1. kmfollia
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    kmfollia New Member

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    Hello & ? About Hiring a Professional Editor

    Discussion in 'Publishing' started by kmfollia, Sep 4, 2010.

    Hi everyone:

    I'm new to these forums and am looking for a little feedback on a dilemma I'm facing. I've been an aspiring novelist for many years and have two completed young adult fantasy manuscripts which I've been shopping to agents.

    My second book is the more marketable idea, and I found an agent who was thrilled by the sample chapters and requested my full manuscript. Finally got her response today and it goes like this: "loved the first half, things fall apart towards the middle, but I think this novel has a lot of potential." Long story short, she's suggesting I hire a professional editor to review my manuscript so that I can revise based on those recommendations and resubmit to the agent.

    This agent (I believe) is reputable and from the Writer's Market. I can understand why this particular manuscript might need work, but it would be at my expense (roughly $1,000). I guess the agency doesn't feel quite strongly enough about me or my work to invest in that money themselves, and as an unpublished novelist, I'm inclined to think that's reasonable.

    Are there any agents, publishers, or published authors out there who have encountered a situation like this? Is it fairly typical to suggest to an aspiring author to hire thier own editor at thier own expense in the hopes that the resulting revision will be something the agent feels confident in representing? On the one hand I'm happy to get professional feedback and I'm sure my book will improve from that feedback. I also feel like $1000 is worth the expense if it means eventually getting published. But on the other hand there's an element of risk that makes me apprehensive.

    Any thoughts, suggestions, or observations would be appreciated. Thanks!

    -Kevin
     
  2. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    First of all, did you query any other agents? If so, what were their responses? You should really keep on looking at other agents. If there is a general consensus that the middle is weak, then I would suggest revising it yourself.

    To answer your post more specifically, I wouldn't recommend hiring an editor. It seems from your post like you have grammar, punctuation, etc. covered. I'm suspecting that the agent is disappointed in the story rather than in the writing itself. If that is true, an editor is not going to help much. But you should keep on looking for other agents and see what they have to say.
     
  3. Banzai
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    Banzai One-time Mod, but on the road to recovery Contributor

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    I also wouldn't suggest hiring an editor. I agree about your grammar and general standard of writing being fine, and editing is part of being a writer, you should be able to edit your own work without needing to hire someone.
     
  4. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Don't throw awya money on an editor. You'll likely end up shelling up hundreds for a manuscript that still gets rejected. Most manuscripts, even if "clean" of mistakes and the obvious writing sins, still end up in the cirular file.

    And as Banzai said, every writer needs to be able to generate and proofread his or her own high quality manuscript.

    There are no shortcuts.
     
  5. madhoca
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    madhoca Contributing Member Contributor

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    Sorry if I sound cynical, but is the editor being recommended by the agent? In other words, is the money maybe going to or friend of theirs, or even to them in another guise?

    Don't get an editor, revise it yourself.
     
  6. kmfollia
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    kmfollia New Member

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    Right, that's one of the things that concerns me. They are suggesting a specific person to help me with my manuscript that they work with.

    On top of that, however, they say the editor will provide "a comprehensive overview of around 6/7 pages in length pointing out in detail the strengths and weaknesses of your novel, and will comment extensively on characterization, plotline, dialogue, and pacing." So I don't think it's a grammer and mechanics markup that I'd be throwing money away on.

    Also I do have a few other agents who I haven't heard back from considering my story. But for some of them it's been a several months since I've heard from them. None of them have my full manuscript, only sample chapters and a synopsis/query.

    Thank you everyone for your feedback.
     
  7. madhoca
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    madhoca Contributing Member Contributor

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    I'm afraid that this really sounds as if the editor and agent are either one and the same person, or the agent will earn a percentage of the editor's fee. And after you have paid this money, there is still no guarantee that the agent will represent you, or that you will get published. Don't trust them, imo.
     
  8. Speedy
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    Speedy Contributing Member Contributor

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    i have a question (to bounce of this).

    Are you aloud to send off copies of your MS to say Libraries for certain groups of people to read and help the editing progress? (esp SPaG) Or would this then hurt you're chances of than sending of your story to Agents/Publishers?

    If it was a hard copy which you could get back afterwards i would think it's okay, but I'm noy certain?

    A lot of my local libraries do this (Free and from people that i would respect more than family and friends), and are interested. And i thought it was a nice idea.

    No way would i pay for an editor.
     
  9. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    This is a well-known scam by certain less than reputable agents.

    Reputable agents do not charge up-front fees. This is a means by which they scam unsuspecting new authors out of money.
     
  10. Lmc71775
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    Lmc71775 Active Member

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    Yeah, I've been reading this thread and Kevin, I believe it's a scam too. Be careful with this. A 1000 dollars is a whole lotta money that in this day and age no one can afford to lose.

    Like I suggested to you in a PM, I would keep looking for free feedback on your entire manuscript.
     
  11. Mallory
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    Mallory Mallegory. Contributor

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    PM it to me, I'll be happy to review it if you want to send it to me via email.
     
  12. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    it's a scam, pure and simple!

    what's the name of the fake 'agent'?...

    they should be reported to p&e [ http://www.invirtuo.cc/prededitors/ ] ... which is where you should always go first, to check out the legitimacy of any agent/publisher...

    fyi, all who advertise in writer's market are not necessarily legit... wd doesn't vet their advertisers, just takes their money... and the scammers often run the biggest ads...

    i mentor writers of all breeds, so if you want a free assessment of your work, just drop me a line any time...

    love and hugs, maia
     
  13. Lmc71775
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    Lmc71775 Active Member

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    Gotta love that Mammamaia, she helped me on one of my children's short stories and it got published in a paying magazine, thanks again Maia!

    Yes, and look on Predators and Editors too, that site is great. And if you see them listed, ask them why are you on there...see what they come back with. Remember YOU are the author, YOU decide what happens to your manuscript, not these bozos that want your hard earned money.

    Okay enough said. Listen to these fine people here, they are of great value.
     
  14. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    'twas my pleasure, lmc!... i'm happy that it helped...

    i have to disagree a bit here, though... do this and you'll only get a litany of lies from anyone who's landed on dave's bad side... he doesn't give out a 'not recommended' without being sure the listee is to be avoided for ample good reason... why waste time and energy giving scam artists a chance to scam you?
     
  15. kmfollia
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    kmfollia New Member

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    Thanks again, everyone. It's Langtons International Agency and they ARE on P&E as "not recommended". I've been doing a little researching and I have come across a few authors who have been represented without having thier MS edited, or some folks who were flat out rejected. So at the very least they don't ALWAYS pull this. Trying to get in touch with authors currently represented by them to see if I can get to the bottom of it all, but it's true that there are much cheaper ways to revise a book.

    I'm thinking I'm going to come back at them with a request for more specifics about the problems they had and see if they are willing to talk over the phone about why they recommend I pay for my own editor.
     

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