Choosing an editor: Making sure you are on the same page

choosing an editorAcademic authors often feel confident in their subject matter expertise when writing a book or journal article. Many authors, however, feel less secure about their writing and editing skills. In my twenty-five plus years of experience, this assessment is usually off base. Most academic authors actually have solid skills needed to express themselves and their complex material.

Nonetheless, authors many times want editorial support prior to their submission or while they are writing their work. I have previously written about whether to “Go it alone or with a Guide.” If you have decided to utilize an editor, this post will focus on how you go about choosing one? [Read more…]

Editing: Going it alone or with a guide

editingYou have a vision of the work you want to write. You’ve laid out a plan for a textbook or monograph (or article). You might have a book contract, or you may be doing the work prospectively. The writing is done. You breath a sigh. But how about the editing?

Many writers and academics feel comfortable with the content creation, that is the writing. But they may feel less qualified with that pesky editing. Split infinitives, that or which, ending a sentence in a preposition, and a thousand other archine rules haunt some writers and sap their confidence about their work. [Read more…]

Getting early feedback on your writing: Turning good into great

dance floorSharing your writing in its early forms can cause anxiety. I liken it to going to a middle school dance. It seems like a good idea, but it is laced with a fear of rejection and insecurity.

Developing positive habits early in your writing career, however, are important. Seeking feedback makes writers better and more confident.  Here are six ideas to help move you toward embracing the valuable feedback loop: [Read more…]

Writing and publishing for everyone; Not just the 90%

Authors need to consider accessibility when creating materials and choosing a publisher, but how can they this when it is such a misunderstood word?

Accessibility, in regard to publishing, means making content available in alternative formats for individuals with visual impairment or learning disabilities.

People may conjure up Braille as making content accessible to people with disabilities or learning issues. Publishing, however, has progressed so much farther than this. Using such technical standards as ePub3, HTML5, alt text, and other specific initiatives, publishers can make their content accessible to a growing audience. [Read more…]

Smiley faces in your journal articles?

emojiLanguage has always been evolving. For better or worse, the formality of language has changed including embracing new words. Publishing, undoubtedly, has been changing. Too slow for some and too fast for others. I was wondering how emojis will start to creep into scholarly writing in the next five, ten, or twenty years. Sounds farfetched?

I am not a big emoji person. Maybe I will do a 🙂 every so often. I use this to ensure my meaning cannot be misconstrued. I progressed to the occasional thumbs up.  I know; radical.

The other day I scrolled through my iPhone 7’s emoji options for texting and was dumbfounded. [Read more…]

Cultivating a relationship with a publisher; sooner rather than later

liberty bellMost academics and authors want to have a productive relationship with a publisher or publishers. It eases the road ahead and makes the process less mysterious. A good (or dare I say great) relationship with a publisher will also give an academic market knowledge about their chosen area of authorship and its readers. But how do you go about cultivating such a relationship?

The first step is to start now. Waiting until after the research and writing is done it like going on vacation and only reading about your destination after you’ve landed at the airport. Sure, you know about the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia, but what else is there to do? [Read more…]

Querying literary agents

Panda hiding in bambooLiterary agents, to many, are elusive creatures; difficult to find and communicate with in their native habitat.  Maybe like a panda or a snow leopard. Last month I wrote about whether you needed a literary agent. The majority of academic authors likely do not need one. Some, however, will need or benefit from one.

Briefly, an agent represents writers and their written works to publishers. They assist in the sale and negotiation between the writer and the publisher.

Let’s say you do want to try to secure one: how do you proceed? [Read more…]

Do you need a literary agent?

Fancy lunchLiterary agents conjure up so many images in the book culture. Two of the most common ones might be fabulous lunches at expensive New York restaurants or excited phone calls about a book auction. Let’s dive into what a literary agent is and examine if you need one.

A literary agent (let’s just call them agent from here on out) represents writers and their written works to publishers. They assist in the sale and negotiation between the writer and the publisher. They are not editors or publishers. They prefer your work to be in its final form or very close to it. [Read more…]

Publishers: Getting to know you

Connecting puzzle piecesBook publishing is the long game. Thinking of publishing in a short-term way will likely either get you discouraged or frustrated.

Of course, publishing starts with an idea and the desire to communicate it to your community. Once you are ready to act on it, a publisher (likely) needs to come into the picture. Authors may know the names of publishers in their field, usually from going to conference or speaking with their salespeople. But how do you approach them with your idea? I would suggest you start well before any proposal or actual discussion. Developing connections or relationships with publishers can pay off in many ways. [Read more…]

Author website or social media? Oh, the choices!

Laptop displaying webpageCongratulations! Your book is written. It passed peer review and the final changes have been made. It’s with the publisher and they are full steam ahead. They anticipate publication in four or five months. It is now seeming all too real. But that pesky marketing reminder keeps popping up on your calendar. Your day is already jammed packed. How will you fit it all in?

One of your published colleagues raved about the power of their author website and the results they saw. Another said blitzing social media brought them great contacts and increased visibility. With your limited schedule, which should you do? [Read more…]