5 Things I Learned While Searching for an Editor: Guest Post by Eleora Han, PhD

Please join me in welcoming Eleora Han, PhD, whose book Grieving the Loss of a Love is now available. When I invited her to share some of her story, she was kind enough to write about looking for and finding her editor.

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I just published a book about working through grief after loss. Surprisingly, I found that one of the most difficult parts of the process was finding the right editor.

Writing a Book Isn’t Like Other Writing

As a psychologist I’ve written or co-authored many scientific articles in peer-reviewed academic journals. Though I felt confident in my writing abilities, I soon realized that writing a book was different. How best should the material be organized and structured, I wondered. Is this writing too academic, or is it appropriate for general audiences? Is any of this any good?

I decided that I needed a partner of sorts—someone supportive who knew the ropes and the lay of the land—someone to bounce ideas off. I soon learned that in the land of publishing, this partner is sometimes known as an editor.

Searching for My Perfect Editor

Once I had my rough draft in hand, I began my search. I didn’t know much about how to search for an editor, but some sources said to look on Upwork, so I began my search there. I posted a job ad and soon received responses from thirty or so applicants, all with dramatically different qualifications and pricing bids. I reviewed their work samples and asked those who were willing to provide sample edits of the first three pages of my manuscript.

Many of the applicants were nice and provided great feedback, but reviewing their work made me realize several critical things:

  1. Anyone can call themselves an editor.

I received applications from teachers, psychologists, college students, hospitalists, pastors, the unemployed, creative writing instructors with literary magazine publications, and newspaper reporters. The variety surprised me! I wanted to work with an editor with prior experience working at a publishing company, but unfortunately none of them did.

  1. Being an editor means different things to different people.

For most of the people on Upwork, editing seemed to mean sending them my draft and then they would email it back to me with their edits … but I wanted someone who was more of a collaborator of sorts, someone I could exchange ideas with and learn from, someone I could turn to for support and help in understanding how the world of publishing works. Continue reading “5 Things I Learned While Searching for an Editor: Guest Post by Eleora Han, PhD”

10 Ways to Avoid Embarrassing Mistakes in Your Emails

Have you ever written an email, pushed send, and then found an embarrassing mistake? Often you don’t see that misspelled word or insensitive phrasing until it’s too late, right?

Because I’m a professional editor and proofreader, my correspondence is held to a high standard. Even when the correspondence is personal instead of professional, it’s important to remember how easy it is for a recipient to misunderstand an email that isn’t clear and concise.

I’d love to share a few tricks I’ve learned that can save you from making those embarrassing gaffes in the first place: Continue reading “10 Ways to Avoid Embarrassing Mistakes in Your Emails”

Celebrate the 3rd Anniversary of THE MEMORY BOX with a $0.99 ebook and More Great News!

I’m squealing with excitement over here!

Three years ago writer Eva Lesko Natiello contacted me about editing her first novel. I took one look at the manuscript and I was IN!

I’ve written about The Memory Box here and here and here, and I hope you’ve had the opportunity to read it … but if you haven’t yet, here’s your chance: in celebration of the third anniversary of its debut you can get The Memory Box for just $0.99! And you’ll want to read it soon because  Continue reading “Celebrate the 3rd Anniversary of THE MEMORY BOX with a $0.99 ebook and More Great News!”

The Story Behind Alien Kid: Guest post by Kristen Otte

 

Today marks the long-awaited release of Alien Kid, the first book in Kristen Otte’s new series for middle-grade readers. I’ve invited Kristen (who also happens to be one of my favorite clients), to share a bit about how she came to write a series about an alien teenager.

Learn more about Kristen and her book at the end of the post.

I stumbled into writing kids’ books a few years ago, and I discovered a love for creating books that made kids laugh.

When I published the final book in The Adventures of Zelda series, I knew I wanted to write another kids’ book series, but I didn’t know what.

In the fall of 2016, amid a job transition with my husband and caring for a new little guy in our house, I felt the itch to start a new writing project. Without the time or bandwidth to write quite yet, I decided to do some research on the kids’ book market. I went to the local library, talked with the children’s librarian, and checked out the books she said were the most popular. For the most part, I knew many of those books and series.

Over the next few weeks, I read through the books and found myself disappointed in what I was reading. The books were funny, but often at the expense of a kid in the story. I often didn’t like the main characters in these books because of their bad attitudes or disrespect toward teachers, siblings, and even parents. Continue reading “The Story Behind Alien Kid: Guest post by Kristen Otte”

I’m a Featured Contributor at Sixty and Me

I’m excited to announce my selection as a featured contributor for Sixty and Me. This online community of more than 350,000 women over 60 connects women who want to live happy, healthy, and financially secure lives and  provides “ideas for turning passions into profitable work, share ways to build strong bodies and minds, and to create a mindset that sees life after sixty as a positive, vibrant, and active time.”

 

“But I’m not 60—not even close,” you say?

 

That’s okay—you’ll love many of the article anyway. For example, I’ve written about ways to get your book published, overcoming childhood fears, and snacks to help you sleep at night … and future articles I plan to write will appeal to every age. Continue reading “I’m a Featured Contributor at Sixty and Me”

Call Me, Ismael: #LiteraryTypos on Twitter

Twitter’s trending topics is enjoying a resurgence of #literarytypos, an exercise in changing a letter or two in the title or well-known line of a famous book to create a groan-worthy variation. If you haven’t already done so, join the fun over at Twitter—or better yet, add your own in the comments below!

Some of my favorite literary typos:

 @Face4Audio

“Call me, Ishmael.”

 @AynAyahSteenkur

Vanity Hair

 @baskerville_mr

The Wine in the Willows

Continue reading “Call Me, Ismael: #LiteraryTypos on Twitter”

Crossing Over: Making Peace with Self-Publishing/ Guest Post by Maureen Anderson

“If you knew the world was going to end in two days, what would you do?” the writer Sara Davidson was once asked. “Take notes,” she said without hesitating.

That’s me. The world as I knew it had ended, with a painful divorce I hadn’t seen coming, and I’d done what I’d always done to make sense of things. I took notes.

Many years later, perusing those notes, I could never pull myself away. “What a great story,” I kept thinking. “What an interesting way of putting a life back together from scratch.” By then I’d become a radio journalist, interviewing experts on career change. What struck me, thinking of my own career transition, was how much I’d accidentally done right.

Do-Over: An Accidental Template for Scaling the Abyss is that story. But I wasn’t a licensed career counselor or a celebrity. Getting an agent or a publisher interested in Do-Over would be a haul. Continue reading “Crossing Over: Making Peace with Self-Publishing/ Guest Post by Maureen Anderson”

Are You Afraid to Call Yourself a Writer? My Radio Interview at Doing What Works!

© Piren | Dreamstime.com – On Air Photo

Are you afraid you could never make a living by writing? Do you feel like an imposter when you call yourself a writer? In January I wrote a blog for SixtyandMe.com (which I later updated and posted here) about my fear that I couldn’t make a living as a writer.

That’s a topic many of you have written about; I’m not the only person who has hesitated to follow a dream.

The best comment I received, though, was from one of my editing clients, author and nationally syndicated radio personality Maureen Anderson, who wrote, “I love [your] piece! Would you like to join me on the show to expand on it? It would be a fun way to get to know each other in a different format.”

An Hour to Talk About Myself?

Continue reading “Are You Afraid to Call Yourself a Writer? My Radio Interview at Doing What Works!”

I Was Afraid to Be a Writer

Was there something you really, really wanted to do when you were younger, but you walked away from it because you didn’t think you could do it?

I wanted to be a writer. I loved to write. I mean, I LOVED it. I kept diaries; I had literally dozens of pen pals all over the world. I crafted short stories that I believed would someday win awards. Writing was in my blood.

I kept my dream of writing professionally to myself, but when I was in high school and exploring college programs, I floated the idea. “You can’t make a living that way,” advised my guidance counselor. “Why don’t you do that in your spare time?” suggested my parents. “Earn a degree in something that will pay the bills” was the message I received.

So I entered college with the intention of earning a business degree . . . and dropped out after almost two years and before attaining an Associate’s degree because I was tired of going to school. I wanted to get on with living my adult life. But I always regretted that decision, and twenty-five years later Continue reading “I Was Afraid to Be a Writer”

4 Tips for Getting the Most Out of Your NaNoWriMo Manuscript

November is history, and so is NaNoWriMo 2016. If you’re like most NaNoWriMo participants, you’re pretty excited about ending November with 50,000 words—maybe you have the first draft of a novel, maybe only a third of a longer manuscript. Nevertheless, you’ve written a bodacious number of words in thirty days, and you’ve accomplished something pretty spectacular.

For thousands of would-be novelists, December means it’s time to start down the path to publishing.

Please don’t be one of those writers who rushes to publication. Instead, try these four ideas: Continue reading “4 Tips for Getting the Most Out of Your NaNoWriMo Manuscript”