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Thread: [Editing] Publication Services, Inc. / PubServ

  1. #1
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    [Editing] Publication Services, Inc. / PubServ

    Has anyone else had any editing/proofing experiences with Publication Services? They're based in Champaign, IL and offer editing services for an un-named self publisher. I'd like to hear about any work processes and feedback you've gotten from them.

    Much thanks for any info!
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  2. #2
    What happened to my LIFE?!
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    Hmmm...without further detail, it is hard to say.

    But, I would suggest that you also place this post in the Bewares and Background Check forum, as another source for comment.

  3. #3
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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  4. #4
    A Gentleman of a refined age... thothguard51's Avatar
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    Well they seem to have been around a long time. I am curious about their off shore partners. Does this mean they sub out the editing to firms in India or Pakistan?

    Like with any editing service, I would want to know who the editors are and what their experience is, what genre's they specialize in and so on and so forth...
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  5. #5
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    The place is a mixed bag.

    I can speak primarily about the way things were not too long ago. (Vagueness, sadly, is necessary here.)

    The editing was not shipped overseas. Believe me, they would do it if they could. But they kept trying to send that type of work overseas, and they kept having to redo it.

    They will tell you they have editors experienced in various areas, and they would not be lying.

    What they will not tell you, however, is the turnover is absolutely obscene. More about that later, but what that will mean for a writer is you will need to hope you get someone good. That's probably no different from any other place.

    If you don't get someone good, you might be in trouble. At one time, there were people who could "patch" or even mask bad work. I am not sure if that is still the case.

    Back to the turnover: Because of it, there is a chance you will work with people who either have not been there long or, to be blunt, have no business being there. Also, like too many companies today, the people who stay are often the sycophants and suck-ups and not the best people. One cause is low pay. Another cause is the company's complete inability to organize and delegate work effectively. The people who know what they're doing eventually realize how flawed the process is, and if they get the chance, they bail.

    Also, you should hope really hard that your work will not need proofreading after the editing portion is complete. The place cycles through proofreaders like they are underwear. The hordes who walk through the door are trained poorly. Thus, chances are good you will get an overly eager proofreader with lots of borderline queries. The company discourages that, but it still happens. If you are really unfortunate, you will get to answer a few of those queries.

    Worst of all, the place will sign people to a free-lance proofreading contract, and then one or two things will happen: (1) The person will get work with no prayer of turning a profit. It will require so much time that the rate will plummet to pennies a page. (2) The person will never see a dime for the work and then will be told he or she is free to stop working for the company if he or she is unhappy.

    What this means for the writer is you might have a proofreader who is unhappy for the reasons mentioned above.

    Unfortunately, I cannot comment on how much of the bill is inflated because of the inefficiency and the high turnover. It's possible that the company eats all of that excess cost.

    In short, the place is amazingly disorganized, and the situation with the proofreading contracts alone should have raised some eyebrows well before now. All of that being said, you might be able to submit something, dodge the many obstacles the company creates, and get some decent service.

    P.S.: The company does screen applicants with an editing test. Used properly, it could be a decent tool for evaluation. Unfortunately, the company does not use it properly. People who score below a certain level are not hired; that part is good. But the people who make it past the testing then are either anointed as gods or pigeonholed into whatever area is the company's glaring need du jour. Some of that stems from the company's chronic disorganization (see above), but some of it could be avoided if the company would bother to do more than assign a grade to the test. Instead of pinpointing the areas of need or strength, the company makes a bunch of snap judgments. After that, it will never change its mind. Even people who do well in several areas fall victim to the company's frequent binge-and-purge cycle.

    Despite all of that, you will have a few people who stay, either because they are afraid to leave, or they learn that most of the other "publishing" companies in the area make the place look like a model of efficiency. I don't know if Sagamore Publishing has been discussed at this site, but that place is a textbook example of the "bumpier path" that people in the area hope to avoid.

  6. #6
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Also, to clarify that last part "just in case:"

    I see there is again an active entity called Sagamore Publishing. It might be a great place. But there was a Sagamore Publishing that eventually became Sports Publishing LLC. A little research will tell you all you need to know about that outfit.

    I suspect that the current incarnation of Sagamore is a "Pet Sematary" version of the old place, but perhaps the third (at least) time is a charm.

  7. #7
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    Unhappy Wanna get paid? Don't, Don't, Don't sign on with Publication Services!

    In response to some earlier posts, here's what I have to add. I took the "editing" test because I wanted to edit for them (this was in 2008). I was told by Terri Gitler, who is now the president of the company, that they really needed proofreaders and would I be willing to give that a try. Sure, why not -- it's an addition to the resume and publications list.

    Well -- no. The first contract I signed allowed for payment within 30 days of receipt of work by Pub Services from the proofreader. This was followed in fairly short order by a contract that specified a 90-day lag -- some of their customers were slow to pay, you see, and they felt sure that they could keep current this way.

    As of today, 9/14/2010, they still owe me over $2000 from 2009. They owe me over $2500 from 2010. I won't work for them at this point, and have pointed out that they're in serious breach of contract. My next step is going to be legal -- it's the only way I think I can get paid.

  8. #8
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    Sorry to hear that, ALC. Not that this will make you feel better, but you're not alone.

    I don't want to sound like one of those "I told you so" people, but you never should have kept going with them, and you waited too long to take legal action. As soon as they were 30 days past the 30-day deadline, I told them I was going to court. That spurred them into action.

    Of course, I never got any more work from them, but I certainly didn't want to keep working for the place if I wouldn't be paid.

    This should probably be a separate post or even at the top of this one, but the place is out of business now. Busey Bank has seized the assets. So I doubt you will get much of your money.

  9. #9
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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    For the morbidly curious, more detail on the closing: http://www.news-gazette.com/news/bus...eing-paid.html
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