Dor Does Books
4 years ago
Have you been in touch with Victoria Strauss at Writer Beware? This is the kind of thing she's always eager to hear about.
And (hugs). It feels like everybody has taken stupid pills today.
4 years ago
I sent a message through the contact form on Writer Beware as one of the first things I did after getting the email. If I don't get a response, I'll see if Victoria Strauss has a more direct way of contacting her. I know she has a lot of experience with this sort of thing.
Dor Does Books
4 years ago
You can email her: beware at sfwa dot org.
4 years ago
Kudos to you for speaking your mind and telling the truth regardless of consequences. I had a terrible experience too when I got phone call from Olga that sounded all positive. Then, when she was supposed to get back to me, she never did. And I sent her multiple emails.
I was so excited to get my first phone call from a literary agent, and she crushed my hopes and dreams. I agree, all writers deserve to know about The Rights Factory so they don't go through what we did.
4 years ago
Yiiikes. That's terrible. I mean, at least you didn't end up stuck with her for a year like I did, so (as my husband likes to say) there's nothing so bad that it ain't good for something, but even so, that's a wretched experience to have. I'm sorry she put you through that. The more I hear about her from other people who've dealt with her, the more I wish I'd run for the hills right from the beginning.
3 years ago
Kaia, thank you SO much for your bravery in sharing your story with us writers. I know that my friends and I are appreciative of hearing your story. Olga Filina requested our partials in a contest earlier this year, which we sent out despite our misgivings about the entire agency. We had done research on them and found many similar stories/strange occurrences connected to them from former clients. I also have a Twitter friend who signed with her shortly after that contest, only to part ways with her within months. This just goes to highlight the INCREDIBLE importance of researching those to whom we'd entrust our careers and life's work. Thank you for sharing your story, and I'm wishing you all the best in finding a legit agent (if that's the route you still want to take) who will give you and your work the attention and diligence you deserve.
3 years ago
Ummm ... you do realize that the entire point of being an agent is to get a manuscript into the hands of as many editors as possible? Any given editor has no understanding of how many others are looking at a manuscript (it could be one, it could be 100, as far as they know). Multiple submissions, even to dozens of agents, are surprisingly common these days - that's how multiple offers are received, how books go to auction, and how money is made by agents and writers alike (ie how the business works). The Rights Factory represents many of Canada's best and brightest. By "speaking out" against normal agenting behaviors, you're essentially branding yourself an unbalanced spaz and ruining any chance of ever finding another agent or publisher. Have fun self-publishing your twaddle.
3 years ago
Jesus wept, you shills are so ignorant! I've largely been ignoring you all, since there's not much point in responding, you're all so damn foolish. But since what you're saying is entirely wrong and potentially harmful to less well-informed writers, I am going to have to put my foot down and say something.
The entire point of being an agent is absolutely NOT "to get a manuscript into the hands of as many editors as possible." The job of an agent is to get a manuscript into the hands of the RIGHT editors, and if you don't understand the distinction, what are you doing here, running your ignorant mouth? Editors are people, with varying tastes and ideas about what will sell. You can't just hand a manuscript off to every editor you can find, that's unprofessional and pointless. All it does is waste agent, author, and editor time. That is, as I said, called "shotgun submissions" and it is considered a serious red flag by every truly knowledgeable and trustworthy person in the business. Check out Absolute Write and Writer Beware and Preditors and Editors. (Not that I think you will, since you're so convinced you've got this right, but I hope other people who see this will know to take the word of THOUSANDS OF INDUSTRY PROFESSIONALS over one dupe on the internet.)
The second reason you don't hand over an MS to dozens of editors at once is because you stand to utterly ruin your chances of publishing said manuscript. It has nothing to do with whether or not editors know how many other editors are seeing the manuscript. It's about editor feedback. Many of them will give reasons, at time fairly in depth, of why they weren't interested in your book. If an MS is sent to 6 editors and 4 of them come back with the same criticism alongside their rejections, you know there's a major and particular issue with the MS that needs to be fixed before it gets submitted to further editors. A no from an editor is a no, period, so if you send out an MS to freaking all of them at once, you don't get a second chance to fix those mistakes. That MS is a rejection, period, end of story, do not pass Go, do not collect $200, done, final, finito, your goose is cooked. Understand me? Send to small groups of editors gives you and your agent a chance to fix an MS and take it from something that isn't drumming up interest to something that will sell.
Meanwhile, editors do talk to each other, and if they DO find out your agent is engaged in this kind of behavior, it can potentially reflect badly on you as a writer and make them decide not to work with you.
Multiple offers and books going to auction don't happen by throwing manuscripts at as many editors at once as you possibly can. This is why a book can take so long to sell. You don't necessarily take the first offer you get. Editors know that you might want to see if someone has a better offer, and auctions ONLY happen if more than one editor ends up interested enough to battle over an MS. Some years ago a friend of mine was waiting to see if her agent got a better offer before taking the one she had. That took TIME. These days, she sells pretty well and is extremely popular with the book blogger community. None of the "best and brightest" that TRF represents are people I've ever even heard of.
Tell me, did you not read my original post, or are you that horribly lacking in reading comprehension? I've already said that I mentioned concerned about things like shotgun submissions to Olga. I already said that she'd had the same concerns before joining TRF. I've already said that she told me that her own strategy was to get to know editors and only submit to small amounts of them at once, which is how it's supposed to be done in the first goddamn place. Funny how that's not at all what happened, almost like it was a lie or something.
I guess it's no wonder you love TRF, since you adore logical inconsistencies so very much. I thought TRF represented the "best and brightest"? But here you are, calling my work, which you've never read, twaddle. It's almost like you're too ignorant and immature to come up with any real criticism and thus have to resort to insults. Oh, wait, it's EXACTLY like that. You're also an ableist shitstain, while we're at it. Calling someone an "unbalanced spaz" is so gross and childish. Not that it surprises me, coming out of you people.
Seriously, stop wasting my time with your ignorance and your insults. Go learn something about how the industry works before you completely fuck yourself over.
On second thought, don't. Karma is tasty.
Enjoying popcorn (guest)
3 years ago
Kaia it's great fun to read your responses to the comments. You dole out such wonderful insults while taking offence in equal measure at the words of others. But I did just want to chime in (as a person working for a major publisher) that the most common approach I've seen by an agent is to select a small, interested group of editors, just as you suggest, for a first round (or two) of submissions. If there is no interest (as in, no interest, and no suggested edits to make your manuscript saleable), then the last resort is wide submission, or shotgun submission. There's not much else an agent can try after the first rounds come back with flat rejection. It's just another agent's tool to be used appropriately. I am sorry that your agent didn't communicate with you throughout the process, that sounds like it would've helped your knowledge of the status of your submission.
Oh please (guest)
2 years ago
Kaia, I read both your posts and I think you need to understand that from an outsider you actually come across as a super unpleasant person to deal with, and I'm inclined to give Olga the benefit of the doubt without even hearing her response. You also seem to have an inflated sense of importance, and are reacting pretty disproportionately to what actually happened here. You're a first time author who was burning out from querying, which should be an indicator of how publishable your book is, who had the amazing luck to land with a new agent who did what she could to get your book published, and you decided to freak out when things weren't moving the way you wanted. Get over yourself.
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