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Thread: [Editing] Patrick LoBrutto

  1. #1
    Wear Thick Armor MelancholyMan's Avatar
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    [Editing] Patrick LoBrutto

    Has anybody used Pat LoBurtto's editorial service or know anything about him? Seems a decent fellow but for what I'm considering paying it makes sense to do some research.
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    Writting broad batgirl's Avatar
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    Praise from one of his authors can be found here.
    "Pat LoBrutto is a great guy, compassionate and friendly, with a deft touch -- a pussycat when he needs to be, and sticks to his guns when he has to. He is intensely loyal and deeply interested in creating the best book rather than just following a routine schedule."

    Hope that helps.
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    Well begun is half done... Mumut's Avatar
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    Why are you paying an editor? I thought that was for your publisher to do.

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    Wear Thick Armor MelancholyMan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mumut View Post
    Why are you paying an editor? I thought that was for your publisher to do.
    If I had a publisher I suppose my publisher would.
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    aka Sadistic Mistress Mi-chan M.R.J. Le Blanc's Avatar
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    You don't really need an editor. As far as I know, it doesn't give you an edge or anything. I'd say save your money.
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    Pat LoBrutto? Keep looking. . . .

    Hi,

    I contacted Mr. Lobrutto about editing my novel and he quoted me about $8K. I asked if he'd consider doing a critique for $1K and I didn't hear from him again. Something tells me he was looking for that house payment and, when he didn't get it, blew me off.

    As for editors, no good book is a good book without one. Anyone who says you don't need an editor is a fucking idiot, someone who hasn't published much, if at all. I've done 18 books as a ghostwriter and have always used one or two editors per project. I've also edited some bestsellers, and was able to contribute information that the authors felt was vital to the success of their books.

    Anyone who says you don't need an editor is an idiot.

    Good editors will charge a minimum of $1K for a critique, then about $2-3K for a read with line edits. An editor in my town, who's done many books but no really cool bestsellers, charges $4K for writing down comments in the margins and in any space she can find. My fave editors use Word Track Changes feature so I can see what they've done, not to mention be able to read the fucking thing.

    Find a good editor. . . .

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    aka Sadistic Mistress Mi-chan M.R.J. Le Blanc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by goastrighter View Post
    Hi,

    I contacted Mr. Lobrutto about editing my novel and he quoted me about $8K. I asked if he'd consider doing a critique for $1K and I didn't hear from him again. Something tells me he was looking for that house payment and, when he didn't get it, blew me off.

    As for editors, no good book is a good book without one. Anyone who says you don't need an editor is a fucking idiot, someone who hasn't published much, if at all. I've done 18 books as a ghostwriter and have always used one or two editors per project. I've also edited some bestsellers, and was able to contribute information that the authors felt was vital to the success of their books.

    Anyone who says you don't need an editor is an idiot.

    Good editors will charge a minimum of $1K for a critique, then about $2-3K for a read with line edits. An editor in my town, who's done many books but no really cool bestsellers, charges $4K for writing down comments in the margins and in any space she can find. My fave editors use Word Track Changes feature so I can see what they've done, not to mention be able to read the fucking thing.

    Find a good editor. . . .
    Uh, sorry but no one here is an idiot of any kind. If your book is good enough to get accepted by a publisher, they'll do all those sorts of edits - for free. Why should I pay someone 1k or more for what my potential publisher is going to do anyway?

    Methinks you need to stick around and do some research. And hold off on the insults, okay? Because right now, if anyone looks like a 'fucking idiot', it's you.
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    Girl Detective Stacia Kane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by goastrighter View Post
    Hi,

    I contacted Mr. Lobrutto about editing my novel and he quoted me about $8K. I asked if he'd consider doing a critique for $1K and I didn't hear from him again. Something tells me he was looking for that house payment and, when he didn't get it, blew me off.

    As for editors, no good book is a good book without one. Anyone who says you don't need an editor is a fucking idiot, someone who hasn't published much, if at all. I've done 18 books as a ghostwriter and have always used one or two editors per project. I've also edited some bestsellers, and was able to contribute information that the authors felt was vital to the success of their books.

    Anyone who says you don't need an editor is an idiot.

    Good editors will charge a minimum of $1K for a critique, then about $2-3K for a read with line edits. An editor in my town, who's done many books but no really cool bestsellers, charges $4K for writing down comments in the margins and in any space she can find. My fave editors use Word Track Changes feature so I can see what they've done, not to mention be able to read the fucking thing.

    Find a good editor. . . .

    Um, yeah. Editors are great. Of course writers need editors.


    What they don't need is to PAY an editor. A couple of good critique partners or beta readers who know what they're doing is more than enough, and if the book is any good it will be bought, and when the book is bought it will be edited. At no cost to the writer. I would no sooner pay an editor than I would pay to be published.

    Nobody is saying books don't need editing. Just that there's no need to pay an independent editor.
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    Wear Thick Armor MelancholyMan's Avatar
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    As for a book being good enough to get a publisher, I suppose that's true. If you can get a publisher to look at it. Anyone in this business who is honest knows that for nobody-schmucks like me, who have no connections, getting a publisher to look at your book is a very long shot. Getting an agent to read a good book is a very long short. And I've had enough positive responses to my work by objective readers to know that my work is good. If I hadn't, I'd have stopped a long time ago. Regardless of what agent websites or xeroxed rejections say, the majority of queries get a cursory glance at best, and if they don't immediately tickle the fancy of whoever happened to see it (be that the agent or some flunky) or come with some kind of ancillary information such as endorsements or recommendations, they go into the rejection pile.

    I used to think this was because they are stupid, and some may be, but for the majority it's a matter of what engineers call signal-to-noise ratio. The volume of material they receive is simply so high that rising above the noise is close to impossible. Yes, nobodies do get picked up from time to time but the percentage is like .1% or less and is not repeatable. It's basically stochastic, like the lottery. So anything you can do to skew the odds in your favor can do nothing but increase your chances.

    $8K was the figure he quoted me as well. For this you get a thorough reading, a line edit, then as much back and forth discussion as you need to improve your work. After that, according to the words that came out of his mouth, he will aid you in finding the right agents and editors. Sounded like a damn good deal to me if you have $8K. You could easily spend this much on writing courses and seminars and come away with less tangible assistance. Unfortunately, I ain't got $8K to plunck down.

    Writers are a strange bunch. They are the only people I know who think they are supposed to be able to start a successful business or develop a product without investing some of their own money. I don't know of any other businesses like that.
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    yes Nakhlasmoke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MelancholyMan View Post
    As for a book being good enough to get a publisher, I suppose that's true. If you can get a publisher to look at it. Anyone in this business who is honest knows that for nobody-schmucks like me, who have no connections, getting a publisher to look at your book is a very long shot. Getting an agent to read a good book is a very long short....

    Uh... I have no connections, and I managed to get an agent. This despite living in Africa.

    I'm also sure I'm far from the only one who has done so.

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    starting over Marian Perera's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MelancholyMan View Post
    Writers are a strange bunch. They are the only people I know who think they are supposed to be able to start a successful business or develop a product without investing some of their own money.
    Maybe the reason we think that is because there are a lot of writers who got publishing contracts without having to pay thousands of dollars beforehand.

    Still, non-writers are a strange bunch that way. They think that you have to pay to be published, or pay to be edited before being published, or pay to be agented.
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    aka Sadistic Mistress Mi-chan M.R.J. Le Blanc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MelancholyMan View Post
    As for a book being good enough to get a publisher, I suppose that's true. If you can get a publisher to look at it. Anyone in this business who is honest knows that for nobody-schmucks like me, who have no connections, getting a publisher to look at your book is a very long shot. Getting an agent to read a good book is a very long short. And I've had enough positive responses to my work by objective readers to know that my work is good. If I hadn't, I'd have stopped a long time ago. Regardless of what agent websites or xeroxed rejections say, the majority of queries get a cursory glance at best, and if they don't immediately tickle the fancy of whoever happened to see it (be that the agent or some flunky) or come with some kind of ancillary information such as endorsements or recommendations, they go into the rejection pile.

    I used to think this was because they are stupid, and some may be, but for the majority it's a matter of what engineers call signal-to-noise ratio. The volume of material they receive is simply so high that rising above the noise is close to impossible. Yes, nobodies do get picked up from time to time but the percentage is like .1% or less and is not repeatable. It's basically stochastic, like the lottery. So anything you can do to skew the odds in your favor can do nothing but increase your chances.

    $8K was the figure he quoted me as well. For this you get a thorough reading, a line edit, then as much back and forth discussion as you need to improve your work. After that, according to the words that came out of his mouth, he will aid you in finding the right agents and editors. Sounded like a damn good deal to me if you have $8K. You could easily spend this much on writing courses and seminars and come away with less tangible assistance. Unfortunately, I ain't got $8K to plunck down.

    Writers are a strange bunch. They are the only people I know who think they are supposed to be able to start a successful business or develop a product without investing some of their own money. I don't know of any other businesses like that.
    *sigh*

    This is a misconception. Getting published is tough. Some of our own published writers on this forum have said even their next books aren't guaranteed getting picked up. The myth that newbie writers have it tougher than everyone else, and that you need an in of some sort is just that - a myth. And forgive me for sounding harsh, but you would do well to stop thinking that way. New writers get picked up all the time. If your book is good and saleable, it WILL get picked up. If it isn't, it won't. Good books don't always equal saleable books. Not every book you write is going to be publishable. I know I have at least two that way (which doesn't bother me - one I wrote purely for myself). You have to understand that when a publisher picks up a book, it's an investment. And just like anyone wanting to make a good investment they're only going to go with something that's sure to give them a return on their investment.

    I believe it was Stephen King who got something like 200-400 rejection slips on his first book before it was picked up. I can guarantee you though, that while the first one was riding the query-go-round he was working on another. The fact is, all sorts of professionals and experts on this board have said that having your ms independantly edited in this way does not give you an edge. In some cases, it makes you look like an amateur and someone who hasn't done their research and thus rejection follows. If you are fortunate enough to get picked up, your book is just going to be re-edited again by the publisher. They don't care if it's been professionally edited or not. So why pay for what they're going to do anyway, with not one but several editors?
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    carpe libri Amarie's Avatar
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    I read a manuscript for a friend of mine that he had professionally edited (not by Lobrutto), and while it was a vast improvement on his earlier attempts, it still wasn't good enough to be picked up by an agent. It was fine technically, but had nothing of the tension, interest, etc. needed. I hope my friend at least learned something about the mechanics of plot and character development. For that alone, because he couldn't see the problems himself, or take advice from readers like me, the money might have been worth it. It's hard for me to say, because I wouldn't have 8K either for something like that. (And yes, I'm one of the .1% of the nobodies who get picked up. It's a strange business.)

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    For copy editing, I would find a friend with a editing background, an English adjunct at a local college, an editor at a local paper, someone like that and pay them $500 or so for a line-by-line copy edit. The result might not be perfect, but it will be good enough to impress upon an agent that you are not sloppy. For critiques, I just use readers -- friends, families, etc.-- any one who is willing to read my manuscript and promises to be very hard on me. I am looking for one last critique of my revisions for my novel and, for this, I am planning to recruit a book club. My plan is to offer lunch at some place like Panera for the group in exchange for critiques. I'm sure they would do it for free, but I want to make it fun for them.

    Writers are not always the best critiquers.

    Contacts do help. They can get you referals to agents and ensure that agents really look at your manuscript. But the best contacts are published authors. I would spend your money attending some of the less expensive writing conferences and chumming up to authors. You might even meet some agents there and persuade them to take a closer look at your stuff.

    Hang in there. It's a long process, but rejection can be productive. I just got rejected by an agent for my nonfiction book who not only helped me beef up my proposal, but also referred me to another agency and gave me a quote from her to put in my query letter. She loved the project, but was bogged down by her fiction projects.
    Best of luck.

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    yes Nakhlasmoke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by happywritermom View Post
    ....
    . But the best contacts are published authors. I would spend your money attending some of the less expensive writing conferences and chumming up to authors. You might even meet some agents there and persuade them to take a closer look at your stuff.
    .....
    Are they really though? I've often heard it said by published authors that they are reluctant to refer somehting to their agent because of the possibly fall-out if the agent says not interested.

    Someone chime in and tell me if I'm confused here.

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    Writer Beware Goddess Absolute Sage victoriastrauss's Avatar
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    Good independent editors do not come cheap, and Patrick LoBrutto seems to have a good rep as an editor (he also has a substantial commercial publishing background, which is something you really do want to see in an independent editor).

    However, as others have pointed out, paying an editor is not a prerequisite to getting agented or published--many writers have managed both without shelling out money for independent editing. I personally have never used a paid editor, nor have any of the other professional writers I know.

    Beyond that, even the best editing has limitations. It cannot make a bad or mediocre book good. It can make a decent book better, but not necessarily make it marketable. And though it can certainly push an almost-marketable book over the quality line, it can't guarantee that the book will find an agent or a publisher. Essentially, it's an expensive gamble. You are flying blind not just because there are no guarantees, but because you can't truly know whether it's worth it or not.

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  18. #18
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    Nakhlasmoke, I've gotten refers to agents from three different authors, but they were authors I'd come to know well and authors who knew I wasn't an amatuer. Two resulted in rejections for my novel, but with lots of great feedback. The third is reviewing my nonfiction proposal as I write. She wasn't even accepting new clients and had taken her own e-mail off the site. So it works, but you really have to get to know the author. That's why conferences can be good. Usually, conferences are led by a few good authors who critique a sample of your work. They get to know you and your work on some level at least.

  19. #19
    Writer Beware Goddess Absolute Sage victoriastrauss's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nakhlasmoke View Post
    Are they really though? I've often heard it said by published authors that they are reluctant to refer somehting to their agent because of the possibly fall-out if the agent says not interested.

    Someone chime in and tell me if I'm confused here.
    You're not confused. This is exactly the way I feel.

    When you refer someone to your agent, you're asking a favor--you're asking her to set aside what she's doing and pay special attention to this person. That's not something you want to do lightly; you don't want to waste your agent's time. Over my whole career, I've sent maybe three or four people to my agent, and only when I had a careful reading knowledge of their work. Each time she said no. There wasn't any fallout, but it's not something I want to abuse.

    Really successful authors, for whom the balance of power in the author-agent relationship is different, may not feel this way, but many ordinary authors do. "Go to a conference and get to know an author and ask for a recommendation" is one of those quick-n-easy suggestions with which how-to books or people who write articles on Associated Content can pad out space, but practically speaking, it's not wise to count on this as an agent-hunting strategy.

    - Victoria

  20. #20
    Who's going for a beer? waylander's Avatar
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    We've been over this ground a couple of times before folks. In fact, I believe the OP initiated the 'do I need an editor' discussion last time. Perhaps we should take the discussion of 'does the OP need an editor' to there.
    In the meantime Mr LoBrutto seems to have the credentials one would look for in an editor. Remember - the best don't work for cheap.

  21. #21
    Just a guy with a pen & a delusion Mr. Anonymous's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MelancholyMan View Post
    Writers are a strange bunch. They are the only people I know who think they are supposed to be able to start a successful business or develop a product without investing some of their own money. I don't know of any other businesses like that.
    Writers are indeed a strange bunch. They're some of the only professionals who work without any assurance of being compensated for their efforts. No engineer, no architect, no teacher....hell, even a lot of artists don't do that.

    And realize, employing an editor to do edits for you is completely separate from actually getting published.

    Ask the editor what percentage of his clients get their books published. If he says 100%, and is able to back that figure up, then maybe it'd be worth it. Maybe not. Maybe you'll get published but won't even recoup your initial investment.

    If I truly believed in a book, I'd be willing to go out on a limb if the traditional mode of getting published failed me. I'd be willing to invest my own money and self-publish and do everything in my power to make it a success. I'd be willing to spend 8k, or more, if I had it. But that's not what you're talking about... so....

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    I was not by any means suggesting that the OP simply go to conferences, shake hands with authors and say "Who's your agent? Will you give me a reference?" But networking is part of doing business and, really, when you get to the agent/publisher stage, this is a business. You make contacts the same way you would in any other situation--by earning the respect and confidence of the person from whom you are seeking a referal. The OP has to start somewhere and conferences (along with writing groups and workshops) are a good place to start forging those relationships.

  23. #23
    Girl Detective Stacia Kane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MelancholyMan View Post
    As for a book being good enough to get a publisher, I suppose that's true. If you can get a publisher to look at it. Anyone in this business who is honest knows that for nobody-schmucks like me, who have no connections, getting a publisher to look at your book is a very long shot. Getting an agent to read a good book is a very long short. And I've had enough positive responses to my work by objective readers to know that my work is good. If I hadn't, I'd have stopped a long time ago. Regardless of what agent websites or xeroxed rejections say, the majority of queries get a cursory glance at best, and if they don't immediately tickle the fancy of whoever happened to see it (be that the agent or some flunky) or come with some kind of ancillary information such as endorsements or recommendations, they go into the rejection pile.

    I used to think this was because they are stupid, and some may be, but for the majority it's a matter of what engineers call signal-to-noise ratio. The volume of material they receive is simply so high that rising above the noise is close to impossible. Yes, nobodies do get picked up from time to time but the percentage is like .1% or less and is not repeatable. It's basically stochastic, like the lottery. So anything you can do to skew the odds in your favor can do nothing but increase your chances.

    $8K was the figure he quoted me as well. For this you get a thorough reading, a line edit, then as much back and forth discussion as you need to improve your work. After that, according to the words that came out of his mouth, he will aid you in finding the right agents and editors. Sounded like a damn good deal to me if you have $8K. You could easily spend this much on writing courses and seminars and come away with less tangible assistance. Unfortunately, I ain't got $8K to plunck down.

    Writers are a strange bunch. They are the only people I know who think they are supposed to be able to start a successful business or develop a product without investing some of their own money. I don't know of any other businesses like that.
    *raises hand* I'm another one who got an agent off a query letter, and he sold my book to a publisher. And gee, I never paid a dime out of my own pocket.

    I'm one of MANY on this forum. MANY.

    Some writers are indeed a strange bunch; they keep insisting that no matter how many of us find agents from simple query letters and get published without paying a dime, it's "next to impossible" and "never happens".

    What you do to skew the odds in your favor is write a great book and a great query letter. Quoting odds like ".1%" is a waste of time, because the vast majority of queries and mss agents/editors receive are totally unpublishable; badly written, loaded with grammatical errors and misspellings, full of cliches. It's easy to rise above that noise if you write well and have an original, marketable idea.

    Go to any vanity press website and read some of the excerpts there; you'll see what I mean.
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  24. #24
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    As someone who is herself a freelance editor, I would be cutting my own throat to say that nobody needs freelance editing. Not only that, it's not true: some people do need freelance editing.

    But if someone wants a career as a writer, they would be well advised to learn to edit themselves. Feedback from beta readers or critique groups are also helpful.

    Where freelance editors are most valuable, I think, is for folks who don't want to pursue a career as a writer, but who want to publish a book or two either as an adjunct to another career (chefs publishing cookbooks, for instance). Another place where freelance editing can be helpful is when someone is writing in a language that isn't native to them.

    I think that the important things to look for when considering working with a freelance editor are credentials, testimonials, and clearly spelled out deliverables. Clients should get very clear project plans and explication of fee structures.

  25. #25
    Wear Thick Armor MelancholyMan's Avatar
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    I'd like to thank everyone for their thoughtful and insightful commentary. But like much of the discourse on Absolute Write (unlike Thumpertalk, which is a truly outstanding forum) it quickly degenerated into people talking about their own experiences, which if different than mine must mean I'm either a) an idiot, or b) ignorant. I don't mind a little thread wandering, I've even been guilty of it myself, but it really read much more like a "Do I Need An Editor" thread, as opposed to a "What do you think of this editor" thread, which is what this forum is supposed to be about. I'm thick-skinned and confident so I'm not offended, but it is a little annoying to post to this forum only to be chastised for considering paying an editor to help me.

    Honestly, I'm not an idiot. I know what's 'expected' in this business. I also know that what I'm doing isn't working. And I don't think it is my manuscripts because they don't get read. If people read them and sent them back then I'd be saying something different. So, perhaps it is my queries. Maybe I should stop Xeroxing my rear end and sending that in with the synopsis. (That's a joke, BTW). Or sprinkling the envelopes with cadaverene. (Another joke.) Regardless, there comes a time to try a different approach. (Not a joke.) I don't know what that is, but if I did want to try a consulting editor I'd like to find out something about him before I put down a helluva chunck of change. Apparently the Bewares and Background Check is the wrong place for that so I'll try somewhere else.

    And if anyone knows any of these agents and editors who don't care about connections, please forward their names and addresses and I'll be happy to submit, in every sense of the word, to them. I'm not holding my breath though, because if there's one thing I've learned about writers is that they (not all, but many) are afflicted with the curse of the blessed: as soon as they taste success they stop helping and start preaching. In fact, many of them drop out of this forum and you never hear from them again...

    P.S. I don't need to go a Vanity press to find poorly written work. I can do that right here in the Submit Your Work forum.
    Last edited by MelancholyMan; 01-28-2009 at 07:47 PM.
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