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Easy Tips to Help You Save Money on That Necessary Edit

man with money

Today’s post is by editor Katherine Pickett:

Finished that novel? Time to get it edited by a professional? For the uninitiated, it is not unusual to experience a bit of sticker shock upon receiving a cost estimate from a potential editor. As the author, you may wonder how this person came up with the astronomical figure you are now contemplating paying. It may seem mysterious, but it’s really a simple formula:

amount of work × rate of pay = the cost of editing

Different editors may charge by the hour, by the word, by the page, or a flat fee. However, all of these metrics translate into an estimate of how much work will be required of them. The other variable in the equation—rate of pay—is based on the service requested and the editor’s level of expertise. Continue Reading…

Nailing Your Novel’s Genre in Your Opening Scene

woman with hammer

In the last two posts on my blog in this Writing for Life section I’ve been exploring how writers can target genres that sell well in order to find their own measure of success. I’ve done numerous posts on success: how we writers might not only define success but tweak our personal definition of success so that we can reap deep joy and a sense of fulfillment in our writing.

I firmly believe attitude plays a huge part in feeling successful. For, even if a writer is a “flop” according to worldly standards (numbers of copies sold, revenue per title, etc.), she can feel successful in the way that really matters—which is in her own soul. We have to live with ourselves, and the way we measure success can either open the way for great joy or for great misery. Continue Reading…

Tweaking Your Writing and Genre for Success

girl with chalk

Last week I began talking about the wisdom in studying other authors’ works in order to nail a genre. This may or may not be something you are interested in, but in dealing with hundreds of clients each year who hire me to critique and edit their novels, I note that most of them 1) want to have successful sales with their books and 2) are targeting a specific genre. Some of my clients aren’t sure what genre they are writing in, or what audience they are writing for. As a result, those books are usually unfocused, awkwardly constructed, lacking clear style and voice.

I get that a lot of beginning writers are just finding their feet (or, rather, voice) and are often experimenting with writing to get some chops and see if they can just write a somewhat coherent novel. All well and good. But at some point, a writer needs to ask herself questions like “Just what do I want to do with this book?” and “Do I want to grow fans and make money from my writing?” Continue Reading…

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