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Thread: [Editing] Scribendi

  1. #1
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Question [Editing] Scribendi

    Has anyone heard of or had any experiences with Scribendi editorial services?

    I was considering them: www.scribendi.com

    But THIS caused me to hesitate:

    Can I talk to other authors who have used your service?

    Unfortunately, no. Because of the strict confidentiality and privacy policies we adhere to, we don't release the names of authors or the titles we've edited.

    I'm at least going to do THIS, and see what I think

    I'm a first time customer. How can I trust you?

    If you have a book-length manuscript, and you'd like to see a sample of our work, we offer a free, five-page sample edit. It's our way of letting you "try before you buy" for large orders.

    Meantime, any info from you wonderful people would be great.

    Thanks!
    Jessica

  2. #2
    figuring it all out
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    I've used them.
    If you write it, the readers will read it.
    http://www.evelynosimon.net

    Christian Fiction.



  3. #3
    Writer Beware Goddess Absolute Sage victoriastrauss's Avatar
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    Also of concern:

    However, we don't have editors and clients talk to each other before or during the editing process, and here's why: Your readers won't have the benefit of a personal chat with you while they're reading your work. Your document or manuscript must be able to stand on its own merit, and your editor has to be able to review your work objectively. Also, when you choose your service from our many options, your manuscript is automatically routed directly to editors who are familiar with, and like, your kind of work.

    One of the things professional editors suggest is that you communicate with them first to make sure you have a rapport and are on the same page about the kind of editing that will be done. To say that this kind of basic business communication will hamper the editor's objectivity--not to mention, to compare the editor-author relationship with the reader-author relationship--is absurd.

    Another important reason you need to talk with your editor before commencing an edit--you need to be certain that the editor IS qualified (don't take anyone's word for it) and that the editor really does have experience appropriate to your manuscript.

    I'm not saying that Scribendi is dishonest or ineffective service; Writer Beware has neither seen nor received any complaints about it. But this policy is not in writers' interest, and has the potential to seriously reduce the usefulness of any edit.

    And shades of Edit Ink. If you successfully refer someone to Scribendi, you get 15-20% of whatever they pay for editing. There's even a multi-level marketing twist: you can recruit affiliates yourself, and get a percentage of their successful referrals.

    - Victoria

  4. #4
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by short_story
    I've used them.
    Did you use them for Chi Lai? If so, how deeply were they involved with it?
    ICAO
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  5. #5
    practical experience, FTW
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    I took the free Five Page Critique. It was nice, they give you some free suggestions and correct some minor flaws your ms has. Try before you buy! If you feel it isn't worth the money, don't take it.

  6. #6
    figuring it all out
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    Quote Originally Posted by CaoPaux
    Did you use them for Chi Lai? If so, how deeply were they involved with it?
    Yes, I did. The editors at scribendi will give their honest views, and suggestions on a ms, just as any editor would.
    If you write it, the readers will read it.
    http://www.evelynosimon.net

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  7. #7
    aka Sadistic Mistress Mi-chan M.R.J. Le Blanc's Avatar
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    Pure curiousity, but why would you pay for a query service when you can get the same thing here on AW - for free?
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  8. #8
    Peter Steele <3 ChrisKelly331's Avatar
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    I used their 5 page sample and I really liked it and the editor was really good and asked if I decided to go with their service to request him becuase he'd like to read the rest but man I can not pay over 500 dollars for something like editing thats a pretty brutal price haha.

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  9. #9
    Doing the Space Operatic Izz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nitemare View Post
    He did an edit after I did two, and one with a software package called WhiteSmoke. He found all kinds of things that I thought were okay.
    Your editor used a software package to edit? Is he a real editor or a friend who's taking a look because he owes you a favor?
    Last edited by Izz; 04-19-2009 at 10:57 AM.

  10. #10
    phoenix blazing Parametric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nitemare View Post
    Scribendi offers a query letter, overview, and synopsis. I do not think all that would be free here, would it?
    We have a Query Letters & Synopses forum, affectionately known as Query Hell, which provides all of the above free. I'm one of many who critique queries and synopses - it's good practice for writing your own. If you need still more views, there are similar forums at other websites: Forward Motion springs to mind. There's no need to pay for query critique.

  11. #11
    The King and Queen of Cheese BenPanced's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nitemare View Post
    Scribendi offers a query letter, overview, and synopsis. I do not think all that would be free here, would it?
    Quote Originally Posted by Parametric View Post
    We have a Query Letters & Synopses forum, affectionately known as Query Hell, which provides all of the above free. I'm one of many who critique queries and synopses - it's good practice for writing your own. If you need still more views, there are similar forums at other websites: Forward Motion springs to mind. There's no need to pay for query critique.
    The critique sections are pretty busy. Everybody from newcomers to seasoned professionals help out there - for no charge.
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  12. #12
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Scribendi

    Anyone had any recent experience with Scribendi, an editing/proofing service out of Canada?
    Thanks,
    Steve

  13. #13
    One of many agentpaper's Avatar
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    There's a whole thread here: <snipped>
    Last edited by CaoPaux; 02-23-2010 at 07:34 PM. Reason: threads merged, thanks :)

  14. #14
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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    I suggest looking at books they've edited/proofed to get a feel for their level of service. E.g., http://www.amazon.com/Chi-Lai-Chines.../dp/1414017421
    ICAO
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    Achievers strive for excellence. Perfectionists drive themselves to extinction. -- A Grapple A Day
    I've never known any trouble that an hour's reading didn't assuage. -- Charles DeSecondat

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  15. #15
    Shakespearean Fool DreamWeaver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CaoPaux View Post
    I suggest looking at books they've edited/proofed to get a feel for their level of service. E.g., http://www.amazon.com/Chi-Lai-Chines.../dp/1414017421
    Thank you, that was very educational.
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  16. #16
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    It's true that a lot of online businesses don't have clients communicate with editors. It's not true that a client needs to talk to an editor for grammar editing, which is what Scribendi and my business (editorsforstudents.com) offer.

    Poster victoriastrauss might be referring to developmental editing, which is a much more expensive experience than grammar editing. It's important to understand that having a personal relationship with your editor costs more money than having your document looked at by a firm that assigns it to an appropriate editor. Volume keeps prices down, as does the automated nature of ordering.

    You also don't really need to talk to your grammar editor in order to ensure he or she is qualified. Online customers have a lot of power to demand a refund and to write very public negative reviews. No company wants this, so we go out of our way to make sure that our work is quality. Plus, grammar is objective. If you need to discuss anything with your editor, you probably need more than the objective grammar editing most online services offer.

    The reader/editor comparison is really a stretch. It's lame, actually, and I probably wouldn't have the writer of that explanation write my ad copy. That doesn't mean they couldn't do perfectly good editing, though. That said, Scribendi is very cheap by comparison to others in the industry (we're mid-range). This means a significantly high volume but also low pay for the freelancers. My experience is that editors don't work their best at the kinds of prices Scribendi pays them.

  17. #17
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Hi All,

    The best way to test the quality of an editing and proofreading services’ work is to try it before you buy it. In the age of social media, it only takes one bad review to tarnish a good reputation, so online companies like Scribendi.com, take quality and customer service very seriously.

    In response to editorsforstudents’ claim that Scribendi.com’s editors may not provide the same quality as a more expensive online service, I disagree. Scribendi.com has remote editors who work from home on a freelance basis and in-house editors who work in the office – the quality of work does not vary between freelance and in-house editors.

    Either way, the reason I joined the forum is not to be pro-Scribendi.com Haha. I am a freelance writer and am currently writing my first novel (about my grandfather’s life) and found this forum extremely helpful. I can’t wait to get started – I have a lot of questions!
    Last edited by WriterKaren; 04-26-2010 at 10:32 PM.

  18. #18
    I went to sleep a poet Chazemataz's Avatar
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    Scribendi

    I am considering using the synopsis/query writing service at Scribendi. Since I am a high school student, I have disposable income and so I figure that now would be the best time to spend $$$ for a query writing service and Scribendi seems pretty reputable.

    I don't need lectured or anything about this, so please refrain from doing so. I've made up my mind. Is Scribendi okay? Does anyone know of any better query writing services that may be cheaper? Thanks!
    The Horror of Hazelwood- YA Horror/Urban Fantasy; WIP!
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  19. #19
    Rewriting My Destiny Cyia's Avatar
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    Not a lecture, just a fact. Agents HATE query services and can spot the queries immediately. It's an instant rejection, which means it's a waste of money.

    So no, there's no "better" service because they'll all yield you the same result - a form rejection to go with your form query.



  20. #20
    I went to sleep a poet Chazemataz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cyia View Post
    Not a lecture, just a fact. Agents HATE query services and can spot the queries immediately. It's an instant rejection, which means it's a waste of money.

    So no, there's no "better" service because they'll all yield you the same result - a form rejection to go with your form query.
    I wouldn't be sending the actual query I got back from them. I would modify it and add in my own voice, of course.

    I'm going to post my query in QLH right now, if it doesn't work out then I'll get the service I suppose.
    Last edited by Chazemataz; 06-08-2010 at 05:56 AM.
    The Horror of Hazelwood- YA Horror/Urban Fantasy; WIP!
    "He was a boy doomed from the start/because he had a paper heart."

  21. #21
    Megalops Erectus Silver King's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chazemataz View Post
    ...Since I am a high school student, I have disposable income and so I figure that now would be the best time to spend $$$ for a query writing service and Scribendi seems pretty reputable.
    You'd be better off lighting a crack pipe with the money you'll burn with that agency. Then inhale deeply.
    I don't need lectured or anything about this, so please refrain from doing so.
    Oops, sorry.

  22. #22
    Rewriting My Destiny Cyia's Avatar
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    I'd definitely start with QLH. You know your story better than anyone, so you know what needs to go into the query.



  23. #23
    I went to sleep a poet Chazemataz's Avatar
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    http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/...d.php?t=182310

    There it is. It's just hard because I like complex plots & characters and... blah.
    The Horror of Hazelwood- YA Horror/Urban Fantasy; WIP!
    "He was a boy doomed from the start/because he had a paper heart."

  24. #24
    Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. kaitie's Avatar
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    It's always hard. All writers face the same challenges, and believe it or not, they start to get easier the more you do them.


  25. #25
    Kind of a long reply, but I hope you'll read it through (not a lecture, I promise, just my honest opinion on whether or not Scribendi's product is worth the price.)

    According to Scribendi's website, for an 80,000 word manuscript, they will charge you $404.38. To me, that's just too pricey. I've been to writer's conferences that cost considerably less and got so much more out of them than just a query letter, including professional critiques of my opening pages and one-on-one time with agents to pitch my work directly. Also, reading their testimonials, there is only one query-related comment, and while the author seemed pleased with the service, it did not mention any direct results, such as partial or full requests. So the question of whether or not you'd get a successful letter for $404 is still up in the air.

    As far as a better alternative, this isn't a query-writing service, but it's an online class:
    http://www.pennwriters.org/prod/inde...rses&Itemid=97

    I attended a query-writing workshop with this author at a conference, so while I can't speak for the online version, the class (and her subsequent critique of my query) was what made query-writing click for me. (You can see the stats for my requests in my signature.)

    What I like the most was that she didn't attempt to re-write any of the queries she was critiquing. She simply cut them down and altered some of the author's own words to make them more attention-grabbing. (If you are interested in seeing the "before" and "after" version of the query I sent her, PM me and I'll be happy to show you.)

    Now maybe this class just happened to say what I needed to hear to make things work in my mind. There are plenty of other classes out there - I'm certainly not suggesting this is the only one. But I can say that knowing you have the skill to write a solid query letter on your own for any novel you create is much more valuable than a solid query letter for a single novel that someone else wrote for you, even if that single query does get requests.

    Hope this is helpful!
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