Bouncin' Bobby Fletcher, late of that ol' series of scam agencies, The Literary Agency Group (comprised of Poet's Literary Agency, The Screenplay Agency, Christian Literary Agency, Children's Literary Agency, and the New York Literary Agency) decided to change the name of the umbrella group. New name (which he must've been up all night thinking about)? Writers Literary Agency.
Now, you might think, hey, look at all those different agencies under one roof! I can send my poem to the first one, my screenplay to the second one, my Christian fiction to the third one, and so on. Imagine, all them there agents/agencies under one roof! It sounds like a dream come true for those creative types who have a lot of different interests.
Too bad it ain't true.
Bobby Fletcher was fined for securities fraud in the state of Washington (USA). So, you might wonder, what the heck does he know about the publishing industry? Did he work for a legit literary agency (you know, one of those ones that actually places books with legit publishers who stock the shelves of your nearest bookstore)? No. Did he work as an editor at a legit publisher? No.
No experience in publishing. Not good. True, it could just be someone who has struggled to get their own novels in front of agents. Someone who's clueless. Still not someone with whom you want to deal. (And there are people who've set up themselves as agents with a sincere desire to help others get their books to publishers; without some sort of publishing experience, though, any sales achieved will be slim to none.)
In all the years The Literary Agency Group has been in business, have there been any sales? None that any of the watchdogs are aware of. Yet another not good.
So what's an agent to do if they can't make sales? (Legit agents work on commission, getting their 15% after the sale has been made to the publisher. Keep this in mind as you read the rest.) Of course! Offer other services, like critiquing, editing, you name it. For a fee, naturally. They have to keep themselves afloat, and they sure aren't doing it by selling mss. to publishers. So, extract a fee for a critique, extract a fee to send out letters, scattershot, to various publishers, etc.
This is exactly what The Literary Agency - oops, Writers Literary Agency - does. Avoid these scam artists at all costs. Always, always, always aim for the top. I know of several people who've secured top-knotch agents, and who've then received publishing contracts with big-time publishers (like Kensington, for example).
BTW, if you'd done your research, you'd know that the majority of poets do not have agents; sales are too small for any legit agent to rep poets (with very, very few exceptions). The Poet's Literary Agency? There to separate you from your money, and nothing else.
Want more details on this? Check out the Writer Beware blog.
Don't give up - keep writing!
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