"Have you ever:
- Been charged an upfront fee by a literary agency?
- Received an agent's offer to read your manuscript, only to be referred to an editor or editing service?
- Received a publication offer and discovered a fee was required?
- Used a pay-to-publish service and been dissatisfied with the results?
- Entered a contest and found out you had to buy something in order to participate?
- Used a manuscript submission or book marketing service and felt it didn't live up to the hype?
- Encountered any kind of scam that targeted writers?
Two years ago when I began getting offers of representation, I e-mailed Victoria for background information on the agents concerned. She responded promptly and the information she provided was vital not only in helping me make a decision, but also in putting my mind at ease.
Here's an encouraging snippet from an interview with Victoria on the Writers Write website. I hope they don't sue me for this...
"Don't believe the mythology -- that successful agents aren't interested in first-time writers, that publishers don't want to take a risk with new talent, that really original writing has no chance because publishers are only interested in cookie-cutter copycats of bestselling authors. Yes, publishing is a tough field. Rejection is a given. But it is possible to break in. What's hard these days is not to start a career, but to maintain one.
Also, the competition is probably not what you think it is. Much is made of the fact that though thousands of manuscripts are written every year, only a tiny percentage ever find commercial publication. But the truth (as anyone who has ever looked at a publisher's slush pile knows) is that less than 10% of those thousands of manuscripts even approach publishability. Given a marketable work, you're not vying with every other writer seeking publication, but only with that 10%."