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Agent - What to do?

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Agent - What to do?

Postby DryJack » Tue Dec 07, 2010 10:09 am

Hi. I recieved an email today from a German agent named Uwe Luserke. He explained that he has seen my artwork here and is interested in working with me. Has anyone recieved a similar mail, or does anyone work with Mr Luserke and have any advice? Is this mail legitimate? I have no experience in this area and am not sure how to proceed so any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks
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Postby shadowgirl » Tue Dec 07, 2010 10:34 am

copy/paste the email to here? There's a few that go around that are bad.
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Postby DryJack » Tue Dec 07, 2010 10:37 am

Hi. Thanks very much for your reply. This is the email I recieved

Dear Paul Harper,
Just discovered your artwork on Epilogue and was quite impressed. You are a highly professional artist! Now
I am an agent, representing artists and writers here in Germany and all over Europe. Among my art clients you will find people like Todd Lockwood, the Hildebrandt brothers, Dan Dos Santos, Chris McGrath, Kelly Freas, Michel Bohbot, some very good artists from Eastern Europe (Vladimir Bondar!) etc. And I am always looking for other really good book cover artists. Naturally, I could only offer illustrations for which YOU own the copyrights (not like the games publishers who buy world rights). Still, there may be a lot?

Here in Germany there is my main market, of course. Most publishers here buy already finished artwork from abroad - it 's cheaper than giving out original assignments. (The bigger paperback publishers pay 3-400 Euros for a cover, smaller publishers partly much less.) But for work which you have already done - every cover sold would be a nice addition to your income ...
By the way, I am also selling to the Czech Republic, and other countries ...

Here we work like this: I send around low resolution files of artwork. If a publisher wants to buy a cover, I tell the artist to send me a high-res. file for printing, which I send to the publisher along with the invoice. In some cases, very, very big publishers only reserve covers for possible use and need the hi-res files for doing dummies, which they show to their salesmen first, and these decide then.
Anyway, working like this functions and the publishers are serious and dependable.

Oh yes, I will attach a blank copy of my agreement,

Well, your artwork is beautiful, and if you want to work with me, I will start at once. Will you?

All the best - Uwe
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Postby shadowgirl » Tue Dec 07, 2010 10:56 am

hmm.. never seen that one before.

though I can say Lockwood is American, not European (he's from Colorado).

See if the guy has a website? or contact the artists on his list there and ask them if they've heard of the guy (most artists will answer you if you ask if they know of \"so and so, claiming to be an agent of yours\")
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Postby Saiklor » Tue Dec 07, 2010 11:20 am

that guy has the name of a real agent, I did google him and found a wikipedia article about him, so the people may confirm his name but it may still be a sham. Asking them for contact info could be tricky too, because they may be unwilling to give it. tricky situation. clever online person....

ask him for a phone number and/or a physical address to compare to whatever the german better business bureau is? or go the other way, ask him what book covers SPECIFICALLY he's helped to bring about and then contact the publishers (or the artists listed on those books for the covers) and ask THEM for contact information?

I'm cynical. I don't trust it.

A way that we can figure out fairly easily whether or not this has the remotest possibility of being true would be to look at your art and make a vast statement about whether or not you are anywhere near 'up to snuff.' I know whenever I get contacted that it's a sham because my art is simply not that good (It's good, and I like it, but it's not PROFESSIONAL). You don't have any links provided to your own homepage, but perhaps by seeing your art we could ascertain whether or not this has the possibility of being legit?
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Postby DryJack » Tue Dec 07, 2010 12:00 pm

Hi. Thanks for the replies. I also like the art I'm producing but I believe it pales in comparison to much of the work that appears on this site. My galleries are here
http://www.epilogue.net/cgi/database/ar ... 133&genre=

I find it strange that someone would single out my work for any special attention as it is also not particularly \"professional\". I do digital work as a hobby because I enjoy it.

The following attachment was also included with the mail

AGREEMENT

between:

and: Uwe Luserke, Brueckenstr.46b, D,70376 Stuttgart, Germany

1. Representation
... appoints Uwe Luserke as his representative for the purpose of promoting and selling secondary rights to his works in the Federal Republic of Germany and other European countries.

2. Delivery
... shall be responsible for delivery of copies of his artwork for the purpose of viewing and of printing it – either in form of transparencies or scanned on CDs or sent by mail.

3. Rights
Uwe Luserke will offer and sell rights to the works of ... or any works the rights of which are owned by ... only on behalf and for account of ... . All titles and copyrights will be in the name of ... .

4. Commissions
Uwe Luserke shall receive the following sales commissions on all incoming payments: 16 2/3 percent (one sixth).

5. Payments
Payments shall be made any way ... wishes – either by cheque or by bank transfer or Western Union or Moneygram. Uwe Luserke will deduct his commission before sending payment to ... .

6. Amendment and Termination
This agreement may be amended only by written agreement between ... and Uwe Luserke. It shall be effective when signed by both parties and continues in effect until either ... or Uwe Luserke has cancelled it. In case of cancellation Uwe Luserke shall be allowed to finish all negotiations already begun before the termination date.



Signed



________________________________ __________________________________



________________________________ __________________________________
date
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Postby Djinn » Tue Dec 07, 2010 12:08 pm

I agree about contacting some of the artists he mentions. A simple e-mail saying that you have been contacted by him and that he has listed them as his clients, and would they recommend him? should keep you in the clear in case he's legit, and if he is not their agent, then I am sure they will let you know.

When I google the name in both English and German, I come up with plenty of links to what looks like a well-known and reputable German literary agent.

However, the first hit for me was this one, so it looks as if there has been something fishy going on with someone of that name:

http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=103660
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Postby DryJack » Tue Dec 07, 2010 1:43 pm

Wow, that's kind of dodgy. I've contacted a few of the clients in the email. If I hear anything I'll let you know. To be honest, I would normally just forget about all this but if it is a legitimate offer I don't want to pass up an interesting opportunity.
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Postby faerywitch » Tue Dec 07, 2010 2:59 pm

I agree with Djinn, most of the artists he mentions are very frienldy and accessible. Ask them if this agent is safe and if they recognize the email address or any contact info you might have.
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Postby shadowgirl » Tue Dec 07, 2010 3:22 pm

based off of that thread, I'd just jump ship now. Even the RISK of this person having not changed in the last 2 years is enough for me to sniff elsewhere.
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Postby DryJack » Tue Dec 07, 2010 9:25 pm

Hi again. I received really nice replies from Michel Bohbot and Chris Mcgrath. Michel has worked with Mr Luerke for 8 years and Chris for a year. Neither has had any problems to date so I guess I'll contact him tomorrow and see what happens.
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Postby Saiklor » Tue Dec 07, 2010 10:24 pm

but are you sure it's THIS Luerke? Did you confirm his email or other contact info? Are you sure you have contact with the same person that they have and not just another person using the same name?

that's my concern, that he's a fake and that there's a real person out there whose credentials he's playing off of. Make sure it's the same guy.
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Postby DryJack » Wed Dec 08, 2010 7:59 am

Hi. I included the return email address in my mail to Michel and he didn't say it was false. I emailed Mr Luserke today asking for more details. It's possible I'm being foolish but I haven't committed to anything yet. Michel said he was in the studio on Thursday if I wanted a chat so I'll probably speak to him again.
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Postby GoldSeven » Wed Dec 08, 2010 3:23 pm

At the very least, I'd say his English sounds genuinely German (good though!) and what he said about the German cover market is correct as well. And shadowgirl, he said that he was mostly looking for artists outside Germany - it's true that you'll find pretty much unconnected covers by foreign artists on German books.

To me, it looks genuine.
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