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

Branding Your Book with Your Book Title and Cover

Branding is as important for a book as it is for a business, and branding starts with your book title. As a developmental book editor, I advise on the book title, helping authors see how their  proposed wording is likely to strike their target audience. A book title needs to convey the genre and indicate the nature of the content, ... Read More

Crafting an Irresistible Book Title

"A rose by any other name would smell as sweet," said Shakespeare, but clearly he wasn’t talking about book titles. When it comes to choosing the right book title, the name is everything. Why is it so important? Because your book title, along with your book cover, are the first things a prospective reader or buyer are going to see. ... Read More

Nonfiction Authors: What Person or Voice Should You Write In?

A nonfiction-author client of mine asked yesterday, “What voice should I write in for my self-help book?” Being an analytical guy, he spelled out four choices he was trying to choose between: Narrative: As I did this, my life improved Cooperative: As we do this, our lives will improve Direct: As you do this, your life will improve Observatory: As ... Read More