Personal editing. Professional results.
December 29, 2023
Buy beta reads, or a development edit?

  For the author who's looking at a full draft, ready to do more work on it, beta reading can help a book evolve. It can be vexing to find beta readers whose insights are useful. I told the authors in my monthly manuscript groups that for every four commenters at our table, probably one […]

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December 15, 2023
A bestseller shares her marketing steps

From time to time, Kirkus will discount its paid indie book reviews by $75. Even if you're not ready for a pro review just yet, you could purchase one at a discount and use it later. Or just purchase it anyway, because pro publishers do this when they publish themselves for real. Some authors, and […]

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December 2, 2023
What it means when your book's too long

Fewer tie ins really help Authors working on novels and nonfiction of all breeds always eye word count limits. These limits used to be both longer (on the minimum end) and shorter on the maximum. Now it appears that anything goes, if you can write it well. Novellas and short novels come in under 50,000 […]

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December 1, 2023
Hybrid publishers sell game tickets only

  Most hybrids only put books on the field You may have written a good draft of your book, then wonder what's next. Everybody suggests editing as a next step. Your vision for the book's future could be more comprehensive. Yes, you probably want to write query letters, compare your book to other books to […]

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November 17, 2023
How good memoirs make a point

Sometimes when a memoir author starts a book, they don't know the point of their story. Memoirs are built out of personal experience, but the events need to stand for something universal. I took a fine baseball tour with my 11-year-old Little Leaguer in Stealing Home. The story stood for the faith that you can't tell […]

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November 10, 2023
Of Veterans and Apostrophes

Grammar Girl Mignon Fogarty asks, "Why doesn’t 'Veterans Day' have an apostrophe?" Ah, the apostrophe. Humble and omnipresent punctuation mark, misused everywhere. Your usage for this weekend's holiday could be "Veterans' Day" (quite rare), but not "Veteran's Day" (incorrect) In using 'Veterans Day', the Grammar Girl says, "Veterans" is acting like an adjective, telling you […]

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November 3, 2023
Work on making playtime

Writing seems serious, especially when we have dreams for it. We're making novels or creating great nonfiction that will enrich the lives of readers everywhere. Maybe our memoir will help people see how struggle shows the way to survival. While those are noble and necessary goals, they can get in the way of playtime. Most […]

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October 28, 2023
Where to place flashbacks, and how-to

  Think of them like escape pods Flashback timing can be tricky. Flashbacks aren't limited to fiction. Narrative nonfiction like memoir can also rely on storytelling from an earlier period in the tale. Flashbacks deliver context, so readers can see the reasons and sense of character decisions and actions. They deliver the context with maximum […]

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October 27, 2023
Look at what makes covers soar

Designer Jessica Bell rounds up the major elements of strong cover design in her book Can You Make the Title Bigga? Use open space. Avoid clutter. Choose fewer colors. Make colors complement one another. Jane Friedman's blog features a post from Bell with visuals to help you see the difference these elements can make. Bell's […]

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October 15, 2023
Setting on-sale dates for Amazon books

At last, Amazon is letting authors specify their on-sale dates for books. This is the calendar date when readers can first buy your book at the 'Zon. It didn't used to be as easy as plugging in the calendar date when your sales metadata would appear on the Amazon site. IngramSpark will ask you for […]

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