Personal editing. Professional results.
April 5, 2024
Women are tops in lit

An extensive article from NPR tells us that women are the most likely gender to succeed in literature and books. What's more, female writers have a better chance of making a good living off writing books, more so than directing movies or producing shows. Planet Money reporter Greg Rosalsky notes that women once authored less […]

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February 9, 2024
How to do beta reading

Beta reading is the turbo-charger for revising a book. Finding beta readers and delivering a good beta is not simple, but there are practices and rules that make this important task easier to accomplish. During my Workshop's in-person era, writers took on beta duties for each other, twenty pages at a time each month. We […]

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January 19, 2024
Make dialogue cleaner, clearer

Your copyeditor or line editor uses the Chicago Manual of Style. But knowing these style and grammar conventions yourself helps your book, too. A manuscript that arrives on my desk with clear writing gets lifted even higher. For example, there's the use of a single-word utterance. How do you handle something like, "Where?" CMOS says […]

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January 12, 2024
Let your speakers go nameless

  Dialogue brings bright light to stories. The sound of voices in a tuned-up conversation makes us lean in to listen. It's even easier to follow when we hear just two voices trading lines. Tell yourself to think hard about whether you must bring a third or fourth voice into your dialogue scenes. One reason […]

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January 3, 2024
Buy beta reads, or an 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 or […]

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December 29, 2023
Marketing with your telephone poles

  I'm from the generation that used landlines as our first phones. In my Toledo hometown, telephone poles were a big part of our community. They were everywhere because we needed them to carry information. The poles got used for a lot more than that. Enterprising people reeled in customers via the phone poles, and […]

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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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