View Full Version : Vital, vital crucible question

Lantern Jack
03-22-2005, 06:19 AM
I'll be graduating from college in two months with a bachelors' in comm studies and, wishing to go out with a bang instead of a whimper, am trying to concentrate my writerly efforts into a bang-bang, hurrah-hurrah personal narrative. I sent a sample to O'Henry Award-winning author, Bill Roorbach and he, in turn, referred me to his editor. She also read my work and was quite won over by my talent. She offered to read a book length-manuscript for a flat fee of $300. She's giving me a couple months to cobble my essay together but I don't know how much she'll charge to read a lit mag-length article (it's on rape: mine; an important issue, both she and Bill agree upon). Quandary: I have but $1,200 in the bank, which I desperately need. Who thinks I should spring for the pricey sounding board?

aka eraser
03-22-2005, 09:14 AM
Not me, nor any writer in his/her right mind ( I would hope).

Liam Jackson
03-22-2005, 03:06 PM
As far as the price of editing goes, it all depends on what you want out of it, and what the editor promises in return for your hard-earned savings.

If you were preparing a novel for submission and wanted an expert spit-shine, you might then consider a professional editor. Especially, if the editor has a track record in your preferred genre. For example, our own Uncle Jim is a highly successful scifi-fantasy author, and he does editing for a fee. If you were preparing a novel for submission, you could do worse than hiring Jim to edit your work. Lou Aronica is another. Lou was the scifi/fantasy imprint publisher for Avon and Bantam books. He now owns the Fiction Studio. If you had a dark fantasy novel and wanted an appraisal from someone who has a couple of shelves lined with literary awards (Hugo and Locus to name two), you might consider him, or someone with equal credentials. There are other editors that frequent AW. Lisa, Dean, etc... They are good at what they do, and might enhance a new writer's chances of finding a contract.

$300.00 is an almost unheard of price for a novel-length pass/creative edit. Such an edit by a professional usually starts at $3.00 a page. Add another 25-50% for a line edit. Have you found out what she charges for essay length narratives? I'm curious, now.

As an alternative, you might find some qualified editing talent in your local English department. In the long run, only you can determine if the return is worth the initial investment. Having said that, I tend to agree with Frank (AKA Eraser as general rule, but I also believe there are exceptions.)

03-22-2005, 03:09 PM
$300? I'll think you're wonderful and talented for a much lower fee ;) -- don't do it.

aka eraser
03-22-2005, 06:21 PM
Liam - no arguments about legit editing services with fees attached but he was being asked to pony up $300 just for a read. If it was a read + critique and he was comfy that the source's credentials were worthy, then maybe. But I'd hate to see any newbie shell out that kind of money for a reading fee.

Liam Jackson
03-22-2005, 07:04 PM
Yeah, I got that Frank. I was just trying to illustrate examples of appropriate times to have a "300.00 read." The instance mentioned above doesn't seem to fit the bill. I've seen line edit crits in college for $2.00-2.50 a page, (no content, just grammar and punctuation.) That's why I asked what the editor in question quoted as a price to edit the narrative.

aka eraser
03-22-2005, 08:42 PM
Okay, gotcha. That'll learn me to read before my 2nd pot of tea. :)

03-23-2005, 04:27 AM
I'm wondering where the crucible fits in.

- Victoria

Lantern Jack
03-23-2005, 06:47 AM

Mucho, much, bucho thankies, gents and others alike:TheWave:

Lantern Jack
03-23-2005, 06:50 AM
and I decided against it. :PartySmil