• We’re running on a new server at a new host with a new forum software called XenForo. Some things are different. Some things may not work as expected. I am working on it as fast as I can. Please be patient. Please read this post.
  • I'm going to be working on the forums for a while. Things may be wonky. I may turn the forums off without notice. Consider this a bit of a public beta test as we figure out the new software and make adjustments. But you've been much missed, and we can't wait to see you again!

Jane Dowary Agency

editing_for_authors
Editing for authors: because every writer needs a good editor.

victoriastrauss

Writer Beware Goddess
Super Moderator
Kind Benefactor
Absolute Sage
Super Member
Registered
Joined
Feb 11, 2005
Messages
6,701
Reaction score
0
Location
Far from the madding crowd
Website
www.victoriastrauss.com
I've heard from two writers who signed up with her. Not only has she failed to sell their books, she has given them bizarre advice and submitted (or, as I suspect, claimed to submit) their work to completely inappropriate publishers. Both writers were asked to do complete re-writes based on a sentence of criticism, supposedly from an editor at a major company, pasted into an email.

The Claire Dunes Agency, where she claims to have trained, does not appear to exist.

Based on this, on what I've been told about her M.O., and on a tell-tale mis-spelling in her list of the publishers with which she claims to be working (Houghton "Miffin"), I suspect that this is the latest incarnation of Julia Levin/Drew Montgomery, an agent roleplayer who made some bizarre appearances here a couple of years back. See the thread.

Even if Jane Dowary is actually Jane Dowary, there's no evidence of competence, experience, or sales.

- Victoria
 

Stacia Kane

Girl Detective
Super Member
Registered
Joined
Jul 23, 2006
Messages
8,142
Reaction score
0
Location
In cahoots with the other boo-birds
Website
www.staciakane.com
I also found this to be a bit red-flag-y:

I only sign my clients to a contract once I have secured them a publishing contract from one of the major trade publishing houses.

So...there's no contract before she submits? This leaves both the author and her open to a lot of problems. It's not standard practice (there are agents who don't have written contracts at all, but there's still a verbal agreement to actually represent the author. The idea that she's submitting books she doesn't officially represent, and refusing to sign an author whose book does not sell...all kinds of questions there).

PM turned up no sales (just adding that info to Victoria's comment).
 

aliceshortcake

Wilde about Oscar
Super Member
Registered
Joined
Dec 4, 2010
Messages
1,634
Reaction score
0
Location
Oop North
She claims to have been in business since 2006 - surely that's ample time for a couple of sales to have shown up?
 

Undercover

I got it covered
Super Member
Registered
Joined
Mar 1, 2010
Messages
10,380
Reaction score
0
Location
Not here, but there
I also found this to be a bit red-flag-y:



So...there's no contract before she submits? This leaves both the author and her open to a lot of problems. It's not standard practice (there are agents who don't have written contracts at all, but there's still a verbal agreement to actually represent the author. The idea that she's submitting books she doesn't officially represent, and refusing to sign an author whose book does not sell...all kinds of questions there).

PM turned up no sales (just adding that info to Victoria's comment).

I found this strange too. What's to say you submit something on your own and get a contract, would you still have to go with her? If nothing's written down or talked about, you never know. Sounds too iffy to me.
 

FluffBunny

Disapproving plot bun disapproves.
Kind Benefactor
Super Member
Registered
Joined
Jun 1, 2010
Messages
697
Reaction score
0
Location
Third burrow on your left. Your other left.
Not to be awakening a necro-thread from its deep and nightmarish slumber, but Ms. Dowary may have made a sale! I was doing some searching on Soul Mate Publishing for another thread here and Ms. Dowary claims to have sold Trish Jackson's Capricorn Cravings to Soul Mate. Ms. Jackson's website indicates the book will be released later in 2013.

Mind you, you don't need to be agented to submit to Soul Mate and it has been seven years since Ms. Dowary hung her shingle out (per her LinkedIn profile) and she still has problems with spelling "Houghton Miffiln (sic) (lack of Harcourt)", but there! A sale. Cake for everyone.
 

NoblinGoblin

I write in bed.
Super Member
Registered
Joined
May 22, 2013
Messages
95
Reaction score
0
Location
Missouri
I've never heard of this lady, and I've been doing a crazy-ridiculous amount of research just to make sure I leave no rock unturned. So that is a red flag for me, haha.
 

victoriastrauss

Writer Beware Goddess
Super Moderator
Kind Benefactor
Absolute Sage
Super Member
Registered
Joined
Feb 11, 2005
Messages
6,701
Reaction score
0
Location
Far from the madding crowd
Website
www.victoriastrauss.com
I just got an inquiry about Jane Dowary, and was surprised to discover she's still in "business." Her LinkedIn has been elaborated: she has removed the reference to the "Claire Dunes Agency," corrected Houghton "Miffin" and added a claim to have started the agency at "the beginning of 2013." Farther down the page, under Certifications, there's this:
I'm sure I don't need to remind anyone here that there's NO SUCH THING!

She has also added a client list:
Trish Jackson, Capricorn Cravings (Published by Soulmate Publishing)
Gary Maier, The KeyMasters, The Tyrannosaur Rebellion (Published by Strategic Book Publishing)
Dave Bullock, The Last Rapier, (Current Project)
Jim Goddard, Jack and Charmian London, (Current Project)
Strategic Book Publishing. Need I say more?

- Victoria
 
Last edited:

Undercover

I got it covered
Super Member
Registered
Joined
Mar 1, 2010
Messages
10,380
Reaction score
0
Location
Not here, but there
So it looks like she's reading this thread and getting tips on how to make herself look better, fixing the spelling, which you mentioned here and other things too.

Strategic, isn't that the awful one? Soul Mate's a small publisher too, don't know much about them. Either way, it's not impressive to say the least.
 

Nikos Vlantis

Registered
Joined
Jan 14, 2014
Messages
1
Reaction score
0
Keep away from this "agent"

I am a writer. In the 6th September 2013, I received a contact application on my Linkedin account by the member Jane Dowary Litterary Agency (profile:
http://www.linkedin.com/in/janedowaryagency).
Being in search of an agent to represent a novel at the time, I sent her a query whether she would accept to review my manuscript for a professional collaboration. She consented to it. On the 4th of October 2013, she answered to me that I am a writer with great potential, to-be-best-sellerist, the book was great, it just needed editing in order to be published. She pointed out a collaborator of hers, a professional editor. In the meantime, she endorsed my writing skills on my Linkedin profile and wrote a very positive recommendation for me, visible on my profile (fr.linkedin.com/pub/nikos-vlantis/42/a56/6b8/). Encouraged by all this, I contacted the editor, I paid the editing fees (about a thousand euros) and had the book edited. Later on, I even reworked on the manuscript according to the editor’s guidelines and the comments made by J. Dowary. I submitted the final manuscript to J. Dowary on the 9th of January 2014. Two days after receiving the book, J. Dowary endorsed my linkedin profile for the skill of editing. I got the impression that I had done a good job. Four days later (13th of January), she sent me a template e-mail thanking me for my patience (of 4 days waiting?) and rejecting the novel on no grounds, something totaly contradictory with her first approach and her behavior till then. I asked her whether it was a matter of editing, but she did not even bother to answer my question. She had moved to new projects and was not interested anymore in my work.
I have reason to believe that she pulls some kind of scam. I noticed that she has a very active profile in Linkedin, constantly contacting, endorsing and recommending writers (which real agent does that?), who later on, I guess, according to her “professional opinion”, their work is great but needs editing. Maybe, some of them get e- or self-published (something that one can pull off by himself), after having paid the editing. Maybe there is actually an editor behind this profile or even this name, who searches to fund his freelance editing, fishing writers on Linkedin. There is no website for this “agent” apart from the Linkedin page and her behavior was lousy, unprofessional and unethical.
Keep away.
 

scriptwriterdad

Scriptwriterdad
Registered
Joined
Jan 14, 2014
Messages
10
Reaction score
0
Location
Los Angeles, California
Website
jimrgoddard.wix.com
on the other hand....

Speaking only for myself, Jane has been wonderful to me. Not sure where the novel sits right now, but I can tell you that she hooked my screenplay (based on the novel) up with one of the top talent agencies in the world. This wasn't just talk. I know the "A" list agency and the person who is reading my work is an "A" list star. Verified and undisputed that the lead she gave me was and is valid. So for me, Jane is terrific and has done wonderfully for me. And, yes, I'm one of the authors she mentions on her website. I'm very happy for all she's done.
 

victoriastrauss

Writer Beware Goddess
Super Moderator
Kind Benefactor
Absolute Sage
Super Member
Registered
Joined
Feb 11, 2005
Messages
6,701
Reaction score
0
Location
Far from the madding crowd
Website
www.victoriastrauss.com
Nikos, could you contact me? My email is beware [at] sfwa.org. I've gotten a number of reports of unprofessional behavior by Jane Dowary, and I'd like to know the name of the editor. Thank you.

- Victoria
 

scriptwriterdad

Scriptwriterdad
Registered
Joined
Jan 14, 2014
Messages
10
Reaction score
0
Location
Los Angeles, California
Website
jimrgoddard.wix.com
Jane has been fantastic for me. Because of her I have a screenplay of mine in the hands of an A list talent agency and an A list actress. Verified, not just talk. After 35 plus years working in show biz, I've certainly heard more talk than action, in this case Jane has been nothing but action for me.
 

kaitie

With great power comes
Super Member
Registered
Joined
Sep 10, 2009
Messages
10,874
Reaction score
0
Location
Great coffee
Does that read to anyone else like one of those 5-star book reviews that reads, "This is the best book I've ever read. I couldn't put it down and finished it in one day. (Insert name here) is really a new author to watch."
 

dondomat

Banned
Super Member
Joined
Mar 9, 2011
Messages
1,373
Reaction score
0
Does that read to anyone else like one of those 5-star book reviews that reads, "This is the best book I've ever read. I couldn't put it down and finished it in one day. (Insert name here) is really a new author to watch."

I prefer the more lavish versions, with the "I really cared about the characters and connected with them immediately." :)
 

JaneDowary

Registered
Joined
Jan 24, 2014
Messages
12
Reaction score
0
Hi everyone, I would like to introduce myself to you. I am Jane Dowary, yes, the Jane Dowary you seem to be discussing. I wanted to try to clear up some of the misunderstandings (concerns) all of you seem to have about me. I believe I can sum them up by saying, I am simply new and am trying to start a new career. I really do want to help authors get their novels published and work the absolute hardest I can to get their work published for them. I know I am not as far along in the career path as other agents and that maybe a red flag, but I am hoping you all will give a new agent a chance and let me do what I can to make a good career for myself and help writers get their novels published.
 

JaneDowary

Registered
Joined
Jan 24, 2014
Messages
12
Reaction score
0
And please allow me to clear about the issue about Nikos Vlantis. He is a wonderful writer with a great deal of talent but I didn't feel that I would be the best agent for him because I felt his work needed editing. I told this to him and he asked me to recommend a good editor. I turned him onto a good editor I happen to know and agreed to give the novel a second read. It was vastly improved but still not right for me and he felt slighted by this. I am very sorry to have offended him. That was not my plan. But he became angry anyway. I apologize to him if he reads this.
 

JaneDowary

Registered
Joined
Jan 24, 2014
Messages
12
Reaction score
0
email redacted is my private work email address if anyone wishes to discuss this with me. I would be happy to try to explain myself if you wish to talk with me. i would appreciate the opportunity!
 
Last edited by a moderator:

JaneDowary

Registered
Joined
Jan 24, 2014
Messages
12
Reaction score
0
And to clear up Strategic Book Publishing and rights. Gary B. Maier is client of mine, but I am not the one who submitted his novel to SBPRA. He had submitted it to them on his own before he came to my agency.
 
Last edited:

victoriastrauss

Writer Beware Goddess
Super Moderator
Kind Benefactor
Absolute Sage
Super Member
Registered
Joined
Feb 11, 2005
Messages
6,701
Reaction score
0
Location
Far from the madding crowd
Website
www.victoriastrauss.com
Hi, Jane, or should I say Julia:
The Jane Dowary Agency is a full service literary agency and was founded in March of 2013 and is owned and operated by Jane Dowary. Her real name is Julia Sarah Levin. She operates her agency under the name of Jane Dowary because she wanted to make sure that her career as a literary agent stood on it's own from her one-time career as a writer.
Julia Levin? That name rings a bell. A loud and wonky one.

I have a different theory about why you're operating your agency under the name of Jane Dowary. I think you're operating your agency under the name of Jane Dowary because you don't want people to know that you previously operated your agency under the name of Julia Levin and then Drew Montgomery.

Oh wait.

And guess what? I tagged you back in 2012, based on a hunch (this also presents a small problem for your website claim that you started your agency in 2013). Now you've pretty much confirmed it.

- Victoria
 

Undercover

I got it covered
Super Member
Registered
Joined
Mar 1, 2010
Messages
10,380
Reaction score
0
Location
Not here, but there
I'm sorry Jane, but I'm not buying it and I hope no one else does either. Not until you show significantly reputable sales. Soul Mate and whatever else you have isn't nearly as impressive as the publishers you state that you work with. Maybe you have some connections with them, but as far as I see it, you don't work with them.

You're "honest"? Why do you feel the need to state that? From this thread and how you screwed Nikos over is enough for EVERY writer to stay as far away from you a possible.

Again, I hope things change for you and things get better, but for now, it's not working for me.
 

JaneDowary

Registered
Joined
Jan 24, 2014
Messages
12
Reaction score
0
And that LITERARY CERTIFICATE I had on my Linkedin page was to announce that I legally registered my new literary agency with the IRS.