Nothing gets this troll more upset than being taken advantage of. Especially when it's my dreams that get shattered. As writers we get enough disappointment in the many form rejection letters that are standard practice in the publishing world. We don't need scam agents taking our hard earned money, promising us the best seller list and then disappearing with our money and dreams.
This weekend, I join Miss Snark and Kristen Nelson in the war against scam agents and agencies. The International Independent Literary Agents Association is an association of agents (and I really don't think they deserve to be called agents) to be aware of and stay away from. The agents that make up this association are on the Worst Agents List. This list was put together by WRITERS BEWARE which is sponsored by the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America organization. Here is their take on this.
The point to all this is...DO YOUR HOMEWORK!!! Don't let your dream of being published get squashed by all the bad guys out there. Check out potential agents at Writer's Beware, Preditors & Editors, Agent Query and most importantly (IMO) The Association of Artists' Representatives.
I know agents are hard to catch. But the better informed you are, the less mistakes you will make during the hunt:-)And to start you off...here are a couple signs of agents to stay away from.
* They charge money before selling your book. No matter what they call it, you never pay an agent. They don't get paid until they sell your book, then they are the ones that pay you:-) Remember...money flows to the author, to away from.
* They have no sales listed. If they have no sales or list sales to vanity presses then stay away.
* They refer you to an editor/editorial service. Again, this is a no no.
All in all...when it comes right down to it...getting published is a business with snakes just like every other business. We have to be aware of those snakes or we'll get eaten. Don't let that happen to you and your dreams.