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Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Not-So-Tuned-In about How to Use "Contact?"

Well, I guess I'm not so tuned in today!

This little tip on editing that recently ran in my #SharingwithWriters newsletter will explain why I say that:

It used to be that contact was a noun. We didn’t use it as a verb, at least not in formal writing. But Garner’s has put us at ease about this. Bryan Garner notes that the positive aspect of this trend keeps us from using “”I’ll get in touch with him,” which is lots wordier than “I’ll contact him” and works just as well. By the way, if you don’t have a copy of Garner's book on usage, get one. It is a trusted style guide—far beyond the one you are probably using. Ahem! (Those who read my SharingwithWriters newsletter probably know I'm not keen on any of the editions of Strunk because it has been misleading those interested in English--particularly rules vs. style choices-- for too many decades, now!)

Well, I didn't know that contact was exclusively--by dictionary standards--a noun. Either that usage was restricted a very long time ago, or I have been slipping.  OR, it's all about what the World Wide Web does to our language. What do you think?

PS: If you are interested in subscribing to #SharingwithWriters (there is something on editing in every issue), go to http://howtodoitfrugally.com .  There is a subscription window in the top right corner of almost every page.   


MORE ABOUT YOUR FRUGAL, SMART, AND TUNED-IN BLOGGER

Carolyn Howard-Johnson edits, consults, and speaks on issues of writing and publishing. Find her at http://howtodoitfrugally.com. Find the second edition of her multi award-winning The Frugal Editor: Do-it-yourself editing secrets for authors: From your query letter to final manuscript to the marketing of your bestseller. (HowToDoItFrugally Series of Books for Writers). Learn more about her other authors' aids at www.howtodoitfrugally.com/writers_books.htm , where writers find lists and other helps including , Great Little Last-Minute Editing Tips on the Resources for Writers page. She blogs on all things publishing (not just editing!) at her SharingingwithWriters blog. She tweets writers' resources at www.twitter.com/frugalbookpromo . Please tweet this post to your followers. We all need a little help with editing. (-:

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

One Syllable Words and Tighter Writing

Today my author friend (and director of several Florida book fairs!) shares some of her tight writing knowledge.  I sometimes have trouble using pronouns when it would be clearer to use the specific noun, but overall it seems this article will be a reminder for many of us writers.

The Mighty Monosyllabic
by
Valerie Allen
We are told to write tight is to write well. Do not use three words when one will do. Use one strong verb to get the job done.

The above paragraph is an example of using one-syllable words to convey exact meaning. English has many powerful one-syllable words, 20 of which make up approximately 25% of all spoken English.

In order of frequency, the most often used one-syllable words are:
  • I
  • you
  • the
  • a
  • to
  • is
  • it
  • that
  • of
  • and
  • in
  • what
  • he
  • this
  • have
  • do
  • she
  • not
  • on
  • they
You can use the find feature on your computer to see how many times you have used these mighty monosyllabic words for tighter writing.

* * * *
Valerie Allen writes fiction, non-fiction, short stories, plays, and children's books. She is a popular speaker at writer's conferences, libraries, and community events using her book: Write, Publish, Sell! Quick, Easy, Inexpensive Ideas for the Marketing Challenged 2nd Edition. Amazon.com/dp/1480043855

She is co-founder of Authors for Authors, which supports new and experienced authors with book fairs, book launches, book displays, and writing seminars. Authors from across the US have had their books displayed at two Florida book fairs held in March and November each year sponsored by AuthorsforAuthors.com

ABOUT THE GUEST BLOGGER


Valerie Allen can be contacted via FB, Twitter, Google+ and at VAllenWriter@gmail.com    ValerieAllenWriter.com     Amazon.com/author/valerieallen

ABOUT THE FRUGAL, SMART, AND TUNED-IN BLOGGER

 Carolyn Howard-Johnson edits, consults, and speaks on issues of writing and publishing. Find her at http://howtodoitfrugally.com. Find the second edition of her multi award-winning The Frugal Editor: Do-it-yourself editing secrets for authors: From your query letter to final manuscript to the marketing of your bestseller. (HowToDoItFrugally Series of Books for Writers). Learn more about her other authors' aids at www.howtodoitfrugally.com/writers_books.htm , where writers find lists and other helps including , Great Little Last-Minute Editing Tips on the Resources for Writers page. She blogs on all things publishing (not just editing!) at her SharingingwithWriters blog. She tweets writers' resources at www.twitter.com/frugalbookpromo . Please tweet this post to your followers. We all need a little help with editing. (-:

Friday, October 14, 2016

Time Magazine Reports New "Rule" on Spit and Image

It's been a while. Just couldn't resist popping in to tell you, there's one thing you don't need to worry about these days. Or is there?

Editors have always needed to be on the lookout for the corruption of the true form of “spit and image.” It comes “from the notion of God’s using spit and dust to form the clay to make Adam in his image.” Garner’s says it’s now OK now to use the incorrect form, “spitting image.” 

I think that’s foolish in this digital world where everyone is an editor (and an expert) and only too eager to dis something as “incorrect” with no leeway for style choices. And when your career could be affected by the judgment a gatekeeper like an agent or publisher makes about what they consider your lack of interest in the written word.

But even those who choose to write on the side of caution, the exception for "spit and image" might be its use in dialogue when people tend to talk the way they always have--regardless of what reference books say. After all, the way characters use words tells something about their—well, character. For more on dialogue, I suggest Tom Chiarella's book published by Writer's Digest.  


ABOUT THE EDITOR AND BLOGGER

 Carolyn Howard-Johnson edits, consults, and speaks on issues of writing and publishing. Find her at http://howtodoitfrugally.com. Find the second edition of her multi award-winning The Frugal Editor: Do-it-yourself editing secrets for authors: From your query letter to final manuscript to the marketing of your bestseller. (HowToDoItFrugally Series of Books for Writers). Learn more about her other authors' aids at www.howtodoitfrugally.com/writers_books.htm , where writers find lists and other helps including , Great Little Last-Minute Editing Tips on the Resources for Writers page. She blogs on all things publishing (not just editing!) at her SharingingwithWriters blog. She tweets writers' resources at www.twitter.com/frugalbookpromo . Please tweet this post to your followers. We all need a little help with editing. (-:

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Book Fair Director Lists Annoying Wordiness Devils

Welcome to Valerie Allen, author and director of several book fairs in Florida. I love this little list she has compiled. Simple little wordiness constructions can sneak into our writing so easily! Be sure to check her little bio below with possibilities the growth of your career in mind.

Wasted Words
by
Valerie Allen


Pleonasmus: the use of more words than is necessary to express an idea.

Extra words serve no purpose and slow your writing. Some common examples:

I can stop at this point in time.
I can stop now.

She sat down in the chair.
She sat in the chair.

He nodded his head up and down.
He nodded.

She shrugged her shoulders.
She shrugged.

He shook his head from side to side.
He shook his head.

What he said was that it was not his fault.
He said it was not his fault.


Here are some very special, extra annoying, so excessive, tiny little writing devils to always look out for at all times in your prose writing:

  • Brand new
  • Every single time
  • Hefty large
  • Huge giant
  • Irregardless
  • Killed dead
  • Sleepy tired
  • Slightly impossible
  • Stupid moron
  • Teensy weensy
  • Up on the tabletop
  • Very unique

MORE ABOUT TODAY'S GUEST BLOGGER

Valerie Allen, author, playwright, and speaker, writes fiction, non-fiction, short stories, plays, and children's books. She is a popular speaker at writer's conferences, libraries, and community events using her book: Write, Publish, Sell! Quick, Easy, Inexpensive Ideas for the Marketing Challenged 2nd Edition.
She is a co-founder of Authors for Authors, which supports new and experienced authors with book fairs, book launches, book displays, and writing seminars. Authors from across the US  have had their books displayed at two Florida book fairs held in March and November sponsored by AuthorsforAuthors.com
Valerie Allen can be contacted via FB, Twitter, Google+ and at VAllenWriter@gmail.com or ValerieAllenWriter.com
----
Carolyn Howard-Johnson edits, consults, and speaks on issues of writing and publishing. Find her at http://howtodoitfrugally.com. Find the second edition of her multi award-winning The Frugal Editor: Do-it-yourself editing secrets for authors: From your query letter to final manuscript to the marketing of your bestseller. (HowToDoItFrugally Series of Books for Writers). Learn more about her other authors' aids at www.howtodoitfrugally.com/writers_books.htm , where writers find lists and other helps including , Great Little Last-Minute Editing Tips on the Resources for Writers page. She blogs on all things publishing (not just editing!) at her SharingingwithWriters blog. She tweets writers' resources at www.twitter.com/frugalbookpromo . Please tweet this post to your followers. We all need a little help with editing. (-:

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Costa Rican Author Shares Tip on Editing Out Double Spaces with Word

This is a book review from my The Frugal Editor, but Helen Dunn Frame made her review into a tip she gleaned from the book--a tip I though visitors and subscribers to this blog might be able to use.

Title: The Frugal Editor, 2nd Edition
Author: Carolyn Howard-Johnson
Author’s Web site: http://HowToDoItFrugally.com
Awards: USA Book News, Reader Views, Irwin Award
ISBN: 9781505712117
Available as an e-book or paper, http://bit.ly/FrugalEditor

Reviewed by Helen Dunn Frame
Senior citizens may find it difficult to change a life-long habit, specifically typing two spaces after the end of the sentence. Now it’s possible to keep an old habit and let Word “correct” it for you. Author Carolyn Howard-Johnson, in The Frugal Editor that contains a wealth of information for writers editing their own work, explains how to use “Replace” to fix this element in a document.

She outlines the directions under a “Sidebar” in the book, one of many tips crammed in it. I found it on page 34 of 123 pages in my PDF copy under the heading Let Your Replace Function Spot the Dots.

Be sure to “Select All” to highlight the entire document. Just remember to put the cursor on the “Find what” and “Replace with” bars, to the far left as possible. Press the space bar twice in “Find what” and once in “Replace with.” They will look blank but when you click on “Replace All,” the poltergeist will correct the spaces. A box appears to confirm the app has worked.

The Frugal Editor has helped me before with useful information.


MORE ABOUT THE REVIEWER

Helen Dunn Frame is the author of
Retiring in Costa Rica or Doctors, Dogs and Pura Vida (Second Edition); Greek Ghosts; Wetumpka Widow, Murder for Wealth; Secrets Behind the Big Pencil, Inspired by an Actual Scandal.

Website:
http://bit.ly/1KxXt7T  Facebook: http://on.fb.me/1COtMJn 

MORE ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Carolyn Howard-Johnson brings her experience as a publicist, journalist, marketer, and retailer to the advice she gives in her HowToDoItFrugally series of books for writers and the many classes she taught for nearly a decade as instructor for UCLA Extension’s world-renown Writers’ Program. All her books for writers are multi award winners including both the first and second editions of The Frugal Book Promoter and her multi award-winning The Frugal Editor won awards from USA Book News, Readers’ Views Literary Award, the marketing award from Next Generation Indie Books and others including the coveted Irwin award. Her next book in the HowToDoItFrugally series for writers will be How To Get Great Book Reviews Frugally and Ethically.


Howard-Johnson is the recipient of the California Legislature’s Woman of the Year in Arts and Entertainment Award, and her community’s Character and Ethics award for her work promoting tolerance with her writing. She was also named to Pasadena Weekly’s list of “Fourteen San Gabriel Valley women who make life happen” and was given her community’s Diamond Award for Achievement in the Arts. 
                 

The author loves to travel. She has visited eighty-nine countries and has studied writing at Cambridge University in the United Kingdom; Herzen University in St. Petersburg, Russia; and Charles University, Prague. She admits to carrying a pen and journal wherever she goes. 

-----
 Carolyn Howard-Johnson edits, consults, and speaks on issues of writing and publishing. Find her at http://howtodoitfrugally.com. Find the second edition of her multi award-winning The Frugal Editor: Do-it-yourself editing secrets for authors: From your query letter to final manuscript to the marketing of your bestseller. (HowToDoItFrugally Series of Books for Writers). Learn more about her other authors' aids at www.howtodoitfrugally.com/writers_books.htm , where writers find lists and other helps including , Great Little Last-Minute Editing Tips on the Resources for Writers page. She blogs on all things publishing (not just editing!) at her SharingingwithWriters blog. She tweets writers' resources at www.twitter.com/frugalbookpromo . Please tweet this post to your followers. We all need a little help with editing. (-:

Monday, June 13, 2016

Bet Your English Teacher Never Taught You This About Sentences

I love welcoming guest bloggers. Most writers do a bit of everything and today's guest is one of those writers. She heads up book fairs. She edits. She helps writers with their marketing. She writes short stories and makes sure they get read by publishing on Kindle. And--as you can see--she shares her knowledge with fellow writers. And, quite honestly, after many graduate level courses in grammar, I never thought to look at sentences quite this way. 



Sentences: It’s All in the Presentation
by
Valerie Allen


There are several types of sentences and each conveys information to the reader in a different way. Varying the type of sentences in your manuscript will help the reader stay focused and add interest.

Here are four different types of sentences and their uses.

Controlling sentences: name and control the topic.

The prison was damp and cold in the winter. It was humid and hot in the summer.

Clarifying sentences: help make the topic clearer.

Inmate comfort was not a top priority with the warden. It was no secret a high percent of his annual bonus was, in part, based on reduction in the cost of running the facility. Discussion of the utility bills took up a major portion of his weekly staff meetings.

Completing sentences: add specific details.

There was no air conditioning at the Cadejama Prison in Death Valley. The cells had no windows to open in the spring to take away the humidity, nor in the summer to relieve the oppressive heat. In winter the inside temperature never exceeded 40 degrees. The only attempt at climate control for the inmates came in December, with the issue of one thin well-used blanket.

Period Sentence: delays the most important thought and deliberately withholds it from the reader to create a special climax.

Confined in her cell day after day, she began to go mad.

The first three types of sentences are cumulative. They begin with the main clause and continue with details. The period sentence is more powerful because it offers known information at the start of the sentence and saves the unknown detail for the end.

The way we arrange words in a sentence brings our story to life, adds interest, and makes a significant impression on the reader. Sentence structure can make a good story great.

=====================================================================
MORE ABOUT TODAY'S GUEST BLOGGER
Valerie Allen, author, playwright, and speaker, writes fiction, non-fiction, short stories, plays, and children's books. She is a popular speaker at writer's conferences, libraries, and community events using her book: Write, Publish, Sell! Quick, Easy, Inexpensive Ideas for the Marketing Challenged 2nd Edition.

She is a co-founder of Authors for Authors, which supports new and experienced authors with book fairs, book launches, book displays, and writing seminars. Authors from across the US have had their books displayed at two Florida book fairs held in March and November sponsored by AuthorsforAuthors.com.

Valerie Allen can be contacted via FB, Twitter, Google+ and at VAllenWriter@gmail.com or ValerieAllenWriter.com


~ Valerie Allen ~
VAllenWriter@cs.com                                          ValerieAllenWriter.com
Amazon.com/Author/ValerieAllen
 
 
 Beyond the Inkblots: Confusion to Harmony
Write Publish Sell!
Summer School for Smarties
Bad Hair, Good Hat, New Friends
The Prodigal Son
Amazing Grace
Sins of the Father
Suffer the Little Children
'Tis Herself: Short Story Collection, Vol 1
 

-----
 Carolyn Howard-Johnson edits, consults, and speaks on issues of writing and publishing. Find her at http://howtodoitfrugally.com. Find the second edition of her multi award-winning The Frugal Editor: Do-it-yourself editing secrets for authors: From your query letter to final manuscript to the marketing of your bestseller. (HowToDoItFrugally Series of Books for Writers). Learn more about her other authors' aids at www.howtodoitfrugally.com/writers_books.htm , where writers find lists and other helps including , Great Little Last-Minute Editing Tips on the Resources for Writers page. She blogs on all things publishing (not just editing!) at her SharingingwithWriters blog. She tweets writers' resources at www.twitter.com/frugalbookpromo . Please tweet this post to your followers. We all need a little help with editing. (-:

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Shel Horowitz Shares Words that Influence



Shel Horowitz and I share an interest in the environment, marketing, and writing and those interests are reflected in his guest post below. But look! We editors can learn from it, too! Those interested in those topics should take a minute to explore his Web site for his newsletter and books. And, Shel suggests, I hope you'll share your own banished words and phrases. 


Vocabulary is an important thing; it’s part of framing. I do believe that the words we use influence the outcomes we get. I want to share with you a few choice words and phrases that I either avoid altogether or use only to make a point—and yes, I recognize the irony that I’m dedicating my entire feature article to them—but only as a teaching exercise.

Sustainable/Sustainability: These words are everywhere in the green business world. But they talk about staying where we are. My vision takes us well beyond the status quo to a world that’s actively healing itself—reversing catastrophic climate change, turning hunger and poverty into sufficiency, war into peace.

Global Warming: Oh, it sounds so warm and comfortable and fuzzy and tender! While I don’t spend a lot of time jumping up and down about the need to change human patterns that influence climate—preferring to use the power of enlightened self interest to effect change, rather than guilt and shame—when I do, I refer to “catastrophic climate change.”

Killing It/Crushing It: I’m not interested in killing or crushing things, people, or organizations. I don’t see my success as require anyone else’s failure. I can thrive without hurting others, and you can too.

Niggardly: While I’ve looked at the origins of both words and they actually have nothing in common linguistically, I will never use that term other than to say why I don’t use it—because it sounds far too close to a nasty word to describe black people, and I don’t want to put out any kind of racist vibe.

Sucks (as a negative descriptor): This one came into use decades ago as an anti-gay-male slur, derived from a longer word that begins with “c.” ‘Nuff said.

Gendered pronouns to represent all people: I work toward gender-neutral language. Sometimes, because it’s easier than saying “he or she” or “his or her,” I’ll alternate. The first paragraph might use she and her, while the next switches to he, his, and him. Or I’ll write a paragraph in the plural, using words like “people,” “they,” and “their”—but grammatically, this requires that everything else is plural too. It’s not a construction I use often.

That’s Impossible: This is a special case, because actually I use this one in my speeches, writing, and media interviews—but I use it to prove its opposite. I talk about “impossible” as “the red flag in front of the bull,” defying me to prove it wrong. My most popular (and I think best) presentation is called “Impossible is a Dare” and it builds from this magnificent quote by Muhammad Ali:

“Impossible is just a big word thrown around by small men who find it easier to live in the world they’ve been given than to explore the power they have to change it. Impossible is not a fact. It’s an opinion. Impossible is not a declaration. It’s a dare. Impossible is potential. Impossible is temporary. Impossible is nothing.” 

I use that same quote as a chapter title in my 10th book, Guerrilla Marketing to Heal the World, and as the theme for my most popular talk. I feel similarly about Can’t.What are your banished words and phrases?(With thanks to Marilyn Jenett and George Lakoff)


MORE ABOUT TODAY'S GUEST BLOGGER

Shel Horowitz works with writers who'd like to be well-published, well-marketed authors--and with businesses that want to thrive while creating and marketing products and services that heal the world. His ten books include Guerrilla Marketing to Heal the Worldhttp://goingbeyondsustainability.com/guerrilla-marketing-to-heal-the-world/ -  and Grassroots Marketing for Authors and Publishershttp://grassrootsmarketingforauthors.com/ To discuss your book or transformational business project with shel, contact him at 413-586-2388 (8 a.m. to 10 p.m. US Eastern Time), shel at greenandprofitable.com,  Learn more about him and share:

Twitter: @Shel Horowitz
Watch (and please share) my TEDx Talk,
"Impossible is a Dare: Business for a Better World"
http://www.ted.com/tedx/events/11809http://goingbeyondsustainability.com
http://transformpreneur.commailto:shel@greenandprofitable.com * 413-586-2388


----- 
 Carolyn Howard-Johnson edits, consults, and speaks on issues of writing and publishing. Find her at http://howtodoitfrugally.com. Find the second edition of her multi award-winning The Frugal Editor: Do-it-yourself editing secrets for authors: From your query letter to final manuscript to the marketing of your bestseller. (HowToDoItFrugally Series of Books for Writers). Learn more about her other authors' aids at www.howtodoitfrugally.com/writers_books.htm , where writers find lists and other helps including , Great Little Last-Minute Editing Tips on the Resources for Writers page. She blogs on all things publishing (not just editing!) at her SharingingwithWriters blog. She tweets writers' resources at www.twitter.com/frugalbookpromo . Please tweet this post to your followers. We all need a little help with editing. (-:

Friday, May 20, 2016

Rarely Discussed Wordtrippers


CONFOUNDING WORDTRIPPERS

This is just a quick copy-and-paste from my #SharingwithWriters newsletter so subscribers to this blog won't think I've forgotten them! (-:  It's one of those wordtrippers that doesn't get much attention. and one I can almost guarantee you didn't get any help with in school.

"Predominate” is not just a verb. It is also an adjective just like “predominant.” In fact, according to dictionaries “predominate” means “predominant.” Still, great editors know which are first choices when one or the other faces them in the copy they are editing.
 Mirriam-Webster, the go-to dictionary for those who write books, says “predominatey” is the variant form of “predominantly”—meaning “predominantly” is more standard.  In fact, it's so preferred that my Word program keeps auto changing predominately for me. It has no clue that I am trying explain the difference there and that's a good lesson in keeping a sharp eye out for its bad habit of thinking it's always right! 
Regardless of which one you choose to use when you are writing books, you don’t want to use one version on one page and another on another page.  

By the way, consider finding more editing tips by subscribing to SharingwithWriters at http://howtodoitfrugally.com. The subscription form is on almost every page of that Web site in the upper right corner.  There's a freebie for doing so, too!


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 Carolyn Howard-Johnson edits, consults, and speaks on issues of writing and publishing. Find her at http://howtodoitfrugally.com. Find the second edition of her multi award-winning The Frugal Editor: Do-it-yourself editing secrets for authors: From your query letter to final manuscript to the marketing of your bestseller. (HowToDoItFrugally Series of Books for Writers). Learn more about her other authors' aids at www.howtodoitfrugally.com/writers_books.htm , where writers find lists and other helps including , Great Little Last-Minute Editing Tips on the Resources for Writers page. She blogs on all things publishing (not just editing!) at her SharingingwithWriters blog. She tweets writers' resources at www.twitter.com/frugalbookpromo . Please tweet this post to your followers. We all need a little help with editing. (-:

Saturday, May 14, 2016

A New Preferred Term Leads to a Fave Topic, Saving Money

Unless you either write books of your own, are in business for yourself, or are just involved in marketing and advertising in some way, you probably won't need to know about this new marketing term. Still, those interested in editing are generally curious (and exacting!) folk,  so I thought I'd share my story with you. Besides . . .the story involves some good, hard advice about paying good, hard money for things you can get free on your own and will probably be more effective if you do! Here it is:

Today you get a hard reminder prompted by a new term being bandied about.

In The Frugal Book Promoter I talk about advertorials in conjunction with a section warning writers—but especially new writers—to use publicity (meaning free) in their marketing rather than advertising (which always means paid-for!). The section includes a little back-door method for getting to know the same newspaper and magazine folks who can say yay or nay to your marketing efforts as an alternative for cold calls or for giving up when you discover you've missed a submission deadline. 

One of the terms I tell you about in that section is “advertorial” which means a paid-for ad that looks like free editorial copy and is often more effective. To put in the grossest terms, it’s more effective because it fools many readers into believing that it’s editorial copy or vetted news or feature material chosen strictly on the basis of its newsworthiness or general appeal.

Now we have a new term for the same thing—possibly designed to disguise an advertorial with ritzier words. It is certainly less likely to be deciphered by the general reader. It is…drumroll… “native advertising.” According to David Lazarus, columnist for the LA Times, Lord & Taylor is facing a deceptive-trade charge from the Federal Trade Commission because they used this ploy—a huge embarrassment for a clothing company of L&T's stature.

You’ll see this tactic used—whether they call it advertorial or native advertising—in special advertising sections produced by newspapers and similar kinds of features in magazines—and sometimes they can be valuable reading like the sections Time magazine often runs. These advertorials are paid for by large corporations or countries, usually companies or countries that want to improve their image among Americans or the business community. 

However, even useful advertorials can only be interpreted well by the reader if it is very clear that they are paid-for. Like anything we read, we should know the source and that’s one reason that the Web is so iffy. By the way, this Lord & Taylor snafu was “native advertising” on the Web, which is notorious for disseminating misinformation (a PC term for “lies.”)

It’s important for authors to know about this. They need to know what to avoid in their marketing (and how to use whatever they choose ethically). Maybe even more important, they need to be able to discern the propaganda aimed at na├»ve authors by scammy businesses—both big businesses and individuals—trying to entice them into paying for marketing programs that are either useless or can be gotten free.

As it happens, this topic has been on my mind because I am working on a chapter for the next book in my award-winning HowToDoItFrugally Series of books for writers. Getting Great Book Reviews Frugally and Ethically will be published late this summer. Believe me, there are a lot of “Please-pay-me” schemes revolving around every aspect of publishing but the review scams are at the top of my hate list. Authors desperate to get the reviews they’ve always dreamed of having are perfect targets, especially first-time authors. So, yeah. I’m on my soapbox again! (-:

As far as editors go, now you get to choose. Do you want to use "advertorial," "native advertising," or plain old "advertising."  Generally speaking I'd opt for the latter. "Advertorial" may sound like a foreign language no matter what language your audience speaks. "Native advertising" is a euphemism (and therefore misleading). We might as well call what it is--marketing that you pay for as opposed to marketing you don-t known as "publicity." 


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 Carolyn Howard-Johnson edits, consults, and speaks on issues of writing and publishing. Find her at http://howtodoitfrugally.com. Find the second edition of her multi award-winning The Frugal Editor: Do-it-yourself editing secrets for authors: From your query letter to final manuscript to the marketing of your bestseller. (HowToDoItFrugally Series of Books for Writers). Learn more about her other authors' aids at www.howtodoitfrugally.com/writers_books.htm , where writers find lists and other helps including , Great Little Last-Minute Editing Tips on the Resources for Writers page. She blogs on all things publishing (not just editing!) at her SharingingwithWriters blog. She tweets writers' resources at www.twitter.com/frugalbookpromo . Please tweet this post to your followers. We all need a little help with editing. (-:

Friday, May 13, 2016

Q&A On Figuring Out What Editors Do and How to Hire One

I love the regular "Q & A a la Ann Landers" features I use in my #SharingwithWriters newsletter because I make it time-effective for me to spend time with authors who send me questions by recycling their questions and my answers as part of the monthly letter. I try to include something on editing in every issue and you can get the letter and a free e-book (editing! of course!) at http://howtodoitfrugally.com.  The subscribe window is in the upper right corner of most every page and you can read some back issues , too!

This question came from a reader who finds that editors often don't clearly define exactly what what their editing process includes and how they work.


QUESTION:
I just finished my first novel, historical fiction, and I’m finding different editors’ sites don’t give me much information and that no one seems to be speaking the same language in terms of definition when they toss around the editing terms. Copy editor? Proofreader? Etc.
ANSWER
If this is a first novel, I believe you need a full edit. Sometimes first novelists—even ones who have taken lots of classes—still don't have things like structure, motivation, setting, characterization down. It's not just our own punctuation or homonym errors we don't see! It would also be helpful if you tried to find an editor experienced specifically in historical novels—especially the specific period you are writing in. Your editor may even spot a historical inaccuracy or two.
You also might want to read the multi award-winning The Frugal Editor (http://bit.ly/FrugalEditor). It includes a battery of questions to ask editors to get what you need.
I know a full edit like this is expensive, but one of the things I say in my The Frugal Editor: Think of the money spend as the equivalent of three university classes at a top writing school in addition to the editing. If you get an editor who explains why she does things and what the alternative is, you'll come away from the editing process a much better writer—even if you are already a great writer. (-:
PS: The Frugal Editor also defines the terms of editing—at least for purposes of the book—so we’re all talking the same language. I sympathize with the confusion you expressed.


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 Carolyn Howard-Johnson edits, consults, and speaks on issues of writing and publishing. Find her at http://howtodoitfrugally.com. Find the second edition of her multi award-winning The Frugal Editor: Do-it-yourself editing secrets for authors: From your query letter to final manuscript to the marketing of your bestseller. (HowToDoItFrugally Series of Books for Writers). Learn more about her other authors' aids at www.howtodoitfrugally.com/writers_books.htm , where writers find lists and other helps including , Great Little Last-Minute Editing Tips on the Resources for Writers page. She blogs on all things publishing (not just editing!) at her SharingingwithWriters blog. She tweets writers' resources at www.twitter.com/frugalbookpromo . Please tweet this post to your followers. We all need a little help with editing. (-:

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