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Agent Alison J Picard


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#1 w.o.

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Posted 04 June 2012 - 09:27 AM

I received a request for a partial from Alison J Picard this morning. A google search of her is yeilding mixed results. Half of them say she was involved in some sort of scam in the early 90's, but more recent ones say she is legit and has a great list. Should I proceed and send, or not? I figured I could send the partial and if she requested money or sounded fishy, then I'd know to cut my losses and move on. Thoughts? It's so hard to know the right thing to do sometimes! I want to make sure I don't miss a chance! (she is not a member of the AAR from what I searched.)

#2 Cheryl B. Dale

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Posted 04 June 2012 - 11:01 AM

I received a request for a partial from Alison J Picard this morning. A google search of her is yeilding mixed results. Half of them say she was involved in some sort of scam in the early 90's, but more recent ones say she is legit and has a great list. Should I proceed and send, or not? I figured I could send the partial and if she requested money or sounded fishy, then I'd know to cut my losses and move on. Thoughts? It's so hard to know the right thing to do sometimes! I want to make sure I don't miss a chance! (she is not a member of the AAR from what I searched.)


Being a member of AAR isn't that bad. Charging for services (other than copies/stamps/etc when they're submitting to publishers) is.

P&E do not recommend her and there's a thread on the Absolute Write Water Cooler that would make me leery of her, too.

That being said, a lot of agencies are getting into the editing/formatting/epub business as they scramble to find a place in this new technologically oriented world. They're usually upfront with no promises of selling your work to traditional pubs or selling it at all, but I wouldn't do it. It's too easy to hire an editor, hire a cover artist, and pub the book yourself. That way, you won't be handing someone 20% of your royalties along with the other costs up front.

When/if I get another agent, I want one who'll help me revise for submission to pubs (without charge) and who makes his/her money off selling my work and no other way.

#3 LucidDreamer

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Posted 04 June 2012 - 06:19 PM

I've read some mixed reviews on this person, but there was something about her charging for editing upfront. (Even more recently). I don't think I'd want to get into that situation. If I need an editor I'd rather pay my own, or use the "house" editior at a reputable firm/pub. house.

#4 neophytegod

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Posted 04 June 2012 - 06:47 PM

EXACT same thing for me...Today even.


"Thanks for your query. Please cut and paste the first two chapters (double spaced) and send via e mail -- no attachments. Please include "Requested Material" in the subject line.

If the sample chapters interest me, I'll request the complete manuscript. I look forward to reading your work.

Sincerely,"

sounds more like the type of responses ive seen (mostly on forums) from reputable agencies rather than the sort of stuff people said they got from here back in the 90's
i havent really found anything about her that has any sort of recent date on it besides the listing in the 2012 writers market/2012 guide to lit agents.

does anyone know how up to date the P&E strong not recommended is?

so my thoughts are: if i am skeptical about doing business with her then wouldnt publishers be also? but in writers market she has a list of recent sales with reputable publishers...is she trying to get back into the business, for real this time? or what?

how often do agencies ask for a partial from what they find in their slush pile? two in one day? i honestly dont know what to think about it. whether or not she is ok to do business with or not im sort of wishing i hadnt emailed her in the first place. just to avoid the hassle, but i didnt do my homework on every as well as i should have it seems. so much for just trusting the writers market.


#5 LucidDreamer

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Posted 04 June 2012 - 06:50 PM

I'd be tempted to send her the requested material, but keep a close eye on what she does after that. If she doesn't ask you to pay money upfront for editing or anything like that, who knows? She may have changed her practices.

#6 w.o.

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Posted 04 June 2012 - 09:17 PM

EXACT same thing for me...Today even.


"Thanks for your query. Please cut and paste the first two chapters (double spaced) and send via e mail -- no attachments. Please include "Requested Material" in the subject line.

If the sample chapters interest me, I'll request the complete manuscript. I look forward to reading your work.

Sincerely,"

sounds more like the type of responses ive seen (mostly on forums) from reputable agencies rather than the sort of stuff people said they got from here back in the 90's
i havent really found anything about her that has any sort of recent date on it besides the listing in the 2012 writers market/2012 guide to lit agents.

does anyone know how up to date the P&E strong not recommended is?

so my thoughts are: if i am skeptical about doing business with her then wouldnt publishers be also? but in writers market she has a list of recent sales with reputable publishers...is she trying to get back into the business, for real this time? or what?

how often do agencies ask for a partial from what they find in their slush pile? two in one day? i honestly dont know what to think about it. whether or not she is ok to do business with or not im sort of wishing i hadnt emailed her in the first place. just to avoid the hassle, but i didnt do my homework on every as well as i should have it seems. so much for just trusting the writers market.


Yep, that's the EXACT same email I got. I sent them. I don't figure it can hurt anything, I'll know when she responds if I should proceed or not.

#7 neophytegod

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Posted 05 June 2012 - 02:31 AM

yeah i had sent the 2 chapters before i decided to google her. my wife had compiled a list of agencies she had found in writers market, assuming it was all legit i didnt bother to check up on each one before querying. i certainly will now.

so well see what happens i guess. ill make sure to post whatever i hear back on here, you do the same! :) also best of luck

#8 neophytegod

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Posted 05 June 2012 - 05:02 PM

"Sorry, I've decided to pass on your work. I receive 5,000+ submissions and queries every year; I can accept only a few new projects. Unfortunately I'm unable to provide specific comments because of the number of submissions I receive.

I suggest checking the agent and publisher listings in JEFF HERMAN'S GUIDE TO BOOK PUBLISHERS, EDITORS AND LITERARY AGENTS. This reference book is published annually.

Best of luck with your work."

guess i dont need to worry about it....well one more for my collection, and one less that stand between me and publication


#9 w.o.

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Posted 06 June 2012 - 08:24 AM

She emailed me back this morning. She offered me representation, but only after I pay her $2 a page to edit it. After that she will send it to publishers. :/

#10 neophytegod

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Posted 06 June 2012 - 08:35 AM

interesting, in light of everything if it were me i wouldnt do it. and i think, to save all headache id just let it be. frankly if shes still doing this it doesnt seem like she would really be all that invested in finding a decent deal for the book, not if she gets her money off it anyway. less incentive to make it happen. but there is a chance that she can help, that she can find a publisher, but i just dont see it as a viable option for what id want out of an agent.

but then again she didnt think mine was good enough to read for $2 a page anyway so, more power to ya! good luck whatever you do.

#11 w.o.

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Posted 06 June 2012 - 08:56 AM

She went ahead and edited the first few pages. And it's 30 days after signing that the editing will be complete and then she will submit to publishers (there were other incentives too). If she gets a deal, you get all of your money back. I don't know. I'm going to do some research. In a way it sounds like a good deal to someone who's never been published but I don't want to fall prey to a scheme or something. I find it interesting that she didn't send you the same email. I honestly thought you were going to reply that she sent the same one. That is throwing me off.

#12 w.o.

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Posted 06 June 2012 - 05:22 PM

I decided I can't take that kind of risk paying for services. Not to sound like I'm egotistical, but my novel is good, I don't think I should have to pay for editing. If I'm good enough to pay editing up front, I should be good enough for them to do it and make the money after it's sold, kwim? I did a lot of research, and I'm just not taking the risk of falling prey to a scheme. She may be very legit, and she has a nice list, but I'm wary. I have a family, I can't afford an $800 risk.

#13 Dayspring

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Posted 07 June 2012 - 03:29 AM

I think that's the right decisionl. Apart from anything else, I wouldn't trust an agent who offers representation without reading the whole book. You want someone who will champion your work, and how can she know it's the right fit if she hasn't read it all?

#14 KrystenH

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Posted 07 June 2012 - 08:43 AM

I don't think you are egotistical, W.O. Every writer has the right to expect free editing services from agents and publishers. It shows they are invested in the book and almost always, even if the book is a flop, will get their money back eventually. There is no need to pay upfront. You made the right call.

#15 Joey

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Posted 07 June 2012 - 11:02 AM

Yes, who on earth offers representation after ONLY reading two chapters? That is a bit odd.

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#16 w.o.

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Posted 07 June 2012 - 04:51 PM

Yeah,for a few hours I was thinking "My work was SOOOOOOOO good she didn't even have to read the whole novel to know how wonderful I am." ha! Then reality set in and I started to think about it. I asked for the contract, and it seemed a little fishy. So then I started googling, and went back and reread all my info on what makes a good agent and I realized it was a bad idea. But for a tiny moment, I felt like I'd finally "done it".

#17 garda

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Posted 11 June 2012 - 04:53 PM

Just today I got the very same reply-to-query you folks received. It was five months for me. As to securing her representation--way too scared of her rep! Don't care how anxious to publish I am.

#18 neophytegod

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Posted 11 June 2012 - 05:31 PM

yeah, sketchy, red flag. im pretty anxious about getting the dumb thing published already but still, i think it deserves an agent who is going to put their time and effort into it, an agent who is excited to see it climb the ny times bestseller list. I want an agent who's kids dont get christmas unless it sells...(ok maybe not quite that extreme, but the concept stands)

good luck fellow novelists!

#19 solotramp

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Posted 22 July 2012 - 12:29 PM

It would be better to pay an editor than to pay an agent to edit. Who knows what her editing could do to your manuscript. Seems pretty fishy.

It is true that sometimes an agent will edit something s/he has accepted -- but not for a fee.

What precisely are the publications this agent has handled?

#20 Licentia

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Posted 15 December 2012 - 04:21 PM

Interesting, I received an email from her today, but mine was a bit different. Just to keep the thread going, here it is:

"Thanks for your query. Please send the following as a Word attachment:

- your original query letter


- the complete manuscript (double spaced)
- a list of publishers/editors that have reviewed the manuscript (if any)

Please put "Requested Material" in the subject line. I look forward to reading your work.



P.S. Please notify us immediately if you decide to sign with another agent or a publisher"



So she asked for the full instead of two chapters and wants to know what publishers/editors have it. I actually haven't sent queries to any publishers, but I do have two fulls out with other agents. (However, she didn't ask about other agents.) Reading the above is kind of making me debate whether to email her back at all...




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