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Thread: Friction Publishing / Story Inside

  1. #1
    My sarcasm got the better of me. Midian's Avatar
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    Friction Publishing / Story Inside

    I participated in the querychat on Twitter tonight and of course that brought on a bunch of interesting followers but I got one that I wanted to throw on here since I couldn't find anything on them in a search.

    Friction Publishing seems to be a manuscript review service. Maybe this is just my naivete coming out but - do people actually do this? It looked like they only just opened their twitter account so there were no tweets for me to go through. I have no idea how much they charge.

    Is this type of service normal???
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    I used to have a thing here that said the progress of my current WIPs. I removed them when the progress hadn't changed in two years.

  2. #2
    I grow my own catnip JulieB's Avatar
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  3. #3
    Tired and Disillusioned Momento Mori's Avatar
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    Some people do use manuscript review services and swear by them. For example Cornerstones in the UK is a review service with a good reputation and I know 2 commercially published authors who say they were the reason they got deals.

    The value of the service though comes from being able to rely on the quality of their staff. For example Cornerstones uses commercially published authors, commercial editors and even some agents for its review service, which means you're getting advice from people commercially qualified to give it.

    Personally, I'm not convinced that a manuscript review service gives you anything that you couldn't get for free from good betas or a good crit group (but like I said, I equally know people who swear by them).

    In the case of Friction - I don't see any information on the credentials of the people who will be editing and the example comments that they give lack context so that you can judge how useful they are in practice. Another issue for me is that the company is also planning to offer "academic tutors" and "clinical research services" - neither of which seem to have anything to do with manuscript review. A company that isn't clear on what it is or the services it's offering seldom inspires me with confidence.

    MM
    Last edited by Momento Mori; 01-24-2011 at 08:42 PM.

  4. #4
    My sarcasm got the better of me. Midian's Avatar
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    Yup.
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  5. #5
    My sarcasm got the better of me. Midian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Momento Mori View Post
    Personally, I'm not convinced that a manuscript review service gives you anything that you couldn't get for free from good betas or a good crit group (but like I said, I equally know people who swear by them).
    That was my thought when I saw them. And I can't imagine it's cheap.
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  6. #6
    Tired and Disillusioned Momento Mori's Avatar
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    Midian:
    That was my thought when I saw them. And I can't imagine it's cheap.
    Friction's submission page say they're charging 3c per word, which means you'll be paying over US$2500 for an 85k manuscript. That is an awful lot of money and I'd want far more comfort on their credentials before parting with it.

    MM

  7. #7
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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    One (1) book published, and I'll give you one (1) guess who the site is registered to.
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  8. #8
    Tired and Disillusioned Momento Mori's Avatar
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    Shocker.

    So Krista Tibbs has a lot of experience in bio-tech but no publishing or other editing experience gained and is a self-published author.

    And she wants 3c a word to crit manuscripts ...

    Yeah. I'd give that a pass.

    MM

  9. #9
    My sarcasm got the better of me. Midian's Avatar
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    And according to her schedule, she only crits 1k words a day on your MS. So for $2500 on your 85k word manuscript, you don't get it until 85 days later and it's still just a crit, she doesn't even copy edit. Pfffft. Insane.
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    I used to have a thing here that said the progress of my current WIPs. I removed them when the progress hadn't changed in two years.

  10. #10
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Response from Friction Publishing

    Hi All,

    Iím Krista Tibbs, and I own Friction Publishing (FP). I registered on this site to address your questions and concerns, all of which are valid. The Friction Publishing manuscript review service is designed to meet a need I had as a writer and to address issues I saw as a fledgling publisher reading independent authorsí work. Yes, the only book published by FP to date is mine, because the FP focus has now evolved from publication to writing excellence.



    As a writer, I wanted feedback from readers who didnít know me but who would be able to articulate where my stories succeeded or failed in their eyes and why. Each of the feedback methods I tried had drawbacks:
    • Good critique groups required an investment of time in return for feedback. Time was more precious to me than money, because I had a day job and was writing in my spare moments (sound familiar?).
    • Beta sites were full of people who thought being mean made them look smart.
    • Peer groups were supportive, but in some aspects felt like the blind leading the blind.
    • I entered contests just to get the feedback service, but the single summary paragraphs seemed meager compared to the hefty fees and long wait.
    • So when I finished each draft of The Neurology of Angels, I did my research and paid big for credentialed editors with experience at major publishing houses to perform developmental reviews /edits on my book. Since most donít accept partial manuscripts, I didnít really know what I would get until weeks or months later when they were all done. One came back as little more than a copy edit; one came back with empty and overused comments like ďshow, donít tellĒ, but no examples were even circled in my work to guide me; and one was exactly what I needed.
    After all of this, I realized that 75% of the problems that plagued the manuscript could have been pointed out in the first five chapters.

    I donít think you should have to cook a seven-course meal when all you need is a salad to tide you over. So, for a straight fee of three cents per word, Friction Publishing accepts as few as 250 words but at most 10,000 words for a review. (In the rare instance that we get a taste of something weíd want to read to the end as is, then FP would negotiate a lower price to finish the full manuscript. But we would never expect $2500 for 85K words!)

    Manuscript reviews are not all the same. That is why there are sample comments on the Friction Publishing site, to be transparent about what weíll provide so writers can judge for themselves if we will give them what they need at the moment. Sometimes you start a story and donít know whether itís worth continuing or where to start editing. Sometimes youíve been editing too long and need a fresh set of eyes. Sometimes you want to gauge whether the first five pages will get your manuscript off the slush pile. Only you know what you need. For less than the price of a contest admission, you can send an excerpt and test your story -- or test us! The calendar is public, in case you donít have time to wait. The reviews are a set price so you donít have to negotiate. The FP objective is for writers to get what they need so they can get back to work.

    As far as credentials, there are no resumes on the site, because my vision for Friction Publishing is that the work will eventually speak for itself. I prefer reviewers with the ability not only to articulate what they feel or see as readers but also to show you what they see so that you are encouraged to improve your own work -- in other words, a teacherís approach. Those are the credentials I care about, so those are the ones Friction Publishing promises. There are enough services out there that draw you in with big clients and impressive resumes. Some of them are even worth it. But FPís approach is to fill a niche for newer writers, something that is more suited to word-of-mouth, even if it takes longer to gain credibility. Similarly, FP is not a copy-editing service, because copyediting requires a different skill set and focus, and there are plenty of good copyeditors out there when you get to that point.

    Regarding the focus of Friction Publishing, clinical research and academic tutoring are indeed closely related to manuscript review. Clarity of writing is central to clinical research, making sure doctors around the world all understand a protocol or medical manuscript the way it was intended. The academic tutoring services center on standardized testing, which includes essays and self-editing. I have tutored many students in these skills, and Iíve seen the same mistakes the students make in the manuscripts I have read as a publisher.

    I invite writers to look at my own book and judge for themselves whether the Friction Publishing standards demonstrate the qualities you want to achieve. This is the reason I had posted a free download on the website, but I see now how that could be misinterpreted. It is still there for the time being, but for future reference, excerpts are also available at www.neurologyofangels.com and a partial download is available at http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/37966 .

    I applaud this forum for helping writers look critically at services offered, because there are a lot of people trying to take advantage of independent authors, as I have personally experienced.

    I hope that clears up some of the questions. Feel free to email me if you want to talk more.

    Sincerely,
    Krista
    www.frictionpublishing.com

  11. #11
    Jun-Ikkyu Nick Blaze's Avatar
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    I applaud AW for getting so many different agents, publishers, editors, and other various services to actually create accounts to fight for what they believe in.

  12. #12
    but appreciated anyway... Unimportant's Avatar
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    Friction Publishing:

    I agree that most issues, other than deep structural ones, can be identified in the first five chapters of a manuscript.

    I agree that a full substantive/structural edit on a full length novel by a freelancer who really does know what they're doing and has the credentials and experience behind them -- say, Nicola Griffith of Sterling Editing, or Anna Genoese (ex-Tor editor) -- will run the author somewhere around the $2500 price.

    I agree that for some authors it's worth paying an editor for that kind of help because it can be an incredibly useful learning experience.

    But I would reiterate that it can be worthwhile only if the editor one is paying for is able to deliver what she promises. How can one know that? Well, the editor may have worked for many years as a substantive editor, a la Anna Genoese. The editor may have written several outstandingly good novels herself and had them commercially published, and also run writing accredited workshops, a la Nicola Griffith. But an editor whose experience appears to be limited to having written a novel that was, as you say, "plagued with problems" but that she was unable to edit herself and had to pay someone else to point out the problems.....I'm finding it hard to understand how that can be considered a viable credential. It seems akin to being sick, not being able to figure out why, paying a doctor to diagnose and treat my disease, and deciding this makes me suitable to diagnose other people's diseases for them.

  13. #13
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    To pick up on your analogy, Unimportant, thereís a saying in the medical world:
    ďSee one, do one, teach one.Ē

    Sometimes those who have most recently been where you are can best help you see the path to the next point. Especially if they're experienced teachers.


    Friction Publishing fills a niche. We're not competing with Ms. Griffith or Ms. Genoese.

  14. #14
    but appreciated anyway... Unimportant's Avatar
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    Thanks, Friction. Yes, I'm familiar with that saying. I guess it's the "do one" I'd like to see evidence of.

    I'm an experienced enough teacher to know that even the brightest PhD student or the most skilled tech will, occasionally, run into an assay or technique that they can't do after seeing it once: they need extra training. And not every PhD student or tech is top-notch; the occasional individual is going to need a huge amount of hand-holding on a regular basis. So after they "see one" by watching me do it, I make danged sure they can "do one" before I let them loose and "teach one" to someone else. IMO it would be very poor scientific practice to assume that because they've seen it done once, they're accomplished enough to do it correctly themselves *and* to teach someone else to do it.

    And that applies to each assay and technique. Just because someone's good at running Western blots doesn't mean they'll know how to do an ELISA. Expertise at ELISAs doesn't necessarily translate to primary cell culture, or microdissection, or flow cytometry. Similarly, there are a number of aspects to the craft of writing, and being good at one doesn't mean the author is good at them all. I'm sure we've all seen brilliant plots with cardboard characters, or shining settings with inadequate dialogue, or prose that sings in a plotless story.

    I'd compare becoming a good writer to getting a PhD: it's a long hard slog, it involves mastering a large number of skills and techniques, and it's not something anyone else can do for you. Watching someone else get their PhD isn't the same as doing your own dissertation. And it's very unlikely that a university will hire you as a tenure-track academic and let you train PhD students unless you've got your own PhD.

    You've let us know that you did the "see one" by hiring external editors. My criterion for the "do one" would be "published with an advance-paying press that is recognised as an accredited publisher by a standard author's group such as RWA, SFWA, HWA, etc."

    Sorry if I'm being clueless, but I'm not getting it. Because if you're not competing with N Griffith etc, what niche are you filling? Why would someone pay thousands of dollars to you when for the same price they could get an established, accomplished editor? Why would they pay you to edit their first few pages when Nicola Griffith will do that for free?
    Last edited by Unimportant; 01-26-2011 at 07:43 AM.

  15. #15
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    There are so many short stories and random chapters and unfinished manuscripts before a writer is ready to request a free critique from the most experienced freelancers in the business! Call that our niche. Friction Publishing is proud to receive those $7.50-$60 submissions that allow us to provide a reader’s perspective on work that would otherwise never see the light of day.

    If we're for you, you'll understand what I mean.

    In any case, our goal is just to be transparent and let independent thinkers make their own judgments about whom to hire based on their own criteria -- hence, the explanation on this forum and samples on our website from our previous reviews.

    Thanks for the airtime.
    Last edited by FrictionPublishing; 01-26-2011 at 09:55 AM.

  16. #16
    Wording!
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    While I support your right to have a business, all the services you provide are provided here, at AW, without the fee for people with more (and less) experience in publishing, editing, critting, and writing.

    So when I finished each draft of The Neurology of Angels, I did my research and paid big for credentialed editors with experience at major publishing houses to perform developmental reviews /edits on my book. Since most donít accept partial manuscripts, I didnít really know what I would get until weeks or months later when they were all done. One came back as little more than a copy edit; one came back with empty and overused comments like ďshow, donít tellĒ, but no examples were even circled in my work to guide me; and one was exactly what I needed.


    I'm sorry that this happened to you. AW's Share Your Work forum probably could have really helped you.

    Good luck in the future.

    CHV

  17. #17
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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    Closed to subs right quick, and site's now gone. (Tibbs' book site remains).
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  18. #18
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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    Just a note that site has returned as Story Inside, selling greeting cards with Tibbs' short stories inside.
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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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