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robertfletcher
01-13-2004, 07:09 PM
How about a message from the President of ST Literary formerly Sydra?

First, let me thank you for first 'seeking to understand'.
========================================
If your mind is made up, then flame on, but if you would like to hear the other side of the story, then read on (you can always flame away later).

I read last week that 80% of all books published last year were from previously published authors, 10% were from celebrities, and 5% were from journalists. DO THE MATH and you can see what the odds are for as yet unpublished authors.

We specialize in working with new authors. Why? I really don't know. It certainly seems masochistic most days, but I tell you, the joy that I get from a 'yes' from a buyer for a new author is unimaginable! I also get a tremendous amount of pleasure in helping new authors understand the rules of this game. I can't guarantee that we can sell your work, but I can guarantee that you will be a better writer/business person as a result of our interaction(s).


Anyway, A LITERARY AGENT must be an AGGRESSIVE BUSINESSMAN, that's why you hire one.
================================================== ======================
You are hiring someone who knows business, contracts, selling, and has expertise in many, many areas, including coaching, psychology, and dealing with the peculiarities of the writers' mind...

I don't want to love you, I don't want to love your work, I want to sell it for money for you and for me. How's that for crass? My job is to make money for you and for me. Period. And as long as your work is professional and has a strong core idea, then it deserves a chance to be sold.

So many agents won't work with first time authors that we at least offer a chance to get your foot into the door of a VERY CLOSED - OLD BOY network industry.


Oh, and by the way, did I mention that I am a businessman, and this is business.
================================================== ==========
We haven't always charged an administrative fee after an author is accepted, and now we do. Why? We charge $129 AFTER ACCEPTANCE and this is deductible from our commissions should we sell your work. This SEPARATES the men from the boys, and the housewives from the serious authors (my apologies in advance for any professional housewives who take offense, but you know what I mean).

If you are seriously selling your work, your postage for a year SHOULD BE much more than $129 shouldn't it? You wouldn't believe how the quality of the authors we accept JUMPED UP after we instituted this filtering mechanism. Frankly if you can't afford $129 you are going to last very long and you are writing as a hobby not a business.


So in conclusion, form your own opinion.
=============================
If you believe that 'love of the writer and the work' should prevail, then don't submit to us. If you believe that making money from writing is an uneasy truce between the art of writing and the business of selling, then please consider us.

Whatever you believe please understand that I TRULY CONGRATULATE anyone who has birthed a book. We know the time and life commitment that it takes and we applaud you, even if we never work with you. Just be careful of the innuendo out there and make up your own mind.

P.S. and hey, in the words of someone famous, 'at least they are talking about us'... if you would like us to consider your work, please visit www.stliteraryagency.com and after reading the site, submit.


This entire communication is for the exclusive use of the intended addressee only and contains proprietary, confidential and privileged information as deemed by the poster. You agree that this information will not be replicated in any form other than what is posted in this forum.

Yes, we live in a very litigious society and we know how to wield the legal sword as well as most. It's part of our job as an Agent to protect our writers' works and we know how to use lawyers very aggressively for our clients (and ourselves). If you read this far and understand the import of this paragraph then you are probably a good client for us. Ciao!

Robert Fletcher, President

ps. Did I mention that we are AGGRESSIVELY courting buyers and distribution in CHINA? Now that's a virgin market with BILLIONS of buyers! New authors are even better for them for a number of reasons, so maybe we'll find the gold for our clients after all.

Best to you once again. It's a tough world out there and there's lots of conflicting information.

And, if I could offer one piece of final advice for a writer, I will.... KEEP WRITING... WRITE FOR THE LOVE OF IT, WRITE BECAUSE IT IS THE PASSION OF LIFE. IT'S THAT PASSION, WHEN TRANSLATED THROUGH YOUR FINGERS, THAT ULTIMATELY SELLS YOUR WORK.

ST Did Me Right
02-28-2004, 02:02 AM
You know . . .

I would really like to know how succesful any of you whinning babies are at actually MAKING A LIVING at writing anything . . .because, unless you are (and by inference of participating in this discussion - using an agent), you aren't qualified to give one wit of an asses opinion about making a living as a writer. That's MAKING a LIVING, not actually writing a book.

First, I personally make a good living as an author, it's all I do and I have more than a handful of books to prove it. Secondly, this vitriolic discourse here and elsewhere on the web regarding ST is irrelevant and I love it. Here is why.

First, I am an ST client and I am very happy with ST.

These negative comments are essentially sour grapes because ST has provided a way to by-pass the traditional staid foo-foo NY literary agency "let your manuscript languish until someone asks for it" crap. I am not famous, but I do make a decent living from my writing.

The fact is, and I am very qualified to state this, the traditional agency representation process disgusts me - as it should you all too. All sorts of agencies showed up at my door when I sold my first 10,000 books . . .didn't need any of them by then . . .

ST provided me with the two things I needed to get out and promote my own work - a web site and letter of representation. That's all I wanted, and needed, because what I am most, that most of you are not, is a businessman. Writing a book is fifty percent of the work, selling it the other 50%. The fact is that most of you so-called writers have no concept of selling your own art . . .you are too good for that kind of "in the trenches" dedication. Oh, I understand, "you have an agent." right . . .what a leech

Mr. Macdonald, you're a teacher, do you teach alternative marketing for writers? Using the Internet and so on? Independant publishing and real-world agency representation expectations? (note: I do not know Mr. Macdonald or of Viable Paradise, no disrespect, this is rhetorical.)

In fact, what's the difference between a writer paying for a class to learn how to market their work and paying a company like ST to actually do much of the same thing? Different purposes, same result.

Cluster functioning is what the traditional publishing industry is all about . . . doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results . . .

The fact is that majority of you wouldn't know how to hustle yourselves out of a wet paper bag . . .ST does. Where people make the mistake with their assumptions about ST is that they kid themselves about how much work ST will do for you and how much work remains for you to do for yourself. My books sell through my (ST) websites, go see how much it cost to build and administer your own web site . . oh, I see, that's not how it is "traditionally" done. Well, while you are languishing in traditionalism, I am selling books.

Most of you are simply parroting the (agency) crap that sustains the "old-ways" of doing things - this is the 21st century and most agencies are like doctors that don't accept acupuncture, or lawyers that won't use email . . .

Your bitching about ST is only a form of defense about an agency system that is broke . . .

I like ST because they are no nonsense and business oriented. I wish I didn't need a letter of representation at all to get a publisher to look at my work, or even a web site . . but some battles are best left unfought . . .because they are uneconomical to fight - remember, I am in business first, author second.

Ironically, there was an article recently in the WSJ that talks one man's difficulties dealing with the traditional publishing world and how he self published himself into a best seller.

ST offers me and their clients a clear limit of expense and none of the vagary of waiting to hear from an agent. While your manuscript is passively languishing on the floor of some agent's office in NYC, mine are active and in constant motion - and are always in a constant state of consideration by somebody. And that somebody, is somebody that can write checks, not somebody like an agent who knows somebody that knows somebody and name-dropping so on . . .

Finally, since I am a put up or shut up kind of person, if any of you wanna be authors wants some serious and genuine (no charge) advice on what it takes to be successful at writing, at least from the perspective of accomplishing what I have, you can call me directly . . .Houston time, 713.937.4125.

So, sfsassenach, Queen U, smiley and others here, tell us what kind of success you have had with agencies and, more importantly, why not be candid about what kind of failures or frustrations you have had.

Paul Anderson

robertfletcher
04-07-2004, 11:21 PM
:teeth

From: Robert Fletcher, President, ST Literary Agency

Yes, here we go again. Truthfully, i'm torn by even responding to these but there is so much untruth that is hurting innocent people that I have to step in.

So here goes. For those of you just joining in my name is Robert Fletcher and I am the President of ST Literary Agency, Inc. We've been incorporated since early 2003. I took over the company from a prior owner (SYDRA) and changed the way it did business. He had been in business since '97.



=================
Here's a challenge... Just for grins, my name, my phone number and my background are spread out on the web more than enough.

I certainly challenge any detractors to come out from under their cloaks of emails and post their names and phone numbers and addresses.

Let's quickly see who has the cojone's to play this soon to be rough little game. Our materials are covered by trade secret laws and I absolutely guarantee the lawsuits are going to fly.. let's see who cares to play.

Prior to this I have been the CEO of a number of companies, and yes, in America, we have a game called 'tag the CEO' with lawsuits. I've been in lawsuits, i've appealed lawsuits and I've won lawsuits. I have lawyers, I use them a lot, and if you can't stand the heat, don't step up to the fire. That's what it takes to be a CEO in America today.

You hire me to be your Agent. You hire me to understand the legal aspects of any business decision. If I am your Agent you want me to be able to kick serious legal butt in your behalf. If I hired an Agent, i'd like for him to have been around and been kicked around a little bit. I'd want an experienced pit bull who has both won and lost.. sort of the Kennedy quote about "the credit belonging to the man in the ring, with sweat and blood... "

Also, just a little advice in the proper business use of lawsuits. Lawsuits aren't about the law, they are about money... how much you have, and how much your opponent has.

So, all the innuendo about FBI, lawsuits, etc. are just that, innuendo. I've already submitted support documentation to a number of legal agencies and gotten clean bills of health. I keep exquisite documentation and can 100% of the time show the supporting documentation for services paid for, services delivered.



After that warmup, some of you may be wondering what all this brouhaha is about. It's laughable really.

Because we have decide to help new and unpublished authors, we have the audacity to cover our admin costs ($129) and you wouldn't believe the ire we have raised in the industry.

Well, an Agent had better have thicker skin than his writers because we take a lot more rejection than a single writer ever will.


============ And now, for the fun stuff, some positive stuff, we're really not the green meanies that everyone supposes, we're real people, with kids, and we go to work every day.. of course according to some, we slither to and from, but hey, opinions are like ass..oops.. =======


If you have half a mind to listen to both sides of the story, then this should give you pause. (of course, if you disagree, hey, this is the web, just be careful to keep it within the realm of professionalism. I don't mind disagreement, I do mind attacks and lies and I am already spending legal dollars to clean this up. If you are in the latter category, did you even read the Terms of Usage at this site. They aren't going to share your liability.)


====================
First i'm going to give you some references from good clients.

Then, i'm going to show you the deal memo on the most recent deal that we are concluding. Most authors have never seen a live offer.. This is what a decent one for a new author looks like. THIS DEAL MEMO IS SPECIFICALLY TO DEAL WITH THE 'WHAT HAVE YOU SOLD - NOTHING' DETRACTORS. The sales cycles are long and our pipeline has just filled enough to start squeezing out regular sales.


This group of references has agreed that they can be contacted. However, I am wary of just sending someone over that may prove to ruin my relationship. I'm sure you understand. I've lost a good client before to an overaggressive reference seeker so I'm going to play intermediary. If you don't like it, we understand, but we're not changing our policy. I'd rather not have a new client than ruin an existing one. ok?

If you wish to contact Mr. Anderson, please do so directly. Any of the others, send me the email that you wish to have answered. I will forward it to them.



Michael Sears
==============
I'm a client of ST Literary Agency and have been for a while. They have been extremely honest and fair in their dealings. After researching what to expect from a Literary Agency agency from the Idiot's Guide To Getting Published and the 2003 Literary Agents Guide, I've found that ST not only complied and met industry standards on how to act towards me as a client, but often exceeded them. For just one example of them going the extra mile, the first thing they promised and delivered on was a professional website for my work (the Online Pitch Page). For another, they have always kept me well informed, without infringing on the publishers rights in any way. The process of finding an agent is long and confusing, the process of putting your creative work out there is going to be no less stressful.
Since I've joined ST Literary Agency, we have been putting my work in front of buyers. We don't have a sale yet, but we've had some good reviews, and we have almost cleared the very last hurdle on multiple occasions. ST has kept me informed along the way and they have always responded to my questions very quickly, usually within a day or two. This is a huge help considering the huge emotional investment you make in putting your work up as a writer to be reviewed by the publishing market.

This is a stressful process, with a long waiting period, as you attempt to find the right buyer for your work. I couldn't think of a better team to be with during this process, and when I do sell, after reading what I have about the industry's standards, I have no intention of going anywhere else, ever...

In short, they've done what they said they would do and if they are considering you, then I would definitely suggest that you let them prove themselves to you. You have enough stress in the marathon of creating a novel, let ST help you with the longer race to sell it. I hope that this helps.

-Michael Sears



Rev. Amy Snow, MA
================

To Whom It May Concern:

Yes, I am a client of ST Literary Agency and have been for some time now. They have been honest and fair in their dealings. The first thing they promised and delivered on was a professional website for my work (the Online Pitch Page). Since that time we have been putting my work in front of buyers. We don't have a sale yet, but we've had some good nibbles. ST has kept me informed along the way and they have always responded to my questions very quickly, usually within a day or two. In short, they've done what they said they would do and if they are considering you, then I would definitely suggest that you let them prove themselves to you. I hope that helps.

Sincerely,
Rev. Amy L. Snow, M.A.
author of The Endless Tour: Vietnam, PTSD, and the Spiritual Void


====================
Yes!! Without a doubt I would be honored to be a reference. Basically everything that you stated in the verbal dialogue is the truth and I really do appreciate the STL Family. Sincerely, Carl Bell - STL Author


=====================
I would be happy to give a reference. ST Literary has always been upfront and proactive whenever I
communicate with them. I always receive a timely response whenever I ask a
question or for ST Literary to do a follow-up with a production company.

In the business of writing...I have learned the following. As a new writer
(even though I have been pursuing the craft of screenwriting for six years)
you must actively market your work on your own. There is no magic pill or
quick elevator to the top. To reach a level that is expected in Hollywood, a
screenwriter must constantly write and learn from each creative task via a
screenplay.

An agent is only as good as one's work...I have found your responses to
producers and production companies on my behalf to be professional and
courteous.

I am currently writing screenplay number eight (the industry average for a
first time sale is nine)...I feel that I am getting close to my goal. I look
forward to the day when I make that first sale and I know I will be good
hands with ST Literary as they will be there to look after my business
interests.

I would say to new writers that sign with ST Literary...don't expect things
to happen quickly...if they do that's great...becoming a great writer is
like becoming a great doctor...it takes study and training over a number of
years. An agency (any agency) is only as good as the writers they
represent...naturally they're those writers who don't write with an
intensity that separates them from the masses and the elite number of
professionals...I strive to tell the best story I possibly can that will be
entertaining and also be marketable. In other words..."don't quit your day
job...the one that pays the bills"...but work on improving one's skill
level...and to be honest...it takes time.

Best Regards,
Gary Dover



======================
Publisher - Lighthouse Press
Ron Richard, President
Lighthouse Press, Inc.
www.TheLighthousePress.com
lighthousepress@bellsouth.net

We are in the process of formalizing a relationship with ST Literary Agency but have not worked out all the details as of this writing. As to our publishing company, we are a four year old company with forty three titles currently in print. All of our titles are available through Ingram and Baker & Taylor, our wholesalers to the book trade. We are members of Publishers Marketing Association.
Please visit our web site linked below for more information about us.
Thanks for writing and perhaps we may communicate again in the near future.
Ron Richard, Publisher
Lighthouse Press, Inc.
www.TheLighthousePress.com
(ps. we don't accept unsolicited or unagented materials.)



Paul Anderson,
Author of The Future of Customer Service and 5 other books, 30,000+ Sold
================================================== ====
Paul has agreed to be a main reference. You may email him at paulanderson@houston.rr.com or call him at 561.703.2550.

Here's his ISBN numbers for all the sleuths out there.
"What is success? First and last, it is personal happiness." p. 128



A Call From the 21st Century, F Ed., ISBN 0-9653359-0-9

The Executive’s Guide to Customer Relationship Management ISBN 0-9653359-5-X

The Executive’s Guide to Customer Relationship Management, SBC Special Edition, ISBN 0-9653359-5-X

The Demand Generation, Return on Relationships, F Ed., ISBN 0-9653359-6-8

The Demand Generation, Customer Managed Relationships, Siemens Ed., ISBN 0-9653359-6-8

The Demand Generation, Return on Loyalty, Avaya Ed., ISBN 0-9653359-6-8

The Digital Call Center, Gateway to Customer Intimacy, ISBN 0-9653359-1-7

Telecommunications, (ed. Bayche), ISBN 0-9704287-4-X

The Future of Customer Service, pub. date May 2004 ISBN 0-96553-x-x

Shihan Te, The Bunkai of Karate Kata ISBN 1-886969-84-4







========Did that look real, or do the cynical think I made all that up... ====================
Ok, now take note, these are real clients and a real publisher who has done 43 books.
=============================




Now, here is a real live deal memo.. i've blanked the names because .. well, because you guys could blow the deal and I don't want that to happen. The lack of professionalism that I see in these forums is scary.


========== Current Deal Memo =====================

Dear Robert,

It was good talking with you yesterday about D. and the travel/tour book.
I'm excited about the prospect of publishing this wonderful little book in
the U.S., and I think it would be a great fit for our list. I also think
bringing it out this fall makes a lot of sense, since it was published
overseas last year.

I appreciate your suggestion to structure the deal as favorably as possible
for D. Here's what we can offer:

Advance of $5,000 against the following royalties:

10% of net through 5,000 copies sold
12% of net from 5,001 to 10,000 copies sold
15% of net from 10,001 to 20,000 copies sold
17% of net thereafter

Regarding the marketing/publicity plan, we would:

Feature the book at the Book Expo in June by creating a large poster to
display in our booth and bringing a supply of advance copies to give away to
booksellers (we would produce these copies ourselves or buy them from
D.

Mail advance copies to select media three to four months prior to
publication.

Mail approximately 100 copies to targeted media once the book is published.

Attempt to set up interviews with print media and on radio. These
interviews could be conducted by phone.

If D is planning to come to the U.S. sometime this fall, we would
arrange signings at bookstores and try to arrange interviews to coincide
with his stay (probably in New York and the tri-state area).

Let me know if you need any other specific information. I learned today that
the deadline for making additions to our fall '04 catalog is the end of this
week.

Thanks very much for your help.

All the best,

T.



======Conclusion ===============
So, what have we seen? Do you have an open mind, or is it shut?

We've seen exising clients that have paid their $129 and they are satisfied enough to be featured as a reference.

We've got a publisher that will tell you we are certainly doing deals and are real.

And we've got an author with 30,000+ books sold, who absolutely will kick ass for himself and for us.

And on the other hand, we have innuendo, threats, lies, and personal attacks from people who won't put out their name and contact info like we do.


The negative comments on the web are from 1) people we didn't accept, 2) people we fired, 3) people that don't understand the real ins and outs of running a Literary Agency that will even work with brand new, unpublished authors.

We have sales, we defray our costs, we give you personal and timely communications (like this one).

Professionals see through the innuendo and misinformation. Our goal is to have relationships with writers that understand this is a business.

And, as always, I congratulate anyone that has penned thought to paper and created something from nothing. The world is a better place because of writing. I just wish more writers could be heard, but the game is not rigged that way.

Sincerely,
Robert Fletcher
President
ST Literary Agency
www.stliteraryagency.com

p.s. what do I wish would happen.. I hope that the forum manager will be conscious of personal attacks. I hope that readers will understand that it is ok to be different, and I hope that those of you who have been really wondering about us will at reach the neutral point. I think that the personal information being posted about my employees is way off base and I ask the moderator to be alert for that type of post. It doesn't belong.

Cheers and best of luck to all of us, my final wish is for everyone to ...

"Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle." (Plato)

MessageBoardAltView
03-17-2005, 09:01 PM
I am going to try to post this on the message board. I've never used one, but was emailed the link by the agency. http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=8286

I'm Pete the www.peeperandfriends.com (http://www.peeperandfriends.com%20/)(the hook) and author of Peeper The Kinkajou, Peeper Goes To Florida, and Boomer To The Rescue. I would first like to say that I am offended by you saying it's a scheme. You need a bit of my background first. I was a Marine Special ops guy who was highly decorated for putting my life on the line to go evacuate innocents out of hostile environments. I came out of the military and became a stock broker. A top producing stock broker. I left that business on top because I wasn't fulfilled with just making money. I wanted a purpose and to help. I guess I was looking for the feeling I had coming through the door with my small team and rescuing people who thought they were to face slaughter. I started a private investigation agency, which I still own www.soginv.com (http://www.soginv.com/). I helped many people there, but still felt a need for more so I wrote and published children's books, which educate children on unique creatures, their ecosystems, and their need for our help. I have had a greater positive impact on more adults, children, and the environment than any of you and all of you together. I say this confidently.

Going back to my issue with the message board. Since I am a private investigator and have learned from many cases that you can't assume anything only investigate fact. It bothers me that you all have these expert opinions based on nothing and they are not even educated( sorry Dr., but the Dr. doesn't always account for common sense).

I am writing this against the wishes of the agency. They said be nice. it's hard to be when offended. Why don't you contact me and let me waste my time proving to you what fact is. One they Children's agency did lie about me making $50,000 last year. I did it in 3 weeks with honorarium and book sales. I asked them why they didn't put the truth about how quickly i did it and they were right in saying that the authors will think it not believable. Now to show you. I am going to be touring 2 weeks from April18-29 in Loudoun county Va and Ocean City MD. come see what I do fist hand and I will show you the numbers. I will make around $40,000 for the 2 weeks. The problem is that unsuccessful authors like to sit around and need to have a purpose by giving expert opinions to new authors. I am way to busy being successful to do this, but some of you need a wake up call. You own failure is your fault and you really aren't helping, only hurting authors when giving them advice on good and bad when you have no idea what you are talking about. My job isn't to waste time complaining or I would then turn into you complainers. I am willing to show you fact. Are you willing to see it? I know several other authors who are happy with The agency.

The agents from the CLA have great business minds. I was the one who suggested they recommend editors because any one can edit grammar and spelling. I have a button on my computer that does it. Knowing how to better communicate to your target market is also important. Most seasoned writer's think they do, but don't. Why do you think such a small percentage of people get published. And beside they may waste money like i did with the first person i had edit. She was an english teacher so the grammar and spelling were perfect. I have personally helped best selling authors who were previously published through big houses finally make money. That's the difference between the new and old era. I was a successful investment banker who understands business. Most book industry people know what they know and aren't great at business.

If you would like to contact me to educate your self more on the real world, call me or email. You can reach me through my website. I feel for all of you experts who have time to play on all the message boards. Turn that negative time and energy around and focus it on positively moving forward in your life and you may become successful also. I don't mean all in money, but to me success means fully being happy with where you are and what you're doing and with all your negativity, you're not there.

If I offended you I'm sorry, but maybe you needed to be offended. I will also entertain any apologies for tieing me into what was called a scheme. This may not be about you I just grabbed all the emails from the board so you could here my side. By the way. I was first printed Jan 05 and within 6 months I accomplished more than most writers do in a lifetime so I believe I speak from authority about business epecially with my background and experiences.

Peter Parente

What they did for me:

sold my publishing company and got me the terms I required.
set up my school appointments based on my school models
told me not to create such a big website, but to keep it simple and not waste my money. I chose to waste my money to do extrs because I wanted to
Got me to an editor who gave me some priceless advice
currectly working on licensing for toys, games, T.V., and Movies. I was in meetings yesterday with investment bankers about the TV show.
Helped some authors I know
They work with they author in the capacity they are looking for. Most authors just want to be published until they are and then are unhappy with the deal. I like being rewarded for my work, you?
That's all for now. I won't be checking back.

RobertF
04-22-2005, 02:25 PM
At this time the process that Ms. Strauss decries as a foul scam has 68 manuscripts under request by publishers, 3 book contracts in negotiation, and 3 movie options in various stages of negotiation. Our lead author from Italy has just finished a US book tour and is a finalist in the Ben Franklin awards in New York. His work has now sold German and Australian and UK rights ... The totals given above are referenceable and documentable. We have to document everything given the scrutiny that we live under.

I feel very sorry for new and emerging authors who have taken Ms. Strauss' advice and missed their chance to be included in the above totals.

Anybody here try to get to a literary agent that will actually talk to a new author? It doesn't happen. So what happens because of Ms. Strauss and others, is that a new author goes through our process, does some research and then gets scared off.

What's next for that new author? another 100 query letters to Agents? Another round of postage and time lost. We would have that author in front of real buyers within 30 days. That's the real truth, you can spend the rest of your life looking for an agent that will take you on for 'free', or you can get into a process that will tell you if your work is sellable very quickly.

Our Agencies are willing to incubate new authors. We're willing to spend time working with them to improve their work We present options to them and they can choose any company that they choose for the services they need. We don't force it down their throat, what's the point in that? If an author is willing to be critiqued by a third party, edit and fix their writing, etc. then we're willing to give that author a chance. Otherwise, where does that author go... Maybe some of the bulletin board posters will start to help these authors free of charge.. .hmmm...

That said, we're about to educate the bulletin board moderators and posters on what's fair play and what's foul.... we support fact based discussions.. we've offered to publish an interview with Ms. Strauss on numerous occassions. Frankly, she gets more validation from maintaining her point of view, than in really helping the industry, and recently she's crossed the line.

We are beginning a series of lawsuits against her and other bulletin board moderators and posters. A literary agent must be facile in their use of lawyers. We keep 'em on retainer.




April 15, 2005
VIA CERTIFIED MAIL





To: Victoria Strauss
XXXXXXXX
Amherst, MA 01002-2003



Re: Our Client: Robert Fletcher
Our File #: 314491



Dear Ms Strauss:

Please be advised that the Law Offices of Glantz & Glantz, P.A. represents Robert Fletcher. The firm is writing on Mr. Fletcher’s behalf with regard to defamatory statements about our client made by you to a third party.

Mr. Fletcher advises that you have contacted one of his clients Michael Graham, and circulated untrue and derogatory statements about him and his businesses. These statements include, but are not limited to, untruths such as that he is engaging in unprofessional conduct in the publishing industry, that he does not disclose his interest in services he recommends to clients, and that he and his company are dishonest and guilty of unfair business practices.

These statements adversely affect the reputation of Mr. Fletcher and his businesses. We have advised Mr. Fletcher of his rights under applicable defamation laws for such statements in the form of injunctive relief and the award of money damages.

Accordingly, demand is hereby made that you immediately cease and desist circulating any further derogatory statements about Mr. Fletcher and his businesses. Demand is also hereby made for a public retraction and apology for these statements, within ten (10) days.

Your failure to respond as demanded herein shall be considered as an intention on your part to refuse to amicably resolve this dispute between you and Mr. Fletcher. You will therefore leave us no choice but to advise our client concerning the avenues available under Florida and other applicable laws to enjoin publication of defamatory statements and recover money damages.


PLEASE GOVERN YOURSELF ACCORDINGLY.



Very truly yours,
LAW OFFICES OF GLANTZ & GLANTZ P.A.

RobertF
04-22-2005, 02:27 PM
At this time the process that Ms. Strauss decries as a foul scam has 68 manuscripts under request by publishers, 3 book contracts in negotiation, and 3 movie options in various stages of negotiation. Our lead author from Italy has just finished a US book tour and is a finalist in the Ben Franklin awards in New York. His work has now sold German and Australian and UK rights ... The totals given above are referenceable and documentable. We have to document everything given the scrutiny that we live under.


I feel very sorry for new and emerging authors who have taken Ms. Strauss' advice and missed their chance to be included in the above totals.


Anybody here try to get to a literary agent that will actually talk to a new author? It doesn't happen. So what happens because of Ms. Strauss and others, is that a new author goes through our process, does some research and then gets scared off.


What's next for that new author? another 100 query letters to Agents? Another round of postage and time lost. We would have that author in front of real buyers within 30 days. That's the real truth, you can spend the rest of your life looking for an agent that will take you on for 'free', or you can get into a process that will tell you if your work is sellable very quickly.


Our Agencies are willing to incubate new authors. We're willing to spend time working with them to improve their work We present options to them and they can choose any company that they choose for the services they need. We don't force it down their throat, what's the point in that? If an author is willing to be critiqued by a third party, edit and fix their writing, etc. then we're willing to give that author a chance. Otherwise, where does that author go... Maybe some of the bulletin board posters will start to help these authors free of charge.. .hmmm...


That said, we're about to educate the bulletin board moderators and posters on what's fair play and what's foul.... we support fact based discussions.. we've offered to publish an interview with Ms. Strauss on numerous occassions. Frankly, she gets more validation from maintaining her point of view, than in really helping the industry, and recently she's crossed the line.


We are beginning a series of lawsuits against her and other bulletin board moderators and posters.




April 15, 2005

VIA CERTIFIED MAIL









To: Victoria Strauss

XXXXXX.

Amherst, MA 01002-2003






Re: Our Client: Robert Fletcher

Our File #: 314491






Dear Ms Strauss:



Please be advised that the Law Offices of Glantz & Glantz, P.A. represents Robert Fletcher. The firm is writing on Mr. Fletcher’s behalf with regard to defamatory statements about our client made by you to a third party.



Mr. Fletcher advises that you have contacted one of his clients Michael Graham, and circulated untrue and derogatory statements about him and his businesses. These statements include, but are not limited to, untruths such as that he is engaging in unprofessional conduct in the publishing industry, that he does not disclose his interest in services he recommends to clients, and that he and his company are dishonest and guilty of unfair business practices.



These statements adversely affect the reputation of Mr. Fletcher and his businesses. We have advised Mr. Fletcher of his rights under applicable defamation laws for such statements in the form of injunctive relief and the award of money damages.



Accordingly, demand is hereby made that you immediately cease and desist circulating any further derogatory statements about Mr. Fletcher and his businesses. Demand is also hereby made for a public retraction and apology for these statements, within ten (10) days.



Your failure to respond as demanded herein shall be considered as an intention on your part to refuse to amicably resolve this dispute between you and Mr. Fletcher. You will therefore leave us no choice but to advise our client concerning the avenues available under Florida and other applicable laws to enjoin publication of defamatory statements and recover money damages.




PLEASE GOVERN YOURSELF ACCORDINGLY.






Very truly yours,

LAW OFFICES OF GLANTZ & GLANTZ P.A.

Georgina Orr
06-24-2005, 01:41 AM
In my role as the VP of Corporate Affairs for the Literary Agency Group I am keen to respond to the postings on this message board. Some of you may know me in my other role, as the Senior Agent for our children's division (The Children's Literary Agency). Again, in our determination to minimize administration costs, one or two of the personnel within our organization are asked to wear more than one hat.

With that introduction, I apologize in advance for the length of this posting.

The Literary Agency Group is keenly aware of the negative messages on these boards and frankly we are concerned by them as well. Please allow me to give you our analysis of the situation and a suggestion about how to proceed.


There appear to be three categories of people on these boards.
-------------------------------------------------------------------
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!

2) The second category are people that have worked with us, for whom we haven't been successful, and they are blameful, pointing fingers, etc. Basically just jumping on the bandwagon because they would rather feel 'took' than acknowledge that their work wasn't good enough to sell. We call this the sour grapes crowd.

3) The third category, whom we feel the most sorry for, are authors who stumble into this mess. Many of these authors just decide not to continue, and may lose the one real chance that they ever had to secure representation.

So, what to do?....
------------------------
First, go through the message board and try to find anything of substance. What we see is repeat, repeat, and each time something is repeated, it gets more and more outlandish. Our favorite was that "we steal work and sell it to China". ugh.

Go through the boards and send me SPECIFIC questions. Actually, I'll save some time here, and answer them now because we've heard them all before...


Q) You charge fees.. that sucks.. no one should charge a writer anything... you should get paid only if you sell something... and various flavors of this misconception.

A) We do not charge fees. We ask writers to improve their work and a critique and editing (sometimes) is part of that process. And, we ask for mailing expenses if it happens. The odds are so against new writers that we've learned that we can only invest our time with writers that are willing to pull their own weight. Writers that aren't willing to pull their weight, we call the "something for nothing" writer, who is regurgitating old mantras about how if an agent charges anything, they are bad. Guess what, if your name was President Clinton, we'd waive our fees too.


Q) You've never sold anything... the author sold it.. blah, blah

A) We now have 4 deals. The most recent is with an UK publisher. (Note: because of the vitriolic people on these boards we don't post our deals because the instant we post a name, the really creepy and scary people that hate us start sending this crap to the posted name. We've got the documents and if ever needed our lawyers can pull them out.) We assisted every author with the contract on those 4 deals. We actually have emails from the publisher complimenting us on the fair job we did for our author. Yes, in two of the deals the author found the relationship, and in two of them, we found the relationship. In all 4 deals we provided SIGNIFICANT value to the contract negotiation and the post-publishing support. The thing that is lost in all this is that very, very few literary agents have even one deal under their belt. Also, we did a measurement in April and we had 68 open and active discussions with buyers about our authors' work. We expect a few more deals by the end of the year. You might also be interested to note that we also find really bad contracts for our authors and we recommend that they don't accept them. We've seen more contracts than anyone you know and we bring that expertise to our clients.


Q) You use Form Letters and you are impersonal...

A) True or false, we have answered every email that that our authors send us? I know the answer is true. To me, that's personal service. Yes, we use form letters for billing, acquisitions, status reports, etc. Our lawyers like us to say it the same way, every time. Should that really be held against us? By using every method possible to keep our admin costs down, we can spend our money selling for our authors, it's that simple.


Q) The people who work at your company are scam artists, thieves, and have records... etc.

A) This is the grapevine at it's worst. We aren't, we aren't and we don't. You ever heard of miss-identity and identity theft. We have learned that it's impossible to curb this situation. Also, did you ever ask why writers have used pen names since time began, and why agents are so hard to get to? One reason is because some crazy writer has stalked every agent that we know at some time.

Q) Your office in New York, isn't listed on the sign.

A) Oh, this is a good one. Have you ever rented office space in New York? You don't get signs unless you take a floor. We have phones, desks, and a shared conference room, and if you want a big office to come feel comfortable in, go to an Agency that spills money like water. We'd prefer to save our money for marketing our writers.


Q) They say you take anyone... how can that be?

A) We take anyone that is willing to take the steps necessary to improve their work. That's why we use the critique to WEED OUT those authors that want something for nothing. If an author is willing to grow and improve, then we feel that they deserve a shot at success. We are one of the few agencies that will even talk to an unpublished author. The critique is an impartial, 3rd party analysis of the work. It shows us where the author is, and it also protects us from an overzealous agent.


Q) If all this is so untrue, why haven't you done anything about it?

A) We've tried. We're filing lawsuits against Victoria Strauss and a few other message board owners, but for the most part, anyone can say anything, so we have just learned to live with it, and to hope that the real authors, the ones we want as clients, can see it for what it is.


So, in conclusion, spend time looking for any real and substantive items on the boards, and let us try to answer the question as best we can. But first, please let me repeat our business model. We want writers who are willing to help themselves, we ask for defraying administrative expenses, we have sales, and we have detractors.

However, in the end, you the writer must be the one that decides what to do. If you are unwilling to spend any money to improve your writing, then please go away. If you are willing to take a small chance with us, then give us a try.

Either way, we wish everyone the best in their writing careers.



Sincerely yours,
Georgina Orr, VP Corporate Affairs
Literary Agency Group

Georgina Orr
06-28-2005, 06:46 PM
In response to the reactions that my posting ofl ast week has generated.....

LAG is a privately owned company and our business model is working for our authors. We are more concerned about the authors that we are currently representing than we are about people who choose to make defamatory statements about us and so I am not prepared to waste time replying to any of these posts which do no more than nit pick. It is unlikely that I will attempt to carry on a meaningful discussion with people who have already made up their mind.

My time, and my company's time is better spent selling and pitching for our authors.


Sincerely yours,
Georgina Orr, VP Corporate Affairs
Literary Agency Group

Grumpier2
01-19-2006, 01:12 AM
I was this close to signing a contract with this company when I fortunately talked to one of my critique partners and he advised me to check out this site. I was knocked off my feet when I read all this stuff. Not only did they want me to pay for a critique, they stated in their contract (which I'm posting here) that they only charged 10% of the GROSS!!! Generous . . . don't you think???


Hopefully, this will help another aspiring writer. Here's what they sent me:

:cry: :cry: :cry:
Congratulations and my warmest wishes for our mutual success! And again, we thank you for your understanding and your acceptance of our business philosophy. We look forward to working with you and because you have indicated such a strong commitment to your work you can rest assured that we will be excited and committed to doing what we can to work just as hard for you!


PLEASE READ THIS INFORMATION CAREFULLY AS IT WILL SAVE YOU TIME AND REDUCE YOUR STRESS (and mine!):



1. Attached is our Contract for Agency Representation.
================================================== =
It is simple and straightfoward and we've used it for years. It is also non-negotiable. I'm happy to answer any questions that you may have, but 99% of the time we will not make a change to it if requested. If you want to have a lawyer look at it, by all means do so, but we've spent great time and energy with our lawyers making it simple enough for a business person to understand.

You don't have to be nervous because you can back out very easily. We very clearly state that your 'out' from the contract is that you can fire us in 90 days if we don't perform or you don't like our services for any reason. This rarely happens, but it's there for you if you want it.

Your work is completely safe and remains your work. You keep your copyright and this contract is only for the work you submit, not all your works. (You can discuss other works later with your agent).

We are not trying to tie your hands in any way, and as you will see from the contract, we only get paid if you get paid. There are no other payments to us.

We ask that you regular mail us two signed copies of the contract. The address is within the document. International authors can either fax the contract or mail it. Please allow up to 30 days to receive the counter-signed contract back in the mail. The contracts are sent to our NY office and depending on the travel schedule of our President, it may take that long to get them signed and back to you.

We ask that you get the critique started in parallel with sending in the contract. Send in your contract at the same time you are getting your critique. Don't wait for the critique to send in your contract.



2. Referral for the Critique/Evaluation
===============================================
As we mentioned in the prior email, if you have a critique or evaluation similar in format to those we sent you earlier please send it to us along with your contract. (Don't email it separately, we have a hard time matching it up. Simply print it and put it with your contract). If you want us to tell you if what you have is acceptable then email it to me as quickly as you can.

If you do not have a critique, please email the following address and tell them that we referred you.

AdminChildren@writersliterary.com (AdminChildren@writersliterary.com) All you have to say is "Sherry referred me".

They will send you a very clear set of instructions on how to proceed with the critique, send your manuscript, payment, etc.

Writers Literary offers a discounted price to referrals that we send them ($69). We send them so much business that they will prioritize your work and this will speed up the entire process. We can also lean on them if we need to make them work more quickly!

When they complete your critique they will send it to you and to us at the same time. Remember, we are unique in that we are willing to help you develop your talent, so there is no need to worry about what the critique will say.


What's Next?
=================
During the next 30 days we should receive your contract and your critique. Once we receive your contract and your critique is finished and in our hands, you will be put in touch with your Agent. At that time the Agent will review the critique with you and the two of you will develop a strategy to market your work as quickly as makes sense given the information that we see in the critique.

The Agent will then become your primary contact and will answer questions, guide you, and hopefully, before too long, come to you with the good news of a sale! (Note: we never, never promise a sale, that's a checkbox for you within the contract by the way).

I am happy to answer any questions that you have and I have enjoyed our interaction. My sincere best wishes for your writing career.

Best regards,
Sherry - VP Acquisitions




A Few Frequently Asked Questions (I can't resist, you know me by now)
================================================== ======
Please send the contract in parallel with getting the critique. That way we'll have you in the system when the critique is finished. Don't wait to send in the contract until your critique is completed. Send the contract in immediately and please allow 2-3 weeks for notification that we received it.

If you need an extension, simply email me and we automatically grant one, so don't stress if for some reason you haven't heard from me. Non-US authors are automatically granted an extension.

If you have a critique already please be sure it matches the thoroughness of the critique example we sent you. If it doesn't we will reject it. If it does, we will move forward quickly. If you want me to look at it just email it to me.

What's Next? Once the critique process is complete you will be connected to the Agent that will be working with you. You will discuss 'next steps' based on the results of the critique. As we mentioned in a previous email, we are willing to develop talent so there is no need to worry unduly about the results of the critique.

We look forward to working with you. Once we receive your contract and enter it into our system you will receive an email confirmation.

In the meanwhile don't forget to contact adminChildren@writersliterary.com (adminChildren@writersliterary.com) to get your critique started. They will tell you exactly how to proceed. Send in your contract in parallel with having your critique done.


Please note:
============
If for some reason you don't get your contract back in a timely fashion (say 30 days) please email contractadmin@theliteraryagencygroup.com (contractadmin@theliteraryagencygroup.com) and they will find out what went awry.

I have enjoyed interacting with you but my role with you is now finished. I am in charge of new author acquistions only. If you need help with something let me know though, and I'll endeavor to assist you.

Best regards,
Sherry Fine - VP Acquisitions



Best regards,
Sherry Fine - VP Acquisitions

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.


p.s. Missed Emails, Spam, Whitelists, and other reasons for lapses in communications. We are very, very diligent about returning every email that we receive within a couple of days. The same is true for our vendors and suppliers. IF YOU DO NOT RECEIVE A COMMUNICATION AND YOU BELIEVE THAT YOU SHOULD HAVE, PLEASE, CHECK WITH US AND WE WILL SEE WHAT HAPPENED. Please don't jump to negative conclusions. The Internet is not 100% foolproof and we are very sensitive to our clients' expectations and our promises about timely communications.



-----Original Message-----
From: GRUMPIER2@aol.com [mailto:GRUMPIER2@aol.com]
Sent: Saturday, January 14, 2006 3:01 PM
To: Sherry@childrensliteraryagency.com
Subject: Re: Children's Literary: Positive Review


Dear Ms. Fine,

I want to thank you for your positive review of 'Tubby Tumbleweed's Christmas.'

I am sending you the reply you requested. I, too, believe we must trust one another if we are to do business together and that your recommendations for a professional critique editor would be a distinct advantage for both of us.

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.

Sincerely,

Bert Owens

In a message dated 1/12/2006 3:44:57 PM Central Standard Time, Sherry@childrensliteraryagency.com writes:


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 further with you. We believe we would like to represent you.

Basically, 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 the way we do business.

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, 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. Some need very
little polishing. Some need a lot. 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"?
================================================== =
As you would imagine, we are very, 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 would agree that your work can use 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.

From a trust factor, it's like 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 a 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. You 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-rhyme.rtf
http://www.writersliterary.com/Critique-poetry.rtf
http://www.writersliterary.com/Critique-christian.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. The answer can be yes, but the
problem is that 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 $60-$80 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
very integrous people, 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). This point is worth spending extra time on, we aren't editors, we
are sales professionals, and those are two VERY different skill sets.



---------- 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.

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



IN CONCLUSION:
=============================================
Please review the critique sample links above. Think about how powerful an
'excellent' critique would be to the selling process and how it will give us
the confidence we need to put our reputation on the line for you.

Think about how it protects you, protects us, and how it provides a meeting
point so that we can trust each other and move forward on the same page <get
it? "same page" grin>


Thank you again for your time and consideration. We look forward to working
with you and developing your writing career together.

Sincerely,
Sherry Fine - VP Acquisitions

P.s. Instructions for the next step are at the bottom of the email after the
FAQs below




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

Q) I have a critique, what do I do?
A) First look at the critque and compare it to the examples above. Many
critiques are long on plot and character development. The critique that we
prefer includes 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) 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 $60-$80. 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...... can do the
critique right?
A) Yes, maybe... we've seen very poor work from PhD's, teachers, and most
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 when we pitch a work, that 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 $60-$80. 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.

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

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 more 'safe' 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







Hello Sherry,

Attached is my story, Tubby Tumbleweed's Christmas. I wrote it in
WordPerfect 12, but, I also have MSWord if you have a preference.

I'm hoping you enjoy your adventure with "a tumbleweed" and want
thank you for requesting to see more for it.

Also, thank you for not wanting long-winded e-mails about other
stuff.

Looking forward to hearing from you,

Bert Owens

ANSWERS BELOW

In a message dated 12/28/2005 10:10:40 AM Central Standard Time,
Sherry@childrensliteraryagency.com writes:

A. How long have you been writing, and
what are your goals as a writer?
I've been writing for the last 30 plus years. Once I discovered
computers in 1990's, spell checkers, grammer checkers, etc., my goals
changed.
I decided to get serious about becoming published.

My goals now are to:

1. creat encouraging, up-lifting, teaching-softly, fun
tales

2. present my stories in as near finished format as
possible

3. locating an agent to find the perfect places for my
stories

4. have them published and animated.

BIGGEST GOAL 5. to have my stories make a difference for just 1 heart


B. Do you consider your writing 'ready-to-go',
or do you think it needs some polishing.






I consider my writing as 'ready-to-go' as 'I'-can-go' with it. I am always
willing to listen to advise offered and accept criticisims with
appreciation.

.









The Children’s Literary Agency, Inc.


“Focused Exclusively on the Children and Young Adult Marketplace”


Ofc. 866-876-4488 www.ChildrensLiteraryAgency.com 917-591-1916 Fax


Greetings and Congratulations!


The Children’s Literary Agency is prepared to offer you a contract for acceptance as our

client for Agency Representation based on:

1) the manuscript you submitted,

2) the information that you have provided to us and the plan of action that we agreed

upon.

In the sole opinion of the Literary Agency, if any of these items are inaccurate or

misleading this contract may be withdrawn at any time. This contract offer is good for 14

business days from receipt. (This deadline can be automatically extended by 10 days if

you contact us via email and request an extension). We give a deadline because we accept

only a limited number of authors in any time period and we cannot have contracts “hanging

out there”.


Some authors ask “why did you accept me?” Based on our interactions, you have

agreed to follow a plan of action that will lead to your work being of the highest quality,

and we believe that our odds for success are greatly enhanced. In short, we believe that we

can sell your work. We never promise a sale, but we do believe you have a solid chance of

success.


We look forward to working with you. Congratulations again.


.

Best regards,

Sherry Fine – VP Acquisitions

The Children’s Literary Agency

p.s. What’s Next? Please execute two copies of the contract and send them, along with a

note about your critique (date started, etc.) to the address in the contract. PLEASE send in

the contract at the same time you are having your critique done. If you don’t have a

critique already please contact adminChildren@writersliterary.com . Once we have your

critique and contract you will start working with the Agent who will be assigned to market

your work.


The Children’s Literary Agency, Inc.


“Focused Exclusively on the Children and Young Adult Marketplace”


Ofc. 866-876-4488 www.ChildrensLiteraryAgency.com 917-591-1916 Fax


AGREEMENT FOR LITERARY AGENT REPRESENTATION

CHILDREN’S LITERARY AGENCY: THE LITERARY AGENCY GROUP

Page 1/3 of CLA Contract


This “Agreement” is between ______________________________ [the “Writer/Producer”] and The

Children’s Literary Agency, Inc. [The “Agent”] as of _____________, 200__ (please enter the date you

sign the contract) for only the work entitled:

__________________________________________________ ___________________

(Hereinafter “Work”)


Other Works Should Be Submitted Separately.


NOW, THEREFORE, for the consideration set forth in this Agreement Agent and Writer

intending to be legally bound hereby, mutually promise and agree as follows:


The copyright and ownership is specifically retained by the Writer for this work and all

Writer’s 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.

The Writer warrants that he is the sole and exclusive owner of the Work and that the

work does not infringe on any other copyright.


The Writer agrees to indemnify Agent against any judgments, liabilities, damages or loss

related to copyright or ownership.

The term of this contract shall be one year from the above date and must be renewed in

writing for each successive term. The Writer/Producer may terminate this Agreement after 90

consecutive days of no sale by Agent. Renewals and terminations via email are deemed

acceptable.

The rights granted in this pertain to written creative work prepared by the

Writer/Producer for print, television, radio and motion pictures to be sold in the geography of the

United States of America.

The Agent is entitled to a ten percent [10%] commission on gross compensation accruing

to the Writer/Producer from any contract negotiated under this Agreement. This paragraph shall

survive termination of this Agreement. (This means that if we help you with a deal, you can’t

fire us and take away our commission).

The Agent is not responsible for damage or loss or return of any material.

The Writer/Producer shall do his utmost to finish his work on time as per the terms of

contracts he has entered into. The Agent at his discretion may use the Writer/Producer’s name or

pen name and the name of the work in promotions for the Agent and to promote the Work.

The Writer/Producer also agrees that all leads, contacts, communications, documents,

emails, forms, and business processes employed by the Agent are considered confidential and


The Children’s Literary Agency, Inc.


“Focused Exclusively on the Children and Young Adult Marketplace”


Ofc. 866-876-4488 www.ChildrensLiteraryAgency.com 917-591-1916 Fax


trade secrets and as such shall not be disseminated in any form or format without the express

written permission of the Agent. This clause survives termination of the Agreement.

The Writer/Producer has final say on any and all proposals or contracts delivered by the

Agent. The Writer/Producer is the only signer on any contract with a buyer.

The Writer/Producer acknowledges that the Agent will act only as an advisor and

negotiator. The Agent specifically states that he is not an attorney, and is NOT providing legal

advice.

The Writer/Producer will supply the Agent with an electronic version of their creative

work in a common word processing format (rtf, doc, pdf) for the Agent to submit the work to

potential clients.

Both parties will make themselves available to each other within reason for any purpose

outlined in this Agreement. Both parties agree that any disputes will be settled in and governed

by the laws of the State of New York.

This Agreement is binding on the Writer/Producer and Agent and their respective heirs

and assigns. However in the event of a sale, insolvency or other change in the ownership or

operation of The Children’s Literary Agency, Inc., the Writer at his sole discretion may choose to

terminate this Agreement on 90 days notice. In the event of a termination both parties agree to

not disparage the other party in any form.

In the event that this Agreement is terminated for any reason, the Agent, his heirs and/or

assigns may continue to collect all commissions due on existing contracts negotiated under this

Agreement. If an existing contract between the Writer/Producer and any client is renewed, the

Writer’s Agent/heirs and or assigns may collect commissions on renewals until the existing

contract with that client is terminated.

This is the entire agreement. All changes shall require signatures of both parties.


WRITER/PRODUCER HAS THE RIGHT TO CANCEL THIS CONTRACT WITHOUT

QUESTION, WITHOUT RECOURSE, FOR 72 HOURS AFTER MAILING.


The Author may specifically EXCLUDE a contact that you have already made who might

sell or buy your work write them in here, up to a maximum of 3. If a sale occurs to, or

through, any of the following people or companies the Agent is NOT entitled to a

commission. (In other words, if we don’t find the buyer, we don’t deserve a commission.

You will find that we are very straightforward in our business dealings.)

1 __________________________________________________ ______

2 __________________________________________________ ______

3 __________________________________________________ ______


The Children’s Literary Agency, Inc.


“Focused Exclusively on the Children and Young Adult Marketplace”


Ofc. 866-876-4488 www.ChildrensLiteraryAgency.com 917-591-1916 Fax


Page 3/3 of CLA Contract


Self-Published authors please note: Your existing contract must give you the right to cancel or must

clearly state that you maintain all rights. If you are in doubt please check with your attorney or

forward us your contract for review.

THE WRITER/PRODUCER ALSO ACKNOWLEDGES THAT AT NO TIME AND IN NO FORM

HAS AGENT GUARANTEED THAT A SALE WILL BE MADE. _______ Writer Initial here.

I HEREBY CERTIFY THAT I AM OLDER THAN 18 YEARS OF AGE. _______ Initial here. If

you are not over 18, please have a parent or guardian execute the contract.


The Literary Agency Group, Inc.

The Children’s Literary Agency Writer/Producer

_____________________(sign) ___________________________(sign)

Robert West - President

Print/typed Name:_________________________

Address: ____________________________

City/State/Zip: ____________________________

Phone: ____________________________

Email: __________________________________________________ _____

PLEASE BE SURE YOUR EMAIL IS LEGIBLE!


Pay particular attention to 1,l,0,O,2,Z, etc.…

PLEASE MAIL TWO SIGNED COPIES OF THIS CONTRACT TO:

The Children’s Literary Agency

Contract Administration Department

275 Madison Ave, 4th Floor

New York, NY 10016

You will be notified via email upon receipt of your mailed copies. Please allow

approximately 30 days for the return of your fully executed copy.

Sherry Fine
01-24-2006, 09:49 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.

Sherry Fine
01-24-2006, 09:50 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.

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.

Sherry Fine
01-24-2006, 09:52 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.

James D. Macdonald
03-14-2006, 02:23 AM
Here's the ad:


Research Assistant For Agent Needed - Generate Publisher Lists
posted: 20 Feb 2006
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The Literary Agency Group
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http://www.publishersmarketplace.com/s.gif http://www.publishersmarketplace.com/s.gif About Our
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Job #
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Sherry Fine
04-09-2006, 08:46 PM
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 very little 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 one author's reply to this email. We hope you are this discerning. "Thank you for the trouble you took to explain what's on those boards. I think I understand your frustration with the critics and nay sayers now. I have reviewed again the on-line comments and sources and agree that there is really nothing substantive in either their remarks or criticisms. In fact most of them whine about nearly everyone".
-----------------------------------------------------------------


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?

sherryfine
04-09-2006, 09:13 PM
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 very little 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 one author's reply to this email. We hope you are this discerning. "Thank you for the trouble you took to explain what's on those boards. I think I understand your frustration with the critics and nay sayers now. I have reviewed again the on-line comments and sources and agree that there is really nothing substantive in either their remarks or criticisms. In fact most of them whine about nearly everyone".
-----------------------------------------------------------------


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?

sherryfine
04-18-2006, 06:44 AM
Dear Message Board Citizens;

Please take a few minutes to read an important message for writers.

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 cavet, I am in phone sales, so if there are grammar or spelling errors in the post, please realize that you are the writer, and that's your job to write 100% correctly, not mine.

See attached Message Board Citizens Rebuttal.

Cordially,

Rey Best

johnny quest
04-20-2006, 03:58 AM
This a copy of a recent reply from "The Screenplay Literary Agency".



Ms. Fine,
I am concerned, I have been doing a search on you and your agency, and to be quite frank the blogs are not good. (Man Bytes Hollywood: She never met a logline she didn't like) There are others not so flattering. It seems you take anyone and anything. Is this true? Please tell me you did not just rip my heart out. This means so much to me and my family. They took me to a congratulatory dinner in honor of getting an agent. I would like to think you truly liked my work. Can you send references that I my speak with? Our something to show faith? I hope and pray you answer me back with an honest original answer.


John Q.

Dear John,

There's no risk to you and I can guarantee you that we aren't what you are reading.

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 very little 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 one author's reply to this email. We hope you are this discerning. "Thank you for the trouble you took to explain what's on those boards. I think I understand your frustration with the critics and nay sayers now. I have reviewed again the on-line comments and sources and agree that there is really nothing substantive in either their remarks or criticisms. In fact most of them whine about nearly everyone".
-----------------------------------------------------------------


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?





Best regards,
Sherry Fine - VP Acquisitions


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.


p.s. Missed Emails, Spam, Whitelists, and other reasons for lapses in communications. We are very, very diligent about returning every email that we receive within a couple of days. The same is true for our vendors and suppliers. IF YOU DO NOT RECEIVE A COMMUNICATION AND YOU BELIEVE THAT YOU SHOULD HAVE, PLEASE, CHECK WITH US AND WE WILL SEE WHAT HAPPENED. Please don't jump to negative conclusions. The Internet is not 100% foolproof and we are very sensitive to our clients' expectations and our promises about timely communications.


She never answered my question! She should run for office. I told her not in a million years. BEWARE!

HapiSofi
04-21-2006, 12:57 AM
Woo-hoo! I have here two recent submissions from The Literary Agency Group! They were passed on to me by a friend who works in a reasonably well-known trade publishing house.

===============
Dear [Editor]:

Research into your current portfolio tells us you are actively seeking to acquire [genre #1] [genre #2] novels. Our literary agency believes [title]name] is worthy of your consideration. Allow me to briefly point out a few details about this work.

>>> [title] [word length] [genre elements in this work]

>>> [setup]

>>>

>>> [author bio]

>>> This novel was formally edited by Writers Literary.
[or]
>>> This manuscript has been professionally edited and has received a great review.

I believe we have followed your submission guidelines (see attached) and I look forward to your reply within the timeframes we have set forth.

Best Regards,

[large scrawly capital G]

Georgina Scott, Group Senior Agent
(866)876-4488
Georgina@theliteraryagencygroup.com

Encl: [physical description of submission package]

[Footnote:] Our mission is to save you, the buyer, time and money. How? Every author that we represent has been through a rigorous critique and editing process. Over time, you will learn that you can tgrust what we send you, especially if you give us feedback as to what you are "looking for now".
===============

The next page is an "Agency submission fax reply" form. The header information includes title, author, agent, agent phone, publisher, imprint name, contact name, and email address. It looks like the bits that aren't specific to this title and author are the information that Fletcher's new employee has been researching and compiling.

Below the headers there's a box with five check-off questions. The first three are yes/no:
Was this submission sent to the proper person? Spelling and address correct?

Was it formatted, printed and delivered according to your specifications?

Was the pitch congruent with what you have mentioned wanting to see?
The fourth question, Would you like to see more like this, or something different?, has check-off boxes saying more like this/different.

The fifth question is Final Disposition, and the check-off options are No way; Close, but no; I didn't love it, no; and hmmmm*....

The footnote referenced by that asterisk says:
Please call or email Robert West at 888-808-6195 for more information, feedback, or any general questions about how we can help you find your next bestseller.
Between the question box and the footnote is this text:

[b] OUR VALUE STATEMENT TO YOU, THE PUBLISHER

We believe we represent the largest group of edited manuscripts and credentialed authors in the world. (We know, that's quite a claim, but we think it's true.) Our authors are realists and not prima donnas. We can vouch for their professionalism and their desire to work with you, the publisher, to do what it takes for mutual success.

On the last line at the bottom of the page, it says:
Fax (800) 759-2081 THE LITERARY AGENCY GROUP, INC. Ofc. (888) 808-6195
One of the submissions has a further cover letter on it from an editor who says that s/he/it worked on the book, and gives forth with a little imitation sales copy.

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

I get two strong impressions from these submissions. First, these are obviously form letters. TLAG is trying to automate the submission process as much as possible, including the part where they fine-tune their approach in accordance with the response they get. That's not a feasible strategy. I suspect they want to save labor, and don't want to have to actually interact with the books.

Second, it couldn't be clearer that they don't like authors, and they're sure that publishing houses don't like them either. Their biggest come-on is that they've already whipped the authors into shape, so they won't give us any trouble.

sherryfine
05-03-2006, 05:07 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

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

sherryfine
05-03-2006, 05:12 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

sherryfine
05-03-2006, 05:13 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

sherryfine
05-03-2006, 05:15 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

DanielDives
05-07-2006, 11:46 AM
My run-in with NYLA lasted two e-mails, because …

….in it ‘Miss Fine Sherry’ adds:

- p.s. You might as well get used to these long emails. Part of our filtering
process is to see if you actually read them <grin>.

As nice way to try and cover up bulk mail tracks.

- So, please rest assured that there will be plenty of personal interaction
with your agent but not with me.

Well, if you aren’t around, Sherry-dear, how could we ever meet you?

- If you would like to talk with someone for the reassurance of hearing a voice, just email me and I'll connect you to the proper party.

But … but … but that means only a voice. Could be your grandmother for all I know, FS

- Q) Why aren't you in the Yellow Pages? I can't find you listed anywhere?

A) We use toll free phone numbers and cell phones. Those simply aren't in any phone directories.Yellow Pages are 'old technology', and they cost money.

Here they say it very clearly, ‘our main focus is on money’, not you. Always a dead giveaway.


- We prefer that you judge us on the professionalism of our communications and not whether we belong to an organization.

Well, Sherry. If we can’t call, see and talk to you, how professional do you think you are?


- The next item we look for in our filtering process is your willingness to listen or whether you are a prima donna (Donna) who wants it 'their way'. We will very quickly wash out a great writer with a bad attitude. Life's too short for drama and overly demanding writers.

And here’s where they openly try to stifle any and all questions, comments and opposition. A very bad attitude for someone who’s supposed to care about and nurture his investment and commitment in ‘you’ and ‘your book’ …. Ahhhh …’His profits’. How could I forget?

- In today's connected world, our physical location is meaningless. We maintain executive suites on Madison Aveneue in New York, NY where we receive mail and meet with buyers. Other than that, we travel extensively and we have the good fortune to live in Florida, North Carolina, and California depending on the time of year. Sometimes we think that we live in airports.

1 - Ahhhhh, the fresh smell of ‘Heaven’s Gate’, ‘Jones Town’ and other places where physical presence is irrelevant.

2 - The Royal use of ‘we’.

3 - … live in Florida, North Carolina, and California. Wow. Those are big mansions, Sherry-dear.

- We are proud to represent a very diverse group of authors + Here are just a few bios:

No names, no titles, no awards, no nothing but as much air as in a burst tire.




I don’t know if everybody receives/has received the exact same kind or similar response, but I think it’s always advisable to read (very carefully) what scam artists actually say or tell you.

Scam artists thrive on hope (of others). Therefore, jump, but never too high …

Most sincerely,

Daniel

New NYLA-member discovered across the pond:

LONDON - A mystery detainee who allegedly created a bogus identity as an English nobleman by assuming the name of a dead baby is actually an American who went missing from Florida more than 20 years ago, his relatives say.


The man being held in a jail in Kent, England, goes by the title of the Earl of Buckingham but he is really an Orlando native named Charles Stopford, his father, Charles, and sister Rebecca Davis say in a documentary to be broadcast Sunday on Sky One television.

:o)

sherryfine
05-07-2006, 06:21 PM
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 very little 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 one author's reply to this email. We hope you are this discerning.
"Thank you for the trouble you took to explain what's on those boards. I
think I understand your frustration with the critics and nay sayers now. I
have reviewed again the on-line comments and sources and agree that there is
really nothing substantive in either their remarks or criticisms. In fact
most of them whine about nearly everyone".
-----------------------------------------------------------------


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 gun-shy.

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 anomaly 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
impersonalized slip of paper. Here's to you."

"It is refreshing to get an honest professional opinion of my work, it make
me realize 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
subsequent works. I doff my heart after your every professional spirit
imagining the energy, sweat and traveling 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
punctuation 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.

James D. Macdonald
07-29-2006, 08:38 PM
BTW, Sliding Otter --

When they told you that there were a couple of publishers they were about to approach, did their letter resemble this one (posted here on 24 June)?


Dear (anonymous)

Sorry I haven t been able to get you a proactive report on any marketing results. (You beat me to the punch by a few days J

In the past month there have been a couple of internal matches that were relatively close to your work from the Look For Now (LFN) database process. I am in the process of following up to discover if any of them will agree to review your work. I will be continuing to work for you in this manner over the next month if that s ok with you. It s slow, but it is a good place for us to start and for you to get used to the slow pace of the industry, which is almost tougher than writing!

Circle back to me in about a month if you have not heard from me before then. During the next 30 days, if we don t have anything more concrete from the LFN process, we will shift gears and get more aggressive and discuss our email or mailing programs.

Best Regards,
Georgina Senior Agent

puddlejumper
08-26-2006, 09:32 PM
Anyone ever gotten this letter?

>From: "Sherry Fine - VP of Acquisitions" <Sherry@thescreenplayagency.com>
>Reply-To: <Sherry@thescreenplayagency.com>
>To: "Puddle Jumper" <puddlejumpertwo@hotmail.com>
>Subject: RE: The Screenplay Agency: Positive Review
>Date: Mon, 21 Aug 2006 09:26:43 -0400
>
>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.
>
>
>Best regards,
>Sherry Fine - VP Acquisitions
>
>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.
>
>p.s. Missed Emails, Spam, Whitelists, and other reasons for lapses in
>communications. We are very, very diligent about returning every email that
>we receive within a couple of days. The same is true for our vendors and
>suppliers. IF YOU DO NOT RECEIVE A COMMUNICATION AND YOU BELIEVE THAT YOU
>SHOULD HAVE, PLEASE, CHECK WITH US AND WE WILL SEE WHAT HAPPENED. Please
>don't jump to negative conclusions. The Internet is not 100% foolproof and
>we are very sensitive to our clients' expectations and our promises about
>timely communications.
>
>
Woo. What a deal ...please. On the bright side, it is a no-brainer. How is NOOOOOOOOOOO!!!! slipping past the automated system?

Oh well. I gotta go fix my signature

Peace

PJ

writerterri
12-25-2006, 12:29 AM
Robert - Senior Agent (robertw@thescreenplayagency.com (http://by124w.bay124.mail.live.com/mail/ApplicationMain_11.08.0100.0011.aspx?culture=en-US&hash=-1974272001#))
Reply-To:
robertw@thescreenplayagency.com


To:
'W, Terri' (@hotmail.com)


Subject:
Literary Agency: Touching Base




To: Terri Wiesemeyer

Re: Touching Base - How Cow Found Her Moo


Hello and Happy Holidays!

As you know we are very diligent about replying to every email and with all the spam flying around we want to make sure that we haven't missed anything in the last 30 days. Now is a good time to prepare for 2007.

Would you please drop me an email to say hello, and let's be sure that everything is accurate? Let me know if there have been any changes to your work, or if there is anything else we should note for your file.

I look forward to hearing from you and wish you a great holiday season and a prosperous 2007.

Robert - Senior Agent

p.s. The holidays are slow as you would imagine, so we vacation when our buyers vacation. We'll be working at a less than full-time pace until after January 1st. Please excuse any slowdown in my replies during this time.

Have a happy and joyous holiday season and my sincere best wishes for a profitable and prosperous 2007!
************************************************** ************************************************** *



I had signed a contract with Children's Literary Agency a couple of years ago and
I ended my contract with them after my 90 days was up. Thankfully they never got any money from me and I was able to learn who they were and what they were up to here in this forum. Now I got this email, is it from the same agency (I assumed it was) and what are they up to?

I replied: I'm sorry but I have ended my contract with the agency and it is currently under consideration with a publisher. There have been many changes to the ms so please do no submit to anyone. Did I do the right thing to protect my ms?

Terri W

JDsgirlbev
03-13-2007, 08:38 PM
Got this back from NYL today...

I'll believe it when I have the money in my hands... Isn't it odd...if I had been cynical BEFORE, I wouldn't have fallen for this.


Dear Beverly,

Too bad, we had some stuff cooking for you already. (I'll just bet you did!)

Also too bad that you can't make up your own mind. (So..I'm weak minded.)

Happy to send you a refund. (Good.)

Cheers!

Sherry

Thank you for letting me affirm that it is not important that I please everyone.

And, thank you for letting me once again remind myself that I choose to spend time with those authors that want help and guidance, not authors that think they know it all.

And thanks for reminding me that the sales we've made, and the deals we've done, are fantastic for those authors and our company. And that's where I put my attention, on winners, and not on losers who hang out on message boards whining and chattering like magpies. (umm... I think that's supposed to be you guys...)

Thanks again for reminding me of these things! It's people like you that help me remember that what we do isn't for everyone, and that's ok for me, and ok for you.

Good luck with you writing career. If you change your mind, or can't find anyone to give you the same respect that we have, then we're happy for you to come back to us and we pledge to treat you as a professional, not like you have just treated us.

Best to you, I really mean it!

WriterChick
03-28-2007, 09:54 PM
Hello lovely people. I just decided to join this forum because yesterday, you lot saved me from parting with a lot of money! I had (naively, which honestly is NOT like me) submitted an extract from my novel to dear Robert/Sherry but immediately got suspicious when I got a positive response within days (when are agents EVER that quick?).
I got more suspicious at the "suggestion" that I go for a paid critique service and the implication that they wouldn't be interested in considering my work any further unless I did. So I did some exploring on Google and came across this thread.

Here's what I sent "Sherry" in reply:

"Thanks "Sherry"/Robert,

I get suspicious at anything overly positive (especially when you never refer to my manuscript by name or even subject matter and most especially when you ask for money even if it is through third party bodies). I have therefore done some research, found this http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=56488 and won't be proceeding any further.

You have a nice day."

And here's the response I got today (no doubt copied and pasted and sent to many, many suspicious would-be clients):

"Sigh.. it's a strange dynamic.. these sites hide, they hide their owners, they hide their contact info, and they won't enter a public exchange with us or anyone we know .. I've almost given up on having a rational discussion about it. I have been trying to get them to reply publically, or to even dialogue with me.. to no avail.

Read this...

http://www.writersliterary.com/acquiretlag.html

The only loser in this situation is you, the aspiring writer who is thus far unpublished.

Would you please try to email them and get them to reply to these points or questions. All we want is a chance to help writers. Ask them why they don't/can't show any concrete evidence about their allegations and ask them why they won't give us a chance to prove ourselves .

Please, please, see if you can involve them in a discussion. Please see if they will answer your emails and questions like I answer your emails and questions.

Ask them the tough questions, ask them who they think is excellent that will take a new writer on? Ask them why they won't give our new company a chance? Ask them what they think you should do?... Heck, ask them to be your agent since they seem to know so much ....

I think it would be helpful for the industry as a whole if they would come out of their closets and engage in a meaningful discussion about what new writers should do to break into the industry. We've offered to exchange dialogue over, and over and over.. sigh... oh well, I hope you will consider what I've said, and maybe, just maybe give us a chance to prove ourselves. However, the one thing we won't relent on is that we only want to represent edited authors. If you can't, or won't go through even a minimum of critical review, then you aren't for us. We only want authors that will invest in themselves. It's that simple.


p.s. here's one comment that I love... "Sherry- Thanks for the reply. I am 76 years old and not the "new kid on the block". I have been around business all my life. When I was the most successful appliance dealer in the mid-south everyone took pot shots at me. The fact was, I was just simply better than the rest. (Please allow an old man a little bragging.) Seems to me your critics would like to be where you are. No problem at this end. I look forward to working with your agency. Thanks again for your very nice and complete answer. By the way, you are 100% correct. I have been trying to contact P & E directly and it is impossible. Thanks again."

Still no details on manuscripts successfully sold though Robert, still no details.

Bartholomew
05-10-2007, 10:33 AM
I found this on their website.



Sample Full-Manuscript Submission Letter

THE LITERARY AGENCY

October 4

Dear Mr. Lewis:
According to my research, The Press, Inc. is interested in reviewing high-quality non-fiction book proposals and manuscripts geared toward the working professional. My client, Dr. Bill Smith MD., has written a manuscript that may be of some interest to you. His latest work, Practical Wisdom for Interns and Medical Students, approximately 75,000 words, is a must read.

Medical school and residency transform eager young minds into confident, skilled physicians; this process teaches not only how the human body functions mechanically, but instills character traits. These lessons are not taught in a didactic setting, but are instead gradually learned through the medical education experience. Practical Wisdom for Interns and Medical Students will guide the reader through some of the truths that physicians learn in their training and implement into their daily practice. How to handle pressure situations, giving bad news, performing well in the classroom and on the wards are all topics discussed in this work. The book also includes a thorough explanation of the medical education process from beginning to end, explaining the different levels of rank. No intern and medical student will want to leave home without having read this book first.

In accordance with your submission guidelines, enclosed, please find the full manuscript for your consideration. I have also included an envelope with sufficient postage for your reply. Thank you for considering this work and I look forward to hearing from you in the near future.

Sincerely,
Leticia, Lead Agent
Literary Agency





LITERARY AGENCY
Sample Partial Manuscript Submission Letter

August 1


RE: Submission/The Chronos Project

Dear Mr. Johnson:

According to my research, Books is always interested in acquiring high-quality Science Fiction novels. At the present time, I represent an up-and-coming science fiction writer by the name of Marc Anthony. His latest completed novel, The Chronos Project is a must read.

The Chronos Project is the first of a planned series of books. The story takes place in the year 2099 and is told in a mesmerizing first person voice. Mr. Anthony has crafted an interesting, futuristic setting with engaging male and female characters. The high-concept storyline is full of high-stakes conflict and raw emotion.

In accordance with your submission guidelines, I’ve taken the liberty of attaching a synopsis and the three first chapters for your consideration. If after reviewing this material, you are interested in seeing more, I’d be more than happy to forward the full manuscript.

Thank you so much for taking the time to read this cover letter. I look forward to your reply.

Warm Wishes,
Leticia, Lead Agent
Literary Agency





Sample Initial Query Letter Follow-Up Reminder 1


August 10

Warner Aspect
Time Warner Book Group
1271 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY. 10020


Dear Ms. Editor::

My name is Leticia G. I am a Lead Agent for the Literary Agency. I’ve tried numerous times to reach you by phone but have been unsuccessful. I was hoping to speak with you regarding a high-quality Science Fiction novel.

At the present time, I represent an up-and-coming science fiction writer by the name of Marc Anthony. His latest completed novel, The Chronos Project is a must read. Please allow me to give you a few details. One of the things I like most about this Sci-Fi novel is that it is written in a mesmerizing first person point of view voice which is reminiscent of the Sci-Fi classic movie, The Blade Runner which starred Harrison Ford. It also features engaging male and female ethnic characters.

The Chronos Project us approximately 100,000 words and is set in the year 2099, a time in which both genetic engineering and time travel has changed the face of humanity. In a nutshell, the storyline is a group of four physically and mentally exceptional humans are genetically enhanced for the purpose of serving as a new breed of Temporal Enforcement Cop. Their job is to enforce time travel laws. The team, lead by Orion Pax, a genetically superior offshoot of humanity must stop the villain Blackthorne and his own genetically enhanced army from destroying earth. When these two groups clash there is no telling who will be left standing.

With your permission I’d like to send the full manuscript for your consideration. Thank you for taking the time to read this query letter and I hope to hear from you soon.


Best Regards,
Leticia, Lead Agent
Literary Agency








Sample Follow-up Letter 2

LITERARY AGENCY
September 17

Warner Books
1271 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY. 10020
Attn: DP/Assistant Editor, Warner Aspect

RE: Requested Manuscript – The Chronos Project
Dear D.P.:
Thank you for your recent note asking to see my client’s work. As you requested, I have enclosed the full manuscript, The Chronos Project for your review. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I did.
I have also enclosed a self-addressed stamped envelope for your reply. In the event, the manuscript does not fit your current publishing list please feel free to recycle it. Both the author, Marc Anthony and I look forward to hearing from you in the near future.
Thank you so much for considering the manuscript. Please feel free to contact me if you have any further questions or comments.

Best Regards,
Leticia G, Lead Agent
Literary Agency














Sample Follow-Up Work Correspondence
Emails with Clients



Dear M,

How are you today? I hope everything is good in your neck of the woods. I am writing to you this morning because I received a publication offer for the C Project. But before you start getting overly excited, I must tell you it did not come from one of the larger publishing houses. But as your agent, it is my duty to present you with every publication offer received. So here it goes.

The CEO of the company has read the C Project and would like to publish it. He has read the first seven chapters and feels the storyline and science is interesting. He believes it is a story he can indeed work with, but in his opinion the story needs some more work. He made a couple of very valid points and here they are.


There is some repetition in dialogue and narrative. Eliminating some of this throughout the book could possibly delete 50 to 100 pages. In these initial chapters the characters lack personality. The personality they do have you cannot really tell them apart. These are the things he would like to see changed before publication, however the CEO is not sure how you feel about making them.

[HAhahahahahahahahah!]

They are looking at a release date between February and April of 2006. The company will be using a public relations firm to help market the book. He will provide books for signings and promotional materials and even arrange a number of signings himself, but a simple rule in the field is that no one will promote your book like you. The question is are you willing to help in these activities?

[I love how there is a publisher requesting revisions, but has a release date planned.]

So take a close look at this and let me know if this is something you can live with. I still haven’t gotten many more responses from all the submissions I’ve sent. Waterbrook Press, a division of Random House passed this past week. I know it’s still early in the game but like I said, it’s my job to present you with every offer.

Let me know if you have any questions regarding this offer and I’ll try my best to answer them.

Agent L






Hi M,

I know you are getting antsy by now and I certainly don’t blame you. I just got off the phone with J at Del Rey. Yes, I finally got through to him. He seems like such a great guy with a positive disposition. Anyway, he has not had the opportunity to read the manuscript yet. When I told him you have already received a publishing offer, he asked if we can give him a week’s time to read the manuscript. So I do think it is in our best interest to give him the requested time. This way at least we know he’s going to take a look at it for sure. He said I could give him a call next Friday for a definitive answer. He will let me know then whether or not is is interested in acquiring it for publication. As for Mr. B, he’s just going to have to wait another week. It shouldn’t make that big of a difference to him if you accept the offer this week or the next. So let me know if you are in agreement with me. I just can’t in good conscience advise you to take this deal without knowing if J is interested or not. If it were my work, I’d need to hear it straight from J that he’s not interested. If I didn’t, I’d never have peace of mind. Don’t worry about B retracting his offer. Even it that was to happen, which I don’t think it will, I have another trick up my sleeve.

Agent L

Hi M,

You’re not going to believe what happened today? I went to get my mail and there it was—a letter from Warner Books and D has requested to see the C Project. He has asked me to send him the full manuscript. So we now have two major players show some interest in your work. I would like to get it off as soon as possible. What I need to know is, how close are you to finishing up the revisions? Because if you are able to swing it, I was thinking it might be best to send the revised version instead of the original. I’d like to send it on to him no later than this coming Friday.

This new development really reminds me that it takes time to really market a book to publishers. Sometimes it takes a good full year to contact publishers and receive replies. One must be patient in these matters. I wonder how many more publishers we will be hearing from you in the future.

So let me know whether you can have the newly revised manuscript ready by at the very latest Wednesday of this coming week. Otherwise, I can forward the original version with a note that you are making modifications to it. I’d like to hear from you as soon as possible.

Agent L


If I found an agent who wrote letters like these, I think I'd keep looking.

Faro Jack
05-25-2007, 12:14 AM
The contact page (http://www.wlchildrensagency.com/about.html) of Writers Literary Agency "Children's Division" carries the following notice:

"Our mailing address and phone numbers are available on request."

Just for tricks, I emailed them and asked for a mailing address. This, verbatim, is the reply I received:

"Why? We don't accept mailed submissions."

Be afraid. Be very afraid.

DaveKuzminski
07-06-2007, 06:17 AM
Recently, someone posted in a topic the following request:

Please only reply to the email links in the text below.

FAO Publishers & Literary Agents - I have a fully completed and critiqued
non-fiction manuscript together with graphically designed cards available
for publishing.

For more information, please read this email or email me at
writer_seeks_publisher@lycos.com (http://webmail.att.net/wmc/v/wm/468DA441000A81AB000004DF216028074807059C020703969A 05D204D20B?cmd=ComposeTo&adr=writer%5Fseeks%5Fpublisher%40lycos%2Ecom&sid=c0) to request the synopsis, some sample
chapters, the card graphics and the promotional website.

This book and card set will help you to discover a new way to heal yourself.
It is a unique, revolutionary, easy to use system; this set has also been
designed to show you a clear and simple way by which you can remove past and
present health issues aiding the healing of yourself from within.

Each set of cards has been ingeniously and carefully structured allowing the
user to discover which mental, emotional and physical impediment prevents
their progress forward in life.

This book teaches a revolutionary new way to heal yourself easily today!

My Critique company commented:

This is an amazing manuscript. Many, many readers will benefit from this
material. Thank you for writing this manuscript. This will be a huge
success! I do wish you luck with this endeavor. However, you will not need
luck. You have an awesome manuscript, and a special gift with words.

For more information, please email me at writer_seeks_publisher@lycos.com (http://webmail.att.net/wmc/v/wm/468DA441000A81AB000004DF216028074807059C020703969A 05D204D20B?cmd=ComposeTo&adr=writer%5Fseeks%5Fpublisher%40lycos%2Ecom&sid=c0) to
request the synopsis, some sample chapters and the promotional website.

If don't want to receive email from me, I apologise for any inconvenience
caused and ask that you simply email
writer_seeks_publisher@lycos.com (http://webmail.att.net/wmc/v/wm/468DA441000A81AB000004DF216028074807059C020703969A 05D204D20B?cmd=ComposeTo&adr=writer%5Fseeks%5Fpublisher%40lycos%2Ecom&sid=c0) putting remove as the subject.

If you are sending from another email address, please include the email
address that you want removed.

I followed up on this and learned the following:


Dear David,

This manuscript has been critiqued by our in house copywriting dept and by the New York Literary Services. It is a non fiction new age book, mind, body and spirit genre. I have looked through your website http://home.att.net/~d.l.kuzminski/ and you publish mostly science fiction and fantasy, do you independently publish or are you print on demand or vanity publisher ?

I look forward to your reply.

Now you can see why I'm posting this here. It's bad when companies cause writers to believe they're completely ready for publication and will have a bestseller, particularly when the companies are clueless and gormless (and that's being nice in saying anything about them).

victoriastrauss
07-13-2007, 02:09 AM
That email Sherry sends out to writers who ask questions about sales or who mention the many warnings online keeps evolving. Here's the newest twist (the rest is pretty much the same as what has already been posted (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showpost.php?p=1201828&postcount=330) and responded to (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showpost.php?p=1202050&postcount=332) here):

Our lawyers are on this... in the meanwhile, would you do me a favor.. email them this.. and read below... we've seen all this before and we keep trying to get them to come out of their hiding and address the real issues, but they won't. Eventually our lawyers will take care of them but for now, would you send this to them please (if you can even find a contact point over there).

================================================== =======
"Dear Moderator - Once again I ask you to engage us in a public debate about these issues. I'll answer any question you want and we can both post the answers on our websites so there will be no "spin doctoring" of the answers. If your message board is all about helping writers, then why won't you debate us? The innuendo and wrong data you are promulgating are hurting writers and we think a nice public debate would help everyone.
================================================== ======== Dear Sherry--

I'd be thrilled to engage in a public debate about these issues. In fact, I and others have tried several times over the past couple of years to do so--see the links above--but you never seem to show up to respond. If your agency is all about helping writers, then why won't you answer our questions? A nice public debate certainly would help everyone.

Here are a couple of things I'd love to know:

- A list of your commercial sales since 2001, when you started in business as Sydra-Techniques (author, title, publisher). Please only list sales you initiated--not sales initiated by the author.

- An estimate of the percentage of your total agency income that comes from authors' fees--critique/editing fees, website fees, Aggressive Agent Program fees, or any others.

- The total number of writers you currently represent. Please include ALL clients, no matter what the agency name.

That'll do for starters. I'm sure others will have more questions. Thanks, Sherry!

- Victoria

DaveKuzminski
07-20-2007, 04:38 AM
From: Sherry - VP Acquisitions <Sherry@WLchildrensagency.com>
Reply-To: <Sherry@WLchildrensagency.com>
Date: Thu, 19 Jul 2007 10:44:43 -0400
To: "Xxxxxxx X. Xxxxxx" <xxxx@xxxxxx.com>
Subject: RE: WL Childrens Agency

Thanks for bringing this to my attention. We've seen it before (sigh), and we've researched it pretty thoroughly. Basically, there are 3 main sites, run by Ann Crispin, Victoria Strauss, and Dave Kuminsky[sic], and they purport to be the watchdogs of the industry. Ann Crispin has sold two books in 10 years, Victoria maybe one, and Dave, I don't think any.. .. (hmmmm, can you see a trend here?)

These 3 people haven't made enough money to support themselves as writers and they are bitter and negative about companies that are successful but don't match their outmoded views. They also have way too much time on their hands. Time better spent improving their writing if you ask me, ha ha. If you want them to be the advisors for your career please don't let me stop you. But, I would be very wary about listening to anyone with that kind of sales record and that kind of negaive bias. They are writer-wannabes, not agents. They don't have a clue about agenting because they've never made a living at it.

Ask them if they've ever sold someone elses work? I think you get my drift. We have sent them copies of contracts of recent sales, and we have tried to engage them in a spirited dialogue about what does constitute agenting in the new world of publishing. They don't reply and they seem to enjoy creating dissension and hurting our business. We used to try to set them straight, but it was a useless task. We've tried to get these people into a dialogue. They just keep dragging old information around. They talk about people and processes that are at least 5 years removed from what we do now. Please read this and you will see what I mean. http://www.writersliterary.com/acquiretlag.html

Mainly we feel sorry for those writers such as yourself that are caught in the crossfire. Luckily our clients laugh with us at their foibles. So, in general, we ignore them, and just keep working on behalf of our clients. Our lawyers are on this and we'll get it all straight and out in the open one day, but until them... in the meanwhile, would you do me a favor.. email them this.. and read below... we've seen all this before and we keep trying to get them to come out of their hiding and address the real issues, but they won't. Eventually our lawyers will take care of them but for now, would you send this to them please.

================================================== =======
"Dear Moderator - Once again I ask you to engage us in a public debate about these issues. I'll answer any question you want and we can both post the answers on our websites so there will be no "spin doctoring" of the answers. If your message board is all about helping writers, then why won't you debate us? The innuendo and wrong data you are promulgating are hurting writers and we think a nice public debate would help everyone.

Sheriff Sherry (grin)
"It's time to clean up dogtown"
================================================== ========

This author said it well.
-------------------------------
"Having been with the FBI and a homicide detective, I take this type of derogatory information with a grain of salt, as anyone can say anything about anyone on the Internet".

Yes, we have clients that are FBI agents, lawyers, policemen, etc. Believe me, if there was any actual truth to the lies and innuendo out there, they would know it.

Here's another author (I like his use of the word unemployed).
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Hello Sherry,

I am dually impressed by your company's speedy response time and professional mannerisms. There are many writers all over the internet claiming that your agency is not legitimate and that your company falls under an umbrella co-oporation owned by a convicted internet fraud. I must admit after reading this I was quite rattled, but eventually I came to realize that in your emails you never once concealed any obvious or ominous information from me. You were concise and dare I say very polite. It was my choice to divert the rumors and take the risk and I stand by my choice to this very day. I look forward to working with your agency, because everyone should know that nothing comes without sacrifices and that things are difficult because we do not dare to endeavour their limits. I thank you for your kindness, "professionalism" and prolix emails (because they help a lot.) Let those unemployed writers talk, when I get my book published, I'll take your agency for the ride, because I know you stood by me all the way.

Thank You. Tyson

Interestingly, we had a publisher make this comment
-----------------------------------------------------
The publisher said, "the more they scream, the more we know you are doing the right things and forcing discipline and business reality on these writers". What the publisher was telling us, was basically, "thanks, you're doing your job", which is weeding out the writers that won't get their work edited or brought to professional standards. We get a lot of comments about how good a job we do, but of course, real writers and real publishers don't hang out on message boards.

Please, you owe it to yourself to take this one step further!
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
That data is so old, and so distorted by writers with an axe to grind, that I cringe when I hear a writer making a career decision from it. You've been with us this far, and I think you will agree that we have treated you professionally and in a timely fashion. Read what I say below and tell me if it doesn't make sense, and that it is worth your time to gather a little bit more info.

Let me tell you where that stuff comes from. First, we insist on working only with edited work. There is an entire camp of people that believe that we should pay for the writers' editing. If the writer's name is Hillary Clinton, we'll pay for the editing, but for a new author, we just can't afford it. Also, because the value of editing and critiquing stays with the owner/writer of the script, even if we were fired, then it would make logical sense that the author would pay for editing.

The next group is basically just upset that they can't make it as a writer and they are spiteful and generally upset with the way the world treats them. And to add to their angst, telling a writer their story isn't good enough to sell is like telling a parent that their kid is ugly. And, when a writer is upset, they write hateful things. We just toughen up and ignore them. I suggest you do the same.

Here is what I would do if I were you.
----------------------------------------------------------
1) Please spend a minute or two asking them for concrete proof of their allegations or what they say. See if they will give you anything substantial. We have asked and never received an answer. I don't think they will either answer you or give you anything concrete either. I've seen their answers, there is nothing concrete, just allegations of more complaints from internidiots.

Then, once you've weighed all the facts and done your diligence, please feel free to return to us. We are willing to work with new authors and that's what everyone holds against us (and unfortunately, new authors know less about the business than anyone.)

Good luck to you, really! I hope you will give us a chance to prove ourselves. (We won't waive our quality standards though).

And, one final thought. The people on the boards, even the moderators ARE NOT AGENTS. THEY CANNOT KNOW WHAT OUR BUSINESS IS REALLY LIKE. They are writers who think they know, but they don't know, they can't, because they have never agented someone elses work.

Do you understand that if someone hasn't gone through the tribulations of being an agent, they really can't comment accurately on what being an agent is like? John Kennedy said it best....
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
"It is not the critic that counts: not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done better.
"The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, and spends himself in a worthy cause; who at best, if he wins, knows the thrills of high achievement, and, if he fails, at least fails daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat."
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Oh yes, one final ps... email this to them for us if you don't mind...

"Dear Moderator - Once again I ask you to engage us in a public debate about these issues. I'll answer any question you want and we can both post the answers on our websites so there will be no "spin doctoring" of the answers.

If your message board is all about helping writers, then why won't you debate us? The innuendo and wrong data you are promulgating are hurting writers and we think a nice public debate would help everyone.

Help us help the industry, those boards are running amok and they need a good dose of reality. They won't come out of their dark little holes and debate us, but we keep trying.

Tell 'em I said, "high noon at the OK corral" (grin).

Sheriff Sherry

Best regards,
Sherry - VP Acquisitions

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.
p.s. Missed Emails, Spam, Whitelists, and other reasons for lapses in communications. There's an old joke in showbiz that asks the question, "What do you get if you cross an agent with a turnip?" The answer is "A turnip that doesn't return your phone calls." That won't happen with us. We are very, very diligent about returning every email that we receive within a couple of days. The same is true for our vendors and suppliers. IF YOU DO NOT RECEIVE A COMMUNICATION AND YOU BELIEVE THAT YOU SHOULD HAVE, PLEASE, CHECK WITH US AND WE WILL SEE WHAT HAPPENED. Please don't jump to negative conclusions. The Internet is not 100% foolproof and we are very sensitive to our clients' expectations and our promises about timely communications.


Why does everyone who doesn't like P&E think that I'm bitter? Oh, I get it. I leave a bitter taste in their mouth because I don't say sweet things about them. Well, I'm glad that's cleared up now. ;)

victoriastrauss
07-23-2007, 11:51 PM
Jim, I guess "Sherry" saw your post, because here's the latest:

Thanks for bringing this to my attention. We've seen it before (sigh), and we've researched it pretty thoroughly. Basically, there are less than 5 main sites and they all copy each other. They are run by Ann Crispin, Victoria Strauss, and Dave Kuminisky, and James MacDonald, and they purport to be the watchdogs of the industry. Ann Crispin has sold TWO books in 10 years, Victoria maybe one, and Dave and Jim, I don't think any.. ..(hmmmm, can you see a trend here?)The rest is exactly the same. (you'd think they could spare a couple of secs to correct the spelling of Dave's name).

Oh, and by the way, Sherry, Jim (with his writing partner, Debra Doyle) has sold way more than "I don't think any" books in the past 10 years (and before that, too). A glance at his bibliography (http://www.sff.net/people/doylemacdonald/biblio.htm) is all it takes to refute your ridiculous claim. Most recent is LAND OF MIST AND SNOW (Eos, November 2006), in bookstores right now.

- Victoria

p3nny
07-25-2007, 02:14 AM
Romance Writing Opportunities:

The WLwritersagency.com is seeking top quality romance writers to fulfill the following request from a publisher that we just received.
"We are looking for historicals in particular American Historicals as opposed to Regency although we are open to both. We are hungry for Time Travels, Westerns and also dark paranomals, ie: vampires, shape shifters, etc." If you believe your work qualifies, please visit our submission page ( www.WLwritersagency.com/submission.html (http://www.wlwritersagency.com/submission.html) ) and note Romance on the form. Thank you, The WL Acquisitions Dept.

outkastpharaoh
07-27-2007, 07:34 PM
I too was almost a victim of this company. Luckily I was curious about how easy this process seemed to be going so I thought I should do a little research. Thank you all for this website you saved me a lot of trouble. I was so happy at first when they replied and I found that someone was interested in my work. Then all their automated responses and no contact information made me curious. I will post the latest reply from my good friend sherry here. Just for new reference. Now back to my process of self publishing which I was originally going to do.


Congratulations and my warmest wishes for our mutual success! And
again, we
thank you for your understanding and your acceptance of our business
philosophy. We look forward to working with you and because you have
indicated such a strong commitment to your work you can rest assured
that we
will be excited and committed to doing what we can to work just as hard
for
you!


PLEASE READ THIS INFORMATION CAREFULLY AS IT WILL SAVE YOU TIME AND
REDUCE
YOUR STRESS (and mine!):

Please note: If you asked a question in a prior email, I may have
chosen not
to answer it in the hopes that this email will address your question or
concern. If it does not, please feel free to email me the question
again. My
main goal is to get the contract process underway. We have plenty of
time
for questions now that we are going to work together.

1. Attached is our Contract for Agency Representation.
================================================== =
It is simple and straightforward. We think it is fair. It is also
non-negotiable. I'm happy to answer any questions that you may have,
but
99% of the time we will not make a change to it if requested. If you
want
to have a lawyer look at it, by all means do so, but we've spent great
time
and energy with our lawyers making it simple enough for a business
person to
understand. If you spend any appreciable amount with your attorney, you
are
probably wasting money. By all means get advice, but we think this
contract
is pretty simple.

You will notice that to reduce paperwork, mailing, and administrative
costs,
we offer an "electronic signature option". We hope you will consider
that
option.


We know signing contracts can be scary.
========================================
In general though, you don't have to be nervous because you can back
out
very easily. Within the contract we very clearly state that your 'out'
from
the contract is that you can fire us if we don't perform or you don't
like
our services for any reason. This rarely happens, but it's there for
you if
you want it. Also, we can fire you too, so please, let's keep our
relationship professional.

Your work is completely safe and remains your work. You keep your
copyright
and this contract is only for the work you submit, not all your works.
(You
can discuss other works later with your agent). We want to work with
you on
all your work, but we process them one at a time (except sequels which
your
agent will discuss with you if you have one).

We are not trying to tie your hands in any way, and as you will see
from the
contract, we only get paid if you get paid. There are no other payments
to
us. There are no fees paid to us unless we sell your work. Period, no
surprises. However, if we say that your work needs work, and that you
had
better get an editor to help you, is that a fee? We don't think so,
but
some authors do (which I can't for the life of me understand.) So, you
commit to the quality of your work, and we commit to try to sell it.
It's a
pretty straightforward business relationship.



We suggest that you use the "electronic signature" option.
================================================== ========
Mailing is a pain! So, use the electronic signature option please.
However,
if you choose to mail the contract, the address is within the document.
If
you mail it please allow up to 30 days to receive the counter-signed
contract back in the mail. The contracts are sent to our NY office and
depending on the travel schedule of our President, it may take that
long to
get them signed and back to you. If you use the electronic signature
option, you'll have our countersigned contract within a week.



Critique/Evaluation Process
===============================================
As we mentioned in the prior email, if you have a critique or
evaluation
similar in format to those we sent you earlier please send it to us
along
with your contract. (Don't email it separately, we have a hard time
matching
it up. Simply print it and put it with your contract). If you want us
to
tell you if what you have is acceptable then email it to me as quickly
as
you can.

If you don't have a critique and you are using our referral, we ask
that you
get the critique started in parallel with sending in the contract. Send
in
your contract at the same time you are getting your critique. Don't
wait for
the critique to send in your contract.

If you do not have a critique, please email the following address and
tell
them that we referred you.

AdminPoetry@writersliterary.com
All you have to say is "Sherry referred me".


They will send you a very clear set of instructions on how to proceed
with
the critique, how to send your manuscript, payment, etc. We refer them
so
much business that they offer a discounted price to referrals that we
send
them. We send them so much business that they will prioritize your
work and
this will speed up the entire process. We can also lean on them if we
need
to make them work more quickly!

When they complete your critique they will send it to you and to us at
the
same time. Remember, we are unique in that we are willing to help you
develop your talent, so there is no need to worry about what the
critique
will say.

We know that you will improve as a writer as a result of having this
critique. It's a nice gift to give yourself as an aspiring writer!
Invest
in yourself, the more you do, the better your chances are.



What's Next?
=================
During the next 30 days we should receive your contract and your
critique
should be completed. Once we receive your contract and your critique is
finished and in our hands, you will be put in touch with your Agent.

The Agent will then become your primary contact and will answer
questions,
guide you, and hopefully, before too long, come to you with the good
news of
a sale! (Note: we never, never promise a sale, that's a checkbox for
you
within the contract by the way).

I am happy to answer any further questions that you may have.

I have enjoyed our interaction. My sincere best wishes for your
writing
career.

Best regards,
Sherry - VP Acquisitions



A Few Frequently Asked Questions
(I can't resist, you know me by now)
======================================
Please send the contract in parallel with getting the critique. That
way
we'll have you in the system when the critique is finished. Don't
wait to
send in the contract until your critique is completed. Send the
contract in
immediately. Use the electronic signature option unless you really,
really
want it the old fashioned way.

If you need an extension, simply email me and we automatically grant
one, so
don't stress if for some reason you haven't heard from me. Non-US
authors
are automatically granted an extension.

If you have a critique already please be sure it matches the
thoroughness of
the critique example we sent you. If it doesn't we will reject it. If
you
want me to look at it just email it to me. Frankly, you will save a
lot of
time and aggravation if you use our referral.

What's Next? Once the critique process is complete you will be
connected to
the Agent that will be working with you. You will discuss 'next steps'
based on the results of the critique. As we mentioned in a previous
email,
we are willing to develop talent so there is no need to worry unduly
about
the results of the critique.

We look forward to working with you. Once we receive your contract and
enter
it into our system you will receive an email confirmation.



Please note:
============
If for some reason you don't get your electronic signature contract
back in
a timely fashion (say 10 days) please resend it to me and I will
forward it
for you.


Now for the bad news....
============================
I have enjoyed interacting with you but my role with you is now
finished. I
am in charge of new author acquisitions only. If you need help with
something let me know though, and I'll endeavor to assist you.

If you have questions after this point. Please email
Andrea@WLwritersagency.com. Andrea is our Director of Client Relations
and
her job is to assist the agents (and you) for the duration of our
agreement.

Now, back to drinking from the proverbial fire hose! I sincerely wish
you
the best.

Best regards,
Sherry - VP Acquisitions



p.s. One more time. It's this easy....

A. Get your critique in to us.
B. Prep your work. Meet your agent.
C. Become a best seller!

James D. Macdonald
08-04-2007, 04:12 AM
Here's the form letter "Sherry" is sending to self-published writers. There are a couple of interesting points which I'll get to in a bit.

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

From: Sherry - VP Self Pub Division [mailto: SherrySelfpub@WLWritersAgency.com]
To: [redacted]
Date: Tue, 31 Jul 2007
Subject: WL Writers Literary Self-pub: Thank You For Your Query

Thank you for your query regarding your self-published work. Based on your query form information we would like to see your work.

1)Would you please EMAIL us an electronic copy of your work for further evaluation? Please email your manuscript to selfpubmanuscript@WLWritersAgency.com. We DO NOT want a hardcopy unless it is absolutely unavoidable. See below. If your book can be read online, you can send us a link. If it is just a promo or blurb, then we still need the work.

2) Would you please answer these questions in the body of the SAME email? (Just copy and paste the questions).

A. Was your work edited by a third party editing professional? Please provide details.

B. How long have you been writing, and what are your goals as a writer? Please let me explain
our philosophy so that you know in advance how we work. This is a long email, but the more time I spend answering your questions up front, the more time I have for serious business questions about your unique circumstances.

We Believe Self-published Authors Will Succeed.

We Have Already Had A Success In This Arena.

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

We think self-published authors will be gaining more industry respect as time goes on. We believe that self-published authors are going to be a valid resource for traditional publishers. This dynamic was recently illustrated with one of our authors who self-published, sold 7500 copies himself, and then, a buyer from a major company read his book on an overseas trip and ended up tracking down our author and buying the book rights,. The book is now in three languages and doing quite well. Quite a success story actually.

What We Do.. And, What We Don't Do!

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

We think this is what you are looking for us to do, ie. to sell your work to another larger, more traditional publisher. PLEASE NOTE: OUR ROLE IS NOT TO HELP YOU SELL YOUR BOOKS AT RETAIL. FOR THAT YOU NEED A PUBLICIST OR MARKETING AGENT. If that is the case you may wish to visit www.strategicbookmarketing.com. We have heard that they do a pretty good job with finding new ways to market books. They have a focus on non-fiction though.

What We Must Overcome

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

Self-published authors are a conundrum to the industry right now. On the one hand, you have bound books that are ready to go, on the other hand, the traditional publishing industry does not typically entertain self-published work. Also the main complaint from industry is that the work is not necessarily edited to professional standards. This doesn't mean that your work isn't edited, it just means that quite a few self-published authors did not submit their work to the same rigorous editing standards that a publisher would.

Sending Your Work

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

You may email either 3-5 chapters or the entire manuscript, whichever you are more comfortable sending. If you have a formal proposal, Table of contents, etc. then include them as well. Your manuscript is completely safe within our company. We take care to properly manage all access and if we don't end up working together, we delete all files. The reason we need your work electronically is that our reviewers are literally all over the world. We email everything. Also, if a buyer wants to review your work, then we want to send it raw, like a traditional submission. Then, later if they wish to buy your work, we discuss the buyout of the existing ISBN/Copyright, etc.

If the file size is greater than 5 megabytes you can mail it to us on CD, or... if your file size is over 5 megs we also just recently found a free service that will move large files. Take a look at www.yousendit.com. We've used it successfully in the past. Just use my email address as the "sendto" address.)

Please only send it once, either by email or snail mail or YouSendIt (we prefer email). If you can convince me that you must mail the work, I will give you a mailing address that will depend on the genre, our readers, etc. Mailed manuscripts may take up to 30 days to reply/process. Emailed manuscripts are processed much more quickly. DUE TO THE VOLUME OF MATERIALS WE RECEIVE WE CAN NOT AND WILL NOT RETURN MAIL ANYTHING. Do not send us anything that you can't afford to lose.

Questions?

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

Please DO NOT include any questions with your manuscript submission. If you have a question, please send it to question@WLWritersAgency.com where the proper people may address your question. Most of the questions you may have are answered on the website and at the bottom of this email. Please see the FAQs below before sending a question. We believe we are very different than other agencies.

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

We believe that we are unique in that we are willing to develop an author and their talent. We like the metaphor of a "business incubator" as a description of how we will take time to bring an author's work to the proper quality level, even if it takes months to do so. We take pride in the fact that we answer every email personally within 2-3 days. Please, watch your spam filters!

Our job is to find a buyer for you, period. You may understand how a literary Agency works, but many authors don't. As your Literary Agent, our mission is to assist you in finding a publisher and to coach you along the way in various options available to you. We don't edit, we don't illustrate, our mission is to sell for you. As for compensation, we are paid on success only. Typically we will receive 10% of what you receive. We do not charge fees, so our compensation is based on success only. We look forward to receiving your materials.

Best regards,
Sherry - V.P. Acquisitions

p.s. You might as well get used to these long emails. Part of our filtering process is to see if you actually read them . Why the long emails? I spend my time doing two basic tasks,

1) managing submissions and evaluations, and

2) answering questions.

If I can answer your question BEFORE you ask it, then the entire process will proceed much more efficiently. As a corollary to that, if you want long-winded, personalized emails where we dicuss
politics, the weather, and how your day went, you will probably not enjoy our process. If you are as busy as we are, and you pride yourself on operating efficiently (it is a business after all), then you will enjoy how efficiently we focus on the point, and that is, whether we can work
together based on your writing and attitude. This is the biggest complaint that we get and I wish I could spend oodles of time with each of you. I just can't. Sometimes it's like drinking from a firehose over here.

Typical Frequently Asked Questions

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

Q) Do you return manuscripts?

A) Sorry for the inconvenience however, WE DO NOT RETURN MANUSCRIPTS or MATERIALS due to the volume of submissions we receive. Please do not send us anything that you can't replace easily.

Q) Would you prefer me to email or mail my manuscript?

A) WE MUCH PREFER EMAILED MANUSCRIPTS.

Q) How should I attach my manuscript?

A) PLEASE DO NOT PASTE YOUR MANUSCRIPT INTO THE BODY OF THE EMAIL. Please send it to us as an attachment, otherwise it hangs up the mail system. If you can't create an attachment, please get a friend to help you do so. I think we have every software program known to man (except Mac). However everything works easier if you have a .pdf, .rtf, or .doc file type. We also support Word Perfect and MS Works.

Q) Is my manuscript safe with you?

A) Your materials are safe within our company. If you are uncomfortable sending your entire manuscript, please only send 3-5 chapters. If we do not end up working together we will destroy and delete any copies of your work that we have.

Q) How long does this review take?

A) About 7-10 days. We're faster than most other agencies.

Q) Why is there no phone number? I want to talk to someone...

A) Quite frankly, we are deluged with submissions. It is our policy to provide a contact number later in the process, assuming we would like to proceed with you. If you would like to talk with someone for the assurance of hearing a voice, just email me and I'll connect you to the proper party.

Q) Where are you located?

A) In today's connected world, our physical location is meaningless. We maintain executive suites in New York, NY where we receive mail and meet with buyers. Other than that, we travel extensively and we have the good fortune to live in Florida, North Carolina, and California depending on the time of year. Sometimes we think that we live in airports.

Q) Why aren't you in the Yellow Pages? I can't find you listed anywhere?

A) We use toll free phone numbers and cell phones. Those simply aren't in any phone directories. Yellow Pages are 'old technology', and they cost money. The Internet is a much better form of advertising. We haven't been in Yellow pages for 10 years. Buyers certainly don't go to the Yellow Pages to find authors, just nervous authors go there.

Q) Are you a member of AAR, BBB, Alphabet Soup...?

A) We have chosen to belong to industry associations where the buyers are, We spend our money going to the big book trade shows in the US, England, and Germany. BBB, AAR, and other organizations of that type mainly exist for nervous writers, and frankly, we have too many applicants already, so we choose not to spend time and money on those organizations. I hope that helps you understand why we belong to associations that help us sell your work, not organizations that help us recruit more writers. We prefer that you judge us on the professionalism of our communications and not whether we belong to an organization. In other
words, we ask that you judge us based on our interactions together, and that you can make up your own mind based on our professionalism and courtesy not whether we belong to some organization.

Q) Tell me more about your company.

A) We are bigger than a small agency and smaller than a large agency. We just sold our 3rd and 4th book deals and we are confident of more success later this year. We market to the larger and medium sized publishers and producers. We've been around the block enough to have people that love us,and people that hate us. We will never ask you for money, so that's one way to judge for yourself. Our commitment to you is that we believe that we should get paid only if we sell your work. Your commitment to us is that you will do what it takes to make sure your manuscript is the best it can be and that it meets or exceeds industry quality standards.

Q) You're not a vanity publisher or a self-publisher are you?

A) No we're NOT A VANITY OR SELF-publisher in any way, shape or form. We DO NOT sell to vanity or self-publishers. Our mission is to sell your work to TRADITIONAL publishers who will pay you (and us). And, that's how we get paid. If we sell your work to a publisher, then and only then do we get paid (usually 10% which is the industry standard for Literary Agencies).

Q) What are you looking for during your evaluation?

A) We mainly look for COMMERCIAL VIABILITY in the work coupled with good solid writing skills. "Is it something that will sell?" is of paramount importance to us. (We ARE NOT scrutinizing every word, spelling, and grammar usage. There's plenty of time later for that.) We believe that great writers are made, not born at least 99% of the time. But if a work doesn't have commercial potential, then we want to let you know as quickly as possible. Being willing to grow talent, we believe in the old adage, "luck is when opportunity meets preparation and hard work".

Q) How can you evaluate work so quickly?

A) Our mission in the Acquisitions Department is clear. 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 the "3 yes" designation then you pass. The next item we look for in our filtering process is your willingness to listen or whether you are a prima donna who wants it 'their way'. We will very quickly wash out a great writer with a bad attitude. Life's too short for drama and overly demanding writers.

Q) What if you find errors or problems with my manuscript? Should I spend time revising now, or later?

A) We receive very few 'ready-to-go' manuscripts, even self-published ones. Most manuscripts that we receive need some level of polishing before we can submit them to buyers. Some need very little polishing. Some need a lot. 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.

Q) Who are some of the authors you represent? Why aren't they on your website?

A) Every time we've placed the names of our writers, our agents, or our sales on the website, they are deluged with very weird emails from some very weird people, so we just don't post them anymore. We'd rather lose a new author applicant, than an existing client or buyer. We are proud to represent a very diverse group of authors. Our roster of authors includes authors with the following occupations:

* Doctors
* Lawyers
* Entrepreneurs
* Journalists
* Professors and teachers from universities, high-schools, and elementary schools
* Coaches
* Accountants and bankers
* Advertising Executives
* Stay at home moms...students, etc.

Here are just a few bios:

1. The author was born in Baltimore, Maryland and is a Professor at a major university. She is an author and editor of 16 books and 12 proceedings and monographs. She has written 50 chapters and 100 papers, and given more than 150 presentations nationwide. She has graduate degrees in Music, Science,and Education. She and her husband are now living in the British Virgin Islands, where her time is spent sailing and writing. She has published scientific articles and written more than a hundred concert reviews as a freelance music critic.

2. The author is a Fellow of the Royal Colleges of Physicians of Edinburgh,and of Canada, and a Member of the American Societies of Hematology,Clinical Oncology, Blood and Marrow Transplantation and the International Society for Cellular Therapy. For the year 2004-5 he was a
scientific advisor to the Cancer Vaccine Consortium. He was a past recipient of the Elmore Research Scholarship of the University of Cambridge.

3. The author has also won numerous awards honoring him as one of the top sportscasters in the country. He has been richly honored as a professional speaker as well, thrilling audiences with his career highlights and inspiring messages. He has a rich history of being on the air in radio and TV for a quarter of a century, working in major markets such as Los Angeles, Chicago, London, Cincinnati and now Dallas. Before settling in Dallas, he lived in London doing on-air work for both the BBC and ESPN.

4. This author started singing professionally with the singing group The Montells in her early teens. They later signed with Golden Crest Records & then went to Atlantic Recording Studio where they recorded, Under The Broad Walk with The Drifters & Gee Baby. In 1997 she was elected into The International Poetry Hall Of Fame with her Award winning Poem. She appeared at The Crossroads Theater in 1998.

5. The author is a retired veterinarian living in Bethlehem, South Africa. He was in rural private practice in various towns before settling down in Bethlehem where he practiced for 35 years. For ten years or more he had a monthly column in Veterinary News. He also was the script-writer for the SuperSport TV series The ABC of Golf.

We DO NOT give out names or contact information except to qualified buyers. (If you'll think about it, if you were one of our authors, you'd feel the same way. There are a lot of wierdos on the Internet. Sometimes we think that there is a higher incidence of psychosis among writers than any other occupation.)

Q) Is this an automated email? Is there a real person out there?

A) Yes, and yes, and yes... We personally review each query form that we receive for sentence structure, basic spelling and grammar, and whether the story idea/synopsis sounds interesting. This tells us which manuscripts we would like to receive. Then, yes, we do use a form to provide these FAQs. Can you imagine typing this time and time again?

We pride ourselves on using technology to be as efficient as possible. This allows us to work with authors from anywhere in the world. By automating certain elements of our communications we can spend more thoughtful time on your questions that are specific to you and your situation.

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

Thank you again for your time in reading to the end of this email. I hope that you have a better feeling for our company and our acquisitions process.I look forward to receiving your materials. And please pardon one more request. IF YOU EMAIL YOUR MATERIALS TO US WE WILL ALWAYS NOTIFY YOU WITHIN 2-3 DAYS OF RECEIPT.

Please refrain from asking "did you get it?" for at least 3business days. If you haven't been notified of receipt within 3 days, then by all means resend it (don't ask, just resend it to the email address above. If it won't go through, just 'reply' to this email and attach your manuscript.)

IF YOU SNAIL MAIL (POST) YOUR MATERIALS TO US, PLEASE ALLOW UP TO 5 WEEKS FOR NOTIFICATION OF RECEIPT. Why? It has to be forwarded to a special evaluator that handles 'paper' or CDs. And remember, we cannot return materials, so no need for a SASE. If you mail us anything, please be sure it has your email on it.

Whew! Thanks again and we look forward to hearing from you and looking at your work.

Best regards,

Sherry - VP of Acquisitions

daltonmc
08-16-2007, 04:56 AM
So I sent an email to Ms. "Sherry Fine" to ask about which books they have published and got this list:

"Bipolar and Pregnant" by Kristin Finn (on Amazon, but no proof of WLWA as Agents)
"Too Much Tuscan Sun" by Dario Castagno (also on amazon)

, and

"A Marriage Built to Last" by I don't remember the author.
I also couldn't find this one on google.

--d.mc.

sandyn
08-27-2007, 12:50 AM
Below is the e-mail I received (on Sunday, August 26) from WL Writers' Agency after I wrote to tell them I researched them and found that they were not what they represented themselves to be and that I did not wish to be represented by them.

Thought you might like to see it....:D



http://us.i1.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/i/us/nt/ma/ma_mail_1.gif (http://mail.yahoo.com/) Print (http://javascript<b></b>:window.print()) - Close Window (http://javascript<b></b>:window.close())
From:"Sherry - VP Acquisitions" <Sherry@WLWritersAgency.com>To:"Sandy Novelly" Subject:RE: 'Monique's Wish'Date:Sun, 26 Aug 2007 15:02:46 -0400
#message97520585117271183804600444053910550704oSOY kYn4Ur6Rg9WuJfSMZS0uvayXRfGrM2uUrhW6pLq2ypkR1Nv6HS lZjKWD0BWWPOmh7V8Xu04FqbOBn3zYneKRJC8j7hEH6MegYSky o81JrtvAxE77tPupXarab3MiLq1ATBI4oeZVKtgUfPxsWHsxni bPIyzifsqD6MnP { overflow:auto; visibility:hidden }Thanks for bringing this to my attention. We've seen it before (sigh). To set the stage you might look at this article from USA today about rudeness, threats, and the dark underside of blogs and message boards. http://www.usatoday.com/tech/webguide/internetlife/2007-07-30-cruel-web_N.htm?csp=34 (http://www.usatoday.com/tech/webguide/internetlife/2007-07-30-cruel-web_N.htm?csp=34)

The short answer is that there are hate communities around every issue of emotional impact and you've found them. You can find hate communities about Home Depot, AT&T, and even people on YouTube, etc.

We've researched these message board leaders and sites pretty thoroughly. Basically, there are less than 5 main sites and they all copy each other. They are run by Ann Crispin, Victoria Strauss, and Dave Kuminisky, and James MacDonald, and they purport to be the watchdogs of the industry. Ann Crispin has sold TWO books in 10 years, Victoria maybe one, and Dave and Jim, I don't think any sales, although if someone tells me differently, I'll be sure to post it here).

We call them Negative Nelllies... in every industry you can find the people that are unhappy. These people haven't made enough money to support themselves as writers and they are bitter and negative about companies that are successful but don't match their outmoded views*. They also have way too much time on their hands. Time better spent improving their writing if you ask me, ha ha.


If you want them to be the advisors for your career please don't let me stop you.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
But, I would be very wary about listening to anyone with that kind of sales record and that kind of negaive bias. They are writer-wannabes, not agents. They don't have a clue about agenting because they've never made a living at it. Ask them if they've ever sold someone elses work? I think you get my drift.

*Outmoded Views
-----------------------------
Let me tell you where their outmoded views come from. Basically, we only accept edited work. But, we will accept a new writer that will commit to getting their work edited. We don't care who edits your work, we just want edited work. As Literary Agents, we don't edit, we just sell. We try to let the editors work with our authors for creative, for mechanics, for everything related to the work itself, and then, we'll work with the writer for packaging, pitching, and presenting the work. Our core competency is selling what you write, not writing what we sell. (And editors and writers make lousy salespeople, so it works out.)


We have sent them copies of contracts of recent sales, and we have tried to engage them in a spirited dialogue about what does constitute agenting in the new world of publishing. They don't reply and they seem to enjoy creating dissension and hurting our business. We used to try to set them straight, but it was a useless task. We've tried to get these people into a dialogue. They just keep dragging old information around. They talk about people and processes that are at least 5 years removed from what we do now. Please read this and you will see what I mean. http://www.writersliterary.com/acquiretlag.html (http://www.writersliterary.com/acquiretlag.html)


Mainly we feel sorry for those writers such as yourself that are caught in the crossfire.

Luckily our clients (and the publishers we work with) laugh with us at their foibles. So, in general, we ignore them, and just keep working on behalf of our clients. Our lawyers are on this and we'll get it all straight and out in the open one day, but until them... in the meanwhile, would you do me a favor.. email them this.. and read below... we've seen all this before and we keep trying to get them to come out of their hiding and address the real issues, but they won't. Eventually our lawyers will take care of them but for now, would you send this to them please.


================================================== =======
"Dear Moderator - Once again I ask you to engage us in a public
debate about these issues. I'll answer any question you want
and we can both post the answers on our websites so there will be
no "spin doctoring" of the answers.

If your message board is all
about helping writers, then why won't you debate us? The innuendo
and wrong data you are promulgating are hurting writers and we think
a nice public debate would help everyone.
================================================== ========


This author said it well.
-------------------------------
"Having been with the FBI and a homicide detective,
I take this type of derogatory information with a grain of salt, as anyone
can say anything about anyone on the Internet".

Yes, we have clients that are FBI agents, lawyers, policemen, etc. Believe me, if there was any actual truth to the lies and innuendo out there, they would know it.


Here's another author (I like his use of the word unemployed).
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Hello Sherry,
I am dually impressed by your company's speedy response time and professional mannerisms. There are many writers all over the internet claiming that your agency is not legitimate and that your company falls under an umbrella co-oporation owned by a convicted internet fraud. I must admit after reading this I was quite rattled, but eventually I came to realize that in your emails you never once concealed any obvious or ominous information from me. You were concise and dare I say very polite. It was my choice to divert the rumors and take the risk and I stand by my choice to this very day. I look forward to working with your agency, because everyone should know that nothing comes without sacrifices and that things are difficult because we do not dare to endeavour their limits. I thank you for your kindness, "professionalism" and prolix emails (because they help a lot.) Let those unemployed writers talk, when I get my book published, I'll take your agency for the ride, because I know you stood by me all the way. Thank You. Tyson


Interestingly, we had a publisher make this comment
-----------------------------------------------------
The publisher said, "the more they scream, the more we know you are doing the right things and forcing discipline and business reality on these writers". What the publisher was telling us, was basically, "thanks, you're doing your job", which is weeding out the writers that won't get their work edited or brought to professional standards. We get a lot of comments about how good a job we do, but of course, real writers and real publishers don't hang out on message boards.


Please, you owe it to yourself to take this one step further!
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
That data is so old, and so distorted by writers with an axe to grind, that I cringe when I hear a writer making a career decision from it. You've been with us this far, and I think you will agree that we have treated you professionally and in a timely fashion. Read what I say below and tell me if it doesn't make sense, and that it is worth your time to gather a little bit more info.

Let me tell you where that stuff comes from. First, we insist on working only with edited work. There is an entire camp of people that believe that we should pay for the writers' editing. If the writer's name is Hillary Clinton, we'll pay for the editing, but for a new author, we just can't afford it. Also, because the value of editing and critiquing stays with the owner/writer of the script, even if we were fired, then it would make logical sense that the author would pay for editing.

The next group is basically just upset that they can't make it as a writer and they are spiteful and generally upset with the way the world treats them. And to add to their angst, telling a writer their story isn't good enough to sell is like telling a parent that their kid is ugly. And, when a writer is upset, they write hateful things. We just toughen up and ignore them. I suggest you do the same.



Here is what I would do if I were you.
----------------------------------------------------------
1) Please spend a minute or two asking them for concrete proof of their allegations or what they say. See if they will give you anything substantial. We have asked and never received an answer. I don't think they will either answer you or give you anything concrete either. I've seen their answers, there is nothing concrete, just allegations of more complaints from internidiots.

Then, once you've weighed all the facts and done your diligence, please feel free to return to us. We are willing to work with new authors and that's what everyone holds against us (and unfortunately, new authors know less about the business than anyone.)

Good luck to you, really! I hope you will give us a chance to prove ourselves. (We won't waive our quality standards though).

And, one final thought. The people on the boards, even the moderators ARE NOT AGENTS. THEY CANNOT KNOW WHAT OUR BUSINESS IS REALLY LIKE. They are writers who think they know, but they don't know, they can't, because they have never agented someone elses work.

Do you understand that if someone hasn't gone through the tribulations of being an agent, they really can't comment accurately on what being an agent is like? John Kennedy said it best....


* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
"It is not the critic that counts: not the man who points out
how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done better.
"The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena,
whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood,
who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions,
and spends himself in a worthy cause; who at best, if he wins,
knows the thrills of high achievement, and, if he fails,
at least fails daring greatly, so that his place shall never be
with those cold and timid souls
who know neither victory nor defeat."

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *


Oh yes, one final ps... email this to them for us if you don't mind.. .

"Dear Moderator - Once again I ask you to engage us in a public debate about these issues. I'll answer any question you want and we can both post the answers on our websites so there will be no "spin doctoring" of the answers. If your message board is all about helping writers, then why won't you debate us? The innuendo and wrong data you are promulgating are hurting writers and we think a nice public debate would help everyone.


Help us help the industry, those boards are running amok and they need a good dose of reality. They won't come out of their dark little holes and debate us, but we keep trying.

Tell 'em I said, "high noon at the OK corral" (grin).
Sheriff Sherry


p.s. one very heartfelt quote... "
I received the refund check for $89 for the critique even after you did the critique and just because I said I read negative things about you. The fact that you sent me the check even AFTER doing the work told me you are probably people of integrity and the the people on the message boards are way off base. . I feel that I may owe you an apology. Please allow me to explain the problem from the viewpoint of a writer. A dozen published DFW Writers� Workshop members said the same thing , obviously it was incorrect. I will show the workshop your check Wednesday night to demonstrate your honesty. My question now is, can we repair the fences and still do business? "


Best regards,
Sherry - VP Acquisitions


Recent Deals
-------------------
Kristin Finn - Bipolar & Pregnant - to HCI (The Chicken Soup Publishers). Kristin gave us a nice thank you on her website, www.kristinfinn.com (http://www.kristinfinn.com) (see the Kristin's Corner page)

Joseph Thompson - Screenplay: Born of Earth - Sold to The Skeleton Factory

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.

p.s. Missed Emails, Spam, Whitelists, and other reasons for lapses in communications. There's an old joke in showbiz that asks the question, "What do you get if you cross an agent with a turnip?" The answer is "A turnip that doesn't return your phone calls." That won't happen with us. We are very, very diligent about returning every email that we receive within a couple of days. The same is true for our vendors and suppliers. IF YOU DO NOT RECEIVE A COMMUNICATION AND YOU BELIEVE THAT YOU SHOULD HAVE, PLEASE, CHECK WITH US AND WE WILL SEE WHAT HAPPENED. Please don't jump to negative conclusions. The Internet is not 100% foolproof and we are very sensitive to our clients' expectations and our promises about timely communications.

FINAL NOTE: VERY IMPORTANT: BE SURE TO CHECK YOUR SPAM AND JUNK EMAIL FOLDERS. THE BIG ISPS ARE RECLASSIFYING EMAILS CONSTANTLY. Also, please make a meaningful SUBJECT LINE. We are so deluged with spam that it is tough to pick out the real emails. (sigh).




-----Original Message-----
From: Sandy Novelly
Sent: Friday, August 24, 2007 3:46 PM
To: Sherry
Subject: 'Monique's Wish'



Sherry,


Please immediately destroy all copies of 'Monique's Wish.'


After researching your agency, I find that you are not what you represent yourselves to be, and I am very alarmed. I do not wish to be represented by your agency.


I would like confirmation that the manuscript has been destroyed, from you personally, today.


Thank you,


Sandra L. Novelly




Got a little couch potato?
Check out fun summer activities for kids. (http://us.rd.yahoo.com/evt=48248/*http://search.yahoo.com/search?fr=oni_on_mail&p=summer+activities+for+kids&cs=bz)[/quote]

sandyn
08-29-2007, 10:43 PM
Print - Close Window
From: "Sherry - VP Acquisitions" <Sherry@WLWritersAgency.com>
To:
Subject: WL Writers' Agency: Positive Review
Date: Wed, 29 Aug 2007 12:19:49 -0400

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.

Why am I NOT suprised!

We feel that your concept and writing thus far has potential and that
if it is polished and presented properly, we can sell it.

Again--no surprise here!

To take the next step, please read the information below and follow the
instructions at the end of this email. Unfortunately, this email is
quite long, but it has to be as this sets the stage for our working together.

Blah, blah, blah...

The summary of what is below is this:

1. We choose to represent authors that can demonstrate beyond a shadow
of doubt that their work meets or exceeds industry writing quality standards.
That's our promise to our buyers and publishers that we work with.

2. If a writer is willing to improve their work, and has a decent
topic, then we think that writer deserves a chance. It is the willingness to
improve that impresses us.

3. Our biggest frustration as an agent is when a publisher asks us if
we have a book like "xxxx yyyyy zzzz" and we don't have a work to pitch in
the 'xxxx yyyyy zzzzz' category. Frankly we want to say YES! to any
request from a buyer and to know that the author's work is prepped and ready to
send. So, we take more authors than other traditional agencies.

I hope we work together and you see the ruthless efficiency of our
credo.
The information below explains what the next steps are.


Best regards,
Sherry - VP Acquisitions

ps. Please forgive this form letter. I don't like to receive them,
and I don't like sending them. However, 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.

NOTE: if you have the documentation for the fact that you have been
edited already you can skip to the bottom of the email. If you have not yet
been edited, please read the information below.

Here it comes...wait for it, wait for it...

We never promise a sale. (Because you wouldn't know one if it bit you in the...I'll be nice.) 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. (and there are sooo many of those, now aren't there???)

According to what you have sent us, you have not been through a formal
edit with a disinterested third party. That process is invaluable to you as
a writer, and to us as your agent. Why? Because we can tout it when we
pitch your work. (To whom---a hack publisher no better than you?)

The polishing process begins with what is called a 'critique' in the publishing world, and 'coverage' in the screenplay world.
HAVING A CRITIQUE PROTECTS YOU from unscrupulous agents who tell you to
keep getting editing. Having a critique protects our agency from egocentric
writers who think their work is perfect.

Doesn't the publisher provide editing you may ask? Yes, they do.
However there are two levels of editing. The first is our internal level. The
second is the publisher level. When you pass our internal level, it means
that we will put our reputation (Oh, tee hee hee...) 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. (Pitching and selling your 'extra' services, you mean!)

The critique should be inexpensive, usually around (now we're getting down to it!) $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. (I'll just bet you can...)

As we mentioned, if you already have a 3rd party critique or have been
through a formal edit, please let us know. It must match the level of
detail that you see in the examples above.

[URL="http://www.writersliterary.com/Critique-novel.rtf"]

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. (Oh yeah...wouldn't want anything to be free, now)

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! (Ain't what I've heard)

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.

** If you have given me the name of your editor already and I missed
it, please remind me by choosing Option 2 below.


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.) (Would I now...?)


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. (Neither of which you seem to know anything about...) 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."


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

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. (Doesn't an editor do this????) 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 don't have a critique, what do I do?
A) You can search for them on the web, or you can use our referral. We
supply them so much business that they give a reduced rate to our
authors. (Reduced rate right into your bank account!)
Also, they do it 'our way' every time so there is no possibility the
critique won't be accepted.

Q) Why did you accept me if my work needs improvement?
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.

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) My work isn't finished, should I finish it first?
A) The value of the critique is actually greater for the author of an
unfinished manuscript. Why? You can apply what you learn to the rest
of your work! So, it behooves you to get started as soon as possible.

(Getting down to it--AGAIN)
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) 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. (Comment kept to myself...)

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. (Independent of whom? Not of your pocket, that's for sure!)
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 (or been edited) already. Please send me your
contract and I will include my critique or editing information with the contract
when I send it in.

or

3) "Thanks but no thanks," If this is your choice, we wish you the
best. Keep in mind that your competition (other writers) are aggressively
improving their work with coverage, edits, and coaching. To compete
you are going to have to consider these options. It is a very, very competitive
marketplace. Also, should you change your mind after continuing to search for
another agency, please feel free to come back to us, and we can pick up at this
stage. (You will still have to have evidence of working with a 3rd
party though).

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

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 - VP Acquisitions


Whew! That's only part of it... What part of "I do not wish to be represented by your agency do they not understand???

Listed below are the questions they use in their 'we want to see your work' e-mail to sucker you in so that they can pitch their extras...

A. How long have you been writing, and what are your goals as a
writer?

B. Do you consider your writing 'ready-to-go', or do you think it
needs some polishing?


If you have been through a formal editing process, please describe it
in detail, ie. name/company of editor(s) etc.

Wombat10
09-19-2007, 03:58 PM
I've been caught by the Children's Literacy agency scam as well. Unfortunately, I didn't
find any of the warning articles about the agency and its sister companies, until after I
had already sent the contract and money to their critique firm Writers Literary. Follows
is the email sent by Joan;

Re: Discounted Critique

Thank you for requesting a critique from Writers Literary. Congratulations on your acceptance by a leading Literary Agency. You've achieved quite a milestone and we are honored to assist you with your writing career.

An Invoice is below at the bottom of the email that reflects the discount that you receive because of your Literary Agency affiliation.

Here are some Frequently Asked Questions about the Critique Process. If you don't see the answer to your question here, please feel free to email me.


Cordially,
Joan - VP Administration
Writers Literary



============= FAQ ========================================

Q) How Do I Send You My Manuscript?
A) Please wait until we receive your payment. Then your Project Manager will
ask for a fresh copy of your manuscript via email. We have a very difficult time
with hard-copy. However if you need to mail your work, please let us know.


Q) What format should I use when submitting my work for a critique?
A) Please try to use .doc, .rtf, (or Works).


Q) What are the qualifications of your editors/critics?
A) We have had great feedback from our clients regarding our editors.
Following are credentials for some of the editors that work for us. You can
see that your work will be in skilled hands! Click on this link to see some of their credentials.
http://www.writersliterary.com/editing.html


Q) How long does it take?
A) About 10 business days (2-3 weeks) to deliver the critique to you after payment is received.


Q) What does the critique look like? Will I get a copy?
A) The critique is an overview of your work. It will point out strengths and weaknesses. It will be about 3-4 pages long. It is NOT a line edit. The critique is very much a roadmap to bring your work to professional standards, or to validate that you are ready for marketing. You will be sent a copy of the critique when it is completed. Typically, for expediency, we will also send one to your Literary Agency as well.


Q) I have revisions, should I send them to you if they haven't started the critique yet?
A) No please don't send revisions while we are in process. It is doubtful
that you will have changed enough to substantially change the critique, so
please don't send in revisions if we have already begun the process.


Q) How does the process work? Do I send you my manuscript or will you get it
from the Agency?
A) First, we will receive your payment and we will then introduce you to our
Project Manager who will be in charge of your critique. The project manager
will need a fresh copy of your manuscript. She will give you instructions at
that time, so please hold your manuscript until you hear from her after your payment is received.


Q) I sent in my payment and I haven't heard anything....
A) Sometimes, with all the spam flying around, email can slip through the
cracks (on both sides). Please if after 4-5 business days, if you haven't
heard from us that your payment was received, don't hesitate to recontact
me. PLEASE CONTACT ADMIND@WRITERSLITERARY.COM FOR ALL PAYMENT RELATED QUESTIONS.


If you have any other questions about payments or process please let me
know. Other than that, please wait to hear from your Project Manager after payment is received.

Thank you again, we look forward to working with you and wish you the best in your writing career.

Best regards,
Joan - Critique Payment Administration
AdminJ@writersliterary.com

p.s. Just to ease your mind a little bit more about the process, here's some praise we recently received.

"Thank you so much for your quick responses and professionalism. I received the critique back from Paula, and 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 manuscript 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 Paula."


"I am writing to you via my wife's email because there was something wrong with mine and I apologize for the inconvenience. As for the critique on my manuscript: Wow!! Thank you so very much for your honesty and for your straightforward analysis. After reading the MS so many times, I guess I never saw the grammatical errors that seem so blatant now. I will follow your suggestions and try to analyze my writing with a close eye on grammar. I cannot thank you enough for your help. I wish you could help me with the entire work but I know that if I do not try to improve on my own, I will never learn and I will always be dependent. I will keep my fingers crossed and hope for the best."


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




Payment Information Form
=======================

PLEASE ALLOW AT LEAST 4 BUSINESS DAYS FROM THE TIME YOU SUBMIT AN ELECTRONIC OR FAX PAYMENT TO RECEIVE A CONFIRMATION. For mailed payments please wait a little longer.

IF YOU DO NOT RECEIVE A PAYMENT CONFIRMATION EMAIL IN THE STATED TIME FRAME PLEASE EMAIL: adminD@writersliterary.com and we will determine what happened. (Usually we get back to you more quickly than that, but sometimes we do take a vacation or sick day).


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

INVOICE: Critique

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

Schedule of Administrative Fees:

1 New Author Critique

Total Due = $78


If Mailing Payment, Please remit payment to:
-------------------------------------------------------------------------
Writer's Literary & Publishing Services
1355 W. Palmetto Rd. #257
Boca Raton, Fl 33486


Paypal: Please use paypal@writersliterary.com (www.paypal.com)

Credit Card: Please enter your card number and exp. date below and fax it to 1-267-327-3286 our secure fax. Or you may email credit card information to cc@writersliterary.com. Please do not send your manuscript to this address. This is
an accounting email only. Once we receive your payment you will receive full instructions on where to send your work.

I hereby authorize Writer's Literary & Publishing Services, or their credit card processor, to charge my credit card a one time fee of $78 USD only.

Signature_________________________________________ _________________

Card Number: _____________________________________________ Exp. Date: ________

Name on Card: __________________________________________________ _______________

Exact Billing Address of Cardholder: __________________________________

City, State Zip, Country: __________________________________________________


Wire Information: PLEASE ADD $10 FOR THE WIRE FEE:
-----------------------------
Credit (Beneficiary): American Enterprises Group LLC / Writers Literary Services
Wells Fargo Bank
1266 Market St,
San Francisco, CA 94102
ACH R/T (Routing Number): 321270742
Account Number 8810851355
Swift # (For international wire transfers only): WFBIUS6S

We strongly prefer an electronic copy of your materials sent via e-mail, however, if you are unable to e-mail your materials, please mail them to:

Writer's Literary & Publishing Services
Attention: Critique Division
1355 W. Palmetto Park Road #257
Boca Raton, FL 33486
888-808-6193 Ofc.

Since paying the money through Paypal three days ago I haven heard from Joan. But
four hours after paying I recieved the counter signed contract from Carol- contract
administrator. This Is what she said;

Dear Author,

Please find your electronically counter signed contract attached. Thank you for using the electronic signature option. (You will note that our electronic return signature of Georgina Orr, which is simply typed into our signature spot. That is our return signature).

At this time, you should either 1) have your critique underway, or 2) if you had a critique already, you should be in touch with your agent. If either of these two are NOT the case, please email andrea@WLwritersagency.com and she will make sure things are moving along properly.

Note: Andrea is your main contact as I deal only with the administration of the contracts and nothing else.

Best regards,

Carole - Contract Administrator
WL Writers Agency


P.S. Please allow me to take a few minutes and tell you a little more about our agency and what you can expect.

This FAQ addresses some of the main questions that you may have at some point in our communications. Hopefully by addressing them up front, this will help to mitigate any misconceptions or undue concerns.

I HAVE NOT RECEIVED A REPLY EMAIL - WHAT DO I DO?

We are extremely diligent about answering every email!! We answer every email! Our management is fanatical about answering every email. However, due to the volume of emails our staff receives, weekends, holidays, etc., we have about a 2-4 day lag sometimes in our reply. If you should email someone and do not receive a reply within 5 days, please email the prior person you had contact with. Sometimes spam filters, changed emails, etc. prevent the receipt of an email. Also, the major ISPs like Hotmail, AOL, Yahoo, etc. are trying to cut down on spam, and we have seen certain times where emails are blocked for several days at a time to every AOL client, for example. In short, please give the benefit of the doubt first before becoming concerned.

WHAT IF I WOULD LIKE TO SPEAK TO SOMEONE AT THE AGENCY?

If you need to call, we have mainly a message taking service. Should you need to call, please call 866-876-4488. If you receive voice mail, this means our staff members are not available due to being busy with other authors and other business items. Please leave a message with your email address as this is our primary method of tracking communications. You will receive a faster and more detailed response if you email. We primarily reserve our phone hours for speaking with buyers and doing deals. Please be respectful of this phone number.

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

WHAT ARE YOUR ORGANIZATIONAL PROCESSES?

Acquisitions - First you dealt with Sherry who only works with accepting NEW authors into the agency. If you have other work that you would like to be considered for representation, hold them until you meet your agent (see below). If there is a communication drop during the early stages, please email Sherry and she will figure out what happened. (3-4 days is NOT a communication drop, but 6 days is, so please be realistic in giving us time to respond).

The First 2-3 Weeks (Andrea@WLwritersagency.com) - This is the period where there are potential miscommunications, missed emails, etc. and we work to get in sync with each other. Andrea is your main contact for any problem or the following:

* I need an extension,
* My critique is taking longer,
* I sent in my critique and haven't heard from anyone,
* What about the fact that I have 10 co-authors? How do I ... ?
* I have new work (wait until you meet your agent).
* I haven't heard...
* Who do I contact?
* etc.

The Prep Phase - We receive VERY FEW ready to go manuscripts or scripts. There is usually a polishing phase. Every author is different, and we will work with you given your personal circumstances of time, desire, money, etc. You will be in communication with your agent during this time, but the agent's job is NOT to get into the nitty-gritty of the work, that's what
editors are for. Our agents' jobs are to sell. It is very important that you get this concept because it will be pervasive throughout our relationship.

As Literary Agents, we do not edit, we just sell. We try to let the editors work with our authors for creative changes, mechanics, for everything related to the work itself, and then, the agency staff will work with the writer for packaging, pitching, and presenting the work. Our core competency is selling what you write, not writing what we sell. (And editors and writers can make lousy salespeople, so it works out.)

The Marketing Phase - Once a mutual decision has been made to move your work to marketing, you will enter the marketing phase. This is where the real pace of the industry shows itself. During this time, you will be assigned a specific agent for contact purposes who will contact you and explain all of the marketing processes we use to market your work. We inform ALL of our agents about you and your work as we operate as a team in all of our marketing efforts. If, after 90 days, we have not received favorable publisher/buyer responses, your contact agent will discuss more aggressive options available to market your work.

Marketing Long Term (the remainder of our relationship) - It is important that you really have a good understanding of the time frames in the publishing industry. The pitch cycles are long, the review cycles are long, and the publishing cycles are long and worst of all, the odds are long. The industry's biggest periods of activity are spring and fall. Spring has the London and US book shows, and fall has the German Bookfair. Buyers are generally less active during summer and the Christmas holidays. If you're in a "hurry" to see your book in print, then the traditional publishing route will be frustrating for you, and you will become increasingly frustrated with us. You should plan for at least 6-9 months before you either terminate our company or choose another route. So please settle in for the long run. If you ever decide to decide to terminate your relationship with us, we've learned some interesting dynamics that we can share with you. Also, it won't hurt our feelings if you try to find another agent for additional or new work. Our main desire is to see you succeed, so we are supportive of any efforts you make. Sorry to be so blunt. This is called "managing expectations" and we'd rather under-sell and over-deliver. We are in no way trying to be negative. We hope you understand that we are passionately committed to selling your work and that every day we wake up hoping to get that call! Our best advice now is for you to keep on doing what you do best, writing and creating unique and wonderful work.

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

Other Items:

Frustration / Professional Attitude:

Let's face it we can all become frustrated at times. We simply will not accept anything less than what we pledge to you, and that is a professional relationship and professional communications. Our job is to sell your work so please understand if we are not constantly communicating. We are working and selling. After all, if we do not sell, we do not get paid and nor do you! We endeavor to communicate with you every 30 days, but sometimes we need a gentle reminder and that's no problem. This is a slow moving industry and we hope to have a long-term relationship with you.

We love our authors! We really do. We are on your side and we believe in you and your work! We are optimists and we believe that if you are willing to continuously improve, then you deserve a chance to succeed. We may not sell your work right away, we may never sell your work, however we guarantee that you will emerge from our process a better writer-business person. We have rich authors, we have poor authors, we have degreed authors, we have authors that tell a great story and didn't finish high school. We will endeavor to work with each of you based on your particular circumstances.

In conclusion, we are here for you. We really mean it. We will treat you with professional courtesy and we won't take anything less from you. If we miss an email, work with us to figure out why. Keep in mind the long-term nature of the business. It's a slow industry and if you can't deal with the slow pace then you should consider other options. We're going to be here for the long term, and we want authors with a long-term viewpoint too.


Now, let's get through the Prep Phase and move you into marketing.

If you are getting your critique, there is nothing else to do. Wait until it is finished and you meet your agent. Your agent will email you within 2-3 days of your critique being completed. If you don't hear from your agent within 2-3 days of finishing your critique, email your critique contact.

If you sent in your completed critique from someone other than our referral and haven't heard from anyone, send it again to Andrea.

If you made other arrangements or need a hold, or extension of greater than 30 days, let Andrea know.

If you need help, please email Andrea@WLwritersagency.com and she will cheerfully assist you


Sincerely,
Your Agent Team
WL Writers Agency Group of Companies

James D. Macdonald
11-02-2007, 08:09 AM
Being a compendium of all the appearances of Robert Fletcher and various of his posse at AW.

Updated to add: Posts by others that contain letters or other material from Fletcher and his various alter-egos have been merged into this thread.

T.Trivett
12-20-2007, 08:45 AM
James, no it was a different letter. Guess I shouldn't be so worried about sharing the content....so here ya go:


We are the victims of a smear campaign generated by 3 writers (plus the numerous writers that we have had to fire because their work didn't meet our standards). In short, sour grapes.... Our lawsuit against the 3 main ringleaders will set the record straight.

What's your real risk?...

Are you afraid that we will 'steal your work?'... That's not going to happen either, but if you're worried about that, then you're not for us anyway.

Your real risk is that you miss an opportunity because of some old school blather that has gotten bloated over time.

So, if it were me, I'd enter the arrangement with my eyes open and let us prove ourselves to you. The contract gives you the right to fire us at any time.

We are saddened by this state
of affairs because we know it gives many authors pause when considering
dealing with our company. We are also saddened by the lack of
professionalism shown by these people. A spirited discussion is fine. But,
they have crossed a legal boundary and we intend to follow through with
the considerable resources at our disposal.

victoriastrauss
01-04-2008, 02:30 AM
Here's (http://www.wlwritersagency.com/editing-publisher-reject.PDF) what appears to be the latest version of Writers Literary Agency's "pitch" to publishers. Check out the penciled comments from whichever editor this was sent to ("editing is sloppy and incomplete"), and the marked-up writing sample that follows.

This link was sent to me by a writer who'd already gone through WL's critique process, and to whom WL was attempting to sell further editing services. It's supposed to illustrate why having a "professionally edited" manuscript is important. Here's how WL puts it: "As an example of how important editing is, please click on this link. This is a publisher reject we received that shows you how [sic] the mindset of many buyers and why having a top quality manuscript is so important. This is a not-so-subtle reminder of what the writer and the agent face."

It's also a not-so-subtle reminder of the barefaced chutzpah of Writers Literary Agency. They are clearly assuming that the writer to whom they're trying sell their editing services will not use basic logic to figure out that a) the rejected writer went through WL's editing process too, and his ms. was still "sloppy and incomplete," or b) WL is willing to represent writers whose mss. are "sloppy and incomplete," which c) says something pretty uncomplimentary about their standards, and thus their reception from publishers, and d) kinda gives the lie to that little logo at the bottom of each pitch page: "We represent the largest group of edited authors in the world."

The book being pitched actually sounds pretty cool.

- Victoria

RestlessHeart
01-12-2008, 07:19 AM
RestlessHeart,

Welcome to AW and we're glad to hear your story. How anyone can read these threads and still be take by them is a mystery to me. Every addition helps.

I'm glad to hear you've kept writing. I think the worst thing these jackals do is the psychological trauma they inflict. Some writers never recover.

Good luck with your writing.

Thank you. I know what the jackals were up to. I am not at least surprised. I have gotten over it and rebuilt my writing career back its tracks.

Any additon is probably all there by now. Only one thing is not there that I have been waiting...Well, actually two things...

But this is an email I have gotten recently. Of course, they will keep bugging you now and then because they have nothing else better to do...

Shall I reply...of course not, I know what they were up to in the next step, they will ask you to build your own website, have them collecting more money, you all know the rest.

Now you can see it is Andrea...two years ago she asked me not to send her any email unless if it is about the contract, blah, blah, blah... I must go to Georigia Scott...heh, what a joke, huh?



To: XXXXXXXXXXX


Re: Touching Base - XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX



As you know we are very diligent about replying to every email and with all the spam flying around we want to make sure that we haven't missed anything in the last 30 days.


In the last 30 days we've been working in the LFN database for you and getting all the agents familiar with your work for opportunities when/if they arise. It is slow going, but that's the nature of the industry. So, in general there is nothing new to report from our end.


Our sales have been going well. We just closed a deal for Kristin Finn, with HCI, the publishers of the Chicken Soup Series, for her book, "Bipolar & Pregnant". Let's hope our next sale is yours!


Would you please drop your agent an email to say hello, and let's be sure that everything is accurate? Let us know if there have been any changes to your work, or if there is anything else we should note for your file.


We look forward to hearing from you.


Andrea - Dir. of Administration
The Literary Agency Group


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



p.s. I'm repeating our email about marketing strategies below. If you would like to discuss our more aggressive strategies please email your agent about that as well.




We have a number of marketing methods by which we take your work to the market. As we work together we will explain which marketing methods we are using and keep you informed along the way. These methods basically address the fact that different buyers want the information in different ways.


Method 1) The LFN ("Look For Now" Database)
Method 2) Email Mailings
Method 3) Direct Mail (snail mail) mailings
Method 4) Participatory Advertising
Method 5) Pitch trips/Trade Shows, etc.


Method 1) The LFN ("Look For Now") Database
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
The information on your hotsheet has been placed into the very powerful database that we rent to match your work with what buyers are 'Looking For Now'. We call this the LFN database (Look For Now). It takes us some time and energy to keep your work in this database but that is part of what you get while you are actively working with us. Our Agents are constantly calling on our buyer contacts and asking them, "what are you looking for now?" Then when they tell us what they want, our agents go to the LFN database and search it, and hopefully your work pops up as a likely candidate for that buyer's request. We search keywords, genre, title, etc. Once your work pops up, then our work begins in earnest. We create a pitch package that meets the buyer's requested format and we send the materials to them (usually by mail, sometimes by email). Then we manage the followup process (calling, emailing, etc.) We will let you know what is going on with project reports about every 3-4 weeks. The LFN is where we like to begin our process with you. It's the slowest of the 5 methods, but it's a good place to start because it gives us an indication of how closely your work matches what buyers are looking for in today's environment. The LFN is NOT publically available. It is a proprietary database that we use with our buyers.


Method 2) Email Mailings
-------------------------------------
We have a number of contacts that we can email about your work. If this is the case, then we will work with you to build a website for you that mirrors your hotsheet so that the buyer can click to the site from the email link. This assumes you don't already have a website. If you do, please confirm with me the website address. (Note: a website is an optional tool for you, we can discuss it as we go along). If you already have a website specific to your work please let me know.


Method 3) Direct Mailings
--------------------------
Unfortunately, many buyers still like to be mailed printed work. We may decide to snail mail your materials to this buyer group.


Method 4) Participatory Advertising
----------------------------------------------------------------
In the past we have advertised our authors in certain magazines and media that the buyers read. We may suggest that you participate in one of these campaigns.


Method 5) Pitch Trips/Trade Shows/Industry Festivals
-----------------------------------------------------------
We travel, we attend the top trade shows in the US, Germany, and England. We attend major industry festivals in the US and abroad, in short, we try to be where the buyers are. Our next big trade show is in June at the US Book Expo where we will have a table/stand in the Rights Center.

DaveKuzminski
01-15-2008, 04:01 AM
I added one statement near the one from their attorney.

From: Sherry@WLscreenplayAgency.com
To: xxxxxxxxxxxxx (xxxxxxxxxxxxx@hotmail.com)
Subject: RE: WL Screenplay Agency: Thank You For Your Query
Date: Mon, 14 Jan 2008 11:09:02 -0500


.ExternalClass .EC_hmmessage P{padding-right:0px;padding-left:0px;padding-bottom:0px;padding-top:0px;}.ExternalClass EC_BODY.hmmessage{font-size:10pt;font-family:Tahoma;}First, you have to realize that writers bashing their agents is a time honored tradition (grin). See this link. http://www.observer.com/2007/helen-dewitt-trashes-andrew-wylie-portfolio-com (http://www.observer.com/2007/helen-dewitt-trashes-andrew-wylie-portfolio-com)

So, if you want to you can find naysayers about anyone. We generally chalk it up to envy, jealousy, and a negative orientation towards life... in short, sour grapes.

However, sometimes an a writer can go to far in their vindictiveness. We are the victims of a smear campaign generated by 3 writers (plus the numerous writers that we have had to fire because their work didn't meet our standards). In short, sour grapes.... Our lawsuit against the 3 main ringleaders will set the record straight.

This writer said it best.

Dear Sherry Fine,
I am utterly amazed at the amount of negative
feedback directed at you - from the internet.
How do you keep going amidst such a barrage.
Firstly, I don't believe you are as bad as they are
all saying. Secondly, I NEVER believe what others say,
regarding art or anything else, compared to what I
DIRECTLY experience myself.
Thirdly, all of your emails to me, to date, have
been sensitive, intelligent and aware.
So, I may be half-crazy (many writers are), but I'm
willing to proceed! All the best - Alex


What's your real risk?...

Are you afraid that we will 'steal your work?'... That's not going to happen either, but if you're worried about that, then you're not for us anyway.

Your real risk is that you miss an opportunity because of some old school blather that has gotten bloated over time.

So, if it were me, I'd treat this like any other business arrangement. Keep your eyes open ad decide for yourself. In other words, let us prove ourselves to you. http://www.theliteraryagencygroup.com/positives.html (http://www.theliteraryagencygroup.com/positives.html) so we're confident that you will be satisfied with our relationship.

This one sums it up.

Dear Sherry Fine,
I am utterly amazed at the amount of negative
feedback directed at you - from the internet.
How do you keep going amidst such a barrage.
Firstly, I don't believe you are as bad as they are
all saying. Secondly, I NEVER believe what others say,
regarding art or anything else, compared to what I
directly experience myself.
Thirdly, all of your emails to me, to date, have
been sensitive, intelligent and aware.
So, I may be half-crazy (many writers are), but I'm
willing to proceed! All the best - Alex

Truly, we are saddened by this state of affairs because we know it gives many authors pause when considering dealing with our company. We are also saddened by the lack of
professionalism shown by these people. A spirited discussion is fine. But,
they have crossed a legal boundary and we intend to follow through with
the considerable resources at our disposal.


Our attorney has approved the following statement: Is this the place where I should be cringing and begging for mercy?
----------------------------------------------------
"The material promulgated by these websites and people is false, misleading,
and grounds for a series of lawsuits. At this time we are bringing suit against a
number of websites and people that we believe have
defamed our corporation. We expect to prevail with a temporary restraining
order (TRO) issued by Federal Court, by the end of the year."

Jerrold G. Neeff The Bostonian Law Group 33 Kingston St., Fourth Fl. Boston, MA 02111 www.Bostonianlaw.com (http://www.bostonianlaw.com/) This e-mail and any attachments thereto, is intended only for use by the addressee(s) named herein and may contain legally privileged and/or confidential information. If you are not the intended recipient of this e-mail, you are hereby notified any dissemination, distribution or copying of this email, and any attachments thereto, is strictly prohibited. If you receive this email in error please immediately notify me and permanently delete the original copy and any copy of any e-mail, and any printout thereof. Further information about the firm, a list of the members and their professional qualifications will be provided upon request.


And if this email from a client doesn't tell you how wrong they are then we'd be very surprised. This is from Joe T, a screenplay client that we just sold a script for.
------------------------------------------------------
"I currently read some bad remarks about Writers Lit on some writers blog website, I couldn't believe it. It said you guys were scam artist and all this and that. I must tell you though I have no complaints, Writers Lit helped me a lot in growing as a writer through the whole editing process and has been honest with me so far. To be honest I never thought it would sell. Born of Earth was the first script I'd ever written, so all this is a bit still surreal. But I just wanted to let you know I appreciate everything you have done. Look forward to continue our working relationship." Joe T.


Best regards,
Sherry Fine - VP Acquisitions

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.

p.s. Missed Emails, Spam, Whitelists, and other reasons for lapses in communications. There's an old joke in showbiz that asks the question, "What do you get if you cross an agent with a turnip?" The answer is "A turnip that doesn't return your phone calls." That won't happen with us. We are very, very diligent about returning every email that we receive within a couple of days. The same is true for our vendors and suppliers. IF YOU DO NOT RECEIVE A COMMUNICATION AND YOU BELIEVE THAT YOU SHOULD HAVE, PLEASE, CHECK WITH US AND WE WILL SEE WHAT HAPPENED. Please don't jump to negative conclusions. The Internet is not 100% foolproof and we are very sensitive to our clients' expectations and our promises about timely communications.

FINAL NOTE: VERY IMPORTANT: BE SURE TO CHECK YOUR SPAM AND JUNK EMAIL FOLDERS. THE BIG ISPS ARE RECLASSIFYING EMAILS CONSTANTLY. Also, please make a meaningful SUBJECT LINE. We are so deluged with spam that it is tough to pick out the real emails. (sigh).

And if you can always try to be sure your first name, last name, and title is in the email somewhere it would be appreciated.






-----Original Message-----
From: xxxxxxxxxx
Sent: Saturday, January 12, 2008 2:48 PM
To: sherry@wlscreenplayagency.com
Subject: RE: WL Screenplay Agency: Thank You For Your Query


Thank you for your speedy response but due to discoveries made by a little internet research, I've decided not to pursue your company.

> From: Sherry@WLscreenplayAgency.com
> To: xxxxxxxxxx
> Subject: WL Screenplay Agency: Thank You For Your Query
> Date: Fri, 11 Jan 2008 12:35:57 -0500
>
> Thank you for your query to the WL Screenplay Agency and Management Co.
> Based on your query form information we would like to see your work and
> learn a little bit more about you.
>
>
> 1) Would you please send us an electronic copy
> of your screenplay for further evaluation?
>
> Please email your manuscript to
> script@WLscreenplayagency.com .
>
> 2) Would you please answer these 2 questions
> in the body of the SAME email? (Just copy and paste
> the questions).
>
> A. How long have you been writing, and
> what are your goals as a writer?
>
> B. Do you consider your writing 'ready-to-go', or do you think it needs
> some polishing? If you have had coverage or a formal critique please list
> the details and dates and discuss the changes you made. If you have worked
> with accredited screenwriters, please discuss that as well.
>
>
> You may send either 30 or so pages, or the entire screenplay, whichever you
> are more comfortable sending to us. Your screenplay is completely safe
> within our company. We take care to properly manage all access and if we
> don't end up working together, we delete all files.
>
> Please DO NOT include any questions with your submission. If you have a
> question, please send it to question@WLScreenplayAgency.com where the proper
> people may address your question. Most of the questions you may have are
> answered on the website and at the bottom of this email. Please see the
> FAQs below.
>
>
> Our preference for receiving your script is via email.
> ============================================
> If you simply must mail your work, please email our question email and
> request a mailing code and address. Please explain thoroughly why you feel
> that you must mail the work. (Can you tell by now that we really want to
> make it difficult to mail? We hate mail. It costs money to ship, buyers
> don't want hardcopy, etc, etc.) Mailed scripts may take up to 6 weeks to
> reply/process. As a matter of fact, we will probably lose it and you will be
> mad at us <grin>. Emailed scripts are processed much more quickly.
>
>
> We believe we are very different than other agencies.
> ================================================== ========
> We believe that we are unique in that we are willing to develop an author
> and their talent. We like the metaphor of a business incubator as a
> description of how we will take time to bring an author's work to the proper
> quality level, even if it takes months to do so. We take pride in the fact
> that we answer every email personally within 2-3 days.
>
> Also, you may understand how a Literary Agency works, but many authors
> don't, so please excuse me while I take a minute and let you know how the
> process works. As your Literary Agent, our mission is to assist you in
> finding a buyer for your work and to coach you along the way in various
> options available to you. We don't edit your work, our mission is to sell
> for you. As for compensation, get paid on success only, meaning we only get
> paid if you get paid. Typically we will receive 10% of what you receive if
> we are successful.
>
> We do not charge fees, so our compensation is based on success only. Along
> the way, we may suggest that you improve the quality of your work and or how
> it is presented. Once your work is deemed 'presentable', then we'll start
> shopping it to buyers.
>
> We never promise a sale, but we can tell you that we have a model that
> works.
>
> We look forward to receiving your materials.
>
> Best regards,
> Sherry - V.P. Acquisitions
>
> p.s. You might as well get used to these long emails. Part of our filtering
> process is to see if you actually read them <grin>. Why the long emails? If
> you will read them you will actually get a decent view of the agency
> business and what we see from our side. We try to explain as much as we can
> along the way and I am always pleased when authors tell me that they enjoyed
> learning from these emails.
>
> Please don't be upset because we use forms and long emails. I spend my time
> doing two basic tasks, 1) managing submissions and evaluations (currently
> about 3000 applicants a month), and 2) answering questions. If I can answer
> your question BEFORE you ask it, then the entire process will proceed much
> more efficiently.
>
> As a corollary to that, if you want long-winded, personalized emails you
> will probably not enjoy our process. If you are as busy as we are, and you
> pride yourself on operating efficiently (it is a business after all), then
> you will enjoy how efficiently we focus on the point, and that is, whether
> we can work together based on your writing and attitude.
>
> PLEASE UNDERSTAND THAT YOU WILL HAVE A MUCH MORE PERSONALIZED INTERACTION
> WITH OUR AGENTS IF YOU PASS THE EVALUATION PROCESS. This is the biggest
> complaint that we get and I wish I could spend oodles of time with each of
> you. I just can't. Sometimes it's like drinking from a firehose over here.
> So, please rest assured that there will be plenty of personal interaction
> with your agent but not with me. I am a real person, and I do look at every
> email. After that we have some pretty sophisticated tools for managing
> emails.
>
>
>
> Frequently Asked Questions
> =============================
> Q) Do you return screenplays?
> A) Sorry for the inconvenience however, WE DO NOT RETURN SCREENPLAYS due to
> the volume of submissions we receive. Please do not send us anything that
> you can't replace easily.
>
> Q) Would you prefer me to email or mail my script?
> A) WE MUCH PREFER EMAILED SCRIPTS.
>
> Q) How should I attach my script?
> A) PLEASE DO NOT PASTE YOUR MANUSCRIPT INTO THE BODY OF THE EMAIL. Please
> send it to us as an attachment, otherwise it hangs up the mail system. If
> you can't create an attachment, please get a friend to help you do so. We
> have every software known to the industry, so unless the format is pre-1990
> then we can read it.
>
> Q) Is my screenplay safe with you?
> A) Your materials are safe within our company. If you are uncomfortable
> sending your entire script, please only send half of it and a strong
> treatment. If we do not end up working together we will destroy and delete
> any copies of your work that we have.
>
> Q) How long does this review take?
> A) About 7-10 days. We're faster than most other agencies.
>
> Q) Why is there no phone number? I want to talk to someone...
> A) Quite frankly, we are deluged with submissions. It is our policy to
> provide a contact number later in the process, assuming we would like to
> proceed with you.
>
> Q) Where are you located?
> A) We maintain executive suites in Los Angeles and New York and we have
> various relationship partners in Los Angeles where we meet with clients and
> buyers. Other than that, we travel often and have the good fortune to live
> in Florida and California depending on the time of year. Sometimes we think
> that we live in airports.
>
> Q) Do I need to copyright my work before I send it?
> A) Not really. Your script and creations are completely safe within our
> company. We take care to properly manage all access and if we don't end up
> working together, we delete all files. You may also want to copyright it,
> but we don't need it to be copyrighted to analyze it. Regarding copyright,
> there are two ways you can go. One way is to do it yourself at
> http://www.loc.gov/copyright/ . The other way is to let someone who does it
> all the time do it for you. We found a list of copyright services here.
> http://www.inktip.com/protect-scripts.php Some of the services do books and
> some screenplays.
>
> Q) Tell me about your company.
> A) We are bigger than a small agency and smaller than a large agency. We
> have about 15 people total and at any one time it seems that we have about 3
> option agreements in negotiations. We market to the larger and medium sized
> producers. None of the options have made it to production yet, because
> we're on the newer side, but it should be a good year for our authors this
> year! As you noticed, we're new as a company. That's why we're seeking new
> talent to build our roster. Most agencies don't take new authors, so it's an
> opportunity for each of us. We have an "extended team" concept where we
> have various "partners" in Hollywood. If those partners like a script then
> they will work it with us (we pay them, not you). Those partners have
> connections of the highest caliber, Our principals have helped negotiate a
> number of options already though so we know the ropes. We are just now
> starting to work under our own corporate name. I wish I had more to say,
> but at least we're honest about our newness and we think our partners give
> us the reach that we need into inner Hollywood.
>
> Q) Have you ever been sued or in legal action with your clients/authors?
> A) We are very proud of the fact that we have NEVER been sued or a part of a
> legal action. (Note: We are bringing suit against a number of writers that
> have been bad mouthing our company, but that's different. We are very
> concerned about our repuation and will protect it strongly. As you know,
> there are nay-sayers everywhere if you want to look for them.)
>
> Q) How do I know you are for real?
> A) All we ask is that you judge us on the professionalism of our
> interactions together. We will never ask you for money, so that's one way to
> judge for yourself. Our commitment to you is that we believe that we should
> get paid only if we sell your work. Your commitment to us is that you will
> do what it takes to make sure your script is the best it can be and that it
> meets or exceeds industry quality standards.
>
> Q) What are you looking for during your evaluation?
> A) We mainly look for COMMERCIAL VIABILITY in the work coupled with good
> solid writing skills. "Is it something that will sell?" is of paramount
> importance to us. (We ARE NOT scrutinizing every word, spelling, and grammar
> usage. There's plenty of time later for that.) We believe that great writers
> are made, not born at least 99% of the time. But if a work doesn't have
> commercial potential, then we want to let you know as quickly as possible.
> Being willing to grow talent, we believe in the old adage, "luck is when
> opportunity meets preparation and hard work".
>
> Q) What if you find errors or problems with my screenplay? Should I spend
> time revising now, or later?
> A) We receive very few 'ready-to-go' screenplays. We believe we are unique
> in that we are willing to work with our authors along the way. Most that we
> receive need some level of polishing before we can submit them to buyers.
> Some need very little polishing. Some need a lot. 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.
>
> Q) My screenplay isn't finished....
> A) As long as there is enough finished to determine your skills as a writer
> we are willing to look at your work. As mentioned previously, we take a
> long term view and we are willing to develop talent.
>
> Q) Is this an automated email? Is there a real person out there?
> A) Yes, and yes, and yes... We personally review each query form to
> determine whether the story idea/synopsis sounds interesting. This tells us
> which screenplays we would like to receive.
>
> Then, yes, we do use form letter emails to provide these FAQs. Can you
> imagine typing this time and time again? We pride ourselves on using
> technology to be as efficient as possible. This allows us to work with
> authors from anywhere in the world. By automating certain elements of our
> communications we can spend more thoughtful time on your questions that are
> specific to you and your situation.
>
>
> Best regards,
> Sherry - VP of Acquisitions
> We Grow Talent
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
> How Did You Hear of Us?
> Internet surfing.
>
> The Title of Your Work:
> * xxxxx xxxxx
>
> Logline/Synopsis:
> *
> YYYYY
>
>
>
> Your Name:
> * XXXXXXXXXX
>
> Your Email Address:
> * XXXXXXXXXX
>
>
> Do you have coverage or a critique, and if so give details please?
> * No
>
> Your Bio:
> ZZZZZZ
>
>
> And now for the questions (I hope not to offend but it's best to clear the
> air between us sooner, rather than later and your web-site does try to
> promote a somewhat candid sense of business):
>
> - P & E ( http://anotherealm.com/prededitors/peals.htm ) advises against
> using your company due to a vague "difference of interests" and labels
> Sherry Fine as not being recommended - would you care to clarify?
>
> - None of the writers who gave feedback on your site have names - I would
> like to check out their credentials on IMDb and was wondering if you'd
> provide me with a (partial is fine) list of clients?
>
> - You don't charge any fees which gives of the impression of legitimacy...
> are there any hidden costs such as stamps and envelopes?
>
> - 10% is pretty much the industry standard if not even on the lower end of
> the scale; could you apprise me as to the terms and conditions of any
> contracts that may exist between us regarding my work and your
> representation of it?
>
>
> AAAAA
>
> I thank you for your time and look forward to hearing from you again soon
> (in 2-3 days, right?);
>
> Sincerely,
>
>
> XXXXXXXXXX
>

****************************My comments once more***********************
Well, since The Bostonian Law Group opposes Internet fraud, I wonder how your attorney, Jerrold G. Neeff, will feel when all your victims write to him with their complaints?

Norseman_2008
04-10-2008, 01:07 PM
I wrote a BRILLIANT novel and started sending queries. All were negative except for a nice reply from WL Writers’ Literary Agency in 04 Aug 07. Sherry Fine asked for the manuscript, and I was in 7th heaven.

I sent the manuscript and 2 days later Sherry answered that it had been sent to ”our evaluation team”. This prosess would take 1-2 weeks. There was a long list of Frequently asked questions for me to read.
The last question was:
Do you consider your writing ”ready-to-go” or do you think it needs some polishing? If you have been through a formal editing process, please describe it in detail, ie name/company of editor (s) etc.
I answered it was almost ready to go except forr som spelling errerrs and so on, since English in not my native language.

12 Aug 07 Sherry wrote :
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 proceed by offering to represent you.
We feel that your concept and writing thus far has potential and that if it is polished and presented properly, we can sell it.
To take the next step, please read the information below and follow the instructions at the end of this email. Unfortunately, this email is quite long, but it has to be as this sets the stage for our working together.
The summary of what is below is this:
1. We choose to represent authors that can demonstrate beyond a shadow of
doubt that their work meets or exceeds industry writing quality standards. That's our promise to our buyers and publishers that we work with.
2. If a writer is willing to improve their work, and has a decent topic, then we think that writer deserves a chance. It is the willingness to improve that impresses us.
3. Our biggest frustration as an agent is when a publisher asks us if we have a book like "xxxx yyyyy zzzz" and we don't have a work to pitch in the 'xxxx yyyyy zzzzz' category. Frankly we want to say YES! to any request from a buyer and to know that the author's work is prepped and ready to send. So, we take more authors than other traditional agencies.
I hope we work together and you see the ruthless efficiency of our credo.
The information below explains what the next steps are.

Best regards,
Sherry - VP Acquisitions

Then followed several pages of why it is wise to have a critique, but she wrote:
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.)
I was still hooked, and when they sent me an electronic contract I signed on, and I was asked to send in the critique, and she offered to help me with that, by referring me to a critique service, named AdminWL@writersliterary.com (AdminWL@writersliterary.com).
Now I started to get a little suspicious, because the name was very similar to the agency, both had WL in them.

20 Aug 07, I was waiting for the contract to come through, but my new contact, Carole, asked me to wait because she had just returned from vacation.
21 Aug 07 I finally got the contract, and more nagging about critique.

Then I sent a mail asking some questions, mainly how much editing and fees would be needed to polish my work to a standard that could be published, which was answered by Andrea – Dir of Administration:
You've been reading too many blogs.Yes, one critique, maybe some editing, and then we try to sell it.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.Ok?

I thought, what the hell, let me get a critique, but from someone else, and I contacted a writer who also does critiques and editing. She warned me about WL and advised me to get out of the contract, which I did.


Since then I had taken a pause, then I expanded and rewrote the novel, send it to several agents, got 1 request to send the novel.
Then followed a polite rejection with “your writing style was impressive” and “what I felt was missing, as far as the kinds of projects we’re currently looking form, is a more conventionally-structured narrative.”
I don’t even know what the hell the last part means.

Now I have given up and I’m in the middle of publishing the novel on the Booksie-website.

Shakesbear
09-04-2008, 05:31 PM
I have just had an email from the Acquisitions Director inviting me to have a critique done on my work. The whole thing is an insult to any one who aspires to be a writer! Each line starts with a capital letter, and anyone who calls themselves a Literary Agent and sends out a piece of writing that is not grammatically correct should be shunned! There was also something about the way it was written that made me think it was not right - too reassuring and trying too hard.

SammyW the email also contained this:


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 at
Any time if we don't perform. 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

As they do not define 'if we don't perform' I would suggest that you could take that to mean that they have not performed in your best interests and therefore you can sack them!

DaveKuzminski
09-17-2008, 07:11 PM
Here's an excerpt from a WL Writers Literary Agency email to a prospective client that was shared with me last night where the agency claims that they received the following:

'(Here's an email from the type of person that frequents the message boards.
"It has come to my attention that you are planning to represent Clint the person who wrote the darkness. I have read some of the work on the internet.
If you find him a publisher I will slit his throat. I know here he lives and will not stand crap like that making fun of the one true god"

We call these people 'internidiots'. They frequent message boards.
Invariably the 10% of internidiots end up in the camp of 3 writers* (Crispin, MacDonald, Strauss) that purport to be industry watchdogs*, and everyone natters on endlessly about how bad we are. ... Lookup these three people's sales. 1 or 2 books each and total lifetime revenue is maybe $5-10k is our best guess.
These are non-successful authors, in our opinion.'

If there was such a threat, the agency should have forwarded that email to the FBI. In the meantime, the agency's email isn't professional at all. It rambles as if trying to implicate others as being part of a conspiracy.

SpecialKT
11-20-2008, 12:57 PM
Hi everyone. I want to thank you all for your diligence in your attempts to protect fellow writers. It really provides a great example of a strong writing community, and I'm happy I found this site, which I hope will be helpful for me in the future.

Let me introduce myself. I am a Bachelor of Arts candidate at Columbia College Chicago, majoring in Fiction Writing (for real! it's awesome!) I'm set to graduate this fall! I really enjoy, not just writing, but also reading other people's stories and helping them edit and rewrite to make their story the best it can possibly be. I recently started my own online literary magazine, Kaleidoscopic Resonance. Going into the second issue, I'm still smoothing out the wrinkles, but overall I'm pretty proud of it and it should only continue to get better. My goal after graduation is to find a good paying job (good enough to pay off my student loans) in publishing and editing.

So in an attempt to jump-start my career, I began searching for publishing jobs last March. And I ran across a very enticing post on WriteJobs.com offering the opportunity to telecommute - a dream job for a student! So I didn't even think to look into this company, apart from checking out their own website. I emailed the contact in the post and got setup to start work as a Poetry Critic for the infamous - *cue suspenseful music, dun Dun DUUUM* - Writer's Literary Services. I've been working there for 8 months now, fairly happily with only a few bad spots along the way. In September, I broadened the playing field by becoming a critic of Novels and Children's Stories in addition to Poetry. So knowing now that I am a regular person, a writer just like you all, who also works for the company in question, let me give you a taste of my experience, as a "tween-er", in between the tracks...

My job as a Critic for the Writer's Literary Services (or whatever our name is now, we've kinda sorta changed names twice since I've been working here) includes reading three poems from poets, the synopsis and a few pages to the first chapter from a novel, then providing a critique of the work based on prompted questions from the company's form and my own experience and opinions. I try to give the most honest and thorough critique of the artist's work to help them improve their writing and hopefully help them get published through improving their writing. I do admit to using generic "cut and paste" responses on certain topics, which amount to general tips that every new writer can use. However I only "cut and paste" when it is appropriate and I do provide examples of every criticism I make.

Every now and then I feel like I'm crushing some poor soul's dreams - seriously, you guys should see some of the garbage I get. Some days I do not look forward to opening the manuscripts. Ugh. But sometimes I get a real jewel. I've even started writing some promising names down to look out for in the future - if they ever end up getting published. And even better is when I get a diamond in the rough that I can really help with the tips and tools I've acquired from college and my experience in the industry. That is an awesome feeling! Anyway, the point I'm trying to drive home to everyone is that I work as an Independent Contractor for Writer's Lit. I am in no way affiliated with the company, nor do I have any secret motives of trying to rob poor unsuspecting writers. I think the reason they get to say that the critiques are done by objective third-parties is because they are done by people like me, even though we critics may work under a company that works alongside another company. Do I think the critiques are worth it for a writer? In some ways, yes, but in general, probably not. If you don't have a writing community to turn to for an honest opinion on your work, then yes, the critique is absolutely invaluable. If you do have a support system where you get valuable feedback, then you really shouldn't need the critique. And it seems to be a pre-requisite to some Literary Agencies. At any rate, I was getting paid $10 per critique. The math still doesn't add up to me - authors are paying $84 and I only get $10 of it, seriously? I asked for a raise when I quit my "day job" so to speak, to focus solely on my critiques and my last semester of college. Unfortunately, they turned me down. But I'm just happy to be getting paid for a service that I am paying my college to allow me to give to my fellow classmates!

Unfortunately for me, apparently all of the negative posts about this company have got around and with the economy already in shambles, I think Writer's Lit is about to fall. Recently, I received a pay cut by 25%. I now make $7.50 per critique, barely minimum wage in my state. The company hopes to make up for this cut at the end of each month after assessing their financial status and give a bonus to each employee based on the amount of work he/she has completed. Not holding my breath on that. For the past month, I'm missing two paychecks and one paycheck actually BOUNCED! I wish I was kidding. The company claimed to be having some "fraud activity" at the time, but I think it was bad bookkeeping, personally. Well, my bank charged ME with a $15 return check fee (what's that all about?) I've contacted my Administrator in Accounting about the bounced check (mind you, this is all through email) and it's been a week and I still haven't heard anything back. I have received and successfully deposited a paycheck into my account since the bounced check, so they haven't dropped out of the game just yet, but things are not looking good for them. I got online and Googled the name, realizing that if I lose my job and back pay, I have no way of contacting any other employees to band together with. I was hoping to connect with some other employees online and see if anyone else that worked for the company was having the same troubles I am. I keep thinking, what if they're scamming ME? It'd be just as easy to do as a writer. I hesitate to call it a scam though. They are providing a service, however misrepresented and disappointing some people feel it is. As to whether any one has actually been published by my company - well, I don't work for a literary agency, I work for an editing agency, so my company and I have no direct effect on whether an author actually gets published. Nor do we claim to. I stand proudly by the work that I've personally done for this company, though I'm still not sure about this Robert guy who signs my checks and I'm still not even sure that all the companies are not one in the same.

I hope that any of you who have received a critique understand now that we are real people working with you, not corporate zombie Nazis, even if the company we work for seems to be questionable at best. Everyone can use some valuable feedback from a knowledgeable insider. I'm in a bit of a pickle because I want out, but because of my personal situation - graduating from school, preparing to move, etc. - it will be difficult to get another job for just a month. So it seems I am stuck working for the enemy for the time being just to pay my bills. I'm hoping for the best. Hoping the company turns around and takes the actions to improve their ethics. Hoping they don't go under while I'm still working there. Hoping I will receive the pay that I am entitled to, that I worked hard for. And hoping that no more of my fellow writers will be duped into believing that an agent is really much help to a new writer.

I wish you all the best in your writing endeavors. Please be careful out there. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask. Just be gentle. I am a real person with real feelings, and not some blank face at the other end of the computer.

- Katie

Sweetleaf
01-06-2009, 10:52 PM
After calling them out on the fact the contract they sent me was misleading, Robert has sent me a different one, and said that they are 'in the midst of a contract split'.

Anyone have any idea what that's supposed to mean?

JudasFm
01-16-2009, 02:01 AM
My experience with them...

They don't read or review the critiques either. I was stupid enough to pay out for one and what I got back basically raved about my manuscript. How much of this was true and how much was a scam, I don't know (I thought it was all done by WL's lackeys until reading SpecialKT's post) but I will admit to feeling Many Warm Fuzzies upon receiving it ;)

A couple days later I heard from WL (the infamous Georgina).


It is normal in that it shows
some work still to be done,
And some areas that are ok/adequate.

Okay, there were one or two minor formatting issues (didn't put the contact details on the title page and apparently the page numbers have to be right justified; that was all). She then went on to suggest I hire an editor, saying that I could 'make the changes myself' but that the manuscript would be subjected to an 'in-house critique' to see if the editing was up to scratch. Chances are it wouldn't be and I'd have to cough up more money.

Personally, the critique seemed to say that it was better than 'ok/adequate' (no spelling/punctuation/grammar errors and the critic's exact words were "This is a fantastic manuscript"...in fact, she didn't have a bad word to say about it). So much for 'in-depth review'. If I had any doubts that they were in this purely to rip people off, that email just erased them.

As far as I'm concerned, though, paying some faceless editor at an agency upwards of $1500 to right-align the header and put his address on the front cover wouldn't make me a Real Writer. It would make me an idiot.

Still, I learned (yet another) lesson and emailed them saying as far as I was concerned the contract was null and void, and that I no longer wanted them to do any work on my behalf. Now we just need to wait and see if they squeal about the "90 days of no sale thing".

Oh well, if they do, I signed the contract in December, so they've had 30 of those 90 days already ;) I'm quite looking forward to their reply, to tell you the truth; from what I've seen on this thread so far, their response seems to be not-so-subtle emotional abuse along the lines of You're Not A Real Writer And You Don't Stand A Chance Without Us.

Just my two cents :)

JudasFm
01-16-2009, 09:32 PM
Just got Georgina's reply:


Dear Jude,

I am sorry that this didn't work out.

This email shall serve as formal termination and dissolution of our Literary
Agency Contract for Representation.

We wish you the best in all your writing endeavors.

Best Regards,
Georgina - Senior Agent

I have to say I was kind of hoping for a little more emotional blackmail than that (something along the lines of "you can't do it without us, I thought you were a Serious Writer") I was looking forward to ripping it to pieces. Still, they were polite so I guess I should be; I'm not vindictive :)

Oh well, they let me off the contract without the whole 90 days thing rearing its ugly head, so I'm happy :D You know what they say: live and learn.

Of course, this now means I have to begin the whole agent search over again. Fifth time lucky, perhaps?

(Yes, I have had four prior inexperienced, clueless and disreputable agents, mostly due to being so inexperienced and clueless myself and getting too carried away with the whole "WOW, someone wants to represent my BOOK thing". Anyone who wishes to is welcome to point and laugh hysterically at the daft newbie :P Still, this has the added bonus that at least I now know what NOT to look for ;))

Jeff79922
01-25-2009, 07:38 AM
here's the "interview" I was sent:
Thank you for requesting more information about all that information you
found on the web. Recently, we were interviewed by a very known web-writer
named DeleriousGirl, and this is the text of the interview. I think you will
find it interesting, to say the least.

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

The Naked Truth Interview: Is WL and AEG a Scam?

Copyright 2008-2009. This interview may be reproduced only in its entirety.

===============================
DeleriousGirl (DG) decides to see what is really going on with the merger
between one of most vocally discussed and denounced literary agency and
publisher companies on the internet, the WL Literary Agency Group, and AEG
Strategic & Eloquent Publishing.

The two companies have recently announced a merger and DG has decided to
"dig for dirt". What is really behind this company? Is it the scam everyone
says it is? Why all the flack? DG decides to see for herself what all the
commotion is about.

Note: For reference, The company press release is at
http://www.aegpublishinggroup.com/aeg_pressrelease.html .

But we didn't want to go with the 'party line", we wanted to get deeper, as
we suggest that most writers do.

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

DG: OK, let's get right to the point, there's an elephant in the room and
I'm going to go ahead and shoot it: I have seen and read some very, very
derogatory online forums regarding your companies, both past and present.
As a writer and a voracious reader, my first knee-jerk reaction was to be
worried about the integrity of your publishing companies and how you treat
writers. "Where's the beef? What's the problem? Why are you so hated by so
many?

AEG: The short answer is that we don't fit anybody's mold. We're
different, and we're already bigger than the industry pundits know what to
do with. In the last 6 months, we've published over 250 authors and we're
selling 1500 books a week for them. We expect to sell over 150,000 books
for our authors next year, and a million books by 2010 if we keep growing at
this pace. We are also one of the few companies already doing joint
ventures into China and Australia for our authors.

We have venture capitalists approaching us and we are 'squeaky clean" from
and accounting and legal perspective as we are also considering going
public. Believe me, if there was anything to anyone's allegations it would
have been a deal killer by now. Any real business-person can look at those
numbers above and realize that our company must be legit, because you don't
grow that big as 'scammers'.


Also, we employ about 50 people now from all over the world, and those
employees certainly wouldn't work for a scam company either.

In short, those sites like Writers Beware and Preditors & Editors, are run
by 'minor league writers'. We're in the big leagues and frankly, we scare
the shit out of them. The people that run those sites don't have the time,
or the inclination to do an interview like this. They are like old, and
tired, and worn-out horses that have been around too long and like the old
'Mikie" they hate everything that is different But if anyone wants to
believe them, that's fine, we don't have time to waste as we are building a
very, very global business with real "writer-business-people" that are
committed to their careers. Our clients don't sit around reading whiner
sites, that's for sure.



DG: Do I detect a bit of frustration?

AEG: Of course, it's like the old kindergarten game, where you sit in a
circle, whisper into the person's ear next to yours, and the end result is
so far removed from the original statement, that it is very, very
frustrating. I will give our detractors a bit of credit though, they have
caused us to toughen up, and succeed in spite of their crap. As the old
saying goes, "that which does not kill me makes me stronger", and believe
me, we are so lean and mean right now, that we are approaching unstoppable,
and frankly their opinions no longer matter to our business. And don’t tell
them this, but they are actually helping us at this point . . . They are
free advertising, as most rational authors can't believe what they are now
saying, and the authors come to us to '”see for themselves".

We don't work with authors that won't spend the money it takes to improve
and that has served us well. The industry is realizing that the fastest way
to separate the good from the bad, is how much time and energy the author
has spent developing their craft. That's what we want. We won't stomach or
tolerate "something for nothing" people, and that attitude has perhaps
become misconstrued.



DG: That all sounds nice, but really, why all the negative press?

AEG: We have really tried to listen to the marketplace and we have made
certain adjustments to the way we do business, however, we are very clear
about one thing, we only want committed authors with edited, or reviewed
work. That means that we only want authors that have been edited, or are
willing to get help and assistance. So, what happens is this, we say, "your
work needs help", and immediately we are jumped on. Why authors think that
they get the world for free is beyond me. We can make EVERY author a better
author, and we do, it just costs some money, and this is a business, so
we're used to investing in our business, why wouldn't a writer invest in
theirs?

We have tried to dialog with P&E, Writers Beware, SFWA, etc. Unfortunately,
those people are so backward-minded and stuck, that they really didn't
listen, so we now ignore them and we just keep chugging. Frankly, and I
don't want to be mean about it, but we think some of our authors make more
in one month than that crowd has made in their in their entire writing
career. We suggest that authors make up their own mind, and not rely on
anyone else when forming their opinion, especially minor-leaguers.



DG: Ok, I can understand that you tell authors that they must improve, and I
agree with how important that is, but what about the fact that you refer
them to your own company?


R: That "own company" that you are referring to is now the second largest
editing and services company in the world, second only to Scribendi.
Frankly, the editing companies that we used to refer to were very 'mom and
pop" and couldn't do the work and handle our volume. So in order to keep
prices down, and turnaround quick, we built our own company. Also, the
press release about the two companies working together has been on the web
for years now. We don't hide the fact that the companies are working hand
in hand. They have to be to handle the kind of growth and volume that we
have created. In short, it's a big business, we're global, and it works well
for the author, and for us. Frankly, we can do editing faster and cheaper
than any editing company in the world. Hell, we might buy Scribendi next
year.



DG: Here's another issue . . . Why have you changed names so many times?

AEG: It's marketing my dear. Have you ever noticed how many domain names
the Children's Writing Institute uses? We spend a lot of time on Google
pay-per-click for our authors, and we've seen at least six names for them,
for sure, that go back to their site or a clone of their site. I'm sure
you are aware of search engine optimization. The simple truth is that as
Google has changed it's algorithms, we have changed our domain names so that
we get better positioning. It's that simple. Also, as partners and
principals have come and gone, new companies, with new stock allocations
have been formed. That's part and parcel of a small business.

And, we are very proud of this, we are starting the wheels in motion to
setup a stock ownership plan for our employees and even our authors. We'll
probably undergo another name change at that time . . . That's how it works
for rapidly growing businesses.


DG: C'mon . . . If there’s smoke, there has to be fire, what about all this
stuff about criminal backgrounds, investigations, etc.?


AEG: It's identity theft with a twist. Let's say that I decided to "get
you" for one reason or another. It's simple really. All I have to do is
google search "your name - criminal records" and I will get plenty of hits,
of your name, in all kinds of criminal situations. Then all I do is copy
and paste that info into 3-4 sites, anonymously, and you're screwed. I
guarantee it. You'll never live it down and never clean it up. Believe me,
we've tried. Also, we've been investigated up and down, and nothing had
ever come of it. The fact is that these days any disgruntled person can
file a complaint with a District Attorney.

We do what we say, we tell the author up front what to expect, we never
over-promise, and we deliver.
We have a real business that helps authors that are willing to help
themselves that's why all this stuff about investigations and backgrounds,
etc. is such misinformation.



DG: Here's another one, why do you even advertise? I thought agencies didn't
need to advertise?

AEG: We still have requests from publishers that we can't fill. We still
find great books to publish every day because of our advertising. Early on
we learned that more is better. Our business strategy since day one, is to
have 'depth off the bench'. And that strategy is paying off. Why do you
think the agency is so valuable to the publisher? Frankly, we think the
agency has provided over 100 authors "ready to go" to the publisher. Those
authors are now making money and receiving royalty checks. Those authors
will be part of the 100,000 - 1 MM books we'll be selling in the medium term
future.



AEG: Over 100 authors published? Prove it . . And did the agency take a
commission since you merged? Isn't that 'double dipping"?


R: No commission was taken by the agency. Period. Guaranteed. The authors
were told up front about the merger. And if you want to see the books we've
published, please visit www.AEGauthorsEdge.com .



DG: Well, I admit to being glad that I dug a little deeper, I can see both
sides of the story, and it is tough to break into any industry. Is there
anything you wish to say in conclusion?


R: We truly feel sorry for the author that is trying to make a decision
about how to proceed with their writing career. Our best advice is to trust
yourself and dive in. Sometimes analysis = paralysis. You can't win if you
don't play, so we say, "get out there, get bloody, improve, take your lumps,
learn, learn, learn" and as Winston Churchill said, "never, never give up".


All of our contracts have 'easy out' clauses, so if we don't perform, you
can fire us. By the same token, if the author won't perform, we can, and
will fire them. This is a business and we are here to stay, and play, for
the long term, and make profits for our authors, our employees, and our
shareholders.


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

DG: Ok writers out there, you have it. I am not endorsing anyone, but I do
think that everyone deserves a chance to be heard. Frankly, my personal
opinion is that those sites have gone too far, and are doing a dis-service
for writers and this company. Perhaps these guys made mistakes in the past,
but I have a hard time arguing with 250 published authors and 1500 books a
week being sold within 6 months of operations. (I looked at the royalty
reports).

At the end of the day, DG says: Make up your own mind. And yes, please feel
free to email me if you’d like: delirious.girl02@gmail.com


PS--I tried to find "deliriousgirl" but only found a profile of her on a social networking site that hadn't been updated in a few years.

Deliriousgirl
01-28-2009, 12:36 AM
Hi the very real DG here. I was an employee of AEG Publishing for around two months before I was ripped off by this Robert person (at this point I have doubts that that's even his real name). I DID NOT write the interview that he is STILL apparently sending out with MY email address still attached to it (what a dumbass). I did write an interview with this Robert person, but it was very very different from THIS ONE as I had no idea of most of this stuff in this interview.

And another warning to anybody answering any ads for marketing/writing/editing jobs from this company: THEY ONLY WANT TO USE YOU FOR FREE WORK and will string you along with promises of a rosy future "when the economy picks back up" among OTHER blather. The truth of the matter is that this Robert person apparently has around 200 company email addresses and he PRETENDS to be different editors, PR people, and marketers to make people think he has a REAL company going.

My story is this: On Dec. 15th I had a horrible death in my immediate family (my brother) and had to travel to a town about 400 miles away to take care of all that. At this point Robert was about 3 weeks behind in my pay, yet he was sending me daily and sometimes HOURLY emails of more stuff he wanted me to do. I even continued to answer author emails and concerns while trying to plan (and pay for) my dead sibling's funeral. I called and emailed Robert DAILY, telling him that I NEEDED the money he owed me, I had to buy food for a wake, clothes for my dead brother to be buried in, flowers, all kinds of unexpected expenses. Which I told him about. NO RESPONSE. This rocks on for over a month. NO PAY. He didn't even have the BALLS to call or even send an email telling me ANYTHING, but one day I tried to log onto the co. software program and was locked out.

So, the moral of this little story is: I don't care how broke you are, how much he offers you, or how he tries to put a good face on this bunch of company names that he goes by. . . DON'T DO IT. My personal assessment is just this: NO INTEGRITY AND NO BALLS.