which books (or the respective author) sold to Penguin, FaithWords and Little, Brown?

It's difficult to form an opinion on Literati on their site because there's no information about who they've sold work to and there's no indication of how long they've been running (which makes it difficult to work out whether any of the author's work listed on Amazon went through them first). Mind you, many agents have poor websites when it comes to listing sales, even the uber successful ones.

MM

Momento Mori
07-17-2007, 02:03 PM
I do know which books and authors for some of the deals, but I'm not at liberty to give specifics on any of them. (I'd like to keep working in this business you know!) They have some special thing in their contracts that keep the publishers from releasing info about money matters and private info about authors. There must be some reason why they're so secretive about things. They have their little representation blurb on the copyright page of books but they won't even let their authors mention them in the acknowledgments. And they don't do PR events with their authors. Come to think of it, they also represent a guy who published a couple of books with Gibbs Smith. The guy also has a film that won some awards. And they sold some books to NavPress. I remember that from the marketing department memos but we weren't allowed to use any of it.

Wow. That strikes me as being really ... weird. You'd think an agent or publisher would want people to know what books have been sold to who. Fair enough, Brian - I respect the fact that your hands are tied on this.

MM

James D. Macdonald
07-17-2007, 05:04 PM
Not revealing contract details or exact money amounts strikes me as reasonable (though I certainly wouldn't think ill of them for saying "a mid-six-figure advance") but keeping the titles of the books they represented confidential strikes me as just plain weird. Who in the world could it possibly be secret from?

"Confidential" lists of clients and sales is a major red flag.

If anyone from Literati is reading this they're invited to ask me why. I can explain, with colorful examples.

If Literati was formed in 2004/2005, it may be worth noting that all of Ronn Elmore's books came out in 2004 or earlier.

Soccer Mom
07-18-2007, 01:00 AM
<----bored old biddy at the domino table.

Hmmm. First post. Hotly defends publisher. Badmouths posters. Will be right back with "messages" from this publisher.

:popcorn:

Tilly
07-18-2007, 01:04 AM
Yeah, agents suck.

Some do. Not all. Sorting out sucky agents from non-sucky agents is the point.


You know, Idlewild, it seems to me that instead of taking advice from a bunch of people who don't know anything (and let's face it, none of these people know anything about it from experience), you'd just ASK THEM! Did you do that? Did they respond to you? What gives?

Um, if you do often read this site you'd know the bit I just highlighted in bold is nonsense. There are slushpuppies like me, then there are published writers and other publishing professionals.

Before I submit to an agent, I check their client list, the types of books they represent and their track record of sales to publishers. That way I know they're legit. It's important.

Dave.C.Robinson
07-18-2007, 01:18 AM
I won't submit to anyone unless I know they handle the kind of work I'm submitting. Sure anyone can say they rep genre X but the way to be sure they rep the kind of thing I've written is to take a look at the books they've sold. Amounts are none of my business. But I do want to know what was sold to who.

Kasey Mackenzie
07-18-2007, 01:20 AM
Bingo, anyone?


I usually get a lot out of this site, it's really helpful and informative in alot of ways, but sometimes I read some of these strings and i'm really disgusted at all the conjecture and rumors and junk about people. Yeah, agents suck. I've been burned too, but enough is enough already! Instead of just badmouthing these people with absolutely no basis or proof why don't you just ASK THEM?

You know, Idlewild, it seems to me that instead of taking advice from a bunch of people who don't know anything (and let's face it, none of these people know anything about it from experience), you'd just ASK THEM! Did you do that? Did they respond to you? What gives?

Sure, I'm curious about why they don't show who they represent. I want to know what's so secret about their contracts and authors. But you know what? I'm not going to sit here and make up a bunch of stupid scenarios. I'm just going to ASK THEM.

I'm going to email them (thanks for posting their website address), and I'm going to see if I can get them to just answer all these questions. I'll even ask their permission to post their response. Hey, all they can do is refuse to answer, right?

People, let's just be a little more responsible on here, okay? Instead of acting like a bunch of bored old biddies at the domino table.

P.S. I've written and published two books and there is NO WAY I'm telling you which books because I'm terrified of being ripped to shreds by you sharks. My ego is fragile enough.

Dave.C.Robinson
07-18-2007, 01:27 AM
Ok, they're off my list. I can't find out if they've repped books like mine.

brianm
07-18-2007, 02:15 AM
I don't know why Angela DePriest would not want to come to AW and set the record straight. It appears The Literati has been in existence since the fall of 2005.

http://writers.meetup.com/3/files/


In the fall of 2005, I added The Literati to the Scribe lineup. The Literati is my boutique literary agency.

I also found her blog to be informative.

http://thebigpictureofbookpublishing.blogspot.com/2007/06/so-i-married-axe-murderer.html

Page down to the section entitled, “One for the Books: All Work and No Pay.”

I would hope she would reconsider coming to AW and talking about The Literati. My gut tells me she isn't one of the bad guys and I know she would be welcomed and respected here in AW.

Momento Mori
07-18-2007, 03:06 AM
info@theliterati.net:
We don’t have anything to hide. We are simply respecting our clients’ privacy.

I'm sorry, but this is just weird. Like, Uncle Jim said, I'd understand them not wanting to say what terms they've negotiated for their clients (it goes without saying that a client would want that kept confidential), but a simple list of what titles have been sold to whom really doesn't strike me as something a client would want to keep private - if only because it helps build up anticipation if the general public know that x book is coming back with y publisher at z time.

Maybe one of the authors listed as being signed by the agency will drop by to explain where Literati are coming from on that.

One thing that does creep me out a little though is something on the Blog. There's some good information in there (and I think it's a good sign that they've got a link up to SFWA), but the chunk of text setting out a dispute with an author and a publisher strikes me as dirty laundry airing (even if she doesn't name names), particularly if it's an ongoing dispute.

MM

CaoPaux
07-18-2007, 03:52 AM
Not to mention the bottom line: there's no record of sales anywhere. Many agents have minimal websites without sales/client info. But a simple Google will bring up PL announcements, Media Bistro interviews, publisher's rights listings, etc., etc.

Conversely, it's easy to find books she's edited and conferences she's attending. IMO, that's the best indication of which way the money's flowing.

victoriastrauss
07-18-2007, 04:24 AM
Taken from the blog link above, this quote from Literati's author-agent agreement:

Should the Property be made into a serial or subject to merchandising, or dramatic (motion picture, television, radio) rights, the Agent will be entitled to fifteen percent (15%) of all proceeds, including advances. The same percentages apply to any subsequent sale of rights that derives from the initial sale of the Property, including, but not limited to the following: condensation, translation, anthology, periodicals, electronic formats and reproductions, television, motion picture, audio and video recordings, paperback, all serial rights, and commercial.
In other words, the agency claims the right to receive a commission on any subrights sale, whether or not the agency was responsible for making the sale. This is, to put it mildly, not ideal. An agent should get a commission only on rights she actually sells.

Also of concern:

The Agent’s right to compensation for a sale or disposition of rights under this Agreement, once earned, will continue even after this Agreement terminates.
Since the agency claims commission rights on any subrights sale, would this mean they'd be entitled to commissions if a work they sold went out of print and then was subsequently re-sold by the author or another agent? This may simply be a case of unclear language, but I'd definitely want to clarify it before signing.

I have to say I agree about the dirty laundry.

Leaving aside any confidentiality issues, and going strictly by what I see at the agency's website, my guess is that there are no sales here. Since the agency started up in the fall of 2005, that's a concern.

- Victoria

James D. Macdonald
07-18-2007, 10:08 AM
1) I use my own name. I don't worry about hate mail. (I don't get any, come to think of it.)

2) I've been in and around publishing for twenty years. I have a bit of experience.

3) That experience tells me that there's no such thing as a stealth agent. Someone who's selling books leaves tracks.

4) That experience also tells me that "our sales record is confidential due to concern for our clients' privacy" means "we haven't actually sold anything."

Again, who could it possibly be confidential from? The entire purpose of publishing is to make public. Even when an author is pseudonymous, the agent is that author's public face.

Roger J Carlson
07-18-2007, 05:46 PM
I'm sorry, but this is just weird. Like, Uncle Jim said, I'd understand them not wanting to say what terms they've negotiated for their clients (it goes without saying that a client would want that kept confidential), but a simple list of what titles have been sold to whom really doesn't strike me as something a client would want to keep private - if only because it helps build up anticipation if the general public know that x book is coming back with y publisher at z time.Not only that, but agents have to build a reputation just like writers do. One way to get the attention of an editor they've never worked with is to have an impressive list of books they've placed with reputable publishers. That they don't have such a list, suggests strongly that they haven't placed any books.

MacAllister
07-19-2007, 12:47 AM
FYI: I post in lots of different areas of this site under a few different names, and I've learned the hard way that if I'm going to object to something I better not use my real name otherwise I get hate mail for weeks.

Sorry. Try again, though. That's a blatant lie. There's simply no way you do any such thing as "post in lots of different areas of this site under a few different names" -- but since I've just looked up your IP information, I do know quite precisely where you ARE posting from.

Now, would you like to come clean?

MacAllister
07-19-2007, 01:49 AM
Okay, gang -- I've been emailing with Angela DePriest of Literati, this morning. I've invited her to the thread to address your questions and she's expressed her willingness to participate. It seems that a couple of her interns were trying to be helpful and show their company loyalty by posting here, and ended up making something of a mess. For the record, unlike many of the folks who find their names on the Bewares Board, she hasn't asked me for any special consideration, or to delete or remove anything, or even to close the thread. I've found her pleasant and courteous throughout our conversation.

I know everyone will be civil, and so thank you in advance.

Mac H.
07-19-2007, 07:23 AM
What a wonderful reply. Thanks for the info.

One minor point - I'm not sure your maths is right.

You talk about doing this for almost two years.


But here’s our stats: we only accept and sign .007% of what we are actually sent in the way of queries (yes, we did the math).
0.007% is 7 out of 100,000. That means that you must have received 100,000 queries in that time (or a multiple). Since you have over 12 authors, it is more likely to be about 14 out of 200,000 (which still gives 0.007%)

That comes out at an AVERAGE of about 270 queries a day - more than one every 2 minutes over an 8 hour day. (Assuming no weekends off, and rounding 'almost two years' up to two years) . I think Miss Snark mentioned a figure in the 20-30 a day as being fairly typical for her business.

Is that figure really right? It seems very high considering you've made zero effort to solicit these queries - especially since you've answered every single one (either by phone or email) and are looking after a sick family member at the same time!

Good luck - I'm sure you're a great person .. but I suspect you've made a mistake in the maths.

Mac
(PS: Edited to add: I've just received the following PM - reposting here with permission.

The result is 22 authors signed out of 785 queries over 18 months .. which comes out at about 2.8%.
I think they need interns who can count !!


hon, you'll have to do the math on this. It's late here and I can't do it anyway. I'm not a math person. One of the interns figured it out one day and I don't think their total is right. But here are the stats:

In the last 18 months (up to July 1, 2007), we have received 785 queries.

Of that 785, we have requested three chapters to review from 75 of them.

Of that 75, we have requested entire manuscripts for 31.

Of that 31, we have signed 22 authors.

Of that 22, we have sold as "agents" 6 so far. We are still in the processing of selling the rest.

The balance of our authors (after the first six) were acquired since January of this year, but most since April. We just signed a new one this past week, and we have four more we're thinking about signing. We just have to discuss it first to see if we can handle the workload.

So whatever that math turns out to be, that's what it is. Feel free to post it if there a correction there. I don't mind.)

James D. Macdonald
07-19-2007, 08:37 AM
What are the names of the authors and titles we’ve sold?

This is where we draw the line and we’re not budging on it. We will never reveal this information.

Cool.

I'll take that as as an admission that you're fibbing when you say that you've sold six books.

Mac H.
07-19-2007, 08:45 AM
One minor point:


[The webpage is] a complete list of everyone we are trying to sell right at this moment (well, that’s not exactly true since we need to update our site, take a few off, and add a few new people). When we sell a book to a publisher, we remove that listing from our site. So if you looked there last week and saw someone but they’re gone today then obviously we sold that one. We don’t have a site for authors and books we’ve sold.

<snip>..

What are the names of the authors and titles we’ve sold?
This is where we draw the line and we’re not budging on it. We will never reveal this information. Period. And it’s not because we’re hiding it from anyone or keeping it secret. It’s not a secret. That's the bizarre thing. You already cut the entry from that webpage ... a few seconds more work and you've pasted it into the 'sold' page. As you say, it isn't a secret, and it just seems like such a trivial thing to do that would restore confidence in the company ... so much easier than writing that long reply!

Good luck.

Mac

Medievalist
07-19-2007, 09:21 AM
What are the names of the authors and titles we’ve sold?
This is where we draw the line and we’re not budging on it. We will never reveal this information. Period. And it’s not because we’re hiding it from anyone or keeping it secret. It’s not a secret. It’s just need-to-know information and we’re not accountable to any of you; therefore you don’t need to know. We are accountable to our authors and publishers. To say “privacy means no sales” is a pretty ignorant way of saying, “I don’t understand what you’re doing so I’m just going to attack you.” And really, the “purpose for publishing” is not to make our record public. The purpose of publishing is to publish and distribute a book to readers in the marketplace.

That's just . . . well. I'm torn between using gormless and bizarre and idiotic, as adjectives, and fortunately, they're not mutually exclusive.

Look, no agent, ever, worries about naming signed authors and their books.

That's the best way they have of spreading the word. That's what agents do. If, that is, they have sales.

I could call any agent I've met, and hundreds I've never met, and they'd be delighted to tell me who they've signed and sold.

LeslieB
07-19-2007, 03:00 PM
Thank you for coming here. I'm glad you were willing to talk with us.


Some of you argue that we MUST talk up these details because we have to market ourselves as agents in order to attract good clients and market ourselves to publishers. No, we don’t. Why? First, because we have never solicited manuscripts from ANYONE. Despite what the originator of this thread said (that would be Idlewild) we haven’t solicited manuscripts from anyone. I’m not quite sure why Idlewild would say that. Every query we have ever received was sent to us without any effort on our part. We have never purchased or used free advertising for our agency, we have never discussed our company in any media forum (other than our Web site and our spot on Publisher’s Marketplace…and now here). We don’t attend any fancy parties with industry people. We don’t vacation with the Kennedy’s at Kennebunkport. Perhaps Idlewild sent us a query that looked interesting and we asked to see the first three chapters. That’s not unusual for us. But I can guarantee you that if we wanted to acquire Idlewild (whoever that is) then he/she wouldn’t have to come to this site to ask about us. He/she wouldn't have had to.


I'm afraid you are looking at this the wrong way. Naming the books your agency has sold is not advertising, it is your professional credentials. Identifiable sales are what divide successful professional agents from the scammers and the honest but ineffectual agents.

When a writer is looking for an agent, they need an agent who can sell their book to reputable publishers. The only way they have of knowing if that agent qualifies is to check their sales record. By refusing to reveal your sales, you are telling writers that they have to take nothing but your word that you can do the job for them. I'm sorry, but there are too many bad agents out there for me to take a bare 'trust me' from anyone. Would you go to a doctor who refused to tell you where he went to medical school, or even if he was licensed to practice medicine? If someone's resume read, "The work I did in the past is private information," can you honestly tell me you would hire that person?

HapiSofi
07-19-2007, 03:08 PM
1) ...experience also tells me that "our sales record is confidential due to concern for our clients' privacy" means "we haven't actually sold anything."

Again, who could it possibly be confidential from? The entire purpose of publishing is to make public. Even when an author is pseudonymous, the agent is that author's public face.

Thank you. I forgot to include that point in the not-a-FAQ entry on supposed publishers and agents who leave no trace in the world (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showpost.php?p=1195249&postcount=1). I have now added it.

Popeyesays
07-19-2007, 04:16 PM
The whole notion that the facts and data of a sale MUST be private is part and parcel of the paranoid approach to publishing as 'evil' and 'heartless'.

The decision to publish is not based on 'good' and 'evil' it is based on "Will this book sell for us and make money?" That is not an 'evil' notion. "Heartless'? Perhaps, but a basic business decision is not a thing of the heart.

Why is it the 'Christian' publishing industry that is so stuck in this naive notion?

It makes me monumentally glad that I am not writing for such a schizophrenic market.

Regards,
Scott

Regards,
Scott

Popeyesays
07-19-2007, 04:30 PM
Well, I don't think Jim has ever published in the 'Christian' market. He also has his own agent and twenty-some books published by major publishers to his credit. To me, that means your announcement that you'd reject him out of hand is rather childish.

You seem to labor under the notion that the publishing industry is defiled and broken. It's not. The notion is also childish. Actually, paranoia is a childish phenomena.

Grow up.

Regards,
Scott

PS, I just bingoed with a flounce in message #34. Shall we go another round?

Tilly
07-19-2007, 04:33 PM
And it’s not because we’re hiding it from anyone or keeping it secret. It’s not a secret. It’s just need-to-know information and we’re not accountable to any of you; therefore you don’t need to know.

It's possible that you don't realise how many clueless and scam agencies there are, or that many go under the guise of Christian publishing and demand trust from writers.

That's how writers get harmed.

By refusing to name your sales, your telling writers to do the same thing scammers and the clueless ask them to do - don't do your homework, just trust us. Don't choose where to submit based on research, just believe us. For writers to make informed decisions they need this information before they submit.

To ask writers to just believe you have sales means you fail to distinguish yourself from inaffective and scam agencies, over something you say is not really a secret. The only reason I can see for you behaving this way is lack of sales.

eqb
07-19-2007, 04:36 PM
...you will not find a person anywhere who will tell you we have ever wronged them, lied to them, cheated them, stole their money, mislead them, promised them something, or committed any other kind of offense against them.

The problem is, I also can't find anyone who will tell me great things about your agency, because I don't know which clients you've made sales for. And if I were still looking for an agent, I'd want to know that *before* I queried you. Why waste your time and mine if you don't represent -- and sell -- the kind of novels I write?

I appreciate that you're upset and you perceive our questions as an attack. They're not. This is the Bewares and Background Check forum. People ask about agents and publishers. A discussion follows, often taking a few detours along the way, but ultimately, our concern is to provide information for writers so they can make informed decisions.

DaveKuzminski
07-19-2007, 04:37 PM
...
Dan and I explained Scribe Book Company to the Predators and Editors gentleman, but he refused to research our information or take our references to genuinely discover the truth. Mr. Kuzminski knows Scribe is not a conflict of interest with Literati, based simply on the nature of Scribe’s business (which we carefully explained to him). But he would rather create controversy because that is what draws people to his site. I would respectfully suggest that it is he with the conflict of interest since he is obviously the author of two rather coldly received books and has proclaimed himself a “watchdog” of our esteemed industry—an industry that has obviously rejected his writing efforts. We gleaned from his site that he is a very bitter and disgruntled writer with a particularly angry penchant for slamming agents. Therefore we decided it was a waste of time to try and further change his steadfast mind. Someone on this thread said, “Why would you want to work with an agent who is flagged on P&E?” We don’t consider P&E an entirely reputable site and no one we work with does either (they’ve told us so) so we don’t worry about it.
...


P&E follows strict guidelines for who it does or does not recommend. We do not bend or break those criteria for anyone. We do not give a less onersome rating to someone without credentials who claims they have sales but won't reveal those. It goes without saying that if you want to compete in the big leagues, you have to qualify. The same goes for acquiring a favorable rating in P&E. You have to qualify.

Your whines about P&E's editor being bitter are groundless when one looks at the listings to see that there are numerous agents who are recommended. Furthermore, had you performed your own research properly, you would have discovered posts by P&E's editor about some of the gifts he purchased for his wife using his book royalties. Consequently, your complaints are not only groundless, but totally lack substance.

Finally, P&E didn't proclaim itself a watchdog. Writers did. They did so because P&E has demonstrated integrity in its operations. P&E has even posted criticism from others about itself in its own pages. You won't find that in a lot of places.

So, if you want a more favorable rating, then it's totally up to you to divulge the kind of information that other businesses are more than willing to share because... as long as you behave like a skulker, you'll be treated like one.

Popeyesays
07-19-2007, 04:39 PM
Ms. Manners is sending PM's. Is that a general phenomenon, or am I just 'blessed'?

Since it's a general insult, I see no reason not to make it public:

"We don't just work in the Christian market. And i never said the system was broken...are you an idiot? READ! I said we do things differently. That means exactly that.

You're the one that's paranoid, and obviously illiterate."

Regards,
Scott

Popeyesays
07-19-2007, 04:43 PM
You didn't list us as NOT RECOMMENDED because we didn't give you book sales data. You listed us as NOT RECOMMENDED because YOU deemed us as having a CONFLICT OF INTEREST.

After seeing this on your site, we wrote to you to ask why, and YOU said:

"One of the things P&E does is list businesses having to do with publishing. Your names and that of your agency were shared with us by a writer. We then viewed your site and prepared listings for P&E's pages. In the process, it was discovered that Dan DePriest has a comment on his site about being a principle with a publishing company. P&E views that as a conflict of interest.
--
Cordially,
Dave Kuzminski, Editor"

We explained to you what Scribe is, and YOUR response was:

"
The conflict of interest tag will remain because it is accurate. Writers have a right to know if an agency has more than just their interests at heart.
--
Cordially,
Dave Kuzminski, Editor"

Bravo, Dave.

Tilly
07-19-2007, 04:50 PM
People, you missed the point. It's not a secret. NOTHING we have done is a secret (except $$ figures, of course).

Please pay attention!

We will not reveal this information HERE in THIS FORUM to YOU.

READ!

If you are a publisher, an author--SOMEONE WE ARE WORKING WITH OR INTEND TO WORK WITH--you can ask every question you want and we'll tell you EVERYTHING.

It's part of the very basic information a writer needs to know before they submit.


Get it? No secret? We're just not going to share that information HERE with YOU. Okay, then use your website, publishers marketplace or any venue you like.


Is the old model of publishing so ingrained that you cannot accept that there may be other, even better, ways of operating in this industry?There are plenty of agents who don't want to reveal their sales track record. It's because they don't have one. That's not a new thing.



if you don't like our policy then don't submit your queries to us! We don't care! Okay, you don't care. We care about our fellow writers, that's what this board is about.


There was a point in the beginning of all this when we were about to agree: "Sure, let's just post it all on here, who cares?" But that was before you people took every opportunity to make up lies and spread rumours about us.In this thread there is information, observation and informed opinion.


We sent an email out to our clients and asked them what they thought, and after reading this thread EVERY ONE said, "No! Do not give those people any more ammunition. They'll start using it against US." Weird. Why would your clients take criticism of you as potential criticism of them?


They know (and WE know) you'd do exactly what you're doing: twisting every word into what you need it to be, some contemptuous plot. No plot. Just lack of sales.


No sooner would I post names and titles and you'd be searching for sales figures and ripping apart the subjects of our authors' books, slandering their names, and making up baseless rumours about their character.That's interesting. We wouldn't attack the characters of the writers, but we might raise a sceptical eyebrow if your six sales were to vanity publishers, or publishers without distribution, that sort of thing. Because that's not something a skilled, successful agent would do. Personally, I wouldn't see it as something reflecting on the writers.



Take this as an example: after the FIRST post from Idlewild, if just ONE of you had said, "Let's just ask them." You know what's a good idea when looking into agents? Asking other writers.



I'm glad to stand in the gap for our clients and take this absurd beating from you. This martyrdom thing is bizarre.



James D. McDonald, Fibbing means lying. This is the second time you haven't been CLEAR about what you're really saying. I have a feeling you'd end up in our low 98.2%. In fact, you should send along your little book query to us (under a fake name, of course) and just see where you fall in the math. I think you're overcompensating for something.This is why research is a good thing. It can help you find an effective agent, and stop you looking silly when posting on message boards.

Tilly
07-19-2007, 04:51 PM
Ms. Manners is sending PM's. Is that a general phenomenon, or am I just 'blessed'?
SeeJaneRun sent me a pm, although it was perfectly polite. She just wanted to clarify something she'd said.

DaveKuzminski
07-19-2007, 04:52 PM
You didn't list us as NOT RECOMMENDED because we didn't give you book sales data. You listed us as NOT RECOMMENDED because YOU deemed us as having a CONFLICT OF INTEREST.

...

And if you had reviewed the rating criteria posted at P&E, you might have reasonably concluded that you could have a better rating by sharing your sales data.

P&E stands by its ratings and statements.

By the way, had you done any research on James Macdonald, your response to him might have produced less egg on your face. As it is, you seem determined to show yourselves as not only clueless, but gormless.

Marian Perera
07-19-2007, 04:55 PM
But like I just said, no publisher or prospective author has ever asked us about our track record.

If an agent agreed to represent my work, I'd want to know what the agent had represented before. To give anyone such a blind level of trust that you don't even inquire into their track record doesn't strike me as being safe for you.

Popeyesays
07-19-2007, 04:58 PM
The best I can tell "Scribe" is some kind of Christian market book doctor. If an agency has a relationship with a book doctor that simple fact is a conflict of interest.

The interests of a book doctor are certainly not the interests of an individual author: QED a conflict of interests exists.

Regards,
Scot

Roger J Carlson
07-19-2007, 05:06 PM
Well, that's odd. Mac said you'd been pleasant and courteous througout. Not much sign of that here.

When you've been around the Bewares board for a while, you discover that dodgy agents and publishers end up using many of the same tactics to defend their shaky business practices.

Let's see how many we can find:

1. Won't list sales. This really IS the number one tip-off.
We will not reveal this information HERE in THIS FORUM to YOU. There is really no reason not to.

2. You have some "new" model that is better than the "old" publishing model.
Just because you can't understand that there is a different way to work in this crazy business? Is the old model of publishing so ingrained that you cannot accept that there may be other, even better, ways of operating in this industry? The existing publishing model is the way it is because it WORKS.

3. You don't care what we think because your business is booming.
Don't you see? We don't CARE! It's the way WE do business and it works for us and it works for our clients. Everyone on OUR end is HAPPY with how we do it! The question then becomes why are you so upset? Why not just ignore us? Any negative advertising here will just reduce your slush pile and save you work. Since you're doing so well, that is.

4. You client support your decision not to divulge information.
We sent an email out to our clients and asked them what they thought, and after reading this thread EVERY ONE said, "No! Do not give those people any more ammunition. They'll start using it against US." Note: This is a variation on "lurkers support us in email." It is impossible to verify, but it sounds impressive.

5. Feined paranoia.
No sooner would I post names and titles and you'd be searching for sales figures and ripping apart the subjects of our authors' books, slandering their names, and making up baseless rumours about their character. There's no evidence that anyone would rip apart any of your client's books.

6. Shows contempt for people who waste time on writers boards, implying that they are losers.
This must be why I don't spend time on sites like this...who has time to learn an entirely different language in order to talk to people?

7. Implying participants in the thread are failed writers.
James D. McDonald, Fibbing means lying. This is the second time you haven't been CLEAR about what you're really saying. I have a feeling you'd end up in our low 98.2%. In fact, you should send along your little book query to us (under a fake name, of course) and just see where you fall in the math. I think you're overcompensating for something. You should really do some research before you do this because it just makes you look stupid. Jim Macdonald (proper spelling) is a multiply published author as you can see here (http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=40178). In fact, you can find his latest book in your local Barnes and Noble right now. If he wouldn't end up in your top 1%, then your agency is in a lot of trouble.


Now, let me be clear. I am not making any positive statement that the Literati Agency is a dodgy agent. All I'm saying is that dodgy or gormless agents tend to use many of the same arguments to support their agencies and you have used some of those same arguments. People can make their own decision.

Tilly
07-19-2007, 05:30 PM
i know jim is an esteemed novelist. i know he has an agent.

he was poking at me, i was poking FUN back at him.

Huh? Perhaps you should reread your post. You totally failed if that was your aim.


isn't this jousting thing the way it works?

Oh, I see. No, we're serious. Picking an effective agent is important for writers.

Tilly
07-19-2007, 05:36 PM
Honestly, folks, I KNOW there are dishonest agents out there, but I've never encountered them outside of corporate publishing. In the house, I thought the majority of them were backstabbing liars. But outside the house, I am not aware of the "charms" or "spells" they use to trick people. And all this time we just thought we were being "original thinkers" and now you're telling me that what we say actually makes us look like crooks!

Yes, that's what we're saying. Well sort of. No one's called you a crook. And if you want to see how bad it can get, take a look at the Robins agency, New York Literary agency and their ilk. You can find threads on them in the index of this forum. Or read Ten Percent of Nothing by Jim Fisher. It will perhaps give you an appreciation as to why information such as sales is so crucial.


Alright then. I'm listening. What do we have to do as a company to make ourselves appear reputable in the eyes of the general populace?

Information about your sales. Not personal things like exact amounts, but titles, authors and publishers.

Popeyesays
07-19-2007, 05:37 PM
I don't think Jim was poking fun; he has a real concern.

Generally speaking if you claim sales, then some small amount of documentation is required. Book, author, publishing house and a general description of advance involved: four-figure, five-figure, six-figure and a range of low, middle or high.

The real working rule of thumb is that a claim to professional status requires documentation. If you're not willing to document, then you should nto make a claim to professional status.

There's a corollary: It is pointless to claim to be an agent and NOT claim professional status-who wants an amateur agent?

Agents pay dues, usually in editing or working in a publishing house or agency before hanging one's own shingle.

Most who wish to be legitimate agents are gong to pay some lip-service to the standards established by the AAR. If they don't, then they're going to take lumps for not doing so.

Welcome to the Lump-o-matic. (That last IS an attempt at humor).

Also one should avoid looking two-faced by posting reasonable responses and sending screaming PM's.

Regards,
Scott

Regards,
Scott

Momento Mori
07-19-2007, 05:46 PM
Hi, Adepriest - thank you for coming here to address people's questions. I wanted to pick up on a couple of things mentioned in your posts.


Adepriest:
people kept insisting that we represent them because they trust us. Some of them didn’t even know us! But they knew of our reputation, word of mouth, friends and colleagues who knew us. We told them we had plenty of experience in publishing and had great relationships with lots of publishers, and tons of experience with publishing contracts, but we had little experience as “agents.” But these people were not taking no for an answer.

I'm not really sure what to say about this, other than that I'm uncertain how people could approach you from out of the blue, begging you to be their agent when you say yourself that you'd previously only agented one book for an acquaintance and were essentially operating a printing operation. Were these people, previous clients of Scribe who subsequently wanted you to represent them on independent (i.e. non-Ministery or organisation) projects or were they people you'd spoken to on the conference circuit who were impressed with your operation?


Adepriest:
We don’t manage authors’ careers the way Alive or Yates or Writer’s House does. We contract with authors for one book or one series of books and we attempt to sell that one property (or series). We’ll manage that book while that book is in print. But if the author writes another book, we may or may not represent them on the new one. If they ask us to, we will most likely agree if it was a good experience for both of us. But sometimes we don’t because either we don’t have inroads in the specific market of their book and therefore don’t feel confident we can sell it, or we don’t have room on our desk for another book at the moment.

I can understand wanting to keep an operation small (although the fact that you have two interns suggests that business has already grown beyond what you invisaged). What I don't understand is how being taken on by an author for one book/one series is a good arrangement for that author or even for you because it seems to stop any momentum from building for either party. If I was a writer planning to get more than one book published, going with Literati would be a risk because what you seem to be saying is that you can decide to terminate the relationship even if you've had a successful sale. You say that your authors are happy with this, but how is it good for you - if you can sell one book from an author, presumably you could sell more, rather than having to look for new writers or go through more manuscripts to see if they're sellable?

Can you clarify what would happen in a situation where you sell a manuscript to a publishing house but it comes with a condition that the author write a sequel? Would your contract with an author pick up that work automatically, or would you need to enter into a separate contract for that work?


Adepriest:
And just for the record, another one of our books on the site has been in film discussion for several months. We don’t know if these particular publishers or film producers will ever buy these books, but they’re sure interested and that’s pretty exciting. We’re just letting these things unfold by themselves.

To pick up on this, are you negotiating with the film producers on behalf of the author in question, or is this being handled by another agent who specialises in media rights? I ask because you say that with your first author, you declined to represent them on a film deal as you didn't have enough experience. If you are now representing authors on adaptation sales, is this because you've picked up relevant experience (and if so, are you able to share how you gained such experience?)


Adepriest:
All these books were actually published by these publishers but, again, we did not represent the authors as their “agent” but as independent contractors/consultants to their contracts.

To clarify, are you saying that you effectively run two operations (leaving aside the publishing/printing business):

- one operation sees you work in an agent capacity, i.e. shopping manuscripts to publishers, negotiating the sale and the contract; and

- the second operation sees you work as a consultant, i.e. effectively as a contractual negotiation?

If this is an accurate summation of your activities, can you tell us how agents who have obtained their own deals with a publisher find you to use your services? Do you charge a fixed fee for those services?


Adepriest:
If you’re a writer who submits a proposal to us and we decide to sign you as an author, and you ask us what we’ve done, we’ll give you every little detail about our past sales history (except advance and royalty figures, of course).

I'm not going to rehash what other people have said in relation to this policy. What I do want to ask (if you're willing to answer) is at what point are you willing to share that information with writers who you wish to take on? Specifically, are you willing to provide it before a writer signs a contract with you? Tying in with that, you also say:


Adepriest:
We work with some people who would rather not advertise what they’re doing. They don’t care about book sales (believe it or not), they don’t care about publicity (believe it or not), they don’t even write under their real name.

Would I be correct in thinking that you would not disclose what you have done for such writers, even if a prospective client wanted to know everyone who you have sold books for?


Adepriest:
They know (and WE know) you'd do exactly what you're doing: twisting every word into what you need it to be, some contemptuous plot. No sooner would I post names and titles and you'd be searching for sales figures and ripping apart the subjects of our authors' books, slandering their names, and making up baseless rumours about their character. Look back at all the previous posts! Why on earth would we subject our clients to this? None of you can be trusted in a public forum with truth because you twist it into lies that hurt people.

I can understand that you're upset, but I really think you need to take a deep breath and step back for a minute here. In your first post, you say that you're worried about how people Googling your company will feel if they find this thread and see this discussion. If that is the case, then surely you can see how advantageous it is to respond calmly and professionally, without making your own accusations as to what people here are doing?

If you're unwilling to post any titles that you've sold here, would you be willing to consider emailing some (having obtained the prior consent of the relevant author) to someone like Victoria Strauss? My apologies to Victoria for using her name here, but she is a trustworthy person and if she says she can verify the information, then it would put many peoples' minds at ease that Literati is doing what it says it's doing.

MM

Popeyesays
07-19-2007, 06:00 PM
I've paid my dues in the house, and I still have the high blood pressure to prove it. :)

I didn't send you a "screaming pm"--you just took it that way. Welcome to the Lump-o-matic.

You said I was illiterate, it lacked an exclamation point, but other than that it screamed.

regardless . . .

I raised a series of issues and you only replied to the last of them. To reiterate:
"Generally speaking if you claim sales, then some small amount of documentation is required. Book, author, publishing house and a general description of advance involved: four-figure, five-figure, six-figure and a range of low, middle or high.

The real working rule of thumb is that a claim to professional status requires documentation. If you're not willing to document, then you should nto make a claim to professional status.

There's a corollary: It is pointless to claim to be an agent and NOT claim professional status-who wants an amateur agent?

Agents pay dues, usually in editing or working in a publishing house or agency before hanging one's own shingle."

DaveKuzminski
07-19-2007, 06:18 PM
And for the record, every one of P&E's criteria has evolved out of a need to specifically identify business practices that do not have a writer's best interests at heart. We fully understand and expect businesses to make a profit by selling work from writers either to publishers or to retailers, but writers should benefit as well.

James D. Macdonald
07-19-2007, 06:22 PM
We will not reveal this information HERE in THIS FORUM to YOU.

Name them. Here. To me. Title, author, publisher, date.

There is no possible reason why you should not do so. None. Not for an honest person. Not for a real agent.




James D. McDonald, Fibbing means lying. This is the second time you haven't been CLEAR about what you're really saying. I have a feeling you'd end up in our low 98.2%. In fact, you should send along your little book query to us (under a fake name, of course) and just see where you fall in the math. I think you're overcompensating for something.



Then let me be totally, totally clear about something, Angela. I believe you are LYING about your sales. I believe that you have MADE NO SALES AT ALL. When you say you have made six sales YOU ARE LYING.

Is that clear enough for you?

For the record, I also believe that your story about "interns" posting here in your defense is a LIE. I believe that brianswinters76 was Dan and SeeJaneWrite was you, Angela, personally. Is that totally clear to you? Do I need to spell this out further or do you understand now what I'm "really saying"?

In my opinion you, Angela, are a LIAR.

In addition to being an ineffective agent, of course.

Toothpaste
07-19-2007, 06:26 PM
Don't feel as an agent that you should keep sales a secret, it really isn't necessary. I'm not sure who gave you that information, but it was wrong and as you can see here sparks intense feelings of mistrust. As evidence I would like to link you to my agent's website, where they have a nice list of authors, and if you click on each author's name you will see the books they have sold for them. If you work your way through the "news" section, you will even see mention of how much some of the deals went for: www.darleyanderson.com

Tilly
07-19-2007, 06:36 PM
hmmm. I'm not sure exactly what you're saying here, Jim. Could you be a little more clear? Stop beating around the bush!

Frankly, I find your manner to be downright sexy.

Y'know, when I google Literati Agency, this thread now comes up before your website. You might want to have a think about how, as a professional who represents authors, you are portraying yourself.

Now, as you said you genuinely wanted to distinguish yourself as an agent from ineffective and scam agents, and wanted to know how to do this, you can list your sales.

Momento Mori
07-19-2007, 06:37 PM
Adepriest - if you're disinclined to respond to either, James, Dave or Scott - are you prepared to respond to any of the points raised in my post?

MM

Toothpaste
07-19-2007, 06:38 PM
(ooh and me, I like to be responded to too!)

Medievalist
07-19-2007, 06:43 PM
I don't understand!!! I wrote a big LONG response to each of your questions and hit the post button, but it's not here! ohmygod, if i have to retype all that...

I suspect you hit Preview, rather than post. We've all done that.

It might be easier, instead of writing really long posts, to reply to each individual post you wish to respond to, in a short post. It makes the context much clearer, and you might find it easier.

Roger J Carlson
07-19-2007, 06:44 PM
For the record, I also believe that your story about "interns" posting here in your defense is a LIE. I believe that brianswinters76 was Dan and SeeJaneWrite was you, Angela, personally. Is that totally clear to you? Do I need to spell this out further or do you understand now what I'm "really saying"?Oh, right. I forgot about that. Let me add that to my list:

8. Using Sockpuppets (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet_sock_puppet)to defend your company.

I can't show the links because they've been deleted, but whether they were yourselves (Dan and Angela) or really interns, sockpuppetry reflects badly on the Literati Agency.

LeslieB
07-19-2007, 06:46 PM
I also got a PM from Angela, in which she offered to give me the information on her sales and put me in contact with her clients to hear their views, but on the condition that I not share it with the board. I told her that since I was not making my own agent search yet, I didn't want to waste her clients' time.

Angela, the people here are not interested in hurting your clients or making fun of them in some way. The purpose of this portion of AW is for writers to share information so that they can know in advance which agents it will be worthwhile for them to submit to. I can't speak for anyone else, but when I start shopping my book around, I have no intention of submitting first and verifying the agent's professionalism later. Agents with no verifiable sales will be crossed off my list first thing. If, as you say, you don't need more business, then this won't bother you. But then you can't ask to be taken as seriously as an agent with a proven track record.

Roger J Carlson
07-19-2007, 06:49 PM
oh CRAP!!! How do you guys DO this without wanting to just slit your wrists???? I spent so much time on that response! And they were in blurbs right after every question...and now it's just gone. i've looked everywhere. ARGH!!!!What I try to do with long post is just before I submit, I select (highlight) the entire thing and then use Ctrl-C to copy it to the clipboard. Then if something funny happens I can simply paste it back in.

Roger J Carlson
07-19-2007, 07:00 PM
Can we post PICTURES on this site? Because Brian and Bry are standing here laughing and want me to take a picture of them with sock puppets on their hands to post. Tell you what, I'm going to take a picture of them and put it on our Literati site this afternoon. You can go there and see my naughty little interns. But then you'll probably think I just pulled strangers off the street and made them pose. :) Ah well. Interesting term, sockpuppets. I'd never heard it until yesterday. Very clever. I admit I am guilty of that. Once I posed as someone else when I worked at Nelson and we were going to do a book on dating and they needed someone to go onto Match.com and try and get dates. Long story, not very funny. But anyway, I was a sockpuppet for a day and didn't even know it.Well I'm glad that both you and they are amused by behavior that has made the Literati Agency look unprofessional if not an outright scam. Yes, very amusing.

Adepriest
07-19-2007, 07:06 PM
Well I'm glad that both you and they are amused by behavior that has made your company look unprofessional if not an outright scam. Yes, very amusing.

We're not amused by our appearance of unprofessionalism. I've posted a notice in the kitchen that the floggings will begin promptly at noon today. Don't worry, we'll beat them into respectful submission.




In all seriousness, I think we're about done here. I intend to come back and answer Mori's questions. They were good ones and I have answers, so I'll come back and do that. But not until this weekend probably as I HAVE to get some work done.

And I'll come back and tell you who my authors are (you already know the publishers) if they tell me it's okay to do so. But this is taking so much of my time, and it's been a very interesting experience but I really can't dedicate any more time to it. Thanks everyone who offered helpful advice to me. We appreciate it and aren't offended in the least by the notion that we're in the dark about a lot of things. We admit it! And we'll try to get with the program so people don't just assume the worst about us. Ang

Birol
07-19-2007, 07:29 PM
98.2+2.8=101.0

I see this as an honest math mistake, and can even see how it was made.


And I'll come back and tell you who my authors are (you already know the publishers) if they tell me it's okay to do so.

All we have is a list of publishers. We don't know what books were placed with them. I could list publishers I'd been in contact with. It would be meaningless, of course, because there's no context. Naming the books and the authors is the context needed.

That's it. That's all.

James D. Macdonald
07-19-2007, 07:56 PM
Angela may want us to believe that she is "having fun" and "jousting," but, I assure you, I am not.

You stop thinking that someone who dresses up as a scammer is cute and funny the first time you see a writer bet his house on a scam agent's lies--and lose his house.

[UPDATED TO ADD] Here's another question that Angela can refuse to answer when she returns this weekend in order to flounce:

You went on and on (and on and on...) about your Scribe Book Company. When a ministry or organization publishes a book through Scribe who owns the ISBN?

magnolia42
07-19-2007, 08:26 PM
I always get a kick out of people going back and deleting all their posts. I think its the surest way to tell when someone was blowing smoke up a certain body part.

Also, does she really think we are going to believe that an agent who is "in the dark about a lot of things" has interns? Well, on second thought, maybe so. The biggest quality for a scam-artist: Charisma.

(PS This is Havlen on my wife's account. My video card decided to blow up a few days ago. I'm pretty sure it was that Libros thread that pushed it over the edge.)

Momento Mori
07-19-2007, 08:34 PM
magnolia42 - I think that the Libros thread pushed a lot of things over the edge. Although I do miss my daily dose ...

Roger J Carlson
07-19-2007, 09:06 PM
I always get a kick out of people going back and deleting all their posts. I think its the surest way to tell when someone was blowing smoke up a certain body part. It is a shame that Angela DePriest won't stand behind her words on behalf of the Literati Agency.

James D. Macdonald
07-19-2007, 09:09 PM
It is a shame that Angela DePriest won't stand behind her words on behalf of the Literati Agency.

Don't worry, Roger. I thought she might, so I saved them all. Including the sockpuppet posts.

Dave.C.Robinson
07-19-2007, 09:14 PM
I'm not surprised the Libros thread blew up your video card, there was a lot of action happening in that thread. Hope you can find a decent replacement soon.

eqb
07-19-2007, 09:15 PM
Don't worry, Roger. I thought she might, so I saved them all. Including the sockpuppet posts.

Oh good.

Is there something going on with moon phases? This is the second time in a week that we've had sockpuppets, evasions, a meltdown, and then the rapid deletion of posts.

Popeyesays
07-19-2007, 09:16 PM
Well, she may have deleted posts, but Google knows they were there and this thread is still ranked higher than her website.

Regards,
Scott

victoriastrauss
07-20-2007, 01:12 AM
Gosh. Sleep till 11:30 am, decide to have a lazy, Internet-free afternoon, and look what you miss. (I have a good excuse for my malingering. I was up all night coughing.)

- Victoria

Tilly
07-20-2007, 02:42 AM
I should have looked up Scribe before. A vanity press that targets ministries:

http://www.scribe.moonfruit.com/

Dave.C.Robinson
07-20-2007, 03:01 AM
I don't have a problem with the Scribe side of things. I can see tons of reasons why religious groups might need a publishing service. It's a perfectly valid business model. If I ran a religious group I might use them.

As to the Literati side, waiting until an offer has been made is too late to tell me who they've dealt with. So, as I said, I've crossed them off my list.

Tilly
07-20-2007, 03:07 AM
I don't have a problem with the Scribe side of things. I can see tons of reasons why religious groups might need a publishing service. It's a perfectly valid business model. If I ran a religious group I might use them.


I don't have a problem with vanity presses either, if they are up front and honest about what they are. I just hadn't realised what Scribe was.

eqb
07-20-2007, 03:09 AM
I don't have a problem with the Scribe side of things. I can see tons of reasons why religious groups might need a publishing service. It's a perfectly valid business model. If I ran a religious group I might use them.

I agree. Though I understand why Dave posted a warning on P&E, I think this side of the business is clearly limited in a good way.


As to the Literati side, waiting until an offer has been made is too late to tell me who they've dealt with. So, as I said, I've crossed them off my list.I have an agent, so I'm not looking, but if anyone asks me about Literati, I will state the same reservations I and others posted here--no publicly recorded sales, and a rather oddball approach to their agenting business.

The attack mode postings didn't help, either.

HapiSofi
07-20-2007, 07:37 AM
I've been looking back over a saved text of all of Angela DePriest's messages here, and she was lying from start to finish.
"Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven."

Mac H.
07-20-2007, 08:19 AM
Thankfully Angela DePriest has provided information on past sales.

For example, here http://haikuoftheid.blogspot.com/2006/08/book-it_21.html#c115738115016371771 she puts on record that on 4-Sep-2006 there was a bidding war between two publishers for Brian Schrauger's book, 'Pilgrimage of Sorrow'.

Clearly then, there was a sale of that book - unless the result of a bidding war is that neither of them bought it ?

Mac

Dawno
07-20-2007, 08:45 AM
Well, I found this: http://www.publishersmarketplace.com/rights/display.cgi?no=4671
dated 16 June 07 - so it looks to me like it's still up for sale...

Birol
07-20-2007, 08:46 AM
If, as Angela stated in her deleted posts, books that have been sold are removed from Literati's website, then no, it hasn't been placed with a publisher yet. On Literati's site (http://www.theliteratiagency.moonfruit.com/brianschrauger/4521899646), Pilgrimage of Sorrow is still listed as available. As of June 16, 2007, it is also listed on Publishers Marketplace (http://www.publishersmarketplace.com/rights/display.cgi?no=4671).

Dawno
07-20-2007, 09:11 AM
Birol, do you have me on ignore again? :D

Birol
07-20-2007, 09:16 AM
Would I dare ignore the Sparkly-eared One?

James D. Macdonald
07-20-2007, 09:19 AM
on 4-Sep-2006 there was a bidding war between two publishers for Brian Schrauger's book, 'Pilgrimage of Sorrow'.

A bidding war? Literati says they don't do bidding wars! Part of their New Way of Doing Business, wasn't it?

Or were they lying about that, too?

DeadlyAccurate
07-20-2007, 10:02 AM
Out of curiosity (and because I genuinely don't know), do bidding wars (is that the same as an auction?) often not result in a sale?

HapiSofi
07-21-2007, 02:30 AM
No.

There's not much more to say about that one besides "No, they don't." You have two or more publishers that have each formally undertaken to buy the book. One of them has gotten the floor (and probably topping rights) by laying down the the first bid. That becomes the minimum price. After that, they bid to see who gets it at what price.

It's sort of hard, to put it mildly, to come out of a situation like that with the book still unsold. If it did happen, though, the book wouldn't thereafter languish in the agent's inventory. Those publishers went into the auction because they believed the book was not only publishable but desirable as it stood.

If the auction was stopped because everyone realized there was some much better thing that could be done with the book, the author should have done whatever it was, and the book should have gone back to auction again. If the auction was stopped for some other reason, it would still have been a desirable book, and someone would have nipped in and bought it. And if the auction was stopped because it became apparent that the book wasn't legally publishable, the agent shouldn't have it on offer.

In short, no.

herdon
07-22-2007, 04:00 AM
I could definitely only see it occurring in an extremely rare case. The O.J. Simpson book could have conceivably had that happen had the uproar about it occurred during a bidding war instead of before an interview. But, usually, public uproar = increased sales so they would have to figure they'd take a major PR dent.

victoriastrauss
07-22-2007, 06:38 PM
Some years ago a well-known agent falsified auction bids in order to extract a bigger bid from a particular publisher. This was discovered, and the book was dropped by the houses that were bidding on it (though I believe it subsequently found a home).

That's the only time I've ever heard about anything like this happening, though.

And of course, an agent can send something out to auction and publishers can decline to bid. That happened to me, four books back.

- Victoria

Momento Mori
07-22-2007, 06:54 PM
I received an email from Adepriest on Friday saying that she would not be returning to the site. She's told me that she does not give me permission to reproduce the contents of her email on this message board, but I don't think there's any problem with my summarising and providing the odd quote:

- No one from the Literati Agency will be returning to either this thread of the AW boards. Apparently a discussion with unnamed "industry professionals" has revealed to them that AW is not a reputable site and has no standing within the industry.

- I've been invited to email my questions to Angela DePriest who promises to address me "personally and fully". Apparently I shouldn't mind doing this if I'm inclined to know their answers.

Needless to say, I will not be taking up Ms DePriest on her kind offer. Firstly, she is already aware of my questions and could have easily taken the opportunity to answer them in her initial email. The fact that she chose not to, strongly suggests to me that she is unable to answer them.

Secondly (and maybe this is just an English thing), I really dislike being told essentially that I should be grateful for being told to engage in further correspondence with someone who has proven herself to be evasive. Ms DePriest has done nothing for me to be grateful for because she continues to avoid answering very straightforward questions and I have no confidence that an attempt at correspondence on my part would elicit a non-evasive or misleading response.

To anyone thinking of going with this "agency", I would strongly advise taking a look at the responses from Ms DePriest as quoted in the comments of this Thread. Personally, I would not want someone who is so unprofessional and at times, hysterical, representing me or my work. Nor would I want to work with someone who operates on a book-by-book basis and who is only willing to tell me what they've sold after they've deigned to make an offer of representation.

MM

HapiSofi
07-22-2007, 08:44 PM
I received an email from Adepriest on Friday saying that she would not be returning to the site. She's told me that she does not give me permission to reproduce the contents of her email on this message board, but I don't think there's any problem with my summarising and providing the odd quote:

- No one from the Literati Agency will be returning to either this thread of the AW boards. Apparently a discussion with unnamed "industry professionals" has revealed to them that AW is not a reputable site and has no standing within the industry.

- I've been invited to email my questions to Angela DePriest who promises to address me "personally and fully". Apparently I shouldn't mind doing this if I'm inclined to know their answers.

Needless to say, I will not be taking up Ms DePriest on her kind offer. Firstly, she is already aware of my questions and could have easily taken the opportunity to answer them in her initial email. The fact that she chose not to, strongly suggests to me that she is unable to answer them.

It's a dodge. It's the reason why a well-known online moderator of my acquaintance has a policy of not taking things to private e-mail. Doing so eats up the moderator's time. It takes the discussion out of public view, which is what malfeasants like Ms. DePriest want. And afterward, the malfeasant can publicly make false claims and otherwise misrepresent what went on in private correspondence.

Taking things private is reasonable when two or three people need to talk about something that's disruptive or doesn't belong in the main thread. It's not reasonable to expect that a major and legitimate subtopic of the thread's declared subject be taken to private e-mail.


Secondly (and maybe this is just an English thing), I really dislike being told essentially that I should be grateful for being told to engage in further correspondence with someone who has proven herself to be evasive. Ms DePriest has done nothing for me to be grateful for because she continues to avoid answering very straightforward questions and I have no confidence that an attempt at correspondence on my part would elicit a non-evasive or misleading response.
If she were willing to speak frankly about these issues, she'd already have done it.


To anyone thinking of going with this "agency", I would strongly advise taking a look at the responses from Ms DePriest as quoted in the comments of this Thread. Personally, I would not want someone who is so unprofessional and at times, hysterical, representing me or my work. Nor would I want to work with someone who operates on a book-by-book basis and who is only willing to tell me what they've sold after they've deigned to make an offer of representation.
You're being tactful. I won't just suggest that being represented by DePriest would be a disaster. I say she's lying about her agency, work, procedures, clients, and familiarity with the publishing industry.

There've been a lot of telltales in her posts. By me, the biggest one is that she says she doesn't represent all of her clients' books on an ongoing basis. Instead, she says she works with individual titles for which there's a contract with a publishing house, and does everything necessary to get it ready for publication. (That's my rephrasing. She's taken down the pertinent posts.)

What she's clearly saying is that she's a packager. There's one clever angle to describing herself that way: it's much harder to prove someone isn't making sales as a packager than it is to prove they aren't making sales as an agent. Not that it does her any good, because that little particle of cleverness is swamped in a huge error: she doesn't know that "packager" is the word for what she's claiming to do. Everybody in the industry knows that what she's describing is the work done by a packager. Real packagers sure as hell know it. Also? Packaging isn't agenting. It's a different line of business.

She's not just faking it. She's faking it ineptly.

I've saved the text of her posts here. I don't think it's necessary to do a line-by-line analysis of them in order to conclude that she's bad, bad news.

eqb
07-22-2007, 09:15 PM
...Apparently a discussion with unnamed "industry professionals" has revealed to them that AW is not a reputable site and has no standing within the industry.

She's been talking to Barbara Bauer and Bobbie Fletcher?

herdon
07-22-2007, 09:18 PM
I think it is obvious that those so-called industry professionals tried to register with Absolute Write and were turned down for membership in our forum. Now they are just bitter and wanting to spread lies about AW.

DaveKuzminski
07-22-2007, 10:02 PM
I think it is obvious that those so-called industry professionals tried to register with Absolute Write and were turned down for membership in our forum. Now they are just bitter and wanting to spread lies about AW.

It's possible to be turned down? Wow!

CaoPaux
11-18-2007, 08:57 AM
Her front page now says:

WE ARE UPDATING OUR SITE WITH NEW BOOKS AND NEW AUTHORS. . . PLEASE CHECK BACK SOON!

Regarding Submissions:

The Literati is currently representing 16 authors. In order to provide them with the very best and personal service, we are no longer accepting new submissions.

We'll open up for new submissions when our workload permits. Thank you! And good luck to you!All author info is gone from site. Some remains on her PM page (http://www.publishersmarketplace.com/members/AngDePriest/).

Still no sign of any sales.

Soccer Mom
11-18-2007, 09:29 AM
Wow. I've never seen something like this on a PM page. :eek:


A NOTE TO PUBLISHERS: It would help a lot if you actually READ the material we send to you. We know you get dozens of unsolicited queries (most of them mass queried). If you’re reading this, remember our name, and remember that we're not sending the proposal you receive to 100 other publishers--or even 50 other publishers. We CHOSE you and spent a long time doing it.

The bottom line for The Literati Agency is that our authors are AWESOME. Their books are amazing. And publishers don’t have to second-mortgage the farm on advances to get them.

Birol
11-18-2007, 09:41 AM
Gee. That makes me want them as my agent. [/sarcasm]

eqb
11-18-2007, 05:55 PM
If I were one of their clients, I'd be mortified by that PM entry.

Roger J Carlson
11-18-2007, 06:39 PM
Unbelievable. I'll bet any publisher reading that WILL remember their name -- and not in a good way.

Birol
11-18-2007, 08:08 PM
To me, it comes across as begging the publishers to read the material they send and indicates they don't have a relationship or positive reputation with publishers. Additionally, they imply that the publishers they submit to are endanger of going out of business and they imply that they will not negotiate the best deal for their authors.

batgirl
11-20-2007, 11:32 PM
Being bored with my dominoes, I had a look at Literati's PM page. There are some book covers up, which I would normally have assumed to be sales. However.

There's a rather nice cover pic for Simply Jane, by Kimberli Waack. Can I find a copy on bookfinder.com? No. Can I find any books by Waack? No.

A cover for Pilgrimage of Sorrow, by Brian Schrauger. Is it available from a publisher? Nope. Schrauger's (presumably) 2002 book, Walking Taylor Home, was published by Thomas Nelson, which is dandy, but did Literati have anything to do with it? Who knows?

Giigle, by Bonnie Brown (though the caption calls her Bonnie Dawson) doesn't show up anywhere, though there are some online mentions of her as a masseuse who worked for Google and became wealthy with stock options. The cover pic is a pastiche of Google's typography and layout, which might raise some trademark issues? She may be the author of Stress Busters for Kids, published by Bonnie M. Brown, 1990.

At the bottom of the PM page are five more covers.
Flower of Grass, by James E. Robinson, not found. A James E. Robinson has a 1970 publication The Scope of Rhetoric, but I wouldn't assume it's the same guy.
Dreamless Night, by Neil Bradley, also not found in print. This may be the same Neil Bradley who has The XML Companion (and a couple of similar books) out from Addison-Wesley, but I'm thinking not.
Three by Jeff Thomas - American Mullahs, The Train, and Wonderfully Made. I can't find any trace of these three as published books. There is a Jeffrey or Jeff Thomas who writes horror, but he seems to have founded a press himself (Necropolitan (http://www.necropolitan-press.com/)), so I'm thinking, again, not the same guy.

The covers are on the whole fairly professional-looking, except for The Train, which looks like something from PA. They just don't seem to be covers for actual published books, which seems a bit deceptive.
-Barbara

Julie Worth
12-03-2007, 09:28 PM
Looking through the drop-down list of authors on the Literati website, I found that one of the books has sold: No Nonsense Dating (http://www.urapeach.info/Authors/Ronn-Elmore/), to Harvest House. The author is Ronn Elmore (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/search-handle-url/002-6372390-4738424?%5Fencoding=UTF8&search-type=ss&index=books&field-author=Ronn%20Elmore), who has sold a number of books previously (to Grand Central Publishing and others).

CaoPaux
02-05-2011, 08:19 AM
Website and PM page are gone, traces remain: http://www.linkedin.com/companies/the-literati-agency. Then there's things like this: http://www.shelfari.com/angdepriest


I used to be a literary agent; but I grew weary of people using me for a couple of years, and then throwing me away like yesterday's trash once they became famous. Uh huh.

Scribe Book Co. continues at http://www.scribe.moonfruit.com/

ETA: Dan's LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/pub/dan-depriest/13/6ba/4b8

HistorySleuth
02-06-2011, 06:22 AM
OK, that one made me laugh. :D

CaoPaux
02-03-2013, 02:24 AM
Updating link for Scribe: http://www.scribebookcompany.com/

CaoPaux
12-14-2013, 09:02 PM
Anyone have recent contact with Scribe and/or the DePriests? Not finding any book-related activity after early '12.

ETA: Sporadic signs of life for packaging/self-publishing services.

ETA2: no further activity.