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[Agency] Inspira Group

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DaveKuzminski

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I'm interested in anything other writers have to state about an agency called The Inspira Group, positive or negative. Please feel free to either post information here or email me if you wish to remain a confidential resource. Thank you.
 

Mad

Inspira

Hi,

I have an offer from the agent Inspira. Does anyone have knowledge of this group?

Mad
 

Aconite

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Mad said:
I have an offer from the agent Inspira. Does anyone have knowledge of this group?
The Index at the top of this page lists this thread for Inspira: http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=11582. That thread indicates that Writer Beware has been told they charge upfront fees, which is not good.

Preditors and Editors lists:
Inspira Group: $ Editing advisory. a literary agency. Contact at:

5 Bradley Road
Enfield, Middx.
London, England
tel. 020 8292 5163
e-mail: [email protected]
$ means they have verified sales, but the editing advisory is also not good.
 
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angelwarrior

Inspira Group

Hi there

I am a new member, and I seen that some folks had written up some things on Inspira Group. i sent off some chapters of my book and got an instant reply, but the thing that is making me concerned is that the MD Darin guy, has asked me to sen him my full manuscript. i have just recently begun searching for an agent, and so far have had rejections. Which is fine, I keep trying, but what concerned me is would an agent as for a full manuscirpt before talking with me or discussing something.....???? I was excited at first, but then thought that an agent should not ask for a full anything until they had talked more with the author and got more of a feel. Can anyone confirm if it would be wise to give this company a wide bearth, what concerns me is someone stealing my work...maybe i am being over cautious, but it does seem strange to me..
any help and advice would be great from you guys...also if anyone has any agent info that would aslo be great.

Thanks much
angelwarrior
 

triceretops

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AW--it is highly unlikey that anyone, writer, agent, publisher, would steal your work since there is such a glut of the printed word, that no one has the time or inclination to capitalize on somebody else's project. Those are the cold hard facts. It is too much of a bother in literary circles. Hollywood might be a different story--but not here.

It is quite common for an agent to ask for a full manuscript in the next neccessary stage in evaluating your work. Now, if you trust this agent, remain calm, take a few breaths, and send in the full. The time for panic or suspicion will follow imediately after you've sent the full in. Therein might come that dreaded notation to you that you might need an editing service--that is the time to stop the train. Never agree to out-of-pocket expenses!!!

Triceratops
 

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...
06-17-2006, 11:04 AM
howiehok
Esteemed New Member

The Inspira Group
-----------------------------------------------------------

Hello there, my first post!
I have written my first novel, and have spent last 3 months trying and failing to get an agent. Not despondant yet.
Anyway, on Friday, I get a call from an agent, namely the head guy at the Inspira Group, who are listed in the Writers Yearbook, and were one of the 40 or so agents i sent my work off to. He says he wants to represent me, I think briefly I have hit the big time, until he mentions a £350 fee upfront to help with their proposal packages for submitting to publishing companies.
Does anyone have any experience of these guys? A fee is unusual, and I don't want to be the victim of a scam! They have their own website (www.theinspiragroup.com), but none of the authors listed seem to have got particularly good publishing deals.

----------------------------------------------------------
06-17-2006, 11:59 AM
Tilly
Board fanatic

Successful agents don't normally charge upfront fees like this. Scam and clueless agents do, because they need to, because they can't sell your book to a publisher.

There is another thread on this agency which you may find useful:
http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=11582

(For future reference, the best way to find out about agents on this board is to go to the wondeful index:
http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=792
and see if there's already a thread. If we have questions that aren't covered in the thread, we ask them there, and the thread magically rises to the top so everyone can read it).

The dollar sign on their entry at P&E suggests they have verified sales, but it would be worth finding out whether these were to publishers where you need an agent to submit, and what kind of publishers they were. From what you've said these aren't amazing deals.

http://www.anotherealm.com/prededitors/peali.htm

Personally, I'd steer away completely from agents who charge up front fees.

ETA:
Okay, I recognise at least one of the authors they say they represent. Tread carefully, but I'm more clueless than usual on this one.
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06-17-2006, 12:25 PM
Tilly
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I've found this discussion:
http://216.239.59.104/search?q=cache...ient=firefox-a

I'd be inclined to contact Writer Beware and ask them if they have any further information:
http://www.sfwa.org/beware/
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06-17-2006, 12:44 PM
Old Hack
A very happy poster

When I worked as an editor we had some negotiations with Colin Wilson (one of the authors listed as represented by the Inspira Group on their website). He was NOT represented by the Inspira Group at that time which was, admittedly, eleven years ago. His agent at that time was one which had represented him for many years and I cannot imagine him changing--although anything is possible.

I recognise several of the others writers listed on their website but do not know whether or not they are represented by the Inspira Group.

I would never sign up with an agent which charged upfront fees; and although Enfield, in Middlesex, is a perfectly nice place it is a decent distance outside of London where most of the publishers are based. Which makes an agent's work that much more difficult, I would think.
06-17-2006, 12:44 PM
howiehok
Esteemed New Member

thanks for all your posts-i have decided definitely to say NO to this offer. Time to do my 7th draft of the book then! I e-mailed a particular journalist who has specialised in writer's rights who said they are just vanity publishing, and have been removed from the Writer's Yearbook, so my mind was definitely made up by that....i can buy half an LCD TV with that money....
Yesterday, 11:29 AM
DMJJ
Esteemed New Member

From: Darin Jewell
Managing Director
The Inspira Group
www.theinspiragroup.com

Firstly, thank you to everyone who has contrituted to this string. In reply to Howard Hockin's recent postings and replies, I thought I'd explain how we work and why we do things the way we do.

I know I'm swimming upstream here, but we ask authors to cover the cost of their own submissions for their first book and will reimburse any author in full if he or she is unhappy with the work we do for them. Once we place their first book, we cover the cost of every other book we ever represent them on.

We receive ~400 submissions/month from authors asking us to represent them, and take on about one new author per month, some of which are unpublished authors, and some of which are previously published authors. A list of many of the authors we represent and the books we've placed for them with traditional publishers can be found on our website.

If we're not able to place our authors' books with traditional publishers even with our best efforts, then we look at other options like POD rather than giving up, and we help to promote our authors' books once they're published.

In reply to postings above, we do represent Colin Wilson & his son, Damon. Damon asked us to represent them because their long-term agent is semi-retired. Enfield in Middx. is in north London. Admittedly it's a long walk, but it's only about 20 minutes to Liverpool Street (central London) by train. We have nothing to do with vanity publishing and we are listed in The Writer's Handbook 2006 (published by MacMillan).

If anyone has any more concerns/questions about The Inspira Group, then pls. feel free to contact me by phone on 0208 292 5163 or by e-mail on [email protected] and I'd be glad to answer them.

Also, pls. let me know if you'd like to speak to any of the authors we represent and I'd be glad to put you in touch with them.

kind regards,

Darin

--------------------------------------------
Yesterday, 07:09 PM
Tilly
Board fanatic

Quote:
Originally Posted by DMJJ
A list of many of the authors we represent and the books we've placed for them with traditional publishers can be found on our website.

It's late, and I am perfectly capable of missing the blindingly obvious, but I can't find the bit on the website that says which books Inspira have sold.

I can find the list of authors. Next to the authors' names are some of their books, often as links. But there's no way Inspira Group sold Collin Wilson's 'The Outsider' . From that page I can't tell what books Inspira has sold for these authors.

Am I missing something? (That's a guenuine, sleepy, cry for help. If someone has found this on the website, please let me know.)

If the books Inspira have sold are not distinguished anywhere on the site, that is perhaps an area in which the website could be improved.
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Yesterday, 08:06 PM
Tilly
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If you're considering this agency, there is an entry for Darin Jewell on the free service at www.agentresearch.com.
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Today, 10:49 AM
victoriastrauss
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Tilly, that's a very interesting entry, and confirms my impression of this agency.

- Victoria
__________________
Today, 11:34 AM
MadScientistMatt
Empirical Storm Trooper

DMJJ,

How can an agency ethically make money placing authors with POD services? I can't see an agent making a living off taking 15% of PublishAnything's famous dollar advances.
__________________
Matthew Cramer
 

dmj

Books placed by The Inspira Group

Here is a list of some of the books The Inspira Group has been involved in placing over the last few years:


Oldies Joke Book (Prion Books) by M. Haskins & C. Whichelow (published May 2008)

Who's the Daddy? (Prion Books) by M. Haskins & C. Whichelow (published May 2008)

Laugh with Mother (Prion Books) by M. Haskins & C. Whichelow (published in March 2008)

Feng Shui Life Coach (Octopus/Godsfield) by S. Brown (published in March 2008)

So You're A Grandparent! (Summersdale) by C. Whichelow & M. Haskins (published in March 2008)

So You're Retired! (Summersdale) by C. Whichelow & M. Haskins (published in March 2008)

The Death Pictures (Accent Press) by S. Hall (published in February 2008)

Half-Discovered Wings (Libros Int.l) by D. Brookes (published in October 2007)

The Well-Tempered Clavier (Legend Press) by W. Coles (published in October 2007)

It's Not Rocket Science (Piatkus / Portrait) by C. Whichelow & H. Murray (published in October 2007)

They X-Rayed My Head and Found Nothing (Headline Book Publishing) by M. Haskins & C. Whichelow (published in October 2007)

Laugh, Cackle & Howl (Prion Books) by M. Haskins & S. Arnott (published in September 2007)

Peculiar Proverbs (Summersdale) by S. Arnott (published in September 2007)

Pupcakes (Octopus/Hamlyn) by S. Mehanna (published in September 2007)

Teaching English, Language and Literacy, Vol. 2 (Routledge) by Dr. D. Wyse and R. Jones (published in September 2007)

Follow the Fox (Cambridge University Press) by G. Askew

Broken Glass (Robert Hale) by C. W. Reed

How to Help Your Child Read and Write (Pearson Longman) by Dr. D. Wyse

So You're 40, So You're 50, So You're 60 (Summersdale) by M. Haskins & C. Whichelow

How To Get Over A Breaking Up (Crombie Jardine) by J. Barragh

Looking Glass (Robert Hale) by C. Reed

Women’s Best Friend Is Her Money (Boxtree/Macmillan) by J. Birtles

Adam vs. Eve (Carlton Books) by P. Rogan & J. Rosenholtz

Women Leading (Palgrave/MacMillan) by S. Hayward

Sexy Football (Robson Books) by P. Gilmour

Chickwit (Prion/Carlton Book) by J. Birtles

A Bit on the Side (Piatkus) by J. Birtles

Little Book of More Abuse (Pan MacMillan) by J. Birtles

Rainbow: Climbing High (Boxtree/MacMillan) by M. Anderiesz
 
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victoriastrauss

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Apex and Pegasus Elliot (full name, Pegasus & Elliot Mackenzie Publishers) are vanity publishers.

Apex admits it charges a fee, though it's a tad deceptive in its efforts to convince writers that this is a good idea.

I couldn't find any mention of fees anywhere on Pegasus's website. However, I have documentation, and the amateurish covers and the badly written and erratically punctuated text are a big clue. My favorite quote, from the description of the Chimera erotica imprint: "We now specialise in the work of previously unpublished first time authors from all over the world who have a good spanking tale to tell." Oooooh, kinky.

One of Inspira's Pegasus authors, Stephen Murray (Burning Bridges), published his followup novel with POD vanity AuthorHouse. Click the book cover to see his co-author.

- Victoria
 

AnneMarble

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[Agent] John Hancock / Inspira Literary Agency

There's an article in TheTimesOnline about the rising dangers of fee-charging agents.

It starts off with the owner of Inspira Literary Agency responding angrily to a phone call from the reporter and also includes something about agent John Hancock. There's also a quote from Clare Alexander, president of the Association of Authors’ Agents.
 
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JerseyGirl1962

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AnneMarble said:
There's an article in TheTimesOnline about the rising dangers of fee-charging agents.

It starts off with the owner of Inspira Literary Agency responding angrily to a phone call from the reporter and also includes something about agent John Hancock. There's also a quote from Clare Alexander, president of the Association of Authors’ Agents.

Thanks for the link, Anne.

Disgusting is the only word that comes to mind. This, about John Hancock:

But no explanation was forthcoming from John Hancock for the £97 “reading fee” that he charges would-be clients. Hancock has been writing to unpublished authors, saying that he is seeking “27 new authors in search of a publisher”. The letter claims that the recipient has been “personally recommended . . . as someone seeking a publisher”.

Besides the up-front fee, sending emails to unpubbed authors is what gives it away that the guy's either naive or an out-and-out scammer.

Sheesh.

~Nancy
 

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Great article. :) I've run across relatively few fee chargers here, and it's not a pleasant thought that their numbers are on the rise.

John Hancock getting hold of someone's personal details is creepy.
 

waylander

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How ironic that the Google ads at the foot of the article are for PublishAmerica and the New York Literary Agency!
 

Roger J Carlson

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John Hancock: "Frankly, if you are not prepared to invest £97 in your work then we have no prospect of a long term relationship".

Of that, I have absolutely no doubt. Probably the most honest thing he said.
 

AnneMarble

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waylander said:
How ironic that the Google ads at the foot of the article are for PublishAmerica and the New York Literary Agency!
Never fails. :rolleyes:

Well at least PA is no longer taking authors from the UK...
 

Bufty

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That's wonderful.

Non-UKer thinks: Phew! thanks Times for warning me. Oh, what's this? Publish America? Wow - they don't charge. Gee, thank you, Times, I'm off to PA's site right now. Yippee! :snoopy:


waylander said:
How ironic that the Google ads at the foot of the article are for PublishAmerica and the New York Literary Agency!
 

MyTorchIsBroken

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I've just been approached by Inspira and I don't get the same feeling that the other posters are going on about. Darin was perfectly charming and even though he is not going to represent me, he has provided some good pointers as to where my manuscript was going wrong. He even had the common courtesy to call me personally to explain why he can't represent me at the moment.

How many other agencies can you say have done this? How many of you out there have submitted a sample pack only to get the standard "this is not for us" rejection letter? Darin I must say does place books, unlike some agencies I can mention, and yes he does charge something. Modern book placement is not like it used to be a decade ago where publishers would accept an unsolicited manuscript from an unpublished author. But nowadays, everyone has a PC, everyone has Word, and everyone "thinks" they can write a book.

I think we new authors must change our attitude to publication. If I had invented something, it might cost me £10,000 to test and build it, only to sell each device at £10 a pop. So why not think of selling a book like selling an invention? You need to spend money to make money. I certainly wouldn't have paid anything to him if he had wanted me to pay to read it, that's a different matter. But to pay a little towards properly preparing the submission pack, I think that would be quite reasonable. I'm not saying that £350 is cheap though, but it is a small price to pay to get published.
 
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CaoPaux

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So, in the sixteen months since DJ listed us his sales, he's managed to make one (1) three-book deal. I still don't see any pubs which require an agent. (And given what we've learned about Libros Int'l....)
 

dmj

CaoPaux,

The Inspira Group has placed over 15 books with traditional UK publishers since July 2006.

You overlooked the fact that the list was updated on 8th August 2007.
 

Momento Mori

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dmj and CaoPaux - the list of authors and book deals for Inspira is currently down on their site.

dmj, whilst I acknowledge that there are some excellent publishers on the list that you set out in your post, I am nevertheless troubled by the inclusion of others, particularly Libros International, which (unless things have changed) did not have a distribution deal in place to actually get books into mainstream stores and which wasn't paying advances. If I'd paid 350 quid to my agent, I'd want him to find me a better publisher than that, not least because I'd actually want to earn back that 350 quid!

MM
 

Momento Mori

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Erm ... I think that looks rather like you're trying to cover up a bad deal for authors there, dmj and far from giving me confidence in the Inspira Group, I'm now wondering what other "bad news" is being deliberately buried or spun, either here or on the Inspira website.

Making sales to PODs or vanity houses is very seldom good news for authors. If Inspira Group is still making a flat rate charge of 350 GBP for people to submit to it and it is then getting them deals with "publishers" like Libros International, then that is a pretty piss poor situation.

I don't have any problem with the fact that Inspira has got deals for its authors with established houses. I do however have a huge problem with Inspira (or its representatives) trying to cover up the shitty deals that it's made for its clients and when you make a deletion like that, then "cover up" is the only term to describe it. I don't know whether I'm more appalled by the fact that the deletion's been made or by the fact that Libros International was being proudly listed as a legitimate sale, without any apparent knowledge as to how that "publisher" operates.

If you live in the United Kingdom and you're looking for an agent, take note of the advice given by the Society of Authors, which does not recommend the payment of fees to authors. Agents make their money by selling your work to advance paying publishing houses. They do not make their money by charging their authors a fee to submit.

MM
 
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CaoPaux

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CaoPaux,

The Inspira Group has placed over 15 books with traditional UK publishers since July 2006.

You overlooked the fact that the list was updated on 8th August 2007.
Very well: In the thirteen months since....

Here's the list as of 11:30ish PST (reformatted for legibility):

The following is a list of some of the books The Inspira Group has helped place and promote:

  • Oldies Joke Book (Prion Books) by Mike Haskins & Clive Whichelow (published May 2008)
  • Who's the Daddy? (Prion Books) by Mike Haskins & Clive Whichelow (published May 2008)
  • Laugh with Mother (Prion Books) by Mike Haskins & Clive Whichelow (published in March 2008)
  • Feng Shui Life Coach (Octopus/Godsfield) by Simon Brown (published in March 2008)
  • So You're a Grandparent! (Summersdale) by Mike Haskins & Clive Whichelow (published in March 2008)
  • So You're 70! (Summersdale) by Mike Haskins & Clive Whichelow (published in March 2008)
  • So You're Retired! (Summersdale) by Clive Whichelow & Mike Haskins (published March 2008)
  • The Death Pictures (Accent Press) by Simon Hall (published in February 2008)
  • The Well-Tempered Clavier (Legend Press) by William Coles (October 2007)
  • It's Not Rocket Science (Piatkus / Portrait) by Clive Whichelow & Hugh Murray (Oct. 2007)
  • Laugh? We Nearly Shat! (Prion Books) by Alan Buxton (October 2007)
  • They X-Rayed My Head and Found Nothing (Headline Publishing Group) by Mike Haskins & Clive Whichelow (October 2007)
  • Laugh, Cackle & Howl (Prion Books) by Mike Haskins & Stephen Arnott (September 2007)
  • Peculiar Proverbs (Summersdale) by Stephen Arnott (September 2007)
  • Pupcakes (Octopus/Hamlyn) by Stephanie Mehanna (September 2007)
  • Teaching English, Language and Literacy, Vol. 2 (Routledge) by Dr. Dominic Wyse and Russell Jones (August 2007)
  • Follow the Fox (Cambridge University Press) by Gordon Askew (July 2007)
  • Broken Glass (Robert Hale) by C. W. Reed (June 2007)
  • How to Help Your Child Read and Write (Pearson Longman) by Dr. Dominic Wyse (May 2007)
  • So You're 60 (Summersdale) by Mike Haskins & Clive Whichelow (March 2007)
  • So You're 50 (Summersdale) by Mike Haskins & Clive Whichelow (March 2007)
  • So You're 40 (Summersdale) by Mike Haskins & Clive Whichelow (March 2007)
  • Looking Glass (Robert Hale) by C. W. Reed (October 2006)
  • How To Get Over A Break-Up (Crombie Jardine) by Jessica Barrah (June 2006)
  • How To Get Through A Working Day Without Actually Doing Any Work (Crombie Jardine) by Jessica Barrah (June 2006)
  • The Decent Thing (Robert Hale) by C. W. Reed (June 2005)
  • A Bit on the Side (Piatkus Books) by Jasmine Birtles (December 2004)
  • Chickwit (Prion Books) by Jasmine Birtles (September 2004)
  • Women Leading (MacMillan/Palgrave) by Sue Hayward (September 2004)
  • Sexy Football (Robson Books) by Peter Gilmour (August 2004)
  • Adam and Eve Joke Book (Carlton Books) by Paul Rogan & Justin Rosenholtz (March 2004)
  • A Girl's Best Friend Is Her Money (Macmillan/Boxtree) by Jasmine Birtles (October 2002)
  • Rainbow: Climbing High (MacMillan/Boxtree) by Mike Anderiesz (October 2002)

The one he deleted, just in case he tries to edit further:

Half-Discovered Wings (Libros Int.l) by D. Brookes (published in October 2007)

I don't know whether I'm more appalled by the fact that the deletion's been made or by the fact that Libros International was being proudly listed as a legitimate sale, without any apparent knowledge as to how that "publisher" operates.
Diddo. :rolleyes: I wonder how he'll explain the delisting to the author.
 

Momento Mori

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CaoPaux:
I wonder how he'll explain the delisting to the author.

I see that he's deleted his post, but he did say that they'd signed the deal because they'd been told Libros would have distribution in place. What kind of agent takes a risk on a publisher without knowing precisely what distribution is in place or whether they're set up to do their best for an author? Oh wait, it's the type of agent who makes promises like this:

We negotiate the best literary contract for you, including a larger advance and increased royalties.... guaranteed!

A larger advance than what? Increased royalties compared to what? This is puff - it's meaningless bullshit.

Bah. I'm glad that the Times link above is still working - hopefully people will read that and make their own assumptions about what the company's like.

MM
 

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