Does Your Novel Need a Prologue?

If you’re writing your first novel, and if you’ve read a lot of modern fiction, you may have the impression that your novel needs a Prologue. But does it? Many novels come across my desk with a Prologue included that doesn’t belong, that actually lowers the quality of the manuscript. A Prologue is inappropriate when …

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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

How to Write an Author Bio Page

You’re writing the author bio page for your book, and are unsure what should go there and what shouldn't. There’s a right way and wrong way to do this, so let’s take a look. Keep it brief – Your book's author bio page should be short—just two or three brief paragraphs. Summarize – Unlike a resume that lists your accomplishments in ... Read More