Since Andy the agent is on vacation I figured I'd post this here to get some responses.
Not having published a novel in twenty years, I'm wondering if the rules have changed after getting a note from a well-known NY agent in which he was declining to represent my novel "right now." The note included the comments of his reader who said my writing was "eloquent," my characters "fun to read about and real" and the plot "engaging." The main complaint was that the pace of the plot could be "accelerated."
Then the reader opined that I could benefit from the services of a freelance editor and the agent just happened to have the name of someone with impeccable credentials who I could hire for a mere couple of thousand bucks.
Here are my questions:
Is this now considered a legitimate practice?
Assuming this editor not only had impeccable credentials, but also lots of friends still employed by the major houses, is there any way this might be a good investment?
Does the suggestion to hire an editor negate the positive things the reader had to say?
When I let the agent know I preferred to take my chances with other agents, he said he had another editor who charged less.
On the other hand, I would gladly pay an experienced editor $50 to critique my first chapter.