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Thread: Agents who recommend editors

  1. #1
    professional multitasker scfirenice's Avatar
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    Agents who recommend editors

    I got a call from my agent, who by all accounts is one of the tops in the field and above reproach. I'll leave his name out, but if you've followed my trials in the agent hunt you'll know who he is. Anyhoo, he called and suggested I hire a copyeditor to fix the punctuation and whatnot. Of course, he knows a few....His point was valid-the stuff needs fixed and I don't have the time/complete understanding of said punctuation to do it, BUT......It's so ingrained in my head that any suggestion similar to this is bad. There's no exchange of money up front, it would come out of my advance WHEN he sells the book BUT......

    Thoughts?
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  2. #2
    Your Genial Uncle Absolute Sage James D. Macdonald's Avatar
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    Find a bunch of beta readers. Make sure some of them are Demon Grammarians.


    Meanwhile, learn punctuation and such. High school review texts are your best bets.

  3. #3
    Print release:Sept.1,'09 Branwyn's Avatar
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    I picked up a few books, Cliffs footnotes on grammar is one. Someone had mentioned going to college book stores to get them used (cheaper) .
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  4. #4
    Hagiographically Advantaged AW Moderator HapiSofi's Avatar
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    Books on grammar will teach you to be a better grammarian in the long run, but they aren't sufficient to help you fix a manuscript right now.

    I agree with Jim. If you don't want to pay a freelance editor, swap critiques or cookie-baking or whatever with an expert grammarian.

    If you are willing to pay a freelance editor, I'd start by asking Nancy Hanger whether she's available.
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  5. #5
    professional multitasker scfirenice's Avatar
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    Yeah learning punctuation more better than I do would be great (hee hee) BUT time is a huge factor. I am pregnant with twins and have an 18 month old so it is not like I have ANY time to spare right now. Well since no one is screaming that this practice is crooked, I'm going to tell them to go for it. My betas all have busy lives too and getting this thing polished for publication is not something any of us have time for.
    Coffee? Do I smell Coffee???

    Whether you believe you can do a thing
    or believe you can't-you are right.
    -Henry Ford

    If I had paid my bill you could see my site at www.sherylmccarty.com

  6. #6
    practical experience, FTW Toni1953's Avatar
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    if it's not costing any money upfront i'd say go for it;

  7. #7
    Li'l Rug Bug clara bow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by scfirenice
    I got a call from my agent, who by all accounts is one of the tops in the field and above reproach. I'll leave his name out, but if you've followed my trials in the agent hunt you'll know who he is. Anyhoo, he called and suggested I hire a copyeditor to fix the punctuation and whatnot. Of course, he knows a few....His point was valid-the stuff needs fixed and I don't have the time/complete understanding of said punctuation to do it, BUT......It's so ingrained in my head that any suggestion similar to this is bad. There's no exchange of money up front, it would come out of my advance WHEN he sells the book BUT......

    Thoughts?
    Dang, you are so lucky. My husband and I are right in the middle of an agent search for one of our manuscripts (just got a request for a partial) and he is tearing his hair out to make sure there are absolutely no punctuation or grammatical errors (he's got a BA in English, which helps). I am about to do my own fifty gazillionth check, and at the same time wondering if we are too paranoid about this. Not that excellent punctuation/grammar alone would land anyone an agent, but I heard more than a few times that it helps up the ante...or am I missing something here?

    sorry, just feeling frustrated...but in a way, better to have your dilemma than not have an agent, eh? I guess it all depends on how much money you have to repeatedly pay for editing services vs. investing time in learning it yourself. It's invaluable to have beta readers, as someone already mentioned, for the objectivity. Even though my husband and I both have strong skills in grammar and punctuation, we still find ways to improve & tweak the others' writing as we polish/revise.

  8. #8
    What? I have a title? Julie Worth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by scfirenice
    I got a call from my agent, who by all accounts is one of the tops in the field and above reproach. I'll leave his name out, but if you've followed my trials in the agent hunt you'll know who he is. Anyhoo, he called and suggested I hire a copyeditor to fix the punctuation and whatnot. Of course, he knows a few....His point was valid-the stuff needs fixed and I don't have the time/complete understanding of said punctuation to do it, BUT......It's so ingrained in my head that any suggestion similar to this is bad. There's no exchange of money up front, it would come out of my advance WHEN he sells the book BUT......

    Thoughts?
    Dang [edit, that's two dangs in a row], I've been trying to get him for years. He always says he likes it, but he can't take everything. I would do what he recommends.

  9. #9
    Hagiographically Advantaged AW Moderator HapiSofi's Avatar
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    Last-minute qualms: Who is this supposedly irreproachable agent? And how much money are we talking about?
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