Personal editing. Professional results.
February 11, 2023
Leap into dialogue, like Hoover

Colleen Hoover is white-hot now. Of the ten bestselling novels of 2022, she wrote five. Her output is impressive, too. Over the last eight years, she's released twenty-six novels. She gets started because she knows how to use dialogue. How does she finish three books a year, from halfway through Obama to halfway through Biden? […]

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February 10, 2023
How to do beta reading

Beta reading is the turbo-charger for revising a book. Finding a beta reader or three 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 […]

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September 26, 2022
Let's talk about your book's pricing

It's time to have a genteel discussion about pricing, especially as established by small presses. Too few of them seem to recognize that buying a book is a price-sensitive transaction. I would not want to be the author trying to sell my book on my limited platform for 30 percent more than a bestseller's novel. […]

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August 11, 2022
How you make PR pay off

PR can be costly, like anything that's essential to discovery. These are not the inexpensive moments like newsletter startups, or social media posting. Sure, you don't have to spend more money than you can risk. Publicity is a cousin of advertising, though. You might get nothing from the expenditure, except the tuition we all earn […]

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July 3, 2022
Pitching a book with a selling sheet

Once your book has arrived at proofreading, it’s time to be pitching it for discovery. You use a selling sheet, something that turns the crank on your pitches for promotion and review. Think of it as a kind of press release. It’s got a block for book description copy (your summary that you created) plus […]

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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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October 16, 2021
What to do to get your book picked up

You've finished your book — or at least made it as good as you can. Now you want it to get picked up at a publisher or earn a spot in an agent's pool. What's next? You want to get picked up by readers, agents, or editors. This is a good time to think about […]

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September 7, 2021
About the Bolt: Don't hurry to publication

There's a real mill operating out there for authors in a hurry. It's what I call the Self-Publishing Industrial Complex. Companies with names like The Write Life offer products and services to make publishing So Very Quick. You can create a book in 90 days, or get it published by the end of the year. […]

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September 1, 2021
How to choose your ebook's formatting

Would you rather be promoting your book, instead of formatting it? Doing promotion is always the author's job, whether you have a book contract or you publish yourself. Here are your choices.

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August 11, 2021
What makes a publisher a traditional one?

What makes a publisher traditional varies a lot. It comes down to editing, design, promotion, and business. A publisher that doesn't edit a book has a strikingly different idea of what traditional means.

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