Here Are Some Of The Questions You Have Been Asking ...
Q: I understand
why you charge reading fees, but how do you justify it as a general practice?
A: In this writing
business of ours, there are two major problems: new writers hardly ever pay any real attention to literary agents', or publishers',
websites, and the type of books they DON’T want, or their client list. As a result they often send off the write stuff
to the wrong literary agent, or publisher, spending a small fortune in photocopying, or printing, their work, and postage
and packaging, or send off material not yet ready for a literay agent, or publisher.
other major problem is that many literary agents often throw a dozen manuscripts at one publisher, hoping that one, or
maybe two, will stick, like mud pies to a wall, because they accept too many submissions, in the hope that a small percentage
will earn them money.
Charging the writer a reasonable reading fee will, at the very least, encourage him or her to do more careful research of
literary agents’, and publishers’ websites, saving them unnecessary expense, and wasted money, and encourage
them to make sure their work is the very best they can do, and presented in the best way possible.
A literary agent, charging a writer such a fee, should, as a basic minimum, offer a verifiable and detailed report of submissions
made to publishers, and comments from publishers’ readers, or editor, if requested by the writer.
Although the above would go a long way to prevent scammers, so-called literary agents who earn their income entirely from
reading fees alone, and never submit a writer’s work to a publisher, there are many other ways of scamming, without
charging reading fees.
Also, in many other professions, and some higher education institutions, application fees are charged, with no guarantee that
the applicant will be successful; so why not in the writing profession?
Yes, there is always the risk of unprofessional conduct, or out-and-out fraud, by unscrupulous literary agents, but so there
is in all other business ventures, and the Honest Joe literary agent, will have more time, because he or she is being paid
for their time, to read, and target the right publisher for his or her client.
Apart from the few aberrations that are inevitable, reading fees can only be good, for both literary agent and writer, and
the writing profession in general.
Q: I am enjoying The Erotic Adventures Of A
Young Girl - it's a bomb! It's easy to understand why the authorities in India are shaken up about it - can you say a little more about
A: Dion started writing at the age of fourteen,
inspired by American author Henry Miller and the diaries of his lover, French writer Anais Nin, and she is regarded,
in literary circles, as a child prodigy. She attracted literary, religious and political, attention in Kathmandu, Nepal, and Mumbai, with her outspoken,
and often scandulous, views, on politics, literature, and sex. She is l'enfant terrible of literature, and highly respected, as an original independant
thinker, and writer, by other avant guard writers in Asia.
However that is unlikely to appease lawmakers in India. In 1964, Mumbai bookseller Ranjit Udeshi
was prosecuted for selling an unexpurgated copy of D H Lawrence’s Lady Chatterley’s Lover. In 1985, Bengali author Samaresh Bose
was charged with obscenity, for his novel Prajapati, but, successfully defended the case.
India's Obscenity Laws, Section 292, 1969, says 'A book,
pamphlet, paper, writing ... shall be deemed obscene if it is lascivious ...' Presumably, a 14 year old girl having a sexual relationship with a 70 yer old
man, is, in itself, enough to condemn her.
We will contine to support her by publishing chapters of The Erotic Adventures Of A Young Girl
as, and when, she writes them, and strive to uphold the principle of freedom of expression, and creativity.