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[Agency] Vilain-Innovations (Pauline Vilain)

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MysteryScribe

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Hmm. I found their twitter which also had a link to their website: but no information on sales, clients, or any real background in publishing. There was also no mention of her, or her agency on pre-ed. For now it sounds questionable, at best. Maybe others will have experience with her, though.
 
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victoriastrauss

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I've gotten a rash of inquiries about her over the past week or so. Based on her website, Ms. Vilain doesn't appear to have any professional experience that would qualify her to act as a literary agent. There's no sign of any sales, and there looks to be a potential conflict of interest in Ms. Vilain's apparent association with New Galaxy Enterprises, Inc., which appears to provide editing and other fee-based services.

- Victoria
 

DW26

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Well, she refused to represent me citing bad behavior for checking the references she gave me. Oh well...
 

Richard White

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Well, she refused to represent me citing bad behavior for checking the references she gave me. Oh well...

Let me see if I got this right.

She (the agent) refused to represent you because it's bad behavior to check references that she (the agent) provided you.

So, because you took advantage of something she provided, she determined that was bad behavior?

Unless you were incredibly rude to the people who you contacted, I would say you definitely dodged a bullet here.
 

Velma deSelby Bowen

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Well, she refused to represent me citing bad behavior for checking the references she gave me. Oh well...

Oh, really? Checking her references is bad behavior? That says a lot, and none of it good.
 

victoriastrauss

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I just heard from an author who reports that he received a representation offer, but when he asked about clients and sales, was told that the information was confidential. Always a warning sign.

- Victoria
 

sarahcypher

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Anyone know anything about agent Pauline Vilain? (merged into existing thread in BR&BC)

Her website is http://vilaininnovations.homestead.com/. Is this agency legit?

She offered to represent a client of mine (I'm a freelance editor) out of the blue, as he was on the verge of releasing his self-published novel.

She says that his publishing the e-book version is not a conflict with her plans to help sell the printing rights. This seems to raise a red flag.

My client is gung-ho to say yes, despite advice to hold off and make sure all is kosher here. If any of you can provide insight beyond what my Google searches yielded, I would greatly appreciate it.
 

Drachen Jager

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<link snipped>

You should have asked this there, but not to worry I'm sure it will be moved shortly.

Doesn't look very good from the comments so far.
 
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Katrina S. Forest

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Wait, so the e-book version of the novel is out, and supposedly Pauline Vilain read it and now wants to be your client's agent? Or it's not yet released and she simply read a blurb or sample?

If it's the former, you can ask your client if they're sure Ms. Vilain has read the book in its entirety. Has she given very specific feedback that only someone who read the whole thing could give? Or is it very general feedback that could be put together by anyone who had a rough idea what the book was about? General ego-stroking and flattery are always red flags. So is offering to represent based simply on a sample.

Bottom line: An agent needs to know who they can sell the book to. How can they know that if they haven't read it? If your client has any reason to believe Pauline Vilain offered without reading the full ms, that alone should cause them to re-consider the offer. It may be that Pauline Vilain has nothing but good intentions. But those don't equal the experience and personal connections an agent needs.
 

victoriastrauss

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She says that his publishing the e-book version is not a conflict with her plans to help sell the printing rights. This seems to raise a red flag.

This is pretty glaring proof that she doesn't know much about the trade publishing industry. It's a rare publisher these days that doesn't expect to get electronic rights along with print rights. Writers with star agents and a track record of success might--maybe--be able to sell print and electronic rights separately--but not a newcomer.

Of course, if it's a self-pubbed ebook, he can simply take it off the market if a publisher shows interest. But that raises a different problem--if the ebook shows poor sales numbers, it may dampen a publisher's enthusiasm.

- Victoria
 

sarahcypher

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Thank you, all who replied. The whole situation occurred on a back channel as I helped my client, Gary, put finishing details on his cover design, layout, and bio.

He'd hired someone to help him launch his book on Amazon, who was already in contact with Pauline to assist her in some complementary aspect of her agency launch, and passed the PDF layout version of Gary's book on to Pauline. Pauline then offered representation. None of it was with Gary's permission to share the book.

Pauline sent him an agency contract yesterday morning, and I referred him to Paula Breen, a well-regarded contract specialist.
 
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JamesBaldwin

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Well, she refused to represent me citing bad behavior for checking the references she gave me. Oh well...

There is only one appropriate response to this reaction.

"...Wat?"
 

sarahcypher

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Just a quick update: My client asked her for details about fiction authors she's represented. In response, he got a multi-page, emotionally charged, passive-aggressive litany, which attacked him for not being "serious" enough, possibly dishonest in how he represented himself to her (?), and disrespectful of her.

Let that red flag fly, folks.
 

victoriastrauss

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Pauline sent him an agency contract yesterday morning, and I referred him to Paula Breen, a well-regarded contract specialist.

I'd be interested to see the contract, if he'd be willing to share it with me (in confidence) -- beware [at] sfwa.org. I'm getting quite a number of questions about Vilain.

- Victoria
 

Old Hack

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The agency's website is very oddly-written, has lots of typos, and talks about a publishing world I have little experience of. I am perplexed.
 

IceCreamEmpress

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sarahcypher, is your client still considering signing with Ms. Vilain in light of her spectacularly unprofessional behavior? Because I would wonder why, if so.
 

Old Hack

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I've gotten a rash of inquiries about her over the past week or so. Based on her website, Ms. Vilain doesn't appear to have any professional experience that would qualify her to act as a literary agent. There's no sign of any sales, and there looks to be a potential conflict of interest in Ms. Vilain's apparent association with New Galaxy Enterprises, Inc., which appears to provide editing and other fee-based services.

- Victoria

You're right about those "other fee-based services".

This was the first page I clicked through to:

[FONT=Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif]To tell you the truth, we’re not really just a literary agency- although we generally start out with books or screenplays. [/FONT][FONT=Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif]We are a media agency because we can advise you and even help you create a media platform. [/FONT][FONT=Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif] Now some of this comes along with the territory- the advice part. But [/FONT][FONT=Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif]if you want our help in actually writing and constructing it, then there are fees involved and expenses. [/FONT]
[FONT=Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif][/FONT]
 

CaoPaux

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According to clients, she died Apr '13. (example)
 
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