Writers Book Publishing Agency

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

Ink-Stained Wretch

Super Member
Jul 5, 2010
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An overpriced suburb of Hell
The company has indeed published writers from Australia, and many other countries as well. I hope that Aussie lady backed out before writing any checks or submitting her credit card information.

Elisabeth Bruce

Super Member
Feb 5, 2010
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New South Wales, Australia.
The company has indeed published writers from Australia, and many other countries as well. I hope that Aussie lady backed out before writing any checks or submitting her credit card information.

Yes, she listened to me and didn't sign a contract. She has the link to AW and I'm sure she'll check out names of publishers now. Her plastic is safe this time :)


Jul 1, 2010
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Porterville, Ca. USA
Full ViewWB Positive Review
From: Manuscript WB <[email protected]>View Contact
To: Kimi Silva <[email protected]>

YAY!!! I got a positive review! LoL--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

"If we wait for the moment when everything is ready, we shall never begin."
Ivan Turgenev

Thank you for everything that we have received from you thus far. We would
like to go forward and represent you. Our review team believes that your
work has commercial potential and we are most impressed by your open
attitude towards polishing and making your work as strong as it can be.
Also, we feel that your concept and writing thus far has potential and that
if it is polished and presented properly, we will be proud to represent you.

To take the next step, please read the information below and follow the
instructions at the end of this email. As you know by now, this email will
be quite long (smile), but it has to be as this sets the stage for our
working together.

If you would like to speak with someone, please call Mark at 800-961-3437.

The summary of the information below is this:

1. We choose to represent authors that can demonstrate beyond a shadow of
doubt that their work meets or exceeds industry writing quality standards.
That's our promise to our buyers and publishers that we work with.

2. If a writer is willing to improve their work, then we think that writer
deserves a chance. It is the willingness to improve that impresses us.

3. You have mentioned that your work needs polishing. We agree and we have
developed a process to assist you in taking that step, while at the same
time giving us what we need to start selling your work to buyers.

4. If you would like to speak with someone, please feel free to call Mark at

The information below explains what the next steps are.

Ps. Please forgive this form letter. I don't like to receive them, and I
don't like sending them. However, this is at the behest of our lawyers.
They like it when we say it the same way every time. If this email appears
truncated at the bottom, please let me know.

INCUBATING TALENT: We are willing to develop new, fresh talent.
Most manuscripts that we receive need some level of polishing before we can
submit them to buyers. 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.

We'd hate to lose a good writer by not accepting someone who is willing to
improve. There are very few literary agencies that will take the time to
develop talent. Most barely return emails. We've answered every email you've
sent us, and we've kept our promises regarding turnaround times. We hope
that you will acknowledge that our level of communication and
professionalism already far exceeds that of other literary agencies. We
pledge this same level of professionalism and courtesy in all subsequent
communications should we work together.

You don't know us, and we don't know you beyond these informative (and long)
emails, and what you have sent us. We like you and your work, and hopefully
so far, you appreciate that we have treated you professionally and
efficiently. Yes, we use automated forms, but that's so that we have more
time to answer your questions about specific problems or nuances.

If we were in your shoes, we believe you should be looking for a
professional relationship with professional people who will ultimately
benefit your writing career, whether your work is sold or not.

We never promise a sale. However, we do promise that we will work with you
on a professional basis and do what we can to promote you and your work to
our buyers.

Our Buyers Rely on Us To Only Present Top Quality Work
We are very, very concerned about what we present to our buyers. At a
minimum they expect the mechanics of punctuation, grammar, spelling, and
format to meet or exceed industry standards.

According to what you have sent us, you have not been through a formal edit
with a disinterested third party.

The polishing process begins with what is called a 'critique'
in the publishing world, and 'coverage' in the screenplay world.
What we have learned over the years is that nothing is more invaluable than
having an unbiased, critical review of an author's work as a roadmap for
bringing the work to market.

In writing circles this is called a critique. We want you to have a critique
of your work. You might already have one, or you may need to get one.

FYI - About Your Competition (Other Writers)
According to the submissions we receive, we see the following pattern. The
take-home for you as an author is that your competition is getting more and
more sophisticated.

About 50% of authors have worked with an editor or critique group/process

About 15% of authors have been through a full editing process.

About 50% of authors have never worked with a 3rd party to improve their

HAVING A CRITIQUE PROTECTS YOU from unscrupulous agents who tell you to keep
getting editing. Having a critique protects our agency from egocentric
writers who think their work is perfect.

Doesn't the publisher provide editing you may ask? Yes, they do. However,
as we mentioned earlier, our requirements are more lenient than theirs.

Here are some links for sample critiques that our authors have received. (We
realize that not all of these apply to your genre, but we want you to see
how versatile and powerful this critique format is.) Also, please realize
that a critique is a fast overview. It is NOT a line edit.


Critiques do not supersede what you have to say as a writer.
We have a saying, "if you put 10 editors in a room you will come out with 12
opinions". Ultimately, the final decision about any editor's recommended
change is yours. If you don't agree with them, we are on your side,
especially about subjective items. For mechanics and formatting issues we
side with the editors as that is their forte.

However, you probably should ask yourself, "if they don't get it, why not?".
That's a very valuable insight for you to noodle on. The American viewing
public is so "challenged" that if an editor can't get it, then the public
won't either, and the buyer may not, which is the more important

That said, we side with the writer, period.

YOU MAY ALREADY HAVE A 3RD PARTY CRITIQUE* A good number of our applicants
Do**. (As a serious writer, you should get one every year or two).
The critique should be inexpensive, usually around $70-$90 depending on the
company you choose. It will tell each of us if the work is ready for
marketing right away, or if more polishing is required. As we mentioned if
you have a critique already, great, if not, we can provide a referral for a
critique service.

If you have an associate that you believe can do your critique, then be sure
to send us their credentials first for approval. Please don't try to
critique your own work. (Yes, we've seen that happen and we can tell
immediately.) Also, many people ask if they can get a friend to do the
critique, or a teacher, or an associate; if they don't do editing for a
living, then it's like asking anyone to do something for free--it takes
longer, and it may not be done correctly.

Many authors wonder if the critique just leads to more and more editing. The
answer is NO! Editors are people with high integrity and solid educational
background; if they say a work meets or exceeds industry standards, then we
can all trust their opinion. Once an editor says 'Good to go,' then everyone
can move to the next step, which is marketing your work.

In summary, the critique protects you from unscrupulous agents that will try
to tell you that you need endless rounds of editing. Once you have a
critique you are in a much stronger position in your writing career.

We want you to have a critique by a qualified industry professional.
We want you to have a critique to start our relationship so that we can
start from the same page. (If I told you the number of writers that accuse
us of using this to take their money, you would be flabbergasted.)

Many authors ask, "Why don't we do the critique as part of our Agency?"
In the old days, perhaps that occurred. However in today's competitive world
we must focus almost entirely on our core competency, which is selling your
work. Our company relies on editors to work with you to bring your work to
industry standards. We are not editors. We are sales professionals. We
contract out all editing work. (As you might imagine, it turns out that
editors are usually lousy salespeople, and we love the editors we work with
dearly). Editing and sales are two VERY different skill sets. And, because
the value of editing and critiquing stays with you, the owner/writer of the
script, even if you fire us, then it would make logical sense that you would
pay for services that improve the work.

-- One more positive response from an author about the critique ------------

"Dear Sherry: Thank you so much for your quick responses and
professionalism. It was so refreshing to hear an unbiased critique of my
work for the first time. I have hungered for it since I've been writing.
Someone actually read the whole script and took the time and care to provide
a professional critique and show me the areas that need improvement. I am so
determined to make my work a success, and it helps me to know what my
strengths are and where I need improvement. Thank you, and please pass on a
big thank you to my editor."

Typical FAQs that we see at this stage:
Q) Why did you accept me if my work needs improvement?
A) Our mission in the Acquisitions Department is clear and very "cut and
dried". 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 a "3 Yes" designation then you pass (at my level). After that, we
leave it up to the experts to really dig in and get detailed with polishing
your work. As Literary Agents, we don't edit, we just sell. We try to let
the editors work with our authors for creative, for mechanics, for
everything related to the work itself, and then, we'll work with the writer
for packaging, pitching, and presenting the work. Our core competency is
selling what you write, not writing what we sell. (And editors and writers
make lousy salespeople, so it works out.)

Q) Why can't I get a more personal response?
A) You will have much more personalized interaction when you reach the Agent
(which occurs after the critique is completed). Unfortunately, my job is
just too intense and I do sincerely apologize for that fact. It really is
like drinking from a fire hose over here. Many authors want me to tell
them what we liked, or what we see that needed polishing. It's just too
cumbersome to try to maintain those notes. You passed, now let's move
forward. Because we get a number of requests for a phone call, or more
personal attention, I would like to clarify how we address these requests.
A bit more about costs. We are extremely conscious of our internal
acquisitions costs. If you study the "cost of sales" in business, you find
that personal meetings are now estimated at $200 each, phone calls are at
$50 each, and emails are less than $5 each. And this is really, really hard
to hear, but authors really tend to ramble on the phone. One final
thought.. When we are helping you sign a publishing contract and get your
check we will talk with you endlessly. (grin).

Q) My work isn't finished, should I finish it first?
A) We can work with an unfinished manuscript. And, the value of the
critique is actually greater for the author of an unfinished manuscript.
Why? You can apply what you learn to the rest of your work! So, it behooves
you to get started as soon as possible. We can sell a work that isn't
finished, as long as what we present is of top quality.

Q) I need a referral for the critique.
A) If needed we will provide you with a referral to someone we trust (and a
sister company) and who discounts their prices to our clients. You can
certainly use any qualified person to do the critique if you know one, but
they MUST have been an editor at some point in their background. Teachers,
friends, family, etc. are not editors. Published authors are NOT editors

Q) How long should a critique take?
A) It should take about two weeks. It should cost no more than $70-$90. It
should be thorough. Many "old style" critiques are long on plot and short on
mechanics. The critique that we desire will not only include commentary on
the plot, it will also critically review grammar, spelling, punctuation, and
the mechanics of writing. We know, we know, it's all of our least favorite
aspect of writing, but to succeed as a writer, your mechanics must meet or
exceed industry standards.

Q) Do I have to pay for it or does the publisher provide for the final
polishing and editing?
A) As your agent, we need it to be 'great' before we will pitch it, and
then, if the publisher wants to make changes, then they will pay for the
changes they desire, not you.

Q) What if the critique says my writing is horrible? Will you still
represent me?
A) The critique will never say that your writing is horrible. The critique
will point out your strengths and weaknesses. It will come from a coaching
point of view, not from a judgmental point of view. As we've mentioned
earlier, our Agency is different in that we are willing to develop talent.
We will not fire you because of a poor critique.

Q) My teacher/friend/pastor/writer/PhD/English Teacher, etc. can do the
critique, right?
A) Maybe, but probably not. Bite the bullet and hire an editor please.
We've seen very poor work from PhD's, teachers, and many writers. If they
haven't had a stint as a true editor, then usually they aren't going to do a
good job.

Q) My work is my work; it's special and I'm not changing anything!
A) That's fine, but we do insist that spelling, grammar, and punctuation
meet or exceed industry standards. We have a saying, "If you put 10 editors
in a room you will come out with 12 opinions." Ultimately, the final
decision is yours. If you don't agree with them, we are on your side,
especially about subjective items. On the mechanics and formatting issues we
side with the editors.

Q) What do the buyers/publishers think of this model that you use?
A) Frankly, our buyers know that before we pitch a work, we've put the
writer through the proverbial wringer! Our buyers know that our writers can
understand a contract, comply with reasonable requests, and that we've
weeded out the 'something for nothing' writers that are basically lazy about
their craft. This hyper-competitive industry will only reward the best, and
that's our commitment to our buyers, and to you.

Q) How do I know that this won't turn into endless rounds of editing that I
Have to pay for?
A) At some time and some place, we have to trust each other. We believe that
this is where it has to start. Your risk is $70-$90. Our risk is that our
tnternal cost of our time with you at our hourly rate is easily greater than
that amount. (And you never pay us for that time, we don't charge any fees
As we've mentioned earlier). So, we'll spend the time to work with you if
you'll do your part to make sure your work is the best it can be. Unless the
critique points out the need for substantial rework, there shouldn't be any
more fees. That's why we require an independent 3rd party for the critique.
This protects YOU from an unscrupulous agent, and it protects US from
egocentric writers.

Q) I'm still nervous, what does your contract say?
A) First you keep the copyright to your work, and second, you can fire us at
any time if we don't perform. Our contract includes the following two
clauses designed to protect you. There are no payments to us in the contract
unless we sell your work.

Here is the exact language in the contract:
--------------------------------------------------------------- -- 1)The
Copyright and ownership is specifically retained by the AUTHOR for this work
and all works submitted to, and accepted by, the Agent. The Writer does not
grant to Agent or any other party any right, title or interest of any kind
in any copyright, ownership and/or any other intellectual property right
contained in or as a part of any work of the Writer submitted to the Agent.
The Agent agrees to make no claim to any such right, title or interest,
however denominated.

2) The Writer/Producer may terminate this Agreement after 90 consecutive
days of no sale by Agent.

3) We receive 10% only if we sell your work. There are no other fees in the
contract. We get paid after you get paid.

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

So, if you don't like us, or we don't perform, you can fire us. We clearly
state that you keep your copyright. We don't know how much safer we can make
it. Other than that, the contract is for one year duration, and we ask for a
reasonable 10% if we sell your work.

Please "Reply" to this email with one of the following three statements:

1) Please send your contract and a referral for a critique service. I
understand how a critique protects each of us and will improve my writing
(or validate that I'm as good as I think I am). I will get the critique
underway as soon as I hear from you. I am committed to my writing as a


2) I have a critique (or been edited) already. Please send me your contract
and I will include my critique or editing information with the contract when
I send it in.


3) "Thanks but no thanks," If this is your choice, we wish you the best.
Keep in mind that your competition (other writers) are aggressively
improving their work with coverage, edits, and coaching. To compete you are
going to have to consider these options. It is a very, very competitive

Also, should you change your mind after continuing to search for another
Agency, please feel free to come back to us, and we can pick up at this
stage. (You will still have to have evidence of working with a 3rd party


In conclusion, no matter what your reply, I truly and sincerely wish you the
best in your writing career and I want you to know that I have enjoyed our
interaction immensely thus far. Continue to follow your dreams, and it is my
deepest hope that you succeed with your writing career.


From: Kimi Silva [mailto:[email protected]]
Sent: Tuesday, June 29, 2010 8:42 PM
To: [email protected]
Subject: Kimberlynn Silva MS

Thank you so much for your interest in my work. To answer your
three questions:

*This book will be bought by fans of the Paranormal Romance genre.
It has magic, romance, and promises a series.
*I've been writing since I was in my early teens (about 25+ yrs),
but this is my first serious attempt at book writing. I hope to be a
published author; to know that I can cause my readers to experience a
roller-coaster of emotions between the cover of the book.
*This is definitely a WIP and is in desperate need of some
polishing, but I'm open to any and all suggestions.
Again, thank you for taking the time to look at my work.

Kimberlynn J Silva (Kimi J Shaffer)

C. K. Casner

is a twisted individual
Super Member
Feb 28, 2010
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Bobby sent me an email today that the Beijing Book Expo was sold out. You can tell I'm heart-broken to have missed out on that. I found this little tidbit that I thought was quite interesting:

============= PAYMENT METHODS ============================

Please see this note from our accounting department: "One thing we might ask the authors to do is please let us know when they make the payment what service they are paying for and if they have more than one book and are only paying for one to go, we need to know the title of the book. No one is including any notes when they pay via Paypal".

Let us know what you are paying for, it is more complex than you think! Smile!

Why is he so concerened with what they pay for, as long as they pay for it?
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Dec 7, 2010
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yea...I know that now. Guess who signed the e-mail??? Mrs Sherry Fine. It was just another branch of the New york lit agency. Sigh>>>

"Sherry still scamming, Why can't the law put a stop to these fraudulent acts?" This discourages me from even given any of my books to someone else to publish. Wow!

AC Crispin

Super Member
Feb 13, 2005
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Washington DC area
Real publishers publish books that you can find on the shelves in your local bookstore.

You won't find either Strategic or Eloquent books on the shelves in your local bookstore.

Also, real publishers don't advertise for writers to send them their manuscripts.

It's easy to tell the sheep from the goats.

-Ann C. Crispin
Chair, Writer Beware


Aug 22, 2011
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Mount Pleasant, Tx
The Literary Agency Group, a business controlled by Robert M. Fletcher of Boca Raton, Florida, changed its name in February 2007 to Writers' Literary Agency & Marketing Company (a.k.a. Writers' Literary Agency, WLA, or WL Writers' Agency).

"advisories of fee-charging, editing referrals, and other questionable practices. We're not aware that the company has a significant track record of commercial book or script sales under any of its names."

I submitted a query to them on a not so good book just to see what they would say. (This was about 7 years ago) and was told I had to pay about $400 for a professional editor plus get 3 editing refferals.

I never fell for it, and I'm grateful I didn't.

btw, I'm new here, lol.


Feb 4, 2014
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Sacramento, CA
Anyone know anything about it?? I have searched the forums and didnt come up with anything. I just got an e-mail requesting work but I have already had a run in with new york lit agency (they didnt get any money) so now I am leary...what is the best way to find out about a company?? I will do some research but any help would be appreciated. Thanks

I have the same issue. I just did internet research.


I grow my own catnip
Super Member
Feb 17, 2006
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Deep in the heart o' Texas
Welcome to AW! The best place to start is the index.

Chances are you'll see the publisher, agent, or service you're researching listed. If not, then please start a thread.

Elizabeth George's book Write Away