1. Francis de Aguilar

    Francis de Aguilar Contributor Contributor

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    Of editing, agents and query letters.

    Discussion in 'Editing' started by Francis de Aguilar, Dec 31, 2017.

    I have an MS that is about as good as I can get it. My plan is to query agents rather than publishers.

    Now I know, with the best will in the world, that the best I can get will leave errors, and that the only way to be sure is to get a pro edit. Problem is I do not have the funds for this, so I feel stuck.

    I have had quite a few people telling me that I should query anyway, that agents are not expecting a pro edit, that they will help with that if they like the book.

    So now I'm confused again. Is that true? Is it okay to go ahead with it as is? Or am I right in believing that an edit is essential. This MS has had a lot of work and the errors should not be howlers, but there will be the odd run on sentence, missing comma, that sort sort of thing. Maybe a dodgy tag here and there. I want to step through the gates of the land of query, but here I am, encamped outside the walls huddled over a sputtering fire.
     
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  2. Lifeline

    Lifeline South. Staff Contributor

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    Have you had Alpha/Beta readers? If not, I'd run the story through several. If you don't have the funds for an editor, there are ways around it by building a network of good critiquers on a quid-pro-quo basis.

    As far as I know of the publishing industry (disclaimer: I don't know much, have never been published apart from a few scientific articles and these are surely different) if your work isn't riddled with errors and cause them to reject it right away, they are going to run your manuscript through an editor by themselves. I believe this would happen anyway. They don't expect perfection, but reasonable effort.
     
  3. BayView

    BayView Huh. Interesting. Contributor

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    I think little errors are expected. Not too many, obviously, but I don't think I've ever sent anything away that didn't have at least a couple glitches in it.
     
  4. Francis de Aguilar

    Francis de Aguilar Contributor Contributor

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    I've had a few rounds of beta reads on it. About four or five each time and I've done that three times.
     
    Lifeline likes this.
  5. TWErvin2

    TWErvin2 Contributor Contributor

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    Agents will be sending the manuscript to publishers, who will edit the manuscript, if they offer a contract and it's agreed to. They do not expect a perfect manuscript.

    On the other hand, they expect one that appears to have been run through more than a simple spell check program.

    Typos, a few grammar gaffs, things like that won't cause great concern. Plot holes, random POV changes or verb tense changes, for example, while not the finger of death, will detract from the reading experience. In the end, the story will sell itself, or it won't.

    So, have readers go over it, and point out what they find as troublesome, from typos to concerns with plot, pacing, story interest, etc. Then, prepare your query letter and target your list of agents. Send it off, and begin working on your next project.
     
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  6. big soft moose

    big soft moose An Admoostrator Staff Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

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    This was discussed to fare thee well on another thread lately - the consensus ignoring the trolls was that you don't need a pro edit if you are submitting to a trad deal (you do if you are going to self pub unless your alpha/beta readers are very good)
     
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  7. Francis de Aguilar

    Francis de Aguilar Contributor Contributor

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    Next stop query land then. Argghh.
     
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  8. BayView

    BayView Huh. Interesting. Contributor

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    Have fun!
     
  9. Tenderiser

    Tenderiser Not a man or BayView

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    Echoing what others have said - a few typos are expected. You should make it as clean as you can before querying, but agents are well aware that it's nearly impossible for an author to catch every SPAG error themselves. They do not expect you have paid for editing.
     

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