Money-Saving Guide for Authors and Writers is a great resource that came to me from an aspiring young author named Anna through her special librarian Ms. Pedersen. Anna and her mom found this great article while researching writing guidelines for authors and writers and wanted to make sure other aspiring writers like her knew about this! It covers a breakdown of the elements of style, manuscript formatting, working with an editor, finding a literary agent, book proposals, self-publishing, and much more. Take note of the amazing number of scholarships for college students who hope to be writers someday. And the descriptions of the many diverse career options that all require great writers! I hope you enjoy it and find it useful. Thanks, Anna (and her mom :)).
One of my services as an editor is to help authors decide what to do with the manuscript once it’s finished. Your choices are self-publishing, working with a hybrid publisher, or going for that coveted contract with a traditional publisher. The answer lies in a few decisions you have to make as an author.
- What is your goal for this book? Did you write it to give out to friends and family? Do you see it as a resource for many people? Are you unsure?
- How serious are you about building a platform with social media, blogging or vlogging, podcasting, writing articles, speaking, and so forth?
- How long can you wait until it’s in the final book form? Months? Years?
- What is your budget? Can you afford to do a quality self-published book? Can you afford to work with other professionals to help you with this process?
Do your homework and seek to understand the differences between these three types of publishing. I’m happy to help you!
Jane Friedman has three great articles regarding each of these:
This is a great article if you are considering going to a writer’s conference. They can be really helpful or overwhelming, depending on your reason for going and your level of preparedness. I went to one just to see what it was like and it changed the trajectory of my life—seriously!
Just do a search for “Christian Writer’s Conferences (and the year)” and decide to go! It’ll be worth it just to meet other authors and professionals in the publishing industry. This will also be the place where you can meet agents and publishers to directly query your book. Many, many agents and publishers don’t take queries or manuscript submissions unless it is through a writer’s conference.
Great blog post today from Janet Kobobel Grant at Books & Such Literary Agency. She reiterates the importance of not rushing a manuscript to publication. I found her checklist very helpful and hope you do to.
For anyone who is interested in producing audiobooks, there are many sources and platforms out there to consider. The best article I’ve found on the subject is by Jane Friedman called “Audiobook Publishing and Distribution: Getting Started Guide for Authors.” I highly recommend checking it out.
- Author’s Republic
- Lantern Audiobooks (formerly Listen Up)
- Findaway Voices
I came across this handy article and thought it might be helpful to some folks. I got it from Jane Friedman, who I consider a very influential resource in the publishing realm.
Comprehensive Guide to Finding, Hiring, and Working with an Editor by Jane Friedman
The Christian PEN is open to any Christian* who:
- is a freelance proofreader, editor, or other writer-supporting occupation (at any level)
- is seriously planning to become a freelance proofreader/editor, or
- is investigating the freelance proofreader/editor field.
It is also the place where authors can find a seasoned Christian editor to help them with their projects. Check it out!
Need to check your grammar, word choice, definitions, and so on? Here are a couple of great tools for that.
- Webster’s Dictionary/Thesaurus: http://www.merriam-webster.com
- Grammarly Automated Proofreading Service: http://www.grammarly.com
Sometimes it’s easier just to watch a short video about how to run the Track Changes feature on Word than it is to try and explain it on the phone. I highly recommend these two resources, one a short video and the other a blog-style resource to get you started on the basics. Anything that can help the work flow more smoothly between writer and editor is worth it.
Different publishing houses prefer different style guides, which is a very handy piece of information to know if you’re a writer or editor. If you are an author who self-publishes, the key is to pick a style you like best and move forward with that, making sure to stay consistent with one style. I tend to prefer CMOS.
Some of these resources require memberships to access their online style books, or you can buy a hard copy as a reference tool. AP and MLA you can access on the Purdue OWL website (see links below). Here are the typical ones I use:
- Chicago Manual of Style (CMOS) is widely used for fiction and nonfiction books. http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/home.html
- Associated Press (AP) is used more for journalistic pubs like newspapers, articles, magazines, and PR materials. https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/735/02/
- Christian Writer’s Manual of Style (CWMS). I refer to this one a lot when editing Christian books.
- Modern Language Association (MLA) is more for academic papers and writings. https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/747/01/
- Proofreading Secrets of Best-Selling Authors by Kathy Ide. I like this book because it takes all of the most common writing rules from a wide variety of sources and put them into one easy-to-access resource. Her other book, Polishing the PUGS (Punctuation, Usage, Grammar, and Spelling) is also a mainstay in my library.