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Silver Bitela Agency (formerly The ES Agency)

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kevacho

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Just wondering if anyone has ever heard of Ed Silver and The ES Agency? He's located in CA and he wants to read my book.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Kevin

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Maryn

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I'm seeing that its listing at Preditors and Editors lacks the dollar sign, a symbol meaning that the agent or agency has one or more verified sales to a legitimate royalty-paying publisher.

That the symbol is missing doesn't mean Silver is not a good agent, nor that he's dishonest or has any other negative trait, but it does suggest that you'd be wise to proceed with caution, making sure you find out what titles he's sold (which you will confirm on your own time).

Maryn, wishing you luck
 

CaoPaux

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Hmm. Google gives me "Edward Silver Talent Agency dba The ES Agency", and one indie film, writer/director client. I'll wager his focus is on screenwriting, FWIW.
 

victoriastrauss

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Silver has also taken on a partner, Barbara Bitela. She's described on the website as having "three novels in print"...all published by POD self-publishing services such as Xlibris.

No sales are mentioned on the website. Silver claims success on behalf of several clients, but between them there aren't many recent pub dates.

- Victoria
 

Brianjames

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Proceed with Caution

I advise extreme caution with this agency. I submitted a screenplay query and was told it was a promising premise, but that I needed to pay a $59 reading fee. This is not a legitimate practice and in violation of ES's WGA-registration.
 

DaveKuzminski

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I advise extreme caution with this agency. I submitted a screenplay query and was told it was a promising premise, but that I needed to pay a $59 reading fee. This is not a legitimate practice and in violation of ES's WGA-registration.

If you have that in writing, please share it with P&E. If it's an email, use your forwarding option in your email program. If it's on paper, feel free to scan (hopefully as a JPG) and email it as an attachment.
 

ResearchGuy

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Just wondering if anyone has ever heard of Ed Silver and The ES Agency? He's located in CA and he wants to read my book.. . .
Late to this party . . . I just met Ed Silver at a local writers group meeting, last weekend. Seems like a nice fellow. Mostly retired, he said (if I understood right), but still keeps his hand in.

--Ken
 

ginamulligan

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ES Agency is Legitimate

I met Ed Silver and his partner, Barbara Bitela, at a writer's conference in Sacramento. They are both extremely knowledgeable and never charge any reading fees. They are a legitimate agency looking for quality work.
 

victoriastrauss

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But do they have any sales? That's what we are having trouble determining (there's still no information on the ES website).

Making a good appearance at writers' conferences is one thing, but a verifiable track record is the true proof of a knowledgeable agency.

- Victoria
 

BenPanced

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This press release details some of the sales Mr. Silver has made. (Opens PDF document.) This release is about how Ms. Bitela originally signed as a client to sell a screenplay.

Current guidelines on his site mention they're no longer accepting "literary pitches". I guess they're back on the Hollywood track?

Nothing about a reading fee.
 

Mac H.

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I advise extreme caution with this agency. I submitted a screenplay query and was told it was a promising premise, but that I needed to pay a $59 reading fee. This is not a legitimate practice and in violation of ES's WGA-registration.
This is one of my pet peeves about the WGA - it isn't technically a violation of their registration.

The rules say that they aren't allowed to charge fees of WGA members ... but WGA registered agents are permitted to scam NON-members any kind of fees they like. I've been told by a lawyer this bizarre limitation is probably due to US labor law .. as a labor union they are limited to how they can control how non-members are treated.

I know this is contrary to the usual understanding of what 'WGA registered' means to an agency, but I've chatted (via email) with the people in the WGA in charge of this, and they assure me it is true.

Mac
 
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Lance0812

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About four years ago, Ed Silver read one of my novels and asked to represent it. I took him up on the offer and after about three months he gave up and withdrew his offer of representation. He did bill me for postage, sending me what looked like a Xerox copy of an adding machine tape and some Xeroxed hand-written rejections without letterheads.
I don't recall whether I paid him but, given the time frame and the number of billings for which he requested compensation, he must have made simultaneous submissions to seven or eight different publishers - if he made any at all.
Hardly the way I think a true professional would do it.
 

Winfred

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I first left a voice mail at Silver/Betila Agency asking if I could have time to pitch my screenplay. I chose their agency because they were on the list for WGA signatory agencies, a good rating. Next day Barbara called. She said "wow" twice during my short pitch that led into my about 2 min pitch. She also asked about what I felt budget would be for my story etc. She gave details on what to send her i.e. beat sheet, synop... and to go to her free 17 shows on Facebook of hers, then she said go to screenplayreaders.com and pay them $59.99 to read my script to save her time. She said she had no affiliation with them as if I did not need to worry about her getting something from them for bringing them business. She said even if they rate my script as a "pass" and not a "recommend" to include with my materials their "Coverage Review". I felt bad because I had learned no reputable agency should ever require a reading fee that a writer must pay. I also thought of how could a WGA signatory agency do that and still be on the signatory list. My decision was to bow out gracefully; but I wanted to post this as I hope it forewarns any newbie writers about what can happen in the film world.
 

Mac H.

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Wow - that's pretty bad.

She makes the effort to call you .. but doesn't want to bother running the other parts of her business like reading scripts .. so she wants you to pay for it?

She seems to promote her clients via email blasts - see this for an example:
http://www.sellingyourscreenplay.com/screenwriting-faq/babz-buzz

The really bizarre thing is that the link seems to imply that the CLIENT paid for and organised it. So what the hell is she doing?

That's pretty bad as well.

Mac
 

DoniTamblyn

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Ed has been my agent since 1999. I have always found him to be honest and reliable. He's also a very sweet guy. I've never met his partner. Don't know what the deal is with sending you to readers, but if it were me, I'd ask her upfront. Paying a (reputable) consultant to critique your work isn't a BAD idea if you really think you've got something. You don't have to, but it can really be a help. Of course, before going to any consultant, I'd look for testimonials from delighted writers who've used them before. And I'd get in writing whatever it is they promise to do for me. Best of luck.
 

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