Book Beat Babes

Book Beat Babes

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Beware of Rip-Off Agencies! by DL Larson

I've been searching for possible agents and publishers lately. I've come across at least a dozen who are closed to submissions. Sigh ... it's frustrating yes, to finally find a possible agency that might fit my type of writing, only to find the door closed before I've had a chance to inquire.

I also found a few disturbing remarks. Yes, most don't bother returning a 'no thank you, not interested' note. I came to terms with that long ago. Others want only inquiries that have been sent solely to them and no one else. They state they will respond within four to six months. Really? Still? In this day and age. I don't know anyone who actually believes this anymore. I used to play by the rules and wait and wait ... and wait, only to realize it was time to move on.

The one that bothered me the most was on the Alloy Entertainment site. They sound reasonable and interested in hearing from all types of writers. That's wonderful, but this is from their Submission Guidelines:

  • Submission Guidelines: We are evaluating full fiction manuscripts only—please, no scripts or fan-fiction. Please send us a query e-mail that contains a brief overview of the premise of your book and a short description of your writing background. In addition, please include the first three chapters of your manuscript in a Word document, as well as a link to your book or Goodreads page if you’ve already self-published the book. And, agents, feel free to get in touch for your clients! We cannot accept submissions from legal minors. Please note that Alloy is constantly developing new titles. In light of the numerous submissions Alloy receives and Alloy’s own in-house development, Alloy may already have (or may in the future) independently develop a project based upon an idea or theme that is identical or similar to your material, and you acknowledge that you will have no interest or claim therein.

It's the last sentence I have an issue with. It sounds dangerously close to stealing. They may not like your work, but they like your theme, your plot, your characters. Where does that leave you, the writer, if they steal your work? 

Does anyone have a comment to share about this? I'd be very interested in hearing from other writers.

'Til next time ~

DL Larson


  1. Seems a little "hinky" (is that an official term? LOL) to me. I'm not sure what the term "individual develop a project" means. It certainly sounds like what you're inferring that they may use an idea you submit to generate their own story, etc.

    Doesn't seem right to me...

  2. Deb,
    I'd stay away, and I agree it doesn't sound right. If you submit the 3 chapters, and all the other info requested, they even have a good hint of your style of writing.

  3. That's what I think too ... thus my posting it here! Thanks, ladies for standing up and voicing your opinions. I agree with you both!

  4. Very scary! I wonder where copyrighted material takes over - in the old days, if you mailed something, (especially to yourself and didn't open it once it arrived) that guaranteed the material was original and therefore your property and as good as a professional copyright. I wonder what the criteria is now - writers zip off manuscripts and partials as they query, believing in the honor system. This proves not everyone in the profession is honorable. A sad reality.

  5. Lots of unscrupulous people out there. Yes, it's best to be watchful and read instructions and conditions very carefully, before making anything official.