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Flint River 69
09-15-2004, 11:09 PM
DOes anyone have any info on these guys?

They appear to be an electronic board with offerings posted.

Can't you do that at PublishersMarketplace?

Do they have any sales? Can't find any records.

thanks

James D Macdonald
09-16-2004, 05:48 AM
<a href="http://www.prweb.com/releases/2002/12/prweb53526.htm" target="_new">www.prweb.com/releases/2002/12/prweb53526.htm</a>

<a href="http://www.emediawire.com/releases/2002/11/prweb50608.htm" target="_new">www.emediawire.com/releases/2002/11/prweb50608.htm</a>

<a href="http://ca.prweb.com/releases/2004/7/prweb139403.htm" target="_new">ca.prweb.com/releases/2004/7/prweb139403.htm</a>

<a href="http://amsaw.org/swetkyagency/meetourauthors-propertyindex-fiction-A-I.html" target="_new">amsaw.org/swetkyagency/meetourauthors-propertyindex-fiction-A-I.html</a>

You could always write to her and ask "what are some of your more recent sales?"

vstrauss
09-16-2004, 07:03 AM
Ms. Swetky doesn't appear to have had any professional publishing or agenting experience before she set up her agency, and has no track record that I can discover, though the agency has been around for at least a couple of years. She has one multi-published author, D.J. Herda, but most of his books (which are nonfiction--she appears to be repping him for novels) seem to have been published before the agency was established.

I've never gotten any complaints, though.

- Victoria

Flint River 69
09-16-2004, 06:28 PM
Thank you, Victoria

I couldn't locate any sales either. Guess I was more concerned this agency simply puts the synopsis on their web site and sees if anyone shows any interest. Can't imagine that very many editors are going to hunt through her site looking for books to acquire. Am I wrong?

James, Thank you for your input. I had found all those sites as well - but, if you read carefully, there are no known sales there at all. Not one.

also, she makes very clear in her web site that she doesn't answer the phone.

James D Macdonald
09-16-2004, 06:51 PM
... if you read carefully, there are no known sales there at all. Not one.

That was what I was trying to get across. Mr. Herda's books, for example, are still listed as being available, over a year after the press release.

One SFWA member lists Ms. Swetky as his agent; however, all of his sales have been short stories (not usually agented).

Vomaxx
03-06-2005, 05:53 AM
Has anyone dealt with the Swetky Agency in (of all places) Utah? They have a $ at P&E, which is encouraging, and a website, but I can't recall anyone ever mentioning them here.

victoriastrauss
03-06-2005, 07:41 AM
Has anyone dealt with the Swetky Agency in (of all places) Utah? They have a $ at P&E, which is encouraging, and a website, but I can't recall anyone ever mentioning them here.Ms. Swetky is another of those people who doesn't appear to have had any previous professional publishing or agenting experience before setting up her agency. She has placed one of her clients with a pair of small, non-advance-paying publishers that don't require authors to be agented. Several other clients she has placed with an independent publisher that does require agents. However, though I've received no complaints, I'm dubious of this publisher--partly because my scamdar zings when I visit its site, partly because I know of several questionable agents who've placed clients with it.

- Victoria

Vomaxx
03-07-2005, 01:50 AM
Victoria - Thanks very much for this quick and informative response!

JeanneTGC
10-28-2006, 03:07 AM
Any new news on this agency? I've looked at the site, and there's a decent sized list of authors on it now. I've also looked at the contract, but I honestly have no idea if this is a good, bad or typical contract. Anything new on them in the last year and a half?

Carmy
10-28-2006, 08:00 AM
I fired Swetky recently.

I wasn't able to get a list of where she submitted my novels. She said she sent out "mass mailings" electronically.

A mail from her said she made 12 sales last year.

victoriastrauss
10-28-2006, 06:39 PM
A mail from her said she made 12 sales last year.Really? There's no sign of this on her website. A few properties are listed as "sold", but nowhere near 12, and there's no info on publishers, etc., so it's impossible to verify.

- Victoria

Popeyesays
10-28-2006, 09:22 PM
I fired Swetky recently.

I wasn't able to get a list of where she submitted my novels. She said she sent out "mass mailings" electronically.

A mail from her said she made 12 sales last year.

Mass mailings to publishers by an agent screams clueless.
Each submission by an agent to publishers should be carefully considered.

As to having no record, doesn't she file copies of e-mails sent on her own provider or computer? That's bad business, too.

Carmy
10-28-2006, 11:38 PM
Now you know why I fired her.

I should have done so earlier, but life has a way of interrupting our best laid plans.

CaoPaux
10-30-2006, 11:22 PM
http://amsaw.org/swetkyagency/

The only "sold" notation I could find leads to ArcheBooks: http://amsaw.org/authorsplace/enhanced-authorherda-solidstiehl.html

Popeyesays
10-30-2006, 11:50 PM
I sent this e-mail to the agency and was answered by the owner:
Swetky Literary Agency

St. George , Utah



Dear Ms. Swetky,



I hope you might take a few moments to answer some general questions for me.



I note that P&E shows you with the $ sign in its listing. That's always nice to see. I was wondering what sales you might have made to Publishers who pay advances routinely, or require agents for submission. Titles and publisher would be most helpful to me.



Do you broadly submit by digital means to many pubishers at once, or do you tailor your submissions in small batches to publshers whom you know will be a good fit?



While no one needs a transmittal of standard rejections, do you provide the names of the publishers to whom you submit in a list to the author so he will know which publishers have seen the manuscript if later on the author decides to submit without representation? I'm sure you understand that most publishers have no desire to see a submission twice, unless it has been heavily revised, and I for one have no desire to irritate a publisher with anything to which my name might be attached. Usually they forget, but some of them have memories like mythical elephants.



I recently published a 'hard' science fiction novel with Capri Publishing a micro publisher here in Oklahoma . It comes out in mid-February and has a year contract to run. Mass Market and other subsidiary rights are still available for Sword of the Dajjal, and 85,000 word stand-alone that invites sequels. (http://www.capripublishing.net/page17.html ) scroll down til you see the title, the ISBN has not yet been assigned.



I am looking for representation for a paranormal erotic thriller titled The Jars of Doom at this time, and would be happy to submit for your appraisal. Five chapters and the synopsis are at Strebor Books at the moment, but they have not yet decided to ask for more. Should they actually choose to take the book, I would still need an agent for negotiating the contract and advance.



It is wonderful that modern technology provides the opportunity for you to work in this industry and still reside in such a beautiful spot as St. George. My wife and I lived for almost six years in Bisbee , Arizona (about 90 miles SE of Tucson) while she attended nursing school. She was offered an internship at the Bannock Regional Medical Center in Pocatello , Idaho and our move took us through St. George where we stayed the night back in 1981. Travelling back and forth to Arizona and Oklahoma always took us through St. George in one direction or the other and we always made it a point to stop there.



Our original trip took us through the area during trout fishing season and it was stupefying to see the huge numbers of fishermen casting flies and spinners into all the rivers and streams.



Anyway, thank you for your time and attention to my questions.



Regards,

Scott Saylors


Her answers to questions are below:
"We can’t really take the time to enumerate our sales. Suffice to say that we sell regularly both to film producers and publishers. Our clients are published with Sterling , Simon and Schuster, Franklin Watts Grolier, Kensington, and others. We have had several scripts produced, and several more are currently in production or under option, although none with a major studio…yet."

As to whether they rifle or shotgun their submissions, I was told they do both. This was added to the answer:
"We cannot provide a list of names of publishers to whom we submit because we submit to more than 2,000 editors monthly, and our list constantly changes. As some editors leave the industry or request to be removed from our lists, we remove them. Besides, re-visiting a proposal to an editor who has already passed on it is no shame; editors’ needs, tastes, and budgets change continually. What might have been passed up today could well be picked up by the same editor next month." That answer strikes me as disingenuous at least.

As to the idea I mentioned in the letter:
"While we do not currently represent any paranormal erotic thrillers, I do know of some editors looking for paranormal romances. “Erotic” is pretty much a curse of doom in the industry these days, what with erotica publishers folding nearly faster than we can keep up with trade news announcements. You might benefit from looking over other possible genres with which to label your work and move “erotic” to the back of the pack."

That might be good advice, it does ignore some up-coming successful publishers in that particular genre thought: Strebor Books and Ellora's Cave for starters.

Judge for yourself, I will.

Regards,
Scott

JeanneTGC
10-31-2006, 03:17 AM
Well, that does it for me! Particularly considering I was just at an RWA conference and almost all those publishers cannot get erotica and its related types into their offices fast enough.

Momento Mori
10-31-2006, 03:44 PM
We can’t really take the time to enumerate our sales.

Oh really?

Let's make it simple: are they in single figures, double figures, triple figures or more than triple figures? Remembering of course that zero is not a sales figure worth having.

I love the way she can rattle off the names of "Sterling , Simon and Schuster, Franklin Watts Grolier, Kensington" but not provide a corresponding author name or title. It's also gratifying to see that she's had scripts produced but again, can't provide titles or names.


Besides, re-visiting a proposal to an editor who has already passed on it is no shame; editors’ needs, tastes, and budgets change continually. What might have been passed up today could well be picked up by the same editor next month.

Translation: we hit the same editors with the same query every month.

victoriastrauss
10-31-2006, 06:56 PM
"We can’t really take the time to enumerate our sales.But they can take the time to write a long email justifying their methods.

Our clients are published with Sterling , Simon and Schuster, Franklin Watts Grolier, Kensington, and others.Note that she says "our clients are published with," not "our agency has sold books to." For instance, one of the agency's client, D.J. Herda, has a substantial list of nonfiction publication with several of the publishers mentioned above. However, the books were published well prior to the founding of Swetky's agency.

We cannot provide a list of names of publishers to whom we submit because we submit to more than 2,000 editors monthly, and our list constantly changes. This definitely suggests shotgun or blitz submission techniques.

- Victoria

Carmy
10-31-2006, 08:09 PM
As I read Popeye's post, I was thinking exactly what you wrote, Victoria.

Note that she says "our clients are published with," not "our agency has sold books to."

It is possible that Ms. Swetky's association with D.J. Herda is of a more personal nature than just client-agent.

priceless1
04-27-2007, 07:02 PM
I just received one of those mass emails from Swetsky this morning. This sort of thing riles me to no end because it's smarmy and cheap. What this tells me is that Faye Swetsky is too lazy to research publishers and match them up to her clients. I pity her clients because this is not the way to do business.

CaoPaux
11-29-2007, 02:47 AM
Currently claims sales to Prometheus and Citadel (and another to Sterling for Mr. Herda). All non-fiction.

triceretops
11-29-2007, 03:00 AM
Cao, may I say what a tremendous job you perform on the Bewares thread. I'm here every day, and I never fail to see that you've updated or linked, or commented. I would just like to say that your attentiveness and zeal here does not go without notice. You be one damn wonderful Mod-God. Thanks for all you do, above and beyond the call.

Tri:Hug2:

CaoPaux
11-29-2007, 04:00 AM
Many thanks, Tri! Happy to be of service. :Sun:

(I'm not a Mod, though. (Which is a Good Thing, trust me. (If you think I micromanage now.... ;))))

victoriastrauss
11-29-2007, 08:08 PM
Cao, may I say what a tremendous job you perform on the Bewares thread.Seconded, Tri. Cao does as much to maintain B&BC as Jim and I do, and we're extremely grateful.

Re: the Citadel Press sale--this is for Dr. Gerald Schoenewolf's Couples' Guide to Erotic Games. But according to Dr. Schoenewolf's website (http://livingcenter.net/Books.html), that book was pubbed in 1997 by Carol Publishing, which went bankrupt in 1999. Citadel Press was an imprint of Carol (Amazon lists (http://www.amazon.com/Couples-Guide-Erotic-Games-Relationships/dp/0806517700/ref=sr_1_8?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1196351358&sr=1-8) the original pub date as 1996 and the publisher as Citadel Press). Carol's assets were bought by Kensington Publishing, and Citadel Press is now a Kensington imprint. Dr. Schoenewolf's book is listed (http://www.kensingtonbooks.com/finditem.cfm?itemid=9808)at Kenstington's website with a pub date of May 2006, but Amazon describes (http://www.amazon.com/Couples-Guide-Erotic-Games/dp/0806527722/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1196351228&sr=8-2) it as "Rev. Ed. edition," so I think it's safe to conclude that this is a re-issue, not a new sale.

So...two book sales, one to Sterling (verifiable--the book is listed on Amazon), one to Prometheus (which can't as yet be verified; the only reference to the sale is Swetky's website). There also seems to be a script sale, Jim O'Rear's The Demons 5 (again unverifiable, and there's no mention of the sale on Jim O'Rear's own website (http://members.aol.com/sarcophagi/home.html), unless the title of the script has changed) and a script option, Gerald Schoenewolf's Maid of the Mist, which I also couldn't verify.

Even assuming all these sales are solid, it's a poor track record for an agency that has been in business for several years.

- Victoria

Stacia Kane
04-03-2008, 07:31 PM
More about Swetky and the scattershot email "catalog" submissions:

http://juno-books.com/blog/?p=393




(Apparently they're still at it.)

JudasFm
04-29-2008, 01:16 PM
As a former client of Faye Swetky for a few years (former as in I fired her yesterday) I'd just like to say thanks to everyone who posted in this thread and to share my experience of this agency with anyone interested. (Warning; it's probably going to take a while!)

There are a couple of saving graces; unlike a lot of so-called agencies, she doesn't charge for her services or approach vanity publishers (the last two agents I had before her did both those things. Hey, I was eighteen when I got my first agent and too naive to know good from bad, although neither that agent nor their successor lasted long with me ;)) I found Faye a couple years later and again, too naive to know what questions to ask (or even to know whether the answer was good or bad).

It's true about the bulk submissions; when I'd been with her for about three months, somehow my email got mixed up with those of the editors'. It was just a list of 'these are the non-fiction properties we offer' followed by the same blurbs I could have got off the website.

I'm usually a patient girl and I was trying to sell sci-fi/fantasy, which isn't easy, so I was prepared to wait a little longer for that. I also tried branching out into action/adventure, thinking that the more genres I could write in, the better my chances for publication. Ironically, after two and a half years, that's when things started to fall apart between me and the agency.


It is possible that Ms. Swetky's association with D.J. Herda is of a more personal nature than just client-agent.

I don't know about personal, but I don't think he's just another client. While Faye was in hospital last year I got an email from D.J. Herda saying she'd asked him to work with me building up a promotional pitch for my action/adventure manuscript Tsunami. Maybe I'm wrong but I'm pretty sure that's not the norm in client-agent relationships.

Not that I'm complaining about any of this; D.J. Herda was much better and easier to work with than Faye, and he taught me a lot in just a few emails. Unfortunately (or fortunately, I suppose) he also set a lot of alarm bells ringing. When I sent in my synopsis for Tsunami, he came back saying how it needed to be fixed, how it could be improved, what editors are looking for in a synopsis, and he also gave me a lot of advice on how to improve my writing in general and got me to rewrite the first chapter of the manuscript.

My main problem was that Faye should have been the one to pick up on all this from the manuscripts and synopsis I'd already sent. Going back to them with a clearer picture of what editors wanted, it was obvious that no one worth their salt would take a book based on the lousy synopsis I'd come up with. Surely the agent should have done what one of her clients did and pointed this out to me? I mean, jeez, it's not like neither of us wanted to get a publisher's contract.

I dropped Faye a line after I'd been with her about a year, just asking if there was anything I could do to increase my chances of getting published. Her reply was:

Dear Jude,

Thanks so much for the offer. Sci-Fi/Fantasy is a tough sell these days,
although I'm not quite sure why. About the only thing I can think of is to
send along any names and e-mail addresses of editors you know to be
acquiring properties in the genre. We have about 130 on our records, so
chances are good that we'll already have them. But there's always the
possibility of one or two that we've missed who just might be the right
targets for our pitches.

Thanks again, Jude. We're doing our next targeted mailing this coming week.
Let's hope we at least get some requests for a full read.

Best,

Faye

Faye M. Swetky
The Swetky Agency

So I spent a few twelve hour days and sent in a list of likely publishers, and heard nothing back. The same happened when I sent in one of my manuscripts (it miraculously appeared on her website) and when I asked her to update the synopsis for Tsunami again.

I didn't email her too much (I always took the view that every minute she spent reading and - if I was lucky - replying to my emails was a minute she could be spending selling my stuff!) but on the rare occasions when I did ask her questions, I think I got a response about half the time. The other half I was left drifting in the ether.

I also had to work up a lot of the sales pitches and ideas for how to sell and promote the book, since Faye didn't seem to be doing any of that. As the old saying goes, "you don't have a dog and bark yourself".

I did a little digging (I was trying to find a copy of that published book which has vanished from her site) and came across this site. Proof of the bulk publishing gave me

I did get a lot out of my time with this agency, and it wasn't all bad. At the very least I got out of my comfort zone and learnt how to write a synopsis ;) Unfortunately I didn't get anything else, least of all a publishing contract.

Thanks for reading and I hope this helps anyone who wanted to find out more :)

IceCreamEmpress
04-29-2008, 08:21 PM
{Faye Swetky wrote:} Sci-Fi/Fantasy is a tough sell these days,
although I'm not quite sure why.

Sci-fi and fantasy is practically the easiest sell these days, except for celebrity memoirs. Especially YA sf/f.


About the only thing I can think of is to
send along any names and e-mail addresses of editors you know to be
acquiring properties in the genre.

Aaaand now we know why Faye has this mysterious difficulty selling sf/f. The idea that an agent would be asking their teenage clients for tips boggles the mind. My mind is now officially boggled.

JudasFm
04-29-2008, 11:38 PM
Sci-fi and fantasy is practically the easiest sell these days, except for celebrity memoirs. Especially YA sf/f.

:hooray: Reading that makes me feel much better about firing her. (Actually, it makes me feel much better about my chances of getting published in general. Thanks :D)

Funnily enough, I suggested a YA sf/f series to Faye almost a year ago. This is what I got back:

Dear Jude,

We get about 5 - 10 young adult Sci-Fi/Fantasy (mostly Fantasy)proposals a day. And we're only one small agency. I'm pretty sure that means the market is glutted. It's as if everyone who loves the genre but can't manage to crank out 60,000 words DOES manage to crank out 30,000 and call it a YA.

(Funnily enough, I've never counted each word in JK Rowling or Tamora Pierce's later novels, but I have this odd feeling that there are more than 30,000 there...)

I don't think I would spin my wheels in that genre unless you have something cutting edge and over the top and can combine it with a wide platform (an ability to generate interest and sales in your own work, as in getting a supervisory position at NASA).

She then went on to say that maybe if I combined fiction with reality (ie, part A researching the possibility of living on the moon and what would be needed in scientific terms, part B writing a story about how that happened) that might sell.


Aaaand now we know why Faye has this mysterious difficulty selling sf/f. The idea that an agent would be asking their teenage clients for tips boggles the mind. My mind is now officially boggled.

Does make you wonder, doesn't it? Oh well. I've learned. Sometimes I think everything I've done over the last seven years could be held up as a shining example of What NOT To Do In The Writing World ;)

IceCreamEmpress
04-29-2008, 11:51 PM
Wait, she thinks that if you had a supervisory position at NASA that that would help you sell YA sf/f?

My mind has now gone from "boggled" to "blown" and my head is like a Ukrainian Easter egg right now.

victoriastrauss
04-30-2008, 12:45 AM
She's yet another amateur agent presenting herself as a qualified literary professional. Nothing she does should surprise you.

JudasFm, thanks for sharing.

I wouldn't agree that SF/fantasy generally is an easy sell--the science fiction market especially is not in very good shape these days. But YA SF/fantasy is still a pretty hot ticket.

- Victoria

triceretops
04-30-2008, 03:56 AM
I wouldn't agree that SF/fantasy generally is an easy sell--the science fiction market especially is not in very good shape these days. But YA SF/fantasy is still a pretty hot ticket.

This is indeed true. My agent informed me that the SF genre right now is a tremendously difficult sell, and he got that straight from the editors. Fantasy--dark and urban, paranormal/romance/thriller, is indeed doing better. And YA SF/Fantasy is riding a nice wave at the moment.

This agent is sending out salvos instead of single shot hits to the appropriet markets.

Tri

Carmy
08-08-2008, 06:02 AM
Regarding SF not being an easy sell . . . Maybe readers are not buying. Just lately, all the SF I've read has been a rehash of another novel. It makes me wary of picking up another novel in that genre.

Sorry, folks, but there it is from my perspective.

nicolesingslave
08-09-2009, 10:40 AM
Similar discussion about our mysterious agent in writers.net:
http://www.writers.net/forum/read.php?f=10&t=17665&a=2

2 hits on amazon.com but not books that she sold.
http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_ss_gw?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=Faye+M.+Swetky%2C

CaoPaux
02-11-2011, 06:28 AM
A write-up on GalleyCat (July '10): http://www.mediabistro.com/galleycat/lit-agent-faye-m-swetky-wants-starkly-unique-and-appealing-books_b12198

Giant Baby
02-11-2011, 09:02 AM
Sigh. From that GalleyCat piece Cao linked:



We pride ourselves on working hard 24 hours a day, keeping our authors’ material circulating, and targeting our pitches to the right editors...

(Bolding mine.) I'm going to slip a chill pill to the knee-jerk pffft I feel coming on whenever someone claims to "work hard" "24 hours a day" for a minute -- just long enough to acknowledge that the bolded part above would be a positive change in strategy on her clients' behalves if it's true. Has anyone had any personal experience with Ms. Swetky since Priceless' latest from 08/08? Anyone know if she's still shotgunning?


... We also take pride in having spearheaded the digital revolution more than a decade ago when most editors BY FAR still rejected the notion of e-mail proposals and insisted upon doing business as they’d always done. We finally began showing them the nuts-and-bolts figures on how e-mail submissions save time, save resources, and (most importantly of all) save money for everyone involved. The rest is a combination of history and evolution.

We also take pride in having sent out mass emails to editors who BY FAR preferred proper submissions, tailored to their lists, in whatever form they (and their bosses) required, which would usually have been preceeded by a time wasting personal introduction or pitch of some sort (in order to provide context and perhaps some anticipation... the pansies!). We showed them, alright! Oh, and that combination of history and evolution I mentioned above? Just check my sales, my friends. Just check my...

Did I mention SIGH?

Jamiekswriter
02-11-2011, 08:24 PM
::raises a hand meekly::

I was involved with a wonderful shared world anthology called Sha'Daa. There were 13 of us authors each doing a short story.

http://www.amazon.com/ShaDaa-Tales-Apocalypse-Mike-Hanson/dp/0982135246/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1297440834&sr=8-1

When I wrote the story I was pretty green about the publishing industry. But when we were told that the Swetky Agency was repping the book, I was worried and researched her. Luckily, I never signed a contract with her but I was a bit horrified by her spamming.

Anyway after about a year or so (it might have been two) she signed the book with Altered Dimensions, which is one of Crystal Wizard Publications imprints -- or it was at the time. There's a thread on AW about Crystal Wizard, but suffice it to say that you don't need an agent to submit to them.

Anyway, the anthology made me the most money of my writing career. . . . $16. (from royalties). However, that was after the agent's 15%, crystal wizard's cut and splitting it with the other thirteen authors in the anthology. Let me just say that all those authors are great people and talented writers. I would work on a shared project with them in an instant. They've got heart and dreams and I really like all of them.

Swetky never sent us the money. I got the money from the anthology's creator -- who is another great guy. From what he told us, Swetky thought it was ridiculous to cut 13 checks from the royalty payment. So she sent it all to the anthology's creator and he paid us. And then she dropped "us" as a client.

Crystal Wizard went on to produce the sequel to Sha'Daa, which if I recall correctly wasn't really a sequel as they thought it was too long for one single book and broke the book in half. I'm not sure if this was Swetsky's/Crystal Wizard/the anothology's creator's idea though.

Still, I would never recommend Swetky to anyone. She didn't earn her 15% commission -- even if it only amounted to pennies. And I thought the way she conducted her business was unprofessional, but mostly uninformed. She obviously didn't know what she was getting into and when she found out how much work it was and how little she was going to be paid. She bailed.

It was no great loss. And I would NEVER submit anything to her EVER. But still, she could have cowboyed up and taken it as a "learning experience." Instead she took the easy way out. I have nothing but contempt for her.

victoriastrauss
02-11-2011, 08:54 PM
A write-up on GalleyCat (July '10): http://www.mediabistro.com/galleycat/lit-agent-faye-m-swetky-wants-starkly-unique-and-appealing-books_b12198

By Jeff Rivera. 'Nuff said.

- Victoria

priceless1
02-18-2011, 07:43 AM
I just had the strangest exchange with DJ Herda that ended with my recommendation that she kindly remove me from her query list. Still scratching my head...

priceless1
02-19-2011, 06:24 PM
Faye queried me with a work that struck my fancy, but the pitch didn't support the foundation she laid out - so I asked a few questions. Faye didn't answer me, but DJ Herda did. He said that Faye had asked him to clarify my questions.

Mind you, he never introduced himself. I didn't know who he was, only that he said he'd discussed the project with the author - editing, tightening, etc. So is he Faye's assistant, a sub-agent? What? Besides, he didn't really answer my questions.

So I wrote back and asked who he was and his relationship to Faye. After all, I need to know who I'm dealing with, right? He replied with this:

Sorry you're confused. This obviously isn't the property for you. Sub-agent? No. Here are my credentials. I worked with [author's name redacted] in prepping this. What's so confusing? Inquiring minds would REALLY like to know.I admit that email prevents us from seeing someone's face or voice inflection, but I found this a bit provocative. I told him that I'd found the work interesting but the pitch was lacking in details that support the foundation. I also let him know that he was hardly in a position to determine what projects were appropriate for me -and it would have been nice for him to properly introduce himself because I had no clue as to his relationship to Faye. I finished with telling him I found his email derogatory and borderline rude, and to please let Faye know she could remove me from her query list.

He wrote back:


Strange. Very strange.

Bye.

Moi
So, still no explanation as to who he is, rude, arrogant behavior, and nothing further from Faye - like an apology. I guess they don't appreciate editors asking legitimate questions regarding a work. Virtually every agent I've dealt with is happy to answer questions. They're polite and lovely to work with.

This is not standard behavior, and for a minute I had a Tom Dark (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=30642) flashback. Like I said...very strange.

Xx.Sunshine
07-17-2013, 04:41 AM
Any more info on this agency? A while back they submitted a manuscript to us that had already been published and they did not disclose this information, so we rejected it.

Has anyone else dealt with these people before?

Wordscan
07-26-2013, 02:21 AM
Xx.Sunshine, Today I received a query from the agency for a book written under a pseudonym, but I wasn't given the pseudonym. A wee bit of research and the author turned out to be DJ Herda. I have not dealt with the agency, so it will be interesting to see what happens next.

Xx.Sunshine
08-22-2013, 05:06 AM
Xx.Sunshine, Today I received a query from the agency for a book written under a pseudonym, but I wasn't given the pseudonym. A wee bit of research and the author turned out to be DJ Herda. I have not dealt with the agency, so it will be interesting to see what happens next.

Did anything ever happen with this?

52greg
08-22-2013, 11:11 PM
Faye was my agent for a while a few years ago. Nothing ever came of it. I probably emailed more with DJ Herda than I did with Faye. The relationship finally ended when DJ told me Faye was leaving the business because of health problems.

EMaree
12-16-2013, 04:16 PM
Faye was my agent for a while a few years ago. Nothing ever came of it. I probably emailed more with DJ Herda than I did with Faye. The relationship finally ended when DJ told me Faye was leaving the business because of health problems.
(Bold mine.)

Just saw this lady mentioned in a Writer's Digest "How I Got My Agent" (http://www.writersdigest.com/editor-blogs/guide-to-literary-agents/how-i-got-my-agent-robert-l-owens) interview (these are usually interesting articles but the agents are never vetted) so it looks like she's still in the business. She sold a book to Delzion Publishing (sub guidelines here (http://www.delizonpublishers.com/authors), scroll down a lot) who don't look like anything special.

victoriastrauss
12-17-2013, 01:35 AM
In November I got a question about this agency from a writer who was offered representation and referred to D.J. Herda for editing. So conflicts of interest still exist, apart from the lack of sales.

- Victoria

jnewman
04-17-2014, 11:38 PM
I was 'represented' by Swetky for a few years; the represented is in quotes because as far as I could ever tell Faye's entire strategy was to post loglines and synopses (verbatim as provided by the author) and hope somebody from Hollywood made her a fabulous offer.
99.9% of her energies are directed towards promoting DJ Herda who I assume is her husband/partner.
The good news is she doesn't ask for fees. The bad news is that if you expect her to get your work on the right desks you're wasting your time. She does absolutely nothing on her clients behalf.
There are any number of free boards you can post to which won't turn around and claim a healthy percentage of the sale should one be made.

Luvspaghetti
02-11-2015, 05:48 AM
I joined this forum because I was researching Faye Swetky after being approached about submitting my manuscript. I was reading through the posts here and noticed that a lot of people had a lot of questions that for me were easy to find answers to because before I stopped working, I was a skiptracer.

I won't post screen shots or emails, I think I can get into trouble for that. I will tell you that all this is mostly public information and I can show anyone how to get it.

Faye Swetky and DJ Herda are married. They owned a condo together in Rio Grande Sub in ST. George, UT. This is the same address they used as their Literary Agency office. It was a condo everyone was sending mail to.

Before I go further, none of the stuff I found is terrible. It's just terrible that they're unprofessional and deceptive. If I was starting out as an agent, I'd let people know that and I mean, we all saw Jerry McGuire, so yes, I'd follow someone like that but let the world know that you're an underdog but you're willing to really fight for your clients. These people are not doing that.

By looking at their mortgage history Faye owned the condo/townhouse, she is the original owner, then it looks like around 2009 she added DJ Herda, who is David Herda, who is NOT the president of the homeowner's assoc like he's always bragging about. He's the president of that writer's org they have because they own it.

So by her history, this is speculative now as my prior previous skills as a skiptracer to me, it looks like from reading all of all her posts throughout the years on other websites and interviews that she did try to be a good agent in the beginning. It's obvious. But then David came along and you can see her descent when he shows up and then you can clearly see her sign over her mortgage to him as co owner. During this time he was published by presses he paid money to be published by but that's it. It looks like after he came along, like a good wife, she pushed him and only him in the agency. The agency became his vehicle for self promotion and that is just really unprofessional and without tact. This explains why he's so defensive when you guys write to him or call him out. He's got a lot to hide.

Anyone can claim freelance writer credits. I can say I was for Time magazine back in the 70's. I was like 7 but I can still say it even if it isn't true, I mean are you gonna look? That's kinda of what he's been doing. He's the president of that writer's org they've got because they own it. He's the "Other" editor or literary agent at the Swetky because he owns that too but he won't take credit as an editor or agent and why?

Looking at their history, they're selling or trying to sell their condo. They have a release of lien so we know it's paid off. He's lied about the homeowner's thing, the writer's thing is just a puffed chest thing, I'm the president of my house you know but I don't have business cards. lol.

So of course he is going to say what he said to you guys I think in this thread? I've read so many in the last day, I read that he replied to someone that Faye is the hardest working agent in the business and she's the best and cornered the tech market and ect. Well of course he's gonna say that!! He's her husband and he got the condo out of her and the lit agency so please.... that right there is just downright pathetic. They basically rep each other everywhere they go and they're using the agency as a vehicle for shameless self promotion and if they can sell a book that someone else writes and claim that 15% then great, if not, they have it made.

They're unscrupolous people. I have a feeling I spelled that wrong. I just wanted to post this so people know. It's important stuff to know about them. It says everything that you need to know about them as people and business partners. And the sole reason why I stayed away and declined her offer. It's up to all of you what you want to do but the facts are here and a fact is a fact.

And don't take guff from David Herda, he's a wannabe writer. If any of their lies were true about screenplay sales, book sales or option sales they wouldn't have been living in a condo in Utah for Faye, over 15 years and David 6. Also Faye's past is not entertainment related. Her family, her ex, they run Tow Truck shops in Colorado. That's the other address she gave. That address was reversed into her tow truck company. Thats where she was running her agency out of in the beginning.

Like I said before none of this is the end of the world but it's when people lie or continue to be deceptive that it's wrong and if theyre lying about all of this, then what's stopping them from stealing your story??? David talks about a contract that can be cancelled at any time, well of course it can be, I didn't see them registered as a business in the state of Utah so that says everything you need to know about why they offer that there!

I hope I helped someone out there with this and if you need to know any of it, I'll point you in the right direction.

victoriastrauss
02-11-2015, 09:30 PM
Thanks for the info, Luvspaghetti.

Apart from anything else, Swetky's lack of sales to reputable publishers--despite years in business--tells you everything you need to know.

- Victoria

Luvspaghetti
02-12-2015, 12:36 AM
No problem! I'm glad to help. It's kind of like a buyer beware kind of thing. Theres a lot of new writers to the submission process and getting an email or letter from ANY agency explaining their like and support for your work is really exciting so before any of these people waste their time on this agency or go into work and tell their bosses off, I hope they read this section. I'm thankful it popped up when I did my research.

I agree with you on lack of sales and her years in the business. Another thing we can all kind of say, ok, we'll we can help too by putting effort into our own social media BUT it's their deception that makes it all so wrong.

And they haven't asked people for money YET. No one has gone through a real sale to a real big fish either so who knows what they might include in that contract. Because that contract is able to be modified by them at any time like he said, it isn't just able to be cancelled but modified. I mean they paid their mortgage off last year. I didn't!! So it makes you wonder with what. How are they earning a living off no sales to publishing companies. You'd think they'd get out of the business. And on that writer site that they own, I skimmed it and it looks like they sell their editing or advice packages but how many of those can be sold to pay off a mortgage or make a nice livin for two. It was a condo but it was a condo in a nice area of town. Look at the youtube listing for it. It's selling for a lot of money and with the lien released, that's ALL profit.

There's nothing wrong with Husband and Wife teams either. I bought my house from a realtor spouse team. It's no big deal, it's kinda less professional but again, no biggie, it's just the intent to deceive that is really wrong on their part. Its almost as if the agency exists solely to push David's non existent work only and to serve his ego. He seems to thrive on being the go to writer on editing, selling, ect. He must have played God of War many times when it first came out. Lol.

They should really be more documented as a negative presence on that Preditors and Editors website. And actually of this information motivated me to be a literary agent, I mean how much worse could I be? Geez. At least in Texas I'm a rock's throw from Austin and closer to Santa Fe than they are in the middle of nowhere. You'd think she would have interned somewhere. If I had my life to do over, I would have interned at a NYC agency and then opened my own later when I established a good client list and rapport with publishers and made solid contacts. What she brought to the idea was, I'm not sure, I'm not real sure where the money is in it for her or them. Because he's not successful either so I don't see the trail.

Wow my old boss would have really been proud of me. The bloodhound is still alive and kicking.

victoriastrauss
02-13-2015, 10:43 PM
And they haven't asked people for money YET.
I'm not sure that's true. I've heard from one writer who was referred to Herda for book doctoring, and other info I've collected suggests that this was not a one-time occurrence.

- Victoria

victoriastrauss
03-01-2015, 10:27 PM
I recently received another report of an editing referral by Swetky to Herda (whose relationship to her--whether as a boyfriend or a client--she did not reveal; she described him only as "a professional editor/ghostwriter/mentor at AmSAW who owed me a favor"). The writer paid five figures. Once the editing was finished, the writer's ms. was accepted by Swetky for representation, but later referred to Herda again for more editing.

And last August, I heard from a publisher who got a submission from Swetky which boasted that the ms. had been "professionally doctored by one of the most experienced authors working today."

My guess is not just that these editing referrals happen on a regular basis, but that they represent the main (if not the only) income generated by The Swetky Agency.

- Victoria

Luvspaghetti
03-03-2015, 10:55 PM
I'm not surprised. I was going off what some other people said that they had never been asked for money but I'm not surprised that they're running this racket because that's what it is. Wow.

Like I said before, she may have started out with good intentions but the history shows when she met her husband Herda, it all goes downhill from there. If she got sick, there's bills and they're also getting older and said #*%+^ it!! Let's make money any way we can!!!

It's too bad for the unsuspecting writer, it really is. And it's a shame that they praise and rep each other. What awards has this guy one??? And experienced and respected by who?? By the two people who got their tomato plants to bloom from his terrible garden advice in his latest literary travesty. He should be on that hall of shame segment on the news channels.

mbkwrite
06-10-2015, 12:52 AM
On my, oh my. Herda and Swetky are a married couple. I live in Utah, hired Herda to do some writing. Nothing occurred; so I told him I would come to see him at his home in St George. That's when he and his wife Swetky began to sweat bullets.

If I were to stay as far away from anything on earth and, of this world it would be Herda and Swetky.

Here a spelling test: can you spell: fraud, what about Scam, that is an easy word to spell. Can you spell Married: can you spell "old fashion rip off" Yea I know that last one was an entire sentence to spell. But it was an easy sentence.

So what was my experience, I lost money.

JudasFm
04-26-2016, 03:52 PM
That's terrible to hear :( Even when I was with them all that time ago (and I was 'represented' for three years) nothing was ever said to me about book doctors or editing at any time. It's sad they've gone so far downhill, but I agree 100% that they need to be stopped.

Carol1977
01-24-2017, 04:49 PM
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