Personal editing. Professional results.
April 25, 2021
Know if you've got what it takes to be published?

Sometimes, in the course of coaching an author, they ask if they’ve got what it takes to be successful. The harder question is whether their book that we’ve development-edited can be published. Everyone who’s ever written a book has this question, asked every time. Asking it is the way you know you’re serious about your […]

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April 3, 2021
Why hybrid publishing produces your book, without gimmicks or fraud

Some of my editing clients publish through hybrid presses. No skullduggery there; it's a straight-up hybrid. A hybrid press is another way to purchase a publishing services package. Some hybrids are more open than others, and plenty will tell authors that they're meeting a higher standard than Everybody Gets Published. It's true. When you consider […]

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February 5, 2021
15 Questions for Your Beta Readers

Beta readers can help your book develop. They'll need specific guidance, though, or you'll get a lot of "I thought it was great." You want to hear that, but the book needs more specifics. It's good to use beta reading as a backup to a complete development cycle. Craft the book first, then check your […]

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January 14, 2021
Know the difference between memoir, autobiography and biography

Memoir, autobiography, biography: People do get these three narrative nonfiction types confused. After you examine them, you’ll want to write a memoir — because it’s the most dramatic tale, and so the most entertaining. The two which you write about yourself are stories using the first person, with the word I. Memoir A memoir doesn’t […]

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January 6, 2021
Your reputation should precede your publication

If you've ever self-published a book, then you're likely to get a phone call from a publishing house. At least that's what the caller will tell you they're representing. The call might well come from Author Reputation Press, like the one I got this week. They'd heard that my 2012 novel Viral Times was for […]

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December 13, 2020
Give your characters agency to drive a story

When I coach authors on their stories, I advocate the relentless use of agency for their characters. Agency is not a term that is common to writing instruction. I first heard about agency in a seminar taught by novelist Jim Shepard at the Tin House Writer's Workshop. Shepard was dynamic in those classes, teaching from […]

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November 28, 2020
Investing to send your books into the world

We need to know if we'd like our books to become a part of a bigger world. Many like to call that publishing, but I consider that a business term. Getting a book into the world is all we can count upon. If you’re honest, you might find you’re not counting on it — and […]

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November 6, 2020
How authors can win with critique groups

It’s hard to know how much help a critique group can be until you see its authors in action. You’ll get more help from a group with a few authors who have published. If you’re lucky, it’s traditional publishing at any level (small press and un-agented counts) or even self-published (using editorial rounds from an […]

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October 30, 2020
Using scenes to win a NaNoWriMo challenge

This Sunday starts a new challenge for National Novel Writing Month. Every November, untold novelists try to write 50,000 words in just 30 days. I've attempted this a dozen times since I started on novels in 2004. I have never written that many words in one month. However, even my failures taught me plenty. November […]

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October 9, 2020
Where mental health can aim us, or end us

Tomorrow is National Mental Health Day. Unless we can treat mental health with compassion and bravery every week, one commemorative day on the calendar won't make enough of a difference to save lives that end in suicide. It's an act that often happens with a gun when men commit it. I recoiled from the pain […]

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