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emma
02-24-2005, 01:05 AM
Just wondering if anyone has heard/worked with this agency before. Would appreciate any feedback. Thanks

victoriastrauss
03-11-2005, 06:54 AM
I just got documentation on Children's Literary Agency (its website is here (http://www.childrensliteraryagency.com/)). Its scheme is getting clients to pay for editing and illustrations (any savvy children's book author knows that unless the book is a collaboration or the author is the illustrator, publishers provide their own illustrators and do NOT want to see illustrations with submissions) in order to make submissions "creative, compelling, and catchy" so that potential buyers will "differentiate our submittals from those of other agencies". They will, all right--and not in a good way.

For those who've had a brush with ST Literary Agency (which by the way has been advertising on its site for children's book authors), the term "submittal" will have a certain...resonance.

- Victoria

AnneMarble
03-15-2005, 07:54 PM
I was wondering if anyone knew more about The Children's Literary Agency. There is no information yet on P&E.

Someone posted a Job-Op from them on the Copyediting list serv. They were looking for "telecommuting children's editors." Several list members were amused by the offer, because it looked like a heavy workload (they wanted a fast turnaround, yet they said that some of the manuscripts were in "not so great" shape), yet they didn't offer any information on rates.

Although the one that got the biggest chuckles was a writer's offer to pay one dollar per page to help him turn an 800-page book into 350-400 pages. Oh, and he wanted an experienced editor. Oh, and he wanted an editor who could turn his book into a screenplay as well.
:ROFL:

James D. Macdonald
03-15-2005, 08:04 PM
Appears to be the latest incarnation of ST Literary Agency of Boca Raton, FL.

AnneMarble
03-15-2005, 08:05 PM
Appears to be the latest incarnation of ST Literary Agency of Boca Raton, FL.

Thank you!!! :Hail:

I'll post a warning about this on the Copyediting list.

victoriastrauss
03-15-2005, 08:36 PM
See here (http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showpost.php?p=122443&postcount=432) for more information, Anne.

- Victoria

AnneMarble
03-15-2005, 09:18 PM
See here (http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?p=122521#post122521) for more information, Anne.

There it is! I was searching for posts on ST, not S.T. :Smack:

victoriastrauss
03-17-2005, 09:49 PM
...bump...

Just want to keep this visible, as there's some discussion in another area of the board.

- Victoria

victoriastrauss
04-13-2005, 08:17 PM
More info on Children's Literary Agency...

I concluded early on, based on the fact that CLA's contract was practically identical to ST Literary Agency's (http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=529) contract (including several features that until now have been unique to the ST contract), that CLA is a spinoff of ST (a little while ago, ST owner Robert Fletcher was supposedly stepping down (http://www.stliteraryagency.com/-president) to pursue other projects...I guess now we know what they are). Now there's more evidence.

The editing service CLA recommends has a different name (The Writers Literary & Publishing Services Company (http://www.writersliterary.com/)) from the one ST recommends (My Editor is a Saint (http://www.myeditorisasaint.com/)) but it's based in the same city (Clearlake Park, CA) and shares the same fax number. Clearlake is also the hometown of Mark Bredt, who is VP of New Author Services for My Editor is a Saint. Mark (who has self-published his own novel (http://books.lulu.com/content/24221) with Lulu) has worked as an agent for ST (http://www.stliteraryagency.com/-agentday).

The illustration service CLA recommends is RapidPublishing.com (http://www.rapidpublishing.com/), which is owned (http://web.archive.org/web/20031207101834/www.rapidpublishing.com/index.asp?cat=20592) by Robert Fletcher of ST and his business partner Paul Anderson. According to the current version of its website, RapidPublishing provides "professional services for writers and publishers." One of the main things it's done over the past few years is to process ST's invoices.

There's also evidence that CLA is hawking expensive vanity publishing deals to clients. Stay tuned.

- Victoria

aka eraser
04-14-2005, 12:40 AM
PU. Stinky stinky stinky.

Great work Victoria.

CaoPaux
04-14-2005, 01:06 AM
Index updated. :D

Daniel
04-18-2005, 10:21 AM
Took it as far as I am prepared to: The contract (attached) lasts for 2 years. They assume lots of powers but they bind you to a previous agreement to work with their 3rd party editors and illustrators....

and not once did they mention my work by name or ever send me a paragraph on what they liked about it. I thought everyone should see it so was agreeable to them to this point.

Hi I am a children's writer/thriller writer/ sonnetier from the UK. Working on my first novel so you may see me around *s*

Daniel

Rose Red
04-19-2005, 02:09 AM
Thanks Victoria for all your hard work!:hooray:

kayscats20
04-19-2005, 03:18 PM
Same here, they do not tell you anything they like about your book or what they might not like for that matter. Dorrance at least gave me a summary of my book and referred to it and it's it's content frequently. But $ 8400.00.......$$$$$$ S T Literary was the same way as Children's, no real comment on the book or content.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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




April 15, 2005
VIA CERTIFIED MAIL





To: Victoria Strauss
XXXXXXXX
Amherst, MA 01002-2003



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



Dear Ms Strauss:

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

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

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

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

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


PLEASE GOVERN YOURSELF ACCORDINGLY.



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

kayscats20
04-22-2005, 03:23 PM
Robert, who will read manuscripts by an unknown author, help them get established without trying to take their last dollar plus any more they can get out of them? I have not found one that does not want money first. What happened to helping these new authors by reading their manuscripts, accepting those with potential and letting them pay the literary agency after their book actually hits the market? There are many of us who do not have funds, but if we did, we could have our own books printed and bound without the literary agency's or the publishers help. Instead of everyone bickering, please show us where the reputable literary agents are and the publishers.

wjm
04-22-2005, 03:58 PM
Anybody here try to get to a literary agent that will actually talk to a new author? It doesn't happen.

Well, I've got one talking to me.

Also, I don't think it was terribly responsible of you to post Ms. Strauss' address on the internet.

wjm

DaveKuzminski
04-22-2005, 04:08 PM
Robert, I'm so ashamed. I confess. I've spoken to real agents who didn't demand an upfront fee. ;)

Off your prozac, huh, Robert? Well, tell your lawyers that I want my letter, too. I don't want to feel left out, especially since I stand with Victoria.

MadScientistMatt
04-22-2005, 04:28 PM
Robert, who will read manuscripts by an unknown author, help them get established without trying to take their last dollar plus any more they can get out of them? I have not found one that does not want money first. What happened to helping these new authors by reading their manuscripts, accepting those with potential and letting them pay the literary agency after their book actually hits the market? There are many of us who do not have funds, but if we did, we could have our own books printed and bound without the literary agency's or the publishers help. Instead of everyone bickering, please show us where the reputable literary agents are and the publishers.

Kayscats,

There are several ways you can find that sort of agent who does not want money first.

1. The Association of Author's Representatives has strict rules about who they allow in. They forbid charging any upfront fees. Not all legitimate agents are members of AAR, but all members of AAR are legitimate agents. And if you go to the AAR home page (http://www.aar-online.org/mc/page.do) and select Find an Agent, you'll be able to see their membership list.

2. Pick an author you like who writes the same sort of books you publish. Contact this author and ask who their agent is.

3. Look in the Agents section of Preditors and Editors (http://www.anotherealm.com/prededitors/).

4. Pick up a copy of Writer's Market or its related guide to agents. Look through the listings - there are many listed with a good track record.

5. There is a list of agents that Absolute Write will email you if you use the link on their front page.

It's possible that successful Successful agents don't need to charge upfront fees. As a general rule, real agents do not need to advertise. Simply being a successful agent is often enough to get authors sending you querries and manuscripts.

Good luck.

Jaws
04-22-2005, 06:12 PM
And when Ms. Strauss actually receives the "letter" quoted below, I'll be glad to respond at her request. Methinks, however, that Mr. F won't like it. And that his lawyers won't, either.

victoriastrauss
04-22-2005, 07:55 PM
My response (http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showpost.php?p=170798&postcount=504) to Mr. Fletcher's chest-thumping. (And no, I haven't received the letter yet.)

- Victoria

victoriastrauss
04-22-2005, 07:56 PM
2. Pick an author you like who writes the same sort of books you publish. Contact this author and ask who their agent is.Most authors probably won't respond to a question like this--I know I don't--for fear that the person will then contact the agent and say the author recommended them.

- Victoria

James D. Macdonald
04-22-2005, 08:30 PM
My response (http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showpost.php?p=170798&postcount=504) to Mr. Fletcher's chest-thumping. (And no, I haven't received the letter yet.)

Oh, dear. A certified letter that's taken more than a week to deliver? Is it possible that the letter was ... never mailed? Is it possible that the letter ... doesn't exist?

I'm not going to post my commentary on Boppin' Bobby's post again -- you can read it in the Stylus Literary Agency (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=529&page=20&pp=25) thread.

(And you can read my commentary on Bobby's earlier drivel here (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=529&page=6&pp=25).)

Kate Nepveu
04-22-2005, 08:38 PM
Oh, dear. A certified letter that's taken more than a week to deliver?To be extremely fair . . . certified is just an add-on, and can be applied to first-class mail as well as Priority, etc. It's still unusual for a first-class letter to take a week to get somewhere, of course . . .

James D. Macdonald
04-22-2005, 08:59 PM
We are beginning a series of lawsuits against her and other bulletin board moderators and posters. A literary agent must be facile in their use of lawyers. We keep 'em on retainer.


Let's look at Glantz & Glantz, at their business model, and at what Boppin' Bobby means by "keep 'em on retainer." $17 a month through Prepaid Legal Services, Inc. -- a "Lawyer-in-a-Box" service.




The Broward County law firm of Glantz & Glantz represents 32,000 families in South Florida - up from 6,000 in 1996, according to Ronald Glantz. The firm has 38 lawyers.

Most of the business is done over the phone. Once a client calls, he or she normally receives a return call the same day from a lawyer who specializes in the subject.

When a client wants to meet with an attorney face to face, but it's not feasible geographically for Glantz & Glantz, the firm will hire a lawyer in the member's area.

At least one Tampa lawyer says legal insurance is a good thing - to an extent.

"It helps deliver a good commodity at a fair price," said Bill Jung, who handles both criminal and civil litigation. "But it's a bad idea if you need sophisticated legal representation."

Jung said he once represented clients who had legal insurance but whose lawyer had little to no experience dealing with federal cases.

"(Handling cases in federal court) is like high-wire stuff with no net," Jung said. "It's an excellent program for the generalist. A disaster if you need a specialist."

If they do know what they are doing, "more power to them," Jung said.

But he warned: "It's kind of like HMOs. You better make sure your HMO has a good cardiologist if you need to see one for your bad heart."




Read the whole article in the St. Petersburg Times. (http://www.sptimes.com/2003/09/23/Tampabay/Let_me_call_my_lawyer.shtml)

IWrite
04-22-2005, 10:16 PM
At this time the process that Ms. Strauss decries as a foul scam has 68 manuscripts under request by publishers, 3 book contracts in negotiation, and 3 movie options in various stages of negotiation.

Question about the 68 - did you send an unsolicited query or did you pick up the phone and call the editors? I don't need you to send a query and it's cheaper for me to do it than have you do it for me - as you apparently charge for this.

Question about the 3 books - are they traditional publishers or Publish America? Any requests from Simon & Schuster or Bantam?

Comment about the 3 options. Options mean nothing. It's sales that count and one thing a screenwriter wants an agent to do is close a sale.


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

Based on the amount of time you've been in business and the number of authors you've sucked in your above totals are.... pathetic.


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

You are the one spreading false and erroneous information on this point. Brand spanking new authors get signed by real agents and get real publishing contracts every day. Yes it's a tough process - nothing worth having is easy. And there really is no point in having an agent who knows nothing about the business and/or knows nobody in it. If you knew about the film biz - you would not be bragging about getting 3 options. At most agencies, if that's the best you can do - you'd be hanging your head in shame or seeking another career - 10% of option money doesn't cover an agency's cost for brads. If you knew about the publishing industry - you would not be saying that real agents won't talk to unpublished writers.


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

Yes, Mr. Fletcher another round of queries, this is the process - this is how it works. You can't become a famous actor unless you send out hundreds of headshots and go on audition after audition. And you can't get an agent until you send enough queries to finally hit the right one.

As for agents taking you on for free. Hoisted with your own petard on this one. A real agent will believe enough in your work, that they are willing to take the chance that they will not make a dime off you. It's a huge act of faith AND it insures they will work damn hard to get your work out there, because their payday is dependent upon yours.

You on the other hand get a nice chunk of change from every sucker.. uh client you reel in. You don't have to sell a single book to make wads of cash. You don't have to limit yourself to those who you think are good enough to be published, because your income comes from their fees. You have no incentive to sell anything but your services.


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

Umm.. no offense Mr. Fletcher, but I'm looking for someone to represent and sell my work - not incubate me. And many, many agents will give suggestions to writers on how to improve their ms if they believe the writer has promise.

And just what is the background of you and your employees that puts you in a position to help writers "improve their work"? From what I know about your background - you don't come from the literary world - although since it appears you got in a little bit of trouble with securities fraud - you may have some experience with fiction. Your new CEO has a background in marketing - not literature. The sale you're so anxious tout was made to a publisher that eagerly accepts unagented work.


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

Dude, save your time and your money. Do you really want a parade of all your dissatisfied clients marching to the witness stand? From what I've seen on the net - there appear to be alot of them.

The fact remains - you do CHAGE fees and you have almost no verifiable sales.

Scammer or not you are what many would deem a lousy agency.

James D. Macdonald
04-23-2005, 07:59 PM
The President of the Children's Literary Agency, Dorothy Walker, has successfully sold her work to Scholastic, Henry Holt, and Tree of Life publishing. Her work has also appeared in publications such as Highlights for Children, Child Life, Jack & Jill, Wee Wisdom, and Humpty Dumpty.


The listed president of Children's Literary Agency is Dorothy Walker.

Here is a list of her sales of book-length works:

As Ann Doro:

Charlie The Lost Dog, Scholastic, 1990
Twin Pickle, Henry Holt, 1996
The Missing Canary, Tree Of Life Publishing, 2005

As D.A. Johnstone:

Trio, PublishAmerica, 2003

victoriastrauss
04-23-2005, 11:07 PM
The Missing Canary, Tree Of Life Publishing, 2005Tree of Life Publishing is a company established by self-publisher Peter Parente to put out his own children's books. It now seems to be offering self-publishing deals (I'm being polite, not using the v-word, since Mr. Parente really did self-publish) to others--among them, CLA clients.

- Victoria

hunterwoman75
06-03-2005, 07:54 PM
I have read all your guys postings on the Children's Literary Agency and I am very aware of their policies and form emails.

I recently emailed them with their form questionnaire and was asked to send my manuscript. I have received a positive review from them and now I'm wanting to speak to them in person. I have searched the internet yellowpages for their phone number but alas there is no number to be found. this is a huge flag for me and probably all of you as well.

I looked up the Literary Agency Group phone number in New York and in Los Angeles, but there is no phone number for them. Because of the umbrella tree that they have happening I looked up the New York Literary Agency, The Christian Literary Agency and big suprise, no phone numbers for any of these agencies.

I talked to Peter Parent on the phone and he highly recommended them and advised of what they do and they sounded great, they would do everything they possibly could to get one published. They are a new age form of Literary Agents and I do understand where they are coming from but on the down side do they really exist and if they do why don't they have a phone number listed? Maybe it's to keep writers like myself who have lots of questions from phoning (lol).

I was excited to receive this positive review because I write so differently than the regular genres out there for young adults and I thought I had an agency actually believe in my work. (hence the name hunterwoman75) I write stories about kids who go hunting from the experiences that I have and had while hunting and fishing. I have been told by my emailing critiquing group that I have the same descriptiveness as Gary Paulson, and he writes about the wilderness and an experience from a young persons point of view. I am not saying I'm like him at all but we have a similiar writing style. I haven't read his books because I don't want to be told that I am copying him. I do know that he is published by Random House and you need an agent to be published by them, hence, my search for an agent that believes in me.

I know that in this forum there is alot of talk about the Children's Literary Agency referring people to editors, which is understandable, I have my own editor that I pay to edit my work. It increases your chances of being published instead of getting the form rejection letter. There is also talk of having a 3rd party critique and The Children's Literary Agency willing to refer you to someone that will do that. I do agree with that as well because it shows you the marketing potential and what needs to be worked on. On the downside is there is no mention on who pays for that service to be provided.

Can anyone help me out here with getting a phone number for the Children's Literary Agency? I would really appreciate it.

Sincerely,

Hunterwoman75

James D. Macdonald
06-03-2005, 08:43 PM
Hunterwoman --

You probably want to look at these two other threads at AW:

Children's Literary Agency I (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=8286)
Children's Literary Agency II (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=8312)


I have to inform you that last week I visited New York, and I visited 275 Madison Avenue, the purported home of Children's Literary Agency. I talked with the security guard in the lobby; he and I went through his master list of tenants, and -- Children's Literary Agency is not located in that building. Neither is The Literary Agency Group (CLA's purportedly a division of LAG).

Having a bad agent is worse than having no agent at all.

I want you to promise me that you will never, ever, write a check to an agent.

Here is Everything You Wanted To Know About Literary Agents (http://www.neilgaiman.com/journal/2005/01/everything-you-wanted-to-know-about.asp).

To answer your question: Their phone number is 866-876-4488

hunterwoman75
06-03-2005, 09:19 PM
Thank you James, I really appreciate it. I do promise you that I will never write a check to an agent. I knew it was too good to be true. This saddens me. Just when I thought I found someone to believe in me this happens. This really sucks. I will be calling them and asking questions.

Sincerely,

Hunterwoman75

Susan Gable
06-03-2005, 09:33 PM
Thank you James, I really appreciate it. I do promise you that I will never write a check to an agent. I knew it was too good to be true. This saddens me. Just when I thought I found someone to believe in me this happens. This really sucks. I will be calling them and asking questions.

Sincerely,

Hunterwoman75

Don't write a check to someone they've recommended you pay to "tweak" your book, either! That's a big scam alert - although the fact that Jim couldn't find them in the building is kind of a big tipoff, too.

Best of luck with your writing!

Susan G.

hunterwoman75
06-03-2005, 09:38 PM
Don't worry Susan, I already have my own editor and she does an awesome job. Her name is Judith Brand. I highly recommend her to anyone who is looking for editing to be done.


Sincerely,

Hunterwoman75

hunterwoman75
06-06-2005, 11:50 PM
Hi, I'm not sure if this is the right place or not but I'm posting it here. I received the contract from The Chidren's Literary Agency today and I have an editor reviewing the contract. I am emailing them this letter as there are issues that I would like to address first. But before I email them I need an opinion on the letter I am about to send. If you could help me out, I would really appreciate it. Does my letter sound pushy, or demanding, or professional?

Hunterwoman75

Dear Sherry,

I just wanted to let you know that I received a copy of the contract today. I have a couple of questions that I would like to discuss with you.

First off, I would like to say thank you for believing in my work, I know that I will have great success with this series if marketed properly. I have been researching for a publisher for an extended period of time and finding little results on publication of this genre. I know that if we work together that my goal will be accomplished.

The questions that I have are well, of course those doubting questions. I have talked to Peter Parent about you guys and he highly recommended you and then I had a friend email me the Preditors and Editors. I talked to Peter about this and understood why you guys do the 3rd party critique and I already had an editor that was going to edit my work before it was sent anywhere first.

The concerns that I have are the following: (I have to be straight forward because I am an upfront person)

1) I would like to speak to you on the phone. I tried to find your phone number on the internet superpages and I couldn't find it at all. I know that us meeting in person isn't going to happen because you would have to fly all the way from New York to Williams Lake, British Columbia and that would be expensive.

2) on absolutewrite.com a writer wrote that he went to the address you have posted on your website but they didn't have you listed there.

I truly want to believe that you guys aren't like other agencies that have been not recommended because I like your business philosphy. If we can work this out, I will have no problems working with your agency. I would be more than happy to provide a reference for Children's Literary Agency.

Trapped in amber
06-07-2005, 12:03 AM
As I understand it, the Children's Literary Agency is one of the many incarnations of what was ST literary Agency. It appears to derive it's income from fees writers pay (they're called something other than reading fees, I can't remember what).

There is a long thread about it here:

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

It will take a long time to read, but I think it's worth it given how important this decision is.

dragonjax
06-07-2005, 12:13 AM
If you're going to move forward with CLA, even with all the information stacked against this agency, then I wish you the best of luck. (No phone number and no physical location? Wow...)

aka eraser
06-07-2005, 12:18 AM
Hunterwoman, sending your money to the Salvation Army would give you just as good a chance at finding a publisher - but you could sleep better knowing you were helping someone who truly needs it.

hunterwoman75
06-07-2005, 12:21 AM
Thanks for your help guys. They aren't asking for money. I was going to send my manuscript to an editor when I was done anyways. The 3rd party critique is a very good idea and my editor is going to do that for me.

The phone number issue is that one member in here gave me their number but it doesn't work where I live. The address that they give is a mailing address, so where are they located exactly??

I'm sick with worry and antcipation. I wish I could just phone and clarify these fears I'm having.

Hunterwoman75

James D. Macdonald
06-07-2005, 12:29 AM
The address that they give is a mailing address, so where are they located exactly??



Boca Raton, Florida.


I want you to promise that the instant they ask you for money, or someone they steered you to asks for money, for you to bail out and find a real agent.

victoriastrauss
06-07-2005, 12:40 AM
Hunterwoman, did you read this thread (http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=10305) on Children's Literary Agency? It's not a real agency, but a spinoff of Stylus Literary Agency, a.k.a. ST Literary Agency, a fee-charging agency that as far as I know has never sold a book to a commercial publisher in its entire four-year history.

The critique service Children's Literary Agency recommends belongs to the same people who own the agency. This is a conflict of interest. If the agency can make money by telling you to get a critique, how can you be sure that the recommendation is being made in your best interest? Reputable agents don't refer writers to critique or editing services they own. Nor do they make getting a critique a requirement for representation (as CLA and all the Stylus spinoffs do).

The Manhattan address for CLA is a mail drop, not an office address.

- Victoria

hunterwoman75
06-07-2005, 12:55 AM
I, Hunterwoman75, hereby do solemly vow never to give money to an agent.

Vicotoria, I have read all the threads and perceptions of the valued members in this forum. I see many things and understand the need for caution.

I have read about the complaint of form emails. Have we taken into consideration that they get alot of emails everyday?

And of other complaints about the contract; have we considered that there is a contract on the internet that is the same? Have we looked at other agent contracts that are available on the web? Are they generic just like the Children's Literary Agency?

It's not like I'm jumping on their band wagon or anything but there are logical answers to our very logical questions.

I may seem a little dense considering all the talk in the forum but I believe in people even though it can hurt me in the end. Where I am undecided is because of my talk with Peter Parent. I'm sure all of you have your perceptions about Mr. Parent but their marketing of his books are producing huge results in $$. If we don't take a chance, we won't know will we? How many times have you been offered a contract, no strings attached? I haven't been. My book is a huge risk to their company and if they get it published and set up my author tours, do have any idea how much money I could make???? Marketing of the book is essential to success, if you take all this time to write the book and then just let the publisher sell it in the book store with no other form of marketing, you will starve.

Hunterwoman75

Aconite
06-07-2005, 01:23 AM
I, Hunterwoman75, hereby do solemly vow never to give money to an agent.

To this, add, "or publisher, editor, cover art designer, or marketing expert, or anyone else my agent says I should pay." The author should not be paying for any of these things unless s/he is truly self-publishing.


Vicotoria, I have read all the threads and perceptions of the valued members in this forum. I see many things and understand the need for caution.

hunterwoman, do you know Victoria Strauss' credentials? She's part of the Writer Beware team, and among the other things she's done, she's helped the feds put away literary scammers. When she tells you to be cautious of a particular agency, it's serious. This agency's affiliated agencies have a long and bad history. Very likely the only reason this one doesn't have more complaints about it is that it's still a new name. I doubt it'll take long to earn the same terrible reputation its affiliated agencies have.


And of other complaints about the contract; have we considered that there is a contract on the internet that is the same? Have we looked at other agent contracts that are available on the web? Are they generic just like the Children's Literary Agency?

Friend, you're trying too hard to convince yourself that this agency is okay. The people here who have given you advice know literary contracts. They know good ones and bad ones. You would do well to listen to people who know more about literary contracts than you do, because lit contracts are specialized and the language can be tricky.


How many times have you been offered a contract, no strings attached? I haven't been.

Authors get legitimate contracts every day. Unknown, first-time authors get legitimate contracts, not just big-name authors. If you haven't gotten one, yet, it means you need to work harder on your book -- not run with the first agency that tells you what you want to hear.


Marketing of the book is essential to success, if you take all this time to write the book and then just let the publisher sell it in the book store with no other form of marketing, you will starve.

To put this bluntly, bull. Marketing is the publisher's job. No legitimate publisher is going to put this hugely important part of the process in the hands of an amateur, which is what the author is. Legit publishers have marketing departments. Legit publishers do marketing that you, the author, cannot do (no matter how dedicated you are), and probably won't even know about unless you ask someone who works there. You know when publishers say they're investing in your book? Most of the money they're investing is in marketing to the trade. If a publisher says, "We believe in your book and we're going to give it the chance it deserves -- you just need to market it yourself" then they're blowing smoke. I know you don't want to hear this. I hope you'll hear it anyway.

If I were you, I'd look elsewhere for a legit agent. In any event, I wish you the best of luck.

Richard
06-07-2005, 01:27 AM
I may seem a little dense considering all the talk in the forum

No, but you seem very naive, and determined to stay ignorant of how the system works. As with the Book Millionaire thread, you're taking the information you're being given and brushing it off with giant misconceptions about how the industry works, and claims of 'Well, you never really know, do you?' Many of the people giving you advice on this are absolute, cast-iron experts in the field of trouble-spotting that you discount at your peril - certainly, I find it hard to credit you ignoring the likes of Victoria and Dave in favour of a phonecall with a guy whose claims have already been so thoroughly gone over, and has yet to reply to any of the questions that arose from it. If you disagree, fine, but good luck - you're going to need it.

And your agent is NOT there to take a huge risk for you. Period. Their job is to find books they think they can sell to publishers and do so; the publisher in turn takes the financial risk of buying and printing the book. This is not a matter of opinion. They don't do author tours or printing or editing or any of that other stuff - that's the publisher. What you want to find out before going any further is which big-name publishers (if any) CLA has managed to get a book placed with. Not in consideration. Placed. Published. On shelves. Preferably ones whose 'CEO' isn't also the name of the only author on offer, if you get my drift.


My book is a huge risk to their company and if they get it published and set up my author tours, do have any idea how much money I could make????

Yes. Do you?

hunterwoman75
06-07-2005, 02:18 AM
richard, I see where you are coming from. Maybe I'm so dang tired of trying to find an agent that would represent my genre that I question everything.

I don't mean to offend anyone but how do you know when you have a good agent? Besides looking on the preditors and editors listing. It's like wading through piles of piles of useless information for me. It's not like they say; we represent Young Adult fiction hunting genres. If life were like that, "you wouldn't need a visa card." (sorry had to laugh about the situation.)

Hunterwoman75

Aconite
06-07-2005, 02:25 AM
I don't mean to offend anyone but how do you know when you have a good agent?

As the experts here keep saying, a good agent is one who's sold books you've heard of to publishers who get them into stores. How do you find one of those? Go to bookstores. Find books similar to yours. Do some research and find out who agented those books. Use the list you generate that way as your starting point. At the same time, be researching what a good agent is like and what s/he can do for you, and how the publishing world really works.

Richard
06-07-2005, 02:29 AM
It's understandable - writing is a very frustrating field at times - but there's never any reason to go with a bad agent in favour of no agent. As for how you know, you do your homework - you find out which books that agent has represented. Find authors who write in your field and try to find out who they used.

In the end, if your agent has no expertise or contacts or reputation in a particular part of the industry, getting your submission from them is no different to the publisher getting it from you - and if you wind up with a scammer, you could be in for an absolute boat-load of pain and expense. Sites like P&E and AW exist so that you can look with your eyes open, without having to take everything on trust. You can't do that in this industry. There are people who want to see you succeed, but there are just as many sharks on the lookout for a sucker - and they're the ones you're more likely to run into.

Also, could you please do us all a favour and cut down your signature to something sane? That's ridiculously long.

brinkett
06-07-2005, 02:30 AM
I don't mean to offend anyone but how do you know when you have a good agent?
One good step, which you took, is to ask about an agency here. And you received an answer - the Children's Literary Agency is not a reputable agency (I'm being polite). If you truly believe in your work and want to give it the best chance possible, do not sign anything with that agency. You aren't dense--you asked, and people who know about these things answered. Time to move on to the next agency on your list.

James D. Macdonald
06-07-2005, 02:58 AM
A good agent has sold books you've heard of. (http://nielsenhayden.com/makinglight/archives/004772.html)

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

Children's Literary Agency/New York Literary Agency/Christian Literary Agency/Stylus Literary Agency have never sold a book in their lives.

They didn't even sell Peter Parente's book: He self-published.

Robert Fletcher, their head honcho, is an adjudged (http://www.dfi.wa.gov/sd/orders/SDO-063-01.pdf) swindler (http://www.dfi.wa.gov/sd/orders/SDO-021-01.pdf).

Tell you what -- if you insist that the only way to know is to find out for yourself, have at it. Keep careful records. They'll come in handy at Fletcher's next trial.




ByteAudio.com, Inc.; Frank M. Dolney; Robert M. Fletcher; and Fred C. Kriss - SDO-063-01 (http://www.dfi.wa.gov/sd/orders/SDO-063-01.pdf) (also see SDO-021-01 (http://www.dfi.wa.gov/sd/orders/SDO-021-01.pdf))


On September 4, 2001, Securities Administrator Deborah Bortner issued final orders against two Florida firms charged with offering and selling unregistered securities in Washington. The Orders are significant in that they seek fines totaling $100,000 as well as imposing injunctive relief and ordering restitution.

In the case against ByteAudio.com, Inc., the Division issued a final order against Byte's President, Robert M. Fletcher. (The Division's cases against the firm and other respondents are continuing.) The order charges Fletcher with violating the registration and anti-fraud provisions of the Securities Act. Fletcher is liable for a $50,000 fine and has been ordered to pay restitution to Washington investors.

A copy of the summary order, SDO-021-01 (http://www.dfi.wa.gov/sd/orders/SDO-021-01.pdf), which includes the findings of fact and conclusions of law, is also available online.

DaveKuzminski
06-07-2005, 03:23 AM
P&E lists agent preferences when those are known or given to us. However, even then that doesn't mean those are all an agent will accept. A number of agents have and still do change their preferences regularly enough that it's difficult keeping track of what they do like to represent. Regardless, we do try to post the most recent and accurate information possible.

That said, I've already heard from one writer who paid for a critique from the Literary Agency Group conglomerate and is not happy with what she received for her money. I simply do not believe that any part of that conglomerate will succeed in representing or servicing any writers properly.

hunterwoman75
06-07-2005, 03:30 AM
Okay, okay, okay, I get it :flag:

sgtsdaughter
06-07-2005, 03:34 AM
[/url]

Children's Literary Agency/New York Literary Agency/Christian Literary Agency/Stylus Literary Agency have never sold a book in their lives.

They didn't even sell Peter Parente's book: He self-published.

Robert Fletcher, their head honcho, is a [url="http://www.dfi.wa.gov/sd/orders/SDO-063-01.pdf"]convicted (http://nielsenhayden.com/makinglight/archives/004772.html) swindler (http://www.dfi.wa.gov/sd/orders/SDO-021-01.pdf).

Tell you what -- if you insist that the only way to know is to find out for yourself, have at it. Keep careful records. They'll come in handy at Fletcher's next trial.







Hunterwoman75,

Take these quoted words, hold them dear, and then run--don't walk--from Children's Lit. Run, I tell ya. Google them. . . see what comes up. Nothing nice. Nothing good. Nothing in the sales department. Then, go to the bookstore and read the acknowledgements sections of children's books--those from small and large presses. Write down a few of the names, and see where that leads you--to honorable agents.

Don't mean to sound harsh, but I would hate for you to get taken (they can also take you with claim to the mss, even if you don't drop a dime thier way). Also, I would hate for AW to have to start a "Neverending Stylus/Children's Lit/Bobby Fletcher" thread.

A.

batgirl
06-07-2005, 09:18 AM
Hunterwoman, does your book have a Canadian theme or setting?
Have you looked at Canadian small presses such as Raincoast (http://www.raincoast.com/publishing/submissions.html) or Thistledown (http://www.thistledown.sk.ca/subguides.html)? Both publish YA fiction. Neither seem to require an agent.
-Barbara

stace001
06-07-2005, 09:37 AM
Run Hunterwoman, run run as fast as you can. Stay away from that Fletcher man.


There's no two ways about it....he's bad news, so is his agency. I almost signed with him too, but thankfully, i checked this site out, and they directed me to other sites about Mr Robert Fletcher and ST Literary Agency. (or whatever the hell they call themselves these days.) One other thing to think about...if his agency was legit, why all the name changes? If it looks too good to be true...it is. Sorry.

LloydBrown
06-24-2005, 04:05 AM
April 15, 2005
VIA CERTIFIED MAIL



The first thing an attorney does in these situations is advise the client not to respond directly to the other party. All communication should go through the attorney.

James D. Macdonald
06-28-2005, 09:26 AM
Woo hoo! A list of more books allegedly sold by Children's Literary Agency!


Some books we've sold are: The Worry Stone and Fiddlin' Sam, for Marianna Dengler. Gift of the Dove and a four-book series, Tales From the Bayou, for Betty Hager. Twin Pickle, for Ann Doro.


This comes from http://www.writers.net/forum/read.php?f=10&i=125162&t=125097

Well, let's see what we've got:

The Worry Stone by Marianna Dengler, Rising Moon Books, 1996
Fiddlin' Sam by Marianna Dengler, Rising Moon Books, 1999

Gift of the Dove by Betty Hager, Zondervan, 1991
Old Jake and the Pirates Treasure (Tales from the Bayou #1) by Betty Hager, Zondervan, 1994
Marcie and the Shrimp Boat Adventure (Tales from the Bayou #2) by Betty Hager, Zondervan, 1994
Miss Tilly and the Haunted Mansion (Tales from the Bayou #3) by Betty Hager, Zondervan, 1994
Marcy and the Monster of the Bayou (Tales from the Bayou #4) by Betty Hager, Zondervan, 1994

Twin Pickle by Ann Doro, Henry Holt and Company, 1996

Short Answer:

Those books were all published long before Children's Literary Agency was founded. All but one were published before Sydra Techniques was founded.

It looks very much as if Children's Literary Agency had nothing to do with selling any of them.

DaveKuzminski
06-28-2005, 07:04 PM
Hmmm, this sounds like something the FTC would be interested in.

HapiSofi
06-29-2005, 07:07 PM
Woo hoo! A list of more books allegedly sold by Children's Literary Agency! ...

The Worry Stone by Marianna Dengler, Rising Moon Books, 1996
Fiddlin' Sam by Marianna Dengler, Rising Moon Books, 1999

Gift of the Dove by Betty Hager, Zondervan, 1991
Old Jake and the Pirates Treasure (Tales from the Bayou #1) by Betty Hager, Zondervan, 1994
Marcie and the Shrimp Boat Adventure (Tales from the Bayou #2) by Betty Hager, Zondervan, 1994
Miss Tilly and the Haunted Mansion (Tales from the Bayou #3) by Betty Hager, Zondervan, 1994
Marcy and the Monster of the Bayou (Tales from the Bayou #4) by Betty Hager, Zondervan, 1994

Twin Pickle by Ann Doro, Henry Holt and Company, 1996

Short Answer:

Those books were all published long before Children's Literary Agency was founded. All but one were published before Sydra Techniques was founded. It looks very much as if Children's Literary Agency had nothing to do with selling any of them.They seem to be operating on the assumption that taking on a client with prior publishing credits means you can list that client's backlist titles as your own agency's sales.

They're wrong, of course.

James D. Macdonald
06-29-2005, 07:48 PM
Do we know if Marianna Dengler and Betty Hager have signed with Children's Literary Agency? It's not impossible -- being a writer doesn't protect you from making a poor decision.

Ann Doro, of course, is a pseudonym of Dorothy Walker, CLA's figurehead president.

aruna
07-23-2005, 01:25 PM
Most authors probably won't respond to a question like this--I know I don't--for fear that the person will then contact the agent and say the author recommended them.

- Victoria

What I do is google the "author's name literary agent". It usually turns up the agent's name.

batgirl
07-25-2005, 12:43 AM
Short Answer:

Those books were all published long before Children's Literary Agency was founded. All but one were published before Sydra Techniques was founded.

It looks very much as if Children's Literary Agency had nothing to do with selling any of them.


Does this mean that after signing on with Children's Literary Agency, previously successful authors are no longer able to sell their work?
Just asking.
-Barbara

LloydBrown
07-25-2005, 12:47 AM
Does this mean that after signing on with Children's Literary Agency, previously successful authors are no longer able to sell their work?
Just asking.
-Barbara

I don't even know if they've written anything else. But since Fletcher doesn't actually submit manuscripts for the most part, I'm sure they can't sell anything else with him "representing" them.

James D. Macdonald
07-25-2005, 02:46 AM
A bad agent is worse than no agent.

samsdogs
07-26-2005, 02:06 AM
Emma,

I haven't worked with them but I am also trying to get information. I spoke to a local agency and they warned me against working with anyone who wants money to look at your manuscript. He said reputable agents will read the manuscript themselves and if necessary get in-house assistance.

He did however recommend some reading: The Complete Idiots Guide to Publishing Children's Books, Guide to Literary Agents 2005, and Children's Writer's and Illustrator's Market. They will have lists of children's literary agents and general information we need to know for the market.

victoriastrauss
09-24-2005, 09:19 PM
As of August or September 2005, a new member has been added to this lovely group: The Poets Literary Agency (http://www.poetsliteraryagency.com/).

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

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

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

- Victoria

MightyMax5
09-29-2005, 07:10 PM
Just want someone to explain to me where the scam is in all of this?

Lets say there have been no reading fees what so ever. which there hasn't been.

THe only fees were a legit critique and editing that was chosen by the writer.

The critique and editing were done professionally.


I am just trying to figure out where the scam is and where does the CLA get their money from if this is a scam.

So i see someone said that they get money from the fees form the critique and editing company because they are the same. Ok so they received 39 dollars for the critque and 99 dollars for the editing. Wow that is a lot of money to base a business on. Great SCAM!!!!!!

Come on and tell me where the real scam is, i just want to know.

MadScientistMatt
09-29-2005, 07:37 PM
Max,

If the writer went and picked a truly independant agency for the critique, you're right, the scammers would not make any money off that. Most, however, appear to go with the "sister company" directly run by The Literary Agency Group. So Robert Fletcher and company pocket the critique fees.

Ok, so you'd have to churn out a dozen or so of those a week to make a good living. Maybe they do pull in enough suckers to keep that up, what with all their subsidiaries. Maybe they don't. A couple of those a month might not be enough to live on, if they have a shortage of victims. So? Scamming isn't always a full-time job, and running a part-time scam can supliment what you get at your day job with minimal effort. What unscrupulous crook would turn down a chance to make a hundred bucks with just a few minutes' work?

Often, though, they don't stop there. One author reported that they'd asked for $70 or so for website hosting - for a small template page that can be made in a few minutes, not something like, say, Jenna's homepage (http://www.jennaglatzer.com/). Another author reported that they'd asked around $2,000 for editing services. So you can pay a lot more than just the initial price of entry.

CaoPaux
09-29-2005, 08:10 PM
Perhaps it's because they tell you they'll sell your book, but they don't?

As for the seemingly small amount of money gleaned from a person before they got wise: Multiply that by a hundred people a month, most of whom don't get wise and stay on to pay even more....

MightyMax5
09-29-2005, 08:40 PM
Ok 2 responses and still have no good responses. I am looking for someone who has been scammed by CLA, where are they. It is always someone else or this person here, but never the person.

Look at it from this point of view. If for some reason the scam is they don't sell your work, but in the contract is states you can pull from the Agency when they don't sell your work after 90 days, so where again is the scam.

If paying 138 dollars for a damn good critique and very good editing for the book that really needed fine tuning and that is the scam then damn I got scamed.

Getting what i paid for the last time i looked was not a scam.

So i am still looking for someone to step up and please show me the scam.

James D. Macdonald
09-29-2005, 08:51 PM
They claim to be a literary agency, that is, that they have the ability to sell your book to a publisher.

So far, they have never sold a book to a publisher. That's advertising that they can do something that they have no practical ability to deliver.

Is the critique any good? I don't know. We do know that the folks who give the critiques aren't required to even read your entire manuscript -- just give you a list of common errors.

We know that they'll string you along as far as you want to go, taking money every step of the way, but never getting you to publication. Is that fraud? You tell me.

Sure, you can edit and critique and do whatever -- but if at the end of the process, after paying as much as you're willing to pay, you still aren't published, that's a scam.

aka eraser
09-29-2005, 08:56 PM
I smell a troll.

MightyMax5
09-29-2005, 09:03 PM
well the way I see it and what i have seen so far is this:

If all is true and it works out to them not selling my book to a publisher, than I will come to accept it.

On the other hand, through this process i had a critique done and my book professionally edited, in which it needed. I am very happy with the results.

With that said, those will be the only fees I will be paying because I chose to pay those fees on my own, i was not forced by CLA.

SO all in all if this does not work out i will have paid 138 dollars for services rendered to me in which i was very pleased with, and so I will move on to the next company to see who is interested. That is all I am saying.

Richard
09-29-2005, 09:06 PM
Sir, I would like to sell you a magic amulet that will protect you from heffalump attacks. It looks like an ordinary pebble, but really it's magic.

James D. Macdonald
09-29-2005, 09:06 PM
When you move on to the next company (and you will -- none of Bobby Fletcher's agencies have ever sold a book nor will you be the first), please don't pay that new company anything. Otherwise you'll just have moved from one scammer to the next.

MightyMax5
09-29-2005, 09:10 PM
You see that is what i been waiting for, a response that has no intelligence behind it what so ever.

I have been sitting here reading these posts for months and finally i just got tired of reading this junk all of the time.

I came on here to ask a simple question and still have had no responses to my question. SHOW ME THE SCAM?

To scam someone is to take their money for nothing in return.

That has not happended and nor will it.

To the last response, once again that is the junk i see all of the time on here, come on give me some information that can help me, not wise cracks

MightyMax5
09-29-2005, 09:13 PM
my last post was not intended for you Mr. Macdonald.

I understand what you are saying and will take precautions if their is a next time.

James D. Macdonald
09-29-2005, 09:16 PM
The scam is that they claim to be a literary agency, but they aren't.

The scam is that they take money for worthless services.

The scam is that they lie about themselves -- starting with their business address, moving on to their "successes," and winding up with their abilities.

The scam is that they take your money and don't move you an inch closer to publication.

MightyMax5
09-29-2005, 09:22 PM
If all this is true, then tell me please how do they get away with all of this, to me it seems that they are an illegal operation, please tell me how?

Also, you said they don't move you an inch, i must say something different, because my point in all of this is my book was edited and it was in need of that, now if I send it on my own i will feel confident that my manuscript is in tip top form. So if it is only an inch, i am still closer than before.

MadScientistMatt
09-29-2005, 09:41 PM
Uh, Max, have you looked at the qualifications for their editors? Are you sure the editing you recieved was actually worth what you paid? If the editor did a bad job, you could be worse off than before. Have you actually heard of any documented cases of this editor editing any work that was commercially published? Not vanity published - commercially published.

Illegal and unethical are not the same thing. It is unethical to take inflated payments and knowingly do shoddy work, but it is not necessarily illegal. And it seems that right now efforts are underway to get New York's attorney general interested in prosecuting them. The answer to your first question may very well be, "Because they haven't collected enough proof - yet."

James D. Macdonald
09-29-2005, 10:31 PM
Why hasn't law enforcement shut down The Literary Agency Group yet?

First, because the sums involved, on a person-by-person basis, are small.

Second, because getting the authorites interested in a literary scam is difficult.

Third, because everything takes time.

It's possible that some authors got insights into their works from the "editing" provided by Edit Ink (http://www.sfwa.org/beware/Editink.html) (editing done for minimum wage by folks with no qualifications or experience in the trade), but that didn't stop Edit Ink (http://www.sfwa.org/beware/cases.html#Edit) from being convicted of false advertising, deceptive business practices, and fraud, and fined two million dollars plus being ordered to make another six million dollars in restitution.

It's possible you would have gotten the same boost if you'd asked a local high school kid to read and comment on your manuscript.

victoriastrauss
09-29-2005, 11:11 PM
On the other hand, through this process i had a critique done and my book professionally edited, in which it needed. I am very happy with the results.I'm glad you're happy with the results.

But professional? Judge for yourself. Here's a quote from the letter that Writers Literary, the editing company used by Children's Literary Agency and all the Stylus clones, sends as part of the "critique test" it gives prospective editors:

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

- Victoria

MightyMax5
09-30-2005, 12:15 AM
Ok, so once again I am just getting feedback on assumptions, just like you said before that the states attorney's office could not do anything because they had no proof, so if they have no proof, how does someone on this message board without going through the dealings with CLA have proof.

I came on here to find people who have had dealings and problems with the CLA, and my responses have been from the same people that are always on here saying things from assumptions, where is the proof, I need to see proof.

I am 75% leaning towards this being a scam, I am not delusional by no means, I took a gamble and for the most part so far have not been apart of a scam. you say my editing is no good, but have you had the same editor i had ever done any work for you, i would probably say no, so how do you assume that they screwed me over. Just a question? Can anyone see where i am coming from, like I said before for months i have read these posts and the same junk is on here by the same people, but all assumptions, i need facts. And maybe time will lead me to them and it might be the hard way, but i am fine with that. All I wanted from posting on here was to find someone who is or has gone through the same process I am in right now.

James D. Macdonald
09-30-2005, 12:30 AM
Tell you what, Max -- go with CLA, take good notes, and next time someone comes by asking for "proof" you'll be on hand to provide it.

Maddog
09-30-2005, 01:08 AM
Here's a link with someone's personal experience with this agency:

http://www.writers.net/forum/read/6/11722/11696Vf#11722

HapiSofi
09-30-2005, 05:40 AM
Max? Knock it off.

You got a crap critique from a bunch of career scammers. No shame there; it could happen to anyone. But saying you got a good deal, that you weren't scammed, and that you're going to stick around to see what happens, is like dating a professed whore.

Yet there you are, insisting over and over again that even though she hangs out on the corner in fishnet hose and a leather microskirt, saying "Hey, handsome, wanna party?" to strange men, no one's actually seen her in the act of turning tricks, and therefore we can't say she's a hooker, and therefore her interest in you isn't purely monetary.

Give it up.

Robert Fletcher's been running his various fake agenting operations for years and years now. They never make sales. Right there, no matter what else is going on, you know they're not legit. An agent makes sales. An agent works for authors whose books sell. And that's just not happening.

The other thing Fletcher's agencies never do is go broke and shut down operations. Therefore, we know that they have to be making money. Yet they don't make any sales, which is the only legit way for agents to make money. Can you figure it out from there, or do I have to draw you little pictures and diagrams?

As for the rest of you guys here -- didn't any of you do debate, back when you were in school? Do you truly not know that "I demand that you prove this to my satisfaction" is a mug's game?

You've more than made your case to Max. He can accept it, and try to have a rational discussion, or he can continue to reject it and go off in high dudgeon. That's his choice. What he can't do is pretend that he still has any ground to stand on. Please stop acting like he does.

James D. Macdonald
09-30-2005, 05:55 AM
Every time, and I mean every time Bobby Fletcher makes a statement that can be fact checked, it turns out he's lying.

MightyMax5
09-30-2005, 05:49 PM
Now that i have everybody's attention to this matter, could someone please point me, a new author just trying to break through in this business into the right direction.

whether it be a real agency or even publishers that do not require agents.

My books are children's picture books and already have 1 book finished and 1 book going through the illustration mode. My book is based on a character who has down syndome and how he copes with other classmates in an inclusion setting. I based my main character "Max" on a real life student with down syndrome that i worked with for 2 years in a school setting.

thank you for your time.

James D. Macdonald
09-30-2005, 05:54 PM
Everything You Want To Know About Literary Agents (http://www.neilgaiman.com/journal/2005/01/everything-you-wanted-to-know-about.asp)

SCBWI (http://www.scbwi.org/)

MightyMax5
09-30-2005, 06:10 PM
Thanks for the information

victoriastrauss
09-30-2005, 08:29 PM
A couple of good online resources for children's book authors:

Harold Underdown's Purple Crayon (http://www.underdown.org/)
Write4Kids
(http://www.write4kids.com/)
You might also have a look at my article, The Safest Way to Search for an Agent (http://www.sff.net/people/VictoriaStrauss/agentsearch.html), which suggests a research technique that helps you avoid bad agents.

- Victoria

MightyMax5
09-30-2005, 10:22 PM
Well now that you guys have convinced me of this scam. I need one more bit of advice. The contract that I signed with them, how hard is it to get out of it, I know that in the contract it states that after 90 days of no selling of my book then the contract can be voided, and you guys say and now i am starting to believe that they will not sell the book so I guess I have to wait out the 90 days or can I get out now.

Maddog
09-30-2005, 10:38 PM
Maybe if you tell them "No thanks" to their next request for more edits, they'll just drop you. And I hope you're right, that the editing has improved your writing. That would be the best-case scenario. I've really enjoyed the online critique group www.critiquecircle.com (http://www.critiquecircle.com) It's free and has been very helpful in getting my writing polished. Good luck.

HapiSofi
09-30-2005, 10:41 PM
Well now that you guys have convinced me of this scam. I need one more bit of advice. The contract that I signed with them, how hard is it to get out of it, I know that in the contract it states that after 90 days of no selling of my book then the contract can be voided, and you guys say and now i am starting to believe that they will not sell the book so I guess I have to wait out the 90 days or can I get out now.Happy to do it.

Answer: You can get out in less than 90 days.

Send CLA a registered letter terminating your relationship. Don't explain anything. Don't tell them what you're going to do next. Don't give them any additional contact information. Just say, "This is to inform you that I am terminating my relationship with the Children's Literary Agency."

After you've sent the letter, you can ignore CLA forevermore.

MightyMax5
09-30-2005, 10:47 PM
thanks alot for the information.

MightyMax5
09-30-2005, 10:55 PM
what do you mean by registered letter and how long does the letter have to be, can it just state that the relationship between CLA and myself will no longer exist

Aconite
09-30-2005, 11:02 PM
The people at the post office will know what you mean when you tell them you want to send a registered letter. It will cost more than sending a regular first-class letter (just a few dollars), but you'll have proof the letter was delivered.

MightyMax5
09-30-2005, 11:05 PM
ALright then, thanks alot

James D. Macdonald
10-10-2005, 09:42 PM
Here's another writer's first-person account of his interactions with Robert M. Fletcher:

http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showpost.php?p=352004&postcount=912

James D. Macdonald
10-11-2005, 09:46 AM
No, publishers don't come take a look at ST's database. In order to get a manuscript considered, the agency has to submit it.

Write to Bobby Fletcher, tell him you're terminating the contract, and go find an honest agent.

victoriastrauss
10-11-2005, 08:52 PM
There's a new one--The Screenplay Agency.
(http://www.thescreenplayagency.com/index.html)
- Victoria

Davilance
10-20-2005, 02:00 AM
Just wondering if anyone has heard/worked with this agency before. Would appreciate any feedback. Thanks

Children's Literary Agency was very encouraging and helpful -- up to the point where they suddenly wanted me to PAY for a critique. When I told them that I am disabled, on limited income, and cannot afford to pay $60 to $80 for a critique, they dropped me like a hot potato ...

It is my understanding that reputable agents never require authors to pay for anything.

Davilance
10-20-2005, 02:21 AM
Now that i have everybody's attention to this matter, could someone please point me, a new author just trying to break through in this business into the right direction.

whether it be a real agency or even publishers that do not require agents.

My books are children's picture books ...

thank you for your time.

I would send material directly to publishers of children's stories who are in the market for new material. You should write what the editors say they are looking for -- not what you THINK they should want. I recently received the following email from Highlights For Children, which is a long-established publication in the field:


Dear author,

The editors at Highlights have created a wish list of manuscript needs. If you're in need of a little inspiration, maybe this will help. Below you will find our special needs in addition to all regular submissions we always like to receive.

If you know someone who might find the above information useful, please feel free to pass it along ...

Enjoy,

George Brown

Assistant Editor

Highlights for Children

570-251-4510


From Kim Griswell, Coordinating Editor: Arts articles that have true kid-appeal. Kids are drawn to all kinds of arts, but they are probably not in a museum appreciating great works. We must meet them where they are.

Travel and adventure articles with a kid-friendly focus or a deeper meaning to share--a lesson learned, better understood a culture, a discovery made, etc.



From Andy Boyles, Science Editor

Our guidelines state that our word limit is 800, but articles that are even shorter (350-400 words) are especially welcome. We put a high value on articles that show science as a process, articles that follow a scientist or group of scientists as they try to solve one of nature's mysteries. We currently have what we need in the way of articles about:

birds, reptiles and amphibians, insects (especially bees), and volcanoes.



From Marileta Robinson, Senior Editor

We need stories for young readers at first- and second-grade reading levels, 500 words or fewer. I would like to see stories with holiday themes, especially dealing with the real meaning of the holidays of various religions. Also stories with sports themes for younger children.



From Carolyn Yoder, History/World Cultures Editor:

Multicultural articles, particularly first-person accounts. Historical looks at major holidays--Thanksgiving, Christmas, Passover, Hanukah, July 4, Labor Day. Biographies of major historical figures--Martin Luther King, Jr. and Civil Rights. Articles on immigrant history.



From Judy Burke, Associate Editor:

Nonfiction sports: articles that focus on a known athlete (a squeaky clean one), those that focus entirely on the development of specific skills, and those that address challenges faced by athletes of any kind (ex: being smaller than your teammates, staying calm under pressure, etc.). Successful articles often include quotes gained from personal interviews with athletes or experts and useful tips for readers who play that sport.



Fiction: 800-word stories for 8- to 12-year-olds. Humorous stories, Easter stories (no Easter bunnies as characters, though), Passover stories, and stories involving Ramadan, Eid ul-Fitr, or Eid ul-Adha.

400-word humorous stories for 8- to 12-year-olds also needed.



Nonfiction: 300-word activity articles. Successful ones often include a short introduction and a few short activities with a common theme.



From Joelle Dujardin Kirkland, Associate Editor

Crafts: crafts with boy-appeal, games, holiday crafts, and crafts from other cultures (with background included).



Younger nonfiction (450 words or fewer): first-person accounts of fieldwork, arts stories, biographies with interesting slants, kids living in other cultures, ancient history, animals, details from urban life (workers, transportation, etc.).



Gallant Kids: leads (or articles) on kids doing service in their communities--especially children of color.



From George Brown, Assistant Editor

I'm looking for puzzles and short activities that encourage children to think in a creative way without relying on prior knowledge of specific facts. These puzzles should not require the use of pen or pencil to solve them.



I'm also interested in finger-play activities and step and repeat stories.



General request

We're looking for proposals for inside-back covers. Since there's little text, ideas need to be fresh and clear, possibly with a few activities within the page, and clear art instructions.



Highlights recommends reviewing their submission guidelines and back issues at local libraries before submitting a manuscript. Material should be fresh and exciting. Guidelines are available at <http://highlights.ed10.net/h/3Q5I/2E7H/SN/9PWQJ>www.highlights.com



Please send submissions to the specific editor listed above, or

Manuscript Coordinator

Highlights for Children

803 Church Street

Honesdale, PA 18431





Please send submissions to the specific editor listed above, or

Manuscript Coordinator

Highlights for Children

803 Church Street

Honesdale, PA 18431

kboone
10-22-2005, 06:40 PM
I found them on line and submitted just a portion of my manuscript, they responded right away and wanted a contract signed, they asked me to have a lawyer look it over, so they sound like the real deal, but something smells fishy here and I don't want to jump into a problem, so I'm wondering if anyone out there has heard of them. please advise!! Thank you.http://absolutewrite.com/forums/images/icons/icon4.gif

Christine N.
10-22-2005, 06:57 PM
Ack! There are a number of threads on these boards dedicated to the slime that run CLA/NYLA/ Stylus/ST whatever. Do a search on the boards and you'll find the answer.

Then run. Don't look back. Don't sign a contract, and don't give them any money.

Richard
10-22-2005, 07:09 PM
Here's the thread.

http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=8312

kboone
10-22-2005, 07:23 PM
I admit my hopes were up, so I'm a little bummed, but what fun is chasing a dream unless you know for sure your chasing something, http://absolutewrite.com/forums/images/icons/icon10.gif

MacAllister
10-22-2005, 07:32 PM
In fact, I'm going to merge this with the ongoing thread that Richard so kindly linked to.

Simran
10-27-2005, 10:55 PM
Has anyone heard of or had dealings with Children's Literary? Here is the contract we were sent. Please send your feedback. Thank you.

DaveKuzminski
10-27-2005, 11:22 PM
Scam.

Kasey Mackenzie
10-27-2005, 11:29 PM
If you use the search function towards the top of the page you should find a few threads mentioning this "agency," the most pertinent being:

http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=8312&highlight=children%27s+literary

Run away!

LloydBrown
10-27-2005, 11:30 PM
Dave's brevity is nothing short of breathtaking.

For reference, read http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=8312
http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=529
http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=13514
http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=729 and
http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=13517

Just having multiple threads discussing them should give you an initial warning.

MadScientistMatt
10-27-2005, 11:32 PM
We've got a big thread on Children's Literary Agency (http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=8312) - this "agency" will never sell your manuscript to a publisher. They couldn't sell a guide to building air conditioners to the publishers of Hell.

Simran
10-28-2005, 06:10 AM
thank you so much everyone for the valuable input. Time to get the running shoes on. :mad:

Simran
10-28-2005, 06:15 AM
We've got a big thread on Children's Literary Agency (http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=8312) - this "agency" will never sell your manuscript to a publisher. They couldn't sell a guide to building air conditioners to the publishers of Hell.


:ROFL: :ROFL: you're hilarious Matt - thanks :)

James D. Macdonald
10-28-2005, 06:52 AM
Yo, Victoria -- did Robert Fletcher ever get around to suing you?

Enquiring minds, y'know....

victoriastrauss
10-28-2005, 06:52 PM
Yo, Victoria -- did Robert Fletcher ever get around to suing you?Ah...nope. Surprised?

October was supposed to be the witching month, but we're fast approaching Halloween, and no mean old legal missive has yet crossed my (or rather my attorney's, since Fletch and Co have been directed to send all correspondence to him) threshhold.

- Victoria

writerterri
11-01-2005, 12:07 PM
Children's Literary Agency was very encouraging and helpful -- up to the point where they suddenly wanted me to PAY for a critique. When I told them that I am disabled, on limited income, and cannot afford to pay $60 to $80 for a critique, they dropped me like a hot potato ...

It is my understanding that reputable agents never require authors to pay for anything.

I haven't given them a dime and I still have a contract. In fact they have given me the ok to send them my next project knowing I have it critiqued and edited on my own. What is your take on that?

DaveKuzminski
11-01-2005, 04:47 PM
I haven't given them a dime and I still have a contract. In fact they have given me the ok to send them my next project knowing I have it critiqued and edited on my own. What is your take on that?

Ah, but did you get that first project critiqued or edited by anyone? If so, who performed that critique or editing?

Kasey Mackenzie
11-01-2005, 07:55 PM
Not to mention, whether they charge you or not they're still not going to succeed in selling your book, so why waste your time with them? They have a proven track record over several years--or rather, a nonexistent track record. That speaks volumes to me!

writerterri
11-02-2005, 12:36 AM
Ah, but did you get that first project critiqued or edited by anyone? If so, who performed that critique or editing?

I have my own private editor who threw in a crit. I didn't go through them. Believe me I'm on a teeter-tawter with them. They are willing to take another project under the same circumstances. What do you think about that? I still don't know.

CaoPaux
11-02-2005, 12:39 AM
Writerterri, they have never sold a book. Why do you think they will sell yours?

DaveKuzminski
11-02-2005, 12:58 AM
Writerterri, they claim in one of their emails that's been provided to me just the other day that they've made five sales.

Now many, though not all, sales that receive advances generally range in the $5,000.00 area. Now assuming that they received the general 15% commission on each of those books, that would mean they made $750.00 on each advance for a total of $3,750.00. Now for them and those authors to receive anything more, their books would have to earn out the advance. Only then would additional monies be paid to the agency to be split appropriately between the agency and the author.

So, just what is keeping that agency afloat if that's as much as it's made so far? Keep in mind that those sales cover almost seven (7) years in operation. In other words, it's not even enough for that agency to pay its agents and rent and utilities for much more than one month, let alone a single year or five years! Even if those books had each received advances of double that amount, it still wouldn't be enough.

Also, had they sold something that became a bestseller and brought in big bucks to them and their author, wouldn't they be bragging about it? Guess what? They don't because they haven't.

CaoPaux
11-02-2005, 01:06 AM
Heh. I'll bet all of the LG agencies claim the same five sales.

Oh, lets not forget all those sent to PA and the like. Now, why-oh-why aren't they bragging about them, I wonder? I mean, 15 cents times a few hundred starts to add up. :cool:

James D. Macdonald
11-02-2005, 01:22 AM
In every case that I've been able to track down, it was the author him/herself who made the sale, not Robert Fletcher/Georgina Orr/Robert West/whoever.

That didn't stop Fletcher from claiming his 15%, though.

victoriastrauss
11-02-2005, 02:32 AM
Writerterri, they claim in one of their emails that's been provided to me just the other day that they've made five sales.Yeah, and it's a safe claim, too, since they don't provide any identifying information--such as author, title, or publisher--that would allow anyone to verify the sales.

- Victoria

jennoel
11-02-2005, 11:56 PM
This is my first message - so 'hi'. I just wanted to say that the info that I learned here has been so helpful. I am trying very hard to keep a positive attitude, but it is hard to find an agent -- I even crossed paths with the infamous Janet Kay back in 2003!! She didn't get any of my $$, thanks to this site! And now, after seeing some of the info on the Children's Literary Agency, once again, my butt (and $$) have been saved!! By the way, someone named Sherry Fine is now the VP of operations at CLA. I sent my manuscript via e-mail, and then after some research, wished I didn't. But at least I got the scoop before any damage (except to my ego) was done!! Keep up all the good work and I will keep my chin up and keep sending out my queries!!

WoodyT
11-08-2005, 01:11 PM
You know, this Children's Lit Agency is all very strange. Being a reasonably diligent and careful chap, I checked out these guys before joining with them and found a lot of crap about them on the net. But, I thought to myself, I think I'll give it a go with the promise to myself that I would never give them a penny.
And, I have to say, despite all the negative stuff on the net, so far they have done a very good job. The contracts arrived quickly and having a legal background, I could see nothing dodgy about it. I was quickly given an agent to work with who seems intelligent and interested in my work. I have had my critiques done on my novels by a good friend of mine and the agency were happy about this, and have at no time in the last 5 mouths I have been dealing with them, asked me for money. They answer my emails promptly and are actively putting together a publicity package for my books.
Now, as yet, we haven't got to the stage of selling my work to a publisher. And this, of course, is the crucial point. Maybe they are working better with me as I am already a published author. I don't know. We shall see. I will keep you all posted as to any developments. If I smell a rat I will be out of there in a second. But, I have always tried to make up my own mind about things, and, so far, they have acted reasonably and honestly.

DaveKuzminski
11-08-2005, 05:25 PM
Now, as yet, we haven't got to the stage of selling my work to a publisher. And this, of course, is the crucial point. Maybe they are working better with me as I am already a published author.

If you're a published author, then why do you need them? Just who did you publish with?

James D. Macdonald
11-08-2005, 05:40 PM
It's entirely reasonable for a person who's published one book on their own to seek an agent for the next.

Do let us know when/if and where your book sells, Woody.

(Robert Fletcher is getting so desperate to find publishers that he's now offering to pay them: http://www.publishersmarketplace.com/cgi-bin/displayRights.pl?rights_no=3405 )

WoodyT
11-08-2005, 06:21 PM
Dear James,

I see you are from New Hampshire. I spent many happy summers teaching tennis at a summer camp near North Conway. It really is a most beautiful state. To answer the question from the other gentleman, I am the author of a reasonably successful fantasy series called The Struggles of Felicity Brady. I live in Sweden but my publisher is American; a very small one but very decent and relable. However, I am looking to sell the series to a bigger publisher and I thought an agent might help.
As I said, I realise this company and its many subsiduaries have a dodgy past, but I am in no hurry and have no intention of paying them or any other company related to them, a single penny, or dollar, I suppose. So far, they have been good to me, so I am good to them. If, when, they mess me around, I'm out of there. Simple. And the contract - well, I have a 90 day get out clause, and a contract is just a contract and is usually worth about the same amount as the paper it is written on.
Believe me, I truely respect your opinons on this company and your posts have helped me to go in with my eyes open. For that, I thank you.

best

WoodyT

MadScientistMatt
11-08-2005, 06:55 PM
On the other hand, why did you go with a company with such an attrocious sales record?

cwgranny
11-08-2005, 07:34 PM
in the last 5 mouths I have been dealing with them... we haven't got to the stage of selling my work to a publisher.

You've been "dealing" with an agent for five months and you haven't gotten to the point where they're trying to sell your work to a publisher? Have they submitted to anyone yet? Anyone? At all?

Wow.

DaveKuzminski
11-08-2005, 07:41 PM
Woody, they claim to have 5 sales over a 7 year period. Even the smaller, legitimate agencies generally have at least that many in just 6 months. They have to have that many just to stay in business.

Now let's take a look at the other topic at URL http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=529&page=37&pp=25 where the owner of this agency is advertising for publishers that he will pay to publish his clients' books. If any of his agencies actually could make sales to legitimate royalty-paying trade publishers, then why would that ad be necessary?

In effect, your generosity in giving this agency a chance is going to delay your book from ever reaching publication if your book is indeed at a publishable stage. Instead, any time you give this agency will be wasted by them.

victoriastrauss
11-08-2005, 10:40 PM
If you're a published author, then why do you need them? Just who did you publish with?Word Association Publishers (http://www.wordassociation.com/articulusquest/).

- Victoria

Aconite
11-09-2005, 01:24 AM
The contracts arrived quickly and having a legal background, I could see nothing dodgy about it.
WoodyT, unless you are well versed in publishing law specifically, it could be very difficult to spot a bad contract, if for no other reason than you don't know what's normal in such a contract and what's not.

newwriter
12-16-2005, 10:22 PM
Hi,

Ok. I wish I had found your site first. I guess I now need to admit that I have been duped. I signed on with Children's Literary Agency a couple months ago after not finding anything negative on them. They suggested I get my piece critiqued (cost me $69) which I just received back today. The critique was pretty simple but they did refer to sections of my work within the critique. I have responded to them with a couple of questions because I don't understand how this all works. I will tread cautiously from here on out as I don't have money to just burn or lose.

Thank you to all who have posted the warnings.

victoriastrauss
12-17-2005, 03:14 AM
newwriter, have they suggested further editing?

- Victoria

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

waylander
12-21-2005, 02:25 PM
Run away. Sooner or later they will ask you for money for a 'critique' which will not be worth having.

James D. Macdonald
12-21-2005, 07:27 PM
Lindafox, that's their standard boilerplate letter that you get for contacting them. Everyone gets it, word-for-word.

The next letter will ask you to get a critique, and tell you that can get one from one of their sister companies for $80.

After the critique, they'll tell you that your book needs editing, and that you can get it edited by one of their sister companies (this can cost thousands).

After this, they'll tell you that your book will need to be illustrated. But they happen to have a relationship with some illustrators who don't charge very much.

And so on.

All of these letters are boilerplate.


Q) Where are you located?
A) We maintain executive suites on Madison Aveneue in New York, NY where we meet with buyers.

What's on Madison Avenue is a mail-forwarding service. I suppose that they could meet with buyers in the lobby there (before going to the diner across the street), but that would presume there were buyers, wouldn't it?

So far they've failed to sell a single manuscript to anyone.

DaveKuzminski
12-21-2005, 08:04 PM
Oh my, they're getting smarter about what they put in their letters to authors. If anything, they're now in PA's league when it comes to lying.

I really like that bit about "most agencies only have 1 or 2 deals every couple of
years, if that" which if a writer stopped for a moment to consider would immediately render itself as a lie since most agencies couldn't survive on that little. Why if that was true, then there must be 10,000 or more literary agents in the US alone just to handle all those books sold to publishers who require submissions come from an agent.

Yep, statistics told PA style.

For another viewpoint that's well informed on this, visit Miss Snark and read her column dated 12/21/05 at URL http://misssnark.blogspot.com/ (http://misssnark.blogspot.com/) where she demolishes the Children's Literary Agency claims.

Kate Nepveu
12-21-2005, 10:08 PM
Permanent link to Miss Snark's response:

http://misssnark.blogspot.com/2005/12/miss-snarks-sales-figures.html

victoriastrauss
12-21-2005, 11:30 PM
They're using some of the same author bios they used in their vanity publisher solicitation (http://www.publishersmarketplace.com/cgi-bin/displayRights.pl?rights_no=3405) on Publishers Marketplace.

From bio #4, above:
In 1997 she was elected into The International Poetry Hall Of Fame with her Award winning Poem. . Can you say International Library of Poetry?

It's sad, really.

- Victoria

James D. Macdonald
12-21-2005, 11:51 PM
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.


We personally review each query form that we receive for sentence structure, basic spelling and grammar, and whether the story idea/synopsis sounds interesting.

Now it can be told: One of The Literary Agency Group's agencies reviewed, and thought highly enough of that they wanted to critique, Atlanta Nights. (All the proper nouns had been changed by global search-and-replace, and the order of the chapters scrambled. Otherwise, it was ... our old pal.)

Let's just say that their review of the query form must have been ... very forgiving. Because they wanted to see the manuscript. And they thought highly enough of the manuscript that they offered representation, and wanted the author (not Travis Tea ... a different name) to buy a critique.

CaoPaux
12-22-2005, 01:55 AM
*dies laughing*

Details, details!!!

DaveKuzminski
12-22-2005, 02:16 AM
Let's just say that their review of the query form must have been ... very forgiving. Because they wanted to see the manuscript. And they thought highly enough of the manuscript that they offered representation, and wanted the author (not Travis Tea ... a different name) to buy a critique.

Must have been submitted by his sister, Dyna S. Tea. ;)

Good going, James and company!

romancewriter
12-22-2005, 10:32 AM
I just the second email from the agency. The one that asked for a paid critique. I was excited when I read the first place, but when it started in on about the critique the whole things struck me as a sales pitch so I decided to check it out. I have often heard the phrase money flows towards the writer, not away so I ain't buying their story, or paying for their critique.

I usually write romance, and thought it would be fun to write a children's story, but its a shame my first experience with the YA market ended up with a scam. Oh, well, I guess I'd better stick with Harlequin. At least I know those guys are legit.

Romancewriter

LloydBrown
12-22-2005, 06:35 PM
I just the second email from the agency. The one that asked for a paid critique. I was excited when I read the first place, but when it started in on about the critique the whole things struck me as a sales pitch so I decided to check it out. I have often heard the phrase money flows towards the writer, not away so I ain't buying their story, or paying for their critique.

I usually write romance, and thought it would be fun to write a children's story, but its a shame my first experience with the YA market ended up with a scam. Oh, well, I guess I'd better stick with Harlequin. At least I know those guys are legit.

Romancewriter

This scam agency has nothing to do with the genre. They operate as New York Literary Agency, the Poet's Literary Agency, the Screenplay Agency, the Christian Literary Agency, etc. They have a long list of names designed to bring in as many writers as possible.

I'm glad you discovered the truth before you sent them any money, but don't let this incident excise an entire genre from your repertoire. Direct your blame at the right place--the jerk that asked for your money for a service he had no intention of giving you.

Aconite
12-22-2005, 07:32 PM
I have often heard the phrase money flows towards the writer
A phrase coined by our very own James D. Macdonald, aka Uncle Jim, aka Yog Sysop. :)

romancewriter
12-22-2005, 08:47 PM
I should clarify my previous post. I haven't totally given up on writing YA, but I have received some interest in writing from Silhouette editors. I'm currently working on a requested full for one of their lines. At some point I may return to my YA manuscript, but at the moment I will concentrate on something that I KNOW is legit.

In all my years of associating with other romance writers I've never heard of anyone NEEDING to have a paid critique done to receive representation, or publication. It seems to me that as literary agents they should already know what's marketable and what isn't.

Romancewriter

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

>

>

Richard
12-28-2005, 10:41 PM
The amount of work needed to bring this to industry quality standards is:

____ not much
____ some
____ a lot

Wow. I love the fact that 'none, it's good to go' isn't even considered worthy of a space on the form.

DaveKuzminski
12-28-2005, 10:54 PM
Wow, it didn't take much to light her fuze and make her explode. We watchdog services must really be cutting into their scam earnings. I guess she didn't get that new iBox or whatever she wanted for Christmas. Uh, but don't you have to be good to get those kinds of presents? ;)

Donna Pudick
01-02-2006, 06:31 PM
Dear Authors

Once and for all, agents, successful or not, DO NOT have the time or inclination to do edits, critiques, or anything other than reading, answering queries and pitching to publishers. If they are recommending a service, they probably own it or are getting kickbacks from that service.

I have a big sign in my office that reads: THE BOOK STOPS HERE. If a book isn't close to perfect and doesn't have me jumping out of my skin, it goes back to the author with a kind rejection.

Even excellent books are terribly hard to sell, even when an agent is on a first-name basis with the biggest p-co editors. Top name editors will request a book (during a cold call), read every word of the manuscript, send a personal letter with fine praise, and reject it. Sometimes I think a simple form letter would hurt less than the "almost made it" letter.

In defence to the editors, their performance is evaluated yearly, and the number of books they are allowed to accept is based on their success during the previous year. They get really gun-shy after a bad year.

I have dealt with acting, modeling, songwriting, and find that publishing is harder to break into than any of those noble professions.

wen
01-05-2006, 08:44 AM
I want to get out of my contract with the children's literary agency. I stupidly signed without realizing that they are just after my $. Help.

James D. Macdonald
01-05-2006, 09:09 AM
Wen, just send them a letter saying "You no longer represent me," and forget that they ever existed.

They didn't intend to try to sell your book before, they certainly won't try to sell it afterward, but it will remove all doubt if/when your book sells about whether they're entitled to 15% of your book's income.

As a point of curiosity, have you paid any money to them or one of their "sister" companies?

Canada James
01-05-2006, 09:42 AM
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.


Where have I heard that line before?


Here are just a few bios:

1. The author was born in Baltimore, Maryland and is a Professor at a major
university.

Baltimore, Maryland? Sheesh.

Canada James

Sherry Fine
01-24-2006, 09:52 PM
Dear Author:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

Best to you whatever your decision.

Sherry Fine - VP Acquisitions

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Best to you in your career.

LloydBrown
01-24-2006, 10:10 PM
We are keenly aware of the negative material on a lot of writer's message boards Beware publishing "professionals" that make basic grammatical and punctuation errors!

Also, "agent" shouldn't be capitalized through this post, but the errors are too numerous to point out.


It is a fact that most authors (98%) can't get the time of day from an Agent. Why? Because 98% of the material written isn't publishable, or the agent doesn't work in same field as your writing, or the agent is not accepting new clients. If your work is publishable, you can get an agent that won't scam you.


Do you really think that an Agent should contribute their valuable selling time No, I think an agent is singular, and so his (or her) pronoun should also be singular.


Most agencies go out of business in a few years, not us. If you relied on sales to publishers for your income, you would be out of business.


Why, because we concentrate on selling, and let the editors and writers do what they do best, writing, improving, writing, improving, etc. That's great! What have you sold?


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


And, if the Agent offers to help, to coach, and to mentor, well, you see the boards reply. That should be "board's". Also, if a writer needs work, you should follow standard business ethics and refer him to an editor whose bank account is different from your own.


What Do Buyers Think? That's what really matters.
==========================================

Buyers (publishers) love our model. Really? Which ones? To whom have you sold anything?


because a successful writer is improving their craft, Pronoun consistency issue again, Sherry. Did you skip the day they taught that in junior high school?


So now you understand that the point of the boards is to generate traffic and advertising revenues based on their niche in the market. Now you're just being stupid and hoping nobody notices. Ad income is the web host's goal. Helping writers is the board's goal.


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.
Oh, I fully believe that those quote are real. It's quite evident by the total lack of any writer saying "Thanks for selling my work. I made a ton of money through your agency." Strangely, none of them is addressed to you, either.


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. First, those statements form a non sequitur. Secondly, by "most powerful", you mean what, exactly? No sales to publishers. No income from sales. Your only income is from writer fees. What is it that makes you so "powerful"? Finally, on this topic, if that work is good enough for publication, and you still can't sell ANY OF IT, your agency must be the worst literary agency ever run.

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

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

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

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

and

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

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

I went to the main Neverending PublishAmerica Thread (NEPAT), and made a request here:

http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showpost.php?p=467304&postcount=29830 (http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?p=467924#post467924)

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

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

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

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

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


(http://showthread.php/?t=20359)http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?p=467714#post467714
http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?p=467713#post467713
http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?p=467710#post467710
http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?p=467707#post467707




Good for you, "Sherry," very industrious.

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

Aconite
02-09-2006, 04:05 PM
Since the trolls and shills have been moving from one thread on Bobby Fletcher's companies to another, I may as well post this now:

For anyone coming in late, the Childrens Literary Agency is one of a group of agencies run by Robert (Bobby) Fletcher, who was convicted of fraud*. They are:

Stylus Literary Agency (formerly Sydra Techniques, formerly ST Literary Agency)
http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=929
http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=529

New York Literary Agency
http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=729

The Children’s Literary Agency
http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=8312
http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=8286

The Christian Literary Agency
http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=13514

The Poets Literary Agency
http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=19104

The Screenplay Agency
http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=20359

The front/mask/umbrella group is The Literary Agency Group, Inc.
http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=13517

*http://www.dfi.wa.gov/sd/orders/SDO-063-01.pdf
http://www.dfi.wa.gov/sd/orders/SDO-021-01.pdf

MartyKay
02-10-2006, 04:28 AM
Do you really think that an Agent should contribute their valuable selling time
No, I think an agent is singular, and so his (or her) pronoun should also be singular.


Their is being used here as a gender neutral pronoun (like "his" or "her"), and this is not necessarily a mistake (although you may not agree with the validity of the use of "their").

majiklmoon
03-05-2006, 10:23 PM
I was almost taken in by the Children's Literary Agency. I'll admit to doing the "Snoopy Dance of Joy" when they said my submission had potential, but I did get worried when they wanted me to pay to have my work critiqued. Basically, I'm broke and when I do have money, I'm cheap, so I was reluctant to give my hard earned money to someone just to have them tell my how horrible my story really was. I AM, however fortunate enough to have a friend who is starting a freelance editing/critiquing business, and I contacted her. Hey, if I'm going to spend money, I want it to go to friends. My friend was very happy for me and offered to look at my work for free. I forwarded her the letter form the Children's Literary Agency, and she in turn directed me here. *sigh* It was an eye opener and a heart breaker for sure.

Being a fairly open and honest person, I tend to expect that behavior from others as well. I'm not going to give up on becoming a published author, but I'm certainly staying clear of the Childrens Literary agency!

One thing I am concerned about is that I sent them several chapters of my book. Should I worry about them "stealing from me?" No, I'm not implying that it's so good that it's worth stealing, but you know what I mean.

xhouseboy
03-05-2006, 10:52 PM
[QUOTE=majiklmoon.

One thing I am concerned about is that I sent them several chapters of my book. Should I worry about them "stealing from me?" No, I'm not implying that it's so good that it's worth stealing, but you know what I mean.
[/QUOTE]
The only thing they were interested in stealing was your cash.

Did you send a s.a.e. with the MS? If so, drop them a polite line declining their services and ask for the material back. If not, include a s.a.e. with the enquiry, enough to cover the MS.

Besides, who would they hand it over to? They have no clients worth speaking about, only those they've conned into paying to have their work critiqued and then perhaps recommended to another scam-operation like Publish America.

P.S. just noticed that was your first post. You've come to the right place to get the info on those sharks, and there's a lot of people here with more knowledge than me on their despicable tactics. Welcome.

majiklmoon
03-05-2006, 11:09 PM
I emailed it a portion of it :(

I'm just in freak fest mode right now *sigh* I've gone from this incredible HIGH thinking somebody actually liked my book to the lowest of the low when I found out it was a scam.

Thank GOD for Smart Food and Pepsi to help revive my broken spirit lol

aka eraser
03-06-2006, 12:56 AM
You needn't worry about them stealing it. Really, don't give it a thought. The only reason to steal someone's work is to try to sell it and Bobby's Band of Brash Bunco Bassets have no clue how to do that.

Congrats on not parting with any money and good luck placing your work with a bona fide agent/publisher.

xhouseboy
03-06-2006, 03:50 AM
I'm just in freak fest mode right now *sigh* I've gone from this incredible HIGH thinking somebody actually liked my book to the lowest of the low when I found out it was a scam.





I wouldn't use that as any sort of bench-mark. Your work could be a masterpiece, and they'd still try to play the scam rather than genuinely represent you. They're not a literary agency - they're con-artists. So I wouldn't worry too much about it. Just keep plugging away, and believing.

majiklmoon
03-08-2006, 11:06 PM
well, I got my follow up letter talking about all the evil on message boards. It was a total carbon copy of other letters I've seen posted here. I'll say one thing for these people, their nothing, if not consistant lol

CaoPaux
03-14-2006, 01:09 AM
FYI: This agency has been named one of Writer Beware's 20 Worst Agents/Agencies (http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?p=525972#post525972).

Rosie
03-14-2006, 03:15 PM
I just got documentation on Children's Literary Agency (its website is here (http://www.childrensliteraryagency.com/)). Its scheme is getting clients to pay for editing and illustrations (any savvy children's book author knows that unless the book is a collaboration or the author is the illustrator, publishers provide their own illustrators and do NOT want to see illustrations with submissions) in order to make submissions "creative, compelling, and catchy" so that potential buyers will "differentiate our submittals from those of other agencies". They will, all right--and not in a good way.

For those who've had a brush with ST Literary Agency (which by the way has been advertising on its site for children's book authors), the term "submittal" will have a certain...resonance.

- Victoria

They are trying to ensare people on this side of the pond, thanks to you I have just torn up my 'contract'.

Kasey Mackenzie
03-14-2006, 07:08 PM
Yay Rosie! Hope you tore it up in time to save yourself lots of money and time.

CaoPaux
03-14-2006, 08:35 PM
They are trying to ensare people on this side of the pond, thanks to you I have just torn up my 'contract'. w00t, snagged another from their clutches! Now tell two friends so they can tell two friends, so....

http://bestsmileys.com/friendly/3.gif

Roger J Carlson
03-14-2006, 08:46 PM
w00t, snagged another from their clutches! Now tell two friends so they can tell two friends, so....

Sounds like we're making a dent in their business. We should be hearing from another sock puppet soon.

CaoPaux
03-14-2006, 08:50 PM
Sound like we're making a dent in their business. We should be hearing from another sock puppet soon.My cat's breath smells like sockpuppets. :D

astonwest
03-29-2006, 05:29 AM
I actually just heard from someone today who asked me about this agency...glad I'd paid attention all this time...

Sherry Fine
04-09-2006, 08:46 PM
I'm giving you two answers to your question about what you've read. The first answer is the short one, and the second is the long one. I apologize in advance for any 'attitude' that you read in my reply, but it's a gut/core issue for us and we feel pretty strongly about certain things.


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

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

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



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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

eqb
04-09-2006, 09:09 PM
I'm giving you two answers to your question about what you've read.

You posted this \c\r\a\p\ dubious set of claims before. We didn't believe your lies then, we don't believe them now.

LloydBrown
04-09-2006, 09:09 PM
Woohoo! Sherry pasted her form rant again!

That's a lot of verbage for "sorry, we still haven't sold a book."

So, Sherry--how are those book sales coming? I've sold more titles to publishers than all seven of your agencies, and sold more books than all your clients combined. And I'm not even good. When do you plan to get around to any agenting?

victoriastrauss
04-09-2006, 10:33 PM
Woohoo! Sherry pasted her form rant again!I'm going to leave the rants up (rather than delete all but one of them, as I would if someone else spammed multiple threads) because I think potential victims of Sherry et al should have as many chances as possible to see these absurd arguments.

- Victoria

James D. Macdonald
04-10-2006, 12:15 AM
Why can't "the most powerful agency group in the United States" sell any books?

Are there any editors who return your phone calls?

Are there any editors who've even heard of you?

Roger J Carlson
04-10-2006, 04:32 PM
I'm giving you two answers to your question about what you've read. The first answer is the short one, and the second is the long one. I apologize in advance for any 'attitude' that you read in my reply, but it's a gut/core issue for us and we feel pretty strongly about certain things.


The short answer ....<snipping all the balderdash>Sherry, Sherry, Sherry. Can't you come up with anything original? You sent this word for word to TMack as he reports here (http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showpost.php?p=545015&postcount=310) in the New York Literary thread.

Jim Macdonald did a great line-by-line smackdown of it here (http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showpost.php?p=545494&postcount=318).

MartyKay
04-11-2006, 08:55 AM
I thought I was suffering from deja vu all over again...


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.

Hmm..

Normal Agency

Query comes in -> if interesting ask for partial
Partial comes in -> if good ask for full
Full comes in -> if good, call author ->
Submit to publishers until sold
If bad, send mail -> no thanks

This one

Manuscript comes in ->
Get author to pay for RIGOROUS CRITIQUE
AND EDITING services until they give up or run out of money
loop


Much more efficient model. :roll:

Dave Sloane
04-11-2006, 09:47 AM
Name names and get specific. Worst of all you guys are so boring. What
the hell are you jokers so afraid of? Where's the beef? Put up or shut up.
Give us the titles and authors and why not get some of 'em to stick up
for you. Perhaps they're all just imaginary friends. Ab Write is open to all--
looking forward to reading some heart-warming testimonials.

Melisande
04-19-2006, 09:50 PM
I recently signed a contract with the said agency. I was really happy about it too, being new to both the industry and the country.

Now I don't know what to believe anymore. I have called the agency and expressed the doubts I now have, after having read this forum. They promised to email me a list of authors that they have successfully represented.

I feel like the biggest loser right now. Are you all serious? Have I been conned?

The agency promised that, if I wish, there is no problem for me to cancel the contract. Is that true? Can I start shopping around for another agency?

Please help.

Gravity
04-19-2006, 10:03 PM
I recently signed a contract with the said agency. I was really happy about it too, being new to both the industry and the country.

Now I don't know what to believe anymore. I have called the agency and expressed the doubts I now have, after having read this forum. They promised to email me a list of authors that they have successfully represented.

I feel like the biggest loser right now. Are you all serious? Have I been conned?

The agency promised that, if I wish, there is no problem for me to cancel the contract. Is that true? Can I start shopping around for another agency?

Please help.

Hi Mel. First off, take a deep breath, because the fact is, you are not a loser. You are the victim of a con. There's no shame in that; the shame rests on the shoulders of those who run the con...not that they'll feel it.

To answer your question, yes, I believe you can cancel their contract with a simple letter (if I'm wrong on this, may the others who've been here longer correct me). Then comes the arduous process of shopping your manuscript again. And there are a couple of threads here on AW that address just that. So buck up. You're among friends here.

John

James D. Macdonald
04-19-2006, 10:04 PM
I feel like the biggest loser right now. Are you all serious? Have I been conned?

Don't feel like a loser. They're professional conmen. Conning people is what they do all day, every day. It's all that they do.

Your next step should be to cancel the contract with them. They can't sell your work anyway; leaving your book with them for 90 days or whatever is just a waste of your time.

Whatever you do, don't pay for that "critique" or that "editing." The author paying for those isn't any part of normal commercial publishing.

Important note: If they're asking their authors to cough up $2,500 to get published, remember that you don't need an agent to sign with a vanity press.

CaoPaux
04-19-2006, 10:20 PM
And if they ever do send you a list of authors they've "successfully represented", please post it.

janetbellinger
04-19-2006, 10:31 PM
And if they ever do send you a list of authors they've "successfully represented", please post it.

I'd like to find out what they mean by "successfully represented." Maybe they measure success in the amont of editing they paid for.

Melisande
04-19-2006, 10:44 PM
Thank you all for being so kind.

I have written a letter of cancellation to the agency. I will take it to the bank and have a Notary Public sign it. Figure it might show the agency that I will not accept any arguments.

I have found this other agency. It is called Sanford J. Greenburger Associates, Inc.
Spoke with a very nice person there who said she would like to see my work. Will be mailing it off, as soon as I can. They only accept hard copy though, and I will have to wait 6 to 8 weeks for a reply. Has anyone here any knowledge about them?

James D. Macdonald
04-19-2006, 10:55 PM
T Has anyone here any knowledge about them?

If you mean Sanford J. Greenburger Associates, they represent Dan "The Da Vinci Code" Brown, among many others.

Please notice that real agents have no problem listing their clients and their sales. Notice too that real agents read first-timers' submissions.

Melisande
04-19-2006, 10:59 PM
Thank you!
Wow, Dan Brown! Impressive.
Now I got scared.

PS. Corrected my spelling error, thanks.

Roger J Carlson
04-19-2006, 11:03 PM
I'd like to find out what they mean by "successfully represented." Maybe they measure success in the amont of editing they paid for.According to Fletcher himself in this (http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=529&page=20&pp=25)post (part way down the page), this is what they consider successfully represented:
At this time the process that Ms. Strauss decries as a foul scam has 68 manuscripts under request by publishers, 3 book contracts in negotiation, and 3 movie options in various stages of negotiation. Our lead author from Italy has just finished a US book tour and is a finalist in the Ben Franklin awards in New York. His work has now sold German and Australian and UK rights ... The totals given above are referenceable and documentable. We have to document everything given the scrutiny that we live under. It apparently means they've done agent-y stuff.

They have 68 manuscripts "under request". Whatever that means. Perhaps they've sent out 68 manuscripts.

They have 3 books in negotiation. No actual sales, but they're negotiating. Notice too that it doesn't say they are negotiating with a publisher. It could equally mean they are negotiating their contract with the authors.

Three movie options in "various stages of negotiation". Being rejected is a stage in negotiation too.

Their "lead author from Italy" is Dario Castagno who categorically denies that they sold any of his books, but they did take him out to a nice dinner.

All in all, a pretty pathetic track record for an agency that's been in the business for years. Makes you wonder how they pay the bills. Could it be from charging the authors? Yep, you betcha.

klxr250
04-21-2006, 10:49 AM
Hi all

I must say that CLA is very good with their initial responses to dupe the writers in. They know of writers' fear of being conned and actually lists down the various options and pitfalls available.

But I started to doubt when my questions were not answered directly and furthermore the responses were all different. At first they told me to go co-publishing, then they said they liked my manuscript and would accept it .. these 2 are totally different responses. Curt responses too, when answered by a real person - "It's not my business".

But good that I checked this site out before committing further or wasting more of my time.

Thanks.

JP

LAKOTA
04-30-2006, 11:06 PM
HI,
I WONDER IF ANYONE OUT THERE CAN HELP ME? I AM A NEW WRITER OF CHIDRENS BOOKS AND I NEED TO FIND AN AGENT THAT WILL HELP ME. I LIKE A LOT OF NEW AUTHORS SENT THIER WRITINGS TO CLA, I RECIEVED AN E-MAIL TELLING ME THAT THEY WANT TO REPRESENT ME, BUT AFTER READING THIS FORUM LATE INTO THE EVENING AND EARLY MORNING HOURS ABOUT THE CHILDREN LITERARY AGENCY I DECIDED NOT TO SEND FOR THEIR CONTRACT. IT WAS VERY DISAPPOINTING TO SEE ALL THE NEGATIVE ABOUT THIS AGENT.
IS THERE ANYBODY OUT THERE THAT WILL TAKE ON NEW TALENT BECAUSE THIS BOOK IS MY BABY AND I NEED SOMEONE TO HANDLE IT GENTLY AND WITH RESPECT. HOPEFULLY ONE DAY I CAN MAKE THIS BOOK AND MY OTHERS MY LIFES WORK.
ANY FEEDBACK YOU CAN GIVE ME WILL BE USED.

James D. Macdonald
05-01-2006, 05:26 AM
Yes.

All legitimate agents are looking for new talent, as are all legitimate publishers.

The trouble is that you have to be really talented, and have done all the hard work first. And, you need a bit of luck and a lot of patience.

So: to find an agent, find books like yours that are currently on the shelves. (Physically on the shelves. Merely listed at Amazon isn't good enough.) Find out who represented them. Approach those agents, following their guidelines to the letter.

You might want to hook up with SCBWI.


See also Writer's Market, Jeff Herman's Guide, and the LMP. Check out any agent in two or three sources. Don't submit until you're sure they're legit.

DaveKuzminski
05-01-2006, 05:30 AM
Lakota, you might want to practice your writing skills even in posting in forums. This forum, like a few other good forums, does have agents frequenting its pages. It's best to make a good impression to begin with since some agents might be reading your posts.

LAKOTA
05-01-2006, 05:53 PM
James,
Thank you. I appreciate your feed back.
If an agent is found will they edit or do I have to find someone.
Thanks again

LAKOTA
05-01-2006, 05:56 PM
DaveKuzminski thanks for your feed as well.

James D. Macdonald
05-01-2006, 05:58 PM
James,
Thank you. I appreciate your feed back.
If an agent is found will they edit or do I have to find someone.
Thanks again


While an agent may make editorial suggestions, the publisher will provide editing. This will be at no charge to you.

LAKOTA
05-03-2006, 02:06 AM
Thanks James,
I really appreciate your input. I checked out SCBWI lots of info there I will be becoming a member very soon. Any advice on ways to polish my punctuation skills, my writing is great it just flows out of this old head, but the rest really s---s. I guess I have been out of school way to long.
Anyway thanks again hope to sponge your brain for some more information.

sherryfine
05-03-2006, 05:13 PM
Dear Message Board Citizens:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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


RKForever

Tilly
05-03-2006, 05:20 PM
For the love of...

If your 'buyers' tell you that the work submitted wasn't good enough, the whole literary agency thing isn't working. But it's not like you need to sell books to publishers to make a living. You just milk writers for cash.

Aconite
05-03-2006, 05:23 PM
This person has spammed the boards with the same post before--which was thoroughly dissected. They're too lazy to bother trying to come up with something new, even. Sheesh.

I suspect that one post in one thread will be left, and the rest of the spam deleted.

James D. Macdonald
05-03-2006, 05:50 PM
Hi, RKForever/Sherryfine/Robert!

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

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

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

Aconite: I like leaving Robert Fletcher's/Sherry Fine's material in place. Their own words prove what sort of operation they're running far better than I could. They're convicted spammer/scammers -- out of their own mouths, and proved by their own actions.

Aconite
05-03-2006, 05:55 PM
Aconite: I like leaving Robert Fletcher's/Sherry Fine's material in place. Their own words prove what sort of operation they're running far better than I could. They're convicted spammer/scammers -- out of their own mouths, and proved by their own actions.Far be it from me to argue with someone whose experience outweighs mine as the sun outshines a candle. I am but an egg. I watch and learn and rejoice.

AbbyJoy
05-04-2006, 09:59 PM
I enjoyed this thread immensely (no doubt because I paid CLA very little).

I did sign with them several months ago, but have since become dissatisfied. I researched them at the time, and could uncover no negative info, so I agreed to a one year contract. But an "agent" who had to be asked for updates, and never provided detailed information rekindled my suspicions, and when I received an e-mail from an "aggressive agent", calling me by the wrong name and asking for payment, are not "professional" signs. Of course, when I corrected the name, and reminded them of their promise to charge nothing until they had found me a contract, they assured me the e-mail had been meant for someone else. This, added to the frequent temptation to send them "rigorous critiques and edits" of their e-mails, and no answer to my suggestion of a specific market, has caused my smoldering suspicion to burst into flame.

Fortunately, the main sufferer in my drama has been my pride. I plan on severing the contract, and continuing to market on my own. I'm just glad I have no previous publications for them to claim.

Thank you for the helpful commentary and leaving their defenses intact and pregnant with lies, for the convenience of the scammed. I hope that more aspiring authors will find this information before they sign the contract!

dmglv
05-22-2006, 07:36 AM
I signed with this agency last summer and have had very little communication with them since then. This was my first venture into publishing, so I wasn't sure what to expect.

I paid $56 for a 3rd party to edit my manuscript, which, I figured was an insignificant investment whether this worked out or not.

I emailed them several weeks ago with no response. I emailed again the other day and they finally responded saying that the data base had matched my manuscript several times but had no negative or positive feedback and then asked me to contact them again in 20 days, which will be June 8th.

At this point, I feel like I've lost a lot of wasted time with them - time that could have been better spent with an agency who would have marketed the manuscript and kept in contact with me on a more regular basis.

My contract is up soon and I will not be renewing. In fact, after finding this message board and reading the scam information, I'm thinking of ending the contract immediately.

**Are there any good books or online resources where I can get the answers to my "newbie" questions? What should I expect from a publisher? Do they offer editing advice or do I have to find an editor on my own? Do they usually offer personal service, or is it normal to just be stuck in a data base and not have contact for months and months with the agent? I'm all for doing my own research and am looking for someplace to read these answers. :-)

thanks everyone :-)
--D

James D. Macdonald
05-22-2006, 10:24 AM
Everything you wanted to know about literary agents (http://www.neilgaiman.com/journal/2005/01/everything-you-wanted-to-know-about.asp)
More than you wanted to know about The Literary Agency Group (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=26990)

Yes, you've wasted your time and your money. Cancel the contract now. Contact the Attorney General in New York and Florida, contact the BBB in New York and Boca Raton, contact the FTC. Give 'em all the "Joe Friday Facts" about your interaction with the Children's Literary Agency. Write a letter to the editor of your local newspaper, and another to Writer's Digest. If you found these folks through Google AdSense, rate 'em with Google: http://www.google.com/contact/rate_advertiser.html

Legitimate publishers edit your book at their own expense.
Real agents actively try to sell your work.

There's a whole board here on writing for children. Perhaps you'll want to start there.

Aconite
05-22-2006, 04:35 PM
dmglv, if you look throuogh the Index at the top of this forum, you'll find sections with links to threads you'll find helpful. Also at the top of this forum, you'll find the How Real Publishing Works thread, which will give you basic information so you know what questions to start researching. Once you know what you're looking for, the Search function here should help you find threads with that information.

Roger J Carlson
05-22-2006, 04:54 PM
Look at the top of this very page. There is a link to Jenna Glatzer's "The Street-Smart Writer (http://www.nomadpress.net/Streetsmart.html)" which will help you understand the publishing world and avoid other scams.

dmglv
05-22-2006, 07:56 PM
Thank you, thank you!! I'll definitely go through those threads this evening.

You've all been so helpful...I'm wiser for the journey, but darn it, wish I had not wasted so much time :-(

dmglv
05-23-2006, 09:42 PM
I emailed Georgina, and cc'd the other email addresses I had for the agency to let them know that I was terminating our contract and that a formal letter would follow by mail.

My contract stated that I had to let them know about any withdrawel/termination 60 days before the contract was up for automatic renewal, which ironically, next month is exactly 60 days.

Thank you all again for opening my eyes! I always suspected that things weren't quite right, but never really had anything to compare it to. Shame on me for not doing more/better research. Glad I found you all.

-Dawn

Roger J Carlson
05-23-2006, 09:43 PM
I emailed Georgina, and cc'd the other email addresses I had for the agency to let them know that I was terminating our contract and that a formal letter would follow by mail.

My contract stated that I had to let them know about any withdrawel/termination 60 days before the contract was up for automatic renewal, which ironically, next month is exactly 60 days.

Thank you all again for opening my eyes! I always suspected that things weren't quite right, but never really had anything to compare it to. Shame on me for not doing more/better research. Glad I found you all.

-DawnAnd we're glad you found us. Keep on writing.

Sylka Hunithathem
08-06-2006, 10:08 PM
I'm sending in the contract tomorow for the Children's Literary Agency. the contract looked pretty good and I had some other people look it over.
Does anyone know anything about them?

Richard White
08-06-2006, 10:20 PM
Long answer: Read the Literary Agency Group Tentacles thread.

Short answer: They've never sold anything. Strictly in it to get your money. Avoid at all costs.

Sylka Hunithathem
08-06-2006, 10:29 PM
im probably a stupid fool to believe them, but if they don't charge fees how are they supposed to be in it for the money? I'm just curious.

Peggy
08-06-2006, 10:35 PM
Sylka, please don't even consider sending in that contract until you've read these threads:

http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=8286
http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=8312
http://abolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=26990

Richard White
08-06-2006, 10:35 PM
That's where reading the thread and also going to the index to get the LONG thread(s) about all of Bouncing Bobby's companies.

They'll want a $79 critique fee, then they'll want $X to "Professionally edit" your book and then they'll eventually ask for more to cover "expenses" and such.

Plus, they'll cost you in time. They've never sold a book. EVER. So, if you go with them, you'll eventually have to start all over trying to find another agent. Your time should be more valuable than anything.

It's hard to put their perfedity into succienct words . . . (although if you check the above mentioned threads, you'll see how some people have discected the ramblings Bobby and his minions occasionally post on this board.)

The long and short of it. Never sold a book. Why would you want an agent who can't sell anything. And, if they're still in business after all this time and they haven't sold a book, where is the money coming from?

New and impressionable authors . . . that's where.

Peggy
08-06-2006, 10:38 PM
Oops, that last link should be:

http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=26990

They may not have asked for any money yet, but they will.

Peggy
08-06-2006, 10:45 PM
More information:
http://www.anotherealm.com/prededitors/pea001d.htm
http://www.sfwa.org/beware/twentyworst.html
http://accrispin.blogspot.com/2006/07/ac-crispin-58-writers-trust-your.html

Sylka Hunithathem
08-06-2006, 10:59 PM
you're all right. how could i be so ignorant? thanks a million everyone... i really appreciate it. do you know of any agencys that are good and real?

James D. Macdonald
08-06-2006, 11:04 PM
im probably a stupid fool to believe them, but if they don't charge fees how are they supposed to be in it for the money? I'm just curious.

They don't charge a fee ... they just send you over to "other companies" (that just happen to be the same folks with different e-mail addresses) that do charge money.

James D. Macdonald
08-06-2006, 11:08 PM
do you know of any agencys that are good and real?

Bunches. See http://www.sff.net/people/VictoriaStrauss/agentsearch.html and http://www.neilgaiman.com/journal/2005/01/everything-you-wanted-to-know-about.asp for far more information on the process.

Marjorie
10-17-2006, 10:14 PM
Haven't checked in here for awhile because I was busy in other areas. However, when I googled Children's Literary Agency, I found some negative comments that were not really backed up. I signed a contract with the agency for a middle grade novel. It has not cost me anything, and their terms are extremely reasonable. So far, everything is positive. If I were a new, unpublished author, I would seek a critique and would expect to pay for it. That is all they offer, but they make it clear they will accept a professional critique from an outside source. Believe me, I'm the first to warn someone about a scam, but I sincerely think this is a legitimate and unusual opportunity for new writers. If I run up against anything that doesn't seem right, I'll let everybody know. Marjorie

Roger J Carlson
10-17-2006, 10:45 PM
Haven't checked in here for awhile because I was busy in other areas. However, when I googled Children's Literary Agency, I found some negative comments that were not really backed up...Marjorie,

Read these thread in their entirety before you declare that the negative comments are not backed up. They've been thoroughly documented.

The Literary Agency Group, Inc. AVOID
http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=13517

Children’s Literary Agency, The (Dorothy Walker, Robert West)
http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=8312
http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=8286
Christian Literary Agency, The
http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=13514
New York Literary Agency, The (Sherry Fine)
http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=729
Poets Literary Agency, The
http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=19104
Screenplay Agency, The
http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=20359
Stylus Literary Agency (formerly ST Literary Agency, formerly Sydra Techniques) (Robert Fletcher, Jill Mast, Mark Bredt)
http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=929
http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=529

All of these agencies are owned by the same person, Robert Fletcher (et al), who is a convicted felon. Trite but true, leopards don't change their spots.

The most damning evidence is that in all of their rebuttals, he/she/they have never produced evidence of ONE book that THEY sold to a reputable publisher. What more evidence do you need?

Cathy C
10-17-2006, 11:15 PM
I signed a contract with the agency for a middle grade novel. It has not cost me anything, and their terms are extremely reasonable. So far, everything is positive. If I were a new, unpublished author, I would seek a critique and would expect to pay for it. That is all they offer, but they make it clear they will accept a professional critique from an outside source. Marjorie

But what you may not realize, Marjorie, is that the critique service is the SAME COMPANY, under an alias. While they "say" they will accept a professional critique from an outside source, they have yet to actually do so. What other authors have experienced when forwarding an outside critique is a note back saying it's "inadequate" and doesn't conform to their requirements. ONLY the company--the one that's owned by the same people--they recommend will wind up being acceptable.

In other words, you don't pay for them to start to represent the work, but you DO pay to keep them representing the work. No critique . . . no representation. So, yes--you DO pay.

I wish you luck, though. It would be nice if your manuscript was the first one they ever sold. Miracles do happen, and it'll take one, I'm afraid.

waylander
10-17-2006, 11:17 PM
The next thing that will happen is that they will tell you that a publisher is interested and they need some money upfront 'for expenses' before they can submit it to them.

James D. Macdonald
10-17-2006, 11:25 PM
Believe me, I'm the first to warn someone about a scam, but I sincerely think this is a legitimate and unusual opportunity for new writers.

Ask them what they've sold, ever, to anyone.

kjh7073
10-18-2006, 01:39 AM
I just wanted to share this.....

I received a reply from the Literary Agency that CLA refers you to for the crit last week saying that I would get my money back. I replied and gave them a deadline of today.

No money.

Then, this morning, I emailed them and asked again. No reply. So, thank God, I paid them thru PayPal...and I filed a complaint against them through PayPal.

And, it looks like a refund might be heading my way. The transaction lists a
-$78.00 right now; which usually means a refund. So....there might be hope. Oh, I hope so. :)

kjh7073
10-26-2006, 05:55 PM
Just thought I'd share....I got my money back today! I had to escalate a claim through PayPal...but I got a refund today...and it's over. The nightmare is over :)

JerseyGirl1962
10-26-2006, 06:21 PM
Glad to hear you got your money back!

~Nancy

Kasey Mackenzie
10-26-2006, 07:05 PM
Woo hoo! Congratulations for standing up for yourself and getting positive results. Hopefully this will be a help to others in the future.

kjh7073
10-30-2006, 06:07 PM
I hope so. I only wish that I would've found this thread BEFORE...could've avoided the whole nightmare. Now, I've gotten in the habit of checking here before I send out queries.

michalmcdowell
01-22-2007, 10:01 PM
Ever heard of it? I've been told that it's a scam. Just wanted to check before proceeding....
Michal

waylander
01-22-2007, 10:25 PM
It's a big scam. Run away

TemlynWriting
01-22-2007, 10:30 PM
Here are two threads dedicated to discussion of the Children's Literary Agency:

http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=8286

http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=8312

They're also listed here in Writer Beware's 20 Worst Agents list thread:

http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=28961

Hope that helps!

Kasey Mackenzie
01-23-2007, 12:07 AM
Sorry, but definitely and most emphatically a scam. At the very least, they CAN NOT and WILL NOT manage to place your book with a legitimate publisher.

victoriastrauss
01-23-2007, 01:09 AM
I'm porting this to B&BC and merging it with the existing CLA thread there.

- Victoria

michalmcdowell
01-23-2007, 05:22 AM
YIKES! Got it!
Thanks,
Michal

AC Crispin
01-23-2007, 09:25 PM
I hope all of the folks posting here who are complaining about having been scammed by Robert Fletcher in one of the fake "agency" incarnations have written to me to get guidelines on what to do now that you've been scammed.

My email address is anncrispin@aol.com

Feel free to pass it on to all known victims.

-Ann C. Crispin
Chair, Writer Beware
www.writerbeware.com (http://www.writerbeware.com/)

Steven Lloyd
01-28-2007, 12:49 PM
Two years ago I submitting a story to these guys because nothing on the site said anything about money. Two days later I got an email back that said they wanted to work with me, but there was a need for a Critique(Editing)
$80 bucks. I never contacted them again. I've been in the biz twenty years now and it never fails to amaze me how bad agents can sucker so many new writer's.

She is right about one thing, most authors who do have agents are very leery about giving out there agents to people. Now if you've known them for years they may, but I wouldn't hold my breath.

Chances are these guys didn't even read you story to begin with. Agents are just as hard to find as publishers.

James D. Macdonald
01-28-2007, 10:44 PM
Agents are just as hard to find as publishers.

True and not-true at once.

What is true is this: Writing a publishable piece is hard.

James D. Macdonald
02-27-2007, 04:25 AM
There's a new scam in town: Writers Literary Agency & Marketing Company (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=56488). They've supposedly "acquired" The Literary Agency Group (home of Sydra Techniques/ST Literary Agency/Stylus Literary Agency/The New York Literary Agency/Christian Literary Agency/Childrens Literary Agency/Poets Literary Agency/The Screenplay Agency).

Same cast of characters, same lack of sales, same fraud.

James D. Macdonald
03-06-2007, 01:00 AM
[/URL]The Childrens Literary Agency has renamed itself as the WL Childrens Agency (The Writers Literary Agency - Children's Division), [URL="http://www.wlchildrensagency.com/"]www.wlchildrensagency.com (http://www.sfwa.org/beware/twentyworst.html)

victoriastrauss
05-01-2007, 07:27 PM
Children's Literary Agency Better Business Bureau report (http://www.newyork.bbb.org/reports/businessreports.aspx?pid=44&page=1&id=90407).

- Victoria

hazel_nut
05-12-2007, 09:34 PM
i dont know if this is the right place to ask this question... i have a picture book story. My instructor says that it is what most are looking for but everyone in my book market for children's writers 2007 wants an agent to submit work. i found this site when i used yahoo search engine. has anyone ever heard of them? do you have any suggestions what to do next? new to this....
WRITERS LITERARY CHILDREN'S AGENCY
http://www.wlwritersagency.com/

if this is not the place or i posted something i wasnt suppose to. im sorry. just new to everything...
http://absolutewrite.com/forums/images/statusicon/user_online.gif http://absolutewrite.com/forums/images/buttons/reputation.gif (http://absolutewrite.com/forums/reputation.php?p=1328593) vbrep_register("1328593") http://absolutewrite.com/forums/images/buttons/report.gif (http://absolutewrite.com/forums/report.php?p=1328593) http://absolutewrite.com/forums/images/misc/progress.gif

DeadlyAccurate
05-12-2007, 09:37 PM
Short answer: RUN! As far and as fast as you can from them.

Longer answer, read here:
http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=34311
http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=62493

hazel_nut
05-12-2007, 09:43 PM
thanks. just as soon as i posted i seen the list and seen that i was to avoid them.....just clueless...

James D. Macdonald
05-13-2007, 03:00 AM
Short answer: yes, we've heard of them. They haven't sold a book in their lives and they probably won't break their streak by selling yours.

Power Mom
01-03-2008, 12:32 AM
I appreciate your input about CLA. I was very nearly duped by them too. It was this blog that made me decide not to send them my manuscript. I was also nearly taken in by Publish America. I am not usually easily fooled and the fact that within a couple of days I nearly bought it twice..... Well I can only say I am totally gun shy now. I am a single mom of 5 children. I work 4 jobs and am barely scraping by. I can't afford to make the wrong choice. Do I need an agent? What publishers should I be approaching?? My book is fully edited (it is a picture book of 1294 words). I know it is a good book and that it is worthy of publishing... I just can't seem to get it started in the right direction. Publish America said I needed to have the book illustrated prior to publishing. I thought legit Publishers make the decisions on who to have illustrate??

Thank you for your time in this,

I hope I can find some answers here

dizzy3112
01-03-2008, 01:01 AM
I've narrowly escaped being duped by this lot, I was 'saved' tonight by reading your posts!

Thanks folks!