Scams and Book Doctors - In that order, Part II

By: Jeff Herman

If we, as writers, walk the previous line, then parasitic acts could not exist and thrive. We would not need more laws, more people working for government, or any ethics. Such things only exist in the absence of honesty and in the dissonance that follows.

As a service, I have attached information about specific “Book Doctor” organizations and individuals that I’m familiar with and trust. These are people who either have deep experience working as real editors at real publishers, have “doctored” many manuscripts to the point of publication, or both. Retaining their skills will often make the difference between getting a deal or being a “close call.”

I endorse none of these people or the expectations they might create. I simply want you to have a safe place to turn if you need help and are ready to receive.

If a writer chooses to explore this route, I strongly advise following these preliminary steps:

1. Ask for references. You’re being asked to shell out hundreds of dollars to a virtual stranger. Get to know those who would eat your money.

2. Ask for a list of titles sold. Find out whether the so-called agency actually has an agenting track record. Or is this particular operation just a high-priced reading service with an agency fa├žade?

3. Better yet, call or write to non–fee-charging agents and ask them to recommend book doctors, collaborative writers, or editorial freelancers whom they use to shape and develop their own clients’ works, or see the “Book Doctor” section in this book. This may be a better place to spend your money.



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