Last month we talked about book doctors, specifically, who they are, what they do and how to find one. Since then, I’ve been busy researching and interviewing these professionals in hopes of finding the right person to do a “big picture edit” of my manuscript before I send it off to any agents. Well, ladies and gentleman, I believe I’ve found her.
The first time I spoke to Marlene Adelstein was last summer, when I was considering hiring a book doctor to help me with my first book. By the time I came across Marlene, I’d already talked to a number of editors, but each one had a flaw (not enough experience, wouldn’t provide references, etc.). But when I spoke to Marlene, several things immediately stood out. First and foremost, she asked a lot of questions about my project before deciding if it was something she’d be interested in working on. This told me that she wasn’t interested in taking on any old project just for the money. She also probed to find out what I was hoping to gain from the experience (I wanted a professional opinion about how to strengthen my book and increase my chances of getting published), which helped her determine if her services were a good fit for me. Next, she walked me through her work process, which involves a 2-3 week window for her to review my manuscript and provide me with detailed notes. Then, a phone call or face-to-face meeting follows, giving me the opportunity to pick her expert brain. All in all, this sounded like exactly what I was looking for, but the big question still remained: can you provide me with three references? I held my breath, hoping she wouldn’t deny me, because no references is a deal breaker for me. But I was in luck and she provided me with the names and contact information of writers she’d worked with (and who ended up getting published).
Despite all the wonderful things Marlene’s references told me about their experiences, I never ended up hiring her to edit my first book because I came to the heartbreaking conclusion that it simply wasn’t strong enough to sell. But when I completed my second book and started looking for book doctors again, Marlene was the first person who came to mind. And today I’m happy to announce that I’ve taken the plunge and officially hired her! She’s scheduled to take a look at my manuscript in mid-April (hence all the frenzied editing I’ve been been doing on my own lately). And, as always, I promise to share the entire experience with you!
Do you have any book doctor-related questions that you want me to address during my experience?
If so, feel free to leave a comment below or e-mail me at: erika (dot) liodice (at sign) hotmail (dot) com.