Thursday, April 24, 2014

Editing Manuscripts

Yes, I am actually writing about something other than our vacation!

I've probably mentioned it a gazillion times but I write stories as a hobby.  I never really thought much of it until I dared let someone read a few of the books I was working on at the time.  To my surprise they found them interesting and said I should do something with my manuscripts.  Here it is at least 4 yrs later, and I am still talking about getting published one day but haven't dared to actually take the step.  Every once in a while I take a good chunk out of my schedule to research my options and find answers to my looking concerns. 

Is it better to go straight to the publisher or via an agent?
Which agents actually want what material?
Do I need an editor?  And if so, which type?

These are pretty tough questions (and costly) when you're dealing with a piece of amateur work, that means something to you.  A book that you don't want someone to steal by sending it to the wrong person.  A book that you're not sure is good enough to handle true market feedback.

In the past I barely read books, besides being a time thing, I didn't want someone else's work to influence mine (movies do enough of that).  But then I decided I needed to understand what I was up against and if my work was even comparable.  And I must say there is just a lot on the market, all types of books, and I think I might have a chance somewhere on the rung of published authors. 

I recently contacted quite a few agencies and authors, curious about their take on editors.  Only 3 out of the 13 literary agencies I contacted actually responded.  2 couldn't really help and referred me to Google and 1 offered in-house editing at $225 p/h.  (I'm an amateur author, I don't have that kind of money!)  3 out of the 8 authors I contacted replied (it's nice to know we're all willing to help each other out).  So far the feedback has varied, and so far only 1 out of the 3 actually used an editor.

Do any of you have any experience with editors?  Or manuscript publishing?  Have any advice for a newbie?

Bye! Dag! Adios! Namaste!
:) Danica

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