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Langtons International Agency

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

Grand Poohbah

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Currently "dancing" with Langtons International Agency. Likes my writing, wanted pages. Sent a bundle. Wanted more pages. Sent those. In medium-long fone call she was professional and courteous. Unable to evaluate this agency. Cautious 'cause of the negative comments on this blog. Yet there are some positives. Confusing to this newcommer. Looking for current updates re Langtons International Agency. Thanks in advance. Grand Poohbah.
 

waylander

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Ask them what they've sold in the last year or so.
 

Grand Poohbah

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Surprise! Surprise! This PM I got the big R from Linda Langtons International Agency. Interestingly, this big R arrived after just a three-day turnaround from my last batch of pages FEDEXed to her. I wonder if her rejection email is not precanned and all she has to do is fill in a few blanks and hit the "Send" button. Notwithstanding, her sweet talk in those broad English vowels, that she liked my writing and her request to send more pages and more pages, my manuscript needs extensive editing--pacing, dialogue, etc. Volia, she can recomend and excellent professional editors to work with me. "We would be very glad to read your book once it has been reworked." Swell! My silent response will be deafening.
 
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ThomasMark

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Linda Langton's Editing Services

To all aspiring AW authors who seek a literary agent, I offer the following tale. Whether I was a wise ant or a foolish grasshopper I leave up to you.

Recently I sent a query to Linda Langton. She quickly asked for a partial of my novel, and then a week later asked me to mail her the full manuscript on paper. A few weeks later her assistant contacted me. Here is most of her message:

“Thank you very much for sending us your book and for your patience in our reviewing process. We now have had five readers review your book, and we think it is marvelous. You have a lot of potential for a commercially published novel in today's market.

“We thought it was a fast-pace, easy read, and most of the characters were consistent. You have a very strong writing style and your book kept us wanting more. However, though we very much enjoyed it, we don't think it is quite ready for publishing yet. We think you are very close, but an overview/assessment done by a professional editor will help make it ready for today's publishing standards….”

It seemed odd that neither Ms. Langston nor her five readers could offer any specific feedback. I asked for guidance about what Ms. Langton wanted me to do, and she sent me this reply:

“Katelyn has passed your email on to me to send to an appropriate editor. As you know we loved your story and want it to work for the commercial publishers. We believe that you would benefit from an overview/assessment for you to follow to direct you where the work is needed. It is almost there in our opinion.

“The cost for a critique/assessment for a book of over 100,000 words would be $1,175 and the editor I would like to use is a published author who has won a PushCart Prize and O'Malley Award and he teaches writing in colleges in the New York and New Jersey areas.

“He gets booked very quickly and I have told him about you and so if you could kindly let me know if we can help, so I can ask him to keep the time available for you, I would appreciate it.

“We are all looking forward to reading your reworked book when it is ready, Thomas.”

Getting paid over a thousand dollars for about ten hours’ work would be a sweet deal for Ms. Langton’s editor friend. Based on the fact that in her offer there was absolutely no assurance of representation or even of positive results, I politely declined. I have not heard back from her since.
 

JPG1964

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I almost feel like I got off lightly. Almost. She liked my premise, requested a partial and then a full and that was the last I'd heard for 6 mos., despite repeated emails to find out the status. Yesterday, I rec'd the crushing response that she felt it wasn't ready for the publisher and had sent three emails to me without response. As a result, shredded my ms. These are three emails that never showed up in my in-box or in the history, so I'm not sure if they were sent at all and if they were, were they sent to the wrong email address? Who knows? She said that the SASE had insufficient postage (that I had the Post Office put on) and it came back to them. As they couldn't keep it after repeated attempts to contact me, they shredded it. She was nice about it and apologized and said that she had sent two responses (not three?) after my initial enquiry. I don't know if there was a request for an editing service or not. (Isn't that why publishers employ editors, after all?) After seeing other writer's experiences with this agency, maybe it wasn't as bad as I thought it was yesterday. But I'm still out of a copy of the ms.
 

DreamWeaver

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To all aspiring AW authors who seek a literary agent, I offer the following tale. Whether I was a wise ant or a foolish grasshopper I leave up to you.

Recently I sent a query to Linda Langton. She quickly asked for a partial of my novel, and then a week later asked me to mail her the full manuscript on paper. A few weeks later her assistant contacted me. Here is most of her message:

“Thank you very much for sending us your book and for your patience in our reviewing process. We now have had five readers review your book, and we think it is marvelous. You have a lot of potential for a commercially published novel in today's market.

“We thought it was a fast-pace, easy read, and most of the characters were consistent. You have a very strong writing style and your book kept us wanting more. However, though we very much enjoyed it, we don't think it is quite ready for publishing yet. We think you are very close, but an overview/assessment done by a professional editor will help make it ready for today's publishing standards….”

It seemed odd that neither Ms. Langston nor her five readers could offer any specific feedback. I asked for guidance about what Ms. Langton wanted me to do, and she sent me this reply:

“Katelyn has passed your email on to me to send to an appropriate editor. As you know we loved your story and want it to work for the commercial publishers. We believe that you would benefit from an overview/assessment for you to follow to direct you where the work is needed. It is almost there in our opinion.

“The cost for a critique/assessment for a book of over 100,000 words would be $1,175 and the editor I would like to use is a published author who has won a PushCart Prize and O'Malley Award and he teaches writing in colleges in the New York and New Jersey areas.

“He gets booked very quickly and I have told him about you and so if you could kindly let me know if we can help, so I can ask him to keep the time available for you, I would appreciate it.

“We are all looking forward to reading your reworked book when it is ready, Thomas.”

Getting paid over a thousand dollars for about ten hours’ work would be a sweet deal for Ms. Langton’s editor friend. Based on the fact that in her offer there was absolutely no assurance of representation or even of positive results, I politely declined. I have not heard back from her since.
I particularly love how there's not a single detail in this letter that would differentiate your book from any other work, or show that anyone had actually read it.
 
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tweetantra

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Here is a copy of the letter that they wrote to me. I have taken off the name of my book. But yes, I can confirm that they do offer their own paid editorial services to the writers. Please make your own decisions after reading this:-

Thank you again for sending us your book. We think you have a very interesting idea and story premise. However, though we enjoyed many aspects of your book, we do not feel that it is quite ready to send to the publishers yet.

We think you have a great foundation, but we thought there could be work done on the dialogue and story development. We also thought that some of the action felt a bit contrived.

We suggest that you work with a professional editor and have a comprehensive overview/assessment done of your book, which would highlight the strengths and weaknesses, help with dialogue, action, showing/telling areas, characterization, timeline, story development, etc. The professional editor would be the best person to direct you on how to address these areas and bring your book to a more publishable standard.

If you are already working with a professional editor, we would be more than happy to read the next revision of your book!

If you do not already have an editor, Linda started Book Marketing International, which has an editing division. Here we are able to match authors with credible, professional editors who help authors bring their books to the next level. We continually use these editors because we trust their work, and we have one in mind who we think would be a great match for your book.

Either way, we are sorry we do not have better news, but we wish you the best in your literary endeavors. Please let us know if we can help further!
 

Gregg

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Here is a copy of the letter that they wrote to me. I have taken off the name of my book. But yes, I can confirm that they do offer their own paid editorial services to the writers. Please make your own decisions after reading this:-

Thank you again for sending us your book. We think you have a very interesting idea and story premise. However, though we enjoyed many aspects of your book, we do not feel that it is quite ready to send to the publishers yet.

We think you have a great foundation, but we thought there could be work done on the dialogue and story development. We also thought that some of the action felt a bit contrived.

We suggest that you work with a professional editor and have a comprehensive overview/assessment done of your book, which would highlight the strengths and weaknesses, help with dialogue, action, showing/telling areas, characterization, timeline, story development, etc. The professional editor would be the best person to direct you on how to address these areas and bring your book to a more publishable standard.

If you are already working with a professional editor, we would be more than happy to read the next revision of your book!

If you do not already have an editor, Linda started Book Marketing International, which has an editing division. Here we are able to match authors with credible, professional editors who help authors bring their books to the next level. We continually use these editors because we trust their work, and we have one in mind who we think would be a great match for your book.

Either way, we are sorry we do not have better news, but we wish you the best in your literary endeavors. Please let us know if we can help further!

I just received a very similar email. Same comments and and offer to edit - but without any mention of the cost for their editing services.
 

mellymel

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^^ But why would they offer editorial services if they don't represent you? Red flag?


We think you have a great foundation, but we thought there could be work done on the dialogue and story development. We also thought that some of the action felt a bit contrived.

We suggest that you work with a professional editor and have a comprehensive overview/assessment done of your book, which would highlight the strengths and weaknesses, help with dialogue, action, showing/telling areas, characterization, timeline, story development, etc. The professional editor would be the best person to direct you on how to address these areas and bring your book to a more publishable standard.

This is kind of funny. I mean, not to the writer, but she says it has a great foundation and yet, pretty much EVERYTHING about the story needs work?

And isn't it a huge red flag when an agency offers writers editorial services for a fee?

It seems this agency is still pulling the same shenanigans after so many years. It's a shame. I wonder how many people get sucked into this. I'm guessing quite a few since they are still in biz.
 
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Gregg

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After several emails they finally told me that an overview/assessment would cost $975 for my 70,000 word novel.
That may not be unreasonable, but it seems to me they were never interested in my ms, but only me as a potential paying client.
 

mrscolumbo

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I am in the process of querying, and so far Langtons is the only agency that has made an offer. After reading the comments here and on P & E, I'm worried. I have not officially signed on with them, though, so I am using this window of opportunity to "light a fire" under the other agencies that I've queried. So far, I have 2 other agents who are also reading my full manuscript. I will let you know what happens.
 

waylander

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Walk away, Langtons will not advance your writing career.
 

Linda Fausnet

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My tale is similar to all the above ones. They offered me the same "writing services" and I was just going to walk away and leave it at that, but then they sent me a follow-up to see if I had considered their "offer". I wrote them the following note which pretty much describes my adventures with Langtons International. Put on your surprise faces...- they didn't answer back...

Thank you for your follow-up email. I did receive your offer and have considered it. Unfortunately, I found it rather suspect that your agency is insisting on "paid" edits. As a literary agency, having your own editing service is a severe conflict of interest at best. At worst, it's a scam. It is certainly standard procedure to request edits on a manuscript. In fact, I would find it suspect if you didn't ask for them! No manuscript is perfect, and writing requires constant revision to make it publishable. Requiring revisions is par for the course, but requiring paid edits is not. Essentially, you are preying on hopeful writers. No professional literary agency would ask for money other than the standard 10-15% commission on sales.

Furthermore, my experience with your agency has been heartbreaking in the past. In 2012, you told me that you loved my novel RAIN ON THE WATER and that you were seriously considering representing it. For one brief moment, I thought I had my Big Break. I thought my dream had come true. After ignoring my messages for two months, I got an email from you saying that you were "too busy" to represent me. I cannot begin to tell you what a cruel thing that was to do to any writer.

Upon doing an Internet search on the agency, I have found several sites warning about your agency and listing you as "not recommended". I have come to the conclusion that you are far more interested in my money than in my work. I hope I am mistaken. I would love to believe that your interest in my work is legitimate. It meant so much to me to think that a "real" agency had taken interest in my work. Unfortunately, I have little choice but to believe that the closest thing I had to my Big Break was all a big lie.
 

jct9841

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Not sure what to do...

Hello all,
First time author and first post here. I learned about Langton through an email query through the Readers Favorite site. Did a little research which led me to this thread.
This is part of Langton’s response to my query about potential representation:



[FONT=&quot]“Our readers really enjoyed the storyline and loved the heartfelt message. However, they also thought that the "pop culture" references were distracting and that the dialogue needs work. Therefore, Donna, we believe it needs an edit before we can send it out to commercial publishers.[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot] [/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]We believe that you can bring Barnyard Bully to the next level and we think that you would benefit from the help of a professional editor who would do a line edit. A line edit is where the editor will go through line-by-line to help you make the writing stronger and give you some detailed developmental comments.[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot] [/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]We are sure you are already working with an editor and we would be happy to read your novel again once it has been edited. If you do not have an editor, Donna, Linda started Book Marking International to help writers become published authors. We work with fantastic professional editors, some of whom are award-winning authors and others have worked as editors for major publishing houses. Please do let us know if we can help you find a professional editor. [/FONT]
[FONT=&quot] [/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]Whatever you decide, we would be happy to read Barnyard Bully again once it has been edited.[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]We look forward to helping you, Donna, and we wish you a lovely day.”[/FONT]

They want to sell me editing services for $495 (the book has been through one editor already) with a hint of potential representation. Not sure what to think. I welcome your opinions.
Thanks in advance,
Donna
 

Maddie

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jct9841, please seriously refer to the post prior to yours (#91) from Linda_Fausnet, dated 5/21/2014. This post should speak for itself, however, keep in mind a common mantra -- that when a literary agency pushes you toward paid editing services, it's a definite conflict of interest, not professional--or even acceptable--behavior, and an agency to avoid.

When a small publishing house signs your manuscript for publication, or an agency contracts with you for representation, a service such as editing should never come out of the author's pocket.
 

victoriastrauss

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They want to sell me editing services for $495 (the book has been through one editor already) with a hint of potential representation. Not sure what to think.
In addition to the reports on this thread, Writer Beware has gotten a number of advisories from writers who were steered toward the agency's editing services (the most recent one was just this week). Clearly this is standard operating procedure for Langtons.

Some reputable agents do run editing or consulting businesses alongside their agencies--but if so, they maintain a wall between the two sides of the business: i.e., clients of the agency are never offered paid editing, and clients of the editing service aren't eligible for representation. Anything else is a huge conflict of interest. If the agent can make money from recommending editing, how can you trust that the recommendation is truly in your best interest?

- Victoria
 

DreamWeaver

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Hello all,
First time author and first post here. I learned about Langton through an email query through the Readers Favorite site. Did a little research which led me to this thread.
This is part of Langton’s response to my query about potential representation:



[FONT=&quot]“Our readers really enjoyed the storyline and loved the heartfelt message. However, they also thought that the "pop culture" references were distracting and that the dialogue needs work. Therefore, Donna, we believe it needs an edit before we can send it out to commercial publishers.[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]We believe that you can bring Barnyard Bully to the next level and we think that you would benefit from the help of a professional editor who would do a line edit. A line edit is where the editor will go through line-by-line to help you make the writing stronger and give you some detailed developmental comments.[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]We are sure you are already working with an editor and we would be happy to read your novel again once it has been edited. If you do not have an editor, Donna, Linda started Book Marking International to help writers become published authors. We work with fantastic professional editors, some of whom are award-winning authors and others have worked as editors for major publishing houses. Please do let us know if we can help you find a professional editor. [/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]Whatever you decide, we would be happy to read Barnyard Bully again once it has been edited.[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]We look forward to helping you, Donna, and we wish you a lovely day.”[/FONT]

They want to sell me editing services for $495 (the book has been through one editor already) with a hint of potential representation. Not sure what to think. I welcome your opinions.
Thanks in advance,
Donna
Evidently someone told them using your name in every paragraph would make their letter come across as more personalized, but to me it makes it very used-car-salesman-like. It feels very unnatural. That alone would set my radar off.

Good luck with whatever you decide, but I personally would give these folks a pass.
 

jct9841

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Thanks for the quick replies. Helped me make the decision. Still searching for representation. Have a great day!
 

nedford77082

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I got the same response that so many of you did. It included this comment exactly:

"If you would like help finding an editor, we would be happy to provide you with information about Book Marketing International, a separate publishing entity that works closely with our agency..."

All I had to do was look up who owns the domain for BookMarketingInternational.com.

https://who.godaddy.com/

BOOKMARKETINGINTERNATIONAL.COM
WHOIS Information
Admin Email: [email protected]
Admin Name: Linda Langton
Admin Organization: Langtons International Agency

Look it up yourself. Nuff said...
 

Vermithrax1

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Hey everyone. Just wanted to report my recent experience with Langton's.

Sent her a query, got a reply back from her assistant named Valia Lind requesting the first 100 pages (sent as a single-spaced Word document AND a printed copy, which I found a little odd, since almost everyone insists on double-spaced pages). So I sent them. A week later got a reply saying they thought the beginning chapters could use a bit of work but that the rest of it was "very engaging". She requested the remainder of the manuscript, again single-spaced, both e-mail and hard copy. So began several week's worth of waiting and anxiety, hoping desperately that they would like it and want to represent it. While it was in their hands I observed the proper etiquette and did not send queries to any further agents. A month passed and I finally got a reply back. She said their readers felt that it slowed down a lot after the first 100 pages and that they felt it needed some more editing, but would be glad to consider it again afterward. At first I was quite happy, they didn't reject it outright. But then she suggested the editing services of Book Marketing International, another of Linda Langton's companies, and if I was interested she could send me a quote. Alarms bells went off because I had been through a similar situation many years before with a fake agency called Aardvark who was working with a known scam "book doctor" called Edit Ink., which I also avoided. Anyway, Valia quoted me two types of editing services, one that would cost around $1500.00 and another that would be around $4000.00. It was at this point that I started checking them out a bit more and was lucky enough to find this page here on Absolute Write and read all of your posted experiences. Now I was furious because it's clear that Linda Langton IS a legit agent and I made sure of that before I queried her...and yet she's trying to scam potential clients by suggesting her own editing service??? So at that point I sent Valia a very terse response thanking her for wasting a month of my time with this ridiculous scam then I promptly told her and Linda that they could take their agency and shove it up their asses. Yes, I told them that, and I'm damn proud of it. So, after a few days where I had to recovery my temper and my faith in humanity I will continue the querying process. Hopefully I won't run into any more of these types of situations. But I must say, I am VERY grateful that I found Absolute Write and this thread with all its warnings.

My best to you all,

Dale.
 

pinkbowvintage

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I too have experience with Linda, only I was her "intern" for a very brief period of time, back in 2012, I believe.

The internship was unpaid, and I didn't stay long. She works from her apartment in Manhattan, and I can confirm all I did was read manuscripts she was working on for her paid editing service. In her words, "Everyone deserves a chance to be published."

Of course, she was not forthcoming about this when she "hired" me. Fresh out of college, I was eager to get more industry experience, so I (at first) happily read the HORRIBLE manuscripts she assigned to me for editing and proofreading. I remember being appalled, thinking, she represents these people?, before figuring out that she's a paid editor and that's where she gets most of her money (and that swanky Manhattan apartment). She also made me walk her dog Princess multiple times a day.

Finally, the big 2012 hurricane hit, and I stopped showing up in the weeks following the disaster. She never called or emailed me, either. Bullet dodged.