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View Full Version : The Aaland Agency / The Abacus Group (Jo Ann Krueger)



txgerman1
03-28-2004, 07:38 AM
The Abacus Group Lit agency in CA is offering me representation, however they have also given me what seems to be some very logical advice on rewriting the ms to make it more commercial......all at a steep price of $4500.

Yes, I read these treads, and realize that this sounds pretty darn fishy. I'm holding onto my wallet tightly, however I was amazed by the fact that they did in fact seem to have read the ms, and actually did rewrite some passages for me.

Any thoughts....I am a newbie here?:\

vstrauss
03-28-2004, 07:42 AM
Writer Beware has gotten a number of complaints about the Abacus Group. Its main, if not its only, source of income appears to be the editing fees, and the insanely voluminous materials it sends out to authors are somewhat personalized but otherwise identical. As far as I know, it has zero track record. It does list some "sales" but all seem to be to vanity/self-publishing operations like 1st Books or to book producers like Morris Publishing.

- Victoria

Dancre
03-28-2004, 08:06 AM
Hey, i've got an idea, you send me $4500 and i'll edit your story! :heart
kim

James D Macdonald
03-28-2004, 09:40 AM
Heck, I'll edit it for an even three grand.

emeraldcite
03-28-2004, 11:29 AM
i'll do it for 2500.

txgerman1
03-28-2004, 01:46 PM
Cmon now, you guys can do better than that?
I wont bite till the editing fee is below $1000:tongue


Seriously though, I was amazed at the size of the reply. It appeared that they really had put some thought and effort into it, and in fact they made their point well.
However this can simply mean that they work hard to read the first chapter or two, then do some real actual editing, and show their prowess.....in hopes of hooking an aspiring author. Their rewrite was actually quite good.......and boy were they complimentary on the material itself.

Ok, do I hear $500?????

Frank

therepnovel.tripod.com/ (http://therepnovel.tripod.com/)

therepnovel.tripod.com/paradise/ (http://therepnovel.tripod.com/paradise/)

aka eraser
03-28-2004, 10:57 PM
$1999.99!!

And if you order NOW I'll toss in a handsome, rarely-used, genuine, soft pink Graphite Removal Device® absolutely free!!

Hurry! Quantities are limited!! Operators are standing by!

(I wish they'd sit though; looming operators make me nervous).

Gala
03-28-2004, 11:19 PM
depending on how much work it needs and what you want in return. Some charge a buck. Or even less.

How long is your ms?

:peace

reph
03-28-2004, 11:23 PM
But wait! There's more! Our service to authors is always personalized! That bonus prize that aka eraser promised you will have his name on it!

Signed, Pink Pearl

James D Macdonald
03-28-2004, 11:43 PM
I will use a red pencil on your manuscript that was also used on a manuscript that sold to a real advance-and-royalty-paying traditional publisher! And I will talk about* your manuscript with (non-vanity) published authors and at least one real acquiring editor!

Heck of a deal for only $1,500 (cash in advance, no guarantees on suitability, fitness, merchantability, or anything else).

<hr>

* Possibly to mock and deride....

txgerman1
03-29-2004, 01:19 AM
Wow, where do I send the check????
This is a deal too good to pass up!
:D

In truth....thanks for the feedback. The letters from Abacus sound compelling and semi-tempting, but then I woke up.

Heck for $4500, I'll find a starving College professor and pay him or her to not only edit my most recent book, but also mow my yard for a year and wax my car.

Another question.................
I did the POD thing on my first book, that was groovy enough for a first attempt and it has sold a few copies and garnered only positive reviews (thanks MOM!), but with the typical walls I've run into in the "lets find a reputable agent" game, my question is this:

Who are some of the smaller independent book-publishers that will look at your ms without an agent?

PS. To answer your question, Paradise is 81,000 words long and weighs in at 255 pages....

Thanks again

James D Macdonald
03-29-2004, 02:47 AM
Who are some of the smaller independent book-publishers that will look at your ms without an agent?

<A HREF="http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1582971897/ref=nosim/madhousemanor" target="_new">Writer's Market</A> (available at your local library) will have that information.

You want somewhere that's been in business for a number of years, has actually produced books, and gotten them on the shelves of real doors-and-windows bookstores. Check for yourself. Talk to some of their authors.

But why limit yourself to smaller publishers? If the guidelines say "no unagented" you're SOL, but if they say "no unsolicited" all that means is "Send us a query letter first."

Meanwhile, find an agent. There are honest legitimate agents out there, and most of them will look at new writers' works: they all know that every big-name best seller was once an unpublished first timer. Every one of them knows that Ralph Vicinaza's winecellar is bigger than most people's houses, and they know why.

And ... start work on your next book.

txgerman1
03-29-2004, 04:08 AM
Good Advice, I think I'll take it.......

I've got enough faith in my most recent book to not give up and go POD this time around........

By the way, this is a pretty informative site. I wish I would have stumbled across it several years ago......but better late than never.:nerd

veingloree
03-29-2004, 03:29 PM
Many large publishers do accept unsolicited manuscripts (e.g. Tor), most of the rest are open to query letters -- on the basis of which *bingo* they solicite your manuscript.

EPStanwyck
09-08-2004, 08:05 AM
This "agency" is nothing but a scam outfit. Stay away from them. Anybody who charges reading fees and wants to "edit" your work is not an agent. I am unhappy to say that I fell for their scam. Their "editing" was so lousy that I couldn't believe it, the grammar checker on my word processor could have done a better job. To serve as an example, they changed direct quotes in several places!

After they obtain your money, all you get is a small stack of rejection letters and a litany of excuses of why they can't move your work. If you ask them questions noting obvious areas where they could have done better, you receive insulting and condescending letters informing you that you don't know the business. I guess they are right, I didn't major in criminal law.

vstrauss
10-18-2004, 05:28 AM
An outfit called The Aaland Agency, run by a Jo Ann Krueger, recently jumped onto Writer Beware's radar screens. Their pitch for a $4,500 editing service sounded suspiciously familiar. Once I got copies of Aaland's literature, parts of which are identical to Abacus's (format and printing are also very similar, not to mention the unbelievably verbose prose style), I was sure: either Abacus has changed its name, or is trying to get extra custom through a duplicate operation.

- Victoria

DaveKuzminski
10-18-2004, 05:34 AM
Why not? Then you can jump on the bandwagon and criticize the other business so that folks will mistakenly believe you're legitimate. Your prices must be fair since you're on their side against that other bad business. :ha

Xavier Kobel
07-11-2005, 02:11 AM
I too inquired to Abacus about representation. Was told to send my MS, then fed the rewrite line to bring it to commercial standards. The rewrite of a passage was even offered as well. I bit, placed the first $1000 on my wife's credit card. She had a bad feeling, and being as I was unemployed at the time made me ask to be left out of the deal.

GT Dawson, agreed and mailed back a check minus the $50 Pay Pal fee.

Another source has since confirmed the agency seems to do little more than build up aspiring authors, and dupe them out of huge editing fees.

OneTeam OneDream
08-08-2005, 08:42 AM
I see that P and E says the AAland agency is not rec'd. That's the only real info I can find on them. Does anyone know anything about them, such as, why they wouldn't be in Dave's good graces?

Julie Worth
08-08-2005, 07:18 PM
According to vstrauss, it's aka Abacus.

HapiSofi
08-08-2005, 09:30 PM
I see that P and E says the AAland agency is not rec'd. That's the only real info I can find on them. Does anyone know anything about them, such as, why they wouldn't be in Dave's good graces?If Aaland is Abacus, they're thoroughgoing bad guys. Don't go near them.

Being in Dave's good graces and being recommended or not recommended by P&E are two different things. Dave's a good guy, though he does suffer from a mystic compulsion to get in there and kick the tarbaby during online arguments. However, you should never doubt that P&E has well-established standards by which they judge agencies and publishing houses. In the case of Aaland (nee Abacus), their non-recommended status is because they charge huge fees for bad editing, and don't make their money selling manuscripts to publishers.

OneTeam OneDream
08-09-2005, 04:13 AM
[]If Aaland is Abacus, they're thoroughgoing bad guys. Don't go near them.
I did a forum search for AAland, and didn't find that thread I was pointed to earlier.....weird.

Being in Dave's good graces and being recommended or not recommended by P&E are two different things. Dave's a good guy; he just suffers from a mystic compulsion to get in there and kick the tarbaby during online arguments.

Yeah, that probably came out differently than I meant it. I know Dave and P&E has great standards, I would never doubt them.

Never doubt that P&E has well-established standards by which they judge agencies and publishing houses. In the case of Aaland (nee Abacus), their non-recommended status is because they charge huge fees for bad editing, and don't make their money selling manuscripts to publishers.[/QUOTE]

DaveKuzminski
08-09-2005, 05:13 AM
:)


Quite true. I work hard to keep separate my personal feelings from the ratings or recommendations that P&E gives out. In particular, there are some agents whom I respect deeply that aren't recommended by P&E.

CaoPaux
03-14-2006, 12:26 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).

tudec
08-07-2006, 02:07 PM
I submitted to several hundred agents and publishers several months back, for a short story I wrote. Several accepted my inquiry and took a look at the story. One of them was the Abacus Group.

Yesterday G.T. Dawson, their director, sent a reply, saying they felt they could sell my story for a short story compilation book. They felt the story was strong, but the writing needed to be tweaked. AT NO COST, they'd do a re-write of the first page, to make it more commercially marketable.

However, they also required a $750 administrative fee for "(1) preparing sends to publishers (cover letters, packaging, phone calls), (2) printing duplication copies, and (3) following up on review status at booksellers, including (if necessary) in-house visits requiring unscheduled air travel in the eventuality the manuscript is sold. Point: Selling a manuscript to NYC-based publishing houses is more than just pushing paper around for free (try the freebies and see what happens). This is the only charge to you over the duration of the Representation Agreement contract, regardless of the number of bookseller submissions and, prior to galley, line edit changes to the manuscript (author approved)."

Their e-mail included a one-year agency contract at the standard 10%.

I'm a relatively new author, but I know that agents only get paid AFTER the sale. I've been told to be wary of any up-front fees, no matter how they were justified. So I quickly googled the agent and company name, and arrived at this page.

Thanks for confirming my suspicions. Too bad though...I was excited about the possibility of getting an agent. But when I get an agent, I want it to be because I earned one, not because I bought one.

Thanks. Good luck to all.

HapiSofi
08-07-2006, 05:14 PM
Tudec, think twice -- no, think three times -- about any outfit that says it'll agent your short stories. It's almost unheard-of for legit agents to sell short stories, even if the author is their client for long works. Same goes for poetry.

Fortunately, it doesn't take an agent to sell short stories. Most venues that publish them have open or semi-open submission policies.

victoriastrauss
08-22-2006, 05:35 AM
However, they also required a $750 administrative fee for "(1) preparing sends to publishers (cover letters, packaging, phone calls), (2) printing duplication copies, and (3) following up on review status at booksellers, including (if necessary) in-house visits requiring unscheduled air travel in the eventuality the manuscript is sold.Abacus, which formerly sold its own editing services for $4,500 and up, seems to have switched to the administrative fee model sometime in the past six to eight months. All the questions and complaints Writer Beware has received recently involve the administrative fee, and we've seen no mention of editing for several months.

One thing hasn't changed: this agency still has no verifiable track record of commercial book sales.

Out-of-town agents do visit NYC regularly to do business, but they don't charge this cost back to their clients.

- Victoria

Ken Schneider
08-22-2006, 05:52 AM
Send him a note back and tell him he is welcome to take the fee out of the proceeds from the sale of your work.

Ask him if he plans sell your work for more than the fee, if not, you're losing money. Is that what you want?

Tell him he has to do his job to get paid.

The agent makes their money from a percentage of the sale of a work.

conan
09-20-2006, 05:44 AM
I just got a reply letter from The Abacus Group Literary Agency and they want $4,500 to be my agent, Ha HA HA Ha Ha........Sorry couldnt help myself

James D. Macdonald
09-20-2006, 06:25 AM
You should be aware that they're one of Writer Beware's Twenty Worst Agents (http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=28961).

straightshooter
10-07-2006, 08:35 PM
Dear writers,
I discovered a great tool for weeding out scammers. My manuscript! We just send it to every agent and publisher, and the ones who respond quickly and happily are the scammers. My manuscript is a scam magnet.
Thanks to this website - I can now avoid the next phase in communication with Aaland - the fees. I have made it a ritual. Recieve acceptance - check the board - kick the table, say oh s**t, and move on. ARE WE HAVING FUN YET?

AC Crispin
10-07-2006, 08:41 PM
Sounds like you may need to take a long, hard look at that manuscript. If the ms. and the query are good, you should be getting at least some requests to read the full ms.

-Ann C. Crispin

Richard Hollis
06-07-2007, 06:12 AM
I'm curious if anybody has any new info as to this "Abacus Group"

The owner of the group claims to be a "G.T Dawson" who wrote for Walker, Texas Ranger.

I knew Gordon Dawson when he was represented by the Judy Coppage Company in Los Angeles. He's a legit screenwriter, winner of the Writer's Guild Award.

I get the feeling that his name has been stolen for this "Abacus" thing.

victoriastrauss
06-07-2007, 09:50 PM
I'm curious if anybody has any new info as to this "Abacus Group"Still charging $4,500 for an edit or $750 upfront. Still no commercial sales that Writer Beware can locate.

- Victoria

CaoPaux
07-22-2009, 07:41 PM
Egads, no links 'till now?! :e2faint:

Abacus Group: http://www.theabacusgroup.net/

Aaland Agency: http://dwp.bigplanet.com/theaalandagency

No announcement of closure at Aaland....

Julie Worth
07-22-2009, 08:23 PM
AS OF JUNE 1, 2009, THE ABACUS GROUP LITERARY AGENCY WILL NO LONGER BE IN BUSINESS DUE TO A SUSTAINED DOWNTURN IN THE ECONOMY AND BOOKSELLERS NATIONWIDE ISSUING FEWER PUBLISHING CONTRACTS THROUGH THE FIRST TWO QUARTERS OF 2009 COMPARED TO THE FIRST TWO QUARTERS OF 2008.

If you don't have any sales, shouldn't you be immune to a falloff in demand?

victoriastrauss
07-23-2009, 05:02 AM
I think the demand for overpriced faux editing may have fallen off. A small silver lining to the cloud of economic downturn.

- Victoria

sylvan
08-01-2009, 01:54 PM
Hello all!

A new kid on the block I discovered this website googling Jo Ann Krueger of the Aaland Agency. I received a favorable response from her after sending out a query on Bookblaster a few months ago. Having been approached by vanity publishers a couple of times I smelt a rat the way she over-praised the script. Discovering this thread I confronted her with the reports and, just to see the reaction, said I would give her the benefit of the doubt if she would edit the first part of the script (about 90 pages) and, provided I approved of the work, then set up a contract however taking the fee out of the first earnings of a sale I would approve of. I received an irate answer telling me that you people are a bunch of disgruntled sub-par mafiosi and would be poison for my soul and I would never find anyone that would edit for free (I had never suggested that). I notified Bookblaster and she is off their list now. In my last mail to her I wrote:"I have nothing against paying for good editing work but considering your proposal of $ 3000,- for such services on blind faith plus a rewrite of one paragraph of my script that does not even take into consideration the difference between first person and third person narrative, a report from somebody who writes "to" and "too" for the number two, the fact that you have nothing to show for yourself after 18 years of working as an agent, sending me contract sheets scanned from old offset prints that have the name of the previous company deleted by white-out with the new name punched in by a ballhead typewriter from the 1970s, asinine rules about sticking to a "terse" syntax as if we were all supposed to imitate Dashiell Hammett regardless of theme and narrative mode -- like they say: if something is about as big as an elephant, has the same color as an elephant, moves and makes noises like an elephant--"

By the way, folks, I always thought the United States was founded by some rather disgruntled people.

Cheers

KTC
08-18-2009, 03:03 PM
That's fantastic that you challenged her, Sylvan. Congratulations to you! A wonderful post. Thank you for sharing the experience.

AND WELCOME TO AW! We're not disgruntled...honestly...just cautious and unwilling to be scammed. (-;

avidwriter
10-17-2009, 12:54 AM
Hello everyone. I am looking to publish my book. I have sent an e-mail to Abacus, and the e-mail was: anniejo@ridgenet.net
She got back to me right away and told me that she was interested in my story line and that when I was finsihed writing the book I should e-mail her.
The only thing that I am worried about is my story being hacked. I am not completley, positivley sure that this isn't a hack agency.

Please tell me if you would trust this agency with your book/story.
Thank you,
avidwriter

Saskatoonistan
10-17-2009, 12:56 AM
Please tell me if you would trust this agency with your book/story.
Thank you,
avidwriter


Read the entire thread, Avid. Should answer that question for you.

TOMJAMES
02-19-2010, 08:17 AM
Tom:

Your questions in yesterday's email were twofold: (1) Why do you live there? (Inyokern, CA) and (2) What books have you sold?

Let's take (1) first... I would be happy to meet with you on a stop-over...if you drive to Asheville, North Carolina! We don't live in Inyokern!?! We live in Asheville, North Carolina! We use three highly gifted editors, one of whom is a former NYC bookseller reviewer (who does not live in Inyokern either). We use our Inyokern address (since my husband used to work for a government contractor in Ridgecrest) on our website and advertising because it is close (close enough) to the Los Angeles area where agency business is conducted whenever the occasion dictates. You may wonder, why Inyokern? Because the numero uno military base in the U. S. for T&E is Ridgecrest, California, and we get many projects from the government every year and one of our writers is home-based in Inyokern, the person we use to run initial film and publishing wickets for us in the L. A. area prior to our flying into LAX. It is more advantageous for us to be located in California (and close to Los Angeles) than in the midwest or southeast (and who in their right mind would want to live in the northeast).

As for # (2)... This explanation will either satisfy your question or it won't... We only ask that you put yourself into our shoes as to what we deal with everyday of the year. The following response then has one purpose only—to provide you a peek into what we deal with as agents and why we purposely don’t list “recent sales.” We do not supply references and major publishers no longer list agency credits in upfront pages of books (hardcover or softcover) they publish—no not one, not as of the late 1990s (when we, too, stopped listing sales credits). Moreover, no “index” exists within the industry of agency sales to publishing houses (such lists would be inaccurate and incomplete at best anyway), and the only way that can be “checked” is if the agency provides the potential client a list of sales to linking booksellers—and that we won’t do. Why do we not supply references (lists)? In the end, it solves nothing and does more harm than good (read on...). Too, the agency runs the risk of being cut off from “that publisher” should the potential client’s inquiry develop into a screaming match between the bookseller floor secretary and the inquiring person. So the answer is no if the agency wants to continue to sell manuscripts to majors in NYC, Chicago, Miami, St. Louis and Los Angeles/San Francisco! Publishing house secretaries and other contact people at the bookseller will eventually tell the agency to stop supplying potential agency clients with publishing house credits (if they are nice about it) because publishers are not in business to further the bottom line of agencies—only insofar as publishing books furthers the bottom line of publishers!<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /><o:p></o:p> <o:p> </o:p>
<o:p></o:p>Too, most “first sales” are not the money makers (usually) as are “seconds” and “thirds” and the first-time published author is always trying to become a big-name writer (not simply just a published author). Being a “sounding board” for agency potential clients, never, never comes across well and it has been our experience (ten times out of ten) that no published author wants to get involved in a “references game” with agency potential (future) clients. Put in different words from the bookseller’s point of view, publishing houses don’t want to be bothered because they run short on “blue collar” help anyway (ever try to talk to someone on the phone at Simon & Schuster?) and consider it not only a “conflict of interest” (waste of time; and an unwanted, possible legal entanglement) to assist the agent in this manner by taking time to recite credits to inquiring callers at random! In fact, THE AGENT WILL BE TOLD (if they are not nice about it) to “cease and desist” such activity (releasing credits information to potential clients) or be PROHIBITED FROM ANY FURTHER SUBMISSIONS AT THAT HOUSE!<o:p></o:p>
<o:p> </o:p>
<o:p></o:p>
<o:p></o:p>
<o:p></o:p>
<o:p></o:p>
As for “the call” by the prospective client made to the publishing house, perhaps it is fitting here to tell you the result of one such call made by a prospective client in March 2000, at a time when we were routinely giving out such information and publishing houses weren’t swamped with the current volume of submissions (we brought it up, so we owe it to you to tell you why). The reason we know this is exactly what happened is because we were apprised of the situation by the publishing house senior editor in a phone call to us some ten minutes after that senior editor “finished up” with a prospective client’s call. What happened was this... The call started out in a benign manner but then the person asked the senior editor how many agent-submissions all reviewers at that house received per month (from all literary agents)! Then it got real nasty with the caller demanding to know contract details on our sales (only then did the caller identify himself as a prospective client of The Aaland Agency), information only the legal department of that publishing house would have privy to anyway, and when the senior editor told the caller it was none of his business the caller proceeded to cuss out the editor, the publishing house representative having no choice but to slam down the phone and cool off! That’s when we got a call.

Tom, either you get this or you don't. We want to work with "The Return of the Maltese Falcon" and feel we can make a sale. But we can't do this at the expense of jeopardizing why we are in business in the first place.

We can say this about a project we are currently working on (since final negotiations have not yet been signed)... From time to time we get celebrity manuscripts. We are currently working on a piece for Tom Hanks and recently finished Sylvester Stallone's biography (his life before "Lords of Flatbush").

We hope this detailed explanation provides an insight into what we deal with 24/7. Most agencies would never provide the information discussed above.

Let us know where we go from here...

Jo Ann Krueger<o:p></o:p>
Director, The Aaland Agency<o:p></o:p>
P. O. Box 849<o:p></o:p>
Inyokern, CA 93527<o:p></o:p>
760-384-3910 anniejo@ridgenet.net (anniejo@ridgenet.net) www.The-Aaland-Agency.com (http://www.the-aaland-agency.com/)

M.R.J. Le Blanc
02-19-2010, 09:28 AM
What a load of crock (not you, her).

Agents and publishers announce their sales so that people can SEE they're doing their job. That's their track record. The ONLY reason someone will ever not divulge that info is because they have no sales (or no respectable sales) to show. Doesn't matter the excuse they give, the reason is all the same. It's all just different ways of saying 'we can't make sales but we don't want you to know that'.

As for agency credits, well even if publishers refuse to list agency credits there are authors who still acknowledge them in their thanks. And if you're savvy enough to look an agency up online, you're savvy enough to find out what they're selling. Because it's on their site. No one's missing agency credits in books.

MartyKay
02-19-2010, 11:01 AM
Got some weird xml tags in that email


In fact, THE AGENT WILL BE TOLD (if they are not nice about it) to “cease and desist” such activity (releasing credits information to potential clients) or be PROHIBITED FROM ANY FURTHER SUBMISSIONS AT THAT HOUSE!

Wow. Really?
"Briony Agentalot's novel sold for a nice deal at Big Publishing company, by Irina Agent who is NOW PROHIBITED FROM ANY FURTHER SUBMISSIONS!!"

Giant Baby
02-19-2010, 05:19 PM
OMG! So the Publishers Marketplace "Deals" section is just one big old cesspool of acrimony and broken dreams? Crap. It looked so much more exciting before I read this.

To be safe, published authors should probably decline marketing support, too, and abstain from engaging in any sort of publicity. Could end up in a screaming match with a stock kid at the local Borders, or cause a typesetter at the Gazette to get a paper cut, and then you'll be unpublishable. Forever.

victoriastrauss
02-20-2010, 04:15 AM
Ah, yes. The voluminous literary stylings of Terry Dawson (a.k.a. Jo Ann Krueger). I know them well.

- Victoria

Frank R
03-02-2010, 09:42 PM
My opinon of Jo Ann Kruger of the Aaland Agency is that she's phoney. After she had read my query letter, she emailed me telling me she would definitely be interested in persuing my manuscript. When I asked her to display some of her credits in our long telephone conversation, she used the frivulous excuse that she could be held liable for exposing prior (if any) authors. After I made this request of her on the telephone, she now suddenly sent me a rejection e-mail. Instead of e-mailing me evidence of her credits, and now suggested that I attempt to contact Literary Agents in my neck of the woods. I would suggest that she adverstise herself as a editing consultant rather then try to pass herself as a Literary Agent. STAY AWAY from this woman for if she stiffs you for a few grand, she dosen't even have an adress where you can go and *$?!*$$ her. AUTHORS YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!

James D. Macdonald
03-02-2010, 11:37 PM
The following response then has one purpose only—to provide you a peek into what we deal with as agents and why we purposely don’t list “recent sales. (http://www.the-aaland-agency.com/)


Shorter Jo Ann Krueger: "We don't list 'recent sales' because we don't have any."

CaoPaux
01-25-2011, 07:19 AM
Abacus Group website is defunct. Aaland survives, aalas.

chekzchevov
12-10-2011, 06:42 AM
Well, it's nearly 2012. Have these guys made a name for themselves or are they still money grubbing stiffers?

Can you tell I'm desperate after my 60 or so rejections? xD

victoriastrauss
12-10-2011, 08:50 PM
I've documented instances where a non-fee-charging agency or publisher switched to a fee-charging model...but never one where the transition went the other way.

The last report I received of Aaland's fees was in January 2011, so I'm guessing they're still active.

- Victoria

stargazer11
07-21-2013, 02:18 AM
Hey guys:

Long story short, I just received a letter today from The Aaland Agency requesting a full manuscript. The moment I smiled when I read the letter, it soon became a frown. They are posted on this board as a predator back in 2004, and to stay away. I also seen other sites that list this agency as a "beware". They seem to have a reputation of charging for editing, and selling works to a vanity press.

Does anyone have any current info about this agency? Are they still an agency writers should stay away from? Just looking for a little advice, since I am a newbie writer.

Thanks...

Marian Perera
07-21-2013, 02:47 AM
Does anyone have any current info about this agency? Are they still an agency writers should stay away from?

They're still on Writer Beware's list of the twenty worst agents (http://www.sfwa.org/other-resources/for-authors/writer-beware/thumbs-down-agency/). Do you want one of the twenty worst agencies in the industry representing you?

Victoria's post just above yours says they were charging for fees as recently as 2011. If they're used to making their money this way, then they're not likely to go the more difficult route of selling manuscripts to publishers.

stargazer11
07-22-2013, 03:16 AM
Point well taken, Queen of Swords. I don't think anyone would choose to have the worst agency representing them. No full manuscript will be sent to them any time soon.

Thanks...

victoriastrauss
03-25-2014, 08:08 PM
The Aaland Agency is still alive, with a fancy-ish new website (http://the-aaland-agency.com/home.html). A few testimonials on the site, but no verifiable sales.

- Victoria

CaoPaux
03-25-2015, 07:22 PM
Oh, look, they now offer A Word of Insight (http://www.the-aaland-agency.com/to-the-author--a-word-of-insight.html), offering such gems as:
We know that two people who work at Writers Beware and one at Preditors & Editors are former literary agents who lost out to us on an even bids regarding authors’ manuscripts.

Incredible.

victoriastrauss
03-25-2015, 07:29 PM
Hahahaha! Apparently we worked for an editing service, too:

Let us relate an incident: it was early 1997 and a lady had sent us her manuscript after we initially determined the story line was salable and the writing done at least good enough to tell the story. Upon review, we found that the writing was not only devoid of any characterization (descriptors) regarding people, places, objects, but the grammar was far short of a publishable mark. We annotated exactly that, showing her what was wrong and how to fix it. She wholeheartedly agreed with our conclusions. That started a chain reaction you would not believe. It turned out she had previously paid an editing outfit a large sum of money to “doctor” her manuscript. She then used our review evaluation as proof that she had been taken and demanded her money back. That "agency” knew who we were because of what she had sent them. One of that "agency’s writers" was instrumental in the founding of Writers Beware.One of Dawson's tells is his extreme verbosity. That's on full display here. (And why is it so hard to get Writer Beware's name right?)

- Victoria