All Fletcher All The Time

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Editing for authors: because every writer needs a good editor.

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robertfletcher

How about a message from the President of ST Literary formerly Sydra?

First, let me thank you for first 'seeking to understand'.
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If your mind is made up, then flame on, but if you would like to hear the other side of the story, then read on (you can always flame away later).

I read last week that 80% of all books published last year were from previously published authors, 10% were from celebrities, and 5% were from journalists. DO THE MATH and you can see what the odds are for as yet unpublished authors.

We specialize in working with new authors. Why? I really don't know. It certainly seems masochistic most days, but I tell you, the joy that I get from a 'yes' from a buyer for a new author is unimaginable! I also get a tremendous amount of pleasure in helping new authors understand the rules of this game. I can't guarantee that we can sell your work, but I can guarantee that you will be a better writer/business person as a result of our interaction(s).


Anyway, A LITERARY AGENT must be an AGGRESSIVE BUSINESSMAN, that's why you hire one.
========================================================================
You are hiring someone who knows business, contracts, selling, and has expertise in many, many areas, including coaching, psychology, and dealing with the peculiarities of the writers' mind...

I don't want to love you, I don't want to love your work, I want to sell it for money for you and for me. How's that for crass? My job is to make money for you and for me. Period. And as long as your work is professional and has a strong core idea, then it deserves a chance to be sold.

So many agents won't work with first time authors that we at least offer a chance to get your foot into the door of a VERY CLOSED - OLD BOY network industry.


Oh, and by the way, did I mention that I am a businessman, and this is business.
============================================================
We haven't always charged an administrative fee after an author is accepted, and now we do. Why? We charge $129 AFTER ACCEPTANCE and this is deductible from our commissions should we sell your work. This SEPARATES the men from the boys, and the housewives from the serious authors (my apologies in advance for any professional housewives who take offense, but you know what I mean).

If you are seriously selling your work, your postage for a year SHOULD BE much more than $129 shouldn't it? You wouldn't believe how the quality of the authors we accept JUMPED UP after we instituted this filtering mechanism. Frankly if you can't afford $129 you are going to last very long and you are writing as a hobby not a business.


So in conclusion, form your own opinion.
=============================
If you believe that 'love of the writer and the work' should prevail, then don't submit to us. If you believe that making money from writing is an uneasy truce between the art of writing and the business of selling, then please consider us.

Whatever you believe please understand that I TRULY CONGRATULATE anyone who has birthed a book. We know the time and life commitment that it takes and we applaud you, even if we never work with you. Just be careful of the innuendo out there and make up your own mind.

P.S. and hey, in the words of someone famous, 'at least they are talking about us'... if you would like us to consider your work, please visit www.stliteraryagency.com and after reading the site, submit.


This entire communication is for the exclusive use of the intended addressee only and contains proprietary, confidential and privileged information as deemed by the poster. You agree that this information will not be replicated in any form other than what is posted in this forum.

Yes, we live in a very litigious society and we know how to wield the legal sword as well as most. It's part of our job as an Agent to protect our writers' works and we know how to use lawyers very aggressively for our clients (and ourselves). If you read this far and understand the import of this paragraph then you are probably a good client for us. Ciao!

Robert Fletcher, President

ps. Did I mention that we are AGGRESSIVELY courting buyers and distribution in CHINA? Now that's a virgin market with BILLIONS of buyers! New authors are even better for them for a number of reasons, so maybe we'll find the gold for our clients after all.

Best to you once again. It's a tough world out there and there's lots of conflicting information.

And, if I could offer one piece of final advice for a writer, I will.... KEEP WRITING... WRITE FOR THE LOVE OF IT, WRITE BECAUSE IT IS THE PASSION OF LIFE. IT'S THAT PASSION, WHEN TRANSLATED THROUGH YOUR FINGERS, THAT ULTIMATELY SELLS YOUR WORK.
 

ST Did Me Right

ST Comments I love it!

You know . . .

I would really like to know how succesful any of you whinning babies are at actually MAKING A LIVING at writing anything . . .because, unless you are (and by inference of participating in this discussion - using an agent), you aren't qualified to give one wit of an asses opinion about making a living as a writer. That's MAKING a LIVING, not actually writing a book.

First, I personally make a good living as an author, it's all I do and I have more than a handful of books to prove it. Secondly, this vitriolic discourse here and elsewhere on the web regarding ST is irrelevant and I love it. Here is why.

First, I am an ST client and I am very happy with ST.

These negative comments are essentially sour grapes because ST has provided a way to by-pass the traditional staid foo-foo NY literary agency "let your manuscript languish until someone asks for it" crap. I am not famous, but I do make a decent living from my writing.

The fact is, and I am very qualified to state this, the traditional agency representation process disgusts me - as it should you all too. All sorts of agencies showed up at my door when I sold my first 10,000 books . . .didn't need any of them by then . . .

ST provided me with the two things I needed to get out and promote my own work - a web site and letter of representation. That's all I wanted, and needed, because what I am most, that most of you are not, is a businessman. Writing a book is fifty percent of the work, selling it the other 50%. The fact is that most of you so-called writers have no concept of selling your own art . . .you are too good for that kind of "in the trenches" dedication. Oh, I understand, "you have an agent." right . . .what a leech

Mr. Macdonald, you're a teacher, do you teach alternative marketing for writers? Using the Internet and so on? Independant publishing and real-world agency representation expectations? (note: I do not know Mr. Macdonald or of Viable Paradise, no disrespect, this is rhetorical.)

In fact, what's the difference between a writer paying for a class to learn how to market their work and paying a company like ST to actually do much of the same thing? Different purposes, same result.

Cluster functioning is what the traditional publishing industry is all about . . . doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results . . .

The fact is that majority of you wouldn't know how to hustle yourselves out of a wet paper bag . . .ST does. Where people make the mistake with their assumptions about ST is that they kid themselves about how much work ST will do for you and how much work remains for you to do for yourself. My books sell through my (ST) websites, go see how much it cost to build and administer your own web site . . oh, I see, that's not how it is "traditionally" done. Well, while you are languishing in traditionalism, I am selling books.

Most of you are simply parroting the (agency) crap that sustains the "old-ways" of doing things - this is the 21st century and most agencies are like doctors that don't accept acupuncture, or lawyers that won't use email . . .

Your bitching about ST is only a form of defense about an agency system that is broke . . .

I like ST because they are no nonsense and business oriented. I wish I didn't need a letter of representation at all to get a publisher to look at my work, or even a web site . . but some battles are best left unfought . . .because they are uneconomical to fight - remember, I am in business first, author second.

Ironically, there was an article recently in the WSJ that talks one man's difficulties dealing with the traditional publishing world and how he self published himself into a best seller.

ST offers me and their clients a clear limit of expense and none of the vagary of waiting to hear from an agent. While your manuscript is passively languishing on the floor of some agent's office in NYC, mine are active and in constant motion - and are always in a constant state of consideration by somebody. And that somebody, is somebody that can write checks, not somebody like an agent who knows somebody that knows somebody and name-dropping so on . . .

Finally, since I am a put up or shut up kind of person, if any of you wanna be authors wants some serious and genuine (no charge) advice on what it takes to be successful at writing, at least from the perspective of accomplishing what I have, you can call me directly . . .Houston time, 713.937.4125.

So, sfsassenach, Queen U, smiley and others here, tell us what kind of success you have had with agencies and, more importantly, why not be candid about what kind of failures or frustrations you have had.

Paul Anderson
 

robertfletcher

Robert Fletcher, President, ST Literary Agency

:teeth

From: Robert Fletcher, President, ST Literary Agency

Yes, here we go again. Truthfully, i'm torn by even responding to these but there is so much untruth that is hurting innocent people that I have to step in.

So here goes. For those of you just joining in my name is Robert Fletcher and I am the President of ST Literary Agency, Inc. We've been incorporated since early 2003. I took over the company from a prior owner (SYDRA) and changed the way it did business. He had been in business since '97.



=================
Here's a challenge... Just for grins, my name, my phone number and my background are spread out on the web more than enough.

I certainly challenge any detractors to come out from under their cloaks of emails and post their names and phone numbers and addresses.

Let's quickly see who has the cojone's to play this soon to be rough little game. Our materials are covered by trade secret laws and I absolutely guarantee the lawsuits are going to fly.. let's see who cares to play.

Prior to this I have been the CEO of a number of companies, and yes, in America, we have a game called 'tag the CEO' with lawsuits. I've been in lawsuits, i've appealed lawsuits and I've won lawsuits. I have lawyers, I use them a lot, and if you can't stand the heat, don't step up to the fire. That's what it takes to be a CEO in America today.

You hire me to be your Agent. You hire me to understand the legal aspects of any business decision. If I am your Agent you want me to be able to kick serious legal butt in your behalf. If I hired an Agent, i'd like for him to have been around and been kicked around a little bit. I'd want an experienced pit bull who has both won and lost.. sort of the Kennedy quote about "the credit belonging to the man in the ring, with sweat and blood... "

Also, just a little advice in the proper business use of lawsuits. Lawsuits aren't about the law, they are about money... how much you have, and how much your opponent has.

So, all the innuendo about FBI, lawsuits, etc. are just that, innuendo. I've already submitted support documentation to a number of legal agencies and gotten clean bills of health. I keep exquisite documentation and can 100% of the time show the supporting documentation for services paid for, services delivered.



After that warmup, some of you may be wondering what all this brouhaha is about. It's laughable really.

Because we have decide to help new and unpublished authors, we have the audacity to cover our admin costs ($129) and you wouldn't believe the ire we have raised in the industry.

Well, an Agent had better have thicker skin than his writers because we take a lot more rejection than a single writer ever will.


============ And now, for the fun stuff, some positive stuff, we're really not the green meanies that everyone supposes, we're real people, with kids, and we go to work every day.. of course according to some, we slither to and from, but hey, opinions are like ass..oops.. =======


If you have half a mind to listen to both sides of the story, then this should give you pause. (of course, if you disagree, hey, this is the web, just be careful to keep it within the realm of professionalism. I don't mind disagreement, I do mind attacks and lies and I am already spending legal dollars to clean this up. If you are in the latter category, did you even read the Terms of Usage at this site. They aren't going to share your liability.)


====================
First i'm going to give you some references from good clients.

Then, i'm going to show you the deal memo on the most recent deal that we are concluding. Most authors have never seen a live offer.. This is what a decent one for a new author looks like. THIS DEAL MEMO IS SPECIFICALLY TO DEAL WITH THE 'WHAT HAVE YOU SOLD - NOTHING' DETRACTORS. The sales cycles are long and our pipeline has just filled enough to start squeezing out regular sales.


This group of references has agreed that they can be contacted. However, I am wary of just sending someone over that may prove to ruin my relationship. I'm sure you understand. I've lost a good client before to an overaggressive reference seeker so I'm going to play intermediary. If you don't like it, we understand, but we're not changing our policy. I'd rather not have a new client than ruin an existing one. ok?

If you wish to contact Mr. Anderson, please do so directly. Any of the others, send me the email that you wish to have answered. I will forward it to them.



Michael Sears
==============
I'm a client of ST Literary Agency and have been for a while. They have been extremely honest and fair in their dealings. After researching what to expect from a Literary Agency agency from the Idiot's Guide To Getting Published and the 2003 Literary Agents Guide, I've found that ST not only complied and met industry standards on how to act towards me as a client, but often exceeded them. For just one example of them going the extra mile, the first thing they promised and delivered on was a professional website for my work (the Online Pitch Page). For another, they have always kept me well informed, without infringing on the publishers rights in any way. The process of finding an agent is long and confusing, the process of putting your creative work out there is going to be no less stressful.
Since I've joined ST Literary Agency, we have been putting my work in front of buyers. We don't have a sale yet, but we've had some good reviews, and we have almost cleared the very last hurdle on multiple occasions. ST has kept me informed along the way and they have always responded to my questions very quickly, usually within a day or two. This is a huge help considering the huge emotional investment you make in putting your work up as a writer to be reviewed by the publishing market.

This is a stressful process, with a long waiting period, as you attempt to find the right buyer for your work. I couldn't think of a better team to be with during this process, and when I do sell, after reading what I have about the industry's standards, I have no intention of going anywhere else, ever...

In short, they've done what they said they would do and if they are considering you, then I would definitely suggest that you let them prove themselves to you. You have enough stress in the marathon of creating a novel, let ST help you with the longer race to sell it. I hope that this helps.

-Michael Sears



Rev. Amy Snow, MA
================

To Whom It May Concern:

Yes, I am a client of ST Literary Agency and have been for some time now. They have been honest and fair in their dealings. The first thing they promised and delivered on was a professional website for my work (the Online Pitch Page). Since that time we have been putting my work in front of buyers. We don't have a sale yet, but we've had some good nibbles. ST has kept me informed along the way and they have always responded to my questions very quickly, usually within a day or two. In short, they've done what they said they would do and if they are considering you, then I would definitely suggest that you let them prove themselves to you. I hope that helps.

Sincerely,
Rev. Amy L. Snow, M.A.
author of The Endless Tour: Vietnam, PTSD, and the Spiritual Void


====================
Yes!! Without a doubt I would be honored to be a reference. Basically everything that you stated in the verbal dialogue is the truth and I really do appreciate the STL Family. Sincerely, Carl Bell - STL Author


=====================
I would be happy to give a reference. ST Literary has always been upfront and proactive whenever I
communicate with them. I always receive a timely response whenever I ask a
question or for ST Literary to do a follow-up with a production company.

In the business of writing...I have learned the following. As a new writer
(even though I have been pursuing the craft of screenwriting for six years)
you must actively market your work on your own. There is no magic pill or
quick elevator to the top. To reach a level that is expected in Hollywood, a
screenwriter must constantly write and learn from each creative task via a
screenplay.

An agent is only as good as one's work...I have found your responses to
producers and production companies on my behalf to be professional and
courteous.

I am currently writing screenplay number eight (the industry average for a
first time sale is nine)...I feel that I am getting close to my goal. I look
forward to the day when I make that first sale and I know I will be good
hands with ST Literary as they will be there to look after my business
interests.

I would say to new writers that sign with ST Literary...don't expect things
to happen quickly...if they do that's great...becoming a great writer is
like becoming a great doctor...it takes study and training over a number of
years. An agency (any agency) is only as good as the writers they
represent...naturally they're those writers who don't write with an
intensity that separates them from the masses and the elite number of
professionals...I strive to tell the best story I possibly can that will be
entertaining and also be marketable. In other words..."don't quit your day
job...the one that pays the bills"...but work on improving one's skill
level...and to be honest...it takes time.

Best Regards,
Gary Dover



======================
Publisher - Lighthouse Press
Ron Richard, President
Lighthouse Press, Inc.
www.TheLighthousePress.com
[email protected]

We are in the process of formalizing a relationship with ST Literary Agency but have not worked out all the details as of this writing. As to our publishing company, we are a four year old company with forty three titles currently in print. All of our titles are available through Ingram and Baker & Taylor, our wholesalers to the book trade. We are members of Publishers Marketing Association.
Please visit our web site linked below for more information about us.
Thanks for writing and perhaps we may communicate again in the near future.
Ron Richard, Publisher
Lighthouse Press, Inc.
www.TheLighthousePress.com
(ps. we don't accept unsolicited or unagented materials.)



Paul Anderson,
Author of The Future of Customer Service and 5 other books, 30,000+ Sold
======================================================
Paul has agreed to be a main reference. You may email him at [email protected] or call him at 561.703.2550.

Here's his ISBN numbers for all the sleuths out there.
"What is success? First and last, it is personal happiness." p. 128



A Call From the 21st Century, F Ed., ISBN 0-9653359-0-9

The Executive’s Guide to Customer Relationship Management ISBN 0-9653359-5-X

The Executive’s Guide to Customer Relationship Management, SBC Special Edition, ISBN 0-9653359-5-X

The Demand Generation, Return on Relationships, F Ed., ISBN 0-9653359-6-8

The Demand Generation, Customer Managed Relationships, Siemens Ed., ISBN 0-9653359-6-8

The Demand Generation, Return on Loyalty, Avaya Ed., ISBN 0-9653359-6-8

The Digital Call Center, Gateway to Customer Intimacy, ISBN 0-9653359-1-7

Telecommunications, (ed. Bayche), ISBN 0-9704287-4-X

The Future of Customer Service, pub. date May 2004 ISBN 0-96553-x-x

Shihan Te, The Bunkai of Karate Kata ISBN 1-886969-84-4







========Did that look real, or do the cynical think I made all that up... ====================
Ok, now take note, these are real clients and a real publisher who has done 43 books.
=============================




Now, here is a real live deal memo.. i've blanked the names because .. well, because you guys could blow the deal and I don't want that to happen. The lack of professionalism that I see in these forums is scary.


========== Current Deal Memo =====================

Dear Robert,

It was good talking with you yesterday about D. and the travel/tour book.
I'm excited about the prospect of publishing this wonderful little book in
the U.S., and I think it would be a great fit for our list. I also think
bringing it out this fall makes a lot of sense, since it was published
overseas last year.

I appreciate your suggestion to structure the deal as favorably as possible
for D. Here's what we can offer:

Advance of $5,000 against the following royalties:

10% of net through 5,000 copies sold
12% of net from 5,001 to 10,000 copies sold
15% of net from 10,001 to 20,000 copies sold
17% of net thereafter

Regarding the marketing/publicity plan, we would:

Feature the book at the Book Expo in June by creating a large poster to
display in our booth and bringing a supply of advance copies to give away to
booksellers (we would produce these copies ourselves or buy them from
D.

Mail advance copies to select media three to four months prior to
publication.

Mail approximately 100 copies to targeted media once the book is published.

Attempt to set up interviews with print media and on radio. These
interviews could be conducted by phone.

If D is planning to come to the U.S. sometime this fall, we would
arrange signings at bookstores and try to arrange interviews to coincide
with his stay (probably in New York and the tri-state area).

Let me know if you need any other specific information. I learned today that
the deadline for making additions to our fall '04 catalog is the end of this
week.

Thanks very much for your help.

All the best,

T.



======Conclusion ===============
So, what have we seen? Do you have an open mind, or is it shut?

We've seen exising clients that have paid their $129 and they are satisfied enough to be featured as a reference.

We've got a publisher that will tell you we are certainly doing deals and are real.

And we've got an author with 30,000+ books sold, who absolutely will kick ass for himself and for us.

And on the other hand, we have innuendo, threats, lies, and personal attacks from people who won't put out their name and contact info like we do.


The negative comments on the web are from 1) people we didn't accept, 2) people we fired, 3) people that don't understand the real ins and outs of running a Literary Agency that will even work with brand new, unpublished authors.

We have sales, we defray our costs, we give you personal and timely communications (like this one).

Professionals see through the innuendo and misinformation. Our goal is to have relationships with writers that understand this is a business.

And, as always, I congratulate anyone that has penned thought to paper and created something from nothing. The world is a better place because of writing. I just wish more writers could be heard, but the game is not rigged that way.

Sincerely,
Robert Fletcher
President
ST Literary Agency
www.stliteraryagency.com

p.s. what do I wish would happen.. I hope that the forum manager will be conscious of personal attacks. I hope that readers will understand that it is ok to be different, and I hope that those of you who have been really wondering about us will at reach the neutral point. I think that the personal information being posted about my employees is way off base and I ask the moderator to be alert for that type of post. It doesn't belong.

Cheers and best of luck to all of us, my final wish is for everyone to ...

"Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle." (Plato)
 

MessageBoardAltView

Just for grins...

I am going to try to post this on the message board. I've never used one, but was emailed the link by the agency. http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=8286

I'm Pete the www.peeperandfriends.com (the hook) and author of Peeper The Kinkajou, Peeper Goes To Florida, and Boomer To The Rescue. I would first like to say that I am offended by you saying it's a scheme. You need a bit of my background first. I was a Marine Special ops guy who was highly decorated for putting my life on the line to go evacuate innocents out of hostile environments. I came out of the military and became a stock broker. A top producing stock broker. I left that business on top because I wasn't fulfilled with just making money. I wanted a purpose and to help. I guess I was looking for the feeling I had coming through the door with my small team and rescuing people who thought they were to face slaughter. I started a private investigation agency, which I still own www.soginv.com. I helped many people there, but still felt a need for more so I wrote and published children's books, which educate children on unique creatures, their ecosystems, and their need for our help. I have had a greater positive impact on more adults, children, and the environment than any of you and all of you together. I say this confidently.

Going back to my issue with the message board. Since I am a private investigator and have learned from many cases that you can't assume anything only investigate fact. It bothers me that you all have these expert opinions based on nothing and they are not even educated( sorry Dr., but the Dr. doesn't always account for common sense).

I am writing this against the wishes of the agency. They said be nice. it's hard to be when offended. Why don't you contact me and let me waste my time proving to you what fact is. One they Children's agency did lie about me making $50,000 last year. I did it in 3 weeks with honorarium and book sales. I asked them why they didn't put the truth about how quickly i did it and they were right in saying that the authors will think it not believable. Now to show you. I am going to be touring 2 weeks from April18-29 in Loudoun county Va and Ocean City MD. come see what I do fist hand and I will show you the numbers. I will make around $40,000 for the 2 weeks. The problem is that unsuccessful authors like to sit around and need to have a purpose by giving expert opinions to new authors. I am way to busy being successful to do this, but some of you need a wake up call. You own failure is your fault and you really aren't helping, only hurting authors when giving them advice on good and bad when you have no idea what you are talking about. My job isn't to waste time complaining or I would then turn into you complainers. I am willing to show you fact. Are you willing to see it? I know several other authors who are happy with The agency.

The agents from the CLA have great business minds. I was the one who suggested they recommend editors because any one can edit grammar and spelling. I have a button on my computer that does it. Knowing how to better communicate to your target market is also important. Most seasoned writer's think they do, but don't. Why do you think such a small percentage of people get published. And beside they may waste money like i did with the first person i had edit. She was an english teacher so the grammar and spelling were perfect. I have personally helped best selling authors who were previously published through big houses finally make money. That's the difference between the new and old era. I was a successful investment banker who understands business. Most book industry people know what they know and aren't great at business.

If you would like to contact me to educate your self more on the real world, call me or email. You can reach me through my website. I feel for all of you experts who have time to play on all the message boards. Turn that negative time and energy around and focus it on positively moving forward in your life and you may become successful also. I don't mean all in money, but to me success means fully being happy with where you are and what you're doing and with all your negativity, you're not there.

If I offended you I'm sorry, but maybe you needed to be offended. I will also entertain any apologies for tieing me into what was called a scheme. This may not be about you I just grabbed all the emails from the board so you could here my side. By the way. I was first printed Jan 05 and within 6 months I accomplished more than most writers do in a lifetime so I believe I speak from authority about business epecially with my background and experiences.

Peter Parente

What they did for me:
  1. sold my publishing company and got me the terms I required.
  2. set up my school appointments based on my school models
  3. told me not to create such a big website, but to keep it simple and not waste my money. I chose to waste my money to do extrs because I wanted to
  4. Got me to an editor who gave me some priceless advice
  5. currectly working on licensing for toys, games, T.V., and Movies. I was in meetings yesterday with investment bankers about the TV show.
  6. Helped some authors I know
  7. They work with they author in the capacity they are looking for. Most authors just want to be published until they are and then are unhappy with the deal. I like being rewarded for my work, you?
That's all for now. I won't be checking back.
 

RobertF

A Rebuttal From Someone who knows... Mr. Fletcher speaks... and Initializes Lawsuit..

At this time the process that Ms. Strauss decries as a foul scam has 68 manuscripts under request by publishers, 3 book contracts in negotiation, and 3 movie options in various stages of negotiation. Our lead author from Italy has just finished a US book tour and is a finalist in the Ben Franklin awards in New York. His work has now sold German and Australian and UK rights ... The totals given above are referenceable and documentable. We have to document everything given the scrutiny that we live under.

I feel very sorry for new and emerging authors who have taken Ms. Strauss' advice and missed their chance to be included in the above totals.

Anybody here try to get to a literary agent that will actually talk to a new author? It doesn't happen. So what happens because of Ms. Strauss and others, is that a new author goes through our process, does some research and then gets scared off.

What's next for that new author? another 100 query letters to Agents? Another round of postage and time lost. We would have that author in front of real buyers within 30 days. That's the real truth, you can spend the rest of your life looking for an agent that will take you on for 'free', or you can get into a process that will tell you if your work is sellable very quickly.

Our Agencies are willing to incubate new authors. We're willing to spend time working with them to improve their work We present options to them and they can choose any company that they choose for the services they need. We don't force it down their throat, what's the point in that? If an author is willing to be critiqued by a third party, edit and fix their writing, etc. then we're willing to give that author a chance. Otherwise, where does that author go... Maybe some of the bulletin board posters will start to help these authors free of charge.. .hmmm...

That said, we're about to educate the bulletin board moderators and posters on what's fair play and what's foul.... we support fact based discussions.. we've offered to publish an interview with Ms. Strauss on numerous occassions. Frankly, she gets more validation from maintaining her point of view, than in really helping the industry, and recently she's crossed the line.

We are beginning a series of lawsuits against her and other bulletin board moderators and posters. A literary agent must be facile in their use of lawyers. We keep 'em on retainer.




April 15, 2005
VIA CERTIFIED MAIL





To: Victoria Strauss
XXXXXXXX
Amherst, MA 01002-2003



Re: Our Client: Robert Fletcher
Our File #: 314491



Dear Ms Strauss:

Please be advised that the Law Offices of Glantz & Glantz, P.A. represents Robert Fletcher. The firm is writing on Mr. Fletcher’s behalf with regard to defamatory statements about our client made by you to a third party.

Mr. Fletcher advises that you have contacted one of his clients Michael Graham, and circulated untrue and derogatory statements about him and his businesses. These statements include, but are not limited to, untruths such as that he is engaging in unprofessional conduct in the publishing industry, that he does not disclose his interest in services he recommends to clients, and that he and his company are dishonest and guilty of unfair business practices.

These statements adversely affect the reputation of Mr. Fletcher and his businesses. We have advised Mr. Fletcher of his rights under applicable defamation laws for such statements in the form of injunctive relief and the award of money damages.

Accordingly, demand is hereby made that you immediately cease and desist circulating any further derogatory statements about Mr. Fletcher and his businesses. Demand is also hereby made for a public retraction and apology for these statements, within ten (10) days.

Your failure to respond as demanded herein shall be considered as an intention on your part to refuse to amicably resolve this dispute between you and Mr. Fletcher. You will therefore leave us no choice but to advise our client concerning the avenues available under Florida and other applicable laws to enjoin publication of defamatory statements and recover money damages.


PLEASE GOVERN YOURSELF ACCORDINGLY.



Very truly yours,
LAW OFFICES OF GLANTZ & GLANTZ P.A.
 

RobertF

At this time the process that Ms. Strauss decries as a foul scam has 68 manuscripts under request by publishers, 3 book contracts in negotiation, and 3 movie options in various stages of negotiation. Our lead author from Italy has just finished a US book tour and is a finalist in the Ben Franklin awards in New York. His work has now sold German and Australian and UK rights ... The totals given above are referenceable and documentable. We have to document everything given the scrutiny that we live under.


I feel very sorry for new and emerging authors who have taken Ms. Strauss' advice and missed their chance to be included in the above totals.


Anybody here try to get to a literary agent that will actually talk to a new author? It doesn't happen. So what happens because of Ms. Strauss and others, is that a new author goes through our process, does some research and then gets scared off.


What's next for that new author? another 100 query letters to Agents? Another round of postage and time lost. We would have that author in front of real buyers within 30 days. That's the real truth, you can spend the rest of your life looking for an agent that will take you on for 'free', or you can get into a process that will tell you if your work is sellable very quickly.


Our Agencies are willing to incubate new authors. We're willing to spend time working with them to improve their work We present options to them and they can choose any company that they choose for the services they need. We don't force it down their throat, what's the point in that? If an author is willing to be critiqued by a third party, edit and fix their writing, etc. then we're willing to give that author a chance. Otherwise, where does that author go... Maybe some of the bulletin board posters will start to help these authors free of charge.. .hmmm...


That said, we're about to educate the bulletin board moderators and posters on what's fair play and what's foul.... we support fact based discussions.. we've offered to publish an interview with Ms. Strauss on numerous occassions. Frankly, she gets more validation from maintaining her point of view, than in really helping the industry, and recently she's crossed the line.


We are beginning a series of lawsuits against her and other bulletin board moderators and posters.




April 15, 2005

VIA CERTIFIED MAIL









To: Victoria Strauss

XXXXXX.

Amherst, MA 01002-2003






Re: Our Client: Robert Fletcher

Our File #: 314491






Dear Ms Strauss:



Please be advised that the Law Offices of Glantz & Glantz, P.A. represents Robert Fletcher. The firm is writing on Mr. Fletcher’s behalf with regard to defamatory statements about our client made by you to a third party.



Mr. Fletcher advises that you have contacted one of his clients Michael Graham, and circulated untrue and derogatory statements about him and his businesses. These statements include, but are not limited to, untruths such as that he is engaging in unprofessional conduct in the publishing industry, that he does not disclose his interest in services he recommends to clients, and that he and his company are dishonest and guilty of unfair business practices.



These statements adversely affect the reputation of Mr. Fletcher and his businesses. We have advised Mr. Fletcher of his rights under applicable defamation laws for such statements in the form of injunctive relief and the award of money damages.



Accordingly, demand is hereby made that you immediately cease and desist circulating any further derogatory statements about Mr. Fletcher and his businesses. Demand is also hereby made for a public retraction and apology for these statements, within ten (10) days.



Your failure to respond as demanded herein shall be considered as an intention on your part to refuse to amicably resolve this dispute between you and Mr. Fletcher. You will therefore leave us no choice but to advise our client concerning the avenues available under Florida and other applicable laws to enjoin publication of defamatory statements and recover money damages.




PLEASE GOVERN YOURSELF ACCORDINGLY.






Very truly yours,

LAW OFFICES OF GLANTZ & GLANTZ P.A.
 

Georgina Orr

Literary Agency Group Response

In my role as the VP of Corporate Affairs for the Literary Agency Group I am keen to respond to the postings on this message board. Some of you may know me in my other role, as the Senior Agent for our children's division (The Children's Literary Agency). Again, in our determination to minimize administration costs, one or two of the personnel within our organization are asked to wear more than one hat.

With that introduction, I apologize in advance for the length of this posting.

The Literary Agency Group is keenly aware of the negative messages on these boards and frankly we are concerned by them as well. Please allow me to give you our analysis of the situation and a suggestion about how to proceed.


There appear to be three categories of people on these boards.
-------------------------------------------------------------------
1) The first category are the 'industry watchdogs'. These are people that derive some level of psychological benefits from 'exposing' fraud, scams, etc. WE HAVE CONTACTED THESE PEOPLE NUMEROUS TIMES AND OFFERED TO ANSWER THEIR QUESTIONS ON A PUBLIC FORUM FOR THE BEST INTEREST OF THE INDUSTRY AND THE WRITERS. They have refused or ignored our requests. What does that tell you? It tells me that they aren't interested in the truth, it tells me that they are interested in more visitors to their website. Also, they have blocked our rebuttal posts and deleted our prior posts. In short, a very one-sided message board!

2) The second category are people that have worked with us, for whom we haven't been successful, and they are blameful, pointing fingers, etc. Basically just jumping on the bandwagon because they would rather feel 'took' than acknowledge that their work wasn't good enough to sell. We call this the sour grapes crowd.

3) The third category, whom we feel the most sorry for, are authors who stumble into this mess. Many of these authors just decide not to continue, and may lose the one real chance that they ever had to secure representation.

So, what to do?....
------------------------
First, go through the message board and try to find anything of substance. What we see is repeat, repeat, and each time something is repeated, it gets more and more outlandish. Our favorite was that "we steal work and sell it to China". ugh.

Go through the boards and send me SPECIFIC questions. Actually, I'll save some time here, and answer them now because we've heard them all before...


Q) You charge fees.. that sucks.. no one should charge a writer anything... you should get paid only if you sell something... and various flavors of this misconception.

A) We do not charge fees. We ask writers to improve their work and a critique and editing (sometimes) is part of that process. And, we ask for mailing expenses if it happens. The odds are so against new writers that we've learned that we can only invest our time with writers that are willing to pull their own weight. Writers that aren't willing to pull their weight, we call the "something for nothing" writer, who is regurgitating old mantras about how if an agent charges anything, they are bad. Guess what, if your name was President Clinton, we'd waive our fees too.


Q) You've never sold anything... the author sold it.. blah, blah

A) We now have 4 deals. The most recent is with an UK publisher. (Note: because of the vitriolic people on these boards we don't post our deals because the instant we post a name, the really creepy and scary people that hate us start sending this crap to the posted name. We've got the documents and if ever needed our lawyers can pull them out.) We assisted every author with the contract on those 4 deals. We actually have emails from the publisher complimenting us on the fair job we did for our author. Yes, in two of the deals the author found the relationship, and in two of them, we found the relationship. In all 4 deals we provided SIGNIFICANT value to the contract negotiation and the post-publishing support. The thing that is lost in all this is that very, very few literary agents have even one deal under their belt. Also, we did a measurement in April and we had 68 open and active discussions with buyers about our authors' work. We expect a few more deals by the end of the year. You might also be interested to note that we also find really bad contracts for our authors and we recommend that they don't accept them. We've seen more contracts than anyone you know and we bring that expertise to our clients.


Q) You use Form Letters and you are impersonal...

A) True or false, we have answered every email that that our authors send us? I know the answer is true. To me, that's personal service. Yes, we use form letters for billing, acquisitions, status reports, etc. Our lawyers like us to say it the same way, every time. Should that really be held against us? By using every method possible to keep our admin costs down, we can spend our money selling for our authors, it's that simple.


Q) The people who work at your company are scam artists, thieves, and have records... etc.

A) This is the grapevine at it's worst. We aren't, we aren't and we don't. You ever heard of miss-identity and identity theft. We have learned that it's impossible to curb this situation. Also, did you ever ask why writers have used pen names since time began, and why agents are so hard to get to? One reason is because some crazy writer has stalked every agent that we know at some time.

Q) Your office in New York, isn't listed on the sign.

A) Oh, this is a good one. Have you ever rented office space in New York? You don't get signs unless you take a floor. We have phones, desks, and a shared conference room, and if you want a big office to come feel comfortable in, go to an Agency that spills money like water. We'd prefer to save our money for marketing our writers.


Q) They say you take anyone... how can that be?

A) We take anyone that is willing to take the steps necessary to improve their work. That's why we use the critique to WEED OUT those authors that want something for nothing. If an author is willing to grow and improve, then we feel that they deserve a shot at success. We are one of the few agencies that will even talk to an unpublished author. The critique is an impartial, 3rd party analysis of the work. It shows us where the author is, and it also protects us from an overzealous agent.


Q) If all this is so untrue, why haven't you done anything about it?

A) We've tried. We're filing lawsuits against Victoria Strauss and a few other message board owners, but for the most part, anyone can say anything, so we have just learned to live with it, and to hope that the real authors, the ones we want as clients, can see it for what it is.


So, in conclusion, spend time looking for any real and substantive items on the boards, and let us try to answer the question as best we can. But first, please let me repeat our business model. We want writers who are willing to help themselves, we ask for defraying administrative expenses, we have sales, and we have detractors.

However, in the end, you the writer must be the one that decides what to do. If you are unwilling to spend any money to improve your writing, then please go away. If you are willing to take a small chance with us, then give us a try.

Either way, we wish everyone the best in their writing careers.



Sincerely yours,
Georgina Orr, VP Corporate Affairs
Literary Agency Group
 

Georgina Orr

Response from Georgina Orr

In response to the reactions that my posting ofl ast week has generated.....

LAG is a privately owned company and our business model is working for our authors. We are more concerned about the authors that we are currently representing than we are about people who choose to make defamatory statements about us and so I am not prepared to waste time replying to any of these posts which do no more than nit pick. It is unlikely that I will attempt to carry on a meaningful discussion with people who have already made up their mind.

My time, and my company's time is better spent selling and pitching for our authors.


Sincerely yours,
Georgina Orr, VP Corporate Affairs
Literary Agency Group
 

Grumpier2

The Children's Literary Agency Scam

I was this close to signing a contract with this company when I fortunately talked to one of my critique partners and he advised me to check out this site. I was knocked off my feet when I read all this stuff. Not only did they want me to pay for a critique, they stated in their contract (which I'm posting here) that they only charged 10% of the GROSS!!! Generous . . . don't you think???


Hopefully, this will help another aspiring writer. Here's what they sent me:
:cry: :cry: :cry:
Congratulations and my warmest wishes for our mutual success! And again, we thank you for your understanding and your acceptance of our business philosophy. We look forward to working with you and because you have indicated such a strong commitment to your work you can rest assured that we will be excited and committed to doing what we can to work just as hard for you!


PLEASE READ THIS INFORMATION CAREFULLY AS IT WILL SAVE YOU TIME AND REDUCE YOUR STRESS (and mine!):



1. Attached is our Contract for Agency Representation.
===================================================
It is simple and straightfoward and we've used it for years. It is also non-negotiable. I'm happy to answer any questions that you may have, but 99% of the time we will not make a change to it if requested. If you want to have a lawyer look at it, by all means do so, but we've spent great time and energy with our lawyers making it simple enough for a business person to understand.

You don't have to be nervous because you can back out very easily. We very clearly state that your 'out' from the contract is that you can fire us in 90 days if we don't perform or you don't like our services for any reason. This rarely happens, but it's there for you if you want it.

Your work is completely safe and remains your work. You keep your copyright and this contract is only for the work you submit, not all your works. (You can discuss other works later with your agent).

We are not trying to tie your hands in any way, and as you will see from the contract, we only get paid if you get paid. There are no other payments to us.

We ask that you regular mail us two signed copies of the contract. The address is within the document. International authors can either fax the contract or mail it. Please allow up to 30 days to receive the counter-signed contract back in the mail. The contracts are sent to our NY office and depending on the travel schedule of our President, it may take that long to get them signed and back to you.

We ask that you get the critique started in parallel with sending in the contract. Send in your contract at the same time you are getting your critique. Don't wait for the critique to send in your contract.



2. Referral for the Critique/Evaluation
===============================================
As we mentioned in the prior email, if you have a critique or evaluation similar in format to those we sent you earlier please send it to us along with your contract. (Don't email it separately, we have a hard time matching it up. Simply print it and put it with your contract). If you want us to tell you if what you have is acceptable then email it to me as quickly as you can.

If you do not have a critique, please email the following address and tell them that we referred you.

[email protected] All you have to say is "Sherry referred me".

They will send you a very clear set of instructions on how to proceed with the critique, send your manuscript, payment, etc.

Writers Literary offers a discounted price to referrals that we send them ($69). We send them so much business that they will prioritize your work and this will speed up the entire process. We can also lean on them if we need to make them work more quickly!

When they complete your critique they will send it to you and to us at the same time. Remember, we are unique in that we are willing to help you develop your talent, so there is no need to worry about what the critique will say.


What's Next?
=================
During the next 30 days we should receive your contract and your critique. Once we receive your contract and your critique is finished and in our hands, you will be put in touch with your Agent. At that time the Agent will review the critique with you and the two of you will develop a strategy to market your work as quickly as makes sense given the information that we see in the critique.

The Agent will then become your primary contact and will answer questions, guide you, and hopefully, before too long, come to you with the good news of a sale! (Note: we never, never promise a sale, that's a checkbox for you within the contract by the way).

I am happy to answer any questions that you have and I have enjoyed our interaction. My sincere best wishes for your writing career.

Best regards,
Sherry - VP Acquisitions




A Few Frequently Asked Questions (I can't resist, you know me by now)
========================================================
Please send the contract in parallel with getting the critique. That way we'll have you in the system when the critique is finished. Don't wait to send in the contract until your critique is completed. Send the contract in immediately and please allow 2-3 weeks for notification that we received it.

If you need an extension, simply email me and we automatically grant one, so don't stress if for some reason you haven't heard from me. Non-US authors are automatically granted an extension.

If you have a critique already please be sure it matches the thoroughness of the critique example we sent you. If it doesn't we will reject it. If it does, we will move forward quickly. If you want me to look at it just email it to me.

What's Next? Once the critique process is complete you will be connected to the Agent that will be working with you. You will discuss 'next steps' based on the results of the critique. As we mentioned in a previous email, we are willing to develop talent so there is no need to worry unduly about the results of the critique.

We look forward to working with you. Once we receive your contract and enter it into our system you will receive an email confirmation.

In the meanwhile don't forget to contact [email protected] to get your critique started. They will tell you exactly how to proceed. Send in your contract in parallel with having your critique done.


Please note:
============
If for some reason you don't get your contract back in a timely fashion (say 30 days) please email [email protected] and they will find out what went awry.

I have enjoyed interacting with you but my role with you is now finished. I am in charge of new author acquistions only. If you need help with something let me know though, and I'll endeavor to assist you.

Best regards,
Sherry Fine - VP Acquisitions



Best regards,
Sherry Fine - VP Acquisitions

Our Pledge To You:
==================
* We respect what you have accomplished thus far as a writer.
* We believe that great authors are made, not born. We are willing to develop talent.
* We pledge straight talk in a confusing and old-school industry.
* We can't promise a sale. We can promise a professional relationship.


p.s. Missed Emails, Spam, Whitelists, and other reasons for lapses in communications. We are very, very diligent about returning every email that we receive within a couple of days. The same is true for our vendors and suppliers. IF YOU DO NOT RECEIVE A COMMUNICATION AND YOU BELIEVE THAT YOU SHOULD HAVE, PLEASE, CHECK WITH US AND WE WILL SEE WHAT HAPPENED. Please don't jump to negative conclusions. The Internet is not 100% foolproof and we are very sensitive to our clients' expectations and our promises about timely communications.

-----Original Message-----
From: [email protected] [mailto:[email protected]]
Sent: Saturday, January 14, 2006 3:01 PM
To: [email protected]
Subject: Re: Children's Literary: Positive Review

Dear Ms. Fine,

I want to thank you for your positive review of 'Tubby Tumbleweed's Christmas.'

I am sending you the reply you requested. I, too, believe we must trust one another if we are to do business together and that your recommendations for a professional critique editor would be a distinct advantage for both of us.

1) I understand how a critique protects each of us and will improve my writing (or validate that I'm as good as I think I am). Please send your contract and a referral for a critique service. I will get the critique
underway as soon as I hear from you. We have to start trusting each other somewhere and I am committed to my writing as a business.

Sincerely,

Bert Owens

In a message dated 1/12/2006 3:44:57 PM Central Standard Time, [email protected] writes:

Thank you for everything that we have received from you thus far. Our
review team believes that your work has commercial potential and we would
like to proceed further with you. We believe we would like to represent you.

Basically, we feel that your concept and writing thus far has potential and
that if polished and presented properly, we can sell it. To take the next
step, please let us take a minute to tell you a little bit about how we
think and the way we do business.

Best regards,
Sherry Fine - VP Acquisitions

p.s. We apologize in advance for the length of this email. This is at the
behest of our lawyers. They like it when we say it the same way every time.
If this email appears truncated at the bottom, please let me know.


INCUBATING TALENT: We Are Willing To Develop New, Fresh Talent.
=========================================================================
We did see a few improvements are needed, but don't worry, we receive very
few 'ready-to-go' manuscripts. Most manuscripts that we receive need some
level of polishing before we can submit them to buyers. Some need very
little polishing. Some need a lot. Over the years, we've learned that it
is worth our time and effort to do what it takes to develop new talent.
We've learned that incubating new talent makes good business sense.

We'd hate to lose a good writer by not accepting someone who is willing to
improve. There are very few literary agencies that will take the time to
develop talent. Most barely return emails. We've answered every email
you've sent us, and we've kept our promises regarding turnaround times. We
hope that you will acknowledge that our level of communication and
professionalism already far exceeds that of other literary agencies. We
pledge this same level of professionalism and courtesy in all subsequent
communications should we work together.


HOW CAN WE TRUST EACH OTHER?
====================================================
You don't know us, and we don't know you. We like your work, and hopefully
so far, you appreciate that we have treated you professionally and
efficiently. Yes, we use forms, but that's so that we have more time to
answer your questions about specific problems or nuances. We are looking
for authors that are reasonable in their expectations and in their own
evaluation of their work. We don't want prima donnas.

If we were in your shoes, we believe you should be looking for a
professional relationship with professional people who will ultimately
benefit your writing career, whether your work is sold or not. We never
promise a sale. However we do promise that we will work with you on a
professional basis and do what we can to promote you and your work to our
buyers.


What do we mean by "Polish Your Work"?
===================================================
As you would imagine, we are very, very concerned about what we present to
our buyers. At a minimum they expect the mechanics of punctuation, grammar,
spelling, and format to meet or exceed industry standards.

I think you would agree that your work can use some level of polishing.
However, we don't think you should take just our word for it, we would like
to have an independent review of your work that shows you where the
improvements can be made.

From a trust factor, it's like an investor trusting a certified public
accountant ... if there is an independent review on the table, we can each
relax and trust each other, and spend our time strategizing marketing, not
arguing over whether the work is ready to present or not.

What we have learned over the years is that nothing is more invaluable than
having a unbiased, critical review of an author's work as a roadmap for
bringing the work to market. In writing circles this is called a critique.
We want you to have a critique of your work. You might already have one, or
you may need to get one. Here's what one author had to say about his
critique.

-------------------------------------------------
--------------------------

Dear Sherry: The critique was more favorable than I had anticipated. I'm a
long time editor, of academic works, and I know from experience that good
authors appreciate good critiques. As for my own writing -- again
academic -- I have always taken criticism well. I don't always go along with
everything the critic says, but I try the best I can to incorporate anything
I feel is worthwhile. And that's what I did today. Within minutes I was at
my desk and my laptop, trying to find out what I could do to satisfy this
critic. I also wanted to judge how much work would be required, how long a
re-write would take, and so on. If you have that option, you can pass along
my thanks to the critic. And you can say that I will try to turn it into a
popular book, not an academic treatise. As an academic, I'll never be able
to put that aside completely, but I'll do my best. And I suspect I can do
it within a month or two. You service is phenomenal.

----------------------------------------------
----------------------------


HAVING A CRITIQUE PROTECTS YOU from unscrupulous agents. Having a critique
protects US from egocentric writers who think their work is just fine like
it is. If the critique says, "green light - good to go" then we can start
marketing immediately. If the critique says, "some improvements can be made
in grammar, punctuation, etc", then we can pause with you while those
changes are made.


WHAT DOES A CRITIQUE LOOK LIKE?
=======================================
Here are some links for sample critiques from one of our vendors that we
respect. (We realize that not all of these apply to you, but we want you to
see how versatile and powerful this critique format is.) Also, please
realize that a critique is a fast overview. It is NOT a line edit.

http://www.writersliterary.com/Critique-children-ya.rtf
http://www.writersliterary.com/Critique-children-rhyme.rtf
http://www.writersliterary.com/Critique-poetry.rtf
http://www.writersliterary.com/Critique-christian.rtf
http://www.writersliterary.com/Critique-novel.rtf


YOU MAY ALREADY HAVE A 3RD PARTY CRITIQUE A good number of our applicants
do.
(As a serious writer, you should get one every year or two).
======================================================================
As we mentioned, if you already have a 3rd party critique, please let us
know. It must match the level of detail that you see in the examples above.
If you have an associate that you believe can do your critique, then be sure
to send us their credentials first for approval. Please don't try to
critique your own work. (Yes, we've seen that happen and we can tell
immediately.) Also, many people ask if they can get a friend to do the
critique, or a teacher, or an associate. The answer can be yes, but the
problem is that if they don't do editing for a living, then it's like asking
anyone to do something for free, it takes longer, and it may not be done
correctly.

The critique should be inexpensive, usually around $60-$80 depending on the
company you choose. It will tell each of us if the work is ready for
marketing right away, or if more polishing is required. As we mentioned if
you have a critique already, great, if not, we can provide a referral for a
critique service.

As we've mentioned before, we need a common platform of trust from which to
begin the representation process together. Many authors wonder if the
critique just leads to more and more editing. The answer is NO! Editors are
very integrous people, if they say a work meets or exceeds industry
standards, then we can all trust their opinion. Once an editor says 'good
to go', then everyone can move to the next step.

In summary, the critique protects you from unscrupulous agents that will try
to tell you that you need endless rounds of editing. Once you have a
critique you are in a much stronger position in your writing career.


PLEASE NOTE: WE ARE NOT ASKING FOR MONEY.
We want you to have a critique by a qualified industry professional.
======================================================
MANY AUTHORS MISUNDERSTAND THIS SIMPLE REQUEST. We don't want you to pay
us, we want you to have a critique to start our relationship so that we can
start from the same page. (If I told you the number of writers that accuse
us of using this to take their money, you would be flabbergasted.)


Many authors ask, "why we don't do the critique as part of our Agency?".
=======================================================
In the old days, perhaps that occurred. However in today's competitive
world we must focus almost entirely on our core competency, which is selling
your work. Our company relies on editors to work with you to bring your
work to industry standards. We are not editors, we are sales professionals.
We contract out all editing work. (As you might imagine, it turns out that
editors are usually lousy salespeople, and we love the editors we work with
dearly). This point is worth spending extra time on, we aren't editors, we
are sales professionals, and those are two VERY different skill sets.



---------- One more positive response from an author about the
critique ----------------------------------

Dear Sherry: Thank you so much for your quick responses and
professionalism. It was so refreshing to hear an unbiased critique of my
work for the first time. I have hungered for it since I've been writing.
Someone actually read the whole script and took the time and care to provide
a professional critique and show me the areas that need improvement. I am so
determined to make my work a success, and it helps me to know what my
strengths are and where I need improvement. Thank you, and please pass on a
big thank you to my editor.

---------------------------------------------------------------
------------------------------------------------------------------------



IN CONCLUSION:
=============================================
Please review the critique sample links above. Think about how powerful an
'excellent' critique would be to the selling process and how it will give us
the confidence we need to put our reputation on the line for you.

Think about how it protects you, protects us, and how it provides a meeting
point so that we can trust each other and move forward on the same page <get
it? "same page" grin>


Thank you again for your time and consideration. We look forward to working
with you and developing your writing career together.

Sincerely,
Sherry Fine - VP Acquisitions

P.s. Instructions for the next step are at the bottom of the email after the
FAQs below




Typical FAQs that we see at this stage:
=================================

Q) I have a critique, what do I do?
A) First look at the critque and compare it to the examples above. Many
critiques are long on plot and character development. The critique that we
prefer includes that PLUS a strong focus on the mechanics.. i.e.
punctuation, grammar, format, and spelling. If your critique does not
address those mechanical elements we will ask you to get a new one. However
if your critique is reasonably close to our examples, then simply let us
know that you have one, and we'll send you the contract, and then you put
your critique in with the contract when you send it in.

Q) I need a referral.
A) We will provide you with a referral to someone we trust and who discounts
their prices to our clients. You can certainly use any qualified person to
do the critique if you know one, but they MUST have been in the industry.

Q) How long should a critique take?
A) It should take about two weeks. It should cost no more than $60-$80. It
should be thorough. Many "old style" critiques are long on plot and short
on mechanics. The critique that we desire will not only include commentary
on the plot, it will also critically review grammar, spelling, punctuation,
and the mechanics of writing. We know, we know.. it's all of our least
favorite aspect of writing, but to succeed as a writer, your mechanics must
meet or exceed industry standards.

Q) Do I have to pay for it or does the publisher provide for the final
polishing and editing?
A) Both.... As your agent, we need it to be 'great' before we will pitch it,
and then, if the publisher wants to make changes, then they will pay for the
changes they desire.

Q) What if the critique says my writing is horrible? Will you still
represent me?
A) The critique will never say that your writing is horrible. The critique
will point out your strengths and weaknesses. It will come from a coaching
point of view, not from a judgmental point of view. As we've mentioned
earlier, our Agency is different in that we are willing to develop talent.
We will not fire you because of a poor critique.

Q) My teacher/friend/pastor/writer/PhD/English Teacher...... can do the
critique right?
A) Yes, maybe... we've seen very poor work from PhD's, teachers, and most
writers. If they haven't had a stint as a true editor, then usually they
aren't going to do a good job.


Q) My work is my work, It's special and i'm not changing anything...
A) That's fine, but we do insist that spelling, grammar, and punctuation
meet or exceed industry standards. We have a saying, "if you put 10 editors
in a room you will come out with 15 opinions". Ultimately, the final
decision is yours. If you don't agree with them, we are on your side,
especially about subjective items. On the mechanics and formatting issues
we side with the editors.


Q) What do the buyers/publishers think of this model that you use?
A) Frankly, our buyers know that when we pitch a work, that we've put the
writer through the proverbial wringer! Our buyers know that our writers can
understand a contract, comply with reasonable requests, and that we've
weeded out the 'something for nothing' writers that are basically lazy about
their craft. This hyper-competitive industry will only reward the best, and
that's our commitment to our buyers, and to you.


Q) How do I know that this won't turn into endless rounds of editing that I
have to pay for?
A) At some time and some place, we have to trust each other. We believe
that this is where it has to start. Your risk is $60-$80. Our risk is that
our internal cost of our time with you at our hourly rate is easily greater
than that amount. (And you never pay us for that time, we don't charge any
fees as we've mentioned earlier). So, we'll spend the time to work with you
if you'll do your part to make sure your work is the best it can be. Unless
the critique points out the need for substantial rework, there shouldn't be
any more fees. That's why we require an independent 3rd party for the
critique. This protects YOU from an unscrupulous agent, and it protects US
from egocentric writers.

Q) I'm still nervous, what does your contract say?
A) First you keep the copyright to your work, and second, you can fire us in
90 days. Our contract includes the following two clauses designed to
protect you. There are no payments to us in the contract unless we sell
your work.

Here is the exact language in the contract:
-----------------------------------------------------------------
1)The copyright and ownership is specifically retained by the AUTHOR for
this work and all works submitted to, and accepted by, the Agent. The
Writer does not grant to Agent or any other party any right, title or
interest of any kind in any copyright, ownership and/or any other
intellectual property right contained in or as a part of any work of the
Writer submitted to the Agent. The Agent agrees to make no claim to any such
right, title or interest, however denominated.

2) The Writer/Producer may terminate this Agreement after 90 consecutive
days of no sale by Agent.

------------------------------------------------------------------

So, if you don't like us, or we don't perform, you can fire us in 90 days,
and we clearly state that you keep your copyright so there is no chance of
us claiming your work. We don't know how much more 'safe' we can make it.
(If you think we are going to steal your work, then you are too paranoid to
work with us anyway and we're happy if you decline). Other than that, the
contract is for one year duration, and we ask for a reasonable 10% if we
sell your work.



==============================================================
IN CONCLUSION.. THE NEXT STEP IS SIMPLE ...
Please "Reply" to this email with one of the following three statements:
===============================================================

1) I understand how a critique protects each of us and will improve my
writing (or validate that I'm as good as I think I am). Please send your
contract and a referral for a critique service. I will get the critique
underway as soon as I hear from you. We have to start trusting each other
somewhere and I am committed to my writing as a business.

or,

2) I have a critique already. Please send me your contract and I will
include my critique with the contract when I send it in.

or

3) "Thanks but no thanks, I've never heard of such a thing".. or some
variant of that...



================================================================

In conclusion, no matter what your reply, I truly and sincerely wish you the
best in your writing career and I want you to know that I have enjoyed our
interaction immensely thus far. Continue to follow your dreams, and it is
my deepest hope that you succeed with your writing career.

I remain, yours truly,
Sherry Fine - VP Acquisitions







Hello Sherry,

Attached is my story, Tubby Tumbleweed's Christmas. I wrote it in
WordPerfect 12, but, I also have MSWord if you have a preference.

I'm hoping you enjoy your adventure with "a tumbleweed" and want
thank you for requesting to see more for it.

Also, thank you for not wanting long-winded e-mails about other
stuff.

Looking forward to hearing from you,

Bert Owens

ANSWERS BELOW

In a message dated 12/28/2005 10:10:40 AM Central Standard Time,
[email protected] writes:

A. How long have you been writing, and
what are your goals as a writer?
I've been writing for the last 30 plus years. Once I discovered
computers in 1990's, spell checkers, grammer checkers, etc., my goals
changed.
I decided to get serious about becoming published.

My goals now are to:

1. creat encouraging, up-lifting, teaching-softly, fun
tales

2. present my stories in as near finished format as
possible

3. locating an agent to find the perfect places for my
stories

4. have them published and animated.

BIGGEST GOAL 5. to have my stories make a difference for just 1 heart


B. Do you consider your writing 'ready-to-go',
or do you think it needs some polishing.






I consider my writing as 'ready-to-go' as 'I'-can-go' with it. I am always
willing to listen to advise offered and accept criticisims with
appreciation.

.







[font=TimesNewRoman,Bold]
The Children’s Literary Agency, Inc.
[/font][font=TimesNewRoman,Bold]
“Focused Exclusively on the Children and Young Adult Marketplace”
[/font]
Ofc. 866-876-4488​
www.ChildrensLiteraryAgency.com 917-591-1916 Fax

[font=TimesNewRoman,Bold]
Greetings and Congratulations!
[/font]
The Children’s Literary Agency is prepared to offer you a contract for acceptance as our

client for Agency Representation based on:

1) the manuscript you submitted,

2) the information that you have provided to us and the plan of action that we agreed

upon.

In the sole opinion of the Literary Agency, if any of these items are inaccurate or

misleading this contract may be withdrawn at any time. This​
[font=TimesNewRoman,Bold]contract offer is good for 14

business days from receipt.
[/font](This deadline can be automatically extended by 10 days if

you contact us via email and request an extension). We give a deadline because we accept

only a limited number of authors in any time period and we cannot have contracts “hanging

out there”.

[font=TimesNewRoman,Bold]
Some authors ask “why did you accept me?”​
[/font]Based on our interactions, you have

agreed to follow a plan of action that will lead to your work being of the highest quality,

and we believe that our odds for success are greatly enhanced. In short, we believe that we

can sell your work. We never promise a sale, but we do believe you have a solid chance of

success.

[font=TimesNewRoman,Bold]
We look forward to working with you. Congratulations again.
[/font]
.

Best regards,

Sherry Fine – VP Acquisitions

The Children’s Literary Agency

p.s. What’s Next? Please execute two copies of the contract and send them, along with a

note about your critique (date started, etc.) to the address in the contract. PLEASE send in

the contract at the same time you are having your critique done. If you don’t have a

critique already please contact​
[email protected] . Once we have your

critique and contract you will start working with the Agent who will be assigned to market

your work.

[font=TimesNewRoman,Bold]
The Children’s Literary Agency, Inc.
[/font][font=TimesNewRoman,Bold]
“Focused Exclusively on the Children and Young Adult Marketplace”
[/font]
Ofc. 866-876-4488​
www.ChildrensLiteraryAgency.com 917-591-1916 Fax

[font=TimesNewRoman,Bold]
AGREEMENT FOR LITERARY AGENT REPRESENTATION

CHILDREN’S LITERARY AGENCY: THE LITERARY AGENCY GROUP

Page 1/3 of CLA Contract
[/font]
This “Agreement” is between ______________________________ [the “Writer/Producer”] and The

Children’s Literary Agency, Inc. [The “Agent”] as of _____________, 200__ (please enter the date you

sign the contract) for only the work entitled:

_____________________________________________________________________

(Hereinafter “Work”)
[font=TimesNewRoman,Italic]
Other Works Should Be Submitted Separately.
[/font][font=TimesNewRoman,Italic]
NOW, THEREFORE, for the consideration set forth in this Agreement Agent and Writer

intending to be legally bound hereby, mutually promise and agree as follows:
[/font]
The copyright and ownership is specifically retained by the Writer for this work and all

Writer’s works submitted to, and accepted by, the Agent. The Writer does not grant to Agent or

any other party any right, title or interest of any kind in any copyright, ownership and/or any

other intellectual property right contained in or as a part of any work of the Writer submitted to

the Agent. The Agent agrees to make no claim to any such right, title or interest, however

denominated.

The Writer warrants that he is the sole and exclusive owner of the Work and that the

work does not infringe on any other copyright​
[font=TimesNewRoman,Italic].

[/font]
The Writer agrees to indemnify Agent against any judgments, liabilities, damages or loss

related to copyright or ownership.

The term of this contract shall be one year from the above date and must be renewed in

writing for each successive term. The Writer/Producer may terminate this Agreement after 90

consecutive days of no sale by Agent. Renewals and terminations via email are deemed

acceptable.

The rights granted in this pertain to written creative work prepared by the

Writer/Producer for print, television, radio and motion pictures to be sold in the geography of the

United States of America.

The Agent is entitled to a ten percent [10%] commission on gross compensation accruing

to the Writer/Producer from any contract negotiated under this Agreement. This paragraph shall

survive termination of this Agreement. (This means that if we help you with a deal, you can’t

fire us and take away our commission).

The Agent is not responsible for damage or loss or return of any material.

The Writer/Producer shall do his utmost to finish his work on time as per the terms of

contracts he has entered into. The Agent at his discretion may use the Writer/Producer’s name or

pen name and the name of the work in promotions for the Agent and to promote the Work.

The Writer/Producer also agrees that all leads, contacts, communications, documents,

emails, forms, and business processes employed by the Agent are considered confidential and
[font=TimesNewRoman,Bold]
The Children’s Literary Agency, Inc.
[/font][font=TimesNewRoman,Bold]
“Focused Exclusively on the Children and Young Adult Marketplace”
[/font]
Ofc. 866-876-4488​
www.ChildrensLiteraryAgency.com 917-591-1916 Fax

trade secrets and as such shall not be disseminated in any form or format without the express

written permission of the Agent. This clause survives termination of the Agreement.

The Writer/Producer has final say on any and all proposals or contracts delivered by the

Agent. The Writer/Producer is the only signer on any contract with a buyer.

The Writer/Producer acknowledges that the Agent will act only as an advisor and

negotiator. The Agent specifically states that he is not an attorney, and is NOT providing legal

advice.

The Writer/Producer will supply the Agent with an electronic version of their creative

work in a common word processing format (rtf, doc, pdf) for the Agent to submit the work to

potential clients.

Both parties will make themselves available to each other within reason for any purpose

outlined in this Agreement. Both parties agree that any disputes will be settled in and governed

by the laws of the State of New York.

This Agreement is binding on the Writer/Producer and Agent and their respective heirs

and assigns. However in the event of a sale, insolvency or other change in the ownership or

operation of The Children’s Literary Agency, Inc., the Writer at his sole discretion may choose to

terminate this Agreement on 90 days notice. In the event of a termination both parties agree to

not disparage the other party in any form.

In the event that this Agreement is terminated for any reason, the Agent, his heirs and/or

assigns may continue to collect all commissions due on existing contracts negotiated under this

Agreement. If an existing contract between the Writer/Producer and any client is renewed, the

Writer’s Agent/heirs and or assigns may collect commissions on renewals until the existing

contract with that client is terminated.

This is the entire agreement. All changes shall require signatures of both parties.
[font=TimesNewRoman,Bold]
WRITER/PRODUCER HAS THE RIGHT TO CANCEL THIS CONTRACT WITHOUT

QUESTION, WITHOUT RECOURSE, FOR 72 HOURS AFTER MAILING.
[/font][font=TimesNewRoman,Bold]
The Author may specifically EXCLUDE a contact that you have already made who might

sell or buy your work write them in here, up to a maximum of 3. If a sale occurs to, or

through, any of the following people or companies the Agent is NOT entitled to a

commission. (In other words, if we don’t find the buyer, we don’t deserve a commission.

You will find that we are very straightforward in our business dealings.)

1 ________________________________________________________

2 ________________________________________________________

3 ________________________________________________________
[/font][font=TimesNewRoman,Bold]
The Children’s Literary Agency, Inc.
[/font][font=TimesNewRoman,Bold]
“Focused Exclusively on the Children and Young Adult Marketplace”
[/font]
Ofc. 866-876-4488​
www.ChildrensLiteraryAgency.com 917-591-1916 Fax

Page 3/3 of CLA Contract
[font=TimesNewRoman,Bold]
Self-Published authors please note: Your existing contract must give you the right to cancel or must

clearly state that you maintain all rights. If you are in doubt please check with your attorney or

forward us your contract for review.

THE WRITER/PRODUCER ALSO ACKNOWLEDGES THAT AT NO TIME AND IN NO FORM

HAS AGENT GUARANTEED THAT A SALE WILL BE MADE. _______ Writer Initial here.

I HEREBY CERTIFY THAT I AM OLDER THAN 18 YEARS OF AGE. _______ Initial here. If

you are not over 18, please have a parent or guardian execute the contract.
[/font][font=TimesNewRoman,Bold]
The Literary Agency Group, Inc.

The Children’s Literary Agency Writer/Producer

_____________________(sign) ___________________________(sign)

Robert West - President

Print/typed Name:_________________________

Address: ____________________________

City/State/Zip: ____________________________

Phone: ____________________________

Email: _______________________________________________________

PLEASE BE SURE YOUR EMAIL IS LEGIBLE!
[/font]
Pay particular attention to 1,l,0,O,2,Z, etc.…

PLEASE MAIL TWO SIGNED COPIES OF THIS CONTRACT TO:

The Children’s Literary Agency

Contract Administration Department

275 Madison Ave, 4​
th Floor

New York, NY 10016

You will be notified via email upon receipt of your mailed copies. Please allow

approximately 30 days for the return of your fully executed copy.

 

Sherry Fine

Registered
Joined
Jan 24, 2006
Messages
10
Reaction score
1
When a work doesn't sell.. what happens?

Dear Author:

We are keenly aware of the negative material on a lot of writer's message boards and I thought I would take a minute and give you more background than what you are getting (which as best I can tell is stuff regurgitated from years ago).

I know it is confusing to authors and I thank you for 'first seeking to understand".

I hope that you will view the professionalism of this reply, where we try to present both sides of the situation, and contrast that against the furor that will arise after this post. Hey, maybe the message board people will agree to be your Agent!


It is a fact that most authors (98%) can't get the time of day from an Agent. Why? Because invariably their work needs improvement and if an Agent takes the time to say, "I like the idea, but you need a little help" the Agent is blackballed by every writers blog on the net.


Some writers say, "it's the agency's responsibility to help the writer".. Maybe in the old days, but not anymore. An Agent's core competency is selling work and finding buyers, not editing. Do you really think that an Agent should contribute their valuable selling time to assisting a writer with editing/grammar/ and other mechanics? Some writers do, but not those that understand the power and clarity of focus on core competency in business. Most agencies go out of business in a few years, not us. Why, because we concentrate on selling, and let the editors and writers do what they do best, writing, improving, writing, improving, etc.

Furthermore, when a work doesn't sell, what typically happens is that the author adopts one of 3 postures, 1) you suck, you scammer you, 2) I'll improve, or 3) maybe I'll quit. Most of the material on the boards is from attitude 1.

At it's core, that's the real issue. Always has been. So, there's a situation where potentially great work is 'waiting in the wings' so to speak, and can't get access to the market. And, if the Agent offers to help, to coach, and to mentor, well, you see the boards reply.

What Do Buyers Think? That's what really matters.
==========================================
Buyers (publishers) love our model. Why? because they know that we've forced the writer to jump through a series of hoops to prove their mettle. And the writers whine, whine, whine, and the publishers say, "whew, thanks for bringing us great work and for filtering out the crackpots."

Where do you think the crackpots cluster? Right on the message boards because a successful writer is improving their craft, making submissions, and researching and writing.

I use the word 'cluster' in the marketing segmentation definition. Look on most of those message boards, and you will see advertising, newsletters, and other capitalistic products and services based on traffic generated by controversy. So now you understand that the point of the boards is to generate traffic and advertising revenues based on their niche in the market.


Anyway, that said, it actually does us a favor and we've come to thank these boards. They weed out two main categories of authors that we are actually glad to be rid of: 1) nervous authors that don't understand the nitty gritty of hard business and who can't make up their mind and who rely on others for their opinions, 2) the SFN's (writers that want Something for Nothing) who want it all, basically for free...

I place 4 bullets under my signature. That's our promise. It's simple and it's understandable, and I really do think you'd be hard pressed to find one of our clients that won't, even grudgingly admit that we've delivered.

Our Pledge To You:
==================
* We respect what you have accomplished thus far as a writer.
* We believe that great authors are made, not born. We are willing to develop talent.
* We pledge straight talk in a confusing and old-school industry.
* We can't promise a sale. We can promise a professional relationship.

So, in conclusion, this is what I would do, if I were in your shoes, "I'd proceed with us, eyes wide open, and see if we meet or exceed our four business tenets, A) Respect, B) Building Talent, 3) Straight Talk, and a 4) Professional Relationship.

Of course, if you'd rather us terminate our relationship now, no problem, fortunately for me, and unfortunately for you, there's 10 more to take your place, and you can go back to querying agents for the rest of your life, or you can just see what happens and see if maybe, just maybe, we are what we say we are.

Best to you whatever your decision.

Sherry Fine - VP Acquisitions

Just for grins, and so that you know we provide a service of value to aspiring authors, I would like you to see some of the unprompted quotes that we receive on a daily basis.

Our clients say it best. The quotes below are unedited and as you can see, quite from the heart. (We have lots more of these.) If you are really cynical, you will probably believe we made them up, but I promise you, we can prove every one of them.

=======================

"Just a note to say, whatever the outcome of my submission, it's refreshing to engage an agent who will a) take an email submission, b) turn it round as quick you've committed to do and c) actively work with a writer. Submissions are daunting enough anyway without having to wait ten weeks for an impersonalised slip of paper. Here's to you."

"It is refreshing to get an honest professional opinion of my work, it make me realise just how much I don't know about the written word and its presentation."

Dear Georgina, I'd like you to know how highly and gratefully I regard the clarity with which you explain the process as well as your reliability. I have complete trust in both your abilities and ethical standards. Best wishes, Judith

It's been a long time since I left school with considerable number of years passing before I became interested in writing again. I would like you to thank you for working with me and let it be known that I look at this as a new beginning and rebirth of my education.

You don't know how nice it is to have such timely responses. I am sure I am not the only writer that puts a lot of heart into their work and I have to say, I have "kept mine tucked away in the closet" for many, many years. I just enjoy writing, but didn't know if I would ever try and submit it to anyone. Making the decision to do that has been somewhat of a nerve-wracking process. Your timely responses and professional, yet "down-to-earth" responses are making the process a lot easier. At this time, I am not submitting my work to anyone else, because you have impressed me the most up to this point. Even if we do not end up working together, I felt it was important to pass this along to you.

Dear Georgina: Your professional zeal and resourcefulness cannot be overemphasized seeing the volatile-oceanic-wave called the American Hollywood with its impregnable sales frontiers.I hold you dearly to my heart in my every prayers towards our mutual success now and...very soon in sbsequent works.I doff my heart after your every professional spirit imagining the energy, sweat and travellings involved. Thanks for everything you stand for professionally.

Thank you for your constructive feedback. I found your critique of my work very informative, and it concluded many things that I already knew. I really do need to improve on my punctuation skills, and that has been something I have struggled with for some time. I appreciate your suggestions on materials to improve this, and I plan on taking an advanced grammar and puctuation class at the college I am attending. Several other points you made were also very informative. I know I have a long way to go before I am a "professional" writer, but I am glad that you agreed that the potential is definitely there. I'd also like to thank you and your company for staying in contact with me through this process. I would, and will, come back to your company if I need further material critiqued. Thank you again for your time.

I just want to say I have been rejected for years by Agents and Publishers. After awhile it all seems pointless. But I am in this for the long run and will never give up and never give in. Whether you accept me or not you have restored my faith and hope that someone out there is concerned and listening to what writings go through. I look forward to learning all that I can from you and your associates.

"After having reread all the information sent to me, I must say that I am impressed by the way your agency has handled the science, or art of appreciating new sources of writing. If only all agencies displayed your model the world may be a better place. Your FAQ has answered all of my questions and i am eager to get to work."

===========================

WE ARE CREATING THE MOST POWERFUL AGENCY GROUP IN THE UNITED STATES. Every author that we represent has been fully edited and we know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that their work is good enough for publication. Unfortunately, the ones that 'wash out', tend to grouse and *****. If you can make it through our process, then you will be in an elite group that buyers respect. We never promise a sale, but we can promise that if we present your work, it will get respect from our buyers.

Best to you in your career.
 

Sherry Fine

Registered
Joined
Jan 24, 2006
Messages
10
Reaction score
1
When a work doesn't sell.. what happens?

Dear Author:

We are keenly aware of the negative material on a lot of writer's message boards and I thought I would take a minute and give you more background than what you are getting (which as best I can tell is stuff regurgitated from years ago).

I know it is confusing to authors and I thank you for 'first seeking to understand".

I hope that you will view the professionalism of this reply, where we try to present both sides of the situation, and contrast that against the furor that will arise after this post. Hey, maybe the message board people will agree to be your Agent!

It is a fact that most authors (98%) can't get the time of day from an Agent. Why? Because invariably their work needs improvement and if an Agent takes the time to say, "I like the idea, but you need a little help" the Agent is blackballed by every writers blog on the net.

Some writers say, "it's the agency's responsibility to help the writer".. Maybe in the old days, but not anymore. An Agent's core competency is selling work and finding buyers, not editing. Do you really think that an Agent should contribute their valuable selling time to assisting a writer with editing/grammar/ and other mechanics? Some writers do, but not those that understand the power and clarity of focus on core competency in business. Most agencies go out of business in a few years, not us. Why, because we concentrate on selling, and let the editors and writers do what they do best, writing, improving, writing, improving, etc.

Furthermore, when a work doesn't sell, what typically happens is that the author adopts one of 3 postures, 1) you suck, you scammer you, 2) I'll improve, or 3) maybe I'll quit. Most of the material on the boards is from attitude 1.

At it's core, that's the real issue. Always has been. So, there's a situation where potentially great work is 'waiting in the wings' so to speak, and can't get access to the market. And, if the Agent offers to help, to coach, and to mentor, well, you see the boards reply.


What Do Buyers Think? That's what really matters.
==========================================
Buyers (publishers) love our model. Why? because they know that we've forced the writer to jump through a series of hoops to prove their mettle. And the writers whine, whine, whine, and the publishers say, "whew, thanks for bringing us great work and for filtering out the crackpots."

Where do you think the crackpots cluster? Right on the message boards because a successful writer is improving their craft, making submissions, and researching and writing.

I use the word 'cluster' in the marketing segmentation definition. Look on most of those message boards, and you will see advertising, newsletters, and other capitalistic products and services based on traffic generated by controversy. So now you understand that the point of the boards is to generate traffic and advertising revenues based on their niche in the market.


Anyway, that said, it actually does us a favor and we've come to thank these boards. They weed out two main categories of authors that we are actually glad to be rid of: 1) nervous authors that don't understand the nitty gritty of hard business and who can't make up their mind and who rely on others for their opinions, 2) the SFN's (writers that want Something for Nothing) who want it all, basically for free...

I place 4 bullets under my signature. That's our promise. It's simple and it's understandable, and I really do think you'd be hard pressed to find one of our clients that won't, even grudgingly admit that we've delivered.

Our Pledge To You:
==================
* We respect what you have accomplished thus far as a writer.
* We believe that great authors are made, not born. We are willing to develop talent.
* We pledge straight talk in a confusing and old-school industry.
* We can't promise a sale. We can promise a professional relationship.

So, in conclusion, this is what I would do, if I were in your shoes, "I'd proceed with us, eyes wide open, and see if we meet or exceed our four business tenets, A) Respect, B) Building Talent, 3) Straight Talk, and a 4) Professional Relationship.

Of course, if you'd rather us terminate our relationship now, no problem, fortunately for me, and unfortunately for you, there's 10 more to take your place, and you can go back to querying agents for the rest of your life, or you can just see what happens and see if maybe, just maybe, we are what we say we are.

Best to you whatever your decision.

Sherry Fine - VP Acquisitions

Just for grins, and so that you know we provide a service of value to aspiring authors, I would like you to see some of the unprompted quotes that we receive on a daily basis.

Our clients say it best. The quotes below are unedited and as you can see, quite from the heart. (We have lots more of these.) If you are really cynical, you will probably believe we made them up, but I promise you, we can prove every one of them.

=======================

"Just a note to say, whatever the outcome of my submission, it's refreshing to engage an agent who will a) take an email submission, b) turn it round as quick you've committed to do and c) actively work with a writer. Submissions are daunting enough anyway without having to wait ten weeks for an impersonalised slip of paper. Here's to you."

"It is refreshing to get an honest professional opinion of my work, it make me realise just how much I don't know about the written word and its presentation."

Dear Georgina, I'd like you to know how highly and gratefully I regard the clarity with which you explain the process as well as your reliability. I have complete trust in both your abilities and ethical standards. Best wishes, Judith

It's been a long time since I left school with considerable number of years passing before I became interested in writing again. I would like you to thank you for working with me and let it be known that I look at this as a new beginning and rebirth of my education.

You don't know how nice it is to have such timely responses. I am sure I am not the only writer that puts a lot of heart into their work and I have to say, I have "kept mine tucked away in the closet" for many, many years. I just enjoy writing, but didn't know if I would ever try and submit it to anyone. Making the decision to do that has been somewhat of a nerve-wracking process. Your timely responses and professional, yet "down-to-earth" responses are making the process a lot easier. At this time, I am not submitting my work to anyone else, because you have impressed me the most up to this point. Even if we do not end up working together, I felt it was important to pass this along to you.

Dear Georgina: Your professional zeal and resourcefulness cannot be overemphasized seeing the volatile-oceanic-wave called the American Hollywood with its impregnable sales frontiers.I hold you dearly to my heart in my every prayers towards our mutual success now and...very soon in sbsequent works.I doff my heart after your every professional spirit imagining the energy, sweat and travellings involved. Thanks for everything you stand for professionally.

Thank you for your constructive feedback. I found your critique of my work very informative, and it concluded many things that I already knew. I really do need to improve on my punctuation skills, and that has been something I have struggled with for some time. I appreciate your suggestions on materials to improve this, and I plan on taking an advanced grammar and puctuation class at the college I am attending. Several other points you made were also very informative. I know I have a long way to go before I am a "professional" writer, but I am glad that you agreed that the potential is definitely there. I'd also like to thank you and your company for staying in contact with me through this process. I would, and will, come back to your company if I need further material critiqued. Thank you again for your time.

I just want to say I have been rejected for years by Agents and Publishers. After awhile it all seems pointless. But I am in this for the long run and will never give up and never give in. Whether you accept me or not you have restored my faith and hope that someone out there is concerned and listening to what writings go through. I look forward to learning all that I can from you and your associates.

"After having reread all the information sent to me, I must say that I am impressed by the way your agency has handled the science, or art of appreciating new sources of writing. If only all agencies displayed your model the world may be a better place. Your FAQ has answered all of my questions and i am eager to get to work."

===========================

WE ARE CREATING THE MOST POWERFUL AGENCY GROUP IN THE UNITED STATES. Every author that we represent has been fully edited and we know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that their work is good enough for publication. Unfortunately, the ones that 'wash out', tend to grouse and *****. If you can make it through our process, then you will be in an elite group that buyers respect. We never promise a sale, but we can promise that if we present your work, it will get respect from our buyers.

Best to you in your career.
 

Sherry Fine

Registered
Joined
Jan 24, 2006
Messages
10
Reaction score
1
When a work doesn't sell.. what happens?

Dear Author:

We are keenly aware of the negative material on a lot of writer's message boards and I thought I would take a minute and give you more background than what you are getting (which as best I can tell is stuff regurgitated from years ago).

I know it is confusing to authors and I thank you for 'first seeking to understand".

I hope that you will view the professionalism of this reply, where we try to present both sides of the situation, and contrast that against the furor that will arise after this post. Hey, maybe the message board people will agree to be your Agent!

It is a fact that most authors (98%) can't get the time of day from an Agent. Why? Because invariably their work needs improvement and if an Agent takes the time to say, "I like the idea, but you need a little help" the Agent is blackballed by every writers blog on the net.

Some writers say, "it's the agency's responsibility to help the writer".. Maybe in the old days, but not anymore. An Agent's core competency is selling work and finding buyers, not editing. Do you really think that an Agent should contribute their valuable selling time to assisting a writer with editing/grammar/ and other mechanics? Some writers do, but not those that understand the power and clarity of focus on core competency in business. Most agencies go out of business in a few years, not us. Why, because we concentrate on selling, and let the editors and writers do what they do best, writing, improving, writing, improving, etc.

Furthermore, when a work doesn't sell, what typically happens is that the author adopts one of 3 postures, 1) you suck, you scammer you, 2) I'll improve, or 3) maybe I'll quit. Most of the material on the boards is from attitude 1.

At it's core, that's the real issue. Always has been. So, there's a situation where potentially great work is 'waiting in the wings' so to speak, and can't get access to the market. And, if the Agent offers to help, to coach, and to mentor, well, you see the boards reply.


What Do Buyers Think? That's what really matters.
==========================================
Buyers (publishers) love our model. Why? because they know that we've forced the writer to jump through a series of hoops to prove their mettle. And the writers whine, whine, whine, and the publishers say, "whew, thanks for bringing us great work and for filtering out the crackpots."

Where do you think the crackpots cluster? Right on the message boards because a successful writer is improving their craft, making submissions, and researching and writing.

I use the word 'cluster' in the marketing segmentation definition. Look on most of those message boards, and you will see advertising, newsletters, and other capitalistic products and services based on traffic generated by controversy. So now you understand that the point of the boards is to generate traffic and advertising revenues based on their niche in the market.


Anyway, that said, it actually does us a favor and we've come to thank these boards. They weed out two main categories of authors that we are actually glad to be rid of: 1) nervous authors that don't understand the nitty gritty of hard business and who can't make up their mind and who rely on others for their opinions, 2) the SFN's (writers that want Something for Nothing) who want it all, basically for free...

I place 4 bullets under my signature. That's our promise. It's simple and it's understandable, and I really do think you'd be hard pressed to find one of our clients that won't, even grudgingly admit that we've delivered.

Our Pledge To You:
==================
* We respect what you have accomplished thus far as a writer.
* We believe that great authors are made, not born. We are willing to develop talent.
* We pledge straight talk in a confusing and old-school industry.
* We can't promise a sale. We can promise a professional relationship.

So, in conclusion, this is what I would do, if I were in your shoes, "I'd proceed with us, eyes wide open, and see if we meet or exceed our four business tenets, A) Respect, B) Building Talent, 3) Straight Talk, and a 4) Professional Relationship.

Of course, if you'd rather us terminate our relationship now, no problem, fortunately for me, and unfortunately for you, there's 10 more to take your place, and you can go back to querying agents for the rest of your life, or you can just see what happens and see if maybe, just maybe, we are what we say we are.

Best to you whatever your decision.

Sherry Fine - VP Acquisitions

Just for grins, and so that you know we provide a service of value to aspiring authors, I would like you to see some of the unprompted quotes that we receive on a daily basis.

Our clients say it best. The quotes below are unedited and as you can see, quite from the heart. (We have lots more of these.) If you are really cynical, you will probably believe we made them up, but I promise you, we can prove every one of them.

=======================

"Just a note to say, whatever the outcome of my submission, it's refreshing to engage an agent who will a) take an email submission, b) turn it round as quick you've committed to do and c) actively work with a writer. Submissions are daunting enough anyway without having to wait ten weeks for an impersonalised slip of paper. Here's to you."

"It is refreshing to get an honest professional opinion of my work, it make me realise just how much I don't know about the written word and its presentation."

Dear Georgina, I'd like you to know how highly and gratefully I regard the clarity with which you explain the process as well as your reliability. I have complete trust in both your abilities and ethical standards. Best wishes, Judith

It's been a long time since I left school with considerable number of years passing before I became interested in writing again. I would like you to thank you for working with me and let it be known that I look at this as a new beginning and rebirth of my education.

You don't know how nice it is to have such timely responses. I am sure I am not the only writer that puts a lot of heart into their work and I have to say, I have "kept mine tucked away in the closet" for many, many years. I just enjoy writing, but didn't know if I would ever try and submit it to anyone. Making the decision to do that has been somewhat of a nerve-wracking process. Your timely responses and professional, yet "down-to-earth" responses are making the process a lot easier. At this time, I am not submitting my work to anyone else, because you have impressed me the most up to this point. Even if we do not end up working together, I felt it was important to pass this along to you.

Dear Georgina: Your professional zeal and resourcefulness cannot be overemphasized seeing the volatile-oceanic-wave called the American Hollywood with its impregnable sales frontiers.I hold you dearly to my heart in my every prayers towards our mutual success now and...very soon in sbsequent works.I doff my heart after your every professional spirit imagining the energy, sweat and travellings involved. Thanks for everything you stand for professionally.

Thank you for your constructive feedback. I found your critique of my work very informative, and it concluded many things that I already knew. I really do need to improve on my punctuation skills, and that has been something I have struggled with for some time. I appreciate your suggestions on materials to improve this, and I plan on taking an advanced grammar and puctuation class at the college I am attending. Several other points you made were also very informative. I know I have a long way to go before I am a "professional" writer, but I am glad that you agreed that the potential is definitely there. I'd also like to thank you and your company for staying in contact with me through this process. I would, and will, come back to your company if I need further material critiqued. Thank you again for your time.

I just want to say I have been rejected for years by Agents and Publishers. After awhile it all seems pointless. But I am in this for the long run and will never give up and never give in. Whether you accept me or not you have restored my faith and hope that someone out there is concerned and listening to what writings go through. I look forward to learning all that I can from you and your associates.

"After having reread all the information sent to me, I must say that I am impressed by the way your agency has handled the science, or art of appreciating new sources of writing. If only all agencies displayed your model the world may be a better place. Your FAQ has answered all of my questions and i am eager to get to work."

===========================

WE ARE CREATING THE MOST POWERFUL AGENCY GROUP IN THE UNITED STATES. Every author that we represent has been fully edited and we know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that their work is good enough for publication. Unfortunately, the ones that 'wash out', tend to grouse and *****. If you can make it through our process, then you will be in an elite group that buyers respect. We never promise a sale, but we can promise that if we present your work, it will get respect from our buyers.

Best to you in your career.
 

Sherry Fine

Registered
Joined
Jan 24, 2006
Messages
10
Reaction score
1
When a work doesn't sell.. what happens?

Dear Author:

We are keenly aware of the negative material on a lot of writer's message boards and I thought I would take a minute and give you more background than what you are getting (which as best I can tell is stuff regurgitated from years ago).

I know it is confusing to authors and I thank you for 'first seeking to understand".

I hope that you will view the professionalism of this reply, where we try to present both sides of the situation, and contrast that against the furor that will arise after this post. Hey, maybe the message board people will agree to be your Agent!

It is a fact that most authors (98%) can't get the time of day from an Agent. Why? Because invariably their work needs improvement and if an Agent takes the time to say, "I like the idea, but you need a little help" the Agent is blackballed by every writers blog on the net.

Some writers say, "it's the agency's responsibility to help the writer".. Maybe in the old days, but not anymore. An Agent's core competency is selling work and finding buyers, not editing. Do you really think that an Agent should contribute their valuable selling time to assisting a writer with editing/grammar/ and other mechanics? Some writers do, but not those that understand the power and clarity of focus on core competency in business. Most agencies go out of business in a few years, not us. Why, because we concentrate on selling, and let the editors and writers do what they do best, writing, improving, writing, improving, etc.

Furthermore, when a work doesn't sell, what typically happens is that the author adopts one of 3 postures, 1) you suck, you scammer you, 2) I'll improve, or 3) maybe I'll quit. Most of the material on the boards is from attitude 1.

At it's core, that's the real issue. Always has been. So, there's a situation where potentially great work is 'waiting in the wings' so to speak, and can't get access to the market. And, if the Agent offers to help, to coach, and to mentor, well, you see the boards reply.


What Do Buyers Think? That's what really matters.
==========================================
Buyers (publishers) love our model. Why? because they know that we've forced the writer to jump through a series of hoops to prove their mettle. And the writers whine, whine, whine, and the publishers say, "whew, thanks for bringing us great work and for filtering out the crackpots."

Where do you think the crackpots cluster? Right on the message boards because a successful writer is improving their craft, making submissions, and researching and writing.

I use the word 'cluster' in the marketing segmentation definition. Look on most of those message boards, and you will see advertising, newsletters, and other capitalistic products and services based on traffic generated by controversy. So now you understand that the point of the boards is to generate traffic and advertising revenues based on their niche in the market.


Anyway, that said, it actually does us a favor and we've come to thank these boards. They weed out two main categories of authors that we are actually glad to be rid of: 1) nervous authors that don't understand the nitty gritty of hard business and who can't make up their mind and who rely on others for their opinions, 2) the SFN's (writers that want Something for Nothing) who want it all, basically for free...

I place 4 bullets under my signature. That's our promise. It's simple and it's understandable, and I really do think you'd be hard pressed to find one of our clients that won't, even grudgingly admit that we've delivered.

Our Pledge To You:
==================
* We respect what you have accomplished thus far as a writer.
* We believe that great authors are made, not born. We are willing to develop talent.
* We pledge straight talk in a confusing and old-school industry.
* We can't promise a sale. We can promise a professional relationship.

So, in conclusion, this is what I would do, if I were in your shoes, "I'd proceed with us, eyes wide open, and see if we meet or exceed our four business tenets, A) Respect, B) Building Talent, 3) Straight Talk, and a 4) Professional Relationship.

Of course, if you'd rather us terminate our relationship now, no problem, fortunately for me, and unfortunately for you, there's 10 more to take your place, and you can go back to querying agents for the rest of your life, or you can just see what happens and see if maybe, just maybe, we are what we say we are.

Best to you whatever your decision.

Sherry Fine - VP Acquisitions

Just for grins, and so that you know we provide a service of value to aspiring authors, I would like you to see some of the unprompted quotes that we receive on a daily basis.

Our clients say it best. The quotes below are unedited and as you can see, quite from the heart. (We have lots more of these.) If you are really cynical, you will probably believe we made them up, but I promise you, we can prove every one of them.

=======================

"Just a note to say, whatever the outcome of my submission, it's refreshing to engage an agent who will a) take an email submission, b) turn it round as quick you've committed to do and c) actively work with a writer. Submissions are daunting enough anyway without having to wait ten weeks for an impersonalised slip of paper. Here's to you."

"It is refreshing to get an honest professional opinion of my work, it make me realise just how much I don't know about the written word and its presentation."

Dear Georgina, I'd like you to know how highly and gratefully I regard the clarity with which you explain the process as well as your reliability. I have complete trust in both your abilities and ethical standards. Best wishes, Judith

It's been a long time since I left school with considerable number of years passing before I became interested in writing again. I would like you to thank you for working with me and let it be known that I look at this as a new beginning and rebirth of my education.

You don't know how nice it is to have such timely responses. I am sure I am not the only writer that puts a lot of heart into their work and I have to say, I have "kept mine tucked away in the closet" for many, many years. I just enjoy writing, but didn't know if I would ever try and submit it to anyone. Making the decision to do that has been somewhat of a nerve-wracking process. Your timely responses and professional, yet "down-to-earth" responses are making the process a lot easier. At this time, I am not submitting my work to anyone else, because you have impressed me the most up to this point. Even if we do not end up working together, I felt it was important to pass this along to you.

Dear Georgina: Your professional zeal and resourcefulness cannot be overemphasized seeing the volatile-oceanic-wave called the American Hollywood with its impregnable sales frontiers.I hold you dearly to my heart in my every prayers towards our mutual success now and...very soon in sbsequent works.I doff my heart after your every professional spirit imagining the energy, sweat and travellings involved. Thanks for everything you stand for professionally.

Thank you for your constructive feedback. I found your critique of my work very informative, and it concluded many things that I already knew. I really do need to improve on my punctuation skills, and that has been something I have struggled with for some time. I appreciate your suggestions on materials to improve this, and I plan on taking an advanced grammar and puctuation class at the college I am attending. Several other points you made were also very informative. I know I have a long way to go before I am a "professional" writer, but I am glad that you agreed that the potential is definitely there. I'd also like to thank you and your company for staying in contact with me through this process. I would, and will, come back to your company if I need further material critiqued. Thank you again for your time.

I just want to say I have been rejected for years by Agents and Publishers. After awhile it all seems pointless. But I am in this for the long run and will never give up and never give in. Whether you accept me or not you have restored my faith and hope that someone out there is concerned and listening to what writings go through. I look forward to learning all that I can from you and your associates.

"After having reread all the information sent to me, I must say that I am impressed by the way your agency has handled the science, or art of appreciating new sources of writing. If only all agencies displayed your model the world may be a better place. Your FAQ has answered all of my questions and i am eager to get to work."

===========================

WE ARE CREATING THE MOST POWERFUL AGENCY GROUP IN THE UNITED STATES. Every author that we represent has been fully edited and we know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that their work is good enough for publication. Unfortunately, the ones that 'wash out', tend to grouse and *****. If you can make it through our process, then you will be in an elite group that buyers respect. We never promise a sale, but we can promise that if we present your work, it will get respect from our buyers.

Best to you in your career.
 

James D. Macdonald

Your Genial Uncle
Absolute Sage
VPX
Super Member
Registered
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Here's the ad:


Research Assistant For Agent Needed - Generate Publisher Lists
posted: 20 Feb 2006
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Offered by:
The Literary Agency Group
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Salary:
$17.50 per hour
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Benefits:
Flexible hours
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Duration:
Project or Part Time Basis
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Location:
Any City USA - Internet
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Requirements:
Seeking research assistant for our literary agents. Job entails generating lists of 5-10 potential publishers for authors we represent. $500 Bonus for successful sale that comes from your research. You can work from anywhere and we will train.
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About Our
Company:
The Literary Agency Group is proud to represent the largest group of formally edited manuscripts in the world.
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Contact:
Robert West - Principal
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E-mail:
[email protected]
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Phone:
Email only please
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Special
Instructions:
Email your background and resume please.
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Job #
2154
 

Sherry Fine

Registered
Joined
Jan 24, 2006
Messages
10
Reaction score
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From Children's Literary Agency

I'm giving you two answers to your question about what you've read. The first answer is the short one, and the second is the long one. I apologize in advance for any 'attitude' that you read in my reply, but it's a gut/core issue for us and we feel pretty strongly about certain things.


The short answer ....
We told the self-proclaimed industry watchdogs to shove it.
We've drawn the battle lines and we've said that unpublished
writers have very little chance of success unless they think differently.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
We told the so-called watchdogs that they are hurting authors by maintaining 'old school' ideas. We explained that the agency business is so competitive now, that we can only focus on one thing, selling the work. The author has to take responsibility for bringing their work to industry standards. In short, we told the industry watchdogs that they don't get it, and they are promulgating old ideas that no longer apply. It didn't go over very well and they chatter incessantly, but if you think a writer has thick skin, you should try being an agent.

We've been in business now long enough to know that our model works, and that buyers respect the fact that EVERY AUTHOR WE REPRESENT HAS BEEN THROUGH A RIGOROUS CRITIQUE AND EDITING PROCESS. What you read on the boards is just authors whining about having to do more work, which they want us to do for free. Think about it for just a minute. If you were buying an unpublished author's work, wouldn't you want to buy work that had been through the proverbial wringer? And wouldn't you want to buy work that could get to market faster, because the grunt work, the editing, had already been done.

In the end, the truth of the matter is that you really want an agency that is willing to break a few rules on your behalf. The 'old school' doesn't want you to get in, and that's the truth. We have 4 sales, most agencies only have 1 or two. We will double that this year we think and you really need to consider whether some 'anonymous' board poster really has your best interest at heart or if you should give us a try, eyes wide open, and see if we don't keep our promises which are * We respect what you have accomplished thus far as a writer, * We believe that great authors are made, not born. We are willing to
develop talent. * We pledge straight talk in a confusing and old-school industry. * We can't promise a sale. We can promise a professional relationship.



------------------------------------------------------------------
Here's one author's reply to this email. We hope you are this discerning. "Thank you for the trouble you took to explain what's on those boards. I think I understand your frustration with the critics and nay sayers now. I have reviewed again the on-line comments and sources and agree that there is really nothing substantive in either their remarks or criticisms. In fact most of them whine about nearly everyone".
-----------------------------------------------------------------


Here's the long answer:
----------------------------------------
We are keenly aware of the negative material on a lot of writer's message boards. I thank you for 'seeking first to understand". Once again, sorry for the length of this email, but there's a lot to try to communicate to you.

I know it is confusing to authors. Luckily most authors can detect that there's something very negatively one sided about most boards, and a good author will ask for more information.

I think you would agree that it's tough to even get a reply from an Agency. Most authors (98%) can't get the time of day from an Agent. Why? Because invariably the author's work needs improvement and if an Agent takes the time to say, "I like the idea, but you need a little help" the Agent is blackballed by every writers blog on the net. So, it's easier to say no, or not reply, than to actually try to help a writer with a good idea and a good start.

Successful writers of books and screenplays use editors and coaches, always have, always will.. if you've never worked with an editor, you should. I would say that 95+% of the books on the shelves today have had an editors touch, either through the publishing company or as directed by an agent. There are two levels of editing. The first is our internal level. The second is the publisher level. When you pass our first level, it means that we will put our reputation on the line for you, however, it doesn't mean that it has been exhaustively edited, like a publisher would do. Their edit is MUCH more extensive. Our edit requirements are related to pitching and selling only.

THIS IS THE REAL ISSUE: If an agent assists the writer by telling them to get editing and then the agent will represent them, they get blackballed. So, here's a situation where potentially great work is 'waiting in the wings' so to speak, and can't get access to the market because Agents are overwhelmed and gunshy.

Luckily (for those authors that can see through the bs), we've decided that the old model is dead and we want new fresh talent. We want authors that want to improve and have their chance. And, our management team is a group of business warriors that basically say, "screw the naysayers because buyers love our model".

Why do buyers (publishers and producers) love our model? Because they know that we've forced the writer to jump through a series of hoops to prove their mettle. And the writers whine, whine, whine, and the publishers say, "whew, thanks for bringing us great work and for filtering out the crackpot writers that want the world and don't have an understanding of how competitive the market is." BUYERS WANT WRITERS THAT HAVE INVESTED IN THEMSELVES AND THEIR WRITING.

But why all the negative press you might ask? In short, the message boards attract unsuccessful writers. It's quite a statistical anomoly isn't it. A successful writer isn't sitting around responding to message boards, a successful writer is improving their craft, making submissions, and writing. As I'm sure you've seen the pettiness on the boards.. That pettiness is, to me, worse than a National Enquirer that you read in the grocery line, and frankly, I think the message boards attract the same caliber of people. Also, just for the fun of it, you should ask the people that work the boards to be your agent, and see how many writers run to help you.

LET ME STATE THIS AGAIN.. ASK THE PEOPLE ON THE MESSAGE BOARDS, BECAUSE THEY ARE SO SMART, WHAT THEY'VE SOLD, AND WHO THEIR AGENT WAS... And whether they'd be your agent. <I'm sorry to be a bit cynical here, but I'm sure you can see why? Nobody on those boards is going to work for you.. they aren't going to coach you, prep you, and try to sell your work.>

That said, we've come to thank these boards. The boards weed out three main categories of writers that we are actually glad to be rid of: 1) Authors that don't have a clue, 2) Authors that can't make up their mind for themselves and don't have any "grit", and 3) the SFN's (writers that want Something for Nothing). I hope that you aren't in any of those three categories. The Something For Nothing authors really get my goat, but that's another rant. Those are the authors that think we'll bear all their expenses because they've 'written the next bestseller'... egads...


Reread the 4 bullets under my signature. That's our promise. It's simple and it's understandable, and we deliver on it all day, every day. (Like this email really).

So, in conclusion, this is what I would do, if I were in your shoes, I'd proceed with us, eyes wide open, and see if we meet or exceed our four business tenets below, A) Respect, B) Building Talent, 3) Straight Talk, and a 4) Professional Relationship.

Just for grins, and so that you know we provide a service of value to aspiring authors, I would like you to see some of the unprompted quotes that we receive on a daily basis. Our clients say it best. The quotes below are unedited and as you can see, quite from the heart. (We have lots more of these.) If you are really cynical, you will probably believe we made them up, but I promise you, we can prove every one of them.

=======================

"Just a note to say, whatever the outcome of my submission, it's refreshing to engage an agent who will a) take an email submission, b) turn it round as quick you've committed to do and c) actively work with a writer. Submissions are daunting enough anyway without having to wait ten weeks for an impersonalised slip of paper. Here's to you."

"It is refreshing to get an honest professional opinion of my work, it make me realise just how much I don't know about the written word and its presentation."

Dear Georgina, I'd like you to know how highly and gratefully I regard the clarity with which you explain the process as well as your reliability. I have complete trust in both your abilities and ethical standards. Best wishes, Judith

It's been a long time since I left school with considerable number of years passing before I became interested in writing again. I would like you to thank you for working with me and let it be known that I look at this as a new beginning and rebirth of my education.

You don't know how nice it is to have such timely responses. I am sure I am not the only writer that puts a lot of heart into their work and I have to say, I have "kept mine tucked away in the closet" for many, many years. I just enjoy writing, but didn't know if I would ever try and submit it to anyone. Making the decision to do that has been somewhat of a nerve-wracking process. Your timely responses and professional, yet "down-to-earth" responses are making the process a lot easier. At this time, I am not submitting my work to anyone else, because you have impressed me the most up to this point. Even if we do not end up working together, I felt it was important to pass this along to you.

Dear Georgina: Your professional zeal and resourcefulness cannot be overemphasized seeing the volatile-oceanic-wave called the American Hollywood with its impregnable sales frontiers.I hold you dearly to my heart in my every prayers towards our mutual success now and...very soon in sbsequent works.I doff my heart after your every professional spirit imagining the energy, sweat and travellings involved. Thanks for everything you stand for professionally.

Thank you for your constructive feedback. I found your critique of my work very informative, and it concluded many things that I already knew. I really do need to improve on my punctuation skills, and that has been something I have struggled with for some time. I appreciate your suggestions on materials to improve this, and I plan on taking an advanced grammar and puctuation class at the college I am attending. Several other points you made were also very informative. I know I have a long way to go before I am a "professional" writer, but I am glad that you agreed that the potential is definitely there. I'd also like to thank you and your company for staying in contact with me through this process. I would, and will, come back to your company if I need further material critiqued. Thank you again for your time.

I just want to say I have been rejected for years by Agents and Publishers. After awhile it all seems pointless. But I am in this for the long run and will never give up and never give in. Whether you accept me or not you have restored my faith and hope that someone out there is concerned and listening to what writings go through. I look forward to learning all that I can from you and your associates.

"After having reread all the information sent to me, I must say that I am impressed by the way your agency has handled the science, or art of appreciating new sources of writing. If only all agencies displayed your model the world may be a better place. Your FAQ has answered all of my questions and i am eager to get to work."

===========================

WE ARE CREATING THE MOST POWERFUL AGENCY GROUP IN THE UNITED STATES. Every author that we represent has been fully edited and we know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that their work is good enough for publication. Unfortunately, the ones that 'wash out', tend to grouse and *****. If you can make it through our process, then you will be in an elite group that buyers respect. We never promise a sale, but we can promise that if we present your work, it will get respect from our buyers.

Best to you in your career whatever your decision. I hope you give us a chance to prove ourselves. What's your real risk anyway?
 

sherryfine

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Apr 9, 2006
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Sorry for all the misinformation

I'm giving you two answers to your question about what you've read. The first answer is the short one, and the second is the long one. I apologize in advance for any 'attitude' that you read in my reply, but it's a gut/core issue for us and we feel pretty strongly about certain things.


The short answer ....
We told the self-proclaimed industry watchdogs to shove it.
We've drawn the battle lines and we've said that unpublished
writers have very little chance of success unless they think differently.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
We told the so-called watchdogs that they are hurting authors by maintaining 'old school' ideas. We explained that the agency business is so competitive now, that we can only focus on one thing, selling the work. The author has to take responsibility for bringing their work to industry standards. In short, we told the industry watchdogs that they don't get it, and they are promulgating old ideas that no longer apply. It didn't go over very well and they chatter incessantly, but if you think a writer has thick skin, you should try being an agent.

We've been in business now long enough to know that our model works, and that buyers respect the fact that EVERY AUTHOR WE REPRESENT HAS BEEN THROUGH A RIGOROUS CRITIQUE AND EDITING PROCESS. What you read on the boards is just authors whining about having to do more work, which they want us to do for free. Think about it for just a minute. If you were buying an unpublished author's work, wouldn't you want to buy work that had been through the proverbial wringer? And wouldn't you want to buy work that could get to market faster, because the grunt work, the editing, had already been done.

In the end, the truth of the matter is that you really want an agency that is willing to break a few rules on your behalf. The 'old school' doesn't want you to get in, and that's the truth. We have 4 sales, most agencies only have 1 or two. We will double that this year we think and you really need to consider whether some 'anonymous' board poster really has your best interest at heart or if you should give us a try, eyes wide open, and see if we don't keep our promises which are * We respect what you have accomplished thus far as a writer, * We believe that great authors are made, not born. We are willing to
develop talent. * We pledge straight talk in a confusing and old-school industry. * We can't promise a sale. We can promise a professional relationship.



------------------------------------------------------------------
Here's one author's reply to this email. We hope you are this discerning. "Thank you for the trouble you took to explain what's on those boards. I think I understand your frustration with the critics and nay sayers now. I have reviewed again the on-line comments and sources and agree that there is really nothing substantive in either their remarks or criticisms. In fact most of them whine about nearly everyone".
-----------------------------------------------------------------


Here's the long answer:
----------------------------------------
We are keenly aware of the negative material on a lot of writer's message boards. I thank you for 'seeking first to understand". Once again, sorry for the length of this email, but there's a lot to try to communicate to you.

I know it is confusing to authors. Luckily most authors can detect that there's something very negatively one sided about most boards, and a good author will ask for more information.

I think you would agree that it's tough to even get a reply from an Agency. Most authors (98%) can't get the time of day from an Agent. Why? Because invariably the author's work needs improvement and if an Agent takes the time to say, "I like the idea, but you need a little help" the Agent is blackballed by every writers blog on the net. So, it's easier to say no, or not reply, than to actually try to help a writer with a good idea and a good start.

Successful writers of books and screenplays use editors and coaches, always have, always will.. if you've never worked with an editor, you should. I would say that 95+% of the books on the shelves today have had an editors touch, either through the publishing company or as directed by an agent. There are two levels of editing. The first is our internal level. The second is the publisher level. When you pass our first level, it means that we will put our reputation on the line for you, however, it doesn't mean that it has been exhaustively edited, like a publisher would do. Their edit is MUCH more extensive. Our edit requirements are related to pitching and selling only.

THIS IS THE REAL ISSUE: If an agent assists the writer by telling them to get editing and then the agent will represent them, they get blackballed. So, here's a situation where potentially great work is 'waiting in the wings' so to speak, and can't get access to the market because Agents are overwhelmed and gunshy.

Luckily (for those authors that can see through the bs), we've decided that the old model is dead and we want new fresh talent. We want authors that want to improve and have their chance. And, our management team is a group of business warriors that basically say, "screw the naysayers because buyers love our model".

Why do buyers (publishers and producers) love our model? Because they know that we've forced the writer to jump through a series of hoops to prove their mettle. And the writers whine, whine, whine, and the publishers say, "whew, thanks for bringing us great work and for filtering out the crackpot writers that want the world and don't have an understanding of how competitive the market is." BUYERS WANT WRITERS THAT HAVE INVESTED IN THEMSELVES AND THEIR WRITING.

But why all the negative press you might ask? In short, the message boards attract unsuccessful writers. It's quite a statistical anomoly isn't it. A successful writer isn't sitting around responding to message boards, a successful writer is improving their craft, making submissions, and writing. As I'm sure you've seen the pettiness on the boards.. That pettiness is, to me, worse than a National Enquirer that you read in the grocery line, and frankly, I think the message boards attract the same caliber of people. Also, just for the fun of it, you should ask the people that work the boards to be your agent, and see how many writers run to help you.

LET ME STATE THIS AGAIN.. ASK THE PEOPLE ON THE MESSAGE BOARDS, BECAUSE THEY ARE SO SMART, WHAT THEY'VE SOLD, AND WHO THEIR AGENT WAS... And whether they'd be your agent. <I'm sorry to be a bit cynical here, but I'm sure you can see why? Nobody on those boards is going to work for you.. they aren't going to coach you, prep you, and try to sell your work.>

That said, we've come to thank these boards. The boards weed out three main categories of writers that we are actually glad to be rid of: 1) Authors that don't have a clue, 2) Authors that can't make up their mind for themselves and don't have any "grit", and 3) the SFN's (writers that want Something for Nothing). I hope that you aren't in any of those three categories. The Something For Nothing authors really get my goat, but that's another rant. Those are the authors that think we'll bear all their expenses because they've 'written the next bestseller'... egads...


Reread the 4 bullets under my signature. That's our promise. It's simple and it's understandable, and we deliver on it all day, every day. (Like this email really).

So, in conclusion, this is what I would do, if I were in your shoes, I'd proceed with us, eyes wide open, and see if we meet or exceed our four business tenets below, A) Respect, B) Building Talent, 3) Straight Talk, and a 4) Professional Relationship.

Just for grins, and so that you know we provide a service of value to aspiring authors, I would like you to see some of the unprompted quotes that we receive on a daily basis. Our clients say it best. The quotes below are unedited and as you can see, quite from the heart. (We have lots more of these.) If you are really cynical, you will probably believe we made them up, but I promise you, we can prove every one of them.

=======================

"Just a note to say, whatever the outcome of my submission, it's refreshing to engage an agent who will a) take an email submission, b) turn it round as quick you've committed to do and c) actively work with a writer. Submissions are daunting enough anyway without having to wait ten weeks for an impersonalised slip of paper. Here's to you."

"It is refreshing to get an honest professional opinion of my work, it make me realise just how much I don't know about the written word and its presentation."

Dear Georgina, I'd like you to know how highly and gratefully I regard the clarity with which you explain the process as well as your reliability. I have complete trust in both your abilities and ethical standards. Best wishes, Judith

It's been a long time since I left school with considerable number of years passing before I became interested in writing again. I would like you to thank you for working with me and let it be known that I look at this as a new beginning and rebirth of my education.

You don't know how nice it is to have such timely responses. I am sure I am not the only writer that puts a lot of heart into their work and I have to say, I have "kept mine tucked away in the closet" for many, many years. I just enjoy writing, but didn't know if I would ever try and submit it to anyone. Making the decision to do that has been somewhat of a nerve-wracking process. Your timely responses and professional, yet "down-to-earth" responses are making the process a lot easier. At this time, I am not submitting my work to anyone else, because you have impressed me the most up to this point. Even if we do not end up working together, I felt it was important to pass this along to you.

Dear Georgina: Your professional zeal and resourcefulness cannot be overemphasized seeing the volatile-oceanic-wave called the American Hollywood with its impregnable sales frontiers.I hold you dearly to my heart in my every prayers towards our mutual success now and...very soon in sbsequent works.I doff my heart after your every professional spirit imagining the energy, sweat and travellings involved. Thanks for everything you stand for professionally.

Thank you for your constructive feedback. I found your critique of my work very informative, and it concluded many things that I already knew. I really do need to improve on my punctuation skills, and that has been something I have struggled with for some time. I appreciate your suggestions on materials to improve this, and I plan on taking an advanced grammar and puctuation class at the college I am attending. Several other points you made were also very informative. I know I have a long way to go before I am a "professional" writer, but I am glad that you agreed that the potential is definitely there. I'd also like to thank you and your company for staying in contact with me through this process. I would, and will, come back to your company if I need further material critiqued. Thank you again for your time.

I just want to say I have been rejected for years by Agents and Publishers. After awhile it all seems pointless. But I am in this for the long run and will never give up and never give in. Whether you accept me or not you have restored my faith and hope that someone out there is concerned and listening to what writings go through. I look forward to learning all that I can from you and your associates.

"After having reread all the information sent to me, I must say that I am impressed by the way your agency has handled the science, or art of appreciating new sources of writing. If only all agencies displayed your model the world may be a better place. Your FAQ has answered all of my questions and i am eager to get to work."

===========================

WE ARE CREATING THE MOST POWERFUL AGENCY GROUP IN THE UNITED STATES. Every author that we represent has been fully edited and we know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that their work is good enough for publication. Unfortunately, the ones that 'wash out', tend to grouse and *****. If you can make it through our process, then you will be in an elite group that buyers respect. We never promise a sale, but we can promise that if we present your work, it will get respect from our buyers.

Best to you in your career whatever your decision. I hope you give us a chance to prove ourselves. What's your real risk anyway?
 

sherryfine

Registered
Joined
Apr 9, 2006
Messages
16
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0
Message Board Citizens- Rebuttal !

Dear Message Board Citizens;

Please take a few minutes to read an important message for writers.

The company has asked me to tell you, in my own words, what I do and to let you know just one aspect of what they do to help writers sell their work.

I work with Sherry Fine, our director of acquisitions, and I am using her login for speed and efficiency with this post. One cavet, I am in phone sales, so if there are grammar or spelling errors in the post, please realize that you are the writer, and that's your job to write 100% correctly, not mine.

See attached Message Board Citizens Rebuttal.

Cordially,

Rey Best
 

Attachments

  • Dear Message Board Citizens.doc
    24.5 KB · Views: 3

johnny quest

Almost A Sucker!

This a copy of a recent reply from "The Screenplay Literary Agency".



Ms. Fine,
I am concerned, I have been doing a search on you and your agency, and to be quite frank the blogs are not good. (Man Bytes Hollywood: She never met a logline she didn't like) There are others not so flattering. It seems you take anyone and anything. Is this true? Please tell me you did not just rip my heart out. This means so much to me and my family. They took me to a congratulatory dinner in honor of getting an agent. I would like to think you truly liked my work. Can you send references that I my speak with? Our something to show faith? I hope and pray you answer me back with an honest original answer.


John Q.

Dear John,

There's no risk to you and I can guarantee you that we aren't what you are reading.

I'm giving you two answers to your question about what you've read. The first answer is the short one, and the second is the long one. I apologize in advance for any 'attitude' that you read in my reply, but it's a gut/core issue for us and we feel pretty strongly about certain things.


The short answer ....
We told the self-proclaimed industry watchdogs to shove it.
We've drawn the battle lines and we've said that unpublished
writers have very little chance of success unless they think differently.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
We told the so-called watchdogs that they are hurting authors by maintaining 'old school' ideas. We explained that the agency business is so competitive now, that we can only focus on one thing, selling the work. The author has to take responsibility for bringing their work to industry standards. In short, we told the industry watchdogs that they don't get it, and they are promulgating old ideas that no longer apply. It didn't go over very well and they chatter incessantly, but if you think a writer has thick skin, you should try being an agent.

We've been in business now long enough to know that our model works, and that buyers respect the fact that EVERY AUTHOR WE REPRESENT HAS BEEN THROUGH A RIGOROUS CRITIQUE AND EDITING PROCESS. What you read on the boards is just authors whining about having to do more work, which they want us to do for free. Think about it for just a minute. If you were buying an unpublished author's work, wouldn't you want to buy work that had been through the proverbial wringer? And wouldn't you want to buy work that could get to market faster, because the grunt work, the editing, had already been done.

In the end, the truth of the matter is that you really want an agency that is willing to break a few rules on your behalf. The 'old school' doesn't want you to get in, and that's the truth. We have 4 sales, most agencies only have 1 or two. We will double that this year we think and you really need to consider whether some 'anonymous' board poster really has your best interest at heart or if you should give us a try, eyes wide open, and see if we don't keep our promises which are * We respect what you have accomplished thus far as a writer, * We believe that great authors are made, not born. We are willing to
develop talent. * We pledge straight talk in a confusing and old-school industry. * We can't promise a sale. We can promise a professional relationship.



------------------------------------------------------------------
Here's one author's reply to this email. We hope you are this discerning. "Thank you for the trouble you took to explain what's on those boards. I think I understand your frustration with the critics and nay sayers now. I have reviewed again the on-line comments and sources and agree that there is really nothing substantive in either their remarks or criticisms. In fact most of them whine about nearly everyone".
-----------------------------------------------------------------


Here's the long answer:
----------------------------------------
We are keenly aware of the negative material on a lot of writer's message boards. I thank you for 'seeking first to understand". Once again, sorry for the length of this email, but there's a lot to try to communicate to you.

I know it is confusing to authors. Luckily most authors can detect that there's something very negatively one sided about most boards, and a good author will ask for more information.

I think you would agree that it's tough to even get a reply from an Agency. Most authors (98%) can't get the time of day from an Agent. Why? Because invariably the author's work needs improvement and if an Agent takes the time to say, "I like the idea, but you need a little help" the Agent is blackballed by every writers blog on the net. So, it's easier to say no, or not reply, than to actually try to help a writer with a good idea and a good start.

Successful writers of books and screenplays use editors and coaches, always have, always will.. if you've never worked with an editor, you should. I would say that 95+% of the books on the shelves today have had an editors touch, either through the publishing company or as directed by an agent. There are two levels of editing. The first is our internal level. The second is the publisher level. When you pass our first level, it means that we will put our reputation on the line for you, however, it doesn't mean that it has been exhaustively edited, like a publisher would do. Their edit is MUCH more extensive. Our edit requirements are related to pitching and selling only.

THIS IS THE REAL ISSUE: If an agent assists the writer by telling them to get editing and then the agent will represent them, they get blackballed. So, here's a situation where potentially great work is 'waiting in the wings' so to speak, and can't get access to the market because Agents are overwhelmed and gunshy.

Luckily (for those authors that can see through the bs), we've decided that the old model is dead and we want new fresh talent. We want authors that want to improve and have their chance. And, our management team is a group of business warriors that basically say, "screw the naysayers because buyers love our model".

Why do buyers (publishers and producers) love our model? Because they know that we've forced the writer to jump through a series of hoops to prove their mettle. And the writers whine, whine, whine, and the publishers say, "whew, thanks for bringing us great work and for filtering out the crackpot writers that want the world and don't have an understanding of how competitive the market is." BUYERS WANT WRITERS THAT HAVE INVESTED IN THEMSELVES AND THEIR WRITING.

But why all the negative press you might ask? In short, the message boards attract unsuccessful writers. It's quite a statistical anomoly isn't it. A successful writer isn't sitting around responding to message boards, a successful writer is improving their craft, making submissions, and writing. As I'm sure you've seen the pettiness on the boards.. That pettiness is, to me, worse than a National Enquirer that you read in the grocery line, and frankly, I think the message boards attract the same caliber of people. Also, just for the fun of it, you should ask the people that work the boards to be your agent, and see how many writers run to help you.

LET ME STATE THIS AGAIN.. ASK THE PEOPLE ON THE MESSAGE BOARDS, BECAUSE THEY ARE SO SMART, WHAT THEY'VE SOLD, AND WHO THEIR AGENT WAS... And whether they'd be your agent. <I'm sorry to be a bit cynical here, but I'm sure you can see why? Nobody on those boards is going to work for you.. they aren't going to coach you, prep you, and try to sell your work.>

That said, we've come to thank these boards. The boards weed out three main categories of writers that we are actually glad to be rid of: 1) Authors that don't have a clue, 2) Authors that can't make up their mind for themselves and don't have any "grit", and 3) the SFN's (writers that want Something for Nothing). I hope that you aren't in any of those three categories. The Something For Nothing authors really get my goat, but that's another rant. Those are the authors that think we'll bear all their expenses because they've 'written the next bestseller'... egads...


Reread the 4 bullets under my signature. That's our promise. It's simple and it's understandable, and we deliver on it all day, every day. (Like this email really).

So, in conclusion, this is what I would do, if I were in your shoes, I'd proceed with us, eyes wide open, and see if we meet or exceed our four business tenets below, A) Respect, B) Building Talent, 3) Straight Talk, and a 4) Professional Relationship.

Just for grins, and so that you know we provide a service of value to aspiring authors, I would like you to see some of the unprompted quotes that we receive on a daily basis. Our clients say it best. The quotes below are unedited and as you can see, quite from the heart. (We have lots more of these.) If you are really cynical, you will probably believe we made them up, but I promise you, we can prove every one of them.

=======================

"Just a note to say, whatever the outcome of my submission, it's refreshing to engage an agent who will a) take an email submission, b) turn it round as quick you've committed to do and c) actively work with a writer. Submissions are daunting enough anyway without having to wait ten weeks for an impersonalised slip of paper. Here's to you."

"It is refreshing to get an honest professional opinion of my work, it make me realise just how much I don't know about the written word and its presentation."

Dear Georgina, I'd like you to know how highly and gratefully I regard the clarity with which you explain the process as well as your reliability. I have complete trust in both your abilities and ethical standards. Best wishes, Judith

It's been a long time since I left school with considerable number of years passing before I became interested in writing again. I would like you to thank you for working with me and let it be known that I look at this as a new beginning and rebirth of my education.

You don't know how nice it is to have such timely responses. I am sure I am not the only writer that puts a lot of heart into their work and I have to say, I have "kept mine tucked away in the closet" for many, many years. I just enjoy writing, but didn't know if I would ever try and submit it to anyone. Making the decision to do that has been somewhat of a nerve-wracking process. Your timely responses and professional, yet "down-to-earth" responses are making the process a lot easier. At this time, I am not submitting my work to anyone else, because you have impressed me the most up to this point. Even if we do not end up working together, I felt it was important to pass this along to you.

Dear Georgina: Your professional zeal and resourcefulness cannot be overemphasized seeing the volatile-oceanic-wave called the American Hollywood with its impregnable sales frontiers.I hold you dearly to my heart in my every prayers towards our mutual success now and...very soon in sbsequent works.I doff my heart after your every professional spirit imagining the energy, sweat and travellings involved. Thanks for everything you stand for professionally.

Thank you for your constructive feedback. I found your critique of my work very informative, and it concluded many things that I already knew. I really do need to improve on my punctuation skills, and that has been something I have struggled with for some time. I appreciate your suggestions on materials to improve this, and I plan on taking an advanced grammar and puctuation class at the college I am attending. Several other points you made were also very informative. I know I have a long way to go before I am a "professional" writer, but I am glad that you agreed that the potential is definitely there. I'd also like to thank you and your company for staying in contact with me through this process. I would, and will, come back to your company if I need further material critiqued. Thank you again for your time.

I just want to say I have been rejected for years by Agents and Publishers. After awhile it all seems pointless. But I am in this for the long run and will never give up and never give in. Whether you accept me or not you have restored my faith and hope that someone out there is concerned and listening to what writings go through. I look forward to learning all that I can from you and your associates.

"After having reread all the information sent to me, I must say that I am impressed by the way your agency has handled the science, or art of appreciating new sources of writing. If only all agencies displayed your model the world may be a better place. Your FAQ has answered all of my questions and i am eager to get to work."

===========================

WE ARE CREATING THE MOST POWERFUL AGENCY GROUP IN THE UNITED STATES. Every author that we represent has been fully edited and we know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that their work is good enough for publication. Unfortunately, the ones that 'wash out', tend to grouse and *****. If you can make it through our process, then you will be in an elite group that buyers respect. We never promise a sale, but we can promise that if we present your work, it will get respect from our buyers.

Best to you in your career whatever your decision. I hope you give us a chance to prove ourselves. What's your real risk anyway?





Best regards,
Sherry Fine - VP Acquisitions


Our Pledge To You:
==================
* We respect what you have accomplished thus far as a writer.
* We believe that great authors are made, not born. We are willing to develop talent.
* We pledge straight talk in a confusing and old-school industry.
* We can't promise a sale. We can promise a professional relationship.


p.s. Missed Emails, Spam, Whitelists, and other reasons for lapses in communications. We are very, very diligent about returning every email that we receive within a couple of days. The same is true for our vendors and suppliers. IF YOU DO NOT RECEIVE A COMMUNICATION AND YOU BELIEVE THAT YOU SHOULD HAVE, PLEASE, CHECK WITH US AND WE WILL SEE WHAT HAPPENED. Please don't jump to negative conclusions. The Internet is not 100% foolproof and we are very sensitive to our clients' expectations and our promises about timely communications.


She never answered my question! She should run for office. I told her not in a million years. BEWARE!








 

HapiSofi

Hagiographically Advantaged
Super Member
Registered
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Messages
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Submissions!

Woo-hoo! I have here two recent submissions from The Literary Agency Group! They were passed on to me by a friend who works in a reasonably well-known trade publishing house.

===============
Dear [Editor]:

Research into your current portfolio tells us you are actively seeking to acquire [genre #1] [genre #2] novels. Our literary agency believes [title]name] is worthy of your consideration. Allow me to briefly point out a few details about this work.

>>> [title] [word length] [genre elements in this work]

>>> [setup]

>>> [brief plot description]

>>> [author bio]

>>> This novel was formally edited by Writers Literary.
[or]
>>> This manuscript has been professionally edited and has received a great review.

I believe we have followed your submission guidelines (see attached) and I look forward to your reply within the timeframes we have set forth.

Best Regards,

[large scrawly capital G]

Georgina Scott, Group Senior Agent
(866)876-4488
[email protected]

Encl: [physical description of submission package]

[Footnote:] Our mission is to save you, the buyer, time and money. How? Every author that we represent has been through a rigorous critique and editing process. Over time, you will learn that you can tgrust what we send you, especially if you give us feedback as to what you are "looking for now".
===============

The next page is an "Agency submission fax reply" form. The header information includes title, author, agent, agent phone, publisher, imprint name, contact name, and email address. It looks like the bits that aren't specific to this title and author are the information that Fletcher's new employee has been researching and compiling.

Below the headers there's a box with five check-off questions. The first three are yes/no:
Was this submission sent to the proper person? Spelling and address correct?

Was it formatted, printed and delivered according to your specifications?

Was the pitch congruent with what you have mentioned wanting to see?
The fourth question, Would you like to see more like this, or something different?, has check-off boxes saying more like this/different.

The fifth question is Final Disposition, and the check-off options are No way; Close, but no; I didn't love it, no; and hmmmm*....

The footnote referenced by that asterisk says:
Please call or email Robert West at 888-808-6195 for more information, feedback, or any general questions about how we can help you find your next bestseller.
Between the question box and the footnote is this text:
OUR VALUE STATEMENT TO YOU, THE PUBLISHER
We believe we represent the largest group of edited manuscripts and credentialed authors in the world. (We know, that's quite a claim, but we think it's true.) Our authors are realists and not prima donnas. We can vouch for their professionalism and their desire to work with you, the publisher, to do what it takes for mutual success.

On the last line at the bottom of the page, it says:
Fax (800) 759-2081 THE LITERARY AGENCY GROUP, INC. Ofc. (888) 808-6195
One of the submissions has a further cover letter on it from an editor who says that s/he/it worked on the book, and gives forth with a little imitation sales copy.

==================

I get two strong impressions from these submissions. First, these are obviously form letters. TLAG is trying to automate the submission process as much as possible, including the part where they fine-tune their approach in accordance with the response they get. That's not a feasible strategy. I suspect they want to save labor, and don't want to have to actually interact with the books.

Second, it couldn't be clearer that they don't like authors, and they're sure that publishing houses don't like them either. Their biggest come-on is that they've already whipped the authors into shape, so they won't give us any trouble.
 

sherryfine

Registered
Joined
Apr 9, 2006
Messages
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Company reply

Dear Message Board Citizens:

The company has asked me to tell you, in my own words, what I do and to let
you know just one aspect of what they do to help writers sell their work.

I work with Sherry Fine, our director of acquisitions, and I am using her
login for speed and efficiency with this post. One caveat, I'm in phone
sales, so if there are grammar or spelling errors in this post, please
realize that you are the writer, and that's your job to write 100%
correctly, not mine.

My job is to constantly expand the company's relationship of buyers. As you
know buyers in large companies change jobs and titles on a regular basis.
I've found that about 25%, that's 1/4 names that you can find in Writers
Market, or various public sources are INCORRECT.

So, my job is to live on the phone and email. I am paid to call buyers for
our authors and for our database of contacts.

Basically what I do is take a manuscript and a potential list of 30 buyers,
and get on the phone and qualify the list. I call, I make sure that we have
the right buyer's name, I check spelling and address, and most importantly,
I confirm what they are 'Looking For Now'. When I find a qualified buyer
with a need, I immediately communicate that to the Agents, and they
aggressively go into our roster of authors to find matches for the buyer.

Our materials are very well received by the buyers. Our buyers have learned
that we posess one of the most qualified groups of authors in the industry.
They know that all of our authors have been formally critiqued and edited.
Our buyers know that they can trust what we send them. Our buyers know that
we have filtered out the hobbyists from the authors that will do what it
takes to succeed.

Yes, we tell our authors that they have to reach industry standards.
Doesn't every agency do that in one way or another? I can tell you from
personal experience how frustrating it is to hear from a buyer that the work
we are trying to sell isn't as good a the competing works they are looking
at. So, if anything, our agency is becoming MORE demanding that our authors
take their work as far as they can from a quality perspective.

So, I hope that I have helped you see one aspect of an Agents job. The
company spends a lot of money paying me to do nothing but find buyers and
qualify them. And when I read this ongoing thread with all these bad words,
written by people that have only sour grapes to say, I just wanted to let
you know that "it ain't so".

Also, I can assure you that this company isn't a scam. I've known the
principals for years and they do the best they can for their authors. They
also pay their bills on a regular basis and they are beginning to acquire
other companies in the industry.

Here's a question.. if a literary agency buys a publishing company so that
they can publish or partner books they believe in, is that a conflict of
interest?
========================================
I can tell you right now that the company is participating in a new business
model. We're promoting a joint venture where we have put up $2500 in
partnership with the author and the publisher to get the book out the door.
That's unique! And that's how much we believe in what we are doing. The ad
is in the PMA newsletter and has been for 4 months.
A copy of the ad can be seen using this link.
http://www.theliteraryagencygroup.com/pma-literaryagencyad.pdf
This really is important for you to think about. We think that we are the
ONLY LITERARY AGENCY that has stepped up to put our own money behind
certain authors that we represent. If you can find any other agency that
has done this please let me know. This, to me, is brilliant, out of the box
thinking, that shows beyond a shadow of a doubt that our company is behind
our authors.

=======================================


Furthermore, all this talk about who owns what is rubbish. This is
business, and it's a lot like a Darwinian evolution. You either grow and
prosper, or you go out of business and you die.

If we can sell your work, we do. If we can't, then we will tell you why we
think it isn't selling. Usually this means more work, and really, that's
what most of the whining on these boards is about.

So, in conclusion, the company is real, they've paid me a regular salary for
years, and we're putting our heart and soul (and our money) behind our
authors.

Well, that's all the time I have for this post. Best to you and your
writing career. I don't have the time to monitor this post so
unfortunately, all the carping that will occur will be ignored. I have a
real job to get back to.


RKForever
 

sherryfine

Registered
Joined
Apr 9, 2006
Messages
16
Reaction score
0
Company reply rk

Dear Message Board Citizens:

The company has asked me to tell you, in my own words, what I do and to let
you know just one aspect of what they do to help writers sell their work.

I work with Sherry Fine, our director of acquisitions, and I am using her
login for speed and efficiency with this post. One caveat, I'm in phone
sales, so if there are grammar or spelling errors in this post, please
realize that you are the writer, and that's your job to write 100%
correctly, not mine.

My job is to constantly expand the company's relationship of buyers. As you
know buyers in large companies change jobs and titles on a regular basis.
I've found that about 25%, that's 1/4 names that you can find in Writers
Market, or various public sources are INCORRECT.

So, my job is to live on the phone and email. I am paid to call buyers for
our authors and for our database of contacts.

Basically what I do is take a manuscript and a potential list of 30 buyers,
and get on the phone and qualify the list. I call, I make sure that we have
the right buyer's name, I check spelling and address, and most importantly,
I confirm what they are 'Looking For Now'. When I find a qualified buyer
with a need, I immediately communicate that to the Agents, and they
aggressively go into our roster of authors to find matches for the buyer.

Our materials are very well received by the buyers. Our buyers have learned
that we posess one of the most qualified groups of authors in the industry.
They know that all of our authors have been formally critiqued and edited.
Our buyers know that they can trust what we send them. Our buyers know that
we have filtered out the hobbyists from the authors that will do what it
takes to succeed.

Yes, we tell our authors that they have to reach industry standards.
Doesn't every agency do that in one way or another? I can tell you from
personal experience how frustrating it is to hear from a buyer that the work
we are trying to sell isn't as good a the competing works they are looking
at. So, if anything, our agency is becoming MORE demanding that our authors
take their work as far as they can from a quality perspective.

So, I hope that I have helped you see one aspect of an Agents job. The
company spends a lot of money paying me to do nothing but find buyers and
qualify them. And when I read this ongoing thread with all these bad words,
written by people that have only sour grapes to say, I just wanted to let
you know that "it ain't so".

Also, I can assure you that this company isn't a scam. I've known the
principals for years and they do the best they can for their authors. They
also pay their bills on a regular basis and they are beginning to acquire
other companies in the industry.

Here's a question.. if a literary agency buys a publishing company so that
they can publish or partner books they believe in, is that a conflict of
interest?
========================================
I can tell you right now that the company is participating in a new business
model. We're promoting a joint venture where we have put up $2500 in
partnership with the author and the publisher to get the book out the door.
That's unique! And that's how much we believe in what we are doing. The ad
is in the PMA newsletter and has been for 4 months.
A copy of the ad can be seen using this link.
http://www.theliteraryagencygroup.com/pma-literaryagencyad.pdf
This really is important for you to think about. We think that we are the
ONLY LITERARY AGENCY that has stepped up to put our own money behind
certain authors that we represent. If you can find any other agency that
has done this please let me know. This, to me, is brilliant, out of the box
thinking, that shows beyond a shadow of a doubt that our company is behind
our authors.

=======================================


Furthermore, all this talk about who owns what is rubbish. This is
business, and it's a lot like a Darwinian evolution. You either grow and
prosper, or you go out of business and you die.

If we can sell your work, we do. If we can't, then we will tell you why we
think it isn't selling. Usually this means more work, and really, that's
what most of the whining on these boards is about.

So, in conclusion, the company is real, they've paid me a regular salary for
years, and we're putting our heart and soul (and our money) behind our
authors.

Well, that's all the time I have for this post. Best to you and your
writing career. I don't have the time to monitor this post so
unfortunately, all the carping that will occur will be ignored. I have a
real job to get back to.


RKForever
 

sherryfine

Registered
Joined
Apr 9, 2006
Messages
16
Reaction score
0
Company reply rk

Dear Message Board Citizens:

The company has asked me to tell you, in my own words, what I do and to let
you know just one aspect of what they do to help writers sell their work.

I work with Sherry Fine, our director of acquisitions, and I am using her
login for speed and efficiency with this post. One caveat, I'm in phone
sales, so if there are grammar or spelling errors in this post, please
realize that you are the writer, and that's your job to write 100%
correctly, not mine.

My job is to constantly expand the company's relationship of buyers. As you
know buyers in large companies change jobs and titles on a regular basis.
I've found that about 25%, that's 1/4 names that you can find in Writers
Market, or various public sources are INCORRECT.

So, my job is to live on the phone and email. I am paid to call buyers for
our authors and for our database of contacts.

Basically what I do is take a manuscript and a potential list of 30 buyers,
and get on the phone and qualify the list. I call, I make sure that we have
the right buyer's name, I check spelling and address, and most importantly,
I confirm what they are 'Looking For Now'. When I find a qualified buyer
with a need, I immediately communicate that to the Agents, and they
aggressively go into our roster of authors to find matches for the buyer.

Our materials are very well received by the buyers. Our buyers have learned
that we posess one of the most qualified groups of authors in the industry.
They know that all of our authors have been formally critiqued and edited.
Our buyers know that they can trust what we send them. Our buyers know that
we have filtered out the hobbyists from the authors that will do what it
takes to succeed.

Yes, we tell our authors that they have to reach industry standards.
Doesn't every agency do that in one way or another? I can tell you from
personal experience how frustrating it is to hear from a buyer that the work
we are trying to sell isn't as good a the competing works they are looking
at. So, if anything, our agency is becoming MORE demanding that our authors
take their work as far as they can from a quality perspective.

So, I hope that I have helped you see one aspect of an Agents job. The
company spends a lot of money paying me to do nothing but find buyers and
qualify them. And when I read this ongoing thread with all these bad words,
written by people that have only sour grapes to say, I just wanted to let
you know that "it ain't so".

Also, I can assure you that this company isn't a scam. I've known the
principals for years and they do the best they can for their authors. They
also pay their bills on a regular basis and they are beginning to acquire
other companies in the industry.

Here's a question.. if a literary agency buys a publishing company so that
they can publish or partner books they believe in, is that a conflict of
interest?
========================================
I can tell you right now that the company is participating in a new business
model. We're promoting a joint venture where we have put up $2500 in
partnership with the author and the publisher to get the book out the door.
That's unique! And that's how much we believe in what we are doing. The ad
is in the PMA newsletter and has been for 4 months.
A copy of the ad can be seen using this link.
http://www.theliteraryagencygroup.com/pma-literaryagencyad.pdf
This really is important for you to think about. We think that we are the
ONLY LITERARY AGENCY that has stepped up to put our own money behind
certain authors that we represent. If you can find any other agency that
has done this please let me know. This, to me, is brilliant, out of the box
thinking, that shows beyond a shadow of a doubt that our company is behind
our authors.

=======================================


Furthermore, all this talk about who owns what is rubbish. This is
business, and it's a lot like a Darwinian evolution. You either grow and
prosper, or you go out of business and you die.

If we can sell your work, we do. If we can't, then we will tell you why we
think it isn't selling. Usually this means more work, and really, that's
what most of the whining on these boards is about.

So, in conclusion, the company is real, they've paid me a regular salary for
years, and we're putting our heart and soul (and our money) behind our
authors.

Well, that's all the time I have for this post. Best to you and your
writing career. I don't have the time to monitor this post so
unfortunately, all the carping that will occur will be ignored. I have a
real job to get back to.


RKForever
 

sherryfine

Registered
Joined
Apr 9, 2006
Messages
16
Reaction score
0
Company reply rk

Dear Message Board Citizens:

The company has asked me to tell you, in my own words, what I do and to let
you know just one aspect of what they do to help writers sell their work.

I work with Sherry Fine, our director of acquisitions, and I am using her
login for speed and efficiency with this post. One caveat, I'm in phone
sales, so if there are grammar or spelling errors in this post, please
realize that you are the writer, and that's your job to write 100%
correctly, not mine.

My job is to constantly expand the company's relationship of buyers. As you
know buyers in large companies change jobs and titles on a regular basis.
I've found that about 25%, that's 1/4 names that you can find in Writers
Market, or various public sources are INCORRECT.

So, my job is to live on the phone and email. I am paid to call buyers for
our authors and for our database of contacts.

Basically what I do is take a manuscript and a potential list of 30 buyers,
and get on the phone and qualify the list. I call, I make sure that we have
the right buyer's name, I check spelling and address, and most importantly,
I confirm what they are 'Looking For Now'. When I find a qualified buyer
with a need, I immediately communicate that to the Agents, and they
aggressively go into our roster of authors to find matches for the buyer.

Our materials are very well received by the buyers. Our buyers have learned
that we posess one of the most qualified groups of authors in the industry.
They know that all of our authors have been formally critiqued and edited.
Our buyers know that they can trust what we send them. Our buyers know that
we have filtered out the hobbyists from the authors that will do what it
takes to succeed.

Yes, we tell our authors that they have to reach industry standards.
Doesn't every agency do that in one way or another? I can tell you from
personal experience how frustrating it is to hear from a buyer that the work
we are trying to sell isn't as good a the competing works they are looking
at. So, if anything, our agency is becoming MORE demanding that our authors
take their work as far as they can from a quality perspective.

So, I hope that I have helped you see one aspect of an Agents job. The
company spends a lot of money paying me to do nothing but find buyers and
qualify them. And when I read this ongoing thread with all these bad words,
written by people that have only sour grapes to say, I just wanted to let
you know that "it ain't so".

Also, I can assure you that this company isn't a scam. I've known the
principals for years and they do the best they can for their authors. They
also pay their bills on a regular basis and they are beginning to acquire
other companies in the industry.

Here's a question.. if a literary agency buys a publishing company so that
they can publish or partner books they believe in, is that a conflict of
interest?
========================================
I can tell you right now that the company is participating in a new business
model. We're promoting a joint venture where we have put up $2500 in
partnership with the author and the publisher to get the book out the door.
That's unique! And that's how much we believe in what we are doing. The ad
is in the PMA newsletter and has been for 4 months.
A copy of the ad can be seen using this link.
http://www.theliteraryagencygroup.com/pma-literaryagencyad.pdf
This really is important for you to think about. We think that we are the
ONLY LITERARY AGENCY that has stepped up to put our own money behind
certain authors that we represent. If you can find any other agency that
has done this please let me know. This, to me, is brilliant, out of the box
thinking, that shows beyond a shadow of a doubt that our company is behind
our authors.

=======================================


Furthermore, all this talk about who owns what is rubbish. This is
business, and it's a lot like a Darwinian evolution. You either grow and
prosper, or you go out of business and you die.

If we can sell your work, we do. If we can't, then we will tell you why we
think it isn't selling. Usually this means more work, and really, that's
what most of the whining on these boards is about.

So, in conclusion, the company is real, they've paid me a regular salary for
years, and we're putting our heart and soul (and our money) behind our
authors.

Well, that's all the time I have for this post. Best to you and your
writing career. I don't have the time to monitor this post so
unfortunately, all the carping that will occur will be ignored. I have a
real job to get back to.


RKForever
 

sherryfine

Registered
Joined
Apr 9, 2006
Messages
16
Reaction score
0
Company reply rk

Dear Message Board Citizens:

The company has asked me to tell you, in my own words, what I do and to let
you know just one aspect of what they do to help writers sell their work.

I work with Sherry Fine, our director of acquisitions, and I am using her
login for speed and efficiency with this post. One caveat, I'm in phone
sales, so if there are grammar or spelling errors in this post, please
realize that you are the writer, and that's your job to write 100%
correctly, not mine.

My job is to constantly expand the company's relationship of buyers. As you
know buyers in large companies change jobs and titles on a regular basis.
I've found that about 25%, that's 1/4 names that you can find in Writers
Market, or various public sources are INCORRECT.

So, my job is to live on the phone and email. I am paid to call buyers for
our authors and for our database of contacts.

Basically what I do is take a manuscript and a potential list of 30 buyers,
and get on the phone and qualify the list. I call, I make sure that we have
the right buyer's name, I check spelling and address, and most importantly,
I confirm what they are 'Looking For Now'. When I find a qualified buyer
with a need, I immediately communicate that to the Agents, and they
aggressively go into our roster of authors to find matches for the buyer.

Our materials are very well received by the buyers. Our buyers have learned
that we posess one of the most qualified groups of authors in the industry.
They know that all of our authors have been formally critiqued and edited.
Our buyers know that they can trust what we send them. Our buyers know that
we have filtered out the hobbyists from the authors that will do what it
takes to succeed.

Yes, we tell our authors that they have to reach industry standards.
Doesn't every agency do that in one way or another? I can tell you from
personal experience how frustrating it is to hear from a buyer that the work
we are trying to sell isn't as good a the competing works they are looking
at. So, if anything, our agency is becoming MORE demanding that our authors
take their work as far as they can from a quality perspective.

So, I hope that I have helped you see one aspect of an Agents job. The
company spends a lot of money paying me to do nothing but find buyers and
qualify them. And when I read this ongoing thread with all these bad words,
written by people that have only sour grapes to say, I just wanted to let
you know that "it ain't so".

Also, I can assure you that this company isn't a scam. I've known the
principals for years and they do the best they can for their authors. They
also pay their bills on a regular basis and they are beginning to acquire
other companies in the industry.

Here's a question.. if a literary agency buys a publishing company so that
they can publish or partner books they believe in, is that a conflict of
interest?
========================================
I can tell you right now that the company is participating in a new business
model. We're promoting a joint venture where we have put up $2500 in
partnership with the author and the publisher to get the book out the door.
That's unique! And that's how much we believe in what we are doing. The ad
is in the PMA newsletter and has been for 4 months.
A copy of the ad can be seen using this link.
http://www.theliteraryagencygroup.com/pma-literaryagencyad.pdf
This really is important for you to think about. We think that we are the
ONLY LITERARY AGENCY that has stepped up to put our own money behind
certain authors that we represent. If you can find any other agency that
has done this please let me know. This, to me, is brilliant, out of the box
thinking, that shows beyond a shadow of a doubt that our company is behind
our authors.

=======================================


Furthermore, all this talk about who owns what is rubbish. This is
business, and it's a lot like a Darwinian evolution. You either grow and
prosper, or you go out of business and you die.

If we can sell your work, we do. If we can't, then we will tell you why we
think it isn't selling. Usually this means more work, and really, that's
what most of the whining on these boards is about.

So, in conclusion, the company is real, they've paid me a regular salary for
years, and we're putting our heart and soul (and our money) behind our
authors.

Well, that's all the time I have for this post. Best to you and your
writing career. I don't have the time to monitor this post so
unfortunately, all the carping that will occur will be ignored. I have a
real job to get back to.


RKForever
 

DanielDives

Registered
Joined
May 7, 2006
Messages
11
Reaction score
0
My run-in with NYLA lasted two e-mails, because …

….in it ‘Miss Fine Sherry’ adds:

- p.s. You might as well get used to these long emails. Part of our filtering
process is to see if you actually read them <grin>.

As nice way to try and cover up bulk mail tracks.

- So, please rest assured that there will be plenty of personal interaction
with your agent but not with me.

Well, if you aren’t around, Sherry-dear, how could we ever meet you?

- If you would like to talk with someone for the reassurance of hearing a voice, just email me and I'll connect you to the proper party.

But … but … but that means only a voice. Could be your grandmother for all I know, FS

- Q) Why aren't you in the Yellow Pages? I can't find you listed anywhere?

A) We use toll free phone numbers and cell phones. Those simply aren't in any phone directories.Yellow Pages are 'old technology', and they cost money.

Here they say it very clearly, ‘our main focus is on money’, not you. Always a dead giveaway.


- We prefer that you judge us on the professionalism of our communications and not whether we belong to an organization.

Well, Sherry. If we can’t call, see and talk to you, how professional do you think you are?


- The next item we look for in our filtering process is your willingness to listen or whether you are a prima donna (Donna) who wants it 'their way'. We will very quickly wash out a great writer with a bad attitude. Life's too short for drama and overly demanding writers.

And here’s where they openly try to stifle any and all questions, comments and opposition. A very bad attitude for someone who’s supposed to care about and nurture his investment and commitment in ‘you’ and ‘your book’ …. Ahhhh …’His profits’. How could I forget?

- In today's connected world, our physical location is meaningless. We maintain executive suites on Madison Aveneue in New York, NY where we receive mail and meet with buyers. Other than that, we travel extensively and we have the good fortune to live in Florida, North Carolina, and California depending on the time of year. Sometimes we think that we live in airports.

1 - Ahhhhh, the fresh smell of ‘Heaven’s Gate’, ‘Jones Town’ and other places where physical presence is irrelevant.

2 - The Royal use of ‘we’.

3 - … live in Florida, North Carolina, and California. Wow. Those are big mansions, Sherry-dear.

- We are proud to represent a very diverse group of authors + Here are just a few bios:

No names, no titles, no awards, no nothing but as much air as in a burst tire.




I don’t know if everybody receives/has received the exact same kind or similar response, but I think it’s always advisable to read (very carefully) what scam artists actually say or tell you.

Scam artists thrive on hope (of others). Therefore, jump, but never too high …

Most sincerely,

Daniel

New NYLA-member discovered across the pond:

LONDON - A mystery detainee who allegedly created a bogus identity as an English nobleman by assuming the name of a dead baby is actually an American who went missing from Florida more than 20 years ago, his relatives say.


The man being held in a jail in Kent, England, goes by the title of the Earl of Buckingham but he is really an Orlando native named Charles Stopford, his father, Charles, and sister Rebecca Davis say in a documentary to be broadcast Sunday on Sky One television.

:eek:)
 
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