Why Only Old Folks Should Publish Memoirs

That sounds like a trick title, right? You’re expecting me to follow it up with a punch line. But guess what: publishing your memoirs or autobiography is no joking matter. In many cases, it makes you vulnerable to libel lawsuits and financial devastation. You think I’m overstating the risk? Think again. If you’re writing or planning to write a memoir, ... Read More

Do You Need a Pen Name? One Writer’s Surprising Answer

In centuries past, authors used pen names. We all remember stories of America’s Founding Fathers (James Madison, Alexander Hamilton) and their underground writings, inciting the citizens to rebel against England. Pen names hid their identity in order to save their lives. Then there were the female Victorian authors (George Elliot, the Bronte sisters) who used men’s names to land a ... Read More

Beta Readers: The Step Before Professional Book Editing

Before you pay for professional book editing, there’s a step you may be tempted to skip. I’m talking about beta reading: having friends or members of a writing group read and give you feedback on your manuscript. Why is this important, if an editor’s going to look at the manuscript anyway? Because the more you can do to perfect the ... Read More

Writing Your Book’s Back-Cover Copy

So you’ve written your book, you’ve chosen your title and cover design, and you’re breathing a sigh of relief. Now you have to decide what goes on the back cover. New authors sometimes rush this decision, writing the first thing that comes to mind. After all, it’s the back of the book. How important can it be? A lot more important than a person might think. The first hundred …

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Professional Book Editing: Lots More than a Grammar Check

If you are an author seeking professional book editing, you need to know there are several kinds of editing to choose from. If you're confident that your content is well-organized and beautifully written (and if your assumption is correct), all you need is a copy edit: essentially, a grammar and punctuation check. Some people call this a proofread. Different Kinds ... Read More