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

How to Write Emotional Scenes that Aren’t Sappy

Probably one of the greatest challenges for a fiction writer is writing emotional scenes that are genuine, believable, and moving—while steering clear of the sand traps of sappy, phony, and overdone. Why is it so hard to write an emotional scene that works? I think it’s because the human heart is subtle, so the writing must be incredibly subtle to ... Read More

Don’t Know If It’s Hackneyed? Google It!

As a book editor, I sometimes find my author clients don’t believe me when I tell them an expression is hackneyed. Hackneyed (cliche) expressions are somewhat forgivable in nonfiction writing, but in fiction, they’re the kiss of death. How many times have you read the phrase “rosy-fingered dawn” or “the sweetness of his kiss”? How many more times do you ... Read More

Does Your Book Need a Graphic Designer?

Authors often ask me, their book editor, if they will need a graphic designer’s help after the book is edited and before it’s ready for publication. If you are self-publishing, the answer is always yes, unless the printer you hire offers graphic design as part of the package. (The answer is no if you’re submitting your manuscript to agents or ... Read More

Writing Your Novel: Forego Irrelevant Description

Remember when your English teacher told you that good writing is descriptive writing, showing not telling, rich in the details of sensory experience? While this is true to a degree, there’s an important caveat to that advice that typically writing teachers forget to mention. We book editors, however, deal every day with the writing mistakes the missing information causes. So ... Read More