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Sebastian Literary Agency / Author Biz Consulting (fmly Harper & Associates)

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JAG4584

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Anyone have experience working with this agency or with Dawn Frederick?
 

JerseyGirl1962

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The website is here.

This is interesting (from the website):

[FONT=&quot]Februrary 2007 Update: We are taking on few new author clients, because more and more of our time is taken up with consulting to writers through [/FONT][FONT=&quot]Harper and Associates[/FONT][FONT=&quot].[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]NOTE ABOUT FICTION: [/FONT][FONT=&quot]Since we are NOT taking on fiction, you may have not received a response from us. Please do not query about novels.
[/FONT]
"Consulting to writers"? Not sure what that means.

~Nancy
 

JAG4584

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Haper etc

Oh Boy! Thanks for showing me this. There is always something. I have learned not to get to excited when an agent responds as I was not using writers beware before I started quering.

I am still "all hat no cattle" until I find the right agent- this is what my biggest fan says as a joke to me and hopefully one of these days the right one will respond etc

Thanks!;)
 

JAG4584

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Charge fee

They charge fee as idicated on publishers marketplace
 

JAG4584

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request for proposal

I received a request for my proposal by e-mail today with no mention of a fee. Seems like this could be construed as being underhanded. I will not be submitting; however, important that writers beware as I can see problems here.
 

jamiehall

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Concerning Dawn Frederick, it seems she isn't a member of the Sebastian agency anymore. The agency website at http://www.sebastianagency.com/ says:

In 2008 Dawn Frederick, former associate agent of Sebastian Agency, formed her own independent agency, Red Sofa Literary Agency. She can be reached via email at <email deleted by me so as to thwart spambots>. Her web site is www.redsofaliterary.com

Is this good or bad?
 

CaoPaux

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At first blush, it's a very good thing she's distancing herself from paid services. Let's hope we'll see some sales reports soon.
 

SebastianAgent

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Delayed Response

Hello all-- I hope I am allowed to explain, now that I am a member here. I am Laurie Harper, agent of Sebastian Agency. I can appreciate the confusions expressed in these earlier posts. Here is the truth. I have been a reputable selling agent for 25 years. Dawn Frederick trained with me, then left to form her own agency, as most agents should. We are very different birds from each other and it was time for her to create an agency of her own vision. On a separate note, The last ten years of so while I was an agent, authors whom I did not represent, who did not have an agent, came to me by referral for contract negotiation on offers they had with publishers, because I have always been a "contracts hound" -- known to publishers, other agents, and authors. I have always been an authors' advocate, being an author myself (earlier in my career). A few years ago I formalized this outside contract work in a separate company called Harper & Associates, which later became Author Biz Consulting -- which is just me, but completely separate from Sebastian Agency. When someone queries me in the Agency, I respond according to if I can represent that author and book as an agent, on commission. When I am contacted for consulting work to help get an author unstuck or out of a jam, that is separate paid consulting work. There is no bait and switch, and they both serve authors' needs. My reputation has always been as a straightforward, honest, hard-working author advocate, which it will remain. Thanks for listening.
 

MandyHubbard

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I wanted to add my experiences with Author Biz, on the agent side, so that writers may consider that if they are thinking of hiring her.

I received an email this week from Laurie, titled "an author I'd like to refer to you."

It did not conform to any of my submission guideliness (it was sent to my standard agency email, not my submissions email, and it did not contain a sample of the first five pages, as I request in all submissions.). Perhaps she was thinking it was a "short cut" to avoid the slush pile.

She informed me that "based on the sales" I've made, she thought I would want to see it. In other words, everything she knew of me and my interests was the exact same information available to any querying writer. I do not know her and had never had a personal connection prior to this email.

I informed her, "a referral only matters if I know the person and trust their tastes."

She told me that she simply promises authors to see if the agent is "open" to their submission. Which I find odd since anyone may visit my website and learn that I am open to submissions... which is the case with any agent who is open to submissions. Our websites literally say, "send your query to me and I will review it."

She also informed me she was providing the service becuase the author "didn't have time" for all the research of finding an agent, which of course is a terrible thing to say-- it tells the agent that they would have a hard time meeting deadlines, marketing their book, and a number of othertime-sucking things associated with being an author. I can't imagine that's how the author wished to be represented to an agent.

Lastly, based on material Laurie sends to authors, the author is told, "I work to get you to the right place and the front of the line. "

I feel bad for authors who pay $1500 and believe they really are at the front of the line, somehow. Perhaps she has stronger connections in other genres (she sold a handful of Non-Fiction books during her tenure as an agent, according to PMP, possibly many more that are not on PMP as I understand she was an agent for quite some time, and PMP is not that old), but in this case she reached out to me based on information an author could find easily with a single click on my website, she did not have any previously established connection to me, she presented it TO ME as a referral so I have to assume she tells authors that this is a referral, and somehow superior to a query, and she did not follow my submission guidelines.
 
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suki

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Authors, do not pay someone to query agents for you. Or worse, to ask agents if you can query them. This is a waste of your money.

I'd even be skeptical of paying someone to tell me who to query -- that is research you should likely be doing for yourself, as you are the one who needs to judge whether the agent would be a good fit for you.

You do not need anyone to introduce you to an agent or send an email on your behalf, if the agent is open to queries. And if the agent is not open to queries, an email from a paid "consultant" is not a valid referral unless the "consultant" actually knows the agent and the agent agrees that the consultant can refer people to them.

Query for yourself.

And be very, very skeptical of promises of shortcuts, if those promises involve a fee.

~suki
 

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