Posts Tagged ‘ailing books’

Do you need assistance with your ailing book?

I met a doctor of a different kind the other day. This doctor specializes in administering to the many ailments of books. Not the book physically, but the words in the book. Can you imagine that? I knew there were a lot of sick books out there, but I never dreamed there were doctors who made them well. Specialization is what it’s about, I guess.

Few publishers these days employ editors to pick out your flaws, mistakes and ailments. And, if your book is ailing, your chances of getting it published are slim to none; unless you are like me, self publishing. Book doctors even help these poor souls. Publishers seldom read a manuscript beyond the first error. So, to insure yours is in topnotch shape, it might behoove you to seek out one of these book doctors and have them give it a good going over.

What is a book doctor?

A book doctor is actually an experienced editor. I don’t know if this falls under the heading of being politically correct or not. Anyway, a book doctor not only finds the sort of things an editor usually does, like spelling, punctuation and word usage, but delves deeper into things like plots, beginnings, middles and endings, just about everything up to and including writing or rewriting the whole book for you.

Besides picking out those missing or misplaced commas, they can, depending on how extensive a diagnosis your want, or how fat you wallet is, check that your plot is working, see that your point of view is consistent, determine that your setting is clear, the whole gamut of things that could be wrong with your book.

So, book doctors are specialized editors, if you will, who diagnose and prescribe a treatment for your ailing book, short story or whatever it is you’re writing. Some book doctors specialize in certain genres and works of nonfiction.

Why would you need a book doctor?

The first and, in my estimate, the strongest reason is, it is difficult for writers, even the best writers, to edit emselves. If you don’t have a friend or know someone who is willing and qualified to do your editing, a book doctor is out there to assist you. Maybe you’re just bogged down and need a push in the right direction, or you know there is something
wrong but can’t quite put your finger on it. A book doctor may be of assistance.

Okay then, you’re interested in having a diagnoses of your work. What does it cost? Well, that’s like everything else in this big beautiful world, i.e., you gets what you pays for.This particular book doctor I met seems to be reasonable.
She has a minimum charge of $2.00 per double spaced page and furnishes a two to five page diagnosis. Other book doctors can charge into the thousands of dollars and many even work out a percentage of your advances and royalties. A few hundred spent hiring a book doctor early in the game can save you postage, paper and copy charges down the road. Not to mention all the time lost waiting for rejection slips or lack of responses. Time, especially if you’re at my age, is getting precious. Don’t ask me who that book doctor was I referred to, she was only a figment. Pssss, she wouldn’t give me a reference fee, which reminds me. A word of caution; beware of scammers. There are loads of them lurking out there. Most honest book doctors/editors offer a free sample of their work.

Here are some sites to visit.





Read Full Post »