Self-Published Book Contests & The Eric Hoffer Award—Horse of a Different Color

Most legitimate book-award contests don't allow submissions by self-publishing authors. There are, of course, the book contests for self-publishers that hand out awards like candy. Nearly every contestant wins something—including a shiny sticker they can display on their book cover to make buyers think they have written something of quality. Fortunately, there’s at least one book contest out there for ... Read More

Banish These 2 ‘Stammer Verbs’ from Your Fiction Writing

 The following article by Jessi Rita Hoffman was published as a guest post on www.JaneFriedman.com. (Jane Friedman is the former publisher of Writer’s Digest.) As a writer, you’ve probably heard the advice about avoiding passive voice and colorless verbs, such as is, was, went, and so on. But you may not be aware of what I call the “stammer verbs” that mar ... 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