I couldn't find anything about this in the index or on the current boards, so I figured I'd post a new thread.
I just today received a flyer in the mail (via first class, no less!) I can't quite decide whether this is a scam, or just incredibly misguided. In either event, I think it's worth bringing up to see if anyone else has received this.
The company is called (and I kid you not!)
Distal Group Mindstreaming Technologies
Literary Consulting Projects Department
They're located in Oak Harbor, WA and the flyer reads (verbatim, with emphasis by them):
$40 flat fee manuscript review?
Writers sometimes forget that success is about voice, passion and artful arrangement of the language. All the "degrees", "workshops" and "industry contacts" in the world will not get you published if your manuscript reads like an amateur, or never gets done, right?
We offer a traditional Pre-Submission Review, because we know that sometimes the hardest part of getting published is making it past the interns reading the manuscripts and getting them to send it up to the editor. It has to read smooth, gripping and polished. We can help.
Professional "Book Doctors"/"Independent Editors" have incredibly high fees to edit your manuscript to fit their style. Why pay an Editor to do that before you send it to another Editor, who will have their own style? Does it help you get published? Actually, it is a negative to even tell the Publisher/Editor on submission that you had the manuscript professionally edited.
Our goal is to provide intensive diagnostic feedback covering areas of style, flow, plot, readability, characterization, back-story and uncommon usage that is uncomfortable prior to submission to an agent or publisher. We do not do line-editing or plot revision.
Our Highest Demand Service:
Unfinished, partial manuscripts are accepted!
Feedback has been known to break writer's block, re-motivate or clarify direction.
Let us get you excited about it again!
Request the ongoing status reports and we'll e-mail you as we progress through the manuscript. (Don't forget to include your e-mail address.)
Anne M. Volmering, Director
DGMT Literary Consulting Projects Dept.
Send us your manuscript and the literary consulting projects dept. will generate a detailed assessment report and/or general notes listed by page and paragraph.
We guarantee a fast turn-around, copyright protection and respectful service.
We do not guarantee that you will be published after using the service, and anyone who tells you they can is making a fraudulent claim.
It really is fast, confidential, non-invasive and inexpensive.
Project Management Fee............$40
There are no other fees.
Due to volume constraints we can only accept fiction manuscripts at this time.
*Enclose a manuscript SASE
*Enclose the manuscript
*Include a cover letter about your concerns or special instructions for the group if you have any.
*e-mail address or phone number where you can be contacted with questions or concerns.
We do not accept electronic submissions simply because our staff reads the manuscripts as your target audience will read them after being published; on the couch, snuggled in our favorite chair, curled up by the fire or poolside. We want your story to be an enjoyable read...don't you?
So, what does this look like to you? Forty dollars to read unlimited pages, whether 50 or 500, with "intensive diagnostic feedback?" There's something seriously wrong with this picture. I just can't quite tell if the person has no concept of what they're getting into, or if it's a scam that would get a computerized form with checkboxes (the same one for everyone), or a fly-by-night troller, seeking as many $40 payments to a post office box (which the address is) and then disappear.
Anyone ever heard of this group, or are they new?