Reactions to a Sea of Red: Guest Post by Chris Lippincott

An author’s reaction to editing is something editors worry about, as I did when I returned first edits to practicing psychic medium and bestselling author Chris Lippincott. Chris’s compelling storytelling only needed a light editing touch, and our collaboration on his work  paid off: Spirits Beside Us has been the #1 Amazon New Release in death, grief & spirituality since its release. It’s a fascinating look at his journey into mediumship, describes what the other side is like, and offers some remarkable mediumship readings and healing messages that have proven to be life-transforming to the recipients.

Take it away, Chris.

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When I began writing my first book, I thought I was creating a magnificent masterpiece. In my mind, it sounded like it flowed, and everyone would be able to understand exactly what I was trying to say. I wrote about my passion and about what I knew, so the content was certainly present. It seemed like the words had spewed forth onto the page like water from a garden hose. After I had completed all my edits and polished my first draft, I was utterly convinced it was the perfect manuscript. All it needed, in my mind, was someone to proofread my work, and it could soon join the great works of the world. Little did I realize, however, that often my writing style lacked the polish that would make it a great work.

Don’t Take Edits Personally

This came as a blow to my ego as well as a frustrating realization that I actually had much more work ahead of me. When I received my manuscript back from my editor Candace, I was at first horrified by the sea of red all over my draft. It practically looked like there were more red marks and corrections than there were black letters. I thought, “Well, clearly, she just doesn’t like my writing and has got it all wrong.”

Try as I might to avoid the extra work (or the blow to my ego), it began to dawn on me that many of her corrections were, in fact, quite necessary. What author ever wants their own words, their living, breathing manuscript, over which they have labored so tirelessly and finally given birth, to receive the painfully sharp cuts of an editorial scalpel? I venture to say no one would wish that upon their own worst enemy.

What author ever wants their own words, their living, breathing manuscript, over which they have labored so tirelessly and finally given birth, to receive the painfully sharp cuts of an editorial scalpel? Click To Tweet

However, to make our prose sing to the heavens and truly connect with our readers, we need the expertise of an editor well versed in the editorial process. It is their knowledge and expertise that enables them to polish our roughhewn manuscripts into shining gems. Editors are the unsung heroes of the literary world. They rarely receive the credit they deserve as they typically are hidden in the background, while the author’s name is seen in bright lights. However, without these critical editors, few authors would ever have their name in lights. Continue reading “Reactions to a Sea of Red: Guest Post by Chris Lippincott”

Celebrate #InternationalWomensDay with The Healing Power of Girlfriends

 Some of my most important and long-term relationships are with my girlfriends. Whether you’re on top of the world or in the depths of despair (or somewhere in between), there’s something about spending time with another woman who really gets you that can’t be replaced by a spouse, partner, child, parent, or coworker.

When Deborah Olson first contacted me about the book she was writing, detailing these special relationships and how healing they can be for women, I was excited to learn more. Today, that book is available for your reading pleasure: The Healing Power of Girlfriends: How to Create Your Best Life Through Female Connection. I can’t think of a better way to celebrate International Women’s Day 2019 than to add this book to your personal library.

Women and Friendship

When Deborah and I first spoke, she shared that as a women’s emotional health specialist she often hears the same types of things from her clients, including:

  • the importance of having a close friend to confide in,
  • how hurt they are when a friend turns out to be anything but,
  • the frustration of trying to make time for girlfriends while juggling work and home life,
  • confusion over the mixed signals they sometime get from other women, and
  • uncertainty about where to find like-minded women who are also looking for new friends.

These are just a few of the myriad topics Deborah covers in her new book, The Healing Power of Girlfriends: How to Create Your Best Life Through Female Connectionavailable now in paperback and for Kindle.

“Packed with inspiration, insights, and personal stories, this book captures the nuances and uniqueness of the bonds that only exist within friendships between women.” —Allison Abrams, LCSW-R, psychotherapist, author, and contributing expert for Psychology Today and The Huffington Post

Don’t Try to Stop a Passionate Writer

Deborah and I have worked together on this book for months, taking it from concept to publication. As for many writers, publishing a book has always been dream for her, and she really went for it, learning all she could about publishing and marketing a book while she continued writing and revising her manuscript.  Oh, and that’s while she dealt with a few personal challenges, like helping her daughter whose home was destroyed in Hurricane Harvey in August, 2017, and facing her husband’s serious health challenges over much of 2018.

Through it all, Deborah worked on this book with a goal to make it a go-to source for inspiration, insights, and personal stories based on her years of clinical experience, scientific research, questionnaire responses, and personal anecdotes.  Continue reading “Celebrate #InternationalWomensDay with The Healing Power of Girlfriends”

The Healing Power of Girlfriends: It’s Time for the Cover Reveal!

I have exciting news to share!

Women’s health specialist Deborah A. Olson, RN, MA, LPC, has been working for months on her book The Healing Power of Girlfriends: How to Create Your Best Life Through Female Connection … and I’m the lucky editor she chose to work with.

What’s the book about?

Deborah is passionate about helping women in every area of their lives, and in this book she shares decades of insights she’s gleaned about connection, communication, and intimacy in healthy friendships to help you nurture your current friendships and find new ones.

The Healing Power of Girlfriends will help you avoid toxic friendships, understand the role expectations play in women’s friendships, and learn how power dynamics can hurt or heal these special relationships. It is chock-full of personal anecdotes, scientific research, and therapeutic advice that any woman can use to support and honor these special friendships.

Today Deborah is revealing her book’s cover!

And now … drumroll, please … the cover reveal for The Healing Power of Girlfriends: How to Create Your Best Life Through Female Connection.

 

 

Doesn’t that cover make you want to grab a couple of your besties and head to warmer weather?

If you’re someone who has taken a book from dream to reality, you know how exhilarating the time approaching the publication date can be. And so many decisions have to be made, including what the cover will look like. Deborah’s “happy place” is at the beach, and I think she nailed that one, don’t you?

#SendACardtoAFriend Day

Deborah’s timing couldn’t better! Today is Send a Card to a Friend Day … so pick one or two—or 12—of your besties who have been a source of support and healing for you, and send them a card to let them know how much you value them!

Learn more about Deborah, her work with women, and The Healing Power of Girlfriends (available March 8, 2019) by visiting her website at https://www.galleriacounseling.com/book/. While you’re there, be sure to sign up for her newsletter for updates.

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Candace Johnson is a professional freelance editor, proofreader, writer,  and writing coach who has worked with traditional publishers, self-published authors, and independent book packagers on nonfiction subjects ranging from memoirs to alternative medical treatments to self-help, and on fiction ranging from romance to paranormal. As an editorial specialist, Candace is passionate about offering her clients the opportunity to take their work to the next level. She believes in maintaining the author’s unique voice while helping them create and polish every sentence to make it the best it can be. Learn more here.

For more great writing and publishing information, follow  Change It Up Editing and Writing Services on Facebook, where I share interesting articles and links about writing and publishing. And let’s connect on Twitter and LinkedIn too!

 

 

 

The Importance of a Second Pair of Eyes: My Interview at Jera Publishing

Imagine my surprise when Camille Wise, intern at Jera Publishing, contacted me for an interview! Camille is a talented high school senior who is completing an internship with Kimberly Martin at Jera, and she kept me on my toes with her insightful questions about my work as a professional freelance editor. I hope you’ll join me for the interview over at Jera Publishing to learn a bit more about me and my work; here’s an excerpt:

One professional who can transform your book into a front-of-the-bookstore kind of novel is Candace Johnson, owner of Change It Up Editing. Jera Publishing highly recommends her, along with several other editors, to clients in need of manuscript revisions. Because I felt authors deserved a better grasp of editing, I called Candace on a Monday afternoon to learn why it’s such an imperative part of the writing process. If you’re an up-and-coming writer, the following interview is just for you.

Read the rest at https://bit.ly/2uxJBvm.

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Candace Johnson is a professional freelance editor, proofreader, writer, and writing coach for fiction and nonfiction. She works with traditional publishers, self-published authors, and independent book packagers. As an editorial specialist, Candace is passionate about offering her clients the opportunity to take their work to the next level. Follow her on FacebookTwitter, and LinkedIn.

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”

The Willpower Workaround: A Surprising Interview with Author Maureen Anderson

What if you could eat as much as you wanted, all day every day, and never gain weight? No gimmicks, nothing unsafe.

Radio personality Maureen Anderson (@DoingWhatWorks) did just that, and she wrote The Willpower Workaround to show just how to do it.

“The Plan” isn’t a big, complicated diet—it’s about a simple lifestyle change Maureen made that changed everything. When she first contacted me about editing her book, I have to admit I was a bit skeptical; I mean, you need willpower—and lots of it—to lose weight, right? Was I ever wrong!

Maureen is one of the most interesting, vivacious, and genuine people you’ll ever meet. Her personality shines through in her book, too, and if you’ve ever struggled with dieting (and who hasn’t?), you’ll love The Willpower Workaround.

Maureen was kind enough to answer some of my burning questions about the book and those sugar cookies she writes about to start the book:

I make the best sugar cookies you’ve ever tasted.

You don’t have to take my word for it. Talk to one of my childhood friends, who won’t share them with her grandchildren because they don’t appreciate the work that goes into them. Or talk to one of my daughter’s former teachers, who used to hide them in the freezer in a bag marked “for the dog” so she wouldn’t have to share them with her family.

Every year between Halloween and Christmas my husband and I used to bake two hundred dozen sugar cookies from scratch. You read that right. Two hundred dozen. Each one painstakingly rolled out really thin, cut, transferred to a baking pan, baked, cooled, frosted, dried, wrapped individually, packed with bubble wrap, and shipped all over the country to friends and family and people we did business with.

Every summer I used to lose the same ten or fifteen pounds a lot of people do because they’re more active, only to always gain them back by Thanksgiving. One year I wondered if it was the cookies. Darrell looked at me. Then he said, “Duh.”

That was all I had to read to know I wanted to work with Maureen, and it was an awesome experience. Recently she agreed to answer some of my burning questions; I found her answers thoughtful and relatable, and I hope you enjoy our conversation!

The Interview:

Candace Johnson: Why did you feel it was important to write The Willpower Workaround and share The Plan?

Maureen Anderson: Thanks for using them both in the same sentence! I think of The Willpower Workaround as the formal name for the way I eat, but it’s a mouthful. I can’t remember if it was my husband or daughter who started calling it The Plan right away—but it’s the perfect nickname, and it stuck.

I wrote The Willpower Workaround because it worked so well it felt irresponsible not to share. The first time I spoke of it publicly in a formal presentation, I did it next to a big poster with photos of everything I ate. When I saw someone taking a picture of the poster I thought, “All those people who told me I should write a book and then give talks were right. It would be great to have a little instruction manual, disguised as a short memoir, available for sale.”

When I decided to give up junk food in August of 2009, it was only going to be for a year. My motives had at least as much to do with wanting a writing project I could sink my teeth into as a diet. I’d been noticing “year in the life” experiments in bookstores. The Year of Living Biblically was a popular one. My book was going to be The Year I Didn’t Cheat. I even purchased that domain name, which inspired the guy taking our order for it to feel bad for my husband. (My husband, Darrell, interviewed me about my progress at the one-month point. Would you like to watch?)

I imagined rip-roaring stories about passing up chips and salsa for another spinach salad, for example, and the snappy comebacks I’d have at the ready for people who made fun of me. Can you imagine a weaker premise for a book? And you know what? I didn’t care! It got me started. I was doing the right thing for the wrong reason, but at least I was doing something. I think one secret to life is experimenting with it.

Candace Johnson: We learn in the book that your initial success with permanent weight loss was based on winning a challenge. Do you have any advice for men and women who need a reward to stay on the path toward changing the way they eat?

Continue reading “The Willpower Workaround: A Surprising Interview with Author Maureen Anderson”

Meet Indie Children’s Book Author Angel Krishna

I am an indie children’s book author, and I love it. My name is Angel Krishna, and I write children’s books. My latest release is Gabby’s Space Adventure, about a hippo who is determined to go into space.

Writing and publishing children’s books is a bit crazy and fun at the same time, if that makes sense. There is so much you have to consider when putting a book together, but most important is the word placement and grammar, punctuation, etc. … this is why I am so grateful for Candace Johnson. When she edited my children’s picture book she marked all errors with a note, stating the reason why something was incorrect so I could learn as well. Candace has been a huge help to indie authors! We all need a great editor, and she is it.

Previously I was with a publisher, but trust me, it’s not all that! I felt they didn’t work hard at all to promote me and my books. Really nothing was done! I was like, “This is crazy!” A huge percentage of my earnings were going to them, and they did not do a thing to market me. I know that as the author I have to promote myself, and I did and still do, but I got zero feedback and acknowledgment. So needless to say I went indie, and I love it.

I am currently with Bublish—they are pretty great! They have many tools to help you promote your brand. They also have many free webinars to build your knowledge. Bublish offers many services that may come in handy to help you with selling, tracking reader engagement, building your brand, improving discoverability, and learn social marketing—what a list! I hope you’ll check them out.

About that editing …

Wow! What a pleasure it is working with Candace Johnson. It’s always a bit nerve-racking giving your work to an editor, but Candace makes you feel so at ease and proud of what you’ve accomplished. I was so happy when my friend Christa Wojo introduced me to Candace. Now I have a new friend and a fantastic editor.

I’m so happy to be a part of Candace’s life and tell you how great she is and a little about myself. I hope to keep going forward in my venture and passion. As you know, writing and book promotion are hard and exhausting at times, but I usually take a breather and plop on the sofa with a big exhale, lol! Thanks for checking out my books, and I hope see you on social media!

*****

Thanks for the kudos, Angel. I loved working with you on the text for Gabby’s Space Adventure, and I wish you much success with all your projects!

If you’d like to learn more about Angel’s writing journey, check out her Client Spotlight at ChristaWojo.com

 

Angel Krishna is the author of Gu-Glee-Goos of ChristmasMonkeys and Crocodiles Play BaseballGabby’s Space Adventure, and the Genius Kid App. You can find her on FacebookTwitter, and Bublish 

 *****

Candace Johnson is a professional freelance editor, proofreader, writer, ghostwriter, and writing coach who has worked with traditional publishers, self-published authors, and independent book packagers on nonfiction subjects ranging from memoirs to alternative medical treatments to self-help and on fiction ranging from romance to paranormal. As an editorial specialist, Candace is passionate about offering her clients the opportunity to take their work to the next level. She believes in maintaining an author’s unique voice while helping him or her create and polish every sentence to make it the best it can be. Learn more here, and follow her on FacebookTwitter, and LinkedIn.

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”

Have You Tried HARO, the Easy Author Platform-Building Technique?

 

Any writer building an author platform knows it takes time, effort, and patience. Sadly, too many first-time authors publish a book without building a strong platform and then wonder why their book doesn’t sell. Too many authors who hope to interest a traditional publisher are shocked when they receive rejection after rejection because they lack a professional network or public presence.

A strong platform is especially important for nonfiction writers who write as subject-matter experts. But how does a writer build a platform from scratch or continue to grow one before and after publishing a book? Continue reading “Have You Tried HARO, the Easy Author Platform-Building Technique?”

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