The Lowdown on Appendixes/ Appendices

Sometimes nonfiction authors get confused about appendices: what they are, how to do them, when they are needed … and how to spell them! An appendix is supplementary material (usually an article, form, or list) that an author adds to the back of the book. It can be anything you want your readers to …

Read More

Why Word Count Matters

One mistake aspiring novelists and memoir writers often make is disregarding the importance of word count. Unreasonable though it may seem, there's an expected, established word count for a novel or memoir, especially for first-time authors. If you don't color within the lines when it comes to the length of your manuscript, most agents will write you off as an ... Read More

Thrillers Worth Your Time: Lee Child’s ‘Jack Reacher’ Series

What is it about Lee Child’s plots that makes his thrillers so much better than most? I think it’s that genuine, complicated problem to work out, that each of his stories promises. Compare that to other thrillers that try to disguise a thin plot with cheap tricks to keep you guessing, such as jerking the reader backward and forward in time for no good reason, or withholding important facts when narrating a scene, in hopes of creating “mystery” …

Read More

An Editor’s Advice for ESL Authors (Non-Native English Speakers)

I frequently get emails from ESL authors—non-native English speakers who have written a book in English and are looking for an editor before they publish. ESL authors, this article is for you. If you are extremely fluent in English, this article does not apply to you. But if you aren't, and if you've written the book in English, or translated ... Read More