POP Editorial Services LLC | The POP Newsletter, the blog home of POP Editorial Services, LLC and Katherine Pickett
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The PoP Newsletter

Beyond Sales: 3 Powerful Benefits of Preorders for Newbie Indie Authors

The ability to accept preorders for a book has been available to self-publishers for a few years now. For new indie authors, it can be a mysterious process. But preorders---allowing customers to place an order before the book is available---can make a huge difference in the success of a book launch.   K. Patrick Donoghue, author of The Anlon Cully Chronicles, attests to that very fact in the following guest post. Read on to learn what benefits you can reap with preorders. (For the steps to set up preorders, see these guidelines from Amazon.)   Beyond Sales — 3 Powerful Benefits of Preorders for Newbie Indie Authors by K. Patrick Donoghue   [caption id="attachment_86174" align="alignright" width="200"] K. Patrick Donoghue is the author of The Anlon Cully Chronicles[/caption]When I listed the Kindle and Nook editions of my...

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Wednesday #Writetip: Punctuating Dialogue

If you have ever tried to convey a conversation in writing, you know that punctuating dialogue can be complicated. You will suddenly notice there are a lot of stops and starts, sentence fragments, ramblings, and interruptions when we are speaking. How do you indicate all of that on paper? Here are a few tips for how to punctuate dialogue:   Use commas to set off an attribution: He said, "I was just about to fall asleep when the alarm went off." "I was just about to fall asleep when the alarm went off," he said. "I was just about to fall asleep," he said, "when the alarm went off."   Use a dash to indicate an interruption: "I was just about to---" "Hold it right there!"   Use an ellipsis to indicate trailing speech: "I remember when you . . ." "I dream...

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Spring/Summer Events with Katherine Pickett

This summer, you can select your favorite way to interact as well as your best method for learning. You will find me in many different settings talking about writing, editing, and publishing. Choose from a webinar, a happy hour, and a four-week class.   May 24, 2017: Navigate Book Publishing Like a Pro (webinar)   Katherine will present a webinar for the Editorial Freelancers Association on Wednesday, May 24, 2017, from 3:00 p.m to 4:30 p.m. This is a crash course in how to write and publish a high-quality book that sells. EFA members: $49. Nonmembers: $59     June 15, 2017: Writers, Editors, Publishers Happy Hour, Silver Spring, MD   Katherine will be attending a networking happy hour for writers, editors, and publishers, hosted by Maryland Writers Association, Montgomery County chapter. Azucar Restaurant, Silver Spring, MD, Thursday, June 15,...

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My No. 1 Self-Editing Tip: Give Your Manuscript Time to Simmer

Self-editing is key to good writing, and good writing is like good pasta sauce. The ingredients are simple enough -- tomatoes, garlic, onion, basil, oregano, salt, pepper -- yet the range and breadth of flavors that can be created with these seven ingredients are enough to fill an entire section of the grocery store.   [caption id="attachment_86126" align="alignright" width="300"] Image by Jessyratfink[/caption]   What all good sauces have in common, and good books too, is that they were allowed to simmer so that the flavors could meld. If you are hoping for a positive end result, one thing you can’t do, whether in writing or in cooking, is hurry.   My number one self-editing tip? Give your manuscript time to simmer.   Generally speaking, both fiction and nonfiction require some level of research. Although the demands for these...

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Wednesday #Writetip: Choosing Between ‘That’ and ‘Which’

What's the difference between "that" and "which"? Both words can be used to set off dependent clauses, so how do you know which one to choose?   In some cases and in some publications, the words can be used interchangeably. However, most book publishers make the following distinction:   -Use "that" to set off restrictive clauses -Use "which" to set off nonrestrictive clauses.   A clause is restrictive if it identifies a specific object: The dog that bit me lives down the street.   A clause is nonrestrictive if it adds description only: The dog, which has thick fur and blue eyes, was easy to identify.   If you aren't sure which pronoun to choose, try reading the sentence without the part enclosed in commas. If no meaning is lost, then you know you have a "which" (nonrestrictive) clause....

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Wednesday #Writetip: When to Spell Out Numbers

Consistent use of numerals (1, 2, 3) versus spelled-out numbers (one, two, three) is one of the most common problems I see in my authors' writing. Most just type whatever form their fingers choose at that moment, but ultimately a rule of some kind should be established.    There are at least four different numbers rules that a writer could follow. Which one you choose has to do with the type of publication you are writing for and the technical level of the material. Your options include the following:     1. Some publications prefer to spell out one through nine and use numerals for all other numbers. This is often called the informal numbers rule and is commonly employed in newspapers and magazines.     2. Others prefer to spell out numbers...

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Learning from My Clients: Lessons in Publishing Success

In the blog series Publishing Stories, I asked several past clients to share their experiences with publishing.
There are more to come, but I would like to pause here and think about what we as authors, editors, and publishers can learn from their stories.
The four profiled authors — Gary Bargatze, W.K. Dwyer, Maureen C. Berry, and Peter C. Diamond — come from a variety of backgrounds, wrote on wide-ranging topics in both fiction and nonfiction, and were in varying stages of their careers as authors.

Wednesday #Writetip: Ensuring Variety of Word Choice in Your Writing

When I'm editing I often see writers relying on the same words and phrases throughout their manuscripts. Sometimes the repetition becomes noticeable and distracting, particularly when words are repeated in the same paragraph or sentence.   Some words and phrases are more memorable than others. Indefatigable, for example, or invariably, or in an alternate universe will stand out to readers and need to be used sparingly.   Now, some words are difficult to write around -- work is one that causes me trouble -- but others are not so difficult, and if the repetition is distracting your readers from your message, it is almost always worth the effort to find a new way to say something.   What can you do about it? First, determine if you are falling into this trap. Reading the passage...

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Wednesday #Writetip: Save Money When You Get Your Grammar Up to Snuff

If you want to save money on editing, your first step is improving your writing. Get your grammar and punctuation up to snuff by picking up a couple of language guides.   The Elements of Style by Strunk and White continues to be a favorite of mine for its brevity, humor, and accessibility.   The Chicago Manual of Style offers the other extreme of long and slightly cumbersome but also authoritative.   The Elephants of Style by Bill Walsh is a slightly irreverent guide that covers topics many other books ignore.   Random House's Webster Grammar, Usage, and Punctuation will answer almost any question you may have.   You can find more information online. Helpful websites include:   Grammar Girl, http://www.quickanddirtytips.com/grammar-girl   Chicago Manual of Style Q&A, http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/qanda/latest.html   Grammar doesn't have to be boring, and getting familiar with the rules...

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