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Aria Dunham / No Frills Florida

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JulianneQJohnson

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Honestly, other than that Publisher's Marketplace listing, I can't find anything on the web that says she's an agent. She has a twitter account, a facebook page where she describes herself as "Writing Coach, Writer, Producer, Editor, Entertainer, Communication Personality & Specialist," and she incorporated in February of this year. No website and no agency that she's connected to, as far as I can tell.
 

HapiSofi

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Honestly, other than that Publisher's Marketplace listing, I can't find anything on the web that says she's an agent. She has a twitter account, a facebook page where she describes herself as "Writing Coach, Writer, Producer, Editor, Entertainer, Communication Personality & Specialist," and she incorporated in February of this year. No website and no agency that she's connected to, as far as I can tell.
No, then. Don't enlist with her.

First, a real agent leaves footprints all over the internet, because he or she will have been dealing with writers, and they post about everything. If there's no mention of her agenting, she hasn't been doing it.

Second, that long list of occupations translates as "not an agent." Agenting is a very tough job, especially early on. If she's dabbling in other fields, dividing her time, she'll never get up to speed as an agent, which means it will never be worth her while to concentrate solely on being an agent and getting up to speed, so she'll never do it, so it will never pay enough and thus be worth her time, etc. etc. etc., in ever-diminishing circles.

Aria Dunham strikes me as unfocused. Being an agent is just one of the many things she imagines she could do with her life. If she sticks with it and proves she's serious, then it will be time for you to check her out.
 

settdigger

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Aria Dunham, literary agent

I contacted Aria Dunham, literary agent, in April 2013, and received a reply some weeks later requesting the full manuscript because she'd liked the sample I sent.

Then a few more months passed and I received an email from "Florida No Frills!" publishing, stating I'd been referred to them by Aria Dunham, and they'd be happy to take my money to publish my book.

I would steer clear of this "literary agent" in Florida named Aria Dunham, who also has a company called "Platform Power"

Aria Dunham
Platform-Power.com
Platform-Power-News.com
BlogTalkRadio.com/Platform-power
Facebook.com/AriaDunham


Thanks,

Robin Wyatt Dunn

 

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This chick is a joke, big time. I scoped her out too, sent the query, she asked for the full then several months later, she said she liked "what she read" (which meant she didn't read all of it) yet wanted to represent me? I was like okay, tell me your sales and experience and the 20 questions. She said there was a publisher she thought that would like my book. I asked, okay what publisher? She dodged the questions twice. Then said, she's not a literary agent in the traditional sense.

Then I googled her and some weird YouTube video came up. So I clicked it, thinking it had something to do with agenting or the publishing industry and it was far from it. She was singing and saying some weird non-sense, completely unprofessional to me. And that's what came up just googling her name and was on the first page at the time.

Stay away from this one. Everything about her spells NOT GOOD.
 
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kaitie

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Saying "I like what I read" doesn't automatically mean it wasn't read. It's a phrase. It could just mean they liked it. I've heard it numerous times.

Not saying that makes her a good idea, just clarifying the meaning of the phrase.
 

aliceshortcake

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One of Dunham's clients is Mark Pogodzinski. From her website:

Mark Pogodzinski, No Frills & Amelia Press

After trying the mainstream publishing route, gaining representation and achieving a publishing contract, but being terribly disappointed by the whole process, Mark decided to do something different. He created No Frills Buffalo, a Publisher Like No Other. We publish first time authors, seasoned writers, poets, artists and are willing to listen to the writer/artist. Since its inception in 2010, No Frills Buffalo has published over 15 titles and continues to grow, and has partnered with Aria Dunham, as Head of House for No Frills Florida. Mark’s goal? To eventually become a dominant power in the publishing industry ushering an era of peace, harmony, and really good books.
http://ariadunham.wordpress.com/our-clients/

Oddly, this 2011 interview with Pogodzinski tells a rather different story:

After decades of working to get his own works published – and amassing more than 500 rejection letters along the way – the English teacher at Frontier High School took matters into his own hands: He decided to open his own publishing company...

“Publishing a book is ridiculous. Trying to get an agent to look at your work if you are not published is impossible, and trying to get a publisher to look at you without an agent is impossible. I came close several times, but they wanted to change too much of what the book was,” he said.
“After 12 years of struggling day in and day out, trying to get published, I figured I would just start my own company and try to help other people get published.”
http://www.bizjournals.com/buffalo/print-edition/2011/10/07/no-frills-no-problem-for-new-book.html

The No Frills Florida/Amelia Press website has this to say:

There is a better way. There was the publishing industry before No Frills and there will be a different one after No Frills. The central idea of No Frills Buffalo is community not corporation. The author, the artist, the editor, the agent, all those involved working toward a common goal: to produce the best books ever or just a really good book. The author retains all rights to their intellectual property without exception, as well as 85% of the royalties after tax and shipping. We hope to provide all that is necessary for the author to flourish including editing, design and in some cases representation. No Frills means no excess, no double-speak, no empty promises.
http://www.nofrillsflorida.com/home.html

One of the services offered by NFF/AP is "Professional Assessment of Manuscript by Literary Agent Natalie Rodriquez". From her LinkedIn profile:

Editor, Associate & Assistant to Peter Miller, Global Lion at Global Lion Intellectual Property Management, Inc.
Writer, Social Media Marketing at Dr. R. Kevin O'Brien- SHP Rehab & Wellness Center, Inc.
English Composition II at Author and Moderator
http://www.linkedin.com/pub/natalie-kim-rodriguez/51/b06/3b7?trk=pub-pbmap

I'm not sure that being an assistant at Global Lion makes Ms Rodriquez a literary agent in her own right. And curiously enough, LinkedIn also reveals that Natalie Rodriquez and Aria Dunham are one and the same person. Dr R Kevin O'Brien is another of Aria Dunham's clients.
 
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Undercover

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Saying "I like what I read" doesn't automatically mean it wasn't read. It's a phrase. It could just mean they liked it. I've heard it numerous times.

Not saying that makes her a good idea, just clarifying the meaning of the phrase.

I didn't say I didn't think she read it. I said I didn't think she read ALL of it. And when I questioned her about, she didn't get into it...again glazing over the questions. To me it didn't feel like she read all of it. But I know what you mean though, "I like what I read," meaning I liked reading your book or whatever. I should have added by her responses, it came across that way too.
 

Undercover

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Okay, I had to go back to her emails. Okay and went back, I quoted "what she read" That's not what she actually said.

Her exact words:

"I read parts of this book and your pitch. I enjoyed what I've read so far. "

Then she talked about representing it from there.
 

kaitie

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Aaah, okay. That's very different from how I was hearing it in my head. :)
 

aliceshortcake

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Settdigger, what did NFF expect you to pay? I can't find any prices on their site.

In any case, a quick look at what NFF accepts is off-putting enough. The fact that they publish poetry and "Anything Else" is enough to tell you that NFF is basically a vanity press.

Fiction, All Genres
Non-Fiction
Poetry
Short Stories
Graphic Novels
Young Adult (Amelia Press)
Children's Books (Amelia Press)
Anything Else
http://www.nofrillsflorida.com/submissions.html

And don't get me started on the amateurish covers...
 
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settdigger

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Mark Pogodzinski

Mark Pogodzinski and Aria Dunham enjoy their little bait and switch routine; I told them both as much and got a series of angry emails which I deleted. Arguing with scam artists is depressing so i try not to do it. In the best of all possible worlds, they'll try to make their daily bread some other way, very soon. In any case, here was what Mark Pogodzinski had to say for himself:


Robin,

I apologize for any miscommunication on my part. I started No Frill Buffalo because I wanted to help writers publish their books. I was interested in your book. As a small publisher I have to require a listing fee. Although no money is exchanged until you are (would have been) 100% satisfied with our product and effort. If you were not satisfied, no money would be exchanged. Again I apologize for any miscommunication on my part. And again if you wish to ask any questions, please contact me.

Mark Pogodzinski
[email protected]
No Frills Buffalo
No Frills Florida
Amelia Press
716 510 0520


---

I wish I could start charging a "taxpayer fee" to the IRS; that would be sweet :)

Cheers,
Robin Wyatt Dunn


 

settdigger

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P.S. Apparently the "listing fee" is $500, after a little more demoralizing digging on their site ;)
 

AphraB

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Mark Pogodzinski and Aria Dunham enjoy their little bait and switch routine; I told them both as much and got a series of angry emails which I deleted.

Sorry you had to put up with this crap, but good for you staying out of their trap! :e2cheer:
 

cornflake

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Human beings are amazing. From the link above -

After decades of working to get his own works published – and amassing more than 500 rejection letters along the way – the English teacher at Frontier High School took matters into his own hands: He decided to open his own publishing company...

“Publishing a book is ridiculous. Trying to get an agent to look at your work if you are not published is impossible, and trying to get a publisher to look at you without an agent is impossible. I came close several times, but they wanted to change too much of what the book was,” he said.
“After 12 years of struggling day in and day out, trying to get published, I figured I would just start my own company and try to help other people get published.”

I absolutely don't believe a pile of rejections means anyone's work is anything in particular, or that people telling you to change it means it must be changed, and god knows, if someone simply wants to print whatever they want and distribute it, so says the Constitution of these here United States. Go nuts.

However, at a certain point (and that point, I would suggest, is actually reached before the pile of rejections hits 500), it may, just possibly, occur to a person that the problem isn't with the industry or that the person is an unknown author, but with the ms.

Which, again, doesn't mean the person can't put it out there regardless, but turning it into 'it's impossible to be published if...' when it kind of sounds like it's impossible to get published if everyone thinks your work is currently not worth publishing takes a special level of devoted mental effort.
 

aliceshortcake

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It amuses me that Aria Dunham even bothered to masquerade as Natalie Rodriquez (also spelled Rodriguez), the literary agent whose services are offered by NFF. Their LinkedIn profiles use the same photo and similar information.

Ms Rodriquez/Rodriguez is clearly aware of this thread as I've just noticed that her name has been removed from the NFF site. Just in case the LinkedIn profiles also vanish in the aether, here they are:

natrod_zps12b1338a.jpg


ariadunham_zpsaab28244.jpg
 
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Undercover

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Wow, just wow. How could she think she'd get away with that without anyone ever noticing?

Sett, I would suggest not to delete any messages, but perhaps save in a file. You never know when you might need to go back on it for whatever reason. You have proof they were assholes. Not just her, but any dickhead, weirdo you get involved with when it comes to your work.
 

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Shortly after I posted about Ms. Dunham, I got an email from her explaining why she wasn't really an agent (despite her PM profile) and why her website made it clear that queries received by her would be forwarded to NFF (when in fact there was/is no mention of this). She also told me that NFF paid "90% of royalties" (per NFF's website, the actual percentage is 85%), which she described as "the highest royalties paid by any publisher."

I explained to her why it's a bit confusing (imagine me saying this sarcastically) for a non-agent to describe themselves as an agent, and why paying "90% of royalties" would be a ripoff, since royalties are by definition the author's share of sales proceeds, and authors should receive 100% of what's owed them. I also pointed out that, since per NFF's website royalties are calculated only after shipping and production costs have been deducted from net income, author royalties from NFF are in fact likely to be pretty substandard.

I got a polite email back thanking me for my input. Subsequently, her PM listing disappeared.

I didn't catch the masquerade, though. Good sleuthing!

- Victoria
 

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