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  1. #121
    Simon Says

    Re: Response

    Your answer is typical of your behavior and totally unneccessary. I was engaging you in a serious discussion about your professional behavior and the criteria you use to evaluate agents whose reputations you have the power to destroy.

    But once again, instead of remaining professional and sticking to the topic at hand - you rose to the bait and insulted your critic. I am not the enemy, Dave. I am not a supporter of scammers, nor a scammer. I am a writer, who has in fact used your site to vet. But I must say, that I am quite curious about your criteria - Kristen Nelson 's agency gets a recommend while William Morris, ICM and Curtis Brown do not? Nothing against Kristin, but those other three are among the creme de la creme.

    I read your criteria page and it did not in fact give your criteria for a recommend - all it said was that you wouldn't give a recommend to agent if he "Offers representation only to dump the writer/manuscript after minimal efforts within a short span of time." Is this the only criteria? It seems somewhat vague - what constitutes a short time span and/or minimal efforts? Is one report from one writer enough cost an agent the coveted "recommend"? do the circumstances involving the writer come into play? (i.e. the writer lied and had shopped it before and received 40 rejections and the agent discovers they're shopping a stale ms? or the writer turns out to be psychotic and the agent severs ties?) Do you take only the writer's words or do you give the agents an opporutnity to respond? Do you require independent confirmation by more than one complainant?

    These questions are valid and reasonable and have merit.

    It seems the only authority you site vis a vis your position regarding what constitutes a fee and how you label fee chargers is writer beware - another writer advocate site. Who other than you and WB have deemed that ANY fee charged to the writer under ANY circumstances prior to a sale constitutes "inappropriate conduct"? The choice of the word inappropriate in particular is what interests me. Is Andy's fee inappropriate or simply outside the norm? You have put a value judgement on the behavior, I'm curious if that value judgements is shared by Andy's peers, clients, the publishers he sells to. Or if it's just you and WB who perceive it as inappropriate and worthy of placement on the negative list on your site.

    You are under no obligation to answer me in particular but you do have some sort of obligation to explain your rationale for why the most prestigious agencies out there don't get the "recommend" label or why you are lumping an established, respected NY agent with big clients and many, many sales to major houses with the scammers and those with no industry experience and no sales. Actually I believe you remain neutral about new agencies run by those with no industry experience with no verifiable sales. Don't writers deserve to be warned about those agents as well? Having a bad agent is worse than having no agent at all and even Ann Crispin will tell you that people who hang up shingles with no agency or pub experience are those that writers should avoid.

    I do hope that this time you will address my specific questions and issues and not give your knee-jerk - go start your own website / the writers I help are happy response. If I looked to your site alone as to where to go Kristin would be on my list. but Lisa Bankoff wouldn't.

  2. #122
    Simon Says

    Re: Response

    Well it appears that Dave has decided to end his participation in this discussion with an insult rather than take the time to answer the relevant and important questions that were put to him.

    I hope that anyone who has hung in to get to the end of this thread will realize that good intentions are not enough. A watchdog/advocate is only as good as the guidelines and ethics they use to make their judgements. And that one should not necessesarily take the ratings on lists such as P&E as gospell. It's important to realize that the more subjectivity and personal preference that's involved in putting together these lists - the less reliable the information on them is likely to be.

    And I hope that such watchdogs will come to realize that they are as accountable for their ethics as those who they monitor.

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