I’m a sucker for an offer. Make a suggestion which instills in me the fear of missing out on the “opportunity of a lifetime,” I’ll sign on the dotted line.
When the Kirby guy came to demo the “Diamond G,” he had my non-refundable deposit in his clammy hand before he’d even finished all six of the amazing demonstrations his sales manager surely encouraged him to display to potential buyers before making the sales pitch. When I received in the mail a postcard where I was “especially selected to receive this special offer,” I RSVP’ed right away–so as not to miss my chance–and attended the two-hour-long informational session on the value of owning a timeshare. My checkbook was out before they passed around the contract to become a smart investor in luxury travel.
For the record, it took several months to get out of the timeshare deal and get the $500.00 deposit back; we still have the Kirby.
As a writer looking to get published, when someone in business (ostensibly “in the know”) expresses interest, it’s hard not to get excited about that.
I had a literary agent do just this the other day. She went through the 25 pages which she asked to see, marked it up with edits, and then said she could recommend some “trusted editors” to tighten up the story. And, oh, by the way, she also offered the editorial services of the admin guy in her literary agency.
I got his quote and a written contract on Sunday, along with his Google+ photo of him, in full goatee, wearing a black baseball hat, dark tinted sunglasses, and posed in front of an American flag. (I didn’t know what to make of this image. This was the professional editor who would be working over my novel?) The contract was clear: $55.00 an hour with a guesstimate of $1,200.00 to have him go through the 99,000-word manuscript.
Thankfully, I am part of a Facebook group focused on the submission process. I explained the course of dealings thus far and was given great feedback such as: “SCAM!” and “Legitimate agencies don’t work like that” and “Sounds like a conflict of interest.”
This was what I needed to hear. The voices of the wise and the experienced. Those who have the ability to cull out what looks, objectively, “fishy” and advise me to both “Do your research” and “RUN AWAY!”
I told the agency, via email, that “for various reasons” I have decided to shop my manuscript elsewhere. This means back to the drawing board in the search for a reputable literary agent.
I’m not going to get on that task right away though. I think I’ll soothe my disappointment in making my house look better. Thankfully, I have the Best Upright Vacuum that money can buy to do that.