I am sure that it is apparent to most that I am new to the writing industry. I have many things to figure out when it comes to how things are done but I am learning as I go. I know that in order to have something published you have to first write something down. The first part of a book is called a manuscript. It is not considered a book until it is actually bound together.
Your manuscript has many different lives, rough draft, first draft, second draft, ect. Once you are finished with your manuscript you need to make sure it is polished before finally seeking a agent and or publisher to which you will then send your final draft.
I have made no secret of the fact that my editing skills leave a lot to be desired. While I am comfortable with the written word, it is clear that punctuation and spelling are best left to the experts or, at the very least, to spell check. It is because of my editing skills, or lack thereof, that I chose to hire an editor to help polish my manuscript.
After a few weeks of searching I found someone who I thought I could work with who understood what I was looking for and had, what appeared to be, good credentials. Jennifer was good coming out of the gate, e-mailing, recommending websites, warning of others. But as in a good horse race being quick to leave the gate does not always a winner make.
It seemed as soon as Jennifer rounded the bend she slowed down and pretty much lost interest in winning much less finishing the race. She no longer responded to my every e-mail, sometimes taking days and sometimes even weeks to respond. I would write and ask where she was with the project and she continued to assure me everything was right on track.
A short time before the scheduled completion date she suddenly had unforeseen family issue come up. I am not heartless; even though I am very eager to have my manuscript finished I did not insist she finish on schedule. A couple weeks went by until she finally wrote and told me the crises was over. I was pleased as now I assumed she would continue to work on my manuscript.
I have since learned that you never assume anything. It seems that one crisis begot another and now she was having issues within her company. She assured me that “things like this happen in the industry all the time” and I should expect delays. I must be old fashion because I feel that when you pay for a service you should get what you pay for, especially if the person performing the service is the one who gives you a written contract with a completion date on said contract.
At this writing we are now well over 70 days past the promised completion date and she has finally quit responding to my e-mails all together. She collected most of the money for the race and the finish line is no-where in sight. It seems as though getting published is a lot like playing the ponies, you have to take a gamble and if you bet on the wrong horse you’re going to lose.
While I am not happy this happened I can say that I have learned from this experience. I now know to pay extra care when reading a contract. The one I signed with Writers Plus, now known as Writers Plus Chaos was very one sided. It stated what would happen if I did not hold up my end of the bargain however nowhere was it written telling what would happen if she did not keep up with her end of the deal. I will be smarter next time.
I am not saying not to use Writers Plus Chaos, I am simply saying that in my dealings with the company so far I have only received chaos.