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Urban Literary Agency

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

PVish

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Saw Urban Literary Agency mentioned on Facebook and took a look at their, er, website (a Wordpress site) and red flags started flapping: From the "About Us" page:
Urban Literary Agency is about helping writers’ find their niche in the current writing market. We plan to help them gain the exposure they need to be successful. From author interviews, book trailers, writing courses and much more, we can establish a platform for any writer.
and
What do we have to offer? Tons of prior working experience as an author, book reviewer (top rated), blogger, and as a (senior) publisher.
Our goal: Is to help writer complete their goals to achieve their life’s dream of being published.
Strangely, no agent's name is mentioned. And they do book reviews, both free and paid. And they also have services that are both free and paid. And there's more red-flag-flappable stuff. . . .

(Mods, if there's already a thread, please merge.)
 

PVish

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The agent seems to be Danielle Urban, a self-published author, who also owns UniversalCreativityInc14, also on a wordpress site. Interesting that the "Free Courses" offered on that site were $5 before July 14 and are now $10. Her bio is at the bottom of this page. Her Amazon page is here. There doesn't seem to be anything on her or her agency on Preditors and Editors.

Can anyone find evidence that her agency has sold any books to publishers?
 

aliceshortcake

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Danielle Urban can be found on Elance, where, in a profile littered with typos, she offers editing services for a minimum of $5 per hour:

https://www.elance.com/s/universalcreativity/?utm_medium=social&utm_source=googleplus&utm_campaign=free&SiteTarget=share_profile&utm_term=8246926&mpid=ref_gplus

Urban's own site is so clumsily written and oddly punctuated I can't imagine why anyone would trust her to edit their work. Here's an extract from Urban's 'new novel project' Remember Paris, posted the day before yesterday:

Nothing but numbers everywhere. Dead bodies could be found every place you looked. Those that survived were either barley hanging on or buried under many who were dead. Bombs, machine guns, and terrorists were to blame. It’s no longer just fear foreigners but fear your neighbors and now family members. People were so easily turned to the other side. No one wanted to die. Yet so many were killed. Torture and rap were only used on those that were liked by the terrorists. And even then they killed you.
https://universalcreativityinc14.wordpress.com/

Danielle, it might be an idea to give the Paris authorities time to wash the blood off the streets and identify the victims before you post stuff like this.

From one of Urban's self-pubbed books (she claims to be working on eight novels):

Witnesses were all over. So luck for us, neither of us will be going to jail. But once the paramedics arrived and the police started to question us, Matt and I were covered in Angela's blood spatter. I was shaking. And on top of that it started to run...Matt was shaken with awestruck that Angela would just walk right into his mom's car.

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B01073WEPI/?tag=absowrit-20

The Universal Creativity magazine is exactly what you'd expect - one of them refers to 'Best Selling Novels in Fiction', another to 'Querry Letters'. ON THE COVERS.

Urban provides a list of her editing credits. Needless to say, the ones I looked at don't inspire confidence in her abilities.

Other credits include:

Reviewed books for Harper Impulse

– Reviewed books for St. Martin’s Press

– Reviewed books for Entangled Press

In other words, she's reviewed books published by these companies - something anyone could do.

Meagan Kreycik is our new editor for both Universal Creativity Inc. and Urban Literary Agency. Meagan has experience working as an editor for a traditional publishing house as well as freelance editing. She has a B.A. in English with an emphasis on literature and is a full-time children’s picture book author. She is currently seeking new clients, in all genres.
https://universalcreativityinc14.wordpress.com/

I found a LinkedIn profile for Meagan Kreycik, senior editor at Pulse LLC and based in Rennes, but it wouldn't load for me:

https://touch.www.linkedin.com/?ses...//www.linkedin.com/in/meagan-kreycik-43a87a8a

This appears to be Pulse LLC:

http://www.pulsepub.net/home.html

Urban also claims to be a senior editor at Pulse.

A Meagan Louise Kreycik based in France is on Facebook:

https://m.facebook.com/meagan.kreycik

She recently published her first children's picture book under the name Meagan Kragovich. It has to be the same person, although nothing on Facebook indicates that she's currently working as an editor (and to be brutally frank neither do the tortured rhymes in her book).

From Urban Literary Agency's website:

A new homor piece will also be featured in Urban Lit Magazine.

September is the month where we think of and honor our grandparents. They are truly amazing people and need to be honoreed, remembered and cherished. September 13th is Grandparents’ Day. So, in honor we are hosting a free publishing contest for our writers to submit a short 500 – 1,000 word short story featuring grandparents. It can be a memior or fiction piece.

Fairy tales don’t exist but that doesn’t that two hearts can’t unite under the right circumstances.
https://urbanliteraryagency.wordpress.com/

The Dunning-Kruger effect strikes again! It's frightening to think that Urban, who is still a student, is teaching creative writing.

The odd thing is that ULA's services don't include...well, acting as a literary agent:

Our goal: Is to help writer complete their goals to achieve their life’s dream of being published.

There's no mention of contacts in the publishing world or previous experience as an agent. And why is an editor working at a literary agency?

This young lady is heavily invested in the Published Author/Publisher/Agent Role-Playing Game:

Tomorrow, I will be releasing my 4th nonfiction book, called If I Can Do It, So Can You. Anyone, who is interested in an advance copy for a review, can email me at: [email protected]

This is the problem. Thanks to the internet and cheap self-pubbing, anyone can claim to be an author, a publisher or an agent. But there's this thing called 'quality control' without which the reader would be overwhelmed by a sea of pure slush.

Tomorrow, I will be releasing my Hearts Collide novel collection onto Amazon as well. Again advance copies will be $0.99 and then the price will go up to $1.99. https://universalcreativityinc14.wordpress.com/

I can't wait to see how long these novels are. According to Amazon none of Urban's currently listed books are more than 25 pages long, including a collection of six short stories!
 
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aliceshortcake

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My God, an outfit that isn't deemed worthy of a Filigree's Rule badge must be stupendously bad!

And at the risk of failing to respect my fellow author, I can't get over this sentence:

But once the paramedics arrived and the police started to question us, Matt and I were covered in Angela's blood spatter.

It conjures up a vision of a hitherto spotless Matt and his girlfriend being surrounded by police and paramedics, who proceed to spatter them with Angela's blood. No wonder Matt was shaken with awestruck...
 

Eltondiva

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Aliceshortcake, you've done it again you magic person! I am such a fan, where on Earth (I might be mistaken here) do these things come from? I am following this thread, it can only help to keep those who are ill informed or new safe. Thank you for that!:hooray:
 

aliceshortcake

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The sad fact is that there seems to be an endless supply of bottom-of-the-barrel publishers and agents preying on the naieve and desperate. To be fair, Urban is a clueless amateur rather than an outright scammer. From her Elance profile:

I am a full time college student working on finishing my Associate's degree in Business. I have background experience as a writer, editor, and as a small publisher. I am a strong adovcate for writers. I have published over 500 poems, 4 novels, and 3 books. I have written over a 100 short stories, and I am a very thorough editor. My clients love my book reviews I write for them as well as editing their work. It takes me a week to edit a manuscript.

*facepalm*

She's also an editor at 'Bethhany House Publishers' (that should be Bethany) and 'Royalty House Publishing' (she means Royalty Publishing House).
 
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oceansoul

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God, this is awful. Unfortunately, I can imagine that there will be writers who don't do their homework who end up signing with this woman.
 

Ravioli

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If I wanted to convince people that "We are" a company, which obviously sounds more tempting than "I am" one overworked individual, she should follow through when writing about her company, yet most of the text is first person singular preceded by plural.
 

aliceshortcake

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Oh, my goodness. I've just noticed that Urban's published work includes a six-page book entitled A Viking Warrior (The Viking Triology* Book 1), published under a pen name. A couple of quotes couldn't do justice to this magnum opus, so here's a link:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00EI5ATXQ/?tag=absowrit-20

*Yes - triology.

I shall say no more.
 
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EMaree

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"Torture and rap". JFC.

It's disgusting to see Danielle Urban immediately using the Paris attacks to try and make a quick buck. How utterly deplorable.
 

Eltondiva

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Okay I read the sample and...WOW! No new line for each new speaker, lots of tell and no show. I think I'll PASS on querying here. Aliceshortcake, you star! Please keep it coming, this with the Spangaloo people is a GOLDMINE for stress relief while undertaking the serious business of querying.:ROFL:
 
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aliceshortcake

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I live to serve! It's amazing how the chance discovery of one Grade Z publisher leads to another.

And in case you were wondering, Urban's '4th nonfiction book', If I Can Do It So Can You, is now available on Amazon.

All eighteen pages of it.
 

Thedrellum

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Reading more of her work, it makes little sense to single out one instance of illogic, but this still strikes me as the most idiotic sentence:

No one wanted to die. Yet so many were killed.

And the Viking Warrior sample reads as a summary rather than a novel, as though she's sketching out what she will write when she has the time.
 

aliceshortcake

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Reading more of her work, it makes little sense to single out one instance of illogic, but this still strikes me as the most idiotic sentence:



And the Viking Warrior sample reads as a summary rather than a novel, as though she's sketching out what she will write when she has the time.

I wondered if her other books are just samples, or if there'd been a mishap when she uploaded them to Amazon. Surely she doesn't think of these pamphlets as actual books?
 

PVish

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Reading more of her work, it makes little sense to single out one instance of illogic, but this still strikes me as the most idiotic sentence: No one wanted to die. Yet so many were killed.

I beg to differ, but this 2-sentence combo is:
Those that survived were either barley hanging on or buried under many who were dead. Bombs, machine guns, and terrorists were to blame.
Or this:
Someone who knew you’re entire life could suddenly be one of them.
Or maybe this:
Their bodies were shot in multiple spots.
 

aliceshortcake

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But...but...she's 'a very thorough editor'! And 'a strong adovcate for writers'!
 

Casey Karp

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I beg to differ, but this 2-sentence combo is:
Those that survived were either barley hanging on or buried under many who were dead. Bombs, machine guns, and terrorists were to blame.

I suspect it's the abuse of barley that leads to "torture and rap". I mean, I don't much care for rap or hip-hop, but that doesn't mean I approve of the use of either in conjunction with or as a form of torture.
 

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