Editing

Should I Hire a Freelance Editor?

Lately more and more people have been asking me if they should hire an editor prior to submitting to agents. Here’s my take: Using a freelance editor can be a great idea – if you use it as a learning experience. You need to do most of the work yourself. I think it’s wasted money…
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Trust Me, You Need a Good Editor

I just finished reading a self-published book on a topic I’m passionate about, by an author whose blog I occasionally read. As I’ve mentioned before, I regularly read indie-pubbed books, and the fact that I work in traditional publishing doesn’t mean I’m biased against them. It does, however, mean I’m aware of the ways a…
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The First Draft is Just the Beginning

I spend a lot of time working with my clients to edit and revise their proposals and manuscripts. I give notes and suggestions for improvements. Sometimes I take them through draft after draft, until everything seems just right. I know it’s tiring for them, and sometimes frustrating to be pushed to go over it again…
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Red editing pen

Avoid Common Writing Mistakes

  Guest blogger: Natalie Hanneman, Freelance Editor Working with new novelists is one part of my job as a freelance editor that can bring the highest highs and the lowest lows. I am privileged to work with many authors who have never been published, much less edited, and plowing this new territory together is hard…
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10 Things Editors Look for in Nonfiction

Got a terrific nonfiction project you’re trying to sell? Wondering if you have what it takes? Here are some signs of potential future success as a nonfiction author: 1. You’ve previously written a book that was at least mildly successful… maybe something like The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. 2. You have a recognizable…
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5 Things To Do Before Hiring a Freelance Editor

More writers are hiring editors these days, whether they’re going indie or just making sure the manuscript is polished before submitting to agents and publishers. If you’re a newer writer, unpublished, here are some things I think you should do before spending your hard-earned money on a freelance editor. (1) Get objective feedback. It’s best to have…
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Target

How to Create a Style Sheet for Your Manuscript

If you’ve been writing books for long, you may have come across the challenge of keeping the details straight so that you can be consistent throughout the book. If the hero has blue eyes on page 1, he shouldn’t have green eyes on page 50. If your non-fiction book capitalizes “Servant Leadership” in the first…
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red_pen

What Does a Book Edit Look Like?

Whether you’re working with a traditional publisher or you’re self-publishing your book, the only way to ensure excellence in your final product is to put your work through a rigorous editorial process, consisting of more than one round of editing. Following are the three basic types of editing that your manuscript may go through. Every…
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shredded paper

What Does the Editing Process Look Like?

Several of you have been curious about editing inside a publishing house. Every publisher has their own process, and they may call each step by a different name. It’s basically three steps, and they’re usually done sequentially, although there is overlap and not every publisher does all three of these steps. The edits might be…
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Quality Books Take Time

Back in the early ’80s there was an ad campaign for Paul Masson wine where Orson Welles famously uttered, “We will sell no wine before its time.” The message was powerful; it conveyed, “We care so much about producing the highest quality wine that we refuse to rush the process. We won’t try to bring…
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cutting snowflakes

How to Cut Thousands of Words Without Shedding a Tear

Strategies for Writers, part 3 of 3 Is your book too long? Does it feel a bit wordy, perhaps slightly bloated? Or . . . does it feel perfect but it’s a little high in word count? There comes a time in every writer’s life when they need to reduce their word count. Ack! Not my…
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Broken Pencil

Writing and Rewriting

“More than half, maybe as much as two-thirds of my life as a writer is rewriting. I wouldn’t say I have a talent that’s special. It strikes me that I have an unusual kind of stamina.”                                                 ~John Irving   How much do you enjoy the revision process? How much effort do you put into revising?…
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Red editing pen

The Editorial Letter

We’ve discussed editing before, and it can be confusing that the word “edit” can mean so many different things. In publishing, there are three basic types of edit that a book might go through (although the lines can be blurry): The copyedit: Detailed editing including the nitty gritty of grammar, punctuation, typos, word choice, even fact-checking.…
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What the Fiction Editor Looks For – Part 2

Yesterday we focused on the characters in your novel. Here are a few more things editors look for when reading your novel, this time, about the story itself. The premise needs to be strong enough (as well as interesting enough) to support the entire book. Every book needs suspense…the page-turning factor…a burning story question that the…
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