Category Archives: Copyediting

Writing with Computers Too Easy

by Maeve Maddox  from Daily Writing Tips (with permission)

The word processor brings obvious advantages to writers. The ease with which you can write and revise, having typing and spelling mistakes corrected as you go, leads to…carelessness. I’m not simply referring to over-reliance on spell-checkers – that’s been covered adequately in other articles* on this site – but to sloppy style and composition.

It’s all too easy, as I have found in my nearly 30 years of using word processing software (I started with WordStar 3.1 on CP/M80 for the archeologists among you), to write using these tools. The obvious advantage is that it is easy to go back and change your words and your mind about what you want to say. But one of the serious disadvantages is that you can write half a sentence, break off and come back to write the other half, which may not match the first half in style, content or overall meaning.

Of course, this is technically possible with any other writing method – but somehow it seemed harder to stop in the middle of a sentence with a pen or a typewriter. In any case, with a typewriter, you felt honor-bound to finish the page. Dropping one piece of writing mid-sentence, taking out the sheet of paper, re-setting margins, etc. and continuing the original on the re-inserted piece of paper usually didn’t work too well.

This ability to stop writing a sentence, do something else, and continue from where you left off without always finishing the thought with which you started can make for very disjointed writing.

The “something else” can be totally unconnected with writing (food breaks and the like) or can be something writing- and computer-related (e.g. answering an e-mail message or Twitter message – in a completely different writing style to the one used in your main writing assignment) or can even be within the same document, going back and revising something that’s already been written.

While writing this piece, I’ve been guilty of all three types of mid-sentence breaks. Can you see them? I hope not, because I do go back and re-read what I have written, matching style and making sure the logic flows neatly from one part to the next.

However, it does seem painfully obvious to me reading some writing (including some of my own past work) that the flow of thought hasn’t been checked, and that the “first fine careless rapture” is the final published product.

It may not be as exciting to polish a diamond as to dig it out of the ground, but unpolished uncut diamonds are not nearly as valuable as their processed counterparts. Take time to polish your gems before putting them on display to the world.

When to Start Your Book Cover Copy

by Susan Kendrick

Which comes first, the book or the book cover? This seems like a simple chronological question. You write a book and then you cover it, right?

But, to really answer this question, think about your book cover like you would the marketing message for any new product. Just like you saw and heard about the iPhone, for example, long before you could get one, you can use your book cover to create a demand for your book before it ever hits the streets.

Start your book cover copy while writing your book
or as soon as you get an
idea for a book!

The sooner you create the marketing message for your book, the sooner you can get the word out and build a following. That marketing message starts right on your cover. Your back cover especially, is the at-a-glance billboard and elevator speech for your book. Done well, it becomes the tightly positioned foundation for all your marketing copy. It helps you generate pre-orders for your book, get endorsements, line up partner support, even get a foot in the door with the media, and more.

Keep in mind that you can create your book cover copy while you are writing your manuscript, but you don’t have to finalize your cover copy until your manuscript is complete and it is time to go to print. This flexibility means you can add a great endorsement or tweak headlines based on market testing.

6 Reasons to Start Your Book Cover Copy Early
Your book cover impacts all parts of your book marketing process. Here are just the first six reasons to dive in now.

1. It makes it easier to write and/or finish your book. The front and back covers make it completely clear what the book is going to offer, to whom, how that helps them, and why you’re the go-to expert on this topic. In other words, your cover copy promises specific benefits to the reader; you can now write the book to deliver on those promises.

2. You have a powerful start for your book proposal, which needs to instantly hook agents and publishers.

3. You have your sales copy in hand to start marketing and pre-selling your book on your website, blog, partner sites, etc., before it’s even released.

4. You’re more likely to get those high-end endorsements you’ve been fantasizing about when you start that process early and have a powerful marketing message to share with those you approach.

5. You have instant, branding-building website copy ready to go.

6. You can easily turn your cover copy into a speaker one-sheet and be ready to promote your expertise to meeting planners, industry associations, and speaker’s bureaus.

To get all the details on how to give your book cover off to the right start-writing, design, production, printing, and more-order your copy of Cover That Book: Insider Secrets to Writing and Designing a Bestselling Book Cover, with an Introduction by Dan Poynter. This special package includes two bonuses, a free 20-minute coaching session, and free shipping. Click here for more info and to order.