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Tribe Literary Agency / Wheelhouse Literary Group

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angelfrancis

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I think it's agents like that, that have more to prove, and work harder to show that they are up to the same level as other agencies. What do you have that backs up what you're saying about this agency--basically downgrading them. Sounds a little disgruntled to me....
 

Momento Mori

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Robert Turner:
The Tribe Lit Agency has little “real” publishing experience

What do you mean by that? Agencies, by their nature, don't have publishing experience because they are not publishers - they are people who sell their clients' books to publishers.

As regards the sales history of Tribe, there has been plenty of discussion of this on the thread to date. Jonathan Clements clearly has a good sales history - particularly to Christian publishers. To date, I am not aware of Cari Hawks Foulk having made a sale, although Sean T Poindexter who has commented on this thread has been in touch with me separately and has had a number of large commercial publishers consider full versions of his manuscript, which at least suggests she is able to get material in front of the 'big boys'.

Robert Turner:
The agency has little credibility and will not provide an author with a serious professional credential.

Securing representation in itself is not a publishing credit (and I should know, I'm represented by Rogers, Coleridge & White - one of the most prestigious agencies in the UK). A professional publishing credit comes from being published by a commercial company who pay for your work.

Robert Turner:
They have a limited budget to adequately market and promote their author’s book titles with an appropriate level of advertising, press releases, review copies, and presence at conventions, book fairs, and ads in genre magazines.

You are clearly confused as to what agencies do, so I'll give you a hint - they don't do this. Publishers do this and it comes out of their marketing budget. Authors may get involved in doing this, and it comes out of the advance that they earned for their book (and in all cases, will be supported by their publisher who will supply them with material). Agencies at most, liaise between author and publisher. They do not promote in their own right.

Robert Turner:
Cari Hawks Foulk is a relative unknown in the world of literary agents and I certainly wouldn’t count on her industry contacts to make your novel successful.

Well, she clearly has some contacts because Sean has been able to get his book read by some big name publishers, but I agree that her lack of apparent sales history remains a concern.

Robert Turner:
She may talk a good line, but talking isn’t what makes a novel successful in the publishing world today.

Sales are what makes an agent. An agent's job is to sell the book to publishers. A publisher's job is to sell the book to the public. An agent by herself/himself does not make or break a book's sales.

I'd give your views more credit, Robert, if you didn't have an axe to grind and lack the industry knowledge to back up your sniping.

angelfrancis:
I think it's agents like that, that have more to prove, and work harder to show that they are up to the same level as other agencies.

A new agent, who either has experience at an established agency and is setting out on their own or who was an acquiring editor at a commercial publisher can be a good one to target. But you need an agent with the ability to make sales, which is why their industry experience is so important - they need to have the contacts to enable them to make the sales.

Cari's only industry experience seems to have been working as an assistant to Jonathan, but since setting out on her own, doesn't seem to have any sales. That's a concern for any author.

MM
 
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Jamiekswriter

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And Robert, that was a pretty nasty first post IMHO. Are you a disgruntled client of theirs? If not, where are you getting your information from?
 

waylander

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The Tribe Lit Agency has little “real” publishing experience and, in my view, the standards are looser, providing a home for authors who couldn’t make the publishing grade with the larger, established, and well recognized agencies.

The agency has little credibility and will not provide an author with a serious professional credential. They have a limited budget to adequately market and promote their author’s book titles with an appropriate level of advertising, press releases, review copies, and presence at conventions, book fairs, and ads in genre magazines.

Cari Hawks Foulk is a relative unknown in the world of literary agents and I certainly wouldn’t count on her industry contacts to make your novel successful. She may talk a good line, but talking isn’t what makes a novel successful in the publishing world today.

Thank you for your input
You have read this whole thread right?
 

mairi

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anyone heard back from them lately?
 

Jamiekswriter

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I sent them a query, 3 sample chapters and a synopsis to Cari Foulk on 9/1/10. I haven't heard anything yet, but I also have down in my notes that she's a non-responder.
 

Lapillus

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The website seems to have content now: http://tribelit.com/

And here's an explanation (finally) of Tribe being a division of Wheelhouse:

In an focused effort to target more mainline fiction, Wheelhouse has established a division, the Tribe Literary Agency. Tribe Lit is run by Jonathan and Cari Foulk, and represents literary fiction, general and commercial fiction, urban, fantasy, sci-fi, thrillers, women’s fiction, noir, transgressive, paranormal, YA, middle grade, mystery, and more.

http://www.wheelhouseliterarygroup.com/about.htm
 

Filigree

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I'm sure Cari is passionate about reading, and several of her clients have been vocal in their support of her. But after following this entire thread and doing other research, I've reluctantly moved Cari/Tribe off my own target list of sf&f agents. From looking at her current clients, I don't feel I'm the kind of writer she's looking for. And I'd like to see her make solid genre sales to large publishers.

Filigree
 

clare

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I may have missed it, but does anyone know why ms. foulk and mr. clements aren't listed on QT?
 

writerqueen

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I hate to burst any bubbles but I am hearing rumblings from Tribe Literary Agancy. If you go and check their list of authors there are several names missing that were there earlier. It seems that several of the authors have flown the coup and there must be a reason. Does anyone know why?
 

CAWriter

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I hate to burst any bubbles but I am hearing rumblings from Tribe Literary Agancy. If you go and check their list of authors there are several names missing that were there earlier. It seems that several of the authors have flown the coup and there must be a reason. Does anyone know why?

I hadn't heard those rumblings, so I thought I'd poke around and see what I could find.

It didn't ring completely true because, while I don't know Cari personally, I do know a couple of her clients, including Lynn Rush who recently announced that Cari had sold her debut novel to Crescent Moon. (I know the jury is out with some people on CM, but Lynn seems happy with the deal.)

I don't know who all is missing who used to be there because I don't follow the list closely, but I did find a post from two authors (a writing team) who dropped her as their agent and decided to e-pub their book in hopes that their sales will generate interest from traditional publishers. That's their own explanation of why they aren't represented by TribeLit, so that might answer your question, at least for two of them. Personally, I wouldn't hold that against Cari. I don't think dropping an agent to self-publish is necessarily any indication of the agent's worthiness (or lack thereof).

I have no idea who else is missing from the list or why.

(WQ, will you be deleting this question too? It's a little odd that you've only posted on AW twice, both times on this thread, but you deleted the first one. Something specific behind your question/bubble-bursting?)
 

Momento Mori

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Sean, just to make the point - Crescent Moon Press doesn't require an agent to submit to it and I can't see anything on there about the publisher paying advances (although I'm happy to be corrected).

One sale in over 2 years isn't a great statistic.

MM
 

SeanTPoindexter

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Sean, just to make the point - Crescent Moon Press doesn't require an agent to submit to it and I can't see anything on there about the publisher paying advances (although I'm happy to be corrected).

One sale in over 2 years isn't a great statistic.

MM

Neither is one sale in a year and a half...which is actually how long they've been in business. I've met an agent who worked two years before securing a sale. I know writers who have been under the same representation for longer than I have, with much bigger agents, who have yet to sell a book.

And as for the details of the advance: it is my understanding that there was one, but those are between the publisher and the writer and agent. If you're curious, you can email the writer personally and she can, if she chooses, share those details.

But that wasn't the point. The point was that the claim was made that in a year and a half no sales had been made. A simple visit to the Tribe Literary website would have proven that statement incorrect.

You know, the simple fact is that I can't promise that my book is going to be sold. Neither can my agent. Neither can anyone's agent. When my contract is up, I may not be renewed. Who really knows. Or my contract could be renewed and we get a sale in two years. Or four. Or a week. This is how this works. Nothing is guaranteed.

Yes, I suppose it is possible that my agent is lying about the publishers requesting my work, and she's just telling me that to keep me on a leash...I can't imagine why, though. I haven't given her any money, and she's spent a great deal of her own money, as well as time and effort, sending out proposals, attending conventions, expos, conferences and workshops for me and the other Tribe clients...though I figure if she were telling me what she thought I wanted to hear, I'd be getting news of a LOT more manuscript requests. As it is, I've gotten 9, including partials.

But again, I say it is possible that Cari is lying as part of some ridiculous game or self-delusion of being an agent...and her senior partner Jonathan, an agent with sales (and not JUST in the Christian genre, which contrary to the claims of another poster on this forum is NOT a niche marker in the US: every major publisher has a faith-based division, house or imprint and many of the best sellers are faith-based books) is just humoring her. And me. And the rest of her clients. Or he's in on the joke, putting his reputation and career on the line.

It is possible, but seems unlikely. Cari has been attentive and kind, far more so than the agents of other writers with whom I'm acquainted. Every part of my interaction with her has been transparent, and she's taken a very personal approach to the client-agent relationship. I don't know if you follow the news, but my home city (Joplin, MO) was devastated recently by a tornado storm. A quarter of the city is in ruins, and over a hundred people are dead. I am fine and so is my family: and our home was untouched by the storm, but the devastation to my city has been heart-wrenching. Most of my books are set in Joplin, including the one being shopped out to publishers. I made jokes about this place (as seen in my signature, a quote from one of my books) but it is my home and I love it, faults and glories combined. I mention this because: Cari contacted me right away to make sure we were okay, and offered to assist me if I needed it. It was a kind gesture, and more than some of my other local writer friends received from their agents...which BTW none of whom have managed to secure sales for their books, either. So I have a hard time believing that this woman is lying directly to my face about publishers--GOOD, well-known publishers--requesting partial or full manuscripts of my work. But I have a hard time swallowing that. I realize these are just my experiences and as such may have little weight in your judgements, but they are all I have to offer until my book is published. However, I suspect that even after that point there will be some here who still will not be satisfied. Fine. That is their prerogative.
 

Momento Mori

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SeanTPoindexter:
Neither is one sale in a year and a half...which is actually how long they've been in business. I've met an agent who worked two years before securing a sale. I know writers who have been under the same representation for longer than I have, with much bigger agents, who have yet to sell a book.

Well with all due respect you're comparing two different things.

If you sign with an agent who has no previous sales, then you're basically taking a chance on whether the agent can actually make a sale or not and on top of that, whether they can sell your particular manuscript.

If you sign with an agent who has a history of sales, then you're only taking a chance on the latter.

SeanTPoindexter:
And as for the details of the advance: it is my understanding that there was one, but those are between the publisher and the writer and agent. If you're curious, you can email the writer personally and she can, if she chooses, share those details.

I don't need details of the amount of the advance, just confirmation that an advance was paid, which you seem to be providing.

SeanTPoindexter:
The point was that the claim was made that in a year and a half no sales had been made. A simple visit to the Tribe Literary website would have proven that statement incorrect.

And now we've established that there's been 1 sale in 18 months so the point has been answered. Unfortunately that's still not a great track record.

SeanTPoindexter:
Yes, I suppose it is possible that my agent is lying about the publishers requesting my work, and she's just telling me that to keep me on a leash...I can't imagine why, though. I haven't given her any money, and she's spent a great deal of her own money, as well as time and effort, sending out proposals, attending conventions, expos, conferences and workshops for me and the other Tribe clients...though I figure if she were telling me what she thought I wanted to hear, I'd be getting news of a LOT more manuscript requests. As it is, I've gotten 9, including partials.

I don't think anyone's accused Cari of lying about submissions or requests for partials/fulls.

With your manuscript, have you had any feedback from publishers as to the manuscript or is it still under consideration?

SeanTPoindexter:
But again, I say it is possible that Cari is lying as part of some ridiculous game or self-delusion of being an agent...and her senior partner Jonathan, an agent with sales (and not JUST in the Christian genre, which contrary to the claims of another poster on this forum is NOT a niche marker in the US: every major publisher has a faith-based division, house or imprint and many of the best sellers are faith-based books) is just humoring her. And me. And the rest of her clients. Or he's in on the joke, putting his reputation and career on the line.

No one's questioned Jonathan's sales history.

SeanTPoindexter:
It is possible, but seems unlikely. Cari has been attentive and kind, far more so than the agents of other writers with whom I'm acquainted. Every part of my interaction with her has been transparent, and she's taken a very personal approach to the client-agent relationship.

All of which is great. But the key point about being an agent is about making sales. Cari's made one to a small publisher that doesn't require an agent to submit to it.

SeanTPoindexter:
Cari contacted me right away to make sure we were okay, and offered to assist me if I needed it. It was a kind gesture, and more than some of my other local writer friends received from their agents...which BTW none of whom have managed to secure sales for their books, either.

I have heard about Joplin and I am very sorry for what happened in that city and glad to know that you are okay. I agree that it was considerate of Cari to make sure you were okay.

However the point of this thread isn't to discuss an agent's personality, it's to discuss their ability to make sales. I don't dispute that Cari's a nice, hard-working person. I do question whether after all those conventions, workshops etc she's got the ability to make sales to established commercial publishers.

MM
 

SeanTPoindexter

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However the point of this thread isn't to discuss an agent's personality, it's to discuss their ability to make sales. I don't dispute that Cari's a nice, hard-working person. I do question whether after all those conventions, workshops etc she's got the ability to make sales to established commercial publishers.

MM

Only time will tell. The fact remains that my manuscript is still under consideration in places that never would have seen it had it not been for Cari. Whether the books sells after that point is dependent on the quality of my writing and the market desires of the publishers. Neither of which are under my agents control (sans the latter, which she could have chosen to not represent me did she not think my work was up to par) The only conclusions one can draw from this are that she is capable of getting books in front of publishers for sale, OR she is lying to me and far fewer (or no) publishers have requested my manuscript. My point is that, based on my experience with the woman and the agency, I find it unlikely that I'm being lied to. I may be wrong. If I'm being deceived, I will eat my words and return here to savage her worse than you can imagine: hell hath no fury like a writer scorned.

As to your question about feedback from the publishers: yes, i have received some. I've been rejected at least once--which is to be expected--by a publisher that said they weren't interested in publishing works from my genre at this time. I've also gotten feedback from editors and editorial assistants, most of it good. A few publishers seemed to express an interest in looking at something by me in a different genre: young adult fantasy/dystopia, which is apparently in high demand at this time. I am now working on something in that vein to publish under a pen name, and have been working out the proposal with Cari.

Again, all of this is contingent on Cari's honesty, as she is the conduit for this information. So, either these things are happening because she knows the right people to make them happen, or she's deceiving me because of pride, stubborness or just pure maliciousness. Continuing to question whether she has these contacts and skills is essentially questioning her honesty--or mine--or both. Which is fine: these are valid questions to ask. There are crooked agents who will lie, cheat and steal and all writers, especially new ones, need to beware them. And as a community we have a right and obligation to expose them. So question her honesty (or mine) all you want, that's fine. But please dismiss the pretense--unintentional as it likely is--that this isn't what is being done.

On a personal note: thank you for your kind words about my city. Joplin took what is being called the world's deadliest tornado in almost a century and barely flinched. A friend of mine lost is father. Another friend lost one of her best friends when he was pulled from his vehicle by the storm. When the Westboro Baptist Church (those god hates fags wackos who protest soldier funerals and tragedies) showed up to tell us we were being punished by god for our sins, they were run out of town...except for one of them, who got beaten up by a biker and then escorted three counties away by the police and dropped off in the middle of nowhere. No one (or thing) messes with Joplin :)
 

victoriastrauss

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Sean, just to make the point - Crescent Moon Press doesn't require an agent to submit to it and I can't see anything on there about the publisher paying advances (although I'm happy to be corrected).
This is why I didn't count it as a sale. I'd be happy to stand corrected on the advance, but given that Crescent Moon accepts unagented submissions, and the author may have been able to make the sale herself, I still wouldn't count this as a meaningful addition to an agent's track record.

- Victoria
 

CAWriter

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I didn't realize that it doesn't count as a 'sale' if an agent makes a sale to a place that an author could submit to on their own. Just because an author CAN submit (an agent isn't required) doesn't mean that that project would have sold without the agent's involvement, or that the author didn't get a better deal because the agent negotiated it.

There's talk all the time on this board that agents will likely get an author a better deal than the author would have gotten without one. And if Cari got Lynn an advance from a publisher that doesn't typically (or hasn't historically) offered advances, wouldn't that go to prove the point that the agent got the author better than the author would have if she were unagented?
 

Twizzle

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There's talk all the time on this board that agents will likely get an author a better deal than the author would have gotten without one. And if Cari got Lynn an advance from a publisher that doesn't typically (or hasn't historically) offered advances, wouldn't that go to prove the point that the agent got the author better than the author would have if she were unagented?

Technically. A $1.00 advance is a better deal than no advance, I suppose. But then one could argue a cold is better than cancer. Personally, I could do without both, thankyouvairmuch. But I digress. Better doesn't always equate to good, or even desirable, you know?

Tho, we don't know this author got an advance, and even if she did, what the amt was. Or even the terms of her contract. Sean just said it was his understanding she did, but to go directly to the author for the actual facts. So. We only know a not to the Big Guys sale was made. If she got an advance, that's better. But whether it should "count" as a good or desirable sale, that is perhaps a very different thing.
 
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victoriastrauss

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I didn't realize that it doesn't count as a 'sale' if an agent makes a sale to a place that an author could submit to on their own. Just because an author CAN submit (an agent isn't required) doesn't mean that that project would have sold without the agent's involvement, or that the author didn't get a better deal because the agent negotiated it.
This is certainly true, however, you have to put things in context. This "sale" was to an epublisher, and epublishers just don't typically work with agents--partly because of the lack of advances, but also because epublishing still retains a lot of the alt-publishing ethos it started out with. You absolutely don't need an agent to sell work to an epublisher, or to get the publisher to prioritize your work (nor is there much incentive for agents to work with most epublishers, because of the lack of advances). Given this, why hand over 15% of your income to an agent? You give up that 15% for getting you in where you can't go yourself, not for placing you where you could reasonably have sold on your own.
There's talk all the time on this board that agents will likely get an author a better deal than the author would have gotten without one. And if Cari got Lynn an advance from a publisher that doesn't typically (or hasn't historically) offered advances, wouldn't that go to prove the point that the agent got the author better than the author would have if she were unagented?
Maybe--but wouldn't you want your agent getting you a better deal at a publisher that could afford to pay a competitive advance? Not casting aspersions on Crescent Moon, but it's a small publisher with, probably, limited finances, and I doubt it could afford to pay anything above low three figures (if that much). Getting you (for instance) a $350 advance when the publisher normally pays $250 is not really why you hire an agent.

- Victoria
 

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Hello everyone!!
It was brought to my attention earlier that we were mentioned in this thread so I stopped by to give it a look. WOW! I am blown away. I want to offer my e-mail for ANYONE who would like to know the reasons for our departure from this agency. I have kept a civil tongue in my head for many months where this agency is concerned, but in truth, our reasons for leaving went much deeper than simply wanting to self publish. I urge ANYONE who is new to the writing world, to get educated on the ins & outs of the business and to know everything you can BEFORE querying. [email protected]
I wish everyone the very best in all their endeavors and hope you all have a wonderful day.

BTW- this is in no way a dig at Sean...he is a great guy, a wonderful writer and I believe him to be as loyal as they come so I hope no one takes it the wrong way.
 

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