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[Agency] BookEnds, LLC / Beyond the Page Publishing

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advicesisterA

This is my first post here .

I have been approached by Jacky Sach, literary agent, to do a project for Adams Media, a publisher.

I have not have experience either with the agent or the publisher. I won't go into the details although I am surprised that I was approached by an agent since it's usually the other way around.

Should I be flattered, or worried? I'm writing to ask if anyone has possible feedback on the agent or the publisher. My assumption, based on the lack of info out there so far, is that they are both on the level and, should I find the deal acceptable, not in for any major, nasty surprises.

But I could really use some reassurance and feedback on this one. Thanks in advance for providing it, if you can.

Thanks!
 

James D Macdonald

Re: Need feedback, fast *should I be worried or flattered

Is this to be a non-fiction book, and are you a noted authority in the field?
 

vstrauss

Re: Need feedback, fast *should I be worried or flattered

Is this is Jacky Sach of BookEnds? If so, it's a successful agency with a solid record of sales and, as far as I'm aware, a good reputation. (I believe BookEnds also does book packaging, so you should be clear on whether she's approaching you as a literary agent or a packager.)

Adams Media is a well-known nonfiction publisher.

Did she approach you as a result of published work? This does sometimes happen.

- Victoria
 

advicesisterA

Re: Need feedback, fast *should I be worried or flattered

yes to all your questions. Yes, it's a non-fiction book. Yes, I am a noted author in my field. Yes, i assume she approached me after doing an internet check for relationship experts as she initially said how much she liked my web site. Yes, she approached me as an agent, not a book packager.

But I've never been asked to do a work for hire. While I have some potentially great ideas for this book, I'm worried about giving them away for a flat rate with no hope of holidng onto the ideas OR the content.

On the other hand, my ideas could sit locked in my head or in outlines on my hard drive for a long time, or perhaps, forever, The relationship field is a very competitive one. I haven't attempted to publish one without a co-author but since my co-author died, I haven't really gone after this kind of work.

I'm really not sure what to do.
 

aka eraser

Re: Need feedback, fast *should I be worried or flattered

Are you certain the contract is for work for hire? Perhaps it can be negotiated. Asking never hurts.
 

James D Macdonald

Re: Need feedback, fast *should I be worried or flattered

Friends don't let friends sign work-for-hire contracts.

Negotiate. The copyright in your name, and advance vs. royalties.

If it's that hot an idea, you'll find a publisher who will give you that, and they know it.
 

advicesisterA

Re: Need feedback, fast *should I be worried or flattered

I was told no negotiation - it is definitely one of their work for hire series so they aren't going to let me get hold of the copyright. Work for hire generally means no royalties (and that was spelled out immediately). It's a flat rate and total ownership. But..it never hurts to try and I will . I don't WANT to work for hire and I never have before, but I want to be writing again. This fell in my lap and is an easy way back to business.

Life is hard, everything else, easy
 

James D Macdonald

Re: Need feedback, fast *should I be worried or flattered

Hmmm... if she's offering a work-for-hire contract, no negotiation, that's a packager deal, not agency representation.

Let your conscience be your guide.
 

absolutewrite

Re: Need feedback, fast *should I be worried or flattered

James, not true with Adams... I wrote a book for them (Words You Thought You Knew) for standard advance/royalty. Then I pitched them a book for another line of theirs and they offered me a work-for-hire flat rate contract. I balked, they told me it was non-negotiable. Even my editor (who liked me plenty) couldn't get them to negotiate terms. It seems that for certain series of theirs, they'll only do work-for-hire. Dumb. But it's not a packaging deal.

Oh, and BookEnds is good. I have recommended friends of mine to them. Nice people, solid sales, seem to be good communicators, and both were authors. I think I interviewed Jessica. Could have been Jacky. I forget which.
 

James D Macdonald

Re: Need feedback, fast *should I be worried or flattered

I've done a bunch of work-for-hire gigs in my career, enough to say that they're a mistake.
 

absolutewrite

Re: Need feedback, fast *should I be worried or flattered

Oh. I should have clarified: I did NOT take the work-for-hire deal with Adams. Sold the book to a different publisher.

I have, however, worked for book packagers-- the first two books I wrote were for packagers. Children's educational books. I don't regret it. I enjoyed the experience and made enough money to make it worth my while.
 

advicesisterA

Re: Need feedback, fast *should I be worried or flattered

thanks again for all your feedback. I think that there are valid reasons to hold out for a regular book contract. On the other hand, there are times in life when you might accept a job you wouldn't normally consider. For me, this is one of those times. So, while I'm still not sure what I'll do, I do know my reasons for possibly doing this project. It isn't the money, but there are other real and potential benefits.

Again, I want to thank you for helping me put some perspective on this situation. I hope I can do the same for someone else in a similar situation, someday (smile)!
 

Maryn

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Preditors and Editors gives them its coveted dollar sign, which means "has one or more verified sales to a legitimate royalty-paying publisher."

Maryn, sure someone with more information will arrive in due time
 

Perks

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Very nice, very professional and excellent sales record. Jacky Sach read my manuscript and, although ultimately declined, gave me valuable feedback and priceless encouragement. Jump at the chance to impress them.
 

UrsusMinor

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I'm with Perks. Jacky is great--and when she sat on an ms of mine (liked it, but decided it was too far outside her list), when she rejected it she referred me to two agents she thought would want it, and invited me to say that she had recommended it to them.

She's smart, thoughtful, and considerate, and I would have signed with her in a flash. (She was also right--my ms. was too far off her list.)
 

KAP

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Grampa Joe said:
Whoo-whee! Now I'm psyched! I just got an email from agent Kim Lionetti at Bookends wanting to see more about The Murder of Andrew Sigler. First agent that hasn't said "no". :snoopy:

WooHoo! Go, Grandpa Joe. Wow 'em.
 

Grampa Joe

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Baywitch said:
Good Luck

They passed on my proposal. They were fairly quick. 8 weeks.
Oh, dear, Baywitch. All I can do is keep my fingers and toes crossed, then. I need to get a proposal to them, and I've not been successful at building one before. Need to make this super-dooper, I guess. I'll get my wife to help cuz she is good at proposals. She proposed to me about 50 years ago.
 

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