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[Editing] Words Into Print

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


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Aug 16, 2006
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Is anyone familiar with Words Into Print? They were featured in Jeff Herman's Guide under legitimate book doctors. The web site advertises as New York Publishing's top editors.

They ain't cheap, but would a service like this help with publication?



Mostly Harmless
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Feb 12, 2005
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Coastal Desert
A question to ask yourself is: if you need to pay for help to get your ms into acceptable shape, will you be able to make the edits the agent and/or publisher asks for after acceptance, without paying for more help?

On the whole, such services are best used to learn how to make your next book publishable on your own, not to attempt to fix your current one. (And beware any claims that you need to be "professionally edited" before you submit to an agent/publisher.)

ETA: Here's some dicussions: http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showpost.php?p=151227&postcount=4

And Writer Beware's take on book doctors/editors: http://www.sfwa.org/beware/bookdoctors.html

ETA2: Words Into Print website http://www.wordsintoprint.org/
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Aug 10, 2006
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Oh, the hell they are. The hell are they New York publishing's top editors.

That'll be why they're working as freelance commercial editors, doctoring unbought manuscripts, instead of having full-time in-house jobs (with raises, bonuses, paid holidays, and full benefits) working on a much better class of books for NYC's top-drawer publishing companies?

Jeff Herman says a lot of things.

Do you really think that in the throbbing heart of the US publishing industry, there's a system whereby the most talented editors do piecework editing on awkward manuscripts by unpublished authors, but the likes of John Updike, Francine Prose, Stephen King, John McPhee, Norman Mailer, Salman Rushdie, Carl Hiaasen, and Toni Morrison have to make do with second-stringers?

... pause ...

I have now gone and looked at WiP's site. They don't say they're New York publishing's top editors. The assert that they are [SIZE=-1]"New York's top independent editors and consultants." Very different thing. And maybe they are what they claim. It costs them nothing to say so.

They don't look to me like they're an editing firm per se. What they are is a consortium, a half-dozen freelancers who've banded together. Maybe they share a secretary and a xerox machine. Maybe they hand off projects to each other when one's too busy and the other's not busy enough, or when the project's more suited to the other freelancer's background and skills. I've known operations like that.

If they're legit, the usual arguments pro and con going to a book doctor apply.

I'll stand by my original reaction, though: the best editors in New York publishing work in-house. Furthermore, their services are free to the authors whose books they buy.

Elizabeth George's book Write Away