Writers — Trust Your Instincts!

Just a short blog post today to let you know a bit about how things have been going since I posted posts 54, 55 and 56, regarding getting scammed and asking people who have had problems with Robert Fletcher or any of his agencies to get in touch with me.

I’ve gotten some very promising results from people who are unhappy, and sent them out the information I promised.

But there’s been an unsuspected beneficial side effect, which has had the result of keeping me pretty busy. It seems that many people are now writing to me BEFORE signing on with Bouncin’ Bobby. Yay!

At this rate I’m receiving something on the order of 5-8 emails per day asking me what’s the deal with the LAG, and Mr. Fletcher, or with Children’s, New York Literary, etc. I send them back the straight dope, as usual, and I’m pretty sure that, after reading it, the vast majority of recipients don’t sign on that dotted line or pay that money.

I wonder how many victims Mr. Fletcher gets per day? I wonder if the 5-8 I’m hearing from is enough to put a dent in the money flowing into his pockets?

At any rate, one of the things I’ve noticed from the folks who write to me is, that all too often, they say something to the effect of: “I wanted to write to you before signing this contract (or sending this money) because, although I don’t know anything about the publishing field, or agents, something just doesn’t feel right about the way these people are coming on to me.”

Writers, TRUST YOUR INSTINCTS. If one of those little alarm bells goes off when you’re reading an ad or a website, PAY ATTENTION. Your subconscious has had a lot of experience in this world, and it may well be able to spot a rotten apple in the bunch before your fingers sink into the bad spots.

Trust your instincts!

If something seems WRONG about an agency, or a publisher, pay attention to your gut instinct. You can always write to us (for free!) and see if we have anything on record regarding the agency or publisher in question.

Okay, that’s our storm warning advisory for today. We now return you to your regularly scheduled program.

Write on!

-Ann C. Crispin


  1. I’ve written for years, have struggled to find a agent. I refuse to give up. I am so grateful to the internet though and research because i found out about Writer’s Literary Agency and others like them through blogs like this one. Thank you for the helping “Notes.”

  2. Kostya, they are asking for money. You have to pay for a critique (don’t believe them when they say you can provide your own; they’ll either tell you it’s not suitable or you’ll never hear from them again). They own the company that provides the critique. You’re putting that critique payment right into NY Literary’s pocket.

    To learn more about New York Literary Agency, have a look at this discussion on Absolute Write.

    For what should be included in literary agent contracts, see my previous post on that subject.

    To be a literary agent, you need some kind of relevant work experience–usually, working for a publisher or for a reputable literary agency. People who try to be agents without that kind of professional background don’t have the skills or contacts they need, and rarely manage to succeed. Nor are they doing their clients any favors.

  3. I didn’t find any ideas why “New York Literary Agency” isn’t good.
    So far 2 points:
    1) They ask for “critique” and give the link.
    2) They can send the work to all the publishers, and if in future any of them publishes it – they can get their 10% due to this wording:

    “The Agent is entitled to a ten percent [10%] commission on gross compensation accruing to the Writer/Producer from any contract negotiated under this Agreement. This paragraph shall survive termination of this Agreement. (This means that if we help you with a deal, you can’t fire us and take away our commission).”

    I’m trying to be a Literary Agent myself (her in Russia) and thought of putting this clause into the contract, but now it seems fishy…

  4. Still the guys at “New York Literary” created good form letters. Interesting read 🙂 They are not asking for money, they just recomend “a qualified industry professional for critique”…

    [quote]PLEASE NOTE: WE ARE NOT ASKING FOR MONEY. We want you to have a critique by a qualified industry professional.

    MANY AUTHORS MISUNDERSTAND THIS SIMPLE REQUEST. We don’t want you to pay us; we want you to have a critique to start our relationship so that we can start from the same page. (If I told you the number of writers that accuse us of using this to take their money, you would be flabbergasted.)

    And then:

    [quote]IN CONCLUSION, THE NEXT STEP IS SIMPLE. Please “Reply” to this email with one of the following three statements:

    1) I understand how a critique protects each of us and will improve my writing (or validate that I’m as good as I think I am). Please send your
    contract and a referral for a critique service. I will get the critique underway as soon as I hear from you. We have to start trusting each other
    somewhere and I am committed to my writing as a business.


    2) I have a critique already. Please send me your contract and I will include my critique with the contract when I send it in.


    3) “Thanks but no thanks, I’ve never heard of such a thing” or some variant of that.

  5. Yay, indeed! Whoopee! and Rah! too!

    Five to eight A DAY? Ann, Victoria, Dave and Jenna, you are definitely being heard.

    James, do you think Bobby may have to … *gulp* … work?

  6. Poor little, Bobby…what’s he gonna do when people stop giving him money for nothing? 😀

  7. And if you can’t get through to Writer Beware, P&E is also available. We’ll even forward your comments to WB if you want. We understand that email can be flaky or cranky at times.

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