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[Agency] Dee Mura Literary / Dee Mura Enterprises Inc.

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LaneHeymont

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Just an update, her famous under construction website is now up, and 100% geared to comedians. Suffices to say she should be on no one's query list, but let me introduce myself. I am Captain Obvious. :)
 

LaneHeymont

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I don't know if that one is a different company or another company run by the same person. It's http://deemuraliterary.com/ for the literary bit.

Call me a ranty auld baggage if you will, but an official website (even a place holder one) is not the place to have a message from your cat.

Touche! It's run by the same people or I know at least Dee and the Kayliee person work at both.
 

dwriter68

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I got a response 6 months after they requested my full. They love it but not a good fit. Well... I guess historical fiction and comedy don't mix.
Regardless of the time and that my manuscript is no longer available, I do appreciate the response. Some agencies don't even bother.
 

Doseyclwn

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My experience so far

Sent a query to Dee Mura a few days ago. Got an email from Kaylee Davis this morning saying they want to look at the full manuscript. They want an exclusive reading period of 6 to 8 weeks (a fact which I did not see until I sent them my whole manuscript). Then I read all this stuff on here and do some investigating. I can find no evidence of what they have sold for whom, and can find nobody that's actually had a book sold for them by these folks. I emailed Kaylee to ask if I could just have the names of some of the clients that her and her agency have represented. The following is cut and pasted from her email response to me...

>>

Hi Bill,

We typically don’t discuss the specifics of our client list with a new writer until the final stages of the review process, but after we have taken a look at your manuscript we would be happy to talk in more detail.

Have a wonderful rest of the week,
Kaylee
<<

What kind of agent won't give you any info on who they've sold books for? Does anyone know anything about what they've sold/who they've represented? I don't want to believe I've been shystered, and want to give these folks the benefit of the doubt, but am I just being naive?
 

jeffo20

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From what I gather, Dee Mura runs a talent agency specializing in "corporate, cruise line, club, music, film, television, and production industries." That's from Dee Mura Enterprises website. No mention of the literary side of the business on that site, no pictures of authors on the 'Talent' part of the site, and the literary website is under construction (and apparently has been for years).

Everything I've read here seems to go the same way: people send a query, they get an immediate request for a full (exclusive, which I wouldn't agree to), and then they get rejected.

When I came across Dee's listing I got excited: she's from Massapequa and I grew up next door, and my novel is set in the area. After digging around, however, I've concluded this is a likely dead end.
 

Doseyclwn

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I sent Kaylee an email this morning telling her that I could not offer her an exclusive, as Dee Mura was the 47th query I'd sent out on that book, and there had been some other interest in it. I feel like I gotta play fair even if they aren't.
 

hester

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Out of curiosity I ran a "deal" search for them on Publisher's Marketplace (my newest Internet addiction, lol). No deals came up for the agency (although not everyone reports their deals/sales to PM).
 

Doseyclwn

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Yeah, that's what prompted the question in the first place to Kaylee
 

Undercover

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I did a search on them too since they were interested in my ms. I too couldn't give them an exclusive, but Kaylee was nice enough to still show an interest and waive it.

All I could find was there annual revenue which is between 1 and 2.5 million, having been in business 23 years.

http://www.manta.com/c/mmy91j2/dee-mura-enterprises-inc

Added:
But reports show that hasn't been updated since 2010, so it could be more or less...
 

Lost World

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Couldn't get on here yesterday because of password issues, so I couldn't background check this agent. Sent her a query anyway, even though her page still features the cat from two years ago. I'm sorry I did...
 

Doseyclwn

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I have yet to find anyone who's ever had her as an agent. Nor can I find any of her sales. I sent a full manuscript to them, this is the reply I got from Kaylee...

>>
Thank you for your patience during our review process and for giving us the opportunity to share in your work. We appreciate the energy and passion you brought to this project, as well as its uniqueness in terms of the dynamic between voice, genre, and scope. However, we were hoping for more “showing” instead of “telling,” tighter dialogue to propel the plot forward, and more character development to enhance emotionality reader connection. Though unfortunately the manuscript isn’t a good fit for us at this time, we wish you every success in all your future literary endeavors.
<<

This reply sounds like it was taken directly from a textbook on writing novels. There was nothing specific about my work, leading me to doubt if she ever read it. I don't mind criticism of my work: if something didn't work, tell me, but this seems generic. I have serious doubts about the validity of this agent, and am a little worried about why she really wanted to look at it in the first place. This seems to be the response EVERYONE who has ever submitted to them has got. Any ideas?
 

Undercover

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I have a full out with them too, but I haven't gotten a response yet. From what I've dealt with so far, Kaylee's been really nice and responsive when I nudged her about it. She said she needed more time. I don't think your decline was all that generic. Maybe it was the writing itself as she refers to showing vs. telling. I suppose you can ask her what specifically she didn't like or had liked about it if you're questioning if she even read it. I've gotten declines that said "just didn't love it" and "wasn't enthusiastic enough" I suppose I could question those rejections too.
 

Undercover

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Thank you for your patience during our review process and for giving us the opportunity to share in your work. We appreciate the energy and passion you brought to this project, as well as its uniqueness in terms of the dynamic between voice, genre, and scope. However, we were hoping for more “showing” instead of “telling,” tighter dialogue to propel the plot forward, and more character development to enhance emotionality reader connection. Though unfortunately the manuscript isn’t a good fit for us at this time, we wish you every success in all your future literary endeavors.


This is about the same rejection letter I got. Just a slight change that said I had a unique concept and she liked the twist at the end. But she mentioned "showing" vs. "telling" which really doesn't apply to my ms. because I've gotten from other agents I am sometimes too detailed in what I write. But same thing on the character development, which to me, she can say this on every one she declines. I was disappointed too that she didn't mention anything in particular that she even read it. Perhaps breezed through it and didn't give it her all. She was sweet and everything, but it took them quite a while (I think 3 months in total) to get through it.
 

squibnocket

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From what I gather, Dee Mura runs a talent agency specializing in "corporate, cruise line, club, music, film, television, and production industries." That's from Dee Mura Enterprises website.
.

For what it's worth, their profile over at IMDB Pro is empty. I'm seeing no film or television credits for them anywhere.
 

surviva316

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I don't think your decline was all that generic. Maybe it was the writing itself as she refers to showing vs. telling.

In my time in an MFA program if you said any of the following three things in workshop:

1. You need to show more instead of telling.

2. You need to tighten up your dialog.

3. The words "authentic" or "sincere" at all.

Then you would need to quickly site specific examples if you didn't want people to think that you didn't read the story because you are saying things that are pretty much cliches that are true of most every draft. Her responses seem to include two of those three and an added one that seems like it's also mostly true of most drafts. They're pretty much horoscope critiques.

Between these responses, the fact that she seems to have a high rate for asking for MSs and a very low rate (zero, perhaps?) for accepting clients after seeing the full and the fact that she asks to look at these MSs on an exclusive basis AND the fact that she's never had a client before and says "Just wait until I accept you before I tell you whom I've represented [spoiler alert: she won't accept you]" I'm willing to bet she's just trying to get free looks at unpublished ideas and have an 8-week head-start on seeing those unpublished ideas.

I'm not going to go into conspiracy theories over what she plans to do with that free look, but is there any other reasonable conclusion to come to other than that she's just trying to get free looks at manuscripts?
 

fadeaccompli

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Between these responses, the fact that she seems to have a high rate for asking for MSs and a very low rate (zero, perhaps?) for accepting clients after seeing the full and the fact that she asks to look at these MSs on an exclusive basis AND the fact that she's never had a client before and says "Just wait until I accept you before I tell you whom I've represented [spoiler alert: she won't accept you]" I'm willing to bet she's just trying to get free looks at unpublished ideas and have an 8-week head-start on seeing those unpublished ideas.

I'm not going to go into conspiracy theories over what she plans to do with that free look, but is there any other reasonable conclusion to come to other than that she's just trying to get free looks at manuscripts?

This is ridiculous. Ideas are a dime a dozen, and an agent reading someone's awesome manuscript is only useful if they mean to then represent it. "free looks at unpublished ideas" is not anything an agent is dying for more of, except in wanting a chance to represent the best ones.
 

surviva316

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This is ridiculous. Ideas are a dime a dozen, and an agent reading someone's awesome manuscript is only useful if they mean to then represent it. "free looks at unpublished ideas" is not anything an agent is dying for more of, except in wanting a chance to represent the best ones.

Again, I'm not trying to start any theories about why she's looking at so many manuscripts without any intention of representing people (I didn't say she's stealing anyone's ideas or anything like that), but I'm just inductively coming to the conclusion that she has been operating for almost a decade on the model of seeing people's manuscripts (with the preference but not requisite of exclusivity) without offering any potential value back to the writer.

I have no idea why she would be doing this, but I don't know what to gather from the facts of her business model other than to say that she reads manuscripts and gives nothing back to the writer.

(The below list is basically just everything I know about the agency, and not every point is meant to "prove" anything, but I do think that for the most part they all lend to my point):

She has no evidence of ever representing a client ever. She seems to have a high rate of asking for manuscripts. She asks for exclusivity for manuscripts, but isn't discouraged from looking at them if she isn't granted exclusivity. She has a 0% acceptance rate of these manuscripts as far as we know. When asked for responses on her thoughts, she gives what seems like pretty much copy+pasted, horoscope responses, kind of BSy but polite reasons for rejection. She has supposedly been building a website for the last several years. As of now, said website provides no information about the agency/clients/etc, but it does manage to convey how to submit material to her. The biggest positive that has been mentioned about her in this thread is that she is polite and overall pleasant to correspond with. She promises a sales record once she has chosen to represent you, but it has never gotten to that point with anyone as far as we know.

I'm probably missing some things, and I don't necessarily know what all of this means, but the fact that she's an agent with no clients should be enough to wonder what the hell she does exactly.
 

Terie

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...I'm just inductively coming to the conclusion that she has been operating for almost a decade on the model of seeing people's manuscripts (with the preference but not requisite of exclusivity) without offering any potential value back to the writer.

I have no idea why she would be doing this....

Because this is exactly how agents work.

They don't owe a writer any kind of detailed feedback as to why they don't offer representation. That would take time, and time is money. Agenting is a business, not an MA class.

Few agents (other than those initially building their lists) take on more than one or two new clients a year, regardless of how many partials or fulls they request.

Since this behaviour seems to surprise you, you might want to do more research into how the publishing industry works, which, as I already mentioned, isn't anything remotely like a creative writing class.

Now, as to whether this particular agent is any good, I have no opinion. I'm merely pointing out that some of the things you're bringing up as possible red flags just....aren't; they're the way the biz works.
 

surviva316

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Again, I wasn't mentioning them as red-flags. All I meant that the fact that she has zero track record whatsoever seems to point strongly to the fact that she provides no positive value. There seems to be a remote-but-non-zero chance that there is some kind of negative value.

I'll stop posting on this subject, though, as 1) I don't feel strongly one way or another (again, not putting forth any theories or anything), 2) I have no stake in this and 3) I don't want to make a bad first impression on a site that I've gotten a lot of value lurking on.
 

LaneHeymont

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One of the barest literary agency websites I've seen. Notably lacking: any info on clients or sales.

- Victoria

Yes, nor does it list any actual experience in the literary world. It only speaks to degrees in publishing or literature.

I wonder if they actually rep anyone.