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[Editing] Manhattan Literary, a.k.a Pantheon Literary

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

novellabob

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I posted a couple of weeks back about what seemed suspicious responses from the Penn Group regarding ghostwriting. While I have decided to pass on ghostwriting and do my own work because of monetary concerns (I've published some short stories), I continued to get emails from companies I contacted, plus some independent ghostwriters. Even though I'm passing on ghostwriting, I thought I'd pass along my conclusions because I didn't like what I saw.

Arbor Books used to be Floating Gallery. The owners are the same. One freelancer said he'd seen the work of Floating Gallery and that it had grammar and phrasing mistakes at the grade school level. One can only imagine why Floating Gallery went out of business--or speculate as to what the heck Arbor is now offering.

I found that Pantheon Literary used to advertise as Manhattan Literary. The website design seems to be identical. One wonders why these name changes occur, though it isn't hard to speculate.

My brief contacts with Penn, Arbor, and Pantheon/Manhattan revealed that these firms do not have "New York writers with close ties to the industry," at least not from what I could tell. The writing seems to be subcontracted out to freelancers all over the country. Also, these companies all claim to have agent contacts, although no one at any company would tell me who these agents were. Arbor claims to publish and promote as well as ghostwrite, though their prices are staggering for the whole enchilada. Yet they claim they write best sellers. Right. I bet they have swampland in Florida as well.

Of the freelancers and independent ghostwriters I contacted, some had good qualifications and samples to offer, some didn't. The ones who did, however, all warned me about large ghostwriting companies, though they refused to name any specifically (except for the woman who named Floating Gallery and told me it was now Arbor), nor would they go on record.

Caveat emptor. I was fortunate. Having published short fiction in literary journals, I had some editors who helped steer me away from what seemed to be used car pitches. They told me to take my wife out to dinner instead.
 

victoriastrauss

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Since we're trying to do one thread per company, I'd appreciate it if we could keep discussion here to Manhattan Literary, a.k.a. Pantheon Literary.

Literary agent Mark Sullivan (about whom Writer Beware has gotten many complaints over the years--there's a thread about him here at AW), who charges reading fees and refers clients to his own editing firm, New York Editors--appears to own Manhattan Literary. There's no indication of this on Manhattan' Literary's website, but the site's URL is registered to Mark Sullivan Associates.

Pantheon Literary seems to be a clone of Manhattan Literary. The URL registration is privacy-protected, but the websites are identical. (I wasn't aware of Pantheon before novellabob's post here--thanks for the detective work!)

One of the books/authors listed on the Mark Sullivan Associates website as a sale/client (Barr McClellan, Blood, Money & Power) also appears on the Manhattan and Pantheon Literary websites as an editing project.

Robin Buckner's Sade, another editing project at Manhattan and Pantheon, is listed at B&N.com as being published by New York Editors--Sullivan's own editing firm. Ditto for The Baby Garden by Sharon Schovanec. Ditto for Phenomena by Charles Nevison.

Plenty of conflict of interest here.

- Victoria
 

novellabob

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Thanks, Victoria. Turns out I had found only the tip of the iceberg. Conflict of interest indeed! Wow.
 

CaoPaux

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Pantheon Literary is gone. Manhattan Literary survives, but no recent activity.
 

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