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Desert Rose Literary Agency (Leann Murphy)

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vstrauss

Re: Desert Rose Agency

Desert Rose's owner, Leann Murphy, previously worked for Janet Kay & Associates (shut down by police last year; see this alert: www.sfwa.org/Beware/gener...#titsworth ). Janet Kay was a fraudulent agency whose submissions were routinely ignored by publishing house editors. Someone working there, even if well-intentioned, wouldn't have gotten any sort of professional training to be a literary agent.

Ms. Murphy asks for upfront marketing fees, ranging from $250 to $300. This isn't standard practice among successful literary agents. She's been in business for at least a year, but I'm not aware of any sales.

- Victoria
 

bloemmarc

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current client of desert rose literary agency

I am a current client of Desert Rose Literary Agency, and yes I was charged the current fee, they charge everybody. It wasn't until I was a client that I decided to do my own investigating, and then found all of this sights I never knew about.
I am a rather new author, and feel I have a pretty good story, but did not realize all the scamming that can be out there.
There are things about Desert Rose Literary Agency that I like alot, like she has been upfront, and honest with me about everything, like Janet Kay, and her past, and how much she regrets that. She even answers everyone of my e-mails like that very same day. She doesn't promise me the world, and huge deals like Janey Kay used to, I heard. She just says, it's a very long process, and we'll see what happens. But, that she will work hard for me, and if i ever feel anxious don't hesitate to write to her.
But, there are other things thta bother me alot about the agency. Like, she said as soon as she was done sending my query letter to the publishers, she would send me the same information she submitted to the publishers. Well, she hasn't yet, and it's been like 7 weeks since she completed it. I am still waiting for it to come in the mail now.
firt, she said she'd sedn it as soon as she was done writing it. then, she was on vacation, and would sedn it as soon as she returns. but that is going on like 4 and a half weeks ago. How long do agents take vacations. Don't they have assistants to do that stuff to, who are in the office. Also if she said, she would send it to me when she was done, why didn't she just smply mail it to me before she left.
I know,she has other clients, and needs a vacation to. But, how much of an effort is it just to print somehting out, and mail it to your client you said you would twice. It's more of the principle factor, I am looking at.
Now, I have met other authors who are clinets of hers, and who have gotten positive responses from publishers. It seems very legitimate, but I whish she'd give me more assurance, so I could feel better.
anyonelse know more about them, than me.
 

bloemmarc

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Desert Rose literary agency

I am a client of theirs, but loking for more information on them.
I have actually met some of their other authors, who seem legit, and satisfied. Many of whom have gotten positive responses from publishers. She thinks I have a good story, but that it will take a long time for responses to get back to her. She has been up front, and honest with me, but I know has a fishy past, which bothers me.
Plus, it has been 7 weeks now, since she has submitted my manuscript to the publishers, but have not gotten the query in the mail yet, she promised to send me. Yes, I was charged their current fee to, which I was glad to pay, long as I can feel that they are being honest with me. I know some agencies are upstart ones, and need a little extra from their authors to stay afloat till they get completely on their feet. She needs hers for office supplies, and payrolls, but only charges 10 percent though, upon getting a deal, and advances.

Anyone have more information beyond Janet Kay, or any recent information.
they do warn against places like Authorhouse though, and Publish America.
 
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Mac H.

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Is the owner of this agency, Leann Murphy, the same Leann Murphy who pleaded guilty to stealing checks back in 1997?

It just seems odd - it seems to be a fairly distinct spelling of her name, and it is the same city. It could just be a coincidence - someone else with her name in her city could be the one stealing checks, while the 'Leann Murphy' that we are talking about was busy working in Kay's fraudulent 'agency'.

Google "Leann Murphy pleaded guilty" for more info..

Mac
(PS: bloemmarc - Have you asked her? You seem to know her better than the rest of us. Mind you, since she's been upfront about her past she would have told you if she'd been convicted of stealing.)
 

bloemmarc

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Well, I guess they have gottne major responss from publishinh houses the last, 4 to 5 months that would lead on the way to actual publications. I met one of them other authors, who seems a very satisfied lady. She has been with Leann since November, December I think.
 

bloemmarc

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Mac H. said:
Is the owner of this agency, Leann Murphy, the same Leann Murphy who pleaded guilty to stealing checks back in 1997?

It just seems odd - it seems to be a fairly distinct spelling of her name, and it is the same city. It could just be a coincidence - someone else with her name in her city could be the one stealing checks, while the 'Leann Murphy' that we are talking about was busy working in Kay's fraudulent 'agency'.

Google "Leann Murphy pleaded guilty" for more info..

Mac
(PS: bloemmarc - Have you asked her? You seem to know her better than the rest of us. Mind you, since she's been upfront about her past she would have told you if she'd been convicted of stealing.)

Mac, No she did not tell me anything at all concerning 1997, or stealing of any checks. She does not seem like the type of person capable of doing that, but I have been wrong in the past though to.
 

DaveKuzminski

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When you stated you met another client of Desert Rose, was it face-to-face? If not, it could have been her masquerading as a client. It wouldn't be the first time that a scammer has pulled that kind of deception.
 

AC Crispin

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Leann Murphy

Leann Murphy of Desert Rose has never sold a book to an advance and royalty paying publisher. Indications are, she lies to her clients about submissions and successes, since she has none. In my routine inquiries to editors at publishing houses, they report no submissions from Desert Rose, or the few that reported one or two say they've seemed to stop, and they haven't had any for months.

Keep in mind that my cat is fully as qualified to be a literary agent as Leann Murphy. She has no legit publishing or agenting background, doesn't know a soul in the NY publishing world, and her query letters are inept. She charges upfront fees and accepts any drivel sent her way.

Sorry, but you folks are kidding yourselves when you imagine she has the contacts to sell your books. And the stuff about her having an arrest record? 100% accurate. This was confirmed to me by the District Attorney of San Angleo, Texas.

If I were a current client of Leann Murphy's, I'd start searching for a new agent. Chances are good your manuscript is still sitting in her office, unread and unsubmitted. The only thing she bothers to read, other than a few pages to make her "acceptance" sound good to desperate aspiring authors is the amounts on the checks, to make sure her marks are sending her what she's demanded.

Wake up and smell the coffee.

-Ann C. Crispin
Writer Beware
www.writerbeware.com
 

bloemmarc

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DaveKuzminski said:
When you stated you met another client of Desert Rose, was it face-to-face? If not, it could have been her masquerading as a client. It wouldn't be the first time that a scammer has pulled that kind of deception.

Dave.

No, this lady was self published before through Authorhouse, and I know because I checked out her books, on barnesandnoble. com which were legit there. so, she is a real author, that much I know, as some others she's much though there.
I really hope you're wrong, because i've invested time, money, and effort into this now, but my heart is pulling me in the other direction.
 

James D. Macdonald

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Oh, dear. AuthorHouse is a pay-to-play vanity POD. If this agent sold that book, it doesn't say much for the agent.

Seriously, don't throw good money after bad. Write off what you already spent as a loss, and go find a legitimate agent.
 

bloemmarc

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James D. Macdonald said:
Oh, dear. AuthorHouse is a pay-to-play vanity POD. If this agent sold that book, it doesn't say much for the agent.

Seriously, don't throw good money after bad. Write off what you already spent as a loss, and go find a legitimate agent.
No, this writer never said That Lean Murphy sold her rights to Authorhouse. I know it's a vanity publishers, and so did she. She was already using them, when she met Desert Rose agency.
 

bloemmarc

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where do you look for agents who are eager to help first time authors, and such.
 

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All of them are, if you have a quality manuscript that can be sold. You might look at agentquery.com or the Association of Author Representatives, or even at Publisher's Marketplace (but you have to pay to go there. The subscription is $20 per month, but you get to see all of the deals recently sold by agents who submit information -- and most of them like to, since the deals are feathers in their caps.) You might also purchase Writer's Market, a large paperback book that's put out every year by Writer's Digest magazine. There are quite a few in there and you can search by the genre that you write.


Not all legitimate agents belong to associations, but many do. There are lots of sources, but it will take a little work on your part.

Good luck!
 

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Interesting

Every day this web site community gets better and better. I sent a manuscript to Desert Rose last year. I got a response from Leanne Murphy, she said it wasn't what they were looking for at the time, but then she gave me a detailed run down of what I should do to make my novel 'saleable'. There were no suggestions of professional critiques, editorial services, or anything that I would have to pay for. Just a written list of, "think about this, rewrite that, and have you considered pruning this off the story and making it into another story?"

So I sat down and had just finished a re-write based on that letter and the comments of a couple of readers, when I saw Desert Rose On P&E. ( While researching New York Literary and Silver Screen.)

Now that I've discovered this website, I guess the rejection was a blessing in disguise. However, I really appreciated the comments she gave me, they were helpful.
 

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bloemmarc said:
where do you look for agents who are eager to help first time authors, and such.

That's not their job. Agents are in the selling business, and are always on the lookout for clients who can produce salable works. The scammers are the ones who make a big deal about 'helping' writers. That's frequently the sign of a phony agent--lots of talk about helping you to achieve your dreams, blah, blah, blah--but little evidence of sales.
 
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bloemmarc

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Well, maybe that shows somethinga little that she is legit.
Because, I have heard scammers will accept, anything, and everything wth much praise. She told me, I hadd a good story, and looked forward to working with me, but that let's just wait, and see what happens.
She never promised me anything, only to do her best, and to keep a level
head.
Jaycinth said:
Every day this web site community gets better and better. I sent a manuscript to Desert Rose last year. I got a response from Leanne Murphy, she said it wasn't what they were looking for at the time, but then she gave me a detailed run down of what I should do to make my novel 'saleable'. There were no suggestions of professional critiques, editorial services, or anything that I would have to pay for. Just a written list of, "think about this, rewrite that, and have you considered pruning this off the story and making it into another story?"

So I sat down and had just finished a re-write based on that letter and the comments of a couple of readers, when I saw Desert Rose On P&E. ( While researching New York Literary and Silver Screen.)

Now that I've discovered this website, I guess the rejection was a blessing in disguise. However, I really appreciated the comments she gave me, they were helpful.
 

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bloemmarc, I hate to be the villain here, but once in a while we all take one for the team.

You're deluding yourself if you believe Desert Rose is going to sell your book. There is no indication that your 'agent' has the connections, talent, drive, etc. to sell a book--she never has, not one. What she has done is keep her criminal record in regard to stolen checks from you, cashed your checks, and answered your emails.

Listen to the people telling you that what your money spent at Desert Rose has bought you is a lesson. Move on, and away, quickly. Try to interest a real agent who has made sales.

Maryn, unhappy to dash anybody's hopes or destroy their trust
 
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bloemmarc

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Ya, Ovey

I asked her specifcally the names of the publishers she said she sent them to, and have yet to respond to me on that, or to send me the query she promised to send to me. she usually answers e-mails pretty quick, but haven't on those yet.
I know what you're saying though, but their are still some unanswered questions though, which have painted her in a good light. One lady, who previoulsy self published her books through Authorhouse, is now using Leann Murphy as her agent, and has nothing but praise for her. I know she is not Leann Murphy in disguise because of her self published books, she previously published through authorhouse which are on Barnes and Noble.com, and book stores. Now, she is trying to get a traditional publisher for them through Desert Rose agency. she even said Leann submittied a beautiful query, and submission package to the publishers, and had proof that she had sent 9 already. Her name is Jayel Gibson, of the Ancient Mirrors chronicles. www.ancientmirrors.com
Maryn said:
bloemmarc, I hate to be the villain here, but once in a while we all take one for the team.

You're deluding yourself if you believe Desert Rose is going to sell your book. There is no indication that your 'agent' has the connections, talent, drive, etc. to sell a book--she never has, not one. What she has done is keep her criminal record in regard to stolen checks from you, cashed your checks, and answered your emails.

Listen to the people telling you that what your money spent at Desert Rose has bought you is a lesson. Move on, and away, quickly. Try to interest a real agent who has made sales.

Maryn, unhappy to dash anybody's hopes or destroy their trust
 
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An agent with no sales is no more an agent than the guy who picks up your trash is. Which of these service providers do you use

a phone company that doesn't give phone service
a pizza delivery place that never brings you food
a lawyer without a law degree (and who doesn't actually know any laws)
a cab driver who doesn't drive
an insurance agent that doesn't provide insurance?

I think you get the idea. *I* am actually a better agent for you--even without having your manuscript in hand--because I've actually sold books to a publisher.
 

bloemmarc

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LloydBrown said:
An agent with no sales is no more an agent than the guy who picks up your trash is. Which of these service providers do you use

a phone company that doesn't give phone service
a pizza delivery place that never brings you food
a lawyer without a law degree (and who doesn't actually know any laws)
a cab driver who doesn't drive
an insurance agent that doesn't provide insurance?

I think you get the idea. *I* am actually a better agent for you--even without having your manuscript in hand--because I've actually sold books to a publisher.
What about if I already signed a contract with Desert Role Literary Agency, since you all said get away, and find another agent. What do I do about that detail.
 

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