What’s the difference between an editor and a beta reader?

Following my last few posts on editing, I’ve gotten this question: What's the difference between an editor and a beta reader?
 
Beta readers are not professional editors and professional editors are not beta readers. Before someone finds offense, let me clarify this is most often the case and there are exceptions to every rule. For example, an editor may offer to work as a beta reader on a friend’s book or as an author’s fan. However, to confuse the experience and jobs of the editor and the beta reader or to settle for working with one over the other is a mistake, which sacrifices quality. Both serve a... Read More

What questions to ask an editor before hiring?

What questions to ask an editor before hiring? How to find a good editor is a matter of the writer asking questions related to experience, process, work ethic, costs, schedule, and sometimes it really can come down to personalities.

Knowledge is gained by asking how long the editor has worked as an editor. If the editor has repeat business and longevity, there is value for the writer. Also, check out social media to see if there is a presence and are there positive reviews on their page. If that doesn’t provide credibility, ask for references. You may get this answer in different forms. Don’t expect to get client phone... Read More

Will an editor change my story too much?

Will an editor change my story too much? I hear writers say, “I won’t hire an editor because they’ll change my story.” Sometimes the complaint is about changing plot line or changing word use so it no longer sounds like the author’s. As a writer, I understand this concern. As an editor I respond with, "You might have hired the wrong editor."

As an experienced, professional editor, the manuscript remains the author’s work written in their voice, in language they’re comfortable with, only better. Because in writing and editing, and in much of life, we join our expertise to find we’re better together! An editor is a fresh pair of eyes to catch errors or omissions... Read More

What’s an editor and why do I need one?

What’s an editor and why do I need one? Remember back to grade school, when an -or/-er is added to the end of a word it means “one who,” therefore an editor is one who edits. The dictionary says: “Editor” is a noun for a person in charge of determining content of a book, magazine, newspaper, or blog. But editors also edit film and video, not just moving pictures, but sound quality, and more.

Commonalities

Editors, within their area of expertise, are tasked with making the product the best possible. Editors are professionals. Editors get paid to edit. The better and more experienced the editor, the more they charge. Writing and publishing a book is not free or cheap,... Read More

What are the secrets to becoming a number one best-selling author? Or is it really, “How do I find time to write?”

When teaching writing workshops or presenting at conferences, I’m asked, “What are the secrets to becoming a number one best-selling author?”

Even though my mother taught me not to answer a question with a question, I do it seeking insight into where along the writing, marketing, publishing process the questioner is.

These questions guide a helpful response and tangible marketing advice:

  • “How many books have you written?”
  • “How far are you in writing a book?”
  • “Have you started writing your book?”
  • “Do you have a book idea?”

I’m often rewarded with blank stares, head shakes, and shoulder shrugs. The first question indicates optimism, which shortly turns to confusion, because... Read More

How to “Write your book in a day”

“Let’s write a book in a day!” Got your attention? That’s the point. The statement draws clients in with promises of instant success, while the promiser makes money and up sells more services. This business strategy plays out every day on social media advertisements for webinars and workshops promising to help write a book in a day, or a weekend.

“Wow! Sign me up!” I’ve written a thousand magazine articles and each one took longer than that. I’ve written and coached writing for dozens of full length books. It took more time than a weekend to do market research or outline the chapters, much less create a top-quality... Read More

Do I need to write a book proposal?

Yes! Every nonfiction author should write a book proposal. Many people might say a book proposal is only for submitting a manuscript to an agent or mainstream publisher. For nonfiction authors, a book proposal serves the same purpose as a business plan. It provides a direction for the road to success. I’ll argue the information that goes into a book proposal is a valuable exercise for a writer to undertake for gathering market research, creating an organized, detailed book outline, and compiling an author bio with unique qualifications. 

As noted, book proposals are used to sell nonfiction books to agents and publishers prior to writing the entire book. If... Read More

Aren’t marketing, advertising, public relations and sales the same thing?

The short answer is, “No.” People who use these terms inconsistently and interchangeably, are (there is no easy way to say this) just plain wrong. Marketing, advertising, public relations, and sales have very different goals, purposes, and income or expenses related to each, for example. It is appropriate, or inappropriate, to do one or another at different times, or in different venues.

First, let there be no doubt that marketing is the key! Marketing is the basis, the foundation, for the success of the rest. Marketing is communicating and delivering products or services to a predetermined target audience through a mix of price, place and promotion.

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Why Write (Part 2)?

“Why Write (Part 1)” was about finding and harnessing passion to write your book. Today’s blog is about defining your book goals. A clear understanding of what to do with the book once it’s written helps define and refine writing timeline, budget, target market, short-term and long-term marketing plan, and more. 

I specialize in writing nonfiction; therefore, I help business people answer the goals question from the very beginning. Here are some examples I get. Most people want to write a book as an additional marketing tool to position themselves as an expert in a professional field. Others want a book to generate another line of income. There are... Read More

Why Write (Part 1)?

Many people ask, “Why write my story?” I recognize their yearning, passion, hesitation, and even fear that overshadows a long-time goal. My first response on the surface may seem flippant: “Why not write?” On deeper reflection, the answer really is: “Why not write!!!!!” because with my experience, knowledge, passion for writing, and with today’s technology everyone who wants to write their story can and should be encouraged to do so. 

The issue from my point of view is: Stop asking “WHY?” and start learning “HOW!” from an expert who knows the ins and outs of the writing world, like me, with the goal to sit down and start writing.... Read More

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