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Alert! Agents for Hire Scam

Thursday, February 23, 2017 12:49
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(Before It's News)

Carolyn Howard-Johnson shares writers’ resources on her award-winning blog Sharing with Writers

I don’t double up on my #SharingwithWriters newsletter news and blog very often, but sometimes it seems essential.  So, I’m repeating this from the February issue (it came out yesterday!). There is another scam alert in it (seems it’s scam season for writers!), so if you are interested you can pick up the issue or subscribe on my Web site at http://bit.ly/SWWNewsletter.

Today I heard about a new kink in the old agent-for-upfront-fee scam. One of my longtime friends on Facebook told me that just as she had been waiting for the “right time to terminate” her relationship with her agent, she received a mass e-mail informing her of the agent’s new fee-for-service plan. My friend then terminated her contract (the terms of the contract had already expired) and asked that the mention of her books be removed from this former agent’s Web site. The agent refused her request (and other authors’ requests) citing that she was the “agent of record” for those books.
My friend says, “I feel bad for new writers who fall for this trap of paying her upfront fees.” This agent also added another wrinkle to her fee collecting program—a cancellation-of-contract fee. Learn more at  (http://accrispin.blogspot.com/2017/02/red-flag-alert-loiacono-literary-agency.html?m+1)
I have no idea whether keeping a book that is no longer represented by an agent on an agent’s site is legal, but it certainly is misleading if not downright unethical. One of the tools that authors use to judge the effectiveness of an agent is their catalogue of book sales. It is important that you are all aware of this practice and double check with some of the authors who have been (or are) represented by any agent you are considering.
You should also be aware that some agents “sell books” to presses that would take any book presented to them, often called (rather erroneously) self-publishing presses and that were once called “vanity publishing or presses” and still are by anyone who cares to flaunt their #bookbigotry. Of course these agents usually still take their 15% for “handling” and “representing” or “selling” the book to that press. There is more on that in the blog link above.
You will also find more on finding reputable agents and editors in both The Frugal Book Promoter and The Frugal Editor including things to look for and questions to ask both the professional you are considering as a hire and those clients they provide as references. There are all kinds of ways you can be mislead—both intentionally and unintentionally.


MORE ABOUT THE BLOGGER

 Carolyn Howard-Johnson is the author of fiction, creative nonfiction, and poetry. She is also a marketing consultant, editor, and author of the multi award-winning HowToDoItFrugally Series of books for writers including the award-winning second editions of The Frugal Book Promoter and The Frugal Editor. Her latest is in the series is How to Get Great Book Reviews Frugally and Ethically. Learn more on her Amazon profile page, http://bit.ly/CarolynsAmznProfile. Great Little Last Minute Editing Tips for Writers is one of her booklets–perfect for inexpensive gift giving–and The Great First Impression Book Proposal, another booklet, helps writers who want to be traditionally published. She has three FRUGAL books for retailers including one she encourages authors to read because it will help them convince retailers to host their workshops, presentations, and signings. It is A Retailer’s Guide to Frugal In-Store Promotions: How To Increase Profits and Spit in the Eyes of Economic Downturns with Thrifty Events and Sales Techniques. In addition to this blog, she helps writers extend the exposure of their favorite reviews at TheNewBookReview.blogspot.com. She also blogs at all things editing–grammar, formatting and more–at The Frugal, Smart,and Tuned-In Editor (http://TheFrugalEditor.blogspot.com)

Carolyn Howard-Johnson is the multi award-winning author of the HowToDoItFrugally series of books for authors and retailers. She was named Woman of the Year in Arts and Entertainment by members of the California Legislature and is an instructor of UCLA Extension’s renowned Writers’ Program.


Source: http://sharingwithwriters.blogspot.com/2017/02/alert-agents-for-hire-scam.html

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