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mughal
September 1st, 2010, 05:11 PM
has anyone submitted their work for editing by a professional service? They charge typically between $1500 to $2000, is it worth it? Any advice? please help.

Olly Buckle
September 1st, 2010, 09:25 PM
There are threads on revising and editing in writing discussions which might help you take things some way forward on your own.

The Backward OX
September 1st, 2010, 11:47 PM
If the experience of an acquaintance is anything to go by, they are a complete waste of money. I saw for myself the work done on his MS by a manuscript editor, and in my opinion he was robbed.

mgencleyn
September 8th, 2010, 05:25 AM
My understanding is that if a publisher wants your work, they'll usually send it to their own editors. You do want to actually make some money from your work, don't you?

lovetowrite
September 8th, 2010, 01:21 PM
Why can't someone edit their own work?

It's much cheaper. Time consuming yes, but cheaper.

Monkeyshine
September 12th, 2010, 06:38 AM
I can't edit my own work because I know enough to know that there's quite a few things I don't know. Tense is my first and (to me) most obvious shortcoming. Past vs. past perfect, primarily. Also, I feel like the only piece of work I've done so far has some obviously unpolished parts to it. $1500 to $2000? Lord, that's a lot of money.

I'd love to have someone from the site edit my story. It's 13,400 words, so it's far too long to post in the fiction thread. I'd pay, of course, but $1500 is way out of reach for a poor domestic like me. Or is it, "like myself"? See...perfect example.

Anyway, if someone with some editing experience and a little free time would be willing to get underpaid (but paid nonetheless) to critique a stranger's first ever piece of writing, let me know.

I realize that it's a give and take thing here, the editing of each others' works, and I'll start by reading and commenting for my first time tonight. I must admit that I feel a little weird, though, like I'll be speaking to things that I'm unqualified to comment on, but I certainly don't want to be "that guy" who hits the ground with his hand out and doesn't put out to the community.

If this post makes me seem a little pretentious (if that's even the word I'm looking for), I apologize. I'm very new to all this, and I'm freakin' tired of sitting on this piece of work, scared to submit it anywhere for fear of looking like an uneducated doofus.

The Backward OX
September 12th, 2010, 09:36 AM
I can't edit my own work because I know enough to know that there's quite a few things I don't know. Tense is my first and (to me) most obvious shortcoming. Past vs. past perfect, primarily. Also, I feel like the only piece of work I've done so far has some obviously unpolished parts to it. $1500 to $2000? Lord, that's a lot of money.

I'd love to have someone from the site edit my story. It's 13,400 words, so it's far too long to post in the fiction thread. I'd pay, of course, but $1500 is way out of reach for a poor domestic like me. Or is it, "like myself"? See...perfect example.

Anyway, if someone with some editing experience and a little free time would be willing to get underpaid (but paid nonetheless) to critique a stranger's first ever piece of writing, let me know.

I realize that it's a give and take thing here, the editing of each others' works, and I'll start by reading and commenting for my first time tonight. I must admit that I feel a little weird, though, like I'll be speaking to things that I'm unqualified to comment on, but I certainly don't want to be "that guy" who hits the ground with his hand out and doesn't put out to the community.

If this post makes me seem a little pretentious (if that's even the word I'm looking for), I apologize. I'm very new to all this, and I'm freakin' tired of sitting on this piece of work, scared to submit it anywhere for fear of looking like an uneducated doofus.

I've sent you a PM (Private Message) about this.

Drop of Ink
October 9th, 2010, 07:05 AM
If the experience of an acquaintance is anything to go by, they are a complete waste of money. I saw for myself the work done on his MS by a manuscript editor, and in my opinion he was robbed.

Well, I know I'm somewhat biased given that I'm a freelance editor:P, therefore my opinion may be ignored here. But I'll share anyway and maybe some will find it useful. What I found in my experience was that the manuscripts of authors who contacted me for editing services most definitely did require professional editing. We're talking numerous misspellings, blatant grammar errors, unclear and confusing phrasing, typos, and so on. Now, I'm not intimately familiar with the publishing process, in the sense of how much editing they are willing to do and what they will accept in a submitted manuscript, but personally, as a publisher I'd toss this type of manuscript if it hadn't been edited. It's unprofessional and casts a negative light on the author, regardless of how good the story.

Now, that is of course not to say that every author needs an editing service. However, as an author you want to make sure to objectively assess your writing skills and areas of weakness, and go from there. If you know you have trouble with a certain grammar aspect, for instance, you may want to pay attention to that. Bottom line is that you can have an amazing story, and it would be a shame if some minor errors kept it from being published - and in saving that $1-2K in editing (could be less depending on the manuscript) you potentially lost out on a possible contract. Think of it like a resume - one spelling error on a great resume could potentially cost you a job you may be perfect for. The competition (for both jobs and publishers) is just too high; errors, even simple typos, say sloppy and unprofessional - hence, not a desirable candidate. I also think being a great author means you may have incredible ideas and style - but does not necessarily mean being a technically perfect writer, so by no means are technical errors a reflection of your talent as an author.
I can write many boring technically correct papers, but couldn't come up with a short story plot to save my life :P.

Anyway, just my two cents :roll:.

Baron
October 9th, 2010, 09:52 AM
Well, I know I'm somewhat biased given that I'm a freelance editor:P, therefore my opinion may be ignored here. But I'll share anyway and maybe some will find it useful. What I found in my experience was that the manuscripts of authors who contacted me for editing services most definitely did require professional editing. We're talking numerous misspellings, blatant grammar errors, unclear and confusing phrasing, typos, and so on. Now, I'm not intimately familiar with the publishing process, in the sense of how much editing they are willing to do and what they will accept in a submitted manuscript, but personally, as a publisher I'd toss this type of manuscript if it hadn't been edited. It's unprofessional and casts a negative light on the author, regardless of how good the story.

Now, that is of course not to say that every author needs an editing service. However, as an author you want to make sure to objectively assess your writing skills and areas of weakness, and go from there. If you know you have trouble with a certain grammar aspect, for instance, you may want to pay attention to that. Bottom line is that you can have an amazing story, and it would be a shame if some minor errors kept it from being published - and in saving that $1-2K in editing (could be less depending on the manuscript) you potentially lost out on a possible contract. Think of it like a resume - one spelling error on a great resume could potentially cost you a job you may be perfect for. The competition (for both jobs and publishers) is just too high; errors, even simple typos, say sloppy and unprofessional - hence, not a desirable candidate. I also think being a great author means you may have incredible ideas and style - but does not necessarily mean being a technically perfect writer, so by no means are technical errors a reflection of your talent as an author.
I can write many boring technically correct papers, but couldn't come up with a short story plot to save my life :P.

Anyway, just my two cents :roll:.

I'd say that if any of the members here require a script editor then there's something seriously wrong with the level of critique being given or with their response to it. There's absolutely no way that I'd suggest a new, unpublished author should shell out 1-2k on their work unless an agent or publisher shows interest and advises them to do so.

Creating an impression in a forum post, when someone is talking from the standpoint of a professed editor, applies even more. Reading a post from someone who doesn't appear to know how to properly break their message into paragraphs, in addition missing the double space in the penultimate paragraph, would not give me confidence in that person's ability to edit any work of mine.

The Backward OX
October 9th, 2010, 10:10 AM
I'd say that if any of the members here require a script editor then there's something seriously wrong with the level of critique being given

Quoted for reference

Baron
October 9th, 2010, 10:36 AM
Quoted for reference

Then quote in full. Partial quotes, taken out of context, just might backfire on you.

Drop of Ink
October 9th, 2010, 08:51 PM
I'd say that if any of the members here require a script editor then there's something seriously wrong with the level of critique being given or with their response to it. There's absolutely no way that I'd suggest a new, unpublished author should shell out 1-2k on their work unless an agent or publisher shows interest and advises them to do so.

Creating an impression in a forum post, when someone is talking from the standpoint of a professed editor, applies even more. Reading a post from someone who doesn't appear to know how to properly break their message into paragraphs, in addition missing the double space in the penultimate paragraph, would not give me confidence in that person's ability to edit any work of mine.
Wow, you guys sure are a tough bunch here 8).

Now, while I understand the post may have come off as promotional, that really wasn't the intention; nor was it intended to give any kind of an 'impression' of my editing skills. It was simply my opinion regarding the topic, based on my professional experience. I didn't find it necessary to add extra length to the post by breaking it up as I would a literary work. To me, a forum post is an approximation of the spoken word more so than the written, and there are a number of practices I allow myself in posting that I would not use in any other written text. Moreover, as you may know, spacing can sometimes differ in the actual post as opposed to the reply text box or quote window; hence, I tend not to obsess over it when typing up a quick response, particularly while also trying to keep my 9 month old from bashing the keyboard :-).

Now, as to my advice, I will just point out that nowhere did I state that any author on this board requires a professional editing service. I obviously have no way of knowing that, and haven't been on the board long enough to know the level of the authors and the critique. For all I know, no author here has made a spelling error in his or her lifetime. I also in no way implied that I'm offering my own services or that my services are the right choice for any writer here. That is up to my potential clients to decide in contacting me. As you can see, my post does not reference my personal information in any way.

All I intended to do was share my opinion and my experience with some manuscripts that were in definite need of pro editing. That clearly does not suggest that this is the case for any author here, but simply that there are authors who may benefit from an editing service and that it may be helpful to objectively assess your work and weigh the costs and the benefits. Finally, this is nothing but an opinion - no one is being forced to take it for any more than it's worth.

People are quick to judge and be overly critical when you refer to yourself as a professional in any area. Had I written the exact same post referring to the experience of a friend who is an editor, it would probably have been much better received. Instead, I opted to be open about what I do and used my own work to base my opinion on. In no way was the post intended to be an indication of my ability to edit anyone's work O:).

Baron
October 9th, 2010, 09:45 PM
Tough?

This isn't just about self promotion. You're free to put a link to your site in your signature. If you read the guidelines then you'll see we have no objection to this.

I have no desire to question your integrity but I'm sure you are aware that novice writers, eager to get published, are prey to all kinds of internet sharks. How would you deal with it if someone sent a manuscript to you for editing and you knew it didn't have a snowball's chance in Hell of getting published? Would you still take the money?

When questioned about agents and publishers the advice generally offered is that those who want any payment should be avoided. If you check out the site Preditors and Editors (their spelling not mine) you'll see just how many people there are on the internet who are eager to take cash from writers desperate to get published.

The bottom line is that no professional editor is going to turn a bad book into a best-seller. If any had that ability they'd be writing best-sellers for themselves. I would still strongly advise any inexperienced writer not to lay out the kind of money you mention unless they first had definite interest from a recognised agent or publisher and were advised by them to do so.

Drop of Ink
October 10th, 2010, 01:54 AM
Tough?

This isn't just about self promotion. You're free to put a link to your site in your signature. If you read the guidelines then you'll see we have no objection to this.

I have no desire to question your integrity but I'm sure you are aware that novice writers, eager to get published, are prey to all kinds of internet sharks. How would you deal with it if someone sent a manuscript to you for editing and you knew it didn't have a snowball's chance in Hell of getting published? Would you still take the money?

When questioned about agents and publishers the advice generally offered is that those who want any payment should be avoided. If you check out the site Preditors and Editors (their spelling not mine) you'll see just how many people there are on the internet who are eager to take cash from writers desperate to get published.
I'm not disagreeing with your advice at all. I'm sure you know the publishing industry better than I do. As I said, I have no idea whether a publisher will be glad to accept a good manuscript regardless of mistakes in the text and edit it themselves. I don't even believe that there is a definite answer to that, since it likely depends largely on the publisher and a whole number of other factors. I assume, however, that a good story that's technically badly written does stand the chance of being passed over for that reason. Again, as with a resume, an employer may choose to ignore a few misspellings on a good candidate's resume - or they may not.

I guess I should have also made clearer that what I do consists mainly of copyediting - proofreading, polishing up phrasing and vocab, pointing out inconsistencies, etc. I don't deal with the subject matter and will offer my opinion on it only if asked to. Otherwise, I work with the text only, independently of any publishing or other potential. So would I take the money for a manuscript I don't think will get published? Yes, if I had spent my time doing the work that I was requested to do, which is editing, improving, and polishing up the text. In fact, in several of the cases I worked on, I had absolutely no idea what the author was planning to do with the work, whether he was submitting it to publishers, had been requested to edit it by a publisher, or anything else. The authors didn't inform me of that - they simply asked to get it edited. In one case, the author just wanted to write a book as a memoir to share with her children, and was not even trying to get it published. Therefore, I don't make it my business to judge publishing potential unless explicitly asked. I also can't take it upon myself to speak for all publishers in the world that the script doesn't stand a chance - who am I to say? How many publishers rejected Harry Potter before one accepted? And again, a manuscript that has technical writing mistakes that could easily be fixed doesn't mean it has no publishing potential, and vice versa.



The bottom line is that no professional editor is going to turn a bad book into a best-seller. If any had that ability they'd be writing best-sellers for themselves. I would still strongly advise any inexperienced writer not to lay out the kind of money you mention unless they first had definite interest from a recognised agent or publisher and were advised by them to do so.You're making some faulty assumptions here. One, as I said above, professional editing is not a guarantee of anything, it is simply an elimination of another factor that could potentially play against you, and I personally make no promises of turning any book, good or bad, into a bestseller. No editor can or should promise this, and those that do definitely should be avoided. Two, there is no correlation between the ability to edit and creative writing talent. You can easily have one without the other, and a good editor does not automatically mean a good author. And three, for some cases there is the chance that without shelling out that money, they may never get that interest from a publisher simply because there are too many distracting errors to wade through that are concealing a good storyline. Not very likely, maybe, but definitely possible.

Bigfella
November 1st, 2010, 11:08 PM
This is a favourite of mine.

As someone who has always had a problem with spelling and grammar ( As I'm sure you will find out.) I always thought it a barrier to success. No way. If your story is good enough, then the publishers aren't going to care about either of these issues. It's what THEY hire editors to do! Keep your cash in your pocket.

Baron
November 1st, 2010, 11:10 PM
This is a favourite of mine.

As someone who has always had a problem with spelling and grammar ( As I'm sure you will find out.) I always thought it a barrier to success. No way. If your story is good enough, then the publishers aren't going to care about either of these issues. It's what THEY hire editors to do! Keep your cash in your pocket.
^^
This.

Bigfella
November 1st, 2010, 11:13 PM
Thank you Captain!

alanmt
May 11th, 2011, 09:11 PM
It is not necessary to have a developmental edit to obtain an agent or get a publishing contract. Under certain circumstances, it can help. If you want an extra polishing to increase your chances a little bit, you might consider it.

But:

1. This is an area where scamming is endemic and unqualified people overcharge and take advantage of those eager to be traditionally published. If you want to do it, get a reputable developmental editor, with a resume of publishing experience. Go with someone recognized as non-scamming, by being listed in Jeff Herman, or something similar.

2. Recognize that if making money is your writing goal, this choice is more likely to bear negative than positive fruit. A decent one will charge $1,500 or more, should know your genre, and should give a lot of service for the money. But given the odds of being published, this money should not be spent unless you are willing to write it off, and don't need to divert it from necessities.

3. There is no way to measure, let alone guarantee, whether a dev. edit will make your book more marketable.

Minsc
May 28th, 2011, 08:31 PM
I wouldn't pay that much for an editing service but then again I couldn't.