WL Children's Agency / Children's Literary Agency

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

eqb

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Sherry Fine said:
I'm giving you two answers to your question about what you've read.

You posted this \c\r\a\p\ dubious set of claims before. We didn't believe your lies then, we don't believe them now.
 

LloydBrown

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Woohoo! Sherry pasted her form rant again!

That's a lot of verbage for "sorry, we still haven't sold a book."

So, Sherry--how are those book sales coming? I've sold more titles to publishers than all seven of your agencies, and sold more books than all your clients combined. And I'm not even good. When do you plan to get around to any agenting?
 

victoriastrauss

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LloydBrown said:
Woohoo! Sherry pasted her form rant again!
I'm going to leave the rants up (rather than delete all but one of them, as I would if someone else spammed multiple threads) because I think potential victims of Sherry et al should have as many chances as possible to see these absurd arguments.

- Victoria
 

James D. Macdonald

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Why can't "the most powerful agency group in the United States" sell any books?

Are there any editors who return your phone calls?

Are there any editors who've even heard of you?
 

Roger J Carlson

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Sherry Fine said:
I'm giving you two answers to your question about what you've read. The first answer is the short one, and the second is the long one. I apologize in advance for any 'attitude' that you read in my reply, but it's a gut/core issue for us and we feel pretty strongly about certain things.


The short answer ....<snipping all the balderdash>
Sherry, Sherry, Sherry. Can't you come up with anything original? You sent this word for word to TMack as he reports here in the New York Literary thread.

Jim Macdonald did a great line-by-line smackdown of it here.
 
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MartyKay

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I thought I was suffering from deja vu all over again...

We've been in business now long enough to know that our model works, and that buyers respect the fact that EVERY AUTHOR WE REPRESENT HAS BEEN THROUGH A RIGOROUS CRITIQUE AND EDITING PROCESS.

Hmm..

Normal Agency
Code:
Query comes in -> if interesting ask for partial
Partial comes in -> if good ask for full
Full comes in -> if good, call author ->
Submit to publishers until sold
If bad, send mail -> no thanks

This one
Code:
Manuscript comes in ->
Get author to pay for RIGOROUS CRITIQUE 
AND EDITING services until they give up or run out of money
loop

Much more efficient model. :roll:
 

Dave Sloane

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Ah, shuddup already...

Name names and get specific. Worst of all you guys are so boring. What
the hell are you jokers so afraid of? Where's the beef? Put up or shut up.
Give us the titles and authors and why not get some of 'em to stick up
for you. Perhaps they're all just imaginary friends. Ab Write is open to all--
looking forward to reading some heart-warming testimonials.
 

Melisande

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About the Children's Literary Agency

I recently signed a contract with the said agency. I was really happy about it too, being new to both the industry and the country.

Now I don't know what to believe anymore. I have called the agency and expressed the doubts I now have, after having read this forum. They promised to email me a list of authors that they have successfully represented.

I feel like the biggest loser right now. Are you all serious? Have I been conned?

The agency promised that, if I wish, there is no problem for me to cancel the contract. Is that true? Can I start shopping around for another agency?

Please help.
 

Gravity

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Melisande said:
I recently signed a contract with the said agency. I was really happy about it too, being new to both the industry and the country.

Now I don't know what to believe anymore. I have called the agency and expressed the doubts I now have, after having read this forum. They promised to email me a list of authors that they have successfully represented.

I feel like the biggest loser right now. Are you all serious? Have I been conned?

The agency promised that, if I wish, there is no problem for me to cancel the contract. Is that true? Can I start shopping around for another agency?

Please help.

Hi Mel. First off, take a deep breath, because the fact is, you are not a loser. You are the victim of a con. There's no shame in that; the shame rests on the shoulders of those who run the con...not that they'll feel it.

To answer your question, yes, I believe you can cancel their contract with a simple letter (if I'm wrong on this, may the others who've been here longer correct me). Then comes the arduous process of shopping your manuscript again. And there are a couple of threads here on AW that address just that. So buck up. You're among friends here.

John
 

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Melisande said:
I feel like the biggest loser right now. Are you all serious? Have I been conned?

Don't feel like a loser. They're professional conmen. Conning people is what they do all day, every day. It's all that they do.

Your next step should be to cancel the contract with them. They can't sell your work anyway; leaving your book with them for 90 days or whatever is just a waste of your time.

Whatever you do, don't pay for that "critique" or that "editing." The author paying for those isn't any part of normal commercial publishing.

Important note: If they're asking their authors to cough up $2,500 to get published, remember that you don't need an agent to sign with a vanity press.
 

CaoPaux

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And if they ever do send you a list of authors they've "successfully represented", please post it.
 

janetbellinger

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CaoPaux said:
And if they ever do send you a list of authors they've "successfully represented", please post it.

I'd like to find out what they mean by "successfully represented." Maybe they measure success in the amont of editing they paid for.
 

Melisande

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Thank you all for being so kind.

I have written a letter of cancellation to the agency. I will take it to the bank and have a Notary Public sign it. Figure it might show the agency that I will not accept any arguments.

I have found this other agency. It is called Sanford J. Greenburger Associates, Inc.
Spoke with a very nice person there who said she would like to see my work. Will be mailing it off, as soon as I can. They only accept hard copy though, and I will have to wait 6 to 8 weeks for a reply. Has anyone here any knowledge about them?
 
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James D. Macdonald

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Melisande said:
T Has anyone here any knowledge about them?

If you mean Sanford J. Greenburger Associates, they represent Dan "The Da Vinci Code" Brown, among many others.

Please notice that real agents have no problem listing their clients and their sales. Notice too that real agents read first-timers' submissions.
 

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janetbellinger said:
I'd like to find out what they mean by "successfully represented." Maybe they measure success in the amont of editing they paid for.
According to Fletcher himself in this post (part way down the page), this is what they consider successfully represented:
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. Our lead author from Italy has just finished a US book tour and is a finalist in the Ben Franklin awards in New York. His work has now sold German and Australian and UK rights ... The totals given above are referenceable and documentable. We have to document everything given the scrutiny that we live under.
It apparently means they've done agent-y stuff.

They have 68 manuscripts "under request". Whatever that means. Perhaps they've sent out 68 manuscripts.

They have 3 books in negotiation. No actual sales, but they're negotiating. Notice too that it doesn't say they are negotiating with a publisher. It could equally mean they are negotiating their contract with the authors.

Three movie options in "various stages of negotiation". Being rejected is a stage in negotiation too.

Their "lead author from Italy" is Dario Castagno who categorically denies that they sold any of his books, but they did take him out to a nice dinner.

All in all, a pretty pathetic track record for an agency that's been in the business for years. Makes you wonder how they pay the bills. Could it be from charging the authors? Yep, you betcha.
 

klxr250

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CLA

Hi all

I must say that CLA is very good with their initial responses to dupe the writers in. They know of writers' fear of being conned and actually lists down the various options and pitfalls available.

But I started to doubt when my questions were not answered directly and furthermore the responses were all different. At first they told me to go co-publishing, then they said they liked my manuscript and would accept it .. these 2 are totally different responses. Curt responses too, when answered by a real person - "It's not my business".

But good that I checked this site out before committing further or wasting more of my time.

Thanks.

JP
 

LAKOTA

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NEW AUTHOR

HI,
I WONDER IF ANYONE OUT THERE CAN HELP ME? I AM A NEW WRITER OF CHIDRENS BOOKS AND I NEED TO FIND AN AGENT THAT WILL HELP ME. I LIKE A LOT OF NEW AUTHORS SENT THIER WRITINGS TO CLA, I RECIEVED AN E-MAIL TELLING ME THAT THEY WANT TO REPRESENT ME, BUT AFTER READING THIS FORUM LATE INTO THE EVENING AND EARLY MORNING HOURS ABOUT THE CHILDREN LITERARY AGENCY I DECIDED NOT TO SEND FOR THEIR CONTRACT. IT WAS VERY DISAPPOINTING TO SEE ALL THE NEGATIVE ABOUT THIS AGENT.
IS THERE ANYBODY OUT THERE THAT WILL TAKE ON NEW TALENT BECAUSE THIS BOOK IS MY BABY AND I NEED SOMEONE TO HANDLE IT GENTLY AND WITH RESPECT. HOPEFULLY ONE DAY I CAN MAKE THIS BOOK AND MY OTHERS MY LIFES WORK.
ANY FEEDBACK YOU CAN GIVE ME WILL BE USED.
 
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James D. Macdonald

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Yes.

All legitimate agents are looking for new talent, as are all legitimate publishers.

The trouble is that you have to be really talented, and have done all the hard work first. And, you need a bit of luck and a lot of patience.

So: to find an agent, find books like yours that are currently on the shelves. (Physically on the shelves. Merely listed at Amazon isn't good enough.) Find out who represented them. Approach those agents, following their guidelines to the letter.

You might want to hook up with SCBWI.


See also Writer's Market, Jeff Herman's Guide, and the LMP. Check out any agent in two or three sources. Don't submit until you're sure they're legit.
 

DaveKuzminski

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Lakota, you might want to practice your writing skills even in posting in forums. This forum, like a few other good forums, does have agents frequenting its pages. It's best to make a good impression to begin with since some agents might be reading your posts.
 

LAKOTA

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James,
Thank you. I appreciate your feed back.
If an agent is found will they edit or do I have to find someone.
Thanks again
 

James D. Macdonald

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LAKOTA said:
James,
Thank you. I appreciate your feed back.
If an agent is found will they edit or do I have to find someone.
Thanks again


While an agent may make editorial suggestions, the publisher will provide editing. This will be at no charge to you.
 

LAKOTA

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Thanks James,
I really appreciate your input. I checked out SCBWI lots of info there I will be becoming a member very soon. Any advice on ways to polish my punctuation skills, my writing is great it just flows out of this old head, but the rest really s---s. I guess I have been out of school way to long.
Anyway thanks again hope to sponge your brain for some more information.
 

sherryfine

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Company reply rk

Dear Message Board Citizens:

The company has asked me to tell you, in my own words, what I do and to let
you know just one aspect of what they do to help writers sell their work.

I work with Sherry Fine, our director of acquisitions, and I am using her
login for speed and efficiency with this post. One caveat, I'm in phone
sales, so if there are grammar or spelling errors in this post, please
realize that you are the writer, and that's your job to write 100%
correctly, not mine.

My job is to constantly expand the company's relationship of buyers. As you
know buyers in large companies change jobs and titles on a regular basis.
I've found that about 25%, that's 1/4 names that you can find in Writers
Market, or various public sources are INCORRECT.

So, my job is to live on the phone and email. I am paid to call buyers for
our authors and for our database of contacts.

Basically what I do is take a manuscript and a potential list of 30 buyers,
and get on the phone and qualify the list. I call, I make sure that we have
the right buyer's name, I check spelling and address, and most importantly,
I confirm what they are 'Looking For Now'. When I find a qualified buyer
with a need, I immediately communicate that to the Agents, and they
aggressively go into our roster of authors to find matches for the buyer.

Our materials are very well received by the buyers. Our buyers have learned
that we posess one of the most qualified groups of authors in the industry.
They know that all of our authors have been formally critiqued and edited.
Our buyers know that they can trust what we send them. Our buyers know that
we have filtered out the hobbyists from the authors that will do what it
takes to succeed.

Yes, we tell our authors that they have to reach industry standards.
Doesn't every agency do that in one way or another? I can tell you from
personal experience how frustrating it is to hear from a buyer that the work
we are trying to sell isn't as good a the competing works they are looking
at. So, if anything, our agency is becoming MORE demanding that our authors
take their work as far as they can from a quality perspective.

So, I hope that I have helped you see one aspect of an Agents job. The
company spends a lot of money paying me to do nothing but find buyers and
qualify them. And when I read this ongoing thread with all these bad words,
written by people that have only sour grapes to say, I just wanted to let
you know that "it ain't so".

Also, I can assure you that this company isn't a scam. I've known the
principals for years and they do the best they can for their authors. They
also pay their bills on a regular basis and they are beginning to acquire
other companies in the industry.

Here's a question.. if a literary agency buys a publishing company so that
they can publish or partner books they believe in, is that a conflict of
interest?
========================================
I can tell you right now that the company is participating in a new business
model. We're promoting a joint venture where we have put up $2500 in
partnership with the author and the publisher to get the book out the door.
That's unique! And that's how much we believe in what we are doing. The ad
is in the PMA newsletter and has been for 4 months.
A copy of the ad can be seen using this link.
http://www.theliteraryagencygroup.com/pma-literaryagencyad.pdf
This really is important for you to think about. We think that we are the
ONLY LITERARY AGENCY that has stepped up to put our own money behind
certain authors that we represent. If you can find any other agency that
has done this please let me know. This, to me, is brilliant, out of the box
thinking, that shows beyond a shadow of a doubt that our company is behind
our authors.

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


Furthermore, all this talk about who owns what is rubbish. This is
business, and it's a lot like a Darwinian evolution. You either grow and
prosper, or you go out of business and you die.

If we can sell your work, we do. If we can't, then we will tell you why we
think it isn't selling. Usually this means more work, and really, that's
what most of the whining on these boards is about.

So, in conclusion, the company is real, they've paid me a regular salary for
years, and we're putting our heart and soul (and our money) behind our
authors.

Well, that's all the time I have for this post. Best to you and your
writing career. I don't have the time to monitor this post so
unfortunately, all the carping that will occur will be ignored. I have a
real job to get back to.


RKForever