Hello, it’s fall in New England, or will be soon. For the last twenty years September has been part of summer – just as hot. The last two weeks have been cool, crisp, and dry, the way September was before climate change really kicked in.

That’s got nothing to do with anything, except that it seems to have put everyone around here in a good mood. I, especially am in a good mood because I’m doing the last of the formatting for my non-fiction book. It’s final title is simply: Write Your Novel: First Page to First Draft.

Like this website, the book is designed to help first-time or inexperienced novelists. In my job as a book store owner, I have seen so many independent authors get taken advantage of. There’s no need for it. There’s lots of help out there that is free or reasonable, and I hope to help you find it.

Except editing, of course. I’d be remiss if I didn’t remind you that there is no shortcut for editing. Yes, you can use ProWriting Aid and it will help, or Autocrit. Yes, you can have friends read it, but it’s not the same as hiring a good editor.

Of course, that means money. Maybe you DON’T hire an editor for your first novel. Maybe you use your first novel as practice. That seems outrageous now – a novel is something you’ve been thinking about and working on for years – but most independent authors try to write at least a book a year, maybe two or three or four. This is because without a major publisher behind you, volume is one way to try and make your writing profitable. It’s the whole foundation of the 20 Books to 50K movement. A person who writes 20 books, and effectively packages and promotes them, should be able to make 50K a year even though none of those books become bestsellers.
I’ve published five novels so far, with another one due this year. Covid and work and kids and Resistance really got to me the past couple years, but I’m hoping to have three novels out next year. I’m getting too old; got to get these books out!

Anyway, the point is that you can publish your book without using a professional editor. But be prepared for a few bad reviews if you do. There is a certain breed of reviewer out there who like to ding people for typos and grammar mistakes. People are like that.

On the other hand, if your story is good enough, you’ll balance those people out with readers who love your work and don’t care that much about perfect syntax. Ideally, however, it would be great to have both.

My book isn’t about grammar, it’s about story – How to create characters and structure stories. Because I hate proofreading as much as you do, but I love story. I’ll let you know when the book launches!

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