The cost of developmental editing and how to manage it

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Developmental editing is the process of making a nonfiction book better in every way — including clarity of ideas, structure, tone, paragraphs, sentences, and words. Developmental editors aren’t cheap. Today, some ideas on how to manage that expense and make the book better at the same time. Cheap editors aren’t a bargain Depending on the … Continued

Will you introduce me to your agent?

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Short answer: no, I won’t. I won’t introduce you to my publisher either. Look, I can understand your position. You want to write a nonfiction book. To get the book published, it has to get in front of publishers. The best way to get in front of publishers is with a book agent. And you … Continued

Josh Hawley’s radical manifesto “The Tyranny of Big Tech”

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Missouri Senator Josh Hawley’s book The Tyranny of Big Tech is a diatribe against large tech platforms like Facebook and Google. It’s a remarkably radical, even quasi-Marxist critique for a Republican — one that proposes a series of regulations that would endear him to the most liberal of Democrats. I have problem with both Hawley’s … Continued

Making memoir chapters compelling

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If you’re writing a memoir, some parts of your life were probably exciting. Other parts, maybe, not so much. How can you craft all of that into a package worth reading? The problem is that no one’s life is a Hollywood epic. Stuff happens; we do stuff. Some of it is fun. Some of it … Continued

Your book needs no introduction. So don’t write one.

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Nonfiction books should start with a bang. Introductions are boring. Ergo, don’t start with an introduction. Despite the logic of this, many business and nonfiction writers start their books with an introduction. They either think it’s required, or fall victim to the fallacy that, having created a book, they need to somehow explain it. Why … Continued

How to sell 10,000 copies of your book — or decide you don’t need to

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It’s a publishing truism that your book must sell 10,000 copies to be successful. It’s wrong. And it’s also very hard. So let’s take a look at whether you need to sell 10,000 copies, and what it would take to do that. Can you succeed without selling 10,000 copies? The analysis I’m going to share … Continued

The future of book publishing, censorship, and “cancel culture”

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Simon & Schuster will not distribute a book by Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly, one of the policemen who shot Breonna Taylor. But crucially, this is not a publisher cancelling a book — Simon & Schuster is the book’s distributor. Let’s take a look at all the choke points in publishing and how their reaction to offensive … Continued