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Facts and Emotions


Sometimes we editors have to distance ourselves from a manuscript. Sometimes that happens when the scope of work requires a lighter touch from the editor than would best serve the manuscript. For example, a manuscript might be difficult to follow, sparse in its citations, have links that don’t work, or a structure that detracts from …

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Copy and Line Editing


George di Pietro | Book Editing Associates What’s the difference between copy editing and line editing? Where does one end and the other begin? I’ve been asked these questions by clients, potential clients, and even fellow editors. I provide both services, so I think my experience offers some practical insights. Copy editing generally is considered …

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Identity, Ethnic and Otherwise

identity illustrated with profile head filled with mosaic pattenrs

George di Pietro – Writer, Editor, Proofreader Book Editing Associates As a writer and editor, I am fascinated by identities — why and how people adopt them, and how they express them socially and politically. Two of my specialties as an editor and writer are ethnic and sexual identities. I find these subjects intellectually stimulating, …

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Dissertation Tips: How to Write a Proper Introduction

How to write an introduction

By David Henderson, APA Dissertation Edito When writing a dissertation, thesis, or some other academic text, the introduction is, of course, the first thing a reader will lay eyes on, besides the title and abstract. Not only does it provide an overview of the rest of the work, but it sets the tone and creates …

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Tips for Writing a Memoir, Part 1

by David Henderson Memoir is one of the most popular genres among first-time writers. What story does one know more intimately than one’s own life? Still, writers who tackle memoirs often do so on the mistaken assumption that such a text might be straightforward and simple because it draws from the material of their own …

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Architecture Lessons

Getting the Details of Your Dream World Story Right by Hannah Earthman An early dream world we witness in the movie Inception flops because its architect failed to get the carpet right; when the dreamer is pushed to the floor, his cheek touches the carpet and his attention is then locked on the difference between …

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Accept, Reject, or Delete

by P.S. Rosenbaum, Ph.D. Dismay is not an uncommon response of a student-scholar on first encountering an academic editor’s markups on a thesis or dissertation. Some edited manuscripts have literally hundreds of so-called “redlines” (i.e., deletions and additions), not to mention dozens of Comments ranging from simple reminders to detailed recommendations for major structural change. Some …

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The Pesky Details

On Capitalization and Punctuation by Floyd Largent Want to make an otherwise brilliant manuscript seem dull and amateurish? It’s easy: just fail to use the proper punctuation, and play fast and loose with capitalization. Those may seem like pesky details to some, but to those of us who make a living with words, it’s a …

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5 Ways to Create an Effective Author Website

by Hannah Earthman, editor The inflexible reality of the self-publishing boom is that author websites are everywhere. Whether you’re publishing through traditional channels or independently launching your book as the flagship product of a one-person press, you need a website that immediately grabs the casual visitor’s attention—in a good way. Your author website can either …

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Why Editors?

by Karin Graham Recently, the New York Times notified their editorial staff that they were going to lay off buy out half of them. So the editorial staff published an open letter to Executive Editor Dean Baquet and Managing Editor Joe Kahn. In it, they describe some of what we editors actually do. In fact, we feel more respected by our …

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The Author/Editor Dyad

by Caroline Hiley Everyone who creates a work of art, literary or otherwise, needs an editor. Why? Because creation involves different mentalities than craft; and rare is the artist who has the left brain/right brain balance to be creator and audience at the same time. All the arts employ someone whose job is to complement …

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Behind Closed Publishing House Doors: How Publication Decisions Are Made

by Rachel Stone Did you ever wonder how or why publishers publish what they do? As an industry insider—executive, manager, and editor for over 35 years—I can give you the lowdown. Actually, it’s what you think it is, and the answer is pretty simple: MONEY. These are some of the questions publishers ask themselves when …

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Simultaneous Submissions: What’s the Deal Here?

by Floyd Largent The modern writer is as much artisan as artist, creating entertainment and elucidation from little more than imagination, research, and electrons. But creation may be the easiest aspect of the writer’s life, especially among those who write short stories “on spec,” with no guarantee of publication. Next comes the harsh and often …

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The Power of BookScan

by David Alan  A few years ago, a writer asked me about the potential salability of his Kansas City Chiefs trivia book. I politely told him that publishers likely wouldn’t be interested, and that he’d have a much better chance selling a Green Bay Packers book. I knew this because the publishing company I worked for, …

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Top 5 Reasons You Need a Professional Beta Reader


Book Editing Associates A beta reader, at the behest of an author, reviews and provides feedback on a work of fiction before it is submitted to agents or publishers. Beta readers, like “beta testers” in the software industry, look for inherent flaws in a product before it is released. Beta readers might be authors’ mothers, …

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How to Get Published

by Amy Bennet, Book Editor, Science Fiction, Fantasy, Horror I work with a number of writers at the beginning of their careers, maybe with their first novel, or the first novel they’re ready to shop around, and they often ask how they can get started with publishing. Many writers would like to get an agent and/or a …

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How to Scare Your Readers: Part I

by Hannah Earthman, editor Writing horror is interesting: you’re basically inviting strangers to listen as, for hours, you try to scare the hell out of them. And best case scenario, when you’re finished with them, they’ll anxiously await the next time they can pay for the privilege of being scared by you. Honestly, the whole …

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How to Structure Your Nonfiction Book

by Sarah Anderson, editor Structuring your nonfiction manuscript can sound scary, but really, it can be easy. It’s all a matter of finding the best way to think it through. A technique that works well for self-help books can be useful for any nonfiction. Self-help writers know their topics well, but they are usually not …

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Prolific Novelists on How It’s Done

by Caroline Hiley Writing one novel is hard enough. But how about 50, 100, even 500—all of them published, and with more to come? We asked six super-prolific writers for their secret and were unsurprised to learn that there is none. It’s all about work and passion. For each of these authors, writing is a calling …

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Can You Trust a Grammar and Style Checker?

by Jeff Karon The simple answer is no. The one used in Microsoft Word will catch the following error: “However I went to the store.” A comma should be inserted after “However.” But the same program will mark the same word as needing a comma in the following: “However I went to the store I …

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Short Story Submissions

query letter writing service

by Floyd Largent Fellow writer William Shunn provides the classic format for short story formatting here (ignore at your peril). Eventually, this will become such a habitual format that you won’t have to think about it, and any other will look odd to you. Well, suppose you’ve finished your epic story “Wrecker of Ten Million Galaxies,” it’s in the …

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From Dissertation to Peer-Reviewed Article

PS Rosenbaum

by PS Rosenbaum The act of shaping a journal article from a successful doctoral dissertation will benefit from prior thought at several different levels: (a) selecting a journal, (b) understanding the requisite structure of the article, (c) anticipating the peer-review, and (d) achieving scholarly credibility in all aspects of form. This short paper has something …

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5 Reasons (Plus One Bonus Reason) Why Every First-time Author Should Self-publish

David Cathcart

by David A. Cathcart, editor What first-time author doesn’t dream of landing a lucrative book deal with a big publisher, complete with a six-figure advance, a book tour, media spots, the works? As lovely as this sounds, the sad reality is, these days such deals are about as rare as global warming skeptics at a …

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7 Mistakes Amateur Writers Make That Reveal to Agents They Are Not “Serious” Writers

book authors and editors

by Carly Cantor Agents are inundated with submissions. Technology has made it easy for people to write and then submit what they’ve written to agents (or directly to publishing houses), hopeful their work will be recognized as a gem. But there’s an enormous mismatch between the number of people who think they have a publishable …

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How to Scare Your Readers: Part II (Reaction Shots)

by Hannah Earthman, editor In Part I of this post, I reviewed how you can write an effective horror story by defining and building from a strong hero-villain relationship, along with how to best exercise the element of gore. In Part II, we’ll look at how the creepy to outright petrifying can be conveyed through …

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Recommended Books

Authors who partner with our editors write in all genres and styles. Below are a handful of titles our editors have worked on: reconsidering and rewriting, reimagining and restructuring, committed to the revision of these books until they were ready for publication. Madness Overrated by Esra Kus Edited by Sarah Anderson Published: January 2017, Createspace …

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Your Life Wisdom is My Passion

by Sarah Anderson, editor I specialize in editing books on Spirituality and New Age topics, many of which are memoir or autobiographies focused on the journey of spiritual growth and/or in which material was inspired by the voice of the “higher self.” Some of these are in a new genre often called “awakening,” in which the …

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