Book Review: 

Thinking Like Your Editor

How to Write Great Serious Nonfiction
and Get It Published
 

By Kim Richards
2005,
Kim Richards

 

Don't pass up this book even if you only write fiction.  It has great advice for any writer on what editors look for, how to slant your work for your intended audience, and methods for deciding what to write about.  The authors delve into the nuts and bolts of creating proposals and sample chapters, determining the best publisher to submit to, the submission process itself and what you can expect from your publisher, along with a look at the norms of marketing.

Some of the chapters seem dry in places because the authors are used to dealing with academics. However, everything they address is valuable to writers of any genre. They spend some time discussing the value of agents and the importance of getting the research right. 

The nicest thing about this book is the additional resource connected with it.  Ms. Rabiner and Mr. Fortunato offer a course, using their book for the text, at Barnes & Noble University online.  The only cost to students is the purchase of the book. It's a four week course which students complete at their own pace, during which they can discuss the chapters or lessons on a message board. They get the opportunity to try their hand at the various exercises discussed in the book and receive direct feedback on their ideas. Where else can you read a great how-to book on writing and directly ask the authors any questions you may have?  I highly recommend it.

Thinking Like Your Editor
By Susan Rabiner and Alfred Fortunato
WW Norton & Co. Inc.
ISBN  0-393-03892-0
$26.95