Monthly Archives: February 2015

How to Tell if an Editor’s Fees are Fair

Just to be clear, acquisitions editors at publishing houses don’t charge fees. If a “publisher” is asking for fees, then that company is not a publisher. It is a printer. Don’t let the growing popularity of hybrid self-publishing units confuse you. Know exactly what you want and go to the right place.
Now, for freelance editors, fees obviously need to be researched. There is no standard, really, because an individual editor’s experience can be very different than the next person’s. In general, though, the lower the rate, the less experience that person has.
That doesn’t mean they can’t do a good job. It does, however, mean they might not be as good at targeting how to change the words on the page. Editing is like cutting a diamond. There are a lot of people who can cut diamonds but you have to cut at the right place and shape it in the right way to achieve the diamond’s full potential. Same with manuscripts!

Job at Santa Fe University

This Creative Writing and Literature Faculty position is a full-time appointment with teaching responsibilities to begin Fall 2015. Applicants must have an MFA (or equivalent) or PhD in Creative Writing, at least one published book in fiction, and college-level teaching experience. Preference will be given to candidates with some expertise and record of publication in creative nonfiction. Successful candidates will also demonstrate experience with and commitment to fostering students’ professional practice skills in various writing fields. The position requires flexibility, collegiality, teaching, and administrative skills as well as a strong commitment to the profession and higher education. Deadline: March 1.


Teach 6 department courses per academic year (3 each semester).
Engaging in ongoing professional and faculty development.
Assessment work and curricular development with departmental faculty and SFUAD Provost.
Assigned administrative duties.
Ongoing development of coursework and class materials to keep courses at the leading edge of knowledge in the discipline.
Providing student support for every aspect of learning in the form of regular office hours, tutorial assistance, professional practice, and career advice.
Ongoing student performance evaluation and outcomes assessment.
Click here for more info.

Book Review: Dracula by Bram Stoker

Always interesting to go back and read a classic work. This one I enjoyed for about 350 pages. Then the dialog got to be a bit much to read…very repetative. But I know that is part of what was expected and enjoyed at the time, so I overlooked that element as much as possible. A great classic thriller overall!
3 stars.

Job at U of IL Press

The University of Illinois seeks candidates for the position of Director, University of Illinois Press. Nearing its 100th year of scholarly publishing, the University of Illinois Press enjoys a reputation as one of the top university presses in the country, producing the very best scholarly research and reflection by writers from all over the world. The Illinois Press publishes about 100 new books per year as well as over 30 periodicals, and increasingly publishes in an electronic format. Particular strengths include American history, African American studies, women’s studies, music, film studies, communications, Lincoln studies, Chicago studies, and sport history.

Although located on the Urbana campus, the University Press is a university-wide unit in the three-campus system with the director reporting to the Vice President for Academic Affairs. It has a staff of nearly 40 and an operating budget of over $4 million. The director is responsible for providing leadership in all aspects of planning, budgeting, staffing, and program management and development. In consultation with the Press Board the director develops and coordinates the publishing program and decides which books and journals are published and how they are marketed and sold.
Click here for details.

The Best Way to Query an Editor

For acquisitions editors at publishing houses and agents alike, always research what they are asking for and give them exactly that. Often it’s only that one-page query. For those who want a query plus author bio or query plus synopsis, savvy authors who have already written their book proposals can just cut and paste the appropriate section out of their proposals and print it off as an additional page that goes with the query.
Part of giving them what they want means not giving them what they don’t want. Check their guidelines to find out if they take fantasy but not steampunk, mystery but not cozy.
Save yourself a lot of time and waiting around. Check first, and you’ll move ahead more quickly.

Job at Baker Publishing

Baker Publishing Group is accepting applications for a fulltime trade department editor. The trade department produces books in a wide variety of categories, including fiction, youth, devotional, self-help, relationships, marriage, parenting, cultural critique, professional, spirituality, biblical studies, and apologetics.
Responsibilities include editing or managing the editing of assigned titles, corresponding with authors, combining author and proofreader corrections, and reviewing cover and catalog copy.
A candidate should have a BA in English or other related majors, or equivalent work experience; three to five years of book-editing experience; knowledge of the Bible; a familiarity with Chicago Manual of Style, 16th ed.; excellent copyediting, grammar, and spelling skills; and proficiency in Microsoft Word.
See more details and apply here.

Job for Writer: Romance Novels

Destiny Ink Books is looking for experienced romance writers to write a two-part series. Each book will be 40,000+ words for a total of 80,000 words for this project.
They provide highly specific guidelines for the story. You are encouraged to add characters, plot lines, and additional details as you see fit.
Email the following:
A) Your preferred (and/or most skilled) writing genres.
B) 3-5 sentences about yourself and your story writing experience.
C) Are you comfortable writing steamy romance scenes?
D) What are the last 3 books you read?
E) If applicable, what are the last 3 romance novels you read?
F) IMPORTANT: Please include at least two 800+ word writing samples. If you have romance related samples, please send those.
Writer’s Fee: Between $3,500 – $5,000. 9 Week Timeframe.
Click here for more details.

Book Review: Straight Man by Richard Russo

Really liked this one. A bit heavy handed with the one-liners after a while but I suppose there’s no getting around that for this particular protagonist.
Russo is just a fantastic author all around. I liked this book a lot. Had some truly ridiculous scenes, very amusing, and yet managed to work on a realistic and serious level. Much like life, which is where Russo really shines.
3 stars.

Job at Princeton Univervisty Press

Princeton University Press seeks a Senior Publicist with proficiency in social media. Princeton publishes approximately 220 new trade and scholarly titles per year.
The ideal candidate will have
–five years of book publicity experience
–excellent writing and organizational skills,
–familiarity with key print, electronic, and broadcast media,
–a successful track record in publicizing serious nonfiction.
Go here to apply. Good luck!

Book Review: The Almost Moon by Alice Sebold

This was riveting. The action takes place in a very short period of time and focuses on the daughter’s thoughts and emotions about her life, her childhood, and her family. It also works with the family she has built through marriage. She is loved, and in the end takes the only action that is right for her. A great read, dark and always truthful.
4 stars!
Want more dark fiction about women’s thoughts, lives and loves? Try He Drinks Poison.

Can Even Terrible Writing be Saved by Editing?

I once had someone ask if even the worst writing could be saved by editing.
Here you have to define editing. Editing can save a work that has extreme technical issues…that is, the skill level of the writing is poor.
Editing cannot address storytelling aspects, the structural issues such as character development, plot milestones, beginning and ending, etc. These can only be addressed through revisions.
Nearly all works can be rescued either by editing, revising, or a combination of the two.
What sometimes cannot happen is the shift of a manuscript from one category to another. If someone brings me a genre work and wants to shift categories, a heavy revision including rewriting can achieve that goal.
For example, a romance writer wants the manuscript to become a mainstream drama or a mystery author wants the manuscript to become a commercial thriller. In each case, the changes must address both plot and writing style. This often results in such heavy revisions and fresh writing that the plot might be similar and the theme the same but the book is entirely new.
In some cases, even this extreme level of work won’t reach the goal. Most of the time that’s due to the plot being unable to carry the weight of a different category or simply being too thin to handle the more in-depth treatment required by a different category.
So: yes, very bad writing can be saved. But even very good writing can’t always become something it’s not.

Publicist Job at Macmillan

Flatiron Books, an imprint of Macmillan, is looking for a creative Senior Publicist. The ideal candidate will have four to five years publicity experience, excellent writing and organizational skills, be familiar with key print, broadcast and online media, and have a successful track record in publicizing fiction and nonfiction. This position works closely with marketing, editorial, and sales efforts to implement successful campaigns while developing and strengthening media and author relationships.
Required Skills / Knowledge:
• Strong relationships with key broadcast, print and online media
• Ability to prioritize, meet deadlines and work independently
• Experience with multitasking while working in a fast paced, energetic environment
• Exceptional organizational skills and interpersonal skills
• Strong understanding of social media including Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram, and Facebook
• Minimum of four years book publicity experience
Go here to apply. Good luck!

Job for Author at The Sun Magazine

From The Sun’s LinkedIn page: The Sun, a nonprofit, ad-free magazine in its forty-first year of publication, is looking for an Associate Editor. Duties include editing — substantial, hands-on, roll-up-the-sleeves editing — as well as soliciting writing, evaluating submissions, and working closely with authors to develop and revise their work. This full-time position is based in our Chapel Hill, North Carolina, office. Visit for details.

Book Review: Bridge of Sighs by Richard Russo

This was classic Russo…in-depth look at a normal family living in very specific times and places that come alive with the everyday details. Despite the focus on the normal and everyday, Russo as usual makes these settings and people come alive in a way that provides depth to their experiences.
This story spans the lifetimes of four interlinked characters. The first one readers meet has a very interesting perspective. This perspective is what drew me into the book and in a very strong way kept me going even when I tired of the dialog (I’ve found Russo’s dialog less than captivating at times in other books, as well) and even when I thought the length could have been trimmed just a hair to tighten the narrative.
Overall, a book I would recommend. And be aware that you’ll want to read it slowly. It’s a thought-provoking book even though it can’t be described as “thoughtful” in the usual manner. You won’t be confounded by deeply meaningful discussions of issues; instead you’ll find deep meaning in very simple events and the characters’ responses.
3 stars.
Want more fiction that touches on intergenerational movements and families? Try Message Stick, a story of Australia’s Stolen Generation.