Why you shouldn’t hate footnotes and endnotes

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Everybody hates doing footnotes and endnotes. But if you’re writing a book, you really ought to do them. If you need motivation, you’ve come to the right place. Here are five reasons to do the right thing and cite your sources. 1 Don’t leave print readers at a disadvantage. It’s so easy when you write … Continued

Honest acknowledgments

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Every book has acknowledgments — the page or two where you thank people for helping you. Those pages are filled with lies. Authors are certainly grateful for the help they get. But acknowledgments leave out so much of what actually happens in creating book. They’re dishonest by omission. Should acknowledgments be honest? Read this, and … Continued

Understanding Dr. Seuss — and why his books were cancelled

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I have been in love with Dr. Seuss since childhood, and happily raised my own children on his lyrical work. Much of his imagery is delightful because it is so exaggerated; some of it is racist. If you want to understand why the company that manages his content has ceased to publish some of his … Continued

Avoiding blurb disasters

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Are you ready to ask for blurbs (endorsement quotes) — for your book? Do it right and you’ll maximize your chances of getting the golden endorsement from your most influential connections. Blow it and they’ll resent you for asking. Here are my best tips for a successful blurb campaign — including a few war stories. … Continued

Using Microsoft Word to prepare a book manuscript? Avoid these 14 mistakes.

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You think you know how to use Microsoft Word to write? What you’re doing may be fine for creating a draft to print out, but confusing to the people doing the book page layout and design. If you’re preparing content to be laid out in pages, here are a dozen-plus simple mistakes you really ought … Continued

Rapid book collaboration with Google Drive, Docs, and Sheets

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I’m editing a book at breakneck speed right now. The author and I interact multiple times a day, but rarely talk to each other. A carefully designed system based on Google Drive, Docs, and Sheets makes it possible. Let me be clear here about the problem I’m solving: We’re building a book out mostly existing … Continued

Do you need a developmental editor?

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What is a developmental editor? And why would you need one? What a developmental editor does The job of a developmental editor is to help you make your book better. Lots of people are confused about editors, because “editor” is one of those words that covers a huge amount of ground. At a publication, an … Continued

The 15 biggest regrets that authors have — and how to avoid them

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I work with dozens of authors. A lot of them end up surprised, regretful, or sad about what happened in the process of creating and promoting their books. “If I’d only known,” they say. Unfortunately, everyone in the publishing process has an incentive to hide, or at least ignore, some fundamental challenges. Publishers want you … Continued