Let your creativity run wild!
. . . And let us worry about the little things.
Updated July 2023
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Finding, Hiring, and Working with a Professional Editor
Checklists for Finding the Best Editor!
Bonus Section: Dealing with Problems
Beware of Scams & Educate Yourself
Since most of our customers are planning on self-publishing, these links are particularly pertinent.
- Science Fiction Writers of America Writer Beware Alerts
- Savvy Writers & e-Books online Author Scams Part 1 and Author Scams Part 2
- Writer Beware blog
- Some Tips on Evaluating Literary Contests
- Contract Red Flag: When a Publisher Claims Copyright on Edits
- Book Awards: What to Look for and How to Avoid Scams
- Kindlepreneur: Ebook Piracy: What To Do If Someone Steals Your Book
- Alliance of Independent Authors (ALLi):
For those of you who are considering submitting to an agent or traditional publisher, this series is an excellent guide to understanding a publishing contract—and making sure you know what you’re signing!
- Savvy Writers & e-Books online—Part 1, Less than Minimum Wage for Authors?
- Part 2, The Traps in Publishing Contracts
- Part 3, Do You Understand Your Publishing Contract?
- Savvy Book Writers Trade Publishers: Unethical Contract Practices
- Attorney Lloyd J. Jassin’s article, “What Not to Miss When Drafting & Negotiating Your Book Publishing Contract”
- A warning post about signing away your perpetual rights!
Are you just not sure which way to go—traditional, hybrid, vanity, or self-publishing? Don’t do anything before you read these!
- Jane Friedman: Three Things a Traditional Publisher is Unlikely to Do
- Jane Friedman: The Key Book Publishing Paths: 2023–2024
- Writer Beware article discussing the different kinds of publishing available
- The Creative Penn lays out the pros and cons of both traditional publishing and self-publishing
Working with a Freelance Copy Editor
Our FAQ page answers many particular questions about Adirondack Editing and our services, but these articles and series outline guidelines and good practices for safeguarding your time and money when hiring freelance professionals.
- Susan Uttendorfsky’s four-part article includes a helpful scoring checklist to aid you in narrowing your choices: How to Find a Professional Editor, How to Hire a Professional Editor, How to Work With a Professional Editor. Bonus! How to Cope With a Problem After Editing.
- When (and How) to Tell Your Editor No
- What Level of Editing Do You Need?
- How to Avoid Being Bamboozled by a Book Editor
Books, Magazines & E-Zines
Being a writer is an ongoing process, and most writers never stop honing their craft. These links offer respected publications that can help you grow and stretch yourself as a writer. If you’re just starting out in your writing career, you may not realize how many nuances there are to writing. These will definitely open your eyes!
- Writer’s Digest
- Poets & Writers Magazine
- The Indie Author, ALLi’s member magazine, is the only publication devoted exclusively to independent authors (membership required or it leads to a 404 page not found)
- Advanced Fiction Writing E-Zine
- Self-Publisher's Legal Handbook: Updated Guide to Protecting Your Rights and Wallet by Helen Sedwick
Well-written blogs are the backbone of an author’s education, as well as keeping up with new trends in writing and publishing. These blogs cover a wide range of information crucial for writers—from writing to self-editing to publishing to marketing, as well as industry news and information. The owner, Susan Uttendorfsky, follows all these blogs herself!
- Susan Uttendorfsky’s 64 Self-Editing tips on The Story Reading Ape’s blog
- The Book Designer (all facets of self-publishing)
- K.M. Weiland: Helping Writers Become Authors
- Rachelle Gardner, Literary Agent
- All Write—Fiction Advice
- C. S. Lakin: Live Write Thrive (great ongoing series)
- The Blood-Red Pencil
- edittorrent (infrequent new posts, but great archives!)
- The Passive Voice (industry trends and information)
- ALLi’s Advice Center
There are so many websites on the internet that have to do with writing. How can you possibly find ones that might be useful or helpful to you? We’ve compiled this list just for you. These websites cover various aspects of writing, but we have found them to be detailed, unique sites.
Susan owns Fiction Writers and Editors on Facebook, a nonpromotional discussion and critique group. Come join us!
- Writing-World.com offers comprehensive writing tips and information—be sure to check out the archives
- The Online Writing Lab (OWL) at Purdue University contains public writing resources and instructional material. Under the heading “General Writing,” check out the subheadings Mechanics, Grammar, and Punctuation for basic fiction or nonfiction writing help.
Don’t fall down the rabbit hole of researching! Get your details and get out so you can keep to your writing schedule! If you can’t find what you need, email me. I may be able to help.
- Having trouble finding an old blog post or article? Try the Internet Archive: Wayback Machine
- Using Another Language in Your Manuscript
- Writing about Weapons in Science Fiction
- Tips on Writing Military Fiction (books, articles, and resources for accurate details)
- The CIA World Factbook
- ShipIndex.org: A Vessel Research Database (some with crew and passenger lists)
- Writing About Guns: 10 Errors to Avoid in Your Novel
Characters are second only to story/plot when it comes to good novels. Use these sites to craft three-dimensional people that stand out!
- Gotham Writer’s Workshop Character Questionnaires
- This website has an excellent character worksheet, and check out the wonderful main Fiction-Writers-Mentor site, too!
- Portrait Illustration Maker (knowing what your character looks like will help you make them unique)
- Behind the Name (my favorite random name generator)
- Social Security’s Popular Baby Names By Decade (especially good for historical accuracy)
- Springhole’s Character Motivation Generator (not only who, but why!)
- Multiple Name and Quote Generators (pirates, Mexican wrestlers, and vampires…oh my!)
- Writers Helping Writers contains writing guides with ingenious tools for story planning and character building
Your Author Platform
Every author is encouraged to have an author platform—a web and social media presence that shows you are a serious professional. While creating (and maintaining) a platform takes a lot of time, it’s a necessary task in today’s Internet world. Agents and potential publishers will search the internet to examine your reputation and presence. These helpful how-to and informational links can help you get started!
- How to Make a Website (step-by-step guide for WordPress)
- How To Start A Blog (step-by-step guide)
- Blog Name Generator
- Detailed instructions on backing up your WordPress Blog (very important!)
- Two sides of social media: The Ultimate Guide to Social Media for Writers and Why Most Authors Don’t Need Social Media
- Be sure to back up your Google Accounts (Gmail, Blogger, Drive, etc.)
- Export your email contact list(s) occasionally.
- Back up your Facebook account, too
About Critiques & Beta Readers
At some point, you’ll need some feedback on your writing—preferably before sending it to a freelance copyeditor. These well-known sites offer tips on using and finding beta readers, or submitting your material for a critique. On many critique sites, be prepared to take the time to read and critique other writers’ material too. Or you can use a paid beta reader service (#6).
- On Facebook, Susan’s group Fiction Writing Critique offers just that (reciprocation is required)
- Using Beta Readers
- Belinda Pollard’s excellent set of articles on beta readers
- Critique Circle
- Scribophile Writing Workshop and Community
- Paying for a professional beta read means no worries about reciprocating, whether you’ll get good feedback, and whether the reader will complete the task!
Publishing & Marketing
Note: Some of these businesses charge money for their services. We have no experience with any of their paid services, but they also have informative newsletters or blogs you can sign up for.
Whether you self-publish or sign a contract with a traditional publisher, you’ll still have to spend time marketing your book. The old days of publishers paying for book tours and ongoing marketing are gone. Publishing your book is no longer the last step—author marketing (and getting reviews) is an essential task for any writer who wants sales.
- Chris the Story Reading Ape (author promotions)
- Author Marketing Experts, Inc.
- The Creative Penn (writing, publishing, and marketing)
- Readers’ Favorite (book reviews: free and paid options)
Book Covers & Free Photo Sites
There are many cover designers and free graphic sites on the internet. The ones I’ve listed have been in business steadily (which can be rare for cover artists). The free graphic sites are the current top platforms. When using graphics from free sites, some still require you to purchase the rights to a graphic if you use it for a book cover, which is only fair. Most cover designers charge money for their services. We have no experience with any of their paid services.
- Cover Your Dreams (affordable book covers; recommended by a client!)
- Books-Design.com (higher end but still affordable book covers)
- Jamie Noble (cover designer)
- Shutterstock (free images)
- Unsplash (free photos)
- Pixabay (free images)
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