Saturday, November 12, 2011

Getting Published in Anthologies

I am always telling my book authors that it is in their best interest to build publication credentials by publishing articles and short stories. A track record of such publications alerts agents and publishers that you are a committed writer with a professional attitude. This will incline them to take your query seriously.

Most aspiring book authors are aware of the possibility of publishing in trade, consumer, and literary magazines and journals. But they often overlook the potential of publication in anthologies. If you target an anthology precisely, and your subject or story is a good match with the editor's requirements, then you have strong odds of having your work accepted.

The monetary pay for publishing in an anthology is usually modest. The real pay-off is the credential that you can add to your CV and the complimentary copy(ies) of the anthology that you will receive. Most anthologies are handsomely produced and make attractive additions to your home library. Best of all, seeing your name and work included in such publications boosts your confidence as a writer and book author.

I do not know of any handy guide to anthology publishers, but you can get started finding the right ones for you by following the advice given on this page: For a related article about getting published in the Chicken Soup series, go to

Favorite Literary & Writing Quote #20

The skill of writing is to create a context in which other people can think.
—Edwin Schlossberg

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Favorite Literary & Writing Quotes

In the future, I will be including my favorite literary and writing quotes in this blog. For all 19 quotes to date, see "Older Posts" on my Facebook wall. For the most recent quotes, see Writing Words...Notes & Quotes for Authors on Writing, Editing & the Literary Life.

Inspiration for Book Authors

In my business,, most of my author clients come to me with completed first drafts of their books. We then focus on polishing each manuscript and taking it to successful publication.

At the heart of the publishing endeavor are ideas that once clamored to be turned into words on pages. But as every book author knows, starting to write and carrying on to the end present no small challenge. Here is a link to 25 Insights on Becoming a Better Writer, compiled by Jocelyn K. Glei. Whether you are struggling with the beginning of your first book or in the throes of your umpteenth, these insights will inspire and re-inspire you to forge ahead.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

All about Book Editing

Anyone who writes a book and gets it conventionally published will encounter at least one editor, and typically two or more, during the production phase of getting published. Such editors may be working in-house or as freelancers contracted by the publishing house. Whether working in-house or freelance, book editors employed by publishers have varying levels of authority and perform different tasks--everything from acquiring manuscripts and providing creative input on the work to doing line-by-line copyediting and proofreading to ensure that the published books are as correct and editorially consistent as possible. Authors who are prepared for the different kinds of editing they will encounter are the ones most likely to go through production without undue stress.

The popularity of self-publishing has created a further demand for freelance book editors who are employed directly by the authors themselves. The boom in self-publishing has led to some productive and rewarding collaborations between authors and editors. Many other authors, however, have ended up disappointed by editors who are unqualified for book editing and whose fees are out of proportion to the services they are able to provide. It is therefore important for self-publishing authors to learn about the functions and desirable qualifications of freelance editors in general before they hire any particular ones for themselves.

This autumn, the main Helping You Get Published website features an article, "Meet Your Destiny," that will introduce conventionally publishing authors to the kinds of editors they are likely to encounter. Two other articles and a video will provide self-publishing book authors with the necessary knowledge to make informed decisions when hiring freelance editors.

Click here for the "all about editing" feature articles and video...

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Latest from

Autumn 2011 update at with new features, books, editorial services, and resources for writing and publishing...

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Point of View Pointers for Fiction Writers

The more that I assess fiction, the more I am convinced that point of view (POV) is at the heart of successfully managing some of the most crucial stylistic and structural elements of the narrative. There have been a lot of books written on POV. Some claim that there are something like 30 or so possible POVs. Others say there are only three that count—which is the model from which I work. The three are:

1—Pure character POV—that is, narrative in the first person.
2—Pure omniscient POV—that is, narrative in a third-person voice that comes from the author hovering somewhere above or behind the action—and seeing, hearing, knowing, and recording all that’s going on.
3—Omniscient/character hybrid POV—that is, the use of a third-person omniscient voice only to the extent of setting a scene or quickly providing some information and leading readers into the head and body of a character who then speaks, and thinks for him/herself.
Many authors choose #3 because it is flexible, allowing the reader to see and respond to events through the character, while the author can still convey information that serves the plot, but which is not yet known to the character. The pitfall is when the author slips from one POV to another without developing any sufficiently for reader engagement. For example, what if you were reading a romance novel and came to a scene like this:
Judith looked into his eyes. Yes, she thought, this is the man for me. Randolph looked back at her and felt his defences collapsing. His pulse quickened as he stepped toward her.
So what's wrong with this? The answer is: POV slippage. The scene begins in Judith's head and rapidly switches into Randolph's. Carry on like this and, rather than a coherent scene that engages the reader and helps sell your manuscript, you end up with POV ping-pong and a mishandled scene that will be a red flag to any agent or acquiring edtior that you are not in control of your story.

Rule of thumb to solve the problem: Use one character POV per scene.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Book Blast from the Past...

Some of the items on the list described below are recent but most, for me, are a trip down literary memory lane.

In compiling the books on this list, the editors at SuperScholar have tried to provide a window into the culture of the last 50 years. Ideally, if you read every book on this list, you will know how we got to where we are today. Not all the books on this list are “great.” The criterion for inclusion...

Friday, August 26, 2011

My New Old Website

I just launched, which bears a more-than-coincidental resemblance to my longstanding dotcom site of the same name. The difference is that the new site is abbreviated for more immediate access to all the Helping You Get Published information and resources. 

Check it out using the links below:

Participle Phrases: The Sort-of Good and the Reall...

Writing Words...: Participle Phrases: The Sort-of Good and the Reall...: A participle phrase is a type of modifier associated with a noun or pronoun. The phrase consists of a participle, typically an "-ing" word, ...

Stronger, Cleaner Writing

Writing Words...: Stronger, Cleaner Writing: On the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America website, an article by C. J. Cherryh (1995) offers timeless tips for avoiding the pitf...

Copyright 101

Writing Words...: Copyright 101: Confused about copyright? Brad Templeton's "10 Big Myths about Copyright Explained" clarifies the basics of copyright and such related conc...

The Risky Business of Querying Agents & Publishers...

Writing Words...: The Risky Business of Querying Agents & Publishers...: Writing a query letter in an attempt to get an agent or publisher to read your manuscript is like negotiating a minefield—one false step an...