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AConfusedWriter
10-05-2007, 03:42 AM
Hi guys, what do you think of paying somebody to review a book proposal b4 sending it off to agents? A seasoned food writer said she would charge me for $495 (5 hours) to review my proposal . It includes a second round read. Is this worth spending? Thanks for your thoughts!

Tish Davidson
10-05-2007, 04:05 AM
I'd send it out to four or five agents first and see what kind of response I get before I paid anyone. It might be fine the way it is. There is plenty of information on the Web and in books on how to do a book proposal and it costs a whole lot less than $495.

KTC
10-05-2007, 04:08 AM
Tell her no thank you.

Billingsgate
10-05-2007, 05:07 AM
That's far too much to pay to review a proposal. I second the suggestion to send it to agents and/or publishers first, to gauge the response. As long as a non-fiction proposal has plenty of substance and the topic is sharply focused, it will be given fair consideration.

Silver King
10-05-2007, 05:47 AM
It wouldn't cost you a penny to post your proposal in the Nonfiction area of Share Your Work (http://absolutewrite.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=69), where the good folks there will give you feedback and 495 reasons why you shouldn't send it to that food critic, seasoned or not.

(The password to enter SYW is vista.)

ResearchGuy
10-05-2007, 05:58 AM
Hi guys, what do you think of paying somebody to review a book proposal b4 sending it off to agents? A seasoned food writer said she would charge me for $495 (5 hours) to review my proposal . It includes a second round read. Is this worth spending? Thanks for your thoughts!
A. It is a sensible idea to have a competent outside opinion to improve the chance of giving the right first impression to agents.

B. The quoted price seems unreasonable in terms of hourly rate, number of hours at that rate, and the combination. (That is, someone worth that price should be able to give you a useful review in much less billed time.)

C. Might it be better in any event to make your first approach to an agent a query rather than a full proposal? (Or are you looking at agents who want to start with the proposal?)

D. Seasoned food writer? Was that an intentional play on words?

My thoughts, FWIW.

--Ken

SHBueche
10-05-2007, 03:55 PM
Seasoned food writer? Didn't even catch that one, that's funny. Anyway, yes, their price does seem steep, how long is your proposal? I think it would be worth paying a "third eye" to look over your proposal AND posting it for free at Absolute Write.

kimmer
10-09-2007, 06:03 AM
I agree with others that $495 sounds steep for now. Here are a few ideas I tried that you might want to consider first:

I met with a professional book consultant to glance over my query letter and strategize with me - $60, well worth it. I asked a professor at my alma mater to share my letter with her editing and publishing class (slightly older students than my target audience) and she created an extra credit assignment - well worth it, again. I also cajoled former colleagues in my field to be on my "review team" and asked them to provide their feedback on the first chapter - I treated to lunch sometimes and listened intently. I owe them all much more than lunch.

I also realize that because my husband is a technical writer I have in-house proofreading and editing - for free. Nothing's really free, of course, but my point is that I truly did not have extra money so I found other, creative ways to get professional assistance at low- or no-cost during my query and proposal stage. I hope these ideas help you think of other ways to get the review assistance you need without spending so much money.

I'm from Milwaukee, where frugality is a badge of honor.

veinglory
10-09-2007, 06:06 AM
I doubt it. Odds are someone who has sold to your preferred publisher will do it here for free. Besides, has this seasoned writer sold a book on proposal? Being willing to charge for a service doesn't mean being able to do it.