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Assessing Agents

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

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mhughes3500

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I sent query letters to the The Literary Group www.theliterarygroup.com and William Clark Associates for a nonfiction book I am writing. They both expressed interest immediately and got back to me within 2 days asking for a book proposal and sample chapters.

I researched both and The Literary Group has been bashed pretty bad on this site, and was put on the Beware list. However, they have a ton of success stories like Flag of Our Fathers and other bestsellers. William Clark is a reputable firm based on my background check, however, his track record is mildly successful when compared to the lit group.

1) What would you, my fellow writers, do?

2) This is my first time dealing w/ agents, I am reading up on this, but would also welcome advice for the protocol when two or more agents are interested in your proposal. In Mr. Clark's email to me he mentions: "
I prefer to read material on an exclusive basis, and return the courtesy by agreeing to consider your work in a timely manner."

The Lit Group hasn't said anything about exclusivity on the other hand. Should I send it to Wm Clark, and tell him I will await his response and put Lit Group on hold? or vice versa? Or should I send each one a proposal and then if they happen to both be interested, odds of that are pretty long, however I could just wait and compare proposals and negotiate the best deal?

Sorry for ramblin'

Thoughts?

Mike
 

James D. Macdonald

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The Literary Group and The Literary Agency Group are two different things.

The Literary Group has represented a ton of books that you can find in bookstores.

The Literary Agency Group ... hasn't.

One of them is legitimate. The other is a scam.

Listen: If you got interest from The Literary Group, submit your full to them. If you got interest from The Literary Agency Group, so has everyone else who ever submitted anything to them (including pure gibberish).

You can:

1) Submit exclusively to William Clark.
2) Tell William Clark, "Alas, I cannot offer an exclusive at this time" and send your full to both agencies.
3) Submit your full to The Literary Group and (if) they pass on it, send it to William Clark on an exclusive basis at that time.

Which agency would you happiest with? You know your own situation best.
 

mhughes3500

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Thanks James. Very helpful. I am happy to report that The Literary Group is interested and NOT that other agency we shall no longer mention.

I will send a message to William Clark beginning with "Alas..". I like the sound of that. I'll tell him my book on political ideology will have a Shakespearean twist!

Thanks for clearing this up for me. Much apprecaited.
 
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