All posts in Editing

How to find beta readers

You know that saying ‘can’t see the wood for the trees’?

It’s probably a bit like that with you and your book.

You’re so close to it, it’s very hard to see the objective viewpoint.

But there are people who can help you with this – they’re called beta readers.

Beta readers are ‘test’ readers for your story. They’re unpaid and work as volunteers rather than ‘professionals’.

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Jargon busting – what do all those formatting words mean?

Last week I was reading some content online about self-formatting the interior of a book, typesetting and making the layout work. I was struck by how ‘jargony’ the terminology is, like a lot of industries I suppose.

book printing pressDon’t forget, when typesetting language was first created, all type was set in blocks, by hand. Not on computers!

So here’s a summary of some jargon you might come across when formatting your book ready for self-publishing, and what those terms actually mean:

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Should I use an editor? The pros, cons and alternatives

I have a vision of an elegant lady, her dark hair styled in a vintage bob. She’s wearing cream pearls around her neck, and is perched at a mahogany desk with a silver fountain pen in her hand, a notepad balanced on her knee.

The desk lives in the Oval Office of the White House, and the lady is Jacqueline Kennedy – yes, before she was First Lady, Jackie O had a career as a book editor.

In this modern age of self-publishing, you may think you don’t need to use a book editor like Jacqueline, but what are the pros and cons of using one? Is an editor something you can do without, or is it a crucial step to publishing success?

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