Does Your Nonfiction Book Need Footnotes?

You’re writing your book, making occasional references to other books, experts, and information sources. Now you’re wondering whether you need footnotes or if there’s an easier alternative. Good news: most of the time, there is. Typically, academic, trade, and technical papers employ footnotes, while popular writing does not. That means if you’re writing a self-help or inspirational book, footnotes probably ... Read More

‘The Chicago Manual of Style’: What Authors Need to Know

If you’re an author writing your first book, you’ve probably heard the terms “stylebook” or ‘The Chicago Manual of Style’ and wondered what people were talking about. ‘The Chicago Manual of Style’ is to book editors and publishers what the Bible is to preachers. More about that formidable tome in a moment, but first let’s talk about stylebooks in general …

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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?’ Fiction authors, you can stop reading here, as the rest of this information is for nonfiction authors only) …

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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