Personal editing. Professional results.
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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October 9, 2021
Stories don't insist on transformations

The work of the professional author is revision. But there’s one book aspect that doesn’t insist on changes: the story’s outcome. Many of us prefer a story where the transformation is the reward for the suffering that we like to savor. On a recent episode of Fresh Air, film buff Eddie Muller says of his […]

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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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July 19, 2021
How to avoid a too-big book

Even an author who's published multiple books feels the siren call of a big book. One day, they might think, I can get that 150,000-word epic published. I've cut a lot, they might say, already 20,000 words. I need to stick to my guns, submit something that big, and not get talked out of it. […]

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July 13, 2021
Quick Tips to create better query letters

Fly your flag high for your book The Bookends Literary Agency posts videos to lead authors through the submission process. The agents at Bookends suggest these to-do's for your query process. Use your book's title and a word count range Use the right agent's name; don't query "Dear Sir" or "To whom it may concern" […]

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July 3, 2021
How not to behave blindly as an author

Marketing and PR is a dark art. Authors can behave badly when they expect such work as part of a contract. But behaving badly isn't very accurate. Authors behave blindly. Many expect publishing pros to just do their jobs, somewhere out of the author's sight, thank you. Take an interest in marketing with these tips

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June 2, 2021
Is it National Doughnut Day?

Today is National Donut Day. But is it really spelled and styled that way? The question offers a look at three facets of copyediting: style, house-style, and usage.

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May 25, 2021
Point of View: how many do you need?

Writing stories in first person is an electric thrill for many authors. You have easy access to emotions and sensations, plus the mystery of solving the problems of the plot is intense, too. Sometimes it’s tempting to want to use multiple first person points of view. Consider why you need more than one.

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