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With the odd disappearance of her parents, Gussie Gibson has lived her entire life with her granny on a peaceful pecan orchard, owned by the meanest man in all of Georgia—Mr. J.P. Combs. Granny teaches Gussie many valuable life lessons as a black woman growing up in the still-segregated south. Mr. Combs is an evil underhanded banker who takes liberties beyond his privilege. When Granny dies, Combs informs Gussie she owes him back rent—but he wants much more than money for payment—and more than Gussie can live with.
After defending herself against his sexual advances, Gussie flees to escape certain vigilante justice when she meets a charming, handsome stranger, Sam Johnson, who is just returning from World War II.
Gussie and Sam’s friendship is short-lived when Mr. Combs hunts her down and drags her back to Green Ridge, driven by his craving for revenge and a grudge too deep to comprehend. Gussie fights to return to Sam and his lo...

Author Topic: Agent interested in me!!! Anyone know TCT? Also...contract question  (Read 7223 times)  

Offline Pacman

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Re: Agent interested in me!!! Anyone know TCT? Also...contract question
« Reply #50 on: October 12, 2017, 02:20:50 PM »
I have lots of experience with and am not hostile toward traditional publishing. And what has been offered the OP is as far from traditional as you can get. He has already made up his mind to proceed with more inquiry, however, and seems to be here looking for validation of that decision. I strongly suggest he look up Yog's Law, which is some of what he will hear about at Absolute Write. And I wish him luck.

ditto - this thread reminds me of the heaven Vs hell recruitment joke:


Tragically, Sally Mason, an HR manager was hit and killed by a 44 when she crossed the road while talking on her mobile.
 
As her soul arrived at the Pearly Gates, St. Peter himself was on hand to greet her.
 
Welcome to Heaven, said St. Peter. Before you get settled in though, as with everyone, wed like to give you the opportunity to experience both heaven and hell. So what were going to do is let you have a day in each before you decide where you wish to spend eternity.
 
Fair enough, although Im sure I want to be in heaven, said Sally.
 
But youve never been to hell so how would you possibly know? With that Ms Mason found herself on a seemingly endless escalator descending to Hell.
 
Eventually she arrived and the HR manager found herself stepping onto a beach of fine white sand, with deep blue water lapping at her feet and a bar with gorgeous waiters serving refreshing cocktails.
 
Just beyond that she could see a luxury hotel and friendly faces welcoming her, many of them people she knew from her life as an HR consultant. They sat around, reminisced, laughed, swam and then as the bright golden sun disappeared below the horizon they all went into the hotel for an amazing meal.
 
She even met Satan who was also very friendly, and not at all like the evil devil she had been led to believe he was. The evening was fabulous with more drink, jokes and dancing.
 
Heaven or hell?
 
Sally had a wonderful time in hell but all to quickly her visit came to an end and she was whisked onto the escalator to sample heaven. Everybody smiled and waved good-bye as she disappeared into the clouds.
 
The escalator went up for what seemed like an age but eventually she arrived at heaven where St Peter was once again there to greet her.
 
OK, now its time to spend 24 hours in Heaven he said. Sally took her place among the clouds. Everyone was sitting around, chatting quietly, playing lutes and harps, and Sally joined in. People were pleasant but it was nothing like as much fun as hell.
 
In fact the 24 hours seemed interminable but eventually it all came to an end and St. Peter came see her. So, he said, youve experienced heaven and hell where would you like to spend the rest of eternity?
 
Without hesitating Sally replied, Hell no question. I cant believe Im saying this because before I arrived I would have stayed in heaven without even visiting hell, but now that Ive seen it I know thats much more my kind of place. Heaven is fine, but I think Im better suited to spending the rest of eternity in hell.
 
St. Peter nodded and escorted her back to the escalator which swept her back down, eventually, to hell, but when she arrived it was very different. Sally found herself standing in a hot, dry, putrid smelling wilderness. For as far as she could see all around was detritus, organic waste, and the stench of death.
 
All her friends, old and new were dressed in filthy rags and were picking up scraps of rancid food to eat. Satan came up to her again and welcomed her.
 
I dont understand, sobbed Sally. When I came yesterday it was fabulous food and drink, beautiful sun drenched sandy beaches and clear blue sea. Now all there is is a wasteland of putrid waste and everyone is scratching around for food.
 
The Devil looked at her and smiled, thats because yesterday we were recruiting, now youre on the staff.


post-apocalypse anyone?
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Offline R.E.Conary

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Re: Agent interested in me!!! Anyone know TCT? Also...contract question
« Reply #51 on: October 12, 2017, 02:24:08 PM »
Cinzia DuBois is not listed with the Association of Author's Representatives, Inc. ( http://aaronline.org )

Not every agent is -- I know -- but . . .
"Life's a crapshoot. We don't know the result until we roll the dice." ~ Rachel Cord


  

Offline Astro

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Re: Agent interested in me!!! Anyone know TCT? Also...contract question
« Reply #52 on: October 12, 2017, 03:14:38 PM »
That's a good strategy. I'll definitely ask her if she's ever worked with these kinds of imprints. Mostly, I'm curious why she thinks my book (already self-published, with the sequel coming out next week) is something she could sell. I want to know what she could possibly be thinking. I mean - why me? I'm not a best-selling indie by any means.

Yes, yes, I'm seeking validation. But I'm also just so damn curious.

Everyone is telling you to stay away. The people on here have decades of experience. Listen to them. Stay away from this.



Edited. Drop me a PM if you have any questions. - Becca
« Last Edit: October 13, 2017, 10:15:37 AM by Becca Mills »

Offline Marty South

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Re: Agent interested in me!!! Anyone know TCT? Also...contract question
« Reply #53 on: October 12, 2017, 03:31:34 PM »
...I took a look at this agency and noticed one specific thing that ties all the agents together- a lack of any sort of experience being an agent.  The founder is the sole person who has worked for an agency, but even he doesn't actually state he was an agent.  These are all people who have made their living doing something else and then suddenly decided to be literature agents.  They are not going to have the publishing contacts that an experienced agent has. They may not be able to do much more with publishers than you can on your own.  Not worth handing someone 15%, in my opinion.

Ask one big question in your meeting.  What publishers have you sold to?  Then look those publishers up and see if they accept unagented submissions.

I could be very wrong about this agency, of course.  I've never worked with them.  I have no secret knowledge.  I'm just seeing some big red flags.

Agreed. Red flags all over the place.

First, the fees: At best, this sounds like boilerplate pulled from some old 1990s literary contract one of them pulled out of their mom's or dad's file cabinet. We're not sending 400-page manuscripts through snail mail or messenger services so much nowadays. At worst, this would be a great way to carve out some extra profits from the writer's royalties. And if they do that, you're basically screwed. The royalty check goes to them first, so your only recourse would be to spend five to six figures in legal fees fighting them. And they're not even in the U.S., so good luck with that.

Second: No Credentials. None of the so-called agents on the agency's site has a resume that would prompt me to entrust them with more than the duties of a virtual assistant. They don't present themselves online in a compelling manner, so how are they going to represent a client?

Finally: No Connections. If they don't have connections, they can't do any more for you than you can do for yourself. The only new agent I would sign with would be one who'd worked as an editor in my genre for one of the big houses, and consequently knew everyone who'd have eyes on my work. Contacts are everything.

Finally, if you choose to ignore this advice, at least do NOT under any circumstance sign with anyone without having an entertainment/publishing lawyer look over the contract (by which I mean not just your neighbor who's a corporate attorney, but someone with expertise in this area).
« Last Edit: October 13, 2017, 12:55:02 AM by martysouth »

Offline R.E.Conary

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Re: Agent interested in me!!! Anyone know TCT? Also...contract question
« Reply #54 on: October 12, 2017, 03:35:05 PM »
Cinzia DuBois' Linked-in professional Profile https://uk.linkedin.com/in/cinziadubois

Experience
Tin-Can Telephone Literary Agency
Literary Agent
Tin-Can Telephone Literary Agency
July 2017 -- Present (4 months)
"As a lover of words, deep thoughts and poetic narratives, I am on the lookout for literary works of fiction in which the author demonstrates the beauty and power of storytelling. With a passion for language, I am interested in discovering well constructed general fiction, fantasy and science fiction, particularly novels which explore significant topics such as social rights, the self or politics.

"I graduated from the University of Birmingham with a degree in English Literature and Classical Literature and Civilisation before going on to complete a Masters in Literature and Modernity at the University of Edinburgh. I worked as a bookseller throughout both of my degrees before being promoted to the Philosophy and Gender Studies Book Buyer position in my current bookshop.

"Over the past seven years I have been managing and running a successful literary Youtube channel dedicated to lectures, literary analysis, author interviews and poetry. I have produced video content for numerous publishers and companies including Penguin Randomhouse, Books Are My Bag, The British Council, The Scottish Book Trust, Universal Studios, Channel 4 and Waterstones. I am also a performance poet and published essayist which gives me an empathetic understanding of what it means to be a writer and the importance of ones work. I believe that my thorough and analytical approach to texts coupled with my five years of commercial book industry experience allows me to offer authors professional, intuitive and well-informed advice which will help strengthen both their writing and their confidence."
"Life's a crapshoot. We don't know the result until we roll the dice." ~ Rachel Cord


  

Offline Puddleduck

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Re: Agent interested in me!!! Anyone know TCT? Also...contract question
« Reply #55 on: October 12, 2017, 03:40:29 PM »
"in my current bookshop"?

What the...?

Is agenting some side gig she has going on top of being a low-paid bookstore employee?

Online MonkeyScribe

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Re: Agent interested in me!!! Anyone know TCT? Also...contract question
« Reply #56 on: October 12, 2017, 04:08:44 PM »
"in my current bookshop"?

What the...?

Is agenting some side gig she has going on top of being a low-paid bookstore employee?

A lot of agents start part time, because there's a long, looong time before they can earn a good living from it. So it's isn't uncommon to find the junior agents in a typical NY agency working as bar tenders, nurse's aides, freelance editors, etc. This isn't necessarily a red flag.

Not that I don't see other red flags, but this one isn't necessarily one. It only means she's new.

Offline Puddleduck

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Re: Agent interested in me!!! Anyone know TCT? Also...contract question
« Reply #57 on: October 12, 2017, 04:10:31 PM »
A lot of agents start part time, because there's a long, looong time before they can earn a good living from it. So it's isn't uncommon to find the junior agents in a typical NY agency working as bar tenders, nurse's aides, freelance editors, etc. This isn't necessarily a red flag.

Not that I don't see other red flags, but this one isn't necessarily one. It only means she's new.

Really? Weird. I'd have thought the agency would pay people a salary or something. I mean, aren't most author contracts with the agency rather than the agent? Isn't it the agency that actually makes the money?

*shrug* I don't know. Once I decided against trying for an agent, I stopped paying too much attention to how they work.

Online MonkeyScribe

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Re: Agent interested in me!!! Anyone know TCT? Also...contract question
« Reply #58 on: October 12, 2017, 04:24:24 PM »
They don't all work the same, but generally, the agency gets 15%, of which the agent gets a split, depending on her seniority with the agency, how independently she works, etc. So if you start off, you have zero income. You sign a few people, you get a few small contracts, etc.

I have an agenting background. These are my actual numbers from my first five years:

1,500
1,750
22,000
28,000
76,000

It was year five when I finally made something like a real living. I was obviously supplementing with other work while I built up clients, and the first two years were especially discouraging.

Offline Puddleduck

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Re: Agent interested in me!!! Anyone know TCT? Also...contract question
« Reply #59 on: October 12, 2017, 04:30:16 PM »
They don't all work the same, but generally, the agency gets 15%, of which the agent gets a split, depending on her seniority with the agency, how independently she works, etc. So if you start off, you have zero income. You sign a few people, you get a few small contracts, etc.

I have an agenting background. These are my actual numbers from my first five years:

1,500
1,750
22,000
28,000
76,000

It was year five when I finally made something like a real living. I was obviously supplementing with other work while I built up clients, and the first two years were especially discouraging.

That's quite surprising to me. I guess it's no wonder people try it out and then leave. And no wonder those that are working are doing more and more things to get whatever money they can out of the authors themselves, especially when it sounds like publishers are buying fewer and fewer books.

It sounds to me like the current publishing industry simply can't support the number of agents that are currently trying to work as agents. And even still, authors have to act like supplicants because all those agents are overwhelmed with submissions.

Self-publishing seems like kind of a no-brainer when you look at it that way.

Online MonkeyScribe

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Re: Agent interested in me!!! Anyone know TCT? Also...contract question
« Reply #60 on: October 12, 2017, 04:34:31 PM »
One thing about agenting is that work is not necessarily scalable, so when I was making less, I was also working less. Most of your work in the early going is sifting through queries, which doesn't take a huge amount of time. I was learning a lot about writing and enjoying the work at the time, and only needed to put in part time hours. After a couple of years, I had some cool speaking opportunities (everyone wants agents at their con), and things started to move forward. I could see money coming down the pipeline, even if it wasn't there yet.

But no, it isn't easy. And like anything in writing, there's a lottery aspect. Some people make a lot, and others very little at all. You don't have to do very many 1M contracts to make a great living, but if you're getting a 70% split of 15%, you have to do an impossible number of 10K deals to get the same.

Online MonkeyScribe

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Re: Agent interested in me!!! Anyone know TCT? Also...contract question
« Reply #61 on: October 12, 2017, 04:38:25 PM »
I guess it's no wonder people try it out and then leave. And no wonder those that are working are doing more and more things to get whatever money they can out of the authors themselves, especially when it sounds like publishers are buying fewer and fewer books.

I agree with the first sentence. It's hard to get a job at an agency, and then once they do, most don't make it. But the second part isn't really accurate. Reputable agencies only make their money from selling author books, nothing else. Also, the publishing industry seems to have stabilized compared to ~2012. If you have a subscription to Publisher's Marketplace, you can see tons of six figure deals coming out of Frankfurt this week, and Publisher's Weekly reported four different million+ deals. There's still money in the industry, and publishers are willing to pay well for the right project.

Offline This_Way_Down

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Re: Agent interested in me!!! Anyone know TCT? Also...contract question
« Reply #62 on: October 12, 2017, 04:39:03 PM »
I agree with MonkeyScribe. It could be that they're new and small.
There are some good aspects to a small agency. They're hungry and you won't get ignored or lost in the shuffle. The bad thing is that they are still developing their contacts. The list of editors they have in their directory may be short. You see, an agent really has only one job - get your manuscript in front of editors. If they do that, they've done what you need them to do. The rest is up to your book. I would suggest having some agented writers look over your contract. Things to watch is subsidiary rights clauses that lay claim to rights they didn't sell should to leave the agency. Rights to self-published work - they should not have their hand out for your indie stuff. And it should be clear that you are free to fire them at any time. They will still get paid for deals they made for you, but nothing new after you leave.

Online MonkeyScribe

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Re: Agent interested in me!!! Anyone know TCT? Also...contract question
« Reply #63 on: October 12, 2017, 04:43:19 PM »
I agree with MonkeyScribe. It could be that they're new and small.
There are some good aspects to a small agency. They're hungry and you won't get ignored or lost in the shuffle. The bad thing is that they are still developing their contacts. The list of editors they have in their directory may be short. You see, an agent really has only one job - get your manuscript in front of editors. If they do that, they've done what you need them to do. The rest is up to your book. I would suggest having some agented writers look over your contract. Things to watch is subsidiary rights clauses that lay claim to rights they didn't sell should to leave the agency. Rights to self-published work - they should not have their hand out for your indie stuff. And it should be clear that you are free to fire them at any time. They will still get paid for deals they made for you, but nothing new after you leave.

Yes, especially yes on the making it clear about your indie stuff. Speaking personally, I never had a hard time getting editors to read even when I was a new agent. It is as much about writing a good pitch as knowing people. Not that knowing people hurts. At all.

My biggest concern in this case is that after watching her videos and knowing what I know about the industry, I'd say there's only 1 in 3 chance she's still doing this in a year. She's not only new, she's very new, plus she's young and clearly interested in doing design stuff, and seems kind of flighty in her videos.

Offline Miranda Honfleur

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Re: Agent interested in me!!! Anyone know TCT? Also...contract question
« Reply #64 on: October 12, 2017, 06:34:51 PM »
My difficulty with some of the advice in this board is that, if she was just looking to get money from me, I imagine she would ask for fees up front or something shady like that. But asking the author to pay for promotional copies of books - that seems like a long-shot as a profit scheme.

This reminded me of something I read on PG... might be worth a read: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/12/opinion/book-publishing-amazon-sales.html

In particular:
Quote
And finally, a number of review copies are sent out free to media outlets. They are not supposed to be sold. Some book sellers apparently have standing arrangements with magazine conglomerates and television networks to bulk purchase all the review copies they receive, which they could presumably then sell on Amazon. While this isnt strictly illegal, it is unethical and terribly unfair to authors and publishers.

Apparently some booksellers on Amazon could be making money by selling promotional copies... Something like "I shall be entitled to charge you for the following concerning works written by you: Books and proofs bought by the agency for promotional purposes and for submission to publishers abroad" would ring alarm bells. Who knows how many copies can be "bought by the agency for promotional purposes" and charged to the author?

And if an agency can't put their money where their mouth is concerning the authors they sign, that's telling.

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Offline Acheknia

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Re: Agent interested in me!!! Anyone know TCT? Also...contract question
« Reply #65 on: October 12, 2017, 07:11:51 PM »
That's what I was thinking, too. Might just be old-fashioned UK verbiage. No offense to any Brits.

No offense taken by this Brit but you've been told over & over & over that this is not standard & is totally frowned upon & your answer every time is that you will talk it over with her, if you haven't taken the advice of so many people here, then you'll probably be talked into signing anyway.
It seems as though you want it so badly that common sense will play no part in your decision. :)
Waste your money on the call if you want but you already know the answers to your questions. :)

Offline RichardDenoncourt

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Re: Agent interested in me!!! Anyone know TCT? Also...contract question
« Reply #66 on: October 13, 2017, 08:02:25 AM »
Okay, so I just had my Skype session with Cinzi. I'm going to post a (lengthy) description of how it went, and what I've decided (not signing, though I'm not closing the door just yet). I'm posting this to get feedback from all of you, and also in hopes of enlightening anyone who was curious about what was going on in my situation.

THE PAY FOR PROMOTIONAL MATERIALS CLAUSE

We talked about the contract's language in regards to having me pay for promotional copies. I'm having that stricken from the contract before I even consider it. But I understand now what it was trying to say. In the event of promotions where actual paperback copies of my books are sent, I would have had to pay for them. But the agency would not have forced me to utilize these promotional methods, nor would they have depended on me paying for manuscripts or paperback to be sent to editors. All editorial submissions would be via email. The reason for that wording is, if I had decided to attend any events to meet editors and pitch my work (events suggested by my agent, or set up by my agent) I would have had to provide the physical paperback copies of my book. HOWEVER, the agency would merely suggest these kinds of event. It would have been up to me if I wanted to, say, set up a table with 20 copies at a book expo, or ComicCon, or whatever. I would not be contractually obliged to attend these events as part of the deal, and they would not be contractually obliged to pay for them.

This isn't an issue as I don't attend those kinds of events. Also, Cinzia would not use these kinds of events to show my paperback to agents. She would use them to network, and then follow up with editors who want to see the book. Because I told her I wasn't going to pay for any copies (unless I decided, of my own will, to attend these events, etc.) she assured me that any promotional material or manuscripts would simply be emailed (email's free!)

HER EDITORIAL CONTACTS AND PREVIOUS SUCCESSES

This part of the conversation did not surprise me. She's new at her job, has been doing it for 3 months, and yes, she supports herself with other work. She is still building her list of contacts at publishing houses and devotes her day to her job (works other job at night). I didn't expect her to wow me with a list of editors she keeps in her pocket.

Yes, I would love a US agent who has contacts at all Big 5 publishing houses, because then maybe I could use a hybrid (indie/trad pub) approach to maximize my reach and receive investments in things I can't always afford, like having multiple editors and cutting-edge graphic designers develop my fantasy series.

But I don't expect to get an agent like that, nor am I particularly deadset on having an agent at all. I'm doing OK by myself, and I'd be happy continuing to learn and grow as an indie author. The idea of an agent is simply to SUPPLEMENT and extend my reach. An example is audiobooks. I've never been interested in self-publishing the audiobook versions to my books, but if an agent wanted to sell those rights, keep 15%, and I'd be working with a professional outfit to get this done, I would love that.

If I were to ever sign with a newbie agent, it would be just for that reason - not in hope that my career would be completely transformed, but that certain weakness of mine would be supplements, and certain opportunities I hadn't consider would open up.

SELLING TO BRITISH VS AMERICAN PUBLISHERS

She made sure I understood that any publishing house she targets would also have either an American imprint or a connection with American publishing houses. I would never sign with a British publishing company that would only allow me to sell my work in the UK, without an American presence in the market.

FINAL SAY ON CONTRACTS

I would have final say on any contracts offer by publishing houses, scouted by my agent.

TERMINATION OF AGENCY CONTRACT

All I would have to do to terminate my agreement is give written notice 30 days out. Then I'd be right back where I am now, doing it all myself. That sounds OK to me.

WORKING TOGETHER LONG-TERM

Some of you out there have mention that she'll probably only be doing this for a year or two, because she's young and has other interested, like school and graphic design. I'm fine with that. It just means I'll be back on my own. I'm not worried about wasted time when I could have been querying other agents, because I haven't queries agents in 4+ years. The only reason I reached out to Cinzia is because I got bored one day and used my corporate LinkedIn account to send a couple hundred inmails to agents, just to see what they'd day.

Again, validation and curiosity. I admit it. But at least I'm having this conversation, posting on this forum, and receiving feedback and learning something, right? So it wasn't as much of a waste of time as some of you might think.

SO AM I BEING SCAMMED?

I haven't signed anything nor have I been asked to pay for anything or give a credit card number, so technically no. She is going to amend the contract, remove the part about paying for promotional materials, and include some extra language stating that I would retain my copyright and all ownership (this was in there before, but I thought the language was vague.)

If this is a scam because they just want authors to buy promotional copies so they can re-sell them, then it's the worst scam I've ever heard of. Also, I wouldn't have been required to send HER the promotional copies or any money. That simply meant I would send copies of my paperbacks as necessary for promotional purposes, which I don't intend to do. Emailed manuscript to editors should suffice as far as getting attention from publishing houses.

SO AM I GOING TO SIGN?

Not sure yet. What do you think? I see no way of getting cornered or scammed. If she goes dark on me, I can always put in my written notice and be out of the contract in 30 days.

SO WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS?

I'm having her draw up a "game plan" for the first 90 days. This will include a list of editorial targets, a plan for submitting, etc. She wants to take some time to read through my entire book and provide editorial comments (for free, which is pretty cool) before we start submitting, so the "90-day game plan" would officially start once the book is ready. This will hopefully show me what kind of reach she believes she has, and what we can expect as far as attempts to get editors on board who could potentially offer *interesting* contracts for me to review (another curiosity thing of mine; I'd like to see what these boilerplate contracts entail, the advances - if any - etc.)

DO I THINK ANYTHING MAGICAL IS GOING TO HAPPEN ONCE SHE STARTS QUERYING EDITORS.

No. My fantasy series is self-published, the books are not bestsellers (yet - the sequel comes out tomorrow, and I plan to write 6 more), and I have no business case to make to any editor as to why my book with be the next Harry Potter.

But that also means I have nothing to lose.

As long as I keep writing, publishing, and marketing (I've just started using AMS because I no longer live under a rock, apparently) then I'm sure I'll be fine.

IF I SIGN with this agent, or any other agent, it will be simply to get a taste of what else might be out there, to explore how the process works (because I'm curious about it), and to see what a young, hungry agent can be capable of.

Please let me know your thoughts.

I won't respond to any comments targeting my narcissism or accusing this agent of being a scammer, because I really don't believe that's the case (unless you really have a really compelling argument with case studies to back it up).

I have another call scheduled with her after she sends me the contract, and even then I will probably take weeks to decide, and will continuously post here.

Thank you.

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Re: Agent interested in me!!! Anyone know TCT? Also...contract question
« Reply #67 on: October 13, 2017, 08:11:27 AM »
Thanks for the update! This is very interesting to see.

This was already suggested, but make sure to let an expert (an actual expert, not someone who studied law for two semesters) evaluate the final version of the contract. See if there are any pitfalls and loopholes you might not be aware of, and if the option to break free at any time doesn't come with hidden caveats.

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Offline Nicholas Andrews

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Re: Agent interested in me!!! Anyone know TCT? Also...contract question
« Reply #68 on: October 13, 2017, 09:01:31 AM »
On a somewhat unrelated note, who names their company the Tin-Can Telephone Agency? Could you make yourself sound any more podunk and small-time?
   
The Whims of War (The Law of Eight - Book 4): 3%

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Offline RichardDenoncourt

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Re: Agent interested in me!!! Anyone know TCT? Also...contract question
« Reply #69 on: October 13, 2017, 09:40:02 AM »
On a somewhat unrelated note, who names their company the Tin-Can Telephone Agency? Could you make yourself sound any more podunk and small-time?

That's a little harsh.
Telling Stories Since 1984, Publishing Them Since 2011
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Offline RichardDenoncourt

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Re: Agent interested in me!!! Anyone know TCT? Also...contract question
« Reply #70 on: October 13, 2017, 09:41:28 AM »
On a somewhat unrelated note, who names their company the Tin-Can Telephone Agency? Could you make yourself sound any more podunk and small-time?

Though I agree the "telephone" part throws me off...maybe its a reference to British children's story?

I mean, who names the school in their fantasy series "Hogwarts"?
Telling Stories Since 1984, Publishing Them Since 2011
Richard Denoncourt | rdenoncourt.com (blog) | Newsletter

Offline Marty South

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Re: Agent interested in me!!! Anyone know TCT? Also...contract question
« Reply #71 on: October 13, 2017, 10:12:20 AM »
I'm having her draw up a "game plan" for the first 90 days. This will include a list of editorial targets, a plan for submitting, etc. She wants to take some time to read through my entire book and provide editorial comments (for free, which is pretty cool) before we start submitting, so the "90-day game plan" would officially start once the book is ready. This will hopefully show me what kind of reach she believes she has, and what we can expect as far as attempts to get editors on board who could potentially offer *interesting* contracts for me to review (another curiosity thing of mine; I'd like to see what these boilerplate contracts entail, the advances - if any - etc.)

  • She hasn't read your book? Does this not make you wonder even a little? She's willing to represent an author whose work she has not even read.
  • She wants to edit your book, but she isn't an editor. She's supposed to be an agent. (And there are numerous typos on the website. I'm not talking American/British differences but genuine typos--spaces before periods, repeated words like "and and"--the stuff an editor, which she's apparently holding herself out to be, would catch; the stuff a proofreader, which they ought to have hired, would have caught.)
  • What will this 90-day plan actually show you--that she can compile a list of impressive houses and editors? That doesn't mean she can get them to look at what she's got to offer.
  • Look, if you want to read book contracts, read book contracts--but not at the expense of your career (See below).
*sigh* I don't know what else to say.

An Introduction to Publishing Contracts
http://www.sfwa.org/wp-content/uploads/2009/09/IntroPubContracts5521.pdf

Sample Contract: Literary Author Contract (from Columbia Law School)
http://www.law.columbia.edu/keep-your-copyrights/contracts/samples/11

Improving you Book Contract (from. The Author's Guild)
https://www.authorsguild.org/member-services/legal-services/improving-your-book-contract/

Offline WordSaladTongs

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Re: Agent interested in me!!! Anyone know TCT? Also...contract question
« Reply #72 on: October 13, 2017, 10:19:07 AM »
This whole thread just reminds me of the episode of Peep Show where Mark gets a publisher.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zg6j9mlw7Wotube]

Your posts come across as if (and some even state) you have a pretty driving need for validation. I think everyone goes through this from time to time, but making decisions with that need as overhead isn't the best idea. And I suspect this isn't going to feed the beast. Lastly, if she crashes and burns (even with the best of intentions--just watching her videos, I don't know that I'd want her to represent me to publishers) is it possible your reputation will get dragged down as well?

Anyway, best of luck, whatever you decide.



Edited. Drop me a PM if you have any questions. - Becca
« Last Edit: October 13, 2017, 10:39:27 AM by Becca Mills »

Offline Becca Mills

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Re: Agent interested in me!!! Anyone know TCT? Also...contract question
« Reply #73 on: October 13, 2017, 10:36:51 AM »
Folks, feel free to give your take on this agent's contract language and public self-presentation, as well as her answers to Richard's questions, but no more attempts at psychoanalysis, please. That is really not cool.

Offline WordSaladTongs

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Re: Agent interested in me!!! Anyone know TCT? Also...contract question
« Reply #74 on: October 13, 2017, 10:41:07 AM »
Folks, feel free to give your take on this agent's contract language and public self-presentation, as well as her answers to Richard's questions, but no more attempts at psychoanalysis, please. That is really not cool.

That was me, I apologize!