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M.P. Agency (Martha Prettyman)

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Stephania

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Ciao,
I recieved two emails today from a M. P. Agency.
I tried that name on search and her name Martha Prettyman and got nothing, so does this mean she's for real?

I don't know how to put that email on here, so if anyone would like to see it, tell me how.

She introduces herself as a semi-retired agent. She looks for books on lulu and other sites that may have a shot. She said she read the preview and ordered the book and read it twice and feels it should be properly represented and it's not on lulu. She will get back to me once I email back telling her I'm interested in having that book represented and she will then begin to find the best publisher for my book.

I didn't write back yet although I wanted to, my husband told me a few times to beware of unsolicited agents, publishers etc..

Ever hear of this person?
 
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Tilly

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They don't normally happen, no. Although less than reputable agents sometimes do that kind of thing. You could ask her which agency she was with and what books she's sold, and then try and verify the information.
 

Bo Sullivan

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Ciao,
I recieved two emails today from a M. P. Agency.
I tried that name on search and her name Martha Prettyman and got nothing, so does this mean she's for real?

I don't know how to put that email on here, so if anyone would like to see it, tell me how.

She introduces herself as a semi-retired agent. She looks for books on lulu and other sites that may have a shot. She said she read the preview and ordered the book and read it twice and feels it should be properly represented and it's not on lulu. She will get back to me once I email back telling her I'm interested in having that book represented and she will then begin to find the best publisher for my book.

I didn't write back yet although I wanted to, my husband told me a few times to beware of unsolicited agents, publishers etc..

Ever hear of this person?

To put the email on here you go into the email and copy it, then paste it here.
 

herdon

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The editor that found the Harry Potter books recently signed a self-published author and tauted the work as the next Harry Potter.

Yes, it does happen.

And, as James said, you should be able to find evidence of previous sales if they are a legitimate agent. You might reply asking for a list of books sold, authors represented, etc.

(Though I will add, from your description, she doesn't sound legitimate -- that an editor/agent can find a self-published ms. and offer a contract for it is not unheard of, but to troll sites like lulu looking for them sounds more like a scam-line.)
 

benbradley

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Ciao,
I recieved two emails today from a M. P. Agency.
I tried that name on search and her name Martha Prettyman and got nothing, so does this mean she's for real?

I don't know how to put that email on here, so if anyone would like to see it, tell me how.

She introduces herself as a semi-retired agent. She looks for books on lulu and other sites that may have a shot. She said she read the preview and ordered the book and read it twice and feels it should be properly represented and it's not on lulu.
Just to clear this up, she means it's not properly represented on Lulu?
She will get back to me once I email back telling her I'm interested in having that book represented and she will then begin to find the best publisher for my book.

I didn't write back yet although I wanted to, my husband told me a few times to beware of unsolicited agents, publishers etc..

Ever hear of this person?
I don't know any more about agents and publishing than what I've read here on AW, but I agree with your husband, this is fishy.

If you want an agent and/or want to find a publisher, ask around the appropriate forums here, I'm sure you can find one that is for sure reputable.
To put the email on here you go into the email and copy it, then paste it here.
Technically, it's against Netiquette (general "rules" of the Internet) and I'm also sure against the AW board rules to post private email, so I'd advise against doing this. I think the OP gave enough info about these emails in the first post, anyway.
 

herdon

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I've seen the body text of emails posted here. Nor do I think it is against net etiquette. Net etiquette would dictate that emails *from other posters on the board* not be posted in public. If someone were to get an email from a friend that they thought was funny so they posted it on a board -- that isn't wrong. Nor is posting an email from one of those "so and so died and left a fortune and I am the bank manager in Nigeria" letters. Nor is posting a possible agent scam.

Though, of course, the mods might disagree -- but I have seen emails posted here.
 

Stephania

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Thank you all. I don't want to break any rules concerning posting the email, unless I'm told it's okay.

BUT-- what I will do is take everyone's advice and ask questions as well as--ask for a list of novels she represents and had published. ;)

Boy, you really have to keep your eyes open, then again, I shouldn't say anything until I know for sure.
 

KAP

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She said she read the preview and ordered the book and read it twice

I don't know much about nothing, but if she actually bought and read your book, it sounds like less scammerlike to me. I wouldn't think they'd read a book, just troll around, get a rough feel for books through the preview, then scam.

I guess key words above are "if she actually bought and read your book."

I'd certainly want to find out her reputation as an agent before proceeding.

Best luck,
kap
 

victoriastrauss

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BUT-- what I will do is take everyone's advice and ask questions as well as--ask for a list of novels she represents and had published. ;)
A list of novels or authors she represents means nothing unless she has sold their books. Ask her for a list of her sales in the past 12 months. A reputable agent who has shown interest in your work should be happy to respond.

A reputable agent will either have a verifiable track record of book sales to advance-paying publishers, or, if she's new, will have previously worked in publishing or for another reputable agency. This also means she should be researchable--that putting her name or the name of her agency into Google should turn up at least some results. When you can find absolutely nothing on someone who claims to be a literary agent, it's good reason for some extra caution, especially if they've solicited you.

- Victoria
 

herdon

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You should save yourself some time and put it in your sig!

I have to admit, every time I see it I recall a scene from Sports Night (the best t.v. series ever canceled after two seasons -- with Firefly being the best canceled after one season, of course):

"Does the fly have any other superpowers we should know about?"

"Well, Jeremy thinks it might have some sort of stealth capability."
 

Stephania

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Well, egg on my face! I sent Mrs. Prettyman two emails saying I was interested in talking with her and would appreciate a list of authors and novels she’s represented. I also explained my husband is an attorney and would be in on our conversations. Haven’t heard a thing. That’s that!

According to her first email she worked from home and lived in beautiful Maine. I even went into anywho.com for Maine and no phone, no listing. Doesn’t mean it’s not an unpublished one. I went into zaba and found a Prettyman in Maine but it was a male. I’m learning very quickly! No magic wand, or fairy godmother for me.

I guess my husband is right when he said, my dream won't seek me out, I have to seek IT out. Back to the drawing board. I think I'll have to set aside a couple of hours a day and read all of Uncle Jim's threads, as well as everyone elses. I can't go wrong, knowledge is power. Hopefully in my case, knowledge will be success.
 

Stephania

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Mrs. Prettyman emailed asking for our phone number. She called here this morning. She'll be in Manhattan next week and asked if we'd like to meet with her on the 24th for lunch. So, we'll see what happens. Maybe I was wrong to be so suspicious. S
 

herdon

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You would be wrong not to continue being suspicious.

Did she email you back with a list of books she had sold? Any legitimate agent should be able to provide you with such a list, and be willing to provide it through email.

Remember, just because someone is willing to meet you in person doesn't mean they aren't out to con you. I'm sure good con-artists are quite charming and know how to put on a trusting personality.

Also, she doesn't have to be out to con you to be a bad agent. An agent without the connections and without the background needed is worst than no agent at all.

None of this should shy you away from the meeting, of course. I would go into it with open eyes, though. You want to come away with (1) a list of books sold and (2) her background as it pertains to being an agent (i.e. what agencies she has worked at, and/or what publishers has she worked for).

Remember, a legitimate agent is more than happy to supply this information. They know as well as anyone how many not-so-legitimate agents are out there.

Also, good luck on your meeting. I do hope that she turns out to be a good agent with a solid interest in your book.
 

Momento Mori

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Mrs. Prettyman emailed asking for our phone number. She called here this morning. She'll be in Manhattan next week and asked if we'd like to meet with her on the 24th for lunch. So, we'll see what happens. Maybe I was wrong to be so suspicious. S

Stephania, has she responded to either of the two emails you sent her asking which books/authors she's represented and what she's sold for the past 12 months? If not, then I'd be reluctant to meet up with her because that's the first thing she should be saying to you, not "let's do lunch".

MM
 

qwerty

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If you can't find her on the net, and if she hasn't answered your questions about who she's repped before, I'd be reluctant to go for a lunch date in case I ended up picking up the tab.

You say she asked for your phone number. Did you ask for hers? You could be a bit canny and set up a lunch date by email, but say you need her phone number in case you need to change arrangements.

You have her email address. Have you tried pasting that into google search. on occasions, this has enabled me to trace some background history on people.
 

CaoPaux

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Stephania, are you still scheduled for lunch with Ms. Prettyman?
 

Soccer Mom

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The first big flag was when she introduced herself as "semi-retired." I don't want to be someone's hobby. I want an agent-- a full-time, hard-working agent.

You can do better.
 

herdon

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I don't see how semi-retired equates to hobby. Someone can semi-retire and still produce the same quality -- only the quantity changes. For an agent, that might mean going from 40 authors down to 15-20 authors.

Please note, this doesn't mean this particular agent is legitimate, but I don't think semi-retired means hobby.
 

Rikitikitavi

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If she was "semi-retired" it would mean she had a record at one point of being a full time agemnt. If so, where's the record?
 

victoriastrauss

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If she was "semi-retired" it would mean she had a record at one point of being a full time agemnt. If so, where's the record?
I suspect it means that she's a semi-retired librarian or something like that, who has decided to become an agent in her new free time.

- Victoria
 

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