What is developmental editing?

Here’s a simple explanation of how I approach developmental editing.

Developmental editing vs. copyediting

Rich Adin explains the difference between developmental editing and copyediting in this blog post.

How to find a freelance copyeditor

No matter how good your manuscript is, it’s not truly finished until it has been copyedited by a pro – not by your friend who was an English major. To find a professional copyeditor, visit the websites of the Editorial Freelancers Association or ACES: The Society for Editing. Both EFA and ACES allow you to search the member directory or post a job. The two organizations are quite similar, and many editors belong to both, but EFA has a much larger membership. If you post to EFA, expect dozens if not hundreds of responses.

How much should you pay for editing?

The Editorial Freelancers Association offers a chart showing rates for different kinds of writing and editing. In my opinion, some of their rates are on the low side. Expect to pay more if you’re working with someone very experienced or specialized.


Advice for memoir authors

Mary Karr’s The Art of Memoir is a must-read for memoir authors.

Judith Barrington’s Writing the Memoir: From Truth to Art offers good, straightforward guidance.

Here's an article by Joanna Penn on applying fiction-writing techniques to memoir.

How to convert manuscript word count to book page count

Wondering how long your book will be? Book designer Fiona Raven offers excellent instructions for calculating final page count based on manuscript word count.

Help with permissions

If you are reprinting or adapting a lot of material, you may find it worthwhile to hire an expert to help you secure the necessary permissions. I recommend Sherry Hoesly at the Permissions Group.

Voice recognition software

See my blog post on voice recognition software – an underutilized tool for writers.


How to get a literary agent

To find an agent who represents the kind of book you've written, visit AgentQuery.com. Using the "Quick Agent Search" tool on the left, enter your keywords and genres. That will turn up a long list of potentially suitable agents. Start by submitting your request to 50 or 60 agents. Be sure to tailor your submission to their requirements! It's normal to receive a great number of "no thank you" responses. Don't be discouraged; just keep trying.

How to self-publish

Jane Friedman offers a wealth of advice on self-publishing (and many other topics).

What is a hybrid publisher?

Although hybrid publishing is becoming more popular, I generally don’t recommend it. Most authors are better off hiring their own editors, publicists, and marketing consultants. For more on hybrid publishing, see Lizbeth Meredith’s excellent blog post.


What is an author platform?

Whether you are self-publishing or working with a traditional publisher, your platform will be key to your success. See Brooke Warner’s definition and explanation of author platform.

How to build your platform

I strongly recommend that authors work with a professional marketing and publicity consultant. (Contact me for referrals.) You can also learn a lot by reading Tim Grahl’s Your First 1000 Copies: The Step-By-Step Guide to Marketing Your Book and David Meerman Scott’s The New Rules of Marketing and PR.