Ask the Editor

harvest pumpkinsLiterary agent Chip MacGregor’s “ask the agent” blog posts are some of my favorites, and he’s inspired me to offer the same to my readers.

I’m dedicating my blog posts for the month of November as

Ask the Editor

Any question you may have about writing or editing put in the comments below or email me, Deb [at], and I’ll post answers all next month.

Good luck to all you NaNoWriMo participants. Writing 50,000 words in 30 days is not an easy task, but it’s a fun way to get the first draft of your story written. Here is the NaNoWriMo calendar of events. Check with your local library to see if they are sponsoring any local NaNo events. Or try to find potential meets in your area.

Before you leave, be sure to put your questions for the editor in the comments below.

Happy Halloween!

How to Find a Publisher

For people dipping their toes into the vast sea of publishing for the first time, knowing how to find a publisher can be an overwhelming task.

I’m talking to those who have ventured into these waters from another field. Doctor, teacher, business exec, stay-at-home mom. And now God has given you a story or message to share.

Where do you start?

How You Can Save Money in the Editing Process

save money using style sheetWe all know hiring a professional editor can be an expensive proposition. So finding ways to help your editor save time in editing your book is a good thing.

I can’t take credit for today’s idea. I learned this tool from author and publisher Mark Gilroy at a Heart of America Writers Conference I attended several years ago.

It’s a tool every writer should consider using because it’s tremendously useful for your editor and can save the editor a lot of time and work.

What is that tool? [Read more…]

How to Track Your Article Submissions

Whether you submit with regularity or not, it’s important to track your submissions. How else will you follow up if you have no record of the magazines and editors (or agents/publishing houses) to whom you have submitted your work?

I keep a simple Excel file with the following info:

  • Date submitted
  • Magazine name
  • Editor’s name
  • Editor’s email
  • Editor’s phone number
  • Name of article submitted
  • Date to follow up. Most publications state a period of time to allow for review of your submission. Follow up with an email to the editor only after the stated time for review has passed.
  • Status (accepted or rejected)
  • Payment due. If accepted you need to know when your payment is due because some publications pay on acceptance and some on publication.
  • Payment rec’d date.  If you record this date as soon as the payment comes in, you won’t be left wondering later on if you got paid.

Not all of us are uber organized. I take advantage of the tools someone else has designed to help me. I just adjust them to suit my needs and circumstances.

Design whatever works for you, and be diligent to use it.

Yossel the Dreamer: A Book 93 Years in the Making

Yossel the Dreamer

Co-edited by Debra L. Butterfield and Sheldon Friedman. Cover design by Jennifer Lauren Lee.

When I first started working on this project I knew 3 things:

      • Dr. Joseph Friedman was legally blind and needed help writing his book.
      • He was 91 years old at the time.
      • And he won an Emmy (Yes, the statuette is very impressive).

I didn’t know it would take 2.5 years to complete, but then how long does it take to write one’s autobiography with 93 years worth of living?

When we started, Dr. Friedman had no idea just how difficult the job would be. He planned to dictate his life events to me, have it edited and that would be that. But he found out there’s so much more to writing a book than that. 

He had 2 things he oft repeated that always brought a smile to my face. “No wonder it takes 6 years to write a book.” and “If I’d known I would someday write a book, I would have kept a diary.” His advice to everyone: Keep a diary. You might write a book one day.

For a man suffering with Alzheimer’s, his memory amazed me.

  • The grueling march across France with Patton’s Third Army, liberating the first concentration camp at Orhdruf, Germany, and knowing that had his parents not emigrated to America, he may very well have been a prisoner rather than a liberator.
  • Earning a Ph.D. after the war, and serving St. Joseph, Missouri, for 14 years as a podiatrist.
  • Then at the age of 42, chucking it all to follow his dream to the theatre. A man with determination and perseverance who played Avram on tour in Fiddler on the Roof for 2842 performances, and went on to film and televsion.

Along the way I learned about Dr. Joseph Friedman, a lot about writing a book, and that everyone should follow their dream

What did he do to win his Emmy? Sorry, you’ll have to read the book for the answer.

Available now at Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

Snag a Publisher!

Looking for a publisher? Then be sure to get 5 Tips to Snag a Publisher with Your Manuscript Submission. Sign up below for your free download.

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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