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  1. Devon
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    Devon Member

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    Please be careful of 'invitations' to literary agencies

    Discussion in 'Publishing' started by Devon, Feb 11, 2007.

    Aspiring novelists,

    I have just received an invitation to submit some of my work to a what seemed like a legitimate literary agent: Sherwood Broome, Inc.

    However, upon looking up the company within minutes of receiving the letter, found that they are listed as one of the top twenty writers should be wary of. Not to mention the letter was sent via bulk mail with an uncancelled letter. Huge giveaway to a scam.

    If you are an aspiring writer and are ready to submit your hard work to a literary agent, please take the time to look at this website before you do: http://www.sfwa.org/beware/twentyworst.html

    I hope no one is desperate enough to see his/her work in print to fall for something so obviously fake like this. Just wanted to pass the word along.

    Devon :)
     
  2. SeaBreeze
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    SeaBreeze Banned

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    Hey, thanks for the heads up. There are many writers out there that are desperate to get their work published/looked at and will pobably be willing to give it a go. So thanks again and may I suggest that if anyone else has had similar offers to post them up to let us know.
     
  3. Max Vantage
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    Max Vantage Banned

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    I noticed that the link included the New York Literary Agency there as well. So I've contacted Sherry and asked her what she thought of it. And this is what she had to say:

    It's a bit longwinded, but take what use you see from it.
     
  4. Robert
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    Robert Banned

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    Nice post, Max. Thanks for posting.

    One word of caution though, technically it's subject to copyright - have you checked with the author that it's okay to post it in a public forum? Just asking, because if you haven't it could cause a problem.

    Very interesting though.

    Cheers,
    Rob
     
  5. Max Vantage
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    Max Vantage Banned

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    I doubt there could be any copyright issues over a correspondence in e-mail. It was written in such a fashion as to persuade me to repost it and I think that Sherry would appreciate me doing so.
    A lot of it I thought was pretty much a stock response, meaning it was probably cut and paste.

    Regardless, people should use their own judgement when posts like this pop up on internet forums and take it upon themselves to do some research just in case that posts like these are meant as character-assasination (nothing personal towards you Devon). This is not the first time I have seen posts like this made from some people who I thought were ranting a bit.
     
  6. Max Vantage
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    Max Vantage Banned

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    And also, it's not also uncommon to ask these agencies and publishers for a reference of their past successes.

    I know that the Christopher Little Agency has a website of its own that has listed some of their past writers and successes including J.K. Rowling. If agencies refuse this information then you might want to be wary.

    http://www.christopherlittle.net/
     
  7. Robert
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    Robert Banned

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    I imagine copyright law varies from country to country, but I recall looking into it a year or so back due to some issues at work, and emails, letters, all that kind of stuff, is subject to copyright too. At least, it is here in the UK.

    If Sherry hasn't explicitly given you permission to post it, you might want to check, but it's entirely up to you. Might save you problems down the line.

    Cheers,
    Rob
     
  8. Max Vantage
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    Max Vantage Banned

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    This is assuming, of course, that she knows my identity and where I live before sending the boys over for a "nice chat". :eek: ;) :D :D
     
  9. Robert
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    Robert Banned

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    You mean Max Vantage isn't your real name? :confused:
     
  10. Max Vantage
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    Max Vantage Banned

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    No. I keep my ID locked down real tight when concerning anything on the net.
     
  11. Max Vantage
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    Max Vantage Banned

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    I wasn’t happy with the answers to my question (assuming it was nothing more than a typical cut and pasted effort every time they may have been questioned by others also suspicious) so I decided to make some more enquiries with Sherry at the New York Literary Agency.
    What follows are e-mail responses over the last couple of weeks back and forth between her and myself.

    This first one comes after the ultra-long response above:


    I personally found the responses to be unsatisfactory and a load of horseshit! However, no one who professes to be in the industry that owns an agency has to provide anything of what I have asked for in terms of “proof” of their legitimacy as trusted professionals.
    All in all, for those reading this, stick to the number one rule and do your research and formulate your own thoughts.
    I recommend you work really hard to become as professional in your approach to writing as well as business approach as much as possible. And network any stories and/or poems in magazines, reputable online sites, competitions et al so then you’ll have some clout under your belt so that you will be in a position to bargain with the major agencies and publishers that feature in publications such as the Writers & Artists Yearbook, amongst many other avenues.

    Personally I would skip the New York Literary Agency as something definitely doesn’t seem right.

    Their website is here: http://www.newyorkliteraryagency.com/

    Mailing address:

    New York Literary Agency
    275 Madison Avenue,
    4th Floor
    New York,
    NY 10016

    E-mail address (enquiries and such): question@newyorkliteraryagency.com


    I encourage anyone reading this to formulate their own thoughts and research by getting themselves in contact with the above address, but I’m satisfied in knowing that these are definitely not the professional responses that I was expecting, especially with that almost juvenile “We have too many applying authors. I get 3000 applications a month. Why spend time cajoling more? It's a strange world that's for sure” comment.
    True, many agencies and publishers do put a cap on how many submissions they’ll deal with. But this one just doesn’t give me confidence in them in anyway.

    (And seeing as I don’t live in the US, maybe someone here who does and who lives anywhere near Madison Avenue, New York can make a better judgement by actually visiting them in person if possible and post their findings here).

    And if all else fails and you too feel at odds with the NYLA then console yourself in the fact that they don't really need you to get in contact with them as they already have as many as 3000 submissions a month so that they don't need to conjole any more submissions from you/us. :rolleyes:
    Oh well, strange ol' world isn't it!

    And to sign off, here's the NYLA agency's final words/signature pledge:

    (Kinda contradicts some of Sherry's responses, huh!)
     
  12. Robert
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    Robert Banned

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    Thanks for posting a follow-up, Max.

    Cheers,
    Rob
     
  13. mastermx
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    mastermx New Member

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    I would recommend anyone searching for a good literary agent to check out the writers & artists' handbook or other similar listing directories. But I bet that Agent sending bulk advertisements does catch a few people out. There's always someone out there who's desperate enough to fall for these tricks.
     
  14. MJ Preston
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    MJ Preston Banned

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    Interesting how this turned out. Thank you Max.
     
  15. black-radish
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    black-radish Senior Member

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    I'm sorry this might be a very very dumb question but..

    I don't really get it, what happens when you send some of your work to them?
     
  16. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    those are their listings on 'preditors & editors'... where you should always check out agents, publishers, etc. first... http://www.invirtuo.cc/prededitors/

    love and hugs, maia
     

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