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Publishing and Promoting > Book Expo America

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message 1: by Lauren (new)

Lauren Kramer (laurenkramer) | 46 comments I recently wrote a children's book about my tripod dog, Penny. I was fortunate enough to have the manuscript be picked up by a literary agency. I am a bit nervous as I have never had representation before.

With my first published book, a collection of original poetry, I was fooled into paying a vanity press. I want to make sure that my literary agent is not trying to do the same thing. I was recently sent a letter stating that my manuscript would have the opportunity to go to BEA where it would be viewed by at least 30 publishers. The only catch was that I would have to pay the $300 for the literary agent to attend BEA. Is this the common practice?

Any feedback would be greatly appreciated! Thank you!


message 2: by Sandra (new)

Sandra Proto (sandraproto) | 35 comments It doesn't sound right. If a person is in the industry why are they asking a future client to pay their way into an industry event? I hope you didn't sign a contract..


message 3: by Lauren (new)

Lauren Kramer (laurenkramer) | 46 comments Thank you, Sandra! Unfortunately, I did. However, it expires in 2 months.


message 4: by Sandra (new)

Sandra Proto (sandraproto) | 35 comments Make sure it expires ( read the fine print) and when it expires cut ties with them.


message 5: by Lauren (new)

Lauren Kramer (laurenkramer) | 46 comments Will do! Thank you for the great advice.


message 6: by Sandra (new)

Sandra Proto (sandraproto) | 35 comments No problem.


message 7: by Judy (new)

Judy Goodwin | 187 comments Yeah that sounds strange. What's the name of the agency?


message 8: by Lauren (new)

Lauren Kramer (laurenkramer) | 46 comments Martin-McLean Literary Associates, LLC


message 9: by Sandra (new)

Sandra Proto (sandraproto) | 35 comments Lauren- I just Googled them. They are scammers. Google and look at the link of Writers Beware.


message 10: by Lauren (new)

Lauren Kramer (laurenkramer) | 46 comments Thank you, Sandra! I will see about terminating the contract immediately.


message 11: by Sandra (new)

Sandra Proto (sandraproto) | 35 comments You're welcome. Good Luck!


message 12: by Charles (new)

Charles Garard (goodreadscomcharles_garard) | 142 comments Has anyone else received any snail mail from MIRA Book Smart and a lady named Trish Linhares? Somehow she got my home address and sent me two flamboyant letters. What she was/ is offering is so vague that it is laughable -- as is the tone of her two letters. It was addressed to Publisher and then my name.

Anyone contacted by them?


message 13: by Lauren (new)

Lauren Kramer (laurenkramer) | 46 comments No, I sure haven't. I found my phony literary agent on LinkedIn.


message 14: by Charles (new)

Charles Garard (goodreadscomcharles_garard) | 142 comments Don't know if they are phony agents or printers look for business from us self-publishers. Maybe they think we are cash cows.


message 15: by Aimee (new)

Aimee | 6 comments Lauren,

No. This is absolutely not standard practice. I have been represented by two legitimate literary agents. You are *never* asked to pay for them to attend conferences. You should not be paying reading fees or any similar fees. The agency should not be referring you to a freelance editor with hope of publication. (Some so-called agencies do so because they receive a kickback from the editing service.)

Reputable agents already have contacts in publishing, and they do not require their clients to pay their way to attend events in order to shop manuscripts.


I'm afraid that you have been approached by an unscrupulous character. I hope you have not signed a contact. Do not give this person any money.


Reputable agents earn their living by selling clients' work and receiving a commission (usually 15-20 %).

Also, BEA happened last week. The convention is over.


Please read up on publishing-related scams and fraud artists. Two good sites are: http://accrispin.blogspot.ca/?m=1 and http://pred-ed.com.

Take care,

Aimee Reid


message 16: by Aimee (new)

Aimee | 6 comments I echo Sandra's advice. Leave this agent when you can. Also, be absolutely certain that you understand the agency contract language. Some "agents" use terminology that binds you irrevocably to them, which is a bad business. If you're unsure about the language, get it checked out by someone who knows his/her stuff.

Aimee


message 17: by Lauren (new)

Lauren Kramer (laurenkramer) | 46 comments Thank you, Aimee! Yes, I now that the conference was held last week. I had already paid for the agent to go. However, I have been very unhappy with my dealings with said agent and began to think that this was not the norm. That is why I sought the feedback of my fellow author peers.


message 18: by Charles (new)

Charles Garard (goodreadscomcharles_garard) | 142 comments Regarding Almee's comment: some agents are actually fronts for book doctors or free-lance editors. One agent was even a front for her own husband. Other times I would receive a turn-down letter from an "agent" who mentioned a particular book doctor. Then I would receive a letter from said book doctor shortly thereafter.

Unfortunately, there are always leeches out there to cling to the idealistic hopes of creative people, mainly because they are not creative themselves -- unless you consider scamming to be creative.


message 19: by Lauren (new)

Lauren Kramer (laurenkramer) | 46 comments Very well said, Charles! I wish that the BBB could eliminate such "businesses" from existence.


message 20: by Charles (new)

Charles Garard (goodreadscomcharles_garard) | 142 comments Me too. But can the BBB remove such
businesses or only list them for customers to find?

Anyway, thanks.


message 21: by Claudette (new)

Claudette Alexander | 18 comments They sound like scammers asking for $300 to attend what?


message 22: by Lauren (new)

Lauren Kramer (laurenkramer) | 46 comments Book Expo America


message 23: by Charles (new)

Charles Garard (goodreadscomcharles_garard) | 142 comments While we are at it, beware of other scams as well, including Global Talk Radio. Don't fall for vanity radio. As Dana Cassell says, consider starting your own podcast (for your website)


message 24: by Alice (new)

Alice (asimpson) | 86 comments Aimee wrote: "Lauren,

No. This is absolutely not standard practice. I have been represented by two legitimate literary agents. You are *never* asked to pay for them to attend conferences. You should not be payi..."


Aimee is absolutely correct. "Reputable agents earn their living by selling clients' work and receiving a commission (usually 15-20 %)."


message 25: by Lauren (new)

Lauren Kramer (laurenkramer) | 46 comments Thank you, Alice! I am going to finish out the contract (otherwise, I will be hit with extra fees). However, thanks to all of the helpful advice I have received, I know NOT to give them any more money for anything.


message 26: by Tina (new)

Tina Weaver (twbookmiss) | 12 comments Oh the woe's of publishing. I went through the same thought process. I began to send out a few queries but since I have insecurities and I didn't want to wait years to find a publisher I thought to self-publish. I knew I needed some help as I tried createspace and had some troubles formatting. My sweet husband finally got the word that I was ready to publish and his words were "You get what you pay for. Pay someone to publish your book!" All rightee then. He doesn't understand the process. Even with the support from beta readers I was unsure of the quality of my grammar and I didn't want to offend anyone. I contacted a number of Pay to Print publishers with a variety of responses and what they did. I figured if I didn't know what they did, how could I speak to their reliability. I found some very pushy, others are selling and talk a good talk. One group gave me positive feedback, but then told me what I'd have to pay. PAY? When was that conversation? It was a little paragraph about additional fees. I thought they were talking about SWAG or books above what was provided. Nope it was all about me paying them. I think they are a good company and they had an excellent editor. They wouldn't let me hire her separately. If I needed a self-pub I think I'd pay them to set up the book and such. I went on to speak about this on some of my Facebook writing groups and was referred to another publisher. I contacted them and sent my standard form. They loved it and asked for the whole MS. Its now going to be an e-book first, but they are looking into a print on demand or just finding how to get it printed in a paperback version for all those who don't do e-readers. At no cost to myself. Ergo- Research your Vanity or pay to publish companies. Not all are bad seeds. Some fulfill the need that we want to get our work out there but don't want to wait on the whim of some editor. Agents may or may not be on your side. If they don't get you a contract in say 3 month, make sure the contract is void and you can move on to someone else. Get them to have the publisher send you a sample edit, that lets you know if they are serious. Just some thoughts on publishing.


message 27: by Lauren (new)

Lauren Kramer (laurenkramer) | 46 comments Thank you, Tina, for the great advice! I am constantly learning the art of publishing. I recently joined SCWBI. Their publication of "The Book" has also been a great help.


message 28: by Suzanne (new)

Suzanne Cowles BEA has two ways for indie authors to participate. You can pay to have your book displayed on a New Title shelf at the entrance to the convention hall. It was $299 for a printed book and $299 for an ebook or $499 both. There is a monitor for ebooks. You also get a listing in a catalog that is available all year. Here is the link.

http://www.bookexpoamerica.com/Show-I...

Some publishing companies rent shelf space and charge $250 for a spot. That's not a scam. Look in the event directory to see if the company is listed as an exhibitor.

Look in the catalog (also on that link) and contact an indie author to see what they thought of their experience. Was it worth the money?


message 29: by Sandra (new)

Sandra Proto (sandraproto) | 35 comments Suzanne,
Lauren was dealing with a so-called agent and not a small publisher. And she was asked to pay so that the agent could attend. No author should have to pay for an agent to attend a industry event.


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