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Fann Literary and Art Agent (Frankie Ann White)

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wxman

Hi All,

In the never ending quest for a literary agent, my wife just received a response from Fann Literary and Art Agency. The person's name is Frankie Ann White. Does anyone have any information on them?

I've googled and searched a few places but they seem to be legit. I would just like some one to share information or experience on them.

Thanks!
 

DaveKuzminski

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P&E hasn't received any complaints about them, but there are some flags that you should watch for. One is the fact that they list some ebooks presumably as books they have sold. I don't know of many ebook publishers giving advances high enough to even interest an agent in handling such sales. Another is their location in Panama.
 

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I'd never heard of this agent/agency before, but I did some Googling, and found its website. Lots of red flags:

- No information about who's running the agency or what their professional credentials are.

- No sales to commercial publishers. Not good, since it claims to have been established in 1999.

- Books "sold" have all been placed with self-publishing services (Lulu) or amateur-looking POD publishers (Caribbean Books). One is being issued as an e-book. You don't need an agent to broker deals with publishers like these.

- It appears to have just three clients.

- It's in Panama. I have nothing against Panama, but it's hard to maintain business relationships with NY publishers from outside the country (which is why agents usually sell in their own domestic markets and use co-agents to sell overseas).

- The website is amateurish. Not all agents have great-looking websites, but this one is especially poor.

More Googling reveals a listing for this agency at Writers Net, and some badly-written electronic press releases. That's it.

Wxman, I am wondering what you saw that made you conclude this agency was "legit"?

- Victoria
 

wxman

victoriastrauss said:
I'd never heard of this agent/agency before, but I did some Googling, and found its website. Lots of red flags:


Wxman, I am wondering what you saw that made you conclude this agency was "legit"?

- Victoria

Hi Victoria,

Ok, first let me say this is my wife's first attempt at a book, and we are rookies at this. I basically assume everyone is a crook until proven innocent. I checked P&E and there were know complaints, but the Panama thing really bothered me. Which is why I came here.

Since they are in Panama, and international laws being what they are, should we avoid further contact with them, to avoid having my wife's story stolen? Or should we see what they offer?

Thanks to everyone for your input. This website is great!
 

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There is no market for stolen manuscripts to my knowledge. Agencies simply don't steal manuscripts for two reasons: either they're honest or they're scammers in which case they wouldn't know how to sell a manuscript. Besides, scammers are generally looking to get money from authors for representation they don't actually deliver.

Another thing to keep in mind is that overseas markets aren't interested in importing manuscripts that have no track record. They want something that's already sold well and can be relied upon to sell reasonably well in their own area. Publishers aren't looking to increase their slush pile with manuscripts that usually have to be interpreted first.

Also, scammers are very unlikely to have any agency contacts in other countries so that would often mean that they would either have to submit to the foreign publisher's slush pile or make a trip in order to make a sale. Since scammers don't have legitimate sales records and probably won't know the foreign language, foreign publishers aren't at all likely to deal with them. Also, the costs of travel and lodging would proved to be an expense that most scammers can't afford to risk for a sale that has the odds stacked against it already.

In conclusion, the idea that a scammer would sell any author's work overseas is largely a myth. There's just no market for unknown writers from foreign countries. Keep in mind that the US would be foreign to those living in other countries, so the rule applies all the way around.
 

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wxman said:
Since they are in Panama, and international laws being what they are, should we avoid further contact with them, to avoid having my wife's story stolen? Or should we see what they offer?
Dave already covered the stolen manuscript myth, so I won't say anything about that except that I agree with him.

As far as looking for an agent--an agent is like any other professional person. You want them to have the proper experience and training, and to have demonstrated success in their chosen profession. If you wanted to sell your home, wouldn't you look for a real estate agent who'd been in business for a while and had a proven record of selling homes? It's no different for a literary agent. A lot of people seem to think that being a literary agent is like selling Avon products: anyone can do it, with a little time and effort. 'Tain't so. Agenting is a specialized profession, and requires a very specific range of knowledge and skills.

So. Look for an agent with a track record of selling books to publishers you've heard of. If the agent has a website, the information should be available there. Or you may have to do a little digging. There's an article on my website that suggests methods for this.

If the agent is new, s/he should have a background in publishing, or have worked for another (reputable) agency. Unlike real estate agents, literary agents are unlicensed and unregulated, so this is the only way to be sure that the agent possesses the necessary skills. Skills acquired in other professions might seem to be transferable--sales, for instance, or advertising--but they really aren't; publishing works differently from any other business on earth, and you need to have been in it to know your way around it.

Another article on my website offers some tips about researching agents, plus a technique that's designed to help exclude the questionable ones from your query list.

- Victoria
 

wxman

Dave and Victoria,

thanks for the information. I will definately check those links out too!
 

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