Literary Agent from Hell

I mentioned before how my forage into foreign publishing markets ended up in me being swindled and robbed.

To recap: a Polish literary Agent Iza Garztecka sold my novel to a Polish publishing house, took the money and vanished. True agent from Hell. Quite fittingly the name of the agency was HELfa.

Turns out I was not the only sucker: literary agents and authors lost advance fees to this thief.

So much for the so called reputable and long established agents - Garztecka took over after her father who was an agent, dealing mostly with the music world. Now Garztecka's son is starting his own literary agency...

Let this be a warning to all authors and agents who seek representation in lands with poorly defined laws, and where no professional organizations (such as AAR) exist. Keep it in mind before using my literary agent listing - verify every agent's track record before signing on.

1 comment:

  1. Robert Golebiewski12 February 2008 at 15:02

    My experience with Ms. Garztecka and HELFA was of quite different nature but one might also describe it as robbery.
    I approached her to use her services of literary agent. I was interested in publishing Sven Hessel's books in Poland. I gave her all details, explained my plans and attitude. I also defined target market. Simply gave her everything I thought agent would need to understand my approach to this business.
    As time passed I was lured with problems with getting to Hessel and so on. Generally - problems.
    I was shocked seeing Sven Hassel's book published with translator's name..... Garztecki. There were no problems for HELFA when her son or foather was involved having a hot pie ready baked.
    I did not dwell on this. It was my last experience with this lady. My problem due to her is that I lost trust to any agent. There is a great interest conflict and in business one need to respect high ethic level to stay in it.
    P.S. It happened a few years ago. Now since I have decided to write my own stories I decided to publish them. As I also run my quite profitable technical translation business and printing house, I decided to publish it myself. Only because I lost trust in these people.