Mark Terry

Thursday, May 31, 2012


I'm expanding on what is already a part of my writing business. Here's the initial flyer!

Would you go onstage without tuning your guitar?

Do you clean your car before you try to sell it?

Why would you publish your novel before you gave it a tune-up?

Mark Terry is a bestselling, award-winning writer, editor, and ghostwriter with more than a dozen years of professional editing experience.

Some books only need proofreading. Others may need intensive editorial development. If you’re uncertain about the level of editing your work needs, send me a sample and I will offer a free critique. Different levels of editing demand different prices.

Proofread: $.015/word
Proofreading is the most basic level of manuscript editing. The editor will look for grammar and spelling errors and note problems regarding word tense or narrative point of view. Nonfiction proofreading includes format correction and style errors in bibliographies and endnotes. I am expert in Chicago Manual of Style, Associated Press Style, American Medical Association style, and academic styles.

Copyedit: $.02/word
The next level of editing involves proofreading, plus basic fact-checking for names, dates, and places, and noting problems with transitions at the paragraph level.

Substantive edit: $.025/word
This level of editing includes proofreading and copyediting, but also includes analysis of larger issues like chapter flow, voice, characterization, and significant structural problems.

Developmental edit: $.055/word
The most comprehensive edit, this process is best instituted early in the editorial and writing process. The developmental edit will analyze the basic narrative structure of your book, including point of view, pacing, characterization, voice, and thematic issues. The developmental edit will include a detailed and comprehensive editorial letter.

Second Read: $200
Once a level of editing has been performed and the author made the changes, the editor will compare the revised manuscript to the original to assure consistency and follow-through, as well as to address any issues that resulted from the revision. This does not include a second comprehensive proofread.

 Mark Terry is an experienced ghostwriter for fiction and nonfiction. I will ghostwrite magazine and trade journal articles, technical articles, as well as fiction and nonfiction books, including writing single chapters in nonfiction books to ghosting complete novels based on your outline. Fees for ghostwriting vary greatly, so contact me to discuss your project.

Technical/Medical Editing & Ghostwriting
I have special training and experience in editing technical materials in the life sciences. If you need help with an article for a trade journal or peer-review technical journal in medicine or one of the life sciences, contact me to discuss your project and rates.

Mark Terry
Mark Terry is the author of over 600 magazine and trade journal articles, 18 books, and literally hundreds of market research reports, white papers, press releases, book reviews, and website copy. His novels have hit the Amazon bestseller lists for fiction, nonfiction, and children’s books, and his 2010 novel, THE FALLEN, was the winner of The National Best Books Award in the Thriller/Adventure category. His 2011 novel, THE VALLEY OF THE SHADOWS, was a semi-finalist of the same award. In addition, Mark has been a judge for the International Thriller Writer’s, Inc. THRILLER Award, and a book reviewer for The Oakland Press, Mystery Scene Magazine, Karyogram, and The Armchair Detective. He has been the editor of the international trade/technical journal, The Journal of the Association of Genetic Technologists, since 2000. In addition, Mark has participated in the mentoring program with the Midwest Chapter of Mystery Writers of America, and helped numerous authors bring their manuscripts to publication.

To contact:

Have questions about my rates? Contact me to discuss!

"Mark Terry collaborated with myself and John Guiliana on our book, 31-1/2 ESSENTIALS FOR RUNNING YOUR MEDICAL PRACTICE, helping us work up the outline, find an agent and editor, and eventually assisting us in writing the book through to final edits and eventual publication. Mark is a terrific project manager, writer and editor, who teased, coaxed and eventually held our feet to the fire until the project was completed to everyone's satisfaction. Highly recommended." --Dr. Hal Ornstein, DPM

As a first-time author, I knew that in the final phases of my manuscript I could use a professional eye to look everything over. After contacting Mark, I felt confident that I had made the right decision. After reviewing my work, he gave me an honest opinion and presented me with different options. Mark took time to understand my vision and maintained contact throughout the editing process. His rates were very reasonable and he finished the work ahead of schedule.  I am very pleased with the end results and have since gone on to publish my novel.”
--C. Isaacs, author of LINE IN THE SAND

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

What I've Been Reading

May 30, 2012
So, here are the last 10 books I read.

1. 11/22/63 by Stephen King
Finally. Another terrific book by King. I haven't read much of his stuff lately, but I'd been hearing such great reviews about this book that I tried it and loved it. It's "alternate history," I suppose, with a touch of SF, rather than horror. A high school English teacher discovers a wormhole that takes him back in time to 1955. The guy who shows it to him wants him to go back and try to prevent Kennedy from getting assassinated. I like King's writing, but I've typically found him to be a lazy researcher. Not here. This book must have meant a lot to him, because I think he worked his ass off on it. Damn thing almost made me cry at the end. Highly recommended.

2. Peter Namaka and the Battle for Atlantis by Mark Terry
Yeah, I re-read one of my own books. I was considering writing a sequel (several, actually, which was the original intent), so I re-read it. Then I decided that I probably won't. I think it holds up, and it definitely was set up to be the first in a series, but I suspect that for me as a writer its time has come and gone.

3. The Tourist by Olen Steinhauer
An espionage novel. A Tourist is a CIA agent with no particular cover who goes undercover and does whatever needs to be done. In this book the main character is one of the great tourists and on 9/11 things go to hell completely unrelated to events in the U.S., and he quits to work in the office running agents. But things have gone to hell again and he's forced into the field once more. Reportedly been optioned by George Clooney, which in many ways doesn't surprise me. It would be the quintessential Clooney thriller - not very thrilling, lots of character development, and a little bit of action. It's a good book, but it's a little slow.

4. Ghosts by Ed McBain
Another 87th Precinct novel. A failed novelist who became a bestselling author of a so-called true story about a haunted house is murdered. Moody, funny, and fairly difficult to solve, actually. Very enjoyable.

5. Boneyards by Kristine Kathryn Rusch
Another of her "Boss" series in the "Diving" universe, i.e., SF. In this continuation of the series Boss and her team are trying to track down so-called "stealth technology" even though they now know it's not stealth tech, it's an anacapa drive which allows FTL travel by folding space, except when it goes wrong, which it did at least once, which is how she teams up with a whole crew of people who because of an anacapa malfunction appeared from 5000 years ago. That crew is desperate to find out what happened to their fleet, but they're left hunting down rumors of weird activity in space, myths, legends, etc. And one of those legends is of a boneyard, a place where thousands of derelict ships are, but is protected by some sort of force field no one can penetrate. More action-y than some of her books, it's still slow, Boss is still a fairly unpleasant and annoying character, and Rusch teases the reader with fascinating clues about the universe without really satisfying you. Which is probably why you keep coming back.

6. The Serpent's Shadow by Rick Riordan
The final book in his Kane Chronicles series, in which Sadie & Carter Kane must defeat the Egyptian God Apophis before he can destroy the universe. Lot of fun.

7. The Rembrandt Affair by Daniel Silva
Yet another espionage novel featuring Israeli assassin/art restorer Gabriel Allon. It starts without espionage, actually, with a stolen newly discovered Rembrandt, and Gabriel is asked to try and recover it since he's retired from the spy biz. Except, of course, it gets much deeper than that, dealing with Nazi secrets and an international billionaire who is selling nuclear technology to Iran. Terrific novel, although quite slow as all these books are.

8. Star Wars Legacy: Volume One: Broken by John Ostrander & Jan Duursema
This is a graphic novel my son has been pushing me to read. It takes place something like 150 years after the fall of Emperor Palpatine and deals primarily with, I think, Luke Skywalker's grandson, Cade Skywalker, who was training to be a Jedi when his father is killed. He hides out and becomes a smuggler, addicted to death sticks, until - echoes of echoes! - a princess being hunted by a Sith Lord needs his help. It's the beginning of a very complicated series (I'm reading the second volume, Shards, which is a complicated mess, imho) and I like it okay. The art is pretty cool and all the males are ripped and all the women wear revealing clothing, so what's not to like? Sort of like Star Wars soft porn.

9. Stolen Prey by John Sandford
Pretty much keeps his reputation as the most consistent writer of police procedurals out there. An excellent, entertaining novel. It starts with Lucas Davenport getting mugged while out jogging, then turns to a massacre of a family by an apparent team of Mexican killers who think they had clues to about $20 million in missing drug money. As usual, a very engaging, entertaining novel.

10. Lullaby by Ace Atkins
Robert B. Parker may be dead, but Spenser lives on. I almost didn't get this. I'm very ambivalent about new people carrying on series after the death of the author, and in the case of Parker, his voice was so distinctive that I didn't think anybody could pull it off without drifting into parody. (And to be fair, Parker is really EASY to parody). I didn't like the last one much at all, PAINTED LADIES, but I'd been hearing positive things about LULLABY so I bought it. It's terrific. I think Atkins, who in many ways is probably a better writer than Parker was, is about 99% on Spenser's voice, especially toward the end of the novel where he really nails it. He's pretty much got the structure down without Parker's quirks, like way TOO much Susan and fairly repetitive and hackneyed conversations between Spenser and Hawk. In this case, a 14-year-old girl hires Spenser to find out who murdered her mother four years earlier. Spenser soon gets involved in a mob war in Boston and on the bad side of an FBI agent who would like him to stop getting in the middle of a federal investigation. As usual, this Spenser novel takes place in an alternate reality called SpenserWorld where PIs can kill people and not lose their license or get locked up, caught in civil litigation, and can immediately re-arm themselves for the next go-round. On the other hand, there's more internal conflict, which was quite rare in Spenser novels, and a lot less belly-button-contemplation. Overall, one of the better Spenser novels to come along in a very long time, and if it was a complete standalone, it would be a terrific novel. I don't know if I'll continue to buy the Spenser novels by Ace because I'm funny that way, but if this kind of literary regurgitation doesn't bother you, then you'll probably really enjoy this book.

Mark Terry

Friday, May 25, 2012

By The Fingertips

May 25, 2012
A guy contacted me. I'll call him Stan. It's his name, after all, so why not? Anyway, Stan contacted me via email and we've been corresponding back and forth for the last week or so. Apparently he discovered me via something trenchant I wrote on Joe Konrath's blog about seven years ago (rather frightening to think about that, but yes, it's probably correct. Time flies when you're having fun).

Over the course of our back-and-forthing, I made a self-deprecating comment about my so-called fiction-writing career and Stan came back telling me bluntly to stop bullshitting myself. That, in point of fact, if you try to track down the writers who were making comments on Joe's blog several years ago, very few of them are still writing fiction. (Stan's apparently reading all the comments on Joe's blog, which is quite a feat).

I gave it some thought. Then I gave it some more thought.

And because I'm me, I gave it even more thought. Because, you know, that's how I roll.

And I decided Stan has a very good point. Despite about a zillion rejections. Despite being dropped by several publishers. Despite going through several agents. Despite firing one agent, rehiring her and firing her again. Despite the entire publishing industry as a whole going through a major paradigm shift...

I'm still here.

I'm still writing fiction. I'm still publishing it. At the moment I'm publishing it myself primarily for ebooks, but I'm still whacking away at it. I may finish some project in the future and decide I want another shot at legacy publishing. Or I won't. Doesn't matter. The writing matters.

If at times I can't figure out why I'm still doing it, the fact is, I'm still here. I'm still hanging on, even if sometimes only by my fingertips.

I recently had one of my books, THE FALLEN, turned into an audiobook. That's a first for me and pretty cool. Which made me look over the dozen years or so of fiction publication and realized that:

-I have been published in hardcover
-I have been published in trade paperback
-I have been published in mass market paperback, albeit in a very limited fashion (a short story in an anthology)
-I have been published in French, German, and Slovak
-I have an audiobook out
-I have won one award (The National Best Books 2010 for The Fallen) and hit the semi's for the same award in 2011 for The Valley of Shadows
-I have hit bestseller lists for a number of books. (Various Amazon lists)
-I have done book signings and book fairs and book conventions

I haven't had a movie option or TV option. And I haven't really made all that much money.

But I make my living as a freelance writer and at least a little bit, fiction is a part of that.

So I guess there's some virtue to just sticking it out through good, bad, and indifferent. As I think a number of rare beasties might argue, sometimes simply surviving is success.

Have a great Memorial Day Weekend!

Monday, May 14, 2012

The Fallen on Audiobook

May 14, 2012
Just found out that THE FALLEN has been released as an audiobook. If you lean that way, check it out.


Friday, May 11, 2012

First-World Problems

May 11, 2012
Every morning I take my dog Frodo for a walk. Often I'm stewing about something. Usually it's a minor something. One of the things I often argue with myself about is whether to quit running and spend more time practicing Sanchin-Ryu. I split my exercise activities between running, biking, lifting weights, and Sanchin-Ryu karate. Over the last year or so I have increased the time spent on Sanchin-Ryu.

I just muddle along. As I commented to my wife, as we ran together this morning with the dog, I've been quitting running for about 20 years.

What I typically say to myself to end this little internal debate is, "First-world problems, Mark."

Which is to say, if the biggest problem in my life is deciding what type of exercise to do, I don't really have any problems. Certainly not problems like people living in Sudan or Syria, or even people closer to home who are fighting health problems, serious financial issues, or other problems.

I'm currently arguing with myself about a client that basically wants me to come on almost full-time as a contract editor. It would change my business significantly. But maybe not that much. It would solve a lot of headaches. It would probably create a few.

People who've followed my blog for a while probably remember I faced a similar situation several years ago and quit after about two weeks. I don't think that would happen this time. I'm in a different place in my career, a different place in my life, and I like this client far more than I liked that client.

Again, that's a pretty rough situation to find yourself in, isn't it? Keep going along the way you are, happy in your job, making enough money (whatever "enough" is), or have someone want to pay you a good sum of money to pretty much do the same thing, keep working out of your house, have a flexible schedule, still be able to freelance some. Talk about a first-world problem.

Many days, when I walk through the neighborhood, where I have lived almost 16 years, as I'm having these types of arguments, I will look at one house and remember that Lisa died of breast cancer in her 40s; at another house, where their 13-year-old son committed suicide this year; at the house across the street where Louie died of a heart attack in his 60s; of a house down the street where he died of a heart attack in his 40s; of the divorces and deaths and layoffs and foreclosures.

It makes my neighborhood sound like a disaster area, but it's not. It's just a typical suburban subdivision with about 300 houses or so. I know a fair amount about the good things, too, the birthdays, weddings, celebrations, vacations, etc. Bunch of middle-class to upper-middle-class (whatever those are these days) people going about their lives.

And I generally realize that I don't have much to complain about. And I'm grateful. Very.