Why your publisher won’t edit your manuscript — and what to do about it

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I’ve now written or edited more than 25 books published by traditional or hybrid publishers. I know what your publisher is looking for, and what they will and won’t do for you. So it’s time for some straight talk about that. Publishers in 2021 won’t generally edit your book. They are looking for a publishable … Continued

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

5 ways to fix a book that is too long

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Most nonfiction authors write too much. Let’s talk about what’s probably wrong and how to fix it. How long should your book be? While there is no single correct answer to that question for every book, business books these days tend to come in at around 50,000 to 60,000 words, which generates a book of … 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

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

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

To write well and efficiently, choose the right level of editing

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Editing is like going to the dentist — nobody likes it, but you’ll avoid a lot of pain and ugliness if you get the right help at the right time. And you need to pick the right intensity of editing to match what your writing needs; you can’t fix a toothache with just a cleaning. Good … Continued