Every author needs an editor. No matter what you’re writing, no matter how great your prose is, having an editor is a must.
But hiring an editor can be complicated. Where do you find one? How do you figure out a working relationship? How do you know they really know what they’re talking about?
My friend JoEllen Nordstrom founded FirstEditing to make writers’ lives easier. She understood the importance of finding the right experienced editor to authors at all stages of their book and in their career, and she created a simple, elegant solution to connecting them.
I’m so grateful that FirstEditing has again joined the Women in Publishing Summit as a silver sponsor. We love their company for creating a more connected world, and we appreciate their support!
What does FirstEditing do?
FirstEditing is a one-stop shop to connect writers with editors. Rather than needing to search out your own editor on the dozens of freelance websites out there, First Editing makes hiring the right person for your work simple.
But what really sets this company apart is that every editor on the team has been vetted – they’ve got the professional credentials, AND they can back it up. So you’re not just getting a self-proclaimed “expert,” but someone who’s been proven and screened to be an effective industry professional.
You can even get a certified story coach, who brings expertise on the 38 story elements to evaluate your novel. You’ll get actionable feedback on your story arc, structure, characters and so much more.
In addition to traditional editing, FirstEditing offers academic editing as well. This means they have subject matter experts with the verified educational credentials to help prep your work for journals, nonfiction publication and peer review. So even if your work isn’t fiction or creative nonfiction, you can still find an editor who can dig in and make sure your final work is as good as it can be.
What kind of author needs FirstEditing?
Any author in search of editing support will benefit from working with FirstEditing and their team of trained industry experts. No matter your genre of publication goals, every author deserves a great partner in a qualified, experienced editor. First Editing can make that happen for you.
How can I learn more about FirstEditing?
Head to the FirstEditing website to learn more about the services they provide for authors.
I don’t think anyone who found her way to the Women in Publishing Summit blog is going to be shocked to hear that “writing is hard.” It’s one of those things that we take for granted. That it’s an art that takes practice, honing, sharpening. And as women, we so often find ourselves short on time or space to do that work. When so much of the unpaid labor of having a family and keeping a home running falls on us, how can we have the freedom to create, too?
That’s why I appreciate the people behind ProWritingAid, a company that takes the mission of improving writing seriously, and, in creating a successful, practical system to help authors do that, they’ve lifted up so many women’s voices.
I’m also so grateful that they’ve once again committed to support women authors in another way: by joining us as a Silver Sponsor for the 2023 Women in Publishing Summit.
ProWritingAid’s revolutionary product creates better books – I know because I use it myself! Here’s why!
What does ProWritingAid do?
ProWritingAid is a platform that offers a world-class grammar checking AND style checking, so your writing – be it business writing, creative writing, academic writing or anything else – follows the rules for what “good writing” looks like. ProWritingAid then goes beyond that by offering in-depth reporting to help you understand how you write.
In other words, ProWritingAid lets you know when you’re breaking a good writing rule, and it also tells you how often you use a given word, phrase or even sentence structure. The reports go deep into helping you unpuzzle your own authorial style. It helps keep your writing clean AND interesting.
You can use ProWritingAid in combination with other writer’s products like Scrivener and Fictionary, as well as within all major word processing programs. You can even add it as a Chrome plug-in so you can use it to write better emails. It’s an easy-to-use product that’s like having a writing coach right in your laptop!
In addition to the practical help this program can give any writer, the ProWritingAid community is a highly engaged and deeply knowledgeable one. Their paid course community gives authors valuable training on a wide variety of topics in the industry – just one more way ProWritingAid helps every author develop!
You don’t need to be writing the Great American Novel to benefit from this platform. The grammar and style checking can work magic on your business emails, your sales copy and more. We especially recommend that all our clients use it for things like newsletters and blog posts to keep them on track in terms of precision and voice.
But the impact that ProWritingAid can have on your book is huge: there aren’t a lot of opportunities to get real insight into your writing as you’re working on your draft. It’s a game-changer for writers in any genre and in any stage of their career.
How can I learn more about ProWritingAid?
Check out the ProWritingAid website to find out how they can help you become a better writer – click right here to learn more!
We're excited to announce that Pub Site is joining us a the platinum sponsor for our 2023 Women in Publishing Summit. Pub Site is the premiere website solution for author. Their support for a space of our own, as women in this industry, is a reflection of their commitment to an inclusive, accessible publishing industry.
We're looking forward to welcoming Fauzia Burke and her husband, John Burke, back to our conference this year. Alexa first connected with Fauzia when she saw her speak at BookExpo. We’ve been a huge fan of her transformative take on how authors can use their websites to grow their writing career. We’ve been privileged to see that happen in real time for clients, past attendees, and friends using Pub Site in the past few years.
The ease and elegance of Pub Site, quite simply, just works. And in a world where so much doesn’t, we're excited to share more about them with you!
What does Pub Site do?
In short, Pub Site works with authors to build functional, beautiful, smart websites that move their career forward.
That can happen several ways, depending on each author’s unique needs and wants. A variety of proven and specialized templates are available, or Pub Site offers custom design to create the website of your dreams, so you don’t have to worry about it.
Authors need different things on their websites than baseball leagues or jewelry stores or news sites. They need functional e-commerce, clear space to share creative content, places for landing pages and more. They need to have strong visual language and branding that tells potential readers what this writer is all about. They need to connect to all the important social sites, of course. And they definitely need clear, strong calls to action to get on the newsletter list.
Pub Site understands that. Fauzia has spent her whole career in book publicity and marketing – she’s built her company around knowing what authors need. Pub Site isn’t trying to sell you a template made for a realtor or a stone mason or a teacher. They’re giving you the opportunity to build a custom website for a working author that will attract ideal readers, aid in your marketing and become your digital home.
What kind of author needs Pub Site?
We believe that every author needs a website. A website is a great place for people to find out more about you and your books. It also allows them to connect with you on social media and through your email list.
We believe perfecting your book should come before learning a new technical skill set. Every spare minute you have as an authors should go first to making sure your book is everything it should be. Every step you take in marketing is a step towards a successful book.
So unless you love web design or are truly committed to an ultra-low cost process, spending some money on your website is a very smart bet.
Pub Site offers both a semi-DIY option for those who want to flex their creative muscles and get involved in the hands-on work of the website, AND a done-for-you option. We’ve had clients successfully use both, because Pub Site’s team is supportive and helpful at every turn.
How can you learn more about Pub Site?
Head on over to their website to see if Pub Site is the right online home for your writing career!
Everyone knows how crucial a successful mailing list is. Unfortunately, many writers are at a loss for what to say. They can write an entire book only to be stymied by email content! Others give it their best shot, but their subscribers won’t open the email. Even worse, they click the dreaded unsubscribe button and sever the relationship entirely.
Writing a good newsletter and keeping subscribers doesn’t need to be a daunting task. Try these do’s and don’ts to get started on the right foot and make your efforts count.
DO: Provide value to your reader in every newsletter.
If you don’t know what they’d find valuable, go to www.answerthepublic.com and search a relevant word that you know a lot about. It’ll show you the questions people are asking about that word. For example, I write about funeral topics. If I search for the word “funeral,” it might tell me that people want to know how much funerals cost, why we do funerals, the history of funerals, fun funeral options, etc. I choose a question and write a post that answers it. It’s useful and relevant to my audience. Value!
BONUS: the more value you give on a regular basis, the less sketchy it feels to ask for something later. Expert Tammi Labrecque recommends a ratio of three “gives” for one “ask.” You do not need to sell products in every email. Instead, sell yourself (not, like, literally. Cultivate a fandom)!
DON’T: Send an email for the sake of sending email.
If you have nothing valuable to say, you’re wasting your reader’s time. It’s annoying, and likely to provoke an “unsubscribe” if you do it too often. I only send mine once a month (if I had time, I’d consider sending two per month). I save up my content so my emails are meaty and worth sitting down to enjoy. Note: that infrequent schedule goes out the window around your publication date.
DO: Keep a running list of topics to mention in your next newsletter.
It might be a funny thing that happened last week, progress you made, a cool website or book. It might be so small that you’d forget by the end of the month, but those little tidbits add up and you can use them. When you sit down to write your newsletter, you’ll have some ready built “flavor” to supplement your main topic. It’s a nice, organic way to let your personality shine through without feeling forced.
DON’T: Forget that your audience is ever changing.
Remember the people who joined recently? They’re new to the party and aren’t up to speed. Don’t assume they know what you’re talking about, so provide a little reminder/reference. I’ve signed up for newsletters and unsubscribed because I was lost about who the author was and what they were talking about. Maybe include a roundup or summary of important things. Use a consistent tagline or image that reminds people who you are or what you write. Don’t rely on someone’s knowledge of previous newsletter content. If they’re confused, they’re uncomfortable… and they’re leaving.
My confidence in an author diminishes if I see constant typos in their communications. Make it easy to read too. Break up the text into chunks. Use headers and sub headers so I can skim past things if they’re not relevant to me. Be mindful of your color scheme. Most people are reading your email on their smartphone, so it needs to be easy to see. Add elements that make it look professional (like your header, footer, and logo). Add little personal touches so I can get to know the real you. I don’t want to read something that was written by a robot.
DON’T: Start creating newsletters without subscribing to other authors’ mailing lists first.
Make notes on what works, and perhaps more crucially, what doesn’t work. I’ve spent a lot of time researching newsletters and have seen examples, both good and bad. I’ve modeled my own after someone else’s that I admire. Happily, that author later subscribed to mine and recently sent me a message with enthusiastic praise. Nailed it!
If you’d like to get an idea of content and design, you can see my archive here without having to sign up for my mailing list. Clearly my content is tailored to my niche, but you can get ideas and apply them to your own genre. See my past newsletters here: www.LouisePachella.com/archive.
If you make mistakes, learn and grow. Do better in the next one. If you set up your welcome sequence or other automations a long time ago, periodically update them to reflect your new knowledge and design skills. Your recent emails may look fantastic, but a new subscriber’s first impression will be based on your shabbily done first attempt at a welcome email. Fix it.
Want more tips? I highly recommend the book Newsletter Ninja by Tammi Labrecque. Read it and get writing!
Louise Pachella is a funeral director, embalmer, and fledgling writer. She’s currently writing her first nonfiction books (Embalming For Amateurs: The Casual Reader’s Guide to Dead Bodies and Funeral Fun! Adult Activity & Coloring Book), but spends a great deal of time researching and procrasti-learning instead. Learn more at www.HisAndHearsePress.com.
We're back! So the hiatus went a little longer than planned, but we're back in action again!
Check out the first episode of Season 2, Ep. 62, now!
Welcome to the 2nd Season of the PublishHer podcast! We've got some great content heading your way in our second season – book writing, publishing, and marketing tips from authors, coaches, publishers, service providers, and more!
In this episode, host Alexa Bigwarfe gives a run down of exciting events that have happened since the podcast went on hiatus in February, fun exciting programs happening in the upcoming weeks and months, and what is to come in Season 2!
It’s the moment you’ve been waiting for: we are ready to share our list of speakers for the 2022 Women in Publishing Summit!
Choosing the right speakers for the Summit each year takes months of planning. We want to make sure we’re always addressing the latest concerns writers and industry professionals are talking about, and there are SO many amazing women who apply to share their expertise each year. It’s a tough decision, which is why we want to thank all of those who served on our Selection Committee this year!
Speaking of gratitude, we are particularly grateful that our featured speaker, Robin Cutler, agreed to join us this year! Read on to find out more about Robin, as well as information on some other exciting presentations and where to find the schedule!
Meet Robin Cutler.
Robin has been a force within the publishing industry throughout her career. She’s spent time in transformative roles at USC Press, Amazon and Summerhouse Press, leading to her position creating and leading the development of IngramSpark.
After finishing her mission of building IngramSpark into a publishing powerhouse, Robin joined LMBPN Worldwide Publishing as President, and became the CEO of How To Publish Books.com, a consulting service for indie authors and publishers.
In addition to all these accomplishments, Robin has served on the board of the Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA) from 2014-2018, and she frequently appears at industry events. You may have heard her speak at Book Expo America, Frankfurt Bookfair, London Bookfair, SFWC, and NINC, for example, and we are delighted she’d adding the Women in Publishing Summit to that list!
Robin brings a huge amount of experience in indie, trade and academic publishing, and her expertise in everything from content creation to distribution will all inform her Summit presentation, entitled, The State of Publishing: Challenges, Innovations and What’s to Come.
Check out some Summit highlights.
Day 1 of the Summit will, as it has before, focus on the craft of writing. From writing dialogue that works to making sure your thriller delivers thrills, we’ll talk about fiction writing. And from writing a children’s book that grabs agents to how to create a self-help outline, we’ll give writing tips that work for EVERY genre of book.
Day 2 is going to be about the publishing process and covers the process of working with agents and publishers, as well as how to self-publish your work. We’ll talk book covers, working with editors, sending out queries, distribution and so much more!
Day 3 will dig into marketing, and no matter what kind of book you’ve written, you’ll find tips galore. We’re offering sessions on growing your email list and your author platform, promoting your book on Amazon, creating social media plans (and making sure you have great graphics for those plans!) and developing your brand. This day is jam-packed with ways to market your book.
Day 4 covers the business of being an author. We are all small business owners, even if that’s not what we set out to be. We’ll get into monetizing platforms like YouTube, building a speaking career, putting out collaborative fiction collections, building great author websites, booking podcasts, understanding SEO and so many other great ways to make a living as an author.
How can I find out more about the Summit and the speakers?
You can find all the info on the speakers we’ve announced and when you can see them right here.
And if you haven’t already purchased your ticket, there’s still time! Grab yours by clicking here and join us for what is going to be a PHENOMENAL 4 days of learning together!