After confronting "Sherry" about being legitimate, this is the reply that I received. I will give them an "A" for effort.

I'm so sorry that you find yourself in a conundrum. As a writer, you really don't know who to turn to, and there is conflicting information everywhere. Before you lose a real chance to move your career forward, please consider the additional information below.

Interestingly, we had a publisher make this comment the other day (remember, it's the publisher we care most about). The publisher said, "the more they scream, the more we know you are doing the right things and forcing discipline and business reality on these writers". What the publisher was telling us, was basically, "thanks, you're doing your job", which is weeding out the writers that won't get their work edited or brought to professional standards. We get a lot of comments about how good a job we do, but of course, real writers and real publishers don't hang out on message boards.

Please, you owe it to yourself to take this one step further! That data is so old, and so distorted by writers with an axe to grind, that I cringe when I hear a writer making a career decision from it. You've been with us this far, and I think you will agree that we have treated you professionally and in a timely fashion. Read what I say below and tell me if it doesn't make sense, and that it is worth your time to gather a little bit more info.

Let me tell you where that stuff comes from. First, we insist on working only with edited work. There is an entire camp of people that believe that we should pay for the writers' editing. If the writer's name is Hillary Clinton, we'll pay for the editing, but for a new author, we just can't afford it. Also, because the value of editing and critiquing stays with the owner/writer of the script, even if we were fired, then it would make logical sense that the author would pay for editing.

The next group is basically just upset that they can't make it as a writer and they are spiteful and generally upset with the way the world treats them. And to add to their angst, telling a writer their story isn't good enough to sell is like telling a parent that their kid is ugly. And, when a writer is upset, they write hateful things. We just toughen up and ignore them. I suggest you do the same.

We used to try to set them straight, but it was a useless task. We've tried to get these people into a dialogue. They just keep dragging old information around. They talk about people and processes that are at least 5 years removed from what we do now. Please read this and you will see what I mean.

Here is what I would do if I were you.

1) Please spend a minute or two asking them for concrete proof of their allegations or what they say. See if they will give you anything substantial. We have asked and never received an answer. I don't think they will either answer you or give you anything concrete either. I've seen their answers, there is nothing concrete, just allegations of more complaints from internidiots.

Then, once you've weighed all the facts and done your diligence, please feel free to return to us. We are willing to work with new authors and that's what everyone holds against us (and unfortunately, new authors know less about the business than anyone.)

Good luck to you, really! I hope you will give us a chance to prove ourselves. (We won't waive our quality standards though).

And, one final thought. The people on the boards, even the moderators ARE NOT AGENTS. THEY CANNOT KNOW WHAT OUR BUSINESS IS REALLY LIKE. They are writers who think they know, but they don't know, they can't, because they have never agented someone elses work.

Do you understand that if someone hasn't gone through the tribulations of being an agent, they really can't comment accurately on what being an agent is like? John Kennedy said it best....

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"The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena,
whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood,
who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions,
and spends himself in a worthy cause; who at best, if he wins,
knows the thrills of high achievement, and, if he fails,
at least fails daring greatly, so that his place shall never be
with those cold and timid souls
who know neither victory nor defeat."
John Fitzgerald Kennedy

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