The 4 things you must do AFTER you’ve finished your manuscript

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In the monumental effort of writing a book, the biggest milestone is handing in your finished manuscript. Whew, that felt good. You’ve done 95% of the work. But you’re not done. Unless you prepare for the rest of the work, your book won’t be as good as it ought to be — and it might … Continued

Be an author, not a sucker: What services should non-fiction authors buy?

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Face it: if you’re prospective non-fiction author, you may as well have “sucker” written on your forehead. Everyone knows you yearn to be a bestseller and they’re quite happy to take your money to feed that need. Much of what they’re offering is waste. A lot of it is worthwhile. But it could cost you … Continued

The Plantin Moretus Museum and a 450-year reflection on publishing

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Yesterday I visited the Museum Plantin Moretus in Antwerp. Christophe Plantin was printer who published his first book in 1555. What surprised me most about what I saw was not how much publishing has changed in 450 years, but how much it hasn’t. Plantin came from Normandy, settled in Antwerp, and started a publishing business … Continued

How close to perfection can you get? (Ask Dr. Wobs)

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Today’s question is about the pursuit of perfection — not only how to do it, but when it makes sense. Dear Dr. Wobs: On perfection: how close to 100% error-free can an editor aspire to? What tools can help a mere mortal get a little closer? Martha Pings Perfection is a dangerous goal Dear Martha: … Continued

13 proofreading hacks based on the psychology of reading

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Typos and mistakes seem inevitable. While you can delegate the proofreading job to someone else who’s an expert nitpicker, that’s not always practical when we’re all sending emails, blogging, and posting on social networks at real-time speed with little editing. But if you’re smart about how brains see (and don’t see) errors, you can catch more … Continued

Your guide to the five levels of editing (infographic)

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In my experience, a big challenge for writers is the inappropriate edit. You know, the guy who corrects spelling errors in your outline, or wants to rearrange the whole thing during the proofreading stage. In fact, only 32% of business writers say that their process for collecting and combining feedback works well. I’ve written before … Continued

Editing week, Level 4: How to love your copy editor

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Like all writers, I have a fraught relationship with copy editors. I give them my perfect prose and then it’s pick, pick, pick. But I can’t live without one. Today: how to value copyeditors and your own prose, all at the same time. I’ve taken you through the whole editing process this week: idea development, … Continued