Personal editing. Professional results.
June 17, 2022
How to go on a pre-pub review hunt

Here’s your rundown on the review hunt. I’m keen for these; I spent more than $1,400 on reviews for my memoir Stealing Home. Lots of authors take another view: why pay for a review? Jane Friedman, who’s an expert on publishing, thinks paid reviews don’t make much difference for many books. She considers them a […]

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June 17, 2022
How to make self-publishing a job

An author’s options for publishing include self-publishing, a choice that can represent differing things. For some, self-publishing is a reason to stop sooner. More devoted self-publishing authors recognize the choice to publish themselves as a career move. It’s okay to be either kind of self-publisher. You just don’t want to be the one who stands […]

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May 19, 2022
How to get a book into production

Books are ideas, then manuscripts, then paperbacks. Knowing how to make a paperback is a certain way to deliver a book to the world. I formatted my debut book using InDesign and a lot of printer advice in 2012. It took many hours, and I'd already logged four years of publication layout work in the […]

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April 12, 2022
How to promote your short stories

The challenge we all face when we approach the task of book discovery is making things unique and specific—at the same time that we keep the desires and problems universal. "A young, broke Irish woman narrates her relationship with a successful comedian in New York." That broke Irish woman plus a standup comedian (a situation […]

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April 9, 2022
Learning Hemingway means using powers of details

Perhaps the most famous novelist of the 20th Century, Ernest Hemingway was a deeply flawed human who wrote about deeply flawed humans. The Ken Burns PBS documentary about the author is surrounded by nine hours of additional content on the Web. The Web content includes panel talks about the aspects of his writing life such as […]

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April 5, 2022
What you can expect edits to cost

Everyone's rates differ to some degree. If you're extremely accomplished as an author, you might get away with an edit of some kind for under $1,000. Those accomplishments are a measure of your skill, not your talent. Your talent is the engine, but your skill is your pilot. Most authors need more than $1,000 of […]

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February 19, 2022
Good scenes make better love

Sooner or later, the opportunity to write a sex scene arrives for an author. Two people are in love or lust and the act of their coupling shows promise for the story. Making the sex scene can be the very tonic that a story needs to comprehend people at a new, more intense level. More […]

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February 18, 2022
Listen like a good editor

Good listening can be attractive. We’re all told to work on our listening skills to be more present for the people in our lives. It turns out to be a skill that has much in common with being a good editor. At least that’s what a seven-minute video from The School of Life tells us, […]

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February 17, 2022
Suppose the rules for starting stories aren't true?

While we structure our stories, we follow advice. Some advice is from agents, some of whom are not ready to let go of old rules. These can be rules like “Never start a book with a prologue.” Or the advice to make a big problem appear on the first page, or even making sure the […]

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January 29, 2022
Help for compassionate workshop readers

I like to say, "If we can't find anything to praise about a piece of writing, then it's not yet time to say what fell short." I don't mean artificial kindness, either. Published authors look down on workshop groups that are mutual atta-boy meetings, and with good reason. You must see what's working in a […]

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