Does Your Novel Need a Prologue?

If you’re writing your first novel, and if you’ve read a lot of modern fiction, you may have the impression that your novel needs a Prologue. But does it? As a freelance book editor, I see many novels coming across my desk with a Prologue included that doesn’t belong, that actually lowers the quality of the book. A Prologue Is ... Read More

How to Get Endorsements for Your Book

You’re almost through writing your novel or nonfiction book, and now you’re thinking about getting some endorsements . . .  those wonderful little plugs for the book that authors display on their book’s back cover. But what should an endorsement say, who is qualified to give it, and how do you get a qualified person to give you one? Who ... Read More

Does Your Book Need an Introduction, Preface, or Foreword?

Preface, Foreword, or Introduction—which of these, if any, does your book need, and how are they different from each other? I’ll give you my advice as a substantive/developmental book editor with two decades' experience editing both fiction and nonfiction. Novels don’t need any of them. Novels may, however, need a Prologue. (See my article Does Your Novel Need a Prologue? ... Read More

Developmental Edit or Substantive Edit? Is There a Difference?

As a book editor, I’m sometimes asked what the difference is between a developmental edit and a substantive edit. Authors typically use the first term to mean something different than what it originally meant to editors. In so doing, they’ve created a new (popular) meaning for the term. This leads to all sorts of confusion, which hopefully this article will ... Read More

Writing Your Author Bio Page

What belongs on a book’s About the Author page (author bio page)? What mistakes should you avoid when you write it? I’m a professional book editor, so let me give you the skinny . . . Leave out the small details—You’re not applying for a job, only for a reader to buy your book. You want to hook them, not ... Read More