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caruna
06-04-2004, 03:45 AM
Any writers out there heard of the book agents Jeanne Fredericks or Alison Picard?

James D Macdonald
06-04-2004, 07:35 AM
This is a great site for the information you're looking for:
<a href="http://www.anotherealm.com/prededitors/pubagent.htm" target="_new">Preditors & Editors</a>.

mammamaia
06-04-2004, 11:46 PM
you can also check them out at www.aar-online.org/ (http://www.aar-online.org/) and wgae.org/ (http://wgae.org/)...

stormie267
06-05-2004, 02:16 AM
...www.writers.net (http://www.writers.net) Go to "Discussions," then go to "Literary Agents," then click on the the word "search." (There are two "search" links on the page. Don't click on the search box at the top, click on the word search that is underlined just above the posts.) Then type in the names of the agents. Interesting information....

Elyse
10-02-2004, 02:50 AM
Has anyone had any experience with this agent? She just asked to read my ms, and I really can't dig up any information on her except that she is "$ Not Recommended" in P&E. But they don't say why. On another site (The Rumor Mill) I read that she was indirectly involved in an Edit Ink scam. She doesn't charge reading fees either. Two successful authors, who have been clients of hers for awhile, say incredible things about her in other posts. Just curious. I want to hear something about her before I send it out. If she's borderline dodgy, I want to know!!!
-Elyse

aka eraser
10-02-2004, 04:19 AM
Sounds to me that what you've already discovered puts her in the "borderline dodgy" category.

Arisa81
10-02-2004, 07:37 AM
I wouldn't take any chances

AC Crispin
10-02-2004, 09:49 PM
Picard has a small track record of sales, but she's definitely second tier. She has offered editing services in the past, but this doesn't seem to be the case any more.

The main reason a writer might consider her "dodgy" was that she was extremely active in making Edit Ink referrals. Even though this was years ago, now, it's left a bad taste in Writer Beware's mouth, so to speak.

In my opinion, you should proceed with caution.

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

Elyse
10-02-2004, 09:54 PM
Thank you for all your suggestions and comments. I found her in the 2005 Children's Writer's. I thought it was safe to send her a query. I'm taking a shot. I know of several authors with her who have strong track records. (I know what it's like to be blackballed from a job. So maybe she's learned a hard lesson.) If she's willing to take a chance on me, so will I.

Elyse

Kyrah Malan
10-06-2004, 04:48 AM
Elyse, I just received a reply to my nonfiction query asking for a proposal. What have you heard about her since your original post? Thanks!

Elyse
10-08-2004, 09:55 PM
The original post says it all. I tried to dig further, but I guess she's kept her hands clean after the Edit Ink scam.

I was rejected by her after sending her my first three chapters. In less than 24 hours.

-Elyse

Kyrah Malan
10-09-2004, 08:40 AM
Sorry about her reply, but at least she read it! I sent her my proposal and first three chapters about 10 days ago and haven't heard anything yet.

wryter
05-17-2005, 04:02 AM
Any writers out there heard of the book agents Jeanne Fredericks or Alison Picard?
A couple of months ago, in response to a query, she requested I send her a few chapters as an attachment. I did. She sent me an email rejection. Only problem was, she NEVER opened the attachment with the chapters. (I have an email tracking program.) I asked her about that, but she ignored the letter. Very strange

BudJay
03-30-2006, 07:58 AM
alison j picard, weird name, but is she any good? i'm tryin to get legit here, and i don't wanna make a "publish america" mistake. any word on this one?

Aconite
03-30-2006, 06:07 PM
BudJay, if you look in the Index at the top of this forum, you'll find several threads on how to research an agent.

Barber
11-25-2008, 12:45 AM
Wow, no one's asked about this agent in a long while.

I found her in the 2009 Guide and wondered if anyone's had any recent experiences with her. All my research turned up old news.

Thanks!

CaoPaux
11-30-2008, 10:24 PM
She has four sales posted on PM for 2008: to Flux, Running Press, St. Martin's, and (most recently) Adams Media.

LabRat2008
12-03-2008, 04:15 AM
Has anyone had any experience with this agent? She just asked to read my ms, and I really can't dig up any information on her except that she is "$ Not Recommended" in P&E. But they don't say why. On another site (The Rumor Mill) I read that she was indirectly involved in an Edit Ink scam. She doesn't charge reading fees either. Two successful authors, who have been clients of hers for awhile, say incredible things about her in other posts. Just curious. I want to hear something about her before I send it out. If she's borderline dodgy, I want to know!!!
-Elyse

Just joined the board, and wanted to quickly post a note before I get my profile up and running. I cannot vouch for Ms. Picard to date, but she was involved in the Edit Ink scam (for me in 1992 or 1993 I think it was), I have been writing and submitting steadily but never to her. That being said, she may have been a victim too, but I have not done any research to determine if she made any public statement as to her involvement. I have the letters in my big fat rejection binder if anyone would like I can scan and post, or you can email me and I can send them.

JamieB
01-16-2009, 10:49 PM
Has anyone had any experience with this agent? She just asked to read my ms, and I really can't dig up any information on her except that she is "$ Not Recommended" in P&E. But they don't say why. On another site (The Rumor Mill) I read that she was indirectly involved in an Edit Ink scam. She doesn't charge reading fees either. Two successful authors, who have been clients of hers for awhile, say incredible things about her in other posts. Just curious. I want to hear something about her before I send it out. If she's borderline dodgy, I want to know!!!
-Elyse

This appears to have changed:

Alison (Allison?) J. Picard: $ A literary agent. Contact at: PO Box 2000
Cotuit, MA 02635

I sent her my first chapter yesterday.

inspired007
01-16-2009, 10:52 PM
She requested my first chapter 01/14/09 from my 12/16/08 equery.

JamieB
01-20-2009, 06:21 AM
Inspired007 good luck, have you heard back?

Nothing for me yet. Shouldn't take too long to read one chapter, so ???

Ace!
07-31-2009, 06:44 AM
Any update?

danielmkimmel
08-17-2009, 06:26 AM
Alison Picard has been my agent for ten years, and has sold all three of my solo books. (I had one book with another author before that.) She has not only been square with me over the years, but when the first book was orphaned when my editor left the company and the publisher had second thoughts, Alison didn't give up on it, eventually placing it with another publisher. The book, "The Fourth Network," came out in 2004 and went on to win an the Cable Center book award. When I was ready to give up on the project she perservered. I have no complaints with her.

JWNelson
09-10-2009, 11:37 PM
Many thanks!


Alison Picard has been my agent for ten years, and has sold all three of my solo books. (I had one book with another author before that.) She has not only been square with me over the years, but when the first book was orphaned when my editor left the company and the publisher had second thoughts, Alison didn't give up on it, eventually placing it with another publisher. The book, "The Fourth Network," came out in 2004 and went on to win an the Cable Center book award. When I was ready to give up on the project she perservered. I have no complaints with her.

Sarah Christine
10-20-2009, 01:00 AM
Anyone have any recent experience to update? Response times or partial requests?

Rowan
10-20-2009, 01:46 AM
Anyone have any recent experience to update? Response times or partial requests?

Query sent: 4/24/09
Request for partial: 5/20/09
Response (R): 6/19/09

Alamanach
07-22-2010, 04:56 PM
My story, for whatever it's worth:

I queried Alison Picard via email about the nonfiction book I'm working on. A few weeks later, she wrote back, asking for a sample chapter, which I sent. Single-spaced, 12 point font, this was 13 pages, and I sent it at 4:30 in the afternoon. 6:30 am the next morning, she wrote back saying that she was interested, but that she didn't think the writing was "strong enough for the competitive market." She mentioned that publishers receive hundreds or thousands of manuscripts a year, and publish only a few of them.

She then asked whether I would be willing to take on a co-author, suggesting one of her clients. Searching this author's name, I could find one book he has coming out either in October of this year or April of next, but nothing else. That book is through a publisher that accepts unagented submissions. He is (supposedly) a journalist with 25 years of experience, but I haven't been able to find anything that he's written.

I asked Alison for a sample of this writer's work, and she sent a Word document of another, 300+ page, book that he's written, this one also to be published next year. I didn't like it, and I told her so-- I thought his writing style was too simplistic and he exhibited a poor command of the facts he was discussing.

I suggested that this particular text might be a poor representation of his abilities, and asked if there were any better examples of his work. Alison wrote back saying that she had no other clients who would be a good match for my book. She asked that I contact her again if I find a co-author. (I had been blunt with my opinion of her client's writing, and that possibly turned her off.)

I haven't written a book before, but I have written a lot of other stuff. People like my writing. There are only two other times in my life in which I was told my writing, in some way, was not good enough, and both of those times involved people with whom, for other reasons, I couldn't get along with anyway. So, history suggests that I probably wouldn't have been able to get along with Alison. But that's just me.

Does it mean anything that she read my sample chapter so quickly and wanted right away to hook me up with a writer I can find nothing about? I don't know. Google my name (or even just "Alamanach," for that matter), and you'll find plenty about me. I Google this other guy and I can't find a thing. How is it that a professional writer has no record, no online presence? I haven't been involved with publishing long enough to know what it means, so I won't try to interpret. But for you more experienced people, there's my story.

By the way, what was this Edit Ink scam that was mentioned above?

Ruth2
07-22-2010, 05:20 PM
I'd suggest taking a chapter over to "SYW" (Share Your Work) here and get some feedback. Find a beta-reader to read over it for you. After getting feedback here and from your beta, correcting (if it needs it) the parts that need work-- then if an gent tells you "Meh, you need a co-author", then maybe you do.

But don't make drastic changes on the advice of one agent, esp. one whose suggestions you're not comfortable about. Keep sending it out. Try SYW. Get a beta reader.

wmgoins
11-14-2010, 03:04 AM
It may be WAY late to add anything to this discussion, but she burned me big time when the Edit Ink scam was going on. I was new to long fiction, but had published many short stories and a considerable amount of poetry. She commented favorably on a not-too-badly written book I had at the time. I was too young and too dumb to know it wasn't quite publication-ready, but I did know it was pretty good. She sent me straight to Edit Ink. I was one of the lucky ones and spent a minimal amount long before I really knew better. I would avoid her like the plague. Too many good agents out there.

mrhyne
11-14-2010, 10:35 PM
She requested the first 5 chapters of my mss then after a month contacted me back and said it was very engaging, but was in dire need of editing. She went on to say she could edit it for a 'small fee' then re-emburse me the fee when she sold it to a publisher. I didn't reply back. If it were in dire need of editing like she claimed she would have refused it on that basis alone, or since she admitted it was 'engaging' she would have requested I do a complete edit and resubmit, not offer to fix it for me to sell. My gut feeling--Stay away.

DaveKuzminski
11-15-2010, 03:38 AM
She requested the first 5 chapters of my mss then after a month contacted me back and said it was very engaging, but was in dire need of editing. She went on to say she could edit it for a 'small fee' then re-emburse me the fee when she sold it to a publisher. I didn't reply back. If it were in dire need of editing like she claimed she would have refused it on that basis alone, or since she admitted it was 'engaging' she would have requested I do a complete edit and resubmit, not offer to fix it for me to sell. My gut feeling--Stay away.

Do you still have any of that correspondence with her? Would you send me a copy at prededitors@att.net?

jonsurfs
12-07-2010, 02:25 AM
I can second the editing fee -- she emailed me today telling me that the manuscript needed editing and that she would do it for $2 / page, and she also offered sample edits. I've declined working with her.

JerseyGirl1962
12-07-2010, 07:17 PM
For those who are unfamiliar with the Edit Ink scam, you can get some info here (http://www.sfwa.org/for-authors/writer-beware/cases/#Edit).

Nancy

mrob44
12-21-2010, 01:53 AM
I can second the editing fee -- she emailed me today telling me that the manuscript needed editing and that she would do it for $2 / page, and she also offered sample edits. I've declined working with her.

I got the same response today. I queried and got a response asking for the first two chapters of my MS. I got a follow up the following morning saying that the story was "engaging" and had commercial promise, but needed editing. She offered her services for $2/page, and would refund if book sold. I declined. If she's legit as an agent, she needs to not mesh her services, it makes her seem like a scam.

New Writer
02-07-2011, 08:35 PM
I just joined this site and besides a response to a 'welcome' PM this is the first thing I've written. I queried Ms. Picard about my first novel, she responded asking for the first two chapters which I sent, pasted in the body of the email. (FYI, I know of NO literary agent/agency that will 'open' any attachment. This is stated clearly in all Internet Agency websites and the Literary Agent Guides. So one cannot be surprised that an attachment was not opened.)

She liked what she read but also stated she felt it needed editing, something I KNEW would need to be done. Personally, I don't have any problem at all with an agent/agency offering these services. I don't see how that's a conflict of interest, in fact I feel just the opposite. She offers to reinburse her editing fee if she sells the book, that's fair. Who wants to work for free, I certainly don't. I'm part 'Vulcan'. If things don't make reasonable common sense to me I have difficulty them. Ms. Picard has been honest, upfront, and told me her opinions in an open manner. When she sent me the first four pages, edited, back to me, her changes were valid and I was pleased. If she had a problem almost ten years ago, I'm not going to hold that against her. I've had my problems in my life and I've learned from them. Who here hasn't????

From my experience with her to date, she has been a great help and I have total confidence in her. I can only offer what my own perspective has been.

As authors we need to be able to absorb constructive criticism and be open to suggestions. Even the 'Big Boys' need editing. Case in Point: Robert Crais has written eight or however many Joe Pike/Elvis Cole novels. In his stories, Elvis Cole drives a 1966 Corvette. From 63' through 67' Chevrolet spelled Sting Ray as TWO WORDS. In 1968 Chevrolet dropped the Sting Ray moniker from the Corvette, then revised it in 69' as one word: Stingray. Even through his latest novel, "The Sentry", Crais is still misspelling Elvis Cole's 1966 Corvette Sting Ray as 'Stingray'. You'd think by now someone would have caught that.

Back to the point. I can only suggest, strongly, that Ms. Picard be given an honest chance at viewing someone's work.

New Writer
02-07-2011, 08:37 PM
I just joined this site and besides a response to a 'welcome' PM this is the first thing I've written. I queried Ms. Picard about my first novel, she responded asking for the first two chapters which I sent, pasted in the body of the email. (FYI, I know of NO literary agent/agency that will 'open' any attachment. This is stated clearly in all Internet Agency websites and the Literary Agent Guides. So one cannot be surprised that an attachment was not opened.)

She liked what she read but also stated she felt it needed editing, something I KNEW would need to be done. Personally, I don't have any problem at all with an agent/agency offering these services. I don't see how that's a conflict of interest, in fact I feel just the opposite. She offers to reinburse her editing fee if she sells the book, that's fair. Who wants to work for free, I certainly don't. I'm part 'Vulcan'. If things don't make reasonable common sense to me I have difficulty them. Ms. Picard has been honest, upfront, and told me her opinions in an open manner. When she sent me the first four pages, edited, back to me, her changes were valid and I was pleased. If she had a problem almost ten years ago, I'm not going to hold that against her. I've had my problems in my life and I've learned from them. Who here hasn't????

From my experience with her to date, she has been a great help and I have total confidence in her. I can only offer what my own perspective has been.

As authors we need to be able to absorb constructive criticism and be open to suggestions. Even the 'Big Boys' need editing. Case in Point: Robert Crais has written eight or however many Joe Pike/Elvis Cole novels. In his stories, Elvis Cole drives a 1966 Corvette. From 63' through 67' Chevrolet spelled Sting Ray as TWO WORDS. In 1968 Chevrolet dropped the Sting Ray moniker from the Corvette, then revised it in 69' as one word: Stingray. Even through his latest novel, "The Sentry", Crais is still misspelling Elvis Cole's 1966 Corvette Sting Ray as 'Stingray'. You'd think by now someone would have caught that.

Back to the point. I can only suggest, strongly, that Ms. Picard be given an honest chance at viewing someone's work.


Forgot to add, everything by her has been in a very timely manner.

Jamiekswriter
02-07-2011, 08:52 PM
Anyone know of her qualifications as an editor?

Could someone with PW look up and see if she had any 2010 sales? I saw that there was a May 2010 deal, but couldn't get any details on where it was sold to. (I just googled her and part of the listing appeared, but I'm not a member so I couldn't get the details.)

My google search didn't bring up a lot of information, mostly it was about her charging editing fees. I couldn't even find an agency website.
I found this, but I'm not sure how accurate it is:
http://www.manta.com/c/mm4455m/alison-picard

Alison Picard
Alison Picard, Literary Agent
P.O. Box 2000
Cotuit , Massachusetts 02635 United States
Phone: redacted Fax: redacted

Areas of Specialization:
Adventure, Confession, Erotic Fiction, Experimental Fiction, Fantasy, Feminist Fiction, Gay/Lesbian Fiction, Horror, Literary Fiction, Mainstream Fiction, Mystery, New Age Fiction, Romance, Science Fiction, Biography, Feminism, Gay/Lesbian Nonfiction, General Nonfiction, History, How-To and Self-Help

Description:
Alison Picard is a literary agent with twenty years experience in the fast paced,
dog-eat-dog world of the publishing industry, and she currently represents 40 clients. Alison Picard charges 15% on both domestic and foreign sales. No reading fees! She requires an SASE for return of mss and all correspondence.

Rowan
02-07-2011, 10:37 PM
Yes, she has sales listed on Publisher's Marketplace for 2010 (ran search for last 12 months.) Everything from NF, to MG, to YA, Mystery/Crime and Inspirational.

10 total:
NF - 5
Fiction - 5

Jamiekswriter
02-07-2011, 10:50 PM
Thanks Rowan. :D

New Writer
02-09-2011, 09:01 PM
I received a four page listing of her book sales. She stays in constant communication with me and answers all my questions always within twenty-four hours, sometimes the same day. I have found her to be very professional to work with.

New Writer
02-09-2011, 09:09 PM
A couple of months ago, in response to a query, she requested I send her a few chapters as an attachment. I did. She sent me an email rejection. Only problem was, she NEVER opened the attachment with the chapters. (I have an email tracking program.) I asked her about that, but she ignored the letter. Very strange


I find this rather odd as everything I was able to comfirm about her when researching always stated 'under no circumstance would she open any attachments. This seems to be the standard of the industry. Most agents when receiving a query letter, if it's not followed exactly to whatever their own specificatins are, will immediately discard it. The logic as written in print: If someone can't follow simple instructions, why waste time with them. Not my words, just what I've read in multiple articles.

In no way am I trying to be offensive here but I wonder if you just simply misunderstood her directions?

Different agents require different items. One wants first chapter, one wants first three chapters, one wants first five chapters, first fifty pages, first hundred pages, one page synopsis, two page synopsis, and on and on. It's almost like it's some kind of test. Different agents even want different points in a query letter. One size doesn't fit all. The final answer is: DO YOUR RESEARCH AND DOUBLE CHECK ANYTHING YOU MIGHT READ IN A GUIDE TO LITERARY AGENTS AGAINST THEIR WEBSITE. You'll be amazed at the contradictions you'll find, and the website always trumps.

Just trying to be helpful.

Jamiekswriter
02-09-2011, 09:40 PM
DO YOUR RESEARCH AND DOUBLE CHECK ANYTHING YOU MIGHT READ IN A GUIDE TO LITERARY AGENTS AGAINST THEIR WEBSITE.

What's her website addy? I couldn't find it . . .

New Writer
02-16-2011, 08:48 PM
What's her website addy? I couldn't find it . . .

Don't believe she has one. I originally got her info out of the 2010 Guide to Literary Agents by Writers Digest Books. Then I spent about eight hours on the internet tracking her. Didn't see anything concrete enough to scare me off. Email communications with her were extremely professional and to the point, VERY IMPORTANT TO ME. I was surprised by how many agents don't have a website so that wasn't a strike against her in my mind.

She 'edited' the first four pages of the two chapters she requested, as an example of her work, (for free) and all of her changes made perfect sense, and made my work better. At least I thought so and I'm damned picky.

To me she's been extremely professional and encouraging.

victoriastrauss
02-16-2011, 10:54 PM
I recently heard from another writer to whom Picard offered paid editing services along with representation. She apparently stopped doing this for several years, but it appears that she's now back to her original M.O., about which Writer Beware received a number of complaints in the late 1990's and early 2000's.

This really is a conflict of interest. If the agent can make money from recommending editing, how can you trust that the recommendation is being made in your best interest?

Many agents do work with their clients to edit and polish manuscripts before submitting--but they don't charge fees for this. It's part of the service their 15% commission will ultimately pay for (and they accept the risk that the project may not sell). If an agent does offer paid editing (or other adjunct) services, it's best that they maintain a wall between the two sides of the business--i.e., agency clients are never offered paid editing, and editing clients are never accepted for representation.

Promising to refund editing fees if there's a publishing offer isn't as generous as it seems. If the agent sells your book she has to give the money back--but if she doesn't sell your book, she gets to keep it. Essentially, you're paying her for failing.

- Victoria

New Writer
02-23-2011, 09:05 PM
I recently heard from another writer to whom Picard offered paid editing services along with representation. She apparently stopped doing this for several years, but it appears that she's now back to her original M.O., about which Writer Beware received a number of complaints in the late 1990's and early 2000's.

This really is a conflict of interest. If the agent can make money from recommending editing, how can you trust that the recommendation is being made in your best interest?

Many agents do work with their clients to edit and polish manuscripts before submitting--but they don't charge fees for this. It's part of the service their 15% commission will ultimately pay for (and they accept the risk that the project may not sell). If an agent does offer paid editing (or other adjunct) services, it's best that they maintain a wall between the two sides of the business--i.e., agency clients are never offered paid editing, and editing clients are never accepted for representation.

Promising to refund editing fees if there's a publishing offer isn't as generous as it seems. If the agent sells your book she has to give the money back--but if she doesn't sell your book, she gets to keep it. Essentially, you're paying her for failing.

- Victoria

I checked with many agencies and only found one who would offer editing services for free. While many advertised this fact, it always came back to the 'read the fine print' addage. Would I love to have work done for free? Certainly. Although I certainly don't work for free. I see your points, valid of course. I also see the other side of the fence. If an agent is working with a new author, right off the bat the odds seem to be against that new author in this day and age. An agent, while making some but certainly not a lot of money for editing services, will surely stand to make much more by selling your work. That to me makes reasonable common sense. I suppose it ultimately comes back to the 'chicken or the egg' concept. For those who do not wish to pay for professional editing services, then I would strongly recommend that they don't. However, for those of us who understand that we can use the help in order to perfect our work, then I don't have a problem with it. I suppose my mind might change if I ever get the impression that she is not putting her best foot forward. So far I have not received that from her in any manner.

We all must do what is within our own comfort zone. If I get burned, I'll let you know. If I don't I'll let you know.

kaitie
02-23-2011, 09:53 PM
I read a recent article saying that publishers are taking more chances now on newer authors than they are on established midlist authors, so that's essentially a myth. Yes, it's harder to get a book deal right now but that's true for anyone. There are also first-time authors who can put together a book that's good enough to be sent to an editor as is without major revisions.

I'm wondering which agencies you queried about editing services. I also would like to know how you approached. Did you just ask if they do edits for clients and whether or not the client then has to pay for it? Did you ask them to edit something for a non-client?

There are a lot of agents out there who will work personally with clients on editing without charge. Some might pay for an outside editor to come in if they feel it necessary, but they will often eat the costs themselves, or if it does come from the author it will come after the book has sold and not before.

Have you looked up the agents you spoke with on these boards to see whether or not they're recommended? There are plenty of scam agents who do charge.

Disclaimer: I don't know everything and I'm sure people will correct me if I'm wrong on this, but your statement goes so against pretty much everything I've seen (and I've researched a lot of agents) that I wanted to ask. It's entirely possible I just have the wrong impression of things.

victoriastrauss
02-23-2011, 10:15 PM
I read a recent article saying that publishers are taking more chances now on newer authors than they are on established midlist authors.

Yes. Notwithstanding anyone's personal experience, I don't think it's so much harder now to break in--but it IS harder to stay in.


There are a lot of agents out there who will work personally with clients on editing without charge.Exactly. This is true of my agent, of the agents of the professional writers I know, and there are also plenty of agented writers here at AW who report the same thing. It truly is not the norm for an agent to charge a client for editing services.

- Victoria

New Writer
03-01-2011, 08:49 PM
Spent six hours on the Internet early last week and found several agencies who did state that they would not charge for a 'signed' client. Had a couple respond that they would consider on a case by case basis. Two responded for me to 'query' them and they would consider based on the strength of the query.

I have no problem in stating out loud that I'm very new at this writing thing. Because of losing my basic entire life saving in the financial meltdown, money is tight and I don't have the resources presently to attend conferences, etc., so I burn up the Internet learning what I can. It's only my humble opinion but there does seem to be a bit of a 'double standard' for new writers and established writers, and I can't fault that.

I had three agents respond favorably to my query letter out of about thirty-five that I sent out. Mostly received the standard rejection forms. One even sent me a three inch by five inch piece of green paper that simply said "Not for Me". Thought that was kinda cheesey but hey what do I know?

I apologize if I've 'started' anything here. To me it's one giant learning experience and I take everything that anyone has to say and process it. I guess the bottom line is that Ms. Picard had the most 'common sense' (to me anyway) points to be made about my work. Common sense is extremely important to me. Sometimes I think I'm half 'Vulcan'....lol....

Was I wrong in agreeing to paying an editing fee? Maybe, I honestly don't know at this point. What I DO KNOW is that Ms. Picard has been in constant communication with me, has answered all my questions (and there's been a bunch) in a professional and easy to understand manner. She patiently explains the reasoning behind her ideas or comments and they always make good common sense.

As she is the first agent I've worked with, again, it's a learning experience. My second novel is complete and ready to query. She has expressed a strong interest in reading the manuscript. I'm also well into the sequel to my first novel. I have developed two distinct series. At this point, a total of 22 people have read the manuscript of my first book, entitled 'Black Kayak' and all 22 have emphatically stated how engrossing the story was. (disclaimer: borrowed the 'engrossing' from one of the sources) All said they thought it was as good as anything else out there. I guess time will be the judge of that.

Anyone who can offer any kind of feedback to help me, or other fellow new writers, I for one am all ears. Thanks guys and gals.

stormie
03-01-2011, 09:04 PM
Money flows toward the writer, not away.

When I was doing my agent search a few years back, three agents responded with interest to my (requested) full. I hadn't yet signed with any agent. Two agents made editing suggestions. No money requested. It shouldn't.

sheri
03-15-2011, 05:03 AM
I just sent Alison the first 25 pages per her request. Now today she says she is totally intrigued by my novel and feels it has great saleability. My heart skipped a beat and I was thrilled. She then said it needed a lot of editing before presenting it to the publishers. She charges $2 per page...............

So disappointed!

Northwest Cowboy
03-22-2011, 07:18 AM
I just sent Alison the first 25 pages per her request. Now today she says she is totally intrigued by my novel and feels it has great saleability. My heart skipped a beat and I was thrilled. She then said it needed a lot of editing before presenting it to the publishers. She charges $2 per page...............

So disappointed!

Hey,

This is my first time. Be gentle with me.

I just had the same experience with Ms Picard around the first week of March. She even used the same "intrigued" phrasing. I keep thinking about going ahead with her anyway because no other agent has even asked to see any of my manuscript. It's hard to feel rejected about your work when no one will let you open your sample case for them. I suppose it's true what they say about writing a killer query letter. Mine must only wound slightly.

I had been encouraged by 'New Writer' s take on her, but I haven't seen anything lately indicating he actually got a deal. How about it, New Writer?

victoriastrauss
03-22-2011, 07:26 PM
I had been encouraged by 'New Writer' s take on her, but I haven't seen anything lately indicating he actually got a deal. How about it, New Writer?

If you're encouraged by New Writer's take, please also consider my take (http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showpost.php?p=5832202&postcount=44), which is informed by 12 years of tracking agents (and others) with questionable business practices. (I'd also wonder, if Ms. Picard employed the same phrasing in your letter as in New Writer's, whether she's using form letters rather than making a personal response--this is not unusual in agents who offer their own paid services.)

The submission rat race is tough, and when you're frustrated and desperate, any port in a storm can look good. But an agent whose first interest is in selling you something is probably not the best choice if you want vigorous, committed representation.

- Victoria

parumpdragon
03-25-2011, 02:39 AM
Hello everyone, P&E still says 'not recommended', and there are other sites that do too. I'm no expert, but from all agent books I've read, and definitely concerning the AAR, no agent is supposed to charge anything but photocopy and mailing fees. Desk work stuff, not MS and word-work stuff. Sounds like if she does not like your writing, then it's a scam to get your money anyway.

Northwest Cowboy
03-28-2011, 07:38 AM
If you're encouraged by New Writer's take, please also consider my take (http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showpost.php?p=5832202&postcount=44), which is informed by 12 years of tracking agents (and others) with questionable business practices. (I'd also wonder, if Ms. Picard employed the same phrasing in your letter as in New Writer's, whether she's using form letters rather than making a personal response--this is not unusual in agents who offer their own paid services.)

The submission rat race is tough, and when you're frustrated and desperate, any port in a storm can look good. But an agent whose first interest is in selling you something is probably not the best choice if you want vigorous, committed representation.

- Victoria
I tried to answer you a couple of days ago, but I didn't see my posting just now when I checked back. I won't be sending a manuscript to Ms. Picard. I'll just start on another one.

Thanks for your advice.

NW Cowboy

victoriastrauss
03-28-2011, 06:49 PM
You're welcome. Please feel free to contact me if you have any other questions or run across an agent whose reputation you'd like me to check. PM me here or email me at beware [at] sfwa.org.

- Victoria

New Writer
04-13-2011, 07:33 PM
Hey,

This is my first time. Be gentle with me.

I just had the same experience with Ms Picard around the first week of March. She even used the same "intrigued" phrasing. I keep thinking about going ahead with her anyway because no other agent has even asked to see any of my manuscript. It's hard to feel rejected about your work when no one will let you open your sample case for them. I suppose it's true what they say about writing a killer query letter. Mine must only wound slightly.

I had been encouraged by 'New Writer' s take on her, but I haven't seen anything lately indicating he actually got a deal. How about it, New Writer?


Sorry it took so long to get back, been glued to my computer. Without starting the, to pay or not to pay, debate, here's the skinny.

I received my 'Black Kayak' manuscript back with Ms. Picard's editing and revisions, and all I can say is, I was totally impressed. I know I have a good story here, and with her revisions, I honestly feel she put me over the top, with regard to the presentation of a professional product. SHE MADE IT BETTER. It was like taking a class in editing. For me, it was well worth the money, not just for her editing/revisions, but, FOR WHAT I LEARNED.

She has asked me for the full manuscript of my second novel, 'Hands Untied', the beginning of a new series featuring Sgt. Marvin Styles, retired from Marine Recon, who becomes the first Presidential authorized terrorist assassin.
She did not ask for anything else, just the full manuscript.

I am 46,000 words into the sequel of 'Black Kayak' and she has already requested that manuscript as soon as it's ready.

Bottom line is this: To me, is was money well spent. I have no qualms whatsoever. She has been a picture of professionalism with me.

In closing, know this about me. I don't blow smoke. My favorite analogy of myself is this: "Honey, do these pants make my butt look big?" "No darling, your big butt makes your butt look big." If you don't want the answer, don't ask me the question.

I will keep you updated. Russ

Katrina S. Forest
04-14-2011, 09:47 PM
New Writer -- I would be very curious if she asks you to pay for editing on your new manuscript as well.

I just do not agree with agents charging for editing -- it's a conflict of interest, pure and simple.

There are plenty of places to learn. I've learned from beta readers, conference workshop teachers, college professors, and just plain reading. I'd rather learn from those sources than an agent holding out the carrot of representation.

stormie
04-15-2011, 07:44 PM
New Writer--did she offer you representation on the first manuscript, after all the editing and payment?

New Writer
04-18-2011, 07:02 PM
New Writer--did she offer you representation on the first manuscript, after all the editing and payment?


Offering representation was the VERY first thing she did, before anything else.

She has not, and I believe she will not, ask for a fee to edit my second, 'Hands Untied', which she was eager to read, and any following manuscripts. Then again, on the second manuscript, there will be MUCH LESS editing required.

She has already expressed how much she wants to read the sequel to my first novel. Am currently 51,000 words into that, entitled 'Painful Request'.

So far I have no complaints whatsoever.

stormie
04-18-2011, 08:41 PM
....
She has not, and I believe she will not, ask for a fee to edit my second, 'Hands Untied', which she was eager to read, and any following manuscripts. Then again, on the second manuscript, there will be MUCH LESS editing required.

Good. Please keep us posted as to whether she asks for a fee or not on the second ms.

New Writer
04-19-2011, 08:31 PM
Good. Please keep us posted as to whether she asks for a fee or not on the second ms.


Consider it done....

Beverly Diehl
04-21-2011, 06:53 PM
I've been meaning to join this forum for a while, but when I saw this thread, I had to jump in.

I've been represented by Ms. Picard for about ten years, and while my work hasn't sold, it's not for lack of trying on her part. Though I have yet to make dime one - neither has she, while she has worked very hard getting my work into the hands of publishers and editors.

I've got the rejection letters from Random House, Penguin, Kensington, and multiple other places to prove it. :cry:That it hasn't sold yet, I take that as a fault/timing of my writing, not of her efforts. She has given me encouragement, mailed books in my genre to me (at her own cost) for reference, and periodically e-mails me about various projects I might want to tackle.

She hasn't charged me for editing, though she has sent minor edits (less than 10 per work.)

Sometimes I could wish the turn-around time was faster; then again, my turn-around time hasn't been that fast, either. And I'm not a client who's made her any money (yet); I "get" why I need to wait at the back of the line.

I have always found her to be professional and above-board, and think it's unfortunate that she's being blackballed here by people who've heard a rumor of a rumor of something that might have happened back in the '90's, but nobody with direct information.

I know the intention (to save newbies from making a bad mistake) is good, and I know that it's unusual for agents to charge for editing. On the other hand, to my knowledge they don't usually do extensive editing.

New Writer
04-30-2011, 07:10 PM
Got my 'bio' and 'marketing plan' done and emailed to her. For someone who wasn't really sure what I was doing (must've revised the bio at least 45 times before I was satisfied with it), Ms. Picard was very pleased with the results. Now I guess the official waiting game begins. Beverly, what genre do you write in? You've got me scared a little. I admire your dedication and persistence. Ten years is a *(#!^_+ long time. I read a lot of books that I shake my head and wonder how they ever got published. Must be similar to the music industry. I see national acts all the time that couldn't hold a candle to many bar bands I've seen over time.

All I can say, is in my dealings with Ms. Picard, I'm more than satisfied and can back up everything that Beverly said.

Beverly Diehl
05-10-2011, 06:51 AM
I'm in chick lit (I know, that's a dirty term these days) and erotica.

I'm not a fast writer, either, having been sidetracked by personal issues, oh, the last six years. Only now really refocusing on my writing. So, I very much appreciate Alison's patience in bringing me along and not dumping ME due to lack of output on my part.

New Writer
07-14-2011, 06:42 PM
Again, apologize for not keeping up with this. My whole life is changing. Received the edited second manuscript, retitled 'The President's Weapon' and the same as with my first. She, without question, made it better. Also was much less work for her than the first because of what I learned from that. The first manuscript has been offered to four publishers. She received the third completed manuscript, (a sequel to my first), now titled 'Relentless Pursuit'. She wants to sumit multiple manuscripts as quickly as possible. So far the wheel is turning forward, slowly, but unfortunately, that's the way it appears it goes in this business. So far I have only the highest regard for her. Time, as always, will tell.

I would encourage others strongly, to give her a chance. With me, she stays completely on top of everything.

victoriastrauss
07-14-2011, 08:39 PM
New Writer, have you had to pay fees for editing of the other two manuscripts?

- Victoria

stormie
07-15-2011, 12:00 AM
Don't most agents usually wait for responses from the publishers on a first manuscript before sending out the second or third ms.? Esp. when in the same genre? New Writer, you said that one of the mss. is a sequel to the first, therefore shouldn't the first ms. be sold first? (I may not be making sense here....tired and hungry.)

dwriter68
01-29-2012, 10:23 PM
I queried her back in August and just got a request for a couple of chapters. After reading this thread I'm not sure I want to send her the requested material.

jaksen
01-29-2012, 10:51 PM
I just want to say it's nice that she's making money, regardless of whether she sells anyone's ms. or not.

Great for her.

dwriter68
02-15-2012, 10:35 PM
I'm all for people making money as long as they are up front.

RKLipman
02-15-2012, 10:56 PM
The idea that most agents don't do extensive editing is a false one.

Lots of agents offer R&Rs to writers whose work they find promising but not There Yet. Lots of agents will ask to work with you exclusively on revisions.

And heck, lots of agents even host paid workshops, online classes, forums, and a zillion other things through which they offer feedback, critiques and editorial services - for a price.

But these services are broken down and delineated in a way that is far more clear-cut than this. Offering your own editorial services to writers who are querying you - no matter how qualified you may be or how valuable your feedback might provide - is unethical. Full stop.

I may be a posting newbie but I've been around the writing block for a while. Some things are acceptable business practices and some are not. The AAR, P&E, and many other places share this view.

I wouldn't submit to this agency if you paid me. And I certainly wouldn't pay them.

dwriter68
02-15-2012, 11:04 PM
Desperate times, I guess. An agent once responded to my query with a sales pitch of her own memoir. Go figure!

victoriastrauss
02-15-2012, 11:18 PM
Would that by any chance have been Jodie Rhodes?

- Victoria

kaitie
02-15-2012, 11:30 PM
I got a postcard sort of advertisement for an agent's book in the mail with my rejection slip once. Big name agent, but I still thought it was sort of tacky.

I agree that a lot of agents do ask for revisions, and some even use outside editors, but I don't think the writer should ever be charged for that. If there is ever a fee involved there is a problem.

dwriter68
02-15-2012, 11:34 PM
Yes, Victoria. I posted it on her link a while back.

RKLipman
02-15-2012, 11:42 PM
Kaitie - Yeah, I've heard of a few places that do that. I agree it's tacky, but I feel like it falls under "ethically ambiguous" as opposed to what's been described here, which makes me want to run to the top of the tower and ring the emergency bell for all villagers to hear.

Alicia K. Rapp
06-11-2012, 11:00 PM
Timeline

I sent a query in 5/24/11
I got a partial request 6/11/12

I sent her the partial. Best case scenario: she likes it, requests a full, loves it, and then requests reading fees. I'll deal with that if it gets there. Worst case: she doesn't like the partial and that cuts the worry right there. My big worry is that if it took her over a year to see and respond to a query, how long will I have to wait for a partial response. I've read this thread, and value its information, but would like to go off my own experience. I'll keep ya all posted.

Alicia K. Rapp
06-14-2012, 04:24 AM
Rejected 6/12. Well that was a whiplash turn around time!

Giant Baby
07-16-2012, 02:09 AM
New Writer, have you had to pay fees for editing of the other two manuscripts?

- Victoria

Victoria, this question is a year old, but it doesn't appear you received an answer. I've just come across a thread on AQConnect claiming that, as of June 6, she was still charging fees to her clients for editing.

The link is here (http://agentqueryconnect.com/index.php?/topic/8543-agent-alison-j-picard/). I don't believe you have to be logged in to read it. In a nutshell, she requested a two chapter partial from the OP and offered her rep two days later... As long as the OP agreed to pay $2/page for editing. Then, she would send it out to publishers.

This, by the OP's report, all occurred with Ms. Picard having never requested the full manuscript.

Fortunately, the OP declined.

NicoleJLeBoeuf
07-16-2012, 03:56 AM
I just want to say it's nice that she's making money, regardless of whether she sells anyone's ms. or not.
I couldn't disagree more. An agent who's making money without actually selling manuscripts is lousy for any authors they represent. The agent would have no incentive to actually sell their manuscripts, what with already making money anyway.

And whence comes that money, if not from the authors whose manuscripts aren't getting sold?

A reputable agent doesn't make money until the authors they represent make money. They make it from percent of sales of the authors' manuscripts.

alance07
11-19-2012, 07:37 PM
A list of the people she seems to successfully represent: Timothy James Beck, Susan Froetschel, and David Housewright. I also found other people she reps...they are however unpublished.

RCameron
05-24-2013, 09:08 PM
I queried Ms. Picard on March 1. Got a response about one month later requesting the full. It did have that form character a few other people seemed to have gotten. I have not yet followed with her, but will give her at least a couple of months. So far, I have not gotten anything from her about requesting edits for a fee.

stargazer11
09-06-2013, 06:11 AM
Hey guys:

Here's something new for everyone... Three weeks ago, I received a form rejection letter for Alison Picard for my novel. Today, I received a form letter from Alison requesting the full manuscript. Out of the hundred of agents I queried so far, this is definitely a first. Does anyone have any current news about Alison Picard? I found her in the 'Guide to Literary Agents' and she is also on www.writersmarket.com (http://www.writersmarket.com). Everyone seems to have something different to say about her, so I am not exactly sure what to do. She does have a client list and a sales record to show for it.

But I'm sure it is most likely a mistake, that she suddenly requested a full manuscript after rejecting my query. I was thinking of e-mailing her back to remind her that she rejected me, but may also paste a sample chapter in the e-mail just in-case. Who knows, maybe she had a change of heart. Has anyone ever worked with her? Is there any current news of problems with this agent?

Any advice will be helpful...

victoriastrauss
09-06-2013, 06:52 PM
I don't think it's a mistake, stargazer11, but I also suspect it's not a real expression of interest in your manuscript. As you'll see from other comments in this thread, Ms. Picard makes money by selling her own editing services (a conflict of interest: if the agent can make money by recommending editing, how can the writer trust that the recommendation is in his/her best interest?). My guess is that if you send in your manuscript, you'll receive an offer of editing at $2 to $3 per page.

Picard was known for selling editing in the early 2000's, then stopped for a while, but over the past couple of years has started up again. Writer Beware has gotten a number of recent reports of this.

- Victoria

stargazer11
09-06-2013, 07:49 PM
Thanks Victoria...

An agent charging for editing is always a red flag. What Alison Picard doesn't know, is that my novel is already edited by a freelance editor. I did a full edit job, copy-edit and comprehensive. What I plan to do is e-mail her with a sample chapter, and see what she says. If she says she needs to edit it for whatever amount, I will drop it right then-and-there. There is no way I am paying for second edit job on my manuscript. How would she be able to edit something that was already edited anyway??? Beats me...

What do you think?

Thedrellum
09-06-2013, 09:36 PM
If she makes her money through editing, then it doesn't seem likely she'll spend the time and effort necessary to sell your manuscript. In my opinion, I don't see the purpose of sending the requested material to her at all when it seems clear that actual agenting is not her main business.

I guess what I mean is that I'd forget her and move on to other agents.

Best of luck, though, whatever you choose to do.

MumblingSage
09-06-2013, 11:53 PM
Thanks Victoria...

An agent charging for editing is always a red flag. What Alison Picard doesn't know, is that my novel is already edited by a freelance editor. I did a full edit job, copy-edit and comprehensive. What I plan to do is e-mail her with a sample chapter, and see what she says. If she says she needs to edit it for whatever amount, I will drop it right then-and-there. There is no way I am paying for second edit job on my manuscript. How would she be able to edit something that was already edited anyway??? Beats me...

What do you think?

I agree with Thredrellum that there's no point sending anything in to her except as an experiment to satisfy your personal curiosity--with this kind of behavior, why would you want her to represent you anyway?

Although I'd like to point out for the record that storytelling is a subjective business, with no one "right" way to do it, and it is completely possible that something which has already been edited to be sent through the wringer a second time and produce even more feedback. I hope this happens to you someday soon when your story is picked up by a publisher and run by their editorial team ;D.

alaktas
02-04-2016, 04:13 AM
I received a request from Alison for me to send her my entire manuscript. But after reading the comments on this thread, I have decided to refrain from sending her my entire MS. I want an agent whose sole focus is to sell my work to a publisher, not merely edit my work and charge me a fee to do so.

tomascrey
04-22-2016, 02:15 AM
Hello,

Does anyone have any information they can share about Alison Picard's recent deals/sales?
I tried looking up her recent deals at Publishers Marketplace, but since I'm not a member, I'm not able to view the info.
If anyone has access to this info and can share it here, that would be appreciated.
Thanks.

CaoPaux
06-15-2019, 09:27 PM
I'm not finding any activity after '16. Anyone have recent contact?