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Jodie Rhodes Literary Agency

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Stlight

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I suppose one might ask if you need an agent to sell to the small publishers she choses to sell to? You might also suggest that I look that up, but creep factor bothering me here.

S
 

Repunzel

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I met Jodie Rhodes a few years ago at The San Diego Writers' Conference. As a super friendly, outgoing person who sees humor in almost everything, I would have to describe this woman as my polar opposite.

It was very telling to observe the subtle, knowing glances exchanged by other agents when Jodie, who shared a panel with them, spoke. Although Jodie appears to be very successful and has qualified for AAR, if I had to work with her, I would always have a knot in my stomach. Maybe I'm shooting myself in the foot for keeping her off my list, but the truth is: life is just too short.
 

Exir

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From what it seems, she is reputable, but I suspect slightly unprofessional.
 

NeuroFizz

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Jodie is blunt. But she sells books. She can be cranky, eccentric. But she's a member of AAR. She's very selective in the fiction she accepts and she is not very "humane" in her rejections. But she sells books. And we have a blog-type first-person account of a rather bizarre writing group from a person who was taken to task for his writing in that group, but we only have the blogger's insinuation that his writing didn't deserve such harsh judgment. But she sells books.

If you have thin skin, save your query stamps. If you are writing fiction, she will be extremely picky about writing quality AND equally picky about the type of story she accepts. So, you may want to save your query stamps. She comes right out and says she accepts very little fiction.

Jodie is my agent for a non-fiction project. I queried my fiction, which she bluntly rejected, but she countered with an offer for this non-fiction project. Our relationship is not touchy-feely golly-gee-whiz-you-are-a-wonderful-writer. But it's professional and productive. It's a little unusual because she already had the project in hand and was looking for appropriately qualified authors. And she (apparently) doesn't like to represent much fiction, including mine. She's done fine by me in the non-fiction arena.
 

Stacia Kane

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From what it seems, she is reputable, but I suspect slightly unprofessional.


That's my feeling. If you read about 1/4 down on the Reputation page, it appears she shared correspondence from one offering editor with another offering editor?

Looks like she knows what she's doing but may be a bit idioscyncratic. :) So whether she appeals to you or not is personal taste, I guess, as with all things.
 

victoriastrauss

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Jodie Rhodes set up as an agent in the late 1990's without having had any prior agenting experience. She made some mistakes initially--such as referring writers she rejected to Edit Ink, a dishonest editing service that paid a kickback for referrals--and was slow to make any sales.

However, she was determined, and has managed to establish herself over the past few years. She has a sizeable track record, and is a member of AAR. However, I've received a number of advisories about her (including some from former clients), who report an abrasive personality and domineering behavior. One former client told me that she dropped him after just a couple of months of representation, while his ms. was still under under consideration at several publishers.

I've also gotten reports that she asks for a copying fee. Charging upfront for materials or photocopying is not standard practice among the majority of established literary agents.

- Victoria
 

Irysangel

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She has quite a few legit sales on Publisher's Marketplace - foreign rights, lots of Non-Fiction, some YA, etc. Publishers seem to be good too - Sourcebooks, Harper, etc.

If I were subbing to her, the only thing I would be concerned with is that out of the 29 sales in the past year, only 3 or so were fiction (2 were YA). If she is not moving a lot of fiction, it might not be her area of expertise (and thus might not be a good idea for people to sub to if they write primarily fiction).
 

revolocard

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I found Jodie Rhodes in Jeff Herman's guide (though her name doesn't have the -e in the title, but does throughout the rest of the article. Whoops!). Anyway, at first I thought she seemed enthusiastic...then I started getting a different vibe. Something seems a bit overwhelming and arrogant about her interview, which seems to fit in with what everyone else has to say. But, here's some info:
Represents 60% nonfiction, 25% YA/teen, 15% fiction. Number of titles sold last year: 45 Rejection rate: 99.5%

What was my red flag is that when talking about what pitching mistakes writers make, she put actual examples from query letters in the section to laugh at. Now, admittedly, they were pretty bad, but it just seemed very condescending and unsympathetic to writers who are trying to get published.

It DOES seem that if she loves your project, she'll fight for it hard (it's pretty clear she wants literary over commercial in fiction). She seems to have gotten some great deals for clients, like a $200,000 offer for a YA novel.

I'm definitely turned off by her personality, but if you're thicker-skinned and more willing to deal with diva agents to get your book sold, she seems legit and that shining $200 grand offer does look tempting to lustful eyes. :)
 

Nandi

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I received a rejection from Jodie Rhodes today, and even though it was a form rejection it had a stinging feeling. First, she apologizes for not sending a personal, handwritten rejection because of her tendonitis. She continues:

There are one of two reasons you are receiving this: the subject matter of your work as described in your query letter was not of interest to me; the writing in the sample chapters did not excite and captivate me.

I ask you to note my use of the words interest, excite, and captivate. They are emotionally charged, highly subjective words. therefore, my rejection does not in any way mean your book is not worthy of publication. It simply means it's not right for me.

In other words, my work is uninteresting, dull and boring. Yup. I get it.
 

Parametric

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The message you took from that form rejection was 180 degrees reversed from what it actually says. :Shrug:
 

darupprecht

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Currently Under Representation

Well... I just received and accepted an offer for representation by her. For a YA book. Partly sent to her because apparently she got a $200K advance for another YA book. Just don't know what it is. I've been really careful not to say anything wrong, and have agreed to change something very minor with the manuscript to please her, but by and large I see a productive working relationship developing. Will let anyone know if this changes! Also... does anyone know what the title for that YA book Jodie happened to get published?
 

Repunzel

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"I think she is Ms. Snark.

Our Dearly Departed, Yet Much Beloved Miss Snark She is NOT!
 

stormie

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Nah, don't worry 'bout it. We're just funnin'. You see, once I called her Ms.Snark and she promptly replied, "It's MISS Snark." He-he.

Besides, I doubt Jodie swills gin out of a bucket or wears very high heels. Then again, I doubt any agent does that. Swills gin out of a bucket, that is. Or maybe they're driven to it after reading their slush pile.
 

Repunzel

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Yeah But . . .

"Besides, I doubt Jodie swills gin out of a bucket or wears very high heels. Then again, I doubt any agent does that. Swills gin out of a bucket, that is. Or maybe they're driven to it after reading their slush pile."

Killer Yapp DOES have a pink tam!!
 

Elizabeth George's book Write Away