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victoriastrauss
06-03-2005, 07:24 PM
The New York Literary Agency is one of several new "agencies" under the umbrella of The Literary Agency Group Inc. The Literary Agency Group Inc. appears to be a spinoff of the infamous Stylus Literary Agency (until recently known as the ST Literary Agency), owned and operated by Robert Fletcher. Writer Beware has received scores of complaints about Stylus Literary/ST Literary, which charges fees, promotes its own paid editing services, and submits in a haphazard fashion to inappropriate publishers (when it submits at all). It uses a boiler room-style operation, with clients receiving substantially identical e-mails and responses.

Right now, the Literary Agency Group Inc. umbrella appears to embrace the following:




Stylus Literary Agency (http://www.stylusagency.com/) (formerly ST Literary Agency)
The Children's Literary Agency (http://www.childrensliteraryagency.com/)
The Christian Literary Agency (http://www.christianliterary.com/index.html)
The New York Literary Agency (http://www.newyorkliteraryagency.com/index.html)
Poets Literary Agency (http://www.poetsliteraryagency.com/)
The Screenplay Agency (http://www.thescreenplayagency.com/index.html)
More, no doubt, to come.

Writer Beware has documented that these agencies all operate in much the same way, using the same boiler-room-style approach as the original Stylus, with nearly identical intake materials and contracts. Right now, the main focus of the operation appears to be persuading writers to buy paid critique services (at a cost of between $50 and around $90) and editing services (anywhere from $99 to over $2,000) from a service that's described as a "sister" company but in fact appears to be under common ownership with the agencies (this is a conflict of interest: if an agency can make money by recommending critiques or editing, how can the writer trust that the recommendation is in his/her best interest?). There may also be other paid adjunct services, and it's possible that there are vanity publishers somewhere in the mix.

Neither Stylus Literary Agency/ST Literary Agency nor any of its spinoffs have any commercial book or script sales, as far as we're aware--despite their claims to the contrary.

There's a more detailed discussion of the whole scheme in the ST Literary Agency (http://showthread.php?t=529&page=1&pp=25) thread.

- Victoria

James D. Macdonald
06-03-2005, 08:06 PM
New York Literary Agency claims (on their "about" page (http://www.newyorkliteraryagency.com/about.html)):


Some of our contacts include editors at Random House, Regan Books, Bantam Dell, Henry Holt & Co., TOR, G.P. Putnam & Sons, Globe Pequot Press, Simon & Schuster, Doubleday, along with many other companies and imprints.

I found that interesting. So I asked my friends at Tor (note: It's Tor, not TOR) about New York Literary agency. Here's what a very senior editor at Tor told me: "I never heard of them."

Know something? If you went to those other houses and asked the editors there, I bet you'd hear the same thing. Except, perhaps, for Globe Pequot (a small press). After Dario Castagno sold his book to Globe Pequot, for some reason he asked Robert Fletcher to negotiate the contract for him. Of course Globe Pequot might not recognize the name "New York Literary Agency." Bobby Fletcher was calling his little scam "ST Literary Agency" at the time.

Lauri B
06-07-2005, 04:45 AM
New York Literary Agency claims (on their "about" page (http://www.newyorkliteraryagency.com/about.html)):



I found that interesting. So I asked my friends at Tor (note: It's Tor, not TOR) about New York Literary agency. Here's what a very senior editor at Tor told me: "I never heard of them."

Know something? If you went to those other houses and asked the editors there, I bet you'd hear the same thing. Except, perhaps, for Globe Pequot (a small press). After Dario Castagno sold his book to Globe Pequot, for some reason he asked Robert Fletcher to negotiate the contract for him. Of course Globe Pequot might not recognize the name "New York Literary Agency." Bobby Fletcher was calling his little scam "ST Literary Agency" at the time.



Not that it's relevant, but Globe Pequot was bought by Lyons Press. They are pretty midlist.

ANNIE
06-16-2005, 06:22 AM
Hi- New to this site and was wondering if anyone knew anything about the new york literary agency. I queried them online and they requested to see my manuscript via e-mail attachment. P&E had a not recomended after their name but no reason why. Anyone know? Thanks for any info.-Annie

mdin
06-16-2005, 06:54 AM
Hi, Annie. I believe New York Literary Agency is a subsidiary of ST Literary Agency. (Someone please correct me if I'm wrong.)

That makes them very, very, very, very, very, very bad. Very bad.

D.J.
06-16-2005, 06:56 AM
Hi- New to this site and was wondering if anyone knew anything about the new york literary agency. I queried them online and they requested to see my manuscript via e-mail attachment. P&E had a not recomended after their name but no reason why. Anyone know? Thanks for any info.-Annie

RUN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I found this board after doing a search on Stylus Literary Agency. You might search for that thread and have a good long read on these people. What I learned as I understand it, their aliases are as follows:The Literary Agency Group (don't confuse this with The Literary Group who are well thought of), The Christian Literary Group (makes me very mad being that I wrote a Chritian ms), ST Literary Agency, Stylus Literary Agency, and drum roll please...
New York Literary Agency.

Disappointing but hey, I found great board full of very helpful people! Welcome.

ANNIE
06-16-2005, 07:09 AM
Thanks for the information, I had a bad feeling about them.

James D. Macdonald
06-16-2005, 08:08 AM
More:

The New York Literary Agency (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=13516)

Stylus Literary Agency (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=529)

Read it all and tell your friends.

Roger J Carlson
06-16-2005, 05:37 PM
More:

The New York Literary Agency (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=13516)

Stylus Literary Agency (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=529)

Read it all and tell your friends.Hey, UJ. Have you added this information to the ST Literary thread?

CaoPaux
06-16-2005, 07:04 PM
Hey, UJ. Have you added this information to the ST Literary thread?Yup, plus Victoria made a separate thread for each "agency", and I've got all the aliases in the Index.

Leid: X09
06-18-2005, 02:22 AM
Interesting. I had given a synopsis of my novel to the New York Literary Agency, and their fast response and candy-coated automated message about how they were accepting me made me leary. So, I looked their name up and 'lo and behold--I found this.

Though I have discarded any communication with NYLA, and since this is my first post on the board ever, I'm looking for agencies with good names. I am a science fiction and fantasy writer with a hint of ancient civ. This section of the board has the agencies of threat, but what are some of the good ones?

- Tara Newberry

ArtistInBleu
06-26-2005, 04:38 AM
THe NY Lit Agency just sent me a contract. I was so excited and signed and mailed my contract out today. My stepfather sent me this website today as well, after my mailing, hence to say, I wrote the NYLA an e-mail and told them I wanted my contract voided. They said I had 72 hours to doso and my gut said to do it. Was my gut feeling correct?
I have an 80,000 page Thriller/Horror novel completed and can't seem to find an agent who doesn't come up with an article somewhere on line with the wrods,"RUN" after it.
Can anyone out there help me.
Sincerely
ArtistInBleu

James D. Macdonald
06-26-2005, 04:46 AM
Have they asked you for money yet?

Please see the big dicussion of one of their sister agencies, Children's Literary Agency (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=8286), up in the Children's Writing board.

Also, see the long ST/Stylus Literary Agency (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=529) Thread.

Read 'em, make up your own mind.

ArtistInBleu
06-26-2005, 05:22 AM
No, they haven't asked for money yet! Just a one time 70.00 fee to help edit my book. They said they want nothing until they get it published, then 15%.

Richard
06-26-2005, 05:32 AM
"No, they haven't asked for money yet! Just a one time 70.00 fee to help edit my book."

Re-read that sentence, please.

Trapped in amber
06-26-2005, 05:42 AM
They have asked for money. Think of $70 multiplied by many, many authors. That's how this agency makes its money. What you're looking for is an agency that makes its money through commissions on sales to publishers. That way, they have an incentive to sell your book.

James D. Macdonald
07-13-2005, 10:40 AM
More threads here about the whole Literary Agency Group and its subdivisions:

The Christian Literary Agency (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=13514)
Stylus (ST) Literary Agency (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=529)
Children's Literary Agency I (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=8312)
Children's Literary Agency II (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=8286)
The Literary Agency Group (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=13517)

Use the "Search" function to find more mentions of these people.

sinner1047
07-14-2005, 05:56 PM
No, they haven't asked for money yet! Just a one time 70.00 fee to help edit my book. They said they want nothing until they get it published, then 15%.
I have just signed a contract with the same company...let me tell you, the next fee would have been a $100 fee for an independent critique...does anyone know how I get my money back for this? They will not respons to my emails and I have not been able to cancel my contract with them. HELP!!!

D.J.
07-14-2005, 06:08 PM
I have just signed a contract with the same company...let me tell you, the next fee would have been a $100 fee for an independent critique...does anyone know how I get my money back for this? They will not respons to my emails and I have not been able to cancel my contract with them. HELP!!!

Oh, they've changed it now. I guess we made such a big deal out of the third party critique done by a sister company...LOL!
My dealing with them was with one of the aliases, "Stylus Agency" who had suppossedly just been bought out by "The New York Literary Agency," or something like that.
I had written them to ask about the "third party critique" and a few other questions. Then "googled" and found out all of the horror stories described on this board. The interesting thing, is that they have never answered my questions. They just never wrote back. I asked those questions before I had even heard the "bad press." I guess, they just didn't like the fact I asked probing questions and for names so I could check things out, etc. Until I asked questions I'd been the best thing since sliced bread!
So sorry you are having to deal with this. Best of luck. You will find tons of helpful and knowledgeable people here to guide you.

victoriastrauss
07-14-2005, 06:37 PM
I have just signed a contract with the same company...let me tell you, the next fee would have been a $100 fee for an independent critique...does anyone know how I get my money back for this? They will not respons to my emails and I have not been able to cancel my contract with them. HELP!!!If the contract is still the same (the most recent one I've seen dates from just a couple of months ago), you can cancel with 90 days' notice in writing after 90 days if there's no sale. Since this agency has never and will never make any sales, this means you can terminate with 3 months' notice 3 months after the date you signed the contract. Just send an e-mail to that effect (and be sure to keep a copy). You don't need a response for the termination to be effective.

If you want to try and get your money back, send the agency an e-mail citing the negative information you've found online, and requesting a refund. Send cc's to the following Better Business Bureaus:

BBB Serving Southeast Florida and the Caribbean
2924 N. Australian Avenue
West Palm Beach, FL 33407
http://www.bbbsoutheastflorida.org/

BBB of Metropolitan New York
257 Park Avenue South
New York, NY 10010
WWW: http://www.newyork.bbb.org

This covers all bases, since the agency has a NYC mail drop address, but is based on Boca Raton, Florida. I've heard from a number of authors who've been able to get full or partial refunds by doing this.

- Victoria

sinner1047
07-14-2005, 07:33 PM
Thank you for all your help. Just to let you know (and so if anyone searches this site) the agency that they referr you out to nowadays is Writers Literary or Rapid Publishing. Writers Literary is the name NYLA calls them, Rapid Publishing is what they are under in Paypal. I am so upset about this; anyone want to start a group litigation against this company???

MadScientistMatt
07-14-2005, 07:49 PM
Interesting - Rapid Publishing is owned by Robert Fletcher, who also owns the agency. Did they actually claim it was an "independant" critique in their correspondance with you?

See this post for more info: http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showpost.php?p=157694&postcount=9

Since you paid with PayPal, you might be able to dispute the charge on your credit card. After all, they did sell it to you under false pretenses.

sinner1047
07-14-2005, 08:08 PM
Hmmmm, that is intersting. It says, and I quote, "We REQUIRE a 3rd party independent critique." And then goes on to tell me that I can use someone else as long as they follow their format, blah, blah, blah. When I asked for more names, none were provided and I Paypaled the $80. Then they asked for $100 for editing and that's when I asked questions, especially since the editing was to be done by, none other, Writers Literary a.k.a. Rapid Publishing. I have lodge a complaint with Paypal (they can't refund on services rendered though) and made my bank aware of the situation. But again, if anyone is interested in group litigation...

DaveKuzminski
07-14-2005, 08:24 PM
It says, and I quote, "We REQUIRE a 3rd party independent critique." And then goes on to tell me that I can use someone else as long as they follow their format, blah, blah, blah. When I asked for more names, none were provided and I Paypaled the $80.

I'd contact the FBI and FTC concerning this.

James D. Macdonald
07-14-2005, 08:31 PM
Let's not forget New York attorney general Eliot Spitzer. He's the guy who took down Edit Ink. The fact that these bozos call themselves "New York Literary Agency," have a New York mail drop, and pretend in all their communications that they're actually located in New York would, I think, put them into his baliwick.

sinner1047
07-14-2005, 10:29 PM
So who would one contact to take this guy down? I am so irate about this situation; I would love to see this go down the same way that Melanie Mills went...FBI, FTC, or NY attorney general? AAR says that if I'm a member they will lodge a complaint, but I would like to get a lawsuit moving on this.

James D. Macdonald
07-14-2005, 10:35 PM
So who would one contact to take this guy down?...FBI, FTC, or NY attorney general?

I'd say "All of the above, and don't forget the IRS, the BBB, the Florida attorney general, and a letter to the editor of your local newspaper."

For a lawsuit: Talk with a lawyer who knows publishing, ask about causes for action, and follow his advice.

sinner1047
07-14-2005, 11:34 PM
Ok, so I am going after this guy, li'l ole me down here in south Florida. I am going to try and get contacts for all these people and see what I can do about the situation. If you guys know of anyone that would like to be a prat of this, direct them to this thread. Thanks again for everything!

jpserra
07-26-2005, 04:10 AM
I am struggling to find an agent to represent my second novel. I recently received a contract for the New York Literary Agency and wanted to know if anyone had any experience with them or has any information on them. They appear to be obscure.

JPS

James D. Macdonald
07-26-2005, 04:21 AM
New York Literary Agency?

They're an utter scam. A fraud. A cheat. They'll take your money and give you nothing in return.

They claim to have offices at 275 Madison Avenue, 4th Floor, right? You know what's actually there? A mail-forwarding operation. "New York Literary Agency" is actually based in Boca Raton, Florida.

Neither New York Literary Agency, nor its parent, ST Literary Agency, has ever sold a book to a legitimate publisher. Their founder, Robert Fletcher, is a convicted swindler.

See also:

http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=729

http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=529

http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=13517

Stay away! Very bad news. They aren't just obscure: They're crooks.

aruna
07-26-2005, 11:35 AM
Since you paid with PayPal, you might be able to dispute the charge on your credit card. After all, they did sell it to you under false pretenses.
I don't know how it's done but it's possible to cancel a paypal payment after paying it. I know it, because it was done to my sonwho runs a small internet business. Somebody paid with paypal, he sent the stuff, and afterwards they revoked the payment, which went off my son's paypal account. And there was nothing he could do about it.

Caty
07-26-2005, 12:26 PM
If you Gooogle the "Paypal wall of shame" you'll see just how easy it must be to get money back. The disgruntled vendors who've had accounts frozen and money refunded runs into several pages.

sinner1047
07-26-2005, 04:49 PM
I have tried to cancel my payment, but the payment went thru almost immediately (having a gold star rating on Paypal worked against me this time!) and Paypal says they can't refund for "services" rendered, only misleading goods tendered. I don't know; I have contacted New York Literary Agency and Writers Literary for a refund. NYLA has refused, even though I cc'd the BBB of FL and NY, and Writer's Literary hasn't even commented back. I have also contacted the FBI, the FTC, NY and FL attorney general and my local newspaper, and nothing has come back except automated replies from some of the Federal agencies. I know that this was not much money, but it is way more than that. I was so excited that someone was representing me, my family even threw a party for me! Now I have a grudge, and considering that the physical address for NYLA is in Boca, where I live...

sinner1047
07-26-2005, 04:50 PM
I am struggling to find an agent to represent my second novel. I recently received a contract for the New York Literary Agency and wanted to know if anyone had any experience with them or has any information on them. They appear to be obscure.

JPS
P.S. jpserra...RUN AWAY!!! I am currently trying to bring charges against these people for fraud. Do not go forward with anything having to do with this company!!!

Aconite
07-26-2005, 05:50 PM
I have contacted New York Literary Agency and Writers Literary for a refund. NYLA has refused, even though I cc'd the BBB of FL and NY, and Writer's Literary hasn't even commented back.
Have your lawyer* contact them. Rotten companies aren't going to refund your money just because you ask--they wouldn't make as much that way.


*If you don't have a lawyer, get one. If finances are a problem, check out Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts.

sinner1047
07-27-2005, 01:20 AM
Funds are definately limited, so thank you for the heads up on the Volunteer Lawyers. I will google them and see if they would liek to help. Victoria had mentioned that sometimes this company had issued refunds if oyu made a big enough stink and cc'd the BBB, btu I guess they are getting a thicker skin nowadays. Thanks for the info.

victoriastrauss
07-27-2005, 04:04 AM
I heard from a number of authors who got refunds--just the other day someone told me they got their money back. But checking back through my files, all of these are ST or Stylus clients. Maybe they're going with a different M.O. for the satellite agencies.

Or maybe it's as sinner1047 suggests, and they're no longer refunding at all.

It's still worth writing or cc'ing the BBB's though, because if there are enough unresolved complaints, it'll be noted.

- Victoria

sinner1047
07-29-2005, 02:19 AM
Or maybe it's as sinner1047 suggests, and they're no longer refunding at all.

Hmmmm, I'm thinking that since I live in Boca, and Bouncin' Bobby does too, that maybe I should set up a lunch date with him and point out the error of his ways. I checked out the Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts, and they have a 8-12 week rotation, and you have to be a member to even be considered. Since I cannot walk into the office (living in sunny s. FL as I do) I think that I am going to contact the local "hero" news network and see if theyn want to get in on the action...

James D. Macdonald
07-29-2005, 07:26 AM
Since I cannot walk into the office (living in sunny s. FL as I do) ...

What do you mean, you can't walk into the office? You mean in New York? They don't have an office in New York. All that's in New York is a mail-forwarding service.

VShaw
08-03-2005, 09:28 PM
Hello everyone
i am new here and was wondering if anyone has heard of the New York Literary Agency? They want me to sign a 2 yr contract and pay for some critique. I am wondering if this is a scam or not. Please help.
Thanks
Vickie

D.J.
08-03-2005, 09:32 PM
Hello everyone
i am new here and was wondering if anyone has heard of the New York Literary Agency? They want me to sign a 2 yr contract and pay for some critique. I am wondering if this is a scam or not. Please help.
Thanks
Vickie

Please check other threads before you agree to anything. I was almost taken in by Stylus which is a "sister company" as I understand it. There are several that fall under that umbrella of ownership.

MadScientistMatt
08-03-2005, 10:17 PM
There is no evidence that they have ever sold a book on their own, and ample evidence that they have collected a lot of money from authors.

JerseyGirl1962
08-03-2005, 10:25 PM
VShaw,

Check it out in the Stylus/ST Literary thread here:

http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=529&page=24&pp=25

You'll have to scroll about halfway down to see where posters start talking about New York Literary.

Short answer: Don't do it!

~Nancy

CaoPaux
08-03-2005, 10:27 PM
And here's: NYLA-specific info.

http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=729

Run!!!

JerseyGirl1962
08-03-2005, 10:29 PM
Cao Paux,

We both had the same idea, lol. :idea:

Except you went right to the New York Literary thread. At least VShaw will get right to the heart of the matter and will save his or her dough.

~Nancy

sinner1047
08-03-2005, 11:50 PM
Yeah, but the office in Boca has a physical address. I called the office there and guess who answered for Writers Literary? Robert Fletcher. I have heard back from the FTC and from the BBB of south Florida. We'll see...

Jaycinth
08-10-2005, 07:35 PM
Sinner1047 said he/she(?) was trying to get money back. Hopefully when you paid thru PayPal, you used a credit(not debit) card. If you did you have 30 days from the date of teh charge to contact the credit card company and dispute the charge (Why? They took your money and did not deliver the product)
Sometimes, if you are a good guy and always pay on time, then they'll extend your window to 6 weeks or two months.
Once you have disputed the charge, they charge back the company and put your money back. the company then has 30 days to dispute your dispute. If they do, then you have another 30 days to dispute their...(Yadda yadda etc) Unless they can prove that they delivered exactly what it says they were going to do, then you win.

Luck luck luck!

sinner1047
08-19-2005, 12:09 AM
Sinner1047 said he/she(?) was trying to get money back. Hopefully when you paid thru PayPal, you used a credit(not debit) card. If you did you have 30 days from the date of teh charge to contact the credit card company and dispute the charge (Why? They took your money and did not deliver the product)
Sometimes, if you are a good guy and always pay on time, then they'll extend your window to 6 weeks or two months.
Once you have disputed the charge, they charge back the company and put your money back. the company then has 30 days to dispute your dispute. If they do, then you have another 30 days to dispute their...(Yadda yadda etc) Unless they can prove that they delivered exactly what it says they were going to do, then you win.

Luck luck luck!
I have tried all the above; my credit card company said no because they did give me a critique and Paypal does not give refunds for services. The only response I have gotten back is from the SE Florida BBB. They have repsented my complaint to the company and are awaiting a response (good luck). If they do not hear back in 14 days, they send a 2nd request. If nothing in 7 days then they start an investigation. Let's hope...

irvm2924
08-24-2005, 03:00 AM
Does anyone have any info on this agency?

DaveKuzminski
08-24-2005, 04:12 AM
Does anyone have any info on this agency?

What part of the preceeding posts did you not understand???!!!

This agency is nothing more than a literary mosquito from the swamps of Florida that is interested only in sucking your wallet dry.

OneTeam OneDream
08-24-2005, 04:19 AM
What part of the preceeding posts did you not understand???!!!

This agency is nothing more than a literary mosquito from the swamps of Florida that is interested only in sucking your wallet dry.



What he meant to say was, "Welcome to AW, if you have any questions about NYLA, please read the above posts."

Thanks

James D. Macdonald
08-24-2005, 04:53 AM
Does anyone have any info on this agency?

Lots of people do.

Please check the thread here, plus the threads on Christian Literary Agency, Children's Literary Agency, and Stylus Literary Agency for far, far, more information than you probably wanted.

http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=929
http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=529
http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=13517
http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=13514
http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=8312
http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=8286


Short version: Scam. Stay away.

victoriastrauss
08-24-2005, 04:57 AM
What part of the preceeding posts did you not understand???!!!This is my fault--irvm2924 posted his/her question in a separate thread and I merged it with this thread to try and avoid thread proliferation. Should have left a note indicating this.

That said, I wish people would check the Index before posting questions.

- Victoria

Rose colored glasses
08-24-2005, 04:59 AM
Unreal.


While I was on the yahoo Publish America authors group, another author was so happy because he had gotten an agent in NY.
Three guesses as to who it was.

He put a link for them in his email. I believe he already signed.

*sigh* Kicked in the butt once is bad enough. Twice is just sad.

victoriastrauss
09-24-2005, 09:16 PM
As of August or September 2005, a new member has been added to this lovely group: The Poets Literary Agency (http://www.poetsliteraryagency.com/).

Writer Beware now has considerable documentation not just on Stylus Literary and Children's Literary, but on New York Literary and Christian Literary. The contracts used by all these agencies vary in small details, but are substantially similar. The accompanying materials are identical. All refer clients to the same editing service, Writers Literary (http://www.writersliterary.com/), a so-called "sister" company run by a former "agent" with Stylus.

We don't yet have documentation on Poets Literary, but we're sure we soon will. Sigh.

And no, none of these agencies has yet sold a book...

- Victoria

James D. Macdonald
09-24-2005, 10:15 PM
Woo! Look at this!


The Poets Literary Agency has numerous contacts with influential buyers at the large publishers, small presses and specialty houses. We do not market to self-publishers, print on demand publishers, or vanity presses.

http://www.poetsliteraryagency.com/about.html

Now compare that with this:


Why shoulder all the risk? We have authors that will pay you to work with you. We believe that this is the new model for the future.

(Emphasis mine.)

http://www.publishersmarketplace.com/cgi-bin/displayJob.pl?job_no=1521

(Thanks, Victoria, for finding that.)

That's Robert M. Fletcher again, this time trolling for vanity presses over at Publishers Marketplace.

If Bobby has all these great contacts with "influential buyers," why's he advertising for bottom feeders?

DaveKuzminski
09-25-2005, 06:53 AM
A visitor to P&E states, "Thank you for the information. I knew about Stylus.

I went to the New York State Attorney General about them and they did nothing. They need more complaints to act."

If you know of someone who was ripped off by one of the agencies belonging to what was originally Sydra Technologies, urge them to get in touch with the NY AG.

sinner1047
09-27-2005, 06:54 PM
A visitor to P&E states,
If you know of someone who was ripped off by one of the agencies belonging to what was originally Sydra Technologies, urge them to get in touch with the NY AG.
I also lodged a complaint with the NY AG, along with the FL AG (since that's where Bobby's physical address is) the FL and NY BBB, the FTC and my local news stations. I got an automated letter from the FL BBB saying they were going to present this to NYLA (the company I did "business with") and that the process could take months. Well, several months have passed and nothing. The FL BBB was the ONLY response I got. I guess this isn't a big enough deal for anyone to take some time over it...

Roger J Carlson
09-28-2005, 04:08 PM
The FL BBB was the ONLY response I got. I guess this isn't a big enough deal for anyone to take some time over it...Well, after all, it's only writers being ripped off. They're all a little off anyway, and it's not as if they're an important constituency or anything. Bah.

azbikergirl
09-28-2005, 05:46 PM
Besides, all writers are rich.

sinner1047
09-28-2005, 11:30 PM
I'm rich??? Really? I've known that I was a bit off center for years, so I can understand how the officials would think that I have no right to justice, but I'm rich??? Wish someone would have told me earlier...

Wanderer
09-29-2005, 12:10 AM
I signed on with NYLA without seeing any websites like this one. Their contract is on the up-and-up, but their escalating demands for fees make it clear what their real game is. They wanted $79 for a "critique", $99 for an "edit", and then -- are you ready for this? -- a "full edit" for $1750 (reduced from $1950!). Cough, cough. You bet I stopped before step #3. But let's talk about steps 1 and 2 for a minute, because it's not all bad.

Disappointing, yes, because I see I still need to find someone to market my novel. But meanwhile, I got some valuable feedback from the "critique" and the "edit". Could it have been more and better? You bet; I realized I could implement the editors' advice better than the editors could, but their insight still helped me knock loose some cobwebs and keep moving forward. Is that worth $178? Probably. If not, then darn close.

Lets not forget how different the publishing industry is from 50 years ago. Today editors want perfect manuscripts; they spend their money in other ways. So a major dilemma for writers is, where do we find the best editorial criticism and feedback? Not in weekly writers' groups, that's for sure. So to pay limited amounts for editorial criticism is not unreasonable. The trick is knowing where to go, who is good and reasonable, and so on. NYLA is a disappointment but not a total wash. Would I sign on again, knowing what I know now? No. But do I feel totally swindled and demand my money back? No. I went into it with my eyes open, and got some value. I've had bad dates that cost me more!

victoriastrauss
09-29-2005, 12:36 AM
So to pay limited amounts for editorial criticism is not unreasonable.The problem is, at NYLA and other agencies that press you to buy critiques or editing, you really have no idea whether or not the person doing your critique and/or editing is qualified. Often you often don't even know who the person is, and thus can't check their background. Nor do you have any assurance that the editing service is hiring experienced people.

You may feel that you've been personally helped by the critique you received, but it really is a crap shoot. I've heard from several authors who've been very unhappy with the quality of their Stylus/NYLA/Children's Literary critiques. I've also seen some critiques that were little more than a rehash of the writer's own description of the plot, stuck together with a few quotes from the manuscript.

Judge for yourself how dedicated Writers Literary, the company used by NYLA and all the Stylus clones, is to quality editing by this quote from the "critique test" the company sends to prospective editors:


The critiques can use some degree of boilerplate phrases...It is NOT necessary that you read the entire manuscript. The idea is that as an editor, you are familiar with the most typical errors that writers make, and you can spot them, copy them, and comment on them quickly and efficiently. We think you can do this by spot-checking 3-5 pages.
'Nuff said.

- Victoria

Aconite
09-29-2005, 12:48 AM
Lets not forget how different the publishing industry is from 50 years ago. Today editors want perfect manuscripts;
Editors didn't want less-than-perfect manuscripts 50 years ago, either. Scam agencies trying to sell you editing services like to tell you, "These days, editors won't look at a manuscript that hasn't been professionally edited." Hogwash. Your manuscript has to be publishable, not "professionally edited." If you're going to be a writer for real, editing your own manuscript is an essential skill. You don't farm it out to someone else as a matter of course.


So a major dilemma for writers is, where do we find the best editorial criticism and feedback?
You do research and you find a group that suits your skill level, level of ambition, and level of commitment. And you learn to edit your own work.


So to pay limited amounts for editorial criticism is not unreasonable.
Yes, it is. Have you heard of Yog's Law? It is: Money flows toward the author. You do not pay to get edited. You do not pay to get agented. You do not pay to get published. You do not buy and resell copies of your own books. Not even a little.


But do I feel totally swindled and demand my money back? No. I went into it with my eyes open, and got some value.
Did you really go into it with your eyes open? Did you know you would be hit with fees for services? I'm betting you didn't. If you feel you got something out of this association, you were fortunate. That doesn't mean you weren't taken advantage of.

I'm sorry to hear your story. I hope your next is happier.

sinner1047
10-03-2005, 06:04 PM
You bet I stopped before step #3. But let's talk about steps 1 and 2 for a minute, because it's not all bad.
Disappointing, yes, because I see I still need to find someone to market my novel. But meanwhile, I got some valuable feedback from the "critique" and the "edit". Could it have been more and better? You bet; I realized I could implement the editors' advice better than the editors could, but their insight still helped me knock loose some cobwebs and keep moving forward. Is that worth $178? Probably. If not, then darn close.

I'm happy that you are happy spending money on a service that, in all honesty, should never have been paid for. I went thru the same thing with New York Literary Agency, one of the many misnomers of Bouncin' Bobby's companies, and was a little more upset than you are. I felt that the "critique" that I was given was informal, and didn't appear to have pertained to anything past the 5th page of my manuscript. The "review" appeared to be a cut-and-paste job that could easily have applied to many other works. I am currently in the process of trying to make Roberts companies go the way of Melanie Mills, but the system is slow in response. If you were happy with the quality of your "critique", then that's great. I, on the other hand, would prefer to not pay someone $79 to have them tell me to rearrange my words in the first couple of pages of my manuscript! If you hear of anyone else that has had this issue, please have them contact the south Florida BBB, as there is already an investigation going on, and the more people that participate the better.

starbuck
10-05-2005, 10:07 PM
This is the first time that I've visited, registered and logged on to this site. I too had received a reply from the New York Literary Agency. They said that my manuscript was commercially viable with a little polishing from an independant critique. So for only $79.00 I could send my manuscript to the referred critique and submit my contract. Thank you, thank you thank you!! I just saved at least a hundred bucks thanks to the good people at the water cooler!

judycm
11-03-2005, 06:56 PM
WOW!!! I can't believe what I'm reading. I just sent my whole manuscript in to this company. I figured I could always check them out before I did anything or signed anything. My editor helped me with questions to ask. I hope they don't steal my book or rewrite it and try to publish it. Fees are what I was going to look for in their patent responses. I can't believe what you all are writing here. I"m so so so glad you guys are here.

I will add my two cents and say that I was about to be scammed like some of you. Thanks people!!!!
Judy

Roger J Carlson
11-03-2005, 07:27 PM
I hope they don't steal my book or rewrite it and try to publish it. Fees are what I was going to look for in their patent responses. Oh, I wouldn't worry about them stealing your manuscript and publishing it. That would be too much like work. My guess is that everything you send them goes straight into the trash -- except your checks.

TomPalmer
11-25-2005, 10:04 AM
You know what sucks!? You begin to wonder if your writing is really any good, then you get a contract offer!! I was so happy! :-) I thought the $79 for the critique wasn't too bad either, but I figured I better do a search on the net and see if anyone else has any dealings with them.
GOOD GOD!!!
I guess so... :-( Oh well, I appreciate the heads up guys! :-)

Aconite
11-25-2005, 04:12 PM
You know what sucks!? You begin to wonder if your writing is really any good, then you get a contract offer!!
Tom, just remember that bad agencies will make offers on good books as well as bad ones. They'll make offers on anything, so it's no indication of the quality of your book. Your book may need work, or it may be fine. Hang in there, and good luck.

Roger J Carlson
11-28-2005, 05:22 PM
You know what sucks!? You begin to wonder if your writing is really any good, then you get a contract offer!! I was so happy! :-) I thought the $79 for the critique wasn't too bad either, but I figured I better do a search on the net and see if anyone else has any dealings with them.
GOOD GOD!!!
I guess so... :-( Oh well, I appreciate the heads up guys! :-)Welcome to the "Almost Signed Until I Googled Them" club!

Xavier Kobel
11-29-2005, 12:03 PM
As I checked out the Worldwide Freelance Writer site I happened on a link to NYLA.

The fast e-mail submission for authors caught my eye, and I checked out the site, and was totally turned on to the speedy turn around response time promised, the embrace, and willingness to work with new writers the agency offers.

But a creeping suspicion that it sounds too good to be true, caused me to do a fast search of AW to see if any dirt existed on NYLA.

Sure enough, crud galore came from a simple search of the forums.

The best advice I can give....If it seems too good to be true....check it out. It most likely is a scam that will suck you dry, until you catch on. Only after you've lost hundreds, or thousands of hard earned dollars.

I'm very thankful to watchdawgs like Victoria, and the participants of P&E. They have forced me to stop looking at the writing industry through rosy glasses.

The hard fact for newbie writers is.....We're guppies swimming in an ocean of sharks. Be prepared to face the reality that turnaround is slow, and acceptance is low. Yeah, it sucks!

Keep in mind the great whites were guppies at one time.

Only then will you swim against the whirlpool of preditors, ever so ready to suck you in, and bleed your wallet.

Don't submit your MS before doing homework. It may save money, and grief.

Jim
AKA:
Xavier Kobel

snistrtaz
12-01-2005, 08:07 PM
Hey guys, I'm new to this web site, and I'm in a pickle. I'm a writer with a nearly completed manuscript of 115,000 words, and I have already signed a contract with the New York Literary Agency. They seemed okay at first, but when they insisted that I get a professional edit of my manuscript, I got suspicious and did a little more homework on them. You can guess what I found. I feel so stupid.

I'm getting out of the contract soon, while I still have 60 days of the 90 day termination agreement in their contract. Unfortunately I've already given them $79 for a critique. Really guys, you saved my ***. I'm going to do some more research before terminating the contract, but if anyone has any more information for a prospective author concerning this subject or others, I plan on being a part of this review board for a while.

I'll tell you, these guys are slick. They reel you in with a contract that appears perfect, and have a whole list of contacts that are more than likely fake. If anyone wants a copy of their contract, or more of my own personal experiences with the company that lead to my suspicions, contact me at [email protected] Thanks again!

James D. Macdonald
12-01-2005, 08:11 PM
Write to NYLA: Cancel the contract. If it isn't too late, stop payment on the check or dispute the credit card charge.

Write to the New York State Attorney General and the Florida Attorney General, telling them your story.

victoriastrauss
12-01-2005, 08:16 PM
To add to Uncle Jim's advice: you don't need to wait the whole 90 days to cancel. Cancel right now (there's advice on how to do this earlier in this thread). Once they know they won't get any more money out of you, they won't protest.

Another tip: don't try for representation until your manuscript is finished and throughly polished. No reputable agency will take on a first-time author with an uncompleted ms.

- Victoria

Master Bedroom
12-06-2005, 11:57 AM
Well aren’t I am a big gullible fool, thinking I look all cool wearing my rose colored glasses and stepping out into the sunshine, in which it seems, hides all the dark dregs of humanity.
I wrote a screenplay and found The Screenplay Agency at the top of the list on my google search, well, weren’t they just a bunch of nice an helpful people, really loved my script…


"Our review team believes that your work has commercial potential and we
Would like to proceed further with you. We believe we would like to represent you"


“I am on my way, “ I tell myself, “this is going to get me into the big time and most of all no more worries about paying the bills.”
Why did I have to find you people, my delusions lasted all but an hour then the sweet hand of fate came along and gave me a big slap across the face and told me to wake up and smell the coffee. Unfortunately they have a copy of my screenplay, is this going to be a problem for me?

MacAllister
12-06-2005, 12:20 PM
Naw. They'd have to actually sell it--which isn't something that they do.

Don't send 'em any money. Don't sign anything with 'em. If you'd like, you can send a letter, withdrawing your ms from consideration.

Aconite
12-06-2005, 05:48 PM
Unfortunately they have a copy of my screenplay, is this going to be a problem for me?
No. As MacAllister said, selling scripts is something they're not good at: it involves effort and skill. As soon as they realize they're not going to get any money out of you, they'll toss it in the garbage. The only way this would be a problem for you is if you'd sent them your only copy of the script.

Sorry to hear about the disappointment. Hope you have better news soon.

JonquilAries
12-07-2005, 04:05 AM
I just joined the board after a friend on Livejournal pointed out the flaws for the agency, and I'm glad she was of the right mind to tell me. The wording they gave me was exactly the same as what I've seen here- about the manuscript being a commercial success. I told them to send me the contract and a referral for the critique, but after reading this I'm emailing them back to have them withdraw my manuscript. While I believe there is a time you do have to pay to get something you want done, this isn't the way to do it. Thanks to everyone for their helpful links and enabling me to see this place as the scam it really is!

Master Bedroom
12-07-2005, 05:24 AM
Yes, I fear this thread will be the ruin of the New York Literary agency.


I sent them an email after seeing this thread, titled Cold Feet, I wrote thus…


Hi Sherry Fine

Sending another email to you like this may seem silly but I got cold feet all of a sudden, because you sound to good to be true, you make it all too easy and I know that nothing in life comes that easy, especially in this business You said on my screenplay Green…

"Our review team believes that your work has commercial potential and we Would like to proceed further with you. We believe we would like to represent you"

If that is true, than why don’t you fork out the unusually small fee of under $ 100 to get my work critiqued, if it really has commercial potential? Or are you commissioned by those you refer? If you really know what you are doing, than the ten percent you earn by selling my screenplay would more than pay it back, as would the commissions you receive off of any future screenplays I write and send you. Have you sold many or any screenplays, can you give me a list of the ones you have? I know my screenplay is no Gone with the wind, but I believe that it would make a good Sci Fi movie, have you even really read it?

Trust is something that is earned not given and if I thought that you were legitimate, that is looking out for my interests as well as your own, then I would give you my all. I haven’t got any money to throw away, that’s why I desperately want to sell my screenplay and will deal with you only if you can convince me that you are legitimate Please don’t take this personal but if you are professional than you will understand.

And her reply was…

I agree with your caution, and surely you understand ours. We have no desire to argue about whether a manuscript is ready to go or not.

So I'll make you an offer/deal.

I'll have my toughest editor formally critique it for free. If it's good enough to go directly to market, then you don't pay anything and we'll issue you a contract. If it 'needs work', then you pay for the critique, and we'll still issue you a contract and you can decide about fixing your work up.

If you believe in the quality of your writing, this should be a no-brainer.

I look forward to your reply.

She obviously misunderstood what I was saying, I wasn’t saying that my script was ready to go, but if it was as good as they say, then selling it should be no trouble and they can pay for the critique, knowing full well they will receive a profit.


Anyway, I really need an outside opinion on what to do, for I am of course, driven by my desperate need to sell my script so I can pay the bills and may not be thinking clearly, after all a drowning man clutches at straws.

So what do you make of her reply anybody?
I won't reply to her until I hear some subjective views on this.

JonquilAries
12-07-2005, 05:32 AM
Master Bedroom- That's a great reply you sent. Even though she said she'd get someone to critique it for free I'd still be wary. How do you know there won't be some kind of fee that pops up afterwards, or something else? After all the negative reviews I've read about this place, I wouldn't hold my breath about them no matter how nicely worded her response is. That last comment, about you believing in the quality of your work, clearly is leaning toward your desire to see something of yours published. At least that's what I see it as.

Master Bedroom
12-07-2005, 06:00 AM
Oh yes, they will find something wrong with it, it is my first screenplay and there is bound to be something that needs fixing.

I do think that it would make a good movie though, but they were the ones that said that it has commercial potential and that was the basis of my argument to her, if they think it is sellable, then they would be willing to get it critiqued for me.

For me to judge my own work is absurd, for it would be full of biased and as you say, my own need to sell the script. But Sci Fi has a big following and I do not doubt that it would be accepted within those circles. I believe it would succeed as a science fiction movie but not be a blockbuster or anything like that, just a good old fashion science fiction movie, a fun ride, that will deliver the goods.

Garbarian
12-07-2005, 06:02 AM
Critique or no critique, fee or no fee: They aren't going to sell your script. I'll say it again: They aren't going to sell your script. End of story. These people are known to every reputable film and publishing professional as scam artists at worst and a bad joke at best, if they are known at all. Why would you even THINK about letting them have anything to do with you or your project at this point?

There are thousands of reputable agents out there. Find one.

Master Bedroom
12-07-2005, 06:14 AM
That’s the problem, being in Australia, my choices are very limited, there are only a hand full of legitimate agents here and they have so much stuff to handle, that getting their attention is next to impossible. I just got a reply form one agent on a submission that I sent three months ago, that’s how busy they are.

There might be agents on every street corner in America but not here, if I send a submission to 3 agents then I only have three chances to be accepted, if like in America I can send it to 20, 30 or a hundred agents then all I need is one to accept it, my chances would be fare greater in that respect. Australia is good if you want to shear sheep or something, but it is not the land of opportunity that America is. So what I am saying is that I have very limited opportunities and that could be the death of my writing career.

I love writing, I put a lot of emotional and mental energy into it but getting my foot in the door from where I am standing seems impossible. I have seen plenty of crap that is being published and know I can do just as good, if not better.

roach
12-07-2005, 06:18 AM
Master Bedroom, it's understandable to be frustrated. But the fact remains that these people have never sold a screenplay. How much more frustrating would it be to go through with the "critique" and end up in no better position than you are now.

They didn't answer your questions, the most important being: what other screenplays have you sold.

I'm curious as to why you feel you are limited to Australia? I know that many American agents have international clients so that shouldn't be a barrier to you querying American (or British or where ever else) agents.

Master Bedroom
12-07-2005, 06:27 AM
I am going to have no choice but to broaden my horizons and have patience. Yes, she didn’t answer that most important question; one would think that they would be eager to share their accomplishments. How do you know that they haven’t sold any though?
There is apart of me that is saying, what if they do sell mine?

James D. Macdonald
12-07-2005, 07:45 AM
I'm sorry to tell you this, but if you're looking at writing to take care of near-term monetary problems -- perhaps you should look elsewhere. The best description of the speed of the publishing industry is "glacial."

Garbarian
12-07-2005, 07:55 AM
How do you know that they haven’t sold any though?
Because good people on this board like James MacDonald and Victoria Strauss have dedicated countless hours finding out for the rest of us.

There is apart of me that is saying, what if they do sell mine?

This is EXACTLY the kind of thinking that allows these people to continue fleecing naive writers. What if they sell yours? What if you wake up tomorrow and the head of Paramount is in your kitchen making you breakfast? The odds of either thing happening are about the same.

And there is no reason why you can't query agents in the United States just because you live in a foreign country. I have several friends overseas with American agents.

James D. Macdonald
12-07-2005, 09:37 AM
There is apart of me that is saying, what if they do sell mine?

If they sell yours it'll be their first. They won't have a clue what goes into a contract, what's reasonable, or how to negotiate one.

A bad agemt is worse than no agent at all.

Aconite
12-07-2005, 03:53 PM
I'll have my toughest editor formally critique it for free. If it's good enough to go directly to market, then you don't pay anything and we'll issue you a contract. If it 'needs work', then you pay for the critique, and we'll still issue you a contract and you can decide about fixing your work up.
I hope you noted this part of her reply. The way I read that is, "If the editor I choose says it needs more work, you pay for the critique."

What's your bet that the editor will, of course, say that it needs work?

Have enough respect for yourself and your craft that you don't accept a crap agent because you don't think you can't get a better one. Either your work is good enough to get a decent agent, or it's not. If it is, get one. If it's not, improve your work until you can. (This does not mean paying for an edit. It means learning to evaluate and improve your own work. There's no quick fix.) If the work isn't strong enough to attract a good agent, what makes you think it's good enough to get a movie deal? Believing in your work doesn't mean investing money in it. It means working hard to improve your skills, and not throwing your work to just any old so-called agent who offers to take you on.

DaveKuzminski
12-07-2005, 05:33 PM
Do not let them choose the editor. Do not let them choose the conditions, either. That only permits them to stack the deck against you.

Do not settle for unanswered questions. You asked a question. They dodged it. That by itself ought to be a big enough warning for you that they can't sell your work to anyone legitimate.

There are not three literary agents on every street corner in the US. There generally are three scammers. Furthermore, even though there are more legitimate agencies in the US than in most other nations, keep in mind that each of those generally operates in a narrow market. Therefore, you have to do some research of agency guidelines to learn just who does represent what you have to offer. Even then, you're not out of the woods. Each agent in that market has different reading tastes (fortunately for you and everyone else) which means you have to submit to each of them until you find an agent who not only represents the type of manuscript you have to offer, but likes your individual style of writing (presuming that your level of writing is both polished and professional enough).

Legitimate agents can point to their sales record or can point to a legitimate agency or publishing house where they interned as proof that they are themselves legitimate.

snistrtaz
12-07-2005, 08:43 PM
Yep, canceled my contract with NYLA after doing more research, mostly thanks to this forum. Fortunately, my suspicions were aroused when they began talking about their editing procedures, wanting me to spend $150 for their mini-edit before forking over the big bucks for the real deal (yeah, right).

People should be weary of their contacts in New York that they so willingly hand out. None of them are registered with the New York Better Business Bureau, and some don't even exist. I also sent a letter to the New York State Attourney General. They have yet to reply back, and probably won't, but I'm glad others are out their trying to take these guys down. I'm gullible being a first-time author, and I'd hate to think of others out there taking the bait as I did. Fortunately, I only wasted $79 on their critique.

Thanks again! I'll be busy looking through the other forums and educating myself so I wont mess up again.

-Rich

LloydBrown
12-07-2005, 09:03 PM
People should be weary of their contacts in New York that they so willingly hand out. None of them are registered with the New York Better Business Bureau, and some don't even exist. I also sent a letter to the New York State Attourney General.

More of their deceit: NYLA is not in New York. They're in Boca Raton. The NY address is just a mail forwarding service.

victoriastrauss
12-07-2005, 09:26 PM
And her reply was…

I agree with your caution, and surely you understand ours. We have no desire to argue about whether a manuscript is ready to go or not.

So I'll make you an offer/deal.

I'll have my toughest editor formally critique it for free. If it's good enough to go directly to market, then you don't pay anything and we'll issue you a contract. If it 'needs work', then you pay for the critique, and we'll still issue you a contract and you can decide about fixing your work up.

If you believe in the quality of your writing, this should be a no-brainer.

I look forward to your reply.This response--word for word--is sent to all writers who express the reservations you did. I've seen it several times before.

All six of these clone agencies, including The Screenplay Agency, require a critique as a condition of contract signing. The purpose of the critique is to lay the groundwork for more editing (I've heard from people who've paid in excess of $2,000). If you take this offer, you will get a "needs work" assessment.

(Although, since we know that Bobby Fletcher reads these threads and would love to prove us wrong, I guess there's a possibility that you might get a free pass to a contract. But there's no joy in that either, since as far as we know, Fletcher has never managed to sell any scripts.)

- Victoria

Xavier Kobel
12-07-2005, 09:44 PM
Master bedroom here is an online agent directory:

http://www.agentquery.com/


and research site

http://www.agent-research.com/


Research the agent before you sign a contract. Victoria & the watch dogs at sites like Preditors & Editors, and Writers beware saved me from being duped out of over $3,000 in editing fees, from a scam agent referring my novel to their editor of choice. Actually, I have to credit my wife's intuition for getting the gut feeling something was out of sorts with the ease and speed the agent responded to my query. Then refused to represent it unless brought to commercial standards using their costly editing service.

It doesn't matter if your from Austrailia or Zimbabwe, response time for agents are ultra slow, even here in this "land of opportunity". Just be sure you have read, edited, and re-read before submitting. If your I's aren't dotted & T's not crossed the work will surely sprint straight to the rejection pile.

I've come to realize it's not an overnight process, so in light of that I'm keeping my blue collar 2nd shift job while I carefully edit.

Good luck, and be careful!

Jim
AKA:
Xavier Kobel

Master Bedroom
12-08-2005, 09:01 AM
This is EXACTLY the kind of thinking that allows these people to continue fleecing naive writers.

I am like the moth to the flame.



Each agent in that market has different reading tastes (fortunately for you and everyone else) which means you have to submit to each of them until you find an agent who not only represents the type of manuscript you have to offer, but likes your individual style of writing (presuming that your level of writing is both polished and professional enough).


Yeah, I just love it when they say, I don’t like it but that’s just my opinion, be sure to try someone else. I mean these people probably wouldn’t sell Star Wars, the 3 agents that I have submitted too were middle aged women, well to do types, all posh and everything, what would they know about a good science fiction horror film? My goodness, they probably watch films like, Driving miss daisy. One person cannot decide for a whole world of movie goers what is good, but of cause not everybody will like a certain movie, it’s all subjective isn’t it? Any idea can make a movie, that new Land of the dead movie, completely my idea, I posted that in a Resident evil 4 forum over a year or so ago, about the idea of an unusually intelligent zombie who comes along, shows the average Zombies how to tack up weapons and gathers to himself a huge zombie army. I called it the Attack of the Bones. It was just a joke but this famous director dude either saw the idea and used it, or coincidently had the very same idea. Either way I had the same idea and it was a good movie if you like the genre. I was watching it and going, my God, this was my idea, did this guy read my post and steal it or what, after all the Internet is open to all and it could be the case. No more posting my ideas on the internet though, that is for sure!



Just be sure you have read, edited, and re-read before submitting. If your I's aren't dotted & T's not crossed the work will surely sprint straight to the rejection pile.


You better believe it, my screenplay was four years in the making, I have worked it, reworked it, made changes, added here edited there, to where it is a bloody beautiful work of modern literature thankyou!-LOL


Anyway thank you for taking the time to warn me and give me advice, I cannot reply to all cuz my post would become a novella-lol


All were very helpful and if you must know, I want to sell my script to buy an XBOX 360, nuff said.


Will I be accepting their deal… drum roll



BBRRRRBBBRRRR



NO FREAKING WAY!

MacAllister
12-08-2005, 09:08 AM
Master Bedroom--glad to hear you've come to your senses.

Oh, by the way--I wouldn't be quite so dismissive of those "middle-aged women"...they might know a great deal indeed about science fiction and horror.

Master Bedroom
12-08-2005, 09:26 AM
Let me just say, that what I said was in no way stereotypical of all middle aged women. I assure you though, that those three were not the Sci fi horror type and you know the saying, a prophet is not without honor, save in his own home town and amongst his own people. Lol!

Aconite
12-08-2005, 06:36 PM
I assure you though, that those three were not the Sci fi horror type
I'm curious about what you base that assumption on. That they're "posh"? So what? Have you ever been to a science fiction convention? You'll find all types of people there, including middle-aged posh women. Some of them are fans, some of them are authors, some of them are agents and some are editors. Don't assume that because they rejected your script it was because they didn't "do" SF.

And if it was because they don't do SF, what on earth were you doing sending inappropriate material (material of a genre they don't represent) to agents? Target, target, target! You can't scattershot queries. That's spamming, and it doesn't work for beans. Research your agents, and make sure they represent your type of material before you send it out.

DaveKuzminski
12-08-2005, 07:24 PM
Remember, we all become middle-aged eventually even if we're young at heart. Unfortunately, we also eventually become old-aged even though we might be middle-aged at heart by then. ;)

Roger J Carlson
12-08-2005, 08:12 PM
Remember, we all become middle-aged eventually even if we're young at heart. Unfortunately, we also eventually become old-aged even though we might be middle-aged at heart by then. ;)Unless you're like Asimov who died in his "late youth".

Master Bedroom
12-08-2005, 10:58 PM
No offense intended towards middle-aged people, I am 35 and will be there soon myself.

I find middle aged women very sexy, especially if they are rich.http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/images/smilies/wink.gif

Their track record shows, that these agents like more down to Earth stuff and anyway, they don’t have a picture of Mr. Spock on their office desk. One of them did say that it was an interesting read, but that she didn’t see a market for it in Australia, they just have fare to much on their hands and can afford to pick and choose what they deal with and I think they just like to stick with what has already worked for them.

Also I had no choice, but to go to these agents because of limited opportunities, the link that Xavier Kobal gave me was very helpful. Look, just let me say that I don’t think that my work, (I have only written a novella, a novel and a screenplay) is best-selling material, but I know, because of what’s out there already, that there is a market for it, I just need to cross that threshold of getting it out their and its only been early days yet. Already I have learned so much from just being here and been saved allot of grief as well. Hey, no one saw George Lucas’s vision until it became a blockbuster hit, I mean the guys that are professionals did not see what he had to offer. Stephen King got rejected a few times before he was published; when the people got hands on his work they loved it. Agents are not all knowing god’s, they are just people that want to make money (and who doesn’t?).

Roger J Carlson
12-08-2005, 11:07 PM
Stephen King got rejected a few times before he was publishedStephen King got rejected A LOT before he was first published.

Master Bedroom
12-09-2005, 12:04 AM
If it weren’t for Stephen King, I wouldn’t have even bothered to write. I was watching a documentary on him and he was saying how, after finishing his novel Carrie, he threw it in the bin because he thought it wasn’t any good, lucky for us his wife, she encouraged him to try anyway. The rest is history. After seeing that, I thought, maybe I should be more confident, for we can be wrong about allot of things, even concerning ourselves.

travNastee
12-22-2005, 11:03 AM
Hi, first time out in these parts.

I had done what a lot of folks did, queried, got a "send it along" response, sent in a piece of my manuscript to NYLA, only the first three chapters or so. Afterwards (like a moron, instead of before) I did a little research to find out about the agency, so on and so forth. I haven't been writing long, so hence I knew not of "Bouncin' Bobby" and the like. Thankfully I stumbled upon here, and shall henceforth be playing games with these people.

After visiting this forum once, and a few other websites/forums, I emailed "Sherry Fine- V.P. Aquisitions" with this:

I have read on many writer's websites that your organization is a scam, making writers believe that you are a real agency, when in fact you are a funnel sending people to an editing company that you own and/or get a cut from, that editors from name publishing houses have never heard of your agency, so on and so forth.

As a writer interested in your agency, I was curious as to whether or not you could provide a partial list of clients, no contact information or anything like that, just a list of names, or a list of novels or nonfiction you have negotiated into contract, perhaps something I could find in my local bookstore, or a list of names of agents within your agency, possibly with contact numbers. Or maybe editors from publishing companies that you have negotiated sales with in the past, not even being specific in what book.

Any information you could provide would be appreciated.


Sincerely,

Her response?

We really don't spend time proving ourselves.

She then followed that with the "stock, non-determinal bios" from the faq.

So in other words, they don't like to brag. They're modest, one would figure, they don't like to go shouting at the rooftops or anything of the like when they make a sale. Either that or it's all very hush hush, top levels of government secrecy, level five clearance and the like.

Oh, and you try telling a "real" agency that they're a scam, or that they don't do anything but take people's money. See if they take you on as a client.

I also noticed this in a different email sent to me by them:

If we make a mistake,
or if you don't like the way we do things, you DO NOT have permission to
flame me. People describe me as 'laid back - with attitude'. Any
snippiness on your part and I have the full support of my managment to fire
you on the spot, and I will, and it's irrevocable.

"Flame me"? As in "Start a mean topic on a message board" flame me?

Do you really ask permission before flaming someone anyway?

And besides, what in the name of Hemingway is "laid back - with attitude." And who tells you how people describe them? And what does that have to do with flaming?

If that sounds like a professional agency to anyone else that comes anywhere near this topic, please remove yourself from the internet, as you are a chimpanzee.

James D. Macdonald
12-22-2005, 01:07 PM
They didn't list any titles or authors? What a surprise!

Any real agency would be eager to give you titles and authors that they'd sold recently.


BTW, agents don't fire authors. Agents work for authors. Authors can, and do, fire agents.

taru
01-04-2006, 09:47 AM
so far so good. i have heard of the new york literary agency many times before but cared to bother about it as i was not into look out for any agencies to be doing the job of negotiating the publishers for my book. the same thing happened to me like any one had faced before.. but frankly speaking.. google is what made me feel desperate. i trust this search engine so much so that... i google atleast 200 times in a day. that would contribute to i/millionth of the googlers.. in a day. so when i had browsed through the google that fine day.. to look for some literary agents and free publishing houses for my book. i was sure of the catch.. 'new york literary agency was everywhere in the right side showing their bold ads.' on further enquiry into the link provided i started browsing their website.. it wont surprise anybody now because by now many might have seen this threads and also already read the threads that had been posted before. i wanted to tell others the reason why i started crawling over and over again the web to find out the truth about this fake agency. firstly,two days back i reacieved an e amil claiming to have made me a millionaire overnight,then secondly and most prominently, sherry fine s prompt reply.. she had asked me to wait for atleast two weeks to hear from the review commitee ,or in case we did not hear her reply.. to send them a reminder. so that they could come in touch with us... all this while i was thankful to her for being such proffessional. and never thought that they were fake ... but thanks to absolute writer... i have not only saved my pocket being drilled by nyla.. but also got other relevant information on the agencies and fake groups.
Now i think i have got a clue as to why sherry fine is such a proffesional. if anyone got her e mail.. these days one might have come upon an interesting note attached from her. she might have read the earlier post in this coloumns so tried to make me feel that her e mail was not automated. the first page of her reply was a sincere dedication to highlight her hardwork involved when she had lost most of her preciouse times to look in to our work. and to some point she does exceedingly wel... she will make you feel like a winner and if you are a heavy smoker somewhere you will have smoked three times more then usual that time. so i give her a brilliant 6/6 scorecard.
but as one keeps getting mail after mail... we will find that dollars creep in..and then after a slash line in her short reply you will find most of the long e mails will be a cut paste from the website.. the usual faq s and the right to fire kind of thing. thereafter, one might get the third e mail, and that will suddenly show you like the ball is in your side.. the contract and the critique group. the dollar 80 submission as a critique fee... she scores wel here too.6/6.... then the 90 days agreement and a year s contract.
somewhere i have been benefited by sherry s attempt. she made me complete my work in time as my exams are approaching i really needed some boosters to get my work acccomplished in time.. so in a way her motivation worked wonders.
i am sure ms fine must be amongst one of us today here reading this long thread...and if there is ms fine amongst us then i would like to pay her back my obligations .
1. your website is just one page which by far under performs and will only lead to authors doubting your agency. you may have a look at my website and blog. www.arunachalonline.co.nr (http://www.arunachalonline.co.nr) i am a one man webdesigner so my website contains more relevant information then that you can send.
2when you reply back your "here s what someone wrote back to us and thanked us in advance for the job.. which bears testimonyto our claims that we work different from other agencies and our promised turnaround time will be faster.. we dont promise a sell but we can work with you... to incubate the talent.."
this aprticular format of reply will surely make people to google so that they can save themselves... from one like u all. and by the look at your website one will surely feel that the agency is a fake one.

i still wish to thank you sherry for having helped me accomplished the daunting task to wrap up wel before in time and it saved my skin.
3 one last.. change the name to washington literary agency. that will do a better business.. as now people are already alerted of the fact that your agencies are just cloned and faked[and to tell you.. our relation ship so far is cut and dried ]
best of luck foryour next adventure!!!!!!!

CaitlinK18
01-04-2006, 11:06 AM
Um...what?

James D. Macdonald
01-04-2006, 07:09 PM
I believe Taru's post was meant for this thread, Caitlin, rather than to start a thread of its own. I moved it after you'd posted.

CaitlinK18
01-04-2006, 11:03 PM
Ohhhh, he was talking about the NYLA! That clears up a great deal of the confusion I was feeling.

Taru, I'm still not clear on whether your experience was good or bad...

Roger J Carlson
01-04-2006, 11:07 PM
Ohhhh, he was talking about the NYLA! That clears up a great deal of the confusion I was feeling.

Taru, I'm still not clear on whether your experience was good or bad...Must be a stream-of-consciousness thing. I never was much good at that high-brow literary stuff.

Donna Pudick
01-05-2006, 06:12 PM
Ask them for a list of books they rep, where they've been placed, and with whom. IF you get a list, be brave and call the editors they mention to see if they really do have the manuscripts.

My understanding is that their "sales" technique is to send emails to editors with a website listed. On the website is a list of manuscripts and a short pitch for each one. IF an editor is interested in a specific book, she can send for the manuscript. They do not cold call or write individual queries to individual editors. I doubt if they even know the names of the editors at the big eight (now five).

Big problem with that is no editors anywhere have the time or the inclination (I say that a lot, don't I?) to look at an agent's website. They prefer query letters or cold calling.

If you would like a list of editors at the big eight and most of their imprints, email me, and I'll tell you who they are. Then you can compare those names with any you might squeeze out of Fletcher.

dp

CaliWave81
01-11-2006, 09:54 AM
If it weren’t for Stephen King, I wouldn’t have even bothered to write. I was watching a documentary on him and he was saying how, after finishing his novel Carrie, he threw it in the bin because he thought it wasn’t any good, lucky for us his wife, she encouraged him to try anyway. The rest is history. After seeing that, I thought, maybe I should be more confident, for we can be wrong about allot of things, even concerning ourselves.

I totally agree. Stephen King is my inspiration as well. He was the big name growing in my house and like you, after hearing what he did with Carrie and how is wife rescued the story, I began thinking about the 504 page book I had just thrown away. My husband found out what I did and all he could say was "Why? I liked what I'd read so far. You shouldn't have thrown it away. Who knows, you could be like Stephen King." Gosh, if that didn't send me scurrying around to someone else who had a copy of the book. Thankfully, a dear friend did have another copy and so now I am working the final revisions. I plan to be looking for a publisher soon.

Dave Sloane
01-16-2006, 09:52 AM
A few weeks ago I was accepted by NYLA and after I was I e-mailed Sherry
Fine back telling her that now it was time to talk...She e-mailed back with an
866 no. and I called a few days ago.
I got this older woman with a British accent on the line. I asked her if the
critique was mandatory, she said yes, and I said no way, and that I didn't
need their critique and and that I didn't believe that anyone had even read
my book "Methadone Clinic." I also said that I wanted to hear NYLA's side of
the story vis-a-vis what's said about them on Ab Write. She brushed that
aside and said I had a negative attitude. I said 'bye and thank you and
hung up.
I know b******t when I hear it and who the hell could ever fall for their line of
s**t anyway? The ONLY reason I even submitted to them was out of curiosity
and because I have a few comp copies of my novel. Still, it was a shame to
waste a copy on them.

travNastee
01-16-2006, 11:07 AM
Okay, so the other day I'm at work, on the floor, and my cell phone rings with a number in another area code. I have an agent looking at my manuscript, so I was kind of pumped, thinking it may have been him.

I pick it up and whoever is on the other end hangs up. Ok, maybe a wrong number, but where was it from? So I called it back.

It didn't even ring, not once. It was thirty two seconds, according to my cell phone, of dead silence and then a busy signal. So it wasn't a calling card, because it would have redirected me to a message.

So I did a little research into where the number was from.

Florida. I know no one in Florida.

If you've been paying attention to this thread and other threads about Bouncin Bobby, you know this is his true home base.

Any chance it was them calling me to make a vein attempt at convincing me to go with them? Or should I be even more worried about a number that doesn't exist in any phone books and apparently doesn't exist when you call it has rung my cell phone?

James D. Macdonald
01-16-2006, 06:16 PM
TravNastee: I think it's a Cell Phone Weirdness.

HapiSofi
01-16-2006, 08:48 PM
Ask them for a list of books they rep, where they've been placed, and with whom. IF you get a list, be brave and call the editors they mention to see if they really do have the manuscripts.Some editors are aware that fake agents are a problem. Others may not be. Agent/editor relationships are fraught, full of etiquette and taboos, so if you talk to an editor, keep it clear and keep it simple.

Explain that you fear you're being imposed on by a non-legit "agent," and that said agent has given you this editor's name as an example of someone with whom s/he/it has an ongoing business relationship. It's unlikely that an editor would be able to tell you exactly who has or hasn't sent them manuscripts, but they'll know which agents they're acquainted with.

Don't use the phrase "I sent my manuscript" in any context until you're sure the editor understands what you're asking. Short of that point, it'll make them think you're calling to find out what happened to your submission.
My understanding is that their "sales" technique is to send emails to editors with a website listed. On the website is a list of manuscripts and a short pitch for each one. IF an editor is interested in a specific book, she can send for the manuscript.NFW, unless the house says in their submission guidelines that that's their preferred procedure--and I don't know of any who do it that way.
don't know of any who do that.[quote]They do not cold call or write individual queries to individual editors.Hey, that would be work.
I doubt if they even know the names of the editors at the big eight (now five).They might know some names at major publishing houses. However, I doubt they know those editors' tastes, preferences, work methods, or track records, or what their houses are looking for right now.
Big problem with that is no editors anywhere have the time or the inclination (I say that a lot, don't I?)It's called having an editorial bent.
to look at an agent's website. They prefer query letters or cold calling.Nope. Some of them prefer that. Others prefer an outline plus three chapters. Others just want you to send the manuscript.

James D. Macdonald
01-17-2006, 08:09 PM
Used to be that ST Literary Agency provided the author with two things: A website (with a URL not linked from anywhere) and a "letter of representation."

The letter of representation was a form letter that the author was expected to put in the submission packet when submitting works on his/her own ... that way the submission would get right by those "no unagented" doody-head publishers because they'd see that this writer had an agent!

The web page (the "On Line Pitch Page") URL was supposedly sent to Secret Contacts Inside Publishing Houses by Bobby Fletcher. Those worthies (who Fletcher could never name because then they wouldn't be Secret) were the folks who had the real buying authority at those publishing houses. If they liked what they saw, they could request a copy of the manuscript.

Weirdly, no books ever sold that way.

At some point in their career, Bobby claimed to be sending out partials to ten publishers per month (for $14 per submission). An informal poll among editors showed none who recalled getting these submissions. Be that as it may, again weirdly, no books ever sold that way either.

Now Bobby has gotten cagy and isn't revealing how exactly he's marketing books, so we can't nail him on specifics. One thing that still shines through: He's yet to sell anything.

Within the past few months Bobby's been spotted advertising for vanity presses. We'll see if any bite.

taru
01-19-2006, 10:54 PM
welo,Juat wanted to tell you all that... these threads have answered my doubts... and yes,I did have a bad experience.. writing back and back to Ms Sherry..





Ohhhh, he was talking about the NYLA! That clears up a great deal of the confusion I was feeling.

Taru, I'm still not clear on whether your experience was good or bad...

taru
01-19-2006, 11:13 PM
any idea about lulu.com

Roger J Carlson
01-19-2006, 11:18 PM
any idea about lulu.comTry this thread: http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=4279&highlight=lulu.com

taru
01-19-2006, 11:44 PM
thank you, I ve read the threads and its been wonderful so far...
earlier i had a chat with lulu people , but i was still doubtful as sherry's cast overshadowed all my new hopes of finding one really reliable.Now it seems lulu will help me out. I ve completed a short fiction and want to publish it. i want it to be cheap in all the way it can be. Iam in NEW DELHi any idea as to get it done cheaper then the normal $8 rate fixed by LULU for 200 pages as i think.. people from my community would be only interested to hear abt it if it comes dearth cheap for them and .. as you know.. the currencuy value.. here 8$ is like 500 Rs .. which is pretty a sum.

Aconite
01-19-2006, 11:51 PM
taru, you may want to see if you can get it locally printed and bound at a copy store or something similar. At any rate, you'll want to take this discussion to the POD Self-Publishing and E-Publishing (http://absolutewrite.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?s=&daysprune=&f=47) board, which is focused on the kind of information you want.

taru
01-19-2006, 11:59 PM
thanks for that link. I ve checked it out and it seems i can choose from the threads to reply to... moreover theres this radar blip that i ve to read . will write to you again incase i've doubts arising in my mind.
thanks,taru

Cathy C
01-20-2006, 12:12 AM
Are you in New Delhi, India, taru? That's going to make any web service you use to print (such as Lulu) more difficult just due to shipping costs. Lulu is located in the United States, as I understand. What you might consider is finding an Indian publisher for the book. Here's a list I found that might help:

http://www.sagar.com/search/Business/Publishing/index.shtml

Also, I noted in your original post that you Google quite a bit. You should know that businesses located on the right side of the page are only there because they PAID to be in that box when certain search key words are entered. Google is not endorsing these companies as good ones, or suggesting that they're honest or reputable or better in any way. Just so you know.

Good luck with your book, and I really do hope that you choose to end your relationship with New York Literary. They won't help you find a publisher. :(

taru
01-20-2006, 12:53 AM
hi! cathy,

thanks for your reply to my query... and more so because now i am relieved of that old lady and Bobby fletcher. well, as suggested i will try to look out for some publisher in our own country... but the crux of the matter is the real slow... when one will like to do some real work here in our country {india} am not being unpatriotic..but.,the fact is as much like our own economy.. rickshaw puller type.. u know.. things can turn really bad here. I sent some dozens of mails by now to publishers and agents alike here... but just recieved a mail that too a kinda invitation to attend a launching ceremony of a new book. Am pissed off everywhere..
one response just in a year .. does that do good for authors???

Sherry Fine
01-24-2006, 09:51 PM
Dear Author:

We are keenly aware of the negative material on a lot of writer's message boards and I thought I would take a minute and give you more background than what you are getting (which as best I can tell is stuff regurgitated from years ago).

I know it is confusing to authors and I thank you for 'first seeking to understand".

I hope that you will view the professionalism of this reply, where we try to present both sides of the situation, and contrast that against the furor that will arise after this post. Hey, maybe the message board people will agree to be your Agent!

It is a fact that most authors (98%) can't get the time of day from an Agent. Why? Because invariably their work needs improvement and if an Agent takes the time to say, "I like the idea, but you need a little help" the Agent is blackballed by every writers blog on the net.

Some writers say, "it's the agency's responsibility to help the writer".. Maybe in the old days, but not anymore. An Agent's core competency is selling work and finding buyers, not editing. Do you really think that an Agent should contribute their valuable selling time to assisting a writer with editing/grammar/ and other mechanics? Some writers do, but not those that understand the power and clarity of focus on core competency in business. Most agencies go out of business in a few years, not us. Why, because we concentrate on selling, and let the editors and writers do what they do best, writing, improving, writing, improving, etc.

Furthermore, when a work doesn't sell, what typically happens is that the author adopts one of 3 postures, 1) you suck, you scammer you, 2) I'll improve, or 3) maybe I'll quit. Most of the material on the boards is from attitude 1.

At it's core, that's the real issue. Always has been. So, there's a situation where potentially great work is 'waiting in the wings' so to speak, and can't get access to the market. And, if the Agent offers to help, to coach, and to mentor, well, you see the boards reply.


What Do Buyers Think? That's what really matters.
==========================================
Buyers (publishers) love our model. Why? because they know that we've forced the writer to jump through a series of hoops to prove their mettle. And the writers whine, whine, whine, and the publishers say, "whew, thanks for bringing us great work and for filtering out the crackpots."

Where do you think the crackpots cluster? Right on the message boards because a successful writer is improving their craft, making submissions, and researching and writing.

I use the word 'cluster' in the marketing segmentation definition. Look on most of those message boards, and you will see advertising, newsletters, and other capitalistic products and services based on traffic generated by controversy. So now you understand that the point of the boards is to generate traffic and advertising revenues based on their niche in the market.


Anyway, that said, it actually does us a favor and we've come to thank these boards. They weed out two main categories of authors that we are actually glad to be rid of: 1) nervous authors that don't understand the nitty gritty of hard business and who can't make up their mind and who rely on others for their opinions, 2) the SFN's (writers that want Something for Nothing) who want it all, basically for free...

I place 4 bullets under my signature. That's our promise. It's simple and it's understandable, and I really do think you'd be hard pressed to find one of our clients that won't, even grudgingly admit that we've delivered.

Our Pledge To You:
==================
* We respect what you have accomplished thus far as a writer.
* We believe that great authors are made, not born. We are willing to develop talent.
* We pledge straight talk in a confusing and old-school industry.
* We can't promise a sale. We can promise a professional relationship.

So, in conclusion, this is what I would do, if I were in your shoes, "I'd proceed with us, eyes wide open, and see if we meet or exceed our four business tenets, A) Respect, B) Building Talent, 3) Straight Talk, and a 4) Professional Relationship.

Of course, if you'd rather us terminate our relationship now, no problem, fortunately for me, and unfortunately for you, there's 10 more to take your place, and you can go back to querying agents for the rest of your life, or you can just see what happens and see if maybe, just maybe, we are what we say we are.

Best to you whatever your decision.

Sherry Fine - VP Acquisitions

Just for grins, and so that you know we provide a service of value to aspiring authors, I would like you to see some of the unprompted quotes that we receive on a daily basis.

Our clients say it best. The quotes below are unedited and as you can see, quite from the heart. (We have lots more of these.) If you are really cynical, you will probably believe we made them up, but I promise you, we can prove every one of them.

=======================

"Just a note to say, whatever the outcome of my submission, it's refreshing to engage an agent who will a) take an email submission, b) turn it round as quick you've committed to do and c) actively work with a writer. Submissions are daunting enough anyway without having to wait ten weeks for an impersonalised slip of paper. Here's to you."

"It is refreshing to get an honest professional opinion of my work, it make me realise just how much I don't know about the written word and its presentation."

Dear Georgina, I'd like you to know how highly and gratefully I regard the clarity with which you explain the process as well as your reliability. I have complete trust in both your abilities and ethical standards. Best wishes, Judith

It's been a long time since I left school with considerable number of years passing before I became interested in writing again. I would like you to thank you for working with me and let it be known that I look at this as a new beginning and rebirth of my education.

You don't know how nice it is to have such timely responses. I am sure I am not the only writer that puts a lot of heart into their work and I have to say, I have "kept mine tucked away in the closet" for many, many years. I just enjoy writing, but didn't know if I would ever try and submit it to anyone. Making the decision to do that has been somewhat of a nerve-wracking process. Your timely responses and professional, yet "down-to-earth" responses are making the process a lot easier. At this time, I am not submitting my work to anyone else, because you have impressed me the most up to this point. Even if we do not end up working together, I felt it was important to pass this along to you.

Dear Georgina: Your professional zeal and resourcefulness cannot be overemphasized seeing the volatile-oceanic-wave called the American Hollywood with its impregnable sales frontiers.I hold you dearly to my heart in my every prayers towards our mutual success now and...very soon in sbsequent works.I doff my heart after your every professional spirit imagining the energy, sweat and travellings involved. Thanks for everything you stand for professionally.

Thank you for your constructive feedback. I found your critique of my work very informative, and it concluded many things that I already knew. I really do need to improve on my punctuation skills, and that has been something I have struggled with for some time. I appreciate your suggestions on materials to improve this, and I plan on taking an advanced grammar and puctuation class at the college I am attending. Several other points you made were also very informative. I know I have a long way to go before I am a "professional" writer, but I am glad that you agreed that the potential is definitely there. I'd also like to thank you and your company for staying in contact with me through this process. I would, and will, come back to your company if I need further material critiqued. Thank you again for your time.

I just want to say I have been rejected for years by Agents and Publishers. After awhile it all seems pointless. But I am in this for the long run and will never give up and never give in. Whether you accept me or not you have restored my faith and hope that someone out there is concerned and listening to what writings go through. I look forward to learning all that I can from you and your associates.

"After having reread all the information sent to me, I must say that I am impressed by the way your agency has handled the science, or art of appreciating new sources of writing. If only all agencies displayed your model the world may be a better place. Your FAQ has answered all of my questions and i am eager to get to work."

===========================

WE ARE CREATING THE MOST POWERFUL AGENCY GROUP IN THE UNITED STATES. Every author that we represent has been fully edited and we know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that their work is good enough for publication. Unfortunately, the ones that 'wash out', tend to grouse and *****. If you can make it through our process, then you will be in an elite group that buyers respect. We never promise a sale, but we can promise that if we present your work, it will get respect from our buyers.

Best to you in your career.

MadScientistMatt
01-24-2006, 10:44 PM
Flame war time. I've got some gasoline sitting around. Any of the regulars care to bring the acetylene?


Dear Author:

We are keenly aware of the negative material on a lot of writer's message boards and I thought I would take a minute and give you more background than what you are getting (which as best I can tell is stuff regurgitated from years ago).

Welcome. As for background - how about a list of what you've sold? Come on, tell your side of the story by showing you can actually sell an author's book!


An Agent's core competency is selling work and finding buyers, not editing. Do you really think that an Agent should contribute their valuable selling time to assisting a writer with editing/grammar/ and other mechanics? Some writers do, but not those that understand the power and clarity of focus on core competency in business. Most agencies go out of business in a few years, not us. Why, because we concentrate on selling, and let the editors and writers do what they do best, writing, improving, writing, improving, etc.

Ok, so let's see you demonstrate your core competancy! How many books has your agency sold? Don't be shy - trot out your sales figures! You say you focus on selling. Prove it.

The claim here is that your agency has only sold four books in its entire existance. That's not a good demonstration of your core competancy. Go ahead, try to refute that.


At it's core, that's the real issue. Always has been. So, there's a situation where potentially great work is 'waiting in the wings' so to speak, and can't get access to the market. And, if the Agent offers to help, to coach, and to mentor, well, you see the boards reply.

Ok, so can you tell us how many books you have brought to the market and sold?


What Do Buyers Think? That's what really matters.
==========================================
Buyers (publishers) love our model. Why? because they know that we've forced the writer to jump through a series of hoops to prove their mettle. And the writers whine, whine, whine, and the publishers say, "whew, thanks for bringing us great work and for filtering out the crackpots."

You say buyers love your model. If so, why has your agency sold only four books?


Where do you think the crackpots cluster? Right on the message boards because a successful writer is improving their craft, making submissions, and researching and writing.

Where do your clients who actually have made money from your "services" and had their books sell because of your agency cluster? Shangri-La? Erehwon?


Our Pledge To You:
==================
* We respect what you have accomplished thus far as a writer.
* We believe that great authors are made, not born. We are willing to develop talent.
* We pledge straight talk in a confusing and old-school industry.
* We can't promise a sale. We can promise a professional relationship.

I find it interesting, and rather telling, that you do not pledge to submit your clients' work to appropriate markets.Just for grins, and so that you know we provide a service of value to aspiring authors, I would like you to see some of the unprompted quotes that we receive on a daily basis.


Our clients say it best. The quotes below are unedited and as you can see, quite from the heart. (We have lots more of these.) If you are really cynical, you will probably believe we made them up, but I promise you, we can prove every one of them.

It is also very telling that not one of these testimonies says anything along the lines of, "Thanks to the New York Literary Agency, I just recieved a six figure advance from Random House!" Or even "I just recieved a $5,000 advance from a small press!" Not one of the testimonies even imply that you have made a sale.


WE ARE CREATING THE MOST POWERFUL AGENCY GROUP IN THE UNITED STATES. Every author that we represent has been fully edited and we know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that their work is good enough for publication. Unfortunately, the ones that 'wash out', tend to grouse and *****. If you can make it through our process, then you will be in an elite group that buyers respect. We never promise a sale, but we can promise that if we present your work, it will get respect from our buyers.

Best to you in your career.


This is reminiscent of PublishAmerica's defiant boast, "We are darfing them!" How can "the most powerful agency group in the United States" have such an abysmal record of sales?

James D. Macdonald
01-25-2006, 01:02 AM
Gee, you guys aren't leaving me much to do. (Not to worry, I'll deal with "Sherry" anyway.)

Before I comment on that astounding post, though, let me give a little perspective on why "Sherry" may have showed up just now.

An author at PublishAmerica commented that he was considering paying The Screenplay Agency (one of the names Robert Fletcher is doing business under). This was picked up in the NEPAT Overflow topic here:

http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=15336&page=117&pp=25 (http://showthread.php?t=15336&page=117&pp=25)

and

http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=15336&page=118&pp=25 (http://showthread.php?t=15336&page=118&pp=25)

(Comments from "xhouseboy" and me, respectively.)

I went to the main Neverending PublishAmerica Thread (NEPAT), and made a request here:
http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showpost.php?p=467304&postcount=29830

I asked that someone with access to the PublishAmerica Message Board (PAMB) let the author who was thinking of using The Screenplay Agency know that Fletcher's outfit was a scam.

Soon enough, it happened, both on the PAMB and (I presume) on another board where PA authors hang out.

I'm guessing that "Sherry" got a bunch of emails this afternoon telling her to forget about it, that they weren't going to pay for that critique, or treatment, or edit, or whatever they're asking for this week.

She's here to do damage control. Why here? Because the first place you come to when you Google "The Screenplay Agency" (http://www.google.com/search?q=%22The+Screenplay+Agency%22) or "Stylus Literary Agency" (http://www.google.com/search?q=%22Stylus+Literary+Agency%22) is right here. Any of those PublishAmerica authors who Googled got an eyeful.

I see "Sherry" posted the identical screed four times.


http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?p=467714#post467714
http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?p=467713#post467713
http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?p=467710#post467710
http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?p=467707#post467707




Good for you, "Sherry," very industrious.

I'll only reply in one place, but I'll put this note in all four so folks can collect the whole set. Lots of people have already replied, identifying Sherry's major fibs, distortions, and omissions.

Dave Sloane
01-25-2006, 09:32 AM
MadScientistMatt really said it all (thanks, Matt). Let's hear your rebuttal
asap, or get outta Dodge and don't come back !!

travNastee
01-25-2006, 10:30 AM
I'm guessing that "Sherry" got a bunch of emails this afternoon telling her to forget about it, that they weren't going to pay for that critique, or treatment, or edit, or whatever they're asking for this week.

She's here to do damage control. Why here? Because the first place you come to when you Google "The Screenplay Agency" (http://www.google.com/search?q=%22The+Screenplay+Agency%22) or "Stylus Literary Agency" (http://www.google.com/search?q=%22Stylus+Literary+Agency%22) is right here...


And I think I may have specifically mentioned this place while telling them to go [TV GUARDIAN-ED!!!!!!] themselves.

DaveKuzminski
01-25-2006, 05:03 PM
And I think I may have specifically mentioned this place while telling them to go [TV GUARDIAN-ED!!!!!!] themselves.

You suggested they self-pleasure themselves? Aw, you were too kind to them. ;)

Roger J Carlson
01-25-2006, 09:42 PM
Dear Sherry,

If you really want to convince your marks that you are professional, perhaps you should make the following corrections to your letter. Bold indicates things to be deleted and replaced with the text in [red].

You're welcome.


Dear Author:

We are keenly aware of the negative material on a lot of writer's[s] message boards (,) and I thought I would take a minute and [to] give you more background than what you are getting [you are getting] (which as best I can tell is stuff regurgitated from years ago).

I know it is confusing to authors and I thank you for '["] first seeking to understand".[."]

I hope that you [hope you] will view the professionalism of this reply, where we try to present both sides of the situation, and contrast that against the furor that will arise after this post. Hey, maybe the message board [message-board] people will agree to be your A[a]gent[s]!

It is a fact that most authors (98%) can't get the time of day from an A[a]gent. Why? Because invariably their work needs improvement[,] and if an A[a]gent takes the time to say, "I like the idea, but you need a little help"[,"] the A[a]gent is blackballed by every writers blog on the net.

Some writers say, "it's[It's] the agency's responsibility to help the writer"..[."[ Maybe [this was true] in the old days, but not anymore. An A[a]gent's core competency is selling work and finding buyers, not editing. Do you really think that [think] an A[a]gent should contribute their valuable selling time to assisting a writer with editing/[,] grammar/[,] and other mechanics? Some writers do, but not those that [who] understand the power and clarity of focus [focusing] on core competency in business. Most agencies go out of business in a few years, not us. Why, because [Why? Because] we concentrate on selling, and [selling and] let the editors and writers do what they do best, [best:] writing, improving, writing, improving, etc.

Furthermore, when a work doesn't sell, what typically happens is that the author adopts one of 3 postures, [:] 1) y["Y]ou suck, you scammer you, ["] 2) ["]I'll improve,["] or 3) m["M]aybe I'll quit.["] Most of the material on the boards is from attitude 1.

At it's [its] core, that's the real issue. Always has been. So, there's a situation where potentially great work is 'waiting in the wings' [,] so to speak, and can't get access to the market. And, if [And if] the A[a]gent offers to help, to coach, and to mentor, well, you see the boards reply.


What Do Buyers Think? That's what really matters.
==========================================
Buyers (publishers) love our model. Why? b[b]ecause they know that [know] we've forced the writer to jump through a series of hoops to prove their mettle. And the writers whine, whine, whine, and the publishers say, "whew, thanks for bringing us great work and for filtering out the crackpots." [Writers may whine, but the publishers say, "Whew. Thanks for bringing us great work and filtering out the crackpots."]

Where do you think the crackpots cluster? Right on the message boards[.] because a successful writer is [Successful writers are] improving their craft, making submissions, and researching [researching,] and writing.

I use the word '["]cluster'["] in the marketing segmentation definition. Look on most of those message boards, [boards.] and you [You] will see advertising, newsletters, and other capitalistic products and services based on traffic generated by controversy. So now you understand that the point of the boards is to generate traffic and advertising revenues based on their niche in the market.


Anyway, that said, it actually does us a favor and [favor, and] we've come to thank these boards. They weed out two main categories of authors that [authors] we are actually glad to be rid of: 1) nervous authors that [who] don't understand the nitty gritty of hard business[,] who can't make up their mind[,] and who rely on others for their opinions, [opinions and] 2) the SFN's (writers that want Something for Nothing) who want it all, basically for free...

I place 4 bullets under my signature. That's our promise. It's simple and it's understandable [simple and understandable], and I really do [really] think you'd be hard pressed to find one of our clients that won't, even grudgingly[,] admit that we've delivered.

Our Pledge To You:
==================
* We respect what you have accomplished thus far as a writer.
* We believe that great authors are made, not born. We are willing to develop talent.
* We pledge straight talk in a confusing and old-school industry.
* We can't promise a sale. We can promise a professional relationship.

So, in conclusion, this is what I would do, if I were in your shoes,[.] "I'd [I'd]proceed with us, eyes wide open, and see if we meet or exceed our four business tenets,[:] A) Respect, B) Building Talent, 3) Straight Talk, and a 4) Professional Relationship.

Of course, if you'd rather us [we] terminate our relationship now, no problem,[.] f[F]ortunately for me, and unfortunately for you, there's 10 more to take your place,[.] and y[Y]ou can go back to querying agents for the rest of your life, or you can just see what happens and see if maybe, just maybe, we are what we say we are [we say].

Best to you[,] whatever your decision.

Sherry Fine - VP Acquisitions

Just for grins, and so that [so] you know we provide a service of value to aspiring authors, I would like you to see some of the unprompted quotes that we receive on a daily basis. [we have received. We get quotes like these on a daily basis.]

Our clients say it best. The quotes below are unedited and[,] as you can see, quite from the heart. (We have lots more of these.) If you are really cynical, you will probably believe we made them up, but I promise you, we can prove every one of them.

=======================
<snip>
=======================
WE ARE CREATING THE MOST POWERFUL AGENCY GROUP IN THE UNITED STATES. Every author that [author] we represent has been fully edited[,] and we know, beyond [know beyond] a shadow of a doubt, that their [doubt their] work is good enough for publication. Unfortunately, the ones that 'wash out', tend to grouse and ***** [complain]. If you can make it through our process, then you [you] will be in an elite group that buyers respect. We never promise a sale, but we can promise that if we present your work, it will get respect from our buyers.

Best to you in your career.


By the way, you really need to work on your over use of "that" and your comma use. Also, profanity (i.e., *****) is not really considered professional.

Roger J Carlson
01-25-2006, 10:03 PM
What Do Buyers Think? That's what really matters.
==========================================
Buyers (publishers) love our model. That's simply not true.

Editors and publishers wouldn't thank an agent for "filtering out the crackpots." That's part of their job.

If this outfit has only sold four titles in all the time they've been in business, they're not bringing great work to anyone.

Boasting about how they've forced writers to "jump through hoops" and "prove their mettle" is bizarrely irrelevant. Frankly, it sounds like a complete waste of time and patience. We don't care about mettle. We care about books.In a bizarre sort of way, they ARE performing a service to the industry.

Think about it. Since they never actually submit anything, every book they "represent" is one less book in your slush pile.

Of course, that's not so good from their clients' perspective.

rekirts
01-26-2006, 07:47 PM
* We can't promise a sale. We can promise a professional relationship.
Aw come on, guys. Give 'em a break. Half of that pronouncement is true. ;)

James D. Macdonald
01-27-2006, 07:10 PM
More "regurgitated from years ago": A report from 12/05/05.

http://www.literaryrevolution.com/mr-victors-120505.html

LloydBrown
01-27-2006, 07:52 PM
More "regurgitated from years ago": A report from 12/05/05.

http://www.literaryrevolution.com/mr-victors-120505.html

Victor doesn't seem to realize the full extent of their fraud. For example, he still thinks the editing agency is actually in New York.

I wonder how this fraud ring expands. I mean, did Fletcher con Sherry out of a couple of thousand dollars, and then she said something like "Ah, good one. You got me. Okay, I want in, or I tell the feds." You don't just walk up to strangers and offer to commit fraud with them.

DaveKuzminski
01-27-2006, 08:25 PM
The fake anotherrealm site just goes to show you that P&E is harming the scammers badly enough that they have to go to such extremes even though in doing so they may be violating two trademarks and doubling their chances of being caught and punished.

I'd very much like to find out that the fake site is even soliciting those ads from those other businesses specifically because then it could be construed as a deliberate conspiracy and criminal in its intent.

DaveKuzminski
01-28-2006, 12:00 AM
1) The first category are the 'industry watchdogs'. These are people that derive some level of psychological benefits from 'exposing' fraud, scams, etc. WE HAVE CONTACTED THESE PEOPLE NUMEROUS TIMES AND OFFERED TO ANSWER THEIR QUESTIONS ON A PUBLIC FORUM FOR THE BEST INTEREST OF THE INDUSTRY AND THE WRITERS. They have refused or ignored our requests. What does that tell you? It tells me that they aren't interested in the truth, it tells me that they are interested in more visitors to their website. Also, they have blocked our rebuttal posts and deleted our prior posts. In short, a very one-sided message board!

The fact that someone from their agency group could post in this and several other topics and that anyone, including the original poster, could come in and post on their behalf seems to point to that statement as not only inaccurate, but an outright lie. We've already shown a willingness to post facts and discuss this on its merits. We haven't blocked them. We haven't deleted their posts.

So, anyone from the Literary Agency Group, what have you sold? How do the fifteen agents you've claimed in other responses manage to survive on just four sales since even Jenny Craig and Weightwatchers can't make that little stretch so far for so many for that length of time and still meet the minimum USDA requirements. Could it be that you get your money from other sources such as critiques and editing fees earned by your independent third-party critique and editing services?

James D. Macdonald
01-28-2006, 08:58 AM
At the risk of annoying Isabella and her agent friends some more, where is The New York Literary Agency actually located? (Boca Raton, we knew that. But where do they have their business license?)

Nevada.

Business licenses for the week of March 7 (http://www.rgj.com/news/stories/html/2005/03/07/93904.php) (2005):


The New York Literary Agency: 237 Tramway Drive, Stateline; literary agency.

At risk of even further risk, Isabella, don't you think you could have gotten your business license for the New York Literary Agency a little farther from New York? California, or Hawaii maybe? The Aleutian Islands?

And look at this:

Business licenses for week of Feb. 14 (http://204.155.170.159/news/stories/html/2005/02/11/92044.php)

Writer’s Literary & Publishing Co.: E. Deatrick, 237 Tramway Drive, Suite D, Stateline; publishing.




===================





What else is at 237 Tramway Drive, Stateline, NV, I wonder?


Fox and Hound Bar and Grill (http://dinesite.com/info/rstrnt-366985/?&t=550639)
http://www.dinesite.com/images/dots/spacer.gif
237 Tramway Drive - Stateline
http://www.dinesite.com/images/arrow.gif American - Inexpensive


No wonder Georgina wasn't willing to tell us who y'all shared your conference room with.

Dawno
01-28-2006, 09:16 AM
Well, next time I'm at Lake Tahoe, shall I pop on over there to 237 Tramway Drive in Stateline and get myself an agent *and* a burger with fries? I could take pictures, too!

LloydBrown
01-28-2006, 10:52 AM
At the risk of annoying Isabella and her agent friends some more, where is The New York Literary Agency actually located? (Boca Raton, we knew that. But where do they have their business license?)

Nevada.


Here's where my business experience comes in handy. Both Nevada and Delaware are extremely business-friendly. Both have thousands of corporations from other states incorporate there for tax reasons, ease of use reasons, and professional appearance (if you want to attract venture capital, incorporate in Nevada).

Incorporating in Nevada is a cipher as far as our fraud-sniffing goes. Literally tens of thousands of US companies do it. Incorporating there just shows that Fletcher knows how to minimize his taxes.

He still can't sell a manuscript, though.

LloydBrown
01-28-2006, 10:54 AM
That address is probably the address for the incorporating company that filed the paperwork. Corporations are required to have a registered agent (not related to a literary agent). It could be the corporate president, or it could be their principal attorney, but in Nevada it's often a company that specializes in incorporation, record-keeping, updating your shareholder meeting minutes, etc.

Again, it's a non-issue.

James D. Macdonald
01-28-2006, 04:10 PM
Lloyd:

The important parts are a) the recent dates, and b) the identity between The New York Literary Agency and Writer’s Literary & Publishing Co, the latter being the supposedly-independent third-party company that is recommended by NYLA to "edit" for a fee.

The recent date means that The New York Literary Agency could not possibly have been involved in any way in any of the sales they claim.

I'd sneer at Fletcher if "The New York Literary Agency" were incorporated in any state in the Union (or overseas territories like American Samoa, for that matter) other than New York.

===========

For "Isabella": Not a single question in this post. I hope that makes you and your "agent" pals happy.

LloydBrown
01-28-2006, 08:41 PM
What else is at 237 Tramway Drive, Stateline, NV, I wonder?


About 200 other businesses, actually. The first handful Google turns up are
Batrick/Sec

ViralWare (http://www.viralware.com/), LLC.
Click Squad
Art Struck Gallery
javadba, Inc.
InterSport, Inc.
Apollo Group International
MHS Marketing
Grant Assistance Company


I'd sneer at Fletcher if "The New York Literary Agency" were incorporated in any state in the Union (or overseas territories like American Samoa, for that matter) other than New York. Why? Does your compulsive need for name/location symmetry exceed your willingness to recognize a good business decision? In fact, you might want to incorporate yourself to protect your literary rights. If you do, consider Nevada.


The recent date means that The New York Literary Agency could not possibly have been involved in any way in any of the sales they claim. Fletcher is the registered agent for other companies that predate the NYLA, including S. T. Literary Agency. At this moment, I can't compare those dates because the Florida Division of Corporations website is down. However, I believe that none of these "companies" (some of which are neither incorporated nor registered as fictitious names) predates the claimed sales.

Sorry, Jim. While I absolutely agree that Fletcher's a reprehensible scumbag, I must disagree that Nevada incorporation is evidence of it.

James D. Macdonald
01-28-2006, 10:10 PM
Why? Does your compulsive need for name/location symmetry exceed your willingness to recognize a good business decision? In fact, you might want to incorporate yourself to protect your literary rights. If you do, consider Nevada.

If I incorporate in Nevada, I won't incorporate as "South Florida Writer, Inc."

If Bobby created the "QWERTY Literary Agency" and incorporated it in Nevada, I wouldn't sneer at him for that reason (though I'd still sneer at him -- sneering at him is fun).

I see him naming this particular scam agency "The New York Literary Agency," and not having any ties whatever with New York, to be egregious. Maybe it's a smart business decision to incorporate in Nevada. But incorporating it in Nevada didn't force him to call it "The New York Literary Agency." You'll notice that I didn't check -- and don't care -- where he registered The Children's Literary Agency.

The tie to his scam editing operation is certainly clear from this.
The timeline is clear.

The pure brass is also clear.

DaveKuzminski
01-28-2006, 10:25 PM
The fact that Fletcher used the New York Literary Agency (NYLA) as the name only serves to prove that he's trying to defraud writers because many, if not most, writers are aware that many of the most successful agencies are in New York. Thus, by giving his agency that name even though it's in Florida, he's providing evidence of his intent to defraud. He further proves intent by using a New York mailing address that actually forwards NYLA mail to his office in Florida while claiming falsely that his agencies maintain an office in New York, among others.

LloydBrown
01-28-2006, 11:35 PM
The fact that Fletcher used the New York Literary Agency (NYLA) as the name only serves to prove that he's trying to defraud writers because many, ...

I absolutely agree that pretending to be in New York is deceptive. Fletcher is trying to capitalize on the perception (true or not doesn't matter) that agents in New York are more effective than agents outside of New York.

Let's switch it around a bit: if his office is in New Jersey, and he commutes to NYC every day, does anyone have a problem with a Nevada corporation? I don't think so. You could make weak arguments about deception, but what's important in the deception is that his office is in Boca Raton, Florida. Nevada doesn't come into the picture at all.

Unfortunately, I have to disagree that it ties the two together. I do agree with the result, but I don't agree with "proof".

237 Tramway Dr. is the address of Nevada Corporation Service, Ltd (an incorporating agent, as I suspected). I think you would find that in a courtroom, the coincidence of both corporations being registered with the same agent is evidence, not proof. For proof, you need to get the articles of incorporation and show Robert Fletcher's name as principal on both papers.

HapiSofi
01-29-2006, 01:39 AM
I absolutely agree that pretending to be in New York is deceptive. Fletcher is trying to capitalize on the perception (true or not doesn't matter) that agents in New York are more effective than agents outside of New York. True. New York agents, or agents who've spent significant time working in New York, are vastly more effective.
237 Tramway Dr. is the address of Nevada Corporation Service, Ltd (an incorporating agent, as I suspected). I think you would find that in a courtroom, the coincidence of both corporations being registered with the same agent is evidence, not proof. For proof, you need to get the articles of incorporation and show Robert Fletcher's name as principal on both papers.I think you're missing the point. Do you know what Stateline (http://www.city-data.com/city/Stateline-Nevada.html), Nevada is? It's a tiny (http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&q=Stateline,+NV&t=k&ll=38.9625,-119.938889&spn=0.02803,0.086517&t=k) border (http://maps.google.com/maps?oi=map&q=Stateline,+NV) town (http://www.city-data.com/picfilesv/picv107.php), less than a mile square, that contains one big golf course (http://www.virtualtahoe.com/Golf/CoursePhotos/EdgewoodL.jpg) and one tightly regulated strip (http://pics2.city-data.com/city/tmap/tr13216.gif) of six (http://www.bigfootair.com/images/Photos/PIC00006.JPG) casinos (http://renoscasinos.com/tahoe/stateline.html), plus assorted other bits off to the side. That's all. It's in a semi-posh (http://www.tahoesbest.com/Restaurants/s_shore_nv.htm) resort (http://www.rci-nv.com/reports/tahoedouglas/images/tahoedouglas01.jpg) area (http://members.shaw.ca/cruising/tahoemap.jpg). The town (http://www.epodunk.com/cgi-bin/genInfo.php?locIndex=259580) is at the tip (http://pics2.city-data.com/city/maps4/frs4953.gif) of the corner of Nevada that pokes into California. If you're coming from Sacramento and the Bay Area, it's the closest point in Nevada. It is nevertheless in the middle of nowhere. Its total population is a bit over a thousand people.

It's safe to say that no one ever looked out over Stateline and said, "What this place really needs is a literary agency ... and an editing service."

Does it prove anything that the people who incorporated the two businesses under discussion almost certainly weren't from Stateline? Of course not. But that two writer-squeezing businesses were incorporated in two successive weeks, in the same small resort town, by the same incorporating agent, is an odd and suggestive circumstance. Does it prove malfeasance? Again: of course not. But it could be enough to get law enforcement interested in the case.

LloydBrown
01-29-2006, 02:10 AM
I think you're missing the point....But it could be enough to get law enforcement interested in the case.

Actually, that would be exactly my point. It's evidence, not proof.

Patricia_Lynndail
01-30-2006, 06:44 AM
I had a contract with St. Literary Agency, needless to say, they got me. First they took me for $80.00, I think they called it a POP page. Then they turned around and ask me for $145.00 to cover the cost of printing up ten manuscripts for sending out to publishers. After that, they charged me another $95.00 for ten more manuscripts, then turned around and ask for another $95.00. I said enough is enough. They turn around and tell me I can get out of the contract and when I say yes, they send me a email stating that the contact is now void...what's up with that? Three days back, I sent a query and a short synopsis to 'New York Literary Agency' and they want my script. lol I'm with you

James D. Macdonald
01-30-2006, 07:25 AM
Not POP -- OPP (Online Pitch Page). A totally useless thing.

Sorry about that ... but that's how Robert M. Fletcher gets his money. The odds are poor that any of those manuscripts you paid for were ever sent anywhere.


You might want to read through, and add your experiences to, the long ST Literary (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=8312) thread.

James D. Macdonald
01-30-2006, 08:38 PM
Here's the deal with Robert Fletcher and all his agencies: you'd have better luck selling your manuscript if your agent was a monkey at the zoo, provided you could teach that monkey to stick the manuscipt into an envelope and send it to a publisher.

Aconite
01-30-2006, 08:50 PM
For anyone wondering what a real literary agency does, see the entries in the Writer Beware Blog (http://accrispin.blogspot.com/) as well as Miss Snark, the literary agent (http://misssnark.blogspot.com/).

DaveKuzminski
01-30-2006, 09:15 PM
Another blog from an agent's viewpoint is at http://pubrants.blogspot.com/.

MacAllister
02-01-2006, 05:29 PM
What an actual agent (http://misssnark.blogspot.com/2006/01/what-have-you-sold.html) says about sales:


I love to wax enthusiastic about my deals and my upcoming projects. Heck, I still send PW reviews to Grandmother Snark for her fire engine red refrigerator door.

Query the world, but only SIGN with someone who will tell you what they've sold and when. [emphasis added]

James D. Macdonald
02-01-2006, 05:46 PM
Robert Fletcher still has no sales.

Only a fool would hire an agent who has no sales.

LloydBrown
02-01-2006, 06:18 PM
I wouldn't hire a roofer that refused to 1) talk about his previous work, 2) give me names of previous clients, or 3) demonstrate that he knew ANYTHING about roofing.

And had been convicted of fraudulent roofing. And hadn't ever done roofing before, or even apprenticed to a roofer. Or even made copies in a roofer's office. And who no roofing suppliers knew. And wasn't a member of any roofing organization, especially those with quality standards. And who charged in advance for nails, tar, and shingles--in addition to his fees.

James D. Macdonald
02-01-2006, 07:59 PM
A real agent has sold books you've heard of.

When you're looking for an agent, you shouldn't be asking "Is this guy bad enough to be crossed off my list?" You should be asking "Is this guy good enough to be added to my list?"

Having a bad agent is worse than having no agent.


For far more on agents, see:

http://www.neilgaiman.com/journal/2005/01/everything-you-wanted-to-know-about.asp

http://www.sff.net/people/VictoriaStrauss/agentsearch.html

http://www.anotherealm.com/prededitors/

http://www.sfwa.org/beware/

Andrew Jameson
02-02-2006, 07:56 PM
Apropos of nothing in particular, I should point out that Peter Rubie is indeed a legitimate agent. He's got his own agency (http://www.prlit.com/), full of information (http://www.prlit.com/agencymenu.htm), including a list of recent sales (http://www.prlit.com/agencyclientsbacklist.htm). All on the web; you don't even have to ask!

Peter Rubie also says: "One of the best indicators of a good agent is: Does the agent make a living solely on commissions from sales?" It's in his book, Writer's Market FAQs, on page 50. Good advice.

James D. Macdonald
02-02-2006, 08:11 PM
An agent's job is to be the author's public face. A publisher's job is to make things public.

There're no such things as stealth agents and secret sales.

James D. Macdonald
02-03-2006, 06:04 PM
Isabella, how do you account for the need to have a specific agency dedicated to screenplays, poetry, children's, and Christian writing?

I'm not Isabella Brown but I'll answer that, Dave.

Google Adwords only allows you one ad per URL. The multiple URLs allow multiple ads to show up on Google or Amazon when you search on, say, literary agency:

http://www.sff.net/people/yog/google_ad.jpg


http://www.sff.net/people/yog/amazon_ad.jpg

This stunt violates the intent of Google's stated advertising guidelines, but that's Bobby all over! Tirelessly looking for new ways to sell....

LloydBrown
02-03-2006, 06:12 PM
but that's Bobby all over! Tirelessly looking for new ways to sell....

If he put that much effort into selling manuscripts, he might make a sale and really take the wind out of our sails. Why would people choose to be crooked over doing a legal job well? I'll never understand that.

James D. Macdonald
02-03-2006, 06:22 PM
I'll never understand that.

Selling books is hard and low-paying. Conning authors is easy and lucrative.

I can see why Bobby took the route he did.

He really is trying to sell (for some values of the word "sell") books -- see, for example, those pathetic ads (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=529&page=38&pp=25) in Publishers Marketplace last fall begging for a vanity press to call him. It's just that he's so far out of the publishing loop that he really has no clue how to go about starting.

DaveKuzminski
02-03-2006, 06:22 PM
Nah, I think that's just a side benefit. I believe it was purposely done in order to catch the attention of writers with specific types of work so they'd identify with the agency as exactly what they needed. NYLA was designed to appeal to writers looking for an agency in New York. Otherwise, he could have given the agencies the names of streets or birds or whatever.

His big mistake in naming those agencies was to call one the Poets Literary Agency since the clear majority of poets generally self-publish to get their work out in books. That's the agency name that proves his whole group is a sham and a scam. Too bad Fletcher's already been tagged as Bouncin' Bobby since I see him as Sham the Scam and the Fakers.

James D. Macdonald
02-03-2006, 06:38 PM
I'd agree with you, Dave, if Bobby hadn't already used the same stunt in a slightly different form back when he was just ST Literary:


It’s also rather strange that an agency with such limited openings should spend months on end paying thousands of dollars to advertise to writers on the world’s largest search engine. Not only that, but they were willing to violate Google’s own rules in order to increase their exposure. By setting up a second site which automatically redirected to their first they were able to elude Google’s checks and get a second advert for the same search term, this time calling themselves “sydra-techniques”. Despite the fact that the second ad was taken down as a result of complaints, ST tried to get away with sneaking it back on a second time.

That's from ST Literary Agency -- Writer's Break or Just Crooked? (http://www.firstwriter.com/newsletter/archive/2004/fwn17.htm) Oddly enough, all the time Fletcher was doing this, he was also claiming that he didn't advertise. Strange!

DaveKuzminski
02-03-2006, 07:40 PM
It's clear that he is trying to double his exposure and that he's learned from his earlier attempts that the names have to be different and not redirect to the same site. I wonder how soon he'll include a non-disparagement clause in his contract? If he wants to make it unique beyond what PA did with theirs, he could even make it apply to any writing groups the writer belongs to.

Aconite
02-04-2006, 05:04 PM
From Miss Snark, the literary agent:
The question:

Exactly when can you ask an agent, or group of agents, what they have sold? If it's not posted on their website, and you haven't been able to ask anyone who knows them personally, then I honestly can't see how you'd ask until you've already sent them your manuscript.
Her answer, in part: (see the whole post here (http://misssnark.blogspot.com/2006/01/what-have-you-sold.html)):

1. Look at the website.
2. Google the agent's name
3. Invest $20 in a subscription to Publishers Marketplace (the BEST value in publishing today, bar none) and use the "search deals" feature. This is NOT available on the free service.
4. If all else fails, ask them. This is not privileged information. This is not a trade secret. Any agent that says you're a nitwit for asking IS a nitwit.
[...]
Query the world, but only SIGN with someone who will tell you what they've sold and when.Emphasis mine.

Aconite
02-07-2006, 03:27 PM
Oh, good. HorrorGirl (http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=529&page=38&pp=25)--I mean Bobby--I mean Isabella's back.

About those outdated books: Sure names and addresses change. But one thing remains - there are good and bad agents. How many books do you need to tell you that?You need to brush up on reading comprehension, babe, since that's what we've been saying.

The thing is, if you've had an experience with a bad agent, then get over it. And move on.Right. Because it would be bad for scammers and convicted criminals, like Bobby, if authors went around telling other authors about bad agents. Much better if authors just keep their mouths shut and slink off as if they've got something to be ashamed of for being scammed. Much better if more experienced authors leave newbies to the wolves. Those last two sentences are sarcasm, by the way, in case you don't pick up on that.

aka eraser
02-07-2006, 09:11 PM
We needn't fear that threads related to Bobby and his scams will sink for long. Either a new victim comes along to bump it after doing a search, or one of the mods realizes it's been dormant too long and will give it a nudge.

James D. Macdonald
02-07-2006, 09:16 PM
CaoPaux's index is a sticky.

A Google search on the New York Literary Agency comes up with this thread as its top hit.

No need to feel it'll sink into obscurity.

Meanwhile, I'm bored with "Isabella." If Fletcher would post under his own name, or "Sherry" or "Georgina" were to come back, I'd be happy to chat with them. But a no-name troll? Please.

CaoPaux
02-07-2006, 10:00 PM
CaoPaux's index is a sticky.Any way to make it bold, flashing, and/or psychedelic? http://bestsmileys.com/rainbow/3.gif

James D. Macdonald
02-08-2006, 05:05 PM
The parent group is The Literary Agency Group, Inc.

I wouldn't call The Literary Agency Group the "parent" company, seeing as they're less than a year old. The real parent is the ST Literary Agency (S.T., Stylus, Sydra Techniques).

The Literary Agency Group is just more mud in the water. They're there because it was getting too easy to Google on "ST Literary" + scam. You'd get stuff like this: http://forums.writersweekly.com/viewtopic.php?p=11339

Andrew Jameson
02-08-2006, 05:14 PM
How's about Ink and Colors International Literary and Illustrators Agency (http://www.inkandcolors.com/authors.htm)? Check out the marketing pitch on that page and compare it to the one at Stylus (http://www.stylusagency.com/).

Roger J Carlson
02-08-2006, 05:16 PM
For anyone coming in late, the New York Literary Agency is one of a group of agencies run by convicted criminal* Bobby Fletcher. The others are:...An excellent summary, Aconite.

Of course, the legalities aside, one has to wonder how being the president of a music...uh...trading website qualifies Fletcher to be a "literary agent".

One key to choosing a good agent is his or her background. You should look for agents who worked at a reputable publisher or another reputable agency. That's not a guarantee, of course, but agents that pop up with no previous experience are likely to be either incompetent or a fraud. Fletcher falls in the latter category.

MadScientistMatt
02-08-2006, 05:29 PM
How's about Ink and Colors International Literary and Illustrators Agency (http://www.inkandcolors.com/authors.htm)? Check out the marketing pitch on that page and compare it to the one at Stylus (http://www.stylusagency.com/).

Interesting. However, Ink and Colors is based in Italy.


Whois info for, inkandcolors.com:


Registrant:
art edizioni
via boucheron, 14
torino, TO 10122
IT

Domain name: INKANDCOLORS.COM

Administrative Contact:
art edizioni, art edizioni [email protected]
via boucheron, 14
torino, TO 10122
IT
0115119170 Fax: 0115132021

Technical Contact:
Hosting Aruba.it, Technical Department [email protected]
P.za Garibaldi 8
Soci, AR 52010
IT
+39.57551571 Fax: +39.575515790



Registration Service Provider:
Aruba S.p.A. - Servizio Aruba.it, [email protected]
+39.057551571
+39.0575515790 (fax)
http://www.aruba.it
Supporto tecnico - Technical support - Asistencia tecnica :

http://assistenza.aruba.it


It seems like it would be too much work for ST to set up an office in Europe for that sort of thing.

Roger J Carlson
02-08-2006, 05:34 PM
Interesting. However, Ink and Colors is based in Italy.

It seems like it would be too much work for ST to set up an office in Europe for that sort of thing.A franchise perhaps? Or are they just stealing the idea. No honor among thieves, apparently.

However, they openly charge for their submissions, so they still have some learning to do about running a good scam. Fletcher is just the guy to teach them.

James D. Macdonald
02-08-2006, 05:40 PM
ST isn't the only agency that falls in that huge area between Very Bad Idea and Out-and-Out Scam, or that uses similar business models. Ink-and-Colors appears to be like any number of similar places.

See here http://nielsenhayden.com/makinglight/archives/005540.html and http://nielsenhayden.com/makinglight/archives/005555.html for more on that.

We're in danger of getting off-topic by chasing after Ink-and-Colors in this thread. If they start sucking in large numbers of writers they might deserve a thread of their own.

Rambling
02-08-2006, 05:52 PM
All the clones use the same style in different colours (The Children's one is particularly terrible), and they have taken the time to word the front pages differently. Anyone want to tell ST someone has pinched their text?

I note Christian's and Stylus now redirect the authors to New York Literary Agency. Perhaps they were getting too many to keep track of.

Aconite
02-08-2006, 07:46 PM
I wouldn't call The Literary Agency Group the "parent" company, seeing as they're less than a year old. The real parent is the ST Literary Agency (S.T., Stylus, Sydra Techniques).That's true. Hmmm...would you say "umbrella" is more accurate than "parent" for the LAG, then? Or what else would you call it?

James D. Macdonald
02-08-2006, 08:16 PM
"Umbrella" works for me, though "mask," "beard," or "front" might be more accurate.

Aconite
02-08-2006, 08:30 PM
"Umbrella" works for me, though "mask," "beard," or "front" might be more accurate.Why pick just one?

Thank you. Editing now.

Jocasta
02-10-2006, 02:17 AM
Just want to post a note of thanks for saving me from dear "Sherry Fine". Well she was the first agent I ever sent my ms to, how is that for a good start?? However, I may be an Innocent and Ignorant Newbie in this game, but the fact that they requested/reviewed/accepted my ms in the record time of 2 weeks made me suspicious... my ego is not so big that I think I am SUCH a genius... so I googled her name and here I am... http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/images/smilies/tongue.gif I got her contract, and replied just for the fun of it by saying that after careful review of my bank account, I unfortunately couldn't afford any critique service, but since she is soooooooo commited to developing new talents, I was sure that she wouldn't let me down because of my shortage of cash. Wanna bet I'll never hear from her again??? Thanks guys http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/images/smilies/e2kissy.gif

DaveKuzminski
02-10-2006, 03:37 AM
I'm glad to post that I saved another writer from their clutches:


Thank you for the information on this agency. Although they do have an impressive website, I took heed to your words and warning. You were right. At the time I wrote you about this agency I had sent them sample chapters of my book, and sure enough they recommended a critique for $90. When I requested names and credentials of those doing the critique they sent me a link to their editing services also for a fee. They offered no names as to whom these editors were, merely directed me to credits of these so called editors which meant nothing with no name to back them up, and testimonies supposedly written by their authors, but did not offer the authors’ names either. Anybody could have written both the credits and testimonies. They were insulted that I dared to question them. It reeks of a scam. It saddens me that agencies like this target aspiring writers and seem to get away with away with no consequence. I will continue my long search for a reputable agent with hopes of finding one who is interested in my work. Again, thank you very much for your help. I appreciate both it and your time.

LloydBrown
02-10-2006, 03:47 AM
I'm glad to post that I saved another writer from their clutches:

That's a goodly number recently. I'm pleased with AW's successes.

victoriastrauss
02-10-2006, 03:50 AM
Although they do have an impressive website,I hear this quite often from people who write to inquire about NYLA and its clones. It's depressing. NYLA's website is impressive ONLY if you've never looked at the website of a successful agency.

One day soon I'm going to do a blog post on how to analyze an agent's website.

- Victoria

CaoPaux
02-10-2006, 04:21 AM
One day soon I'm going to do a blog post on how to analyze an agent's website.

- VictoriaOh, frabjous day! Callooh! Callay! :hooray:

Roger J Carlson
02-10-2006, 06:24 PM
I hear this quite often from people who write to inquire about NYLA and its clones. It's depressing. NYLA's website is impressive ONLY if you've never looked at the website of a successful agency.

One day soon I'm going to do a blog post on how to analyze an agent's website.

- VictoriaTheir sites ARE impressive. Every bit as impressive as PT Barnum's "This way to the Egress" sign.

Fletcher and his gang are getting better at misdirection, but fortunately they can't overcome the power of a simple Google search. Welcome, Jocasta to the ranks of ST survivors!

Orion Rising
02-11-2006, 06:55 AM
Thank you everyone for your tips on the NYLA. They are very, very sneaky. They come across as very professional and caring, and very prompt with their email replies. But, the more questions you ask, the more vague they become, and the less you hear from them.

Thanks again, because of this thread, I didn't waste a dollar!

Orion

Roger J Carlson
02-11-2006, 07:02 AM
Thank you everyone for your tips on the NYLA. They are very, very sneaky. They come across as very professional and caring, and very prompt with their email replies. But, the more questions you ask, the more vague they become, and the less you hear from them.

Thanks again, because of this thread, I didn't waste a dollar!

OrionCha-Ching! Ring up another one Victoria!

James D. Macdonald
02-17-2006, 12:39 AM
Today's flurry from "Isabellabrown," entertaining as it might be, was content-free.

I've moved it down to Take It Outside, and merged it with the blather from Isabella's compaion-in-trolling "winter." The combined thread is called "Bob On The Run (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=27315&page=5&pp=25)."

facetheartist
02-19-2006, 12:52 AM
Yesterday I received the four page contract from NYLA and a request to send $$ for a critique. I thought I'd better do a quick check to make sure I wasn't getting snookered. I found this web site and consequently, just spent the last 3 hours reading your posts (13 pages worth!). It was the most fun I've had in ages. I nearly fell off my chair laughing at everyone's witty and incisive remarks. Plus, the mechanics of literary rip offs was fascinating! You've saved me money and embarrassment. THANK YOU.

An observation. One way to stomp out scammers is exposure. Another way is for writers to control their desperation for publication. Snake oil salespersons prosper only when there's a market. If the demand for getting into print stays at the fever pitch it is, unscrupulous folks will thrive by (allegedly) supplying what we want, sort of like those in poor health willing to take bitter medicine.

Just some afternoon ramblings here. Thanks for the great service y’all provide.

Roger J Carlson
02-19-2006, 02:12 AM
Yesterday I received the four page contract from NYLA and a request to send $$ for a critique. I thought I'd better do a quick check to make sure I wasn't getting snookered. I found this web site and consequently, just spent the last 3 hours reading your posts (13 pages worth!). It was the most fun I've had in ages. I nearly fell off my chair laughing at everyone's witty and incisive remarks. Plus, the mechanics of literary rip offs was fascinating! You've saved me money and embarrassment. THANK YOU.

An observation. One way to stomp out scammers is exposure. Another way is for writers to control their desperation for publication. Snake oil salespersons prosper only when there's a market. If the demand for getting into print stays at the fever pitch it is, unscrupulous folks will thrive by (allegedly) supplying what we want, sort of like those in poor health willing to take bitter medicine.

Just some afternoon ramblings here. Thanks for the great service y’all provide.Excellent thoughts and welcome to the club!

victoriastrauss
02-19-2006, 08:09 PM
If anyone's looking for the latest salvo from Isabellabrown, it's in TIO (http://absolutewrite.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=32) in the Bob on the Run thread (along with the responses).

- Victoria

amirrorsaved
03-10-2006, 05:36 AM
To mu,
I clicked on a link to the New York Literary Agency and my manuscript was (If these accussations are true) of course accepted. This was my first attempt to contact an agent or a publisher and I think my book is pretty good. I've many contacts living in a university town and getting a critique is fairly easy which the agency said was fine. I have not signed the contract and I'm not sure if I am going to before I get some hard facts. Is it that they may require a critique after getting a contract? I can't believe how gulible I can be Thanks, You might have saved A Mirror of Light for me. T

James D. Macdonald
03-10-2006, 07:24 AM
Before you sign a contract ask them to provide a list of their recent sales.

And don't pay a cent, to anyone.

Here's my guess on what'll happen: You'll send a critique by someone else, they'll reply that it isn't up to their standard. They'll drop you.

Aconite
03-10-2006, 05:11 PM
This was my first attempt to contact an agent or a publisher and I think my book is pretty good. Your book may very well be pretty good, in which case sending it to NYLA would bury a good book under piles of crap. Respect yourself and your work more than that, friend. Go into an agent search with the attitude that an agent has to be proven good enough to represent you, not that you should take anyone who'll have you.

Learn more about agent searches here:
The Safest Way to Search for an Agent (http://www.sff.net/people/victoriastrauss/agentsearch.html)
Researching an Agent's Track Record (http://www.sff.net/people/victoriastrauss/trackrecord.html)
Everything You Wanted to Know about Literary Agents (http://www.neilgaiman.com/journal/2005/01/everything-you-wanted-to-know-about.asp)

Also check the BABC Index (http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=792) for links to Preditors and Editors, Writer Beware, and useful threads here on Absolute Write.

CaoPaux
03-14-2006, 01:11 AM
FYI: This agency has been named one of Writer Beware's 20 Worst Agents/Agencies (http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?p=525972#post525972).

TMack
03-29-2006, 05:23 AM
Hello everyone! I would like to start out by telling all of you how very grateful I am to those who spoke up about this infamous agency. I am a newbie both to this forum and the publishing world. I am one of the many new writers praying to breakthrough with that wonderful best seller. I am well aware of how difficult it is for unpublished writers to breakthrough, but, as you all must know, I have do everything in my power to fulfill my dream. Otherwise, I will berate myself for never trying.

That being said, I fell in almost immediately to the scam of The New York Literary Agency. Being a new writer, I was thrilled at their request for my manuscript. Then, I began to wonder. I have heard of all the scams out there, but I have never done deep research. When their website stated that there are no fees, I took it at face value. What a fool I was!

I began researching this company and the "VP of Aquisitions, Sherry Fine." My first search took me to this forum, where I learned the truth about NYL in time to escape their tentacles.

When I read about some ridiculous out of order screenplays, I had to hang in for the ride, to see how far 'she' would go. Below, I have pasted portions of the thread, for your entertainment.


Thank you for your query to the New York Literary Agency. Based on your
query form information we would like to see more.

1) Would you please send us an electronic copy
of your work for further evaluation?

Please email your manuscript to
[email protected] ([email protected])

My Response was:


-----Original Message-----
Sent: Thursday, March 09, 2006 3:31 PM
To: [email protected]
Subject: Question About The Children's Literary Agency




Dear New York Literary Agency,

I apologize in advance for not personalizing this email, but I was unable to find the appropriate contact name. I have atttempted to submit a query to your sister agency, Children's Literary Agency. I did an extensive search after failing to reach the website via the link provided on your website. I have already submitted a manuscript to your agency, The Power of Grace. However, I also have a children's middle grade chapter book , My Life for Real , that I am interested in to submitting to your sister agency. Would you please be so kind as to point me in the right direction? Thank you for your time.

Sincerely,

Their Response:




After we get to know each other by working through the first work and preparing it for marketing, you'll meet your agent. That will be the time to bring up the additional work you mention. Discuss these additional works with her at that time.

So, wait on the children's one until we finish our eval of this one.

Best regards,
Sherry Fine - VP Acquisitions

My Response:

Sent: Monday, March 20, 2006 6:33 PM
To: question
Subject: PS



Also, the other agencies I spoke with promised they would never ask me to hire a third-party for anything. They assured me that it was their job to get the manuscript ready for the publishers. It's part of their job description and included in the 15% standard contract agreement. They also assured me that I would be edited so many times down the road to publishing that there would be no reason to hire another agency or third-party editor. They assured me that any good agency knows their stuff and are qualified to make my story ready to sell without any help that costs me money.

I specifically asked them about freelance editors and fees for editing. They all assured me in no uncertain terms that I would never be charged for any thing like that and be wary to agencies who do charge. So, again, I am willing to listen to your side of this and fervently hope you answer will prove your detractors wrong. I will be crushed if I receive a response that states I have to pay $129 + for independent critique or analysis or submission to publishers fees of $14 a piece.

Here is your chance to live down some of the bad press out there on your agency. The only way to prove someone is wrong is by actions. If someone is accused of certain actions, the best defense is to prove by your actions that it is not so. Actions are a great, great way to disprove either a liable or slander charge. Truth is the absolute defense. I went to graduate school and studied for my master's equivalent of a Paralegal Degree. It is similar to a nurse pratctitioner or physician's assistance in medicine. I learned a lot about both libel and slander there, and in private practice later.

Her very long, rambling response.
Luckily, we don't follow anyone's plan but our own.

I'm giving you two answers to your question about what you've read. The first answer is the short one, and the second is the long one. I apologize in advance for any 'attitude' that you read in my reply, but it's a gut/core issue for us and we feel pretty strongly about certain things.


The short answer ....
We told the self-proclaimed industry watchdogs to shove it.
We've drawn the battle lines and we've said that unpublished
writers have no chance of success unless they think differently.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
We told the so-called watchdogs that they are hurting authors by maintaining 'old school' ideas. We explained that the agency business is so competitive now, that we can only focus on one thing, selling the work. The author has to take responsibility for bringing their work to industry standards. In short, we told the industry watchdogs that they don't get it, and they are promulgating old ideas that no longer apply. It didn't go over very well and they chatter incessantly, but if you think a writer has thick skin, you should try being an agent.

We've been in business now long enough to know that our model works, and that buyers respect the fact that EVERY AUTHOR WE REPRESENT HAS BEEN THROUGH A RIGOROUS CRITIQUE AND EDITING PROCESS. What you read on the boards is just authors whining about having to do more work, which they want us to do for free. Think about it for just a minute. If you were buying an unpublished author's work, wouldn't you want to buy work that had been through the proverbial wringer? And wouldn't you want to buy work that could get to market faster, because the grunt work, the editing, had already been done.

In the end, the truth of the matter is that you really want an agency that is willing to break a few rules on your behalf. The 'old school' doesn't want you to get in, and that's the truth. We have 4 sales, most agencies only have 1 or two. We will double that this year we think and you really need to consider whether some 'anonymous' board poster really has your best interest at heart or if you should give us a try, eyes wide open, and see if we don't keep our promises which are * We respect what you have accomplished thus far as a writer, * We believe that great authors are made, not born. We are willing to
develop talent. * We pledge straight talk in a confusing and old-school industry. * We can't promise a sale. We can promise a professional relationship.



Here's the long answer:
----------------------------------------
We are keenly aware of the negative material on a lot of writer's message boards. I thank you for 'seeking first to understand". Once again, sorry for the length of this email, but there's a lot to try to communicate to you.

I know it is confusing to authors. Luckily most authors can detect that there's something very negatively one sided about most boards, and a good author will ask for more information.

I think you would agree that it's tough to even get a reply from an Agency. Most authors (98%) can't get the time of day from an Agent. Why? Because invariably the author's work needs improvement and if an Agent takes the time to say, "I like the idea, but you need a little help" the Agent is blackballed by every writers blog on the net. So, it's easier to say no, or not reply, than to actually try to help a writer with a good idea and a good start.

Successful writers of books and screenplays use editors and coaches, always have, always will.. if you've never worked with an editor, you should. I would say that 95+% of the books on the shelves today have had an editors touch, either through the publishing company or as directed by an agent. There are two levels of editing. The first is our internal level. The second is the publisher level. When you pass our first level, it means that we will put our reputation on the line for you, however, it doesn't mean that it has been exhaustively edited, like a publisher would do. Their edit is MUCH more extensive. Our edit requirements are related to pitching and selling only.

THIS IS THE REAL ISSUE: If an agent assists the writer by telling them to get editing and then the agent will represent them, they get blackballed. So, here's a situation where potentially great work is 'waiting in the wings' so to speak, and can't get access to the market because Agents are overwhelmed and gunshy.

Luckily (for those authors that can see through the bs), we've decided that the old model is dead and we want new fresh talent. We want authors that want to improve and have their chance. And, our management team is a group of business warriors that basically say, "screw the naysayers because buyers love our model".

Why do buyers (publishers and producers) love our model? Because they know that we've forced the writer to jump through a series of hoops to prove their mettle. And the writers whine, whine, whine, and the publishers say, "whew, thanks for bringing us great work and for filtering out the crackpot writers that want the world and don't have an understanding of how competitive the market is." BUYERS WANT WRITERS THAT HAVE INVESTED IN THEMSELVES AND THEIR WRITING.

But why all the negative press you might ask? In short, the message boards attract unsuccessful writers. It's quite a statistical anomoly isn't it. A successful writer isn't sitting around responding to message boards, a successful writer is improving their craft, making submissions, and writing. As I'm sure you've seen the pettiness on the boards.. That pettiness is, to me, worse than a National Enquirer that you read in the grocery line, and frankly, I think the message boards attract the same caliber of people. Also, just for the fun of it, you should ask the people that work the boards to be your agent, and see how many writers run to help you.

LET ME STATE THIS AGAIN.. ASK THE PEOPLE ON THE MESSAGE BOARDS, BECAUSE THEY ARE SO SMART, WHAT THEY'VE SOLD, AND WHO THEIR AGENT WAS... And whether they'd be your agent. <I'm sorry to be a bit cynical here, but I'm sure you can see why? Nobody on those boards is going to work for you.. they aren't going to coach you, prep you, and try to sell your work.>

That said, we've come to thank these boards. The boards weed out three main categories of writers that we are actually glad to be rid of: 1) Authors that don't have a clue, 2) Authors that can't make up their mind for themselves and don't have any "grit", and 3) the SFN's (writers that want Something for Nothing). I hope that you aren't in any of those three categories. The Something For Nothing authors really get my goat, but that's another rant. Those are the authors that think we'll bear all their expenses because they've 'written the next bestseller'... egads...


Reread the 4 bullets under my signature. That's our promise. It's simple and it's understandable, and we deliver on it all day, every day. (Like this email really).

So, in conclusion, this is what I would do, if I were in your shoes, I'd proceed with us, eyes wide open, and see if we meet or exceed our four business tenets below, A) Respect, B) Building Talent, 3) Straight Talk, and a 4) Professional Relationship.

Just for grins, and so that you know we provide a service of value to aspiring authors, I would like you to see some of the unprompted quotes that we receive on a daily basis. Our clients say it best. The quotes below are unedited and as you can see, quite from the heart. (We have lots more of these.) If you are really cynical, you will probably believe we made them up, but I promise you, we can prove every one of them.

=======================

"Just a note to say, whatever the outcome of my submission, it's refreshing to engage an agent who will a) take an email submission, b) turn it round as quick you've committed to do and c) actively work with a writer. Submissions are daunting enough anyway without having to wait ten weeks for an impersonalised slip of paper. Here's to you."

"It is refreshing to get an honest professional opinion of my work, it make me realise just how much I don't know about the written word and its presentation."

Dear Georgina, I'd like you to know how highly and gratefully I regard the clarity with which you explain the process as well as your reliability. I have complete trust in both your abilities and ethical standards. Best wishes, Judith

It's been a long time since I left school with considerable number of years passing before I became interested in writing again. I would like you to thank you for working with me and let it be known that I look at this as a new beginning and rebirth of my education.

You don't know how nice it is to have such timely responses. I am sure I am not the only writer that puts a lot of heart into their work and I have to say, I have "kept mine tucked away in the closet" for many, many years. I just enjoy writing, but didn't know if I would ever try and submit it to anyone. Making the decision to do that has been somewhat of a nerve-wracking process. Your timely responses and professional, yet "down-to-earth" responses are making the process a lot easier. At this time, I am not submitting my work to anyone else, because you have impressed me the most up to this point. Even if we do not end up working together, I felt it was important to pass this along to you.

Dear Georgina: Your professional zeal and resourcefulness cannot be overemphasized seeing the volatile-oceanic-wave called the American Hollywood with its impregnable sales frontiers.I hold you dearly to my heart in my every prayers towards our mutual success now and...very soon in sbsequent works.I doff my heart after your every professional spirit imagining the energy, sweat and travellings involved. Thanks for everything you stand for professionally.

Thank you for your constructive feedback. I found your critique of my work very informative, and it concluded many things that I already knew. I really do need to improve on my punctuation skills, and that has been something I have struggled with for some time. I appreciate your suggestions on materials to improve this, and I plan on taking an advanced grammar and puctuation class at the college I am attending. Several other points you made were also very informative. I know I have a long way to go before I am a "professional" writer, but I am glad that you agreed that the potential is definitely there. I'd also like to thank you and your company for staying in contact with me through this process. I would, and will, come back to your company if I need further material critiqued. Thank you again for your time.

I just want to say I have been rejected for years by Agents and Publishers. After awhile it all seems pointless. But I am in this for the long run and will never give up and never give in. Whether you accept me or not you have restored my faith and hope that someone out there is concerned and listening to what writings go through. I look forward to learning all that I can from you and your associates.

"After having reread all the information sent to me, I must say that I am impressed by the way your agency has handled the science, or art of appreciating new sources of writing. If only all agencies displayed your model the world may be a better place. Your FAQ has answered all of my questions and i am eager to get to work."

===========================

WE ARE CREATING THE MOST POWERFUL AGENCY GROUP IN THE UNITED STATES. Every author that we represent has been fully edited and we know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that their work is good enough for publication. Unfortunately, the ones that 'wash out', tend to grouse and *****. If you can make it through our process, then you will be in an elite group that buyers respect. We never promise a sale, but we can promise that if we present your work, it will get respect from our buyers.

Best to you in your career whatever your decision. I hope you give us a chance to prove ourselves. What's your real risk anyway?

My response:

Thank you for your prompt response. I guess the main question I want answered is this: will I be asked to pay a fee for outside editing? That is my ultimate question. I do have an open mind and I am ready to do my own research and come up with my own opinion based on what I discover.

That being said, I would also very much appreciate a list of your published authors and their books. That will go a long way to proving that you are indeed an agent and not involved in hooking writers into paying outside fees so you can receive kickbacks. I have no objections to original business plans at all. I just need to make sure that is all it is: a new strategy and not a fancy way of disguising a scam.

Sincerely,


Final Communication:

I don't like your phraseology. We pass.

Best regards,
Sherry Fine - VP Acquisitions







So, as you can see, I have the dubious distinction of being the only author ever to be turned down by NYL. No applause, please. I will just accept my award and be on my way.

Gravity
03-29-2006, 06:49 AM
Good onya, TMack! It must be sheer, unshirted hell right now to be working for one of Bouncin' Bobby's scam-a-ramas. They've been outed nationwide, and outed badly. Right about now they don't know whether to poop or go blind. And all of Bobby's-Sherry's-Georgina's flimflam and banana oil won't change that. God, how I love the Internet!

janetbellinger
03-29-2006, 07:15 AM
Hello everyone! I would like to start out by telling all of you how very grateful I am to those who spoke up about this infamous agency.
Congratulations! I just love it the way they say that writers who "want something for nothing," get their goat. Right. That has to be the most ultimate insult of all.

Scribhneoir
03-29-2006, 08:19 AM
We have 4 sales, most agencies only have 1 or two.

Wow, what a rousing endorsement. Does Sherry Fine really think this is what a skeptic writer wants to hear? She/he/it/they are really slipping.

James D. Macdonald
03-29-2006, 09:01 AM
We have 4 sales,

Over our entire history, and they're pretty darned dubious



most agencies only have 1 or two.

This week.

blacbird
03-29-2006, 09:21 AM
At this point, I've pretty much decided to be on Robert Fletcher's side. Anybody who gets taken in by him deserves it.

caw.

TMack
03-29-2006, 09:22 AM
Good onya, TMack! It must be sheer, unshirted hell right now to be working for one of Bouncin' Bobby's scam-a-ramas. They've been outed nationwide, and outed badly. Right about now they don't know whether to poop or go blind. And all of Bobby's-Sherry's-Georgina's flimflam and banana oil won't change that. God, how I love the Internet!

Ok, this is just too good. I can't believe it! I know all the wacky stuff I read about wacky projects getting a 'positive review,' but this is too rich. For those of your who read my very long initial post, you will recall that I am the only author who has ever been rejected by NYL, right? Well, two minutes ago, this email arrived in my box:
:tongue


Thank you for everything that we have received from you thus far. Our review
team believes that your work has commercial potential and we would like to
proceed by offering to represent you.

We feel that your concept and writing thus far has potential and that if
polished and presented properly, we can sell it. To take the next step,
please let us take a minute to tell you a little bit about how we think and
do business.

To take the next step, please read the information below and follow the
instructions at the end of this email.


Best regards,
Sherry Fine - VP Acquisitions

P.S. We apologize in advance for the length of this email. This is at the
behest of our lawyers. They like it when we say it the same way every time.
If this email appears truncated at the bottom, please let me know.


INCUBATING TALENT: We are willing to develop new, fresh talent.
================================================== =============
We did see a few improvements are needed in your work, but don't worry, we
receive very few 'ready-to-go' manuscripts. Most manuscripts that we receive
need some level of polishing before we can submit them to buyers. Over the
years, we've learned that it is worth our time and effort to do what it
takes to develop new talent. We've learned that incubating new talent makes
good business sense.

We'd hate to lose a good writer by not accepting someone who is willing to
improve. There are very few literary agencies that will take the time to
develop talent. Most barely return emails. We've answered every email you've
sent us, and we've kept our promises regarding turnaround times. We hope
that you will acknowledge that our level of communication and
professionalism already far exceeds that of other literary agencies. We
pledge this same level of professionalism and courtesy in all subsequent
communications should we work together.


HOW CAN WE TRUST EACH OTHER?
================================================== ==
You don't know us, and we don't know you. We like your work, and hopefully
so far, you appreciate that we have treated you professionally and
efficiently. Yes, we use forms, but that's so that we have more time to
answer your questions about specific problems or nuances. We are looking for
authors that are reasonable in their expectations and in their own
evaluation of their work. We don't want prima donnas.

If we were in your shoes, we believe you should be looking for a
professional relationship with professional people who will ultimately
benefit your writing career, whether your work is sold or not. We never
promise a sale. However, we do promise that we will work with you on a
professional basis and do what we can to promote you and your work to our
buyers.


What do we mean by "Polish your work"?
================================================== =
We are very concerned about what we present to our buyers. At a minimum they
expect the mechanics of punctuation, grammar, spelling, and format to meet
or exceed industry standards.

I think you can agree that your work needs some level of polishing. However,
we don't think you should take just our word for it; we would like to have
an independent review of your work that shows you where the improvements can
be made.

This step is equal to an investor trusting a certified public accountant; if
there is an independent review on the table, we can each relax and trust
each other, and spend our time strategizing marketing, not arguing over
whether the work is ready to present or not.

What we have learned over the years is that nothing is more invaluable than
having an unbiased, critical review of an author's work as a roadmap for
bringing the work to market. In writing circles this is called a critique.
We want you to have a critique of your work. You might already have one, or
you may need to get one. Here's what one author had to say about his
critique.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------

"Dear Sherry: The critique was more favorable than I had anticipated. I'm a
long time editor of academic works and I know from experience that good
authors appreciate good critiques. As for my own writing - again academic -I
have always taken criticism well. I don't always go along with everything
the critic says, but I try the best I can to incorporate anything I feel is
worthwhile. And that's what I did today. Within minutes I was at my desk and
my laptop, trying to find out what I could do to satisfy this critic. I also
wanted to judge how much work would be required, how long a re-write would
take, and so on. If you have that option, you can pass along my thanks to
the critic. And you can say that I will try to turn it into a popular book,
not an academic treatise. As an academic, I'll never be able to put that
aside completely, but I'll do my best. And I suspect I can do it within a
month or two. Your service is phenomenal.

----------------------------------------------

HAVING A CRITIQUE PROTECTS YOU from unscrupulous agents. Having a critique
protects US from egocentric writers who think their work is just fine like
it is. If the critique says, "Green light--good to go" then we can start
marketing immediately. If the critique says, "Some improvements can be made
in grammar, punctuation, etc," then we can pause with you while those
changes are made.


WHAT DOES A CRITIQUE LOOK LIKE?
=======================================
Here are some links for sample critiques from one of our vendors that we
respect. (We realize that not all of these apply to you, but we want you to
see how versatile and powerful this critique format is.) Also, please
realize that a critique is a fast overview. It is NOT a line edit.

http://www.writersliterary.com/Critique-children-ya.rtf (http://www.writersliterary.com/Critique-children-ya.rtf)
http://www.writersliterary.com/Critique-children-rhyme.rtf (http://www.writersliterary.com/Critique-children-rhyme.rtf)
http://www.writersliterary.com/Critique-poetry.rtf (http://www.writersliterary.com/Critique-poetry.rtf)
http://www.writersliterary.com/Critique-christian.rtf (http://www.writersliterary.com/Critique-christian.rtf)
http://www.writersliterary.com/Critique-novel.rtf (http://www.writersliterary.com/Critique-novel.rtf)


YOU MAY ALREADY HAVE A 3RD PARTY CRITIQUE A good number of our applicants
do.(As a serious writer, you should get one every year or two).
================================================== =============
As we mentioned, if you already have a 3rd party critique, please let us
know. It must match the level of detail that you see in the examples above.
If you have an associate that you believe can do your critique, then be sure
to send us their credentials first for approval. Please don't try to
critique your own work. (Yes, we've seen that happen and we can tell
immediately.) Also, many people ask if they can get a friend to do the
critique, or a teacher, or an associate; if they don't do editing for a
living, then it's like asking anyone to do something for free--it takes
longer, and it may not be done correctly.

The critique should be inexpensive, usually around $70-$90 depending on the
company you choose. It will tell each of us if the work is ready for
marketing right away, or if more polishing is required. As we mentioned if
you have a critique already, great, if not, we can provide a referral for a
critique service.

As we've mentioned before, we need a common platform of trust from which to
begin the representation process together. Many authors wonder if the
critique just leads to more and more editing. The answer is NO! Editors are
people with high integrity and solid educational background; if they say a
work meets or exceeds industry standards, then we can all trust their
opinion. Once an editor says 'Good to go,' then everyone can move to the
next step.

In summary, the critique protects you from unscrupulous agents that will try
to tell you that you need endless rounds of editing. Once you have a
critique you are in a much stronger position in your writing career.


PLEASE NOTE: WE ARE NOT ASKING FOR MONEY.
We want you to have a critique by a qualified industry professional.
================================================== ====
MANY AUTHORS MISUNDERSTAND THIS SIMPLE REQUEST. We don't want you to pay us;
we want you to have a critique to start our relationship so that we can
start from the same page. (If I told you the number of writers that accuse
us of using this to take their money, you would be flabbergasted.)


Many authors ask, "Why we don't do the critique as part of our Agency?"
================================================== =====
In the old days, perhaps that occurred. However in today's competitive world
we must focus almost entirely on our core competency, which is selling your
work. Our company relies on editors to work with you to bring your work to
industry standards. We are not editors. We are sales professionals. We
contract out all editing work. (As you might imagine, it turns out that
editors are usually lousy salespeople, and we love the editors we work with
dearly). Editing and sales are two VERY different skill sets. And, because
the value of editing and critiquing stays with you, the owner/writer of the
script, even if you fire us, then it would make logical sense that you would
pay for services that improve the work.




---------- One more positive response from an author about the
critique ------------

"Dear Sherry: Thank you so much for your quick responses and
professionalism. It was so refreshing to hear an unbiased critique of my
work for the first time. I have hungered for it since I've been writing.
Someone actually read the whole script and took the time and care to provide
a professional critique and show me the areas that need improvement. I am so
determined to make my work a success, and it helps me to know what my
strengths are and where I need improvement. Thank you, and please pass on a
big thank you to my editor."




Typical FAQs that we see at this stage:
=================================

Q) Why did you accept me?
A) Our mission in the Acquisitions Department is clear and very "cut and
dried". We answer 3 questions:

1.Will the subject matter sell? Is it commercially viable?
2.Is the writing good enough, or would it be good enough with some
degree of assistance?
3. Did you as the evaluator like the work and would you believe in it
if you were selling it?

If we get a "3 Yes" designation then you pass (at my level). After that, we
leave it up to the experts to really dig in and get detailed with polishing
your work. The next item we look for in our filtering process is your
willingness to listen and make changes, what your goals are, and what your
overall demeanor is. We will very quickly wash out a great writer with a
bad attitude. (Our buyers don't want prima donnas either).

Q) Why can't I get a more personal response?
A) You will have much more personalized interaction when you reach the Agent
(which occurs after the critique is completed). Unfortunately, my job is
just too intense and I do sincerely apologize for that fact. It really is
like drinking from a fire hose over here. Many authors want me to tell
them what we liked, or what we see that needed polishing. It's just too
cumbersome to try to maintain those notes. You passed, now let's move
forward.

Q) I have a critique, what do I do?
A) First look at the critique and compare it to the examples above. Many
critiques are long on plot and character development. The critiques that we
prefer include that PLUS a strong focus on the mechanics, i.e. punctuation,
grammar, format, and spelling. If your critique does not address those
mechanical elements we will ask you to get a new one. However if your
critique is reasonably close to our examples, then simply let us know that
you have one, and we'll send you the contract, and then you put your
critique in with the contract when you send it in.

Q) I need a referral.
A) If needed we will provide you with a referral to someone we trust and who
discounts their prices to our clients. You can certainly use any qualified
person to do the critique if you know one, but they MUST have been in the
industry.

Q) How long should a critique take?
A) It should take about two weeks. It should cost no more than $70-$90. It
should be thorough. Many "old style" critiques are long on plot and short on
mechanics. The critique that we desire will not only include commentary on
the plot, it will also critically review grammar, spelling, punctuation, and
the mechanics of writing. We know, we know, it's all of our least favorite
aspect of writing, but to succeed as a writer, your mechanics must meet or
exceed industry standards.

Q) Do I have to pay for it or does the publisher provide for the final
polishing and editing?
A) Both. As your agent, we need it to be 'great' before we will pitch it,
and then, if the publisher wants to make changes, then they will pay for the
changes they desire.

Q) What if the critique says my writing is horrible? Will you still
represent me?
A) The critique will never say that your writing is horrible. The critique
will point out your strengths and weaknesses. It will come from a coaching
point of view, not from a judgmental point of view. As we've mentioned
earlier, our Agency is different in that we are willing to develop talent.
We will not fire you because of a poor critique.

Q) My teacher/friend/pastor/writer/PhD/English Teacher, etc. can do the
critique, right?
A) Yes, maybe. We've seen very poor work from PhD's, teachers, and many
writers. If they haven't had a stint as a true editor, then usually they
aren't going to do a good job.

Q) My work is my work; it's special and I'm not changing anything!
A) That's fine, but we do insist that spelling, grammar, and punctuation
meet or exceed industry standards. We have a saying, "If you put 10 editors
in a room you will come out with 15 opinions." Ultimately, the final
decision is yours. If you don't agree with them, we are on your side,
especially about subjective items. On the mechanics and formatting issues we
side with the editors.

Q) What do the buyers/publishers think of this model that you use?
A) Frankly, our buyers know that before we pitch a work, we've put the
writer through the proverbial wringer! Our buyers know that our writers can
understand a contract, comply with reasonable requests, and that we've
weeded out the 'something for nothing' writers that are basically lazy about
their craft. This hyper-competitive industry will only reward the best, and
that's our commitment to our buyers, and to you.

Q) How do I know that this won't turn into endless rounds of editing that I
have to pay for?
A) At some time and some place, we have to trust each other. We believe that
this is where it has to start. Your risk is $70-$90. Our risk is that our
internal cost of our time with you at our hourly rate is easily greater than
that amount. (And you never pay us for that time, we don't charge any fees
as we've mentioned earlier). So, we'll spend the time to work with you if
you'll do your part to make sure your work is the best it can be. Unless the
critique points out the need for substantial rework, there shouldn't be any
more fees. That's why we require an independent 3rd party for the critique.
This protects YOU from an unscrupulous agent, and it protects US from
egocentric writers.

Q) I'm still nervous, what does your contract say?
A) First you keep the copyright to your work, and second, you can fire us in
90 days. Our contract includes the following two clauses designed to protect
you. There are no payments to us in the contract unless we sell your work.

Here is the exact language in the contract:
--------------------------------------------------------------- --
1)The copyright and ownership is specifically retained by the AUTHOR for
this work and all works submitted to, and accepted by, the Agent. The Writer
does not grant to Agent or any other party any right, title or interest of
any kind in any copyright, ownership and/or any other intellectual property
right contained in or as a part of any work of the Writer submitted to the
Agent. The Agent agrees to make no claim to any such right, title or
interest, however denominated.

2) The Writer/Producer may terminate this Agreement after 90 consecutive
days of no sale by Agent.

3) We receive 10% only if we sell your work. There are no other fees in the
contract.

-------------------------------------------------------------- ----

So, if you don't like us, or we don't perform, you can fire us in 90 days,
and we clearly state that you keep your copyright so there is no chance of
us claiming your work. We don't know how much safer we can make it. (If you
think we are going to steal your work, then you are too paranoid to work
with us anyway and we're happy if you decline). Other than that, the
contract is for one year duration, and we ask for a reasonable 10% if we
sell your work.


================================================== ============
IN CONCLUSION, THE NEXT STEP IS SIMPLE.
Please "Reply" to this email with one of the following three statements:
================================================== =============

1) I understand how a critique protects each of us and will improve my
writing (or validate that I'm as good as I think I am). Please send your
contract and a referral for a critique service. I will get the critique
underway as soon as I hear from you. We have to start trusting each other
somewhere and I am committed to my writing as a business.

or,

2) I have a critique already. Please send me your contract and I will
include my critique with the contract when I send it in.

or

3) "Thanks but no thanks, I've never heard of such a thing" or some variant
of that.


================================================== ===

In conclusion, no matter what your reply, I truly and sincerely wish you the
best in your writing career and I want you to know that I have enjoyed our
interaction immensely thus far. Continue to follow your dreams, and it is my
deepest hope that you succeed with your writing career.

I remain yours truly,
Sherry Fine - VP Acquisitions

TMack
03-29-2006, 10:55 AM
I couldn't resist pointing out the discrepency in 'her' messages. I will post if I receive any response to my reply listed below:
:D

I am a little confused. Which message is accurate? This one you sent at 8:00pm:

I don't like your phraseology. We pass.



Best regards,

Sherry Fine - VP Acquisitions

Or this one received at 10:43?

> [Original Message]

> From: Sherry - VP Acquisitions <[email protected]>

> To: <[email protected]>

> Date: 3/28/2006 10:43:19 PM

> Subject: NY Literary Agency: Positive Review

>

> Thank you for everything that we have received from you thus far. Our review

> team believes that your work has commercial potential and we would like to

> proceed by offering to represent you.

>


For the sake of time, I did not pasted the remainder of the Positive Review Message, which is a detailed explanation of the review. So, does it mean you think my work is good enough, except for my phraseology? Or do you pass completely on my submission? I don't mean to sound dense, but is this 'industry talk' that a newbie like me wouldn't understand yet? Let me know!

Sincerely,

Teri

James D. Macdonald
03-29-2006, 05:59 PM
Luckily, we don't follow anyone's plan but our own.

Luckily for whom? There's a way that publishers do business. You chose to do business some other way, and as a result you don't have any sales. The writers don't seem to have had a lot of luck with that.


I'm giving you two answers to your question about what you've read. The first answer is the short one, and the second is the long one.

That "long answer" has already been dealt with extensively, in this and other threads here. As I suspected, it's the boilerplate that they send to writers who question them.

The "short answer" is a thing of wonder. Let me deal with it right now.


I apologize in advance for any 'attitude' that you read in my reply, but it's a gut/core issue for us and we feel pretty strongly about certain things.

That's because it's cutting into your bottom line, limiting your income. As more and more new writers learn that The Literary Agency Group (and the New York Literary Agency as part of it) is a scam, fewer and fewer fall for that paid critique/paid editing scheme.



The short answer ....
We told the self-proclaimed industry watchdogs to shove it.

Really? Where? You've said that you've offered to answer our questions (but then never do), you've said that you were going to sue us (but then never do), and you've said that you've "come to thank" us (but now, apparently, you aren't doing that either).



We've drawn the battle lines and we've said that unpublished
writers have no chance of success unless they think differently.

You're lying. New, unpublished authors are getting published every day, by following the traditional route of submitting their work to real publishers via legitimate agents. A paid critique isn't any part of their path. The other wild and woolly things you've tried (secret stealth contacts inside of publishing houses, "online pitch pages," offers to pay a publisher to take one of your books) have all come to nothing.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

We told the so-called watchdogs that they are hurting authors by maintaining 'old school' ideas.

How is is that authors keep having success by following those very same "'old school' ideas"? How is it that your new school ideas apparently don't work?

The only ones who are being "hurt" are you ... when you don't get that flow of cash -- something for nothing -- from hopeful authors.



We explained that the agency business is so competitive now, that we can only focus on one thing, selling the work.

How does it happen that, to date, you haven't sold any?


The author has to take responsibility for bringing their work to industry standards. In short, we told the industry watchdogs that they don't get it, and they are promulgating old ideas that no longer apply.

Well, yes. That the author has to write a good book is as old-school as an idea can be. What's new and different about that? Other than the part where the author opens his checkbook and pays you, that is....


It didn't go over very well and they chatter incessantly, but if you think a writer has thick skin, you should try being an agent.

Awwww. Did poor widdle "Sherry Fine" get her feewings all hurt?



We've been in business now long enough to know that our model works, and that buyers respect the fact that EVERY AUTHOR WE REPRESENT HAS BEEN THROUGH A RIGOROUS CRITIQUE AND EDITING PROCESS.

You've been in business long enough now that IF YOUR MODEL ACTUALLY WORKED YOU SHOULD HAVE HAD A SALE BY NOW.


What you read on the boards is just authors whining about having to do more work, which they want us to do for free.

Your work is selling books, which so far you haven't managed to accomplish. You aren't supposed to do it for free ... you're supposed to get a percentage of the sales of the books you represent.

Unfortunately, given your track record, a percentage of your sales works out to zero, but those are the breaks. Agents sell books. If you can't sell a book, find a different line of work.



Think about it for just a minute. If you were buying an unpublished author's work, wouldn't you want to buy work that had been through the proverbial wringer?

No.



And wouldn't you want to buy work that could get to market faster, because the grunt work, the editing, had already been done.

No. Editors edit. It's what they do for a living. It's why they draw paychecks from the publishers.

And, again, if your model was capable of working, it would have already worked. The New York Literary Agency has been in business under that name for a year now ... with not one single sale to show for it. Stylus/ST/Sydra Techniques has been in buisness for years, without one single sale to show for it.


In the end, the truth of the matter is that you really want an agency that is willing to break a few rules on your behalf.

No. You want an agency that can sell your book to a legitimate commercial publisher. Which "Sherry Fine" and Robert M. Fletcher haven't been able to do.


The 'old school' doesn't want you to get in, and that's the truth. We have 4 sales, most agencies only have 1 or two.

The 'old school' shows you how to get in. The proof is that new writers are getting in every day. Last year, between 15 and 20% of all novels on bookstore shelves were first novels. The truth is that you have no sales. Any real agency has dozens. The "agencies" with one or two ... or no ... sales are either very new, about to go out of business, or scammers. First time writers have no reason at all to want to hook up with any of those.


We will double that this year we think

Twice nothing is still nothing. Or did you mean that you're going to double your claim of "4 sales"? I'm going to go way out on a limb here and predict that by 31 December 2006 that The Literary Agency Group will have announced no sales to legitimate (that is, non-vanity) presses.


and you really need to consider whether some 'anonymous' board poster really has your best interest at heart

I'm not anonymous. Victoria isn't anonymous. Ann isn't anonymous. Dave isn't anonymous. And yes, we do have your best interests at heart. We want you to make money, not lose it. We want your book to have its best shot at getting published, not caught up in some Florida scammer's trap.


or if you should give us a try, eyes wide open, and see if we don't keep our promises which are * We respect what you have accomplished thus far as a writer, * We believe that great authors are made, not born. We are willing to
develop talent. * We pledge straight talk in a confusing and old-school industry. * We can't promise a sale. We can promise a professional relationship.

The ways in which those "promises" contradict what "Sherry" just said have already been dealt with.

Why would anyone whose eyes are wide open (or even open just a tiny crack) give "Sherry Fine" a chance? Let her post her sales. Then we can talk.

victoriastrauss
03-29-2006, 07:40 PM
TMack, the screed you received seems to be their new standard response (replacing their previous standard response, which I'm sure is quoted here somewhere) to people who mention Writer Beware, P&E, or any of the negative online information. I've seen it a number of times.

- Victoria

TMack
03-30-2006, 12:12 AM
I am not sure who to ask, but maybe someone can guide this lost newbie. I am trying to enter this forum and I get rejected everytime I type my password. Is their a separate registration for each different forum?

Lost,

The Cuban Southern Belle,
:flag:

Roger J Carlson
03-30-2006, 12:17 AM
I am not sure who to ask, but maybe someone can guide this lost newbie. I am trying to enter this forum and I get rejected everytime I type my password. Is their a separate registration for each different forum?

Lost,

The Cuban Southern Belle,
:flag:What forum are you trying to enter? Aside from some private forum, one password does all.

Generally you can ask questions like these in the Tech Help (http://absolutewrite.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?forumid=81) board.

AnneMarble
03-30-2006, 01:25 AM
I am not sure who to ask, but maybe someone can guide this lost newbie. I am trying to enter this forum and I get rejected everytime I type my password. Is their a separate registration for each different forum?
Are you trying to get into the Share Your Work forum from a link? I think the password is vista -- but I'm not sure if it changes on a regular basis.

TMack
03-30-2006, 04:12 AM
I was using the forum jump pull down list at the bottom of each page. I assumed there are several different chat rooms on Absolute Writer, with various topics. I know my password to get into the site, but the same one doesn't work when I use the jump forum pull-down list.:D

Roger J Carlson
03-30-2006, 04:41 PM
The Private Rooms forums have passwords and so do some of Jenna's Books forums. Also, as Anne said, All of the Share Your Work forums have a password, but it's the same: vista.

Phillip E. Hardy
04-06-2006, 07:46 PM
I knew I smelled a rat when I got their boiler plate e-mail to represent me. Since it had the aroma of rodent, I decided to do one Google search and got this epic thread on their sneaky activities. I laughed to see you have their complete editing proposal posted here. Ironically, it asks for the writer's trust and the initial sum of 75 dollars to have a professional critique. As a musician, I have seen every scam in the book, including phony music attorneys, managers and book doctors. I have a philosophy to never pay anyone who desires to make money off my artistic ambitions. I am amazed that these guys exist but like the Nigerian e-mail scam, I am sure they get plenty of takers for their little editing scheme. I think they need to have a big rat as their new logo...just a thought

Regards,
Phillip E. Hardy

Phillip E. Hardy
04-06-2006, 08:01 PM
Dear Mr. MacDonald:

I read your brilliant post, which picks NYC's scam letter apart piece by piece. Though NYC claims to have 4 book sales, what they should really state is how many writers per year get taken for their hard earned money. They could have a slogan like the fast food restaurant that bears your name. Instead of "Over one billion served" they could say, "no titles sold but over ten thousand suckers this year". I don't know, it was just a thought.

Regards,
Phillip E. Hardy

CaoPaux
04-06-2006, 08:08 PM
*giggle* I can't remember the fast-food joint, but one of their commercials a couple years back was a Food Fair, with a guy offering services as a taste-tester for $50,000 or something. Asks a reporter: You can't be getting many clients. Guy answers: I only need one.

Phillip E. Hardy
04-08-2006, 03:39 AM
Hey, fifty grand for being a taste tester? I want that job. Either that, or maybe NY Literary agency could hire me to critique all the writers that they are representing, which seems to be anyone who will pay them for reviews or editing...Heehee!

Bartholomew
05-03-2006, 12:05 AM
But is there any possible way we could, as a group, nag Google into removing that insidious "New York Literary Agency" from the top of their search page, when looking up sites with the term, "Literary Agent?"

Tiger
05-03-2006, 02:03 AM
Greetings, Everyone:

I once saw a picture of a shop with a sign on top that read: "We BUY old junk. We SELL valuable antiques"--the shop was in the middle of nowhere, so the sign had to be easy to read from the freeway.

Still, at least the shop's owners were honest...

-D

Peggy
05-03-2006, 10:20 AM
But is there any possible way we could, as a group, nag Google into removing that insidious "New York Literary Agency" from the top of their search page, when looking up sites with the term, "Literary Agent?" I think Google bomb is the term you are looking for:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Google_bomb

You just have to decide what you DO want to come up.

BTW, at the moment, a Google search for "Literary Agent" doesn't result in any hits for NYLA on the first page at all (Writer Beware is #2). They do have a paid advertisement. The other ads are for vanity presses like Author House and Dorrance. I don't think anything can be done about the advertising.

MadScientistMatt
05-03-2006, 02:14 PM
Hmmm, how about the Top Twenty evil agents, on the Writer Beware site?

sherryfine
05-03-2006, 05:08 PM
Dear Message Board Citizens:

The company has asked me to tell you, in my own words, what I do and to let
you know just one aspect of what they do to help writers sell their work.

I work with Sherry Fine, our director of acquisitions, and I am using her
login for speed and efficiency with this post. One caveat, I'm in phone
sales, so if there are grammar or spelling errors in this post, please
realize that you are the writer, and that's your job to write 100%
correctly, not mine.

My job is to constantly expand the company's relationship of buyers. As you
know buyers in large companies change jobs and titles on a regular basis.
I've found that about 25%, that's 1/4 names that you can find in Writers
Market, or various public sources are INCORRECT.

So, my job is to live on the phone and email. I am paid to call buyers for
our authors and for our database of contacts.

Basically what I do is take a manuscript and a potential list of 30 buyers,
and get on the phone and qualify the list. I call, I make sure that we have
the right buyer's name, I check spelling and address, and most importantly,
I confirm what they are 'Looking For Now'. When I find a qualified buyer
with a need, I immediately communicate that to the Agents, and they
aggressively go into our roster of authors to find matches for the buyer.

Our materials are very well received by the buyers. Our buyers have learned
that we posess one of the most qualified groups of authors in the industry.
They know that all of our authors have been formally critiqued and edited.
Our buyers know that they can trust what we send them. Our buyers know that
we have filtered out the hobbyists from the authors that will do what it
takes to succeed.

Yes, we tell our authors that they have to reach industry standards.
Doesn't every agency do that in one way or another? I can tell you from
personal experience how frustrating it is to hear from a buyer that the work
we are trying to sell isn't as good a the competing works they are looking
at. So, if anything, our agency is becoming MORE demanding that our authors
take their work as far as they can from a quality perspective.

So, I hope that I have helped you see one aspect of an Agents job. The
company spends a lot of money paying me to do nothing but find buyers and
qualify them. And when I read this ongoing thread with all these bad words,
written by people that have only sour grapes to say, I just wanted to let
you know that "it ain't so".

Also, I can assure you that this company isn't a scam. I've known the
principals for years and they do the best they can for their authors. They
also pay their bills on a regular basis and they are beginning to acquire
other companies in the industry.

Here's a question.. if a literary agency buys a publishing company so that
they can publish or partner books they believe in, is that a conflict of
interest?
========================================
I can tell you right now that the company is participating in a new business
model. We're promoting a joint venture where we have put up $2500 in
partnership with the author and the publisher to get the book out the door.
That's unique! And that's how much we believe in what we are doing. The ad
is in the PMA newsletter and has been for 4 months.
A copy of the ad can be seen using this link.
http://www.theliteraryagencygroup.com/pma-literaryagencyad.pdf
This really is important for you to think about. We think that we are the
ONLY LITERARY AGENCY that has stepped up to put our own money behind
certain authors that we represent. If you can find any other agency that
has done this please let me know. This, to me, is brilliant, out of the box
thinking, that shows beyond a shadow of a doubt that our company is behind
our authors.

=======================================


Furthermore, all this talk about who owns what is rubbish. This is
business, and it's a lot like a Darwinian evolution. You either grow and
prosper, or you go out of business and you die.

If we can sell your work, we do. If we can't, then we will tell you why we
think it isn't selling. Usually this means more work, and really, that's
what most of the whining on these boards is about.

So, in conclusion, the company is real, they've paid me a regular salary for
years, and we're putting our heart and soul (and our money) behind our
authors.

Well, that's all the time I have for this post. Best to you and your
writing career. I don't have the time to monitor this post so
unfortunately, all the carping that will occur will be ignored. I have a
real job to get back to.


RKForever

James D. Macdonald
05-03-2006, 05:34 PM
Hi, RKForever/Sherryfine/Robert!

I did a line-by-line on this twaddle last time you posted it. Here's the link.

http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=19104&page=1&pp=25

Come up with some new material -- this nonsense has already been refuted.

Kasey Mackenzie
05-03-2006, 08:29 PM
Can we say Spam? We didn't buy it the first time and it doesn't taste any better the second.

Alan Yee
05-04-2006, 06:04 AM
Wow, Robert, you're about as smart as BB. Did he think we didn't have enough brain cells to recognize and remember the tripe we've already read before and refuted with all the facts?

RKForever? You wouldn't happen to be the Ray Kyle who wrote the PDF file, would you? Or maybe Rey Best, who posted this same thing before? Or maybe Georgina Orr? Or Georgina Scott? Or Sherry Fine? One more question, please, just one more. You wouldn't happen to be the Robert (Bobby) Fletcher, convicted conman in the state of Washington, who owns a large nest of vipers masquerading as literary agencies and owns the editing service that the agencies recommend, all out of the comfort of his home in Rat Mouth, Florida, but leaves a drop-box for rent in Manhattan as an address?

Of course, this could just be a big huge coincidence where we are all stupid, uninformed, untalented hacks and don't have the proof to show the types of FEES that several authors have encountered when they've decided to send their manuscript to any of your agencies, and that you have never once in all the years of your existence sold a single manuscript to an advance-paying publisher...unless it was to PublishAmerica.

Bartholomew
05-04-2006, 07:36 AM
Dear Message Board Citizens:

Inane Rambling.

RKForever


If you ran any kind of legit business, you wouldn't have to come down to our greasy little cantina
to defend yourself, would you? You bloody serpant.


Are we hurting your business? So sorry, you damned cut-purse.

Though I must admit, you have one large pair of cojones to show your face around these parts.

...

DRAW!

*Bang*

Got 'em!

Popeyesays
05-04-2006, 07:58 AM
Perhaps Ms. Fine could settle the whole argument by telling us which books they have sold in the past twelve months and to whom the books were sold. Then we could check with the publishers to verify and the whole issue would be moot.


Regards,
Scott

DamaNegra
05-04-2006, 08:06 AM
Just for a laugh, I sent them a stupid, ridiculous book proposal. They say they want to see more. I'll send them some lame MS, just for more laughs.

These scammers can be quite amusing sometimes.

katie Reick
05-15-2006, 06:14 AM
Wow I owe you a great big thank you and a kiss toooo mwaaaaa...You just saved me from being scammed with this agency and I am sure future ones...I'm glad I bounced into the site on an error...yipppyyyy...
I wouldn't have minded so much, losing 70 bucks from this fraudulent New York Literary Agency....but someone suckering me into believing they were my New York Agent would have led me on with false hope while they literally ROB me...

mwaaaaaaaaaa

I love you gals and guys smooochhhhhhh lol

dashman
05-16-2006, 12:59 AM
I cant believe what Im reading!!! I also recently received a "Positive Assemment" from NYLA and an offer for a contract. I must say, after years of sending queries I was thrilled to recieve the positive response from them. Now its all shot to hell. Very sad indeed. Though glad to have read all this of course. I've queried several agencies listed in the "2006 Writer's Digest", all neg if they resonded at all. I am in the process of writing a fiction (forensic thriller). Anyone have advice on good agents to query?? I found NYLA by searching online lit agents and aside from books and online, I am unclear of where else to search. I know I shouldn't get discouraged though after this bite turned out to be a scam, I am back at square one. And one must have an agent, right? To my understanding publishers wont accept direct queries. Publishers I've contacted directly over the past few years have all come back with "we dont accept non-agent solicited work.." Anyone?? Anyone?? Help!!!

Maddog
05-16-2006, 01:01 AM
Try www.agentquery.com (http://www.agentquery.com)

You can search by genre, etc. Good luck and glad you were saved!

dashman
05-16-2006, 01:03 AM
Thanks very much. I'll try it.

Gravity
05-16-2006, 01:06 AM
Apropos of nothing, I finally got around to opening my new issues of The Writer and Writer's Digest today. I was surprised to see the ongoing ads in the back for the scammers had vanished. Gone were Bouncin' Bobby's scam-a-ramas, Lee Shore, et.al. Looks like the word is finally out. No wonder the scammers are trolling the 'Net for new victims. There's a strong possibilty sites like this one are finally putting some very large torpedoes below those miscreants' waterlines.

Fire two!

CaoPaux
05-16-2006, 01:47 AM
Apropos of nothing, I finally got around to opening my new issues of The Writer and Writer's Digest today. I was surprised to see the ongoing ads in the back for the scammers had vanished. :partyguy:

roach
05-16-2006, 01:48 AM
Apropos of nothing, I finally got around to opening my new issues of The Writer and Writer's Digest today. I was surprised to see the ongoing ads in the back for the scammers had vanished. Gone were Bouncin' Bobby's scam-a-ramas, Lee Shore, et.al. Looks like the word is finally out. No wonder the scammers are trolling the 'Net for new victims. There's a strong possibilty sites like this one are finally putting some very large torpedoes below those miscreants' waterlines.

Fire two! Now if only we can get Google to stop carrying their advertising!

DaveKuzminski
05-16-2006, 03:49 AM
That's the easy part. Just keep spreading the truth about the scam agencies and sooner or later the costs of ads will be more than what they generate. That's when the scammers will have no choice but to close up shop in the publishing industry and find another scam where there aren't any watchdogs.

Adam_Atlantian
05-17-2006, 01:52 AM
http://www.newyorkliteraryagency.com/index.html

I found this on another writing site and i just wanted to see if anyone knows more about them. I thought about submitting to them but i could use some more info

Tilly
05-17-2006, 01:55 AM
There's an index at the top of the bewares and background checks board where you can find the thread for the New York literary agency.

Short answer: run, run away. Seriously.

Adam_Atlantian
05-17-2006, 02:03 AM
Thanks.

Carlgo
05-17-2006, 08:33 AM
http://www.newyorkliteraryagency.com/index.html

I found this on another writing site and i just wanted to see if anyone knows more about them. I thought about submitting to them but i could use some more info
Check out message #181 in this link:
http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=26990&page=8

Send them a bogus story, why not even a nursery rhyme, and see if they respond. Then kindly report back to us.

allstarblove
05-19-2006, 06:58 AM
Greetings and congratulations, the literary agency is prepared to offer me a contract for acceptance as their client for agency representation based on my manuscript and my info. WHAT A CROCK!!!!!!!!

I'm so glad I found this site before I sent them any money to get my work "CRITIQUED". At first I was pissed off but now I am down right mad. Even though I took no monetary loss I really wish there was a way to get compensated for my mental anguish. WRITERS UNITE!!! People like this need to be stopped ASAP.

We as writers really need to be grateful for sites such as this.

james1611
05-19-2006, 07:18 AM
I recently got the first form from sherry fine, telling me the deal how they don't ever ask for money...

Then later you have to be critiqued..."oh but not by us...uncle vinnie does it."

This is writers united, right here, right now at the watercooler. I watch your back and you watch mine...just scratch a little to the left please?

James

Rizzo
05-20-2006, 07:50 AM
"I have a real job to get back to."

This sentence in the Sherry Fine post p#$$&$ me off all over the place. As if a "job" working the phones at a scam agency means anything. I'm so glad places like this exist to get people away from those guys. I work at KFC and I feel higher up on the ladder then that. I know I shouldn't be so angry since the letter was probably written months ago and is just being posted on forums like this that know better, but still, how annoying.


'Then later you have to be critiqued..."oh but not by us...uncle vinnie does it."'

That is the most brilliant way I've ever seen is put James1611, seriously, I laughed.

My idea for revenge would be to get their e-mail addresses and join several Mailing Lists that having absolutely nothing to do with writing in their name. Then they would get so much mail in their inboxes that they'd be turning red and throwing fits trying to look for the e-mails that actually have books in them. That is, assuming they look at those e-mails instead of sending "We want to represent your manuscript" to every single e-mail they get.

I wonder how long it would take them to change their e-mail address if we all did that?

AngryDoc
05-21-2006, 04:02 AM
Hold on--I have to wipe the tears of disappointment from my eyes. I just registered because I too was on the verge of taking the bait from NY Literary--It had been my first response from an agent other than I am so terribly sorry that I must respond in this fashion--a poorly worded form letter, but you do not meet the criteria for becoming one of my clients, i.e. having recently been on the cover of People magazine, having been indicted in a significant scandal, or having recovered from some major and unusual addiction. Best of luck on becoming addicted.

I began to have concerns when responses to my e-mails were generated at odd hours. I know those of us nuts enough to try to make a living by expressing ideas work at weird hours because ideas have a way of coming at odd hours. But agents? I'm guessing the canned responses are sent out at planned intervals corresponding to whatever part of the process was supposedly going on.

Bummer. I know that dates me, but it's the only socially acceptable expression that comes to mind.

Gillhoughly
05-21-2006, 04:31 AM
Glad you dodged the bullet with NYLA, AngryDoc! Congrats!

As for agents replying at odd hours, they pick their own, and often work late into the night in order to get the job done.

Agents are actively looking for a book they can get behind and sell. This process requires the reading of hundreds of partials, queries, and full manuscripts a week. Imagine having to reply to a hundred e-mail queries, plus an equal number of snail-queries sitting on your desk needing a fast reply. Imagine the flood never stopping.

I keep thinking of the candy line in that I Love Lucy episode.

They have to talk to writers, talk to editors, and each other. A lot. They also have to shop for food, pay the rent, and maybe check to see if they still have a family in residence. Sometimes gawd-thirty in the morning is the only chance they have to reply to e-mails.

You might want to sample these blogs for a crash course on agents, what they do, how they work and very importantly what they're looking for in a book. I've been pro since the mid 80's and I'm still learning stuff from these sites!

http://pubrants.blogspot.com/

http://misssnark.blogspot.com/

Excellent advice and links to check:

http://accrispin.blogspot.com/

JennaGlatzer
05-21-2006, 04:43 AM
:Hug2: , AngryDoc.

Yeah, the timing thing isn't something to be concerned about, though in this case I'm glad it led you to be suspicious and do some digging! I do sometimes have middle-of-the-night e-mail sessions with agents, especially those who take their Blackberry everywhere.

And welcome, allstar and our other new-ish members!

allstarblove
05-21-2006, 10:01 PM
Thnx Jenna......glad to be aboard. This site is a blessing. There has to be something that can be done to agencies like this, to take them out of commission. Even though my work was copywritten I wonder other than taking money from innocent people, has anyone ever had any problems with their work being stolen from agencies like this?

James D. Macdonald
05-21-2006, 10:04 PM
No, these guys aren't interested in stealing anyone's work. What would they do with it? Sell it?

If they could sell anything they wouldn't have to be scammers.

Rizzo
05-22-2006, 09:12 AM
I have a question, if they're getting most authors through their adds on Google, then how much does it cost to post an add on Google and make sure that it's the first in the long line of adds? I was just thinking of how great it would be if someone put up their own add, right so it would be right next to the NYL one, and it will say, "Don't go with NYL, they're scam agents!" and when someone clicked on the add it would take them to absolutewrite.com.

Stupid idea, I know, but wouldn't it be cool if that happened, even for a day?

James D. Macdonald
05-22-2006, 10:26 AM
You can rate their ads with Google: http://www.google.com/contact/rate_advertiser.html