LitMatch: Research Literary Agents and Track Submissions

Monday, October 26, 2009

Preview #12 - Putting It All Together, Part II

In my last preview, I wrote about how you can use AuthorAdvance to accentuate the good. But what happens when you need to bring attention to the bad? The open nature of AuthorAdvance's listings might make it a tempting target to those who wish to unfair advantage of budding talent, but we've put safeguards in place to make it easy for the talent to fight back.

Scenario #2: The Scammer
A seemingly legitimate agent posts a listing for himself on the site. Kyle sees the listing and decides to send the agent his manuscript. Within a week, he's pleased to read that he's been accepted, but when acceptance comes with a request for an up-front payment, it sets off some warning bells.

So, Kyle posts a question on the Forum to see if this request is common practice, and finds out that it is not. Several other users join the discussion, and one relates a story about her own experience with the agent--an experience that ended in lost money and broken promises. They decide to post warnings on the listing, along with notes about their experiences. After a few warnings, a message appears at the top of the agent's listing, urging users to use caution when dealing with the agent.

Some time goes by, the discussion deepens, and more warnings appear on the agent's profile. Now, a sterner warning appears at the top of the agent's listing, along with several related blogs and forum posts, making it unlikely that anyone viewing the listing will be taken in by the scammer again.

Scenario #3: The Wrongly Accused
Just as there are some people out there looking to take advantage, there are also users who might jump the gun, even with the best of intentions, and post warnings against perfectly legitimate agents. Charlotte is just such an agent. A few warnings have appeared on her profile and she's not sure why. She's new to the business, but she operates her business according to AAR guidelines, and never charges fees.

As a member of the AuthorAdvance community, she decides to join in the conversation that's grown up around her listing. She is able to quickly address a concern about not having any professional sales by listing a few clients on her profile and referencing them in a forum post. She decides to post a few how-to articles which she then attaches to her profile. A few of her clients who are also users post glowing comments on her profile. Several non-clients attest to her professional nature and give her high marks by rating her profile. Before long, the complaints are just a distant memory.

That's it for now. I'll be back soon with some news about when we'll be launching the new site!

Christopher Hawkins

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