Sunday, April 08, 2007

New Alert from Writer Beware!

Good morning, my friends:

We have a new ALERT for you (this has also been posted at the Writer Beware website). Please feel free to copy and paste the alert on writing message boards. It's important to get the word out.

Thank you,

-Ann C. Crispin
Chair, Writer Beware
www.writerbeware.com

******************************

NEW ALERT FROM WRITER BEWARE: Writers' Literary Agency & Marketing Company (formerly The Literary Agency Group)

The Literary Agency Group, a business owned or controlled by Robert M. Fletcher of Boca Raton, Florida, changed its name in February 2007 to Writers' Literary Agency & Marketing Company (a.k.a. WL Writers' Literary Agency).

This umbrella group includes or has included the following agencies:
  • Christian Literary Agency
  • New York Literary Agency
  • Stylus Literary Agency (formerly ST Literary Agency, formerly Sydra-Techniques)
  • WL Children's Agency (a.k.a. Children's Literary Agency)
  • WL Poet's Agency (a.k.a. Poet's Literary Agency)
  • WL Screenplay Agency (a.k.a. The Screenplay Agency)
  • Writers' Literary & Publishing Services Company (the editing arm of the above-mentioned agencies)
Since this company began operating in 2001 under the name Sydra-Techniques, Writer Beware has received hundreds of complaints and advisories of fee-charging, editing referrals, and other questionable practices. We're not aware that the company has a significant track record of commercial book sales under any of its names, despite its claims to the contrary.

Writers who have had trouble with Robert M. Fletcher or any of the above-named companies, and who are or were residents of the state of Florida, please get in touch with Ann Crispin at anncrispin@aol.com (or beware@sfwa.org, if the AOL address bounces), even if you have previously contacted her. Please provide complete contact information.

Thanks for your cooperation!

61 comments:

Gregory Ludwig said...

Interesting and important. Could you fix the punctuation in this alert, so the names can be more clearly understood? Thanks.

PuppetMaker said...

Let's try this again....

I passed this onto some editorial assistants that I know to give them a heads up about the name change.

Ann knows my feels about these sorts of operations.

Kathleen O David
(Who deleted her previous post due to a horrendous spell error.)

bjh said...

You go, ladies! Sic 'em!

And thank you.

J F Smith said...

Thank You (and Google) So Much! I was about to querry them. I am trying to find a publisher or agent. It is so difficult when you are brand new at this; every body I have found so far are either vanity publishers or scamers.
JFS

vtrinity said...

Thank you for the warnings. You've helped me out. I almost signed a contract with them. ^_^;;;

Thanks, V(^__^)/

Robin said...

Thank you!

~Nancy said...

Linked to my blog.

Thanks.

~JerseyGirl

Anonymous said...

Thanks! Glad to see there are peeps looking out for us newbies <3

Anonymous said...

Pure coiincidence that I read an anonymous editor's blog warning of these guys, right after I'd submitted and now have been accepted by them. Saved by the bell- wish others could be aware.

Anonymous said...

I have a contract with them and they've treated me fairly and in a very professional manner. I got the opportunity to meet up with some of them at the New York Book Expo earlier this month and I'm looking forward to getting published in the very near future.
I took a chance that the rumors were just that and I'm so glad I did.

Good luck to you all!

Leah

cmalcolmg said...

So how does one ever know whom to trust? I am a published author, but lack the expertise and time to properly market my book(s). I've already sent WL Writers a manuscript, and they are willing to proceed. The manuscript is under copyright and was published/released in 2006. Should my nights be filled with sweating dread that I so foolishly sent them a manuscript?

Victoria Strauss said...

About knowing whom to trust...it's really not hard to distinguish questionable agencies from reputable ones. If the agency has been in business for a year or more, look for a verifiable track record of sales to commercial publishers (if the agency has a website, the information should be prominently available there). If the agency is new, look for publishing industry background (again, the agency's website should provide information on staff and their credentials; be wary of an agency website that doesn't tell you who the agents are).

Here are a couple of posts that provide more detail on the above:

It's NOT a Jungle Out There

Evaluating an Agent's Website

As for worrying about WL having your manuscript...if you're concerned about theft, don't be. A good agent won't risk his reputation by stealing. A bad agent isn't interested in your manuscript, only in your money.

Anonymous said...

I have just submitted a screenplay with Writers Literary Screenplay Agency. I notice alot of people mentioning books in reference to this comapany. Has anyone had any luck with screenplays?

Nigel Waters said...

Anonymous dude - RUN!

Writer's Literary Screenplay Agency is yet another scam agency run by that obnoxious smiling Floridian ogre Robert M. Fletcher and his laughing cadre of amoral con men!

Who are they laughing at?

You and me, Ann Crispin, James MacDonald, Dave Kusminski, the FBI, et cetera, et cetera, ad infinitum.

Robert M. Fletcher, Ch.E., is a convicted white-collar criminal. (Securities fraud - byteaudio.com - 2001) Robert M. Fletcher has never sold anything legitimate to anyone, nor will he ever, but he does delight in taking money from unsuspecting writers, which he continues to do to this day.

Sucks, but it's the truth, so get over it and move on.

He conned me once, but I guarantee that I've cost him more money than he ever cost me. Just ask his ticklike, fat, bloated sidekick from Texas, Paul Anderson.

Anonymous said...

I just signed a contract, HELP! I sent an e-mail stated I wanted to withdraw as I am within the 72 hour period. Is there anything else I need to do to make my withdrawal official?

Author, Crystal Hickerson said...

Well I ALMOST, literally this moring had my reply email ready to send to WL and something told me to check for scam or complaint posts about the company. I did and here I am. I did send the reply as Thanks but NO THANKS!!

Jeez. At first I was a bit skeptical because there was no DIRECT communication. Whenever I would email them I would get a one liner and then a form letter. And I would think if you are an agent and you like the work of your potential new client you would want to get them on the phone and meet face to face.

Also on their site it has generic listings of the people they serve - stating doctors, lawyers, housewives ect... I am so frustrated. You can't do anything without an agent! The publishing houses won't even accept your manuscript without an agent. And who has the time or the money to run to every bookstore and beg for a book signing that only your friends will come to? I think I have just as much luck with my myspace page and word of mouth.

Do queries and sending your manuscript out to a gazillion publishers who will even take it work?? Or do I have to go and kill someone in order to get a book deal? AARRGGGHHHHH!!!!

Sorry. Just frustrated.
-Crystal
Crazed Author

Anonymous said...

I am a newb as well. Received the same form letters and offer for them to "represent me." I thankfully googled and found MANY listings that say BEWARE. Bottom Line: If it seems too good to be true: It probably is!

Anonymous said...

Ok, I hear you, but tell me, did anyone else receive a long winded reply from WL Agency, from a Sherry in VP-Acquisitions, explaining every excuse as to why they are not contactable? I call there long-winded email replies, repetitive brainwashing, allowing the reader to beleive that they are for real by the time they finish reading!!!! except some, that cringe and frown and say...'what the ****' is this????? Think people.

skyemanator said...

Crap crap crap. Here I thought they were legit. (signed contract, etc.) But they never asked for money. The one thing that made me wonder was the $89 critique found only three typos (some were repeats). I'm having my book edited by fresh eyes and my word were there oodles of mistakes!

What do you suggest I do now?

Geneva Kelly said...

I'm very concerned now. I just sent in the first five chapters of my work to them and I haven't copyrighted it yet! should I be concerned about theft? please let me know if you have some idea how I can rectify this mistake, please email me!

wind_chaser45@yahoo.com

Victoria Strauss said...

Skyemanator,

They DID ask for money. They asked you to pay $89 for a critique.

If you want to look for a reputable literary agent, there's an article on my personal website you may find helpful--it offers some tips about researching agents, plus a technique that's designed to help exclude the questionable ones from your query list .

Victoria Strauss said...

Geneva,

Don't worry about theft. A good agent won't risk his/her reputation by stealing. A bad agent isn't interested in your manuscript, only in your money. Either way, your manuscript won't get stolen. Theft of unpublished work is so rare as to be functionally nonexistent.

For why copyright registration isn't necessary if you're submitting book-length works to agents and publishers, see the Copyright page of Writer Beware.

madbridesign said...

Phew, glad I found this, knew it was to good to be true. Thanks everyone
Maeline

Bert said...

Thanks ladies - I was led down the garden path by these guys - submitted my manuscript, paid the critique fee and all - will chalk that up to experience and continue searching for a bona fide agent.

Catherine said...

It's so great to find an online forum for writer-related matters. I am heaving sighs of relief that I have followed my gut instinct as well as done some internet research on the WL outfit. What I find most depressing about WL's Sherry et al is not the automated emails, nor the backdoor requests for editorial fees.

No, it's this:

Having stuffed you full of the falsest hope, and snatched a few dollars from your pocket, WL ties you up with a contract and kicks you in the authorial jewels with talk of endless edits/rewrites/critiques.

Well I'm steering clear! Yuck. I hope this helps someone out there, btw.

Catherine UK

Anonymous said...

opps - I sent them a query via their website - which asks if your manuscript has been edited (which I replied yes to with specifics) I then got a "we are interested email" from "Sherry - VP Acquistions" asking if my manuscript had been edited. What the hell - if a 'Real Person' had read it why was she asking me the same question again. Of course so did all the vague references to authors they represent. That got me qustioning so I googled and came up with a number of warnings. So if it responds like a form letter, looks like a form letter and reads like a form letter it's a form letter!!

Anonymous said...

I also submitted a query and when I saw the warnings, I canceled it. I then got this reply from Sherry:
"We are the victims of a smear campaign generated by 3 writers (plus the numerous writers that we have had to fire because their work didn't meet our standards). In short, sour grapes.... Our lawsuit against the 3 main ringleaders will set the record straight.

What's your real risk?...

Are you afraid that we will 'steal your work?'... That's not going to happen either, but if you're worried about that, then you're not for us anyway.

Your real risk is that you miss an opportunity because of some old school blather that has gotten bloated over time.

So, if it were me, I'd enter the arrangement with my eyes open and let us prove ourselves to you. The contract gives you the right to fire us at any time.

We are saddened by this state
of affairs because we know it gives many authors pause when considering
dealing with our company. We are also saddened by the lack of
professionalism shown by these people. A spirited discussion is fine. But,
they have crossed a legal boundary and we intend to follow through with
the considerable resources at our disposal.


Our attorney has approved the following statement:
----------------------------------------------------
"The material promulgated by these websites and people is false, misleading,
and grounds for a series of lawsuits. At this time we are bringing suit against a
number of websites and people that we believe have
defamed our corporation. We expect to prevail with a temporary restraining
order (TRO) issued by Federal Court, by the end of the year."

When I asked for clarification, I got a "Let's not work with together." reply.

Very glad not to. I found it strange they accept pretty much anyone.

preeti said...

I got a response(positive) from them y'day . I was so thrilled that I almost danced and sang to half of the town. luckily I didnot replied to their mail asking to seek a proffessional editor and did some google search .. I am determined not to pay anyone a sngle penny to represent my work .if its not worth seeling , i do better keep it on net for free viewing ..

I am glad that I am saved from this vicious circle of mails and false hopes ...its right if its so good to be true , probably it is :-)
wish all the aspiring writers good luck ..

Anonymous said...

This is cool i just got an e from them too. :) they like my work , i'm so happy that i think i will write them back and tell them i am a wealthy Texas and i have 12 books i want to try and publish, and i am so thankful i found you folks down there in sunny Fla. Well at least they will have a happy few days.

dok said...

I have sought agents for three books. Good agents are not paying for"keyword" advertising, so I was suspicious from the start. Like many of you, I received a quick response, but it just rang of a hidden agenda. It seemes that this would be a ploy to make money off of writers like vanity press publishers. I have had agents look at my works then take several months to eventually turn it down or never respond at all. That's why I googled them in search of a forum like this. Now I don't have to waste time with these scammers.

DeWayneKnight said...

I recently submitted the pilot for the superhero fantasy series RIVALS to WL Screenplay Agency as well as submitting a query to ABC.com. I am just now getting the dirt about WL Screenplay over the Internet from various websites provided by Google; and it looks as if I may be had. ABC Corporate has forwarded my query to legal for handling; not only may Robert M. Fletcher's company be in hot water, the network may have contacted the authorities and issued a warrant for my arrest. This is because the Walt Disney Company, in keeping with its anti-solicitation and anti-terrorism policies, may perceive me as a celebrity stalker. I am already in potential legal trouble with the FBI for unrelated charges of perjury related to my claim for disability benefits, despite official diagnosis by my mental health agency of Asperger's Syndrome and major depression, for which I am seeking professional help. What have I done? HELP!

Vincent DeAdamo said...

Dewayneknight -

Sorry man, but you strike me as freaking paranoid. I assure you, no one cares about you or what you may have written, so don't worry about it.
As for Robert Fletcher, no one cares about him either, that's why he has made more money than all of us combined - he has millions. All he has to do is pay his taxes, which he does, every year.
I actually admire Robert Fletcher, in fact, I plan to open my own Literary Agency in the late spring or early summer.
There will be no reading fees, of course, but there will be a contract fee of $125.00, together with a 10 submission fee package of $150.00.
Unlike Fletcher, I plan to make actual submissions to legitimate publishers, complete with receipts forwarded to the writer for doing such. I will also offer a written guarantee that if I sell your manuscript, all up-front expenses will be cheerfully refunded.
Everybody else is doing it and getting rich, so why shouldn't I get my piece of the action? Who knows, I might actually sell a book or two.

fapritchard said...

As an unpublished as yet unknown author I was delighted to find an agency that would take a chance on someone like me. ARE THERE ANY LEGIT ONES OUT THERE?
So I have just sent a first registration to WLwriters but as I was completing the standard form I thought it looked familiar, and after submission I looked through my files (I keep everything) and lo and behold it is almost a replica of NYLA!!!. So I am most pleased that I recognised it and then looked on the internet to find your warnings. Thanks to all.

Anonymous said...

For those of you that ask if there are any agents that will represent new authors, my answer is suck it up and keep looking.

maryharrisauthor said...

10/15/08 I too was excited to get favorable responses from Writers' Literary Screenplay Agency. Finally! Someone who likes my work! Until... they said they needed industry-standard coverage, which will cost at least $100. Luckily the alarm bells started going off and all I've found after googling them was warning after warning. Keep up the good work!

Anonymous said...

Could I make a comment?

I am only 16 and was accepted by WL Writers Agency. I went through all of the processes WITHOUT having to pay a penny, and when my science-fiction book was accepted by a publisher and published within a year and a half, I had a phenomonal turnout.

People assume things to often: You see one thing because one person got too greedy or paranoid, and everything falls down the drain.

I did very well with WL, and please, only half of each email was a 'form'. When they sent back their acceptance reply, they gave me pretty detailed thoughts on my work, gave a short pre-critique on my work, and some other personal information. After that came the form, which was just explaining a few things about what to do after this step, etc, etc.

People, you only think you HAVE to pay because somebody thinks that they are being killed by today's economy; if you don't want to, don't. WL doesn't force you to pay, and the places they referred me to didn't make me pay.

Kudos to WL! Thanks for my published book!

Victoria Strauss said...

Anonymous, your comments would carry more weight if you weren't, well, anonymous. What's the title and publisher of your book? Surely there's no reason for a happy customer not to provide this information.

Joel said...

Anonymous, supposedly published 16 year old:

What the title of your published work?

I suspect that you are full of shit - like a good old Christmas Day turkey.

Kinnari said...

I am a new author too. And I got an email from WL Writers agency. What is a way to distinguish if its a scam or not ?

Kinnari said...

I also have the email, with the domain writersbookpublishingagency.com

Victoria Strauss said...

Kinnari, Writers' Book Publishing Agency is another name of Writers' Literary Agency. Have a look at our updated alert--it should answer your question above.

Anonymous said...

I do was deceived by the agency when I queried them and then was asked to send them my entire manuscript!

My red flags started going up when the screenplay division said they are NOT WGA (Writers Guild of America) yet!

Also, something in me just had a check about them. I googled their name and WOWZERS! Lots of people reporting the same thing.

Emails from Sherry from Acquisitions... what threw me off was that on the screenplay page there is one film that they supposedly sold and three others that were options. The one sold was actually a real film. Albeit terribly low budget and pretty shitty.

Anyone have any light to shed on the screenplay division.

Oh another red flag was the NAME... WL Screenplay Agnecy. Dumb.

J.M.C.

Jim B. said...

Thanks for warnings about WL Literary Agency. I received "acceptance" from them this morning and will, of course, decline, citing the Florida AG's investigation of Robert Fletcher, er al. I have been a professional writer for 47 years, including long years as a major league journalist (Associated Press). I was first burned by American Book Publishing Co. who published my novel and I earned a $14 royalty check which bounced. Legitimate, traditional agents collect a 10-15%commission for selling your work to publishers who do the marketing. When writers are asked for money they should realize they are dealing with a vanity press or scam operation. Period.

Anonymous said...

Is this a lynching party? Can anyone join? I have my shovel with me so I can cover over some of your BS. I see you guys eat Fletchers for breakfast with your Crispins. Have you ever thought to query them? Not to publish your book, of course, which I hope they never do, but to find out if the rumors are correct. I asked them what they've sold and they politely told me. Here is their response: Our Sales: Our screenplay clients' most recent SCRIPT SALES and OPTIONS: Joseph's Thompson's Born of Earth, sold to Skeleton Factory Prods. filmed in 2008 and currently in release (see imdb.com). http://www.imdb.com/name/nm2841236/ Katrina Rodriguez' Solace, optioned by Worldwide Screen Actors Co. Jill Carlton's The Fear Gods, optioned by 21st Century Foy Prods. Robert Bridge's Sacrificed, optioned by Polar Pictures, Inc. Our screenplay clients' most recent SCRIPT-CONTEST WINS: Steve Hayes' The Dead, 2nd-place winner, 2007 International Sci-Fi and Horror Festival. Logan Steiner's Promise of Spring, semi-finalist, 2008 Austin Film Festival. Rod Chapman's House Guests, semi-finalist, 2008 ASA Screenwriting Contest. Richard Bailey's Leap Into the Unknown, finalist, Linda Seger Screenplay Contest. Robert Martorana's Jungleland, 3rd runner-up award, 2003 Scriptapalooza. ---- It looks like we just sold either 3 or 4 romance novels to an Australian publisher for distribution in Australia, New Zealand, and China. We are very excited about the sales numbers we are seeing in the Chinese marketplace. We were able to negotiate that only the rights to those 3 countries were sold, so we are still working on selling the same work to US and UK publishers. It's a win-win deal for all concerned. In the children's area, we just sold this one: "The Vanishing Treasure of The Virungas". The author became interested in the conservation efforts of the Mountain Gorilla of the Virunga Mountains through her involvement with Partners in Conservation (PIC), a grass roots organization at the Columbus (Ohio) Zoo, which aids in the protection of the Mountain Gorilla of Rwanda, Uganda, and The Congo and the indigenous people of this region. She has been involved with several fund raising efforts, including donating original artwork, on behalf of the Imbabazi Orphanage and The Mountain Gorilla Veterinary Project, which is supported by PIC. Other Sales ... One of our sister agencies signed a deal for "Bipolar & Pregnant" with HCI, the publishers of Chicken Soup Series. Here are a few more sales, not all. "A Marriage Built to Last" was sold to a Christian Publisher, and we just signed a deal for a screenplay option and one horror movie. We are very proud of our track record. Of course we wish it were more, but when you consider that most agencies don't sell as many as that, we feel that we're doing pretty well. The reason we don't post them is too many authors will seek references too aggressively. We value our clients' privacy, and there are some very wacky authors out there (not you of course)!

Victoria Strauss said...

Hey, Anonymous, do some Googling on those sales to see how many you can actually find--and check out the dates as well. (Here's a hint: "Vanishing Treasures of the Virungas," which WLA says it sold, is published by Strategic Book Publishing...which WLA owns.)

Also have a look at the Alert on the Writer Beware website (linked in at the post above), which has been updated since this post was made. WLA is currently the focus of a consumer investigation by the Florida Attorney General's Office.

Anonymous said...

It seems to me that one or two people weren't satisfied with the services of WL and everyone joined on the bandwagon. I also noticed the date on the Writer Beware website and it's almost a year old. If WL isn't who they say they are then how did Joseph Thompson get his script sold? Maybe there were some problems in the past, but they seem to have straighten things out. If at any moment the agency requests money from me I will cut them off, simple as that. Their credentials satisfy me and I really think you guys should do more research before joining the bandwagon

Anonymous said...

One more thing to add. The company recently went its own way seperating itself from the former company many of you have heard problems about. This is an independant company. You should really read the About Us section and the entire form before you start to doubt.

Victoria Strauss said...

Anonymous, please come back in a year and let us know if you're still happy with WL.

James Macdonald said...

If WL isn't who they say they are then how did Joseph Thompson get his script sold?

Word I heard is that Joseph Thompson sold his screenplay himself. Not that a sale to The Skeleton Factory is something to write home about. There's small, there's independent, there's direct to video ... and then there's The Skeleton Factory. It's darned-near invisible. In this case, "in release" means "available on their MySpace page."

One more thing to add. The company recently went its own way seperating itself from the former company many of you have heard problems about.

Yeah, yeah, yeah. We've heard that story before.

That isn't what the Florida Attorney General thinks.

Authorjen said...

I too have just submittted an historical novel to writersbookpublishingagency.com. I'm already a traditionally published author (24 books in print) but all for children, and I'm having trouble finding a publisher as an adult (pigeonhole syndrome, I suspect). My antennae started twitched (a) when I saw the number of spelling/punctuation errors in their form letters, and (b) when they mentioned a "critique fee" of $90 or so. I know my work, and I KNOW I don't need to pay some anonymous hack to critique it ~ this is done by staff editors in publishing houses! So no, I won't be proceeding with this one. I'm disappointed, but a little wiser now.

Andra said...

What company is secure? i'm a new writer and so confused!

Anonymous said...

Simon Knows, Because Simon Says -

My great Frenid, A Greeting from the land down under, Australia, Why is it so complex to find So simple a answer, Someone to publish your fantastic book and idea.
WL - Feel The Pain.

Again must I search, Sheeees.

Just have you thought of this, As everyone seems to 'Orphan Talent'
the market could be yourself & circle of other writers, Form a group become - Yourself instead the money, Thanks for the Warning
about, WL Etc. yours simon, 10/8/10

Kerry said...

I should have listened to my initial skepticism when I read that your manuscript doesn't have to be finished. I mean, what literary agent WANTS an unfinished manuscript? But I kept going--I desperately wanted to believe that I had finally found my break, finally found the road to success. I just don't know what to believe. I feel as though I was just sucker punched right in the stomach...

Now I'm doubting myself. Am I a good writer? Do I have potential? I had my doubts throughout the entire "process" and lately my stomach has been rolling nervously and I just couldn't shake the feeling that something was completely off so I decided to do the research that I should have done first hand...

I feel terrible for getting my hopes up--but at least I caught on before I got in too deep. I'm not going to stop writing my book--I love it too much to stop. I'm gonna fake it til I make it, and one day I'm going to shine <3

KerryAnn

Tiff said...

I want to thank you all for your input and advice regarding WL Writers Literary Agency. I, too, received a quick response about my manuscript, along with a contract to sign and a referral to an external group who would provide a critique for $89.

I put off paying for the critique for over a month--I'm a college student and couldn't afford to give up $89 dollars. Now, I'm so glad I postponed paying them. Praise God for this!

A former teacher of mine suggested I google this agency and see what comes up. He has researched agencies in the past and has had experience with being scammed. I'm thankful for his advice because I would have been extremely disappointed had I finished my manuscript and watched this process crumble to pieces.

To everyone who's a bit crushed by the news, don't give up hope! If you're a great writer who has the passion to succeed, I'm sure we'll see your name on the shelves someday :) Best of luck to all of you, and thanks again for the help!

-Tiffany

Latricia said...

Hey, i aloso signed with them too, and was asked the same thing , how are we as authors trying to share creative work get an agent with out the bull88888 and an editor?

Anonymous said...

I thought I would take a break from writing and google this agency that asked me to have a critique completed on my manuscript.
Many alarm bells have been ringing however this was the biggest as my manuscript is already professionally edited. Okay so it may not be perfect but it is the best it is going to get, unless maybe someone else writes my story :) with this request and the quick response it was obvious no one in the agency read a thing, so really I had to ask myself... why would they want to represent me?
So here I am reading all these comments, it has been the best half an hour of my day (I am easily amused). I have enjoyed reading the for and against. After much deliberation (all of 2 seconds) I will not be seeking the representation of the agency in question for my second book.
Having said this, I only hope my comments posted here makes you think about your choices and the fact that you need to make the right ones for you.
For those writers who are feeling a little lost and confused... I agree with Tiffany's post - 'do not give up hope' I know sometimes it is hard however keep believing in your self and spend the time your book deserves in order to get it out there. But be smart about it and do your research.
For me this was not an agent, after a few rejections I was not dejected just impatient to get my first book read. I feel I have something great I want to share and I do not care about becoming rich or famous from it. I am just happy for people I don't know to read my story and fall in love with my characters as I have.
I have now accomplished this by self publishing. Something I researched yet still stumbled upon many problems however in the end I have come out of the experience wiser and very happy. I have my book launch in two weeks time and have already sold 60 copies. Okay this is not a lot on the grand scale of things, certainly nothing to brag about... but... it is 60 more readers than I had if I did nothing except despondently put my manuscript away because I gave up on the whole thing.
So the point I am wanting to get across to all my fellow budding authors is... do what feels right for you and in the end makes you happy.
Maybe I gave in too easily, taking the self publishing option... but hey... I am happy :)
Oh and yes... I am a real anonymous person... you can visit my website and email me any questions you may have on why or how I did things, if the knowledge of the problems I came up against and the mistakes I made can help you - I am happy to share and bare my stupidity... lets call it my learning curves :) www.krelliott.com.au
Please understand I am not saying self publishing is the way to go, I am just sharing my story on what I found worked for me.
So don't give up, keep sending your query letters out to any and all agents that will take them and...
Good luck to you all!

Anonymous said...

People, please ...
I am a first time writer too and has signed up with WL writersagency. If you read all their long emails and forums you will understand why they do things the way they do. When they ask to pay for the critique I actually phoned a publish house to find out if this is a step that must be taken or just a money making sceme. The lady told me that it is indeed a step that has to be taken. Every submision that they accept has to get a critique since none of us are Steven King's or Stefanie Meyers.It is just for them to see what needs to be done to make your novel ready dor marketing. Their company don't do it them selves that is why they work with a company that does and they are the ones that is charging you not WL writers agency. Not once did they said I have to use their referrals. I found my own and guess what, they are still representing me without making a so called dime. They are the only agency that is actually trying to give first time writers a chance, the others don't give you a time of day. Believe me I have looked. I do not live in America and as all of you know dollars can be extremely expensive when it comes to other currency. I have spoken to an agent and mine extremely efficient. It's no more forum letters and stuff but real conversations. Some of you have no idea how hard it is to find an agency and believe me they are quite prof. In my books. They are just extremely busy trying to help other first time writers. So forgive them if they don't have the time for answering your mail personally the first time. It is not like you are someone important or well known. They are taking a chance just the way you are taking one on them too. I agree one hundred percent with the 16 year old. Besides if I was 16 and my book was well known. I would shut up too. Not everyone out there is looking for fame we just want to get published. Those of you that don't take a chance, good luck finding someone that will. It took me three years of finding an agency that is willing to take that chance. I take off my hat to Shelly that has to deal with this crap on a daily basis. The woman is busy people, she goes through 10 000 submistions every 15 days, so you do the maths. Wake up first time writers this could be the only change an agency will give you.

Anonymous said...

I got a feeling that someone couldn't cut it as a writer so she started her own stupid blog. Its a waist of time. What did this agency did to you Crispinn. Sour grapes?

Anonymous said...

I'm glad she posted this. I had a really bad agent when I first wrote my screenplay and the fact is agents usually don't want newbies unfortunately, so an ad asking writers to submit work is fishy an obvious. Be thankful she is looking out for new writers!

Zaman said...

This helped a lot in deciding Not to use their services. That being said, I am quite unsure about a few things. I have been writing articles for a long time now. I started with serious articles that were being used as web contents. I did write a few short stories and poems before starting my career as a freelance writer. After a while, my career took me away from more serious forms of writing towards the abyss called SEO writing! Don't get me wrong here, I'm not complaining against SEO articles or writings but I do believe that they can lower the quality of any writer.

Then a new client inspired me to write serious and publishable articles. with his help, my writing became more meaningful n I realized maybe it is time for me to start a serious writing career. I always wanted to write a book and actually had a script in mind. before a tight deadline when I had to stay up and work all night right before a semester final exam, I actually wrote down part of the script point by point to keep it from being lost forever. I have not written or received a training on how to write a book. so I figured writing a few points would be a good idea. around that time, I was writing both serious and SEO articles. one of the orders was about how to remove a ripoff report. I had to study for a while to come up with the articles and that is when I realized that the best way to get even with frauds of this kind is to file a ripoff report on the consumer complaint boards. the benefit of doing so is that the search results will start with the ripoff report. that way, people who are smart enough to perform a search for the writing agency will see the ripoff report in the search result and back off right away. when I searched for WL writers agency, nothign liek that came up. I think this is the reason why people are still getting scammed by these guys. since I have not gone down the rabbit hole, I'm expecting some of you who have been there will be kind enough to other writers to do it.
Happy writing!

Anonymous said...

I've been with these guys for close to 2 years now and have been sorely disappointed with them. After being promised many things, I was given very little attention after the contracts were signed and repeatedly told that if I wanted to sell anything, I would have to adapt it for the Chinese market, since they apparently had contracts overseas. I'm with a new agent now and the differences are incredible, as to what a real agent will do, as opposed to refusing to follow up on any leads I generated, having to do most of the legwork myself and being blown off a majority of the time. I would not bother querying them, unless you don't actually want to sell a script/book.