WL Children's Agency / Children's Literary Agency

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IWrite

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RobertF said:
At this time the process that Ms. Strauss decries as a foul scam has 68 manuscripts under request by publishers, 3 book contracts in negotiation, and 3 movie options in various stages of negotiation.

Question about the 68 - did you send an unsolicited query or did you pick up the phone and call the editors? I don't need you to send a query and it's cheaper for me to do it than have you do it for me - as you apparently charge for this.

Question about the 3 books - are they traditional publishers or Publish America? Any requests from Simon & Schuster or Bantam?

Comment about the 3 options. Options mean nothing. It's sales that count and one thing a screenwriter wants an agent to do is close a sale.

RobertF said:
I feel very sorry for new and emerging authors who have taken Ms. Strauss' advice and missed their chance to be included in the above totals.[/b]

Based on the amount of time you've been in business and the number of authors you've sucked in your above totals are.... pathetic.

RobertF said:
Anybody here try to get to a literary agent that will actually talk to a new author? It doesn't happen. So what happens because of Ms. Strauss and others, is that a new author goes through our process, does some research and then gets scared off.

You are the one spreading false and erroneous information on this point. Brand spanking new authors get signed by real agents and get real publishing contracts every day. Yes it's a tough process - nothing worth having is easy. And there really is no point in having an agent who knows nothing about the business and/or knows nobody in it. If you knew about the film biz - you would not be bragging about getting 3 options. At most agencies, if that's the best you can do - you'd be hanging your head in shame or seeking another career - 10% of option money doesn't cover an agency's cost for brads. If you knew about the publishing industry - you would not be saying that real agents won't talk to unpublished writers.

RobertF said:
What's next for that new author? another 100 query letters to Agents? Another round of postage and time /lost. We would have that author in front of real buyers within 30 days. That's the real truth, you can spend the rest of your life looking for an agent that will take you on for 'free', or you can get into a process that will tell you if your work is sellable very quickly.[/b]

Yes, Mr. Fletcher another round of queries, this is the process - this is how it works. You can't become a famous actor unless you send out hundreds of headshots and go on audition after audition. And you can't get an agent until you send enough queries to finally hit the right one.

As for agents taking you on for free. Hoisted with your own petard on this one. A real agent will believe enough in your work, that they are willing to take the chance that they will not make a dime off you. It's a huge act of faith AND it insures they will work damn hard to get your work out there, because their payday is dependent upon yours.

You on the other hand get a nice chunk of change from every sucker.. uh client you reel in. You don't have to sell a single book to make wads of cash. You don't have to limit yourself to those who you think are good enough to be published, because your income comes from their fees. You have no incentive to sell anything but your services.

RobertF said:
Our Agencies are willing to incubate new authors. We're willing to spend time working with them to improve their work We present options to them and they can choose any company that they choose for the services they need. We don't force it down their throat, what's the point in that? If an author is willing to be critiqued by a third party, edit and fix their writing, etc. then we're willing to give that author a chance. Otherwise, where does that author go... Maybe some of the bulletin board posters will start to help these authors free of charge.. .hmmm...[/b]

Umm.. no offense Mr. Fletcher, but I'm looking for someone to represent and sell my work - not incubate me. And many, many agents will give suggestions to writers on how to improve their ms if they believe the writer has promise.

And just what is the background of you and your employees that puts you in a position to help writers "improve their work"? From what I know about your background - you don't come from the literary world - although since it appears you got in a little bit of trouble with securities fraud - you may have some experience with fiction. Your new CEO has a background in marketing - not literature. The sale you're so anxious tout was made to a publisher that eagerly accepts unagented work.

RobertF said:
We are beginning a series of lawsuits against her and other bulletin board moderators and posters. A literary agent must be facile in their use of lawyers. We keep 'em on retainer.[/b]

Dude, save your time and your money. Do you really want a parade of all your dissatisfied clients marching to the witness stand? From what I've seen on the net - there appear to be alot of them.

The fact remains - you do CHAGE fees and you have almost no verifiable sales.

Scammer or not you are what many would deem a lousy agency.
 
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James D. Macdonald

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Children's Literary Agency

The President of the Children's Literary Agency, Dorothy Walker, has successfully sold her work to Scholastic, Henry Holt, and Tree of Life publishing. Her work has also appeared in publications such as Highlights for Children, Child Life, Jack & Jill, Wee Wisdom, and Humpty Dumpty.



The listed president of Children's Literary Agency is Dorothy Walker.

Here is a list of her sales of book-length works:

As Ann Doro:

Charlie The Lost Dog, Scholastic, 1990
Twin Pickle, Henry Holt, 1996
The Missing Canary, Tree Of Life Publishing, 2005

As D.A. Johnstone:

Trio, PublishAmerica, 2003
 

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James D. Macdonald said:
The Missing Canary, Tree Of Life Publishing, 2005
Tree of Life Publishing is a company established by self-publisher Peter Parente to put out his own children's books. It now seems to be offering self-publishing deals (I'm being polite, not using the v-word, since Mr. Parente really did self-publish) to others--among them, CLA clients.

- Victoria
 

hunterwoman75

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Children's Literary Agency

I have read all your guys postings on the Children's Literary Agency and I am very aware of their policies and form emails.

I recently emailed them with their form questionnaire and was asked to send my manuscript. I have received a positive review from them and now I'm wanting to speak to them in person. I have searched the internet yellowpages for their phone number but alas there is no number to be found. this is a huge flag for me and probably all of you as well.

I looked up the Literary Agency Group phone number in New York and in Los Angeles, but there is no phone number for them. Because of the umbrella tree that they have happening I looked up the New York Literary Agency, The Christian Literary Agency and big suprise, no phone numbers for any of these agencies.

I talked to Peter Parent on the phone and he highly recommended them and advised of what they do and they sounded great, they would do everything they possibly could to get one published. They are a new age form of Literary Agents and I do understand where they are coming from but on the down side do they really exist and if they do why don't they have a phone number listed? Maybe it's to keep writers like myself who have lots of questions from phoning (lol).

I was excited to receive this positive review because I write so differently than the regular genres out there for young adults and I thought I had an agency actually believe in my work. (hence the name hunterwoman75) I write stories about kids who go hunting from the experiences that I have and had while hunting and fishing. I have been told by my emailing critiquing group that I have the same descriptiveness as Gary Paulson, and he writes about the wilderness and an experience from a young persons point of view. I am not saying I'm like him at all but we have a similiar writing style. I haven't read his books because I don't want to be told that I am copying him. I do know that he is published by Random House and you need an agent to be published by them, hence, my search for an agent that believes in me.

I know that in this forum there is alot of talk about the Children's Literary Agency referring people to editors, which is understandable, I have my own editor that I pay to edit my work. It increases your chances of being published instead of getting the form rejection letter. There is also talk of having a 3rd party critique and The Children's Literary Agency willing to refer you to someone that will do that. I do agree with that as well because it shows you the marketing potential and what needs to be worked on. On the downside is there is no mention on who pays for that service to be provided.

Can anyone help me out here with getting a phone number for the Children's Literary Agency? I would really appreciate it.

Sincerely,

Hunterwoman75
 

James D. Macdonald

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Hunterwoman --

You probably want to look at these two other threads at AW:

Children's Literary Agency I
Children's Literary Agency II


I have to inform you that last week I visited New York, and I visited 275 Madison Avenue, the purported home of Children's Literary Agency. I talked with the security guard in the lobby; he and I went through his master list of tenants, and -- Children's Literary Agency is not located in that building. Neither is The Literary Agency Group (CLA's purportedly a division of LAG).

Having a bad agent is worse than having no agent at all.

I want you to promise me that you will never, ever, write a check to an agent.

Here is Everything You Wanted To Know About Literary Agents.

To answer your question: Their phone number is 866-876-4488
 

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Thank you

Thank you James, I really appreciate it. I do promise you that I will never write a check to an agent. I knew it was too good to be true. This saddens me. Just when I thought I found someone to believe in me this happens. This really sucks. I will be calling them and asking questions.

Sincerely,

Hunterwoman75
 

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hunterwoman75 said:
Thank you James, I really appreciate it. I do promise you that I will never write a check to an agent. I knew it was too good to be true. This saddens me. Just when I thought I found someone to believe in me this happens. This really sucks. I will be calling them and asking questions.

Sincerely,

Hunterwoman75

Don't write a check to someone they've recommended you pay to "tweak" your book, either! That's a big scam alert - although the fact that Jim couldn't find them in the building is kind of a big tipoff, too.

Best of luck with your writing!

Susan G.
 

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Don't worry Susan, I already have my own editor and she does an awesome job. Her name is Judith Brand. I highly recommend her to anyone who is looking for editing to be done.


Sincerely,

Hunterwoman75
 

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I need opnions about a letter I'm about to send

Hi, I'm not sure if this is the right place or not but I'm posting it here. I received the contract from The Chidren's Literary Agency today and I have an editor reviewing the contract. I am emailing them this letter as there are issues that I would like to address first. But before I email them I need an opinion on the letter I am about to send. If you could help me out, I would really appreciate it. Does my letter sound pushy, or demanding, or professional?

Hunterwoman75

Dear Sherry,

I just wanted to let you know that I received a copy of the contract today. I have a couple of questions that I would like to discuss with you.

First off, I would like to say thank you for believing in my work, I know that I will have great success with this series if marketed properly. I have been researching for a publisher for an extended period of time and finding little results on publication of this genre. I know that if we work together that my goal will be accomplished.

The questions that I have are well, of course those doubting questions. I have talked to Peter Parent about you guys and he highly recommended you and then I had a friend email me the Preditors and Editors. I talked to Peter about this and understood why you guys do the 3rd party critique and I already had an editor that was going to edit my work before it was sent anywhere first.

The concerns that I have are the following: (I have to be straight forward because I am an upfront person)

1) I would like to speak to you on the phone. I tried to find your phone number on the internet superpages and I couldn't find it at all. I know that us meeting in person isn't going to happen because you would have to fly all the way from New York to Williams Lake, British Columbia and that would be expensive.

2) on absolutewrite.com a writer wrote that he went to the address you have posted on your website but they didn't have you listed there.

I truly want to believe that you guys aren't like other agencies that have been not recommended because I like your business philosphy. If we can work this out, I will have no problems working with your agency. I would be more than happy to provide a reference for Children's Literary Agency.
 

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As I understand it, the Children's Literary Agency is one of the many incarnations of what was ST literary Agency. It appears to derive it's income from fees writers pay (they're called something other than reading fees, I can't remember what).

There is a long thread about it here:

http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=529

It will take a long time to read, but I think it's worth it given how important this decision is.
 

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If you're going to move forward with CLA, even with all the information stacked against this agency, then I wish you the best of luck. (No phone number and no physical location? Wow...)
 

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Hunterwoman, sending your money to the Salvation Army would give you just as good a chance at finding a publisher - but you could sleep better knowing you were helping someone who truly needs it.
 

hunterwoman75

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thank you

Thanks for your help guys. They aren't asking for money. I was going to send my manuscript to an editor when I was done anyways. The 3rd party critique is a very good idea and my editor is going to do that for me.

The phone number issue is that one member in here gave me their number but it doesn't work where I live. The address that they give is a mailing address, so where are they located exactly??

I'm sick with worry and antcipation. I wish I could just phone and clarify these fears I'm having.

Hunterwoman75
 

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hunterwoman75 said:
The address that they give is a mailing address, so where are they located exactly??

Boca Raton, Florida.


I want you to promise that the instant they ask you for money, or someone they steered you to asks for money, for you to bail out and find a real agent.
 

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Hunterwoman, did you read this thread on Children's Literary Agency? It's not a real agency, but a spinoff of Stylus Literary Agency, a.k.a. ST Literary Agency, a fee-charging agency that as far as I know has never sold a book to a commercial publisher in its entire four-year history.

The critique service Children's Literary Agency recommends belongs to the same people who own the agency. This is a conflict of interest. If the agency can make money by telling you to get a critique, how can you be sure that the recommendation is being made in your best interest? Reputable agents don't refer writers to critique or editing services they own. Nor do they make getting a critique a requirement for representation (as CLA and all the Stylus spinoffs do).

The Manhattan address for CLA is a mail drop, not an office address.

- Victoria
 

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opinions valued

I, Hunterwoman75, hereby do solemly vow never to give money to an agent.

Vicotoria, I have read all the threads and perceptions of the valued members in this forum. I see many things and understand the need for caution.

I have read about the complaint of form emails. Have we taken into consideration that they get alot of emails everyday?

And of other complaints about the contract; have we considered that there is a contract on the internet that is the same? Have we looked at other agent contracts that are available on the web? Are they generic just like the Children's Literary Agency?

It's not like I'm jumping on their band wagon or anything but there are logical answers to our very logical questions.

I may seem a little dense considering all the talk in the forum but I believe in people even though it can hurt me in the end. Where I am undecided is because of my talk with Peter Parent. I'm sure all of you have your perceptions about Mr. Parent but their marketing of his books are producing huge results in $$. If we don't take a chance, we won't know will we? How many times have you been offered a contract, no strings attached? I haven't been. My book is a huge risk to their company and if they get it published and set up my author tours, do have any idea how much money I could make???? Marketing of the book is essential to success, if you take all this time to write the book and then just let the publisher sell it in the book store with no other form of marketing, you will starve.

Hunterwoman75
 

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hunterwoman75 said:
I, Hunterwoman75, hereby do solemly vow never to give money to an agent.

To this, add, "or publisher, editor, cover art designer, or marketing expert, or anyone else my agent says I should pay." The author should not be paying for any of these things unless s/he is truly self-publishing.

Vicotoria, I have read all the threads and perceptions of the valued members in this forum. I see many things and understand the need for caution.

hunterwoman, do you know Victoria Strauss' credentials? She's part of the Writer Beware team, and among the other things she's done, she's helped the feds put away literary scammers. When she tells you to be cautious of a particular agency, it's serious. This agency's affiliated agencies have a long and bad history. Very likely the only reason this one doesn't have more complaints about it is that it's still a new name. I doubt it'll take long to earn the same terrible reputation its affiliated agencies have.

And of other complaints about the contract; have we considered that there is a contract on the internet that is the same? Have we looked at other agent contracts that are available on the web? Are they generic just like the Children's Literary Agency?

Friend, you're trying too hard to convince yourself that this agency is okay. The people here who have given you advice know literary contracts. They know good ones and bad ones. You would do well to listen to people who know more about literary contracts than you do, because lit contracts are specialized and the language can be tricky.

How many times have you been offered a contract, no strings attached? I haven't been.

Authors get legitimate contracts every day. Unknown, first-time authors get legitimate contracts, not just big-name authors. If you haven't gotten one, yet, it means you need to work harder on your book -- not run with the first agency that tells you what you want to hear.

Marketing of the book is essential to success, if you take all this time to write the book and then just let the publisher sell it in the book store with no other form of marketing, you will starve.

To put this bluntly, bull. Marketing is the publisher's job. No legitimate publisher is going to put this hugely important part of the process in the hands of an amateur, which is what the author is. Legit publishers have marketing departments. Legit publishers do marketing that you, the author, cannot do (no matter how dedicated you are), and probably won't even know about unless you ask someone who works there. You know when publishers say they're investing in your book? Most of the money they're investing is in marketing to the trade. If a publisher says, "We believe in your book and we're going to give it the chance it deserves -- you just need to market it yourself" then they're blowing smoke. I know you don't want to hear this. I hope you'll hear it anyway.

If I were you, I'd look elsewhere for a legit agent. In any event, I wish you the best of luck.
 
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Richard

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I may seem a little dense considering all the talk in the forum

No, but you seem very naive, and determined to stay ignorant of how the system works. As with the Book Millionaire thread, you're taking the information you're being given and brushing it off with giant misconceptions about how the industry works, and claims of 'Well, you never really know, do you?' Many of the people giving you advice on this are absolute, cast-iron experts in the field of trouble-spotting that you discount at your peril - certainly, I find it hard to credit you ignoring the likes of Victoria and Dave in favour of a phonecall with a guy whose claims have already been so thoroughly gone over, and has yet to reply to any of the questions that arose from it. If you disagree, fine, but good luck - you're going to need it.

And your agent is NOT there to take a huge risk for you. Period. Their job is to find books they think they can sell to publishers and do so; the publisher in turn takes the financial risk of buying and printing the book. This is not a matter of opinion. They don't do author tours or printing or editing or any of that other stuff - that's the publisher. What you want to find out before going any further is which big-name publishers (if any) CLA has managed to get a book placed with. Not in consideration. Placed. Published. On shelves. Preferably ones whose 'CEO' isn't also the name of the only author on offer, if you get my drift.

My book is a huge risk to their company and if they get it published and set up my author tours, do have any idea how much money I could make????

Yes. Do you?
 
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the thread from the webs

richard, I see where you are coming from. Maybe I'm so dang tired of trying to find an agent that would represent my genre that I question everything.

I don't mean to offend anyone but how do you know when you have a good agent? Besides looking on the preditors and editors listing. It's like wading through piles of piles of useless information for me. It's not like they say; we represent Young Adult fiction hunting genres. If life were like that, "you wouldn't need a visa card." (sorry had to laugh about the situation.)

Hunterwoman75
 

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hunterwoman75 said:
I don't mean to offend anyone but how do you know when you have a good agent?

As the experts here keep saying, a good agent is one who's sold books you've heard of to publishers who get them into stores. How do you find one of those? Go to bookstores. Find books similar to yours. Do some research and find out who agented those books. Use the list you generate that way as your starting point. At the same time, be researching what a good agent is like and what s/he can do for you, and how the publishing world really works.
 

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It's understandable - writing is a very frustrating field at times - but there's never any reason to go with a bad agent in favour of no agent. As for how you know, you do your homework - you find out which books that agent has represented. Find authors who write in your field and try to find out who they used.

In the end, if your agent has no expertise or contacts or reputation in a particular part of the industry, getting your submission from them is no different to the publisher getting it from you - and if you wind up with a scammer, you could be in for an absolute boat-load of pain and expense. Sites like P&E and AW exist so that you can look with your eyes open, without having to take everything on trust. You can't do that in this industry. There are people who want to see you succeed, but there are just as many sharks on the lookout for a sucker - and they're the ones you're more likely to run into.

Also, could you please do us all a favour and cut down your signature to something sane? That's ridiculously long.
 

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hunterwoman75 said:
I don't mean to offend anyone but how do you know when you have a good agent?
One good step, which you took, is to ask about an agency here. And you received an answer - the Children's Literary Agency is not a reputable agency (I'm being polite). If you truly believe in your work and want to give it the best chance possible, do not sign anything with that agency. You aren't dense--you asked, and people who know about these things answered. Time to move on to the next agency on your list.
 

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A good agent has sold books you've heard of.

================================

Children's Literary Agency/New York Literary Agency/Christian Literary Agency/Stylus Literary Agency have never sold a book in their lives.

They didn't even sell Peter Parente's book: He self-published.

Robert Fletcher, their head honcho, is an adjudged swindler.

Tell you what -- if you insist that the only way to know is to find out for yourself, have at it. Keep careful records. They'll come in handy at Fletcher's next trial.


ByteAudio.com, Inc.; Frank M. Dolney; Robert M. Fletcher; and Fred C. Kriss - SDO-063-01 (also see SDO-021-01)
On September 4, 2001, Securities Administrator Deborah Bortner issued final orders against two Florida firms charged with offering and selling unregistered securities in Washington. The Orders are significant in that they seek fines totaling $100,000 as well as imposing injunctive relief and ordering restitution.
In the case against ByteAudio.com, Inc., the Division issued a final order against Byte's President, Robert M. Fletcher. (The Division's cases against the firm and other respondents are continuing.) The order charges Fletcher with violating the registration and anti-fraud provisions of the Securities Act. Fletcher is liable for a $50,000 fine and has been ordered to pay restitution to Washington investors.

A copy of the summary order, SDO-021-01, which includes the findings of fact and conclusions of law, is also available online.
 
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P&E lists agent preferences when those are known or given to us. However, even then that doesn't mean those are all an agent will accept. A number of agents have and still do change their preferences regularly enough that it's difficult keeping track of what they do like to represent. Regardless, we do try to post the most recent and accurate information possible.

That said, I've already heard from one writer who paid for a critique from the Literary Agency Group conglomerate and is not happy with what she received for her money. I simply do not believe that any part of that conglomerate will succeed in representing or servicing any writers properly.