Category Archives: The Book Biz

Will This Fit on My About Page? (#MeetTheEditor Series)

I really enjoy About pages. They’re interesting, don’t you think? What folks choose to reveal, what they don’t. (Here are some I really like for various reasons: Fluid Pudding, Jenny B. Jones, Jane Friedman, Jennifer Loudin. I could go on and on.) But part of me thinks it’s insane to think people would read this […]

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Short Saturday: Don’t Worry about Piracy

Are you worried about someone pirating your work and selling it as his own? Plagiarism exists, for real. But I think this article—a guest post on the brilliant Joanna Penn’s website, The Creative Penn—has a great point: The biggest challenge facing a new author isn’t piracy; it’s obscurity. Think about it. Imagine a genie appears […]

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#WhatImReadingNow : The Life and Times of Persimmon Wilson

Persimmon is the name my mama gave me, after the fruit she stole off a tree down in the woods while she was carrying me, and Wilson is the name of the man that last owned me. I don’t want to call that man master here, but for the pupose of making this easier to […]

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Short Saturday: Should You Hire a Professional Editor?

That answer’s always going to be yes of you ask me, of course. :) But publishing expert Jane Friedman has a more measured response in this article. :) “There are three primary reasons to hire a professional,” Friedman says: 1 The learning experience. 2 The industry advantage. 3 Submission preparation. All excellent reasons. But before […]

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Short Saturday: Nonfiction Book Structure

When I clicked on this blog post from literary agent Janet Grant and read … Nonfiction Book Structure = More Than a String of Blog Posts … I stood up and cheered. Because, yes, she’s said a mouthful. You cannot just cut and paste together your blog posts and call it good. As Grant notes: […]

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Short Saturday: Yes, One Could Characterize the Publishing Industry As Insane

This article has been around for a while and you may not have seen it. Excerpted from My Mistake: A Memoir, by Daniel Menaker (2013), it’s a humorous recap of Menaker’s rise and fall in the biz we all love. (Right? We love it, don’t we?) Too much here to choose a telling excerpt so […]

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To Google Docs or Not to Google Docs, That Is the Question

A while back I got this question from an author: Do you need to have a trail of every iteration of changes—or could we put this on Google docs and always have a master at hand? I’ll spare you the litany of #CrankyEditor thoughts that went through my head, and get right to the answer: […]

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Titling Committee Fail

The title of a book is a big deal. It’s the first thing readers see, so it’s an important marketing tool. But there’s no magic formula to creating a good title. Whether fiction or nonfiction, the title should be catchy, interesting, unforgettable; it should get the attention of potential buyers. And publishing companies have a […]

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Pay No Attention to the Reviewer Behind the Curtain …

Book reviews and book reviewers don’t require any appearances or performances from the author (unless, like Norman Mailer, you show up at newspaper offices to pick a fight with the book review editor—how many of those are left now?). But reviews definitely contribute to an author’s public image. Sometimes even a well-intended review will corral […]

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The Life of An Acquiring Editor

I used to spend the late portion of many evenings in the gigantic Tea Lounge on Union Street in Park Slope, along with a few dozen other people perched over their laptops and the occasional Orthodox couple on a date. Eventually I noticed a woman who was there pretty much every time I went in, […]

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