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Gilbert Literary Agency / Hawkspurr Productions

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profen4

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I recently got a question about Gilbert Literary, and did some research.

They say they've been in business since 1990, but I can't find any evidence of book sales to trade publishers. They also say they're a "subsidiuary" (sic) of Hawkspurr, and offer editing and proofreading services--i.e., in addition to what looks like a complete absence of track record, there are multiple potential conflicts of interest here.

I'm also not encouraged by the poor writing, spelling, and grammar on their various blogs and websites. If I had to guess, I'd say that Hawkspurr is an expanded self-publishing venture, and that "Trooper," the author of the Hawkspurr series, is Ms. Parnall-Gilbert's husband.

- Victoria
 

profen4

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I recently got a question about Gilbert Literary, and did some research.

They say they've been in business since 1990, but I can't find any evidence of book sales to trade publishers. They also say they're a "subsidiuary" (sic) of Hawkspurr, and offer editing and proofreading services--i.e., in addition to what looks like a complete absence of track record, there are multiple potential conflicts of interest here.

I'm also not encouraged by the poor writing, spelling, and grammar on their various blogs and websites. If I had to guess, I'd say that Hawkspurr is an expanded self-publishing venture, and that "Trooper," the author of the Hawkspurr series, is Ms. Parnall-Gilbert's husband.

- Victoria

You read my mind. I've tracked down some of Troopers books and I was trying to implement my Google-fu to discover just that point. Their outright assertion that "Trooper" is their favorite author made me wonder about the relationship.

I mean, what agency says that?

His books, btw, are published by iuniverse.
 

Saskatoonistan

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The Gorn believes they're sketchy...

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Momento Mori

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Smashwords Profile for Gilbert Literary Agency:
Works of fiction under assessment will include Children’s, Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance, and Crime, Literary Fiction, General Fiction, Women’s Popular Fiction, Gay & Lesbian, Sci-Fi Fantasy/Horror, Sci-Fi Adult/Fantasy/Thriller, and non-fiction in areas of Autobiography, Life Story, Bography, Short Story Collections, Poetry Volumes.

The fact that they're considering poetry volumes is a sure fire sign of an amateur. There is (sadly) no market for poetry unless you are established and very well respected.

I'd also like to know what "Bography" is.

MM
 

SemiAngelik

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The Gilbert Agency-Hawkspurr-Emerantia Parnall Antonio

I was recently offered a contract through The Gilbert Agency. At first I was really excited, then I curb myself after realizing that I still had to have a lawyer look at it.

When I heard back from the lawyer I was both crushed and relieved. This is what my lawyer said:

I’m also sorry to tell you that I reviewed the agency agreement and cannot recommend that you deal with this agent. First, charging any fees or advance expenses at all is not considered to be an ethical agency practice. Second, the proposed agreement has a number of questionable provisions. And, third, the agency doesn’t check out in other ways.
 

Jerry Gordon

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Caveat Emptor

As an editor, I have received multiple novel pitches with sample chapters from this agency. I edit the occassional short-story anthology, but I have never solicited novel subs.

Anyone with a modest understanding of the business (or the ability to read basic submission guidelines) would know not to send novel pitches my way.
 

neilmarr

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Our own house -- almost entirely fiction -- has recently been receiving daily offerings from this outfit of technical books and other unprofessionally targeted nonfiction material that is useless to us. (The submissions, by the way, appear to be generate according to a strict template almost like a form letter adjusted according to title) I have written to tell them that a glance at our catalog and submissions requirements would show how misdirected their proposals are. But the 'agency' appears to use a scatter-gun approach, mass mailing an entire list of publishers they've acquired from somewhere and has ignored my advice. Only a few minutes ago, on receiving yet another time-waster, I consigned their email address to spam. Neil
 

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Been reading all the negative comments so I thought I'd add my thoughts. I had nearly given up on being published by a legitimate publisher when I was offered a contract by this agency. At this point I had nothing but an email list of loyal readers.It took 2 years but they found me a publisher for 2 manuscripts with Solstice Publishing.(one bk recently published and the other in the process) The up front fee $40. is to cover their lawyer fees. it was explained that in the past they'd put out their money for this and then some authors would go with another agency. Emerantia Gilbert has done a lot for me and spent hours helping me prepare my manuscripts for presentation. And, it hardly seems like a charging $40 up front is going to make them rich.
 

Marian Perera

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It took 2 years but they found me a publisher for 2 manuscripts with Solstice Publishing.(one bk recently published and the other in the process)

You don't need an agent to be considered by Solstice. In other words, you could have sent them your manuscript yourself, rather than waiting two years and paying someone else.

Plus, Solstice isn't a publisher I'd recommend to anyone - see their thread here for more details.

And, it hardly seems like a charging $40 up front is going to make them rich.

If I charged $40 upfront, I could sign up thirty writers a month, cover all my bills and make a profit. Those writers would probably be happy that they weren't being charged more, too.
 

victoriastrauss

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You don't need an agent to be considered by Solstice. In other words, you could have sent them your manuscript yourself, rather than waiting two years and paying someone else.
Exactly. The test of an agent is getting you through doors you can't open on your own--not steering you into something you could have accomplished yourself.
If I charged $40 upfront, I could sign up thirty writers a month, cover all my bills and make a profit.
This is why any kind of upfront fee--even a small one--is a conflict of interest. If an agent gets paid only when you do (i.e., with a commission on sales), they're highly motivated to make the most lucrative possible deal for you. If you give your agent an upfront fee, they've already made money on you, and have less incentive to do a good job of marketing your work (or indeed, to market it at all).

- Victoria
 

zomby9333

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I am a writer with Solstice and I got there through Hawkspurr and Emerantia-Parnell Gilbert...Solstice does NOT accept unsolicited manuscripts 365 days a year...therefore, submissions are not "always open"...I have a book published and selling on Amazon and six more in the works...I love Hawkspurr and Solstice...and they never charged me a dime...just sayin'...
 

LindaJeanne

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http://gilbertliteraryagency.blogspot.com/

These guys?

--random un-hidden links removed, since admin remove them from original --

If so, they seem terribly unimpressive. Plus, are they "selling" titles to their own e-pub? If so, yikes.

Not to go off-topic, but inquiring minds want to know: what is doxinh.com, and why are there hidden links to it in this post?

Sorry for the derail, just curious.
 
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CaoPaux

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Admin's on it, thanks.
 

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