It can be hard to tell which of these services you need for your current project. Firstly, I’ll break down what each means and why you might need it. Putting your work on display without seeking the below services is like preparing for the party of the year but neglecting to put on a fabulous outfit.
Editors and proofreaders are not always copywriters (unless you are multifaceted like this overachiever).
Proofreading is the detailed talent of going through each and every word and piece of syntax in your written work. It identifies spelling errors and incorrect or missing grammatical marks.
One of the most common things I see when I am proofreading is misspelling words by writing their American counterpart. UK and Australian English use different spelling for the same words a lot of the time. If you are an avid consumer of American culture, you might not even realise [realize] that you’re spelling things differently.
Proofreading adds a more professional layer and content to your work, which is important if it is public facing.
You need proofreading if you are a writer or have lots of experience writing and just need that final polish to your work before it is published or shared.
Copyediting is the rigorous reviewing of written work. However, copyediting is not just spellchecking. It goes beyond that and it requires skills in knowing how to structure work, how readers think and how to order topics.
Often, copyediting also involves fact checking of names, dates and titles. I generally recommend what is known as a “hard edit” when it comes to copyediting.
The hard edit includes sentence and paragraph structure, thorough proofreading as well as consistency for style, topic order (how the entire manuscript is structured) and correct grammar.
This type of copyediting will include improved word choice and readability, consistent tone, eliminate repetitive, redundant and awkward phrasing, consistent language to appeal to your demographic (readers and potential publishers). It will also include suggestions for weak story points and additional points that are suggested to write.
An overall structural edit will also be supplied, meaning the order of topics, the flow of the writing and manuscript, chapters and time structure may be changed or suggested differently (where appropriate).
This hard edit is also known as a stylistic, line edit or developmental edit and does not include significant rewriting or ghostwriting.
Great for: books, manuscripts, larger documents, annual reports, magazines, lengthy writing, essays/academic papers.
Who should get copyediting: if you’re a subject matter expert but not a professional writer or editor and have written a long piece of work, then copyediting will refine that piece for you. Also, great for anyone that expects their project to be viewed by the world!
Warning: this is a really thorough (and, some may say, tough) editing process and could be quite upsetting when I ‘kill your darlings’ but if your objective is to have your work published or viewed publically, this is something you will have to endure.
If you just want someone to tell you whether your writing is good or not, you need a manuscript assessment (for books) or a mentor (for professional writing).
Hiring a ghostwriter means that a professional writer creates your work from scratch. It’s often in the form of a memoir or business book but can also be articles or speeches. Quite often, celebrities and well known people hire a ghostwriter to write their books. In fact, around 60 per cent of celebrity books are ghost written.
The ghostwriter conducts extensive interviews, research and data collecting. As well as writing the complete work, emulating the tone of the focal person.
Ghostwriting is a lot of work, so is a significant investment- both financially and in time. It’s not just about writing about someone. But working very closely with the person to get to know them, coaching them through the process and the tough bits and eeking out the right information. This is an artform.
A ghostwriter service is for someone who has the money to invest. Plus has had an interesting life and wants a professional memoir or business book written. but does not have the time to write it. It’s a terrific service for people who don’t have any writing training or inclination. A ghost written book is a great promotional tool for your business or personal profile. And is an incredible legacy for your future generations of family or mentees.
Most professional writers can take about 100 hours to write a non fiction book, not including research. And it can take years for most people to complete their book.
Get in touch to discuss a quote for your copyediting, ghostwriting or proofreading needs.
Do you love short stories? Here I am reading a little snippet from one of my stories called The Book of Elizabeth Purdon from my micro collection of short stories called Uneasy.
You can grab your own copy of Uneasy here.
Self help books by Adelaide authors
You might not even be aware of this but Adelaide is such a hub for creative professionals, particularly conscious entrepreneurial women who are wholeheartedly invested in their business and offerings to the world. Those same high achieving businesswomen are inclined to take on extra projects as they are so determined to share their wisdom and message with the broader community than their current clientele through powerful mediums such as self help books.
I’ve collated a selection of self help books written by Adelaide authors that are all designed to help you in your business or personal life and improve it and be the best version of yourself.
Align + Attract by Kerry Rowett
The creator of Align and Attract and a professional kinesiologist, Kerry Rowett, has authored a book of the same name about getting more alignment within your business (a favourite topic of mine).
In her own words, ‘this book is really designed to spark your own insights and transformations and... there's even a beautifully designed journal you can download with all the prompts to help you reflect and take your own action.’
Kerry is dedicated to empowering her clients to create more alignment in their businesses and lives and has been a kinesiologist for more than a decade.
Discover more about Align and Attract and buy the book.
Letting Go by Rebecca Mezzino
In another thread, Rebecca Mezzino is a professional declutterer and probably someone we all need in our lives.
She runs her own business called Clear Space Organising Services where she is a declutter coach and spends her whole professional realm improving people’s lives. Her book, Letting Go: how to choose freedom over clutter, is more than just a tidy up book. It’s a guide to help you deal with what’s going on inside your mind and offer you more peace and freedom.
Grace and the Wind by Kristina Dryza
A little different from the ‘get your life together’ books listed above is Kristina Dryza’s book, Grace and the Wind.
Kristina is a futurist and trends predictor, which is a much needed profession in the current climate. She is also someone with their finger on the pulse and often shares her insights and transformative concepts with the world and is a recognised speaker.
Kristina has written a fiction novel called Grace and the Wind, which cleverly incorporates her core concepts in the form of a narrative. In her own words, it’s a ‘…modern allegorical novel on how the very nature of life itself is expressed and experienced as rhythmic patterns of energy.’
The Truth of Your Reality by Nereeda McInnes
Author of The Truth of Your Reality, Nereeda McInnes is another Adelaide author that has a heart led business and mission. Her book provides insights on the game of life and how you choose to play it. And who doesn’t need a little guidebook on this ruleless game that is life?
Nereeda’s book will remind you of your own power and who you really are and uncover the secrets of the suffering and success and everything in between.
Passionate about self development and personal growth, Nereeda is also a writer, life coach and business mentor. And because she is a lover of all things positive, she has started a movement called One Such Thing, which encourages everyone to share good stuff and encourage smiles upon smiles.
Relaunch My Life by Juliet Lever
Poised as a teaching memoir Juliet’s lifestyle guidebook, Relaunch My Life, is the namesake of her business which is designed to help people redesign how they live and ease them through personal and spiritual transformation.
Juliet is dedicated to teaching people across the world with her unique workshops that incorporate many techniques to help people rediscover themselves.
The book offers tips, guidance, inspiration and support and will help you reconnect with your soul and redesign your future.
Thirty Days to Conscious Success by Vanessa Jones
It’d be remiss of me not to mention my books, Promote Your Spiritual Business and Thirty Days to Conscious Success.
Primarily, both of these books are marketing books but they just happened to be interwoven with mindful and heart centred concepts that help bring you into alignment with success and promoting your business and message far and wide. It’s ideal for those who need marketing help but want a different way of understanding it.
This list of fabulous self help books should keep you busy reading for the next few weeks at least and once through it, you'll come out the other side a completely transformed human!
Book editing tips
Idioms are a colloquial way of phrasing something.
‘An idiom is a common word or phrase with a culturally understood meaning that differs from what its composite words' denotations would suggest.’
Here are some examples of idioms:
‘Sick as a dog’
‘Out of the blue’
‘Barking up the wrong tree’
When writing memoir, it’s wise to limit your use of idioms. Although this really does depend on your intended readership and what language they use.
Using a lot of idioms takes away from the specificity of your stories if overused. And one of the keys to really interesting writing (both fiction and non fiction) is specificity, especially when it comes to including the details.
It also limits your audience and may make it difficult for those who have English as an additional language and speaks purely to Australian readers if your idioms are Australian. This can exclude a lot of readers.
The expression ‘show, don’t tell’ would be useful to learn more about to help you write the specifics. You may have included a lot of great statements about what you think and feel in certain situations but without any real “showing” how you got there.
Here are some helpful articles on show, don’t tell:
Show don't tell
Show don't tell mantra
Write practice: show don't tell
This is quite a common writing mistake that I see when I am copyediting clients’ books.
Be extra careful of repetition – often, in sentences, you can be predisposed to saying the same thing but in slightly different wording. Or multiple sentences or paragraphs can have the same essence. Take care to eliminate any repetition in your writing and be cautious about using a sentence that can be reduced down to much fewer words.
Here are a few ways that you can reduce repetition:
Be sure to add credibility to your story. Just because it’s a personal recount of something that happened or an overview of your life, doesn’t mean that it has to be devoid of credibility and authority. Here’s how to write with authority.
Often contradiction can occur when writing memoir, which happens when you are writing everything through a very personal lens. The best way to avoid this is by sticking to the facts of what really happened and then adding the emotive aspects over the top. For example,
‘I was sitting in a taxi, wondering if I had overdressed for the evening, when I looked out the window and saw Mom rooting through a dumpster,’Jeanette Walls, The Glass Castle.
The facts are that she was sitting in a tax in the evening and saw her mum going through a dumpster. She didn’t say, ‘It was such a sad sight to see my mum being a homeless person and her life falling apart.’
You can also add credibility by using the term ‘I think.’ For example, ‘I think there were five people at my party,’ reads much better as ‘The five people at my party were…’
Removing those two small words adds more assurance to what you’re telling your readers and gives confidence that the memories you are providing are as reliable as they can be. No one wants to read a “wishy washy” recount of an occurrence.
Furthermore, be sure to back up any bold statements with statistics, resources or research especially if it’s medical or science based. For example, ‘Many people die from…’ is much more powerful when you write ‘According to Credible Journal, three people die each day from…’
If you want your memoir or autobiography to be publication ready, it's well worth investing the time in editing and then editing it again. In all seriousness, you should be considering editing your entire manuscript at least three to eight times!
Read to write your book? Book writing coaching services.
As a professional or amateur author, you have a website already live or are in the planning stages of creating one. Whether you’re one of Australia’s most popular authors or just starting to hone your craft, I cannot express enough how vital it is to have a website as an author and as a business. If you want to sell— books, yourself, products, whatever— then you need to have a website. Even if your debut novel isn’t coming out for another three years, it pays to set up your website now as longevity is something that contributes to positive SEO.
Make sure that your website looks great and keep the design simple so that it’s easy for people to navigate. If your website has fluorescent pink Times New Roman font on a black background, or if your website looks like any of these ugly sites, it’s time to invest in a web designer. 38% of consumers will stop engaging with content that is unattractive in imagery or layout.
Here are some easy to implement tips to ensure your site is a standout author channel and will help you sell books, get the interest of a publisher or literary agent and develop a fan base.
'What really knocks me out is a book that, when you're all done reading it, you wish the author that wrote it was a terrific friend of yours and you could call him up on the phone whenever you felt like it. That doesn't happen much, though,’ J.D. Salinger.
Web pages to add
'Not all marketing people are writers, but all writers must learn to be marketers,' Joanne Kraft.
Other features to add to your author website
Examples of great author websites:
You might like to consider studying and reviewing these Australian authors' websites for inspiration and guidance. They all have great design and well written information about being an author and their books. If you’re finding it quite hard to write about yourself (even writers have that trouble), don’t hesitate to get in contact and I will help write your website.
Non fiction book writing
You’re ready to write a non fiction book but you’re hesitant to start for any number of reasons; perhaps you are swimming in self doubt, overwhelmed or just not sure where to you start. You’ve identified a non fiction topic to write about and you may have even picked a title and can picture the cover in your mind’s eye. You just haven’t written a single word of the draft manuscript. That is okay! You’re actually probably way more ahead than you realise.
I wrote both my books,Promote Your Spiritual Business and Thirty Days to Conscious Success in less than a year each because I genuinely enjoyed the process and was very committed to getting it done. And even though I write for a living, I STILL understand the pain of starting some written work – at times, it can be ghastly!
But an idea is just an idea, it’s not a book! Until it’s written, it’s just thoughts. So you actually need to start. Every single successful project in the history of time was started at some point.
If you’re having trouble starting, pick one of the following action steps today:
Do some research
Set a timer for thirty minutes and do some serious, hard core internet research on your predetermined topic. Cut and paste as many relevant sections, paragraphs, links, stats and quotes as appeals to you and put in a Word document. You’ll come back to this document at the right time to expand on relevant sections or use the research to back up your opinions in the book.
Unearth what you already know
Open your Word document and type the heading ‘What I know about TOPIC (this is the topic you will be writing about)’. You can also apply the same action step to keywords that will be in your book. This is your chance to write down dot points of what you already know. I guarantee that you will shock yourself with how much you know about this topic. We often don’t even know how much we know… Donald Rumsfeld proclaims that we no longer know what we know and what we don’t.
Most adults have a finite capacity of storing and collecting information, so it’s not implausible that there is at the very, very least one book’s worth of information readily available in your brain. I’m confident there is enough information there to write as many books as you can be bothered!
‘…if your brain worked like a digital video recorder in a television, 2.5 petabytes would be enough to hold three million hours of TV shows. You would have to leave the TV running continuously for more than 300 years to use up all that storage.’ Scientific American.
Set up an interview
Interview yourself! Write out a list of questions that you would ask someone else about the topic or that you want to know, then set about asking yourself. You may even like to prerecord yourself, or rope in a friend to ask you these questions. Just having a different voice can be a really effective process in unearthing your knowledge.
Get really quiet. You may already be familiar with a little thing taken the world by a peaceful storm, called mindfulness. If you’re a mindfulness junkie, there’s an opportunity to commence that right now. But if you’re unfamiliar with it, just get really quiet and really still. Distractions have no place here! It doesn’t even have to be long – five to fifteen minutes are ideal.
Empty the mind of all your thoughts and when it feels as empty as possible (this is no small feat, by the way) invite thoughts about your topic in. Keep a notepad handy nearby and jot down every single thing that comes to mind, even if it is “purple monkey dishwasher”. You will get something useful out of it – even if it is one keyword that will spur you to undertake step one, two or three.
Find your notes from a workshop you have attended in the last year or so on your chosen area (or closely linked) and gather up your notes. From these notes you will type them up (even if they have been previously typed) and highlight keywords or topics that you will expand on by doing step one or two.
Have you attended a workshop that is on a different topic? Grab your notes from that find the similarities between your topics. You may even find some beautiful metaphors or ways to cross pollinate knowledge here. Like I did with this.
Didn’t take any notes? Tsk tsk. But not all is lost! Your action step is to enrol in a couple of workshops, seminars, webinars, ecourses or similar on your topic and when you attend, take so many notes that you are left with a hand cramp at the end! Don’t aim for creativity when note taking, just get as much data down as you can. When you type them up later, you’ll be able to interpret in your own writing style, with your own take and research to make them meld seamlessly into your book. Pay particular attention to the extra resources, such as books, podcasts, links, key people that the lecturer, teacher or course provider recommends as this is where you will extend your knowledge and get those extra nuggets of information that make your book juicy with information. Once you've written it, it's time to engage a copyeditor.
There are no excuses left to not starting your non fiction book and being well on your way to a bestselling non fiction author! All you have to do is pick one of the action steps above and do it. You may like to pick an action step for each day and dedicate yourself to completing it. At the end of the week, you’ll be so energised and motivated by what you’ve achieved that it’s likely you’ll want to continue writing your non fiction book until it’s finished!
Keep getting stuck? Book writing coaching services.