Upcoming Agent Spotlight Interviews & Guest Posts

  • Caroline Trussell Agent Spotlight Interview and Query Critique Giveaway on 5/20/2024
  • Jenna Satterthwaite Agent Spotlight Interview and Query Critique Giveaway on 6/10/2024
  • Bethany Weaver Agent Spotlight Interview and Query Critique Giveaway on 6/26/2024

Agent Spotlight & Agent Spotlight Updates

  • Agent Spotlights & Interviews have been updated through the letter "K" as of 3/28/2024 and many have been reviewed by the agents. Look for more information as I find the time to update more agent spotlights.

Agent Scam Alert: How to Protect Yourself From People Pretending to Be Agents

 

Happy Monday Everyone! One of my projects this year is to update the agent spotlights. One thing I have noticed is that there is a warning on many agency websites informing writers that people are impersonating agents at their literary agency. Then Caitlin Blasdell at Liza Dawson Associates Literary Agency mentioned that she and another agent at her agency had been impersonated when she reviewed her agent spotlight for me. She recommended that I warn my followers about this scam. Here’s what you should know not to be scammed.

Warning Signs That You Are the Victim of an Agent Scam

Writers seeking an agent and self-published authors are often the targets of individuals pretending to be a real literary agent. Another scam is pretending to be a literary agent at a fake agency. Here are some warning signs to watch for: 

·       Charging you fees. Some fake literary agents offer to help you obtain a publishing contract but will charge you reading, editing, or other fees before they get you a contract. A legitimate agent will not charge these fees and will only charge a commission, which is paid only if you sign a publishing contract.

·       Contacting you out of the blue. Individuals impersonating agents will contact you out of the blue. The reality is that legitimate literary agents do not have the time or need to search for clients because they are overwhelmed by queries from writers. One way to know the person contacting you is a fake is to check their email address to see if it is a personal rather than an agency email address or research the agency they claim to be from.

·       Claiming a publisher is interested. Some fake agents claim that a publisher is interested in your manuscript and that they will negotiate your contract for an upfront fee.

·       Marketing your book. Scam agents may also promise to get your book into bookstores, get you a spot on a radio or television show, or launch a press release campaign for an expensive fee. Many of their marketing methods may not be effective and are overpriced. In addition, these scammers don’t fulfill their promises.

·       Offering to get you reviews. Another scam that fake agents are promoting is to promise an author that they can get them reviews of their book—for a few hundred dollars each. Legitimate agents would never charge this type of fee.

·       Making unrealistic promises. If an agent’s promises seem too good to be true, they probably are, and it’s a red flag that the person is a scammer.

Five Ways to Protect Yourself From Scammers

You can protect yourself from a fake agent and other publishing scams. Here are five tips you should follow: 

1.     Educate yourself on how the publishing industry works and how literary agents are paid.

2.     Be very skeptical if you are contacted by an agent out of the blue unless an author you know has referred you to an agent.

3.     Do not pay any upfront fees to obtain representation or other services from an agent.

4.     If you are unsure of the identity of the person contacting you, research them thoroughly. Also, do not click on any links in their email.

5.     Keep up-to-date about potential scams by reading Victoria Strauss’ Writer Beware blog and other trusted blogs or other publishing industry publications.

Additional Resources on Agent Scams

Here are the links to articles I read when writing this post and some helpful-looking podcasts on this issue:

https://annerallen.com/2022/08/bogus-agents-scam-warnings-for-writers/

https://writerbeware.blog/2022/07/29/metamorphosis-and-impersonation-a-new-front-for-an-old-scam/

https://writerunboxed.com/2022/02/25/out-of-the-blue-too-good-to-be-true-beware-soliciation-scams/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AvQEwEmoCdw

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HDg0Kt1xIzc

Have been contacted by someone pretending to be an agent? Do you have other tips on how to avoid being scammed? Share your advice in the comments.

Upcoming Interviews and Guest Posts

Saturday, April 1 I’m participating in the Honey Bunny Giveaway Hop

Wednesday, April 5 I have an interview with debut author Lauren Thoman with a giveaway of her YA mystery I’ll Stop the World and my IWSG post

Thursday, April 6 I’m participating in the Dancing in the Rain Giveaway Hop

Monday, April 10 I have an interview with debut author Meg Eden Kuyatt and a giveaway of her MG contemporary Good Different

Wednesday, April 12 I have an agent spotlight interview with Roma Panganiban and a query critique giveaway

Monday, April 17 I have a guest post by debut author Justine Pucella Winans and a giveaway of her YA thriller Bianca Torre Is Afraid of Everything

Monday, April 24 I have an agent spotlight interview with Jennifer Chen Tran and a query critique giveaway

Hope to see you on Saturday!

 


13 comments:

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Yeah, no real agent is going to contact writers.
Tonja Drecker contacted the IWSG about a similar scam and we're posting about it next week. Seems like a lot of them out there right now.

Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

Excellent information, Natalie. Thanks for being a resource for writers.

Computer Tutor said...

The agent alert is timely and important. Sharing...

Kate Larkindale said...

The sad fact of life is that if it seems too good to be true, it usually is. Good advice on what to look out for!.

Liz A. said...

The scammers are at it again? Thanks for the heads-up as there are always new writers who don't know the methods for scamming that never seem to change. Money flows towards the writer. I wish such things weren't lucrative for the scammers as that's the only thing that'll ever stop them.

Valinora Troy said...

It's good to warn writers that scam artists are out there. Sadly, if someone contacts you to offer you a publishing deal, agenting contract, movie deal, translation deals, etc they are generally scams. Thanks for the reminder!

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Writers need to do their research - this is excellent, Natalie.

Carol Baldwin said...

This is SOOOO important. Thanks for posting this!

Linda Browne said...

Great article, Natalie, thanks! I routinely recommend your site, Literary Rambles, as a good source for finding reputable agents. Best of luck with your agent updates!

Sandra Cox said...

Good on you for posting this, Natalie.

Angie Quantrell said...

This is a great post, Natalie. Thank you so much! It's true, agents do not have time to seek out writers (randomly). Nor do they charge or make money until a book sells. It's sad that people are impersonating agents and taking advantage of writers. People. UGH. Thanks for putting out the word!

Rosi Hollinbeck said...

Thanks so much for publishing this. It's really important information.

Elizabeth Seckman said...

Snake oil salesman always find new angles!