One of the aboriginal things writers gluttonous bureau representation should apprentice is that accepted agents DO NOT allegation columnist fees. These cover agents who allegation account fees artlessly to apprehend your manuscript; appraisal fees to analysis your manuscript; agents who crave writers to pre-purchase books; or pay some of the advertisement and/or business costs.
There are a host of abettor scams bloodthirsty on authors atrocious to see their book in print. One of the complete best assets on the Internet apropos ambiguous abettor practices can be begin on the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA) website beneath the breadth alleged “Writer Beware”. SFWA is consistently researching and afterlight the Writer Beware breadth to advice brainwash authors and abstain the amaranthine writer-related scams.
However, even writers who do their appointment are not allowed to arrant agents. These two examples allegorize how even acute authors can get taken.
In the abatement of 2003 I heard from an bureau alms representation for my novel. The abettor provided specific instructions on how the arrangement should be formatted for the best accessible presentation. Before I active anything, I researched the bureau which I had begin through a acclaimed columnist organization. Clearly, I didn’t do enough.
The bureau included the six-month arrangement in their action of representation, which I anticipation was odd. But it would get worse than that. As I afterwards abstruse from addition author, accepted agents don’t accomplish representation offers through the mail cyberbanking or otherwise, they alarm you personally.
The bureau again explained they would charge about 25 copies of the arrangement to advanced to publishers. I had two options: (a) I could accomplish copies as the bureau bare and pay for postage anniversary time, or (b) pay the bureau a flat-fee of $250 and let them accomplish the copies. Knowing I should never accept to pay an abettor money up-front, my gut-reaction was to pass. However two columnist accompany and several ancestors associates reminded me I had just paid $125.00 for three copies of the manuscript. This meant my final account on 25 would be abundant beyond than $250. They assertive me to change my apperception and pay the fee.
Six months afterwards I accustomed a letter from the bureau adage they were clumsy to acquisition representation for my novel. Attached was a crooked, mimeographed account of the 25 publishers they had allegedly beatific the arrangement to. If I contacted the alignment area I had acquired the agent’s name, they asked an important question: Had I gotten copies of the bounce letter from every individual administrator the abettor had contacted? If I said no, the alignment explained that’s how accepted agents plan and to ask the bureau for those bounce letters. If I did, the abettor told me those files had been destroyed at the end of the contract.
How The Betray Works:
Going aback to the contract, the abettor had already anachronous the arrangement for six months which meant I absent several weeks authoritative the requested architecture changes. My advocate didn’t feel that was unusual, but I had reservations. Second, do the math. Two-hundred fifty dollars times a thousand “clients” is a air-conditioned $250,000. Most accepted agents are inundated with bags of authors gluttonous representation every year, so an arrant abettor can artlessly sit aback and delay for their “clients” to advanced that $250 assertive they accept representation with a accepted agent. I apparent afterwards that the bureau was on a account highlighting the 20 affliction arcane agents.
The additional betray aswell seemed to alpha out as legitimate. Carl, a co-worker, appear at a agents affair he’d acquired bureau representation for his novel. If he mentioned the name of the agency, I accustomed it as one who had afresh alone me. The abettor had offered some suggestions on how to advance the adventure and mentioned she would be absorbed in demography addition attending afterwards I’d fabricated revisions.
Carl had aswell been told his arrangement bare plan and had been offered suggestions for alteration and revisions. But the abettor went even further. She told Carl he could do the revisions or an editor she knew could do the brightness for $1,500. In either case, she claimed with those tweaks she could “definitely advertise this book”. Carl beneath the editor’s services, and for the next several weeks formed on alteration his atypical during every chargeless moment. If he submitted the completed manuscript, Carl was again told that because book business costs are so expensive, he would charge to put up $25,000 to get the action started. The abettor promised he would get that money aback and abundant added already the book was published.
How the Betray Works:
This abettor had assorted scams going. Had Carl agreed to let the agent’s “editor” accessory brightness the manuscript, he would accept been out the $1,500. Usually the arcane abettor and beat businesses are endemic by the aforementioned aggregation and accomplish referrals to anniversary added after the columnist accepting any abstraction of their relationship. They’re not absorbed in convalescent your work, such agents and editors are alone anxious with the beat fees. At this point Carl accomplished all of his autograph and alteration had been for naught. As absurd as Carl felt, at atomic he hadn’t beggared with $25,000.
Finding a acceptable abettor can be a actual catchy business. Even authors who apperceive bigger aren’t allowed to authoritative austere mistakes if it comes to the “promise” of seeing your words in print. Along with the account of afterward tips, bethink the old adage: “If it sounds too acceptable to be true, it apparently is”.
The agents independent in the Association of Columnist Representatives (AAR) database accept to attach to a Code of Ethics. This is a abundant starting point for your abettor seek and some authors acquaintance alone agents acceptance to the AAR.
Research every abeyant abettor you’re planning to contact. Alpha with a Google seek of the bureau and agent. You may accept to attending at several sites to accumulate the advice you charge to accomplish a abreast decision. Addition accomplished ability is Abettor Query.
How abounding books has the abettor in fact awash to above publishers? What was the date of the endure plan they sold? I’ve begin added than one abettor still accepting submissions who haven’t awash a plan in years.
Use sites such as the Writers Beware breadth on SFWA and Preditors and Editors who clue agents who appoint in ambiguous practices.
In the accident that you are the victim of an arrant arcane agent, don’t accumulate quiet because you’re ashamed by your mistake. That’s absolutely what such agents wish writers to do. Instead, access organizations that are on the anchor for abettor scams with your story. By advancing advanced you’ll advice accumulate added authors from authoritative the aforementioned mistake.