Well, I have finally hit the double digit rejection mark for One Blood, but I remain undeterred. This week I am going to post some advice from fellow writer, Sandra Lee Gould Ford,(pick up her book Faraday`s Popcorn Factory). She has been an inspiration and constant source of encouragement over the last few years.
There are some shady literary agents out there. Agents who are looking to take advantage of authors desperate to get published. Agents who will take your money, sell you a dream, and then hang you out to dry. I queried one such agent this week and received the following reply:
Thank you for your email submission to BigScore Productions.
Due to the thousands of submissions we receive each year, your submission (a complete proposal) will now only be reviewed if you pay a small $50 Processing Fee. Otherwise your email will be unread and deleted.
Just as with almost all editors and agents today, BigScore does not have time to give careful consideration to unsolicited manuscripts. These have increased dramatically with the advent of the internet, the tightening of publishers’ lists, and the necessity of having to have an agent. Even many published writers are now faced with having to find representation to get their work seen.
We actively consider manuscripts that are referred to us by our own authors and editors we work with. This always leaves us wondering what potential bestsellers we may be missing in the many unsolicited manuscripts we receive. So we decided the best option would be to give you the writer the chance to know your work is being looked at.
The BigScore submission review “will not” be a manuscript critique. We will only respond with a short paragraph on why we want to further consider your work, at no additional cost to you, or why we are passing on your work. If we do accept you for representation, your work will be submitted to the best publishers. Please go to www.bigscoreproductions.com and learn about our successes if you have not done so already.
BigScore is not interested in looking at poetry, erotica, children’s books, or movie scripts.
To continue on with the $50 Processing Fee:
Put “$50 Processing Fee” in the in the subject line of a new email, your “email address” and “name of your work” in the body of the email, and send to firstname.lastname@example.org.
You will then receive an invoice from PayPal requesting payment with a major credit card.
Once payment is received we will ask you to resend your work (your complete proposal, not just an email query).
David A. Robie, Agent
So I sent this to Aunt Sandra and here was her reply:
I had some dealings with BigScore several years ago. Beyond the fact that quality agents never charge reading fees, my experience with BS leads me to advise absolute avoidance. There are web sites that assess agents for integrity and professionalism. When I checked, BS was not listed favorably. While not predatory, I found BS under handed and manipulative.
In your search for an agent, start with those who represent books like yours that were written by successful and respected authors. Take your time. Conduct a quality search. Check the web site for the American Association of Authors Representatives. Even their membership can do unethical things, but at least you can report member agent mis-behavior. BS, as I knew them, could not hope to join.
I'm surprised BS is still in business...
"Every rejection is incremental payment on your dues that in some way will be translated back into your work."
-James Lee Burke