Sunday, June 14, 2009
Trolls are Alive and Well
Update: A previous client of mine has agreed to share her critique and 10PT. Worksheet as samples of what I offer. If anyone is interested, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll send you the files. Angelika is a true Angel! :) Thank you!
For the Record:
Some “people” have made false claims that I am preying on authors of Publish America and charging them thousands of dollars to book doctor their novels. Where this fantasy generated from is anyone’s guess because the “people” claiming this have never given the name(s) of these supposed victim(s) and when confronted and asked for the evidence, they turned tail, claiming they never made such accusations. Then less than a month later, posted the very same claims about me.
These “people” claim they are providing a service by warning others about me—but have failed to contact Victoria Strauss, Preditors and Editors or any other number of “writer beware” services available. If their intention was truly to warn others, one would think I would have been reported by now. Perhaps their lack of evidence and obvious ignorance about the industry is holding them back. So let’s correct some of the bad information being put out there today by these “people.”
For some “people” anyone who is paid to critique a work, or rewrite a work for that matter, is a “scammer”—which is about as accurate as saying that every time you take your car in for an oil change, you are being scammed because you could do that change yourself—simply by following the directions in the manual that came with your vehicle.
Yes, writer’s can read books to hone their craft. They can follow manuals published for their benefit. They can even get their friends and other writers to give them a critique for free.
None of that, however, makes a legitimate critique service a “scam” in the same way that your ability to change your own oil, or have a friend or family member do it for free, makes an oil-changing company a “scam.”
Writer’s Digest, Harlequin, and many other reputable places offer paid-for critiques at higher prices with less return than I provide. They are not scammers—they deliver on the services they offer for the prices they ask. That is a business.
I run the legitimate Rotowriter Critique Service. This is how I earn money between royalty checks and help aspiring writers learn the craft. Rarely have I taken on “ghost writing” or “rewriting” work because of the time involved. (I do have my own writing career to focus on.)
Just some of my qualifications to run this critique service are:
I am a multi-published and award-winning author.
I worked as a mentor through RWA’s CLUES program.
I have placed, won and judged RWA writing contests.
I designed and taught online writing courses and workshops through Writer’s Village University and for Milli Thornton, the author of Fear of Writing.
I have a quarterly column in the Wisconsin Regional Writer’s Journal titled Critique Corner.
I am chairwoman of the Jade Ring Contest, a writing contest that has been in operation for decades.
Manuscripts I’ve edited have gone on to be published, including novels by Jonathan Miller who writes legal thrillers and the upcoming Echelon Press release, Torn From Normal by Martin Bartloff.
To date, I have never had an unsatisfied client and in fact, much of my business is repeat, or through referral. In other words, I rarely ever solicit or advertise my service. This is the reason many of my readers and online friends never even knew it existed up until some “people” chose to air their misinformation.
Now, on to what I offer in my critique packages:
Each critique, no matter the length, is accompanied by a 10 point worksheet. This, I’ve been told by a previous client of mine, is worth the cost of my basic package by itself. A copy of the 10 Point Worksheet can be found here: http://www.jennifer-turner.com/worksheet.html
I also allow 3 initial questions so I can better understand the concerns of the author (perhaps they’ve been told they write passively and wish to have extra help with this) and then 3 follow up questions to ensure my suggestions are understood fully.
My prices are set (far) below industry standards because the entire reason for creating the service was to make available professional critiques to aspiring writers who couldn’t afford to take their work elsewhere.
I do not claim to be an “editorial service” because I, myself, need an editor. I do claim, however, to offer a line-by-line critique and explanations that amount to a one-on-one tutorial on the craft of storytelling and the mechanics of writing.
ANY writer wishing to purchase a larger package MUST first purchase the basic package: 3,000 words for $20.00 to ensure they want what I offer. Should they choose to purchase a larger package afterward, the $20.00 is deducted from that cost.
The packages I have are currently on special are as follows:
3,000 word critique: Normally $25.00--now $20.00
Submission package (First 3 chapters, Synopsis and Query): Normally $150.00--Now $100.00
Full Manuscript critique 50-75K: $500.00--Now: $400.00
(Just comments without critique: $200.00--Now: $150.00)
Full Manuscript critique 76-110K: $750.00--Now: $650.00
(Just comments without critique: $275.00--Now: $200.00)
Full Manuscript rewrite 50-75K: $1000.00--Now: $900.00
Full Manuscript rewrite 76K-110K: $1500--Now: $1300.00
As a comparison to industry standards, my basic package works out this way:
3,000 words at 250 words per page=12 pages
In industry standards, a critique as I do would be considered “Substantive Line Editing” and the rates are as follows:
1-6 ms pgs/hr = $40-65/hr
(Taken from the EFA: http://the-efa.org/res/rates.php )
Even at the highest number of pages per hour and the lowest rate, I’m still under-charging by $60.00 and that discrepancy only increases as the packages go higher.
In the end, I welcome any investigation by any “watchdog” group interested in the validity of these "people's" claims.
One last note: These “people” claim that being a member of an organization like the EFA is a measure of a person’s ethics—it isn’t. They have no vetting process other than making sure your dues are paid in full each year. So be careful—simply because someone might belong to an organization such as the EFA, it doesn’t mean they have scruples.
P.S. I am not accepting new clients at this time. Sorry!