This might wind up being a topic that will prompt a heated reaction, I’m not sure. Maybe I should post this when I’m clear headed, but I can’t think of anything else to post, and so I’ll take my chances. *grin* With the current economy taking hits worse than Rocky Balboa, new writers need to seriously consider ways to improve their chances of selling to New York. I think this might hold true for writers already sold to New York as well. Simply getting one’s foot in the door doesn’t always mean you can crack the door wide open. We all know how hard it is to scale the mountain.
Run, Don’t Walk
I’d heard of services that offer writers editorial review content. Essentially you pay someone to review your work and to do line edits and content suggestions. My initial reaction a few years ago was… “Lord, why pay someone to review. I’ve got critique partners. I don’t need to pay someone to review my work.” I’ve also heard from other authors that one should run fast and far from services like these. But then there are naysayers about a lot of things this and that writers should and shouldn’t do.
Then I broke away from critique partners for this reason or that, and decided to see if I could go it alone in the content review department. That worked semi-okay on the first book. But I still didn’t have someone objectively reviewing it. So when that book didn’t sell to New York, I had to figure out why. My agent isn’t my crit partner, she’s there to sell my work, so I knew I couldn’t look to her for any in depth reviews.
When I started my current proposal, I was more comfortable with looking at the work objectively. Then I had this wonderful experience with my editor at Samhain. I discovered how valuable an intense editorial review could be. My editor, Immi Howsen, is phenomenal. She made both Mirage and Dangerous soooooo much better than they were when I first submitted them. I was left wishing I’d had that kind of in depth review of my other works. Not that I had bad editing in the past, just not quite to the level that I enjoyed with Immi.
So when my agent emailed me back and said, I love this, but you’ve GOT to get someone to review before we send to New York, I was somewhat leery. I mean, isn’t that what an editor was for in New York? Why would I pay someone to fix things an editor should be doing. But because I intend to sell to New York, I found me an editorial reviewer who is a life saver— Huh? A lifesaver?
Gold Not Candy
Yep, you read that correctly, a lifesaver. The person I hired is worth her weight in gold. Unlike a critique partner, a good editorial reviewer can look at the work just like an editor does. This isn’t a slam against critique partners, it’s just that editors look at things differently than writers sometimes. My editorial reviewer has experience in editing, and she’s pointed out things to me that I couldn’t catch because I was too close to the trees to see the whole forest. She’s made some fantastic observations, and she’s even reviewed the dreaded synopsis. When I sent off my partial for review, I really wasn’t sure what I was going to get for my money, but DAMN! This woman is giving me the same type of line edits and in depth review of my work that I got from Immi at Samhain. So when I sell to New York, I know that among the people I’ll have to thank, my editorial reviewer is going to be one of those individuals. This book is gonna rock!
So would you be willing to pay money to make your book shine so brightly a New York editor would be insane not to buy the book?