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Thread: Manuscript Editing Solutions, LLC

  1. #1
    Soupy R0EF1GHVVD's Avatar
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    Manuscript Editing Solutions, LLC

    I am a newbie here.

    I have been sending out queries and out of the blue I get an email from Manuscript Editing Services, LLC, telephone 1 (203) 594-1437, an unlisted number in New Canaan CT, telling me
    MES is an editorial service designed to deliver to the writer a manuscript ready for publication. Through regular phone discussions with the editor, and manuscript change suggestions by email, our editorial process aims to make book editing an effective and expedient experience for the author. Our editors will suggest changes that focus on story editing. We will analyze characters, character arc, balance of characters, descriptive, setting, tempo, point of view, and plot points.

    ...

    Our prices are reasonable, and we accept all credit cards.
    Anyone know anything?

    What bugs me is which agent gave them my email?

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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    Assuming you're querying "legit" agents, chances are slim any gave out your email.

    Did you register copyright on your manuscript? That'll put you on all sorts of shady (e)mailling lists.

    ETA: It's Solutions, not Services. Adding link: http://stores.manuscripteditingsolut...StoreFront.bok
    Last edited by CaoPaux; 05-19-2010 at 02:42 AM.
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  3. #3
    Soupy R0EF1GHVVD's Avatar
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    Well, I've been using what I thought were lists of legit agents, that's why I was astonished. The timing suggests an agent that was listed on agent query's data base, but you never know. Depends on how fast the email address is transferred from the agent to MES, and how long MES takes to send out their solicitation. No I haven't registered my manuscript for copyright purposes, so that's not a vector.

    As for 'Services' or 'Solutions', either they're polymorphic or I made a mistake. I thought I had copied and pasted rather than typed, but, again, you never know. Since then I have completely deleted the email for fear of embedded viruses.

    But the outfit you link to is obviously the one.

    A look at their web page brings to mind a question I have. When someone counts pages on a manuscript, say an agent saying 'send the first 50 pages', do they mean letter size paper, normal 1 inch margins, 12 pt Times New Roman double-spaced? I.e. a 100,000 word manuscript would be about 375 pages? So for a standard 100,000 word novel, the editing service wants 2,500 greenbacks? Not bad.

    ETA: Look, I've just been looking at the judges in the WYATT NOVEL WRITING COMPETITION that MES is sponsoring. Jan Kardys I have sent a manuscript to at her request. She hasn't got back to me.

    Further, Dr. Roberta Seret has really nice music on her site.

    And Wayne Keeley has a bio on Wikipedia!
    Last edited by R0EF1GHVVD; 05-20-2010 at 12:13 AM.

  4. #4
    Researching History's Mysteries HistorySleuth's Avatar
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    Not bad for the editing services take you mean. Think I'll stick to Beta readers, and putting out the best possible work I can. Plus there is no mention of what their qualifications are. PASS ........
    Last edited by HistorySleuth; 05-19-2010 at 03:11 AM.
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  5. #5
    aka Sadistic Mistress Mi-chan M.R.J. Le Blanc's Avatar
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    Double check the list. There are some that aren't vetted lists which means there can be inexperienced or scam agents on that list. P&E is a good list to start from, and this forum is full of various agents and agencies.

    As for using an editing service, if you really think it'll benefit you in the long run then use one. But really do your research and make sure that if you do use an editor or editing service, that they at least have experience. You do get what you pay for, at least make it worth the money.
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  6. #6
    Got the hang of it, here
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    I use Anu, she's conscientious, reliable, hungry (so inexpensive), and a nit pickin' pain in the ass.

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  7. #7
    Soupy R0EF1GHVVD's Avatar
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    Hey guys!

    I don't want an editor! I think I'm the new Tolstoy!

    I just want to know how MES got hold of my email address!

  8. #8
    Professor of applied misanthropy Drachen Jager's Avatar
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    Too many possibilities alphabet soup (I'm gonna call you that 'cause your name is all over the place).

    It could be your e-mail provider (google gives some info out for instance). Could be a website like this one you signed up for (not AW though, they seem to be clean). Could be you sent something to a shady agency that gave your info out. Lots of options, the list goes on.

  9. #9
    Soupy R0EF1GHVVD's Avatar
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    alphanumeric soup.

    No other sites could be involved.

    Google? Doubt it.

    I would have to think it's an agent.

    Gotta go now.

  10. #10
    *insert catchy phrase here* BarbaraSheridan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by R0EF1GHVVD View Post

    I just want to know how MES got hold of my email address!
    Why not just ask them?
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  11. #11
    Soupy R0EF1GHVVD's Avatar
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    Not a bad idea!

  12. #12
    Your Genial Uncle Absolute Sage James D. Macdonald's Avatar
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    People who advertise by spam are generally not the sort of people you want to deal with.

  13. #13
    Soupy R0EF1GHVVD's Avatar
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    I got a reply back. It was sillier than I expected. I am pretty sure which agent gave them my email address, but I don't want to publicize it.

    Now the particular agent probably made an error in judgement, or didn't realize where the email addresses were going. I hope it's not because the agent was so disgusted with my work that the agent thought that the only solution was to pass my email address to a professional editor. I would hope that such an agent would tell me upfront: 'Son, your work stinks. Get a good editor!'.

    Well, yes, Mr. Macdonald, you don't want to deal with spam-generating editors--who take all credit cards--but even a cursory review of the site leaves me absolutely cold. I may not know how to write, but I'm pretty sure I'm going to stop writing before I lay out $2,500 for these people to edit my work.

    One general question about professional editors. If your work is off the beaten track, is a professional editor going to bring it back to the beaten track? E.g. if you're not sitting properly within your genre boundaries, and not working within the tried and true character stereotypes, are they going to make recommendations such that your work turns out to be one more clichéd genre novel?

    Best wishes to all.

    soupy

  14. #14
    Who's going for a beer? waylander's Avatar
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    We've discussed the merits of paid editors several times on AW and it is fair to say there is a divergence of views.
    My personal view (and I have used a paid editor) is that they have their uses, but only after you have exhausted all other options

  15. #15
    Soupy R0EF1GHVVD's Avatar
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    Mr. Brown of MES has replied again, quite politely, and given me the name of the agent that passed him my email address. It was the agent I thought. He says the agent passed my work on to him to consider for film. Needless to say I would have preferred a Hollywood option. However, I have no reason to dispute this version of events; it sounds plausible.
    Last edited by R0EF1GHVVD; 05-20-2010 at 08:43 AM.

  16. #16
    Rewriting My Destiny Cyia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by R0EF1GHVVD View Post
    I have no reason to dispute this version of events; it sounds plausible.
    Yes you do and no it doesn't.

    Agents who don't rep you have NO incentive to pass any work of yours along to anyone and they hurt you by doing so.




  17. #17
    Soupy R0EF1GHVVD's Avatar
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    Cyia, I see where you're coming from. However, what I understand is that the two persons involved are friends, that Mr. Brown, as he asserted to me, has some experience with the studios, and that the agent wanted his opinion as to whether the work had any potential for film. In my experience as a professional that is normal. I.e. it is normal for a professional to ask a buddy with professional expertise that he doesn't have for his opinion before deciding what to do. But then I'm not a professional in either publishing or film. That Mr. Brown would then turn around and send me a solicitation for his editing services isn't very inspiring. My work is of a sort that if it were any good would naturally be suitable for film (i.e. it has a strong narrative line as opposed say to 900 pages of neo-Proustian literary stream of consciousness). That's not to say that my work is any good.

    I should point out that Mr. Brown was aware of the title of my work, so at the very least he learned that much from the agent (where else?). I would think that the agent actually sent him the work as Mr. Brown asserts. So while it might not be the most standard and professional thing for the agent to have done, I think it actually happened. Call me naive, but I think that the agent was in good faith.
    Last edited by R0EF1GHVVD; 05-20-2010 at 10:16 AM. Reason: clarification

  18. #18
    aka Sadistic Mistress Mi-chan M.R.J. Le Blanc's Avatar
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    I would think the agent would ask your permission first. This isn't like an agent passing a manuscript to another agent in the agency, where agents will often do this if they think someone else might be better suited to the manuscript. The way I see it, this agent really had no business sending your work anywhere without prior permission. What would have been more appropriate would be for the agent to reply that he had a buddy in film, thought your work would be suited to film and if you would like the agent to pass along. Add the fact that you were solicited for editing services, and not for a film just screams kickbacks to me. I'd not trust Mr. Brown or the agent that sent your work his way.
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  19. #19
    Soupy R0EF1GHVVD's Avatar
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    Mlle Le Blanc:

    Merci. If the agent transferred consideration of the manuscript to Mr. Brown for potential agenting by Mr. Brown, you're perfectly correct. But if the agent merely forwarded the email with my manuscript attachment to Mr. Brown for his opinion prior to the original agent making a decision whether to offer representation, then given the ease with which we can now do these things, I am not perturbed. If the two are friends, then their not being in the same agency doesn't bother me. In this I should point out that my original description of what happened was a little ambiguous: it wasn't clear in what I wrote that I understood Mr. Brown to be saying that he consults to various agents on whether manuscripts might be suitable for film, and not that he was undertaking consideration for his own possible agenting. Of course the fly in the ointment is Mr. Brown's subsequent solicitation, which definitely does raise a red flag.
    Last edited by R0EF1GHVVD; 05-20-2010 at 10:52 AM.

  20. #20
    Writer is as Writer does Terie's Avatar
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    'Soupy', you're being fed a line of rubbish. This is simply NOT how the commercial publishing industry works. It might sound logical and plausible to someone who doesn't know the ropes yet, but to those of us who do, it's screaming 'run away' from both the agent and the editing agency. The publishing business is an anomoly and doesn't work like any other business.

    Is the agent a member of AAR? Have you checked to see if there's a thread here on the agent?

    IMO, these folks are bringing the 'f' word ('film') into the equation to dazzle and sucker writers in. The red flags are rife.
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  21. #21
    Soupy R0EF1GHVVD's Avatar
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    I hear what you're saying: this thread is very useful to me in vaccinating me against 'H1N1 writers' vain hopes scams'. As for the agent, yes I have known about the thread on the agent here for some time. There is a divergence of views; I judge that the agent is honest. Of course, I'm biding my time to see what happens.

  22. #22
    Brian Boru brianm's Avatar
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    There's a thread here in AW? Who is the agent?

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  23. #23
    Tired and Disillusioned Momento Mori's Avatar
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    R0EF1GHVVD:
    It was the agent I thought. He says the agent passed my work on to him to consider for film.
    No agent should be passing on a work to a third party without having at least informed you first. Any agent seeking to pass on your work to a third party should disclose whether they are on any kind of referral/fee arrangement with that third party before passing the work on.

    R0EF1GHVVD:
    In my experience as a professional that is normal. I.e. it is normal for a professional to ask a buddy with professional expertise that he doesn't have for his opinion before deciding what to do. But then I'm not a professional in either publishing or film.
    No, you're not a professional in publishing or film, which is why you seem to think this is normal. It isn't.

    R0EF1GHVVD: (BOLDING MINE)
    If the agent transferred consideration of the manuscript to Mr. Brown for potential agenting by Mr. Brown, you're perfectly correct. But if the agent merely forwarded the email with my manuscript attachment to Mr. Brown for his opinion prior to the original agent making a decision whether to offer representation, then given the ease with which we can now do these things, I am not perturbed. If the two are friends, then their not being in the same agency doesn't bother me. In this I should point out that my original description of what happened was a little ambiguous: it wasn't clear in what I wrote that I understood Mr. Brown to be saying that he consults to various agents on whether manuscripts might be suitable for film, and not that he was undertaking consideration for his own possible agenting. Of course the fly in the ointment is Mr. Brown's subsequent solicitation, which definitely does raise a red flag.
    Does this mysterious agent represent screenplays? Did you send them a novel manuscript?

    Even if we're prepared to buy that this agent (whoever s/he is) just sent it to a friend for an opinion on screenplay potential (and personally, I think that's a load of old bollocks because agents who get a novel manuscript that they're not sure about, aren't going to wonder if it would be better as a screenplay), then they should still have asked your permission first.

    If Mr Brown was just being asked on the suitability of the manuscript for screenplay purposes, then there was no need to contact you separately to offer editing services. And even if he did want to contact you separately re editing services, there should have been full disclosure up front as to why he was contacting you, what he thought about the manuscript and how he saw the editing as going.

    This apparent lack of clarity in communications does not sit right with me.

    R0EF1GHVVD:
    As for the agent, yes I have known about the thread on the agent here for some time. There is a divergence of views; I judge that the agent is honest. Of course, I'm biding my time to see what happens.
    I'd recommend that you post on the thread because it's pertinent information about the agent's behaviour that people should know about. If there's already questions about the agent's practice, then I don't see why you'd be anxious to hear back from him other than hoping that any representation will do.

    MM

  24. #24
    Soupy R0EF1GHVVD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Momento Mori View Post
    No agent should be passing on a work to a third party without having at least informed you first. Any agent seeking to pass on your work to a third party should disclose whether they are on any kind of referral/fee arrangement with that third party before passing the work on.MM
    Here I was a little ambiguous since I didn't explain clearly that I took the referral to be a consultation from the part of the agent. But see below.

    Quote Originally Posted by Momento Mori View Post
    Does this mysterious agent represent screenplays? Did you send them a novel manuscript?MM
    Novel.

    Quote Originally Posted by Momento Mori View Post
    Even if we're prepared to buy that this agent (whoever s/he is) just sent it to a friend for an opinion on screenplay potential (and personally, I think that's a load of old bollocks because agents who get a novel manuscript that they're not sure about, aren't going to wonder if it would be better as a screenplay), then they should still have asked your permission first.MM
    Point taken. However, I really do think that someone might want to check whether the novel had any potential for a secondary sale. Of course, we've agreed that I'm not in the business and that this could be playing to my vanity.

    Quote Originally Posted by Momento Mori View Post
    If Mr Brown was just being asked on the suitability of the manuscript for screenplay purposes, then there was no need to contact you separately to offer editing services. And even if he did want to contact you separately re editing services, there should have been full disclosure up front as to why he was contacting you, what he thought about the manuscript and how he saw the editing as going.

    This apparent lack of clarity in communications does not sit right with me.MM
    Doesn't sit right with me either.

    Quote Originally Posted by Momento Mori View Post
    I'd recommend that you post on the thread because it's pertinent information about the agent's behaviour that people should know about. If there's already questions about the agent's practice, then I don't see why you'd be anxious to hear back from him other than hoping that any representation will do.MM
    I'm going to wait. I'm going to cut them some slack. This is just a sense of Christian charity--give them some room to act on their own. See what they do with it. No need to be ferocious with them.

  25. #25
    *insert catchy phrase here* BarbaraSheridan's Avatar
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    No need to be ferocious with them.
    No one is trying to be ferocious. We're trying to save you grief and and crapload of money that could be better spent by attending a couple writing conferences to make connection find crit groups or partners who will do far more for you than this editing service (who did not strike me as being all that great).

    We've been around the publishing block enough to see the potholes from a distance and what you're describing is not how the pros do things.
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