I consider that I have many responsibilities, but none greater than this: to last, as Hemingway says, and get my work done. – James Baldwin

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Professional Book Editor: Having your novel, short story or nonfiction manuscript proofread or edited before submitting it can prove invaluable. In an era where you face heavy competition, your writing needs a second eye to give you the edge. I can provide that second eye.

Good style should show no sign of effort. What’s written should seem to be a happy accident. – Somerset Maugham

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Professional Book Editor: Having your novel, short story or nonfiction manuscript proofread or edited before submitting it can prove invaluable. In an era where you face heavy competition, your writing needs a second eye to give you the edge. I can provide that second eye.


If you write (or paint or dance or sculpt or sing, I suppose), someone will try to make you feel lousy about it, that’s all. – Stephen King

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Professional Book Editor: Having your novel, short story or nonfiction manuscript proofread or edited before submitting it can prove invaluable. In an era where you face heavy competition, your writing needs a second eye to give you the edge. I can provide that second eye.


Guidelines for Placing Artwork on Your Cover

Once you’ve Guidelines for Placing Artwork on Your Coverselected your artwork for your paperback cover, you next have to prep and place it on the document that you'll use to build the total cover.

This can be the most time-consuming part of the cover creation process, but not rushing through it is vital. Get the artwork wrong, and you’ll lose sales, if only because potential readers will think the writing probably is as unprofessional as the cover.

Follow these guideline when prepping and placing your artwork:

  • Use a sharp, quality picture of a single, recognizable object – That means ensuring the photo is at least 300 dpi and slightly larger than the size that must be uploaded when you self-publish. If you go with a lower dpi or a smaller size, the photo will appear pixelated or blurry. In addition, since the cover potential buyers will see is literally the size of your thumb, the illustration or photograph on the cover should not be complex or detailed. All of that simply will get lost in the small size and look like colors splattered on the screen.
  • Properly crop and touch-up the picture – The picture needs to be shaped so that it is proportionately the same as the thumbnail. If the thumbnail is two inches tall by an inch wide, then the photo itself needs to be twice as tall as it is wide; a photo that is three times as tall as it is wide won’t work and will need to be cropped. Further, don’t distort (or change the aspect ratio) of the picture to force it to fit the thumbnail’s dimensions. Finally, if you’ve taken the photo yourself, ensure its coloration is good and that red-eye is removed.
  • Leave space on the photograph for the text – Decide in advance where the title, subtitle and byline (the author’s name) will go on the cover. The object in the picture should not be covered (or at least mostly not be covered) by the text. For example, if the cover photo is of a sunflower, leave a sufficient amount of blue sky above the blossom where the title can go and some mostly mono-colored grass below the blossom where the byline can be placed.

Professional Book Editor: Having your novel, short story or nonfiction manuscript proofread or edited before submitting it can prove invaluable. In an era where you face heavy competition, your writing needs a second eye to give you the edge. I can provide that second eye.


Avoid Using Exposition for Emotional States

One area A7xEmoY8Ap8Kxz3FbhEV--3--a35l8of exposition that novice writers often overlook is emotional states during character descriptions.

Describing a character’s gestures and body movements allows the reader to infer that emotional state while adding a level of detail to the text that helps the reader better imagine the scene and become more engaged in the story. So rather than writing They grew sad upon hearing the news, instead show their sadness with They hung their heads low upon hearing the news.

A simple guideline is that telling states a fact. In fiction, however, telling means the reader doesn’t have to infer what the actual fact is. That sounds like it would be a good thing, but it actually limits the reader's participation in the story. Consider this example of telling a character’s emotional state:

We pulled into the parking lot of The Pink Pony. I was more than a little nervous.

“I was a little more than nervous” is a perfect example of telling rather than showing. It states a direct fact – the narrator is nervous – rather than lets the reader infer that she is.

To resolve this, you want to use an evocative image – usually a physical gesture – that allows the reader to conclude the narrator is nervous. You might instead write:

We pulled into the parking lot of The Pink Pony. My hand shook, as I grabbed the door handle.

“My hand shook, as I grabbed the door handle” doesn’t directly state that the narrator is nervous, but the reader easily can deduce this. When showing a character’s emotional state, selecting just the right physical detail is vital. After all, varying degrees of a general physical gesture infer quite different emotional states. For instance, if something humorous is said, a chuckle shows a stronger response than a grin but less of a response that an all-out laugh.

In addition, the description of the physical gesture must be balanced against its importance in the rest of the story. You can’t be too spare in description but can’t be long-winded, either. Learning exactly what is appropriate is a matter of mastering the craft of writing.

Finally, you’ll have to be consistent with the details. For example, two jokes of equal humor should generate the same response each time from a character. With a little creativity on the writer’s part, this physical tic even can be a marker that becomes associated with a specific character; consider that whenever Mr. Spock of Star Trek fame finds something interesting, he raises a lone eyebrow.

Professional Book Editor: Having your novel, short story or nonfiction manuscript proofread or edited before submitting it can prove invaluable. In an era where you face heavy competition, your writing needs a second eye to give you the edge. I can provide that second eye.


The holiness of solitude is the gift of creativity. – Lailah Gifty Akita

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Professional Book Editor: Having your novel, short story or nonfiction manuscript proofread or edited before submitting it can prove invaluable. In an era where you face heavy competition, your writing needs a second eye to give you the edge. I can provide that second eye.


Finishing a book is just like you took a child out in the back yard and shot it. – Truman Capote

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Professional Book Editor: Having your novel, short story or nonfiction manuscript proofread or edited before submitting it can prove invaluable. In an era where you face heavy competition, your writing needs a second eye to give you the edge. I can provide that second eye.


Everything in the world exists in order to end up as a book.― Stéphane Mallarmé

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Professional Book Editor: Having your novel, short story or nonfiction manuscript proofread or edited before submitting it can prove invaluable. In an era where you face heavy competition, your writing needs a second eye to give you the edge. I can provide that second eye.