1. MissIvy
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    MissIvy Member

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    agent question

    Discussion in 'Publishing' started by MissIvy, Feb 2, 2007.

    I didn't see a topic for agents so I placed it here...

    If an agency states that you retain all rights to your work...you can fire them within 90 days of no sale...they do not take any fees except 10% of the sales fee....they do require you to pay a privite critique for your work prior to their accepting it. This critique can be someone they recommend or someone you know...and there is a fee for that....up to 90 dollars.

    Does this sound normal?
    What about the critique? The story is a short one....

    Thanks in advance for any help.
     
  2. powertodream
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    powertodream Member

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    I don't know. It sounds fishy that they're seeking to force you to get a critique (and offering their own choice for it). Other than that, it all sounds good.

    Just to be sure, maybe check them out on Preditors and Editors: http://www.anotherealm.com/prededitors/pubagent.htm
     
  3. Axis
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    Axis Member

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    That's the only thing I'd be concerned about as well. If it's a short story, why aren't they just reading it.

    Although I've never heard of someoe getting an agent with just a short story. Do you mean a short novel?

    More and more agents are refusing to consider submissions that don't come with a positive manuscript assessment. You only need to be careful if they say thye have a reading fee, or of they say your assessment must come from their list of editors. There's likely some kickback arrangements in place.
     
  4. TWErvin2
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    TWErvin2 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Agents very rarely represent short stories (often if they do it is in reference to a short story collection, and usually with an established author). If you are indicating a short novel, it depends on the genre as to what is acceptable. (ie YA generally accepts shorter works than, say, historical fiction or hard SF).

    I am confused as to the critique fee. They say they will critique it for an amount of money, or you can get someone else to do it? Well, have you not had readers or even a crit group you belong to, read and help you improve the story?

    Look into this agency/agent very closesly before signing. Paying for services (other than some charge for mailing mansucripts), but evaluation fees etc, are usually a sign of an agency that does not make income on sales but rather fees.

    How many sales and to what markets have they sold? Are they recent? Can they be verified?

    If you sign with the agent, and he/she submits to markets on your behalf, but the agent (agency) a scam, then your work will be ignored by the publishing houses. You'd be wasting your time and money...and technically subbing to a house that you'd like to publish with and being rejected...thus closing that avenue.

    That stuff is pretty standard. But you would have to read the wording very carefully. For example, depending on the contract wording, if they have already submitted to a market before you fire them, then they still represent, or at least get their 10% for the novel if it sells.

    There are places to check on the legitimacy of agents/agencies: Preditors & Editors Agents and other Representation Info, SFWA Writer BeWare are two to start with.

    Good luck! Finding good representation for a novel is a major step toward finding a good publisher for your work!

    Terry
     
  5. TWErvin2
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    TWErvin2 Contributing Member Contributor

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    MissIvy,

    Here is a link for an example of a good author-agent contract. It may help you evaluate what you've been sent.
    Model Contract (SFWA)

    Here is an additional place to check on what other writers have experienced with publishers and agents (both good and bad experiences). I've included the direct link to the index to agents and publishers. Absolute Writer Water Cooler Indext to Agents, Publishers and Others

    Terry
     
  6. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    run, don't walk!... this is not a legit agency...

    first of all, agents do NOT rep short stories... they only rep books... use your common sense... how much do magazines pay for a short story and how much do publishing houses pay for a book?...

    ok, so what agent in his/her right mind would go to as much or more trouble to sell a ms that will earn them 10% of the former, taking up the time and effort they could instead be expending on selling the latter?

    next [and worst!], is that no legit agent will ever charge a reading or any other kind of upfront fee... they don't get paid till they sell your book...

    this is a scam outfit, or they wouldn't even be replying to you over only a story...

    go to http://www.invirtuo.cc/prededitors/pubagent.htm and learn what real agents do and don't, before you get taken in by more con artists...

    if you want to sell stories, you have to submit them to magazine editors on your own... yes, you should have someone who's knowledgeable look over your work to see if it's really read to be submitted, but there, too, you have to be very careful who you trust with your work and your money...

    if it's violence-free, i'll be happy to give it a read... it's what i do and i do it for free... i don't know anyone else who's qualified and doesn't charge a fee, but it's money well spent, if you get good advice...

    best of luck...

    love and hugs, maia
    maia3maia@hotmail.com
     

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