Category Archives: Self-publishing

Dialogue in fiction: Part II – The essentials

In this article, Part II of a five-part series on writing effective fiction dialogue, I'll look at creating realism through artifice, dialogue’s four primary purposes (creating emotional tension and conflict, advancing the plot, providing information and backstory, and conveying character), and how to create distinction between characters. Writing effective dialogue for your fictional characters is just one of many important skills to master if you want to be a successful fiction writer, and often it's not one that comes naturally or instinctively. It takes study and practice. Continue reading ➝

Dialogue in fiction: Part I – How to write authentic dialects and foreign accents

Of the many things to master when writing dialogue in fiction, creating authentic dialects and natural-sounding foreign accents for your characters is possibly the most challenging. If you don’t get the accent just right, you risk having your characters come off looking like caricatures. Worse, you alienate readers, who don’t like being slowed and confused by a lot of nonstandard spellings. And worst of all, you may appear to be discriminatory or even ignorant if you stereotype your characters through their accent alone. In this post, I’ll take a look at ways to make your characters’ English dialects and foreign accents as realistic as possible without reducing them to goofy stereotypes. Continue reading ➝

The advantages of traditional publishing over self-publishing

Last month, I posted a lengthy article on the advantages of self-publishing (also called indie publishing). It was easy to write; the ideas came almost faster than I could get them down. That post garnered some controversy—not surprising—and a request for a follow-up article. So, in the interest of fairness and objectivity, I promised to provide some balance with a look at the advantages of publishing through the traditional route—that of finding a publishing house to publish your book. But as I suspected, that task hasn’t been nearly as easy as the post on self-publishing advantages. Continue reading ➝

16 advantages of self-publishing over traditional publishing

The biggest decision an author faces after completing his or her manuscript is whether to self-publish or to seek an agent and hopefully find a publisher. Many authors who know me know that I often encourage the self-publishing route. But to set the record straight, I want to say that I’m not partial to either self-publishing or traditional publishing. Neither is superior; in fact, it’s wonderful that authors have both options these days. It all comes down to the individual author’s personality and what they hope to achieve with the publication of their book. There are so many variables to consider that it’s essential to educate yourself in the pros and cons of both self- and traditional publishing. Continue reading ➝

Caveat editor: beware the e-plagiarist

I’m proud of my website. Other than my work itself, it’s the best advertisement I have for my freelance editing business. My site is a reflection of my integrity, my work ethic, and my commitment to editorial quality: it’s a reflection of me. So you can imagine my reaction when, in late 2010, I discovered that some of my content was being passed off as that of five different editors in three different countries. This is a cautionary tale of how I first discovered that my website was being plagiarized, and what I did in response. Continue reading ➝

How to professionally format your manuscript for editors, agents, and publishers

Most of the manuscripts I receive are not properly formatted for editing. Instead, I get all kinds of unusual formatting, from a stylized, ready-for-print book to 37 chapters all in separate files, each with a hodge-podge of formatting. While it’s not difficult for me to clean up an improperly formatted manuscript, if you can save me the time and put a big smile on my face at the same time, wouldn’t that be a great start to our author-editor relationship? And if you’re planning to submit to an agent without the help of an editor, the following tips are essential for you to know. Continue reading ➝
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