Have you ever received a professional manuscript assessment or had any other experience working with a literary consultant?
What is your opinion of such services and experts, whether based on your own experiences or in general?
Cosette, I agree with you. Not too many writers are aware these kind of services even exist, which is kind of a shame because a manuscript assessment can be a good investment at the right time. I have learned a lot about the publishing industry by working with literary consultants, and am also eager to hear more about the manuscript assessment process from people like you.
I agree with cosette. In addition, authors who have wonderful ideas and fruitful visions don't always have the organizational acumen to take those ideas and visions from their own heads and put them into the heads of a reader. That's what a crackerjack editor (literary consultant) is for.
There are some great software programs for organizing ideas also.
yWriter5 is one of my favorites.
It's one of those things that, in concept it's a great idea, in execution, the people assessing manuscripts are often not qualified to do so, one of those blind-leading-the-blind scenarios.
Which is not to say NO people doing it, can do it well. I had an opportunity to spend some time with Dara Marks a few summers back and saw what that sort of professional can do, but who's got that kind of money to spend? If you think it's good enough to pay what someone truly qualified is worth, you can just send it in to a publisher for free. If it's good, it's good.
My advice is, spend time reading great writers. Lots and lots of great writers, and then you will know what good writing looks and sounds like... what it feels like, what the possibilities of "good" really are first hand, then you won't have to trust your hard work and your money to someone who has an excellent chance of being unqualified, a crook, or lacks the aesthetic scope to recognize what you have done.
Just my opinion.
We're talking two different worlds here, Shadesbreath. A publisher will take it only if it is "good" (and maybe not even then). A good editor will educate a promising writer, and the writer can chalk up that expense to the cost of a higher degree.
I believe there are lots of people out there who are not the professionals we are, but who do have great ideas, imagination, and gumption; they are without the skills to make what's in their heads jump into the heads of readers. They need help, and this help is worth paying for.
As for finding the right "literary consultant" (ie., editor) to work with, well, caveat emptor. Do the diligent research.
Oh, I know the difference. My point is that if someone has a manuscript they think is good enough to pay for editing what a PROVEN editor will charge, that writer ought to just submit the manuscript instead.
That said, I suppose as long as they understand that the odds of getting ripped off without doing TONS of research and reading the work that has been done by their editor of choice, you are probably right given your caveat and a lack of writing ability (which can be gained by practice anyway... but I digress) lol.
A publisher will not look at your manuscript unless it has been professionally edited
A publisher will not look at your manuscript if it is sloppy, poorly written or does not meet the publishing house's format requirements.
Simple research via Writer's Market ( a book available at bookstores, online, or at your local library) will give you the format requirments for most publishers, and most publishers also have them posted on their websites. Time spent revising and proofreading will suffice for the rest (the conversation we had in posts above notwithstanding).
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