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[Agency] Mews Books, Ltd. (Sidney B. Kramer)

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revolocard

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Hi! I searched around the site and couldn't fine a thread for this agency, so hopefully this is not a duplicate. Wondering if anyone knows anything about this agency. They don't seem to have a website or much of an online presence. Found them in Jeff Herman's 2009 Guide and they seem super picky about the books they recieve: "fiction: all categories but must be outstanding in their fenre for plot and writing". They also "ask for an exclusive while reading so that we don't spin our wheels and duplicate efforts by others (occasional exceptions for established authors)." Usually these sorts of demands can only be made by pretty reputable agencies, but they're not on P&E, AgentQuery or Publisher's Marketplace. The only thing I've really been able to find is:

http://writersservices.com/agent/us/Mews_Books.htm

which says they charge $350 in circulation fees. But Jeff Herman's asks specifically about fees and they say "If we acept your work we do charge for duplication and some direct office overhead incurred in processing, usually less than $100."

I'm already pretty much scared away, but I'm curious now. I'm kind of new to this whole agent research, so I'm worried I'm unknowingly dismissing this agency when they're really like a Writers House.

So, just curious!
 

victoriastrauss

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I've gotten several reports of Mews Books' $350 "circulation" fee. This is nonstandard--reputable agents don't generally ask for upfront money.

I haven't been able to verify any recent sales for this agency.

Successful agents, by the way, don't typically represent "all categories" of fiction. They tend to specialize in just a few genres or areas of interest.

- Victoria
 

revolocard

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Thank you! I figured as much, but it's good to get a second opinion.
 

victoriastrauss

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I know he makes that claim about Bantam and NAL, but is it really true?

I continue to get reports of his "circulation" fee. And I can't find any recent sales for him either.

- Victoria
 

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Vic, he didn't charge my author friend - saying he wouldn't if that would be a financial hardship.

He told her he had her manuscript with two editors for evaluation as potential for the next Watership Down! If they give a thumbs down, then he won't take it.

Now my boggle is does he have indie editors inhouse (I doubt this) to help him with acceptance decisions? And why can't he make up his own mind? Does he not have his finger in the publishing pie so that he knows what is marketable? I have some doubts.

I also wonder if he is shopping this around to editors without a contract (which is all kinds of tacky) and only signs an author after an imminent deal is in place. Or is he simply getting feedback from two editor friends? Just who are those editors?

Lots of questions in light that I can't find any sales.
 

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Still no sign of sales. Any recent reports on him?
 

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I was with him for six months and he did rep my book in the USA. I think the reason he didn't get any interest was mainly because I was in UK and he in US and it didn't really work. It also involved a reprint.Also there were many 'Britishisms' in the book, i.e. references that would not have been known in the USA. My only concern was he would not give a contract, so I left him in the end. He was a perfect gentleman, very accessible, and from the copy letters he sent me from publishers about the book he was clearly well known in the publishing world. He made no charge and we parted amicably.
 

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Just as a footnote, Mr. Kramer passed away Dec '14 (obit).
 

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