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DGMT / Distal Group (Anne M. Volmering)

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Editing for authors: because every writer needs a good editor.

Cathy C

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I couldn't find anything about this in the index or on the current boards, so I figured I'd post a new thread.

I just today received a flyer in the mail (via first class, no less!) I can't quite decide whether this is a scam, or just incredibly misguided. In either event, I think it's worth bringing up to see if anyone else has received this.

The company is called (and I kid you not!)

Distal Group Mindstreaming Technologies
Literary Consulting Projects Department

They're located in Oak Harbor, WA and the flyer reads (verbatim, with emphasis by them):

$40 flat fee manuscript review?

Writers sometimes forget that success is about voice, passion and artful arrangement of the language. All the "degrees", "workshops" and "industry contacts" in the world will not get you published if your manuscript reads like an amateur, or never gets done, right?

We offer a traditional Pre-Submission Review, because we know that sometimes the hardest part of getting published is making it past the interns reading the manuscripts and getting them to send it up to the editor. It has to read smooth, gripping and polished. We can help.

Professional "Book Doctors"/"Independent Editors" have incredibly high fees to edit your manuscript to fit their style. Why pay an Editor to do that before you send it to another Editor, who will have their own style? Does it help you get published? Actually, it is a negative to even tell the Publisher/Editor on submission that you had the manuscript professionally edited.

Our goal is to provide intensive diagnostic feedback covering areas of style, flow, plot, readability, characterization, back-story and uncommon usage that is uncomfortable prior to submission to an agent or publisher. We do not do line-editing or plot revision.

Our Highest Demand Service:
Unfinished, partial manuscripts are accepted!
Feedback has been known to break writer's block, re-motivate or clarify direction.
Let us get you excited about it again!
Request the ongoing status reports and we'll e-mail you as we progress through the manuscript. (Don't forget to include your e-mail address.)
Anne M. Volmering, Director
DGMT Literary Consulting Projects Dept.

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PAGE TWO
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Send us your manuscript and the literary consulting projects dept. will generate a detailed assessment report and/or general notes listed by page and paragraph.

We guarantee a fast turn-around, copyright protection and respectful service.
We do not guarantee that you will be published after using the service, and anyone who tells you they can is making a fraudulent claim.
It really is fast, confidential, non-invasive and inexpensive.

Project Management Fee............$40
Manuscript SASE
There are no other fees.

Due to volume constraints we can only accept fiction manuscripts at this time.

*Send $40
*Enclose a manuscript SASE
*Enclose the manuscript
*Include a cover letter about your concerns or special instructions for the group if you have any.
*e-mail address or phone number where you can be contacted with questions or concerns.

We do not accept electronic submissions simply because our staff reads the manuscripts as your target audience will read them after being published; on the couch, snuggled in our favorite chair, curled up by the fire or poolside. We want your story to be an enjoyable read...don't you?

--------------

So, what does this look like to you? Forty dollars to read unlimited pages, whether 50 or 500, with "intensive diagnostic feedback?" :ROFL: There's something seriously wrong with this picture. I just can't quite tell if the person has no concept of what they're getting into, or if it's a scam that would get a computerized form with checkboxes (the same one for everyone), or a fly-by-night troller, seeking as many $40 payments to a post office box (which the address is) and then disappear.

Anyone ever heard of this group, or are they new?
 

HapiSofi

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Yup, there's something seriously wrong with this picture. They're badly underpriced.
 

CaoPaux

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That's decidedly bizzare. Google does hit on a couple second-hand references to a Washington writer/artist by that name.... :Shrug: Having been to WA, though, I doubt they read much by poolside. ;)
 

victoriastrauss

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Yow. This is a new one to me. Cathy, will you send me a copy of that flyer? It's PO Box 1216, Amherst MA 01004.

My guess would be that they're trolling for editing recommendations. You pay your $40, then get a suggestion that you need professional help--which they, of course, can provide. Or they know someone who can.

I can't help thinking that if they're serious about this mindstreaming thing, they should just be able to concentrate very hard on the manuscripts, rather than actually making people mail them.

- Victoria
 

Aconite

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Our goal is to provide intensive diagnostic feedback covering areas of style, flow, plot, readability, characterization, back-story and uncommon usage that is uncomfortable prior to submission to an agent or publisher. We do not do line-editing or plot revision.
WTF? Does this make sense to anyone?
 

DaveKuzminski

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Yes, they want writers to pay them for reading. I used to read books in two to three hours when I was young just because there was so much then that was new and interesting. Assuming they can read a manuscript in four hours, that would be equivalent to paying them ten bucks an hour. Since they're probably not reporting it on their taxes or paying any benefits or social security on that, it's all profit to them.

I figure it won't be long before they're skipping pages and get it cut down to an hour for each manuscript, including the report. After they do about twenty or thirty, they'll also figure out how few responses are needed and that they need only a few templates to plug in names and events from what they read in order to send a report back to each writer that looks like the whole manuscript was read. In no time at all, they could be earning forty bucks an hour. Even giving themselves a month for vacation, they could make over seventy thousand a year. All they need are forty manuscripts a week and that's definitely doable since many agents receive several times that many queries each week. In all probability, there's a partial or completed manuscript behind most of those queries.
 

CaoPaux

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Almost two years later, and the only mention is here at AW. Anyone get another flyer?
 

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