Happy Christmas!

Happy Holidays!

Welcome to the AbsoluteWrite Water Cooler! Please read The Newbie Guide To Absolute Write

editing for authors ad

A publisher or agency using Google ads to solicit your novel probably isn't anyone you want to write for.


Go Back   Absolute Write Water Cooler > Discussion > Bewares, Recommendations & Background Check > America Star Books / PublishAmerica / Independence Books
Register FAQ Calendar Mark Forums Read

Closed Thread
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 01-24-2004, 09:23 PM   #81
astonwest
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Re: Editing

"And the general public tends to be a lot less critical than book people, I assure you."

Maybe to the author's face...but if a publisher (and an author) put out garbage, public backlash can be fierce. Take a look at the commentary at Amazon on Clancy's latest, The Teeth of the Tiger...

"But my point (which got missed) is this: forewarning people against PA because of poor editing puts two thoughts into the writer's minds:"

That just happens to be one of the many reasons to forewarn people (there are many others I could delve into, but most have already been mentioned in other threads, this board (and site) and others)...plus, as James mentioned, copy editing isn't the only type of editing that books need.

"I didn't care before and I don't care now."

Funny, isn't this the same person who once touted himself as a "White Knight" going off to defend his publisher against all these attacks on other boards? If I had the time or energy (or cared), I'd go venture off and find that posting...but if you say you don't care, that's your choice.

"Unfortunately, when you say they don't edit you are lying because they do."

That's a lie only by using PA logic...taking apart a sentence and nitpicking the contents. Any person with a decent word processor can run the same type of editing PA does (and thus, by running a spelling or grammar check, voila, we have edited your book). In the past, there have been times when they haven't even been able to step up to that standard (ask a few of the PA authors how many corrections they had to fix on their proofs). Ponder this: last I looked (which I admit has been a while), PA was cranking out new books at over 70 books a week...that's 280 books a month (basically). You're telling me that a staff of editors can sit down and go through 280 books a month, and do a full edit on each?

"They just don't have a very skilled staff doing it and they don't do it in the manner in which most PA authors need."

I have to wholeheartedly agree with you on your second point. I don't believe it's the skill of the staff that's the problem, as much as it is they're being underutilized (I have to assume their editors have degrees or training in English, but can't be certain on that). Unfortunately, with the standard brainwashing package used by most of their supporters, they tend to try and make it seem like decent editing is paramount to ripping your heart out (you wrote those words, and you want an editor to tear them up and rewrite them?). Myself, I would have actually preferred a real editor going over my work, and telling me what worked and what didn't.

"She used to be an editor for a major house, actually."

Okay, and? She still has friends...still refers people to them. When people I know want to get books placed in a chain store here in town, I refer them to a place where I know the manager (and he knows me). I imagine your point here is once again lost on my incompetence.

Big Daddy West
:hat

p.s. just for kicks, I went over and checked the "new releases" at PA. 73 new books this week...
 
Old 01-25-2004, 01:59 PM   #82
Canada James
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
subject

"Oh, James. Are you confusing editing with copy editing again?"

Not confusing, defining. Remember James: to talk to your audience you must learn to talk at their level. Otherwise your arguments fall on deaf ears and you wind up with an argument of semantics. You don't have to belittle others to make them feel small, all you have to do is take away their victory.

Even if all they do is check the first line of every page they have still "edited."

Astonwest:
"Maybe to the author's face...but if a publisher (and an author) put out garbage, public backlash can be fierce."

I think that's more a backlash against Clancy. You should have seen the rave reviews of Dirteaters in the Globe and Mail. Sheesh.

"That just happens to be one of the many reasons to forewarn people..."

Again you missed my point. The problem is you're trying to have the same argument that you've had with other PA authors. Start fresh with me.

"Funny, isn't this the same person who once touted himself as a "White Knight" going off to defend his publisher against all these attacks on other boards?"

Actually, it was in defence of the authors. But yes, at one time I was much more pro-PA than I am now. Funny thing: most of us grow with our experiences. But when you have the time check out exactly where my stances have always been. The arguments I had in defence of PA: they don't take movie rights, they do edit, there was no Maryland detective on a "case" against PA. I was right on all counts then and still am now.

"That's a lie only by using PA logic...taking apart a sentence and nitpicking the contents. Any person with a decent word processor can run the same type of editing PA does..."

So you admit that they edit. Now your point of them "not editing" is moot. (Are you getting it yet?)

"You're telling me that a staff of editors can sit down and go through 280 books a month, and do a full edit on each?"

Nope, I'm not.

"Okay, and? She still has friends...still refers people to them. When people I know want to get books placed in a chain store here in town, I refer them to a place where I know the manager (and he knows me)."

And? That manager gives you a kickback? Because that's what it sounded like you were getting at to me.

Canada James
 
Old 01-25-2004, 11:04 PM   #83
aka eraser
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Re: subject

" Even if all they do is check the first line of every page they have still "edited." "

I suppose if you have sex once you've also become a parent.

It seems to me that only Canada James is arguing semantics here. Everyone else *knows* what editing means in relation to book publishing.
 
Old 01-25-2004, 11:07 PM   #84
DaveKuzminski
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Yeah, right

Canada James, how can anyone check on your past stances? You erased the vast majority of those. Remember?
 
Old 01-26-2004, 12:08 AM   #85
SRHowen
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
For the most part I

stay out of these-PA and other companies like them, and many POD's etc., take advantage of a stage in a writers career where the writer thinks they know all and every word is golden. Period.

Editing is the process of reading the entire book. It is a process to make the book a salable and readable work of commercial fiction (in most cases commercial)--it is a process that weeds out as many errors as it can. Yes, there are some typos etc missed. So editing the first line of a page is not editing. Using grammar checker or spell check is not editing--every writer knows that grammar checker is about useless (unless you have a good knowledge of grammar to start with), and spell checker--it is not going to catch from for form or collages for colleges --it is not going to catch over worded phrases, POV errors, tense errors and many more.

A good editor who spends days carefully reading a MS and producing a several page editorial letter does catch those things. A good line by line editor looks at every page and examines every line--that's why it takes a year to get a book on the shelf.

And don't site to me that oh that's the big guys way of---- Yes there are errors in the big guys books--but not the number of them that are in the majority of PA books--most of which--every one I have read, appear to be the work of amateurs. First books that should have been part of the million words of crap that every writer has to get out of their system before they make it.

I've been editing for almost 20 years now--I know what goes into a good edit.

PA by any professional standard does not edit--they do even less than a good crit group does.

Quote:
Not confusing, defining. Remember James: to talk to your audience you must learn to talk at their level. Otherwise your arguments fall on deaf ears and you wind up with an argument of semantics. You don't have to belittle others to make them feel small, all you have to do is take away their victory.
How insulting. The majority of the people on this board are pro's or semi pro writers. To imply that people here must be talked down to --ugh. Grow up and face the real world of publishing instead of eating up the @#%$ that PA pours into your shallow brain pan.

Shawn<---very sick of it all.
 
Old 01-26-2004, 01:43 AM   #86
FM St George
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Re: For the most part I

www.publishamerica.com/cg...al/569.htm

interesting thread here about the exact thing we're talking about - note that now getting your proofs is basically nothing more than a formality, it seems... you're not allowed to do much and dare not ask for much more beyond a correction on a comma or two.

the mentality that PA encourages that all of a writer's words are gold and shouldn't be challenged or edited is a bad one and will NOT help these people further on in their career. When I worked at Penguin Books Canada I saw countless GOOD writers have their work edited, and I don't mean for just the occassional comma or semi-colon error. An editor's job is to help produce the best product avaliable and if that means sending a chapter back to the author with a slew of red lines through parts of it, so be it.

these people truly believe that their words are written gold and it'll hurt them in the future when they try to sell even a short story - I can't imagine their response when an editor comes back and says "hey, we loved the story - but can you cut out a thousand words?" - they'll sputter and spit and scream "no" and lose the sale, most probably.

the sadder thing is one of these posts mentioning that she paid a professional editor to help prepare the manuscript before sending it to PA - news flash; the COMPANY is supposed to do the PROMOTION and the majority of the EDITING. If you want to send it to an editor before submitting, great... but it seems that PA does little more in the way of editing than just making sure the commas don't get too rampant (and fail in some cases, based on the excerpts I've seen on some websites) and promotion is nil, leaving some PA authors with little else than to hire their own PR firms. That's just disgraceful.

as usual, jmo ymmv...
 
Old 01-26-2004, 01:43 AM   #87
Canada James
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
subject

"I suppose if you have sex once you've also become a parent."

But if have one child you are.

"Everyone else *knows* what editing means in relation to book publishing."

Check the PA message boards. *Everyone* doesn't know.

Dave:
"Canada James, how can anyone check on your past stances? You erased the vast majority of those. Remember?"

pub43.ezboard.com/fabsolu...41&stop=60

Guess I forgot.

Howen:
"How insulting. The majority of the people on this board are pro's or semi pro writers. To imply that people here must be talked down to --ugh."

Now let's actually address what I wrote.
Your audience: Novice writers considering PA.
Your lingo: Either what the experienced pros understand, or what the novice writers will understand.

Which do you choose?

"Grow up and face the real world of publishing instead of eating up the @#%$ that PA pours into your shallow brain pan."

That was uncalled for. Now either start addressing what I write or just don't post. That's how misunderstandings occur.

Canada James
 
Old 01-26-2004, 02:34 AM   #88
DaveKuzminski
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Re: subject

Just so you can't erase your words again, I'll quote part of what you stated above. I draw your attention to your last two sentences. I think it fair that you pay attention to the same advice that you give others.

HOW SO? Simple. I asked for your stance, not a reference to a litany of facts and demi-facts you posted that you have spewed out. Those, which I might add, mimic what PublishAmerica gives out which is why you earned that comment you considered so insulting.

I will ask you again. What is your stance? Do you need a definition or are you mature enough to answer in an honest manner?

Here's the partial quote:
Dave:
"Canada James, how can anyone check on your past stances? You erased the vast majority of those. Remember?"

pub43.ezboard.com/fabsolu...41&stop=60

Guess I forgot.

Howen:
"How insulting. The majority of the people on this board are pro's or semi pro writers. To imply that people here must be talked down to --ugh."

Now let's actually address what I wrote.
Your audience: Novice writers considering PA.
Your lingo: Either what the experienced pros understand, or what the novice writers will understand.

Which do you choose?

"Grow up and face the real world of publishing instead of eating up the @#%$ that PA pours into your shallow brain pan."

That was uncalled for. Now either start addressing what I write or just don't post. That's how misunderstandings occur.

Canada James
 
Old 01-26-2004, 02:46 AM   #89
aka eraser
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Re: subject

There's CJ doing what he does best; ducking, bobbing, weaving and tossing red herrings.

You, and no one else, claimed that skimming the top of every page constituted editing.

My comment, about everyone knowing what real editing was, referred to people "here", (AW posters, NOT the novices at PA). The previous sentence made that plain.

Shame on you for scolding others for not addressing what you write while allowing yourself those same "liberties."
 
Old 01-26-2004, 03:25 AM   #90
FM St George
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Re: subject

fwiw, I think the majority of PA authors know WHAT editing is... they just don't think it applies to THEM.

after all, they're pirates in the publishing world - they don't have to produce coherent and well written books; just books...

:P
 
Old 01-26-2004, 05:20 AM   #91
James D Macdonald
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Re: subject

Unfortunately, the PA authors won't come here, and we can't go there.

There's really nothing we can do for those who have signed the contract in any case.

The best we can hope for is that people who are considering PublishAmerica will check around and find out about what kind of deal they'll be getting into before signing on the dotted line.
 
Old 01-26-2004, 10:11 AM   #92
astonwest
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Re: subject

"Even if all they do is check the first line of every page they have still "edited.""

Indeed, this is becoming an argument in semantics. The end result is the same, however, that no matter what you want to call it, most of the books coming out of PA need a lot of work (mine did for certain...).

(from the aforementioned PA thread) Kristan wrote:

"An editor's job is much bigger than simply correcting grammatical errors and catching typos. While copyeditors are responsible for cleaning up the manuscript, editors are responsible for tackling the bigger issues such as ensuring the novel's characters are fully developed and the dialogue is believable and true to character."

"Please don't underestimate what a great editor can do for an author; a great editor only has one goal and that's to help the author write the story he or she set out to write in the most powerful way possible. Authors shoudn't be fooled into accepting poor writing as "style" when, under the coaching of a good editor, he or she can turn that style into great writing without sacrificing the original intent."

It's good that some folks understand the difference...

"The arguments I had in defence of PA: they don't take movie rights, they do edit, there was no Maryland detective on a "case" against PA. I was right on all counts then and still am now."

You may be, but unfortunately, if one only tends to defend and not point out fatal flaws, it tends to get assumed a person is defending all points. Pricing, for example. (since this is an argument I've used in past discussions with PA authors, I won't delve into it)

"Nope, I'm not."

Unfortunately, at least one PA author is convinced they do a full (or at least more than a simple spelling and grammar check) edit...and has posted such information for all to see...

www.mindsightseries.com/d...1063291976

"Hey, I dropped by to say I've had a fantastic experience with my second book through PA. The new contracts are different, the editing went great, and they even provided info on writing. I like the idea that they don't stylize your work. I don't want someone messing with my books. I read my author's copies of The Joe Schmoe Show and there were no mistakes. I realize there were a couple errors to Crispy, but that was my fault. This time they corrected a lot before I ever got to proof it. When I had a question about a correction they made they refered me to a book on writing to explain it. Most of what they did was grammatical stupidity on my part. Nothing was changed in a negative way as far as the content goes."

"And? That manager gives you a kickback? Because that's what it sounded like you were getting at to me."

I wish he did...but that wasn't my point...

But then, such is life...two sides of an argument that will never come to a close...
 
Old 01-26-2004, 10:44 AM   #93
DaveKuzminski
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Another claim

Okay, while Canada James is examining his words that still are online to determine if he even has a stance, let's examine one of the other claims about PublishAmerica. Anyone want to post the section from a PublishAmerica contract that relates to film rights? I have some of their contracts, but I'd like for this to be posted by someone other than me so I won't be accused of leaving out any wording.

I think we should once and for all point out whether or not PublishAmerica is cutting itself in for money that legitimate royalty-paying publishers don't take.
 
Old 01-27-2004, 01:22 PM   #94
Canada James
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Sheesh.

Once again I am having one conversation while the rest of you are having another. Sheesh.

If you want to help potential PA authors you have to think like a potential PA author. Now, since none of you pros have been down that road I thought I'd shed some light. But clearly that's not what you want.

What you want is to harp on all the benign problems all the while patting yourselves on the backs at what a great job you're doing as writer advocates.

Sorry Mr. K, but the "James and Dave" show has had its last curtain call.

Canada James
 
Old 01-27-2004, 07:43 PM   #95
FM St George
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Re: Sheesh.

considering half of the posts here are FROM unhappy PA authors, I find your statement confusing...

but, hey... whatever floats your boat.
 
Old 01-27-2004, 08:50 PM   #96
CWGranny
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Honestly

I don't think it's very nice to suggest all the new PA writers are stupid. From what I can tell on the board, they really do think they are being edited, not spellchecked. They honestly believe PA has someone going over their work line by line, finding all the mistakes and correcting them and then giving them a chance to agree to the corrections. They have no such delusions that editing equals skimming the first line on each page or running spell check. Most of them know how to run spellcheck.

I know PA itself believes it's authors are stupid but I don't think it's very nice for you to back up this particular belief. The TRUTH is that the PA message board posts make it VERY CLEAR that those PA authors do, in fact, believe that someone is assigned to carefully edit their manuscript -- looking for all errors (which include spelling, grammar, and changes in character names, and similar mistakes that can only be caught if you read the book).

Evidence on the board would suggest not one single PA author is "defining" editing as "ran the spell check." Thus, it's pretty clear that PA is NOT editing according to how their own authors define editing. Now -- they are editing in accordance with how the COMPANY defines editing. Of course, this is the same company who defines themselves right out of being a POD company (and not many of their authors are buying that re-definition either).

I don't think your fellow authors are ANYWHERE near as stupid as you keep painting them here. I, personally, think they are competent adults who are being taken advantage of...not stupid children who would be happy as clams to find out that the "editing" they thought was happening was really just a spellcheck.

Even Marcus knows what editing is...he just chooses to redefine it as "stylizing" (what a company man) and he's glad not to get it -- but he still understands that he is not getting editing as traditional publishing defines it. So, basically, not one person has ever said, "Oh, PA skims the manuscript and runs spellcheck and grammarcheck? -- hey, great, that's just the kind of editing I was hoping for."

Gran
 
Old 01-27-2004, 09:34 PM   #97
DaveKuzminski
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
One more thing, Canada James

If you want to address me, it's Mr. Kuzminski.

As to the show you believe is going on, you're welcome to believe you're entertaining. I have no such purpose. My entire reason for entering these discussions is to help others avoid the ripoffs. I do not see you warning anyone of what to beware of or how to avoid being stiffed in the wallet by some of the scammers that are out there.
 
Old 01-28-2004, 01:36 AM   #98
darbyj
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Re: One more thing, Canada James

This is the kind of PA post that really upsets me. I want to shake people like this and scream "don't you get it?" I think I tried explaining to them that the traditionally published world does not take PA seriously, but I was slapped on the knuckles:


Message:
The dark clouds floating in the sky releasing a mist on the ground have assisted in providing the perfect background on a dark and gloomy day. The sensation of self-doubt sinks in as an analysis of the situation leaves me feeling somewhat helpless.

Let me explain the situation. I was greeted with an email from an agent this morning that basically says the same as all when including the rejection. "You are a new writer despite your book being published at PA. They are not considered a legitamate publisher."

Well, I'll be damned!!!! Despite having two books in print and one on the way, I am nothing more than just a "new writer" like any other writer that has yet to experience a sale, a contract, a book in print. Three books later and I have been deemed unproven by the powers that be because none of them have been printed "traditionally".

What are those story that appear on Amazon, Barnes&Noble etc. that have bookcovers, a place in the market and sales? Are my books a figment of my imagination or do I "not count" my PA work just because the "traditional publishers and agents" have deemed them not worthy of their value?


Everyone here probably wishes that PA was more "traditional" in the sense of having our books stocked in book stores, but that is basically the only difference now between PA and the "traditional" people. The early years of PA provided less than quality products, but with time they have learned to improve their product and their books now rival that of the "traditional" people. So why are we still condemned to the land of "new, unpublished writer" despite the experiences that we have endured?

Sometimes I get the feeling that you just cannot fight city hall and, until those elderly people trapped in their mindset are retired off, we will never be accepted as legit authors in the world.

Sorry about my on going rumbling, but it was something that I just needed to get off my chest.

Frederick A. Babb
www.frederickbabb.com


PA "publishes" books, yes, but not in a way that is taken seriously by other publishers. Some have argued that PA will have its day, that it is a company clawing its way up through other larger companies trying to keep it down. That's the hope these people have. Am I wrong to think of PA as a sort of a printer I didn't have to pay? That's what I went into my contract thinking. It really roasts my buns that these people believe the "we are a real publisher/your book has just as much of a chance of being on a bookstore shelf as any other book/PA will be one of the big guys" hype and get so angry when an agent/publisher/reviewer says, "nuh uh."

Lisa
 
Old 01-28-2004, 01:48 AM   #99
DaveKuzminski
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Something they might not think of

Mr. Babb and others might believe the standards have improved at PublishAmerica and they may very well have. However, many of the people they're trying to convince of the new, more worthy quality have been burnt one too many times by the old PublishAmerica standards. Consequently, in their eyes, it might be like what we experienced in school. When you average an F with a C, you don't get a passing average of A. Instead, it's more likely one that is a grade of D. In other words, PublishAmerica will have to consistently max out every exam that follows in order to slowly raise its average because it has a thousand or more of those Fs from its early years holding it back.
 
Old 01-28-2004, 02:03 AM   #100
FM St George
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Re: Something they might not think of

I saw that post as well and had to just sigh - instead of swallowing the line that somehow PA is "fighting the system" it'd be nice if these people took a step back and asked WHY PA books aren't considered to be at the same level as traditionally published ones.

Instead, it becomes a plaintive whine that will, no doubt, be echoed in future postings where they chant the PA mantra and declare that all the other books and publishers out there are crap and darn it, PA is THE ONE TRUE LIGHT!!!

btw, Lisa - still on your "timeout"?

heh, heh...
 
Closed Thread

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Custom Search

If this site is helpful to you,
Please consider a voluntary subscription to defray ongoing expenses.

Buy Scrivener 2 for Mac OS X (Regular Licence)


All times are GMT +4.5. The time now is 02:01 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.5
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.