The 10 vital strategies of a great editor

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Being a great editor is hard. You must at once be naive and wise, omniscient and humble, impatient and implacable, sympathetic and uncompromising. You must think like a reader, like a writer, and like yourself. Here are 10 vital strategies to master the contradictions of being a great editor. 1. Critique as a reader, not as a writer You … Continued

Copyeditors and bullshit removal

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I love copyeditors. I just wish they could go further. Over the years, the many copyeditors I’ve worked with have flagged my embarrassing misspellings, taught me obscure grammar rules, and saved me from looking stupid.  We bond over our Oxford commas. And I pride myself on creating “clean” prose — drafts that are ready for copyedit … Continued

What to tell an editor

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You’ve completed a draft and you’d like a review. This is your chance to tell the editor clearly what you need. Or, you could start with excuses. It’s your choice. When you turn over a draft for editing, there’s always stuff that you worry is weak or wrong. Resist the urge to hide your weaknesses. This is … Continued

Lessons from picking a “Writing Without Bullshit” publisher

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I spent the last month pitching publishers. I spent Monday biting my nails and weighing offers. Today I announce the results and share what I’ve learned. HarperBusiness will publish Writing Without Bullshit in September 2016. My editor will be the estimable Hollis Heimbouch, who in an ironic twist was the editor in charge of acquiring Groundswell for Harvard Business … Continued