The biggest mistake authors make when hiring a book editor

I’ve seen this issue come up enough times for me to comment on it: authors who get samples from several editors and weigh the pros and cons of each, which usually center around quality and price, but also personality and professionalism. Most authors would prefer to work with an author who responds quickly and effuses praise and seems to really like their book. They want support and enthusiasm for the

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25 common book writing mistakes to avoid (amateur red flags)

FIRST CHAPTER MISTAKES What follows are some insights I’ve collected, after providing feedback on hundreds of first drafts. I’ve tried to only share general examples that I notice frequently in the majority of inexperienced manuscripts. There is nothing implicitly or inherently wrong with any of these: they are simple, common mistakes, made by authors who haven’t learned through experience or education that there’s a better way to present or communicate relevant information.

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Editing a novel checklist (how to edit a novel in 19 simple steps)

Fiction, storytelling, is the same regardless of genre, and over the past century, we’ve made some gradual concessions in favor of organization and clarity over artistic expression. In other words, there are rules to good writing. Not about the word choice or material itself, but in the presentation of material. To take it from a handful of jarring, undeveloped flights of fancy or snippets of unfinished (and uninspired) scenes and

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14 Crucial things you need in every scene (advanced fiction writing tips & novel revision checklist)

It can be tricky to self-edit a scene to make sure it’s working, so here’s a handy revision checklist for editing your novels, with 14 things to focus on or check. Each of these are useful tricks to improve a slow or plodding scene that you like but just isn’t dramatic enough to keep momentum. Watch the video for a full-walkthrough! What happens Motivation (what do the characters need/want and

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Book editing for nonfiction authors (prices & process)

Nonfiction books can seem a bit simpler, since we don’t need to tackle character development or scene description; nor focus as much on conflict or intrigue. However there are some unique challenges nonfiction authors will face and I hope to address them here so you know what to expect when searching for a book editor. Firstly, it’s hugely important for a nonfiction book to have a winning theme or premise:

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Best editing software for writers (grammarly vs. prowritingaid)

There’s an ad I’ve seen promoting Grammarly: a young woman gets a new job as a social media manager, and uses Grammarly to avoid embarrassingly simple grammar and spelling mistakes. If you’re like me, you might think that a “real writer” already can spell well enough, and that somebody shouldn’t take on a writing job if they can’t. But here’s the thing: in the passion of first-draft creative writing –

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To people that want to write a book but are afraid to get started

Writing a book is a life-goal for many people, and the creative anxieties surrounding such an intense, long-term project can be distracting. If you’re like most authors, you’ll teeter between unchecked enthusiasm (my book will be the best in the world!) and practical limitations (how do I make the words go?). In my experience, most authors don’t really deal with the fear until later. They aren’t necessarily afraid of failure, negative

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Focus and Productivity for Authors (simplify your writing process)

At the end of the day, answering your emails isn’t nearly as satisfying and productive as writing 500 words in your manuscript. I have some mutated Wonder Woman glitch in my brain that makes me volunteer for jobs or writing projects or helping friends out at a rate that would stagger a cheetah. And it ends badly. I’m either stressed out so much that I start eating my weight in

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A crash course in writing compelling fiction (video training + cheatsheets)

Over the years, after helping hundreds of authors publish, I started building writing resources to make the process easier, especially for new authors. Here’s a list of some of my favorite and most useful writing tips. You’ll be amazed at how effective they are. A 25-chapter plotting template to outline your novel A fiction checklist for each scene (essential elements) Adding suspense and intrigue

Get published! Editorial critique and manuscript review services for authors (NEW!)

Recently I went to a writing conference and realized something surprising. Most authors spend years writing their book. Only a few study craft, plotting or structure – those that do often focus on the lyrical quality of language rather than the actual content (who’s going to read this and why should they?) Conferences are divided between agents and publishers looking for new projects, and self-publishing services offering to take author

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