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[Agency] Red Writing Hood Ink (Sheri Ables)

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victoriastrauss

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Red Writing Hood Ink (http://www.redwritinghoodink.net/) is the new enterprise of Sheri Ables, formerly Sheri Williams of the Williams Agency. It's an agency/editorial service. This poses at least a potential conflict of interest, though Ms. Ables promises that editing and agenting will be kept separate. According to the website, "If your book is edited by RWHI, we cannot, in turn, offer literary representation."

See AW's thread on Williams. Over several years, Writer Beware received complaints of excessive submissions billings and inappropriate submissions.

In her FAQ, Ms. Ables claims that "The most recent sales before closing [the Williams Agency] was [sic] The Thunder of Angels (Willams & Greenhaw; Chicago Review Press/Lawrence Hill imprint) and War Elephants (Kistler; Greenwood Publishing Group/Praeger imprint)." Solid sales, both--but as far as I know, they were the only sales she ever made in more than five years of business as the Williams Agency.

- Victoria
 

Popeyesays

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There are some perfectly reputable agents (John Jerrold, for instance) who offer both representation AND editing. But they keep them entirely separate, they never rep a book they have edited or edit a book they rep.

Regards,
Scott
 

edgyllama

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I can't help but think that the editing part keeps them in business. I mean, why be a productive agent when you can make a living editing?
 

Stacia Kane

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There are some perfectly reputable agents (John Jerrold, for instance) who offer both representation AND editing. But they keep them entirely separate, they never rep a book they have edited or edit a book they rep.

Regards,
Scott

I know, you're right. It's not automatically a red flag, but with an agency with very little to no track record...

I guess my thinking is, when combined with the other red flags, it all equals Stop.
 

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I know, you're right. It's not automatically a red flag, but with an agency with very little to no track record...

I guess my thinking is, when combined with the other red flags, it all equals Stop.

Does anyone have any present info on this agent? She was recommend on Sally Stuart's blog, but I wanted to get some more info.
 

Juneluv12

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It's been over a year with the new agency, and still no sign of sales, at least per the agency website.

- Victoria

Crap. I saw where she had a dollar sign on P & E. She wants me to mail in the full, so I think I'll ask for


Victoria,
You rock, girl! I thought you were leaving...just can't get enough of us, right?!! I'm glad because I don't know what we would do without you.
 

Donna Pudick

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I can't see this at all. How can she separate editing from agenting under the same roof? What if she starts editing a book she doesn't intend to rep, then realizes it's a great book? She'd have to hand it over to another agent. That is, if she's telling the truth about her operation.

Or maybe she already knows the book is no good, but is charging money to the author to edit a book that will never sell.

Something screwy here.

DP
 

M.R.J. Le Blanc

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The way I see it if you want to agent, agent. If you want to be an editor, edit. But don't do both. Nine times out of ten there's something fishy going on, and the one out of ten who aren't fishy are guilty by association. Is it really worth it anymore? Our more learned members always caution that agents make their money by agenting. I just can't see the reason to take on editing as well - how would they find the time to do both well?
 

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The way I see it if you want to agent, agent. If you want to be an editor, edit. But don't do both. Nine times out of ten there's something fishy going on, and the one out of ten who aren't fishy are guilty by association. Is it really worth it anymore? Our more learned members always caution that agents make their money by agenting. I just can't see the reason to take on editing as well - how would they find the time to do both well?

She responded back to me within a day requesting a full to be mailed. I emailed the next day asking for current sales and clients....haven't heard back...that's been 2 days.

I'm chalking it up and moving on!

Thanks for all the info!
 

authorgirl1485

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She's my agent

Hi everyone,

I figured I'd toss in a good word too. I was contracted by Sheri in July, and she's already sold an entire trilogy on my behalf. She responds to me in a timely manner, and she is really nice. (Which I know doesn't mean anything in the business world.) Basically, she completely removed my "fear of agents," and she's become my friend. If I had a problem, I would feel 100% comfortable going to her with my issues. She has also never asked me for money and she even helps with some editing before the books even leave her hands. Regarding the submissions to the wrong publishers, I wouldn't know, but she has sold Mafia Cop and got quite a large advance for her author for it in the last year. (As well as sold my work within three months.) :D

Sorry! I just saw this thread and saw that she has done good things for me and figured I'd put in my two cents. :)
 

Undercover

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I'm sorry I had a different experience with Sheri. She was my agent for about 4 months and didn't do anything. She didn't help me revise it or anything, just said she loved it and sent it out there. No editing or anything either which I was leary on. Supposedly she sent it to a few places and just copy pasted the responses, which weren't a lot (like two or three maybe.) But it didn't have an email address as to where it was coming from. I had a hard time getting responses from her. And after only sending it to a handful of places, she wanted to start querying smaller publishers. I don't think she's got a lot of contacts from when I worked with her. Mine was YA and Mafia Cop is far from YA. She might do better with adult novels, but apparently mine wasn't working out for her.

I had a bad experience with her, but that was just me. I parted ways quick after that. I saw this pop up so I thought I would add to my experience.
 

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LaylahHunter

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Correct me if I'm wrong, but from looking at Astraea's website, it doesn't appear that one needs an agent to submit there....
 

K. Victoria Chase

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Correct me if I'm wrong, but from looking at Astraea's website, it doesn't appear that one needs an agent to submit there....

No you don't. However, several agents have including (via Publishers Marketplace) Barone Literary Agency, RWHI, Wordwise Media, and L. Perkins. I've even heard of one author who received an advance--she might have had an agent, and the advance might have been a buck(nice deal), I'm not sure on either.
 

victoriastrauss

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According to Publishers Marketplace, Barone Literary has placed just 2 books in its nearly 2 years of existence--both with Astraea Press (see the thread here). WordWise Media (thread here) has a handful of sales; a few are to bigger houses, but it also seems to be willing to place its authors with non-advance paying publishers, and you generally don't need an agent to accomplish that. The Perkins Agency is known for having agents that specialize in placing authors with e-only presses--a dubious practice that has been much discussed here.

Of the 17 deals listed for Astraea on PM, 12 were made by authors, not by agents.

No offense to authorgirl or Astraea Press, but placing a book there doesn't seem like much of an endorsement of an agent's skills.

- Victoria
 

Undercover

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I'm sorry, but this just proves it. That's why I left her. Sheri did in fact say she was going to send my work to smaller publishers after just a handful big places. AND the big places she sent it to, some of them never even responded to her. That goes back to me saying she doesn't have any real connections with the bigger pubs.

Even Skyhorse with Mafia Cop, an author can submit directly. So Sheri doesn't have any sales from large publishers plain and simple.
 

K. Victoria Chase

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According to Publishers Marketplace, Barone Literary has placed just 2 books in its nearly 2 years of existence--both with Astraea Press (see the thread here). WordWise Media (thread here) has a handful of sales; a few are to bigger houses, but it also seems to be willing to place its authors with non-advance paying publishers, and you generally don't need an agent to accomplish that. The Perkins Agency is known for having agents that specialize in placing authors with e-only presses--a dubious practice that has been much discussed here.

Of the 17 deals listed for Astraea on PM, 12 were made by authors, not by agents.

No offense to authorgirl or Astraea Press, but placing a book there doesn't seem like much of an endorsement of an agent's skills.

- Victoria

It appears to be a growing trend. On PM, I see quite a few deals from agents to Entangled. I've no doubt Astraea is own it's way to becoming as popular and respected as Entangled, but writers don't need an agent to submit there either. I wonder, though, if having an agent bumps your submission to the top of the list, or if you have more leverage at negotiating your contract. For example, I was only able to sell one book of a series to Astraea(each book will have to be submitted), and Authorgirl was able to secure a deal for all three of hers(not sure if all of hers are written-mine are in the works) so that just may be an example of what an epub will give you if you have an agent. That may be stretching it though... :)
 

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Red Writing Hood Ink

I was so excited to be offered a contract for representation for my YA novel from Sheri Williams. I haven't signed the contract yet, but the more research I do, and reading through this thread, is making me take pause.

Has anyone had a good experience with her, and if so, what approach did you find worked well in communicating with her?
 

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Hi, authorgirl,
I just noticed your post and am a little encouraged. Congratulations on your trilogy! Who is publishing it? I'll keep an eye out for it!

Do you have any advice for working with Sherri? What has worked best for you?

Thanks!
 

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Authorgirl's publisher is Astraea Press which is a small publishing house that accepts unagented submissions which means you can submit there yourself and get a contract directly if they like it. All of Sheri's publishing accomplishments have been small to mid-size publishers. Not one is from a top publisher. She's been this way for years and I doubt it if it will change. When she was my agent, she sent my work out to a handful of top publishers and most of them didn't even respond to her. She just doesn't have the connections like she says she does.

Believe me it's worse having a bad agent then no agent at all. At least you'll have control over what and where you submit. Good luck with your decision Faubertjones. If I were you, I'd keep looking.
 

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