At Loose Ends

 Posted by at 9:11 am  Life Online, Writing  1 Response »
Jan 182009
 

I tend to spend significant portions of my weekends on the forums at Absolute Write, but their host has been having server problems for the last couple of days.

Which means that instead of chatting about writing, I might actually have to do some. Oh, noes!

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May 252006
 

Teresa caught it before I did, because I usually hang out on the Absolute Write forums only on the weekends, but my favorite writers’ board is gone .

I’ve been a member of AW for over a year now. Gods, the Learn Writing with Uncle Jim thread (led by Jim Macdonald) in the Novels forum was a mainstay of keeping my enthusiasm going for working on my book. I’m shocked, and angry, and quite frankly just a little heartbroken.

And all of this is because AW has, for ages, been a resource for finding information about the scum who prey on people who dream of publishing a book. One of the “agents” on Victoria Strauss’s list of the 20 worst literary agents list (reproduced here on Making Light and here on the SFWA site) got their host to pull them. This is Barbara Bauer, the fourth on the list. SHe also tried to get Teresa fired for posting the list to Making Light.

To show my support, I’m posting it, too, now:

Below is a list of the 20 literary agencies about which Writer Beware has received the greatest number of advisories/complaints over the past several years.

None of these agencies has a significant track record of sales to commercial (advance-paying) publishers, and most have virtually no documented and verified sales at all (book placements claimed by some of these agencies turn out to be “sales” to vanity publishers). All charge clients before a sale is made–whether directly, by levying fees such as reading or administrative fees, or indirectly, for editing or other adjunct services.

Writer Beware recommends that writers avoid questionable literary agencies, and instead query agencies that have verifiable track records of sales to commercial publishing houses.

Note that while the 20 agencies listed here account for the bulk of the complaints we receive, they’re just the tip of the iceberg. Writer Beware has files on nearly 400 questionable agencies, and we learn about a new one every few weeks.

The 20 Worst Literary 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)

AW is looking for a new host. I hope they find one that will actually stand by them this time.

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