2008 Article Excerpt:
WD book editors talk about how
writers can avoid getting scammed
by dishonest agents.
“First of all, it can’t be stressed enough that you should never pay agents any fees just so they consider your work. Only small fees (such as postage and copying) are acceptable – and those miniscule costs are administered after the agent has contacted you and signed you as a client.
A typical scam goes something like this: You send your work to an agency and they reply with what seems like a form letter or e-mail, telling you they love your story. At some point, they ask for money, saying it has to do with distribution, editing, production, submissions, analysis or promotion. By that point, you’re so happy with the prospect of finding an agent (you probably already told your family and friends) that you nervously hand over the money. Game over. You’ve just been scammed. Your work may indeed end up in print, but you’re likely getting very little if any money. To be a successful author, publishers must pay you to write; you must never pay them.”
– “Sign on the Dotted Line: Research Your Options and Beware of Scams” (page 51)
While Guide to Literary Agents is best known for its large and detailed list of literary agencies, every edition has plenty of informational articles and interviews designed to help writers perfect their craft and contact agents wisely. The 2008 edition is no different, with more than 80 pages of articles addressing numerous writing and publishing.