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tigertiger76
08-24-2003, 03:24 AM
Has anyone had a positive or negative experience with literary agents, David Duperre or Ginger Norton, of Sedgebank Literary Associates in Fort Worth?

Victoria
08-24-2003, 07:11 AM
Writer Beware has received reports that Sedgeband bills excessive submissions costs to its clients. The most recent contract we've seen states a limit of $100 per month; this covers just one submission. The bills we've seen (sent monthly, with a 10-day payment requirement and a penalty for lateness) average around $70 per submission. They include expenses such as envelopes and stationary that reputable agents absorb as part of normal business overhead, and also items like business cards and author photos, which publishers don't want to see.

Reputable agents typically allow applicable expenses to accrue and deduct them from the client's income. They don't generally bill them as incurred.

Sedgeband has two sets of client and title listings on its website, but some of the books are self- or proprietarily-published, and others have been placed with non-advance-paying publishers about which Writer Beware has received complaints (PublishAmerica/America House, Lionhearted) or with fee-based print-on-demand services like iUniverse. Publishers and services like these--even when they're not questionable--don't require authors to be agented. Other titles haven't been sold by Sedgeband at all (in accordance with the disclaimer on the page).

As far as we can tell, Sedgeband has just five commercial sales to its credit over its six or seven years in business, three of them for the same author. All are to independent publishers that don't require authors to be agented (i.e., the author might well have been able to make the sale him/herself). One of these publishers specifically advertises a program for unagented first-time writers.

- Victoria
Writer Beware
www.sfwa.org/beware/ (http://www.sfwa.org/beware/)

tigertiger76
08-24-2003, 07:19 AM
Victoria,
Thank you very much for your comments. I've done other research that leads me to similar conclusions. I've chosen not to submit my manuscript to them although they've requested it.
thanks.

worynjay
11-27-2003, 10:24 AM
I have been with sedgeband for a number of years. Theywent to a lot of trouble with a publisher of mine that defaulted on contract. They took me on knowing this could be a problem.Since then they have been busy marketing my books to other publishers.I am still awaiting a new publisher but Segdeband have never charged me one red cent for their services. They have good advise and personally I find them friendly, responsive and helpful.

spywriter
10-19-2004, 06:29 PM
I can only talk about Sedgeband. They requested my work, I sent it to them and they told me that their publishers would not be interested in my stuff. They mostly deal will gory murder type stuff and I think that my title misled them a little into thinking I had their kind of stuff. They never asked for money to read it and all their correspondence was very professional. They also sent me a letter telling me not to believe anything that I have read on the INTERNET about them. They were emphatic in saying that they do not charge for anything ahead of time. That's all I know about them.

From what I have learned from all the various sites, and in talking to a few published friends (I am new to this too), Never go with an agent who asks for a reading fee...EVER. Never go with an agent that suggests you have the book edited by his firm or a related firm. As far as postage fees, my new agent has asked for them (a couple hundred dollars) and when I talked to her I said, "I am happy that you like my book, but do you still want it if I do NOT give you the postage deposit?" She told me not to worry if I don't have the money...she absolutely still wants my novel. An agent who thinks your book is hot will NEVER turn you away if she thinks she can sell it. REMEMBER THAT.:money

I think some firms are smaller and do not have the extra capital that the larger firms do, so I do not have a problem in them asking. Others do and you will be sure to hear from them soon! Make sure the contract spells out what the deposit is for, make sure that that's the ONLY money that they will ask for, (my agent said she will absorb all other costs) and make sure you can get a refund on it should you decide to leave this agent. Make sure that if its an open ended contract (no exp date) that you have a termination clause.

Good luck....

spywriter
10-20-2004, 12:07 AM
I meant to include this in my first posting. Take it for what it's worth. (I'd probably listen to :hail Victoria though.)

"If you use the Internet to research agents, do not to believe everything you read, it isn't always correct or true. In case you were wondering. We do not charge travel expenses, retainers, billable hours, editing fees, reading fees, legal fees, and we do not have a power of attorney. POD publishers are only contacted at the writers request."

David Duperre, Agent:teeth
Sedgeband Literary Associates, Inc.

AC Crispin
10-20-2004, 12:37 AM
...is growing.

Writer Beware has documentation that Sedgeband has done ALL of those things. It's possible they are no longer doing them, which would be good, but they certainly did them in the past, and we can prove it.

-Ann C. Crispin
Writer Beware

Arecksilverhand
11-10-2004, 03:44 AM
I just got offered a contract from these guys. Should I be running? Or should I at least talk to them and ask them about their fees/contracts? etc

Areck

spywriter
11-10-2004, 04:07 AM
Go with your gut, but know you have been warned.

All the regulars have told you to run already...it's your choice to make.

And my last cliche....

Live and learn. If you do well, CONGRATES, if not..well won't that suck!:smack

Let us know how it goes.....:thumbs

vstrauss
11-10-2004, 04:48 AM
Areck, no offense, but what part of "bills excessive and unnecessary submissions costs" and "tiny track record of sales that could have been made by the authors" wouldn't make you want to run?

- Victoria

spywriter
11-10-2004, 04:55 AM
Well Said Victoria. :clap

Acewaverly
11-12-2004, 12:39 AM
I sent them my manuscript and they sent me a contract that wanted $50 a month for various fees. Last time I checked agents weren't supposed to be gym memberships.

DaveKuzminski
11-12-2004, 02:12 AM
Especially when the only thing that gets a workout is your wallet and not your manuscript.

CaoPaux
07-16-2005, 01:44 AM
Although I didn't check all their clients' books, those I did were sold to small and/or non-fiction publishers which did not require an agent.

TrixieBelden
08-19-2005, 08:27 PM
Whats the scoop on thses guys. Theyve requested my proposal but included a note that said something like "Whatever youve read about us, its not true"

Jaws
08-19-2005, 08:50 PM
Well, what is true (and that you might, with some pretty basic searching, have read about): Sedgeband has a track record of charging its clients monthly for various "fees" and "expenses," a nonstandard practice
Sedgeband has a track record of "shotgun" submissions to inappropriate markets
Conversely, Sedgeband does not have a verifiable track record of any significance of placing books with commercial (royalty- and advance-paying) publishers
Now, I don't know what else they're referring to… but this should be enough to say "stay away."

JennaGlatzer
08-19-2005, 08:57 PM
Kind of funny, though, that they would arouse suspicion like that! I wish all questionable literary characters included notes like that...

TrixieBelden
08-23-2005, 06:28 AM
Thats was definetly the red flag. I immedietly went to see what I could find out.

DaveKuzminski
08-23-2005, 06:49 AM
Shhh! Don't anyone let them know! They could put themselves out of business by warning writers that way. ;)

Jaycinth
08-23-2005, 09:59 PM
I just got a rejection letter from Sedgeband. I realized I'd read about them somewhere around here. Yep I did.
Oh well. (she said with a chuckle):banana:

Silverhand
08-24-2005, 02:28 AM
I have a freind with this agency. Though I do not know exactly what is up, I can answer a few questions.


They do not shotgun submit. I have seen every invoice sent out, and there is NEVER more then 2 submits per month.

They charge $50 / month for expenses.

They offered a list of authors that have been published, and though none of the publishing houses were major (All would have accepted unagented authors), the list seemed to be legit.

Silverhand
08-24-2005, 02:32 AM
I do have a question for anyone that can answer though.

Ginger Norton explained to my friend that there NO agencies out there that do not charge fees / expenses. The question is, when the bill is charged. From what I gather, if an agency accepts you up front with no fees, if they do not sell your book AND release you, you will be charged.

Is that true?

Also, she asked him to find and small agencies with 2 or less agents that do not charge something up front? Can anyone name a few?

Aconite
08-24-2005, 02:34 AM
They do not shotgun submit. I have seen every invoice sent out, and there is NEVER more then 2 submits per month.
Given that they're being paid by the month, why would they submit a bunch at a time? Submitting nly two per month doesn't mean they're going to appropriate publishers. In fact, getting paid by the month removes the motivation to submit to appropriate publishers.


They charge $50 / month for expenses.
This is not standard practice for reputable agencies. Reputable agents work on commission, and get paid when they sell your book to an advance-paying publisher.


They offered a list of authors that have been published, and though none of the publishing houses were major (All would have accepted unagented authors), the list seemed to be legit.
Research those publishers carefully. Scam agents have been known to "sell" books to PublishAmerica and other vanity presses, and to claim sales they didn't actually make.

I recommend that your friend dissolve the relationship and find a real agent. Good luck.

Aconite
08-24-2005, 02:46 AM
Also, she asked him to find and small agencies with 2 or less agents that do not charge something up front? Can anyone name a few?
Silverhand, don't let your friend get caught up in playing this game. It's a distraction from what's really happening.

The commission (usually 15%) your agent earns on the sale of your book covers the costs he incurs as part of his business--his rent, postage to submit your manuscript, and so on. What happens when the relationship is ended depends on your contract. If your agent does not sell your book and releases you, there is no reason you should owe anything--you didn't end the relationship, and the agent took on your book at his own risk, relying on his judgement to pick a manuscript he could sell at a price that his commission made a profit--unless your contract states otherwise. If you end the relationship, you may pay for some expenses--again, it depends on your contract.

Go to The Association of Authors' Representatives http://www.aar-online.org and look at their Canon of Ethics. Pay special attention to the part about fees.

victoriastrauss
08-24-2005, 03:53 AM
They do not shotgun submit. I have seen every invoice sent out, and there is NEVER more then 2 submits per month.This is really just a different variety of shotgun submission. Reputable agents don't contact X number of publishers every month; they send out one or more carefully targeted submissions and wait till they get a response before going elsewhere.

A few years ago Ann Crispin and I wrote an article for Writer's Digest on questions writers should ask potential agents. As part of the article, we asked several editors at major houses if there were any agencies they tended to ignore because the agencies often sent substandard or inappropriate submissions. Two of the editors specifically mentioned Sedgeband.


They charge $50 / month for expenses.Most agents expect clients to bear some of the expense of submission, but they only bill expenses over and above the normal cost of doing business--i.e, expenses they wouldn't incur if they didn't represent the client, such as manuscript phocopying, postage, Fed Ex, long distance calls, and the like. Stuff they'd have to pay for anyway--stationary, business cards, general office supplies, travel--they absorb. In other words, clients aren't expected to fund every paperclip and envelope used on their behalf.

The Sedgeband billings Writer Beware has seen not only bill clients for ordinary business expenses (envelopes, business cards, stationary, even color photocopies of the agency's logo), they include items publishers don't want, such as portfolio covers and author photos. Also included is a marketing plan, which is not appropriate for novels, and is likely to be regarded by a commercial publisher as a sign that the agency is less than professional.

Two authors have told me that when they followed up on submissions they'd been billed for, they discovered that at least some of the publishers had never been contacted. Other authors report that the publishers contacted weren't appropriate for their books (this bears out the editors' comments, above).


They offered a list of authors that have been published, and though none of the publishing houses were major (All would have accepted unagented authors), the list seemed to be legit.Some of the publishers are solid; others are less so (one has an awful contract; one doesn't appear to have much ability to distribute. It's hard to imagine a successful agent letting clients settle for sales like these--let alone claiming them as part of a track record). Also, sales to reputable independent publishers are great, but the real test of an agent is getting in where an author can't--to the large publishing houses.

The latest publication date is 2004, which suggests that Sedgeband hasn't sold anything since at least 2003 (since books take a year or more to get to market). Also, just 8 sales are listed on Sedgeband's website. If this is the sum total of their track record, it's really pathetic for an agency that's been in business for about 10 years.

- Victoria

DaveKuzminski
08-24-2005, 04:10 AM
Compare that 8 sales in ten years for Sedgeband with the over 1100 in 27 years that Heacock Literary Agency claims. Shall we now guess how each agency supports itself?

James D. Macdonald
08-24-2005, 05:09 AM
Also, she asked him to find and small agencies with 2 or less agents that do not charge something up front? Can anyone name a few?


Andy Zack, Josh Bilmes, and Val Smith, for three.

Jaws
08-24-2005, 06:55 AM
Ginger Norton explained to my friend that there NO agencies out there that do not charge fees / expenses.She is either ignorant or a liar—take your pick, neither is what one wants in an agent. What she's doing here is playing a definition game: no AAR-member agent charges for all of the items Sedgeband calls "fees / expenses", because several of the items in question are prohibited by AAR ethics guidance. Conversely, some—and perhaps most—agents will charge at the back end (that is, after the book has been sold and the advance paid) for extraordinary expenses—but not for long-distance charges, regular mail, paperclips, marketing "portfolios", or anything of that nature.

<snip> From what I gather, if an agency accepts you up front with no fees, if they do not sell your book AND release you, you will be charged.Not to my knowledge by any AAR-member agent.

<snip>Also, she asked him to find and [sic] small agencies with 2 or less agents that do not charge something up front? Can anyone name a few?I can name at least a dozen without bothering to look anything up, and going to the AAR website (http://www.aar-online.org) will disclose several more. <sarcasm> I answered the question asked: I affirmed that I can name such agencies. </sarcasm>

Kasey Mackenzie
08-24-2005, 05:36 PM
They do not shotgun submit. I have seen every invoice sent out, and there is NEVER more then 2 submits per month.

No offense intended, but just because in your friend's particular situation they haven't "shotgun submitted" doesn't mean that they don't have a reputation among publishers for doing that very thing. If specific publishers say they have received such submissions from Sedgeband I would definitely believe them.

Sheryl Nantus
08-24-2005, 06:29 PM
heck, for fifty bucks a month *I'll* get stuff mailed out - and do it probably a lot cheaper...

:D

$600 a year?

I think not...

Silverhand
08-24-2005, 10:07 PM
Now that was alot of good info guys. I had not meant to hijack the thread from the OP though.


Like I said I do not know the markets enough to know if what she said was the truth or not. I only know what my buddy told me, which is what I posted here.

Lemme ask this. IF you had an agent like Sedgeband...and obviously you all think that is bad, what would you do?

From my understanding, having a bad agent is worse then having no agent? If he breaks his contract, will that not destroy any relationship he hopes to make in the future? I am letting my own contract run its course before I start to resubmit (working on the new query now). Should he maybe take the same course? Should he mention Sedegband in anything he submits to new agents? Change the title? What would help...?

victoriastrauss
08-24-2005, 11:58 PM
Lemme ask this. IF you had an agent like Sedgeband...and obviously you all think that is bad, what would you do?I'd invoke the termination clause immediately, and try to forget I'd ever signed the contract.


From my understanding, having a bad agent is worse then having no agent?It can be, if the agent is marginal--i.e., credible enough to get some consideration from editors, but not competent enough to command serious attention. In that case, he's squandering submission opportunities a better agent could exploit more effectively (once you've been rejected by an imprint, you usually can't submit that manuscript there again).

On the other hand, a totally clueless or scam agent is pretty much like having no agent--often their submissions (if they make them) aren't even looked at, so it's as if your work had never been submitted at all. From a strictly non-financial perspective, it can actually be better to be rooked by a scammer than to be signed by a marginal agent. The marginal agent may close doors for you, but with the scammer you can start again from scratch.


If he breaks his contract, will that not destroy any relationship he hopes to make in the future?What sort of relationships? Writers leave their agents all the time, for all sorts of reasons. No stigma is attached. As long as you're aboveboard about it--i.e., you don't seek a new agent till you've notified your old one that you're leaving, and you're businesslike about the termination--there shouldn't be a problem.


Should he mention Sedegband in anything he submits to new agents?I wouldn't. On the pretty certain assumption that any submissions Sedgeband made for me hadn't been seriously considered by anyone, I'd approach a new agent as if I'd never been represented.

Once your friend is a successful author, he can turn his experience into amusing cocktail party banter.

- Victoria

MadScientistMatt
08-25-2005, 04:35 PM
They do not shotgun submit. I have seen every invoice sent out, and there is NEVER more then 2 submits per month.

This just means they're using a double barreled shotgun.

Sorry, somebody had to say it.

James D. Macdonald
08-25-2005, 06:21 PM
"Shotgun" submission doesn't necessarily mean the volume of submissions at one time, but rather the lack of aim.

CaoPaux
08-26-2005, 02:14 AM
"Shotgun" submission doesn't necessarily mean the volume of submissions at one time, but rather the lack of aim.Indeed. Good agents only submit to editors with whom s/he has developed a proper relationship, so that the agent knows those particular editors are looking for books just like yours. It doesn’t matter whether the agent sends out two subs a month or two dozen: if they aren’t to the right editor(s), they’re worthless.

TrixieBelden
08-29-2005, 08:44 PM
Well thank goodness i asked this question!! Ill not be responding to them!

Branwyn
02-08-2006, 10:48 PM
Any updates? Is Sedgeband still a no-no? I haven't been able to find out any new info and just inquired about the expense fee. I'm waiting for a reply.

victoriastrauss
02-09-2006, 05:12 AM
The info in my post of 8/23 is still current, according to Writer Beware's files.

- Victoria

Branwyn
02-09-2006, 07:08 PM
Thanks

Branwyn
02-10-2006, 01:39 AM
Any updates? Is Sedgeband still a no-no? I haven't been able to find out any new info and just inquired about the expense fee. I'm waiting for a reply.

Update
They charge 25$ a month now if they sign you.

MaryQ
02-23-2007, 10:02 PM
I think I'm having agent trouble.
Ok, I've been with Sedgeband Literary Agency since 2004. My first agent left the company due to an emergency in his family; so I was assigned to the lead agent - Ginger Norton. She and I haven't had much commuication between us. My previous agent would email me back immediately. Perhaps I was spoiled.
Anyways, I see my agency is not on the top 20 worst agencies, but it is listed on Preditors & Editors. (another good site to visit!)http://www.anotherealm.com/prededitors/ (http://www.anotherealm.com/prededitors/)
It said, "Charges fee. Highly not recommended. Literary agents for both published and non-published writers. "
I am charged a flat rate of $50 each month. From what I've read, this is wrong and can cause the agency to be put on an anti-read list with editors. This doesn't sound good. I have 3 completed romance novels.
I think I will start searching for a new agent. http://us.i1.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/i/mesg/emoticons7/39.gif Any thoughts?

JeanneTGC
02-23-2007, 10:45 PM
Have they sold any of your books since 2004?

Tilly
02-23-2007, 10:54 PM
I think I will start searching for a new agent.

I think that's an excellent idea. :welcome:
Look for an agent who has a verifiable track record of sales to commercial publishers and doesn't charge up front fees.



I am charged a flat rate of $50 each month. From what I've read, this is wrong and can cause the agency to be put on an anti-read list with editors.

It's more than that. A reputable agent will make their money from a percentage of the sale of your book, not from up front fees. An agent who charges up front fees doesn't need to sell your book in order make money.

I'm not sure that editors have an anti-read list, so much as they know reputable agents, and out of experience would be able identify which submissions are from agencies who aren't too fussy about whether the submission is appropriate to that editor or publisher, or who aren't selecting on the basis of quality of work as much as ability to pay.

AC Crispin
02-24-2007, 03:10 AM
They've charged you at least 1200 dollars (probably more) since you've been signed with them. What do you have to show for paying them that money?

If the answer is, NOTHING, then yes, I'd start looking for a real agent.

Sedgeband was once a major pain, but we warned a lot of writers away from them, and they sort of went "underground." We haven't heard much about them lately, but apparently they're still charging upfront fees.

Have they ever made a sale for you? Have they ever made a sale for any client?

-Ann C. Crispin

roach
02-24-2007, 03:38 AM
I'm not sure that editors have an anti-read list, so much as they know reputable agents, and out of experience would be able identify which submissions are from agencies who aren't too fussy about whether the submission is appropriate to that editor or publisher, or who aren't selecting on the basis of quality of work as much as ability to pay.

At one point I know Ann and Victoria polled editors at major publishers and found there was a group of scam/disreputable agents that were automatically rejected due to constantly sending in inappropriate submissions.

MaryQ
02-24-2007, 05:19 AM
Well, I've been royally screwed! $1800 to be exact. My books have not sold. I've been questioning this alot lately. Suposedly, Harlequin Mills had my book #3 for quite a while. I read that they were starting a new division using series romance w/ a twist... that's me! Then the world went silent. I heard nothing. I blast off emails that don't get answered. I just get excuses when they do and an invoice each month.

When David was my agent I heard from him all the time. He helped me alot w/ my work and always answered my questions/concerns. He even sent me copies of the rejections he recieved from publishers. I wonder what the real reason was that he left the agency. Hmmm...
By the way, I have only recieve copies of rejection letters from Ginger once. Makes me wonder if she even submitted my work. Can I really contact the publishers to find out?

I'm typing a termination letter this weekend and requesting the return of all my materials. I'm very disapointed and feeling a bit lost. I wish I would have found this site back in 2004.

I am also going to report this to everyone that I need to. I don't want any other new writer to get burned like I have. Please spread the word for me.

Tilly
02-24-2007, 03:44 PM
Well, I've been royally screwed! $1800 to be exact. My books have not sold. I've been questioning this alot lately. Suposedly, Harlequin Mills had my book #3 for quite a while. I read that they were starting a new division using series romance w/ a twist... that's me! Then the world went silent. I heard nothing. I blast off emails that don't get answered. I just get excuses when they do and an invoice each month.

Have you checked out Harlequin's submission guidelines? It may be that once you have terminated your contract with Sedgeband you can submit to them directly.



I'm typing a termination letter this weekend and requesting the return of all my materials. I'm very disapointed and feeling a bit lost. I wish I would have found this site back in 2004.:Hug2:


I am also going to report this to everyone that I need to. I don't want any other new writer to get burned like I have. Please spread the word for me.Great idea :D

victoriastrauss
02-24-2007, 07:30 PM
At one point I know Ann and Victoria polled editors at major publishers and found there was a group of scam/disreputable agents that were automatically rejected due to constantly sending in inappropriate submissions.It was several years back, but Sedgeband was one of the agencies mentioned by name. It's probably reasonably safe to assume that no one pays much attention to a Sedgeband submission. This actually is the bright side of getting involved with a dishonest or incompetent agent: you can start fresh, as if you'd never been agented at all.

Sedgeband does have a few sales (most to publishers that don't typically work with agents) but it's not much to show for an agency that has been in business since before the turn of the century.

Five or six years ago, billing actual submission expense to clients after it's incurred (as opposed to accruing it and deducting it from the advance) was nearly always a marker for a disreputable agent, but this practice is becoming increasingly common among reputable agents--part of the continuing trend to shift ever more of the cost of representation to the client. However, upfront fees due on intake or contract signing, or flat fees billed on a regular basis, are still practices that are overwhelmingly associated with questionable or scam agents, and should be regarded as a major red flag.

MaryQ, will you contact Writer Beware directly? My email is beware@sfwa.org. Thanks.

- Victoria

MaryQ
02-24-2007, 10:46 PM
Today I'm going to try to contact the publishers who my agent sent my work to for review. I'm really wondering if my work was reveiwed or even sent. I also looked at my contract. It was dated for Feb. 11, 2004 and effective for 1 year. I never recieved any kind of paperwork regarding an extension of this contract. Hmm... I wonder if that means anything. I've saved every piece of email & invoice I've ever recieved from Sedgeband... I plan on taking a close look at everything.

AC Crispin
02-25-2007, 08:34 PM
Mary, if you can prove your manuscript was not sent out, get an attorney to write a stiff letter to Sedgeband demanding that they make full restitution of what you spent in those monthy fees.

I can also give you a name of someone in Texas who is aware of fake literary agencies and tracks them...someone in law enforcement.

Threaten Sedgeband with reporting them to law enforcement if they don't cough up the dough. You might be able to scare them.

Then report them anyhow. Why not? They're scum. Drop me an email if you want the name of my contact.

-Ann C. Crispin
anncrispin@aol.com

Old Hack
02-26-2007, 12:08 AM
MaryQ, listen to Ann. She knows what she's doing. She's a very wise woman and we're lucky to have her here.

MaryQ
02-27-2007, 09:34 PM
Over the weekend I sent out several emails & faxes to editors/publsihers that were supposed to have reviewed my work. I recieved a response today from Kate Duffy at Kensington. The submission of my third book took place in Sept or Oct of 2006.

Her reply was, "We have no record of receiving it. In any case, it is not here now, nor do we have a copy of a rejection letter."

I sent an email out to my agent last week requesting copies of all corespondance w/ editors & reject letters for 2006. I have none. The last one I ever received was for Dec. 2005. I've written up my letter requesting termination of my contract. (This sucks.)

I don't think I can afford a lawer. Elaine English has offered but I don't think I can cough up her fee, even if it's discounted because I'm in RWA. Is there any other watchdog group out there that can go after Sedgeband?

I have a cold on top of all this and Thursday is my 40th B-Day. *sigh*
I need a nap.

DaveKuzminski
02-27-2007, 10:12 PM
My suggestion? Write to Sedgeband and tell them they have a choice. Either cough up the money or the responses from all of the submissions they claimed to make. If you don't get one of the two, you'll turn over your evidence, including responses from those publishers informing you that they never received any submissions for your work, to the authorities for prosecution.

By the way, there are attorneys who will do pro bono work for writers. Do a web search on "volunteer lawyers literary" and you should find a bunch.

MaryQ
03-02-2007, 12:14 AM
I received another email. This time from Harlequin. They did not receive a submission of my work either. But the editor did request to view my work!!! I goes out in tomorrow's mail!!!

It just kills me that I've been paying Sedgeband for a long time and I'm finding out the submissions from 2006 never happened. Grrrr...

I sent out my letter of termination via certified mail. I mentioned that if she doesn't do what I've requested in the time alotted, I will take legal action.

batgirl
03-02-2007, 02:20 AM
I have a cold on top of all this and Thursday is my 40th B-Day. *sigh*
I need a nap.
Happy birthday! Remember that you're among friends, that we're rooting for you, that you aren't being scammed any more, and that Life Begins at 40.
You have a fresh start ahead, and Harlequin wants to see your mss. There's one birthday present. I hope you get another--restitution from Sedgeband.
-Barbara (well over 40, and it's true)

victoriastrauss
03-02-2007, 02:24 AM
MaryQ, would you contact Writer Beware at beware@sfwa.org ? It'd be very helpful for our files on Sedgeband to have copies of any documentation you have--correspondence, contracts, invoices, etc. All information shared with Writer Beware is held in confidence. Thanks.

- Victoria

eros888
03-02-2007, 04:57 AM
Hi all-

I just wanted to add my voice to the chorus. I was a Sedgeband client about 3 years ago, and it was the biggest waste of money. It's true- there is no evidence that they do anything at all with your manuscript, they merely sent me a bill for 60-70$ every month to cover "expenses". All of my phone calls and emails went unreturned. How those crooks are still in business is beyond me...

MaryQ
03-19-2007, 10:49 PM
Here's the latest update w/ my battle of the agent. I sent a termination letter on Feb. 27 to Sedgeband via Certified Mail. I tracked it. It was delivered but nobody signed so it came back. I emailed Ginger Norton. Her response was basically they don't accept mail that has to be signed for because if nobody is there to sign for it, they don't want to have to stand in line for two hours at the post office to get it.

So I sent out another letter in March. They receieve it. This is the response I received, via email. (My comments are in red.)
Ms. Quast,

We received your termination letter today. This email constitutes our formal
reply.

Article XL: your contract renews if we do not receive a 30-day termination
notice in writing, and as such your contract was automatically renewed, as
you did not give any indication of wishing to terminate Article XIL was kept
in force. We will consider the letter today to be your 30-day notice and
will terminate your contract on April 15, 2007. (I looked closely at my contract - it does not state this. However I did find a note attached to an email about changes at the agency and this was listed. But I am not supposed to sign all changes made to my contract?)
All invoices must be paid in full, including the last one sent on March 6, 2007 and the previous invoice that has not been paid, plus any late charges.

(I'm not sure if I should send the money, since I've received varification from three publishers - including the one who should have my work currently - all said they never received a submission.)

As stated in the contract Article XL: we will return to you those items such
as cd 's and or floppies as per the contract, as well as any photo that you
may have submitted. All material generated by the agency for submission
purposes remains the property of the agency as stated in the Author/Agent
Contract. As for communications between the agency and any publishers, there is no law that binds the agency to provide this information to you at any time.

(I know it's not a law but take a look at #4 in the AAR Cannon of Ethics.)
However, you will receive a final submissions report, with any
paperwork that may have been received by this agency when the reports are
generated in June. All submissions still pending will be forwarded to you as
and when it becomes available.

(I haven't received any information on submissions, other than bills/invoices since Dec. 2005.)
Your threat of legal action is baffling to say the least, as there has never
been any hold on your ability to terminate your contract whenever you
wished. We are under no legal obligation, nor have we faulted under any
legal terms agreed to that could constitute any form of legal action on your
part against this agency.

(How about charging me $50 a month for a submissions fee and not actually submitting my work at least three times?)
Sincerely,

Ginger Norton
Sedgeband Literary Associates, Inc.

My question is should I respond? Should I tell her that I have proof that my work was never submitted? Should I mention that it is unethical to charge a client? Hmm...

Spiny Norman
03-20-2007, 01:16 AM
A few months ago I got an email bacl from them about my first book. They were the only ones interested... I sent the whole ms via email and never heard from them again.

I was pretty sure it was a scam, but whatever, a guy needs a win now and again.

AC Crispin
03-20-2007, 07:13 PM
I've responded privately to Mary, giving her some suggestions. She should NOT pay, btw.

-Ann C. Crispin
Chair, Writer Beware
www.writerbeware.com

MaryQ
03-20-2007, 10:15 PM
I'd like to thank Ann and everybody else for their help and support in this situation. It's an awful feeling. I worked hard on my novels and it kills me that I've wasted 3 years w/ this agency. Please spread the word on all other blogs & forums you visit! I've even advised writers on my website to visit Writers Beware, Preditors & Editors before making any decisions regarding an agent. I wish I would have back in late 2003, early 2004!

On the flip side tho... I have personaly been asked to turn in my manuscript to Harlequin and Kensington. The editors have been very helpful and understanding.

Thanks again to all.

CaoPaux
02-09-2011, 11:50 PM
Closed shortly thereafter: http://replay.waybackmachine.org/20070809230501/http://www.sedgeband.com/


Due to the continuing changes in the markets and a deepening financial burden, it is with great sadness that after 10 years in business, Sedgeband Literary Associates, Inc. has closed its doors. We want to thank everyone who worked so hard to keep things going over the last few years. We especially want to give our best to all of the very talented writers who graced us with their creativity and vision.

We wish everyone success and encourage all writers to keep striving to reach their dreams.