How to Format Numbers, Dates, and Times in Your Manuscript

clock and notebook formatting timeBecause my kids graduated from school long ago, I no longer know what’s taught in English class—aside from the “cursive writing” controversy. I only know I see a wide variety of grammar and format errors in the manuscripts I edit and proofread.

Many writers incorrectly format numbers, dates, and times, so I thought I’d give you some basic guidelines today. [Read more…]

A New Perspective on the Cost of Freelance Editors

a pile of $50 bills, editing costs“I can’t afford to hire a professional editor,” you say.

But you can’t afford not to hire one. The quality—or lack thereof—of your story directly impacts your ability to land a traditional publishing contract. If you publish indie, it impacts your sales. And who doesn’t want lots of sales?

I don’t say this just because I’m an editor. Even I send my own work to a writer friend to edit. That’s because it’s hard for us see what’s the mistakes in our own writing.

That’s why I encourage you to hire an editor.

We all know professional editing costs can add up, but I often get the impression that writers expect it to start at $5000 and go up from there. Even $1000 is a lot when that same amount pays the mortgage for a month or two.

Let’s take a look at the industry standard fees given in Writer’s Market 2017. [Read more…]

Should I Use Italics or Quotation Marks? A Style Guide to Formatting Titles

Chicago Manual of Style book cover
When I went to high school, teachers taught us to underline book titles. With the advent of all things digital, that changed. In fact a lot got changed.

What I’m talking about is the stylized treatment of text.

In the world of publishing, there are two style books that pull most of the weight. In the book world, The Chicago Manual of Style is the primary style guide (first published in 1906!). This book contains over 1000 pages and instructs how to [Read more…]

Don’t Make These Mistakes in Doing Research

Today’s my birthday, so I decided to take the day off and have my friend Donna Wittlif guest post. I first met Donna through an online group I belong to and then had the opportunity to edit one of her books—fascinating sci-fi.

She is a retired special education and English teacher who loves writing. Her World Eternal series are science fiction/religious stories for young adults and adults.

Mistakes in Doing Research

When writers are working on a book, [Read more…]

Don’t Let the Em Dash Confuse You, Here’s How to Use It

Punctuation.

I can visualize readers cringing as they read that word.

“I don’t understand all those rules and I don’t want to.”

“Let editors worry about the correct punctuation.”

“I just want to write, not worry about where to put a comma.”

Do you see yourself in the above sentences? [Read more…]

Snag a Publisher!

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Get Published!

Looking for a publisher? Then be sure to get 5 Things Every Writer Needs to Do When Submitting a Manuscript (make sure you avoid these common mistakes). Sign up below for your free download.
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