Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Preditors and Editors! Memorize this!

Oh, no.
"I submitted a manuscript for a children's picture book to Children's Literary Agency last October and I only signed a 6 month contract. In the meantime, I have written another book with that series and am now working on a third book which is a chapter book for boys. My question is do you have any knowledge of Children's Literary Agency? I read on a website that they were a scam outfit under an umbrella of poorly managed services."

You haven't given them any money, have you? Children's Literary Agency is one of Writer Beware's Top 20 Worst Agents. Which you would have known if you'd heard of Writer Beware, or the wonderful people at Preditors & Editors (

You, reading this blog. Go to Preditors & Editors right now and familiarize yourself with it!

When P&E or Writer Beware says that someone is a "Worst Agent" or "Strongly Not Recommended," what that means is that person is not an agent. He/she is committing a type of fraud that is very difficult for the law to prosecute. If you have paid this company any money, consider your legal options. You may be able to make business difficult for them.

But your money is gone.


Qual said...

Oh dear. I feel sorry for your blog reader. Nonetheless, there is a way to prevent this kind of thing happening. Would-be authors should ask the crux question: 'Can you secure me a deal on my 250,000 word picture book?' If the answer is an emphatic 'yes' then make like Jesse Owens.

It's the same thing as wireless PDAs. I bought one roughly the size of a cell phone. I should have known better when they handed over the package. It was the size of a briefcase. When I got home and unwrapped it all, I discovered 47 feet of cables for my wireless PDA. So I phone the shop. 'It's supposed to be wireless,' I say.
'It is wireless,' says the assistant, 'the 47 feet of cables are there to give you flexible connectivity, sir.'
'But it's supposed to be wireless.'
'It is wireless, sir. The cables-'
'Yeah, I know. Offers more flexibility. But what do I do with the 47 feet of cables when I'm on the subway? Should I bring along a trolley to carry my PDA and peripherals?'
My question is met with silence. Then: 'Is there anything else I can help you with today, sir?'
'No,' I say. 'I guess I've been screwed.'

Literaticat said...

Though I strongly agree with you, of course, that P&E are a great resource in terms of spotting SCAM agents, I don't think their recommendations are infallible.

Just because they say "highly recommended" DOESN'T translate to "perfect agent for you" -- and just because someone has a lackluster description on there doesn't mean they suck.

So yeah, authors, check there ... but don't be afraid to do your own research as well.

Editorial Anonymous said...

Agreed. Bookstop Agency has a "not recommended" on it, and they rep Pam Munoz Ryan and Megan McDonald. Do your research. But anything with a "Strongly Not Recommended" has a really strong chance of being a scam.