- Aug 18, 2010
- Reaction score
Anyone ever hear of the Gilbert Lit Agency (Hawkspurr) in NZ?
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.
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.
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)
And, it hardly seems like a charging $40 up front is going to make them rich.
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.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.
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).If I charged $40 upfront, I could sign up thirty writers a month, cover all my bills and make a profit.