Thursday, May 25, 2006

Let's Slam Scam

(And get rid of Spam while we're dreaming...)

Some of you know I was scammed by an agent years ago when I was just starting to write. It was before e-books took off, before the internet was just an interesting place...(I'm dating myself but who cares...) You were told by most reputable publishers to get an agent. I sent my manuscript in to a Publisher who was listed in the Writer's handbook. The Publisher wrote my back saying he'd love to represent me - but he needed an agent to negotiate...and he had just the fellow. To make a long story short, I wasted one year and 200 dollars on a fake agent. When I finally cottoned on, I sent a letter to the editor of Writer's Handbook and had both listings removed (they also sent me a free handbook the next year.)

And now it seems more scam agents are appearing. Here, thanks to Ann and Victoria on Writer Beware, is a list of the 20 worst agents in town. Read it and stay well away from them.

the 20 Worst Agents:

* The Abacus Group Literary Agency
* Allred and Allred Literary Agents (refers clients to "book doctor" Victor West of Pacific Literary Services)
* Capital Literary Agency (formerly American Literary Agents of Washington, Inc.)
* Barbara Bauer Literary Agency
* Benedict & Associates (also d/b/a B.A. Literary Agency)
* Sherwood Broome, Inc.
* Desert Rose Literary Agency
* Arthur Fleming Associates
* Finesse Literary Agency (Karen Carr)
* Brock Gannon Literary Agency
* Harris Literary Agency
* The Literary Agency Group, which includes the following:
Children's Literary Agency
Christian Literary Agency
New York Literary Agency
Poets Literary Agency
The Screenplay Agency
Stylus Literary Agency (formerly ST Literary Agency)
Writers Literary & Publishing Services Company (the editing arm of the above-mentioned agencies)
* Martin-McLean Literary Associates
* Mocknick Productions Literary Agency, Inc.
* B.K. Nelson, Inc.
* The Robins Agency (Cris Robins)
* Michele Rooney Literary Agency (also d/b/a Creative Literary Agency and Simply Nonfiction)
* Southeast Literary Agency
* Mark Sullivan Associates
* West Coast Literary Associates (also d/b/a California Literary Services)


Wynn Bexton said...

Thanks for the heads up on that one. I will forward it to someone I know is shopping around.

The closest I came to a scam (which was actually vanity press stuff) was when my novel (as yet far from finished) was recommended to a well-known Greek publisher. The person who recommended it had been published by them and I had previously done research as to their publications and they looked good. They were definitely interested in Shadow, they said and wanted their historian to check over the historical facts in it. But the catch was this...they wanted me to pay half the pub. costs which would have amounted to something like $23,000 US. (And I don't know if that included a Gr. translation.) Of course I graciously declined and mentioned that usually the author gets paid for their work and doesnt pay the publisher. My writer friend who had recommended me was quite shocked as he only had to pay for a translation. Even so, that cost him about $5000. Beward of vanity presses!

Sam said...

Thanks for mentioning vanity publishers Wynn!
23,000$?? Yikes!

barista brat said...

whenever anyone finds out that i'm looking for an agent, they almost always say "oh, why don't you self publish?"
i just think to myself "you have no stinkin' clue!"

S. W. Vaughn said...

You go, Sam. Join the crusade!