Steer your ideas. Inspire your best work.

Blog

Expert Editorial Tips for Writers

Posts in Ask a Book Editor
Grammar Made Easy: Should I Capitalize "Mom" and "Dad"?

Everyone knows to capitalize names. I mean “patrick” looks so weird that spellcheck tried to automatically fix it. But it’s very common to get tripped up when we’re talking about Mom and Dad.

Or is it mom and dad? My Mom? Our dad?

What should be simple can leave you second-guessing or using inconsistently.

Read More
Ask a Book Editor: 4 Surefire Ways to Keep Readers Turning the Pages

As readers, there’s no better feeling than when we can’t put down a book.

But how do you keep readers invested in your work? How do you get them to tune out everything else and gladly get lost in your words?

Here’s a shortlist of vital ways to hold readers’ interest. And they don’t apply to thrillers only, as every work should be thrilling in its own way. Otherwise, the placed bookmark will simply note where the reader moved on.

Read More
Ask a Book Editor: Indie Publishing Services Available from Start to Finish

Congrats to Chris Roberts on the publication of his inspiring personal tale, You’ve Earned It!

Increasingly, indie publishing can be a viable alternative to the “query and wait/pray” path of traditional publication. If you’re willing to invest in yourself, producing a polished book helps build one’s vital “platform” and share your ideas or story with others. And with print-on-demand (POD) and ebook formats, no longer is “self-publishing” a dirty word or synonymous with a car trunk or closet stacked with books.

Read More
Ask a Book Editor: How to Title Your Book

Whether you write fiction or nonfiction, titling your book can feel:

Easy (“I’ve known the perfect title since Day One.”)

Challenging (“There’s a working title but it doesn’t feel quite right yet.”)

SUPER HARD (“Kill me now—this is impossible.”)

For most, it falls between challenging and hands-up despair. Why do these few words create such turmoil when you’re able to otherwise craft entire books? It’s because a title is the work’s most hardworking calling card.

And while a bad cover may turn off a prospective buyer/reader, a bad title can bury your book.

No wonder it feels like a lot of pressure.

Read More
Ask a Book Editor: Everything You Never Thought to Ask About Your Author Photo

Even the most camera-shy should get with the picture. Like an appealing cover and a strong book title, a quality author photo is an essential part of the publication “package” for both indie and traditionally published authors in most any format or genre.

Read More
Ask a Book Editor: 7 First Novel Blunders to Avoid

As daunting as it can seem, most literary agents and acquiring editors are open to discovering new talent. And a big part of that is reading first novel manuscripts. Unfortunately, first novels too often share writing tics, quirky choices, or downright clichés. These common missteps can hurt your chance of being the brilliant gem in their inbox.

Read More