Editor’s Blog

Helpful Tips

Tip of the Day: A writer’s platform consists of more than just Twitter

For writers like me who enjoy the community on Twitter so much, it can be easy to forget that a writer’s platform consists of more than just Twitter. It’s everything that can be found online and offline about you and your books. On-line presence might consist of Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, Amazon author’s page, website, blog, Instagram, and the list goes on. An offline platform might include radio interviews, conference appearances, workshops, newspaper articles and even your local writers’ group memberships.

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There’s a reason for the standard manuscript format

In this day and age, many submissions are handled through email. Agents and acquisition editors will often look at the submissions sent to them on an electronic device, commonly a computer or tablet screen. For many submissions, the initial contact is contained in the body of an email (no attachments). However, if they ask for added materials, they expect things in the standard submission format. Yet, agents and editors will still often look at those submission materials using electronic devices.

So, if everything is now through electronic submissions, why must we format our manuscripts using a format that was devised back in the day when everything was printed? Well, believe it or not, the standard manuscript format is very specific for a reason.

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Helpful Tips

Tip of the Day: Ensure that your blog has a subscription option.

It is vital to give readers of your blog a way in which they can follow your blog, receiving announcements via email. It is also vital that you make it easy for your readers to find the subscription tools. This site has subscription options on the sidebar, but if you don’t have sidebars on your own site, then put the subscription tool in the footer. If you don’t have a footer either, then work out a way to incorporate your subscription tool into every post. DON’T make your readers go hunting for it.

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Helpful Tips

Tip of the Day: Connect with the writer community through social media.

Writing can be very isolating. Family and friends, unless they are writers too, won’t understand the emotional roller-coaster that comes with the publishing industry. You need to reach out. A great way to make writing friends is through social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook. There are many groups out there; all you need to do is join one. Join it and the rest will follow.

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A Website and Blog are NOT the same thing.

There are many out there who will use the terms website and blog interchangeably. The difference between the two is not as clear as one might think. It probably doesn’t help that many blogs are hosted on personal websites. However, there is a BIG difference between a website and a blog, although the line is a little fuzzy.

A website is your internet home, containing information about yourself and your various projects. The pages are static, occasionally updated to reflect changes. It will contain the most up-to-date information about your work, assuming that you actually keep it up to date.

A blog, on the other hand, is like a diary. It will be constantly changing with whatever content or other information you choose to share with the world. In some respects, a blog will contain even more up-to-date information about your work. However, the information on a blog quickly gets buried, depending on the frequency at which you post. This means that you can’t rely on your blog as a marketing tool for older works.

If a reader visits your site, they want to be able to find your books, products, or whatever quickly — and with little effort. This is the key point that distinguishes a website from a blog.

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Helpful Tips

Tip of the Day: Setup a spam email.

You know those sites that offer you something for free, but they insist on having your email first? The moment you provide an email address, you give the site permission to send you spam. If you use an email address intended for spam, then who cares. You’ll only log into the account to get that one bit of information that you wanted. Use the same email for all those frequent shopper cards too. For the sake of your sanity, get a spam email.

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Developmental Editors are NOT Copyeditors

When I tell people that I’m an editor, the first response that I typically get is something along the lines of, “You must love spelling.” It’s amazing how many people assume that editing is just looking at the punctuation and grammar, perhaps finding typos. However, this proofreading type of editing is the final stage of the process. Before you get to that point, there are so many other aspects.

I have written about the stages of editing before, describing when you need to seek those external eyes and what type of external eyes you need. However, I still encounter many who are confused about what editing really entails.

In this week’s post, I thought I’d elaborate on the two main categories of professional editors that you’ll likely encounter, and why BOTH are vital to the health (and success) of a story. I’m talking in particular about developmental editors and copyeditors.

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Helpful Tips

Tip of the Day: Don’t be cheap with your book cover.

It may sound like obvious advice, but you will be surprised at how many choose not to listen to it. If you are self-publishing, you need to be prepared to put money into your book cover. The cover will be the first thing that people see. Hence, it needs to be eye-catching, but in a good way. If your book cover looks cheap, people will instantly assume that you didn’t take the time to edit your writing before publishing. However, if you have a professional looking cover, then they might actually stop long enough to look at the blurb. There are many graphic designers out there who produce beautiful covers for a reasonable price. Ask other writers as to who they recommend.

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