S.T. Literary Agency / Stylus Literary Agency

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paladinb

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skeptical_sparky said:
My wife submitted full manuscript to the well-maintained information on this forum, ST Literary. This was after she had asked me if I can find any nasty garbage on them, I told her that they don't have any bad marks from the BBB. So naturally, I feel like rancid dogmeat after reading this thread.

She asked me to check into Stylus Literary after she received an email from them asking for $150 ontop of the $129 that she had already paid them. To see the hurt in her eyes after I told her what St Literary/Stylus was up to, devastated me last night. So, now, I am going to help her find a "for-real" agent.

Thank you all for the hours of wonderful, mind-opening reading last night.

Jeff

I know how your wife and yourself must feel. I had pretty low evening last night but when i woke this morning I thought it's time to move on. I picked up my copy of writers and artists yearbook and found another agent. I've just come back from the post box after posting my submission and i felt a lot better.

The good thing that has come out of all of this is that I (and now your wife) have found an excellent new resource that i never knew existed and for which I am very grateful.

As for how I came to find the ST agency if found them on the internet but their website is quite misleading as it states they don't charge and that they seek clients all over the world which is what interested me.
 

Edgarallenwannabe

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Stylus, LAG, Christian Literary - the same beast?

I came across Christian Literary at www.christianliterary.com. I filled out their proposal, they responded, and so far their email correspondance has been pretty good - no mention of fees, no empty promises, but....

I started getting a little "twitch" because they were pretty vague on the publishers they've worked with, and people they've gotten published. Seems to me only some guy named Billy Crone has gotten published. Now, I found his book at Mapletree Publishing, and it did come up on BN.com, (although it said it could not be ordered yet).

So, I do an internet search, and come up with this BBB about Stylus and LAG, the "umbrella" company that holds CLA's strings. Are they one and the same? I mean, I had no intention of paying them any $$ anyway, but I'd rather not even waste the time emailing them my manuscript if it is.

Kevin Lucia
www.kevinlucia.net
 

LloydBrown

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Edgarallenwannabe said:
So, I do an internet search, and come up with this BBB about Stylus and LAG, the "umbrella" company that holds CLA's strings. Are they one and the same? I mean, I had no intention of paying them any $$ anyway, but I'd rather not even waste the time emailing them my manuscript if it is.

From what I can tell, Christian Literary Agency doesn't even exist as a separate business or even a DBA. It's just a website. And yes, it's all part of Stylus Literary Agency, S. T. Literary Agency, Literary Agency Group and Children's Literary Agency.

Do you recognize any of these names: Jill Mast, Robert Fletcher, Georgina Orr, John Rain, or Jennifer Dublino? All S.T., with Fletcher at the core of it.

Crone's book sold to a startup LDS publisher that may or may not pay advances and does not require an agent. It could be a legitimate sale on S.T.'s part, but if so, that's their first in 7 years, and it's with a tiny publisher.

So, even if they weren't entirely fraudulent through and through (which they are), you're better off representing yourself than allowing them to represent you because they won't sell your book.
 

Edgarallenwannabe

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Thanks - now...to POD or not to POD...that is the question.

Thanks. I just thought things were gettin' little fishy. Anyway, now I've got to jump threads and go to the POD thread...I have something due to be finished in August, and I fully intend to try the convential route...but I thought it'd be nice to have something printed by a POD for family, friends, and students. I totally get that it wouldn't count as a professional credit, and I understand the thing about the rights...but considering all that...would a POD book totally demolish my rep as a writer?

Kevin Lucia
www.kevinlucia.net - Dark Waters: The Saga Begins
 

LloydBrown

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And as an addendum, I just read Mapletree's (Crone's publisher) contract FAQ: they pay royalties on net sales, not retail. That's a classic point to avoid.

They also mention the reserve against returns but don't say exactly how they calculate that. That smells a little like cod, too.
 
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James D. Macdonald

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Nothing wrong with POD as long as you understand that it's just a fancy way to Xerox your manuscript.

Drop down to the Self-Publishing groups and check out the threads on Lulu.com and cafepress.com.
 

James D. Macdonald

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Raintree? I think you mean Mapletree. http://www.mapletreepublishing.com/

Anyway ... If the best Bobby Fletcher can do is four books in seven years, wow. Books get bought out of the slush pile more often than that. He has to not just be incompetent, he has to be the worst salesman of all time.
 

Gravity

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In between eating salted-in-the-shell peanuts (yowza!) and putting the final touches on my WIP (due on Sept 15, Lord help me), I've been reading quite a few of the posts here regarding ST and Bouncin' Bobby. One thing led to another, and I pulled out my latest Writers Digest. Yep, there in the back were the regular ads for ST and others of their ilk.



So here's my thought: by subscribing to WD (who I'm sure is aware of the less-than-sterling reputation of firms like ST) am I validating what they do? Yes, I know that as business owners, their main concern is if Bobby's check clears each month. But still...don't they bear some responsibility in running those ads?



Jes' wonderin'



John
 

AnneMarble

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Gravity said:
... One thing led to another, and I pulled out my latest Writers Digest. Yep, there in the back were the regular ads for ST and others of their ilk.

:scared:

Gravity said:
So here's my thought: by subscribing to WD (who I'm sure is aware of the less-than-sterling reputation of firms like ST) am I validating what they do? Yes, I know that as business owners, their main concern is if Bobby's check clears each month. But still...don't they bear some responsibility in running those ads?
Good question, and not easily answered. There aren't many writing magazines on the newstand that don't run those ads. (Please take that sentence out and shoot it.) Does Poets & Writers have them, or do they avoid them? I can think of one small newstand writing magazine that might not have those ads, but their layout and appearance simply wasn't all that great, they had lots of typos, and their articles were often very very basic. I'd rather read the slicker, more professional magazine with the sleazy ads but better content.

There are magazines such as genre-specific magazines put out by groups such as SFWA, RWA, Etc.WA that don't publish ads from companies such as SendMeMoney Literary Agencies. But they rarely, if ever, show up on newstands. A new writer probably won't know those are out there, or might not be ready for them. I think there is a need for newstand magazines because that's how some writers first get their knowledge and also because they are good markets. :) There is also a need for writers to make sure other writers know better than to send money to "agents" and "publishers."

Also, WD has pulled ads if they got enough complaints. So if you had bad dealings with Stylus or any of its forms, then you should consider contacting Writer's Digest and complaining that one of their advertisers screwed you over.
 

Gravity

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Thanks Anna. No, thank God, I never had any dealings with Bouncin' Bobby And His House Of No Repute. Just hoping WD might reconsider working with him. Your idea of complaint writing to the powers-that-be is sound. I may just do that.

John
 

Dawno

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Quick off topic post regarding Writers' Digest. Back in May Kristin Godsey, an editor from Writer's Digest, answered some posts on this thread and talked about advertisers. You might find it interesting.
 

HapiSofi

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a physical description of a submission from S.T.

Someone I know recently got a submission from the S.T. Literary Agency.

The cover letter's interesting. It isn't dated, and there isn't a single thing in it that couldn't be filled in by a computer.

Text of the cover letter is as follows:
[printed letterhead]
St Literary Agency
Professional Representation
www.stliteraryagency.com

PO Box 272503
Boca Raton, Fl. 33427

Ofc 866-226-9866
Fax 561-393-0329
[memorandum-style headers]
To: [Editor name], [job title]
[publishing house]

From: Robert Fletcher, Principal
ST Literary Agency, Inc.

Re: [Author name], author of [book title]

Genre: [marketing category]
[body of letter]
Dear [name of editor]:

ST Literary Agency, Inc. is very pleased to represent [name of author],

[Author] is one of our strongest authors and we trust that you will see the commercial potential of this work.

We look forward to your feedback and any comments or suggestions you may have on the attached material. We may be reached at:

ST Literary Agency, Inc.
P.O. Box 272503
Boca Raton, Fl 33427

Cellular 561.702.5471
Fax 561.393.0329

[email protected]
www.stliteraryagency.com

We hope to hear from you soon.

Best regards,

R Fletch

Robert Fletcher, Principal
The letter's signed "R Fletch," but I can't tell whether it's a real handwritten signature.

There's no SASE.

One further peculiarity is that the letter and the submission (outline plus three chapters) have been three-hole-punched in the left margin. The letter is not on the same paper stock as the manuscript, and doesn't look like it came out of the same printer. Nevertheless, the holes in the cover letter and the submission -- roughly 65 pages -- match up perfectly, so I will assume that they were hole-punched as a unit, using a heavy-duty hole puncher.

I'm sorry to report that I can't describe the envelope it came in, as it was discarded by the person who opened the submission.
 

Aconite

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HapiSofi said:
St Literary Agency
Professional Representation​

ROFL! "Just in case you might get the impression that we're something else, we've included a description of ourselves."
 

LloydBrown

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Fascinating

That's so generic as to be funny. And, folks, memos are used inter-office. You write *letters* to other people. You use letter format.

Yeah, that goes straight into agented slush. You don't need to be a veteran to see that.

It's interesting to see that he's making submissions. Unfortunate in a way, too.
 

James D. Macdonald

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[Author] is one of our strongest authors and we trust that you will see the commercial potential of this work.

Wow. Maybe after all these years Boppin' Bobby's finally figured out that agents actually have to, you know, submit stuff. (There's a funny story about that in Ten Percent of Nothing, BTW. Maybe I'll dig it out for y'all.)

No more stories about secret contacts inside publishing houses? A pity, that.

But no SASE means ... he may not hear back.

Got that, Bobby? Next time, send an SASE. We'll make an agent of you yet.
 
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HapiSofi

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What we need now are more samples of ST submissions. I strongly suspect they're all alike.
 

DaveKuzminski

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HapiSofi said:
The cover letter's interesting. It isn't dated, and there isn't a single thing in it that couldn't be filled in by a computer.

The letter's signed "R Fletch," but I can't tell whether it's a real handwritten signature.

No date and a truncated signature? Bobby, you should have hired a better programmer to handle that. The letters sent out where I work have dates automatically entered and their signatures are never truncated when we use scanned versions. How they sign when they write is their own business.

And let me guess, all your letters are identical, right? Bobby, Bobby, Bobby, that's what databases are for. You create different versions and select the one that's most appropriate if you're not going to write an original letter. Then again, you really don't want any acceptances, do you? After all, you just want what the author paid. You're just sending out some letters so there's no grounds for a refund, right?

Too bad I'm honest. Otherwise, I could show you how to go ten times better than PA and ST put together. :Jaw:
 

HapiSofi

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DaveKuzminski said:
No date and a truncated signature? Bobby, you should have hired a better programmer to handle that. The letters sent out where I work have dates automatically entered and their signatures are never truncated when we use scanned versions. How they sign when they write is their own business.
I didn't say it was truncated. It trails off artfully, in that "I'm a busy executive" kind of way.

It's actually a very well-produced piece of work. I doubt the absence of a date was an error.
 

Roger J Carlson

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HapiSofi said:
I didn't say it was truncated. It trails off artfully, in that "I'm a busy executive" kind of way.

It's actually a very well-produced piece of work. I doubt the absence of a date was an error.
I think the entire thing is intentional. The last thing ST Literary wants is to actually sell something. It would be no end of hassle. They'd have to spend time (and money) communicating with editors.

The only real purpose here is to fulfill the letter of their contract: send out X number of submissions and report any editorial comments back to the client. A letter like this virtually guarantees it will be pitched in the waste basket (especially with no SASE). Therefore, they don't have to deal with an editor or report anything back to the client.

In their literature, they trumpet the fact that they have a well-tuned system. Too bad it's to fleece their clients rather than to sell books.
 

James D. Macdonald

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Then they'd have to negotiate a contract, then they'd have to keep track of royalty payments and foreign rights and everything ... they might even have to read the book.

Far easier to just collect from their authors.
 

Sarashay

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James D. Macdonald said:
Wow. Maybe after all these years Boppin' Bobby's finally figured out that agents actually have to, you know, submit stuff. (There's a funny story about that in Ten Percent of Nothing, BTW. Maybe I'll dig it out for y'all.)

Are you talking about this:

One morning an editor with a large publishing house in Manhattan was informed by the receptionist that a literary agent named Dorothy Deering was in the lobby waiting to see her. The editor had never heard of Dorothy Deering and didn't have any appointments scheduled for that morning. Not wanting to be rude, and a little curious, the editor went to the lobby to see what the agent had to say. She was taken aback by the sight of a tall, rawboned man and his plump, sawed-off companion. Dressed like tourists, they stood next to a stack of manuscripts almost as tall as the agent. Pointing to the tower of paper they had lugged ino the lobby, the woman said, "Well, here they are." With that, she and the big guy turned on their heels and strode out of the building. (The boxes were sent back to Dorothy with a note asking her not to phone, visit or mail any more manuscripts to the publisher.)
--excerpted from Ten Percent of Nothing: The Case of the Literary Agent from Hell by Jim Fisher

I have to thank Uncle Jim for pointing me to such a fascinating read. I plan to donate my copy to my local library soon, for writers to read.
 
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