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maestrowork
06-29-2004, 05:02 AM
OK, I did a search but nothing came up.

I remember reading something here about this agency and Cris J. Baker Robins...

Any yays or nays?

vstrauss
06-29-2004, 06:30 AM
Nays.

This agency makes its living solely from fees--editing fees, and astronomical "management" fees (anywhere from $500 to $3,200). It has never sold a book to a commercial publisher.

- Victoria

maestrowork
06-29-2004, 07:52 AM
Thanks, Victoria.

Savvy
06-29-2004, 09:06 PM
You don't mean BJ Robbins, right?

maestrowork
06-29-2004, 09:47 PM
No. As I understand, Robins is different than BJ Robins.

vstrauss
06-30-2004, 07:35 AM
Yeah. B. J. Robbins is a successful agent in L.A. Cris Robins is a scam agent in Arkansas.

- Victoria

christinedg
06-30-2004, 07:54 AM
just fyi . . .

maestrowork
06-30-2004, 08:55 PM
It's kind of bothersome that Jeff Herman's guide would include such agencies. Because they went through the whole Q&A (probably via a form and not actual interview), you'd think the agencies are all legit. In addition to Robins, they also listed Harris Agency, which according the P&E and here isn't up and up either.

Savvy
07-01-2004, 07:15 PM
Joy Harris isn't up and up? Maestro, can you explain?

maestrowork
07-01-2004, 08:33 PM
My bad. I'm sorry for the wrong information (and have edited my post). I meant the "Harris Literary Agency" not the Joy Harris (who is just fine).

Savvy
07-02-2004, 02:45 AM
Sorry!:o

vstrauss
07-02-2004, 03:17 AM
>> It's kind of bothersome that Jeff Herman's guide would include such agencies.<<

Agreed. But I don't know of a single guide that doesn't include a few questionable and/or marginal agents--in some cases, like Writer's Market, many. The authors of these books tend to take the agents' responses at face value, and if the "agent" chooses to give false or misleading information (like Robins calling her agency "the largest literary agency in the Midwest"--which actually probably is literally true, given that she probably has at least a couple of hundred clients), it'll be assumed to be true.

IMO, the Herman book, Rachel Vater's book (she used to author the Writers Digest "Guide to Literary Agents" but seems to have struck out on her own with her own book), and Literary Marketplace are the most informative and the most updated, and contain the smallest number of questionables.

- Victoria

christinedg
07-02-2004, 03:39 AM
Victoria,

I've been wondering about Writer's Market. When I first started trying to figure out how to find an agent, a friend of a friend said Writer'sMarket.com was an absolute must. I subscribe to it but take everything in it with a grain of salt. I guess that's the right attitude.

I also heard Jeff Herman's book was an absolute must. I feel more confident in it, but there are still some clinkers, apparently.

I am so interested in Rachel Vater's book. I'm going to pick up a copy today. And, I assume Literary Marketplace is a book - not a website, yes?

Thank you so much for the suggestions

vstrauss
07-02-2004, 07:38 AM
>>And, I assume Literary Marketplace is a book - not a website, yes?<<

It's a reference book that should be available in your local library. Some libraries don't order a new LMP every year; if it's a year or more old, you'll need to double check addresses, because these do change.

LMP also has a website with online listings, but it costs quite a bit of money to subscribe.

I should have said that my criticism was for the print Writer's Market. I've never really explored the website (I would if it were free, but I don't want to pay).

- Victoria

Nameless65
07-02-2004, 10:59 PM
My biggest gripe with WM had been that they covered too much Ė poetry, novels, magazines, children, everything in one book. Now they seem to have broken the material up into separate books.

As far as listing iffy agents, donít they also include whether they are AAR members? Another question Ė how does AAR police its members? Does it? Whatís to prevent an agency from changing its policies after it becomes an AAR member?

christinedg
07-02-2004, 11:17 PM
The online WM does indicate AAR membership. RE the AAR monitoring members, I have no idea how/if that is done. Good question, though!

vstrauss
07-03-2004, 07:18 AM
AAR has fairly strict membership requirements--members must have been agents for at least 2 years before joining, and have sold a minimum of 10 properties within the past 18 months. The AAR doesn't police its membership--it's a voluntary trade association, not a union or a group that licenses or accredits people--but if there's a credible complaint it will investigate, and agents have been kicked out of AAR for violating the Canon of Ethics.

10 properties in the past 18 months isn't a large number of sales, and as you can imagine some fairly marginal agents do squeak by. Also, AAR can't screen for assholery, so there's no guarantee an AAR agent is going to be a nice person. And while AAR doesn't allow members to charge reading fees or editing fees or make referrals for kickbacks, there's enough vagueness about the charging back of submission expenses to allow for a wide variety of practice. It's still the most common thing among successful agents to let expenses accrue and deduct them from writers' advances. But there are some AAR members (and successful agents who aren't AAR members) who ask for an upfront deposit or require writers to reimburse expenses as incurred. I personally feel very strongly that this isn't in the writer's best interest. But it does happen.

Just another sign that there's no black and white in this business, only shades of gray.

- Victoria

EDITORINCHIEF0103
07-14-2004, 05:13 PM
www.robins-agency.com/services.htm (http://www.robins-agency.com/services.htm)
Friend or foe? Are they one of those that charges reading fee etc?

EDITORINCHIEF0103
07-14-2004, 05:14 PM
Sigh..... I knew it was too good to be true and just saw the earlier post.....

EDITORINCHIEF0103
07-14-2004, 05:21 PM
Is this the same Robins agency in St. Louis?

vstrauss
07-14-2004, 08:55 PM
Yes. Sorry. The switch to St. Louis is fairly recent, and my memory just defaulted to Arkansas, where they had an address for many years before the change.

- Victoria

EDITORINCHIEF0103
07-14-2004, 09:16 PM
:cry

James D Macdonald
07-14-2004, 09:21 PM
Back when they were in Arkansas they were claiming a Pulitzer nomination even though the Pulitzer people somehow didn't list them as nominees, and four Communicator Awards (http://www.communicator-awards.com/) (one of those You Pay The Money, You Get the Award places). That's as impressive as saying that you were published by the International Library of Poetry.

See also:

<a href="http://groups.google.com/groups?hl=en&lr=lang_en&ie=UTF-8&safe=off&threadm=19990820172736.16584.00001155%40ng-cl1.aol.com&rnum=1&prev=/groups%3Fq%3D%2522robins%2Bagency%2522%26hl%3Den%2 6lr%3Dlang_en%26ie%3DUTF-8%26safe%3Doff%26selm%3D19990820172736.16584.00001 155%2540ng-cl1.aol.com%26rnum%3D1" target="_new">here</a>, <a href="http://groups.google.com/groups?hl=en&lr=lang_en&ie=UTF-8&safe=off&threadm=20001105234817.09193.00000741%40ng-ce1.aol.com&rnum=4&prev=/groups%3Fq%3D%2522robins%2Bagency%2522%26hl%3Den%2 6lr%3Dlang_en%26ie%3DUTF-8%26safe%3Doff%26selm%3D20001105234817.09193.00000 741%2540ng-ce1.aol.com%26rnum%3D4" target="_new">here</a>, and <a href="http://groups.google.com/groups?hl=en&lr=lang_en&ie=UTF-8&safe=off&threadm=20010712103647.16381.00002275%40ng-fn1.aol.com&rnum=2&prev=/groups%3Fq%3D%2522robins%2Bagency%2522%26hl%3Den%2 6lr%3Dlang_en%26ie%3DUTF-8%26safe%3Doff%26selm%3D20010712103647.16381.00002 275%2540ng-fn1.aol.com%26rnum%3D2" target="_new">here</a>.

HapiSofi
07-16-2004, 10:55 PM
Jim, I know you know this, but for everyone else's benefit: There's no such thing as a Pulitzer nominee. Material gets entered for consideration (there are non-onerous requirements for who can and can't do that), and then organization makes its decisions. People who claim to be Pulitzer nominees are either confused, humbugs, or both.

Deb Ruth
07-23-2004, 09:45 PM
I wrote to Jeff Herman. Below is his response.

Thanks for feeding this to me. When organizing my book, I am as vulnerable as any trusting writer when it comes to the statements made to me by "agents". We try to weed them out as their true intentions become evident. It does not serve my agenda to give these firms a platform from which to promote what they do. To the contrary, it somewhat tarnishes my own hard earned credibility. Feel free to share this statement. Best wishes, Jeff Herman

Lee32940
11-03-2004, 06:12 AM
Run, don't walk, away from this agency and Cris Robins.:gone

maestrowork
11-03-2004, 06:50 AM
Can you substantiate your claim, for the benefit of our members here?

Thanks.

DaveKuzminski
11-03-2004, 06:59 AM
I'll vouch for what Lee just stated.

vstrauss
11-03-2004, 08:16 AM
Me too. Robins used to run an editing referral gig; now her main thing seems to be asking for enormous retainers--the latest report I've gotten is $3,200--for a year of representation.

Need I say that as far as I know, the Robins Agency (which has been in business at least since the late 1990's) has never sold a book?

- Victoria

maestrowork
11-03-2004, 09:56 AM
$3200? OMG!

HapiSofi
11-05-2004, 12:34 AM
Victoria's word is worth more than mine, but I'll add mine anyway: the Cris Robins agency is crookeder than a dog's hind leg. Dumb, too.

Lee32940
11-09-2004, 04:05 AM
As novice author, I fell for Cris Robins' line. Once she gets your money she is hard to find. If you do find her, all you get is another line of . . . Even though I modified her contract, she made no attempt to fulfill her commitments to me. A professional editing was included, but it never happened. She failed to provide the services she contracted to provide. She refused to tell me who she had submitted my manuscript to. She told me she would represent my book at the Chicago book fair, but her secretary called the day before the show started asking for a copy of the manuscript - which was suspossed to have been edited. I had supplied her with artwork, text, photos, etc.

Julie Worth
11-12-2004, 11:21 PM
This agency emailed me several weeks after I'd queried, saying they were following up, since I hadn't responded to their request for the first three and final three chapters of my novel. (In fact, this was the first email Iíd received from them.) That kind of follow up was so unusual that I did a little research, and what I found concerned me. So I wrote Cris, asking several question about the agency, and this is what she said, in part:

"Third, as to our sales; well, the truth is I used to tell the world what our sales were in detail. And every single time I did, someone would call the publisher and yell at them because they bought someone elseís' book and not theirs. So, I quit doing it. Why would I cause a publisher grief when I didn't have to?"

A marvelous piece of nonsense!

When I told her I didn't buy that, she got snitty, saying she didnít care what I thought. Well, she might not care, but what I think is they have no sales at all, in spite of what her 2004 entry in Hermanís guide implies: ďWhether we sold 30 or 130 [last year] doesnít mean we can sell yours or canít.Ē

JC Lynch
12-08-2004, 02:10 AM
Hi. I see that there was a thread concerning the Robins agency, but it seems to have been deleted. Can anyone clue me in to this agency?

Upon further checking on different sites, it appears I got my hopes up much too soon. I don't believe I will be following up with Ms. Robins.

HapiSofi
12-08-2004, 03:22 AM
Cris Robins. Hardcore scammer. Big fees. No legit sales. Long track record as one of the bad guys.

DarkManX24
01-14-2005, 12:57 AM
i decided to do some online surfing about my good buddy and agent cris robins, and imagine my surprise when i see several links discussing how she's a scam artist! now, i can't say whether she's a scam artist, or whether potential clients are upset and are just full of it. what i want to know is what information you all have on her and exactly how many of you have been scammed by the wolf in sheep's clothing. currently i'm under an editorial contract with her, so if she does turn out to be full of @#$%, then i will cut ties with her after the editorial process is done and take my services elsewhere.

underthecity
01-14-2005, 03:38 AM
Darkman,
Preditors and Editors has this to say about Cris Robins, the Robins Agency:

<blockquote><strong><em>Quote:</em></strong><hr>Robins Agency, The: "We are currently looking for new writers in the sci-fi/fantasy, horror and mainstream genres. We are a full service literary agency specializing in the marketing, development and sales from new writers." 7/20/04: a writer reports they have poor reading skills. Charges fee. Promotes its own editing services. Not recommended.<hr></blockquote>

You can see that <a href="http://www.anotherealm.com/prededitors/pealr.htm" target="_new">here</a>.

Just scroll down 3/4 of the page to Robins.

Hope that helps!

underthecity

DarkManX24
01-14-2005, 04:54 AM
thanks!

HapiSofi
01-14-2005, 07:31 AM
See also: http://nielsenhayden.com/makinglight/archives/000357.html

vstrauss
01-14-2005, 09:42 AM
Darkman, there are threads on Cris Robins buried further back which go into more detail, but here's the short version: all her income comes from fees (editing fees, enormous "management" fees). As far as anyone knows, she has never sold a book to a publisher.

- Victoria

DaveKuzminski
01-14-2005, 10:12 AM
Darkman, doing the editing or having something of yours edited?

DarkManX24
01-14-2005, 12:55 PM
she is actually doing the editing herself--or at least she is paid to do so! i thought about using her for her editorial abilities until she asks to represent me, then backing away from her, seeking another agent in the process.

Dhewco
01-14-2005, 10:09 PM
I have one question. Other than being a scammer, what are her qualifications for being an editor? I read the Robins thread sometime last year, but I don't remember it.



David

DaveKuzminski
01-14-2005, 10:28 PM
Darkman, have you seen any of the editing results yet? In other words, is she sending back edited chapters as those are completed? If not, demand that she do so and hold off on any further payment until she complies.

DarkManX24
01-15-2005, 12:21 AM
yes, she has sent me some of the chapters back. she said she was going to send back a few chapters at a time to make the revision process easier. i was actually going to send back the revised chapters next week, 'til i saw all the comments about her being a scam artist. i have already made the full payment for editorial services, but she does state in her contract how the work will be returned to the writer after full payment is made.

DarkManX24
01-15-2005, 12:24 AM
I honestly do not remember off the top of my head, but there was a list of them in the agents and publishers guide at my house. They may be up on her website www.robins-agency.com, or on numerous other websites that carry her name. If you would like, I can look them up for you and get back to you.

katdad
01-15-2005, 01:01 AM
While I have no knowledge about this particular agent, it's my opinion that you should never pay anyone for editing, ever. And an agent who claims to edit? Forget it. A scam, I think.

An agent should do one thing: represent your work to publishers.

A legit agent may make suggestions to the writer, things the agent feels may improve the book, but will let the writer make the changes. This is what happened to me, with my agent.

A REAL edit process occurs when the publisher has accepted your book and paid you the advance. Then the editor will send back your edited book and you'll work together to fix the final version of the text.

This is the way I've always had it, with my magazine articles and reviews and such. And when I sell my book (or when my agent sells the book, really), I will expect that process.

vstrauss
01-15-2005, 01:25 AM
She claims qualifications, but none can be verified. I've heard from clients who paid for editing and weren't one bit happy with the quality of it.

- Victoria

aka eraser
01-15-2005, 02:36 AM
I think we need to be a bit careful here. We don't want it to appear that we're rubbing salt in Darkman's wounds. He's paid for the editing so that's a done-deal. Hopefully, he'll be able to take some positives from it.

And it serves as a reminder to newcomers that agents sell work and may make editorial suggestions. Editors edit. And book editors are paid by the publisher, not the author.

Edited to add: Of course there's independent and freelance editors; some hired by publishers, some by writers. Ethical ones however, don't wear the twin hats of agent/editor, nor do they accept from, or give kickbacks to, agents for referrals.

HapiSofi
01-15-2005, 05:19 AM
Sorry to say, it's not a hard and fast rule. There've been some legit two-hatted editor/agents. I believe Andy Zack used to do that. Jim Frenkel still does. I think Richard Curtis tried it but gave it up.

Here's the difference: none of them charged for editing.

aka eraser
01-15-2005, 08:15 AM
Okay, thanks Hapi. I knew some agents worked with their clients at least in an advisory editorial capacity, but your last point is the most relevant one; ethical ones don't charge.

eldragon
01-26-2005, 07:27 AM
I spoke with Ms Robins today on the phone, as she is "impressed" with my manuscript and wants to be my agent. Good thing I have the internet to make my own inquiries. She's nothing more than a liar and a thief. I asked her what percentage of authors she works for, does she secure publishing for. She said 98%. She said most of the sales were in the $100k-$150 range. I asked her if they ever turn down work, and she said she turns down 95% percent of the stuff they get. She said they turned down 10,000 projects last year alone.

She wanted $3200 along with her signed contract, and the entire manuscript by email. That would be for the first 12 months. After that, it would be $100 per month, plus expenses. She said it usually takes 12-16 months from beginning to end.

So disapointing to hear that she is a scam artist. How does she get by with it?

eldragon
01-26-2005, 07:34 AM
I talked to Ms Robins today, as she wanted to agent my book. I asked her for references. Her reply was "It really doesn't do any good to give you names and numbers. However, there is an email address of someone who will vouch for us."

They ask for $3200 and can't give me a single reference? Not one author who is tickled pink with her work? She told me that they sell 98% of their clients works. Most go for $150k-100k. She asked me if that would be successful enough for me.

I just want to know, not only how the lady stays in business, but how she stays alive?

maestrowork
01-26-2005, 08:14 AM
Desperate, uninformed writers.

eldragon
01-26-2005, 10:49 PM
I sent Ms Robins an email, telling her that for $3200., it seems reasonable that she could provide references from clients who have been happy with her services.

She said that not one of the complaints on the internet (about her) has been verified. I don't know what that means, because they are written in first person.

She gave me two email addresses to contact on her behalf.

Dhewco
01-27-2005, 12:38 AM
>Most go for $150k-100k. She asked me if that would be successful enough for me.<



People would be breaking her door in with their 3200 if she could back this up. Odds are, she can't. Can people be so gullible as to believe this line?

AC Crispin
01-27-2005, 12:54 AM
If you believe you were defrauded by Cris Robins and the The Robins Agency, file a complaint against her with your local police department's White Collar Crime Division (or whatever the equivalent is in your jurisdiction). Provide documentation.

Then, have your P.D email or Fax a copy of the complaint to Detective Barry Mertz at the Creve Coeur Police Department, in Creve Coeur, MO.

Detective Mertz's email address is: bmertz@ci.creve-coeur.mo.us

Detective Mertz's fax number is: (314) 432-5691. Be sure to put "Attn: Detective Mertz" on the Fax.

Hope this helps. Pass it on.

-Ann C. Crispin
Writer Beware

AC Crispin
01-27-2005, 12:57 AM
I just posted information for anyone who has been scammed by Cris Robins in the other thread on her, including contact information for the Detective in Creve Coeur who would like to see complaints about her.

Best,

-Ann C.Crispin

eldragon
01-27-2005, 04:24 AM
Hi, I haven't paid the lady a nickel yet. She did have two people forward me extremely flattering emails, about her high level of service and how much she is respected in her field.

One is a supposed editor for a major publisher (she signed her name but I dont' know if I should include it). She says Ms Robins gets better deals for her clients than any agent she knows, and usually walks away from the bargaining table with a better deal than even the editor was prepared to make.

The second email is from a writer who says she has been a client of Ms Robins for 6 years, and Ms Robins has helped her publish 7 out of 8 books. She has nothing but high praise for the lady.

Coincidence? How come I can't find anything positive about the woman online? How can she be in business for 10 years and be such a con artist?

Does anyone have anything good to say about her? I would truly like to know. I realize that people generally only write complaints, not praise.

Regarding the detective, does he have pending litigation or investigations against this particular person?

Thanks so much!

Pam

HapiSofi
01-27-2005, 04:28 AM
Miracles have been known to happen, but I wouldn't bet my career on the proposition that after years as a scam agent, Cris Robins might finally go legit by selling my novel.

vstrauss
01-27-2005, 08:01 AM
>>She did have two people forward me extremely flattering emails, about her high level of service and how much she is respected in her field.<<

Is one of them named Maggie (or some other first name) Van Slyke? Van Slyke is an alias used by Cris Robins herself.

- Victoria

eldragon
01-27-2005, 09:38 AM
Yes! Her name is Maggie Van Slyke. OH MY GOD! WHAT A scumbag!

I had the feeling it was written by her, and compared the emails for similar writing styles. MY God!

This Maggie was the email address she gave me yesterday to contact first. After I pushed her for more references, she gave me Alice Coleman, "an editor."

How did you know that?

James D Macdonald
01-27-2005, 10:05 AM
There are a couple of Alice Colemans who are editors. One edits a quarterly magazine for graphologists in the UK. Another edits a weekly African-American community newspaper in Louisiana.

Neither of those places look like they pay major advances. Did Cris happen to mention where Ms. Coleman works?

eldragon
01-27-2005, 07:35 PM
No, she just said she is an editor. Here is the just of the email she sent:


"You haven't heard the half of it; you should hear the other agents! She gets better deals for her clients than almost any other agent I know ... she makes back her retainer time and time again ... and boy does that upset other agents. Hers is a reputation in the industry of someone who is very fair, very picky about the clients she takes on AND she makes more two-book deals than anyone I know.

Yes, you'd recognize the publisher I work for.

If she chose you, I doubt you'd find better service from anyone else, and I know her retainer is about half of what other agents expense out."

She also said she had "sat across the bargaining table" from Cris numerous times. If she claims to be an editor for a major publisher. That doesn't seem to fit with the two ladies you described. My bet is that its another lie, another alias. Either way, this Cris Robins has some major issues. There's no way to know what they all are. Perhaps she has the qualifications and skills to be an excellent agent, but maybe she has a bad attitude or, clearly has a hard time telling the truth. Maybe she is a terrible agent, and just wants the money.

Whatever the scenario is, there is no chance I"ll be signing up with her and sending her any money. Thank goodness for the internet! All the information anyone needs ... just for taking the time to find it!

Julie Worth
01-27-2005, 08:21 PM
ďMaybe she is a terrible agent...Ē Youíre being way too kind. Sheís a con artist, and thatís it. That people can get away with such blatant criminal behavior is appalling. Perhaps there are no laws in Arkansas and Missouri to stop her, but youíd think that Jeff Herman would do a minimum of checking before including such people in his guide. And that P&E would give her less than a neutral rating.

More complaints about Chris and her agency: <a href="http://forums.writersweekly.com/viewtopic.php?t=3539" target="_new">Chris Robins</a>

eldragon
01-27-2005, 09:51 PM
I must also add that the supposed Ms Coleman, the editor, is conveniently "out of the office the rest of the week," but will be handy to answer my emails.

Of course, no way for me to call her at any office.

Being someone who truly believes in karma, I can't imagine how con artists like Cris Robins sleep at night.

maestrowork
01-27-2005, 10:10 PM
She sleeps very well, especially if she keeps getting those queries and moneys to come...

AC Crispin
01-27-2005, 10:11 PM
Cris Robins is a fee charging agent with no sales. Writer Beware has verified this. She's a skunk who wants your money and doesn't give a rip about your manuscript.

I suspect she doesn't even bother to submit most of them, in contrast to other scumbags like Leann Murphy of Desert Rose. The editors I've spoken to at publishing houses seldom mention her submissions, they tell us at WB who the most annoying scuzzy agents are.

What more do you need to know?

-Ann C. Crispin

Julie Worth
01-27-2005, 10:19 PM
"What more do you need to know?"

So who are "the most annoying scuzzy agents?" Is there a list somewhere?

CaoPaux
01-27-2005, 11:37 PM
Here some good places to start:

The SWFAís warning page: sfwa.org/Beware/ (http://sfwa.org/Beware/)

Preditors & Editors (agents, publishers, etc., etc.) www.anotherealm.com/prededitors/ (http://www.anotherealm.com/prededitors/)

ďOn the Getting of AgentsĒ by an editor at Tor:
nielsenhayden.com/makingl...04772.html (http://nielsenhayden.com/makinglight/archives/004772.html)

Julie Worth
01-27-2005, 11:56 PM
Well, I was just wondering if thereís info (as Ann just referred to) on publisherís attitudes towards agents. If they love certain agents, then those are the ones to approach. And conversely, you might not want to sign with agent widely seen as an ass. (Unless sheís successful, of course.)

CaoPaux
01-28-2005, 12:57 AM
Here's what Ann has posted occasionally over the years:

"Here is a short list of agencies that Writer Beware has received documented complaints about their business practices. All of them charge clients upfront fees in some form or fashion. Although several of them might have a few sales, none of them have anything approaching a real track record. Most have no verified sales to real advance and royalty paying publishers:

Abacus Group
American Literary Agents of Washington, Inc.
Barbara Bauer Literary Agency
Benedict & Associates
Brock Gannon Literary Agency
Sherwood Broome Literary Agency
Desert Rose Literary Agency
Elite Online
Finesse Literary Agency
GEM Literary Agency
GMA Literary Agency (may be out of business)
Harris Literary Agency (the one in San Diego, CA)
Lee Shore Literary Agency
Karen Lewis Literary Agency (editing referrals)
Robert Madsen
David Mocknick
Scott Meredith Literary Agency (their "Discovery" program)
New Elite Online
The Robins Agency
S.T. Literary Agency
Sedgeband Literary Associates (they have a few small sales)
Southeast Literary Agency
Mark Sullivan Literary Agency
Sunshine Literary Agency


Note: The following agencies have some verified sales, but we've received complaints from authors AND/or publishers about their unprofessional business practices or "shotgun" submission techniques:

Authentic Creations
Cambridge Literary Agency
West Coast Literary Associates

I'm afraid this list is indeed VERY short. Writer Beware has over 350 questionable agencies currently in our database. As always you can address inquiries about any specific agency to the following address:

beware@sfwa.org

-Ann C. Crispin
Writer Beware
www.writerbeware.com"

-----
Edited to remove my awkward contraction.

vstrauss
01-28-2005, 01:24 AM
>>How did you know that?<<

eldragon, I know because other prospective clients have been given the same "reference" letter, and have sent me copies.

I'm sure "Alice Coleman" is equally fictitious.

I know "Maggie Van Slyke" is Cris because she and I had a slugfest a couple of years ago on another writers' message board. She started out by using the alias, and then admitted who she was.

Re: Ann's agency list--we typically get the most questions about the same 30 or so agencies (frequency fluctuates; it's been quite a while, for instance, since I got anything about American Literary Agents of Washington, but at one point that was the one I was hearing about the most)--but our "watch" list has nearly 400 names on it at this point.

- Victoria

eldragon
01-28-2005, 01:43 AM
Well, I sure do appreciate all the help.

I actually do work with one agent, but he hasn't had any luck so far with getting a publisher's attention. He flat out told me he hadn't had any sales yet, at least he was honest about it! Still, my being a new author, I gave him a chance. He has kept me abreast of the situation with reports outlining who he has sent my work to.

It would be nice for a new guy (and a new author) to get a break. Everybody has to start someplace.

eldragon
01-29-2005, 02:37 AM
I got a call from MS Robins today, asking me if I had checked her references. I said yes, and I found out that you use them as your alias. She was kind, and said, "Well, I guess I burned someone's bridge of trust. I won't do that again. You Take Care."

That was how the editors email, Alice Coleman, ended her email to me.

Anyway, I got an email from MS Van Slyke, "saying I spoke with Cris a few minutes ago; and I'm just curious, why did you waste my time when you'd decided before you even contacted me? How rude!"

This Robins lady is clearly a sick woman. Perhaps even dangerous, possibly multiple personality disorder. I'm sorry she has my personal information.

So, please people ... beware beware beware!

(And all I did was send a query!)

Julie Worth
01-29-2005, 02:46 AM
Sheís evidently preparing an insanity defense.

not2hip
01-29-2005, 01:02 PM
Hey, I can join the happy list. Not long ago, I completed my first novel, and have sent out a number of query letters. I received the following from Ms. Robins, which appears to be the her typical missive:

"After passing your project through Acquisitions and Editorial, I must say, I'm impressed. We find that you have a marketable idea. This being said, I would welcome the opportunity of representing your work."

Fortunately, I had read numerous Internet sites about her with information similar to what we are finding here. So my antennae were up. Called her this morning, and after some quite cordial preliminaries, she started talking about how the AAR promotes the idea of agents charging fees for their time and services, and they all do it. She distinguished between "reading fees," which are not OK, and fees for other services, which supposedly are. When I balked at paying fees, she said perhaps they were not the agency for me. I simply said that it appeared the websites were accurate, and hung up.

Yes - all you new authors - avoid this woman like the plague. She is a b-a-a-a-d person.

Mikey T

katdad
01-30-2005, 04:27 AM
rubbing salt in Darkman's wounds
Sorry, Darkman. That wasn't my intent. If you've paid for someone to help you improve your book, I hope that money is well spent, and will result in a sale to a publisher, where you can recoup your initial outlay.

eldragon
01-30-2005, 12:21 PM
She sent me the exact same email .. word for word, concerning my memoirs. Here it is
Good afternoon Pamela,
After passing your project through Acquisitions and Editorial, I must
say, I'm impressed. We find that you have a marketable idea.
This being said, I would welcome the opportunity of representing your work.
Give me a call at: - to discuss the particulars. I will be in
the office all next week. If this is not a good time for you please send us
e-mail as to a better time.
I look forward to working with you to find this project its rightful home. :)
Warmest regards, Ms. Cris Robins
Senior Literary Agent

I spent a few days mulling it over, and called her on Monday. She wasnt' in, but I left a message for her. She called me back on Tuesday, and told me about her services. I knew it was going to be fun when she started our conversation with "What can we do for you?" Yes, she asked for $3200. That would be for a year. She said no other fees (as if it weren't enough). I asked her for references, and she said it would be useless to try to contact anyone, but then gave me an email address. (Please).
Making a long story short, I did 2 days of research online, and even found out that her "references" are her alias names. (I found that out on this board). She called me on the telephone Friday to ask me what I had decided about hiring her for my agent and I told her that I had done research and found out that her references were actually ficticious, written by herself. She said "Well, I guess I burned some bridge of trust, and I won't do that again." We hung up. Anyway , she then sent me another email, pretending she was the editor reference she gave me, and told me I was very rude for making up my mind about Cris so soon. This left me with a sick feeling, that she must be a real nut. I do think she probably has some talents, but I would go out on a limb and say also that I think she is a mentally deranged person. And, the authors she lists on her website, I would guess that they are ficticious, or she didn't agent them.

I checked about 10 of them online, and couldn't find anything published by most of them, but 2 were published authors. So, whats truth and what's lies is hard to surmise. But what I do know is, I'm not going to pay her $3200 to find out how much of it is the truth.

DarkManX24
02-06-2005, 08:44 PM
Oh, the names of the authors on her list are real (or at least mine); it's just a list of people she's scammed. I'm glad you're not one of them :-).

eldragon
02-06-2005, 11:17 PM
So, thats actually a list of people she has bilked out of money?

That takes some nerve.

DarkManX24
02-07-2005, 02:01 AM
she didn't come out and say it, but anyone that's been through the process knows that's just a list of people she's scammed, disguised as a clientel list to sucker more people in. You have a point...that is some nerve on her part.

eldragon
02-07-2005, 05:36 AM
Well, she is. Shout it from the freakin nearest mountain.

Gravity
02-07-2005, 10:08 PM
and I'll say it again. Is there any other business that contains more scam artists per hectare than writing? Sheesh!

DaveKuzminski
02-07-2005, 10:19 PM
Well, yes, there is. It's called politics. ;)

eldragon
02-07-2005, 10:23 PM
Probably. Anything that promises to fulfill people's dreams. Modeling, Acting, probably anything that is a long shot to be good at.

HapiSofi
02-08-2005, 10:54 PM
Dave, Americans are fond of making cheap jokes about politicians, but in fact many people who make careers in government and electoral politics are deeply committed. An elected official who fulfilled his or her campaign promises to the letter would be like an editor who never rejected a manuscript: maybe clueless, maybe a scammer, but unquestionably not doing their job.

If you want an industry that has a higher density of scammers than ours does, check out Hollywood. They're knee-deep in fairy dust and dreams, the general public's understanding of what goes on there is even hazier than their understanding of book publishing, and there's a hell of a lot more money involved.

DaveKuzminski
02-08-2005, 11:51 PM
I agree that many of them should be deeply committed. ;)

I'm very much aware that Hollywood is densely populated with scammers.

dceptiveophelia
05-06-2005, 09:22 PM
When I was young and naive I also fell for the Robins Agency. But as I was still in high school, they didn't get that much money out of me. They edited my manuscript, but it was more like copyediting than the type of editing that cuts off the fat and actually streamlines your manuscript (as I know now it should be). They represented me for about four years, at which time September 11th occured. I received a letter informing me that because of the economic impacts of this disaster, they had to shut their doors. As I have finally become more aware and inquiring about the writing business (and left that naive high school girl behind) I have found this obviously isn't the case. I can't describe my dissapointment at having found this to be a scam, but better late than never. I just can't believe they didn't drop me in a formal and professional manner. They had to lie about it on top of all their other scam tactics. I agree...run, run, run for the hills and find a truly lefit agent to represent your work. Good luck everyone!

HapiSofi
05-06-2005, 10:25 PM
More than one scam agent used 9/11/2001 as an excuse for suspending work. It was pure bosh. The industry didn't shut down. After the anthrax scares, some publishing houses did get twitchy about opening packages sent by strangers -- which, you'll note, is pretty much the definition of slush.

(At the house I know best, the senior editors didn't think it was proper to make the junior staff open potentially lethal packages; but making that decision didn't mean the senior staff had any more time in their day than they'd had before, so the slush languished unopened. Various schemes were proposed. In the end, the junior staff, conscious that they were being squeezed out of their mingy little corners and cubicles by the constantly increasing volume of unopened slush, staged a quiet revolt and held a junior-staff-only slushkill. The slush was duly opened and dealt with in the usual fashion, and turned out to contain nothing more lethal than very, very bad prose.)

The idea that a brief period of disturbed business dealings could take down a literary agency gets less and less believable the more you know about real agents' finances. It takes half of forever for agents to start making any money, and when it does start it starts slowly; but it likewise takes half of forever for the money to stop coming in.

It's not uncommon for scam agents to announce that they've suffered some kind of disaster. Thing is, at the start of a scam agency's relationship with a writer, the obligation's theoretically all on the writer. He or she has to write a good book. Then the agency and the author hook up, and everything's promises. The author's letting them rep his or her swell book (which they swear they love), and the agency's going to do wonderful things with it.

As time goes by, especially time during which the author is paying money to the agency, the obligation gradually shifts over to the agency: shouldn't they have done something by now? Haven't they been sending the book out? Didn't they say they knew what they were doing?

If the agency then suffers some setback or disaster, they're no longer under such immediate obligation.

How that works depends on the way they're running their scam. If (for instance) they've taken money to publish the author's book, the disaster gets them some breathing space, but the author is bound to come back. Sometimes this leads to long strings of disasters, multiple snakebite injuries, all kinds of heartwrenching flimflam. If the money was for representing the author, the agent can claim to be going out of business, dump the old clients, and troll for new ones who won't yet have pointed questions to ask about why nothing's happened with their book.

A list of the supposed woes that have befallen scam agents would be highly amusing.

DaveKuzminski
05-06-2005, 10:37 PM
A list of the supposed woes that have befallen scam agents would be highly amusing.

A very good idea!

To any folks who have dealt with agents or publishers who have offered such excuses, if you will contact me with the particulars, I would like to gather those for possible publication as a look into how some scams dump their authors. Your identity will remain confidential unless you wish to be acknowledged in any manuscript I succeed in seeing through to publication. I can be contacted at prededitors@att.net. It would probably be good to mention Scam Book as the email subject.

JennaGlatzer
05-06-2005, 11:14 PM
Guys, this is good news day. We saved another one! :)

http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=12087

ME Vinicky
05-09-2005, 09:26 PM
Has anyone had any practical experience with the Robbins Literary Agency? I mean real dealings with them...I'm getting conflicting info...some are good and some are bad...

Thanks!

eldragon
05-09-2005, 09:35 PM
There are two agencies by that name.


Chris Robbins is an out and out scam artist. (Cris).


Look on the agents thread .......there's plenty there about her.

victoriastrauss
05-10-2005, 01:03 AM
B.J. Robbins of Los Angeles, California is a successful literary agent. Cris Robins of St. Louis, Missouri is a scammer. Check the index for threads on her.

- Victoria

CaoPaux
05-10-2005, 02:44 AM
Two b's, or not two b's, that is the question....

*ducks and runs*

MartyKay
05-11-2005, 03:22 PM
Two b's, or not two b's, that is the question....

*ducks and runs*

CaoPaux, you've been waiting your whole life for that, haven't you :) :roll:

CaoPaux
05-11-2005, 07:20 PM
CaoPaux, you've been waiting your whole life for that, haven't you Yes, yes I have. :D

kappapi99
05-11-2005, 08:07 PM
I have had a first hand experience that makes me want to run and hide. I sent her a list of questions and had heard nothing for two weeks. Yesterday she sent an e-mail "I haven't heard from you"..."I still want to represent your work" blah, blah, blah....

I am thinking if she really wanted to represent my work, she would have answered the questions I had.

Oh, and one other thing that got me...in one of the threads about her, someone posted the exact e-mail I received!

roach
08-17-2005, 07:51 AM
I received a submission from Cris Robins "Senior Literary Agent" today pitching a, well I don't know what it is as the submission is a PDF file I have not yet opened and the cover letter doesn't give a word count.

How totally inappropriate is this submission? Let me count the ways:

1) Eggplant Literary Productions currently only accepts novellas, does not pay an advance, and does not require an agent.

2) Reading the guidelines would have immediately clued the "agent" into the fact that I only accept attachments as RTF and TXT files.

2a) Speaking of guidelines, none of the other information that I request is in the cover letter: word count, author contact information, etc. Hrm. Let's see what happens when I open the PDF file (don't worry, I have firewall and anti-virus protection so the file has a clean bill of health). Nope, no information, but now looking at the page count and the synopsis it appears that I'm being pitched a short story. *boggles*

3) While EP is doing pretty well in e-books sales, it's not enough money yet to justify a legitimate agent's troubles in submission. (And did I mention that we don't require agented submissions?)

*sigh* This is just plain old stupid silly. I have half a mind to hunt down the author and educate her on what her "agent" is doing for her.

And yesterday I received an invitation to search Yet Another Display Site.

It's been a bad day. I'm grumpy as hell. And I'm starting to wonder if my name has been added to some chump list that circulates in the lower circle of Hades that scammers inhabit.

Anyone thinking of signing with the Cris Robins agency, be warned, your works are being pitched to the completely wrong market.

*grump*

AC Crispin
08-17-2005, 11:49 PM
Cris Robins is a fee-charging scammer who has never made a sale to an advance and royalty paying publisher.

I think that says it all.

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

gransport
08-25-2005, 02:25 AM
I'm new to all this and have been searching for an agent. I made the mistake of contacting The Robbins Agency. Without even seeing my manuscript, Chris Robbins called me and to say she wanted to offer my idea to HBO. I didn't have to write the script or anything. She would take care of everything. I just collect the money. She will not charge any fees of any kind. I just have to keep her on retainer. This was certainly an original and amusing scam.

gransport
08-25-2005, 04:35 AM
During our conversation I mentioned I had been doing research on the internet and was she the same Chris Robins that was in Arkansas. She said yes, by moving to St. Louis she could get to the airport easier for her trips to NY and LA.
I ask her for references and she said that she no longer gave them out, because people would bother her clients and then not sign with her. I ask to see a contract and she said she would send it, but needed an answer in 24 hours. I said, "24 hours after I get it?" She said, "no, 24 hours from now." I said, "NO!" She hung up.

DaveKuzminski
08-25-2005, 04:45 AM
She hung up.

Should have kept her on the line longer since it was presumably her long distance nickel. ;)

gransport
08-25-2005, 04:50 AM
That was her second call to me-the first time she called, I told her it wasn't a good time. She talked forever actually about her luggage, SUV, and other agents that will try to rip me off and how they'll do it.

OneTeam OneDream
08-25-2005, 05:11 AM
I ask her for references and she said that she no longer gave them out, because people would bother her clients and then not sign with her. She hung up.

Here is a list of her clients straight from her site. I'm sure by googling, you could probably get an email address or two. I'm not defending her at all, but if you wanted to find someone who she represents, there are tons of options right there on the site. That is of course, if you never found this thread.

As an international literary agency, and IP Management firm, our clients are a diverse lot, from doctors of various disciplines, to lawyers, to housewives and blue collar workers. Besides needing a literary agent, they all have two things in common: one, they have talent, and two, they are the types of people we would invite for dinner. Some of the works we have available for sale include the following:

Timothy Ayers, Fooled Me Once
Walter Borotto, The 10th Caller
Mike Casserly, The Cookie Factory
Joe Chambers, Fractures
Lyn Christian, Peek-a-boo
Mark Cooper, For Innocent Blood
Carol Coronel, We Were Nobles
Thomas Cresap, Initiation: Teenage Android Detective
Christopher Dahl, A Forced Perspective
Robert Edwards, The Tides of Time
James Fraley, Dr. Taymora
Doug Hanks, The Badlands
Russell Henkel, Think Like a Wolf
Dr. Connie Hiers, Four Woodies and the Dragon's Eye
Robyn Hogan, Full Circle
Katherine Jones, 30 Degrees North
Katherine Jones, The Other Woman
Brien Kroeger, Time Flashes
Paul Ladipo, Forest of Fear
Herbert Lango, Crisis at Na'Diroc
Ed Lashley, Reborn
Joseph LePage, Workplace Wellness Handbook
Michael Mason, Da'Sheal
Richard Mikolitch, The Cannibal Cookbook
Richard Miller, Playing in the Traffic
Adron Ming, Twisted Legacy
Thomas Money, One Shot Of Murder
Curtis Myrick, Malek's Quest
Bisi Ojediran, Survival of the Beautiful
Walter Pavlo, Pavlo
Carol Phipps, The Collector Witch
Corey Potier, Birth of a Hunter
John Prieve, Bad Medicine
Dan Raciak, Thieves of Lives
Riley/Gill Team, The Adventures of Jessie and CD-ROM
Dawn Ross, The Third Dragon
Mark Russakoff, The Adventures at Zoo La Tibia Academy
Jacqueline Spotts, Maven's Journey
Edward Sutter, Magic Shop
Edward Sutter, Patient 13
Sharon Wichlidal, Death Lives On
None of these have sold, but I'm sure these people would say what kind of agent she was.

roach
08-25-2005, 06:29 AM
I wrote Ms. Robins back to let her know that her submission was wholly inappropriate for Eggplant Literary Productions.

Her response boiled down to "I did so read the guidelines" and she told me that I shouldn't alienate agents, that it wasn't good for business.

I believe the emoticon I'm looking for is:

:Jaw:

Aconite
08-25-2005, 05:16 PM
Her response boiled down to "was too" and she told me that I shouldn't alienate agents, that it wasn't good for business.
*roll eyes* By now, it shouldn't amaze me how bad most of these people are at what they're trying to do, and yet it does.

chrisldahl
01-14-2006, 04:24 AM
If you have any information regarding the fraudulent business practice of Cris Baker Robins and/or the Robins Agency please contact me.

Christopher Dahl, Esq.

cdahl@wkg.com
206-233-2997

HapiSofi
01-14-2006, 05:54 AM
If you have any information regarding the fraudulent business practice of Cris Baker Robins and/or the Robins Agency please contact me.

Christopher Dahl, Esq.

cdahl@wkg.com
206-233-2997Could you give us a little more information?

CaoPaux
01-14-2006, 07:22 AM
FWIW: http://www.wkg.com/attorneys.cfm?id=221

LindsayP
01-15-2006, 12:23 AM
I sent a query to The Robins Agency regarding my novel which is about getting scammed! When Cris called me to offer me representation at $3250 I said to her, "I guess you didn't actually read the material, because the main character in my book gets scammed and then goes after the people who scammed her. So why would you think that I would get scammed by you?"

She claimed that it was standard to charge money. She said either you pay or later. I told her I'd rather pay later. Then she had the nerve to say that's not how it works. I said that is the way it works and have a nice day.

Just wanted to share.
Lindsay

James M M Baldwin
02-03-2006, 12:14 AM
I also recieved a very optimistic sounding e-mail from Syd Michaels, Submissions Manager at The Robbin Agency, but after checking out the availability of her clients on Amazon.com, I decided against following up.
Some of the clients she represents, do have books available, but are not the titles she represents or are available on a six week lead time from a print on demand publisher.
********************************
The Robins Agency
1001 Craig Road Suite # 260
St. Louis, MO 63146
Tel: [314]-569-9838
Fax: [314] 569-9424
e-mail: robins-agency@sbcglobal.net
Web: www.robins-agency.com (http://www.robins-agency.com/)

stormie
02-03-2006, 12:27 AM
She claimed that it was standard to charge money.

Aggghhhhh!!!! Glad you hung up.

priceless1
02-09-2006, 09:56 PM
I wrote Ms. Robins back to let her know that her submission was wholly inappropriate for Eggplant Literary Productions.

Her response boiled down to "I did so read the guidelines" and she told me that I shouldn't alienate agents, that it wasn't good for business.
It would seem that Ms. Robins is research-challenged. I just recieved an email from her this morning and was dismayed at the lack of a professional query.

I quote from her email:
"Currently, we are accepting preliminary offers for consideration; feel free
to fax your offer to [314] 569-9424. We will review all offers and respond
within 48 hours.

Look, it's pretty simple. We have a book and you have a need. Here is one
example of the works we carry (if you don't like the net, then we can send
it snail mail). Write us, call us, or send us smoke signals. We just want
to fill your needs."

Huh? She's entertaining a bidding war? Look, I'm all for a sense of humor, but when one is representing an author, I think it prudent to put one's best foot forward and present a professional demeanor. Nowhere in her email did she include a word count, genre, author bio - basically everything we request on our submission guidelines was missing. She obviously went down a list of publishers and did a group email rather than tailoring her query to the publisher. Had she taken the time, she would have seen that we don't even accept that particular genre. Needless to say, I requested that she remove our name from her distribution list.

When I first read her email, I smelled a rat and got online to do some research. What popped up? The good old AW board with this thread. I've already emailed my thanks to Ann Crispin for starting this thread. What a blessed place this is.

DaveKuzminski
02-09-2006, 10:01 PM
Methinks the money flow is getting so thin that she has to submit manuscripts to make, gasp, sales! Too bad she's clueless and inept. ;)

priceless1
02-09-2006, 11:28 PM
And their predictable reply just came in...

Wow, and here we thought you'd have the good sense not to believe everything that is written on the net was true.

Guess we were wrong on two points.

Syd

My reply:
Virtually all the subsequent research I've done on this company has proven nothing to dissuade me from my previous opinions. Would you like me to include the rest of the links I've found? If it walks like a duck and talks like a duck...

In going through my old files, Chris Robins is the same woman who queried me ages ago claiming to be a Pulitzer prize nominee. Again, my research and contact with a member of the Pulitzer board proved this woman to be delusional. I fear the company is of the same ilk. I pity the clients.

You needn't contact us again.

Aconite
02-09-2006, 11:41 PM
Wow, and here we thought you'd have the good sense not to believe everything that is written on the net was true.

Guess we were wrong on two points.
Two points? How would that be two points?

DaveKuzminski
02-09-2006, 11:53 PM
Hey, one out of two ain't bad. Unfortunately, that's the best they've been yet. ;)

victoriastrauss
02-10-2006, 12:44 AM
Huh? She's entertaining a bidding war? What amazes me is that she's making anything resembling a submission.

BTW, I think Dave is right about the money flow. I heard recently from two clients who'd turned her down because of the huge "retainer" ($3,200) and subsequently got an offer to let them pay on an installment plan.

- Victoria

priceless1
02-10-2006, 02:30 AM
What amazes me is that she's making anything resembling a submission.

BTW, I think Dave is right about the money flow. I heard recently from two clients who'd turned her down because of the huge "retainer" ($3,200) and subsequently got an offer to let them pay on an installment plan.

- Victoria
That's the thing, Victoria, I called it a submission only because I understood that to be her intent. But in the world of queries and submissions, hers was way below par.

I have to admit to being extremely sensitive to scam artists because we've all seen the damage these people do. Not only do they steal money from the unsuspecting, but they cause writers to second guess their talents. It's heartbreaking to see, and I tend to go after these types like a rabid gopher. That's why I adore this site and Dave's P&E so much. People are offering their expertise in order to educate and prevent the continued success of those with less than benevolent intentions.

eldragon
02-10-2006, 02:38 AM
I can't believe this "lady" is still peddling her wares.

I dealt with her last spring. SAME thing .....same $3200 fee crap. She called me with a question , "What can I do for you?"


Then she bombards you with telephone calls very similar to telemarker's ..........and when you tell her no thanks, she gives you that old spiel about "do you believe everything on the net?"


Wait until she sends you fake emails .......for references. The letters are written by an alter ego named Victoria .....if my memory is correct. All the letters are written by her.


She's a sicko ..........a real mental case who should be locked up.

priceless1
02-10-2006, 03:46 AM
I can't believe this "lady" is still peddling her wares.
The letters are written by an alter ego named Victoria .....if my memory is correct. All the letters are written by her.
Hmm. Today she was Syd. Guess we can chalk up a new personality.

eldragon
02-10-2006, 03:54 AM
Well, when you turn Cris down, Syd will send you a nasty email thanking you for wasting her time.

DaveKuzminski
02-10-2006, 03:56 AM
Hmmm, maybe we should set up a tally for Cris, too. ;)

James D. Macdonald
02-10-2006, 09:36 AM
I heard recently from two clients who'd turned her down because of the huge "retainer" ($3,200) and subsequently got an offer to let them pay on an installment plan.

It's Dorothy Deering all over again.

michael Gray
02-17-2006, 08:53 PM
I'm trying to get more information on why agent Cris Robin is considered a scam artist. I just got off the phone with her. She wants to represent me -- she was one of a group of agents I solicited -- but now I am aware of many complaints against her, beginning with her practice of charging a $3,250 retainer.

I have a bad feeling about her agency.

Michael Gray

Sassenach
02-17-2006, 08:58 PM
I'd say the information about the $3,250 is all you need to know.

Sarita
02-17-2006, 09:00 PM
Hi Michael. :welcome:

Here's a whole thread about the Robins Agency. Is this the same company?

http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=878&page=1&pp=25

Lauri B
02-17-2006, 09:00 PM
No legitimate agent charges a retainer. They get paid when you get paid. Do not pay anyone to represent you, or publish you. It's bad business.

CaoPaux
03-14-2006, 01:26 AM
FYI: This agency has been named one of Writer Beware's 20 Worst Agents/Agencies (http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?p=525972#post525972).

DED
03-20-2006, 08:20 AM
I sent a query letter and 3 chapters to Cris Robins via the form on the "agency's" website. Yes, I'm a newbie hunting for an agent.I should've taken a clue from the "clients" page as they were all books that were being shopped around and not actually sold. <sigh> Well, now I know what to say if she calls.

And in the meantime, I've got to scour this list for the other agents I was thinking about submitting to.

\_/
DED

CaoPaux
03-21-2006, 12:01 AM
Better a close shave than to be scalped. :D

If you haven't already, check out the rest of your agent list with P&E http://www.anotherealm.com/prededitors/ before querying.

cris_robins
03-23-2006, 06:58 AM
Cris Robins here.

For years Iíve sat back, quietly, and listened to Ann Crispin and Victoria Straus and even the Preditors & Editors page say how theyíve had all these complaints about us; how we are not recommended; how we do this wrong and that wrong.

So, Iím wondering why is it then, when presented with a sterling opportunity to bring all these so-called complaints to light, when the rubber hits the road and the chance to really put a sword in our hearts and potentially prove all their claims, do they back down? When they are in a position of having nothing to lose and EVERYTHING to gain, do they do nothing? When their claims finally have a chance of being brought into the light of justice, do they stand back and let them die?

In their own words, go here to see just how well their allegations hold water or donít as the case is. www.robins-agency.com/ann.htm (http://www.robins-agency.com/ann.htm).

mdin
03-23-2006, 07:03 AM
This should be entertaining.

James D. Macdonald
03-23-2006, 07:06 AM
Hi, Cris!

Do you have a list (title, author, publisher) of books you've sold over the last three or four years?

rtilryarms
03-23-2006, 08:19 AM
Hi, Cris!

Do you have a list (title, author, publisher) of books you've sold over the last three or four years?

Please allow me to link you to the multitude of wares. Give me a moment to accumulate a list.

BRB

aka eraser
03-23-2006, 09:52 AM
That "refutation" of Victoria's, Ann's and Dave's charges is as breathtaking in its chutzpah as it is lacking in substance.

:Thumbs:

poetinahat
03-23-2006, 10:19 AM
...
So, Iím wondering why is it then, when presented with a sterling opportunity to bring all these so-called complaints to light, when the rubber hits the road and the chance to really put a sword in our hearts and potentially prove all their claims, do they back down? When they are in a position of having nothing to lose and EVERYTHING to gain, do they do nothing? When their claims finally have a chance of being brought into the light of justice, do they stand back and let them die?

In their own words, go here to see just how well their allegations hold water or donít as the case is. www.robins-agency.com/ann.htm (http://www.robins-agency.com/ann.htm).


I've got no idea about these kind folks' track record or results. I'm just here beachcombing for cliches and metaphors:

Whoa! Mother lode!

Peggy
03-23-2006, 10:24 AM
However, the validity of our agency rests in that we have never had a claimed filed against us that we've lost in any court, jurisdiction, or government agency. THAT has to say something about the way we do business. So, they've never been convicted - what more could you ask for in an agent?

poetinahat
03-23-2006, 10:24 AM
From the website cited above (http://www.robins-agency.com/ann.htm):


However, the validity of our agency rests in that we have never had a claimed [sic] filed against us that we've lost in any court, jurisdiction, or government agency. THAT has to say something about the way we do business.

Reminds me of the old Mafia joke: "Fourteen arrests, NO convictions!"

Peggy
03-23-2006, 10:26 AM
Jinx.

poetinahat
03-23-2006, 10:28 AM
Jinx.
Uncanny. Check your RP's -- jinx again.

DeadlyAccurate
03-23-2006, 10:32 AM
Good thing Ms. Robins came in here to post. I wouldn't have thought to look up the thread about her otherwise.
http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=878&page=1&pp=25

DeadlyAccurate
03-23-2006, 11:20 AM
August client list






Timothy Ayers, Fooled Me Once
Walter Borotto, The 10th Caller
Mike Casserly, The Cookie Factory
Joe Chambers, Fractures
Lyn Christian, Peek-a-boo
Mark Cooper, For Innocent Blood
Carol Coronel, We Were Nobles
Thomas Cresap, Initiation: Teenage Android Detective
Christopher Dahl, A Forced Perspective
Robert Edwards, The Tides of Time
James Fraley, Dr. Taymora
Doug Hanks, The Badlands
Russell Henkel, Think Like a Wolf
Dr. Connie Hiers, Four Woodies and the Dragon's Eye
Robyn Hogan, Full Circle
Katherine Jones, 30 Degrees North
Katherine Jones, The Other Woman
Brien Kroeger, Time Flashes
Paul Ladipo, Forest of Fear
Herbert Lango, Crisis at Na'Diroc
Ed Lashley, Reborn
Joseph LePage, Workplace Wellness Handbook
Michael Mason, Da'Sheal
Richard Mikolitch, The Cannibal Cookbook
Richard Miller, Playing in the Traffic
Adron Ming, Twisted Legacy
Thomas Money, One Shot Of Murder
Curtis Myrick, Malek's Quest
Bisi Ojediran, Survival of the Beautiful
Walter Pavlo, Pavlo
Carol Phipps, The Collector Witch
Corey Potier, Birth of a Hunter
John Prieve, Bad Medicine
Dan Raciak, Thieves of Lives
Riley/Gill Team, The Adventures of Jessie and CD-ROM
Dawn Ross, The Third Dragon
Mark Russakoff, The Adventures at Zoo La Tibia Academy
Jacqueline Spotts, Maven's Journey
Edward Sutter, Magic Shop
Edward Sutter, Patient 13
Sharon Wichlidal, Death Lives On
None of these have sold, but I'm sure these people would say what kind of agent she was.

Here is her most recent client list (03/2006) taken directly from http://www.robins-agency.com/clients.htm:


Michael Bronte, The 10th Caller
Michael Bronte, Presidential Risk
Mike Casserly, The Cookie Factory
Mark Cooper, For Innocent Blood
Robert Edwards, The Tides of Time

Robert Edwards, Purple Meadows

Robert Edwards, Candles in the Window
James Fraley, Dr. Taymora
Cliff Franklin, Digging for the Green
Paul Ferguson, Seven Scattered Threads
Louise Fritz, Four Woodies and the Dragon's Eye

Louise Fritz, Four Woodies and a Trip Back in Time
Louise Fritz, Four Woodies and the Lancashire Wand
Louise Fritz, Living with Big Dogs
Doug Hanks, The Badlands
Homer Kiefer, The Ninth River
Herbert Lango, Crisis at Na'Diroc
Ed Lashley, Reborn

Ed Lashley, The Century Triad
Joseph Lutes, American Dreams
Joseph Lutes, Piercing the Heart of the Hydra
Adron Ming, Twisted Legacy
Julie Newmar, The Very Last How-to Book
Bisi Ojediran, Survival of the Beautiful
Carol Phipps, The Collector Witch
Tracey Plumley, Sagar Genera
Dan Raciak, Thieves of Lives
Riley/Gill Team, The Adventures of Jessie and CD-ROM
Dawn Ross, The Third Dragon

Mark Russakoff, The Adventures at Zoo La Tibia Academy
Rose SanFilippo, Apple Orchard Dreams
Mary Lou Scholl, Heart of the Swamp
Mary Lou Scholl, Hazardous Duty
L.A. Scott, Renaissance
Jacqueline Spotts, Maven's Journey
Edward Sutter, Magic Shop

Edward Sutter, Patient 13
Fran Thomas, Summer in North Willow
John West, The Secret of the Pond
Blue listings are those that were also listed back in August. Bolded listings are those where the book's title is identical but the author's name is not.

On her news page, she lists only a single domestic sale: her own book.
http://www.robins-agency.com/news.htm

The other two sales are for Russian rights for two authors (Louise Fritz and Hawk/Homer? Kiefer) to Pavel Baskakov at Alpharet Publishing.

ETA: Research shows that Walter Borotto and Michael Bronte are one and the same. Bronte's book, The Dealership, was published in 2002 by Mandrill Publishing. I can't find anything on this publisher, however.

Dr. Connie Hiers shows up in Google as a plastic surgeon in Arkansas.

mdin
03-23-2006, 12:07 PM
Using Archive.org, you can look even further back. This is from July of '04:


Wanda Akorede, The Other Wife
Timothy Ayers, Fooled Me Once
Lee Boyland, Rings of Allah
Patrice Bucciarelli, Comfort Foods: What Italians Really Eat
April Burchfield, Double Death
Mike Casserly, The Cookie Factory
Pat Chowning, Still No Answer
Debbie Cohen, Reach Your Stars
Mark Cooper, For Innocent Blood
Carol Coronel, We Were Nobles
David Couchman, The Third Entity
Richard Coxson, Wolf Stalk
Thomas Cresap, Initiation: Teenage Android Detective
Christopher Dahl, A Forced Perspective
Chief Douglas Foster, Crossed Up
George Fouke, Who killed James the Just?
George Fouke, Thomas Wolfís The Western Journey
Dr. James Fraley, Dr. Taymora
Cliff Franklin, Digging for the Green
Ray Gee, The Legend of 9-Gun
J. Houston Gordon, The Plains of Abraham
Jeanette Harmon, For the Life of Charlie
Shauna Hill, Murder And Mayhem in..
Heather Knowles, The Prophets
Paul Ladipo, Forest of Fear
Herbert Lango, Crisis at Na'Diroc
Michael Mason, Da'Sheal
Richard Mikolitch, The Cannibal Cookbook
Vanessa Milota, The Abduction of Duncan Bly
Thomas Money, One Shot Of Murder
Curtis Myrick, Malek's Quest
Valerie Nye, Queen's Ransom
Walter Pavlo, Pavlo
Corey Potier, Birth of a Hunter
David Powers, A Present for P.O.T.U.S.
Dan Raciak, Thieves of Lives
Susan Raines, Out of Winds of Storm
Riley/Gill Team, The Adventures of Jessie and CD-ROM
Stephanie Rode, The Devil's Psalm
Karen Rodgers, The Banner County News
Dawn Ross, The Third Dragon
Teresa Rosseter, Carmella Cat
Mark Russakoff, The Adventures at Zoo La Tibia Academy
Alexander Sands, Lupus
Rona Sharon, Tears of Agadir
Edward Sutter, Family Business
Edward Sutter, Magic Shop
Edward Sutter, Patient 13
Fran Thomas, Summer in North Willow
Sam Van Houten, The Marquise Ruby
Karl Vanghen, Carin's Point
Sharon Wichlidal, Death Lives On

mdin
03-23-2006, 12:10 PM
Good thing Ms. Robins came in here to post. I wouldn't have thought to look up the thread about her otherwise.
http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=878&page=1&pp=25

Thanks for topping that. I still can't get over the Maggie Van Slyke thing. Haha.

James D. Macdonald
03-23-2006, 06:15 PM
ETA: Research shows that Walter Borotto and Michael Bronte are one and the same. Bronte's book, The Dealership, was published in 2002 by Mandrill Publishing. I can't find anything on this publisher, however.



Mandrill Publishing is Trident Media of Washington D.C., Washington House, New World Media, Inc., Capitol Literary Agency, American Courier, Inc., American Literary Agents of Washington, and possibly other names. They're all owned and operated by a guy named Sam Asinugo.

The absolutely most charitable thing I can say about Mandrill is that it's a pay-to-play vanity press.

James D. Macdonald
03-23-2006, 06:30 PM
Cris Robins herself in person showed up in the Twenty Worst Agents (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=28961) thread to point out that she hasn't been convicted of anything yet, so there!

In other news, Cris is claiming that she sold a book!


Agency News

Domestic Sales

As publicly reported in Publisher's Weekly (Feb. 1, 2006)

Non-fiction/Lifestyle: Cris Robins's THE KID TURNED OUT FINE: Turning the Tables, about what we do when we're the ones who become the cause of our kids' fear, to Paula Ford-Martin at Adams Media, in a nice deal, by Cris Robins at The Robins Agency (world). robins-agency@sbcglobal.net

Given what we know about Cris, that's a sort of creepy subject. What we know about Adams Media (http://www.adamsmedia.com/) is that they're a small press located in Avon, MA, that says on their submission page (http://adams.fwpublications.com/Default.aspx?tabid=496), "We accept submissions directly from authors (including first time authors) and also from literary agents."

So, after close to a decade of trying to be an agent, Cris has finally sold ... her own book. To a place that doesn't require an agent.

(A "nice deal" is from $1.00 to $49,000. I'm just guessing, but I'm guessing that the actual number is more to the left on that scale.)

James D. Macdonald
03-23-2006, 06:46 PM
From Cris's "Ann" page (http://www.robins-agency.com/ann.htm):



Ann Crispin was approached by someone filing a complaint against our agency with the Missouri Attorney General's office. She was asked for any and all complaints against us to put with this complaint. Her response (http://www.robins-agency.com/gallery/ann.pdf): "If you'd like to talk with us about the info and documentation regarding her in our database, please call me."

So tell me, Cris: Did you ever call Ann like she offered?

(I'll bet you a nickle that the "someone" who claimed to have filed a complaint was Cris under a pseudonym, on a fishing expedition to see what people had on her. How else would Cris have copies of the actual letters?)

DaveKuzminski
03-23-2006, 07:34 PM
Well, Cris, I'll give you credit as an agent when you sell someone else's book and not yours. So far, that sale only makes you a published author.

victoriastrauss
03-24-2006, 12:02 AM
Here's my response to the Cris screed (http://accrispin.blogspot.com/2006/03/victoria-strauss-go-ahead-make-my-day.html) on the Writer Beware blog.

- Victoria

Julie Worth
03-24-2006, 12:21 AM
Hi, Cris!

Do you have a list (title, author, publisher) of books you've sold over the last three or four years?

A while back I asked Chris about her sales, and she replied: "...as to our sales; well, the truth is I used to tell the world what our sales were in detail. And every single time I did, someone would call the publisher and yell at them because they bought someone elses' book and not theirs. So, I quit doing it. Why would I cause a publisher grief when I didn't have to?"

CaoPaux
03-24-2006, 12:22 AM
Beautiful, as always, Victoria. :D

The mention of a "publisher irritated about inappropriate submissions" caught my eye. How often do pubs report such to Writer Beware? I remember you've asked pubs in the past to list their irritants, but it's nice to know they take the initiative, too.

James D. Macdonald
03-24-2006, 01:56 AM
" ...the truth is I used to tell the world what our sales were in detail."

I first heard of Cris Robins in 1999/2000 or so ... and I don't recall she ever listed sales, in detail or otherwise. I recall her breathless account of her first trip to New York. It didn't include any talk of sales.

If she ever listed sales, I'd expect that someone, somewhere, would have seen and recalled it. So far, nothing.

FreeSpirit
03-24-2006, 04:40 PM
I'm wondering if Cris doesn't pop on these thread from time to time to intentionally troll for unsuspecting clients. It brings her thread to the foreground and natural curiosity would direct someone to her site.

Aconite
03-24-2006, 04:44 PM
A while back I asked Chris about her sales, and she replied: "...as to our sales; well, the truth is I used to tell the world what our sales were in detail. And every single time I did, someone would call the publisher and yell at them because they bought someone elses' book and not theirs. So, I quit doing it. Why would I cause a publisher grief when I didn't have to?"Oh, Lord. Not at you, Julie, but at this lame excuse of Cris'. Sales are public. Nobody hesitates to report sales on, say, Publishers Weekly out of fear of such behavior. It's a BS excuse that pseudoagents use to avoid having to admit they have no sales.

eldragon
03-24-2006, 05:34 PM
I've had personal dealings with Cris Robins, or whatever alias she is using this year, and have posted about her before.

I believe her skills lie in staying out of jail.

The first thing Cris says, when you get her on the phone is, "What can I do for you?"

Before the ten minutes is up, she is asking for $3200.

Then, if you ask for references, she shrugs it off as an insult, but eventually gives you two names, with email addresses to contact. If you do contact her references, you'll receive an immediate reply, worded something like "what can I do for you?"

So, you ask these "people" questions about sales and working with Cris, and they arrogantly stammer about what a wonderful negotiator Cris is, how they have never seen an agent land movie deals, and several book deals for their clients, like Cris Robins does. They go on and on, praising Cris and thanking God that they met this fantastic woman and businessperson.

Within a day or so, Cris calls you on the phone again to ask you what your decision was.

She is disapointed to find that you have been searching for information on her references, too, and that it's common knowledge on writers forums on the net, that Cris uses the same alias', over and over again.

So, if you're lucky, she'll cuss at you and hang up. Then, expect to receive a few filthy emails from her "references," thanking you for wasting their time.


Does this sound to you like a healthy person you would like to send money to?

cris_robins
03-25-2006, 12:11 AM
Had I known the response to my post would have generated the interest in our agency that it has, I would have done this years ago!

Our phones are ringing off the hook, our e-mail inbox is being flooded with submissions, and the hits to our site are going through the roof. Some of those who you turned away months ago are even coming back! And we welcome all of them for consideration.

The responses are all positive! Some of the responses we are getting include:

n Donít they know to infringe on copyright laws you have to say itís yours?

n Donít they know you get a copy of every thing submitted in a complaint, any complaint?

n You ONLY charge $3,250? My last agent charged me much, much more!

n If they are going to pick apart your own sale, what would they do to a client of yours? Donít tell them!

n If you donít lose in a complaint, you win; or donít they get that?

n Canít they read where you list the clientsí work that is FOR SALE, not sold?

n These guys are the experts in the industry and they can neither read nor understand?

n Donít they have anything better to do with their time?

Those are just from the writers Ė the doctors, lawyers, judges, professionals and executives who have been looking for a professional agent who knows how to give them the respect and customer service they canít find with other agents.

The publishers who have contacted us are even more impressed with our attitude as theyíve been looking to work with another agent who doesnít come with excuses but delivers on their promises. (Our requests for submissions are higher than ever!)


I really cannot thank all of you enough. I couldnít buy this kind of publicity. People arenít stupid; they know there is no such thing as a free lunch; and now, youíve given them the outlet theyíve been looking to find.


Please, keep up the good work!

With grace,

Cris Robins

www.robins-agency.com (http://www.robins-agency.com/)

robins-agency@sbcglobal.net (robins-agency@sbcglobal.net)

[314] 569-9838

(Just in case anyone didnít have it. J ]

Julie Worth
03-25-2006, 12:24 AM
Astonishing! The sheer chutzpah! I see her flailing away with a baseball bat, surrounded by angry writers. Bonk! One goes down. ďThree thousand is cheap!Ē Bonk! ďYou write, but you canít read!Ē Bonk! ďIíve never lost in court. I won!Ē Bonk! The writers, natural cowards, break ranks and run away. Chris chases them for a bit, swinging the bat. ďTheyíll be back! Theyíll be back with their checkbooks open, mark my words.Ē

DaveKuzminski
03-25-2006, 12:27 AM
So, Cris, if you're so open and honest, how many sales have you made to date? Surely you have records to know the count since you and your authors would be receiving royalties to share. So, how about it? How many books have you sold to date?

Aconite
03-25-2006, 12:31 AM
I really cannot thank all of you enough. I couldnít buy this kind of publicity. People arenít stupid; they know there is no such thing as a free lunch; and now, youíve given them the outlet theyíve been looking to find.Amusingly enough, PublishAmerica tried to use this same tactic when outed in a scathing article in a major national newspaper. Apparently, a certain personality type thinks we'll actualy believe that our work to warn people off is having the opposite effect, and that we'll be so devastated at the thought of driving people into the arms of bad companies that we'll stop warning people about them.

Hey, pigs could fly, too.

mdin
03-25-2006, 12:33 AM
http://www.welovetheiraqiinformationminister.com/images/07-minister.jpg

Sassenach
03-25-2006, 12:34 AM
n You ONLY charge $3,250? My last agent charged me much, much more!




They're making progress! You're only half the shyster their last agent was.

At this rate, you'll have the clueless writer market sewed up.

DeadlyAccurate
03-25-2006, 12:45 AM
The publishers who have contacted us are even more impressed with our attitude as theyíve been looking to work with another agent who doesnít come with excuses but delivers on their promises. (Our requests for submissions are higher than ever!)

Messageboard posts to the contrary, I realize you aren't a fiction writer per se, so here's a little advice: to make your fiction believable, you have to exaggerate just a little bit. Too much and you've lost the reader's suspension of disbelief. Suspension of disbelief is vital to making stories that are made up whole cloth believable.


Donít they have anything better to do with their time?

Assuming someone really did say that, there's a certain subset of the population that will defend an underdog, no matter what he or she has done. Those people write to convicted serial killers in prison, too, sympathizing with those poor, misunderstood souls.

Gravity
03-25-2006, 12:54 AM
Aconite, that was exactly my thought as well. Chris's ravings sound a lot like PA's bluster when it got its corporate face smacked publicly a year or so back: "Why of course that publicity was wonderful! Our email basket is simply overflowing with eager authors wanting to send us their wares!"

When the inimitable Stooges finally get theirs...Lord haste the day...I believe ol' Chrissy could fill their shoes quite nicely, thank you.

John (who's proudly PA--and Chrissy--free)

Gravity
03-25-2006, 12:59 AM
Oh yeah, and Chris? My agent never charged a shekel, pfennig, or a thin dime..and in spite of that managed to hook a nice three-book deal with a good mid-sized house for me. Then she took her 15% commission...as reputable agents do.

So nyahh.

victoriastrauss
03-25-2006, 01:20 AM
Looks like we hit a nerve...she posted the same thing (http://accrispin.blogspot.com/2006/03/victoria-strauss-go-ahead-make-my-day.html) on Writer Beware's blog...tee hee!

- Victoria

roach
03-25-2006, 01:24 AM
Since it's back a few pages, I thought I'd post links to my experiences with Cris Robbins.

Here's (http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showpost.php?p=297872&postcount=100) where she sent me a completely inappropriate submission. And here's (http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showpost.php?p=304929&postcount=107) her nonsensical response when I pointed out her mistake.

Peggy
03-25-2006, 01:41 AM
I'm not sure what Cris is trying to prove here - that she is the perfect representative for people who are clueless about publishing? If I were running a shady operation, I wouldn't be too keen to have lawyers and doctors as my clients, since they tend to have the professional contacts and monetary means to sue when they get pissed off.
Donít they know to infringe on copyright laws you have to say itís yours?It's a common misconception that a work has to be registered with the copyright office or have the © symbol to be copyrighted. In the U.S. a work is copyrighted as soon as created in "fixed form" (http://www.copyright.gov/circs/circ1.html). That means as soon as something is written - on paper or in electronic form, the author holds the copyright*. (i.e., of course Victoria was right)

* with a few exceptions, of course

NancyMehl
03-25-2006, 02:08 AM
Had I known the response to my post would have generated the interest in our agency that it has, I would have done this years ago!

Our phones are ringing off the hook, our e-mail inbox is being flooded with submissions, and the hits to our site are going through the roof. Some of those who you turned away months ago are even coming back! And we welcome all of them for consideration.

The responses are all positive! Some of the responses we are getting include:

n You ONLY charge $3,250? My last agent charged me much, much more!



What the heck are you smoking, lady?? My agent doesn't charge me anything. She makes money for ME!!

Maybe all your happy clients should contact me. I could steer them to someone who actually has sales...

Sheesh. Unbelievable!

Nancy

Atomic Bear
03-25-2006, 02:09 AM
Had I known the response to my post would have generated the interest in our agency that it has, I would have done this years ago!

Our phones are ringing off the hook, our e-mail inbox is being flooded with submissions, and the hits to our site are going through the roof. Some of those who you turned away months ago are even coming back! And we welcome all of them for consideration.
...
With grace,

Cris Robins

This seems a little hard to believe.

eldragon
03-25-2006, 02:10 AM
Our phones are ringing off the hook, our e-mail inbox is being flooded with submissions, and the hits to our site are going through the roof. Some of those who you turned away months ago are even coming back! And we welcome all of them for consideration.


Oh, sure.

Cris, if the phone is ringing, it's a collection agency again.

As I said in a previous post, you are certifiably insane.

The good news is, you have so many alter-egos, you'll have someone to talk to in jail.

victoriastrauss
03-25-2006, 02:15 AM
I think that Cris is confusing copyright infringement with plagiarism. Or rather, she seems to be saying that only plagiarism or theft counts as copyright violation. But publishing someone else's work without their permission is also copyright violation, whether you claim it as yours or leave their name on it.

Yet another example of the expertise available to writers at the Robins Literary Agency.

- Victoria

Peggy
03-25-2006, 02:36 AM
. . . the hits to our site are going through the roof. Now this, I believe. I know I clicked links to both the Robins Agency FAQ and the anti-Writer Beware screed. That doesn't mean I'm interested in hiring her services.

DaveKuzminski
03-25-2006, 03:33 AM
Originally Posted by cris_robins
. . . the hits to our site are going through the roof.
Just means people want to see what a train wreck looks like.

Kasey Mackenzie
03-25-2006, 07:16 AM
I know that's why _I_ clicked. Plus I'm rather chagrined such a delusional scammer lives (and scams) so near me.

James D. Macdonald
03-25-2006, 08:13 AM
Woo!

http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/images/smilies/smilepopcorn.gif

I trust everyone who's read this far can see through Cris's rot.

Line-by-line tomorrow.

triceretops
03-25-2006, 08:43 AM
There are times when reverse psychology works. This is not one of them.

Tri

aruna
03-25-2006, 12:02 PM
Amusingly enough, PublishAmerica tried to use this same tactic when outed in a scathing article in a major national newspaper. Apparently, a certain personality type thinks we'll actualy believe that our work to warn people off is having the opposite effect, and that we'll be so devastated at the thought of driving people into the arms of bad companies that we'll stop warning people about them.

Hey, pigs could fly, too.

I think it's damage control. She knows that googlers of her name will find this thread and so she writes that in a vain attempt to undo the damage done.

mdin
03-25-2006, 12:06 PM
If you google Robins Agency, her website comes up first, but PE is second, this thread is third, and fourth is Making Light: Want to see a scam in progress? (http://nielsenhayden.com/makinglight/archives/000349.html)

If you google Cris Robins, this thread actually appears above the Robins Agency's website. That's gotta burn.

aruna
03-25-2006, 02:52 PM
If you google Robins Agency, her website comes up first, but PE is second, this thread is third, and fourth is Making Light: Want to see a scam in progress? (http://nielsenhayden.com/makinglight/archives/000349.html)

If you google Cris Robins, this thread actually appears above the Robins Agency's website. That's gotta burn.

Googling from the UK her site is not on the first page at all; P &E and this thread are in places 1 and 2.

eldragon
03-25-2006, 07:15 PM
So, we all know she hasn't sold any books for her clients.

How many people would fall for the $3200? They obviously found her online, and doing any quick search would yield pages and pages of complaints.

Who would be so desperate as to hire her?
For $3200, you can self publish ten times.

victoriastrauss
03-25-2006, 07:27 PM
I think she may be hurting a bit in the client department. Last fall I heard from a couple of people who took Nancy Reagan's advice on the hard-sell phone approach (just say no) and subsequently got the following email:

Good afternoon.

Recently we contacted you about representing your work to publishers and film outlets alike; we'd still like to do that. But, there was a money issue. We believe getting strong representation for your work should never have to resort to being a matter of money.

We listened to you.

We know that coming up with the retainer can strain a budget; but, we still want to offer you a solid service. We are in the business of selling works; you've got a good work to sell; we see a good team between the two of us.

So, what's the new plan? Like many other agents, who charge out expenses as they are incurred, and many times you won't know what those expenses are until you get the bill, we've come up with a slightly different option.

What if we waived the retainer and instead kept the expenses to a flat $350 a month? What if we submitted your work and provided all the same marketing and editing services you need for monthly payments to be budgeted over the course of the contract? What if, like paying rent, to get this started you'd need only the first and last month's payment?

Is this doable? Is this a beter plan for you? We'd hate to see you pass up this opportunity over a money issue and are willing to work with you so you don't have to.

Let me know your thoughts. If this is a proposition you want to take advantage of, give me a call or drop me an e-mail and we'll start working on getting your project from the desktop to the bookshelf.

With grace,

Cris
- Victoria

PattiTheWicked
03-25-2006, 07:32 PM
Oh, man. That's freakin' HILARIOUS! Instead of you paying us $3200, you can send us $350 a month, and we STILL won't sell your book!

Hurray for ingenuity!

roach
03-25-2006, 07:40 PM
Oh, man. That's freakin' HILARIOUS! Instead of you paying us $3200, you can send us $350 a month, and we STILL won't sell your book!

Hurray for ingenuity!

Not only that but you end up spending $1000 more on this "installment" plan. ($4200, rather than $3200).

eldragon
03-25-2006, 07:53 PM
"We understand that you are a starving artist with a book to sell. How about, instead of paying rent or your car payment this month, or instead of eating, you invest in your future and send me your monthly payment?"



Where's the money back guarantee, Cris?


How come you need desperate, starving writers to pay your rent?

aruna
03-25-2006, 07:54 PM
I think she may be hurting a bit in the client department. Last fall I heard from a couple of people who took Nancy Reagan's advice on the hard-sell phone approach (just say no) and subsequently got the following email:

- Victoria

That is downright CREEPY, I'd say! A real slimer!

aka eraser
03-25-2006, 08:09 PM
Oh ye Absolute Writers of little faith! Did you not hear the poor woman? The lurkers, in the form of "the doctors, lawyers, judges, professionals and executives" support her in email for gawd's sake!

Can't we just accept her at her word?

No?

Okie dokie then. :)

James D. Macdonald
03-25-2006, 08:21 PM
If you google Robins Agency, her website comes up first, but PE is second, this thread is third, and fourth is Making Light: Want to see a scam in progress? (http://nielsenhayden.com/makinglight/archives/000349.html)

If you google Cris Robins, this thread actually appears above the Robins Agency's website. That's gotta burn.


There's a more substantive mention of Cris Robins (http://nielsenhayden.com/makinglight/archives/000357.html) at Making Light. Cris, darling, if you think you've had hits before, I can all but guarantee you even more hits with a new article over there. Want to go for it?

Folks who are interested in agents, agenting, and the Robins Agency ought to check out two more resources: On the Getting of Agents (http://nielsenhayden.com/makinglight/archives/004772.html) and Ten Percent of Nothing (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0809325756/ref=nofollow/madhousemanor/). (You'll like that last one, Cris -- the part where Dorothy Deering gets four years in the Federal slammer is entertaining. Check out how the Deering Agency hadn't been convicted of anything ... until they were. Check out Dorothy offering payments on the installment plan.)

Y'all might be amused by mentions of Cris in other places (http://groups.google.com/groups/search?hl=en&lr=&q=%22Cris+Robins%22&qt_s=Search).

Cris apparently has a couple of foreign sales: her sales page (http://www.robins-agency.com/news.htm) lists two books to Russian POD publisher Alpharet (http://www.alfaret.ru/). (If you don't read Russian, BabelFish (http://babelfish.altavista.com/) can help.) I don't know how "nice" the "nice deal" might have been. Under the rules of the game, a sale to PublishAmerica is a "nice deal."

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

I promised you a line by line. Here we go!

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



Had I known the response to my post would have generated the interest in our agency that it has, I would have done this years ago!

It's our great pleasure to be of help, Cris. Dorothy Deering had a lot of interest in her agency too, when her scam started to collapse.

Let me treat the rest of your points as if they were actually true, not just something you made up.


Our phones are ringing off the hook, our e-mail inbox is being flooded with submissions, and the hits to our site are going through the roof. Some of those who you turned away months ago are even coming back! And we welcome all of them for consideration.

The big consideration being "Do they have a couple of thousand bucks lying around that they aren't using?"

I entirely believe that hits to the site have gone up. The folks who are coming from here, or from Ann's blog, aren't going to yield you many sales, though, Cris. Those folks are already on to you.

Watch the submissions. Maybe one of them is Atlanta Nights. (Uh-oh! Now you're going to have to read the submissions!)



The responses are all positive!

Including "I'm positive you're a scammer!"


Some of the responses we are getting include:

n Donít they know to infringe on copyright laws you have to say itís yours?

No, not true. To infringe copyright, all you have to do is make a copy. That's what "copyright" means. And copyright, as you would know if you were an agent, flows from the pen.



n Donít they know you get a copy of every thing submitted in a complaint, any complaint?

Usually the AG blocks out the personal identifying information such as phone numbers. Not that getting copies allows you to post those copies (see above, copyright). This leaves aside whether "please call me" is the same as backing down.



n You ONLY charge $3,250? My last agent charged me much, much more!

Your last agent was a scammer too. Your last agent didn't sell your book either, did he?


n If they are going to pick apart your own sale, what would they do to a client of yours? Donít tell them!

Your sale hasn't been picked apart. And you don't have other sales, do you? Not to legitimate commercial publishers, that is. If pointing out that the sale isn't too impressive is "picking apart," well, make some impressive sales.



n If you donít lose in a complaint, you win; or donít they get that?

We'll see about that. Was there a real complaint? Merely hasn't yet been convicted isn't a great recommendation; not for a used car dealer, not for a Mafia knee-breaker, not for a literary agent.



n Canít they read where you list the clientsí work that is FOR SALE, not sold?

We read it just fine. And that's the problem, isn't it? It's just FOR SALE, not SOLD. What are your sales, Cris? That's the standard by which literary agents are judged. What are the sales?

Here's your opportunity, right here, right now, to tell me: Titles, authors, publishers, dates. You've been doing this for nearly ten years now. You must have sold something other than your own book.

If you're an agent, that is.


n These guys are the experts in the industry and they can neither read nor understand?

I am, in fact, an expert in this industry. I can read just fine, and I understand all too well what you're up to.


n Donít they have anything better to do with their time?

Nope! If I can save some writer $3,250, I figure it's time well spent. Speaking of time, how about the time those writers could be using to look for legitimate representation or publication, but aren't, because their books are stuck with you? You aren't going to get them any sales so the time their books are in your hands is wasted.

Looking at that most recent client list of yours, it looks like you hauled in $94,250 this year, without having to sell a single book. Good work, Cris.


Those are just from the writers Ė the doctors, lawyers, judges, professionals and executives who have been looking for a professional agent who knows how to give them the respect and customer service they canít find with other agents.

Have any of them had any sales? Proof of the pudding, y'know.



The publishers who have contacted us are even more impressed with our attitude as theyíve been looking to work with another agent who doesnít come with excuses but delivers on their promises. (Our requests for submissions are higher than ever!)

I think I can name those publishers, too: PublishAmerica, AuthorHouse, Xlibris, Vantage, Trafford, Dorrance ....


I really cannot thank all of you enough. I couldnít buy this kind of publicity. People arenít stupid; they know there is no such thing as a free lunch; and now, youíve given them the outlet theyíve been looking to find.

Quite right, Cris. People aren't stupid. What do you think is going to happen when those doctors, lawyers, and judges start to compare notes? Hint: Dorothy Deering.


Please, keep up the good work!

With grace,

Cris Robins

Oh, I intend to.

With disdain,

Jim Macdonald

eldragon
03-26-2006, 01:45 AM
If you pay an agent several thousands of dollars up front, why would she/he be motivated to sell your book?

Roger J Carlson
03-26-2006, 06:13 PM
The responses are all positive! Some of the responses we are getting include:

n Donít they know to infringe on copyright laws you have to say itís yours?

n Donít they know you get a copy of every thing submitted in a complaint, any complaint?

n You ONLY charge $3,250? My last agent charged me much, much more!

n If they are going to pick apart your own sale, what would they do to a client of yours? Donít tell them!

n If you donít lose in a complaint, you win; or donít they get that?

n Canít they read where you list the clientsí work that is FOR SALE, not sold?

n These guys are the experts in the industry and they can neither read nor understand?

n Donít they have anything better to do with their time?See, this is what happens when you start talking to yourself. You loose touch with reality. <shakes head> Very sad.

James D. Macdonald
03-26-2006, 06:30 PM
Here's part of what Agent Research & Evaluation (http://www.agentresearch.com/) has to say about Cris:



We have never found an independent record of a sale made by this agent/agency in the public record sources in the US, UK and Canada that we have been tracking since 1980. Moreover, we are aware of complaints about the business practices of this agent/agency.

Such complaints usually involve charges made before a manuscript is sold, such as editing charges, referrals to paid editing services, recommendations of so-called co-publishing deals, and the like.

If anyone here happens to be a client of The Robins Agency -- ask yourself this: why do you need an agent to submit your book to a vanity press? The vanity publishers will accept anything you send them, as long as your check clears.

MadScientistMatt
03-27-2006, 01:59 AM
Our phones are ringing off the hook, our e-mail inbox is being flooded with submissions, and the hits to our site are going through the roof.

Did anyone else wonder if this might mean somebody has hit the Robins Agency with a distributed denial-of-service attack?

DaveKuzminski
03-27-2006, 04:45 AM
Personally, I think she needs the Atlanta Nights treatment. The more time she spends considering manuscripts, the less she has to defraud anyone.

CaoPaux
03-27-2006, 09:24 PM
Personally, I think she needs the Atlanta Nights treatment. The more time she spends considering manuscripts, the less she has to defraud anyone.Alas, that presumes she actually considers the mss (or anything beyond the depth of the writers' wallet).

HapiSofi
03-27-2006, 11:32 PM
A while back I asked Chris about her sales, and she replied: "...as to our sales; well, the truth is I used to tell the world what our sales were in detail. And every single time I did, someone would call the publisher and yell at them because they bought someone elses' book and not theirs. So, I quit doing it. Why would I cause a publisher grief when I didn't have to?"Hogwash.

Real agents report sales all the time. And guess what? Publishers are not harassed by writers phoning up to yell at us because we bought someone else's book but not theirs.

It's sad to see that in spite of all her years of practice, Cris Robins is still an inept liar.

James D. Macdonald
03-29-2006, 05:22 PM
There's a reason it seems bogus for an agent to refuse to list his or her sales. That's because it is bogus.

The nature of an agent's job is to be the writer's public face, the writer's contact point. There are no such things as stealth sales. There's no such thing as a stealth agent.

At the very minimum, when a book shows up in a bookstore someone is going to figure out that the publisher bought that book. If authors were going to call up publishers and lambast them for buying someone else's book they could do it at that point. But, as HapiSofi pointed out, that just doesn't happen.

Consider this ... Big Guy Producer in Hollywood reads a certain book. He wants to buy the movie rights. He turns to his assistant and says, "I love this book! Get this guy's agent on the phone! ... What do you mean 'no one knows who it is'?"

The agent is the contact point for anyone who wants to do business with the author. From Gladys in Accounting who cuts the semi-annual royalty checks to the editor who signs the contract to the foreign-rights guys ... everyone has to know who the agent is.

It is also observably true that real agents, the ones who actually make sales, list their sales all the time.

The only plausible -- the only possible -- reason for an agent to refuse to list her sales is that there aren't any.

Bannick
04-01-2006, 12:05 PM
I've stumbled upon this web site from browsing for an agent. I am a new Author, still trying to get the kinks worked out of my first book. I can't help but notice how all you guys keep talking about how you shouldn't have to pay for an agent up front (only after a sale) and if you do pay an agent up front it's a scam. All the agents i've come across who supposedly don't charge say that if I don't have a book already out on the shelves they won't even look at my manuscript. All the agents that say they will look at my work, charge. So what's the deal? If there are agent's out there that will get you the best publishing deals, with out charging, and will look at your work even if its the first thing you've written who and where are they? I'm new at this writting thing and because of that I'm sure I'm a bit naive. So, then how does it work?

aruna
04-01-2006, 12:46 PM
Welcome to the Water Cooler, Bannick, and hope you stick around!

I have to contracdict the following sentence of yours:
All the agents i've come across who supposedly don't charge say that if I don't have a book already out on the shelves they won't even look at my manuscript.

It's just not true that legitimate agents won't look at manuscripts by unpublished authors.... I'd love to know which ones you've spoken to. Most agents are looking for new authors constantly; what you have to do is write a book that they fall in love with and think they can sell to a publisher. If you haven't got that then you won't get an agent, and if you have got it you need to write an engaging query that makes them want to read it.

At least three first-time authors of this forum have found excellent agents in the last few months, and before the year is over I bet a few more will do so.
Try www.agentquery.com (http://www.agentquery.com/). It tells you which agents are actively seeking new clients. Write a great query, and sent it in. If the first few attempts fail, then rewrite your query (perhaps with the help of experienced folk here) and try again.

Remember, too, that first attempts rarely are good enough to sell. If this one doesn't get you there then write another one... it's perseverance and constant honing your work that will get you in the door.
Good luck!

triceretops
04-01-2006, 04:05 PM
Bannick--attention: Aruna is right on the money. I'm one of those that just picked up an agent, having never published a novel before. You MUST have a good query (hook), and an interesting book to get the attention of any legitimate agent. You're looking in the wrong places. Go to agentquery.com, and enter your genre, or pick up a copy of The Writers Market for complete listings.

I'm dying to know what agents told you that you must be previously published before they consider your work. Names please?

Triceratops

James D. Macdonald
04-01-2006, 04:14 PM
All the agents that say they will look at my work, charge.

The deal is that all of them are scammers.

Research agents before you waste your time querying them.

And remember -- rejection is nature's way of telling you to write a better book.

aruna
04-01-2006, 04:15 PM
In fact, I just found a FOURTH poster here (I'd forgotten Brainstains) who recently snagged an agent as a first timer. There may be more I haven't seen.

Here are some threads/posts telling their stories:

http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=29926
http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=27154
http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showpost.php?p=541552&postcount=24

WillJenkins
04-03-2006, 04:26 PM
Prior to finding this wonderful forum, I made the mistake of querying my screenplay to the robins agency.
I finally got a telephone call from chris robins about two weeks later. I had already read about her scam here, so I was ready for her.
When she asked me for $3,200, I told her for that much money, I could fly out to L.A. and personally hand deliver my script to every single agent in Hollywood.

Thanks for the heads up everyone, it is greatly appreciated.

Will

HoosierCowgirl
04-03-2006, 09:59 PM
Cris wrote "...Those are just from the writers Ė the doctors, lawyers, judges, professionals and executives who have been looking for a professional agent who knows how to give them the respect and customer service they canít find with other agents. ..."

I found this description of her clientele interesting.

Ann

Bannick
04-04-2006, 01:52 AM
What if an agent charges for editing services? Is that cool, or is it a scam aslo?

Tilly
04-04-2006, 02:00 AM
What if an agent charges for editing services? Is that cool, or is it a scam aslo?

Run away if they charge for editing.

You want an agent who makes their money by selling your book to a publisher, not from their authors' pockets.

If an agent is trying to charge you upfront, run.

Yog's Law: money flows towards the writer.

victoriastrauss
04-04-2006, 02:27 AM
What if an agent charges for editing services? Is that cool, or is it a scam aslo?It's a conflict of interest for an agent to double as a paid editor. If the agent can make money by recommending her own editing services, how can you trust that the recommendation is in your best interest?

Agents who charge fees or sell services usually make most of their money from that. In other words, they're not selling manuscripts to publishers.

- Victoria

Bannick
04-05-2006, 09:29 AM
Thanks guys for all of the advice, it's much appreciated!

first time writer
04-09-2006, 05:09 AM
Run, don't walk, away from this agency and Cris Robins.:gone

Since I live in St. Louis I thought it would be great to have an agency in my home town. I sent them a query with my phone #. I was excieted when they called back becuase I thought "Hey they really are interested in what I sent them and they want me to send them the whole manuscript."

After talking to Chris Robins (the owner) she explained that the only fees they charge is when they find a publisher to sell my book. I was waiting for the other shoe to drop because this was to good to be true. Sure enought she followed with "Since you're a first time author you could put our agency on retainer for 3200.00 a year." Luckily I was expecting this so I didn't drop the phone. I told her i would get back to her. This was last week. She is still waiting for that phone call that I will not be making.

tonyhttp://absolutewrite.com/forums/images/icons/icon7.gif

first time writer
04-09-2006, 05:11 AM
Me too. Robins used to run an editing referral gig; now her main thing seems to be asking for enormous retainers--the latest report I've gotten is $3,200--for a year of representation.

Need I say that as far as I know, the Robins Agency (which has been in business at least since the late 1990's) has never sold a book?

- Victoria

I second that too.

tony

trmonet
04-19-2006, 09:53 PM
Well, this has certainly been an eye-opener. If I hadn't found this site, I might have been the next victim of this so-called agent. When I talked to her on the phone and I heard the 3250 retainer fee, my first thought was that legitimate agents don't charge a reading fee. So, after I hung up, I immediately went out and sent out about 2 dozen inquiry emails to a number of other agency's about this and got several replies within an hour saying that agents get their fee's on commission and NOT on retainer/reading fee's.

So, I will be passing on this too-good-to-be-true offer.

I've been trying to find a legit agent. Does anyone have a suggestion on who I might contact that represents the science fiction genre?

waylander
04-19-2006, 09:57 PM
I've been trying to find a legit agent. Does anyone have a suggestion on who I might contact that represents the science fiction genre?

Go to Agentquery.com and run a search for SF agents.

The likes of Joshua Bilmes, Shawna McCarthy and Caitlin Blasdell come to mind.

underthecity
04-19-2006, 09:58 PM
Trmonet,

Welcome to AW. Regarding agents representing science fiction, visit agentquery (http://www.agentquery.com) and read everything on their site, and in the agent search drop-down box, look for "science fiction" and start there. Cross reference everything with Preditors and Editors (http://www.anotherealm.com/prededitors/pubagent.htm). There are more online sources for agents, as well as Writers Market 2006 and Literary Marketplace in your local library.

Good luck.

allen

Kasey Mackenzie
04-19-2006, 10:49 PM
Since I live in St. Louis I thought it would be great to have an agency in my home town. I sent them a query with my phone #. I was excieted when they called back becuase I thought "Hey they really are interested in what I sent them and they want me to send them the whole manuscript."


Yes, it sucks to have such a scammer so close to home, eh? Congrats on avoiding her clutches, though!

first time writer
05-02-2006, 09:13 PM
It's Dorothy Deering all over again.


make that three almost suckers. one thing about her, she is smooth talker. she will tell you about representing you and then drop the bomb shell of 3200.00 for a retainer fee.http://absolutewrite.com/forums/images/icons/icon6.gif

Bannick
05-03-2006, 11:01 AM
Okay i know that this isn't the place to ask this, but i have gotten good advice here. So, when it comes to getting my book edited, so it doesn't sound like crap when i send it to an agent, how do i go about doing that? I'm not a wizard at grammer. If you can't already tell. I don't have anyone around me good enough to go over my work and i don't have the time to take writting classes, so are there editors out there that will fix my work to be worth a damn in the real world, and if so what's the average they should charge?

I thought I would get advice first before going fishing.

Thanx

waylander
05-03-2006, 01:19 PM
OK. This one has been discussed before and it generates some disparate views.
There are those who will say that you need to learn the grammar stuff yourself so that you don't need to hire someone for your subsequent books. You will also be directed towards various online critiquing groups who can help you, and I've certainly found these to be valuable.
However, it is my view that hiring a top-level editor/book doctor to give your work a higher level of polish than these other resources can, is a worthwhile investment - I did it and if you wish to PM me I'll give you the details of the editor I used.

Aconite
05-03-2006, 03:50 PM
Okay i know that this isn't the place to ask this, but i have gotten good advice here. So, when it comes to getting my book edited, so it doesn't sound like crap when i send it to an agent, how do i go about doing that? I'm not a wizard at grammer. If you can't already tell. I don't have anyone around me good enough to go over my work and i don't have the time to take writting classes, so are there editors out there that will fix my work to be worth a damn in the real world, and if so what's the average they should charge?

I thought I would get advice first before going fishing.

ThanxBannick, the hard truth is that if you want to be a writer, you're going to have to learn how to write. Period. That means investing your time in learning your craft. If you aren't willing to make time to do that, you don't have the dedication you need to be a writer.

If you have just one book you want to have published for some reason, you may decide to have an editor-for-hire go over it and help with it. This has many pitfalls.

First, it's hard to find reputable, honest, talented editors for hire, because there are so many scammers and inept wanna-bes.

Second, if you manage to find good editors, you can expect to pay an arm and a leg for their services.

Third, without the basics of good writing, you may not be able to judge or to put into place corrections your editor offers.

And fourth, without good writing skills, you won't be able to work with the editor at any publishing house that picks up your book to make corrections or alterations that editor suggests.

So hiring an editor may seem like the easy way to fix your problem, but odds are it will only open up a different can of worms. My advice would be to spend the time and effort to learn to write well instead of spending money on an editor. The Index at the top of this page references several threads on this topic, by the way. You may want to go through them for a fuller discussion of pros and cons.

chrisldahl
07-26-2006, 01:41 AM
There is a judgment against Cris Robins in Washington Superior Court (King County) for $8,320 for breach of contract, fraudulent business practice and consumer protection violations. Robins was served with a summons and complaint at her home on a Sunday morning a few months ago. This judgment will affect her credit and may lead to garnishment of her bank account, as well as a visit from the sheriff to collect on the judgment with cash or personal property, if Robins fails to pay or settle the judgment. I have also submitted complaints with the Better Business Bureau and the Missouri Attorney General's Office which both show up as Unresolved/Disputed.

I will happily provide my complaint filngs or lawsuit documentation as sample drafting to make it easier for other to proceed against Robins. I found Robins 5 years ago in the Jeff Hermann Writer's Guide and believed her to be legitimate, having no idea as a hopeful new author that I would be defrauded. Feel free to contact me for more information. My efforts are directed solely at shutting down the Robins Agency and Cris Robins; I am happy to assist anyone interested in doing the same.

Sincerely,

Christopher Dahl, Esq.
cdahl@wkg.com
206-233-2997

eldragon
07-26-2006, 01:54 AM
So, finally Cris is telling the truth when she says her clients are lawyers?

Go get her!

Alan Yee
07-26-2006, 01:58 AM
That is very good news. How wonderful. She's one of the Top 20 Worst Agents. I believe she posted defensive comments on Ann and Victoria's Writer Beware blog a while back. It didn't help her at all, just made more people aware that she was on such a list.

Good luck!

roach
07-26-2006, 02:16 AM
There is a judgment against Cris Robins in Washington Superior Court (King County) for $8,320 for breach of contract, fraudulent business practice and consumer protection violations. Robins was served with a summons and complaint at her home on a Sunday morning a few months ago. This judgment will affect her credit and may lead to garnishment of her bank account, as well as a visit from the sheriff to collect on the judgment with cash or personal property, if Robins fails to pay or settle the judgment. I have also submitted complaints with the Better Business Bureau and the Missouri Attorney General's Office which both show up as Unresolved/Disputed.

w00t! Thanks for posting this here. It's nice to see the battle against scammers make some progress.

James D. Macdonald
07-26-2006, 09:13 AM
Originally Posted by www.robins-agency.com/ann.htm

However, the validity of our agency rests in that we have never had a claimed filed against us that we've lost in any court, jurisdiction, or government agency. THAT has to say something about the way we do business.

Well, shucks.


There is a judgment against Cris Robins in Washington Superior Court (King County) for $8,320 for breach of contract, fraudulent business practice and consumer protection violations.



If the validity of the agency rested on never having been convicted ... guess they aren't valid any more, by Cris's own reckoning.

That sure-enough says something about the way they do business.

Kasey Mackenzie
07-26-2006, 07:54 PM
Congratulations on the judgment, chrisldahl! You must be feeling quite pleased about that. It's very kind of you to offer others assistance in obtaining restitution from this agency. Kudos!

ronjohn
08-17-2006, 11:17 PM
My experience with Robins goes back to the early years in Arkansas. Fortunately, I didn't pay the current price in dollars. I signed on for a year, paid for editing, but opted out when they called for more money. They sent my manuscript to inappropriate publishers for my genre. The end result: wasted time, wasted money, and it has taken me years to get my courage up to look of a legitimate agent!

James D. Macdonald
11-30-2006, 01:50 AM
Cris's website is down hard.

victoriastrauss
11-30-2006, 07:14 AM
Never fear. She has another (http://www.writer-for-hire.com/home.htm).

- Victoria

Peggy
11-30-2006, 08:12 AM
Never fear. She has another (http://www.writer-for-hire.com/home.htm). Her resume (http://www.writer-for-hire.com/gallery/onepagefl.pdf) is just a wee bit padded. I'm not too impressed that she was "considered for a Pulitzer Prize" and a "Neiman[sic] Fellowship" at Harvard (hopefully she spelled the name of the foundation correctly when she applied), since all that requires is filling out an application and sending in the money. The Marcam Gold Finalist Award sounds fancy, but it turns out that 15% of applicants win platinum and another 15% win gold (http://www.marcomawards.com/facts.html), with about 1500 winners every year, so it's not particularly exclusive (and since she says she was just a Gold Award "Finalist", it's not clear she won anything at all). The "Jamilli[sic] Wellness Program" (for which she won a "Communicator Award") has no web presence, and the web page she cites for them ( www.jamili.com (http://www.jamili.com) ) is simply a placeholder page - and yes, she spelled the company name incorrectly on her resume. All in all, not an auspicious advertisement for her writing skills or attention to detail.

James D. Macdonald
11-30-2006, 09:45 AM
More on those Communicator Awards (http://nielsenhayden.com/makinglight/archives/000357.html) here.

DED
02-24-2007, 08:47 AM
I made the mistake of firing off a query letter to the Robins Agency a day before I subscribed to AbsoluteWrite. By the time she called, I was able to formulate an excuse to drive her away. Unfortunately, my email address is in their system. I thought that you might want to see what I received this evening:

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

Subject: Want to sell your work? We can show you how.

Good afternoon.

Recently you submitted your work to our office for representation consideration. We've an exciting new service that we thought you might be interested in and at a price to fit nearly every budget.

One of the biggest hurdles with being a writer is determining if the work is marketable and if it is what markets to address and how to succeed at selling the work. Most writers believe that they really do need an agent to get a good price and a good deal for their work. This is not always the case and we can show you how. But first, you need to have a solid work.

With all of this in mind, we've created a market review system that you and your work could greatly benefit by.

Market review:

Your full work is reviewed and evaluated by one of our editors based on the genre of your work and your writing style. A whole host of factors, from grammar and punctuation to characters and story line, are evaluated against the current editorial needs of the publishing and film industries. A report is generated to highlight the good, the bad, and what is needed for your work to compete in the open market with recommendations for changes to increase your placement and possible sales to those markets.
Upon completion, our marketing staff reviews all of the information (your work, the evaluation, and recommended changes) and compiles a list of publishers with contact information who may be interested in purchasing your work if the changes are made to conform to their standards. But, thatís only part of it. We will also provide you with a cover letter to attract their attention, that can be changed to meet the needs of each contact, and will show you how to format your synopsis and sample pages to increase your acceptance possibilities.
When you find yourself with a contract for publication, our staff will review it and tell you exactly what it says, what it means, and how it affects you and your work. You will be put in a situation where you can make an educated decision and feel confident that you know what you are getting into. So, why would you want this service? There are several reasons:
Your work is sitting in a drawer (or a computer file) right now collecting rejection slips that don't tell you WHY it was rejected.
You think itís a good work, but, you need to KNOW how to make it marketable.
Youíre spinning your wheels trying to get someone to read and buy it.
Your frustration level is to the point where you just want to quit Ė and it doesn't have to be this way.And the price tag for all of this: $1,250. (Don't worry, itís paid in two installments, one when the contract is signed; the balance when the work is ready to be sent back to you.)

Why would you WANT to pay that much? Because, quite simply, what you are doing right now isn't working; and you need for your project to start making you money. Yes, you can continue down the path you are walking now; but why would you want to when you've got a guide whoís been doing this successfully for 10 years?

In four weeks your work can either be on its way to making you money; or sitting where it is right now. Which do you want it to be doing? If this sound like a service that is right for you and is more in line with your budget, let me know and we'll go from there.

With regards,
Syd Michaels


*******************************
Robins Agency
*******************************
1001 Craig Road Suite # 260
St. Louis, MO 63146
Tel: [314]-569-5259
Fax: [314] 569-9424
e-mail: robins-agency@sbcglobal.net
=========================================

roach
02-24-2007, 09:31 AM
Why would you WANT to pay that much? Because, quite simply, what you are doing right now isn't working; and you need for your project to start making you money.
By giving us some cash...

Oh brother!

James D. Macdonald
02-24-2007, 09:54 AM
Shorter Cris Robins: You have more money than sense. To correct this problem, send us your money.

victoriastrauss
02-24-2007, 07:40 PM
Verrrry interesting.

DED, could you contact Writer Beware directly at beware@sfwa.org ? I'd like a copy of that email for my Robins file.

- Victoria

trmonet
03-04-2007, 05:16 AM
I got that same email about how I 'recently' submitted work to her agency...even though it's been at least 6 months and I turned her down flat once I learned of her scam.

DED
03-05-2007, 08:26 AM
Just fwd it. Sorry for the delay.

mbagrad
06-26-2007, 03:29 AM
I too received an email from the Robins Literary Agency asking for $3,200 in fees to represent me which brought me to this website where I read about the other writers that received similar requests.

But just for the fun of it I went to their website (www.robins-agency.com (http://www.robins-agency.com)) where there is only a couple of generic paragraphs with no information about their services or clients along with a link to a porn site.

CaoPaux
07-09-2007, 10:30 PM
If I'm interpreting the Wayback Machine correctly, she removed all but the welcome page in Dec '06. I expect the porn video is a hack.

Her Writer for Hire site is still "good", though.

DED
09-21-2007, 05:25 AM
Here's the latest. I'm still on her mailing list. I'll forward a copy to: beware at sfwa dot org

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

Good morning.

For over ten years I ran the largest literary agency in the Midwest
(we ranked about 10 in the states, and 18 on the globe) and I made a
difference in the industry by bringing out the potential of new
writer's' works and showcasing them to some of the largest publishers
and studios in the states. I closed the agency last year because the
industry changed and I found that I could show new writers how to
sell their work to publishers who didn't work with agencies;
additionally, my clients found that our editing service increased
their chances of being published and overall, made their work better.

Currently, I'm in a position of taking on a few new clients, and I'm
cutting my price to do it. Although my editing service normally runs
$6.50 per 250-word page I've dropped my price to the first ten
respondents to $5.00 per page, and includes the initial editing and a
finishing review. But, editing is just the first part of it; when the
work is ready to be presented, I will also put together the package
for submissions, the list of publishers looking for your work, and
the methods that they prefer for submissions.

If you are serious about selling your work, now is the time to act.
Are you ready to give your work the professional polish it needs to
sell? Just think, you could be presenting your works to some of the
highest paying publishers (or to the agent of your choosing) in the
market by the New Year?

By using my expertise, you can make your writing dreams a reality. To
be considered, please submit a synopsis, the first three and last
chapters of your work. I will get back to you in a few days to show
you the changes needed to make your work marketable to the industry.

With grace,


Cris Robins

********************************
Cris Robins
*******************************
11511 Craig Court Suite # 320
St. Louis, MO 63146
Tel: [314]-569-5952
Fax: [314] 569-9424
e-mail: cris_robins@sbcglobal.net


"You're braver than you believe.
You're stronger than you seem.
You're smarter than you think."

What you need to remember
from Christopher Robins to Winnie-the-Pooh

"Words are not flowery creatures
to be tossed about lightly;
but trusted friends we call upon
to do a job well."
Cris Robins
==================================

DaveKuzminski
09-21-2007, 05:46 AM
I guess Cris thinks that calling her business an editing service will get her off ground zero.

Nope, Cris. It doesn't work like that. If you help prepare packages for submission to publishers, P&E is going to still treat you like a literary agency. I strongly recommend, Cris, that you take up something that doesn't involve making submissions to publishers.

OneTeam OneDream
09-24-2007, 08:19 PM
I strongly recommend, Cris, that you take up something that doesn't involve making submissions to publishers.


11511 Craig Court Suite # 320
St. Louis, MO 63146

Like moving out of the ghetto!

emsuniverse
10-05-2007, 09:53 AM
11511 Craig Court Suite # 320
St. Louis, MO 63146

Like moving out of the ghetto!

Yeah... and I did a little googling. Turns out there's a lawyer's office in the same building as her office.

Too bad they don't focus in criminal law... At some point she's going to need legal representation.

Popeyesays
10-05-2007, 05:12 PM
I like her notion that "showcasing new writers" is what an agent does. An agent sells. If the individual does not sell to reputable publishers, that individual ain't an agent.

If she could not sell in the first place, what does she know about preparing a manuscript for submission to publishers?

Regards,
Scott

CaoPaux
05-28-2008, 10:31 PM
Writer for Hire is gone now, too. No immediate sign of other incarnations.




:D

James D. Macdonald
11-06-2009, 05:07 AM
Just because Cris's website is down you don't need to feel left out! You can see it all at the Wayback Machine.

For example, Cris's Reply to Ann is here: http://web.archive.org/web/20060614181207/http://www.robins-agency.com/ann.htm

Fun for the whole family!

JulieB
01-30-2010, 02:53 AM
Writer Beware: She's Ba-aaack (http://accrispin.blogspot.com/2010/01/cris-robins-and-robins-agency-shes-ba.html)!

DaveKuzminski
01-30-2010, 04:20 AM
She's still listed on P&E so she's not getting a free ride back. Her rating with P&E is still the same. About the only thing needed is her new web address if she has one.