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Thread: Murdock Editing (Lindsay Murdock)

  1. #1
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Question Murdock Editing (Lindsay Murdock)

    Hi everybody:
    I was recently contacted by Lindsay Murdock. She saw a post I made on a writer's support group that I finished my novel and was looking for someone to 'rip it apart'. I've never used this type of service before.
    Has anyone used her services? If you did, were you pleased with the work she did for you?
    I haven't asked for references yet, which I will if I decide to use her services.
    Has anyone used any type of editing services? - Were you pleased with the result? Are there reasons I should avoid these types of services and if so, why?
    As you can probably tell, this is my first novel (two more in the 'forming stage'), and need all the good advice I can get!

    Thanks everybody!

    Donna

  2. #2
    practical experience, FTW Dhewco's Avatar
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    As someone who once ran his own editing service (not heavy into it, I don't advertise anymore...but if asked, I'll do it.) I would ask for references, satisfied customers and what-not. Plus, I'd ask if she'd edit a sample of the work. If you like the way she edits, or her suggestions, then you can decide more about how to proceed.

    Just my opinion,

    David

  3. #3
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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    Donnai, are you looking for an edit or a critique?

    Since there are plenty of free writers' groups to help you with everything from grammar to development, I wouldn't recommend paying for editing at this stage. (To be truthful, I wouldn't recommend paying for editing at ANY stage, but it does help some folks once they have a few years of writing under their belts.)
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  4. #4
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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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

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  5. #5
    Maybe, maybe not ghostwriter21's Avatar
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    A comprehensive, free evaluation is mandatory, although weigh the advice you are given very carefully. Always insist on a free writing or editing sample that's long enough for you to gauge the quality of work you will receive. But first, I think you should learn to be your own best critic before shelling out money. It's hard to be tough on yourself, but you'll learn a lot by forcing yourself to see what the manuscript needs. I'd take that route before hiring someone to handle your novel.

  6. #6
    permaflounced
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    I receive "professionally edited" manuscripts all the time. Judging by the shape they are in, the author has wasted money. Get your hands on a recent Chicago Manual of Style and memorize it. THEN write your book. The price of the Manual, paper and ink are the only expenses you should have. If you don't understand or want to follow the Manual, you won't sell a book. Relegate your manuscript to a hobby and keep your day job.

  7. #7
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    Like Donna, I receive tons of manuscripts who have been "professionally edited," and they're abysmal. But rather than impeach indie editors as a whole, I'd impeach the lousy ones - just like we do lousy publishers and agents. I know, I can hear the questions flying as I type. How do we identify the lousy/good ones? Isn't this the job of the publisher's editing team?

    I'm not saying that I have the answers, but I am speaking from my perspective. Since I'm a pint-sized publisher, I can't pull one of my editors off to do time consuming, hands-on editing that a story might require - I'm talking about major rewrites. There are times when I love a story, but it's not quite ready for prime time. These are the works that are riding the fence between receiving a contract and letting them go. I'm honest with them; I love the idea of where it's going and I know they have the literary chops to make it what it could be, but I'm not in love with what it currently is. They get a thorough rundown of what I feel is missing or lacking in their work. The choice is theirs as to whether they want to rework it themselves or hire an indie editor.

    The indie editors I've worked with are top notch and are able to dig right in to help the work come to life. We, being small, don't have that kind of time.
    And even though I'm small, I know several editors from large houses who have told authors the same thing; "I like your work, but it needs more work than what I'm willing to ask of my editing team."

  8. #8
    Benefactor Member gp101's Avatar
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    Still, no one answered regarding whether or not they've used/enjoyed Murdock's services. Has anyone here done so? Do you like it? Were you satisfied? Is it a sham editing service? I, for one, would like to know. If the actual proprietor of Murdock is lurking, please feel free to interject.
    Take the money and run!

  9. #9
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Don't Use This Editor!!!!!

    I would absolutely NOT use this editor--unless you have a lot of money and don't mind giving it away. I hired Lindsay to do some editing for me. I gave her a $450.00 deposit and she was to have the edits done for me by November 5th. She did not send the edits by that date, so I started emailing her. Finally, a week and a half later, she emailed to say she was ill and would have my edits soon. I finally got the copy edit, several weeks late, but she never gave me the full report. The copy edit is worthless for two reasons. First, most of her comments say, "see notes," but she never gave me any notes. Second, as I went through the edit, I saw that there were still numerous typos that she didn't catch. It is over a month since the edits were due, and Lindsay hasn't returned my emails asking when I'll get her report. In the process of all of this, Lindsay unknowingly forwarded an email from another client. That client and I have been exchanging emails and she is in the exact same boat as I am. At one point, I emailed Lindsay from an email address she wasn't familiar with and asked her if she was available to edit a novel. Despite being too ill to finish the edits for me or her other client--and too ill to even return our emails--she responded to that email saying she had several spots available and would be more than willing to take on the project.

  10. #10
    Benefactor Member gp101's Avatar
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    Hey, jill7983, I had a very similar experience. I sent you a private message regarding this mess. Please read and contact me.
    Take the money and run!

  11. #11
    practical experience, FTW Celeste Carrara's Avatar
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    I am having the same experience with this editor. Took my deposite, promised to have it back to me by a certain date, that date came & went. Then said it would be done by another date and that date also came and went. Now she is not responding to my emails. Anyone who has had this happen to them by this editor, can you please contact me? I'm curious as to how your outcome was. I'm going to open a dispute on PayPal (that was how I sent my deposit) to try and get my money back.

    I'm so upset by this because she had really good references & reviews everywhere! Also, my contact with her in the beginning was great & she seemed like a perfect fit for me. I'm kicking myself for not finding this thread sooner!

  12. #12
    practical experience, FTW Celeste Carrara's Avatar
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    Just wanted to post an update about my experience with Lindsay Murdock.

    After opening a Paypal dispute to get my deposit back, she contacted me.

    I don't want to post here information that is too personal. But, I will say that Lindsay has gone above and beyond to rectify the situation and I am very happy with the outcome. She is a very talented editor and now that I know why things happened the way they did, I understand completely and am happy that I have used her.

    I will continue to use her in the future because she is great at what she does.

  13. #13
    practical experience, FTW Celeste Carrara's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ANaughtyMouse View Post
    I'm glad you've been satisfied with your experience, but I'd like to see a similar resolution for the other authors here before recommending her services.
    I agree & I've contacted both of the posters (at the same time of my first post) to try & find out how & if their issues were resolved & have not heard back from them yet.

  14. #14
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    This is the editor

    I'm the editor in question.

    First of all, I'll state right up front, the complaints about me were well deserved. I was very ill and I handled it completely wrong - I should have been open and honest with my then-clients rather than keeping my illness a secret and just hoping that I'd somehow rally in time. It was irresponsible and unprofessional, and I'm very, very sorry for how it all played out. I will note that ALL clients from that time period have received full refunds no matter where I was in the project.

    That's all - no excuses.

    Lindsay

  15. #15
    practical experience, FTW Celeste Carrara's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LindsayM View Post
    I'm the editor in question.

    First of all, I'll state right up front, the complaints about me were well deserved. I was very ill and I handled it completely wrong - I should have been open and honest with my then-clients rather than keeping my illness a secret and just hoping that I'd somehow rally in time. It was irresponsible and unprofessional, and I'm very, very sorry for how it all played out. I will note that ALL clients from that time period have received full refunds no matter where I was in the project.

    That's all - no excuses.

    Lindsay
    Aww Lindsay! Great to see you here! It is so very awesome of you to apologize like you have and to take the responsibility like you have done. You know how I feel about you so I won't fangirl you too much, but I'm so glad to have you as my editor & I would most certainly reccomend you to other authors. Although, I don't want you too busy, I need you!! lol ;-)

    So for the record, I would like to say that Lindsay is a fantastic editor and I would reccomend her services to everyone! :-)

  16. #16
    Hagiographically Advantaged AW Moderator HapiSofi's Avatar
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    I haven't seen her work and can't vouch for its quality, but Lindsay Murdock certainly looks real to me. The only thing I found odd was that her charges were nearly the same for copyediting and proofreading. Turns out she was a newspaper copyeditor. That's a different country.

    I warmly approve of her "read the manuscript through twice" policy. It's the only way to understand what a book is doing, so that you can edit it in ways that are appropriate to its nature.
    Winner of the Best Drycleaner on the Block Award.

  17. #17
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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    Site went down in '14 (hadn't been updated since '11). No activity elsewhere (e.g., eLance) since '13.
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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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