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Secret Agent Man (Scott Mortenson)

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

LindsayP

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Has anyone ever dealt with Scott Mortenson? Is he legit? He read my MS and said it needed work and said I could resubmit which I did. He sent an email saying he would need a few weeks and would get back to me. I never heard back from him and it's been since the end of September. Should I send him an email to touch base?

Thanks to everyone!!!!
 

LindsayP

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Hi Victoria,

I saw that Google thing on him too. I would never pay an agent anything, that much I have learned. He hasn't mentioned that service to me, but if he does, I'd decline for sure.

Thanks for checking him out for me. It's so nice to connect with people who are in this crazy writing boat too!
 

LindsayP

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Hi CaoPaux,

Not very encourging that his one of his two authors only has book on audio and the other has nothing.

He might be too busy with his editoral services to actually be trying to sell books.

I still have 3 other agents that have requested more material from me. From my research I've found they're more reputable. Keep your fingers crossed.

Thanks for checking him out for me. I'm so glad I found this website!
Lindsay
 

Albedo of Zero

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Check the link at the end of Writing Freak...

it takes you to his blog site where, hmmm, could it be? a.k.a Eric Dalen?
 

LindsayP

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I did check out that link, pretty interesting!!!! Thanks for checking for me!
 

LindsayP

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Am I being paranoid?

I queried this agent, Scott Mortenson last spring. He requested my full MS, which I promptly emailed to him.

After a month he wrote that he really liked the story, my writting, the characters etc, but the story needed work. He invited me to re-write then re-submit which I did. He told me that he'd get back to me in a few weeks.

A few months went by without hearing back, so I sent an email to touch base. He resonded the next day saying he was really far behind and thanking me for my patience, that was 2 months ago and I still haven't heard back.

In the meantime I did some searching on him and found he only has 2 clients, and only one of them has sold anything. He also claims to have been a writer, he has an article on this website. He also has some sort of writing course, The Writing Freak.

I did register my book with the Writer's Guild of America, but should I be worried that he's doing something unethical with my MS? He seemed really gung-ho about the book. Am I being paranoid that he's stealing my book?
 

victoriastrauss

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LindsayP said:
Am I being paranoid that he's stealing my book?
Yes. Theft of unpublished work is so rare as to be functionally nonexistent. It's about the last thing that new writers need to worry about.

Being paranoid that he won't sell your book, on the other hand, is perfectly appropriate.

- Victoria
 

Anjulee

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[Agent] Scott Mortenson - Secret Agent Man Lit Agency

Has anyone dealt with this agent before or heard of him?

http://www.secretagentman.net/

Scott Mortenson
Secret Agent Man

P.O. Box 1078
Lake Forest CA 92609-1078
(949) 463-1638
(949) 831-4648 fax


He has two clients and two sales according to his website

and on Publisher's Marketplace [FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]http://www.publishersmarketplace.com/members/smort[/FONT]
 

Leigh86

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Secret Agent Man Literary Management

Found him on P&E with none of the doomed red letters beside his name. His site says no reading fees and that's good, but there are no sales listed and beside the site itself I couldn't find anything on him.

http://www.secretagentman.net/index.htm

I'm curious if anyone knows anything about him because he reps my genre, but I know better than to send anything without checking around first.

Any help at all would be much appretiated! Thanks!
 

Cyia

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My first question would be why there's a picture of Maxwell Smart on the website.

or why on his linked blog he spells faux pas "Foe Paws"
 
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Leigh86

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Never mind this! I just realized (too late and I appologize on my part that this agency already has a thread!)
So Sorry!
 

Smort

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Never Heard of Him

Sorry.



Has anyone ever dealt with Scott Mortenson? Is he legit? He read my MS and said it needed work and said I could resubmit which I did. He sent an email saying he would need a few weeks and would get back to me. I never heard back from him and it's been since the end of September. Should I send him an email to touch base?

Thanks to everyone!!!!
 

derekbergey

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Opinions on Agents who recommend (not push) an editor

For a brief and hopefully humorous background on me before I ask the question. I’m an actor, and as an actor, you get use to the hustle. You get use to showing up at an agency where they call you buddy even if your name and picture are in their hand and then to make a big show they'll shout to someone in the next room that someone to get their buddy(you) a coke. And then someone from the next room with respond, yes Mr. Bill. Side note, if you are going with Mr./Mrs. followed by your first name. Yuck. So, anyway, I'm use to that because the following words from their mouth as you wait for your coca-cola (that's really RC cola or some other crap) is, “We could do this and that together, oh, it would be amazing, holy cow pie, thinking about it just yesterday I was booking so and so on this. But, first we need you to get some new head shots and I got the perfect guy and we also have to package you with a website and coincidentally I have a guy for that too!"

To which, I say no. It's a simple bait situation so I say, give me the coca-cola in a cup. I'm out!

So that aside, here is the current set up I am in. I sent my query and chapters to a Secret Agent Man (Scott Mortenson) and he liked it. He did say, hey I like it but it meanders, it's 168,450 words and the average novel is half that. So, edit it down or split it in two and let me know. If you need someone, I can recommend them. So, like a used car salesman, I said, no, I'm good and I walked. But that deal lingered in my mind and a few days later out of curiosity I said, Oye! (I was feeling rather British) who do you have just so I know. He recommends a guy (who he told me in advance was a client) named Eric Dalen (the writing freak) and I got in touch with him. So far, all of this seems dandy and normal. Eric wants to charge $5 a page to edit but all checks should be mailed to his agent. Who is Scott Mortenson (by the way, I feel if I were amateur script writer, this would be the part where I'd feel like genius. And the person behind all of this. THAT GUY! Wah wah wahhhhhh!) So, that is when all a sudden I though, huh. Fishy. Odd. Strange.

I looked on publisher marketplace and it doesn't seem as if Secret Agent Man (Scott Mortenson) is selling stuff out the wazoo, actually it looks like he has only sold stuff for Eric Dalen. So, yeah. Scam?
Has anyone else run into anyone else or anything similar?

Thanks for any and all help and hopefully you giggled.
 

Thedrellum

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First, leave that offer on the table and run away. Even if you need/want an editor before you get an agent, you'd be better off finding one yourself rather than going through this shady deal.

Second, he's right about the size of your novel. Most are around 80K to 90K, but the specifics of that depend on the genre. If you're interested, after you get to fifty posts here you can share some of your writing in the Share Your Work (password vista, I believe) section of Absolute Write to get some feedback on your writing.

Third, Welcome to Absolute Write!
 

edalen

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For the record, Scott Mortenson of Secret Agent Man is no longer my agent. We parted ways in June.

Second, he never took a cut of my editing work.

I was always upfront about our professional relationship. It was never "shady," and certainly not a scam -- but I can understand why some might think so.

Glad y'all are looking out for each other. But wouldn't it be better if the questionable parties were asked these questions directly rather than post speculation on an Internet forum?
 

Harlequin

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How convenient of you appear and defend him.

I think it's better if these conversations are publically held where people can make up their own minds and we can all benefit from those with more experience.
 
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Guerrien

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But wouldn't it be better if the questionable parties were asked these questions directly rather than post speculation on an Internet forum?

So, here's the thing.

"Hey, this thing you're doing looks a bit sketchy."
"It is absolutely above board and most definitely not a scam."
"Sweet. I totally believe you'd have admitted to otherwise."

You know?
 

Elizabeth George's book Write Away