Paying For Representation

I met a woman online a few years ago who asked me to help her with getting out of her contract with her literary agency. She had been with them about a year and had been paying them a monthly fee of about $50-75 bucks, which was a maintenance fee and then an invoice for itemized items such making copies, making phone calls, etc. plus the initial payment to open her account.

So for about a year, she sent them over $2700 bucks all said and done.

A year later, she was unpublished, and broker than when she started.

As time went on, she became discouraged, wondering why she was getting nothing but rejections, and then her ‘agent’ became harder to get a hold of. Phone calls once returned quickly weren’t being returned at all, emails weren’t being answered quickly and when they were answered, things seemed a bit off.

So this prompted her to start researching…

… and what she found was something she could have easily found had she just done a bit of research before signing on the dotted line and sending her hard earned money in to a company that was a known literary scam artist.

Once she discovered this, she began directly contacting the publishers this agency had claimed rejected her, for which she paid itemized fees for manuscript copies and postage, only to discover the publisher had never seen her manuscript nor had they ever heard of her.

She fought the literary agency for a time, but eventually got tired and quit fighting.

They count on those things… most people just give up and chalk it up to a learning experience. I wish more people would really fight them.

But I digress.

Go to that link. It’s Preditors & Editors listing of literary agents and attorneys. You’ll see that if an agent charges a fee prior to a contract/sale of a manuscript, they will get a NOT RECOMMENDED CHARGES FEE.

I simply cannot say this enough: REAL publishers and literary agents do not charge you anything to publish your book!



You don’t take money out of your pocket and give it to them.

Now, that being said, a publisher will never, ever charge you for anything. They don’t take fees out of your royalties or anything like that. You get a contract with them, they give you a royalty percentage, and they keep their profit from the balance. Agents though do sometimes charge you a fee in an indirect way. You see, when you sign with an agent, the publisher will sign with the agent too, and then the publisher will pay royalties to the agent, the agent then takes out his fees, and the balance is then paid to you from the agent.

So indirectly the agent will take fees out of your royalties to pay his fee, but you will never send a check to the agent, period, for any reason.

If an agent asks you to pay him, tell him to take a nose dive.


Do not sign with a publisher or an agent that charges a fee.

It’s that simple, and yet, authors are so desperate to be ‘published’ that they fall for these scam artists every day.

Don’t be prey.

Know your stuff and don’t let your ego think otherwise.

Good luck to you and your manuscript in your own quest for a literary agent.

Love and stuff,