Monday, September 24, 2007

Bad Websites

I'm starting a black list of websites that authors should avoid. Please feel free to email me with suggestions.


The OnyxHawke Agency said...

I'll assume, no one has to mention Publish America... beyond that I think I'll just watch.

Maya Reynolds said...

Ohhhh, let's start with the New York Literary Agency and all its suburbs: The Children's Literary Agency, the Christian Literary Agency, the Poets' Literary Agency and the Screenplay Agency.

All the websites bear a suspiciously similar look--as if there were a template somewhere and someone was ginning them out at random.

Victoria Strauss went after them a couple of years ago, and the New York Literary Agency made the top ten list of the worst agencies.

Jonathan Lyons said...

I think any website that charges a fee for information about agents, when such information is readily available for free through other websites, should go on the list. For example, while Publishers Marketplace charges a fee, it provides information that can't be obtained anywhere else. In contrast, does not provide any information that can't be obtained on Agent Query or other sites. In addition, they allow writers to make negative comments based on inaccurate information about agents and industry custom.

Maya Reynolds said...

Jonathan: That has always been my problem with Piers Anthony's website. He often printed a negative comment by ONE person--without any way of knowing if that comment was valid and without making any effort to verify the accuracy before printing it. That felt reckless to me.

I have a huge problem with that kind of thing because it permits a malicious person to smear a publisher without consequence (Anthony kept the identity of the commenter confidential).

I noticed that's he's been bitten a few times and is now more cautious. I still think it is VERY unfair to print one side of the story without giving the publisher a chance to rebut.

Jonathan Lyons said...

Well, I hate to do this because his ire can be so harsh, but I guess I have to.

Gerald Jones has a website called On it he's posted his queries to agents and their replies. While I think there are a number of valuable things about this website, the problem is that Jones has developed a reputation among some agents of someone to avoid (you'll see why when you scroll through some of the correspondence). Therefore, some of the responses he's gotten from agents aren't representative of what such agents might typically say or do.

I think he's semi-retired the site since he secured a book deal.

Chumplet said...

I remember Gerald's site. It was like getting sucked into some kind of vortex. But it was entertaining, to say the least. I'm glad his book finally found a home.

Maya Reynolds said...

I'm not sure how it happened, but Gerald added me to his email list.

It was very entertaining in a "slow down to watch the car wreck" kind of way.

And a postscript to your comment, Jonathan, about Publishers Marketplace. I subscribed to it about two years ago, intending to cancel the subscription when I found an agent.

I've had an agent for 18 months now, but am still subscribing to PM because the information obtained there is so invaluable.

~Nancy said...

1. Publish America

Supposedly a "traditional" publisher that's actually just a crappy printer (and forces you and your family to buy your books).

2. What someone else said: Writers Literary Agency & Marketing Company (at least, that's the name it's going by at the moment; it was Writers Literary Agency, before that, Stylus Literary, before that...oh, you get the drift ;-)).

And its "children":
Christian Literary Agency
Poets Literary Agency
Childrens Literary Agency
New York Literary Agency
The Screenplay Agency

Came over from Nathans Bransford's blog. Thanks for deciding to do something like this. The more people know about these crooks, the better! :-)