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The New York Literary Agency: Warning

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

victoriastrauss

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The New York Literary Agency is one of several new "agencies" under the umbrella of The Literary Agency Group Inc. The Literary Agency Group Inc. appears to be a spinoff of the infamous Stylus Literary Agency (until recently known as the ST Literary Agency), owned and operated by Robert Fletcher. Writer Beware has received scores of complaints about Stylus Literary/ST Literary, which charges fees, promotes its own paid editing services, and submits in a haphazard fashion to inappropriate publishers (when it submits at all). It uses a boiler room-style operation, with clients receiving substantially identical e-mails and responses.

Right now, the Literary Agency Group Inc. umbrella appears to embrace the following:



More, no doubt, to come.

Writer Beware has documented that these agencies all operate in much the same way, using the same boiler-room-style approach as the original Stylus, with nearly identical intake materials and contracts. Right now, the main focus of the operation appears to be persuading writers to buy paid critique services (at a cost of between $50 and around $90) and editing services (anywhere from $99 to over $2,000) from a service that's described as a "sister" company but in fact appears to be under common ownership with the agencies (this is a conflict of interest: if an agency can make money by recommending critiques or editing, how can the writer trust that the recommendation is in his/her best interest?). There may also be other paid adjunct services, and it's possible that there are vanity publishers somewhere in the mix.

Neither Stylus Literary Agency/ST Literary Agency nor any of its spinoffs have any commercial book or script sales, as far as we're aware--despite their claims to the contrary.

There's a more detailed discussion of the whole scheme in the ST Literary Agency thread.

- Victoria
 
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James D. Macdonald

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New York Literary Agency claims (on their "about" page):

[font=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]
Some of our contacts include editors at Random House, Regan Books, Bantam Dell, Henry Holt & Co., TOR, G.P. Putnam & Sons, Globe Pequot Press, Simon & Schuster, Doubleday, along with many other companies and imprints.

[/font]
I found that interesting. So I asked my friends at Tor (note: It's Tor, not TOR) about New York Literary agency. Here's what a very senior editor at Tor told me: "I never heard of them."

Know something? If you went to those other houses and asked the editors there, I bet you'd hear the same thing. Except, perhaps, for Globe Pequot (a small press). After [font=verdana,arial,helvetica][size=-1]Dario Castagno sold his book to Globe Pequot, for some reason he asked Robert Fletcher to negotiate the contract for him.[/size][/font] Of course Globe Pequot might not recognize the name "New York Literary Agency." Bobby Fletcher was calling his little scam "ST Literary Agency" at the time.
[font=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]

[/font]
 

Lauri B

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James D. Macdonald said:
New York Literary Agency claims (on their "about" page):

[font=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]

[/font]
I found that interesting. So I asked my friends at Tor (note: It's Tor, not TOR) about New York Literary agency. Here's what a very senior editor at Tor told me: "I never heard of them."

Know something? If you went to those other houses and asked the editors there, I bet you'd hear the same thing. Except, perhaps, for Globe Pequot (a small press). After [font=verdana,arial,helvetica][size=-1]Dario Castagno sold his book to Globe Pequot, for some reason he asked Robert Fletcher to negotiate the contract for him.[/size][/font] Of course Globe Pequot might not recognize the name "New York Literary Agency." Bobby Fletcher was calling his little scam "ST Literary Agency" at the time.
[font=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]

[/font]
Not that it's relevant, but Globe Pequot was bought by Lyons Press. They are pretty midlist.
 

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? on The New York Literary Agency

Hi- New to this site and was wondering if anyone knew anything about the new york literary agency. I queried them online and they requested to see my manuscript via e-mail attachment. P&E had a not recomended after their name but no reason why. Anyone know? Thanks for any info.-Annie
 

mdin

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Hi, Annie. I believe New York Literary Agency is a subsidiary of ST Literary Agency. (Someone please correct me if I'm wrong.)

That makes them very, very, very, very, very, very bad. Very bad.
 

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ANNIE said:
Hi- New to this site and was wondering if anyone knew anything about the new york literary agency. I queried them online and they requested to see my manuscript via e-mail attachment. P&E had a not recomended after their name but no reason why. Anyone know? Thanks for any info.-Annie

RUN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I found this board after doing a search on Stylus Literary Agency. You might search for that thread and have a good long read on these people. What I learned as I understand it, their aliases are as follows:The Literary Agency Group (don't confuse this with The Literary Group who are well thought of), The Christian Literary Group (makes me very mad being that I wrote a Chritian ms), ST Literary Agency, Stylus Literary Agency, and drum roll please...
New York Literary Agency.

Disappointing but hey, I found great board full of very helpful people! Welcome.
 

CaoPaux

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Roger J Carlson said:
Hey, UJ. Have you added this information to the ST Literary thread?
Yup, plus Victoria made a separate thread for each "agency", and I've got all the aliases in the Index.
 

Leid: X09

Interesting. I had given a synopsis of my novel to the New York Literary Agency, and their fast response and candy-coated automated message about how they were accepting me made me leary. So, I looked their name up and 'lo and behold--I found this.

Though I have discarded any communication with NYLA, and since this is my first post on the board ever, I'm looking for agencies with good names. I am a science fiction and fantasy writer with a hint of ancient civ. This section of the board has the agencies of threat, but what are some of the good ones?

- Tara Newberry
 

ArtistInBleu

NY Literary Agency?

THe NY Lit Agency just sent me a contract. I was so excited and signed and mailed my contract out today. My stepfather sent me this website today as well, after my mailing, hence to say, I wrote the NYLA an e-mail and told them I wanted my contract voided. They said I had 72 hours to doso and my gut said to do it. Was my gut feeling correct?
I have an 80,000 page Thriller/Horror novel completed and can't seem to find an agent who doesn't come up with an article somewhere on line with the wrods,"RUN" after it.
Can anyone out there help me.
Sincerely
ArtistInBleu
 

ArtistInBleu

ArtistInBleu

No, they haven't asked for money yet! Just a one time 70.00 fee to help edit my book. They said they want nothing until they get it published, then 15%.
 

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They have asked for money. Think of $70 multiplied by many, many authors. That's how this agency makes its money. What you're looking for is an agency that makes its money through commissions on sales to publishers. That way, they have an incentive to sell your book.
 

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sinner1047

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Oh, no...

ArtistInBleu said:
No, they haven't asked for money yet! Just a one time 70.00 fee to help edit my book. They said they want nothing until they get it published, then 15%.
I have just signed a contract with the same company...let me tell you, the next fee would have been a $100 fee for an independent critique...does anyone know how I get my money back for this? They will not respons to my emails and I have not been able to cancel my contract with them. HELP!!!
 

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sinner1047 said:
I have just signed a contract with the same company...let me tell you, the next fee would have been a $100 fee for an independent critique...does anyone know how I get my money back for this? They will not respons to my emails and I have not been able to cancel my contract with them. HELP!!!

Oh, they've changed it now. I guess we made such a big deal out of the third party critique done by a sister company...LOL!
My dealing with them was with one of the aliases, "Stylus Agency" who had suppossedly just been bought out by "The New York Literary Agency," or something like that.
I had written them to ask about the "third party critique" and a few other questions. Then "googled" and found out all of the horror stories described on this board. The interesting thing, is that they have never answered my questions. They just never wrote back. I asked those questions before I had even heard the "bad press." I guess, they just didn't like the fact I asked probing questions and for names so I could check things out, etc. Until I asked questions I'd been the best thing since sliced bread!
So sorry you are having to deal with this. Best of luck. You will find tons of helpful and knowledgeable people here to guide you.
 

victoriastrauss

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sinner1047 said:
I have just signed a contract with the same company...let me tell you, the next fee would have been a $100 fee for an independent critique...does anyone know how I get my money back for this? They will not respons to my emails and I have not been able to cancel my contract with them. HELP!!!
If the contract is still the same (the most recent one I've seen dates from just a couple of months ago), you can cancel with 90 days' notice in writing after 90 days if there's no sale. Since this agency has never and will never make any sales, this means you can terminate with 3 months' notice 3 months after the date you signed the contract. Just send an e-mail to that effect (and be sure to keep a copy). You don't need a response for the termination to be effective.

If you want to try and get your money back, send the agency an e-mail citing the negative information you've found online, and requesting a refund. Send cc's to the following Better Business Bureaus:

BBB Serving Southeast Florida and the Caribbean
2924 N. Australian Avenue
West Palm Beach, FL 33407
http://www.bbbsoutheastflorida.org/

BBB of Metropolitan New York
257 Park Avenue South
New York, NY 10010
WWW: http://www.newyork.bbb.org

This covers all bases, since the agency has a NYC mail drop address, but is based on Boca Raton, Florida. I've heard from a number of authors who've been able to get full or partial refunds by doing this.

- Victoria