BEWARE: Children's Literary Agency (WL Childrens Agency)

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James D. Macdonald

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If you can think of any other evident operating expense of theirs that I've forgotten to list, please mention it.
Those world-famous lawyers of his. The ones he claims to keep on retainer.

Booths at the BEA and Frankfurt Book Fair.
 

HapiSofi

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James D. Macdonald said:
If you can think of any other evident operating expense of theirs that I've forgotten to list, please mention it.
Those world-famous lawyers of his. The ones he claims to keep on retainer.

Booths at the BEA and Frankfurt Book Fair.
Having a presence at the BEA and the Frankfurt Book Fair costs serious money.

I think we can ignore his lawyer, though. The guy never seems to take on any cases.
 

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HapiSofi said:
It has multiple employees.
I would call them partners in scam. They have to be aware that Fletcher doesn't actually sell anything to publishers.

HapiSofi said:
It has telephones.
I had a thought on this. I don't think he has a separate office. I think he runs this scam from his home. That explains why he so vociferously avoids direct phone contact with clients and how he's able to keep the scam going. He has a day job. He might even be participating at this alleged job.

HapiSofi said:
It has developed a sophisticated set of form letters.
Form letters don't take any money to develop. At most, they take time. He just kept the first lie he made up and might have made minor changes since then.

HapiSofi said:
It has a complex computer system, and may use proprietary software.
What are you basing this on? I haven't seen anything to indicate he's not using a $500 eMachine. It might be there; I just haven't seen it.
 

James D. Macdonald

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LloydBrown said:
I had a thought on this. I don't think he has a separate office. I think he runs this scam from his home.

I think it's pretty clear that he does. One of the services that Corporate Suites offers is to answer the phone in your company's name, then patch the call to your voice mailbox.


HapiSofi said:
It has a complex computer system, and may use proprietary software.

What are you basing this on? I haven't seen anything to indicate he's not using a $500 eMachine. It might be there; I just haven't seen it.

We know the name of the company that set it up. Zephyr Associates and Partners (www.zap-inc.com), claimed that Sydra Techniques had boosted their income into the seven figure range thanks to their automated call-back management system.
 

James D. Macdonald

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One more specific question for Georgina (if she ever comes back):

What is the exact nature of the relationship between The Literary Agency Group, its principals and subsidiaries, and The Lighthouse Press of Deerfield Beach, FL, its principals and subsidiaries?
 

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James D. Macdonald said:
I think it's pretty clear that he does. One of the services that Corporate Suites offers is to answer the phone in your company's name, then patch the call to your voice mailbox.

Which could easily be a separate phone line at his home.

We know the name of the company that set it up. Zephyr Associates and Partners (www.zap-inc.com), claimed that Sydra Techniques had boosted their income into the seven figure range thanks to their automated call-back management system.

Well, there pretty firmly pegs that one.
 

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A couple of additions to the information here (since I like researching stuff too! :D)


S T Literary Agency, Inc. has a brand new physical address, effective January, 2005. Keep an eye out for this one:

851 SW 7TH ST.BOCA RATON FL 33486 Along with a new Post office mailing address of:

P.O. BOX 272503BOCA RATON FL 33427
According to the Florida Secretary of State, Robert M. Fletcher is either a principal officer or registered agent for the following corporations (with the same addresses). These might explain where some of the money came from in years past.

S T Literary Agency, Inc., (SW 7th St. address) - active
RapidResumeBuilder, Inc. (SW 8th Terrace address) - inactive
Robert Fletcher, Inc. (SW 8th Terrace) - inactive
Internet-In-A-Box.com, Inc. (SW 8th Terrace) - inactive
Zephyr Associates & Partners, Inc. (SW 8th Terrace) - active
ATM Management Services, Inc. (two doors down from the Lighthouse Press address in Lighthouse Point, FL. Hmmm...) - inactive

And, although Children's Literary Agency, Inc. (a division of the Literary Agency Group, Inc.) holds themselves out to be a New York corporation, they aren't listed in the rolls with the Secretary of State --- even as a dissolved corporation. Just something to think about. If they lie about their status, what else might they lie about as well?

Oh, and according to the New York Assessor's website, the tenant of the 4th & 6th floors of 275 Madison Street is Alliance Business Center. Wander over to their website to have a look around, http://www.abcn.com/executive-suites/NY.html


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Address

275 Madison Avenue
4th and 6th Floor
New York NY 10018

Main Tel: 800-869-9595 (within U.S.) 1-714-437-5551





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My little contribution of the day... :banana:
 

LloydBrown

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James D. Macdonald said:
We know the name of the company that set it up. Zephyr Associates and Partners (www.zap-inc.com), claimed that Sydra Techniques had boosted their income into the seven figure range thanks to their automated call-back management system.

Sunbiz.org is the place to search for publicly available information on Florida businesses.

Florida has no record of the following fictitious names: Literary Agency Group, Stylus Literary Agency, Christian Literary Agency, Children's Literary Agency.

It has no record of any fictitious names held by Robert Fletcher (with or without any initials).

Glantz & Glantz do not appear to be registered agents for any of the related companies. However, Fletcher, Robert is the registered agent for S. T. Literary Agency, and his personal information seems to be available through that listing.

Also, I checked out the other Fletcher, Roberts, just in case. Sure enough, Zephyr Associates & Partners, Inc. is also owned by the same Robert Fletcher!

!

So you're using a claim that he made about a sale to himself to support a statement he made.

In fact, here's a quote from the page "To quote my dear friend and author Paul Anderson, "tough times and brutal markets naturally weed out superficial enterprises".

We know that name from ST's supposed client list.

It's obviously another scam. He even lies on this site, to wit: "Zephyr has been incorporated and in business since 1997." Strange, since the Division of Corporations lists the registration date as 1999. In fact, check out his "teams" that work for the client. One of the links requires authorization, one leads to a site about business entry into Japan, and the last is dead.

At least there's a contact number on the contact page.
 

James D. Macdonald

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Well, that explains why the Zephyr page and the infamous Online Pitch Pages look so similar.

I think, though, that digging around would find that Zephyr was an independent company hired by Fletcher to do his business development, that Fletcher subsequently bought.

I wonder if the folks who do RICO investigations would be interested in taking a look at Fletcher and his business dealings.
 
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HapiSofi

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I'd wondered about the relationship between Zephyr Associates & Partners and Sydra/Fletcher; the former's website quotes their dear friend and author Paul Anderson.

Lloyd, form letters take work. They're a finicky and demanding variety of copywriting. A really good form letter is a work of art, and a powerful tool.

The trick is to write form letters that cover almost all circumstances, get the desired response from the recipient, and don't sound like form letters. We've seen the text of Fletcher's initial letter to people who submit their work. The people who've reproduced it for us aren't stupid, and they're certainly not illiterate, but right off the top of my head I can't think of a single one of them who immediately realized, upon receiving it, that it was a form letter. It read to them as a plausible and promising response to their submission.

This is why I keep telling Dave Kuzminski that one of the most effective projects P&E could take on would be a series of pages, organized by scammer, that collects and displays all known varieties of their correspondence. Not only would it be educational, but it would destroy much of the letters' value. Authors who'll work hard to interpret a scam agent's form letter as a unique and personal communication would have a different take on it if they could see that the exact same letter goes out to everyone the agent deals with.
 
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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
 

Roger J Carlson

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Georgina Orr said:
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
In other words, you concede defeat.
 

Richard

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Nobody asked for a meaningful discussion, Georgie-poo. Merely the answers to questions you promised you'd answer, and not even holding your pathetic attempts to rewrite peoples' criticisms against you. Much. How much more generous can a forum be? If you want to find one that will actually take your comical excuse for a rebuttal seriously, try www.ispentmywholechildhoodeatingpaintchips.com.

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 we pity them for it.
 
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DaveKuzminski

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HapiSofi said:
one of the most effective projects P&E could take on would be a series of pages, organized by scammer, that collects and displays all known varieties of their correspondence. Not only would it be educational, but it would destroy much of the letters' value. Authors who'll work hard to interpret a scam agent's form letter as a unique and personal communication would have a different take on it if they could see that the exact same letter goes out to everyone the agent deals with.

HapiSofi, I would gladly set up such a section if writers will provide me with copies of those letters. Since many of the scammers are using email now, it should be easy. However, a lot of writers aren't keeping the letters by saving those to their hard drives. By the time they think to contact P&E, their email program has deleted the letter for being too old.

Of course, if some writers would like to write to those agencies and then forward the responses to me, I'll get started. Anyone want to volunteer on this project? When you forward it to me, mention in your text or subject line that it's for publication in P&E.
 

James D. Macdonald

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First, let me remind Georgina of one thing she said in her first post:

Georgina Orr said:
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?
Now....

Georgina Orr said:
In response to the reactions that my posting ofl ast week has generated.....


Looking forward to your response, Georgina!
LAG is a privately owned company and our business model is working for our authors.
Outstanding! Could you name some of the authors it's worked for?

No, wait, I've found some....
a list of more books allegedly sold by Children's Literary Agency!

Some books we've sold are: The Worry Stone and Fiddlin' Sam, for Marianna Dengler. Gift of the Dove and a four-book series, Tales From the Bayou, for Betty Hager. Twin Pickle, for Ann Doro.
This comes from http://www.writers.net/forum/read.php?f=10&i=125162&t=125097

Interestingly, Georgina here claimed that they'd sold four books (and the authors had sold two of them), but here this other representative of CLA was claiming eight books.

Well, let's see what we've got:

The Worry Stone by Marianna Dengler,
Rising Moon Books, 1996
Fiddlin' Sam
by Marianna Dengler, Rising Moon Books, 1999

Gift of the Dove by Betty Hager,
Zondervan, 1991
Old Jake and the Pirates Treasure (Tales from the Bayou #1) by Betty Hager, Zondervan, 1994
Marcie and the Shrimp Boat Adventure (Tales from the Bayou #2) by Betty Hager, Zondervan, 1994
Miss Tilly and the Haunted Mansion (Tales from the Bayou #3) by Betty Hager, Zondervan, 1994
Marcy and the Monster of the Bayou (Tales from the Bayou #4) by Betty Hager, Zondervan, 1994

Twin Pickle by Ann Doro, Henry Holt and Company, 1996

Hmmm....those books were all published long before Children's Literary Agency was founded. All but one were published before Sydra Techniques was founded.

It looks very much as if Children's Literary Agency had nothing to do with selling any of them.


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.
Nothing more than nit pick? I'd think that "You've never sold a book to anyone in your life, you're lying about where your office is located, and your boss is an adjudged scammer" are a bit more than "nit picks."

It is unlikely that I will attempt to carry on a meaningful discussion with people who have already made up their mind.
But you can change my mind, Georgina! And how about the lurkers, the people who come here to research Children's Literary Agency. You can answer the SPECIFC questions, like you promised!
My time, and my company's time is better spent selling and pitching for our authors.

Is it really? I mean, c'mon, if you were spending your time pitching and selling your authors you'd have sold one or two of them by now, wouldn't you?

Listen: You say you have those 68 "open discusssions" going. If you were just batting .100 (and being in severe danger of getting sent back to the minors) you'd sell 7 of 'em by the end of the year. That would be close to twice as many as you claim you've made in your history. How about it, Georgina, come back next year and tell us about your six or seven new sales this year. I mean, you're devoting your time and your company's time to selling them....

Unless you're a total fraud and con artist, that is.

Sincerely yours,
Georgina Orr, VP Corporate Affairs
Literary Agency Group
G'bye, Georgina. And here I thought you wanted to set the record straight. After all, those other message boards (that you are unwilling or unable to name) delete your posts and block your rebuttal posts. Why not take this golden opportunity?

For the record, here are some of the SPECIFIC questions (as she demanded) that Georgina won't/can't answer:




  • How much does your typical client wind up spending?
  • What are the names of your agents?
  • What is their prior experience in publishing?
  • How many sales have you made to commercial publishing houses? Please give the names of the authors, the titles of the books,and the publishing houses they were sold to.
  • Isn't the main, number one complaint people seem to have that they can't find any evidence of you guys selling a book?
  • Wouldn't the best way to take the wind out of the sails of the "creepy and scary" people be to prove that you've sold a book somewhere, to someone?
  • Which editors do you work with most often? Which do you know best?
  • What is the name of the publisher who complimented you on the "fair job" you did for your author?
  • How can a "third party critique" be done by a "sister company?"
  • Is Writer's Literary and Publishing Services (the "sister" company you recommend for "independent 3rd party critiques") in fact owned by Robert Fletcher?
  • Is My Editor Is A Saint (another "sister" company that provides editing) in fact owned by Robert Fletcher?
  • If he doesn't own these companies, does he get a cut of their income?
  • Are you (meaning any of the agencies under the "umbrella" of The Literary Agency Group Inc.) offering vanity publishing deals to clients via Peter Parente's Tree of Life Publishing?
  • Is Robert Fletcher an owner or co-owner of Tree of Life Publishing?
  • If Robert Fletcher is not an owner or co-owner of Tree of Life Publishing, does he get a cut of the income from clients you steer into publishing deals?
  • What is the exact nature of the relationship between The Literary Agency Group, its principals and subsidiaries, and The Lighthouse Press of Deerfield Beach, FL, its principals and subsidiaries?
  • With which publishers have you made deals?
  • Why is it that real agents make it so easy to find them? Why do they announce their deals? Why do they post their addresses and phone numbers? Why don't you?
  • "Pulling their own weight"? "Something for nothing"? Shouldn't words like 'quality' or 'marketability' be putting in something of an appearance there?
  • Isn't it true that Children's Literary Agency was created solely to take some heat off Stylus (ST) Literary Agency?
  • Isn't it a fact that no one knows you in any role?
  • Are you aware that Writer Beware and Preditors & Editors don't sell ads?
  • "People ...for whom" you "haven't been successful" is "nearly everyone," isn't it?
  • Do you ask your writers to pay an editing fee most times?
  • Is four deals in seven years what you're boasting of?
  • Given that fifty percent of that four deals you claim were made by the authors themselves: What did they need you for?
  • Do you offer a contract to everyone who writes to you?
  • What's your physical address?
  • Where is the New York office?
  • What's your phone number?
  • Who are your neighbors on the left and right?
  • Could you please describe the sign in the lobby of your building? What material is it made of? Where's it located?
  • Where is the security guard's station?
  • What do you see directly across the street when you walk out of the building's lobby?
  • What happened to the WGA number that Robert Fletcher inherited from Sid Buck, the original owner of Sydra-Techniques?
  • When will you be filing that lawsuit against Victoria?
  • Robert Fletcher has claimed to be a Chemical Engineer. Where did he earn his degree? What year?
 
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PattiTheWicked

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Georgina Orr said:
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

Translation: "Oh, crap! You've clowned me again and I'm totally busted! Bye!"
 

James D. Macdonald

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You'd think that the answers to the main questions wouldn't take her more than a minute. The titles, authors, and publishers of books they've sold should be right at the tips of her fingers.
 

Roger J Carlson

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I'm not sure why they periodically post on the boards to defend themselves. They always come off looking like prize chumps.
 

MadScientistMatt

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Roger J Carlson said:
I'm not sure why they periodically post on the boards to defend themselves. They always come off looking like prize chumps.

Possible theories:

1. They are so used to sending "Do not take that tone with us" sort of letters to their clients that they think it is possible to do the same thing to a message board of critics.
2. They theorize that if they can attract one client dumb enough to read their claims online and apply, they've made an easy "editing fee." Not bad for a few minutes' work.
3. They really are prize chumps.
 

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James D. Macdonald said:
You'd think that the answers to the main questions wouldn't take her more than a minute. The titles, authors, and publishers of books they've sold should be right at the tips of her fingers.
Maybe they can't remember which books they claimed to have sold in their latest B.S. After all, didn't one of the ST "subsidiaries" post something on their web page or in their contract where they forgot to change the name of the agency in one paragraph? If they can't keep track of their own company name, how can they keep track of which "books" they claim to have sold? :)
 

James D. Macdonald

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AnneMarble said:
Maybe they can't remember which books they claimed to have sold in their latest B.S.

In that case my periodic round-ups of what they've claimed to have sold should be a blessing for them.

How about it, Bobby -- put me on your staff?

I do wonder about that claim of a recent sale in the UK. Do they think that England is so far away that no one can check?
 

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The first two, dedicated to Bouncin' Bobby, will go online either tomorrow or the day after. Personally, I'm shooting for tomorrow.
 

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I'm so glad I found this forum!!

I would hate to fall prey to this sort of practice, altho I usually do pretty good research before I go for anything. But it's so nice to have a resource that we can turn to, to find out the real scoop on this kind of place.

Thanks everyone!
Ginni