Wading Through the Publishing River

4 12 2012

Reblog Week: A Publishing Odyssey.

Carlie M A Cullen

Michelle Birbeck was my next fabulous hostess on the Heart Search Blog Tour. She wanted me to write on the subject of publishing and this is what I came up with.

You’ve spent untold hours writing your story. You’ve lovingly crafted your character and skilfully designed your plot. Having gone through editing and beta reading, your manuscript is now as perfect as you can make it and now comes the hardest decision of all – how to publish it.

As writers, most of us dream of getting an agent and being contracted to one of the ‘Big Six’ publishers, but it’s not as easy as that, is it?

Basically you have three choices; attempt to get an agent who will tout your masterpiece until you get a publishing contract, go through an Indie Publisher, or self-publish.

Traditional Publishing:

These days, it’s even harder to get an agent than ever. They…

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New Editing Packages Available for Authors & Publishers!

21 11 2012

Rates and Fees

All fees are based upon the word count of the original document sent by the client.
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An Interview with Susan Bays of Arbutus Press

16 11 2012

Hello Readers!

Today we have an interview with the founder of the small literary press, Arbutus Press, Susan Bays.

Can you tell my readers about Arbutus Press?

My company was established in 2002 with the self-publication of the award winning book, Historic Cottages of Mackinac Island. People began to ask me to publish their books and I began a rewarding career in Regional Book Publisher.

Why does Arbutus Press focus on literature with a connection to Michigan?

Starting small, it was what I felt I could handle and it was what I knew since I am a life long Michigander. We have expanded now to the Midwest but have no plans to expand beyond that reach.

When reviewing a submission, what do you look for?

I look for what a reader would look for. A well-written compelling story or history. I have learned through experience what sells and what does not. Literary fiction is a tough sell, no matter how well-written, however some stories must be told. I believe that I have an obligation to publish great stories regardless of their potential profit.

Does Arbutus Press publish authors without an agent?

Yes. All of the manuscripts that come my way are unsolicited and without agent affiliation.

What should an author expect, if anything, when dealing with a publishing house?

I can only speak about Arbutus Press’s writer-publisher relationships. Small presses like Arbutus are readily available and responsive to writer participation at every phase of the process, from editing to marketing.

Any suggestions or comments on how a writer can break into the publishing industry?

By breaking into the publishing industry do you mean work for a publisher? There is an active jobs listing on Publisher’s Weekly web site and perhaps others. Working for a local newspaper or even the college newsletter will provide some experience for creating a resume that would relate to publishing.

Aside from excellent writing skills, what are the literary factors that make an author successful?

I have seen one factor consistently in successful authors, but it’s not a literary factor: a tireless marketing efforts. Facebook, Twitter, blogs, book signings, library talks, event sales, interviews, book club interviews, anything you can think of to get your book out in front of people.

How does Arbutus Press distribute their titles?

 I have contracts with many distributors ranging from national distributors to regional ones. We also have distribution for specialty markets such as libraries and box stores.

Where can my readers buy titles from Arbutus Press?

 Books are available from bookstores everywhere. If they don’t have it in stock, they can get it. Online through Amazon.com and Barnes and Noble.com and through Arbutus Press directly through www.Arbutuspress.com or by contacting us directly at info@arbutuspress.com.

Are there any upcoming releases from Arbutus Press that you would like to tell my readers about?

Snowblood’s Journal is an American novel about men and dogs in Vietnam. This literary fiction is described by Jerry Dennis, author of the Living Great Lakes.

I’ve long been a fan of Bob Linsenman’s writings about the outdoors, but nothing I’ve read by him prepared me for Snowblood’s Journal. With a cast of unforgettable characters, both human and canine, and set in a place brought to vivid, poignant, and sometimes terrifying life, it is a wild ride on foot and by chopper through a war. From the moment Jason Snowblood set foot in Vietnam I was hooked. I couldn’t put this astonishing book down.”

Look for this title, Snowblood’s Journal in summer 2013

Interested in being interviewed for this blog or purchasing editorial services from Charles Henry Editing? Email Carolyn at carolyn@charleshenryediting.com or go to http://www.charleshenryediting.com





Promotional: Interview with Arbutus Press

13 11 2012

Hello readers!

On Friday, November, 16th Susan Bays the founder of Arbutus Press is doing an interview with Charles Henry Editing. Arbutus Press specializes in literature that has a connection to Michigan. Recent titles include :Page One Vanished by Nancy Barr and Motorcycling Across Ohio by William Murphy. Interested in submitting a manuscript? Read the submission guidelines here: www.arbutuspress.com/submissions

Contact by email : info@arbutuspress.com

Arbutus Press

2364 Pinehurst Trail

Traverse City, MI 49686

Are you a publisher who wants to get interviewed? Email carolyn@charleshenryediting.com to set up an interview. Want 1/2 Off all editing services through out the month of November? email carolyn@charleshenryediting.com.





Query Letters: Top 10 Checklist

7 11 2012

One of my favorite things to write and edit are query letters. A query letter is equivalent to a cover letter in the business world however, it also should exemplify you as a writer. All the effort you put into your work needs to be encapsulated in your query letter. Perfecting the balance between business and beauty is difficult but here are ten things to make sure you have in your query letter:

1. Know the audience that will eventually read your book.

Knowing the genre of the book should give you an inkling as to who will be interested in your book but try to narrow it down to specific demographics.

2. State a marketing plan.

A sentence or two about how you are going to help sell your book will show that you are invested in the future of your book.

3. Confidence.

Most writers tear themselves down in their query letters. Be proud of your work, your accomplishments, and detail how you are going to achieve your future goals. Timidity and fraity have no place in publishing.

4. Your biography should describe you as a writer.

The biography section is neither an autobiography or the listing of you CV accomplishments. It is supposed to describe your journey as a writer-where you began, to how you got to where you are now. State publishing credits and how they have helped you.

5. Strong, conscise prose.

6. The letter should only be one page, double spaced.

7. Make sure you are pitching to the right agent.

Pitch query letters to a few agencies that SELL WORK LIKE YOURS. Read a few of the books that the agent recently sold and state how the books are complimentary. Craft each query letter- don’t send out a generic one and just change the name. Research the agent and learn a few things about them.

8.  State the genre.

9. State the word count.

10.  Proofread and fix:  grammar, syntax, and typography.

Want help with your query letters? Contact carolyn@charleshenryediting.com to set up an appointment to edit your query letters.





Q & A with an Editor

6 11 2012

Editor’s name:

Carolyn Elias

Genre you most like to edit: 

Fiction novels, short stories, poetry, and professional academic work.

Genre you don’t want to edit:

Self help books, health, spirituality, (religious is fine) business/management, economics, erotica.

What is the best way for writers to solicit your services: 

Send an email to carolyn@charleshenryediting.com with a brief statement on what sort of editing their work needs and what their publishing plans are along with 5 page double spaced pages for an initial read through that are in MS word and are attached to the email. Also, making sure to put their name and contact info.

Do you charge a reading fee:

The initial 5 page read through is free.

Can you provide an approximation by percent of what you tend to edit by category:

50% fiction, 50% academic non-fiction.

What are the most common mistakes writers make:

Quite a few forget to provide contact information or don’t know how to use email/word processing. The second most common mistake is not having a long enough manuscript. Most writers forget that in publication the book is single spaced with 500 words per page. To see how many pages thier manuscript is they should divide the total number of words by 500. Then they should subtract 20% from their total because that is how much is cut when going through the editorial process.

How would you describe the client from Hell:

The client from hell is a person who tries to haggle over price; has no interest in learning the publishing world; believes that their writing is perfect; a person who does not want to abide by style guide books; or a person who cannot write well.

How would you describe the perfect client:

The perfect client understands that the editorial process and style conventions. Someone who is confident, humble, and willing to work hard to perfect their craft. Someone who understands that as an editor, we want the best from them because we want their manuscript to be a book that sells well.

How and why did you become and editor:

I started off as a writer but people always came to me to spruce up their work. I eventually realized that I loved editing a tiny bit more than writing.

What can a writer do to increase the odds that you will edit their work:

Having solid, concise prose backed by a publishing vision.

What are your impressions about writers and publishers:

Writers are wonderful!  If they can handle the advice of people trying to help them get published then they will going to fare well once the book is published and anyone can tear apart their work. I love working with publishers they are straight forward and easy to talk with.

Please list who you have worked with:

Fiction: Arbutus Press, Alfred Warkentin, James McCrohan, and several other authors.

Non-Fiction: WDET Radio, Common Ground Publishing, SAGE and several individual authors.





Self Editing: Ten Books That Will Make You An Expert Editor At Home.

5 11 2012

A successful writer is also a successful editor. Here are ten books that will help shape any manuscript into an artfully crafted book or article.

1. Chicago Manual of Style, 16th Edition.

Every craft has a bible and the Chicago Manual of Style is ours. It states the standard guidelines that professional book publishers abide by and is what the editorial staff of any publisher is going to use to clean up your manuscript. It is also dead useful. It is divided into three parts: the publishing process; style and usage; documentation. It is a helpful guide in explaining how to create front matter, why some numbers are written out, and how to make sure every reference is correctly cited. You can sign up for a 30 day free trial online, buy an online subscription or buy a print copy here: http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/home.html

2. Associated Press Stylebook, 2012

The journalist’s Bible. The 2012 edition provides fundamental guidelines on spelling, grammar, punctuation and usage, with new chapters on fashion and broadcast terms and an expanded social media chapter, in addition to chapters on food, social media, business, sports and media law. The 2012 Stylebook includes more than 270 new or revised entries since 2011. You can buy a print copy or an online subscription here: https://www.apstylebook.com/apbookstore/invoice.php

3. The Christian Writers Manual of Style: Updated and Expanded Edition by Robert Hudson

The Christian Writer’s Manual of Style is an essential tool not only for writers of religious materials, but for their editors, proofreaders, designers, copywriters, production managers, and even marketers.It  includes points of grammar, punctuation, usage, book production and design, and written style that are often overlooked in other manuals. It focuses on information relating to the unique needs and demands of religious publications, such as discussions on how to correctly quote the Bible, how to capitalize and use common religious terms, and how to abbreviate the books of the Bible and other religious words. Also included are rarely found items such as: an author’s guide to obtaining permissions. This edition has been completely updated since the 1988 edition and contains more than twice as much information as the previous edition. This is the most detailed and comprehensive guide of its kind.

4. Self Editing for Fiction Writers, Second Edition: How to Edit Yourself Into Print by Renni Browne and Dave King

This book is not for the faint of heart, (you’ve been warned) if you are serious about the craft of editing pick up this book and several pens in multiple colors. This book will teach you step by step how to analyze every aspect of your writing like an editor. It has chapters on dialogue, exposition, point of view, interior monologue, and other techniques take you through the same processes an expert editor would go through to perfect your manuscript. Each point is illustrated with examples, usually drawn from the hundreds of books Browne and King have edited. You might not like the look of your manuscript after using this book but the helpful techniques can prevent the same mistakes from reoccurring.

5. The Subversive Copy Editor: Advice From Chicago by Carol Saller

This volume is humorous and instructive. Written by a veteran copy editor at The University of Chicago Press, Saller explains what rules are essential to maintain a good readable book and what rules can be bent. It provides a lighthearted way for remembering what rules to keep and what rules to break.

6. New Hart’s Rules: The Handbook of Style for Writers and Editors adapted by R.M. Ritter

Twenty chapters give information on all aspects of writing and of preparing copy for publication, whether in print or electronically. New Hart’s Rules covers a broad range of topics including publishing terms, layout and headings,how to present numbers and dates, how to treat illustrations, hyphenation, punctuation, UK and US usage, bibliographies and notes, and indexing. The chapters have been compiled by a team of experts and consultants, and the book draws on the unrivalled expertise of Oxford’s Reference Department. It is also endorsed by the Society for Editors and Proofreaders.The text is designed and organized for maximum accessibility with clearly displayed examples throughout. Authoritative and comprehensive, New Hart’s Rules is the essential desk guide for all writers and editors.

7. A Good Dictionary

Every writer and editor needs at least one good dictionary. Most have a favorite and few others to supplement their chosen dictionary. Since there are quite a few to choose from I suggest spending an hour comparing dictionaries and picking the right one for you. I like the New Oxford American Dictionary which is the the Americanized version of the Oxford English Dictionary because I work primarily with American authors. Other editors prefer Merriam Webster, or the Concise Oxford English Dictionary. Pick whichever book (or combination of books) work for you.

8. The Copy Editor’s Handbook: A Guide for Book Publishing and Corporate Communication by Amy Einsohn

The Copyeditor’s Handbook is a lively, practical manual for newcomers to publishing and for experienced editors who want to fine-tune their skills or broaden their understanding of the craft. The exercises are accompanied by answer keys and detailed line-by-line explanations.

9. Developmental Editing: A Handbook for Freelancers, Authors, and Publishers by Scott Norton

This handbook provides an approach to developmental editing that is logical, collaborative, humorous, and realistic. Norton starts with the core tasks of shaping the proposal, finding the hook, and building the narrative or argument, and then turns to the hard work of executing the plan and establishing a style.The book also gives advice on how to adapt sophisticated fiction techniques (such as point of view, suspense, plotting, character, and setting) to nonfiction writing. Developmental Editing equips authors with the concrete tools they need to reach their audiences.

10. Style: Lessons in Clarity and Grace by Joseph Williams

This is the editorial equivalent to Strunk and White. This book provides quick and dirty tips on getting a polished style and eloquent prose. It is small, light, and perfect for looking up a question about style without having to lug out a gigantic reference book. It is perfect for desks and offices.








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