As of last night, Absolute Write has gotten its virtual plug pulled. Read about it here.
Thanks, Barbara Bauer. You're in a class all of your own.
For context, here's the reason why she complained. I posted this originally on Backspace a few weeks ago. Here is the post again in its entirety. (I'm assuming that by copying my own post, I ain't in copyright trouble.) Thanks to Jim C. Hines for mentioning this on the Speculations Rumor Mill, and to Teresa Nielsen Hayden for blogging about this.
This post appeared on Absolute Write, from Victoria Strauss. She and Ann Crispin run Writer Beware, one of the fabulous watchdog sites out there that help authors navigate the shark-filled waters of agentdom... NOTE that some of the formatting was lost when I copied the post; a number of these agencies all fall under one umbrella name (which is why there are more than 20 listed).
Writer Beware's 20 Worst Agents
Below is a list of the 20 agents about which Writer Beware has received the greatest number of advisories/complaints during the past several years.
None of these agents has a significant track record of sales to commercial (advance-paying) publishers, and most have virtually no documented and verified sales at all (many sales claimed by these agents turn out to be vanity publishers). All charge clients before a sale is made, whether directly, by charging fees such as reading or administrative fees, or indirectly, for "editing services."
Writer Beware suggests that writers searching for agents avoid questionable agents, and instead query agents who have actual track records of sales to commercial publishing houses.
EDITED to include the following paragraph:
Note that while the 20 agencies listed here account for the bulk of the complaints we receive, they're just the tip of the iceberg. Writer Beware has files on nearly 400 questionable agencies, and we learn about a new one every few weeks.
The Abacus Group Literary Agency
Allred and Allred Literary Agents (refers clients to "book doctor" Victor West of Pacific Literary Services)
BARBARA BAUER LITERARY AGENCY
Benedict & Associates (also d/b/a B.A. Literary Agency)
Sherwood Broome, Inc.
Capital Literary Agency (formerly American Literary Agents of Washington, Inc.)
Desert Rose Literary Agency
Arthur Fleming Associates
Finesse Literary Agency (Karen Carr)
Brock Gannon Literary Agency
Harris Literary Agency
The Literary Agency Group, which includes the following:
- Children's Literary Agency
- Christian Literary Agency
- New York Literary Agency
- Poets Literary Agency
- The Screenplay Agency
- Stylus Literary Agency (formerly ST Literary Agency)
- Writers Literary & Publishing Services Company (the editing arm of the above-mentioned agencies)
Martin-McLean Literary Associates
Mocknick Productions Literary Agency, Inc.
B.K. Nelson, Inc.
The Robins Agency (Cris Robins)
Michelle Rooney Literary Agency (also d/b/a Creative Literary Agency and Simply Nonfiction)
Southeast Literary Agency
Mark Sullivan Associates
West Coast Literary Associates (also d/b/a California Literary Services)
One more thing. Spread the word. A number of Absolute Write posters are blogging about this, including Dawno and Blue Texas. Read what happened. Spread the word. And click on this link to view the Twenty Worst Agents and Barbara Bauer in all her glory.