Thursday, July 23, 2015

Improve your book and improve your odds

Face it, except in rare cases every writer needs an editor.  If you are a writer and unsure about something in your book, article or paper, stuck on a narrative problem or unclear about the work's structure and form--and yes, even your spelling, punctuation and usage--you'll want someone you trust to give you honest and helpful feedback.

Whether you plan on submitting your book or article to a top-flight publisher, or your essay to a professor who is a stickler for details, you'll want to demonstrate you are serious about getting things right.

Plan on self-publishing?  The same advice applies.  Your e-book or Amazon publication will sell better if you make the effort to create something that reads and looks like a professionally-produced document.

Sometimes you may rely on a friend or family member to read your manuscript, and that is fine as long as you have full confidence in your chosen reader's abilities.  From experience, however, I can say this method is not always as helpful as you might initially believe.  Unless your reader is a professional editor, chances are you will be short-changed.  Time, level of interest, the status of your relationship with your reader--all of these will come into play as the feedback process is carried through to its logical conclusion.

The worst thing that could happen is your reader will tell you you're fantastic, a genius, and to go for it when there is ample evidence that your manuscript needs more work.  There are and have been real geniuses in the literary world, of course.  But behind every one of them an editor has helped guide the finished work.

Though writing be a solitary act, publishing is a team sport, like movies and the theater.

As the founder and publisher of Round Bend Press Books, I've helped numerous authors bring their works from rough drafts to completion.

For a negotiable fee, I can read your work, mark it up if you so request, and give you the choice of a cursory or an in-depth analysis of your labor.

Write to me at when you are ready to discuss your writing and publishing future. We'll need to make a plan.

Terry Simons
Round Bend Press Books
Portland, Oregon