What If an Agency Refers You to an Editor?

Author:
Publish date:

Q: An agency wants to represent me but also wants me to pay $90 to have my memoir "polished" by someone they approve. I have read "grab the first agent" but also "do not pay any reading fees".
- Warren

A: Eek. Sounds dicey, Warren - I would get away.
My first question is: What agency is it? A simple Google search, or a search in my book and its competing books/websites will tell you if it's reputable or not, and if it has good sales. But my guess is: It does not good sales and is not reputable (though I cannot be sure).
You should never be paying upfront money like this. If a manuscript needs editing, you will most commonly just get a rejection letter. Or the agent may be nice enough to say "Strong story, but this needs editing and more work." However, a big red flag is when an agent mentions money or personally refers you to an editor. Is there a kickback in place? Who know. What happens is: You get your work "polished" by this editor, whatever the hell that really means, and then you still have no guarantees. You lost $90, and your manuscript may or may not be better, but you still have no guarantees. The agent will just say no.

Image placeholder title


Want more on this subject?

April PAD Challenge

2021 April PAD Challenge: Day 22

Write a poem every day of April with the 2021 April Poem-A-Day Challenge. For today's prompt, write a nature poem.

The Past Is Never Past: Drawing on Personal History to Write Engaging Historical Fiction

The Past Is Never Past: Drawing on Personal History to Write Engaging Historical Fiction

New York Times bestselling author Karen White discusses what drew her to writing historical fiction and how she uses a modern setting to explore history.

Writing Multiple Timelines and Points of View

Writing Multiple Timelines and Points of View

YA author Natalie Lund gives her top reasons why writers who might be afraid to play with multiple timelines and/or points of view should jump in feet first.

Alexander Weinstein: On Writing a Thematic Short Story Collection

Alexander Weinstein: On Writing a Thematic Short Story Collection

Author Alexander Weinstein discusses how he came to select the theme of his new short story collection, Universal Love, and what it was like to see those themes reflected in the real world.

April PAD Challenge

2021 April PAD Challenge: Day 21

Write a poem every day of April with the 2021 April Poem-A-Day Challenge. For today's prompt, write a blank me poem.

4 Tips for Writing about Family Grudges

4 Tips for Writing about Family Grudges

Author Samantha Downing discusses the techniques she used when writing her literary novel He Started It, which focuses on family secrets, old grudges, and lots of scores to settle.

W.A. Winter: On the Joys of Writing Crime Fiction

W.A. Winter: On the Joys of Writing Crime Fiction

Crime and suspense author W.A. Winter discusses why he decided on fiction over true crime for his latest novel, The Secret Lives of Dentists, and how writing this book brought him joy.

April PAD Challenge

2021 April PAD Challenge: Day 20

Write a poem every day of April with the 2021 April Poem-A-Day Challenge. For today's prompt, write a Love and/or Anti-Love poem.