March 14, 2016

3 Quick Tips for Interviewing an Editor

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There’s a blog post going around this week about how copyeditors are almost always evil dementors whose sole aim in life is to suck the soul out of a genius writer’s voice. In fact, according to this particular rant, many editors have no idea what they are doing—even editors working for the Big Five; and there are so few decent line editors in the world that they aren’t worth hiring, especially if you are an indie author. Well. Just spit in my eye, why don’tcha? I don’t even want to link to the post I’m referring to because, frankly, it . . .

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March 10, 2016

Who to Be, or Who Not to Be? (That Is the Pseudonym Question)

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I’ve spent my entire literate life inventing pen names. And before you ask, NO—I will not tell you what my creative pen names are. It’s possible that they are already in use, or that they will be in future use. The beauty of a pen name is that you won’t find out until I want you to find out, which may be never ever ever! The long tradition of pen names testifies to a pseudonym’s usefulness or even necessity. Many women have used pen names to protect themselves from scandal, or to better their chances at publication in an industry historically dominated . . .

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January 21, 2016

What Do Editors Do? (An Answer in Three Tiers)

Hey, readers and writers. Happy New Year! One of the questions I’m frequently asked is, “What exactly do editors do?” It’s not a dumb question! Editors do a lot of things, and as a story on NPR pointed out a few weeks ago, the role has changed over time. To make things simple, I like to describe editing in terms of three tiers: developmental editing, copyediting, and proofreading. Published authors get the editorial treatment at all of these levels, sometimes being edited by a dozen editors or more; and if you want your self-published work to have the same durability and polish, . . .

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January 7, 2016

Meet the Book Hooker!

Dear Reader, Several years ago, I made a ridiculous decision. Amid what appeared to be some major corporate upheavals at my workplace, I quit my full-time editorial position at a large publishing house and went back to school for my doctorate in English. At the time, it made sense to me: by signing a contract, I had at least four years of guaranteed employment (as a teaching assistant) as well as a generous fellowship stipend. I could continue my editorial work in a freelance capacity. I could afford to buy a house by living in a lower-cost community. And, I thought, I . . .

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