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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What the Fiction Editor Looks For

Part 1 For the next couple of days I’m going to point out some of the things an editor looks for when reading a manuscript. When you get a content edit (or “developmental edit”) on your novel, you may find these kinds of things pointed out for improvement. Today I’m going to focus on your novel’s characters.…
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More on Revision Letters

A few weeks ago, guest blogger Camille Eide wrote about getting a revision letter for her novel, and how much time she spent reworking the manuscript as a result. Many of you have asked variations of the following question, which came from Mike Dennis: I have to ask, if the agent had 10 pages of…
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The Revision Letter

Last week, guest blogger Camille Eide wrote about her first experience with a Revision Letter. Some of you may wonder, what exactly does that letter address? Simply put, it addresses whatever your particular book needs to make it the best it can be. But to be a little more specific, here is a rundown of…
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Dealing with Contradictory Feedback

I frequently receive questions about all the “mixed messages” writers get in the course of writing and publishing their books. So we’re going to spend this whole week talking about it. One of the kinds of mixed messages we have to deal with is getting contradictory responses to our work. You may hear one thing…
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Tighten Up Your Manuscript!

There comes a time in every writer’s life when an editor requires them to reduce their word count. Ack! Not my precious words! Even if an editor hasn’t asked you to do this, most writers would benefit from tightening up their manuscripts before submission. (I, for one, would appreciate it. ) But how do you…
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How Much Editing Can An Agent Do?

Before I became an agent, I’d been editing and writing books for years, so I naturally approached agenting from an editorial perspective. Meaning: I look for excellence in the craft of writing, and I also use my editorial skills to help polish a proposal or a manuscript before we send it out to publishers. Because…
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Which Comes First – Agent or Editor?

A lot of people think it’s a chicken-or-egg question: Do I pitch to agents or editors first? But it’s really not that hard. The truth is, if you want to sell your book to a commercial royalty-paying publisher, you’re going to need either an agent, or some kind of personal contact with editors. Since it’s…
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Freelance Editor Recommendations

Updated 7/29/20. Sometimes it’s necessary to work with a freelance editor to improve your writing skills or help make your manuscript more marketable. I’ve compiled a list of editors I know who are very good at what they do. There is a link to each individual website, so that you can see what services they…
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How to Become a Freelance Editor

Before I was an agent, I was a freelance editor. A lot of people ask me how to get into freelance editing, but I never quite know how to answer. My freelance career grew from my contacts and experience working in the publishing industry for a dozen years. It grew organically out of what I…
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Handling the Editorial Process

Many of you are working on your first contracted book. (Yeah!) Prior to your publishing deal, you may have been through countless edits and revisions of your book (or books). But you’ve never had to do it under deadline, and you’ve never done it with the input of your own publishing house editor. So this…
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The Editorial Process

Several of you have been curious about the editorial process inside a publishing house. Rosslyn asked:What is the role of freelance editors in the publishing process these days? I’ve noticed cases recently in which published authors had in-house editors AND freelance editors working on their novels. Do publishing houses hire these freelancers, or do the…
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Agenting & Editing – Part Deux

Last week I explained that it’s not considered ethical for literary agents to benefit financially from the editing of their clients’ books. (Agents should not profit from their clients in any way except for selling the rights to their books.) As part of my mission to clear up some misconceptions about how WordServe operates, I…
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I love words.

I love books and publishing and talking incessantly about them.

I love authors and all the intricacies of managing a writing life.

I sell. I negotiate. I coach. I brainstorm.

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