Be Vigilant When Publishing Book Titles

Girl at computer cryingI’m in the middle of dealing with several clients (one of whom is myself!) who have made errors when entering book titles on Amazon. This is how it goes:

The Fatal Error

You enter an eBook in Kindle Direct Publishing. You put up the title, subtitle, author, etc. and all goes well. It goes so well you think now you’ll get some print copies to sell locally, give away as prizes, etcetera, so you do a softcover edition. You used to go to Createspace for this, but now you just go to Kindle Direct Publishing and it’s all done in one place. Which is probably better, because I think they now use exactly the same book information entry form, the lack of which was what caused my problem in the first place. Continue reading “Be Vigilant When Publishing Book Titles”

Missing? Don’t Market Your Book This Way

missing-person-1756985_960_720So here I am, sitting at my desk and scanning Facebook when I should be doing … well, just about anything else. My to-do list is long and only going to get longer if I don’t knock a few items off of it. Then I see the post. In big white letters on a red background is the message “Have you seen me?” Under that is a picture of a teenage girl. Below that is a line with a single word, “MISSING” screaming at me in red. A few more details (“blah, blah, blah”) are outlined after that. I start thinking: Continue reading “Missing? Don’t Market Your Book This Way”

On Weasel Words and Other Writing Tips for Authors

weasel words short-tailed-weasel-86619_960_720When I was a brand new writer, a number of well-established authors helped me. They gave me advice about my blurbs, how I structured my stories, my phrasing — essentially everything an early-stage writer needs to get a handle on things. Now, five years later, I won’t claim to be well established myself, but I do have my first million words written, and I do my best to return the favor by helping others who are at the beginning of their writing journey. As I do, I see many of the same mistakes repeated over and over.

The good news is, writing rules can be broken, and effectively so. I am in the camp that says you have to truly understand a rule before you can break it effectively, though. In this post, I’m not talking about rules so much as generally accepted best practices. If you disagree with what I say here, I won’t argue with you. I will only say that these things are what work for me. Continue reading “On Weasel Words and Other Writing Tips for Authors”

Funny Misplaced Modifiers and Other Common Writing Mistakes

misplaced modifierIndies Unlimited has all kinds of editing resources for writers. We even have real-life editors who take a spot at the gruel pot.

Because I am not an editor, while I’m reading a novel that interests me, the occasional typo or misplaced modifier is likely to fly right past me. In spite of that, I’m a writing tutor for Pearson/Smarthinking. It’s okay. I can pay attention when I have to.

I tutor over 100 students per month on higher-level orders such as thesis statements, content development, and organization. I also coach them on lower-level issues such as noun-verb agreement, sentence structure, and misplaced modifiers.

Over time, I’ve come to see the same lower-level mistakes again and again. Some are so sneaky that we can read a passage, know something isn’t quite right, but have no idea what it is.

Here are some of the sneakiest errors I see: Continue reading “Funny Misplaced Modifiers and Other Common Writing Mistakes”