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ALD Literary Agency (Leonid Dubizhansky)

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Khazarkhum

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1. Isaac Newton
2. Pope Urban II
3. Prophet Mohammed
4. Jesus Christ
5. Richard Arkwright
6. Ardys
7. Christopher Columbus
8. Albert Einstein
9. Aryabhata I
10. Louis Pasteur



Any list that puts Newton on top is a heaping spoonful of FAIL. Love him or hate him, Jesus Christ has been THE single most influential person in history.

And He'd tell you not to go with an amateur agent.
 

lewscannon

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Sorry, meant to address this in a previous post and forgot...

This is certainly true of the big houses, but there are many reputable independent publishers that are happy to accept unagented submissions (note that I'm talking about indies that market and distribute to the book trade, not the mom-and-pop amateur micropresses that are so common these days on the Internet). If you're striking out with agents and can't get a foot in the door with the big publishers, turning to reputable independents is a reasonable backup plan.

- Victoria

Hi all.

Yeah, I was happy to get a manuscript request from ALD, but in checking it out here, my enthusiasm is definitely tempered, if not entirely extinguished. Thanks for all the good info. I wasted 2 years with an agent who talked a great game. Can anyone recommend a good online or book listing of reputable independent publishers?
 

AussieBilly

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Verrrry interesting, the comments about this agent/agency.

P&E says, "ALD Literary Agency: Not recommended."

I queried and got a 'send the complete MS ...' reply. Best I've received in ages. But then I noticed there are no names of people on the ALD website. Not Mr. Dubizhansky, not anyone. So I decided to dig deeper and found the comments above. Darn ... I was so looking forward to sending my story to someone who cares.

Well, back to seeking just that right agent to work with. Thanks for all the info, gang.
 

MsGneiss

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Just like everyone seeking an agent, I am happy to send my stuff along to anyone who shows even the slightest bit of interest. But I decided to keep away from this agent. I sent him an email asking him to provide the names of some of his clients, or reference some of the manuscripts that he has sold within the last few years. A few hours later I got an email back with a comment about how my first name is Russia, and that's about it. Totally nonsensical and unprofessional. This person does not seem like a real agent, so I would advise anyone against sending him any of your materials.
 

tbng

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My $.02 on Mr. Dubizhansky

I sent my three chapters to Mr. Dubizhansky before reading this site. He asked to read the rest, which I did. He then offered me a contract that appears standard in every way. He asked for no money other than expense reimbursements, and the terms were typical 15% for American sales and 20% for foreign. I e-mailed him suggesting some contract changes along with questions about his experience, track record, who works for him, etc., but he did not respond to them. I sent another e-mail urging him to respond. Instead, he replied, "You should ask me all these questions before the mailing of the MS. Waste of time." I will not be signing the contract as I have no confidence. Perhaps I am wrong about him, but no one should hesitate to share their experiences when engaging in a financial deal.
 

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Well, he's half right. The best time to research an agent's experience, record, etc. is before you even query.
 

Jerry B. Flory

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I received a request for my whole MS from Leonid as well. I read these pages before his request and decided to ask him for background. He says ADL has been around for five months and has not sold any books. I am always willing to try out new talent. If anything, it's possible that his lack of sales leave nothing else on his plate to worry about except my book. I found Leonid vague and brief, not at all like I imagined an agent. I don't believe I'll send my MS to him. I have no grounds to accuse him of any malpractices or fraudulent acts, I simply find him lacking in areas of charm and people skills.
His email left me suspicious. How's he going to affect a publisher?
Two words, Leonid: Charm school, buddy.
Okay, that's three words. I'm a writer, not an accountant.
 

tbng

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To Caupaux

Perhaps you are right. But why would any agent refuse to answer questions about himself? An honest reply instead of a tantrum may have convinced me that he may be a new agent but worth a shot. Instead, he has me believing he is hiding something.
 

CaoPaux

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A "real" agent would not only be willing answer such questions, chances are you wouldn't need to ask: there'd already be plenty of evidence of their sales, etc. on their website or elsewhere. This guy thought he'd found someone willing to sign on sight unseen, but when you started asking questions, he realized you actually expected him to, like, be an agent and stuff.

It's better to build a list of performing agents to query, rather than waste time and resources querying before weeding out the useless ones.
 
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Autumn28

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I saw this sight prior to sending my stuff to ALD but did it anyway. I sent my first 30, he asked to see my first 50. He liked what he read and requested to have the whole MS. I got a reply today that simply said...
Dear Autumh,
Thank you for sending your manucript to ALD but I regret to inform you that we are unable to represent you at this time...

What???? First off, he spelled my name wronge, secondly what do you mean by unable...I guess we work for them, but to send a fully written book and get such a unpolished responce seemed a little unprofessional to me.
 

Jerry B. Flory

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So he has your full manuscript with no contract in play? So what happens now? Does he send it to his cohorts in Europe who translate it into other languages and publish it under their name?
Leonid claims to have published works of his own, but this kind of leaves you wondering who may have actually written them, doesn't it?
 

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So he has your full manuscript with no contract in play? So what happens now? Does he send it to his cohorts in Europe who translate it into other languages and publish it under their name?

This is a common fear, but it defies logic. If he were adept enough to have contacts in the European publishing industry, why would he go to the trouble--not to mention, risk punitive legal action--of stealing someone else's work and passing it off as his own? It's much easier, and safer, just to work with an author to sell their work legitimately.

Theft of their unpublished work really is the last thing aspiring writers need to worry about.

- Victoria
 

jimpick

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Hello fellow aspiring authors.
I'm the new guy on the block. I ran across this blog, unfortunately after I sent him my copyrighted MS. I signed the contract, and within two months after initial contact with Leo, he told me that four publishers wanted to see the whole MS and two more wanted to see the first 50p. Luckily, I have only six months for my contract with Leo to expire.
Jimpick
While I was encouraged, I wasn't counting my chickens. This week I received an e-mail stating the publishing business is tough, now, so he's starting a web site, showing 2-3 chapters of potential authors' novels for interested publishers to select the excerpts for evaluation when they read them. Leo wants only SIXTY DOLLARS to list 3 chapters of my book on his website for a year. No thanks.
 

ukwriter

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ALD literary agency

I signed with ALD (before doing my research) and won't be renewing the contract. Leonid has only charged me for copies, but I also received an e-mail stating that for sixty dollars I could post sample chapters on a new web site he's starting up. I declined. Furthermore, I got an e-mail from him stating that he'd found me a publisher...Publish America. Even I knew enough to stay away from that offer. So either Leonid didn't know about PA, or didn't care. As with so many aspiring authors, I got tired of the Catch-22 publishing/agent connection kicking me in the bottom and submitted without proper research. Won't happen again.
 

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Crap! He just asked for a requested partial (50pp), and I sent it off before checked this thread. Oh well...we'll see what happens.
 

jimpick

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Hi, folks,
Preditors and Editors now lists ALD as "NOT RECOMMENDED." Unfortunately, it was too late for some of us. Better late than never.
Jimpick
 

frandavea

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After sending the first 50pp, Leo just asked for my full. I am at a quandary, since he's asking for me to send it via snail-mail. I want to inquire about his credentials and previous sales first, hoping maybe he's made some lately. At the same same, I'm asking myself if I'm being presumptious to assume he's gonna like the rest of the novel in the first place. Should I play it safe and inquire through an email first? Is that kosher?

I guess I'm still beating this horse because my queries haven't gotten too many bites lately.
 

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Dare I ask what you think this guy will be able to do with your book? At best, he'll be learning the business on your dime.
 

frandavea

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I guess I'm hoping there is something...anything...that would justify the postage.
 

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Frankly, I don't see anything forthcoming. You can try emailing him for sales record, etc., but I expect you'll get a "nevermind".
 

M.R.J. Le Blanc

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Nothing in this thread really inspires confidence in this guy. An agent doesn't have to be an outright scammer or sleazeball to be a bad agent. Inexperience is just as damaging.
 

frandavea

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Well, I'm sold. I won't send him my requested mss. Thanks everyone for your insight.
 

FLauthor

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My Experience with Leo Dubizhansky (ALD)

* Sent query

* He requested 3 chapters; I sent

* He requested MSS; I sent

* I inquired status and his publishing successes; received the following response:
Answer to your question: ALD was founded in 2008, and we did not sell any books yet. We decided to represent you, but if you're against it, please let us know.

*I checked him out further (wish I had done it earlier) and sent him the following message:
Thanks for your response and your offer to represent me.

I would appreciate input regarding the relationships you have with the publishing community and the status of other projects (anonymous of course) that you are working on. Additionally, I would like your preliminary thoughts as to the 'marketing plan' for the manuscript, mainly those publishers (domestic and overseas) you want to approach and why you believe they are high priority prospects. In short, I need to have a good feel of how effectively and expeditiously the book would be marketed.

Hopefully, you will provide solid answers to these questions. If so, I would look forward to reviewing your contract.

I look forward to hearing from you.

* I received the following reply
You had to ask all these questions before mailing your MS.

* ...to which I responded
Rather than comment on your rude, arrogant and absurd response to my email, I'll simply state I have no further interest in any business relationship with you or your firm. Return or destroy all paper and data file materials I sent to you immediately.

Nothing more need be said.
 

frandavea

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* Sent query

* He requested 3 chapters; I sent

* He requested MSS; I sent

* I inquired status and his publishing successes; received the following response:
Answer to your question: ALD was founded in 2008, and we did not sell any books yet. We decided to represent you, but if you're against it, please let us know.

*I checked him out further (wish I had done it earlier) and sent him the following message:
Thanks for your response and your offer to represent me.

I would appreciate input regarding the relationships you have with the publishing community and the status of other projects (anonymous of course) that you are working on. Additionally, I would like your preliminary thoughts as to the 'marketing plan' for the manuscript, mainly those publishers (domestic and overseas) you want to approach and why you believe they are high priority prospects. In short, I need to have a good feel of how effectively and expeditiously the book would be marketed.

Hopefully, you will provide solid answers to these questions. If so, I would look forward to reviewing your contract.

I look forward to hearing from you.

* I received the following reply
You had to ask all these questions before mailing your MS.

* ...to which I responded
Rather than comment on your rude, arrogant and absurd response to my email, I'll simply state I have no further interest in any business relationship with you or your firm. Return or destroy all paper and data file materials I sent to you immediately.


Nothing more need be said.

That seems to be the story with EVERY author who's dealt with him, which is why I chose not to submit beyond a partial. How's a guy like this stay in business?

An agent, if interested in your work, is hired by the writer. Would any of us go to a job interview and reply to a question with, "You should have asked me that before I applied."