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Chamein Canton Literary Agency (formerly Canton Smith Agency)

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JerseyGirl1962

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Nomad said:
You definitely don't need an agent to be published by Ragged Mountain Press (the division of McGraw-Hill under which 101 Baseball Drills was published).

Nomad,

That's I'm wondering. Why do you need an agent for what I take are smaller presses that specifically say you don't need an agent to submit? :Huh:

~Nancy
 

Lauri B

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You don't. Unless these agents are masterful negotiators, which they could well be, I don't see the benefit of their services in any of these instances. You don't need an agent for any of the above publishers. I can't imagine the advances would be very high for any of them, either, so no one is making much money.
 

Aconite

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Nomad said:
I can't imagine the advances would be very high for any of them, either, so no one is making much money.
Not off the advances, anyway, which is what makes me wonder where the agency's getting its money.
 

jemill

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Aconite said:
Not off the advances, anyway, which is what makes me wonder where the agency's getting its money.

Hi,
I am a current client of Canton-Smith agency and your comment implies that there is something fishy going on. They have been nothing but professional and ethical.
 

James D. Macdonald

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JerseyGirl said:
Why do you need an agent for what I take are smaller presses that specifically say you don't need an agent to submit?

You may not need an agent to submit to some presses, but having an agent will get your book looked at sooner at some of them. An agent may be able to negotiate you a better deal, or recognize and defuse landmines in the contract. An agent is looking out for your career, not just one book, and may think that going with a smaller press for a certain title might make good strategic sense.

Lots of reasons I can think of.

You can't look at only one aspect: you have to look at every aspect.
 
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Aconite

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jemill said:
Hi,
I am a current client of Canton-Smith agency and your comment implies that there is something fishy going on. They have been nothing but professional and ethical.
Hi, jemill. Would you care to give examples of their professional and ethical behavior?
 

Robert Koger

I am the author of the book 101 Great Youth Soccer Drills. It was published by McGraw-Hill in May of 2005. The editor was in Chicago and he made numerous recommendations on how to make the book better. He also cut some information that didn't directly relate to soccer drills. These I used in my second soccer book which I just sent to Chamein Canton.

I was offered a $6,000 advance on my first book although I did not ask for an advance. I agreed to a $3,000 advance. I am retired and do not rely on my writing for my income. Since any advance goes against the sales, the bigger the advance the longer it take to start receiving royalties on the book. Sales have been good, but by being a soccer coaching book it is never going to make the NY Times Best Seller list. My book has made number one on Amazon.com and Amazon.com.UK for soccer coaching books and is experiencing good sales in book stores. You can find it at all major book sellers plus it is now an eBook.

When I contacted Chamein I had been turned down by over 70 literary agents. I stopped counting at 70 because my reject letter file was getting too large. Chamein was upfront with me and told me they had never worked with sports book and asked if I would give them a chance to sell it. I did not sign a contract with her so I was free to shop around. I decided to trust her and see what she could do. Three months later she called and informed me that she had two companies who wanted the book. (She kept me updated through emails about what they were doing.) I selected McGraw Hill because they agreed to go with more of my desires. Only then was I asked to sign a contract with Chamein.

One of the agencies I send a query letter to was a major firm. The owner writes a book listing agents and publishers and is a big seller. I got a reply to my query eight months after I sent it. The letter said they had moved and had just recently found a box of query letters. It went on to say that they did not feel that my book would sell. This was approximately 30 days after I had finished working with the editor and the book was in final form. Chamein may not be the best fit for everyone but signing with her worked for me. I just signed an addition three book contract with her.
 

CaoPaux

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Thank you for dropping in, Robert, it's good to hear your book is doing well.

Has Ms. Canton submitted your work to publishers which require an agent?
 

Aconite

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Robert Koger said:
I was offered a $6,000 advance on my first book although I did not ask for an advance. I agreed to a $3,000 advance. I am retired and do not rely on my writing for my income. Since any advance goes against the sales, the bigger the advance the longer it take to start receiving royalties on the book.
Mr. Koger, I'm afraid I don't understand your logic. You accepted a $3000 advance after being offered a $6000 advance so that you'd see royalties sooner--do I understand you correctly?

Do you understand that an "advance" is "advance against royalties"? That is, that the advance is royalty money paid to you in advance of sales? I'm puzzled as to what difference you think it made for your royalty money to come in later rather than sooner. Yes, it takes longer to earn out a larger advance than a smaller one, but that's because the advance is a greater sum of money. Perhaps I don't correctly understand your reasoning. Could you explain it, please?
 

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Got a web site now (w/flash intro): http://www.cantonsmithagency.com

From About Us:
At Canton Smith we specialize in helping new and established writers find markets for their work. Through an extensive process we seek to help writers develop their marketing skills in a very competitive market. The writers we seek are pro-active and ready to make something happen.

Although good writing is important, it's also necessary to have a handle on the genre market you're seeking to enter. Many fine writers have been turned down, due to a lack of understanding of the need to market their book. Many publishing companies still have marketing and public relations departments, only now they are counting on the writer to bring leads to the table.
Oy.
 

Popeyesays

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Just a bump, here. Anyone else have experience with this agency, recent or otherwise?

Thanks! :)

They have not updated anything ontheir website. That is foreboding.

Regards,
Scott
 

mountain sage

I really hate to jump on the bandwagon here, but I went to their site today and noticed a typo. I sent off a quick email to warn them that this was more than a little uninspiring to prospective writers and I got an automated reply that they weren't taking any submissions in August and that I should try back in September (note that the date of this post is September 10th). I don't want to undermine either the agency or those published by them, but you have to admit, it seems a little sketchy.
 

JLRoss

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Wow, it has been almost three years since the last time I checked these blogs. And how much I have learned since! The last time I had posted, I was green and excited. Now, it all seems to have been lessons learned. Hard ones at that! It seems I got the short end in both the agent area as well as the publisher. Seeing as Canton Smith had always been friendly and professional sounding to me, they seem to have become M.I.A. And the publisher... Archebooks. A complete and total scam by my experience. I strongly warn all who deals with them to be extra careful!
 

CaoPaux

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Thank you for checking back in, Jenni. The more data from folks with direct experience, the clearer the picture.

I hope your next project fares far better. :Sun:
 

evelyn88

Hey I came here looking for info on Canton Smith myself. They are not flagged on P&E, but the link there directs you to this site:

cantonsmithagency.com

which is for an agency called Chamein Canton Literary Agency, which automatically redirected me to the site for the Canton Smith Agency. There are apparently three agents working there: Chamein Canton, James Weil, and Eric Smith. As of this post, they are claiming that their focus is currently on their current clients, but they are willng to accept queries for "women's fiction(chick lit), Latina fiction, African American fiction, multicultural, romance, memoirs, humor, and entertainment, in addition to more nonfictiontitles (cooking, how to, fashion, home improvement, business, etc.)" to any of their gents via email.

I have read alll the other posts on this thread, I have been to their site, and I have no true or factual reasons to suspect them of being anything but professional. That being said, I'll pass for the moment on sendng them my query, and I doubt that even they would blame me. A book is more than a product you have to sell. It's a part of you whose future directly dictates your own. It's not worth it to rush through this proccess just because it's easier than sticking it out and waiting for that dream agent to come along. I'm still looking for mine, and I know that it might not be easy, but I could never risk the future of my book with someone I wasn't 100% sure of.
 

Denise

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I am currently a client of Chamein Canton and have found her services to be reputable. I am aware that some of the pub houses that extend offers are not the best choices for new authors, but after being burned once by my eagerness to be published I am more than careful now. The agency has sent me notice of several offers, which I turned down after researching the contracts publishing houses and stated my reasons to Chamein, who is now leaving those offers off the table and has focused in other directions for me. She has been working with well-known houses for my submissions, which is a challenge, but the efforts for which I appreciate. Chamein has been honest and upfront with her advice, responds to my emails promptly and is open about who she's approached, responses and any of my concerns. Due to the present state of the economy I'm willing to hang in there with her for a while yet before trying somewhere else.
 

victoriastrauss

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I am aware that some of the pub houses that extend offers are not the best choices for new authors, but after being burned once by my eagerness to be published I am more than careful now. The agency has sent me notice of several offers, which I turned down after researching the contracts publishing houses and stated my reasons to Chamein, who is now leaving those offers off the table and has focused in other directions for me.

Are you saying that you got offers from less-than-desirable publishers as a result of Ms. Canton's submissions?

That's not something that should happen with a competent agent.

- Victoria
 

Momento Mori

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Denise:
The agency has sent me notice of several offers, which I turned down after researching the contracts publishing houses and stated my reasons to Chamein, who is now leaving those offers off the table and has focused in other directions for me.

Why on earth would Chamein waste her time chasing publishing companies that don't offer attractive terms? Surely she should be concentrating on the commercial, advance-paying houses (by which I mean houses that offer more than a dollar ...)

MM
 

caseyrobert

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this is in regarding to the Chamein Canton Agency.
I had the opportunity to meet her in New York at the BEA this last year. 2009.
Previous to that, we had already become good firends over the phone.
Being a start-up publisher in 2006, she was one of the few that took us seriously in the beginning.


We have since taken on many of her projects. and turned down even more. As far as submitting works to publishers that only deal with agents. I'm not sure there are any. It's just tougher to get read without one. My wife prefers agency books.

She is one of only 4 agents we work with as of this date. Our interview process for agents is tedious to say the least.


All of the projects she has submitted, I found all were of high quality


As a publisher I don't recomend agents, but she is somebody who can submit to us without asking ahead. We don't give out that priveledge lightly.
 

Marva

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You definitely don't need an agent to be published by Ragged Mountain Press (the division of McGraw-Hill under which 101 Baseball Drills was published).

I've seen a few majors that take direct submissions. Good for them. Except, somehow, they get dissed for doing so without an agent. Exactly what is the agenda here. Get writers published or get agents work?
 

Eirin

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We have since taken on many of her projects. and turned down even more.

I assume you mean through Daily Swan Publishing. Could you name some of those projects you've taken on.


Our interview process for agents is tedious to say the least.
This puzzles me. You interview agents? Again, you're representing Daily Swan Publishing, right?


As a publisher I don't recomend agents, but she is somebody who can submit to us without asking ahead. We don't give out that priveledge lightly.
As a publisher you don't recommend agents? I should think they made your job easier, hence the reason why so many publishers only take agented submissions.

Can you tell us why you've given Chamein Canton Agency the privilege of submitting to you without asking ahead? What stellar qualities does this agency posses that you know about, but otherwise isn't readily apparent from their website?