Studying the Masters – Janet Evanovich

Don Massenzio's Blog

evovichJanet Evanovich,  the pen name for Janet Schneider, began her career writing short contemporary romance novels under the pen name Steffie Hall, but gained fame authoring a series of contemporary mysteries featuring Stephanie Plum, a former lingerie buyer from Trenton, New Jersey, who becomes a bounty hunter to make ends meet after losing her job. The novels in this series have been on The New York Times, USA Today, Wall Street Journal and Amazon bestseller lists. Evanovich has had her last seventeen Plums debut at #1 on the NY Times Best Sellers list and eleven of them have hit #1 on USA Today Best-Selling Books list. She has over two hundred million books in print worldwide and is translated into over 40 languages.

When Evanovich had children, she chose to become a housewife like her mother. In her thirties, she began writing novels. To learn the art of writing dialog, Evanovich took…

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The Editor is Your Friend


The Editor is Your Friend

You have finished the first draft of your novel. Running it through the spell checker, making minor changes here and there as you read through it. You’ve sent it out to beta readers, made changes and fixed things they pointed out. Now you think you’re ready to publish the book. Stop right there! News flash! You are not ready to publish! What? Sure I am. Nope. Trust me on this. You are not ready to publish. You need an editor to go through your book. An editor! Aren’t they expensive? Yes, they are the most expensive part of publishing a book, but one that will serve you in the long run.

All right, so what type of editor do I need? I understand there are several types.

That’s right. Below is a list and brief explanation of the types of editors for fiction.

Types of Editors

Developmental Editor: They are mainly concerned with the structure and content of the book. They look for structural problems in the story, character development, point out strengths and weaknesses of the plot and the characters.

Line Editor: A line editor literally goes through the story line by line, marking grammatical errors, awkward sentences, making sure the proper point of views are being used, marking where you let the tense slip, letting you know when you do too much ‘telling’ and not enough ‘showing’. They will reword to improve the clarity of the story. If something doesn’t make sense, they may rearrange things. This type of editing is the most extensive.

Copy Editor: A copy editor corrects punctuation, grammar, and syntax. They also deal with continuity issues — example: your main character has blue eyes, but in another scene their eyes are violet and they didn’t use colored contact lenses. They also check for spelling errors and proper word usage.

Proofreader: A Proofreader does a final read through before publishing the story. They check for missing punctuation, misspelled words, double words — example: ‘the the cat purred. They help put the final polish on the book before you publish it.

Fine, so I need an editor. How do I find a good one?

If you are looking for an editor for the first time, here’s a few tips.

What to Look Out For

  1. Some editors purchase direct email lists to find new clients. Be wary of receiving an unsolicited email from them.
  2. The promises of making your book a best seller with their editing. Right. Sure.
  3. Limited time offer on reduced rates for their services. Like an author really needs added pressure.
  4. No client list on their website. Run away as fast as you can.

Finding a Good Editor for Your Needs

  1. Contact other indie authors on Facebook. Politely inquire who edited their work and if they were happy working with the editor. This is where networking with other indie authors comes in handy.
  2. Find an editor that deals with the genre you are writing in. If you write horror or paranormal, don’t contact an editor that deals strictly with romance or children’s books.
  3. Do a search on Facebook for pages called Editorial Services. Research them on the web.
  4. Decide on the type of editing you need. Some editors offer package deals and payment plans so you don’t end up murdering your bank account.
  5. Also check Preditors & Editors for any red flags on an editor you are thinking of contacting.

In the end, after all the suggestions made by an editor, it is up to you, the writer, to decide whether or not you want to make the changes. However, if you want to put out the best book possible, listen to your editor. That’s why you hired them. A well-edited and written book brings high reviews and more sales. Keep that in mind when you are looking to hire an editor.

Here is an editor I highly recommend:

Randall Andrews randall ‘Jay’ andrews, Founder of Writers World and Book and Script Editor; Offers professional editing of your manuscript. With over 30 years experience as a writer and an editor, he will help to tighten your writing and make the work flow smoothly.

May the words ever flow!

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Writing Quotes — Elmore Leonard


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A Perfect 10 With Linda Bradley

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Originally posted on Don Massenzio's Blog:
This week’s guest is author Linda Bradley. She gives us some insight into her writing process and inspiration. Please enjoy this week’s edition of A Perfect 10 If you want to check out…

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Writing Quotes — Henry Miller


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Writing Tip — 11


If you are planning on writing a novel, do some exercises to warm up. Write interviews with the characters in your book. This will allow you to get to know them better. They can be as short or as long as you want them to be. Heck, why not have one of your characters interview you? Work on an outline, write up brief biographies of your characters; whatever you need to do, get the words down.

If you don’t write every day, what’s the point? You need to develop the habit of writing if you want to make progress in your chosen life path. After all, practice makes perfect. At least that’s what we tell ourselves when we write. Remember, once you get something written, you need to edit it and probably revise what you wrote; but that’s part and parcel of being a writer.

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This Week in Indie Publishing

Don Massenzio's Blog



Jade Stewart is persistent. The Irondale native spent almost a year searching for a literary agent to help secure a publisher for her debut novel.

“I got rejected by 33 literary agents,” she recalled.

Stewart then took matters into her own hands. After doing extensive research, she found Amazon’s CreateSpace, a program that provides tools for self-publishing and distribution of creative materials.

Read the rest of this story HERE.


Dear Apple, Please Don’t Give Up on iBooks in iOS 11

Here are some ideas I have to improve iBooks in iOS 11, because I want to see it succeed. As an avid reader, I was disappointed that there was nary a mention of iBooks at WWDC 2017. I’m not just talking about the app, I’m referring to Apple’s eBook ecosystem as a whole. I think improvements can be…

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