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Thread: [Editing/Critique] Greenleaf Literary Services

  1. #1
    jacquieg
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    [Editing/Critique] Greenleaf Literary Services

    I'm a newbie and wondering if anyone here has any info on the William Greenleaf Agency in Washington State? Or has anybody ever used Shelly Rosenberg as an editor?

  2. #2
    Working In A Coal Mine... Sonarbabe's Avatar
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    Hi, jacquieg!


    William Greenleaf Literary Services: http://www.williamgreenleaf.com/index.html

    It's a servicing agency. Charges high rates from what I can see (some of it upfront, sight unseen) I would suggest getting a good critique partner or joining an online critique group if there isn't one close to you. It's free and you can do most editing work yourself.

    Shelly Rosenberg: http://www.shellyrosenberg.com/

    Another servicing agency. Charges $.009 a word for Book editing/proof reading and $.007 for proof reading alone. They do critiquing, again I suggest finding a partner or group. A red flag for me was this:

    Self-Publishing has become very popular. The publishing business is extremely competitive and trendy. Good writers and authors often have a difficult time finding publishers who are willing to consider a book written by a yet unpublished writer. Some writers give up on the traditional publishing route in exchange for the self-publishing alternative. We can assist you if you wish to self-publish your book. After providing our service of book editing and proofreading, we can direct you to publishers that have worked with new writers who have chosen the self-publishing route.
    Might just be me, but that was a major turn off for me. And that's my $.02 on the above.
    The only reason for being a professional writer is that you can't help it. ~ Leo Rosten


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  3. #3
    jacquieg
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    Thanks

    Appreciate the response. Haven't heard from anybody who has used them but I am leery as well. I already fell for the New York Literary Sgency thing, although I did not sign a contract or send them money. I was happy to have found a blog on them before I did so. Haven't found any blogs on the two I mentioned...that's why I was wondering.

  4. #4
    Your Genial Uncle Absolute Sage James D. Macdonald's Avatar
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    Good writers and authors often have a difficult time finding publishers who are willing to consider a book written by a yet unpublished writer.
    The guy's blowing smoke in order to dip into your pocket.

    You want blog entries (not on this guy in particular, but on ways to recognize snakeoil salesmen)? Try http://nielsenhayden.com/makinglight...es/005540.html and http://nielsenhayden.com/makinglight...es/005555.html

  5. #5
    Working In A Coal Mine... Sonarbabe's Avatar
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    My thoughts exactly. New writers make it into the publishing world all the time. It takes sweat, tears, talent and determination. (Along with luck) Listen to Uncle Jim and the other people you see on here. They're a wealth of information.
    The only reason for being a professional writer is that you can't help it. ~ Leo Rosten


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  6. #6
    Writer Beware Goddess Absolute Sage victoriastrauss's Avatar
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    Mr. Greenleaf has legitimate credentials as a commercially published author. It's my impression that he also has them as an editor, though I don't see anything other than generic testimonials at his website. It really is desirable for an editor to provide a list of success stories--commercial publishers he works with, authors he has edited who got publishing contracts.

    Editing seems to be his main focus; as far as I can tell, he's not a literary agent (for some reason, I've been getting quite a few inquiries recently about the William Greenleaf "Literary" Agency, as in the title of this thread)--though he does provide a fee-based research service that's supposed to hook writers up with agents. I'm not crazy about these matching services, especially if you have to pay for them. Even where they're conducted by qualified people, it's unlikely that they can bring any kind of "insider" expertise to an agent search, or accomplish anything that you couldn't duplicate on your own with some careful research.

    - Victoria
    Last edited by victoriastrauss; 08-28-2006 at 11:21 PM.

  7. #7
    Working In A Coal Mine... Sonarbabe's Avatar
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    Legitimate author or not, I'm a penny pincher and a cheapskate. LOL. I'd much rather find a good crit partner or online group that can tell me where I messed up than pay out hundreds of dollars that I don't have on some guy who can't guarantee that my book will be picked up by Harlequin or Kensington. As for finding an agent, I've become better at researching and if I'm not sure of someone, I double check with you guys. It all evens out and I keep my money.
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  8. #8
    eezywriter
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    Bill Greenleaf does an excellent job

    Boy, you couldn't be more wrong about Bill Greenleaf. Not only does he have excellent credentials, he does an excellent job of reading and commenting on your work.

    I have used him over the past two years, and am very pleased with his insight, comments, observations and suggestions. He "gets it."

    If you don't have any money to spend on a first-class editor, then by all means, go for some critique partner. For me, I found that to be a total waste of time.

    Writers write.

    My buck twenty-five.

    EZ

  9. #9
    jacquieg
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    Greenleaf OK

    The only problem I had with Mr Greenleaf was his lack of communication. He never did return phone calls - I had to keep calling until I got him and several emails went unanswered. His time requirement is also very long. That being said, Mr Greenleaf did a very nice job for me as far as his critique, but when I needed a professional editor he was unable to meet my time requirement. I used The Editorial Department and they have been the absolute best, with lots of support, answered emails and phone calls. My MS is now in the hands of an agent and his intial feedback has been very positive. I think I have a very legitimate shot at being published and while Mr Greenleaf made a contribution, The Editorial Department could have done the critique and editing all at one time and much faster. I'll stick with them!

  10. #10
    Ooo! Shiny new cover! Absolute Sage Cathy C's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by eezywriter View Post
    Boy, you couldn't be more wrong about Bill Greenleaf. Not only does he have excellent credentials, he does an excellent job of reading and commenting on your work.

    I have used him over the past two years, and am very pleased with his insight, comments, observations and suggestions. He "gets it."

    If you don't have any money to spend on a first-class editor, then by all means, go for some critique partner. For me, I found that to be a total waste of time.

    Writers write.

    My buck twenty-five.

    EZ
    Did his critique or comments move the book closer to publication? In other words, AFTER making the changes he suggested, did you receive additional requests for the manuscript or actually sell the book? How long ago did he do the work for you?
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  11. #11
    jacquieg
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    No I can't say that it moved me closer to publication. I made changes based on his critique and was turned down by a few agents. It wasn't until I used TED that I got a bite from an agent. And that is certainly not a done deal! LOL He told me yesterday that he, his assistant, and their new intern have read portions and they all loved it and he thought it was something they might like to work with but he apologized for the time delay (he has had the ms 4 weeks) and asked that I call him next Tuesday. I am a first time novelist, so this is a very big deal to me! LOL I have a few more books I would like to write and hope I can!
    Thanks

  12. #12
    practical experience, FTW SDBmania's Avatar
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    I used him for an evaluation and he had good things to say.

    I have since had my book evaluated by others and have recieved positive feedback as well.

    I'm not about his expanded critiques or what marketing help he does.

    But, I was satisfied with his evaluation.

  13. #13
    Rbate
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    William Greenleaf

    I used Mr. Greenleaf and found him not only to be very professional, but also very knowledgeable. He has a way of communicating his criticism in a manner that is neither patronizing or condescending. In my opinion, he is totally objective. That he is well qualified is evident on reading the first few pages of his critique. I am more than satisfied with the results and consider the money I spent an excellent investment. If you are a new or a published author I feel certain the Mr. Greenleaf has something to offer you.

    Perhaps there are some group criticism sites that can provide you with effective suggestions and criticisms on the cheap. But, as the man said, 'you usually get what you pay for.' I feel comfortable in recommending Mr. Greenleaf to anyone hoping to improve, not only their current manuscript, but their writing skills for any project they might have for the future.

    R Bate

  14. #14
    Tired and Disillusioned Momento Mori's Avatar
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    Hi Rbate - can you tell us whether you were able to secure an agent or a publishing contract as a result of Mr Greenlead's critique?

    MM

  15. #15
    Rbate
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    Wiliam Greenleaf

    No. I have not been published yet. I do know that my chance of becoming published have been greatly enhanced by Mr. Greenleaf's insightful and complete critique. I am now in the process of applying his sugestions and insights to my manuscript, which I will re-submit upon completion.

    Take my word, you will never regret using his services. Even if you are not published, you will be a better writer as a result of his critique.

  16. #16
    Tired and Disillusioned Momento Mori's Avatar
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    Take my word, you will never regret using his services. Even if you are not published, you will be a better writer as a result of his critique.
    Thanks Rbate - let us know where you get to with the amended manuscript.

    MM

  17. #17
    practical experience, FTW SDBmania's Avatar
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    I have been thinking about having him Evaluate and critique my second unpublished novel. I cant spend the money on the critique, but my family has offered to help out.

    The evaluation he did on my first book was very nice. So, I think he's credible. I remember him not taking a long time to finish the evaluation, obviously the critique would take longer.

    The book proposal sounds interesting, but I'm assuming all that would be is that he writes a query letter for you. That doesn't sound like it should cost $750 to me.

    Still, my dealings with him in the past have been fair. I'm curious if anyone here actually did pay for the critique and how helpful was it?

  18. #18
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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  19. #19
    This is not my first rodeo...
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    I use Bill for an evaluation, and he had good things to say, starting with a comment that my manuscript was a refreshing change from the typical work that came across his desk.

    In the critical analysis part of his evaluation, he did offer what I considered to be "templated advice"; canned copy-and-paste comments designed to point out the almost guaranteed soft spots in almost any newbie's writing. I'm sure I could have followed it and found a few examples of each in my work, since this was only the first edit after the first draft. Other than that, the issues he addressed were concise and he had something to say.

    Not everything was positive, and I expected that. I can find friends to tell me I'm great; I was looking for somebody to slice and dice me.

    All of it was his opinion, obviously, but I felt he expressed personal preferences on one or two things (like POVs) that differed from mine.

    I'd asked him to help me to identify my genre, and he forgot to do that. Probably the only thing I found that bothered me was that though he gave his own description of the storyline, he never made reference to the surprise ending. Had he read it, I felt he almost certainly would have. I hadn't told him about the surprise ending in the brief description I provided him. I wanted him to be surprised....

    So, I'm assuming he read the first few chapters, and skimmed and looked for the other parts I listed off in my description to him. This isn't catastrophic or anything, as, #1: His business is to provide literary services, and, #2: He lives in a part of AZ where you make 100 dollars an hour or starve, and I paid him 285 bucks for the whole deal; he's GOT to do some skimming and templating, and #3: He would certainly have covered the ending and much more in the critique he hoped to provide me with (So he could stay alive in AZ).

    At the end, he used a half-page talking about how he could help me with a critique, and gave me a price on it, about 200 dollars per 10,000 words.

    I felt that should have been sent to me as a separate mail; I didn't like the feeling of paying for an advertisement to be sent to me. But really, that's as bad as it got, and that's not a big deal.

    I mailed him back and told him he'd forgotten the genre identification, and that I really couldn't afford a couple grand for the critique at this point.

    He responded promptly with the Genre ID and was quite pleasant about my refusal on the critique. I was surprised when he stated that he was positive that even without his critique I was going to break into this business. He never even had to mention that, and he certainly didn't get paid to say it. I was delighted.

    Yes, he provided some feel-good stuff. Any smart literary service guy would. But he said more than that, and commented about how good my writing and storytelling is. The things he said proved he read a good portion of my book, though I suspect not all of it.

    I've been able to take his evaluation and make some changes; to be sure, enough to warrant the 285 dollars I spent.

    My experience with Bill Greenleaf has been a positive one.
    Last edited by J.M. Surra; 11-22-2010 at 08:24 PM.

  20. #20
    practical experience, FTW Writers Choice's Avatar
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    If anyone is still reading this thread, I am considering using his book proposal service. It say minimum of $950.00 on his website. Since like most people here, I am a newbie to the book writing world, I am unfamiliar with what a proposal even looks like. Just a few months ago I didn't even know there were different types of editors; matter of fact, I thought proofreaders were editors - Yes, I'm that new.

    If he does a great job, than it maybe worth it. I don't want to fork out that much money just to get something that I could have done myself. From what I read above, he seems legit; but has anyone used him for the proposal part of the manuscript?

  21. #21
    Grr. Argh. Thedrellum's Avatar
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    I strongly advise against this.

    What are you going to use this proposal for? If you are going for a large trade publisher (one of the big ones), then you are going to need an agent to get them to look at the book. The agent will come up with a proposal to send them.

    If you are looking for an agent, then you need a query and supporting materials, which is essentially what he describes doing for the proposal (for $950). You can find information for doing most of that work yourself in the Query Letter Hell here on Absolute Write, though it'll take research and practice writing such things. Here, there'll also be people willing to help you (though in order to post in Query Letter Hell you need to reach 50 posts).

    The thing is, all the stuff he's describing should be work that the author should be capable of doing him/herself. And if you get an agent/editor/publisher, they'll expect it of you.

  22. #22
    practical experience, FTW Writers Choice's Avatar
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    I will be looking for an agent. I still have some time before I feel my manuscript is perfect or at least as perfect I can make it. I am getting close to the end so now I am at a point where I can seriously think about a query letter and such.

    I'll take you advice and see what I can come up with myself before paying someone else. Thanks/

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