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Sparks Literary Consultants (formerly Johanna M. Bates Lit. Consultants)

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khm42269

Hi Folks,

I just wanted to warn everyone about the above agency. A member at my website had the unfortunate experience of e-mailing them asking about representation and received an e-mail back asking for $1,000. This fee was for the "assessment of intellectual property" as well as covering a charge for them to make editorial comments, although the depth of editorial content was not described or promised.

I have not seen anything regarding this on P&E, or anywhere else that I was able to find, so I apologize if this is already well known. It definitely wasn't to me.

Thanks!

Kris
 

JerseyGirl1962

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An example from their website:

"As consultants and agents, we are able to lead you through the necessary steps to make publishing and self-publishing a success."

And they have...testimonials...but none of them are attributed.

~Nancy
 

ghost

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An example from their website:

And they have...testimonials...but none of them are attributed.

~Nancy


There are no names to go along with those testimonials either. Gotta like that.

My fav quote from their website "Because we know our business, we can warn you of industry pitfalls and help you to steer clear of organizations that may not have your best interests in mind."
 

Siddow

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Our manuscript evaluation service involves a fee based on The Writers' Union of Canada tarrif:

$125.00 for the first 10 pages,
$2.00 for each page thereafter.

Does anyone know what the heck this means? WTF is a tarrif?
 

Siddow

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From their About Us page:

Anne Bougie, Literary Agent

Anne Bougie was born in Calgary, Alberta in 1976 and has lived there all her life. In 1996, she obtained a diploma in commercial baking from The Southern Alberta Institute of Technology and then began studying English, a subject she had always excelled in. The booming economy of Calgary placed her into a career segue. She co-owned a very successful restaurant starting in 1997. Throughout this development, Anne continued with her first love--writing. She wrote her first novel and it was quickly picked up by the agency that she now works for. She has sold the burgeoning business and now concentrates on writing and contracting for Johanna M. Bates Literary Consultants, Inc. Anne is also the vice president of 4th Floor Press, Inc.

Which is a self-publisher:

http://www.4thfloorpress.com/
 

khm42269

What really irks me is that since they call themselves "consultants" instead of "agents", they feel justified in charging what is, essentially, an up-front reading fee, and a pretty hefty one at that.
 

Duncan J Macdonald

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Does anyone know what the heck this means? WTF is a tarrif?
Possibly a misspelling of 'tariff'
From Dictionary.com:

tar·iff
–noun
1. an official list or table showing the duties or customs imposed by a government on imports or exports.
2. the schedule or system of duties so imposed.
3. any duty or rate of duty in such a list or schedule.
4. any table of charges, as of a railroad, bus line, etc.
5. bill; cost; charge. –verb (used with object)
6. to subject to a tariff.
7. to put a valuation on according to a tariff.
 

victoriastrauss

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Does anyone know what the heck this means? WTF is a tarrif?
In this case, a reading fee.

Ms. Bates gives her fee a misleading gloss of respectability by invoking the Writers' Union of Canada, and implying that her "tariff" is some kind of standard or accepted charge made to writers. What she's actually referencing is the WUC's fee for its manuscript evaluation service, which doesn't call itself a tariff at all.

- Victoria
 

illiterwrite

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Just wanted to update this to say that someone I know paid an extraordinary amount of money (thousands and thousands of dollars) to this woman and her agency. Be warned.
 

Drachen Jager

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I sent them a query a while back by accident (I thought they were legit).

A five page e-mail showed up in my inbox within minutes. Among other things it said that I could not re-publish anything that was in the e-mail on the internet (ha ha ISPs give anonymity, unless there's a warrant or court order, here so good luck with that one!). I'm not quite sure of the legal standing of such things but I suspect they wouldn't have a leg to stand on and it's just a scare tactic because they don't want their business practices made public.

Anyhow, it still stands, $125 for the first 10 pages $2 for each page after. Plus you have to sign off their huge waiver (most of which is just them making excuses for why you should pay the outrageous fee).

They also say that IF they pick you up they'll only charge 15% domestic and 20% international fees. Then it goes on to say that many US agencies charge 40-50% (I've never seen any that charge that much, I suppose one or two might).

Total BS agency.

The best line from the e-mail;

"We take the retainer for reading up front as some clients get very angry at what we have to say about their work."
 

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