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BarryDavis
11-20-2003, 10:58 PM
S.T. Literary Agency (http://www.stliteraryagency.com) - Is anyone familiar with them? I sent them my manuscript. They responded with interest and a questionnaire. Before filling out the questionniare I wrote back asking if they would require any fees for their services. This is their reply:

We specialize in helping new authors get the credibility they need. I have recently joined the company and we are expanding the number of authors we represent. However, the timeframes are long and the odds are stacked against new writers so we have made a business decision to defray the administrative costs associated with maintaining our relationship. We charge a one time fee of $129 when you are accepted into our company and that covers putting you into our database, our communications, and the marketing materials we build on your behalf. There is a $14 fee for printing, binding and mailing a manuscript.
Those fees are DEDUCTED from our commission upon a sale.
I hope that helps.

What do you think?

smilerscomedy
02-20-2004, 12:55 AM
Before I was aware of this website I sent these guys my recently produced show for the stage. They wrote back that they were interested in representing me. when I asked if they charged any fees, they sent me this...


We specialize in helping new authors get the credibility they need. I have recently joined the company and we are expanding the number of authors we represent. However, the timeframes are long and the odds are stacked against new writers so we have made a business decision to defray the administrative costs associated with maintaining our relationship. We charge a one time fee of $129 when you are accepted into our company and that covers putting you into our database, our communications, and the marketing materials we build on your behalf. There is a $14 fee for printing, binding and mailing a manuscript.
Those fees are DEDUCTED from our commission upon a sale.
I hope that helps.

Best regards,
Jill Mast
ST Administration


********************
I've since replied and told them I was not interested in being represented by anyone who charges me a fee. To please destroy my script. So if any of you hear of a play called "Southern Exposure" that my show...if it's not written by Thomas Amo...then something is very wrong!!!

solutionrs
03-18-2004, 10:28 PM
Could anyone offer any info on this?

I recently rec'd this from

Jill Mast
ST Literary Agency

ST Literary Agency has performed a top-level review of your submittal package and we believe that you have potential. However we are very particular about the authors that we choose to work with. As success in this ultra-competitive business requires the "whole package" we would like to know more about you, and about the history of your work, before we take the next step.

Below is our PreContract Author Intake Form (AIF). Would you please take a minute and fill it out?

Thank you again for your time. As always, we congratulate you on your achievements thus far, and we encourage you to continue to follow your dreams.

Best regards,
The New Author Group
ST Literary Agency
:clover

TruthSeekerSTLit
05-25-2004, 11:25 PM
To All concerned:

ST authors are receiving the exact same emails concerning the exact same submissions made in the exact same amounts to the exact same publishers in the exact same time frame. Sound fishy? Do you really think Fletcher is printing, binding, and submitting your work to who he claims he is? Read the emails, compare them to your own, then decide. Contact me: truthseekerstlit@hotmail.com if you wish to compare your notes to ours. In the meantime, check this out:

Let's begin with the so-called submittal list. Any of these publishers sound familiar?

"Number of contacts:&nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp 13
&nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp We submitted your work to these
&nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp companies.
&nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp Contact&nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp City&nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp St.
&nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp Simon & Schuster&nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp New York&nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp NY
&nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp Regan Books / HarperCollins&nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp New York&nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp NY
&nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp Ballentine Books / Random House&nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp New York&nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp NY
&nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp Random House / Vintage&nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp New York&nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp NY
&nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp Kensington Publishing Corp.&nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp New York&nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp NY
&nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp Viking&nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp New York&nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp NY
&nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp Delacorte&nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp New York&nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp NY
&nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp Dutton&nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp New York&nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp NY
&nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp Doubleday&nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp New York&nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp NY
&nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp SOHO PRESS&nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp New York&nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp NY
&nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp Fawcett&nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp New York&nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp NY
&nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp Scribner&nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp New York&nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp NY
&nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp G.P Putnam's Sons&nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp New York"


ST Lit 1st submission email:

"As promised, we submitted <insert name of work here> to the attached list of
potential buyers after we qualified their interest.

Next begins the follow through process. Sometimes we will hear feedback
immediately. Sometimes we never hear anything (not very often though).
We will contact you in about 2-3 weeks about what we have heard, or not
heard, as the case may be. We typically will let you know when we have
received about half the responses. Of course, if we have any good news,
we will let you know immediately.

Because this is your first time to go through this with us, there are a
few things to understand about our submittal process.

First, we cannot reveal the recipients names although we can tell you
the company. If the person were ever contacted outside our channel for
any reason they would immediately terminate their relationship with us.
(And yes, it has happened). Unfortunately, in many ways this is a very
"closed door" industry, much to the detriment of new authors.

Secondly, many writers wonder why certain companies were chosen? Be
advised that we have relationships inside these companies that know the
"behind the scenes" situation. It may be that a smaller company is
really a feeder for a larger company, or that our contact knows about an
upcoming opportunity, or that our contact recently moved from one
company to another. It's a moving target out there.

Finally, if you gave us some suggestions and they are not on the list,
the reason is that we could not get authorization to send to that
particular contact. It doesn't mean that we won't ever get to them,
just for now, they weren't open to receive.

Also, we tend to target the larger companies on the first batch. We've
learned that we can work just as hard for a lot of money, as for smaller
money. We will look at smaller niches later on for additional batches
if needed.

Best regards always,

Robert Fletcher
Principal

p.s. the extras are on us."

The "extras" are a nice touch, huh? EVERYONE gets the same emails. I have 5 authors on my list so far. We have compared notes and discovered this ruse. More are welcome. EMAIL me your emails. Discretion is assured. Victims of this scam artist please contact me.

Need more proof?

2nd email:

"As promised, it's been about two weeks since we mailed for you and here
is a summary of what has happened for <insert name of work here>.

The good news is that I have one lead who has indicated that on first
glance it looked pretty good. About half have passed, and the rest have
not responded or gotten back to me. (This is normal for this time
frame).

This is actually good news. Even getting a halfway positive response is
good in this crazy business.

I will continue to followup and achieve closure on the missing
responses. Believe me, I am very diligent in the followup process.
Other than our upcoming vacation, this usually takes 2-3 more weeks.

Continued best wishes for our mutual success. Patience is a virtue in
this industry!

Robert Fletcher
Principal

What does 'looks good' mean? That means that the OPP caught their
attention (like it is supposed to do) and they want to actually spend
some time with your work. It does NOT mean that they read it and want
to buy it. Don't quit the day job, please!"

Sound familiar? Exactly how many clients does Fletcher have at $129.00 a pop?? A regular rotation of payments for non-existent hardcopy submissions that probably ranges in the thousands of dollars. ST authors CONTACT ME! We cannot allow this FRAUD to go unpunished.

Need MORE proof?

3rd email:

"Sometimes this is a tough job for Agents... unfortunately all the
recipients of <insert name of work here> from the first batch have passed.

Here are a few sample comments that we received. Unfortunately, most
are this brief. Also, quite a few of the 'pass' comments are given to
us right on the phone during our followup calls.

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

"Thanks for the read. This one's not for us. Good luck."

Thanks for submitting your manuscript to me. It is a pass for me.

Thank you for submitting your manuscript. Unfortunately, it is not
right for us at this time. Please feel free to contact me in the future
with any new queries you might have. Thanks again,

We have read your material and enjoyed it. Unfortunately, it is not a
piece that we would be able to pursue at this point in time.

Thanks for the read. Although it is an engaging and well conceived,
unfortunately we do not
feel that it fits with our current development needs. Good luck with
this project.

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

I really do try to dig in and get feedback. It's an uncomfortable phone
call, and, just like all of us, they don't like to say "no", and believe
me they have to say it all too often.

We continue to believe that your material is saleable, we just need the
right combination of factors to fall into place. We believe in you so
hang in there.

At this time we have to decide if you want to send out another batch.
Because we did get the positive response we are willing to work it with
you . Some authors don't get this offer because their first batch falls
totally flat.

Furthermore, we would like to do another batch because, in our opinion,
one batch is not enough to draw conclusions from, but two are.

I continue to wish you the best and I have the highest hopes for our
mutual success. Let me know about the next batch at your earliest
convenience because it is easier to work it when it is fresh in our
minds.

Onwards, ever onwards,

Sincerely,
Robert Fletcher
Principal"

How about a "Second Round of Submissions" email:

"Good news on <insert name of work here>
>
> One of our contacts has advanced your manuscript to the next level.
> (Unfortunately, the rest have passed or not responded). What this means
> is that they liked it enough that they will show it around to others and
> try to build a consensus inside their company.
>
> You are now competing with about 5-10 other competitors,.... so....there
> is still a long way to go, and the fact that they make their decisions
> by committee is always tough, but at least you've made it to the next
> level."

Or the THIRD round of submissions:

"Good news on <insert name of work here>

Maybe the third time will be the charm ... we think we have two
interested parties at this point from the third batch. Both are solid
leads and they will now be working it through their respective
companies. (As usual the rest have not responded or passed, but so
what, it just takes one)."

Surely this is enough proof for any doubting Thomas. ST authors compare these emails to your own, realize that you've been victimized, and contact me at the above email address. The authorities can ignore one or two disgruntled authors, but can they ignore us ALL?

It's time for Fletcher to answer for these crimes. Let's see if he has postage receipts for all of these so-called submissions, hmm?

TruthSeeker

DaveKuzminski
08-13-2004, 12:14 AM
This email discussion occurred over the last two days between P&E and Wendy Conger who appears to be a member of ST Literary Agency. Read the messages from the bottom up to get the correct sequence. The "Whatever." is her last response to me at P&E.


Whatever.



-----Original Message-----
From: prededitors@att.net [mailto:p rededitors@att.net]
Sent: Wednesday, August 11, 2004 12:24 PM
To: walking_works@comcast.net
Cc: beware@sfwa.org
Subject: Re: I think it's high time...



Dear Ms. Conger,



No. P&E is a service to writers. As such, it has a right to post recommendations.



Cordially,

Dave Kuzminski, Editor

Preditors & Editors (tm)

-------------- Original message from "Wendy Conger" : --------------

….you take your derogatory remarks about ST Literary Agency off your site. Your concerns are unfounded and it’s not fair to this company. Please take it off. Thanks!

Wendy Conger

Mundelein, IL

UGLyman69
10-10-2004, 11:33 AM
I'm new to your boards, but not the writing game. I was recently "accepted" by ST. I was very excited when I received my AIF (Author Information Form) until I read that they liked to deal "with writers like me".

This phrase gave me shivers, so I did more investigating and ran across the boards. Judging from the number of adverse comments sprawled through these pages about ST Literary Agency (and I admit that I haven't read them all in the two days that I've known about you), I became quite wary.

Sure enough, this evening I received an email with the contract offer. Granted, I'm not a lawyer, but the contract is straightforward. It mentions nothing about "up front fees", but it does mention admin fees. Here is the contractual paragraph of which I speak:

"Any Administrative fees approved, by, and paid by Writer for services performed by Agent will be reimbursed from Agent proceeds in the event of a sale. The Writer is NOT RESPONSIBLE for any administrative fees not specifically agreed to by Writer in advance. The Agent is not responsible for damage or loss or return of any material."

The contractual package also included pages that constituted the up front "fee" in the form of an OPP (Online Pitch Page). This is the second paragraph from the explanation of the OPP form.

"There is a one-time intake fee of $79 for the building of the website Online Pitch Page and a one-time fee of $50 for setting you up in our database system that we will use for the term of our engagement. ($79 for the OPP and $50 for the database and setup processes = $129 total)."

As a Database Administrator, I know that it takes approximately ten seconds to add a new user to a database, although, I have to admit that the OPP page is intriguing because it is in the form of a web site.

However, I think I'd much rather tape 129 George Washingtons to my TP roll than to use it for "Administration Fees".

Victoria, if you are reading this, and you want a contract for Writer Beware, just post it here. I'll watch for a response. My guess is, however, you have already had this offer.

Sincerely,

Ulysses Grant Lyman

callalily61
10-19-2004, 06:16 AM
A follow-up to my post of yesterday.

I sent STL a frosty email yesterday severing any potential relationship I had with them. Today I received the following from Jill Mast. (All other emails had a week's lag.):

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.

We deleted your materials per your request. If you should happen to get another email from us, please disregard it and that will remove you from our
process completely.

Our company has a time lag in certain communications from department to department.

Best to you in your career.

I can't thank everyone here enough for making me see I had to take the rosy glasses off my eyes.

callalily

Sinrise43
12-11-2004, 12:51 PM
Letter (oops email) from STL BEFOIRE I read these posts. Everything is 'canned' I am sure their PC's have 200 form letter with spaces for your detales.
From ST LIT:
Sometimes (usually) this is a tough job for us as Agents...
Unfortunately we must report that all the recipients of Series: Terry
the Little Red Tip Truck from the first batch have passed.

Here are a few sample comments that we received. Unfortunately, most
are this brief (and this generic). Quite a few are given to us right on
the phone during our followup calls. I really do try to dig in and get
feedback*. It's an uncomfortable communication. Just like all of us,
they don't like to say "no", and believe me, they have to say it all too
often.

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

"Thanks for the read. This one's not for us. Good luck."

Thanks for submitting your manuscript to me. It is a pass for me.

Thank you for submitting your manuscript. Unfortunately, it is not
right for us at this time. Please feel free to contact me in the future
with any new queries you might have. Thanks again,

We have read your material and enjoyed it. Unfortunately, it is not a
piece that we would be able to pursue at this point in time.

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

If you would like to get more extensive feedback let me know and I'll
connect you with someone that can coach you inexpensively.
If you know that your work is where it needs to be, then let's press on.
As I mentioned, we can't make too many decisions from just one batch.
In short, it's your call, we can either dig into the material or press
into the second batch.

One way to look at it is that we didn't get any 'strong negatives'.
Therefore, we continue to believe that your material is saleable, we
just need the right combination of factors to fall into place. We
believe in you so we're not throwing in the towel if you won't.

At this time we have to decide if you want to send out another batch.
Because we did get the positive response we are willing to work it with
you . Some authors don't get this offer because their first batch falls
totally flat. We would like to do another batch because, in our
opinion, one batch is not enough to draw conclusions from, but two are.
As you know, the literature is replete with stories as to how many
rejections most authors received along their path to success.

I continue to wish you the best and I have the highest hopes for our
mutual success. Let me know about the next batch at your earliest
convenience because it is easier to work it when it is fresh in our
minds. Also, the next batch is less expensive ($95 instead of $140) ((Actually it was $50 DB))
because you are loaded into the printing system and we have some
efficiencies we can pass along. We do everything we can to keep your
out of pocket costs at a minimum.

In short.. onwards, ever onwards is the mantra of this day. If you
would like to get the next batch going while everything is still fresh,
just let us know and we'll send you the paperwork, or drop us a check
for $95. Our mailing address is ST Lit / RapidPublishing, P.O. Box
272503, Boca Raton, Fl. 33427.

Sincerely,
Robert Fletcher
Principal

Dawn (Sinrise43)

Barrelofagun69
12-11-2004, 04:01 PM
Just a quick side-note. A few pages back, our old friend Robert Fletcher posted an angry letter demanding our respect or else lawsuits "were gonna fly." Of course that was April, and he hasn't sued anyone yet. Apparantly hasn't sold a book either.

I am a screenwriter, and I nearly fell victim to Robert until checking this site before making a move. Thank God.

For any fellow aspiring scribes out there, don't be fooled by ST's b.s. or the alleged testimonial of a "screenwriter" client of Robert's.

This pseudo-screenwriter said of ST, and Robert quotes:

"I would be happy to give a reference. ST Literary has always been upfront and proactive whenever I
communicate with them."

--- From what other members have posted, ST has been sending out the EXACT same generic e-mails some 2-3 weeks after sending out a "batch." And not one former, disgruntled ST client has ever spoken on any telephone conversation with anybody at ST.

In the film world, next to NOTHING is communicated by e-mail, even today. The film industry, especially with spec sales, is still a face and phone industry. So, scribes, don't be fooled by rising technology. This would-be scribe is full of it.

"I always receive a timely response whenever I ask a
question or for ST Literary to do a follow-up with a production company."

--- Of course, if this writer was smart, he'd be using his agented credentials and talking his way into the prodco's doors, and selling himself like a pair of shoes. That's Hollywood. But it's clear from the first sentence that we're not talking about the loftiest of career standards/expectations.

"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."

---Which he is clearly not doing. No mention whatsoever as to whether or not the guy is even L.A., which is THE place to market your script strengths. If he was, he would surely know that ST is not, and thereby be on to the scam.

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."

---Gee thanks, Mr. McKee. We asked for a testimonial on the genius of Robert Fletcher. Not a how-to, common sense guide. Who died and made you Syd Fields? And what exactly is an "expected level" in Hollywood? Everyone expects you to fail. The industry thrives on kicking fallen bodies (see the new docu: "Overnight"...woah boy).

"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."

---Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. Nowhere is it documented that it takes at least 9 specs to get it right. Very few agencies stick around long enough for the ninth script, especially when the previous 8 couldn't open a can of tuna fish, much less the eyes of a studio exec/"name"/prodco., etc. In today's increasingly competative industry, agents are looking for a ball right out of the cannon, which is alternately productive and counter.

Or, at the very least, they're trying to get their writers in the door for possible assignments, re-writes, pitch meetings, or anything resembling a paid gig if the specs aren't moving. Doesn't this writer realize what ST is not doing?

"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."

---And what an amazing job they've done so far. He didn't specify how long he has been a client, but I hope to God he didn't have ST "moving" the previous 8 specs that nobody read (obviously because ST never sent them), which would mean that he paid...I don't even want to do the math. At this point, I'm hoping this testimonial is completely false.

"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."

--- The difference being, of course, that one spends truckloads of money on med school and comes out with guaranteed employment. You're not supposed to spending hundreds of dollars on a third-rate con artist to pretend to be pushing specs in Boca Baton, FL. And what exactly are you learning about screenwriting in the process?

"An agency (any agency) is only as good as the writers they
represent..."

---With scribes like you on board, cowboy, your advice is well taken. And consider yourself a nice example for all of the other screenwriters on this board that agencies like ST do, in fact, exist. It took me two or three attemped scams to realize it myself, but it truly is a take-no-prisoners industry.

"Naturally they're those writers who don't write with an
intensity that separates them from the masses and the elite number of professionals..."

---An obvious positive/negative typo that actually sums you up nicely, Gary. Not to mention that the selected passage makes precious little sense. Man, I can't wait to see Spec #9!!!

"I strive to tell the best story I possibly can that will be
entertaining and also be marketable."

---But when you're paying your way in and thinking you're making productive strides, you're only swallowing your own tail. If you really do exist, Gary, and are not just a figment of Fletch's imagination, I hope to God you're reading this. A marketable script isn't marketable by itself. Pages don't pitch themselves. Writers do. Please, for the sake of humanity, get out from ST's bank-breaking grasp.

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.

---What shouldn't take time, Gary, is one's b.s. barometer. If you trust a guy like Fletch, you're going to end up like the greatest screenwriter who's ever lived, who, by the way, is sleeping unsoundly on a cement floor tonight, because he was almost as gullible and clueless as you.

I wouldn't quit my day job either.

RESPEKT
----cdr---

James D Macdonald
12-11-2004, 05:17 PM
Hi, Sinrise.

Here you are, with a letter from Fletcher that says:

<BLOCKQUOTE>------------

"Thanks for the read. This one's not for us. Good luck."

Thanks for submitting your manuscript to me. It is a pass for me.

Thank you for submitting your manuscript. Unfortunately, it is not
right for us at this time. Please feel free to contact me in the future
with any new queries you might have. Thanks again,

We have read your material and enjoyed it. Unfortunately, it is not a
piece that we would be able to pursue at this point in time.

-------------- </BLOCKQUOTE>

and here was TruthSeeker back in May (http://p197.ezboard.com/fabsolutewritefrm11.showMessageRange?topicID=210.t opic&start=161&stop=180), with this letter from Fletcher:

<BLOCKQUOTE>------------

"Thanks for the read. This one's not for us. Good luck."

Thanks for submitting your manuscript to me. It is a pass for me.

Thank you for submitting your manuscript. Unfortunately, it is not
right for us at this time. Please feel free to contact me in the future
with any new queries you might have. Thanks again,

We have read your material and enjoyed it. Unfortunately, it is not a
piece that we would be able to pursue at this point in time.

Thanks for the read. Although it is an engaging and well conceived,
unfortunately we do not
feel that it fits with our current development needs. Good luck with
this project.

-------------- </BLOCKQUOTE>

Freaky, isn't it?

Sinrise43
12-15-2004, 06:28 AM
I received a response from ST as a result of my questions. One from Robert, one from Leslie and a beeeuty from Robert telling me how they have sent out my second batch!!!!!:rollin

-----Original Message-----
From: Dawn Bellamy >D
Sent: Saturday, December 11, 2004 12:28 AM
To: Jill Mast; John Rain; Julie; Lesliew@rapidpublishing. com
Subject:


Hi, Robert, Jill and Leslie, can you please explain these extracts from a 16 page web link I am sure you are familiar with. There seems to be several hundred against and only one or two for, and they are in the cycle and haven't received results from "Publishers"

so far I have paid you $229 USD.

Dawn Bellamy

And the Response!

The bottom line is this:
1. We do what we say we are going to do. Your manuscript is sent out, we follow up to try to sell it, and do everything possible to that end.

2. This is a very competitive business, and we are very upfront with you and our other clients about that. We tell you that there is a low overall chance of success, and there are no guarantees. Even very good work can go unpublished if the timing is not right, or there are too many other choices available, or for a slew of other reasons. We took on your work because we feel you have a chance. Otherwise, we would not spend our time reviewing, sending and pitching it.

3. "Old school" agencies did not charge anything to authors up front, but there is a catch. They would only take on a tiny, tiny number of clients, leaving most authors with no chance at all of selling their work. ST takes clients on based on their work, irrespective of whether they have been published already. This increases our overall risk, and so we ask for our clients to help defray some of our costs associated with sending out the packages. Again, we are very upfront about the cost, and the reason for it. Any author has the opportunity to say "no, thanks" and we go on our separate ways.

4. ST has sold three titles to date. This may not seem like a lot, but in this competitive business it is quite good and we are proud of our accomplishments. Without our work, these authors might never have gotten published. Now they have a real chance of success in their chosen field.

In short, just because people are saying negative things doesn't mean that they are true. Some are disgruntled authors whose works didn't sell, and they have a tendency to "shoot the messenger" and others have their own agendas. If you, personally, are unhappy with the job we are doing, then fire us. Otherwise, let's just move on and leave the online grumbling to the curmudgeons.

Sincerely,
Robert Fletcher
President




-----Original Message-----
From: Dawn Bellamy []
Sent: Saturday, December 11, 2004 12:28 AM
To: Jill Mast; John Rain; Julie; Lesliew@rapidpublishing. com
Subject:


Hi, Robert, Jill and Leslie, can you please explain these extracts from a 16 page web link I am sure you are familiar with. There seems to be several hundred against and only one or two for, and they are in the cycle and haven't received results from "Publishers"

so far I have paid you $229 USD.

Dawn Bellamy

Barrelofagun69
12-28-2004, 04:22 AM
I have very much enjoyed the massive thread dedicated to ST Literary Agency, those wannabe third-rate con artists.

I stopped by the site and saw more lies posted. And apparantly they have a new CEO, and an urgent request for manuscripts

From www.stliteraryagency.com/-children: (http://www.stliteraryagency.com/-children:)

<<<<<INFORMATION REQUEST:
Publishing Company Looking For School Focused Manuscripts to Publish or Distribute
================================================== =================

Your Name:
Your Phone:
Your Email:


Title of Manuscript or Titles of All Manuscripts that you believe would sell to School Systems:
================================================== ================= >>>>>>

I'm a screenwriter, so this seemingly enticing post doesn't mean anything to me. But I wouldn't want some newbie novelist falling for their lies. Any of the experienced writers on this board want to check out the link and shoot the appropriate holes?

Also, and I don't think this has been brought up before, but our old friend Fletch is stepping down "to pursue other projects in the industry." I suppose the scam business isn't bringing in enough cash?

From the press release:

<<< ST Literary Agency Announces New CEO:
Founder Steps Aside to Pursue Distribution Company.

ST Literary Agency, Inc. is proud to announce the appointment of Ms. Jennifer Dublino to the role of CEO. The founder, Mr. Robert Fletcher, is stepping down to pursue other projects in the industry.

"Every growing company must realize when the entrepreneur needs to step out of the way and let the company grow," said Mr. Fletcher.

As we've all seen first hand, Fletch, you've done an amazing job thus far. Was it four writers your profiled on this very board just eight months ago who hadn't a single sale between them?

By the way, real literary agencies grow by expanding their staff, selling books and screenplays, everything but making the writer pay their way in. They don't succeed with constantly-changing management. Clear-cut sign of disorganization.

"ST is rapidly becoming a major force in the publishing industry. My skill set is different than what the company needs now. We need more organization, more quality control, and more planned growth.

Where's James MacDonald at? Haven't we already established over and over on this board that ST is the antithesis to a major force in the publishing industry?

The need for more organization, control, growth, etc. is just corporate babble. Another way of saying "I don't know what I'm doing."

I've known Ms. Dublino for years and she can provide what our clients need. My decision is based on what is best for our clients."

This is the first time that name has cropped on on any ST-relate thread, at least to my knowledge. Has anybody dealt with this woman before? There's a novelist at Writer's Net (www.writers.net/forum/rea...4/22073Vf) (http://www.writers.net/forum/read/11/22074/22073Vf)) who has done extensive background checks on ST, exposing their fraud piece by piece. But I haven't seen that name before. Perhaps just another alias?

Mr. Fletcher will no longer be involved in daily management. Mr. Fletcher will be focusing on the Platform Program, certain key accounts, and creating a distribution company.

And this relates to selling books and screenplays how...

"Distribution is key," added Mr. Fletcher. "I have seen great work not make it to the consumer and I'm going to change that".

Huh? Are they now fancying themselves a production company/publishing house as well? How many literary agencies have a distribution company? Perhaps things are a tad different in the literary world, but I haven't heard of any agency that does this?

And distribution to where? To bookstores? Don't legit publishing companies already have that end taken care of?

Ms. Dublino is a writer, an editor, and a self-employed entrepreneur. Most recently she was the CEO of Pro Creative Marketing Group, Inc., a creative marketing and technology company. She has been associated with the writing industry for over 10 years.

Anbody feel like fact-checking this? Seems like everybody Fletch does business with is a writer and CEO, completely self-made, like our old friend Paul Anderson, the rabble-rousing self-help "futurist" / bottom-feeding public speaker. And what does a marketing CEO know about selling manuscripts?

"I know what writers go through", said Ms. Dublino. "I plan to provide more coaching and more feedback and increase the quality of our offerings".

Based on your predecessor's track record, honey, your company's problems are far greater than feedback and quality control. How is coaching going to help your business when you haven't sold a book yet?

Ms. Dublino added, "Also, the sales team and processes that Mr. Fletcher has put in place are working nicely. Our sales team is working with the top buyers in the world and I just need to give them more quality product to work with".

Sales team? Top buyers in the world? Are you a literary agency or Coca-Cola? And why haven't these top buyers in all over the world bought a book from you yet?

Ms. Dublino does plan to make changes. "One of the first changes that I will be implementing is that ST will only take edited work, or work that is given a passing grade by one of our editors. I plan to be more selective."

No mention whatsoever to a change in the laughable fees mandate or the needless "pitch page" that ST boasts about.

But wait, folks, it gets better. I present to you, Fletch's final speech to the troops. Light it up, Bobby...

A Mid-Year Letter From the President of ST Literary Agency, Inc.

To: Prospective and Existing Clients
From: Robert Fletcher, President
Re: Some Thoughts For Our Mutual Success


Whew! What a whirlwind the last few years have been for St. Literary! Book sales have been made, screenplay option agreements have been signed (and refused), and we’ve hired another four people in various capacities.

Is this guy out of his mind? And this is the "mid-year report"? That would place the date of this letter (which was undated) at about May or June 2004, about the time he was posting angry, empty threats on this board, and having every single of his non-arguments shot to hell by the educated among the board members.

This would also be about the time where he provided testimonials from at least 4 authors who hadn't a single sale to speak of. So did these sales magically occur at about the same time, Fletch?

Oh, and by the way, for clairty purposes, producers option screenplays. Agents sell them. Just thought I'd let you know.

We’ve just signed a lease on a new office and we're growing quite smoothly. We continue to get praise letters about the efficiency of our electronic methods.

But where are the SALES, Fletch? Efficiency of our electronic methods can mean a lot of things, but it doesn't mean you're selling books. I send e-mails to my grandmother twice a week telling her how proud I am that she's gotten the hang of using e-mail. Her electronic methods are growing in efficiency also. Have you sold a book yet?

The professional level of our client base is still climbing as well. At this point in time we have a dozen lawyers, as many doctors, and many, many accountants, engineers and other professionals on our roster.

Doing what? The guy posts this letter on the website of the company he's stepping down from, and what? Are we supposed to be impressed by the litany of "clients"? Are these supposed to be writers or agents?

I guess it does take a lot of accountants to calculate all the money you've ripped off of vulernable writers, Fletch, but engineers and doctors? Doing what? Selling books?

We also have teachers, ministers, stay-at-home moms, military officers, business owners, and a wide cross-section of talents that we can turn to for any writing assignments that we receive.

In my experience in film, writing assignments come up through production companies who deal with known writers with at least somewhat of a track record. They don't go to agencies with completely unknown and unproven talent, so on the film end of that statement, he's lying again.

We are becoming known for our ‘depth-off-the-bench’ by the buyers as well. We easily have 3-5 authors in every genre, both fiction and non-fiction. If one work doesn’t fit, we can offer others and cross-sell our authors on every sales call we make. Furthermore, we have a growing group of international authors whose non-US-centric view is quite often a refreshing change for our buyers.

I guess this really is how some people move up in the world, by any means possible. Most of you are going to laugh when you read these disgracefully self-aggrandizing statements. He goes on and on using every corproate cliche in the book, but not one sale to speak of.


On the darker side, we’ve now been around long enough that there are numerous detractors out there. One of my favorite rants, is that ‘we steal manuscripts and send them to China and Europe where they are hungry for anything American’. Yikes! Can you imagine?! . ..

I knew he read these boards. But that was a concern of a writer on Writer's Net, while the novelists here to seem debunk the theory that Chinese and European readers would care about unknown U.S. authors. I don't know. I've heard different sides to this argument.

If you see these comments please take them with a grain of salt. I easily have 20 letters of praise for every bad apple that we have terminated and who is ranting and I’m happy to share references at any time.

How about 20 letters or praise from 20 different people for each and every person who has complained on the 17 pages of the S.T. thread, Fletch? Now that would be showing me something.

And who cares about letters of praise? If I were a legit agent who was constantly being hounded like this, I'd show 20 letters of sales to shut up the detractors. Who cares what nice things people have to say about me if I'm selling books? Alas, Fletch...


What’s next? ….


There is only one acceptable answer to this question, and that answer is, MORE SALES FOR OUR AUTHORS!!!!

Good luck, Fletch, perhaps you could "sell" three books in 2K5 to PoD houses. That would be three more than your 2004 sales seem to indicate.

As our first plan of attack we’re exhibiting at Book Expo in June in Chicago. Secondly, we’ll be attending the Frankfurt Bookfair in Germany in October.

I think a German novelist on this board saw them in Frankfurt, but nothing happened. And apparantly they didn't sell any books as a result of their presence there.

International rights management is a very rapidly growing aspect of our business. This featured very prominently in the book we sold to Globe-Pequot, “Too Much Tuscan Sun” written by a tour-guide in Italy with strong European sales already.

First time I've ever read anything by Fletch where he mentions a sale. It is available on Amazon, with some genuinely flat reviews which seem to sum the book up nicely. The positive reviews look like plants.

But I don't get it, guys. If this letter is dated mid-year, when he posted that memorable letter to his "detractors" on Page 5 of the ST thread, how come these authors weren't mentioned? Why not go for the author for whom you have sold a book to sing your praises? What's the real story on this?

And finally, perhaps most interestingly, we are putting our own money behind authors that have a viable ‘platform’. What? An Agent that will back an author with capital?… Yes, that’s right.

Huh? First they make "informed business" decisions to charge $129 for them to not represent you, but now all of the sudden they're putting "capital" behind authors? What's up with this?

"Some authors have the ability to move 1000+ books based on their track record, constituency, or another marketing factor. If we see this situation, we will sometimes offer to step in and back the author with resources."

He makes less and less sense everytime he opens his mouth. I thought S.T. only wanted to deal with authors with no track record, thus making it more enticing for vulernable authors to pay up. Now he drops a vague notion about taking the extra step to ensure the author gets out there?

Is ST going legit? The horror...


Sorry for the length. Just figured you'd all get a kick out of it.

RESPEKT
---cdr---

Barrelofagun69
12-28-2004, 04:27 AM
In my last thread, "ST Lit: Fletch Walks" I re-posted Fletch's letter about their new platform program, which is designed to put "capital" behind authors with track records.

Just thought I'd share this new scam with you guys:

Do You Think You Qualify For Our "Platform" Program?





To: Prospective and Existing Clients

From: Robert Fletcher, President




Re: Platform Application

This is a very aggressive and unique program where we will consider backing your manuscript with our resources and capital.

Pardon me for being a screenwriter, but aren't literary agencies supposed to do this anyway?

The gist of the program is that if we can assist you in reaching between 1000 and 3000 sales, you are much more interesting to the traditional publishing community as their risk is less and their odds of success are greater.


1. The program is only designed for authors that have demonstrated sales of their work. We'd like to see a minimum of 500 sold..... 1,000 sold is very good, and 5,000 plus sold is very powerful.

2. Repeat: The program is only designed for authors that have demonstrated sales of their work. If you don't have existing sales, please follow the regular submission requirements.

IF YOU DO NOT HAVE THIS LEVEL OF SALES, DO NOT FILL THIS APPLICATION OUT. I'm sorry, this program is NOT for ideas or proposals.

Also, we're looking for niches that we can mine and market to with our resources to assist you. Straight fiction is tough due to the difficulty in differentiation.

If you would like to enter into a dialogue and see if we are a fit for each other, please answer the questions below and then email.


When answering the questions below, feel free to paste any existing writeups that you have. I don't mind if you send me a very long email (or very short for that matter).

A. Describe the work... title, synopsis, market focus, etc.

B. Describe yourself... background, career, etc

C. Describe Sales to Date, and Selling Activities to Date.

D. Describe what you would like to do in the future if you had the resources.


Upon receipt of your email we will get back to you within 48 hours. All information that we receive will be kept in the strictest confidence. If you want more protection please feel free to request a non-disclosure form.

We look forward to a stimulating conversation with you.


Robert Fletcher

President



Anybody want to shed some light on this nonsense? This seems way outside the realm of what lit agencies are supposed to do.

But wait, here's the best part:

p.s. Our protege in this arena has sold 30,000 books and is still going strong. This program works.

I tell you, that Paul Anderson just doesn't go away, does it? I knew he was involved in this somehow. Is this another one of us his Customer Service mish-mash ideas?

None of this even makes sense. Why don't these guys just do business the legit way. It's a lot easier.

RESPEKT
---cdr---


p.s.s. Even if you don't qualify for the Platform Program, we still may be interested in representing you. Please feel free to submit your work to us. Visit the Submit Page for more information.

vstrauss
01-03-2005, 11:04 PM
Already the hand of ST's new management is beginning to be felt! Instead of merely charging authors for "setup" and submission, ST is now also tapping them for editing, in a scheme that's eerily (and perhaps not coincidentally) reminiscent of Edit Ink.

Here's an excerpt from a letter recently received by a writer who queried ST:


-----------------------A manuscript that has been edited by a 3rd party professional is much more attractive to potential buyers and we commend you for your commitment to improving your writing.

Because of this we plan to offer you a contract for representation. First though, we would like for you to get your editing underway.

You may certainly choose any professional editor that you can find. However, we've had so many authors ask for an editing recommendation that we found a quality company to provide the editing service. We can vouch for the editors that they have and we've negotiated a good price for our authors. Go to www.myeditorisasaint.com and have a look at their New Author Starter Package. It's a good value and it works. I've taken the liberty of giving them your name so that if you contact them they will give you the priority that we've negotiated with them.

Remember, our primary goal is to sell your work. However, we are committed to a secondary goal and that is that we see you improve as both an author and as a writer business-person as a result of our interactions together.
-----------------------

Can we play "spot the fallacy"?

I'll start. myeditorisasaint.com is ST's own operation, run by Mark Bredt of "A Day In The Life of an Agent" fame.

- Victoria

Mary Garner
01-10-2005, 10:12 PM
Hi! I'm new here, but the things I read about ST Lit. Agency on this message board saved me $129! My book was "accepted" by these folks a few months back, but then after reading all the unsavory things about ST on here and elsewhere on the web, I chose to tell them to take a hike. I'll take my chances somewhere else.

However, they sent me this email a few days ago and thought I'd share:

-----Original Message-----
From: Robert Fletcher ST Lit Agency
[mailto:robertf@stliteraryagency.com]
Sent: Wednesday, January 05, 2005 10:17 AM
To: Mary Garner
Subject: ST Literary 2005 Update


Hello, and Happy New Year! Continued Best Wishes To You and Your
Writing Career!
================================================== ================

The purpose of this email is to update you on some great changes at ST Literary Agency for 2005.

First and foremost, we have been steadily increasing the number of buyers that we contact regularly and are building strong relationships with them. We have added two administrative staff members to better handle the sales load created by our aggressive agents and to more
rapidly get our authors' material into the marketplace.

Secondly, we have successfully recruited new senior management to assist Mr. Fletcher. Ms. Jennifer Dublino will be taking on some of Mr. Fletcher's duties of communication and senior level management. Ms. Dublino is a writer and editor, as well as a businesswoman, so she is uniquely qualified to assume the role of CEO and to take ST and our clients to the next level. Mr. Fletcher will be focusing more on sales
activities and special projects, and will be traveling more frequently to New York, LA, and internationally.

New York in June: ST will be exhibiting in NY at the Book Expo America in June. We will also be attending the London Book Fair in March. We are committed to the international sales marketplace and we see it as one of
the best growth areas for our authors and our company.

Children's Initiative: We have been asked to put together a national children's book initiative aimed at school systems. We are honored to be chosen for this program and we will fill you in more as it develops. One
of our authors has had a very successful year with his children's books and we will be replicating his success in certain markets.

Movies & More: We are seeing a number of our film properties in action now and option agreements look imminent. Note: every year we suggest that our authors be sure their work is posted on www.inktip.com. (We are
not affiliated with this company; we respect what they are doing and the results they are achieving.)

In conclusion, we are still here, growing stronger every year, and look forward to 2005 being the best year possible for all of us.

Continued best regards,

Robert, Jennifer, Jill, Ray, Georgina, Leslie, Julie, Andrea, Mark, and Diane and all of the people who work with us to make your writing career a success.

******

surferchik
01-15-2005, 10:06 AM
Sunrisepro, forgive my ignorance, but why did you become suspicious of ST when they requested a profile? Do you think they are stealing material? I didn't become suspicious of them until they requested upfront money. their BBB banner had given me confidence that they were legit. Obviously, I was wrong. However, I told "Jill", who sent me an email using "John Rain's" account "No thanks." She replied with the following:

We specialize in helping new authors get the credibility they need. I have recently joined the company and we are expanding the number of authors we represent. However, the timeframes are long and the odds are stacked against new writers so we have made a business decision to defray the administrative costs associated with maintaining our relationship. We charge a one time fee of $129 when you are accepted into our company and that covers putting you into our database, our communications, and the marketing materials we build on your behalf. There is a minimal fee for printing, binding and mailing a manuscript.
Those fees are DEDUCTED from our commission upon a sale.
We wish you the best in your career.
Take care.


Best regards,
Jill Mast
ST Administration



What happens when there is no sale? We writers get nada and they keep $129 x (a bunch of hopefull writers).

Oh, well. You reap what you sow. I'd hate to be ST when the harvest is full.

surferchik
01-21-2005, 11:47 PM
HapiSofi,

I actually still have my email with the questions. Here they are:

ABOUT YOU:
==========
(please offset your answer from the question on the line
underneath the question)

Your Name:

What is your primary occupation? Many of our authors say "writer". Of
course you are a writer. What was your most recent "day job"? (If you are
a student, or a stay at home mom, that's fine too.)

What level of education did you complete?

What is your age? (Note: we are sorry but we cannot accept minors or
authors less than 18 years old.)

How long have you been writing? Briefly describe how you came to be a
writer and anything else that you feel may be helpful for your profile.

Please paste what you consider to be your professional author's bio here.
If you don't have one prepared yet, then just write up your background or
paste your resume.

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

ABOUT YOUR WORK:

What is the exact title of the work you are submitting to us now?

Please state if your work is a manuscript or screenplay.

Are there any contributors or other authors that must be credited? If there
is any question on who owns the copyright bring it up NOW.

What Genre and Keywords do you think apply?

What other works do you think it is similar to?

What is the word count or page count? (We can help you do this if you need
our
assistance).

What demographic target market do you think your work is targeted at?

Please describe any additional market research you have gathered?

Please paste the abstract/summary of your work here.

How many agents have you submitted to in the last year approximately?

What marketing have you done thus far?

What contests have you submitted to?

What Awards or Recognition have you or your work received?

How many other works do you have? (List them and describe them briefly
please).

===== END =======

Whew, that's it. Thank you again for taking the time to give us a more
complete overview of yourself and your writing.

You should expect to hear more from us within 2-4 weeks. If we have any
further questions, we'll send you an email.

Best regards and best wishes,
The New Author Team

FordGunter
01-27-2005, 10:30 PM
Hi all,

I was on the verge of submitting it all to ST (before I knew they charged a fee) when I found this delightful little sight. I politely declined their offer, and they sent me something totally out of the blue. Makes for an interesting read, if nothing else!

-----Original Message-----
From: Ford Gunter [mailto:********@********.com]
Sent: Wednesday, January 19, 2005 11:18 AM
To: jill@stliteraryagency.com
Subject: RE: ST Literary Agency : Query Received


Jill,

After doing some research of my own, I've decided to pass on your offer to read my manuscript. Please do not use my query letter in any way, and destroy any hard copies you may have printed out.

Thank you for your interest in my work,

Ford Gunter
---------------------------------------------------------

We deleted your materials per your request. If you should happen to get another email from us, please disregard it and that will remove you from our process completely.

Our company has a time lag in certain communications from department to department.

Best to you in your career.

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.

Here's our lawyers reply:

Re:Our Client: Robert Fletcher
Our File # : 264057

Dear Mr. Spencer:

Please be advised that the Law Offices of Glantz & Glantz, P.A., represents Robert Fletcher, President of ST Literary Agency, Inc. The firm is writing on Mr. Fletcher's behalf with regard to defamatory statements about our client published by your company on the Writers Net Website.

Mr. Fletcher advises that Writers Net has begun publishing a series of e-mails on the website that make untrue and derogatory statements about him and his literary agency business. These statements include, but are not limited to, untruths such as that he was convicted of a criminal offense
related to fraud on elderly investors, and that ST Literary Agency was "created to steal money from people across the globe." Other statements accuse Mr. Fletcher of being a "wanton perjurer," characterize his business as a "con game," and call his prior businesses a complete con.

These statements, and others, have adversely affected the business of ST Literary Agency, Inc. and include damage to the company's reputation. The statements also adversely affect Mr. Fletcher's personal reputation in the literary agent business and in the business community in general.

We have advised Mr. Fletcher that Net Concepts, as owner of the Writers Net Website and publisher of these defamatory statements, is liable for these statements in the form of injunctive relief and money damages, under applicable laws.

Accordingly, demand is herby made that Net Concepts and Writers Net immediately cease and desist and further derogatory statements about Mr. Fletcher, and about ST Literary Agency. Demand is also herby made for a public retraction and apology for these statements.

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 and ST Literary Agency. You will therefore leave us with 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 damages.

PLEASE GOVERN YOURSELVES ACCORDINGLY


Very truly yours,

LAW OFFICES OF GLANTZ & GLANTZ, P.A.
NANCY BERGER, ESQ.

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

TSmith
01-28-2005, 07:52 PM
Okay, let me know how many of you have seen the striking similarities between their new Modus Operandi and other operations shut down by State Authorities in NY. ST Literary is skirting the boundaries of mail fraud on a razor thing edge.

It will take notices to the Attorney General in Florida, and District Attorney of Boca Raton to set up a course of action. Although they skirt the area of the law by sending out bulk submissions to publisher slush piles, with probably verifiable USPS certified mail stamps.

But as with other greedy agencies, I am sure that they don't send out every single manuscript they bill for. So this oversight is probably where they will end up in jail and not just fined. But it would take a legal subpoena and extensive accounting investigation to catch this one.

In this day and age, I feel sorry for new writers to see shams like this existing. Unfortunately, they were the first "over-eager" agency to respond to my recent submission.

Thank you Mr. MacDonald, Shiva and the rest for helping pass the word on this preditorial agency.

Operating a business for several years without more than 2-3 sales is horrendous. I contacted these people and if I hadn't surfed Google when I became suspicious (and found this site) I would have been another victim.

It now appears a new author MUST use their editing firm to get a bogus contract.

I recieved this in the mail after my (professionally edited) submission a few days ago:

FROM ST LITERARY AGENCY 01/25/2005

Thank you for your reply and your openness to editing.

A manuscript that has been edited by a 3rd party professional is much more attractive to potential buyers and we commend you for your commitment to improving your writing.

Because of this we plan to offer you a contract for representation. First though, we would like for you to get your editing underway.

You may certainly choose any professional editor that you can find.

However, we've had so many authors ask for an editing recommendation that we found a quality company to provide the editing service. We can vouch for
the editors that they have and we've negotiated a good price for our authors.

Go to www.myeditorisasaint.com and have a look at their New Author Starter Package. It's a good value and it works. I've taken the liberty of giving them your name so that if you contact them they will give you the priority that we've negotiated with them.

Remember, our primary goal is to sell your work. However, we are committed to a secondary goal and that is that we see you improve as both an author and as a writer business-person as a result of our interactions together.

Please keep me posted as to your progress and status. Once your initial edit is underway we will issue you a contract. It takes a while to prepare your work for the marketplace and we can work in parallel with the editing
process.

If you do choose to communicate with them, please forward this email, or mention STL so that they will prioritize you.

Sincerely,
The New Author Evaluation Team

emma
03-12-2005, 03:12 AM
Hello again. Got this reply from Children's Lit, and I just want to know what you guys think of it. I am not attacking their reputation or questioning their practice/ethics. I just want some feedback on whether I should consider entering into a professional relationship with them or not.
Many thanks.

Their reply goes ...

We have reviewed your manuscript and your form submission and we believe that your work has promise.

We agree that your manuscript is targeted at a good market and we would like to represent more work in this category.

We see from the form you filled out that the work has not been formally edited yet and that there is a need for a few catchy illustrations (see below).

In light of the above facts we would be willing to offer you an Agreement for Representation assuming that we can agree on a few matters of process.

First, please allow me to express our philosophy so that you understand more about how we work. Most importantly, it is imperative that we offer ONLY top quality work to our buyers. We have a reputation for only representing top quality work and we plan to keep it.

Once the 'quality of writing' issue is dealt with, we then try to offer "creative, compelling, and catchy" elements to our buyers so that we differentiate our submittals from those of other agencies. In other words, there's lots of quality writing out there, so we try to make sure that our stands out in some creative and catchy manner.

What does this mean to you? If you are willing to work with an independent 3rd party for editing/validation and if you are willing to work to create a few compelling and catchy illustrations to support your work and our presentation of it, then we are willing to represent you. (Note: you can choose your own editor or illustrator or we can recommend professionals that we know and trust. Either way is fine with us, but if you choose your own, then we will have to approve them).

So, if you will signify your agreement to this plan of action, then we will issue you a contract and begin the process with you. If you have any questions I will be happy to answer them for you. I prefer email so that we have a record of our communications.

emma
03-12-2005, 03:25 PM
Below is an earlier email they sent me. I checked out the peeperandfriends website but the web engines can't find it.



Also, so that you know a little more about us, please allow me to give
you a
bit of background on ourselves. One of our authors made over $50,000
selling his children's books last year. (www.peeperandfriends.com).
That
was just his first year, and we expect to do much more this year.

Together, we created a process that we believe can be replicated and we
are
looking for quality work to represent and to put into the model that we
have
built. The model is very simple really. We start with quality
writing, add
a few great illustrations to catch a buyer's eye, and then we pitch it
to a
select buyer group that respects the quality of our submissions. With
these
ingredients your odds of success are much enhanced.

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 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, get paid on success only, meaning
we
only get paid if you get paid. Typically we will receive 15% of what
you
receive.

We do not charge fees, so our compensation is based on success only.
Along
the way, we may suggest that you continuously improve the quality of
your
work and or how it is presented. If we suggest editing, illustration,
or
some catchy marketing materials such as a supporting website, it will
be
your choice as to whether to accept our recommendations, and if you do,
you'll deal with those companies individually. Once your work is
deemed
'presentable', then we'll start shopping it to publishers. We never
promise
a sale, but we can tell you that we have a model that works.

We look forward to receiving your materials.

CaoPaux
04-21-2005, 11:51 PM
http://www.stylusagency.com/-lag-pr


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

The Literary Agency Group, Inc. (LAG) announces the acquisition of ST Literary Agency. Mrs. Jennifer Dublino is being promoted to Corporate CEO, and Ms. Georgina Orr is promoted to Corporate - Senior Agent.


Ms. Dublino stated, "I am very pleased for the clients that I have been working with at ST Literary. By joining the LAG family, we will have access to more resources and a stronger presence in New York. Also, we will now begin implementing a number of new marketing programs that publishers have been very receptive to. We are placing stronger and stronger emphasis on having 3rd party validation and editing of all work that we accept."


"The acquisition of ST is our second step in our strategy to segmenting the business into vertical niches," she added. "This will allow us to build stronger relationships with buyers in each business segment, thereby increasing the number of manuscripts we are able to bring to contract."


"Having been instrumental in building the ST Agenting Division, I am pleased to take the concepts we have pioneered into larger marketplaces," said Ms. Orr. "Our mailings and communications are gaining more recognition with buyers, and our planned advertising concept is a first for a literary agency. I look forward to more successes for our authors."

Concurrently with the acquisition, the Literary Agency Group will change the name of ST Literary Agency to the Stylus Agency. "We have a new style and an improved business process," said Ms. Dublino. "The name change reflects our appreciation of writers and their craft."

For more information please contact Jennifer @ theliteraryagencygroup.com.

Cheryll
06-18-2005, 05:10 AM
Greetings!

I am a novelist actively seeking representation in the Christian publishing field. I have been looking for an agent for about 4 months now.

Yesterday, I came upon a website for The Christian Literary Agency at http://www.christianliterary.com/index.html. You have to fill out an initial form with your query letter, etc. I didn't find them listed in the Christian Writers' Market Guide for 2005 or any other year, but I went ahead and queried them anyways. I got a response today.

Here is the response that I received:

Thank you for your query to The Christian Literary Agency. We
compliment
you on what you have achieved thus far, and yes, we would like to see
more.
Would you please send us a copy of your manuscript for further
evaluation?
(Note: we like to work with only one property at a time for the
evaluation,
so please just send us the one you consider your best.)

Our preference is email. If the file size is greater than 5 megabytes
you
can mail it to us, but please only send it once, either by email or
snail
mail (we prefer email). Our mailing address is: The Christian
Literary
Agency, 275 Madison Ave., 4th Floor, New York, New York 10016. If you
decide to mail your manuscript please be sure to INCLUDE your email
address
(very clearly) so we may reply and process your manuscript. Mailed
manuscripts may take up to 30 days to reply/process. Emailed
manuscripts
are processed much more quickly.

Also, so that you know a little more about us, please allow me to give
you a
bit of background on ourselves. We are part of a larger conglomerate
that
has ownership in a number of companies in the $40 billion publishing
marketplace. We are bigger than a small agency and smaller than a
large
agency. We have about 15 people total and as of 2nd quarter, 2005 we
have
over 60 active conversations ongoing with buyers and 3 option
agreements in
negotiations. We just sold our 4th work (to a publisher in England)
and we
are confident of more success later this year. We market to the larger
and
medium sized publishers and producers.

We believe we are very different than other agencies. We take pride in
the
fact that we answer every email personally within 2-3 days and 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.

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 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, get paid on success only, meaning
we
only get paid if you get paid. Typically we will receive 15% of what
you
receive.

We do not charge fees, so our compensation is based on success only.
Along
the way, we may suggest that you continuously 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 publishers. We never promise a sale,
but we
can tell you that we have a model that works.

We look forward to receiving your materials.

Blessings,
Sherry - V.P. Acquisitions


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

We much prefer emailed manuscripts.

Your materials are safe within our company. If we do not end up
working
together we will destroy any copies of your work that we have.

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

I've read the many posts on this board concerning Stylus and it's scams. And, from what I've been able to decipher, Stylus (or whatever they call themselves now) is a part of The Christian Literary Agency, or at least I think so.

Does anyone here know anything about the CLA? Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.

Cheryll

ymmatrysk
07-21-2005, 03:55 AM
Hi all,
I almost fell for the whole ST thing, and I did end up using the editor they suggested. I probably was duped, but at least it got some of my basic editing done (bright side?). Anyway, I just got an email from someone wanting a referrel for them (My Editor is a Saint). I really don't have anything bad to say about them (the editorial group, I have nothing good to say about ST!), but I wondered if this was some kind of weird follow up ST does to check up on people they've had contact with but no commitment. Has anyone else ever received something like this from ST/MES? I don't think I'll respond to the email, but I'm curious if people think this is real or a tactic. I posted the email below.:
Hello,

Mark Bredt from the Writers Literary Service gave me your e-mail address as a reference so I hope you do not mind me contacting you.

I am a new author recently taken on by Stylus Literary agency and in the process of having my novel edited. I am based in the UK so direct communication is complicated - because of this I just wanted to get feedback from other authors who have used the editing service in regards to how effective it was in improving your writing skills and polishing your ms for publication.

Many thanks

Simon G.


Thoughts?

Jen

HapiSofi
07-26-2005, 08:42 PM
Someone I know recently got a submission from the S.T. Literary Agency.

The cover letter's interesting. It isn't dated, and there isn't a single thing in it that couldn't be filled in by a computer.

Text of the cover letter is as follows:
[printed letterhead]
St Literary Agency
Professional Representation
www.stliteraryagency.com (http://www.stliteraryagency.com)

PO Box 272503
Boca Raton, Fl. 33427

Ofc 866-226-9866
Fax 561-393-0329
[memorandum-style headers]
To: [Editor name], [job title]
[publishing house]

From: Robert Fletcher, Principal
ST Literary Agency, Inc.

Re: [Author name], author of [book title]

Genre: [marketing category]

Dear [name of editor]:

ST Literary Agency, Inc. is very pleased to represent [name of author],

[Author] is one of our strongest authors and we trust that you will see the commercial potential of this work.

We look forward to your feedback and any comments or suggestions you may have on the attached material. We may be reached at:

ST Literary Agency, Inc.
P.O. Box 272503
Boca Raton, Fl 33427

Cellular 561.702.5471
Fax 561.393.0329

robertf@stliteraryagency.com
www.stliteraryagency.com (http://www.stliteraryagency.com)

We hope to hear from you soon.

Best regards,

[b]R Fletch

Robert Fletcher, Principal
The letter's signed "R Fletch," but I can't tell whether it's a real handwritten signature.

There's no SASE.

One further peculiarity is that the letter and the submission (outline plus three chapters) have been three-hole-punched in the left margin. The letter is not on the same paper stock as the manuscript, and doesn't look like it came out of the same printer. Nevertheless, the holes in the cover letter and the submission -- roughly 65 pages -- match up perfectly, so I will assume that they were hole-punched as a unit, using a heavy-duty hole puncher.

I'm sorry to report that I can't describe the envelope it came in, as it was discarded by the person who opened the submission.

Richard
07-27-2005, 06:03 PM
Slight edit:
__________


I did go all the way with STliterature now Stylus and I got dumped in February after paying out $480 worth of nothing and now they won't even send me any replies. Watch out for Robert and Jennifer Dublino new C.O. Don't go with them and don't take any links that will take you on a journey to the land of rip off's and you get one of these a year on:


Are you already under contract with the agency? Please advise so I can direct you to the proper person.

Best regards,
Jill Mast
Stylus Administration

I've learned my lesson and I hope all can too and as for Evoman my sci-fi story; it will stay on my website along with all my other stories just waiting for a day when someone might read them.

Kindest Regards
Benjamin Timothy Dyer

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


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


Hi Sherry Fine

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

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

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

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

And her reply was…

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

So I'll make you an offer/deal.

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

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

I look forward to your reply.

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


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

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

lindafox
12-21-2005, 07:06 AM
and it may be long, but it is the email I received from Children's Literary Ageny. If I had not found this board I would have been excited, so now I am leary..

Thank you for your query to the Children's Literary Agency. Based on your
query form information we would like to see more.

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

Please email your manuscript to
manuscript@childrensliteraryagency.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.

You may send either 3-5 chapters or the entire manuscript, whichever you are
more comfortable sending. 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.

Please DO NOT include any questions with your manuscript submission. If you
have a question, please send it to question@childrensliteraryagency.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 manuscript is via email.
============================================
If the file size is greater than 5 megabytes you can mail it to us on CD,
but please only send it once, either by email or snail mail (we prefer
email). Our mailing address is: The Children's Literary Agency, 275
Madison Ave., 4th Floor, New York, New York 10016. If you decide to mail
your manuscript please be sure to INCLUDE your email address (very clearly)
so we may reply and process your manuscript. Mailed manuscripts may take up
to 30 days to reply/process. Emailed manuscripts are processed much more
quickly. (If your filesize 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
"send to" address.)


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 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, get paid on success only, meaning we
only get paid if you get paid. Typically we will receive 10% of what you
receive.

We do not charge fees, so our compensation is based on success only. Along
the way, we may suggest that you continuously 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 publishers. 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 Fine - 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? 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.


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 filetype. 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. Furthermore the idea of people stealing someone's work is a
bit of 'urban legend'. It really doesn't happen.

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
reassurance of hearing a voice, just email me and I'll connect you to the
proper party.

Q) Where are you located?
A) We maintain executive suites on Madison Aveneue in New York, NY where we
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. In today's
connected world, our physical location is meaningless.

Q) Why aren't you in the Yellow Pages? I can't find you listed?
A) Yellow Pages are 'old technology', and they cost money. We use toll free
phone numbers and cell phones. Those simply aren't in directories. We
haven't been in Yellow pages for 10 years. Buyers certainly don't go to the
Yellow Pages to find authors <grin>, just nervous authors.

Q) Are you a member of AAR, BBB, Alphabet Soup...?
A) We have chosen to belong to industry associations where the buyers are,
such as the Publishers Marketing Association (PMA) through our parent
company, The Literary Agency Group. We spend our money going to the big book
tradeshows 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 as it is, 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
have about 15 people total and as of 2nd quarter, 2005 we have over 60
active conversations ongoing with buyers and 3 option agreements in
negotiations in our screenplay division. We just sold our 4th book deal (to
a publisher in England) and we are confident of more success later this
year. (A 5th deal is being signed as we speak). We market to the larger and
medium sized publishers and producers. We have had 5 successes now in the
last 2 years (fyi: most agencies only have 1 or 2 deals every couple of
years, if that.). 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 or problems.


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. We believe we are unique
in that we are willing to work with our authors along the way. 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) My manuscript 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) Who are some of the authors you represent? Why aren't they on your
website?
A) 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 were 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 3
business 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 it.)

IF YOU SNAIL MAIL (POST) YOUR MATERIALS TO US, PLEASE ALLOW UP TO 2 WEEKS
FOR NOTIFICATION OF RECEIPT. Why? It has to be forwarded to a special
evaluator that handles 'paper'. And remember, we cannot return materials,
so no need for a SASE.

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

Best regards,
Sherry Fine - VP of Acquisitions
We Grow Talent

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

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

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

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

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

Any information you could provide would be appreciated.


Sincerely,

Her response?

We really don't spend time proving ourselves.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Do you really ask permission before flaming someone anyway?

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

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

newwriter
12-28-2005, 09:35 PM
I did receive some responses from CLA but found as soon as I began to ask questions or indicate that I suspected them, they became quite haughty. I have copied a couple of emails below so that other unsuspecting new writers won't get caught. YES, they want money.

Note the final email copied below. The one where I changed the print to red really takes the cake.



Dear Joanne,

Your critique has been completed (see below) and for expediency it has also been forwarded to your Literary Agent. Your agent will review the critique and get back to you within a few days to discuss the results with you. If you have NOT heard from the agent within five days, please contact them.

Thank you again for your commitment to your writing career. At Writers Literary we stand ready to assist you in all phases of bringing your work to the top quality possible and if you decide that future improvements are necessary, we hope you will allow us to assist you.

If you have any comments about your critique (good or bad) please let me know. We are always trying to improve our processes and customer service.


================================================== ===========
Many authors can make their own changes suggested by the critique. However, some authors try to make their own changes, when they really don't have the skills necessary to do so. Therefore the Literary Agency that you work with has asked us to provide the following information to them as well (see below):

NOTE: THIS IS INTENTIONALLY BLANK. THE COMPLETED FORM HAS BEEN SENT TO YOUR AGENT WHO WILL BE CONTACTING YOU TO REVIEW YOUR CRITIQUE.

Editor's Notes:

In my opinion as the person that has reviewed this work, the changes or
improvements suggested by this review can be made by the author.

______ (Yes, Probably, Maybe, No) This is a 4 point forcing scale.


The amount of work needed to bring this to industry quality standards is:

____ not much
____ some
____ a lot


Remember, the purpose of the critique is to get an unbiased plan of action to bring your work up to professional standards. Your agent will work with you and this information to do so.

Louise - Director of Critique Fulfillment
Writers Literary & Publishing Services
adminL@writersliterary.com (adminL@writersliterary.com)

Dear Joanne,

Hello, this is Hill Mallory, Senior Agent. Please allow me to introduce
myself (Hill@childrensliteraryagency.com (Hill@childrensliteraryagency.com) ) and my administrator, Andrea
(andrea@childrensliteraryagency.com (andrea@childrensliteraryagency.com)). Together, we will be working with you
to first prepare you for marketing, and then to begin the process of selling
your work. Sherry is working with acquistions so you probably won't
interact with her again. If you have administrative, clerical, filing, or
other items to discuss, please take them up with Andrea. If you have
questions about the marketing and agenting, please take them up with me.
Please DO NOT cc everyone as that creates make-work as emails are forwarded
and duplicated. If you ever haven't heard from someone, please let me know
as I am your senior contact.

Whew, now that those details are over, let's get started.

I received your Critique and have reviewed it.

It is our recommendation, and we're sure that you would agree, that the
indicated improvements are implemented before we submit your manuscript to
potential buyers. It is absolutely critical that we submit only top quality
works to our buyers.

The reality is that buyers are inundated with so many manuscripts they can
pick and choose those that are as close to perfect as possible. This saves
them money and effort and allows them to get a better idea of what the
finished product will look like so that their decision process moves more
quickly.


At this time we have to make a decision based on the results of the
Critique.
================================================== ===============
Our basic question is this, "based on the critique results, can the author
make their own changes, or should they be required to work with a
third-party editor to make the improvements called for in the critique?"

1) Our first choice is for you to use an editor to assist you.
--------------------------------------------------------------------
In many cases the author is so close to the work, that they can no longer be
objective about making changes. It also helps to have someone to ask
questions of, etc.


2) You may decide to make the changes yourself.
--------------------------------------------------------------------

We realize that in many cases the author feels that they can make their own
changes, or they need to save money, or they just want to do the changes
themselves.

If this is your decision, please realize that we may perform an internal
critique on the changes you have made, and if we find that more work is
needed, then we will request that you work with an editor. However, we may
find that your changes are acceptable, and we may move forward.


There is no right or wrong answer to the above question, just what's best
for you, me, and the work.


Conclusion
--------------------------------------------------------------------

I hope this explains the options available to you at this time. Just to
repeat, if you make your own changes, then we may require more work, or we
may not. Obviously we'll have to review what the changes look like. If you
use a third party editor, then we know that the work was done correctly and
we can move forward. (As an example of why we like to suggest a third party
editor, think of an accounting auditor. This is an independent third party
that certifies that certain standards are met).

Please let me know which way you would like to proceed given the results of
the critique.

If you have any other questions or would like to proceed in a different
manner please let me know. This is a slow-moving industry and we can afford
to take our time to bring your work to the highest possible level before we
pitch it... you know the old saying, "you never get a second chance to make
a first impression".

I look forward to your reply.

Best regards,

Hill - Senior Agent


Thanks for allowing me a moment...

I'm still trying to understand why you won't pay for editing if it's necessary?

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.

Help me understand your position...

Hil

-----Original Message-----

From: weedens [mailto:6weedens@wekz.net (6weedens@wekz.net)]

Sent: Thursday, December 22, 2005 3:47 PM

To: Hil@childrensliteraryagency.com

Subject: RE: RE: thank you



Hello Hil,

I hope that you were just having a bad day when you responded to me. I did write my email as tactfully as I could knowing that it would ruffle feathers. However, I hope that I am seeing your response as just a tired person stressed by the Christmas rush and not an indication that all I have read about CLA is true.



Blessings

Joanne Weeden

http://jeremiahshope.SpreadTheWord.com (http://jeremiahshope.spreadtheword.com/)

http://www.yourwriteconnection.com (http://www.yourwriteconnection.com/)

-----Original Message-----

From: Hil - Senior Agent [mailto:Hil@childrensliteraryagency.com (Hil@childrensliteraryagency.com)]

Sent: Thursday, December 22, 2005 8:37 AM

To: 6weedens@wekz.net

Subject: RE: RE: thank you

Oh, and I guess we should pay for your editing.

Please explain that one to me, and don't regurgitate web crap.

Hil



HOLIDAY NOTICE: We are mainly taking the holidays off. We will be working a few days through January 1st. Have a great holiday and please excuse any communications delay during this time. Happy Holidays and our best wishes for a prosperous 2006!





-----Original Message-----

From: 6weedens@wekz.net [mailto:6weedens@wekz.net (6weedens@wekz.net)]

Sent: Monday, December 19, 2005 8:32 PM

To: Hil@childrensliteraryagency.com

Subject: Re: RE: thank you



Hi,

I have become very skeptical of your agency. From everything I have learned from researching and emailing with other agents, etc I shoujld not be paying fees for editing. Anyway until I see something positive from your group (which I understand is a spinoff from another disreputable group) then I will have no alternative but to terminate my relationship with CLA.

I hope you have a merry christmas,

Joanne

>

> From: Hil - Senior Agent <rwtlag@gmail.com>

> Date: 2005/12/18 Sun PM 11:17:16 GMT

> To: <6weedens@wekz.net>

> Subject: RE: thank you

>

> There's no hurry. This is a slow moving industry and we hope to have

a

> long-term relationship with you.

>

>

>

> We have a lot of authors that ask the same question, "how do I get

> editing?", or costs?, or something like that.

>

> So, what we did is we asked Writers Literary to come up with an

inexpensive

> product that allows the author to get started for a minimal amount of

money.

>

> Here is their paperwork that explains the process. (For expediency, I

keep

> a copy and forward it whenever needed. If this is ok with you, just

follow

> their instructions.)

>

> Please let me know if this answers your questions and if you are going

to

> proceed with them.

>

>

>

>

> ========= From Writers Literary =======================

> -------------- Writers Literary New Author Edit

> Package -----------------------

>

> The purpose of this e-mail is to tell you about our company and to

tell

you

> how

> much editing is, and how to get started.

>

> Writer's Literary is a simple to understand editing service. It gives

you

> inexpensive and direct access to hundreds of professional editors,

including

> English professors, attorneys, technical writers, and copy editors.

Our

> editors have worked for major publishers and know what it takes to get

> published. They will go over your work, checking for spelling,

grammar,

> style, structure, characterization, organization... the works.

>

> The publishing industry is very competitive with thousands of

manuscripts

> being submitted every day. Publishers only have time for those

manuscripts

> that present themselves in the most professional manner. For the

first-time

> author in particular this can make the difference in getting your

story

> through the "reader" and onto the editor's desk for review. Work that

has

> been edited has a better chance in the marketplace.

>

> At Writer's Literary, we have two missions. The first is to make your

> manuscript technically acceptable to any publishing house in the

world.

Our

> second mission is to help you improve your skills as a writer.

>

>

> Your first step: The New Author Editing Service

> ================================================== ====

>

> We discovered early on that bidding an editing job based on the number

of

> words or pages simply makes no sense. Let's imagine that you're an

auto

> mechanic. I call you and say....

>

> "Hi, this is Mark. Listen, I've got a car here that isn't running

right.

How

> much is it gonna cost to fix it?"

>

> "Mark, at the car agency, we'd like to diagnose it first... so, say

$100

to

> figure out what's wrong."

>

> "I don't want to spend a $100 just to find out what's wrong! Just tell

me

> how much it's going to cost to fix it", said Mark.

>

> "Okay, if you insist. Let's see, RED cars are $150, green cars are

$350?"

>

> "Great! Do you take Mastercard or Visa?"

>

> ========================================

>

> A ridiculous scenario but it makes a point. We can't provide an

accurate

and

> honest bid to edit your manuscript until we have seen it and diagnosed

the

> problems, if any. And you can't really make an informed decision about

> editing your work until you know what services we provide and how we

work.

>

> So the first step for our customers is the New Author package. It

costs

> $149 (discounted from their normal rate of $199). You'll have an

editor

> assigned to you who will provide you with a "red line" edit showing

the

> editor's recommended changes and notations in color

> on the first section of your manuscript. Your editor will also provide

you

> with a written commentary and review of your story and some

instructive

tips

> regarding your style and skills and what direction we think can lead

you

to

> a published work.

>

> After you have reviewed your initial edit we will discuss your needs

> and desires regarding your work and we can provide you with

an

> accurate bid to complete the manuscript, or you can make further

changes

> yourself (sometimes).

>

> Your satisfaction is guaranteed, if you're not satisfied with the

service

> provided

> in your New Author edit say so, we'll give you your money back, no

questions

> asked.

>

> Sincerely,

>

> Joan - Editing Administration

> Writer's Literary Services

> AdminJ@writersliterary.com

>

>

> ================== End =======================

>

> I think that answers your questions and I hope you proceed with them.

Let

me

> know and I'll set you up and make sure that you get your discount and

> priority treatment.

>

>

> HOLIDAY NOTICE: We are mainly taking the holidays off. We will be

working

a

> few days through January 1st. Have a great holiday and please excuse

any

> communications delay during this time. Happy Holidays and our best

wishes

> for a prosperous 2006!

>

>

>

> -----Original Message-----

> From: 6weedens@wekz.net [mailto:6weedens@wekz.net (6weedens@wekz.net)]

> Sent: Friday, December 16, 2005 10:30 AM

> To: Hill@childrensliteraryagency.com

> Subject: thank you

>

>

> Hello:

>

> I didn't understand from your email if your name is Hill or if it is

> Mallory?

>

> Thank you for getting back to me. I didn't expect to hear so soon. I

will

> take a look at the critique and get back to you. If it is a lot of

work

> then I may want to use an editor, for as you say, I am close to the

issue.

>

> Can you tell me how much it costs to utilize an editor?

>

> I lost my job and have been unable to find work so my funds are

limited.

I

> may need to wait several months until I can purchase more services.

Please

> get back to me with costs and I will take some time to review my

critique.

>

> Thank you and have a wonderful day,

> Joanne

>

>

KatherineB
01-01-2006, 09:05 AM
I got an email from Sherry Fine of Children's Literary Agency describing her roster of authors.... it corresponds, WORD FOR WORD, to Fletcher's description of his authors, as quoted on this thread by James McDonald.
She explains her vagueness by writing:

"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.)"

Yes apparently there are a lot of wierdos, but that's a very polite way of putting it.

Thanks to everyone here, I only wasted time with them, not money. But there's no doubt about it. Sherry Fine & Children's Literary Agency and Fletcher's ST Literary Agency are one and the same.

DaveKuzminski
01-15-2006, 10:32 PM
I think Sherry and the others are feeling the pressure. Here's what a writer sent me from their response to the writer's inquiry:




Here's an interesting thing about the Predators site. We can't find ANY contact information. Can you? So, here we have someone that purports to be an industry watchdog, that gives no contact information, or ability to discuss what they promulgate... doesn't that give you cause to question what THEY are saying? (We have had one author say they found a contact email, and we suggested that they ask Predators 'why?', but they never got a response.. so... we suggest that you make up your own mind based on the professionalism of our interaction, with us, as real people, not some 'shadow' person/entity that is unaccountable. We've been at this for years, and we haven't changed our name or ran, we've stayed and fought, and the only real person that loses is the first time author that can't get the time of day from most agencies.

I've heard that the Predators site is actually run by Bill Martin, the owner of Agency Research.. he runs the Predator site so as to create controversy so that people will buy his Agent Research package. If that's true, how's that for misinformation and misleading the public?

One of our clients said this, "I too did not find an area with contact information available for the Predators site. I feel they should be stopped from disseminating information about a company without explaining why they are not recommending them. I would like to continue the process with you to represent our work."

I know it's tough.. best to you in your decision.

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.


Hey, maybe they'll claim I'm Jenna next and give me both a name and gender change! ;)

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.

teaser
02-09-2006, 06:31 AM
I was on the verge of going through with this when I suddenly came across "absolutewrite.com" buzzing about this great scammer. Then, there's P&E's NOT RECOMMENDED warning! Oh my God!

The Screenplay Agency
“Developing the Best Writers in the World”

Greetings and Congratulations!

The Screenplay Agency is prepared to offer you a contract for acceptance as our client for
Agency Representation based on:

1) The screenplay you submitted,

2) the information that you have provided to us and the plan of action that we agreed
upon, i.e. the Critique-Coverage process.

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 Screenplay 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 adminScreenplay@writersliterary.com and you will receive our
negotiated discount and priority turnaround. Once we have your critique and contract you
will start working with the Agent who will be assigned to market your work.
Ofc. 866-876-4488 www.TheScreenplayAgency.com (http://www.thescreenplayagency.com/) 917-591-1916 Fax


The Screenplay Agency

“Developing the Best Writers in the World”

AGREEMENT FOR LITERARY AGENT REPRESENTATION

SCREENPLAY AGENCY: THE LITERARY AGENCY GROUP

Page 1/3 of Contract

This “Agreement” is between ______________________________ [the “Writer/Producer”] and The
Literary Agency Group, Inc, dba The Screenplay 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 Only After Approval
Discuss Other Work Later with Your Agent


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 author for this work and all
author’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 United States of
America and Canada. The Writer/Producer may have other Agents in other countries.

The Agent may not have any conflicts of interest with regard to any specific contract or
employment negotiated under this Agreement. If any such conflict arises, he must relinquish his
commission.

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.

Ofc. 866-876-4488 www.TheScreenplayAgency.com (http://www.thescreenplayagency.com/) 917-591-1916 Fax


The Screenplay Agency

“Developing the Best Writers in the World”

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 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 and ‘buyer-finder’. The Agent specifically states that he is not an attorney, and is NOT
providing legal advice. The Writer/Producer acknowledges that the Agent is NOT procuring
employment for the Writer/Producer. The Writer/Producer will sign all agreements, not the
Agent.

The Writer/Producer also agrees that all leads, contacts, communications, documents,
emails, forms, and business processes employed by the Agent are considered confidential and
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 will supply the Agent with an electronic version of their creative
work in a common word processing or screenplay format 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 Screenplay 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 __________________________________________________ ______

Ofc. 866-876-4488 www.TheScreenplayAgency.com (http://www.thescreenplayagency.com/) 917-591-1916 Fax


The Screenplay Agency

“Developing the Best Writers in the World”

Page 3/3 of Contract

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

The Screenplay Agency -Writer/Producer
The Literary Agency Group, Inc.

_____________________(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 Screenplay 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.

We look forward to working with you.

Ofc. 866-876-4488 www.TheScreenplayAgency.com (http://www.thescreenplayagency.com/) 917-591-1916 Fax

rudythewriter
02-09-2006, 06:50 PM
My "acceptance" e-mail from the Screenplay Agency -
Our review team believes that your Book-To-Film Adaptation has commercial
potential and we would like to proceed further with you. We believe we would
like to represent you....however.....
The Coverage Report usually takes the editor 1-2 hours and is $95... The
Pitch sheet takes about three hours of the editors time and is $189. If you
request them both at the same time, the total cost is discounted to $245.
PLEASE NOTE: WE ARE NOT ASKING FOR MONEY.

Royale With Cheese
02-10-2006, 03:12 AM
My response from the screenplay agency. Betcha it looks like every one elses who sent a synopsis to them.

Thank you for your query to the Screenplay Literary Agency. Based on
your
query form information we would like to see your work and learn a
little bit
more about your goals and your work.


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

Please email your manuscript to
manuscript@thescreenplayagency.com (http://us.f500.mail.yahoo.com/ym/Compose?To=manuscript@thescreenplayagency.com&YY=1318&order=down&sort=date&pos=3) .
(We accept Final Draft, Movie Magic, Screenwiter, and pdf, doc,
and
rtf)

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.


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@TheScreenplayAgency.com (http://us.f500.mail.yahoo.com/ym/Compose?To=question@TheScreenplayAgency.com&YY=1318&order=down&sort=date&pos=3) 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.

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

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

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

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


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

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

Please email your manuscript to
manuscript@newyorkliteraryagency.com (manuscript@newyorkliteraryagency.com)

My Response was:


-----Original Message-----
Sent: Thursday, March 09, 2006 3:31 PM
To: question@newyorkliteraryagency.com
Subject: Question About The Children's Literary Agency




Dear New York Literary Agency,

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

Sincerely,

Their Response:




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

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

Best regards,
Sherry Fine - VP Acquisitions

My Response:

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



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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

My response:

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

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

Sincerely,


Final Communication:

I don't like your phraseology. We pass.

Best regards,
Sherry Fine - VP Acquisitions







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

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

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


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

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

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


Best regards,
Sherry Fine - VP Acquisitions

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


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

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


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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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


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

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

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

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


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


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




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

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




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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

or,

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

or

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


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

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

I remain yours truly,
Sherry Fine - VP Acquisitions

xhouseboy
04-15-2006, 02:56 PM
I was reading this thread a few days ago, and based on Sherry's claims I decided to put her agency (once more) to the test. This has been done many times before, but who knows, perhaps she was telling the truth (yeah, right!).

So I sent this utter nonsense to her:


Title of Work: Honey Patter and the Goblet of Water

Synopsis: A young boy discovers he possesses magical powers, and he must
fight evil forces to realise his true destiny.

NYP-Work Been Edited: No.

NYP-Bio: Aspiring screenwriter for several years. I have only just purchased
a copy of Final Draft, which I believe wil make my screenplays even better.


Today I got this utter nonsense back. BTW, it landed in my spam folder. My emphasis.

Thank you for your query to the Screenplay Literary Agency. Based on your
query form information we would like to see your work and learn a little bit
more about your goals and your work.

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

Err, No. I don't actually have any screenplays that are a blatant and nonsensical rip- off of the Harry Potter franchise.

Please email your manuscript to
manuscript@thescreenplayagency.com (manuscript@thescreenplayagency.com) .
(We accept Final Draft, Movie Magic, Screenwiter, and pdf, doc, and
rtf)

You accept anything.

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?

To avoid scamsters like you.

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

Again, no to the first question. It was a complete load of bollocks. To the second question; it needs reading, is what it needs, mate. And if you had read it, you too would have realised it was bollocks. Oh but wait, I forgot, it's my money you're really after. Sorry, my mistake, carry on.



SNIP - scam nonsense

Please see the
FAQs below.



We believe we are very different than other agencies.

Yeah, too right.




================================================== ========
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.

And this personal response lands in one's spam folder.


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.

I have an agent. She takes 15%. We both do all right out of the arrangement. After all, 85% of something is a whole lot better than 90% of hee-haw, not to mention the 'service' (sorry, fees - see below) charges old Sherry would soon be tagging on. Real agents don't charge clients a penny, Sherry.


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.

You never promise a sale because, quite frankly, you never make any sales. Nor do you intend to.




We look forward to receiving your materials.

In your dreams


Sherry Fine - V.P. Acquisitions



Frequently Asked Questions: (I've again deleted most of this garbage)


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.

Real answer: because we're little more than an automated scam.


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 manuscript is the best it can be and that
it meets or exceeds industry quality standards.

I have judged you on the professionalism of our interactions together. You failed miserably.



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.


For 'good business sense' read 'good financial sense'. For 'incubating' read 'fleecing'.



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.

So you really would like to receive my nonsensical 'Honey Patter and the Goblet of Water'? Sorry, my apologies. I've completely misjudged you.


Best regards,
Sherry Fine - VP of Acquisitions
We Grow Talent

You GROW more and more disreputable as each day goes by.







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

similan
05-08-2006, 01:43 PM
They're still at it. I guess they have not updated their mail system and the darn thing is on some kind of auto pilot.

They sent me 'another' one today and here's what I wrote back.

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

Hey there, Admindle. Say. Mind if I call you swindle?

Right! The check 'is' in the mail, but I haven't gotten up in days on account of me having no legs and all. But the check is in the envelope but I have no stamps. Hard to get to post office on the account that my car is a stick and answering all the spam mails takes most of the days, too.

Say! How about you give me a free critique and I tell everyone you sold 10 of my scripts?

On 5/4/06, Lynn - Payment Administration <admindle@writersliterary.com> wrote:

Re: Critique Payment Reminder



We are performing our monthly audits and verifying the status of your account. Thank you for taking a moment to verify our accuracy.



Our records show that we are awaiting payment of the critique fee.



If this is in error (and yes, it happens) please email me with any details you have. We sincerely apologize if we have missed entering your payment. Also, sometimes checks cross in the mail so if you have sent it in recently, don't worry, we'll pick it up*. If you need to pause for budgetary reasons, please let us know and we can make sure that your literary agency is notified.



Continued best wishes for your writing career. If you need the paperwork again please let me know.



Account Administration



p.s. We sincerely apologize if this email is in error. Sometimes we have duplicate records that contain old data. Please just let me know if that is the case.



* If your check was mailed: 14 days is the longest delay we've seen for a check to be mailed from Europe, received by our accounting department, and to notify the client of receipt. If you mailed your check earlier than 14 days from the date of this email, then it is safe to assume that it is lost. Please let us know if that is the case and we can make alternative arrangements.

ajrmom
05-08-2006, 08:53 PM
I am a repeat offender of almost allowing myself to be scammed - first with ST, now with CLA. I have some terrific email dialog saved from my going back and forth with ST - if anyone wants to see it, let me know.

At least this time, I didn't get as far into the process, and I checked in here, before submitting my manuscript - maybe I'm finally learning my lesson.

Here is their latest rendition of their form letter. I love the part where they discuss their location -- after reading this thread, it really made me giggle.

I could've spent all day picking the typos apart, but I thought I'd much rather see what you all come up with first.


Thanks so much,

Jami

"Thank you for your query to the Children's Literary Agency. Based on your
query form information we would like to see more.

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

Please email your manuscript to
manuscript@childrensliteraryagency.com (manuscript@childrensliteraryagency.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.

You may send either 3-5 chapters or the entire manuscript, whichever you are more comfortable sending. 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.

Please DO NOT include any questions with your manuscript submission. If you have a question, please send it to question@childrensliteraryagency.com (question@childrensliteraryagency.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 manuscript is via email.
============================================
If the file size is greater than 5 megabytes you can mail it to us on CD,
but please only send it once, either by email or snail mail (we prefer
email). Our mailing address is: The Children's Literary Agency, 275
Madison Ave., 4th Floor, New York, New York 10016. If you decide to mail your manuscript please be sure to INCLUDE your email address (very clearly) so we may reply and process your manuscript. Mailed manuscripts may take up to 30 days to reply/process. Emailed manuscripts are processed much more quickly. (If your filesize is over 5 megs we also just recently found a free service that will move large files. Take a look at www.yousendit.com (http://www.yousendit.com). We've used it successfully in the past. Just use my email address as the "send to" address.)


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, get paid on success only, meaning we only get paid if you get paid. Typically we will receive 10% of what you receive. We do not charge fees, so our compensation is based on success only. Along the way, we may suggest that you continuously 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 publishers. 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 Fine - 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? 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.

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. (And I always hate it when I really like someone and my team disagrees).
So, please rest assured that there will be plenty of personal interaction
with your agent but not with me.


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 filetype. 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. Furthermore the idea of people stealing someone's work is a bit of 'urban legend'. It really doesn't happen.

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
reassurance 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 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.

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 forrm of advertising. We haven't been in Yellow pages for 10 years. Buyers certainly don't go to the Yellow Pages to find authors <grin>, 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, such as the Publishers Marketing Association (PMA) through our parent company, The Literary Agency Group. We spend our money going to the big book tradeshows 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. (fyi: most agencies only have 1 or 2 deals every couple of years, if that.). 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. We believe we are unique in that we are willing to work with our authors along the way. 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) My manuscript 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) 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 wierd emails from some very wierd 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 were 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 3 business 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 2 WEEKS FOR NOTIFICATION OF RECEIPT. Why? It has to be forwarded to a special evaluator that handles 'paper'. 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 Fine - VP of Acquisitions
We Grow Talent"

Emmanuelle
05-20-2006, 04:54 AM
Hello everyone
I am glad you brought the subject
for I got emails from this company who "accepted" to represent me
but two thinks shocked me
the first paragraph I thought was insulting any snippiness she has the right to fire a person on the spot ! what kind of relationship is this ?
Does it mean that if you disagree they just dump you ? and
second you have to pay 70 to 90 dollars to get a critique from them. They shouldn't be any more fees they say but who knows right ? I never heard of such practices.
I do feel there is something fishy
It's a blessing to see some other people that can relate
thanks to all
E


We like to work with pleasant people in a professional manner.
----------------------------------------------------------------- ----------
-

We are absolutely committed to a professional relationship and professional
communications; as you may have noticed, we have included that as one of our
top four signature items. We sincerely ask that you take the same
professional attitude in our communications as well. If we make a mistake,
or if you don't like the way we do things, you DO NOT have permission to
flame me or anyone in the company. People describe me as 'laid back - with
attitude'. Any snippiness on your part and I have the full support of my
management to fire you on the spot, and I will, and it's irrevocable. I'm
sorry for the hard line, but we've been around the block enough to try and
get rid of the bad apples as early in the process as we can. We very much
look forward to a great relationship, over the long term. Thank you for
understanding; we hope you feel the same way. Life's just too short for mean
people or drama.[This sounds rather adolescent. I'd cut that last line]




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

Treefrog
09-30-2006, 03:32 AM
I have just undergone a total ‘waste of space’ experience with a Scottish based agent called Hill and Hill. I will not elaborate as you can read the thread; assuming that you have the time.

The axiom of ‘once bitten twice shy ‘is clearly appropriate; I picked up the company New York Literary Agency from a Google Ad..

I filled in their form and, lo and behold, a manuscript request arrived two days later. I had by that stage checked them out on your site.

My response was as follows;-

Thank you for your invitation to submit my manuscripts to you. However, I have not had any books published or sold, and you seem to have only sold three/four. Also you are unusually shy about disclosing what they were. I have visited a number of web sites for literary agents and they all seem very keen to announce their successes and client list.

I am quite passionate in my desire to get my books out there and to get them published. In all conscience I don’t think that you and I are best suited. So I thank you for the invitation but will pass on it. There now aren’t the English polite?

The response that I received which was clearly automated was;

There was no manuscript attached to your e-mail, please will you send it again, thank you.


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.

I could add a tag in Latin but why bother; the facts speak for themselves.

I am obliged to this site for its input!

GaryBuglass
10-21-2006, 05:31 PM
God I wish I had come across this message board sooner! I'm another naive screenwriter who fell for TSA's "promise". I paid $95 for a pathetic critique and since the second draft of my screenplay was re-submitted I've received two responses. The first one was this --

Dear Gary,

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 :)

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 other options.

All the best,
Mary Bluestone
Senior Agent


3 moths past and I heard absolutely NOTHING so I sent a query e-mail - only to get the exact same e-mail sent back to me - word for word..including their promise..."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 other options"...complete bull because more than 30 days have past and they haven't shifted gears or discussed ANYTHING with me thus far.

The latest e-mail I got from them when I sent another query a few days ago is a peach. Read this --

Gary,

Sometimes the LFN process can be maddeningly slow.

At this time, we are planning ahead and asking certain authors about
whether they would like to create a website to assist us with marketing
your work in more circumstances.

If you remember, email and having a website is one of the methods we use to market your work. It's more aggressive than just waiting for the LFN database to give a hit. The way having a website helps us is that we
have a certain group of buyers that we send an email pitch to. You can
also reference your website in any communications that you initiate.

The pitching website mimics your hotsheet, except it's placed on the web
in an attractive and industry accepted format.

If you would like to be included, you must have a website that the buyer
can click to. Uf you have one of these websites it gives us many more
options with marketing your work, so if you can afford it, we strongly
suggest that you have it.

If you would like to proceed in this manner, we found a web creation and
hosting company that does a great job and we have negotiated a greatly
Reduced price for our authors ($145 total cost.) That's the only cost
for the website for up to 2 years, and it includes creation, and hosting for
that time period. Of course if you can get a website done yourself
that's fine too, it needs to match this format exactly.

Here are a couple of examples of what the pitching websites look like.


http://www.stauthor.com/6044/Suffocate.htm (http://www.stauthor.com/6044/Suffocate.htm)

http://www.stauthor.com/6044/legendofdestiny.htm (javascript:ol('http://www.stauthor.com/6044/legendofdestiny.htm');)

http://www.childrensliteraryagency.com/Ghostplc.html (javascript:ol('http://www.childrensliteraryagency.com/Ghostplc.html');)


So, let me know your thoughts about proceeding with a website, or if
you'd rather wait and let the LFN process continue to move along.

I look forward to your reply.

Mary Bluestone
Senior Agent

CAN YOU BELIEVE THOSE SCAM ARTISTS OR WHAT???????? What a change from the very start huh? From the lame promise "we never charge a fee until we sell your work" to "we have negotiated a greatly
Reduced price for our authors ($145 total cost.) That's the only cost
for the website".

I URGE ANY ASPIRING SCREENPLAY WRITER/ AUTHOR TO STAY WELL AWAY FROM THIS USELESS, PATHETIC EXCUSE FOR AN AGENCY. IT IS A COMPLETE WASTE OF TIME AND THEY DON'T EVEN DELIVER THE "PROFESSIONAL BUSINESS RELATIONSHIP" THAT THEY KEEP PROMISING.

"We never promise a sale"....now I can see why. Because they CAN'T.

GaryBuglass
10-21-2006, 08:15 PM
I'm soooo glad I discovered you guys. There is no way I am going to pay anything else to this "agency". I am so close to sending them an e-mail right now and telling them where to shove it! The thought of having to go through the sleuth work of finding another agent is almost off putting.

I've noticed a lot of people have been asked by this agency to pay for an editor after the critique has been done. I never got asked this. When my critique was done I received this e-mail --

Gary,

I received your screenplay critique and I have reviewed it

A very nice critique! The editor said "there's not much to change , and
that you can probably make the changes yourself". That's almost rare, so we
congratulate you. We call this a "CR-GOOD" designation.

Many of our authors that get this CR-GOOD designation feel as though there
should be more to change. This isn't the case. Frankly, you've recieved the
top deisgnation that the editors offer and we'll move directly to marketing
because of it.

Please let me know if you are going to make the changes and approximately
how long you expect them to take. (If you ever want assistance let me
know).

After we receive your changes, we'll discuss marketing. Good job!

Best Regards,
Mary, Senior Agent

This e-mail was sent to me March 29. All I've received since then is the infamous "you beat me to the punch by a few days" reply - twice...now the "pay us to create your own website" scam.

qblchick
10-27-2006, 07:59 PM
This is really disturbing because I have a contract with them and they are reviewing another manuscript. But they gave me pretty good feedback on my work. And I have received correspondence with an agent. They have been answering my questions long after the critique. as for illustrations:


> I have reviewed your manuscript at length and am
> confident that it is in
> great shape and ready to be put in front of
> potential buyers. There is
> just one more step to take first, as follows:
>
> Attached you will find our simple hotsheet form.
> Would you please take
> a minute and fill it out and e-mail it back to me.
> The form should be
> self-explanatory.
>
> Once we receive the information I will review it and
> it will be placed
> into our searchable database. Once in the database
> our Agents can
> easily access all the information about your
> property and forward it to
> the buyers that are interested. (We call this the
> LFN Database, which
> stands for "What are you Looking For Now?". This is
> the main question
> our Agents use when working with buyers. When they
> get a LFN, our
> agents go to the database and look for your work.
>
> We have a number of other ways that we market your
> work which I will
> explain once I receive your completed hotsheet form.
>
> With regard to illustrations, you should understand
> that publishers do
> not always publish the illustrations provided by the
> author mostly they
> prefer to use an illustrator with whom they have an
> existing business
> relationship. What I advise most of my authors is
> that we should have
> some sample illustrations prepared to use during the
> pitching process.
> I will require the sample illustrations in about a
> month so let me know
> if your illustrator will be able to meet that time
> frame, thank you.
>
> I look forward to hearing from you.

They also asked me to fill up a hotsheet. My question is, if they are a scam, why bother to continue correspondence way past payment? Shouldn't they be concentrating on scamming other authors instead of making you fill up hotsheets and writing about details on illustrators?

I think they are small agency trying to look big to build up a database of stories, sort of a shot gun approach. Sort of like stock photography thing -- but for writers. You won't get quality representation and you'll probably get a small chance to get published but I think it's a real agency. I don't know. Maybe. It could be that I'm just in denial.

equillizer
02-05-2007, 08:39 PM
So, I canceled my contract and sent off an e-mail to "Sherry" communicating my outrage at their scammer agency. Here is the response.

It's funny how people will believe something from someone they've never met, vs. someone they have interacted with over time.( i.e. me.).

We used to spend time and energy trying to get them to present both sides of the same story, but frankly it was a waste of time and we have too many applicants anyway.

If you have any specific questions, I'll answer them, but this 'comment on what I found" is a waste of time and energy, which I frankly don't have any more of. (excuse the bad grammar).

Make up your own mind based on our own interaction.

Otherwise, best to you in your career, I hope you can find another agent that will treat you with the respect that I have, but I doubt it.

Best regards,
Sherry Fine - VP Acquisitions

equillizer
02-06-2007, 12:36 AM
Here's some more nice BS correspondence from these asses. If I didn't know any better, I would want them as an agent! We really need to find a way to stop these people.
__________________________________________________ __
[b]
Hi Jason,

Please let me know how you made payment to the critique company and I will check into it.
They do not show that they have received payment yet.

I’m going to give you three answers to your question about what you’ve read. The
First answer is the short one, and the second is the medium one, and the third one 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.

But before I do that, please take a minute and read this unprompted email from a client of our screenplay division.

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

Hi Sherry,

I am a writer currently in the ninth month of a year long contract with The Screenplay Agency. Robert West is my assigned senior agent, and my experience thus far has been satisfactory at best for what it is… I’m writing this email to vouch for and/or defend the position you’ve been unfairly placed in within numerous writer’s message boards as of lately.

It took me the better part of fourteen years to get to the position I am currently in, which is being a writer of professional-caliber literary material with current representation that will hopefully lead me to other script options and/or sales…no promises but I’m a pro and my job is to keep going.

I can attest to the FACT that no worthwile literary agency is going to sign ANY writer who has not demonstrated their ability to produce industry-ready material. I have submitted material in the past to major Hollywood agencies and have had my share of outright rejections. I have also been lucky or fortunate enough to have been pulled aside in certain instances and explained to that while my work(s) had potential and commercial probabilities, that they COULD NOT take on the role of developing my material no matter how “almost close” it was to being market-ready. What several agents suggested I do “off the record” as some of them put it, was to obtain the assistance of a literary manager and go to the various “screenplay analysts entities” and get the work(s) professionally analyzed, make the necessary developments and changes and ONLY then…attempt to re-approach those agents. They have even went an extra “off the record” venture of putting me in touch with writers they newly- represented so I could inquire about these analysts. These writers have assured me that getting the work(s) up to professional industry standards was the ONLY way to go. They (writers) have to take control of their work and image, and go get busy writing. Everything else is just trade journey.

So…several years later here I am, a wiser, seasoned screenwriter with several scripts, one option and new literary representation that is openly willing to assist in the development of my writing endeavors…something they DO NOT HAVE TO DO… but I am grateful that they are!!! And let me say that NO ONE at this agency has asked me for ANY upfront money to be paid to them, Sherry Fine, Robert West or anyone else!!!

So for all those bitter, pseudo-skeptical, whining, wanna-be screenwriters out there…instead of wasting away on those message boards, they might do better finding out the exact mechanics of securing representation which is done best by COMPLETELY immersing themselves in their craft and then some… they should be WRITING, WRITING, WRITING…DEVELOPING, DEVELOPING, DEVELOPING…and it’s going to cost them some time, some years, some sweat, and some cold-hard cash to whatever industry analyst they may choose to assist them.

In conclusion Sherry, let me say that I am currently finishing up the third draft/rewrite of “The Mayor, The Journalist & The Crime Boss” which I am under contract for with “TSA”…and I want to thank you for indirectly opening my eyes further on what needs to be done to get material to market. This really feels like a team effort and I will continue to do my part completely, and have fun doing it!!!

I pray that you keep your head up and your purpose focused!!! You and the TSA team are much needed pioneers… God Bless.

Here’s the short answer, www.theliteraryagencygroup.com/positives.html .
I can put down 10 positive emails for every one whining writer.
Don’t you get it, don’t you see that these blogs are ‘old school’ and that’s why new authors can’t get published?
Ask the moderator to be your agent, at no charge, on the hope that he can sell your work.

If you can’t see beyond that blather and whining, then goodbye and good luck.

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

Next let me describe for you a typical blog attack.
Go to a blog and you’ll see exactly what I mean.
Someone just asks a simple “do you know these guys?” and the bloggers begin to build up incredible amounts of unsubstantiated innuendo.
Have a look and you’ll see what I mean.
They frighten the timid and have done real damage to those authors that tend to believe that kind of stuff.

If you really look with a discerning eye, you’ll see that most blogging is rumor-mongering at its worst.
Bloggers are rumor-mongers, and we’re different, so we are good fodder for their gossip.

We know we’re different.
And, we’ve incurred the wrath of the traditionalists in the industry.
We’ve drawn the battle lines and we’ve said that unpublished
Writers have very little chance of success unless they think differently.

We’re like your worst English grammar teacher, we don’t put up with slackers, or writers
Who want something for nothing. And those are the ones you see bitching
On the message boards. It’s like boot camp, and when they wash out, they whine.

Frankly, publishers love our model.. why? … because it’s less work for them,
And they know that when we present a product, it is a quality product.

We’re really just getting started and we expect 10 sales in the coming year.
Our
Mailing programs are bearing fruit, and we have buyers almost every day asking
To see our clients’ work.
Sales take a long time, and the odds are still tough, but in the end, an author
Is better of with us than not.
We can’t guarantee a sale, but we can guarantee that you will be a more professional
Writer after having worked with us.

Here’s the longer answer.

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 bitch. 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.

Thanks

Andrea

Warmest regards,

Andrea - Director of Client Relations

equillizer
02-07-2007, 11:24 PM
Well, they really wanted me. I received and e-mail from Writer's Literary (the critique artists). He personally responded to my mail. Here it is for your consumption.
_____________________________________________
Mr. Egroff --

Your request for a refund has been forwarded to me since the payment is coming to Writers Literary. According to our records your refund was completed on Feb 6 through PayPal. We have also received a note that your contract with the Literary Agency Group (NY Lit) has been terminated by your request.

You asked Andrea to name one author sold, I will do so -- Rev. Billy Crone, The Fulfilling Marriage - MapleTree Publishing. I have personal knowledge of this title as I was involved.

I also can testify personally to a conversation last week with a publisher seeking seven current manuscripts represented by the Literary Agency Group.

All of us have tried to "defend" ourselves with the Internet bloggers and given up, exhausted. People, by nature, are quick to believe and embrace wholly the idea that they have been taken advantage of and slow to "buy" the idea that they have not.

Look at your own example.

You state that your experience has not been "as negative" as the stuff you have read about and yet you are willing to take hearsay - unsubstantiated testimony on the Internet -- as gospel and discard an opportunity for publication for the fear that you might be ripped off.

Andrea forwarded to me the correspondence she has had with you, defending the agency's position and countering the claims of the bloggers. You are ignoring the claims made by Andrea entirely and posting the claims of the bloggers as irrefutable truth. Then you say we should be putting serious effort into rebutting our critics... why? It had absolutely no effect on you.

It is not a secret that The Literary Agency Group and Writers Literary and Publishing Services are owned by the same parent corporation. It is not true that they are "the same company". It is also not a secret that both companies exist for the purpose of making a profit. This is America, a capitalist society, and we all have families to house and feed. However, it is not true that it is ALL about money. I can't speak for the agency employees, I only have a passing acquaintance with most of them. But I can speak for Writers Literary and inform you that our critics and editors are educators, writers and authors and are motivated by a genuine interest to help our clients succeed with their work and improve their skills.

It makes no sense to believe that any author, regardless of talent or experience, should be represented in the marketplace solely on commission. Put yourself in the position of the agent. Would you spend your money and time representing anyone you weren't really sure would sell? Of course not. So you would only select those authors who have a proven track record with an established market. This is the traditional role of the agent in the literary market and the status quo that the bloggers believe should be preserved. This is why less than one percent of writers can obtain literary representation. If you've been trying, you probably have a drawer full of rejection letters, just like I do.

According to estimates presented by the Publisher's Marketing Association there are six million authors seeking publication. We believe that many of them have talent and potential. You are one of them. The critique is designed to assess that talent and potential. If editing is recommended (it isn't always), it is offered as a way to improve your manuscript to a point that it can compete effectively in the marketplace. (You can refuse editing and your manuscript will still be represented to publishers.) Our developmental editing also provides a learning experience to improve your writing skills. The Internet pundits believe that if your work is good, but not good enough to earn "free" representation, you shouldn't be a writer and you certainly shouldn't be published. We think that attitude sucks.

THE TENTO SAGA may have a chance at publication, I certainly wish you great success with it and that you will find representation on your terms.

Regards, Mark

newshirt
02-10-2007, 02:43 AM
I had already been “accepted” by the New York Literary Agency when I read these posts. I wasn’t sure what to believe, so I contacted NYLA to find out if there was any truth to them. Unfortunately for me, the posts seemed to be confirmed.

I sent several emails to NYLA asking for a telephone conference call. I had a series of questions to ask, related to sales track record and fees paid to umbrella companies. I never got the conference call. Here is what NYLA said in their email reply:

Good letter, thanks.. this is the most different business we've ever seen..
I don't care how much bad press, we get more, and more and more submissions...

Frankly, we're glad to get rid of the paranoidacs... they cause trouble later.

And after every one we turn down, 10 more take their place.

So, not worth the time to try to convince anyone.

Best regards,
Sherry Fine - VP Acquisitions (NYLA)

Moltten
02-17-2007, 06:52 AM
At first I was a bit unconvinced abou the blatant disgusting practices of the New York Literary Agency. But I can now affirm that these people are slime and need to be taken down in flames.

This is the query I sent them:

How Did You Hear of Us: A friend

Title of Work: The Runs

Synopsis: A man has serious bowel problems and cannot stop crapping his
pants.

NYP-Work Been Edited: It has been edited several times by Stan Brown, editor for the New York Times and Wallace Weinstein of the Wall Street Journal. Mickey Mouse was a strong contributor. The stay puft marshmallow man wrote the foreward. Illustrations by Jimmy Hoffa.

NYP-Sample Illustrations: Brown cover with isolated pieces of corn.

NYP-Bio: I am a bastard child of a drug addicted bohemian and an out of work starlett.





And this was the response:


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

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

Please email your manuscript to
manuscript@newyorkliteraryagency.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.


You may send either 3-5 chapters or the entire manuscript, whichever you are ... bla, bla, bla.

We know the rest of the automated garbage they send. DO NOT have anything to do with these scumbags !!!! They are scammers of the worst and most pathetic type. You can write the most ridiculous query and get the same response. All they want is to lead you to believe you are being accepted so they can start charging you fees. Karma is a beautiful thing though. These people deserve to make their abode in the lowest levels of hell under the most horrendous torment and flagelation. Nuff said.

Rob

xhouseboy
03-08-2007, 05:54 PM
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.




Kudos to them. Looks like they have changed their business practise. I've never before received this 'P.S.' from Sherry, after submitting to their 'book to film' evaluation.

I sent the query to their new company about 36 hours ago, and got a very prompt reply. The rest of her email was the usual stuff about how based on my proposal they would like to see the work with a view to reresenting me.

The book in question was 'The Da Vinci Code', and a short synopis describing how Da Vinci may have implanted a secret code in his painting the last supper, and blah, blah, you probably know the rest.... (this was the actual wording in the synopsis)

I did mention in my bio that my name was Dick Brown, and that the book was actually written by a guy called Dan Brown (no relation) but that if she was up for it we could just nick it and make a better remake than the last adaptation as he probably wouldn't mind.

Looks like she's up for it.

I'm still waiting for responses to my other two submissions. The first was 'Charlie and the Chocolate Factory' and I informed Sherry that it was based upon my uncle Charlie's experience of once winning a golden ticket to visit a chocolate factory that was owned by a guy who was a bit of a fruitcake.

The second was called 'The Shining', and concerned a young lad whose Dad went loopy with an axe.

Fingers crossed. I could soon be gaining representation for all three books. And once Sherry's guided me towards how to adapt all three into screenplays, then hopefully she'll be shopping the scripts around all the major film companies.

Hollywood here I come!!!

xhouseboy
03-08-2007, 09:30 PM
We have no way of even guessing how many later go on to get the editing service they offer. That would have to be pure cream for them even though I feel certain that even fewer of their marks opt for that. Because the price tag is significantly higher, it could equal what the critiques bring in. Wouldn't surprize me if they're drawing in ten grand a month.

I am soooo in the wrong profession.

If they're to be believed that they read all submissions, they're even trying to rip off kids.

I just got another positive response back to this:

Below is the result of your feedback form. It was submitted by
*********** on Monday, March 5, 2007 at 20:09:53
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

FormSource: CLA

FormDate: 3/6/2007

Name: Stephan King

How Did You Hear of Us: my mummy told me about youse

Title of Work: The Shining

Synopsis: A little boy goes to live in a hotel for the winter, and then his
dad goes loopy and chases him with an axe.

NYP-Work Been Edited: my mummy says it's good

NYP-Bio: I'm at school. We're making plasticine models tomorrow.

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.

Kathystoob
04-25-2007, 07:13 PM
See below response from Georgina. I have asked for a full refund of all monies paid if they fail to provide information detailing what has been done under this contract...verifiably done. I will be going to the District Attorney's office next and I also let her know that is the next step if I do not hear back with this information in a timely manner. After reading these boards and seeing all the others that basically have paid money to exchange emails in this scam...I will be directing the DA to this site as well for information gathering. If anyone else is interested in being involved, message me. I'm now a completely pissed of NYer and feel this nonsense needs to stop so no one else has to experience this.


"With regard to the publishers we’ve pitched to, unfortunately we no longer send the information out because we have had some overzealous authors make inappropriate calls and we’ve lost some good buyers because of it. We make a commitment to our contacts at the publishers that we will only divulge their names to authors once they are genuinely interested in the manuscript.

Best regards,

Georgina
Senior Agent"

Jacob Spire
04-29-2007, 07:25 PM
I asked my NYLA "agent" Hil Malory to send me some proof they've actually sold anything, as they claim they have.

The response wasn't late:
Too Much Tuscan Sun, which is now a bestseller.

I looked it up, and - voila!
http://www.toomuchtuscansun.com/01_TooMuchTuscanSun.html

Read the first paragraph. Just the first paragraph!

So I politely ask Hil "agent" Malory for an explanation...



...The next email was from Sherry Fine:



Some authors find their buyers, but ask us to help negotiate the contract. Then, over time they forget our assistance.

Yes, see this blog about contract negotiations and you will understand why you may wish our help with negotiating contracts. http://www.theliteraryagencygroup.com/blog-negotiating.html (http://www.theliteraryagencygroup.com/blog-negotiating.html)

If you want to call us liars, then go away.

Sherry


Need I say more?

Jacob Spire
05-16-2007, 06:47 PM
Here's the latest email from NYLA-





To: Jacob Spire

Re: Touching Base - The Breaking of the Silence


Hello, and continued best wishes for our mutual success.

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 make sure we have done all that we can as we are preparing for the largest book show in the US, www.bookexpoamerica.com (http://www.bookexpoamerica.com/) where we are exhibiting at the Literary Rights Center there.

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! And our Book to Film Division just sold a rights deal for $10k.

Would you please drop me (or 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.

Thank you for your time and patience in this very slow moving industry. Here's to our mutual success!

Andrea - Dir. of Administration
(I'm happy to assist you, however it is preferable if you email your agent). During these "reminder times" they are very busy so give them an extra day or two to reply.



Drumroll, please!

Jacob Spire
05-30-2007, 07:05 PM
Latest email:




Publisher Response Status Report

To: Jacob Spire

Re: Breaking the Silence


Below you will find your AA report. As this is your first report, we see this as a normal progression, not much feedback yet. We always have a few that make quick decisions, but the rest take longer. As always, if we move ahead with any buyer we will let you know immediately.


Once again, we commend you for your commitment to your writing as a business. We will contact you immediately if anything develops. We will be "following up" between now and the next monthy report.


Please find below the responses that we have received to date for this campaign.

Kindest Regards,
Beth Stormes
Aggressive Agent Program Administrator

p.s. We will be attending the Book Expo in NY next week and this is a great time for your mailing to be working for you. We will let you know if anything transpires for you. (And, a gentle reminder, this is a slow moving industry, so please maintain hopeful patience!) (I omitted the actual report, for it is merely a list of ten publishers.)

Will anyone here be attending the Book Expo in NY next week?

El Mariachi
06-09-2007, 07:18 PM
After confronting "Sherry" about being legitimate, this is the reply that I received. I will give them an "A" for effort.

I'm so sorry that you find yourself in a conundrum. As a writer, you really don't know who to turn to, and there is conflicting information everywhere. Before you lose a real chance to move your career forward, please consider the additional information below.

Interestingly, we had a publisher make this comment the other day (remember, it's the publisher we care most about). 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.

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

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....


* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
"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."
John Fitzgerald Kennedy

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

El Mariachi
06-14-2007, 03:08 AM
Not that I was in need of further proof of this scam, but, I felt compelled to try it out anyway. I submitted the following, and of course, received a "we want to work with you response". What a load of crap. . . Please read...particularly my name, synopsis, and other answers...these people are a piece of work:


FormSource: CLA

FormDate: 6/9/2007

Name: Jules Winfield

How Did You Hear of Us: Internet Search

Title of Work: Hostility, Part III

Synopsis: Two 8-year-old girls go on a backpacking trip to Transylvania
during summer vacation, in the 1800's. They stay in a hostel, which they
will never forget.

THIS SERIOUSLY SOUNDED GOOD TO THEM?

NYP-Work Been Edited: Yes. I had my screenplay critiqued by my mother, who
once dated Dean Martin's chauffeur.

FURTHER PROOF THAT THEY DIDNT EVEN READ WHAT I WROTE

NYP-Bio: I like long walks on the beach, and hayrides with my sister. Well,
she isn't really my sister. She's my half sister. That's not against the
law, is it?

I AM ALMOST CONSIDERING WRITING A BOGUS 30 PAGES, JUST TO SEE WHAT THEY SAY.

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

SDBmania
08-14-2007, 08:30 PM
"I completely understand.

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.

Beth"

That was the response I got today regarding my desire to cut my ties to NYLA. It seems that they aren't trying hard to keep me. I have to say, I'm a bit disappointed. I thought there would be more pressure to stay with them.

But, at least it's officially over. I figure he figured out that I wasn't going to burn any more money.

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
11-03-2007, 02:17 AM
Letters from Sydra-Techniques, ST Literary Agency, Stylus Literary Agency, The Literary Agency Group, WL Writers' Literary Agency & Marketing Company, etc.

Collected in the wild and posted here. Some contain the posters' commentary.

AC Crispin
11-03-2007, 02:48 AM
WRITER BEWARE'S
THUMBS DOWN AGENCY LIST

Page updated: 7/20/07


Below, in alphabetical order, is a list of the currently active literary agencies about which Writer Beware has received the largest number of complaints over the years, or which, based on documentation we've collected, we consider to pose the most significant hazard for writers. All have two or more of the following abusive practices:

1. Fee-charging--including reading fees, marketing or administrative fees, retainers, processing fees, and other forms of upfront or flat-rate charges that are made as a condition of representation.

2. Paid editing or publishing referrals--including placing clients with vanity publishers, promoting their own paid editing services to clients (a conflict of interest), sending clients/potential clients to an outside editing service that pays kickbacks for referrals. Several of these agencies are no more than fronts for editing services.

3. Conflicts of interest--several agencies are under common ownership with editing services or vanity publishers, which are recommended to clients without disclosing the connection.

4. No or minimal track records--many of these agencies have never made a single sale to a commercial publisher. None has a significant recent track record.

5. Nonstandard author-agent contract terms--including perpetual agency clauses, claiming commissions on clients’ future works even if the agency had no hand in selling them, billing clients for normal business overhead such as travel and entertainment.

6. Unprofessional practices--such as sending form letters or postcards with boxes for editors to check off and return to indicate interest, "bundled" queries (several queries in the same envelope), "blitz" or shotgun submissions (submissions to a dozen or more publishers simultaneously, often without careful targeting), “packaging” a submission with unnecessary extras such as author photos, cover mockups, or sample illustrations.

7. Misrepresentation of skill or experience--including representing themselves as competent to sell manuscripts despite poor or nonexistent track records, lying about sales, and claming placements with vanity publishers as legitimate commercial sales.

While the 20 agencies listed here account for the bulk of the complaints we receive, they're just the tip of the iceberg. Writer Beware has files on nearly 400 questionable agencies, and we learn about a new one every few weeks.

We'll updating the list from time to time, as questionable agencies sometimes change their names, or clone themselves Be sure to check back regularly.


<LI style="FONT-WEIGHT: bold">The Abacus Group Literary Agency
Allred and Allred Literary Agents<LI style="FONT-WEIGHT: bold">Barbara Bauer Literary Agency
Benedict Associates (also d/b/a B.A. Literary Agency)
Sherwood Broome, Inc. (also d/b/a Stillwater Literary Agency, LLC)
Capital Literary Agency (formerly American Literary Agents of Washington, Inc.; also d/b/a Washington Agency and Washington Literary Agency)<LI style="FONT-WEIGHT: bold">Desert Rose Literary Agency <LI style="FONT-WEIGHT: bold">Arthur Fleming Associates
Finesse Literary Agency (also d/b/a/ Elite Finesse Literary Agency)<LI style="FONT-WEIGHT: bold">Brock Gannon Literary Agency <LI style="FONT-WEIGHT: bold">Harris Literary Agency <LI style="FONT-WEIGHT: bold">Martin-McLean Literary Associates <LI style="FONT-WEIGHT: bold">Mocknick Productions Literary Agency, Inc. <LI style="FONT-WEIGHT: bold">B.K. Nelson, Inc.
The Robins Agency (Cris Robins)
Michele Glance Rooney Literary Agency (also d/b/a Creative Literary Agency, Creative Concepts Literary Agency, Simply Nonfiction, and May Writers' Group)<LI style="FONT-WEIGHT: bold">Southeast Literary Agency
Mark Sullivan Associates (also d/b/a New York Editors and Manhattan Literary)
West Coast Literary Associates (also d/b/a California Literary Services)
Writers' Literary Agency & Marketing Company (a.k.a. WL Writers' Literary Agency), formerly The Literary Agency Group, which includes the following:
-Christian Literary Agency
-New York Literary Agency
-Stylus Literary Agency (formerly ST Literary Agency, formerly Sydra-Techniques)
-WL Children's Agency (a.k.a. Children's Literary Agency)
-WL Poet's Agency (a.k.a. Poet's Literary Agency)
-WL Screenplay Agency (a.k.a. The Screenplay Agency)
-Writers' Literary & Publishing Services Company (the editing arm of the above-mentioned agencies)



Except for graphic, copyright © 2006-2007 Victoria Strauss and A.C. Crispin. May not be reproduced without permission.