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  1. Pennyfights
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    Pennyfights New Member

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    Need Editor

    Discussion in 'Publishing' started by Pennyfights, Dec 10, 2010.

    I am a new author that has just acquired an agent who has suggested/required that I have my book professionally edited. They do not have one to recommend. Does anybody know of a good ( inexpensive) line editor? - not a proof reader.
     
  2. darthjim
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    darthjim Member

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    Er... Your agent recommends you use an Editor, but can't recommend one? Really?

    Wow.

    I'm curious as to why they think you need to fork out for an Editor before they get you signed to a publisher. When you get signed, you publisher will assign you an Editor – and they may well have completely different thoughts on your MSS to the Editor you've just paid for.

    I'd be very wary of forking out for an Editor myself.
     
  3. FrankABlissett
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    FrankABlissett Active Member

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    What do you mean by "acquired an agent"?

    Did you hire someone to be your agent?
    Did you attract an agent who said "it just needs to be polished a bit"?
    Did you solicit an agent who then said "get it edited first, then submit it for us to look at"?

    -Frank
     
  4. Sarah's Mom
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    Sarah's Mom Member

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    I'm confused. EXACTLY what did this person say needed doing before she could submit?
     
  5. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    penny...
    those are all good questions above, that need answers, if we're to help you find what you need...

    i mentor new writers and occasionally will edit their work for them [i do nothing for money, all i do is totally free, no strings attached]... email me and i'll see if i can be of any help with this... who is the agent?...

    love and hugs, maia
    maia3maia@hotmail.com
     
  6. HeinleinFan
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    HeinleinFan Banned

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    Note that many professional freelance editors charge quite a bit per hour, for a thorough line-by-line edit and proofread. (In other words, a mix of reading to catch spelling and grammar errors, plus a larger-view edit to catch continuity issues, scenes that don't forward the story, character inconsistencies and such.) They can charge so much because the people whose work they edit generally don't have the skills needed to do it themselves, or at least feel that this is the case.

    But that means your agent has basically started you off by delaying your career in edits, money spent by you instead of money paid to you, and less time spent writing.

    Given that, plus the fact that the only requirements for being an agent are a business card and stationary, makes me pause. You might be better off sending your manuscript directly to editors, you know, people who can actually buy your work. And in the meantime, write the next project.

    If, in addition to that, you think it's a good idea to pay money for a pro editor to go over your stuff, that's fine and I wish you the best of luck. Just, please, don't stop writing the next project because of edits, and don't put off submitting your work to editors.
     
  7. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    I would not take that agent's words too literally, assuming that was really what he or she was trying to convey.

    Most of the time that an agent tells you you should use a professional editor, they'll have "just the person in mind." In other words, it's a scam.

    But because the agent didn't recommend someone or offer an editing service for a fee, you are probably lucky enough to have avoided one of these con artists. So probably the message was that your manuscript was full of grammar errors or poorly constructed prose. The solution is not to hire someone to do it for you. It's financial investment you are not likely to recover, because even good editing is not even close to a guarantee that your manuscript will sell.

    The solution is to learn to be your own best editor. It is not something you can just hand off to someone else. Even a good editor may not mesh well with your personal style of writing, and in trying to serve you best, may inadvertently remove a lot of what makes your writing special along with the real flubs.
     
  8. Pennyfights
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    Pennyfights New Member

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    In need of editor

    Whoa Nellie!

    Why is everybody so hostile? The agent is a legitimate NYC agent with a track record,,,They love the book, ( It's a kiss and tell, true story) but want it professionally edited before they submit. They don't edit and want the book to be the best it can be before they work with it...and yes the publishers have their own editors but first you have to get the publisher to want to publish you. To do that you need to be your best.
    I have communicated with another author who had her first work edited professionally before she submitted - she is now published and not by a small press either.

    Thanks anyway.
     
  9. FrankABlissett
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    FrankABlissett Active Member

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    Penny,

    Sorry if anyone came across as hostile. I didn't really read that in any of the posts, however. Mostly, there was confusion over what, exactly, your situation was.

    Mammamaia may be an especially good help to you, imho. Go ahead and send her eMail - obviously she's got a life of her own, but she's also very giving of her time and experience to new writers.

    She and Cogito have seem many, many young writers spend time and money spinning their wheels. Their goal is, simply, to help you accomplish your goals as a writer.

    That said, noone knows your situation like you do, so take or leave our advice - but trust that it's given in good faith.

    -Frank
     
  10. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    how was i hostile?

    is it hostile to offer to consider doing what you need for free?

    frank...
    thanks for the kind words... btw, i really don't have 'a life of [my] own'... my life has been totally devoted to just 'being useful' for the past 15 years and will remain so as long as i'm able [which, at 72, may not be a whole lot longer, if i'm lucky ;-) ]...

    hugs, m
     
  11. HeinleinFan
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    HeinleinFan Banned

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    Pennyfights,

    My concern stems from the horror stories I've heard on professional writers' blogs. Ones about starry-eyed writers doling out thousands of dollars to get editing help but never getting something their agent thought "good enough" to send out. Ones about discouraged authors focusing so hard on their finished manuscript that they don't remember to write the next project. Ones about authors just not realizing that an agent can't buy the work; only an editor can -- and if your agent thinks a light edit is all that's needed, well, why not just send the thing to an editor and see what they think?

    You aren't the only one who has gotten this message from your agent. And you aren't the only one to get all defensive when other writers point out that this hasn't actually won you much, if you're looking to spend money to have a stranger point out flaws in your work.

    But I do hope you're one of the few who, once in this situation, manage to navigate your way out of it without getting burned.
     
  12. TheDave
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    TheDave Member

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    Far from being hostile, these comments seem entirely appropriate and are designed to alert you (and everyone) to the kind of shenanigans that can take place.
     
  13. popsicledeath
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    popsicledeath Banned

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    After this additional information, I think the situation is even more dire than before.

    You shouldn't have to be passionately defending your agent. A legitimate NYC agent should know editors to the point of having ones on the other end of a bat-phone.

    And there are plenty of perfectly legitimate lawyers chasing ambulances, or doctors recommending unnecessary, expensive tests and scans. Just because your agent is legit, doesn't mean they're very good or connected in the biz.

    Exactly, you need your best to get picked up by a major publishing house. Meaning, your work either isn't good enough and the agent should have a better perspective on the potential market, or the work has enough potential the agency would be willing to take on some risks and costs to make it work (read as: not leave a writer in a position to ask for professional editing on an internet forum, no offense to these great forums).

    It doesn't sound to me like a scam, just an agent that isn't very good or that realizes your work isn't worth the risk. Meaning, maybe the agent is actually very good, and expecting YOU to take on all the burden, in the hopes they'll still get a payout in the end. And if they don't, then YOU are the only one out any money.

    The agent should work for you, not you working for the agent. My advice is to mention to the agent you're going to keep working on your book yourself until it's good enough, not pay for a professional editor, thank the agent for his/her services, and go elsewhere.

    The book is either good enough an agent will take on the risks and burdens of trying to get it published, or it's not good enough and you need to keep working on it. Either way, paying out of your own pocket for professional editing is about the last thing you should do.
     
  14. Reggie
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    Reggie I Like 'Em hot "N Spicy Contributor

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    Does it cost money to have an editor?
     
  15. FrankABlissett
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    FrankABlissett Active Member

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    Reggie,

    It costs someone money. It's a matter of who is responsible for it and how they pay for it.

    Typically, the publisher pays for it, though there's nothing stopping the author or an agent doing so. Generally it's best to let the publisher be responsible.

    -Frank
     
  16. popsicledeath
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    popsicledeath Banned

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    It costs money even if you do it yourself. As a writer, time is money. $$$
     
  17. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    yes, it does, for a professional editor...

    i'm the only one i've ever come across who'll do it for free, but that's only because i made a vow to never again do anything for money, so i now do for free, much of what i used to be paid up to $150/hour to do for clients, in my old 'material' life...

    and i don't do full edits for everyone... i only do it for a rare few whose work i feel is worthwhile...
     

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