1. frygurl
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    frygurl Member

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    Literary Agent asks for fee

    Discussion in 'Publishing' started by frygurl, Nov 19, 2010.

    I received a response to a query I sent for my first novel. The agent has asked for a $35 processing fee to be sent with the manuscript. Is this normal? I thought agents weren't allowed to charge fees?

    She has sold some books that are now published, so she's not a total scam artist, but my gut tells me this isn't right. Thoughts?
     
  2. CDRW
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    CDRW Contributing Member Contributor

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    Other people more knowledgable than me continually insist that any agent who asks for a fee should be avoided like the plague.
     
  3. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    An agent can charge a fee if they like, but my understanding is that it is generally considered unprofessional and it's considered a warning sign for agents that you should stay away from.
     
  4. FrankABlissett
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    FrankABlissett Active Member

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    Tear up the letter.

    Sure, she is allowed to charge you, but it's a sure sign of a scam. Even if you accepted that she wasn't a scammer, ask yourself why she would risk her reputation by charging?

    Besides which, if she were consistently successful, wouldn't she be able to hire an intern to do most of the routine "processing"?

    No - say "next, please."

    -Frank

    edit:
    Name and shame. Who's trying to charge fees? It may be a known bad-actor.
     
  5. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    The Association of Authors' Reperesentatives is one of the major professional organizations of literary agents. All its members abide by a code of ethics, and one of those ethical points is that its members shaqllo not chaqrge up-front fees.
     
  6. Trilby
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    Trilby Contributing Member Contributor

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    Tell her to p... off.
     
  7. frygurl
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    frygurl Member

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    The agency I am referring to is the Charlotte Gusay Literary Agency.

    Thanks for your replies. I was so excited to get a response to my query, but when I received her submission guidelines, I knew something wasn't right. I will just move on.
     
  8. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    a scammer, albeit a cagey one... here's her listing on preditors & editors:

    don't buy any of that... she shouldn't be charging any fee for any reason...
     
  9. frygurl
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    frygurl Member

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    I found the Charlotte Gusay Literary Agency in Jeff Herman's Guidebook for Literary Agents, so I emailed him directly to let him know of the agency's practice of charging a fee.

    I was disappointed at Mr. Herman's reply in which he stated he is aware of CG Agency's practice but he keeps her in his book because she has a proven track record and she tells people upfront about the fee.

    I'm sure CG gets considerable business from the guidebook - I know I've leaned on it heavily in the past because I was under the impression only reputable agents were listed. I hope making people aware of this agency will discourage writers from sending in money for nothing.
     
  10. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    now you know why i'd never recommend anything put out by jeff herman!
     

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