Suspicions confirmed.

A couple of days ago I received the regular monthly notice from ‘Beth Stormes’ at the Writers’ Literary Agency detailing the progress on the latest ‘Aggressive Agent Programme’. There are six contacts on the list and a little examination of each reveals something about the agency. Submissions have been sent on my behalf – so ‘Beth Stormes’ says – to the following [bearing in mind that my novel, ‘A Song at Daybreak’ is a work of fantasy fiction aimed primarily at a teen-young adult audience];

Ellora’s Cave: associated with Cerridwen Press and specialises in erotic writing for women.

Filbert Publishing: has closed all submissions due to a severe case of overload.

Kensington Books: does not accept science fiction or fantasy.

Dorchester Publishing: is soliciting romance, horror, westerns and thrillers only.

James A Rock & Co; appears to be a vanity press only.

Riverhead Books: is a subsidiary of Penguin and is interested only in best-selling literary fiction.

This would appear to confirm my impression that either this whole thing is a widespread scam or these people are hopelessly incompetant. Either way, I will let this association die down and disappear. It is all bitterly disappointing, of course, but there has been an upside to it. I have learned a very great deal about the publishing industry over my eighteen months’ association with WLA, and that in itself is valuable knowledge. I shall certainly be much more careful in future, and my advances will be much more cautious. I am much better equipped to sort the wheat from the chaff, and I now know how best to present my work to a potential publisher or agent.

So all is not lost, nor has the $400 – $500 that I have paid up to WLA over the last year and a half been wholly wasted. I can look upon that as a tuition fee, or a consultancy fee. I am much the wiser and I harbour no ill feelings towards WLA. My only regret is that there are many others out there who are still being gulled, and who may not be able to accept their inevitable disappointment as philosophically as I.


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