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[Agency] GuruGirls (Lisa Grant)

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Judi B

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I tried to search to see if someone has already asked about this agency but I was flummoxed by the search feature. Not very good with this stuff.
Has anybody ever heard of GuruGirls Literary Agency in Rhode Island? The agent is Lisa Grant. I can't find out anything about them/her so I guess it's a brand-new agency with no track record. So how do I find out what they're all about?
 

Kryianna

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I found this:

http://www.provlib.org/calendarcentral.asp?id=69316
Discussion will be lead by Providence resident Lisa Grant. Grant is the Founder and CEO of HealthCareNOW, an organization devoted to obtaining Universal HealthCare for all Americans, and GuruGirls, a literary agency that specializes in after-publication subsidiary rights sales for independent writers. She worked for The Evening Standard in London and The Irish Times in Dublin, holds an M.A. in International Political Economy, and was a Fellow at the Institute of Social Studies in The Hague, Holland.

I'm not exactly sure what "after-publication subsidiary rights sales for independent writers" is. And I'm not quite sure how her CV, current job, and agenting tie together. They seem rather random items.
 

victoriastrauss

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I'm not exactly sure what "after-publication subsidiary rights sales for independent writers" is.

Representing self-published authors' subrights, maybe? Good luck with that.

I agree about her professional background, based on the very brief description above--it doesn't seem to tie in with literary agenting of any kind. People who come to agenting from non-publishing-related fields rarely manage to make a go of it.

- Victoria
 

Judi B

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I heard of her through a friend who heard of her through a friend. She had apparently contacted the "friend of my friend" and asked to represent her. Thrilled to have an agent show an interest, she signed a two-year contract. Other than that, I've found nothing. There's nothing wrong with being new at something; we all have to start someplace. I think maybe she also does publishing under another company name. The writer who signed up with her is convinced she knows what she's doing. I hope so. The writer is brilliant but not a good business person, or so I've been told.

Thanks to you who responded.
 

victoriastrauss

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There's nothing wrong with being new at something; we all have to start someplace.

Yes, but literary agenting is not an entry-level job. It's a highly skilled profession that requires a specific range of knowledge and expertise that's best acquired by actually working in the publishing business. Unless the agent has worked in commercial publishing, or has trained at a (reputable) agency, s/he probably won't have the skills or contacts s/he needs for success. People who come to agenting from non-publishing-related fields rarely manage to make a go of it.

I think maybe she also does publishing under another company name.

If she does, it's at least a potential conflict of interest with her agenting business.

- Victoria
 

brianm

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I heard of her through a friend who heard of her through a friend. She had apparently contacted the "friend of my friend" and asked to represent her. Thrilled to have an agent show an interest, she signed a two-year contract.

Did the friend of a friend initiate the contact or did she just pop up out of the blue?

There's nothing wrong with being new at something; we all have to start someplace.

True, but that “someplace” should be at the side of an experienced agent rather than on the backs of her clients.

"We all have to start someplace" must be one of the most overworked phrases I read on the B&BC forum. Doctors have to start some place, but it isn't by opening up a private practice the minute they get the idea they want to be a doctor. They go to school, learn their trade, and then spend years side by side with experienced doctors before they hang out their shingles.

Why is it people with little to no representation experience see fit to hang out their shingles before they know what the heck they are doing, and have the necessary tools and contacts to actually help a writer's career?

Don't take offence, Judi, I'm on a wee rant because I'm a bit tired today and I don't understand why writers constantly make excuses for businesses that do not appear to have the tools and experience required to operate a successful business. And when those businesses affect writers' careers, I tend to become a wee bit irritable.

Now that I got that off my chest, here’s a hug. :Hug2:
 

victoriastrauss

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Hmmm. It appears that Lisa Grant of GuruGirls is also the owner of The Writers' Collective, a self-publishing company that's the subject of a thread here.

I'm wondering if "after-publication subsidiary rights sales for independent writers" means that the agency is selling subrights on books published by the Collective.

- Victoria
 

Judi B

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I've been a member before and had to rejoin because I forgot all my registration stuff. Jeez. I'm not sure what connection there is between Absolute Write and Preditors and Editors, if any, but I noticed that P&E had GuruGirls listed with a conflict of interest and Not Recommended. To that I say Amen! Amen! Amen! More than that I can't comment but there is a definite conflict of interest because she also owns The Writers' Collective, or what appears to be left of it. From what I've heard she had some really good writers, including three I know personally, and they've been leaving like rats from a sinking ship. The few who are left are desperate to get out and she's apparently throwing roadblocks in their way. And for the agency part of it, she claims to have sold books but nobody can find any of record. Don't know if she charges a reading fee or not because the friend who signed up with them says she can't talk about it for legal reasons. Two of them have made me promise not to say much because of other legal stuff with TWC. So I'd better not. I just wanted to say thanks to P&E and AW for maybe keeping other people from getting in with those people.
 

CaoPaux

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The only "agenting" activity for Lisa Grant was getting folks with Trafford, et al. to republish through TWC; which apparently ceased in 2008.
 

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