For your book to succeed in the crowded marketplace, you need 2 key components:
- Quality of your own writing (duh)
- A powerful support team.
Over the last few years, I’ve worked with a host of professionals who either helped me publish manuscripts, or got in my way.
The best of them added tremendous value not only through the quality of their work, but also through wisdom, personal touch, guidance and critique.
The worst of them had me lose months of time, thousands of dollars, and a nervous cell or two.
On this page, you’ll find the best of them. I’ll let the bad ones fade into obscurity.
By far, the best coach I’ve worked with is Jacqui Lofthouse. She’s wonderful. She helped me organize my writing life and find my voice. Her business has grown, and she now has several consultants working with her.
Jacqui didn’t waste my time on conceptual motivation, “keep on writing” speeches and writing exercises. After my 10 years of research, I needed none of that.
Instead, she helped me find a pragmatic rhythm of writing and re-writing. Through a series of cheerful phone calls she guided me through the most difficult first stages of creating a book.
Then she set me free, and I kept ticking until I finished the novel.
Check her site out, it’s worth the visit.
I’ve worked with plenty of editors. I’ve spent literally thousands of dollars on professional edits of my texts. My conclusion?
Edit911 is the best. It’s a small company of Ph. D.’s in a wide variety of subjects, led by the steady hand of Marc Baldwin.
Many of these folks are published authors. You can browse their list, complete with nice pictures, and pick a professional whose background matches your needs best.
The nicest thing about these people is that they really do take your work as a joint challenge. Some of their editors will coach and guide you, and offer you personal, touching and emotional remarks.
I especially like their hard-boiled, scientific, critical thinking. When editing your work, they may tear its very logic apart. But they’ll also help you rebuild it.
Usually, they won’t charge you separately for an edit and proof-read. Their edits hardly require proof-reading.
Try them. You’ll like it. As for me, I no longer search for editors. Edit911 is a default part of my workflow these days.
This is a service which may help you avoid committing a public literary suicide.
Is your manuscript sellable? Is it too boring, or does it move too fast?
Does your ending sell your next book, or does it kill your writing career before it begins?
I was honored to work with two wonderful professionals who critiqued my writing and offered thoughtful, and at times unexpected, suggestions.
a. Critique “Tough Love” Style
Michael Garrett. He was Stephen King’s first editor, and now works for Writer’s Digest as editorial associate. He usually is booked solid for weeks ahead, so you’ll need to plan your submission in advance.
With Michael, be prepared for pragmatic, straightforward feedback with no bullshit whatsoever. If your ending sucks, he’ll tell you so. If your main character doesn’t inspire sympathy, Michael will tell you why.
He will give you a perspective on the key mechanics of your text. He’ll also teach you a thing or two about formatting and grammar along the way.
He’s truly a delight to work with.
He won’t do one thing – give you an assessment of your manuscript’s sales potential.
b. Critique “Nurturing” Style
William Greenleaf. Bill’s approach to critique is similar to Michael’s in terms of complete honesty, but he offers a different kind of edge.
Bill will forgo broad teachings about writing, and will focus on blow-by-blow review of your manuscript.
He offers a helpful “beginner’s package” of Manuscript Evaluation, which is affordable and normally takes a few days to complete. This will give you an overall feel for the strengths and weaknesses of your work.
Then, depending on how strong your draft really is, you can agree on a detailed critique, a deep edit, or a complete rewrite.
Bill shines in showing both the weaknesses and the strengths of the draft. With his feedback, you’ll know exactly what to build on, and what to ditch – and how. He’ll highlight the need for descriptions, the spots where to enhance the dialogue, and inconsistencies in character development. In some cases, he’ll even re-write bits of your text so you can compare “before” with “after”.
Whatever plan you decide to go with, working with Bill is a pleasure. He’s courteous, thorough, observant and gentlemanly.
– COMING NEXT –
- Book design
- Printing and distribution
Writer’s Platform Creation
- Site registration and web hosting
- Site and blog design
- Online success coach
- Keyword research and SEO