President of ST Literary / Sydra Offers a Few Thoughts
How about a message from the President of ST Literary formerly Sydra?
First, let me thank you for first 'seeking to understand'.
If your mind is made up, then flame on, but if you would like to hear the other side of the story, then read on (you can always flame away later).
I read last week that 80% of all books published last year were from previously published authors, 10% were from celebrities, and 5% were from journalists. DO THE MATH and you can see what the odds are for as yet unpublished authors.
We specialize in working with new authors. Why? I really don't know. It certainly seems masochistic most days, but I tell you, the joy that I get from a 'yes' from a buyer for a new author is unimaginable! I also get a tremendous amount of pleasure in helping new authors understand the rules of this game. I can't guarantee that we can sell your work, but I can guarantee that you will be a better writer/business person as a result of our interaction(s).
Anyway, A LITERARY AGENT must be an AGGRESSIVE BUSINESSMAN, that's why you hire one.
You are hiring someone who knows business, contracts, selling, and has expertise in many, many areas, including coaching, psychology, and dealing with the peculiarities of the writers' mind...
I don't want to love you, I don't want to love your work, I want to sell it for money for you and for me. How's that for crass? My job is to make money for you and for me. Period. And as long as your work is professional and has a strong core idea, then it deserves a chance to be sold.
So many agents won't work with first time authors that we at least offer a chance to get your foot into the door of a VERY CLOSED - OLD BOY network industry.
Oh, and by the way, did I mention that I am a businessman, and this is business.
We haven't always charged an administrative fee after an author is accepted, and now we do. Why? We charge $129 AFTER ACCEPTANCE and this is deductible from our commissions should we sell your work. This SEPARATES the men from the boys, and the housewives from the serious authors (my apologies in advance for any professional housewives who take offense, but you know what I mean).
If you are seriously selling your work, your postage for a year SHOULD BE much more than $129 shouldn't it? You wouldn't believe how the quality of the authors we accept JUMPED UP after we instituted this filtering mechanism. Frankly if you can't afford $129 you are going to last very long and you are writing as a hobby not a business.
So in conclusion, form your own opinion.
If you believe that 'love of the writer and the work' should prevail, then don't submit to us. If you believe that making money from writing is an uneasy truce between the art of writing and the business of selling, then please consider us.
Whatever you believe please understand that I TRULY CONGRATULATE anyone who has birthed a book. We know the time and life commitment that it takes and we applaud you, even if we never work with you. Just be careful of the innuendo out there and make up your own mind.
P.S. and hey, in the words of someone famous, 'at least they are talking about us'... if you would like us to consider your work, please visit www.stliteraryagency.com
and after reading the site, submit.
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Yes, we live in a very litigious society and we know how to wield the legal sword as well as most. It's part of our job as an Agent to protect our writers' works and we know how to use lawyers very aggressively for our clients (and ourselves). If you read this far and understand the import of this paragraph then you are probably a good client for us. Ciao!
Robert Fletcher, President
ps. Did I mention that we are AGGRESSIVELY courting buyers and distribution in CHINA? Now that's a virgin market with BILLIONS of buyers! New authors are even better for them for a number of reasons, so maybe we'll find the gold for our clients after all.
Best to you once again. It's a tough world out there and there's lots of conflicting information.
And, if I could offer one piece of final advice for a writer, I will.... KEEP WRITING... WRITE FOR THE LOVE OF IT, WRITE BECAUSE IT IS THE PASSION OF LIFE. IT'S THAT PASSION, WHEN TRANSLATED THROUGH YOUR FINGERS, THAT ULTIMATELY SELLS YOUR WORK.