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  1. #1
    A Writer
    Guest

    Question for all you "real" novelists ou

    Would you ever consider -- or have you ever considered -- offering to read unpublished manuscripts in your genre in order to supply valuable feedback to an author who is in the pre-submission editing stage?

    For example, if you have written murder mysteries, you would read murder mystery manuscripts.

    Fantasy writers would read fantasy.

    And so on.

    A reading fee goes without saying, of course.

    Say, $300? $500?

    Remember, this isn't editing....this is reading and giving your overall impression of a manuscript.


    Am I in loo-loo land, or is this something that is actually done sometimes??



  2. #2
    Mya Bell
    Guest

    Re: Question for all you "real" novelist

    It's more important for a reader to read manuscripts in a genre they read than a genre they write. I know quite a few writers who write in only one genre but who read and can intelligently supply feedback in several genres.

    When I look for readers, I look for people who are avid readers of the kind of work that I need read. They aren't necessarily writers. I also steer toward readers who can articulate what they like or don't like about a book and why.

    I can't comment on the fee aspect because I have a network of good friends who always offer to read for me and refuse to accept monetary compensation (I always insist on buying them dinner at the very least).

    --- Mya Bell

  3. #3
    A Writer
    Guest

    Re: Question for all you "real" novelist

    Excellent, Mya, and thank you.

    I've currently got someone reading my manuscript who is a fanatical reader in the genre, and he is supplying me with invaluable feedback. So I understand what you are saying about finding "readers" to read instead of writers. It makes perfect sense!

    I'm wondering....do you incorporate your "reading friends' feedback" into your own self-editing prior to submission to the publishers? Do you share this feedback with your agent, and do you feel that it ultimately becomes an integral part of the entire "perfecting the manuscript" process?

  4. #4
    pundit
    Guest

    Re: Question for all you "real" novelist

    I take the input of about a half-dozen friends into consideration when revising my MS prior to submitting it.

    -p

  5. #5
    Mya Bell
    Guest

    Re: Question for all you "real" novelist

    I do the same as pundit. I rarely show anything to a publisher or editor without having at least one other set of eyes look at it first. Then I make changes, hopefully put it away for a while, make changes again, if necessary, have my reader(s) give it one more look-see and then I submit.

    I don't share my editing process with the publishers. They have enough to worry about and since they seem to be happy with the final results, I don't see any benefit in bothering them with details of the part that I feel is my responsibility.

    --- Mya Bell

  6. #6
    Honey Pen
    Guest

    Re: Question for all you "real" novelist

    There is an excellent site called Deadly Prose that is for serious or published mystery/suspense/thriller writers only. They do a critiquing exchange of entire novels from what I can tell. I applied but haven't heard back from them. There may be other sites like this for other genres. I'm guessing you can get pretty decent feedback from this one, since they don't take just anyone. And it's free.

    I'm not a published writer, btw.

  7. #7
    leslee
    Guest

    Re: Question for all you "real" novelist

    I don't see any particular value in having my work read by writers who work in the same genre. In fact, I prefer the opposite. I'd rather find out if I can hold the attention of someone who doesn't write in my genre, because I already know that people who read my type of book will like it. I want a wider audience.

  8. #8
    Mya Bell
    Guest

    Re: Question for all you "real" novelist

    Very good point, leslee.

    --- Mya Bell

  9. #9
    Anthony Ravenscroft
    Guest

    Re: Question for all you "real" novelist

    The danger of getting a "fan" to review your novel is that you run a clear risk of only being clear to someone who's thoroughly steeped in the conventions of that genre.

    Even within borders, an established novelist might not be the best critic. For instance, a "cosy" author might be bored to tears with a good "procedural" novel, & vice versa.

    Now, if the author also happens to be an omnivorous reader, you'll get a much better range of input. Advice for appealing to the core audience is helpful, but limited.

  10. #10
    Joanie Woods
    Guest

    Re: Question for all you "real" novelist

    Mya is lucky -- it can be very hard to get someone to read your work!! This has been one of my biggest problems. Beware those who will read it, only to shower you with praise (usually those who have never been writers themselves and don't want to step on your toes). My husband flatly refuses to read my prose-in-progress, as he says he "doesn't know enough", which is nonsense!! (His way of avoiding arguments, LOL!!)

    I have one very good friend who's been a university librarian and avid reader all her life, and I rely on her comments absolutely -- pity she lives some distance from me.

    I am not as lucky as Mya, as friends close by are either too lazy to read, or not clued up enough to give a good critique. Your readers MUST have some idea of what a good story entails, really should know how to assess your characters, style, etc. They should also not hesitate to point out weak bits or where your story falters.

    And I would never tell my publisher about ANYTHING a friend said. They have their own readers and will make up their own minds: you can't "sell" your MS to them in that way.

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