1. brihoppy
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    brihoppy Member

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    Sound advice...??!!

    Discussion in 'Publishing' started by brihoppy, Apr 26, 2010.

    Hey all, apologies if this isn't in the right place...I'm sure the mods will do the necessary if not...

    I just wanted to run something by you all...

    I recently had the good fortune to spend a couple of days with a very successful, international bestselling author. I won't be so crass as to name-drop but he has a recurring character based series of thrillers, one of which is shortly to be made into Hollywood movie.

    I was very excited to meet him, as i would be any author who I enjoy reading and inevitably I asked him for a little advice and a few pointers.

    When I mentioned I was thinking of having an editor look at some examples of my work, he cautioned me against that and told me he would 'speak to his people'...I think I might've either come across a little too keen perhaps as I haven't heard back from him in a couple of months, but I realise he's a busy man so maybe I'm on his 'To Do' list...?!

    Anyway, overexcited-fan-that-I-desperately-tried-not-to-be aside, why would he have advised me not to seek the advice of an editor...?!?

    Wise words greatly appreciated,

    Bri...
     
  2. FrankB
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    FrankB Member

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    What exactly did you mean by having editors "look at" your work? By submitting it for publication? Or perhaps with an eye towards offering suggestions for improvement?

    I doubt he'd be cautioning you about the former. As to the latter possibility, he may be concerned about a couple of factors: 1) You being taken to the cleaners by the many pseudo-editors/publishers/coaches who haunt the net or 2) He might have been suggesting that many publishers/editors do not want a prospective author's work to be "professionally" edited. They want to know whether a newcomer can write to a professional standard on his/her own and they prefer their own editors to work with newcomers.

    A manuscript doesn't have to be absolutely perfect* in order to be deemed publishable. It must be as perfect as YOU can make it, however. (Not necessarily you and some hired-gun editor.)

    Sorry to say, I think the offer about "speaking to his people" was probably a polite way to ease himself out of the conversation. If you have his contact info, it wouldn't hurt to drop him a short, polite note reminding him of your conversation and asking for clarification of his (perceived) offer. I wouldn't continue holding your breath (and pausing your career) while awaiting a response, though.

    Chances are, you're going to have get your toe wedged into the publishing door the same way as most of us -- writing good, salable stuff and convincing editors to take a look at it.

    Good luck.

    *Perfect is what you need to make your query/proposal. Dynamite queries are a writer's best ally on the road to being published. Agonize over it. Polish it until it gleams. If you're uncertain about its effectiveness, submit it to the scrutiny of your peers and then re-agonize and re-polish again.
     
  3. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    there's no possible way any of us, or you, can guess what he meant...

    why don't you just do what frank suggested and drop him a note, to ask him what he meant and remind him of his offer?

    had it been me, i'd have given you the standard good advice to not pay someone else to do what you should be able to do yourself, as a writer...
     
  4. brihoppy
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    brihoppy Member

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    Thanks for the replies guys,

    Frank B, I'm pretty sure he was chinning me off in the nicest possible way...I certainly didn't expect any huge favours from him, I'm not that naive, but as I and a million others are fond of saying, 'It's not what you know...etc, etc...'. I can't see how it would be a bad thing to try and make a contact who has mutual friends (how I came to meet him), so I'm going to chase him up (not in a stalkerish kind of way!!!)

    Regarding having an editor look at my work, that was before I'd discovered this site. I had come to a point where I'd developed quite a rigid style and I was looking for a professional to give me the kind of advice that is delivered in spades on this forum...!

    Still, it was a great experience to meet someone like that, and he did give me a few little pointers...if nothing else, it reignited my enthusiasm...
     

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