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Thread: Writer Beware's 20 Worst Agents

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  1. #1
    Writer Beware Goddess Absolute Sage victoriastrauss's Avatar
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    Thumbs down Writer Beware's 20 Worst Agents

    Writer Beware's Thumbs Down Agency List.

    (NOTE: The list in its entirety used to be posted here, but we've found that it changes frequently enough, as agencies change their names or expand, that it quickly becomes obsolete. Rather than maintain an obsolete version here, or constantly update this post, I've posted the link above, which will take you directly to the list in its most current version on the Writer Beware website.)

    - Victoria
    Last edited by James D. Macdonald; 12-14-2009 at 01:51 AM.

  2. #2
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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    Wonderful, thank you! Methinks there're a couple we don't have listings for yet. Gimme a sec.
    ICAO
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    Censorship always defeats its own purpose, for it creates in the end the kind of society that is incapable of exercising real discretion. -- Henry Steele Commager
    Achievers strive for excellence. Perfectionists drive themselves to extinction. -- A Grapple A Day
    I've never known any trouble that an hour's reading didn't assuage. -- Charles DeSecondat

  3. #3
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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    Say, I don't suppose you have "20 Worst Publishers", too?

    Or would it just be PA listed twenty times?
    ICAO
    ---------

    Censorship always defeats its own purpose, for it creates in the end the kind of society that is incapable of exercising real discretion. -- Henry Steele Commager
    Achievers strive for excellence. Perfectionists drive themselves to extinction. -- A Grapple A Day
    I've never known any trouble that an hour's reading didn't assuage. -- Charles DeSecondat

  4. #4
    What happened to my LIFE?!
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    Wonderful list, and of great help to those new and not-so-new to searching for book agents.


    ...One request that I have is that this list be provided in alphabetical order...

    Thanks,

    ATP

  5. #5
    Gone
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    Quote Originally Posted by ATP
    ...One request that I have is that this list be provided in alphabetical order...
    It already is, if you file agents under their last names. (I prefer P&E's model, myself.)
    Winner of Uncle Jim's Whoo Hoo Super Writer Award and Nomad's Most Use of Vowels in a Screen Name Award as well as Maryn's Only Person on AW Whose Name Anagrams to "I, Octane," "Act I (One)" and "Nice tao" Award in addition to batgirl's Culpeper Award for Botanically Erudite Screen Name plus awatkins' AW's Most Creative Srounger [sic] of Rep Points Award not to mention azbikergirl's Arizona Most Awarded Writer Award and also Dawno's Most Interesting Signature Line Award

  6. #6
    Writer Beware Goddess Absolute Sage victoriastrauss's Avatar
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    We're working on the publisher list. I imagine that the regulars in this topic can probably guess who's #1 and #2.

    About the order--our files are alphabetical by name, which is why we went with the same thing here. There's also a good argument to do it the way P&E does. No matter what you choose, someone doesn't like it!

    - Victoria
    Last edited by victoriastrauss; 03-16-2006 at 08:16 PM.

  7. #7
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Quote Originally Posted by CaoPaux View Post
    Say, I don't suppose you have "20 Worst Publishers", too?

    Or would it just be PA listed twenty times?
    This is not the first place I've seen a reference to "PA" publisher? but no one seems to think it necessary to spell it out the first time it is used - ALWAYS a good practice, and saves people who aren't familiar with it some irritable frustration. Who/what are you referring to, please?

  8. #8
    aka Sadistic Mistress Mi-chan M.R.J. Le Blanc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CyberCrone View Post
    This is not the first place I've seen a reference to "PA" publisher? but no one seems to think it necessary to spell it out the first time it is used - ALWAYS a good practice, and saves people who aren't familiar with it some irritable frustration. Who/what are you referring to, please?
    PA is PublishAmerica, possibly one of the worst vanities out there. They have their own subforum here in Bewares and Background Check, which kind of attests to how bad they are. Have a look if you ever need a reason why buying your own overpriced books is a bad idea

    Welcome to AW, hope you stick around! Lots of good stuff here.
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  9. #9
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Quote Originally Posted by M.R.J. Le Blanc View Post
    PA is PublishAmerica, possibly one of the worst vanities out there. They have their own subforum here in Bewares and Background Check, which kind of attests to how bad they are. Have a look if you ever need a reason why buying your own overpriced books is a bad idea

    Welcome to AW, hope you stick around! Lots of good stuff here.
    Thanks! I went to the page for ten worst publishers and found out there that PA is PublishAmerica but I appreciate your reply. I also read part of one of the 'sting' novels sent to them, deliberately terrible writing, to prove they will accept anything no matter how bad, and was disappointed--I could have written much worse! 8-) I would have started with "It was a dark and stormy night as Ellery lunged at the supine figure of Cecile...".

  10. #10
    Finally signed by an agency! NovelistInNYC's Avatar
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    I am so happy for this board and for lists like this. I'm just starting to seek representation for my first novel and I see a lot of these names come up again and again in my research. (Finesse/Karen Carr had me worried from the word go; I just can't see myself submitting to someone whose copy reads, "Miss Carr wants to represent published authors of which she is also one.") Anyway, thanks for this!!
    All for the Best: How Godspell Transferred from Stage to Screen. ETA: November 2011 via Bear Manor Media.

  11. #11
    practical experience, FTW haefner919's Avatar
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    Thanks for this list. I actually sent an email to New York Literary Agency and they contacted me back wanting to read my manuscript. Everything sounded great on their website and in the email. They said they do not charge fees and only get paid when I get paid.

  12. #12
    Writer Beware Goddess Absolute Sage victoriastrauss's Avatar
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    Haefner, there's a long thread on NY Literary here that will make it clear why it's on our "Worst" list.

    - Victoria

  13. #13
    cyril32a
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    AGENTS

    TO EVERYBODY OUT THERE:

    My name is Cyril "Poochie" Augustin, Jr., write of the films "Treasure N Tha Hood" & "Jeremy's Family Reunion".....

    I just want to tell everybody do not deal with those slick agents/agency's that are not on the WGA list, period!

    I have had a few bad experiences in my 12 year writing career that I have leaned from.......

    If you want your script purchased or optioned write what people want to see...... and you'll have a shot at selling a script. Once you get that first sale it open the doors WIDE!

    I'm a African-American man, so I write African-American stories.....

    ****REMEMBER!!!!

    Sometimes you have to do things for FREE to get where you want to be....

    Try to do a script and if someone wants it let them make it and just take money off the back end.......

    I know its hard out there but those who want it the baddest will get it!!!!!

    Cyril

  14. #14
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Quote Originally Posted by victoriastrauss
    Below is a list of the 20 agents about which Writer Beware has received the greatest number of advisories/complaints during the past several years.


    • Mocknick Productions Literary Agency, Inc.
    Victoria
    This company asked me for over $300.00 to represent me, as I am unknown and they are "taking a chance with me." This is to pay for the cost of telephone calls, contacts, etc.

    What a load of bullocks!!!

    Caleb

  15. #15
    Hagiographically Advantaged AW Moderator HapiSofi's Avatar
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    Gem doesn't get complaints?
    Winner of the Best Drycleaner on the Block Award.

  16. #16
    Writer Beware Goddess Absolute Sage victoriastrauss's Avatar
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    It did, but it's out of business, as far as I know.

    - Victoria

  17. #17
    Hagiographically Advantaged AW Moderator HapiSofi's Avatar
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    Now I'm trying to remember how long it's been since I've seen one of their submissions. I'd have thought I'd seen one within the year, but I might well be mistaken. What happened to them?
    Winner of the Best Drycleaner on the Block Award.

  18. #18
    Your Genial Uncle Absolute Sage James D. Macdonald's Avatar
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    GEM's webpage now carries the headline, "Online Payday Loans, no faxing."

  19. #19
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Hi Victoria

    I saw your list of 20 worst agencyies. I have come close to going with NY literary agency and the Robins agency. I noticed "BK Nelson" agency. Is that the same one that has an office in Colorado? She goes under "The Nelson Agency" i believe

    thanks

    first time writer (tonyb)

  20. #20
    Megalops Erectus Silver King's Avatar
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    Are you referring to Kristin Nelson? If so, she's wholly legit. (I'm not an expert on these affairs, however, so please wait for 2nd and 3rd opinions.)

    You can visit her blog here: http://pubrants.blogspot.com/

  21. #21
    Your Genial Uncle Absolute Sage James D. Macdonald's Avatar
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    BK Nelson, one of the Twenty Worst:

    http://www.bknelson.com/

    Kristin Nelson, completely legitimate:

    http://www.nelsonagency.com/

    Remember what I said about scammers taking names very similar to legitimate companies, hoping to profit by the confusion?

  22. #22
    annoyed and annoying roach's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by James D. Macdonald
    BK Nelson, one of the Twenty Worst:

    http://www.bknelson.com/

    Kristin Nelson, completely legitimate:

    http://www.nelsonagency.com/

    Remember what I said about scammers taking names very similar to legitimate companies, hoping to profit by the confusion?
    Does anyone know if legit agencies have gone after scammers for trademark infringement? Maybe it wouldn't be worth the price of pursuing the scammers in court but I wonder if they (legitimate agents) wouldn't have an interest in preserving their name brand when it is clear that such confusion exists.
    Eggplant Literary Productions,
    A small electronic speculative fiction publisher.

  23. #23
    5 W's & an H Sassenach's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by roach
    Does anyone know if legit agencies have gone after scammers for trademark infringement? Maybe it wouldn't be worth the price of pursuing the scammers in court but I wonder if they (legitimate agents) wouldn't have an interest in preserving their name brand when it is clear that such confusion exists.

    Names aren't trademarks.
    I feel God in this Chili's.
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  24. #24
    Gone
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    Quote Originally Posted by roach
    Does anyone know if legit agencies have gone after scammers for trademark infringement? Maybe it wouldn't be worth the price of pursuing the scammers in court but I wonder if they (legitimate agents) wouldn't have an interest in preserving their name brand when it is clear that such confusion exists.
    Forbes did something along those lines (IIRC, to C. Lee Nunn's agency, which was using the Forbes name to imply a connection that didn't exist).
    Winner of Uncle Jim's Whoo Hoo Super Writer Award and Nomad's Most Use of Vowels in a Screen Name Award as well as Maryn's Only Person on AW Whose Name Anagrams to "I, Octane," "Act I (One)" and "Nice tao" Award in addition to batgirl's Culpeper Award for Botanically Erudite Screen Name plus awatkins' AW's Most Creative Srounger [sic] of Rep Points Award not to mention azbikergirl's Arizona Most Awarded Writer Award and also Dawno's Most Interesting Signature Line Award

  25. #25
    practical experience, FTW
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    Quote Originally Posted by Silver King View Post
    Are you referring to Kristin Nelson? If so, she's wholly legit. (I'm not an expert on these affairs, however, so please wait for 2nd and 3rd opinions.)

    You can visit her blog here: http://pubrants.blogspot.com/
    Yep, she's legit; puts out a great newsletter......turned me down twice....said she wasn't taking on new clients.....if that isn't true, I would rather she had told me that she didn't like my book. It is right up her alley.....sigh....
    " OLDER CHICKS RULE"

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