Get Published: The Nuts and Bolts of Good English, and How to Impress a Publisher (1)

Not all writers write good grammar. That's a fact. It's no big deal. Well, mostly it's no big deal. As a freelance books editor, I've seen hundreds of books whose authors cannot produce decent grammar and punctuation. I do it for them. I'm paid to do that -- mostly by the hour.

So why bother to write good grammar? you ask. What does it matter if I can't tell a colon from a semicolon, or when to use double quote marks and single quote marks? Is it such a sin to use inappropriate or downright wrong words if someone is going to correct them for me? Who cares if my syntax isn't logical? If there are copy editors and proofreaders to ensure my book looks good, why is it so important to go to the trouble of ensuring my grammar and punctuation are tiptop?

Well, it might just help you to sell your book, that's why. And I don't mean sell it to the buyer in the bookstore: I mean sell it to the commissioning editor who is on the point of deciding whether your life is about to change.

When you're a would-be first-time author -- and many of us have been in that position -- a well-presented approach letter and sample chapter might be the thing that tips it for you. Look at it this way: you're an unknown; the commissioning editor likes your ideas, but has seen a couple of other approach letters and sample chapters recently that say much the same; of those other two, one is so well presented that it won't need much copy-editing. Which writer is that commissioning editor going to choose?

In reality, that editor will probably not see your full manuscript till you've been accepted, but will get a good idea of your writing skills from that approach letter and the sample chapter or two that you may be asked to submit, along with a breakdown of the book's structure.

Copy editors such as me are freelance. Mostly, we're paid by the hour. Sometimes a publisher will pay a flat rate for a particular editing job, but will assess it first and say, "Hmm, I'll offer nine hundred dollars" (or, say, four hundred pounds, depending on where you're working). That commissioning editor has just done a quick calculation and has decided that, by accepting the manuscript from the author who's submitted a near-perfect approach letter and samples, the company will save some money.

But I'm writing a novel, a big stream-of-consciousness thing, you argue. I don't want good grammar. It will spoil the whole thing.

Fine. If your terms of reference are that this is the type of manuscript you're producing, you'll have agreed this with your in-house editor, who will have taken note of it and will brief me -- or another copy editor -- to treat the text accordingly.

Most books, however, are not stream-of-consciousness novels. Many are told in a straightforward way (that's not to say they're dull, but merely that their authors have chosen to adhere to the conventions); and, anyway, many are not novels. Most books are nonfiction. If you can find a subject that will interest a publisher and you're suitably expert in it, you may get published.

But the publisher will look more kindly on you if, in your approach letter and accompanying material, you present yourself well.

The good news is that the basics -- what I refer to as "the nuts and bolts of English" -- are not too difficult to learn. Most of them are logical. Once you've seen them in action and passed that eureka! moment, you won't forget them.

I hope this short article has made you realize that you'll have to bite the bullet sometime soon, and get to grips with these basics. If you're already an expert, of course, you won't have read this far, so probably won't be reading this sentence!

But there are many writers who, for whatever reason, need to brush up a little. It's nothing to be ashamed of. Maybe they've had better things to do with their lives so far.

The important thing to know is that there are people like me, writing articles such as this one, to help. Call me a nerd if you will, but I actually like working on text at the level I do. As writer and co-writer of 14 print titles, I've also been copy-edited a lot, so I know what it's like from both sides.

Getting published isn't always easy, but attention to detail can sometimes be the deciding factor. I wrote a downloadable book recently with my co-writer Stephen Blake, called You Can Write Books (at www.youcanwritebooks.com), which, although its main topic is actually getting published, contains some tips on the nuts and bolts of writing. This is already selling quite well, which is gratifying.

To sum up: don't neglect good grammar, because (a) it could make the difference between acceptance and rejection; (b) it's satisfying to know that you can do it; and (c) once you've learned a few basic stylistic points, that dread word grammar may not sound so bad after all.

Good luck with your writing.

Andrew John is co-author of You Can Write Books, a no-nonsense downloadable book from http://www.youcanwritebooks.com that will get you into print if you follow its advice. He and his co-author, Stephen Blake, have written more than a dozen print titles (details on http://www.youcanwritebooks.com). Both are writers and editors, and You Can Write Books is crammed with advice you can trust.

In The News:

Score a lifetime of writing help for 80% off with WhiteSmoke  KTVB.comWhiteSmoke Writing Assistant is an all-in-one spelling, style, and grammar app.
Don't Spend Your Holiday Break Writing  The Chronicle of Higher EducationIn the third installment of this series on writing productivity, a quick lesson in how to take semester breaks off — forever.
Rollins & more join WWE writers discussing challenges of writing Raw  Cageside SeatsLots of fans think they can do it better, but the pros are lining up to explain why it's not as easy as we think.
For author Susan Fletcher, a long but fun journey writing ‘Pale Bear’  Washington PostA polar bear swimming in the Thames River in London. How did that happen, Susan Fletcher remembers wondering when she first read a history of the royal ...
Arts Focus: Workshop for Artists On Writing Successful Grants  ARLnowWriting grant proposals is challenging for many artists. This week's Arts Focus has details on an upcoming workshop that will help area artists maximize time by.
This Intelligent Writing Assistant Improves Your Spelling, Grammar, and Style  Interesting EngineeringUnlike most spell-checking apps that use limited algorithms to make decisions when it comes to spelling and grammar, WhiteSmoke Writing Assistant uses ...
Abu Dhabi Writers’ Workshop publishes first collection of short stories  The NationalFounder Janet Olearski talks about the group's new book and how she learned alongside 'Milkman' author Anna Burns.
Research And Writing Fellow Vacancy At Tamil Nadu National Law University  Live LawA crucial learning objective that we have for students at Tamil Nadu National Law University (TNNLU) is that they should be able to produce well-argued, ...
Freeman, SLA receive $3.5 million gift for finance, writing programs  News from TulaneTulane University's A. B. Freeman School of Business and the School of Liberal Arts are the beneficiaries of a new $3.5 million gift from Carole B. and Kenneth J.
Cher announces she's writing her 'life story,' book to publish in 2020  Entertainment Weekly NewsBelieve: Cher is writing her life story. Or so the legendary singer-actress revealed on Twitter Tuesday evening. “Book due out in first part of 2020,” she teased.
Creative-writing workshop to be held in new year  Sunshine Coast DailyNOOSAVILLE will be the hub of creativity on February 16 when writers of all ages and backgrounds converge on the town.
Jayson Stark on the Art of Baseball Writing  FanGraphsJayson Stark received a standing ovation from his BBWAA colleagues when it was announced that he is being honored with the J.G. Taylor Spink Award.
Asante helps launch Writing Stars programme | Official Site  Chelsea FCChelsea Women's defender Anita Asante recently joined pupils from Cobham Free School to help launch the Premier League Writing Stars programme.
Little girl in awe of Michelle Obama’s portrait is writing her own book  TheGrioThe little girl Parker Curry who made Michelle Obama's heart melt is writing a book about her own moment becoming the viral sensation who was mesmerized ...
Tegan and Sara are writing a memoir, will be published in Sept. 2019  CBC.caIndie pop band Tegan and Sara are writing a memoir. The book, titled High School, will be released on Sept. 24, 2019. High School will share the life story of the ...
Top authors back Limerick Le Cheile's creative writing anthology  Limerick LeaderLEADING Limerick writers Donal Ryan and Roisin Meaney have given their backing to a new anthology of creative writing. Members of the Limerick Mental ...
Volkswagen sees the writing on the wall for combustion engines – and the huge opportunity in electric vehicles  The Climate GroupAs 2018 comes to a close, our EV100 Campaign Manager James Beard reflects on the transport stories that made recent media headlines – and sets out his ...
This holiday season kids in Ohio are writing letters asking GM to save their town's auto plant  KBZK Bozeman NewsGeneral Motors may have given up on Lordstown, Ohio, but the town's kids haven't given up on General Motors. Students in the Youngstown suburb are writing ...
What I learned about writing and storytelling from Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer  PoynterIt's been my habit, when faced with a question I cannot answer, to break into song. It happened once at a Harvard conference on narrative. Unable to think of a ...
Did you know? Drawing is better than writing for memory retention in older adults  Times NowWashington DC: For older adults, drawing plays a very important role to enhance memory, a recent study suggests. According to researchers from the University ...
Get Ready for Even More Cher in 2020  VultureCher has announced that she is writing her life story, and that the book is due in the early part of 2020 and will be followed by a biopic.
Louise Penny rediscovers joy of writing after death of husband, her inspiration  Chicago Sun-TimesLouise Penny talks about how she found a way to go on after the death of her husband, the inspiration for her Chief Inspector Gamache.
Writing 'Eighth Grade' as a tribute to young people — and all their uncertainty  Los Angeles TimesTrue teen videos exist in startling contrast to the clean, controlled teen voice of television and films, writes "Eighth Grade writer-director Bo Burnham.
Media Circus: Remarkable reporting, riveting writing, the best journalism of 2018  The AthleticChoosing the best writing and reporting in a given year is an impossible task, as well as an entirely subjective enterprise. But it's also wildly fun because you get ...
BC student arrested after allegedly writing racist graffiti in dorm  The Boston GlobeA Boston College student was arrested by college police and suspended after writing racist graffiti in an on-campus residence hall Saturday night, according to ...
Scholars Talk Writing: Hyphens, Oxford Commas, and Pronoun Preferences  The Chronicle of Higher EducationWhile in a master's program in English, Mary Norris started reading The New Yorker and realized that academe was not for her. She jumped off the academic ...
Cibulkova starts writing 'fun and colorful' memoir  WTA TennisDominika Cibulkova has announed that she is underway with writing her memoir. The Slovakian, a former Australian Open finalist and WTA Finals champion in ...
5 weak words that make your writing less effective  LaddersWords matter. They're what make your arguments more compelling, your prose stronger, and your craft more captivating when writing.
Drawing is better than writing for memory retention  Science DailyResearchers from the University of Waterloo found that even if people weren't good at it, drawing, as a method to help retain new information, was better than ...
Forestry Commission launches competition to 'diversify' nature writing  The BooksellerThe Forestry Commission has launched a competition to “diversify” nature writing, as part of its 2019 centenary celebrations, with two paid writing residencies up ...
Writing and Teaching With a Terminal Illness  The Chronicle of Higher EducationEditor's Note: After reading his blog post "A Sociology of My Death," we asked Peter Kaufman to write for The Chronicle on the professional challenges of ...
Michael's essay: A new survey shows how poorly writers are paid in this country  CBC.caIf you made a grand total of $9380, down somewhat from the year before, but you love your job — congratulations. You are a Canadian writer.”
Derby writer Jo Jakeman's debut novel Sticks and Stones  Derbyshire LifeCatherine Roth meets local writer Jo Jakeman whose debut novel was published earlier this summer.
Tyler: Writing gave me my smile back  CBBC NewsroundTyler has Asperger Syndrome and has written a book all about his condition, his life and how writing helped him through a difficult time.
Columbia journalism prof. Stephen Fried will teach mental health writing next semester  The Daily PennsylvanianAcclaimed author and 1979 College graduate Stephen Fried will teach a new nonfiction English course on writing about mental health and addiction next ...
Flair Writing, Neccon Power get Sebi nod for IPOs  Economic TimesPen manufacturer Flair Writing Industries and Assam-based Neccon Power and Infra have received markets regulator Sebi's go ahead to float initial public ...
Robin Robertson: ‘Writing poetry has very little to do with the intellect’  The GuardianThe Scottish poet and editor on defying conventions of genre, the elusive nature of what he does, and the importance of external validation.
Writing Amputees  SFWA Newsby Diane Morrison. “Hey, I'm looking for advice. My character lost a limb in the last fight. Does anyone know about writing amputees?” I was inspired to write this ...
Billie Joe Armstrong opens up about playing Green Day’s ‘Good Riddance (Time Of Your Life)’ for the first time  NME LiveGreen Day's Billie Joe Armstrong has opened up about writing and playing the band's iconic hit 'Good Riddance (Time Of Your Life)'.
A new model for writing effective patient care reports  EMS1.comThe shift to electronic documentation demands a shift in ePCR documentation practices.
Doctors writing fewer opioid prescriptions for chronic pain sufferers  Boston 25 NewsNationally, opioid prescriptions are down more than 22 percent, according to the American Medical Association and few are feeling the pinch more than the ...
The app that makes writing less lonely  BBC NewsAn app is encouraging young authors to take up creative writing, by getting them to work in teams on their mobiles.
SMOKERS’ CORNER: WRITING FOR THE REGIMES  DAWN.comEarly this year, a clip from an Urdu play produced by PTV went viral. It shows a discourse between two famous TV actors, Firdous Jamal and the late Khayyam ...
'Winds Of Winter' Update: George RR Martin Gets Back To Writing  International Business TimesAfter getting involved in different projects that include books and TV shows, George R.R. Martin has finally gotten back to finishing “Winds of Winter.” The long ...
Timothy Zahn is writing a new Thrawn novel  The VergeLucasfilm and Del Rey Books revealed today that Timothy Zahn is writing a new Star Wars novel, Thrawn: Treason, returning to the classic character that he ...
Suzanne Breen: The writing's on the wall... May's refusal to read it is what's damning  Belfast TelegraphTheresa May's tenacity and battling qualities have won her admiration even among political foes. But yesterday was far from the Prime Minister's finest hour.
Margaret Atwood Is Writing A Sequel To 'The Handmaid's Tale'  NPRAtwood said that she was inspired by readers' questions about the dystopian world of Gilead — and, she says, by "the world we've been living in." It's set to be ...
Analysis | The Trailer: How the left is already writing the platform for 2020 Democrats  Washington PostIn this edition: The left is already writing the 2020 Democratic platform, the North Carolina election makes everybody nervous, and Little Rock adds to the circle ...
Penelope Mortimer: A Writing Life | by Lucy Scholes | NYR Daily  The New York Review of BooksThe story of British novelist Penelope Mortimer is, in part, the all too familiar tale of a woman writer plagued by her readership's inability to separate the life from ...
A Writer Asked Twitter For Their Favorite Weird Fact And People Did Not Disappoint  IFLScienceHolidays are here again, and freeways across the country will soon be filled with people heading home to see family and friends over the festive season. Bu.
Jonathan Franzen was mocked for sharing his writing tips. Me? I’m all ears  The GuardianThese tips invariably say a lot more about the author than they do about writing.
The worst sex writing in 2018 is by all men  EW.comHaruki Murakami and James Frey were among the long list of contenders for the Literary Review's Bad Sex in Fiction award.
George R.R. Martin takes time off from not writing his book to laud New York pizza  The TakeoutOkay, okay, I know it's really tired to see George R.R. Martin, a human being with a life to live and a world of wonder to enjoy, and immediately jump to, “BUT ...
McPhee receives Audubon New York Award for Environmental Writing Read more  Princeton UniversityJohn McPhee, a Ferris Professor of Journalism in Residence at Princeton, was awarded the 2018 Audubon New York Award for Environmental Writing.
Laura Belgray on “making $6,000 a day” writing Instagram quotes  VoxThere are few worse feelings than finding out someone who does the same job as you makes a billion times more money than you. There are also few pettier ...
Andy Warhol Foundation Awards Grants for Arts Writing  ArtforumThe Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts announced today the twenty-one recipients of its 2018 Arts Writers Grants. They will receive a total of $725,000.
Torah! Torah! Torah! A District rabbi is writing the entire holy book by hand.  Washington PostThere are 304,805 letters in the Torah, so if you're writing the Jewish holy book out by hand — on animal skin, with a quill-style pen whose nib you have to keep ...
We Need Writers Now More Than Ever. Our Democracy Depends On It  TIMEPulitzer Prize-winning author Jennifer Egan on the importance of writers in the fight to uphold democracy.
Syndicated columnist censored for writing about the risks of hedge funds and billionaires buying papers  Boing BoingJim Hightower is a longstanding, respected columnist distributed by Creators Syndicate -- but Creators refused to distribute his latest column, "Free the Free ...
Chelsea: Maurizio Sarri still writing off Blues' title chances  Goal.comMaurizio Sarri has maintained it will be "impossible" to win the Premier League this season, despite Chelsea's 2-0 win over Manchester City.
Writing Buffy Sainte-Marie bio 'life-changing' for author Andrea Warner  CBC.caWhen Andrea Warner noticed there were piles of books out about artists like Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen, but none about Buffy Sainte-Marie, she decided to ...
Racist writing found on bulletin board at Easton school  Boston 25 NewsRacist writing was found displayed on a bulletin board at Oliver Ames High School in Easton, Mass., according to an official statement by the school's principal, ...
Senior Editor / Staff Writer job with Common Dreams | 384633  mediabistro.comCommon Dreams is currently hiring for a full-time senior editor & staff writer to help guide our newsroom team. Position includes spearheading all aspects of ...
Local Libraries Writing New Chapters  Traverse City TickerThe Traverse Area District Library (TADL) system is preparing to turn a page with major changes underway at three of its main branches. From moving into new ...
Female scholars are marginalised on Wikipedia because it's written by men  The GuardianI'm writing Wikpedia entries about celebrated female scholars to make online spaces more inclusive.
'Open City' author Teju Cole to teach creative writing at Harvard  Harvard GazetteTeju Cole, author of “Open City” and “Every Day Is for the Thief,” will teach creative writing as the first Gore Vidal Professor of the Practice.
Writing the election 2019: On small parties and minorit...  Daily MaverickMinority parties, especially those that represent marginalised groups, can play a vital role in agenda-setting and raising issues that might otherwise be ignored, ...
Author John McPhee Still Finds Wonder in the Outdoors, Chocolate and Circus Bears  TIMEJohn McPhee discusses teaching creative non-fiction at Princeton and the process putting together his most recent book 'The Patch'.
Venom sequel 'is happening' according to one of the co-writers  SYFY WIREOne of the co-writers of Venom, Jeff Pinkner, recently claimed that a sequel to the movie is definitely happening. He also says that as of now, he's not involved in ...
Buffy and That 70s Show producer and writer Rob DesHotel dies, aged 52  Mirror OnlineThe 52 year old went from writing on Buffy to producing That 70s Show, before he started at his current jobe on Matt Le Blanc's new series.
Trump lawyers submit president's answers in writing to Mueller questions  The GuardianLawyers and Mueller had been in negotiations for months over whether Trump would be interviewed by Mueller in person.
F&O: Put writing signals Nifty’s supports shifting higher; VIX still a worry  Economic TimesOn the options front, maximum Put open interest was at 10000 followed by 10200 strikes.
Waterville writer captures local lore, histories with ‘Saving Lives’ book  The Register/AdvertiserWATERVILLE, N.S. – Linda Pineo has written three books but doesn't call herself an author. She says she's instead a finder of facts, and a gatherer of stories.
F&O: High volatility level, Put writing at 10,500 bearish signs  Economic TimesThe Nifty slipped below its 50-day EMA and traded below its crucially important 10650 mark.
Stan Lee: Writer, Creator, And Marketer Of Intellectual Property  Intellectual Property WatchBy Dave Davis, Copyright Clearance Center. Excelsior! As the many and well-deserved accolades for Stan Lee pour in on the occasion of his death after a ...
Staff Writer, News job with Group Nine Media | 384598  mediabistro.comThe News team at Thrillist covers the timely and fast-moving stories across the site's core food, drink, and travel verticals -- everything from the latest stunt foods ...
Kyrgyzstan Remembers Prominent Writer Chinghiz Aitmatov  RadioFreeEurope/RadioLibertyKyrgyzstan has marked the 90th anniversary of the birth of prominent writer Chinghiz Aitmatov.
Graeme Base on more than 30 years of writing and illustrating books for kids  ABC NewsIn a career spanning more than 30 years, the author and illustrator Graeme Base has created classic books including Animalia, The Eleventh Hour and Uno's ...
Taiwan's 'notebook boy' commits his memories in writing  ReutersTAIPEI (Reuters) - Chen Hong-zhi's notebooks are his life. Chen Hong-zhi, 26, who suffers from short-term memory loss, walks through a park, in Hsinchu, ...
Toronto book launch heralds young Fil-Canadian writers  INQUIRER.netTORONTO — How do Filipino Canadian youth deal with having to live as products of two realities? Judging by the energy of the group gathered at the Philippine ...
From techie to award-winning writer: How Amazon KDP Pen to Publish Contest played a big role in Sudha Nair’s journey  YourStoryFor Sudha Nair, jointly winning the inaugural edition of Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing's Pen to Publish 2017 literary contest along with J Alchem meant much ...
More losses for Miley Cyrus: Woolsey Fire destroyed her original song writings  East Bay TimesIt's been a difficult five weeks for Miley Cyrus after the Woolsey Fire swept through her Malibu neighborhood and destroyed the home she shares with Liam ...
Bigg Boss 12 Day 87, Written Update: Sreesanth Wins Hearts With His Gesture In The Nomination Task  NDTV NewsThis weeks nomination task was surely not an easy one since the contestants had to give up their prized possession for the sake of the game.
Priyanka Chopra: US writer sorry for 'scam artist' comment  BBC NewsMariah Smith apologises for calling the Bollywood actress a "scam artist", which outraged Indians.
The Window and the World: On Joshua Sperling's “A Writer of Our Time: The Life and Work of John Berger”  lareviewofbooksTHE DOYENS of the 1950s art world, gallerists, critics, and artists alike, often flush with the CIA's anticommunist cash, kept politics at bay by emphasizing the ...
On the Value of Dissertation-Writing Groups  The Chronicle of Higher EducationGraduate school, especially in the humanities, perpetuates the myth of the solitary genius. Laboring over your dissertation, you become the great writer ...
Slate's newly unionized writers and editors give OK to strike  Crain's New York BusinessThe wave of organizing in digital media is fueled by industry upheaval and buoyed by media brands' sensitivity to public shaming.
Opinion | The Writer Who Destroyed an Empire  The New York TimesAleksandr Solzhenitsyn, born Dec. 11, 1918, did more than anyone else to bring the Soviet Union to its knees.
Father Ted writer Graham Linehan compares the trans movement to Nazism  iNewsFather Ted creator Graham Linehan has compared the transgender movement to “something terrible like Nazism” in a radio interview. The writer, who is known ...
Pam Houston will be closing speaker at Writers in Paradise in January  Tampa Bay TimesConference co-founder Dennis Lehane will be the keynote speaker in the annual reading series at Eckerd College.
Northwest Minnesota man admits to writing $300K bad check for...  Bemidji PioneerABERDEEN, S.D. — A Minnesota man has admitted to using a $300,000 bad check to buy more than 200 cattle. Jason Langerud, 39, of Hawley, Minn., pleaded ...
Silsila Badalte Rishton Ka written updates, December 12, 2018: Kunal realizes that Mauli still loves him  Times NowIn today's episode, Kunal and Mauli have silly arguments but that reflects the bond they have shared as a couple in the past.
Ag Department writing rules to govern industrial hemp  WGIL Radio NewsThe Illinois Department of Agriculture is currently writing rules that would govern how industrial hemp can be grown in the state. Senate Bill 2298, sponsored by ...
Kundali Bhagya written update, December 12, 2018: Janki is out of danger  Times NowThe doctor declares that Janki is out of danger. Preeta tries to figure out what Janki must have told Prithvi about after she had come into consciousness in the ...
Issa Rae & Columbia Pictures Ink Multi-Year Pact For Diversity Writers  HipHopDXInsecure creator Issa Rae is making history with her company ColorCreative. The accomplished creative and trailblazer sealed a deal with Columbia Pictures in ...
Who has written no confidence letters against Theresa May?  The Irish SunOn December 12 Sir Graham Brady announced he had received the 48 letters necessary to call a vote of no confidence, but who sent in a letter?
The New York State Writers Institute is getting two large gifts for its future  alloveralbanyThe New York State Writers Institute announced this week that it's received two large financial contributions from UAlbany alumni that will allow it to continue and ...
Police warn of counterfeit bills with Chinese writing  St George NewsST. GEORGE — Police are warning the public of a new batch of fake money that has been popping up across the county – and beyond – and is now circulating ...
Writers urged to 'go for it'  The Press, YorkTWO graduates are appealing for young writers for a new website that was launched yesterday.
ESPN's The Undefeated Reaches Multi-Year Extension with Senior NFL Writer Jason Reid  ESPN MediaZoneBy Bill Hofheimer @bhofheimer_espn. Posted on December 12, 2018. AddThis Sharing Buttons. Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Share to Email App Share ...

Write Your Way To A Better Brain

Boost Brain Power Through WritingHave you ever noticed what happens... Read More

Write That Down! Compulsively Collecting Content for Your Writing

Have you ever read someone else's writing and thought one... Read More

Tips On Writing A Killer Sales Letter

Writing a sales letter doesn't have to be that difficult... Read More

Top Ten Great Headline Ideas

What Makes a Great Headline?Headlines are far more important than... Read More

First Priority

No matter what you are writing, the first priority is... Read More

The Demon Fear

You have a great idea for a poem, a story,... Read More

Platform Development Tip #1: Switch Writing Hats!

Around eighty percent of nonfiction books today are written by... Read More

The Top Five Writing Mistakes Professionals Make

Yes, you know your subject. You also need to think... Read More

Why Book Writers Need A Running Mate

By far, I have found that the lack of discipline... Read More

Top Ten Reasons Its Great To Be A Writer

10 - You will always have a job. As long... Read More

Cheap Therapy

I call it cheap therapy. That gushing, near-religious, poured-from-the-body stress... Read More

You Can Be An Author

"You should write a book." For years, I had been... Read More

The Authors Life: 14 Hints on Creating a Career Plan

1. Remember publication is a business; writing is an art.... Read More

7 Devastating Writing Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

Writing engaging articles and energizing ad copy takes... Read More

Go With The Flow: Write With Transition Words and Phrases

One of the most common weaknesses I see in day-to-day... Read More

Book Publishing Contracts For Writers: What Should I Look Out For?

Dave, I just got a contract for a book... Read More

Good Writing

Good writing is like sex. Two people are involved ?... Read More

Frequently Asked Questions from Writers

1. What Is A Premise?A premise is the point you... Read More

A Mode of Transportation

Great writing transports one vicariously to realms that the reader... Read More

Starting a Freelance Writing Career (or How I Sifted Through the Muck and Found My Way)

So, the decision is final. I am a writer.Actually, I... Read More

Dialogue Tags - A Study in Common Errors

Verb and SubjectIncorrect:"I bet you two had a fine time,"... Read More

Keeping a Journal - One of the Three Treasures to Leave Behind

(excerpted from the "How to Use a Journal" audio series... Read More

Tips for First Time Authors : 2 Easy Steps to Make Your First Book a Success

Congratulations on writing your first book. That is quite an... Read More

Alternative View Points and the Lamp of Creativity

Pictures they say are worth a thousand words, but many... Read More

Be Concise

Concision. (Sounds like I made up another word.) It's the... Read More