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Martin-McLean Literary Associates

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

Good Word

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Anybody hear of them?

A potential client sent me a manuscript for possible editing. The agency above expressed some interest in them, if the manuscript was cleaned up, and of course they suggested that they be paid to do the editing work (or perhaps someone else) before they start shopping it around.

P&E gives them a not recommended, presumably because they charge a fee to give a written evaluation of a manuscript. I'll check with Dave. They have no clients listed on their site, although they state that they have been around since 1986.

The manuscript in question would definitely benefit from a solid edit, but I don't want this person to do it if it is solely to send to these people as a maybe.

So, anyone have any interactions with them?

Lisa
 

CaoPaux

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Please allow me to applaud your ethics. :Clap:

But, yeah, they charge $250 to "evaluate" an ms, have no listed sales, and say this... http://mcleanlit.com/index.htm

Writers will welcome the attentive detail given their manuscripts since publishing houses can no longer afford to provide the extensive editing services they once did. They count on the agent to present work that is ready for publication.
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victoriastrauss

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They also charge $30 per submission plus "expenses". This is the first I've heard about editing recommendations, though.

The agency sends out a list of sales on request--but while there are some commercial sales on this list, most date from the early- to mid-1990's when the agency was under different ownership. The more recent placements have been with small publishers (agents not required), vanity publishers (including the fraudulent Northwest Publishing), and tiny amateur publishers. Several self-published books are listed as if they were commercial sales credits.

- Victoria
 

HapiSofi

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CaoPaux said:
Please allow me to applaud your ethics.

But, yeah, they charge $250 to "evaluate" an ms, have no listed sales, and say this... http://mcleanlit.com/index.htm

"Writers will welcome the attentive detail given their manuscripts since publishing houses can no longer afford to provide the extensive editing services they once did. They count on the agent to present work that is ready for publication."
Right, then. That settles it. They're professional con artists.

Have I mentioned how much I loathe scam agents who say [very bad word] like that about the publishing industry? The hell do we no longer edit. The hell do we leave that to the agents.

No reputable agent will feed you that line. Anyone who does is a scammer.
 

Susan Gable

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HapiSofi said:
Right, then. That settles it. They're professional con artists.

Have I mentioned how much I loathe scam agents who say [very bad word] like that about the publishing industry? The hell do we no longer edit. The hell do we leave that to the agents.

Yeah, I'm thinking my editor might be surprised to hear that. :)

Susan G.
 

sportscribe

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Thirty-dollar submissions

Four years ago, I sent my over-zealous-passive-drenched and choppy proposal to the above mentioned agency. The owner stated she had been intrigued and offered to represent me. She also mentioned that, because she mostly networks with first-time writers, she must charge $30 per submission. Then she inquired if I wanted to place the charges on my credit card. To think an agent wished to represent my work thrilled me, but, still, I wrestled with the money factor. On the day I had been scheduled to sign the contract, an author told me "real" agents Do Not charge that way, and I'm getting scammed. My gut confirmed his advice, and I ran.
 

victoriastrauss

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The latest on Martin-McLean: Ms. Martin is claiming "sales" to SterlingHouse Publisher and its imprints. The bulk of SterlingHouse's contracts require authors to buy large quantities of their own books.

SterlingHouse is owned by Cynthia Sterling, owner of Lee Shore Literary Agency.

- Victoria
 

jimha48

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I don't know about you but this agency has made me very angry. Foolishly, I trusted this firm...and I got shafted. I wasted a year of my time...and nearly three thousand dollars ($250 a month plus the charge for an edit). What a horses *** I was to fall for this con. I wonder if there is recourse with the Colorado (that's where they're based) Attorney General's office. I emailed them yesterday and took them to task and the first thing she did was claim that she was being defamed and slandered. I emailed her back and said that she had no business complaining...she's not out three grand....I AM!
Fellow writers...NEVER PAY A FEE....NEVER. And stay away from this agency.
 

batgirl

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Jimha, you have every right to be angry - but don't be angry with yourself. These scammers are practiced professionals, their skill-set is convincing others that they are legit. You saw through them and stood up to them.
I'm sorry for what brought you to AW, but welcome, and I hope you'll explore the many forums now that you're here - lots of good advice for writers!
Someone more knowledgeable than me may be along to suggest what routes you can take for reparation.
-Barbara
 

victoriastrauss

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I encourage writers who feel they've been defrauded to report their experiences to the appropriate authorities, including Attorneys General. A single complaint may not produce any result--but a volume of them may.

There are some suggestions and links at Writer Beware.

- Victoria
 

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Lisa Martin wrote me a very pleasant letter and told me I would not need to be edited...I expected that after I saw the report on P&E. I was told they charge $250 a month. A writer on First Writers Newsletter said he was published by Sterling House and Lisa was a lovely agent. Writers need to approach writing like a business and invest in it, he said. She was upfront about charging and I suppose when you write your first book you're very anxious to get published. I did get e-published but my company went out of business this February. At least it didn't cost me to get published but I'm disappointed because the company wanted to go into print with Amazon and had signed with them.
 

victoriastrauss

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SterlingHouse offers contracts that require authors to buy 550 copies of their own books, at a total cost of between $5,000 and $6,000.

Ms. Martin has added a new releases page to her website. Of the 14 books listed there, 3 have been published by commercial publishers--and 11 have been published by SterlingHouse.

- Victoria
 

SummerAuthor

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Thanks everyone for posting this info here. Lisa Martin sent me an email requesting my manuscript, after reading this thread, I think I will pass- thanks!
 

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Martin-McLean Literary Associates LLC

I just got this an hour ago

Dear Jose,
Thank you so much for sending Birthright to Martin-McLean Literary Associates, LLC. I thoroughly enjoyed reading the manuscript and found it to be thought provoking, compelling, original, painstakingly human, and extremely readable.
Your work moves along with a certain propulsion that intrigues the reader, and you have a talent for characterization and storytelling.
I've shared your manuscript with my associates and we believe it is marketable. We would be pleased to represent your novel and hope we'll have the opportunity to work with you.
Our representation is based on a year's representation agreement to secure a publisher, although your project could sell much sooner. The contract with that publisher is offered to you for approval, we take a 15% commission, and charge expenses of submission with a monthly billing and accounting to the author. We send out the query package (agent's introduction letter, synopses, bio, marketing material, and several sample chapters), generally six per month, with postage both ways. We charge $30 for each submission (half of our hourly rate) that includes preliminary and follow-up calls to the publishers.
Extras include postage and copying costs, or you can furnish us with the copies.
Upon request, I would be happy to e-mail our representation agreement for your consideration.
Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions. I look forward to hearing from you soon.
All best,
Lisa
anyone have doubts now? and she sound so honest on here website video
 

Gillhoughly

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I have NO doubts at all that they're a bald-faced bunch of ripoff artists using every form of flattery to get the inexperienced to part with 250.00 a month for nothing at all in return.

I'm SO in the wrong business and all what with having a conscience and being honest and such.

Sheesh, for 250 a month you can get a pretty good used car.

You can bet THEIRS is a shiny new 2010 model. :rant:
 

HappyCamper

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Neither Lisa or her agency are listed in Publishers Marketplace which pretty much provides a comprehensive list of legit agents and the recent deals. Plus, I'd be wary of any agent that charges a fee for submissions.
 

shameless

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The contract with that publisher is offered to you for approval, we take a 15% commission, and charge expenses of submission with a monthly billing and accounting to the author. We send out the query package (agent's introduction letter, synopses, bio, marketing material, and several sample chapters), generally six per month, with postage both ways. We charge $30 for each submission (half of our hourly rate) that includes preliminary and follow-up calls to the publishers.
Extras include postage and copying costs, or you can furnish us with the copies.
Upon request, I would be happy to e-mail our representation agreement for your consideration.


$30 for each submission? You have to REQUEST the representation agreement? :rant:

Run. Very, very fast and very, very far.

I'll tell all of you this, the "Bewares and Background Checks" threads truly make me appreciate my agent.
 

victoriastrauss

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Martin McLean's New Releases page now shows 20 book covers. Three are from reputable independent publishers (AMACOM and Overlook Press--the same three noted in my post above). The remaining seventeen--including the 5 most recent "sales"--are all from imprints of SterlingHouse Publisher, which offers contracts requiring authors to buy large numbers of their own books.

The video interview posted on Lisa Martin's website was made by SterlingHouse. I listened to it. There's a fair bit in it that's mis-stated or incorrect.

Obelisk, I've seen a number of Martin's acceptance emails. They are all identical to yours.

- Victoria
 

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