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News, Perspectives, and Insights on Writing and Publishing

From the Staff of The Editorial Department

May 10, 2016
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Publishing Glossary
A curated list of the industry terms and phrases aspiring and professional writers need to know

Language is power, and to that end we at The Editorial Department have come up with a glossary of commonly-used terms and abbreviations in the book publishing industry. This is a quick, handy guide (in no particular order) to many of the terms that writers will come across […]
April 27, 2016
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Writing Mysteries
Guides, tips, and recommended reading for mystery writers

A quick word of caution to the aspiring mystery writer… For its enduring popularity as a genre, mystery is a surprisingly tough genre to break into for new writers, and in some respects one of the hardest genres to write. This is in part due to the procedural […]
April 26, 2016

Let’s Hear It For The Little Guy!
When it comes to literary agencies, bigger isn't always better

Your manuscript is finally finished. It’s been revised, agonized over, critiqued, and revised again. It’s ready to take the next step. It’s ready for an agent. And because you want nothing but the best for your manuscript, you know you’ve got to find the best agent possible. The […]
April 13, 2016

What We Can Learn From Lee Child & Jack Reacher
A lesson in handling exposition in mystery/suspense from a master

Exposition: a discourse of information. Often necessary, but also challenging to handle skillfully. In an earlier post for mystery writers, I talked a little bit about the value of resisting the urge to lecture your readers on what you might have learned in the course of researching your […]
April 7, 2016

Query Do, Query Don’t
Ten tips literary agent Kate Johnson wants you to remember

I’ve recently worked through a post-holiday backlog of submissions, and stumbled on some recurring themes and – naturally – some recurring pet peeves. Agents are as diverse in their taste for query letters as they are in their tastes for reading material, so please know my advice comes […]
March 16, 2016

Spotlight on Sentence-Level Editing
Demystifying the distinctions between line editing, copy editing, and proofreading

In an earlier blog post I talked about the importance of developmental editing and why the focus on big-picture stuff – structure, book-spanning issues like plot or organization, character development, dialogue, and that sort of thing – needs to come first, before you spend too much time worrying […]