The New York Literary Agency: Warning

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

OneTeam OneDream

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DaveKuzminski said:
What part of the preceeding posts did you not understand???!!!

This agency is nothing more than a literary mosquito from the swamps of Florida that is interested only in sucking your wallet dry.



What he meant to say was, "Welcome to AW, if you have any questions about NYLA, please read the above posts."

Thanks
 

James D. Macdonald

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irvm2924 said:
Does anyone have any info on this agency?

Lots of people do.

Please check the thread here, plus the threads on Christian Literary Agency, Children's Literary Agency, and Stylus Literary Agency for far, far, more information than you probably wanted.

http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=929
http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=529
http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=13517
http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=13514
http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=8312
http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=8286


Short version: Scam. Stay away.
 

victoriastrauss

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DaveKuzminski said:
What part of the preceeding posts did you not understand???!!!
This is my fault--irvm2924 posted his/her question in a separate thread and I merged it with this thread to try and avoid thread proliferation. Should have left a note indicating this.

That said, I wish people would check the Index before posting questions.

- Victoria
 

Rose colored glasses

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Unreal.


While I was on the yahoo Publish America authors group, another author was so happy because he had gotten an agent in NY.
Three guesses as to who it was.

He put a link for them in his email. I believe he already signed.

*sigh* Kicked in the butt once is bad enough. Twice is just sad.
 

victoriastrauss

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As of August or September 2005, a new member has been added to this lovely group: The Poets Literary Agency.

Writer Beware now has considerable documentation not just on Stylus Literary and Children's Literary, but on New York Literary and Christian Literary. The contracts used by all these agencies vary in small details, but are substantially similar. The accompanying materials are identical. All refer clients to the same editing service, Writers Literary, a so-called "sister" company run by a former "agent" with Stylus.

We don't yet have documentation on Poets Literary, but we're sure we soon will. Sigh.

And no, none of these agencies has yet sold a book...

- Victoria
 

James D. Macdonald

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Woo! Look at this!

[font=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]
The Poets Literary Agency has numerous contacts with influential buyers at the large publishers, small presses and specialty houses. We do not market to self-publishers, print on demand publishers, or vanity presses.

http://www.poetsliteraryagency.com/about.html

Now compare that with this:

[/font]
Why shoulder all the risk? We have authors that will pay you to work with you. We believe that this is the new model for the future.

(Emphasis mine.)

http://www.publishersmarketplace.com/cgi-bin/displayJob.pl?job_no=1521

(Thanks, Victoria, for finding that.)

That's Robert M. Fletcher again, this time trolling for vanity presses over at Publishers Marketplace.

If Bobby has all these great contacts with "influential buyers," why's he advertising for bottom feeders?
 

DaveKuzminski

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A visitor to P&E states, "Thank you for the information. I knew about Stylus.

I went to the New York State Attorney General about them and they did nothing. They need more complaints to act."


If you know of someone who was ripped off by one of the agencies belonging to what was originally Sydra Technologies, urge them to get in touch with the NY AG.
 

sinner1047

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Yeah

DaveKuzminski said:
A visitor to P&E states,
If you know of someone who was ripped off by one of the agencies belonging to what was originally Sydra Technologies, urge them to get in touch with the NY AG.
I also lodged a complaint with the NY AG, along with the FL AG (since that's where Bobby's physical address is) the FL and NY BBB, the FTC and my local news stations. I got an automated letter from the FL BBB saying they were going to present this to NYLA (the company I did "business with") and that the process could take months. Well, several months have passed and nothing. The FL BBB was the ONLY response I got. I guess this isn't a big enough deal for anyone to take some time over it...
 

Roger J Carlson

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sinner1047 said:
The FL BBB was the ONLY response I got. I guess this isn't a big enough deal for anyone to take some time over it...
Well, after all, it's only writers being ripped off. They're all a little off anyway, and it's not as if they're an important constituency or anything. Bah.
 

sinner1047

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Really?!?

I'm rich??? Really? I've known that I was a bit off center for years, so I can understand how the officials would think that I have no right to justice, but I'm rich??? Wish someone would have told me earlier...
 

Wanderer

I signed on with NYLA without seeing any websites like this one. Their contract is on the up-and-up, but their escalating demands for fees make it clear what their real game is. They wanted $79 for a "critique", $99 for an "edit", and then -- are you ready for this? -- a "full edit" for $1750 (reduced from $1950!). Cough, cough. You bet I stopped before step #3. But let's talk about steps 1 and 2 for a minute, because it's not all bad.

Disappointing, yes, because I see I still need to find someone to market my novel. But meanwhile, I got some valuable feedback from the "critique" and the "edit". Could it have been more and better? You bet; I realized I could implement the editors' advice better than the editors could, but their insight still helped me knock loose some cobwebs and keep moving forward. Is that worth $178? Probably. If not, then darn close.

Lets not forget how different the publishing industry is from 50 years ago. Today editors want perfect manuscripts; they spend their money in other ways. So a major dilemma for writers is, where do we find the best editorial criticism and feedback? Not in weekly writers' groups, that's for sure. So to pay limited amounts for editorial criticism is not unreasonable. The trick is knowing where to go, who is good and reasonable, and so on. NYLA is a disappointment but not a total wash. Would I sign on again, knowing what I know now? No. But do I feel totally swindled and demand my money back? No. I went into it with my eyes open, and got some value. I've had bad dates that cost me more!
 

victoriastrauss

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Wanderer said:
So to pay limited amounts for editorial criticism is not unreasonable.
The problem is, at NYLA and other agencies that press you to buy critiques or editing, you really have no idea whether or not the person doing your critique and/or editing is qualified. Often you often don't even know who the person is, and thus can't check their background. Nor do you have any assurance that the editing service is hiring experienced people.

You may feel that you've been personally helped by the critique you received, but it really is a crap shoot. I've heard from several authors who've been very unhappy with the quality of their Stylus/NYLA/Children's Literary critiques. I've also seen some critiques that were little more than a rehash of the writer's own description of the plot, stuck together with a few quotes from the manuscript.

Judge for yourself how dedicated Writers Literary, the company used by NYLA and all the Stylus clones, is to quality editing by this quote from the "critique test" the company sends to prospective editors:

The critiques can use some degree of boilerplate phrases...It is NOT necessary that you read the entire manuscript. The idea is that as an editor, you are familiar with the most typical errors that writers make, and you can spot them, copy them, and comment on them quickly and efficiently. We think you can do this by spot-checking 3-5 pages.
'Nuff said.

- Victoria
 

Aconite

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Wanderer said:
Lets not forget how different the publishing industry is from 50 years ago. Today editors want perfect manuscripts;
Editors didn't want less-than-perfect manuscripts 50 years ago, either. Scam agencies trying to sell you editing services like to tell you, "These days, editors won't look at a manuscript that hasn't been professionally edited." Hogwash. Your manuscript has to be publishable, not "professionally edited." If you're going to be a writer for real, editing your own manuscript is an essential skill. You don't farm it out to someone else as a matter of course.

So a major dilemma for writers is, where do we find the best editorial criticism and feedback?
You do research and you find a group that suits your skill level, level of ambition, and level of commitment. And you learn to edit your own work.

So to pay limited amounts for editorial criticism is not unreasonable.
Yes, it is. Have you heard of Yog's Law? It is: Money flows toward the author. You do not pay to get edited. You do not pay to get agented. You do not pay to get published. You do not buy and resell copies of your own books. Not even a little.

But do I feel totally swindled and demand my money back? No. I went into it with my eyes open, and got some value.
Did you really go into it with your eyes open? Did you know you would be hit with fees for services? I'm betting you didn't. If you feel you got something out of this association, you were fortunate. That doesn't mean you weren't taken advantage of.

I'm sorry to hear your story. I hope your next is happier.
 

sinner1047

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Wanderer said:
You bet I stopped before step #3. But let's talk about steps 1 and 2 for a minute, because it's not all bad.
Disappointing, yes, because I see I still need to find someone to market my novel. But meanwhile, I got some valuable feedback from the "critique" and the "edit". Could it have been more and better? You bet; I realized I could implement the editors' advice better than the editors could, but their insight still helped me knock loose some cobwebs and keep moving forward. Is that worth $178? Probably. If not, then darn close.
I'm happy that you are happy spending money on a service that, in all honesty, should never have been paid for. I went thru the same thing with New York Literary Agency, one of the many misnomers of Bouncin' Bobby's companies, and was a little more upset than you are. I felt that the "critique" that I was given was informal, and didn't appear to have pertained to anything past the 5th page of my manuscript. The "review" appeared to be a cut-and-paste job that could easily have applied to many other works. I am currently in the process of trying to make Roberts companies go the way of Melanie Mills, but the system is slow in response. If you were happy with the quality of your "critique", then that's great. I, on the other hand, would prefer to not pay someone $79 to have them tell me to rearrange my words in the first couple of pages of my manuscript! If you hear of anyone else that has had this issue, please have them contact the south Florida BBB, as there is already an investigation going on, and the more people that participate the better.
 

starbuck

thank you!

This is the first time that I've visited, registered and logged on to this site. I too had received a reply from the New York Literary Agency. They said that my manuscript was commercially viable with a little polishing from an independant critique. So for only $79.00 I could send my manuscript to the referred critique and submit my contract. Thank you, thank you thank you!! I just saved at least a hundred bucks thanks to the good people at the water cooler!
 

judycm

New York Literary Agency

WOW!!! I can't believe what I'm reading. I just sent my whole manuscript in to this company. I figured I could always check them out before I did anything or signed anything. My editor helped me with questions to ask. I hope they don't steal my book or rewrite it and try to publish it. Fees are what I was going to look for in their patent responses. I can't believe what you all are writing here. I"m so so so glad you guys are here.

I will add my two cents and say that I was about to be scammed like some of you. Thanks people!!!!
Judy
 

Roger J Carlson

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judycm said:
I hope they don't steal my book or rewrite it and try to publish it. Fees are what I was going to look for in their patent responses.
Oh, I wouldn't worry about them stealing your manuscript and publishing it. That would be too much like work. My guess is that everything you send them goes straight into the trash -- except your checks.
 

TomPalmer

I was almost duped by them too!!

You know what sucks!? You begin to wonder if your writing is really any good, then you get a contract offer!! I was so happy! :) I thought the $79 for the critique wasn't too bad either, but I figured I better do a search on the net and see if anyone else has any dealings with them.
GOOD GOD!!!
I guess so... :-( Oh well, I appreciate the heads up guys! :)
 

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TomPalmer said:
You know what sucks!? You begin to wonder if your writing is really any good, then you get a contract offer!!
Tom, just remember that bad agencies will make offers on good books as well as bad ones. They'll make offers on anything, so it's no indication of the quality of your book. Your book may need work, or it may be fine. Hang in there, and good luck.
 

Roger J Carlson

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TomPalmer said:
You know what sucks!? You begin to wonder if your writing is really any good, then you get a contract offer!! I was so happy! :) I thought the $79 for the critique wasn't too bad either, but I figured I better do a search on the net and see if anyone else has any dealings with them.
GOOD GOD!!!
I guess so... :-( Oh well, I appreciate the heads up guys! :)
Welcome to the "Almost Signed Until I Googled Them" club!
 

Xavier Kobel

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NYLA Scam Agency

As I checked out the Worldwide Freelance Writer site I happened on a link to NYLA.

The fast e-mail submission for authors caught my eye, and I checked out the site, and was totally turned on to the speedy turn around response time promised, the embrace, and willingness to work with new writers the agency offers.

But a creeping suspicion that it sounds too good to be true, caused me to do a fast search of AW to see if any dirt existed on NYLA.

Sure enough, crud galore came from a simple search of the forums.

The best advice I can give....If it seems too good to be true....check it out. It most likely is a scam that will suck you dry, until you catch on. Only after you've lost hundreds, or thousands of hard earned dollars.

I'm very thankful to watchdawgs like Victoria, and the participants of P&E. They have forced me to stop looking at the writing industry through rosy glasses.

The hard fact for newbie writers is.....We're guppies swimming in an ocean of sharks. Be prepared to face the reality that turnaround is slow, and acceptance is low. Yeah, it sucks!

Keep in mind the great whites were guppies at one time.

Only then will you swim against the whirlpool of preditors, ever so ready to suck you in, and bleed your wallet.

Don't submit your MS before doing homework. It may save money, and grief.

Jim
AKA:
Xavier Kobel
 

snistrtaz

Need Help!!!

Hey guys, I'm new to this web site, and I'm in a pickle. I'm a writer with a nearly completed manuscript of 115,000 words, and I have already signed a contract with the New York Literary Agency. They seemed okay at first, but when they insisted that I get a professional edit of my manuscript, I got suspicious and did a little more homework on them. You can guess what I found. I feel so stupid.

I'm getting out of the contract soon, while I still have 60 days of the 90 day termination agreement in their contract. Unfortunately I've already given them $79 for a critique. Really guys, you saved my ***. I'm going to do some more research before terminating the contract, but if anyone has any more information for a prospective author concerning this subject or others, I plan on being a part of this review board for a while.

I'll tell you, these guys are slick. They reel you in with a contract that appears perfect, and have a whole list of contacts that are more than likely fake. If anyone wants a copy of their contract, or more of my own personal experiences with the company that lead to my suspicions, contact me at [email protected]. Thanks again!
 

James D. Macdonald

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Write to NYLA: Cancel the contract. If it isn't too late, stop payment on the check or dispute the credit card charge.

Write to the New York State Attorney General and the Florida Attorney General, telling them your story.
 

victoriastrauss

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To add to Uncle Jim's advice: you don't need to wait the whole 90 days to cancel. Cancel right now (there's advice on how to do this earlier in this thread). Once they know they won't get any more money out of you, they won't protest.

Another tip: don't try for representation until your manuscript is finished and throughly polished. No reputable agency will take on a first-time author with an uncompleted ms.

- Victoria
 

Elizabeth George's book Write Away