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Aspirations Literary Agency

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New advertisements on craigslist today about Aspirations Literary Agency.

http://www.aspirationslit.com

I've checked out every resource I could and I did not find anything - only more ads.

So I emailed them to ask about books they have sold just to ask but just the way the website is set up I am a bit... suspicious. ;)
 

Lauri B

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From Aspirations' web site:
"Thousands of writers are turned away each year because they are unable to get past the stigma of being unpublished or self-published. As a result the reading public is deprived of countless pages of literary works."

I think the reading public is thankful to be so deprived.
 

MadScientistMatt

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Let me get a set of earplugs - the alarm bells are going off rather loudly. Ah, that's better. Let me see if I can find out things that set them off.

This line is the first:

It is our goal to find the best in unpublished and self-published authors...

Then there are other issues: Some questions that any legit agent with any sense would answer on their website. Who are these guys? What did they do before becoming agents? Literary agent is not an entry level job - to be effective, it's best to have some experience as an editor or an assistant to an established agent. No sales info, either. Victoria has a handy guide to evaluating an agent's website. This one flunks. Here's the guide:

http://accrispin.blogspot.com/2006/04/victoria-strauss-evaluating-agents.html
 

James D. Macdonald

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There is no friggin' "stigma" to being unpublished. Every writer you've ever heard of started out unpublished.

All you have to be is a) good, and b) persistent.

If you want to win races, you get on your track shoes and start training.
 

Sassenach

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Aspirations was established as a direct response to this literary crisis.

LOL...

They're in Stockton, CA...the center of the publishing world. And their address is a postal mail drop.
 

CaoPaux

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I'm waiting for a reply to my email. Since the advertisements were everywhere I thought if we didn't have a thread yet we should start one. :) I just asked one question: what books have been sold? I'll copy and paste any reply that comes in.

Just giving them a fair chance.
 

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Their DNS info:

Registration Service Provided By: Register Cow
Contact: *****@registercow.com
Visit: http://www.registercow.com

Domain name: aspirationslit.com

Registrant Contact:

Sheryl Chester ***************@aol.com)
+1.2099824155
Fax:
718 Ashlynn Way
Stockton, CA 95206
US

Administrative Contact:

Sheryl Chester ***************@aol.com)
+1.2099824155
Fax:
718 Ashlynn Way
Stockton, CA 95206
US

Technical Contact:

Sheryl Chester ***************@aol.com)
+1.2099824155
Fax:
718 Ashlynn Way
Stockton, CA 95206
US

Status: Locked

=====

I can't readily find any information for Sheryl Chester beyond what CaoPaux has come up with. She seems to have written some things, but I find nothing about being an agent or publisher. She's self-published at PA.

Sounds like a start-up, to me. The web site suggests she might hook you up with PA or some other POD publisher.

Warren
 

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I got one email saying she has not sold anything.

Aspirations is a new agency. I have been a freelance writer/editor for
the last ten years and decided to make the switch just this year. I spent
these last few years making contacts within the publishing industry so that I
would be ready to make such a change. So, unfortunately, I have no
information for you at this time on books sold. Best of luck to you.


Okay, if you are new, you have to start off somewhere, and she is being honest. I further asked what she wrote/edited and where it was published. Obviously, the woman is new to this but giving the benifit of the doubt, since she is new, maybe this is an honest one. Maybe.

No indications of a scam, just a new agent. You never know really, maybe she does have contacts? Or maybe she's good at sales? Maybe she's new to this and has always wanted to be an agent. (Heck I want to be an agent. ;) I'd figure I'd get published a few times and actually learn the game very well before taking that big step.)
 

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ButtonTheCat said:
No indications of a scam, just a new agent. You never know really, maybe she does have contacts? Or maybe she's good at sales? Maybe she's new to this and has always wanted to be an agent. (Heck I want to be an agent. ;) I'd figure I'd get published a few times and actually learn the game very well before taking that big step.)


If you want an agent in Stockton, with a mail drop, with no sales, with her own books 'published' by PA...be our guest.
 

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James D. Macdonald said:
"Literary Agent" isn't an entry-level position.

You are certainly right about that. I don't know what this new agent has in mind, but I don't smell a 'scam'. Yet at least. ;) I hope if anyone does try to submit a ms. they might post the results here. It is one thing to be a nitwit about the business and to try and be an agent. It is another thing to be a scam. That's the only distinction I'd like to make. Mostly harmless, not worth the time.
 
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victoriastrauss

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I agree--not a scam. But obviously an inexperienced agent without adequate professional background and no real-world publishing credentials. This person probably isn't out to cheat you, and may work hard on your behalf. But her low level of expertise will most likely produce the same result you'd get with a scammer: no sale.

From a writer's perspective, the only difference between a scam agent and an amateur agent is an upfront fee.

- Victoria
 

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I sent my manuscript to her and just got an offer today to discuss representation. I plan on talking to Renee and asking all the questions about AAR and fees and clients and history and all that. I'll post what I come up with.
 
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Just Me 2021

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Someone earlier requested that if anyone interacted with this agent they post the experience here, and I decided to try it. Why not? It can't hurt me unless I sign on, right? I'm curious and haven't had any bites elsewhere yet, though I'm early on in my querying process. I'm new to this, so any advice from others is welcome. I agree that it looks very questionable, but I know I appreciate other people sharing about their experiences with agents so I'm just doing the same. I wondered if maybe she'd have some work history in publishing or have sold titles since she was last asked and maybe she'd be decent after all. Just checking and letting everyone here know what I find.
 
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CaoPaux

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Did you get any more info, Just Me?
 

Just Me 2021

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I didn't get much more info.

Basically Renee emailed me saying she wanted to talk on the phone to discuss representation and I emailed back asking for a record of sales. She didn't call or write for a couple weeks, then emailed again saying the ending of my book needed work (it did, actually, and I'd just gotten done revising it after a friend/writing professor finally finished reading it and gave me some pointers.) I responded saying I agreed and that I had been working on it, but that I'd like a record of sales before we discussed revisions. I haven't heard back from her since, which is fine, since I now have two full mss out to dream agents and one partial to a new agent who at least used to work for an established agency before striking out on her own.

I may have insulted her by insinuating I wasn't sure I wanted to work with her and maybe I should have waited until the phone call to say all that, but it just seemed to me like she wanted to discuss revisions before giving me that basic information and I was not okay with that.

However, at the bottom of her emails Renee has a link to www.kasamba.com, which is a manuscript revision operation she works for. Perhaps this is the editing experience she refers to? Her input on my ending was spot on/identical to the advice my friend the writing prof gave me, and she says she does not charge fees, but I decided to just be glad she hasn't called and move on.
 

CaoPaux

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Ducking the question of sales is never a good sign, since an effective agent flaunts 'em (or at least parades them when asked). Sounds like you narrowly dodged a push for her editing services.

Best of luck with your fulls!
 

CaoPaux

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Site is gone, no further activity. (Except on Kasamba, which is now LivePerson.)
 

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