reprinted from Show & Tell: Writers on Writing (2007)
Editing and the Creative Writer
THAT LITTLE VERB EDIT IS A SLIPPERY ONE FOR US poets and writers.
Like its cousins type and print and copy, here in the digital millennium it’s taken on a multivalent array of meanings —even switch-hitting as different parts of speech—to the point that writers aren’t sure anymore what the concept of “editing” entails.
Some writers think it’s easiest just to ignore what goes on behind the editorial curtain. Do your best writing, submit your finished manuscript, and the publishing wizards will wave their magic wands and everything comes out perfect and ready-for-prime-time. >> DOWNLOAD THE FULL ARTICLE (PDF)
© Barbara Brannon 2015–2017
These questions are designed to help authors or second readers evaluate the effectiveness of editing that has been done on a text. Look over the edited text—start with the clear text first, or the tracked document, but do look over both.
Try to read with an objective eye: pretend you’ve never read this text before. Set aside any inclination to be defensive; it’ll only cloud your ability to judge fairly. After answering all the following questions about your text, if you still feel the editing isn’t what you expected, take it up one-on-one in a conversation with the editor. You may both be able to clear up any points of disagreement, and the project will benefit from mutual understanding.
If you’re the author, you will of course need to review every edit and accept, reject, or rewrite it. If you’re a second reader, you may not have the luxury of reading every sentence of a long manuscript—in which case you should skim the work, looking for a consistent approach, getting a sense of whether you agree with the edits, determining that the editor has not missed necessary edits and has not made edits that are intrusive or off the mark.
Preparation for Book Signings
Going Public: Five Book-Signing Essentials for Authors
© Barbara Brannon 2008–2017
AFTER THE MONTHS (YEARS?) OF INTENSE WORK—revising, negotiating, proofreading, waiting—the big day finally arrives: you get your first copies of the real, live, printed-and-bound book. The one with your name on the cover.
You’re an author.
This passage from the private toils of writerhood to the public persona of book authorship is an exciting moment, one full of opportunity and promise. And as with most of life’s transitions, the more prepared you are to make it a success, the better you’ll thrive in your newly assumed role.
One of the first opportunities that come with the territory is the public book signing (lecture, reading, panel, etc.). It’s also the one new authors are most likely to underestimate. Following a few guiding principles will help you lay the groundwork for a great event. >> DOWNLOAD THE FULL ARTICLE (PDF)