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Thread: [Editing Service] Iowa Book Doctors

  1. #1

    [Editing Service] Iowa Book Doctors

    The folks at iowabookdoctors.com look like they can do some good work. I see the advertise in Poets & Writers and was wondering if anyone here has used them. Thanks

  2. #2
    Writer Beware Goddess Absolute Sage victoriastrauss's Avatar
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    Adding link: http://www.iowabookdoctors.com/

    There are claims about the staff's credentials, but they are not linked with any names--in fact, there's nothing on the website at all to identify the editors affiliated with this service. As I noted in another thread, you need to know exactly who your editor is, and what his or her professional background is, in order to be sure s/he is qualified to edit your work.

    The founder is identified as Srinivas "Cheeni" Rao. He appears to be a relatively recent graduate of the very prestigious Iowa Writer's Workshop. He's got a book out from HarperCollins, a screenplay optioned by Paramount, and has won some fiction prizes (I got this info from HarperCollins' foreign rights guide). So real credits there, suggesting that the other editors may have real credits as well. But without the names, there's no way to know for sure.

    - Victoria

  3. #3
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin schoonerbabe's Avatar
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    A book from HarperCollins is a really great credit, and the workshop is indeed prestigious. The phrase "book doctor" has acquired a negative connotation over the years. I wrote a book about sailing around the world many years ago--hence the screen name--and a propective agent referred me to a book doctor. I learned from P&E that the agent was under constant investigation and was in bed with the book doctor, so to speak, getting a kickback from the book doctor for referrals. Jeff Herman has some very specific cautions about the use of book doctors in his directory, although he doesn't cliam that they're all shams. I think caution is a watchword, therefore. What are the referrals? Have they "doctored" a book into successful publication?

  4. #4
    practical experience, FTW
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    One of the biggest complainants I hear from agents is that so many novels read like they were written by recent graduates of MFA programs. That would be one of my biggest concerns, that their "book doctor" would push me to make my novel sound like so many others. As Victoria said, you really need to know more about the particular editor.

  5. #5
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin Me & iMac's Avatar
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    I had the same question and found the following post interesting, especially the comments and the author's update based on comments.

    http://spunstories.com/2011/03/04/wh...-book-doctors/
    "I had nothing to offer anybody except my own confusion. Jack Kerouac

    "To avoid criticism, say nothing, be nothing, do nothing, and stand really still, maybe nobody will notice you." Elbert Hubbard

  6. #6
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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    In '12, the founder sold the business to "a partner".

    The most recent name linked to them: http://www.linkedin.com/in/markbaechtel

    ETA: Site's gone, but Mark still active under the name.
    Last edited by CaoPaux; 11-28-2016 at 06:33 AM. Reason: updating w/o bumping
    ICAO
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    Censorship always defeats its own purpose, for it creates in the end the kind of society that is incapable of exercising real discretion. -- Henry Steele Commager
    Achievers strive for excellence. Perfectionists drive themselves to extinction. -- A Grapple A Day
    I've never known any trouble that an hour's reading didn't assuage. -- Charles DeSecondat

    II 2016: 2017:

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