Are editors failed writers?

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Robert Giroux, who eventually became T.S. Eliot’s editor, once asked Eliot if he agreed with the sentiment that most editors are failed writers. Eliot’s reply: “Perhaps, but so are most writers.” Putting the witticism aside, what are editors? Failed writers? Uber-writers? Or something different? I’ve been writing professionally for 38 years and editing for almost … Continued

How authors can work with a developmental editor

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A developmental editor can help make your book better. They also cost money — and spending that money wisely demands some preparation. Here are a few tips on getting the most out of a developmental editor. Choose the right kind of editor The job of the (nonfiction) editor is to stand in for your eventual … Continued

Calculating your Thanksgiving COVID-19 risk

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One of my correspondents posted recently that, rather than living in fear, he was having 13 or more people to Thanksgiving at his house. Liberals and health professionals would have you believe that is risky. But just how risky? We all do risk calculations every day. If cars are speeding by on a busy street, … Continued

How the Fairness Doctrine should apply to social networks

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Simply put: social networks like Facebook are contributing to the polarization of American politics. The solution is not to break them up. The solution is to require them to expose members to a diversity of viewpoints. Why is America so divided? Why, even now, are there partisans so desperately afraid of Biden’s election that they … Continued

Trademarks in books and other prose: how to mark and when to claim them

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Trademarks confuse writers. Here are some tips on how to address trademarks in prose — and whether you ought to protect your own special names for things with them. Start with this: I’m not a lawyer. I hope you find this helpful — it’s based on decades of experience as a writer — but if … Continued

Why every edit I do is a “close read”

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Sometimes people request that I do a “light edit” on their document, book chapter, or book. “Just give it a read and let me know what it needs,” they say. I can’t actually do that. I only know how to do a close read. How I do a developmental edit There is a switch in … Continued

What it means if I ask to share book revenue with you

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I charge what I’m worth. Whether it’s a book proposal, book editing, or ghostwriting, I figure out how much work it will take, multiply by my hourly rate, and price accordingly. My price is fixed. I don’t charge by the hour, I charge by the job. If you propose to pay me out of your … Continued