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Carroll Grace Literary Agency / Pat Jozwiakowski

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marylang

About 3-4 years ago I was represented by a agent in Florida who was just plain greedy and nasty. At the outset she was extremely complimentary about my mss and called me at 9:30 at night to make sure I would become a client. Flattered, I agreed and signed the contract as soon as it arrived. Then I came to find out that she and her sister and her ailing mother were running the agency out of a bedroom of their house and she confessed she was just in it for the money. Undaunted by her confession, I told her to go ahead and send out my mss. She sent it to all the major publishing houses (it's a new age romance novel) and asked $100,000 and up for it. Of course I was rejected at every major publishing house (some did make nice comments on the rejection letters re: the book) In time, this agent refused to consider any of my concerns and at last became verbally abusive via letter and phone and the relationship was severed. My concern is, if I want to re-market this book, should I change the title, content etc. Did this agent ruin my chances for publication? Thanks for any input.
 

spywriter

Re: Bad agent and future of my mss

Sorry to hear it Mary...I do feel badly for you.

As Victoria and the others have told us all here, it's better to have NO agent than a bad one. Publishing houses might take a MS from a bad agent, but they slap it on the slush pile and either they don't read it, don't' read it seriously or read it, but don't give it to much weight.

The agent answering questions on the board told us that if you really do have a bad, disreputable agent who has tried to sell your book, YOU MUST CHANGE THE TITLE when you resubmit it. Publishers log in your book and if it has been logged once, it will not get logged again.

GOOD LUCK! I recommend that you read the "ask the agent" thread above. There is great info there.
 

maestrowork

Re: Bad agent and future of my mss

Change to a pen name and change the book title. Then resubmit.
 

vstrauss

Re: Bad agent and future of my mss

Mary, could you please let me who the agent is? If you prefer not to post it publicly, contact me by e-mail: [email protected]. Thanks.

- Victoria
 

marylang

Re: Bad agent and future of my mss

Victoria and all others-the name of the agency was Carroll Grace Literary Agency and they were out of St. Petersburg, Florida. The main contact was Pat Jozwickowski and her sister's name was "Sunny." They were, last I knew, in 2001, planning on moving to the midwest and re-starting the agency. Don't know if they're still in business or not in Florida...but I'm hoping not--unless they've changed a great deal...Mary
 

vstrauss

Re: Bad agent and future of my mss

Mary, I got some similar complaints about this agency, but haven't heard anything for a while (which makes sense if they went out of business in 2001). I don't think the agents had any publishing experience before setting up their agency, and I'm not aware they ever made any sales.

It sounds as if your novel went out to publishers before 2001? Given the staff turnover in publishing, you might not have a problem resubmitting, even under the same title. Just to be on the safe side, though, it might be a good idea to change it.

- Victoria
 

DaveKuzminski

Re: Bad agent and future of my mss

Just don't retitle it like a soap manufacture might do: New and Improved TITLE with 20% more Blue Crystals and added Whitening!

I don't think that one would fool them. ;)
 

HapiSofi

Re: Bad agent and future of my mss

If it's a killer title, keep it. If not, change it. Odds are slim that anyone will remember it. Do print out a new copy, though.
 

marylang

Re: Bad agent and future of my mss

Thank you everyone for your advice and support...I will make good use of it and, hopefully, one day very soon, my book will be published despite it's initial rough start.....Mary
 

James D. Macdonald

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There's a hint here that they made one sale in three years in business:

Message 116721 by Francis W. Porretto on 2002-09-15 11:59:40. Feedback: 0
Well, Gail, you must have a capable and courageous agent. Of the 204 I queried, all but three were entirely uninterested in my stuff. The one with whom I eventually signed, Carroll Grace Literary, proved to be courageous enough, but incapable of selling what they represented. After three years in business, they had sold one book -- not one of mine -- and were forced, in the words of agency proprietress Pat Jozwiakowski, "to go back to work."

Once again, stay away from the folks who wake up one morning and decide to be agents. They're gormless at best. They won't be able to sell your book.

The other agents to stay away from (aside from the out-and-out scammers), are the Not-Very-Helpful agents.

As it says at Making Light:

It’s still a bit like marrying someone you don’t care for because at least that way you’ll get laid: the imagined benefits will rapidly pall, while the underlying discontents will only become more irritating.
 

CaoPaux

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Trivia: Full names are Patricia Jozwiakowski and Sonuia Mays. The agency was named after their mother.

There's no sign they've returned to agenting.
 

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