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The Editor's Eye: A Practical Guide to Transforming Your Book from Good to Great (Author Education) (Volume 1) Paperback – May 13, 2013

4.3 out of 5 stars 19 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


"I have been delighted to work with Stacy Ennis on several books in the past year. On one project I hired her directly (twice); on the other, my publisher hired her. In all situations, she's proven to be the consummate professional, blending her extensive knowledge with charming accessibility. The Editor's Eye on your bookshelf is like having Stacy on speed dial-- you can get her help for your book whenever you need it." 
- Joel Lund, author of Watson's Way

"Stacy has a great command of prose and a deep respect for the authors she works with. She continually kept me organized and on track, giving me very specific feedback about my content throughout the writing process, and was tireless in her attention to detail while helping me understand how best to engage my readers. I am a huge advocate of Stacy's work, and I look forward to using The Editor's Eye and her phenomenal writing and editing talents on my next book."

- Whit Mitchell, author of Working in Sync

"Stacy Ennis was instrumental to the success of my book. She was helpful both in proactively coaching me on ways to write well and helping improve what I wrote. With an uncanny eye for what the reader will perceive, Stacy brought out the best in me as an author--even helping me create whole new concepts that I now use in my consulting work. The Editor's Eye captures Stacy's wisdom and insights as an editor. I'm looking forward to using it and working with her while writing my next book."

- Bob Faw, author of Energize! Ignite Passion and Performance with User-Friendly Brain Tools

From the Author

Whether you're an already published author who wants to better understand the editing process, a would-be author considering 
self-publishing or pursuing the traditional publishing route, or a writer who just wants a better grasp on refining your own work, this book is for you. The Editor's Eye is your in-depth introduction to the self-editing and professional editing processes. You'll learn how to transform the way you write, gain insight into how to hire and work with editors, and master each stage of the book-editing process. Everything you need to know to get your book into best-selling shape is in this book.

Each chapter touches on an important part of the editing process. Chapter 1 starts by debunking all of the old myths about book editing and gives you the truth about the editing process, including the idea of "killing your darlings" and more. Chapter 2 covers editing fundamentals, including a detailed look at the four stages of editing and important terminology you should know.

Chapters 3 and 4 take a fresh look at the entire writing process from planning to publication--from an editor's point of view. You'll learn how integrating editing into your writing early on can dramatically improve your drafts right from the moment you add words to a blank page.

Chapter 5 details how to hire and work with an editor, including important questions to ask prospective editors; it also gets very specific on what you can expect to pay, how to work with an editor in another city, and other essential information about working collaboratively and productively with your editor. I draw from my experience working across distances to help you understand how to work digitally and why it's not so hard. In fact, the first book I edited was for a client in Boise, Idaho, and I edited it from my apartment in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. If I can do that, you can definitely work with an editor in a different U.S. city, and I'll show you how.

But, perhaps most importantly, each chapter in this book is as practical and hands-on as possible, with real examples of tools, tips, and strategies you can actually use as you write your book. You'll also get templates for outlines, examples of how editors can improve your writing, and samples of a reader feedback form, an editing checklist, an agreement letter, and a manuscript style guide.

While my experiences inspired me to share my expertise with you, I didn't stop there: I interviewed 20 industry leaders in publishing, including editors, owners of publishing houses, and authors. Full interviews are included throughout, too, from several important names: ghostwriter, coauthor, and book doctor Tim Vandehey; independent writer, editor, and author Christy Karras; commercial freelancer, business coach, and author of three award-winning books, including The Well-Fed Self-Publisher, Peter Bowerman; freelance writer and author of My So-Called Freelance Life, Michelle Goodman; and number one international best-selling fiction author Vincent Zandri. These are people who really know their stuff and have a following because of it, and many of them also happen to be my colleagues, people I'd trust with my own work.

There are several ways to use this book, and it's designed for authors at many stages. If you're new to book writing and editing, you should read this book cover to cover, especially the section on the writing process and self-editing. If you're reading this book with a completed manuscript sitting next to you, it might be a good idea to skip the sections on self-editing for now (Chapters 3 and 4) and instead focus on hiring and working with editors (Chapter 5). Whatever your situation, The Editor's Eye will be an invaluable part of your book-writing process.

But this book isn't really about me or the experts I interviewed--this book is ultimately about you. It's about helping you get to where you want to be, whether it's starting or finishing a book, taking control of a draft that keeps escaping your grasp, or another equally important goal. It's about helping you reach your dreams and enjoy the process of writing and refining your book. Because, as I'll show you over the next few chapters, editing can be just as enjoyable as writing.

Let's get started.

- Stacy Ennis

Looking for more help or a one-on-one editing consultation? Get in touch with me by visiting: stacyennis.com.

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Product Details

  • Series: Author Education
  • Paperback: 188 pages
  • Publisher: Night Owls Press LLC; 1 edition (May 13, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1937645053
  • ISBN-13: 978-1937645052
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.4 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,660,271 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Stacy Ennis (stacyennis.com) is a book and magazine editor, writer, book coach, and speaker. Her greatest joy is helping people achieve their book-writing dreams, and she has had the opportunity to work with a diverse group of authors in varied genres, editing several chart-toppers. After teaching writing and English language arts in the Dominican Republic and Vietnam, Stacy returned to the U.S., where she was the founding managing editor of a lifestyle magazine. She is also the former executive editor of 'Healthy Living Made Simple,' a Sam's Club magazine that reaches over 8 million readers. She has a bachelor's in writing with a minor in visual art and will complete her master's in professional writing and editing from the University of Cincinnati in 2014. Stacy lives in Boise, Idaho, with her husband, daughter, and two cats. In her free time, she enjoys running, reading, traveling, and spending time outdoors.

'The Editor's Eye: A Practical Guide to Transforming Your Book from Good to Great' is her first book in a planned Author Education series.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I actually bought and started reading this book immediately after having sent my manuscript off to an editor, so you might think that was too late for me to glean any use from it, but you would be wrong. Aside from the fact that there's always the next book, I really learned a lot from this book that I'm sure I can apply to my very first novel.

The most important thing I learned was the number of times I will need to have my book edited. I was kind of hoping that the editor I've already sent it to, plus maybe a proofreader later on down the road would fix me up. Turns out that's not the case. After the substantive editing stage (which is where I'm at right now, and I hadn't even known it was called that), Ennis recommends at least two rounds of copyediting and three rounds of proofreading before publication, and the last round of proofreading should be after the book has been formatted. That is not something I ever would have thought to do, but it makes sense. I know formatting is something a lot of people complain about with self-published books and I myself have come across at least a few that were badly done.

At this point, we've probably all heard about the stigma of self-publishing and how it's reaching a point where that bad rap really isn't warranted anymore. I don't think I need to add to that fight, so I'll just stay out of it (for now). The point is that editing your book is an integral part of getting that clean, polished look that will help make it unrecognizable from traditionally published books. This book emphasizes that point, and by extension, the need for multiple revisions.

There are a couple statements Ennis makes about the editing/writing process that I don't agree with.
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Format: Paperback
Reviewed by C. J. Singh (Berkeley, CA)

In "THE EDITOR'S EYE: A Practical Guide to Transforming Your Book From Good to Great," Stacy Ennis suggests that aspiring authors need to directly contract the services of specialized freelance editors.

For many years, I taught courses in the Professional Editing Sequence at UC Berkeley Extension. On completion of the four-course sequence, most students readily found positions in publishing houses. Not so readily now. With the decline of traditional publishing, such positions have become scarce. Freelance editing is on the rise.

This book, the first of the publisher's "Author Education Series," details the services professional freelance editors can provide. It also features a brief interview with an editor in each of its five sections.

Part One, "Rethinking What You Know About Book Editing," corrects many aspiring authors' naïve belief that editing means just proofreading.

Part Two, "The Editing Basics," explains the four stages of editing: Developmental, Substantive, Copyediting, and Proofreading. To educate aspiring editors, the UCB editing courses are offered in the reverse sequence. Rightly so. Developmental editing entails coaching at the early stages of an author's project and calls for an experienced editor. (See my detailed review of Scott Norton's Developmental Editing: A Handbook for Freelancers, Authors, and Publishers (Chicago Guides to Writing, Editing, and Publishing)). Substantive editing entails content editing on a partially developed manuscript.
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Format: Paperback
As an editor, I am always interested in books to help me grow in my craft. Even though this book is targeted to writers, I discovered that it's definitely a great resource for editors. Ennis strongly shows the value and necessity of hiring an editor if authors are serious about producing a quality book.

Ennis promotes a collaborative relationship between author and editor, which I agree with entirely. She clearly explains everything you want to know about the publishing process and paints a clear picture of what to expect--lining out what the different levels of editing are and what each entails. She gives great insight in how to approach communication with editors and wonderful examples of questions to ask, things that I can use to prepare myself as an editor. I appreciate the valuable tools she presents to the writer. She freely shares resources that I will use as I compose proposals and prepare for what to communicate to potential clients.

Definitely a worthy read!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
There are plenty of good things in here about editing, but with a title that includes "Transforming your book" I wasn't prepared for quite so many "hire an editor" pieces of advice. I would have liked more advice on self editing.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Stacy’s publisher Night Owls Press reached out to me with a copy of the book for review — and I fell in love!

On the surface, this book seems like a resource for self-editing, but really, it’s a detailed overview of the writing and publishing process. Whether you’re self-publishing, or seeking or working with a traditional publisher, you probably have some misunderstanding of what editing your book really looks like (I did!). Stacy wrote The Editor’s Eye to demystify this process for writers and give them the tools they need to assess their writing properly and work cooperatively with editors to polish their books.

Pick up The Editor’s Eye to get a rich, deeper understanding of the process of writing a book in a simple, digestible guide you’ll want to keep close at hand throughout your career. And visit the author's site StacyEnnis.com for free resources for reviewing your manuscript and working with editors. A great resource!
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