Quick Nav

    

Building and Editing Your Book: Webinar Recap

March 20, 2015

Did you miss last week's webinar on writing your book? No worries. We've got you covered!

Click the link below for the full recording and remember to tweet your questions to @GreenleafBookGr #ideasthrive for your final chance to win a free consultation with one of our professional editors!

Expert-Tips-From-An-Editor

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UMmd-uh03os&feature=youtu.be

Trackback URL for this post:

http://www.greenleafbookgroup.com/node/4238

Posted in:

Preparing Your Manuscript for Submission

March 16, 2015

Join us for a free webinar “Building Your Book: From Idea to Manuscript” on March 19th at 1pm (CST) hosted by Greenleaf Editor, Brandy Savarese. Reserve your spot here: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/6407076721264852225 

Stay tuned in March as we share tips and resources to help you jumpstart your book project in 2015!


Preparing-Your-Manuscript-for-Submission

 

Have you have finished your first draft? Congratulations! Now it’s time to submit it to publishers for feedback. Are you ready? Does the thought of sending out your manuscript make you cringe? We can help!

 

Publishers receive a constant and steady stream of manuscripts and proposals to review. They can’t read every page of every manuscript. Here’s a good rule of thumb to remember when presenting your manuscript to publishers: You’ve got five pages to hook them. You might be lucky capture their interest for ten pages, or you might be unlucky and only get two pages.

 

When preparing your manuscript for submission, be sure that your first five to ten pages will knock their socks off. Not sure your draft will capture and hold a publisher's interest? Use the following five steps to refine your diamond in the rough into a polished and sparkling gem.  


ONE: You’ve confidently typed “The End” and saved your file. (You saved your work, right?) Do you submit your manuscript right away? No. You must get some distance from it and revisit it at least once (if not more) to ensure it’s ready to be read. Writing requires very intense, close focus, especially when you’re making that last push to finish your draft. So give yourself a break from it. Do whatever you need to do to spend—at minimum—a week away from your manuscript. It’ll make you more clear-sighted when you return to begin your revisions.

 

TWO: Outlining. You may have created an outline for your manuscript before you started writing (outlines are especially helpful for nonfiction manuscripts, or fiction manuscripts with multiple plotlines or non-linear storytelling). Cross-reference your outline with your narrative. Do they match up? If so, great! If not, why? Resolve any discrepancies (either by revising your outline or your manuscript) to confirm that your narrative flows logically. If you don’t have an outline, now is the time to create one. Break down your narrative into an outline to aid you in identifying holes or gaps in your storytelling or argument.

 

THREE: Revising can be as monumental of a task as you make it. Or it can be manageable, if not easy. Create a plan of action. Read through each piece of your outline individually, analyzing three critical elements:

1) Proofreading issues: punctuation, spelling, grammar

2) Developmental issues: characterization, description, background elements, conflicts or lack thereof, ideas without substance

3) Structural issues: lack of continuity or flow, plot problems or questions, lack of conclusions or open ends Make your revisions according to each element, fit the pieces back together, and read it again as a whole. Then do it again.

 

FOUR: Draft four supporting documents for your book: a synopsis, the hook, a pitch, and a query letter.

1) Synopsis. A summary of your book. You can have multiple synopses of variable lengths, but try to at least create a one-page summary of your book’s beginning, middle, and end. It doesn’t have to be incredibly detailed, but it should have the major plot elements and thematic ideas, and of course, your main protagonist and antagonist.

2) The Hook. One sentence that encapsulates your entire story; also known as the tagline or concept. Imagine your book as having a movie poster—what one sentence would appear on the poster?

3) Pitch. A minute-long script of your book’s synopsis, your one-liner, and any other interesting tidbits (similar books; a twist in the end, etc.). Have this prepared—you never know when you’ll have a short opportunity to pitch your book to someone who can help you get it published.

4) Query letter. The letter you send to potential agents or publishers offering basic information about the book and relevant information about you as the author, and soliciting interest in the manuscript. Query letters vary from agent to agent and publisher to publisher, so check websites for requirements.

Once you have compiled the four supporting documents, compare them to your manuscript. Do the descriptions of your manuscript align with what you’ve written? If you discover that your manuscript can better reflect your pitch materials, then it’s time to revisit and revise.

 

FIVE: Revise, and revise again.

Consider my favorite anecdote from the art history world. Michelangelo began his sculpture of David with a solid block of Carrera marble. From there he chipped away until David was revealed. Revisions to your manuscript are much like Michelangelo’s process: You must revise and refine—sculpt your manuscript—until the essence of your message is revealed.

And remember, revisions will continue, even when your manuscript has been accepted. An editor’s input—reading your manuscript from a new perspective—can be invaluable in helping you refine and revise. It’s an editor’s job to ensure your best work is published; the best thing you can do to help them is be an open and willing collaborator!

We hope these tips will help as you navigate the waters of polishing your draft, readying it for submission to a publisher, and even facing the editorial process. Remember, writing is a labor of love and a generative process. It takes work to sculpt a masterpiece!

 

Do you have any writing tips or resources? Tweet us @GreenleafBookGr #ideasthrive for a chance to win a consultation with one of our editorial experts.


Don’t forget to register for our free webinar where we’ll take a deeper dive into jumpstarting your book projecthttps://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/6407076721264852225

Trackback URL for this post:

http://www.greenleafbookgroup.com/node/4237

Posted in:

Benefits of Having a Book Editor

March 9, 2015

Join us for a free webinar “Building Your Book: From Idea to Manuscript” on March 19th at 1pm (CST) hosted by Greenleaf Editor, Brandy Savarese. Reserve your spot here: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/6407076721264852225

Stay tuned in March as we share tips and resources to help you jumpstart your book project in 2015!

Benefits-of-Having-a-Book-Editor

For a sneak peek about the editorial process, check out the following chat with one of Greenleaf's editors Amber Hales: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=apUN_RVT00s

Trackback URL for this post:

http://www.greenleafbookgroup.com/node/4215

Posted in:

Expert Tips to Begin Writing Your Book

March 2, 2015

Join us for a free webinar “Building Your Book: From Idea to Manuscript” on March 19th at 1pm (CST) hosted by Greenleaf Editor, Brandy Savarese. Reserve your spot here: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/6407076721264852225

 

Stay tuned in March as we share tips and resources to help you jumpstart your book project in 2015!


Expert-Tips-to-Begin-Writing-Your-Book

 

In February we encouraged you to build a community through social media and blogging. In March we’ll focus on one of the most powerful ways to share your message and connect with your core audience—writing and publishing a book.

Many people dream of someday writing a book, but without a clear message and plan of action very few will even write the first word. Here are some keys to bringing your “someday vision” into a reality from an editor with more than a decade of publishing-industry experience and hundreds of manuscripts under her belt.

 

Define Your Pitch

So you’re ready to get started on your book? Excellent. What’s your pitch? What is the idea, proposal, concept, or character that sets you apart from others writing in your genre?

If you’re dipping your toe into the business and leadership market, do you have a management practice or business philosophy unlike any you’ve encountered in your career? Writing a book will be considerably easier if you can encapsulate your pitch or message in a concise three- to five-sentence description! A simple and solid thesis forms the foundation on which you can build the supporting ideas and arguments for your message. Do yourself a big favor, refine your book’s elevator pitch until it is perfect! You’ll be glad you did. 

Have you’ve developed a compelling and enthralling fictional narrative that you can’t wait to share with the world? Refining the plot for your work of fiction requires a similar degree of refinement as polishing the elevator pitch for your work of non-fiction. Do you have a plot outline? Who is your protagonist and what drives him or her through the action of the book—what goal or end result are they pursuing? If you can answer this basic question, you’ll be well on your way to building the essential elements of your plot, such as backstory, consequences, forewarnings, and costs (among others).

 

Outline Your Story

With your foundation in place, you can start to define and construct your book’s supporting points.

For works of non-fiction, especially in the business and leadership genre, it is important to identify the three to five points that best support your argument. Then begin to expand upon those points, always referring back to your message to ensure you stay on point. Defining and explaining your message and building out your three to five supporting points should give you sufficient content for a book-length manuscript. (55,000 words is a good benchmark for non-fiction in the business and leadership genre.)

For fiction, don’t underestimate the power of the robust plot outline. The best works of fiction weave tangled webs of time and relationships. But these can be very difficult to manage when you’re in the throes of writing dialogue and developing backstory and motive. So, set yourself up with a detailed outline on which to build your narrative. And don’t forget to define the look and feel of your time-period. Are you writing historical fiction? Do your research! Readers are an informed bunch—you don’t want your amazing story overshadowed by inadvertent anachronisms.

 

The Narrative Arc

Narrative arcs are not just for fiction. It’s critical for authors to guide their readers on a journey from beginning to end. Perhaps you have a compelling rags-to-riches story that parallels the lessons you’re sharing in your business and leadership book. Use that to build a narrative arc and take your reader on a well-defined journey. By sharing your story you are not only enhancing your message you are establishing your credibility.

 

One final word of advice

Remember, writing is a generative process, and one to which you must commit. Like any new endeavor, practice makes you more effective and more efficient. So don’t be afraid to practice. Put pen to paper (yes, some writers still do this!) or commune with your laptop on a regular schedule. Can you commit to an hour each morning before you begin your workday? Or are you more creative at night when the rest of your house is asleep? Create a routine and set aside time each day to begin building your book, page by page. We can assure you, it works!

 

Do you have any writing tips or resources? Tweet us @GreenleafBookGr #ideasthrive.


Don’t forget to register for our free webinar where we’ll take a deeper dive into jumpstarting your book project: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/6407076721264852225

 

 

 

 

 

Trackback URL for this post:

http://www.greenleafbookgroup.com/node/4205

Posted in:

Building and Engaging Your Social Community: Webinar Recap

February 23, 2015

Did you miss last week's webinar on content marketing? No worries. We've got you covered!

Click the link below for the full recording and remember to tweet your questions to @GreenleafBookGr #ideasthrive for your final chance to win a free consultation with one of our marketing and social media experts!

Building-and-Engaging-Your-Social-Community

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YqmtWLesiZ4

Trackback URL for this post:

http://www.greenleafbookgroup.com/node/4177

Pages

Subscribe to

© 2014 Greenleaf Book Group, LLC. All Rights Reserved | Privacy Policy | Terms of Use