Latest Articles

An Abridged History of Rejection

I’m excited to announce that after more than fifteen years of dedicated writing, workshops, critique groups, and conferences, of getting the input of a freelance editor, and of doing countless manuscript swaps with writer friends, I have an agent. The amazing Jenny Bent of The Bent Agency is representing my novel, ROOM 100, and we are currently working on revisions….

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Why custom cover design is right for your book

A novel is a unique work of art. Its e-book and print cover should be, too. And once again, Threepenny’s go-to cover designer  impresses me with his dedication to this ideal. Phillip Gessert has worked with me on over a dozen design projects in the past couple of years, so I should know as well as anyone that he’s good. But when…

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The four stages of editing

When I find myself answering a question frequently, it’s time to blog about it. Many writers ask, “What’s the difference between developmental editing and copyediting?” Or, “Does a substantive edit include proofreading?” What these questions have in common is some confusion about the four separate stages of editing. A manuscript that goes from draft to published book must pass through…

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Successes from 2012

Last year set all kinds of records: in my number of clients, in increasing my efficiency in the administrative side of my business, in attracting new visitors to this site, and most of all, in client successes. Here are the highlights: Harriet Parke’s novel Agenda 21 hit the bestseller lists on its launch day. Jen Westby’s beautiful memoir of grief Six…

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Indie Projects Have the Freedom to Think Big

Here’s a guest post from Threepenny’s ace freelance designer, Phillip Gessert, on having the courage to take beautiful visual risks in designing a self-published book. +++++++++++++++ Seems like most of us are on the hunt for some kind of credibility. But we haven’t always got a firm grasp on how fluid credibility really is. Say you’re an indie author, and…

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What to Expect When Working with a Layout Designer

If you are self-publishing, chances are, you will hire a graphic designer to convert your Word manuscript to a print-ready InDesign file. InDesign is expensive Adobe software that makes your novel look like a book instead of a printed-out stack of manuscript pages. In managing dozens of layout projects over the years, I have noticed a few common misconceptions about…

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Great resource for ebook authors!

I’ve just compiled all the questions clients have ever asked me about how to create e-books–and turned the answers into a step-by-step checklist. Short of having me sit next to you at the computer and tell you what to do, this $0.99 guide is the best way to navigate the process. From what services to use, to pricing, to assigning…

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Quick tip: Fresh writing vs. over-writing

If you’ve read even one book on writing, you’ve heard some contradictory advice. On one hand, you’re supposed to keep your language “fresh” and “original,” “rendering” it through the character’s point of view. On the other hand, you’re told to avoid “purple prose,” “over-writing,” and “heavy-handedness.” Here’s a quick rule of thumb. You don’t need embellished language (or “rendered” language,…

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