I discovered Writer’s Edge through a little bit of providence. I was flying back home from Arkansas for an Army conference, so I was travelling in uniform. The first flight stopped at the Dallas Fort Worth airport. On that tiny little plane, I sat next to two former military chaplains. Because I was in uniform, we chatted a bit on the plane, and then I ran off once we landed because I had a tight connection to make.
As it turned out, my flight was delayed. Three hours.
Fortunately, the Dallas airport has a great USO where service members can stop in, relax, eat some free food and watch some TV.
At the USO, I met up with the two former chaplains who had flown with me on the plane.
So we chatted some more. I told them I was a public affairs journalist for the Army and what my job entailed, and they shared some of their stories and run-ins with media when they were still serving.
Then, as I usually do, I told the one chaplain, Jim, about my book and how it was a collection of short stories with Christian themes.
He told me about his own book project, which had just been accepted for publication.
My immediate thought was, “Uh-oh. I hope he’s not getting scammed by a vanity press posing itself as a legit publishing company.”
But that wasn’t the case. The publisher had offered him a contract and an advance payment. Everything looked legit.
I asked him how he did it, and he told me that he had submitted his manuscript to Writer’s Edge Services, which works a bit like a literary agency but isn’t a traditional agent.
The way it works:
The author pays Writer’s Edge $99.00 to review his book manuscript. No promises are made. The Writer’s Edge assigns the manuscript to an editor to review for quality, and if they deem the book worthy of representation and publishing, they pitch the manuscript to a group of legitimate, traditional publishers.
You can find the list of the publishers they work with here, which includes pressse owned by names like New Leaf, Thomas Nelson and even Random House.
If a publisher accepts the book, Writer’s Edge doesn’t take any money from the contract.
So I gave them a try. Considering how much money I had already spent on promoting Amidst Traffic, I didn’t think $99.00 was a big investment, and I felt confident that the book would be viewed positively.
As it turns out, Writer’s Edge accepted the manuscript! And I even received a human, personalized response based on my book!
I think Writer’s Edge is a great option for Christian Authors who are willing to pay a small fee to have their work evaluated fairly and objectively and see where they stand in terms of quality and marketability. The unfortunate alternative (of submitting a book to a literary agent) can result in rejection letters without any feedback of where your work stands.
Here, at least, you’re guaranteed a response, if nothing else.
But honestly, if I had found out about Writer’s Edge online, I would have been very skeptical. It was much more encouraging having met someone in person who had used their services.
What about you?
Have you discovered any literary services that help authors find publishers, but are not exactly Literary Agents?