Is it still worth getting a traditional publisher on board, and how hard is it really? Discover the benefits of traditional publishing, the reasons why it’s so difficult, and how to land a publisher.
Want to write a book that helps people? Is your book self-help or a memoir? Discover the difference between the two and what can go wrong if you choose the wrong genre.
Millions of authors self-publish their book every year, but does self-publishing mean going it alone? In this guide, I’ll take you through each stage of the self-publishing process and show you how to DIY it or get expert help.
You want to write a nonfiction book. But why? Why determines what you write. So, here are the top 5 author goals and how to achieve them with your book.
If you’re writing self-help your primary goal is most likely to help people, but it’s easy to go wrong with self-help, especially in offering unhelpful clichés. So, here are the top 10 self-help cliches to avoid in your writing.
It’s tempting to think that stories are just for fiction, but your nonfiction book needs a narrative too. Want to know why? Find out with our guest Shazeen from The Writer Vending Machine.
If you want to write a nonfiction book, the first question that comes to mind is: where do I start? The answer involves three simple steps. Discover them here.
So, you want to self-publish your book, but which format? Do you need e-pub, Mobi, print, or a mix? Do you want it an e-reader version and physical copies? Here’s your inside guide to book formats.
You know you want to get your book published, but the question is how? There are four ways to get published, from traditional publishers to self-publishing. Here’s your insider guide with the pros and cons of each publishing path.
What’s it really like to work with a book editor? It can be magical, or it can be horrible. We’ll give you an insight into what it’s like working with a freelance editor and our top tips to ensure it doesn’t go wrong.
80% of adults have thought about writing a book at some point. But if you’re an aspiring nonfiction author, the big question is: what do you write about? Here, we’ll give you our top tips on topics.
Quoting other authors in your book can be a minefield. Do you need the author’s permission? Is it a breach of copyright? Can you get sued? Find the answers here…
Most authors would like to earn something for their books. The question is: what will make you more money as an author—traditional publishing or self-publishing? Let’s weigh them up.
When you’re writing a nonfiction book, there are 5 common traps you might fall into. If you can avoid making these mistakes, you might save yourself the cost of hiring an editor! So, let’s look at the top 5 nonfiction writing mistakes…
Self-publishing can be a magical thing, as it means that anyone can publish a book. However, there are many potential pitfalls. Here’s your insider’s guide on how to avoid self-publishing mistakes…
As a writer or author, you may want a professional to add that extra polish to your work. But do you need a proofreader or an editor, or both? Here’s your insider guide to proofreading vs. editing…
Have you ever written a blog, proofread it, and posted it—only for someone to point out a glaring typo? Why do we seem incapable of noticing typos in our own writing? Discover why it’s so difficult to spot your own typos…
You’ve written a book. You’re ready to hire an editor. The question on your mind is: how much is this going to cost me? How do you know what budget to set aside and whether the price pitched are reasonable? Here’s an insider’s guide to book editing costs…
I was delighted to be featured as a guest blogger on author Sally Jenkins’ writing blog recently. You can check out the original post here…
Whether you’re a professional writer making a living from your words or someone who enjoys hobby blogging, there will no doubt come a time when you wonder whether it’s worth hiring an editor. In fact, “Do I need an editor?” is a question I often get asked by writers. As an editor, you may think I’d leap up and shout “YES!”, but the answer isn’t cut and dry. So, let’s look at some of the things you should consider before hiring an editor.
Are you writing for pleasure or business?
If you’re writing for fun or catharsis, then an editor isn’t really necessary. It’s more important that the writing fulfils your personal needs and desires. However, if you’re a freelance writer, an author, or a blogger hoping to make money from your work, then it might be worth hiring an editor, because your writing needs to be of a higher quality than if you were just writing for yourself.
What value does an editor add?
A good editor knows the industry relevant to your writing and what your readers want. They understand genre standards, word counts, structure, and flow. Importantly, they’re objective and honest about whether your writing is good enough—and how to improve it. A good editor should make you a better writer, not just fix your errors. Even the best writer can sometimes find themselves unable to see the wood for the trees, and that’s where an editor is invaluable.
What do editors do?
The term “editor” is very broad, but in writing there are two main types: content editors (also known as developmental editors) and copy editors. The former look at the big picture—structure, content, message, narrative, and so on. The latter focus on the small picture—grammar, language, wording, punctuation, and so on. It’s worth noting that the role of a copy editor is often confused with that of a proofreader. However, proofreading is merely checking the final version of the text (such as a designed book or website) for any last typos or errors.
Which should you choose?
If you’re a book author, you’d normally start with a content edit, then progress to a copy edit, then a proofread. If you’re writing blogs or website content, then you’ll probably only want copy editing and/or proofreading. Some editors offer both content and copy editing services, while others specialise in just one. If you’re confident in your writing skills and don’t need an editor, it may be worth hiring a proofreader to ensure there are no embarrassing typos before you hit “publish”.
Where do you find editors?
You can find editors and proofreaders through generalist freelancing sites such as Upwork, niche sites like book-specific freelancing site Reedsy, or industry organisations such as the Society for Editors and Proofreaders (SfEP). Before hiring anyone, carefully read their feedback and have preliminary discussions about your requirements to see whether they’re the right editor for you. With copy editing and proofreading, you can request a sample to see their skills in action. Alternatively, you can get in touch to hire one of The Book Shelf’s team of editing experts.
A few weeks ago I met freelance editor Ameesha Smith-Green at a networking event and was impressed by her full order book and great enthusiasm for her job. She generously offered to share some advice about when an editor is required and what tasks that editor might perform.
Over to Ameesha:
Whether you’re a professional writer making a living from your words or someone who enjoys hobby blogging, there will no doubt come a time when you wonder whether it’s worth hiring an editor. In fact, “Do I need an editor?” is a question I get asked fairly often by writers. As an editor, you might think I’d leap up and shout “YES!”, but the answer isn’t so cut and dry…
Are you writing for pleasure or business?
If you’re writing for fun or catharsis, then an editor isn’t really necessary. It’s more important that the writing fulfils your personal…
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In the last few guides, we looked at the top five grammar errors and the top three punctuation errors. But there's another area of writing where mistakes are lurking around every corner, and that's capitalisation. While correct capitals were once the preserve of publishers, magazines, and newspapers, the rise of the internet has seen these…