WL Children's Agency / Children's Literary Agency

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WoodyT

All very strange

You know, this Children's Lit Agency is all very strange. Being a reasonably diligent and careful chap, I checked out these guys before joining with them and found a lot of crap about them on the net. But, I thought to myself, I think I'll give it a go with the promise to myself that I would never give them a penny.
And, I have to say, despite all the negative stuff on the net, so far they have done a very good job. The contracts arrived quickly and having a legal background, I could see nothing dodgy about it. I was quickly given an agent to work with who seems intelligent and interested in my work. I have had my critiques done on my novels by a good friend of mine and the agency were happy about this, and have at no time in the last 5 mouths I have been dealing with them, asked me for money. They answer my emails promptly and are actively putting together a publicity package for my books.
Now, as yet, we haven't got to the stage of selling my work to a publisher. And this, of course, is the crucial point. Maybe they are working better with me as I am already a published author. I don't know. We shall see. I will keep you all posted as to any developments. If I smell a rat I will be out of there in a second. But, I have always tried to make up my own mind about things, and, so far, they have acted reasonably and honestly.
 

DaveKuzminski

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WoodyT said:
Now, as yet, we haven't got to the stage of selling my work to a publisher. And this, of course, is the crucial point. Maybe they are working better with me as I am already a published author.

If you're a published author, then why do you need them? Just who did you publish with?
 

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WoodyT

Dear James,

I see you are from New Hampshire. I spent many happy summers teaching tennis at a summer camp near North Conway. It really is a most beautiful state. To answer the question from the other gentleman, I am the author of a reasonably successful fantasy series called The Struggles of Felicity Brady. I live in Sweden but my publisher is American; a very small one but very decent and relable. However, I am looking to sell the series to a bigger publisher and I thought an agent might help.
As I said, I realise this company and its many subsiduaries have a dodgy past, but I am in no hurry and have no intention of paying them or any other company related to them, a single penny, or dollar, I suppose. So far, they have been good to me, so I am good to them. If, when, they mess me around, I'm out of there. Simple. And the contract - well, I have a 90 day get out clause, and a contract is just a contract and is usually worth about the same amount as the paper it is written on.
Believe me, I truely respect your opinons on this company and your posts have helped me to go in with my eyes open. For that, I thank you.

best

WoodyT
 

cwgranny

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WoodyT said:
in the last 5 mouths I have been dealing with them... we haven't got to the stage of selling my work to a publisher.

You've been "dealing" with an agent for five months and you haven't gotten to the point where they're trying to sell your work to a publisher? Have they submitted to anyone yet? Anyone? At all?

Wow.
 

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Woody, they claim to have 5 sales over a 7 year period. Even the smaller, legitimate agencies generally have at least that many in just 6 months. They have to have that many just to stay in business.

Now let's take a look at the other topic at URL http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=529&page=37&pp=25 where the owner of this agency is advertising for publishers that he will pay to publish his clients' books. If any of his agencies actually could make sales to legitimate royalty-paying trade publishers, then why would that ad be necessary?

In effect, your generosity in giving this agency a chance is going to delay your book from ever reaching publication if your book is indeed at a publishable stage. Instead, any time you give this agency will be wasted by them.
 

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WoodyT said:
The contracts arrived quickly and having a legal background, I could see nothing dodgy about it.
WoodyT, unless you are well versed in publishing law specifically, it could be very difficult to spot a bad contract, if for no other reason than you don't know what's normal in such a contract and what's not.
 

newwriter

Hi,

Ok. I wish I had found your site first. I guess I now need to admit that I have been duped. I signed on with Children's Literary Agency a couple months ago after not finding anything negative on them. They suggested I get my piece critiqued (cost me $69) which I just received back today. The critique was pretty simple but they did refer to sections of my work within the critique. I have responded to them with a couple of questions because I don't understand how this all works. I will tread cautiously from here on out as I don't have money to just burn or lose.

Thank you to all who have posted the warnings.
 

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Received this tonight

and it may be long, but it is the email I received from Children's Literary Ageny. If I had not found this board I would have been excited, so now I am leary..

Thank you for your query to the Children's Literary Agency. Based on your
query form information we would like to see more.

1) Would you please send us an electronic copy
of your work for further evaluation?

Please email your manuscript to
[email protected] .

2) Would you please answer these 2 questions
in the body of the SAME email? (Just copy and paste
the questions).

A. How long have you been writing, and
what are your goals as a writer?

B. Do you consider your writing 'ready-to-go',
or do you think it needs some polishing.

You may send either 3-5 chapters or the entire manuscript, whichever you are
more comfortable sending. Your manuscript is completely safe within our
company. We take care to properly manage all access and if we don't end up
working together, we delete all files.

Please DO NOT include any questions with your manuscript submission. If you
have a question, please send it to [email protected]
where the proper people may address your question. Most of the questions you
may have are answered on the website and at the bottom of this email.
Please see the FAQs below.


Our preference for receiving your manuscript is via email.
============================================
If the file size is greater than 5 megabytes you can mail it to us on CD,
but please only send it once, either by email or snail mail (we prefer
email). Our mailing address is: The Children's Literary Agency, 275
Madison Ave., 4th Floor, New York, New York 10016. If you decide to mail
your manuscript please be sure to INCLUDE your email address (very clearly)
so we may reply and process your manuscript. Mailed manuscripts may take up
to 30 days to reply/process. Emailed manuscripts are processed much more
quickly. (If your filesize is over 5 megs we also just recently found a
free service that will move large files. Take a look at www.yousendit.com.
We've used it successfully in the past. Just use my email address as the
"send to" address.)


We believe we are very different than other agencies.
==========================================================
We believe that we are unique in that we are willing to develop an author
and their talent. We like the metaphor of a business incubator as a
description of how we will take time to bring an author's work to the proper
quality level, even if it takes months to do so. We take pride in the fact
that we answer every email personally within 2-3 days.

Also, you may understand how a Literary Agency works, but many authors
don't, so please excuse me while I take a minute and let you know how the
process works. As your Literary Agent, our mission is to assist you in
finding a publisher and to coach you along the way in various options
available to you. We don't edit, we don't illustrate, our mission is to
sell for you. As for compensation, get paid on success only, meaning we
only get paid if you get paid. Typically we will receive 10% of what you
receive.

We do not charge fees, so our compensation is based on success only. Along
the way, we may suggest that you continuously improve the quality of your
work and or how it is presented. Once your work is deemed 'presentable',
then we'll start shopping it to publishers. We never promise a sale, but we
can tell you that we have a model that works.

We look forward to receiving your materials.

Best regards,
Sherry Fine - V.P. Acquisitions

p.s. You might as well get used to these long emails. Part of our filtering
process is to see if you actually read them <grin>. Why the long emails? I
spend my time doing two basic tasks, 1) managing submissions and
evaluations, and 2) answering questions. If I can answer your question
BEFORE you ask it, then the entire process will proceed much more
efficiently. As a corollary to that, if you want long-winded, personalized
emails where we dicuss politics, the weather, and how your day went, you
will probably not enjoy our process. If you are as busy as we are, and you
pride yourself on operating efficiently (it is a business after all), then
you will enjoy how efficiently we focus on the point, and that is, whether
we can work together based on your writing and attitude.


Typical Frequently Asked Questions
=============================
Q) Do you return manuscripts?
A) Sorry for the inconvenience however, WE DO NOT RETURN MANUSCRIPTS or
MATERIALS due to the volume of submissions we receive. Please do not send
us anything that you can't replace easily.

Q) Would you prefer me to email or mail my manuscript?
A) WE MUCH PREFER EMAILED MANUSCRIPTS.

Q) How should I attach my manuscript?
A) PLEASE DO NOT PASTE YOUR MANUSCRIPT INTO THE BODY OF THE EMAIL. Please
send it to us as an attachment, otherwise it hangs up the mail system. If
you can't create an attachment, please get a friend to help you do so. I
think we have every software program known to man (except Mac). However
everything works easier if you have a .pdf, .rtf, or .doc filetype. We also
support Word Perfect and MS Works.

Q) Is my manuscript safe with you?
A) Your materials are safe within our company. If you are uncomfortable
sending your entire manuscript, please only send 3-5 chapters. If we do not
end up working together we will destroy and delete any copies of your work
that we have. Furthermore the idea of people stealing someone's work is a
bit of 'urban legend'. It really doesn't happen.

Q) How long does this review take?
A) About 7-10 days. We're faster than most other agencies.

Q) Why is there no phone number? I want to talk to someone...
A) Quite frankly, we are deluged with submissions. It is our policy to
provide a contact number later in the process, assuming we would like to
proceed with you. If you would like to talk with someone for the
reassurance of hearing a voice, just email me and I'll connect you to the
proper party.

Q) Where are you located?
A) We maintain executive suites on Madison Aveneue in New York, NY where we
meet with buyers. Other than that, we travel extensively and we have the
good fortune to live in Florida, North Carolina, and California depending on
the time of year. Sometimes we think that we live in airports. In today's
connected world, our physical location is meaningless.

Q) Why aren't you in the Yellow Pages? I can't find you listed?
A) Yellow Pages are 'old technology', and they cost money. We use toll free
phone numbers and cell phones. Those simply aren't in directories. We
haven't been in Yellow pages for 10 years. Buyers certainly don't go to the
Yellow Pages to find authors <grin>, just nervous authors.

Q) Are you a member of AAR, BBB, Alphabet Soup...?
A) We have chosen to belong to industry associations where the buyers are,
such as the Publishers Marketing Association (PMA) through our parent
company, The Literary Agency Group. We spend our money going to the big book
tradeshows in the US, England, and Germany. BBB, AAR, and other
organizations of that type mainly exist for nervous writers, and frankly, we
have too many applicants as it is, so we choose not to spend time and money
on those organizations. I hope that helps you understand why we belong to
associations that help us sell your work, not organizations that help us
recruit more writers. We prefer that you judge us on the professionalism of
our communications and not whether we belong to an organization. In other
words, we ask that you judge us based on our interactions together, and that
you can make up your own mind based on our professionalism and courtesy not
whether we belong to some organization.

Q) Tell me more about your company.
A) We are bigger than a small agency and smaller than a large agency. We
have about 15 people total and as of 2nd quarter, 2005 we have over 60
active conversations ongoing with buyers and 3 option agreements in
negotiations in our screenplay division. We just sold our 4th book deal (to
a publisher in England) and we are confident of more success later this
year. (A 5th deal is being signed as we speak). We market to the larger and
medium sized publishers and producers. We have had 5 successes now in the
last 2 years (fyi: most agencies only have 1 or 2 deals every couple of
years, if that.). We've been around the block enough to have people that
love us, and people that hate us. We will never ask you for money, so
that's one way to judge for yourself. Our commitment to you is that we
believe that we should get paid only if we sell your work. Your commitment
to us is that you will do what it takes to make sure your manuscript is the
best it can be and that it meets or exceeds industry quality standards.

Q) You're not a vanity publisher or a self-publisher are you?
A) No we're NOT A VANITY OR SELF-publisher in any way, shape or form. We DO
NOT sell to vanity or self-publishers. Our mission is to sell your work to
TRADITIONAL publishers who will pay you (and us). And, that's how we get
paid. If we sell your work to a publisher, then and only then do we get
paid (usually 10% which is the industry standard for Literary Agencies).

Q) What are you looking for during your evaluation?
A) We mainly look for COMMERCIAL VIABILITY in the work coupled with good
solid writing skills. "Is it something that will sell?" is of paramount
importance to us. (We ARE NOT scrutinizing every word, spelling, and grammar
usage. There's plenty of time later for that.) We believe that great writers
are made, not born at least 99% of the time. But if a work doesn't have
commercial potential, then we want to let you know as quickly as possible.
Being willing to grow talent, we believe in the old adage, "luck is when
opportunity meets preparation and hard work".

Q) How can you evaluate work so quickly?
A) Our mission in the Acquisitions Department is clear. We answer 3
questions:

1. Will the subject matter sell? Is it commercially viable?
2. Is the writing good enough, or would it be good enough with some degree
of assistance?
3. Did you as the evaluator like the work and would you believe in it if you
were selling it?

If we get the "3 yes" designation then you pass. The next item we look for
in our filtering process is your willingness to listen or whether you are a
prima donna who wants it 'their way'. We will very quickly wash out a great
writer with a bad attitude. Life's too short for drama or problems.


Q) What if you find errors or problems with my manuscript? Should I spend
time revising now, or later?
A) We receive very few 'ready-to-go' manuscripts. We believe we are unique
in that we are willing to work with our authors along the way. Most
manuscripts that we receive need some level of polishing before we can
submit them to buyers. Some need very little polishing. Some need a lot.
Over the years, we've learned that it is worth our time and effort to do
what it takes to develop new talent. We've learned that incubating new
talent makes good business sense.

Q) My manuscript isn't finished....
A) As long as there is enough finished to determine your skills as a writer
we are willing to look at your work. As mentioned previously, we take a
long term view and we are willing to develop talent.

Q) Who are some of the authors you represent? Why aren't they on your
website?
A) We are proud to represent a very diverse group of authors. Our roster of
authors includes authors with the following occupations:

* Doctors
* Lawyers
* Entrepreneurs
* Journalists
* Professors and teachers from universities, high-schools, and elementary
schools
* Coaches
* Accountants and bankers
* Advertising Executives
* Stay at home moms... students, etc.

Here are just a few bios:

1. The author was born in Baltimore, Maryland and is a Professor at a major
university. She is an author and editor of 16 books and 12 proceedings and
monographs. She has written 50 chapters and 100 papers, and given more than
150 presentations nationwide. She has graduate degrees in Music, Science,
and Education. She and her husband are now living in the British Virgin
Islands, where her time is spent sailing and writing. She has published
scientific articles and written more than a hundred concert reviews as a
freelance music critic.

2. The author is a Fellow of the Royal Colleges of Physicians of Edinburgh,
and of Canada, and a Member of the American Societies of Hematology,
Clinical Oncology, Blood and Marrow Transplantation and the International
Society for Cellular Therapy. For the year 2004-5 he was a scientific
advisor to the Cancer Vaccine Consortium. He was a past recipient of the
Elmore Research Scholarship of the University of Cambridge.

3. The author has also won numerous awards honoring him as one of the top
sportscasters in the country. He has been richly honored as a professional
speaker as well, thrilling audiences with his career highlights and
inspiring messages. He has a rich history of being on the air in radio and
TV for a quarter of a century, working in major markets such as Los Angeles,
Chicago, London, Cincinnati and now Dallas. Before settling in Dallas, he
lived in London doing on-air work for both the BBC and ESPN.

4. This author started singing professionally with the singing group The
Montells in her early teens. They later signed with Golden Crest Records &
then went to Atlantic Recording Studio were they recorded, Under The Broad
Walk with The Drifters & Gee Baby. In 1997 she was elected into The
International Poetry Hall Of Fame with her Award winning Poem. She appeared
at The Crossroads Theater in 1998.

5. The author is a retired veterinarian living in Bethlehem, South Africa.
He was in rural private practice in various towns before settling down in
Bethlehem where he practiced for 35 years. For ten years or more he had a
monthly column in Veterinary News. He also was the script-writer for the
SuperSport TV series The ABC of Golf.

We DO NOT give out names or contact information except to qualified buyers.
(If you'll think about it, if you were one of our authors, you'd feel the
same way. There are a lot of wierdos on the Internet. Sometimes we think
that there is a higher incidence of psychosis among writers than any other
occupation.)


Q) Is this an automated email? Is there a real person out there?
A) Yes, and yes, and yes... We personally review each query form that we
receive for sentence structure, basic spelling and grammar, and whether the
story idea/synopsis sounds interesting. This tells us which manuscripts we
would like to receive.

Then, yes, we do use a form to provide these FAQs. Can you imagine typing
this time and time again? We pride ourselves on using technology to be as
efficient as possible. This allows us to work with authors from anywhere in
the world. By automating certain elements of our communications we can
spend more thoughtful time on your questions that are specific to you and
your situation.


---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Thank you again for your time in reading to the end of this email. I hope
that you have a better feeling for our company and our acquisitions process.

I look forward to receiving your materials. And please pardon one more
request.

IF YOU EMAIL YOUR MATERIALS TO US WE WILL ALWAYS NOTIFY YOU WITHIN 2-3 DAYS
OF RECEIPT. Please refrain from asking "did you get it?" for at least 3
business days. If you haven't been notified of receipt within 3 days, then
by all means resend it (don't ask, just resend it to the email address
above. If it won't go through, just 'reply' to this email and attach it.)

IF YOU SNAIL MAIL (POST) YOUR MATERIALS TO US, PLEASE ALLOW UP TO 2 WEEKS
FOR NOTIFICATION OF RECEIPT. Why? It has to be forwarded to a special
evaluator that handles 'paper'. And remember, we cannot return materials,
so no need for a SASE.

Whew! Thanks again and we look forward to hearing from you and looking at
your work.

Best regards,
Sherry Fine - VP of Acquisitions
We Grow Talent
 

waylander

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Run away. Sooner or later they will ask you for money for a 'critique' which will not be worth having.
 

James D. Macdonald

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Lindafox, that's their standard boilerplate letter that you get for contacting them. Everyone gets it, word-for-word.

The next letter will ask you to get a critique, and tell you that can get one from one of their sister companies for $80.

After the critique, they'll tell you that your book needs editing, and that you can get it edited by one of their sister companies (this can cost thousands).

After this, they'll tell you that your book will need to be illustrated. But they happen to have a relationship with some illustrators who don't charge very much.

And so on.

All of these letters are boilerplate.

Q) Where are you located?
A) We maintain executive suites on Madison Aveneue in New York, NY where we meet with buyers.

What's on Madison Avenue is a mail-forwarding service. I suppose that they could meet with buyers in the lobby there (before going to the diner across the street), but that would presume there were buyers, wouldn't it?

So far they've failed to sell a single manuscript to anyone.
 

DaveKuzminski

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Oh my, they're getting smarter about what they put in their letters to authors. If anything, they're now in PA's league when it comes to lying.

I really like that bit about "most agencies only have 1 or 2 deals every couple of
years, if that" which if a writer stopped for a moment to consider would immediately render itself as a lie since most agencies couldn't survive on that little. Why if that was true, then there must be 10,000 or more literary agents in the US alone just to handle all those books sold to publishers who require submissions come from an agent.

Yep, statistics told PA style.

For another viewpoint that's well informed on this, visit Miss Snark and read her column dated 12/21/05 at URL http://misssnark.blogspot.com/ where she demolishes the Children's Literary Agency claims.
 
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victoriastrauss

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They're using some of the same author bios they used in their vanity publisher solicitation on Publishers Marketplace.

From bio #4, above:
In 1997 she was elected into The International Poetry Hall Of Fame with her Award winning Poem.
. Can you say International Library of Poetry?

It's sad, really.

- Victoria
 

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Q) Is this an automated email? Is there a real person out there? A) Yes, and yes, and yes... We personally review each query form that we receive for sentence structure, basic spelling and grammar, and whether the story idea/synopsis sounds interesting. This tells us which manuscripts we would like to receive.


We personally review each query form that we receive for sentence structure, basic spelling and grammar, and whether the story idea/synopsis sounds interesting.

Now it can be told: One of The Literary Agency Group's agencies reviewed, and thought highly enough of that they wanted to critique, Atlanta Nights. (All the proper nouns had been changed by global search-and-replace, and the order of the chapters scrambled. Otherwise, it was ... our old pal.)

Let's just say that their review of the query form must have been ... very forgiving. Because they wanted to see the manuscript. And they thought highly enough of the manuscript that they offered representation, and wanted the author (not Travis Tea ... a different name) to buy a critique.
 

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*dies laughing*

Details, details!!!
 

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James D. Macdonald said:
Let's just say that their review of the query form must have been ... very forgiving. Because they wanted to see the manuscript. And they thought highly enough of the manuscript that they offered representation, and wanted the author (not Travis Tea ... a different name) to buy a critique.

Must have been submitted by his sister, Dyna S. Tea. ;)

Good going, James and company!
 

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I thought this was a scam

I just the second email from the agency. The one that asked for a paid critique. I was excited when I read the first place, but when it started in on about the critique the whole things struck me as a sales pitch so I decided to check it out. I have often heard the phrase money flows towards the writer, not away so I ain't buying their story, or paying for their critique.

I usually write romance, and thought it would be fun to write a children's story, but its a shame my first experience with the YA market ended up with a scam. Oh, well, I guess I'd better stick with Harlequin. At least I know those guys are legit.

Romancewriter
 

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romancewriter said:
I just the second email from the agency. The one that asked for a paid critique. I was excited when I read the first place, but when it started in on about the critique the whole things struck me as a sales pitch so I decided to check it out. I have often heard the phrase money flows towards the writer, not away so I ain't buying their story, or paying for their critique.

I usually write romance, and thought it would be fun to write a children's story, but its a shame my first experience with the YA market ended up with a scam. Oh, well, I guess I'd better stick with Harlequin. At least I know those guys are legit.

Romancewriter

This scam agency has nothing to do with the genre. They operate as New York Literary Agency, the Poet's Literary Agency, the Screenplay Agency, the Christian Literary Agency, etc. They have a long list of names designed to bring in as many writers as possible.

I'm glad you discovered the truth before you sent them any money, but don't let this incident excise an entire genre from your repertoire. Direct your blame at the right place--the jerk that asked for your money for a service he had no intention of giving you.
 

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romancewriter said:
I have often heard the phrase money flows towards the writer
A phrase coined by our very own James D. Macdonald, aka Uncle Jim, aka Yog Sysop. :)
 

romancewriter

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To further clarify

I should clarify my previous post. I haven't totally given up on writing YA, but I have received some interest in writing from Silhouette editors. I'm currently working on a requested full for one of their lines. At some point I may return to my YA manuscript, but at the moment I will concentrate on something that I KNOW is legit.

In all my years of associating with other romance writers I've never heard of anyone NEEDING to have a paid critique done to receive representation, or publication. It seems to me that as literary agents they should already know what's marketable and what isn't.

Romancewriter
 

newwriter

they are unbelievable

I did receive some responses from CLA but found as soon as I began to ask questions or indicate that I suspected them, they became quite haughty. I have copied a couple of emails below so that other unsuspecting new writers won't get caught. YES, they want money.

Note the final email copied below. The one where I changed the print to red really takes the cake.



Dear Joanne,

Your critique has been completed (see below) and for expediency it has also been forwarded to your Literary Agent. Your agent will review the critique and get back to you within a few days to discuss the results with you. If you have NOT heard from the agent within five days, please contact them.

Thank you again for your commitment to your writing career. At Writers Literary we stand ready to assist you in all phases of bringing your work to the top quality possible and if you decide that future improvements are necessary, we hope you will allow us to assist you.

If you have any comments about your critique (good or bad) please let me know. We are always trying to improve our processes and customer service.


=============================================================
Many authors can make their own changes suggested by the critique. However, some authors try to make their own changes, when they really don't have the skills necessary to do so. Therefore the Literary Agency that you work with has asked us to provide the following information to them as well (see below):

NOTE: THIS IS INTENTIONALLY BLANK. THE COMPLETED FORM HAS BEEN SENT TO YOUR AGENT WHO WILL BE CONTACTING YOU TO REVIEW YOUR CRITIQUE.

Editor's Notes:

In my opinion as the person that has reviewed this work, the changes or
improvements suggested by this review can be made by the author.

______ (Yes, Probably, Maybe, No) This is a 4 point forcing scale.


The amount of work needed to bring this to industry quality standards is:

____ not much
____ some
____ a lot


Remember, the purpose of the critique is to get an unbiased plan of action to bring your work up to professional standards. Your agent will work with you and this information to do so.

Louise - Director of Critique Fulfillment
Writers Literary & Publishing Services
[email protected]

Dear Joanne,

Hello, this is Hill Mallory, Senior Agent. Please allow me to introduce
myself ([email protected] ) and my administrator, Andrea
([email protected]). Together, we will be working with you
to first prepare you for marketing, and then to begin the process of selling
your work. Sherry is working with acquistions so you probably won't
interact with her again. If you have administrative, clerical, filing, or
other items to discuss, please take them up with Andrea. If you have
questions about the marketing and agenting, please take them up with me.
Please DO NOT cc everyone as that creates make-work as emails are forwarded
and duplicated. If you ever haven't heard from someone, please let me know
as I am your senior contact.

Whew, now that those details are over, let's get started.

I received your Critique and have reviewed it.

It is our recommendation, and we're sure that you would agree, that the
indicated improvements are implemented before we submit your manuscript to
potential buyers. It is absolutely critical that we submit only top quality
works to our buyers.

The reality is that buyers are inundated with so many manuscripts they can
pick and choose those that are as close to perfect as possible. This saves
them money and effort and allows them to get a better idea of what the
finished product will look like so that their decision process moves more
quickly.


At this time we have to make a decision based on the results of the
Critique.
=================================================================
Our basic question is this, "based on the critique results, can the author
make their own changes, or should they be required to work with a
third-party editor to make the improvements called for in the critique?"

1) Our first choice is for you to use an editor to assist you.
--------------------------------------------------------------------
In many cases the author is so close to the work, that they can no longer be
objective about making changes. It also helps to have someone to ask
questions of, etc.


2) You may decide to make the changes yourself.
--------------------------------------------------------------------

We realize that in many cases the author feels that they can make their own
changes, or they need to save money, or they just want to do the changes
themselves.

If this is your decision, please realize that we may perform an internal
critique on the changes you have made, and if we find that more work is
needed, then we will request that you work with an editor. However, we may
find that your changes are acceptable, and we may move forward.


There is no right or wrong answer to the above question, just what's best
for you, me, and the work.


Conclusion
--------------------------------------------------------------------

I hope this explains the options available to you at this time. Just to
repeat, if you make your own changes, then we may require more work, or we
may not. Obviously we'll have to review what the changes look like. If you
use a third party editor, then we know that the work was done correctly and
we can move forward. (As an example of why we like to suggest a third party
editor, think of an accounting auditor. This is an independent third party
that certifies that certain standards are met).

Please let me know which way you would like to proceed given the results of
the critique.

If you have any other questions or would like to proceed in a different
manner please let me know. This is a slow-moving industry and we can afford
to take our time to bring your work to the highest possible level before we
pitch it... you know the old saying, "you never get a second chance to make
a first impression".

I look forward to your reply.

Best regards,

Hill - Senior Agent


Thanks for allowing me a moment...

I'm still trying to understand why you won't pay for editing if it's necessary?

There are two levels of editing. The first is our internal level. The second is the publisher level. When you pass our first level, it means that we will put our reputation on the line for you, however, it doesn't mean that it has been exhaustively edited, like a publisher would do. Their edit is MUCH more extensive. Our edit requirements are related to pitching and selling only.

Help me understand your position...

Hil

-----Original Message-----

From: weedens [
mailto:[email protected]]

Sent: Thursday, December 22, 2005 3:47 PM

To: [email protected]

Subject: RE: RE: thank you



Hello Hil,

I hope that you were just having a bad day when you responded to me. I did write my email as tactfully as I could knowing that it would ruffle feathers. However, I hope that I am seeing your response as just a tired person stressed by the Christmas rush and not an indication that all I have read about CLA is true.



Blessings

Joanne Weeden

http://jeremiahshope.SpreadTheWord.com

http://www.yourwriteconnection.com

-----Original Message-----

From: Hil - Senior Agent [
mailto:[email protected]]

Sent: Thursday, December 22, 2005 8:37 AM

To: [email protected]

Subject: RE: RE: thank you

Oh, and I guess we should pay for your editing.

Please explain that one to me, and don't regurgitate web crap.

Hil



HOLIDAY NOTICE: We are mainly taking the holidays off. We will be working a few days through January 1st. Have a great holiday and please excuse any communications delay during this time. Happy Holidays and our best wishes for a prosperous 2006!





-----Original Message-----

From: [email protected] [
mailto:[email protected]]

Sent: Monday, December 19, 2005 8:32 PM

To: [email protected]

Subject: Re: RE: thank you



Hi,

I have become very skeptical of your agency. From everything I have learned from researching and emailing with other agents, etc I shoujld not be paying fees for editing. Anyway until I see something positive from your group (which I understand is a spinoff from another disreputable group) then I will have no alternative but to terminate my relationship with CLA.

I hope you have a merry christmas,

Joanne

>

> From: Hil - Senior Agent <[email protected]>

> Date: 2005/12/18 Sun PM 11:17:16 GMT

> To: <[email protected]>

> Subject: RE: thank you

>

> There's no hurry. This is a slow moving industry and we hope to have

a

> long-term relationship with you.

>

>

>

> We have a lot of authors that ask the same question, "how do I get

> editing?", or costs?, or something like that.

>

> So, what we did is we asked Writers Literary to come up with an

inexpensive

> product that allows the author to get started for a minimal amount of

money.

>

> Here is their paperwork that explains the process. (For expediency, I

keep

> a copy and forward it whenever needed. If this is ok with you, just

follow

> their instructions.)

>

> Please let me know if this answers your questions and if you are going

to

> proceed with them.

>

>

>

>

> ========= From Writers Literary =======================

> -------------- Writers Literary New Author Edit

> Package -----------------------

>

> The purpose of this e-mail is to tell you about our company and to

tell

you

> how

> much editing is, and how to get started.

>

> Writer's Literary is a simple to understand editing service. It gives

you

> inexpensive and direct access to hundreds of professional editors,

including

> English professors, attorneys, technical writers, and copy editors.

Our

> editors have worked for major publishers and know what it takes to get

> published. They will go over your work, checking for spelling,

grammar,

> style, structure, characterization, organization... the works.

>

> The publishing industry is very competitive with thousands of

manuscripts

> being submitted every day. Publishers only have time for those

manuscripts

> that present themselves in the most professional manner. For the

first-time

> author in particular this can make the difference in getting your

story

> through the "reader" and onto the editor's desk for review. Work that

has

> been edited has a better chance in the marketplace.

>

> At Writer's Literary, we have two missions. The first is to make your

> manuscript technically acceptable to any publishing house in the

world.

Our

> second mission is to help you improve your skills as a writer.

>

>

> Your first step: The New Author Editing Service

> ======================================================

>

> We discovered early on that bidding an editing job based on the number

of

> words or pages simply makes no sense. Let's imagine that you're an

auto

> mechanic. I call you and say....

>

> "Hi, this is Mark. Listen, I've got a car here that isn't running

right.

How

> much is it gonna cost to fix it?"

>

> "Mark, at the car agency, we'd like to diagnose it first... so, say

$100

to

> figure out what's wrong."

>

> "I don't want to spend a $100 just to find out what's wrong! Just tell

me

> how much it's going to cost to fix it", said Mark.

>

> "Okay, if you insist. Let's see, RED cars are $150, green cars are

$350?"

>

> "Great! Do you take Mastercard or Visa?"

>

> ========================================

>

> A ridiculous scenario but it makes a point. We can't provide an

accurate

and

> honest bid to edit your manuscript until we have seen it and diagnosed

the

> problems, if any. And you can't really make an informed decision about

> editing your work until you know what services we provide and how we

work.

>

> So the first step for our customers is the New Author package. It

costs

> $149 (discounted from their normal rate of $199). You'll have an

editor

> assigned to you who will provide you with a "red line" edit showing

the

> editor's recommended changes and notations in color

> on the first section of your manuscript. Your editor will also provide

you

> with a written commentary and review of your story and some

instructive

tips

> regarding your style and skills and what direction we think can lead

you

to

> a published work.

>

> After you have reviewed your initial edit we will discuss your needs

> and desires regarding your work and we can provide you with

an

> accurate bid to complete the manuscript, or you can make further

changes

> yourself (sometimes).

>

> Your satisfaction is guaranteed, if you're not satisfied with the

service

> provided

> in your New Author edit say so, we'll give you your money back, no

questions

> asked.

>

> Sincerely,

>

> Joan - Editing Administration

> Writer's Literary Services

> [email protected]

>

>

> ================== End =======================

>

> I think that answers your questions and I hope you proceed with them.

Let

me

> know and I'll set you up and make sure that you get your discount and

> priority treatment.

>

>

> HOLIDAY NOTICE: We are mainly taking the holidays off. We will be

working

a

> few days through January 1st. Have a great holiday and please excuse

any

> communications delay during this time. Happy Holidays and our best

wishes

> for a prosperous 2006!

>

>

>

> -----Original Message-----

> From: [email protected] [
mailto:[email protected]]

> Sent: Friday, December 16, 2005 10:30 AM

> To: [email protected]

> Subject: thank you

>

>

> Hello:

>

> I didn't understand from your email if your name is Hill or if it is

> Mallory?

>

> Thank you for getting back to me. I didn't expect to hear so soon. I

will

> take a look at the critique and get back to you. If it is a lot of

work

> then I may want to use an editor, for as you say, I am close to the

issue.

>

> Can you tell me how much it costs to utilize an editor?

>

> I lost my job and have been unable to find work so my funds are

limited.

I

> may need to wait several months until I can purchase more services.

Please

> get back to me with costs and I will take some time to review my

critique.

>

> Thank you and have a wonderful day,

> Joanne

>

>