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Seventh Avenue Literary Agency

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nicolesingslave

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Does anyone have any experience with this agency?
http://www.seventhavenuelit.com/

I found some red flags, here it is:
Announcing a new division at Seventh Avenue:
Mackwood Publishing Consultants offers consulting, coaching, proposal writing, freelance editing and cover design, and many aspects of the self-publishing process
Visit: www.mackwoodpublishingconsultants.com
 

CaoPaux

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Adding for the record: Seventh Avenue was formerly known as Contemporary Management.

Unfortunately, their author list gives no indication which properties are sold works (versus previous or "consulted" works).
 

HapiSofi

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In the "About" page for Mackwood Publishing Consultants, it says Contemporary Management (now Seventh Avenue) is "the largest non-fiction author agency in Western Canada." I'm sure that's true; but the gravitational center of Canadian publishing is in Ontario (English) and Quebec (French). Limiting the comparison to non-fiction agencies also pares down the competition.

(Check out he Association of Canadian Publishers' list of agents. It's not complete, and it has an anglophone bias, but it'll give you a quick picture of the industry's geographical distribution.)

Nonfiction agenting plus personal management is a tricky and specialized field, but it's legit. If these guys have been doing it successfully, they've got some chops. They also have co-agenting agreements with agencies in fourteen other countries, which they wouldn't have if they weren't legit.

They have a substantial list of client authors, most of whom are Canadian. No really big names. They get published by real publishers. Most of their book sales are to medium-size Canadian and U.S. houses, and their TV and movie sales are to Canadian producers.

Robert Mackwood is the former Director of Contemporary Management. He bought the agency in 2005. That's not necessarily a bad sign. Having someone who's already working at an agency buy out a retiring partner is a normal way for agencies to change hands while maintaining continuity. This isn't one of those situations where an unqualified wanna-be buys an old agency for its sales record.

Mackwood comes out of Publicity and Sales & Marketing, which probably accounts for all the missing commas. He was VP and Director of Marketing and PR at Bantam/Doubleday Canada, so you have to figure he knows a few things. I don't know why he's branching out into consultation for self-publishers. Maybe he figures the industry is changing fast, and he wants to diversify.

My usual objection to outfits that offer consultation and assorted services to self-publishers is that the services they offer aren't going to do their clients much good. What's different about Robert Mackwood is that he actually has the background to give useful advice to nonfiction self-publishers, and get them pointed in the right direction. If he's good at it, more power to him.
 

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