Report: #948039

Complaint Review: Martin Literary Management

  • Submitted: Fri, September 28, 2012
  • Updated: Wed, October 17, 2012
  • Reported By: Shaun — Port Charlotte Florida United States of America
  • Martin Literary Management
    7683 SE 27th Street #307
    United States of America

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For the past six years I have been writing a memoir about my life during the Seventies. I secretly produced over 120 XXX Feature Length Motion Pictures between 1968 and 1983. They were all Mafia funded. I have over five million Goggle hits, and a wordwide fan base. I have been writing this book for six years. In late 2011 I was contacted by Andrew Wetzel, a literary Agent working for Martin Literary Mangement. Andrew was very familiar with my films and was fascinated by my story. He asked to represent me. After some negotiation, I agreed, signed a contract with Martin Literary Management, and began working with Andrew to refine to proposal. By the late Spring of 2012, the first batch of submissions to publishers began. Andrew's plan was to submit through the early summer, and then wait for reactions from publishers. If there were no offers, then the second batch of submissions would begin after Labot Day, when the publishing industry returned from summer vacation. I enjoyed working with Andrew. He was knowledgeable about me, and the films I made back then, and we got along well.

Before the first batch of submissions went out, Andrew inexplicably became unreasonable. He suddenly announced that he was terminating my contract, There had been some miscommunication over word prosessor software, and he became erratic. I was able to talk him down, and we continued. So much work had been done on the proposal that I couldn't imagine starting over with another agent, so I swallowed my pride, and we continued working together. In mid August, after the project had been rejected by the first batch of publishers, Andrew had his second meltdown. I had received an e-mail from him telling me about his plan for the post Labor Day submissions. For a first time author, it can sometinmes take years to find a publisher willing to take the project on. After another miscommunication, I got another wild, email from Andrew, telling me he was terminating my contract because I had insulted him. I was bewildered, and once again I talked him down, and we continued. About a week later. I receiver a long, detailed email from Andrew, telling me that he was terminating my contract, and leaving the agency for an unspecified period of time. When I responded to his email, my reply came back auto-rejected. Mystified, I contacted Sharlene Martin, the owner of the company. She told me that Andrew was taking a leave of absence, and my contract had been terminated. I was horrified. I was also screwed. Because this project had already gone through its initial submissions with Martin Literary Management, no other literary agent would touch the project.
I have spent six years of my life working on this project, and because of my agent's inexplicable emotional upheaval, and the callous, cavalier attitude of the agency's owner, my book might never be published. Six years of my life that I'll never get back, and the revenues from book sales that now might never happen, possibly lost forever. When I reminded Sharlene Martin, by email, that our contract indicates that disputes must be settled through arbitration, she immediately replied that was not the case, and she said she hoped I would not attempt to do that. In between the two emails, she obviously read the contract.

Because of the unprofessional behavior of Andrew Wetzel and Sharlene Martin, six years of work, and the possibility of publishing this book might be lost forever. I am considering litigation, but I don't know where to begin. I have not erased a single email from Wetzel and Martin. I would like to litigate against Martin Literary Management, but I don't know where to begin.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 09/28/2012 01:53 PM and is a permanent record located here: The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year. Ripoff Report has an exclusive license to this report. It may not be copied without the written permission of Ripoff Report. READ: Foreign websites steal our content

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#1 Author of original report


AUTHOR: Shaun - (United States of America)

Sharlene Martin, owner of Martin Literary management, a literary agency to which, until recently I was under contract, once again attempts to cover up her agency's negligence and dereliction of responsibilities with my manuscript. Ms Martin falsely asserts that three submissions were made to publishers, perhaps because the submissions were made on three different days. I have emails from Mr Wetzel, a literary agent in the employ of Martin Literary Management, who made these submissions, suggesting that each day of submission was a part of the first wave of submissions, made with the objective of finding a publisher for the manuscript.
This nonsense about my having published the contents of the manuscript on the internet in 2005 continues. Of course, the manuscript did not exist in 2005, but to expect the truth from Ms Martin seems to be a stretch. She now claims that I answered questions on, which is absolutely true - answers to questions asked before I ever began to write the story.
Ms Martin knows that litigation is on the horizon, and all the lies and misinformation she spreads does not for a moment cover up the simple fact of her agency's dereliction of responsibility in the handling of my manuscript.
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#2 REBUTTAL Owner of company

FINAL RESPONSE to Mr. Shaun Costello

AUTHOR: Martin Literary Management - (United States of America)

This will be my last response to Mr. Costello.  I have no interest in debating this any further.  Mr. Costello's work was passed on by the following publishers (out of respect for privacy of the editors submitted so they too are not harrassed I am not listing their names but rather just the companies they work for).  A total of three rounds of submissions were done.

MARCH, 2012

William Morrow/Harper Collins

It Books/Harper Collins

Thomas Dunne/St. Martin's

Gotham /Penguin Putnam

Crown Archetype/Random House

Gallery Books/Simon and Schuster


Soft Skull

Weinstein Books


Grove Atlantic



APRIL, 2012

Hyperion -

Touchstone/Simon and Schuster

MAY, 2012


WW Norton 


 A total of submissions to 18 publishers--ALL PASSED. 

Most of the basis of the book and some of the most memorable anecodotes were first revealed when he came out of retirement to answer questions on a DVD forum in 2005 at .

Mr. Costello's position in the porn film world clearly is not of interest to publishers despite Mr. Wetzel's willingness to work for over six months trying to effect a sale for him.

Solution:  self publish your book like thousands of other people do.  We did our best on his behalf.  End of discussion.

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#3 Author of original report


AUTHOR: Shaun - (United States of America)

Sharlene Martin, the owner of Martin Literary Management, a literary agency to which I was until recently under contract, has responded to my grievances against her agency, with comtemptible misrepresentations and lies. Either she is attempting to put her finger in the d**e, in a futile effort to besmirch my position to adversely effect litigation that she surely knows is coming, or she is simply delusional.

 Her suggestion that parts of the manuscript, written by me, and until recently represented by her agency, were published on-line in 2005 is not only absolutely false, but ludicrous. The basis for the story, which has never been published on-line, was that in 2005 certain facts became known about my now-infamous connection to the adult film business, facts that would become the source for the story that was to evolve into the manuscript in question. In other words, until 2005, the connection of my name to the adult film industry was still a well kept secret. 

 Ms. Martin suggests that several rounds of submissions had been made by Andrew Wetzel, a literary agent in the employ of Martin Literary Management, who represented this book proposal, is also absolutely false. Mr Wetzel made one round of initial submissions to publishers in the Spring of 2012, to be followed if necessary, by the second round of submissions after Labor Day, when Publishing traditionally returns from Summer holiday. The second round of submissions never occured, due to Mr Wetzel's inexplicable absence, leaving my book project in limbo, where it remains, tragically unmaketable, due to the unprofessional behavior of Ms Martin and Mr Wetzel, and their dereliction of resposibilities in the marketing of this manuscript.

 Ms Martin further asserts that my behavior was erratic and confrontational toward Mr Wetzel. My answer to these preposterous and self-serving accusations is that, since Wr Wetzel, for some reason known only to himself, refused to speak over the telephone, that the entire communication between myself and Mr Wetzel, regarding Martin Literary Management's handling of this project was done by email. I have not erased a single email communication between myself and Mr Wetzel, and this body of communication, in its entirety, will be presented in arbitration between myself and Martin Literary Management, at the appropriate time. I would further suggest that Ms Martin's accusatory language in describing my honesty, integrity and behavior will not bode well for her position during legal proceedings.
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#4 REBUTTAL Owner of company

Right of Literary Agency to Terminate Representation

AUTHOR: Martin Literary Management - (United States of America)

As the President of Martin Literary Management, I am responding to this complaint from Mr. Shaun Costello.

Mr. Costello was offered literary representation by my agent, Andrew Wetzel, who has for personal reasons, taken a leave of absence from his agency work for an extended period of time.  Despite the fact that much of Mr. Costello's autobiographical vignettes were previously published online in 2005, Andrew offered representation thinking his "unmasking" would make a great memoir.  Shaun accepted despite the fact he had been represented by previous literary agents so he knew the risks and the odds of getting a publisher.

Andrew did several rounds of submissions of Mr. Costello's work and all were met with rejection despite revisions and editing of the work as a team.  Writing is highly subjective and although Andrew felt his time and effort was worth the gamble, publishers did not feel that way unfortunately.

The representation was terminated because of two reasons:  Mr. Costello's work was not being positively received in the mainstream publishing marketplace AND Andrew was taking an LOA from Martin Literary to deal with personal issues that would not allow him to continue representation of those clients he had signed.

Months of work had gone into helping Mr. Costello prepare his materials for submissions.  Andrew never received a penny for his time.  Mr.Costello's behavior was erratic and confrontational and although we would have loved to broker a book deal for him, it was not to be.  It is fair and reasonable for a literary agent to terminate an agreement when reasonable submissions have been made and unlilaterally passed on.

Mr. Costello's proposal had a fair shot in the marketplace but did not succeed. His contract states that either party may terminate the contract at any time. It does not allow for arbitration in this instance. He has not spent a single penny on our services, nor have we made a single penny from our agreement. 

His post on this website is just an attempt to stir up controversy and denigrate the name of an agency that championed his work in spite of his erratic behavior. I'm disappointed that it has resulted in this but I am not surprised.

For those of you who doubt the reputation of Martin Literary Management, I invite you to read the unsolicted testimonials from our clients over the past ten years at

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