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Expert Editorial Tips for Writers

Posts in How to Write a Book
Ask a Book Editor: The Best Way to Introduce Compelling Characters in Your Novel

Ever try to read a story and find yourself thinking, I seriously don’t care what happens to these characters?

Maybe you’re a chapter in and already getting antsy, your mind drifting to dinner options. Or worse, bored on the very first page. If so, it doesn’t matter how amazing it gets because the writer is about to lose a reader.

Likability equals reader investment. No one voluntarily hangs with—and I’d argue that’s what pleasure reading is—someone they don’t care about (yet). It applies to heroes and villains and all the desirable real-life shades in between.

How then do you hook readers’ interest and empathy early on?

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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.

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