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The Little Book of Self-Editing for Writers: 12 Ways to Take Your Book from Good to Great (Little Books for Writers) [Kindle Edition]

Bridget McKenna
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)

Kindle Price: $4.99

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Book Description

12 Ways to Take Your Book from Good to Great

Whether your aim is to seek a publishing contract or to publish your book yourself, you want your writing to be as free of placeholder words, as devoid of verbal crutches, as lean and clean as you can learn to make it. This book will show you how.

Part One: Search and Destroy

Whether it's fish heads, zombie nouns, vampire verbs, or the dread dangling participle, these chapters will show you how to find and eliminate common early-draft mistakes.

Part Two: The Self-Editor's Toolkit

Learn to create richer language, set the pace, and wrangle dialogue tags while pondering "The Most-Hated Writing Advice Ever."

Part Three: Self-Editing Resources

Links to good books and helpful websites for writers, and a handy quick-reference to all the pointers in The Little Book of Self-Editing for Writers.


Product Details

  • File Size: 1020 KB
  • Print Length: 96 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Ravenscourt Press; 3 edition (February 25, 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B008HZC80A
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #454,004 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Extraordinary Resource July 6, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This small book begins, appropriately, with a quotation from another small book, William Strunk, Jr.'s The Elements of Style. This book, like Strunk's timeless classic, has a value far beyond its size. I would have said weight, but the weight of a book is no longer a meaningful measure!

McKenna offers a comprehensive approach to the necessary writerly discipline of editing your own work: which is a very different craft than the process of actually writing. (And how important it is to keep these two crafts separate!) In the age of respectable self-publishing, some may think the material in this book is sufficient to produce work that is ready to publish. McKenna makes it clear from the first paragraph that this is not the point: "This is not a book about why you don't need an editor. Writers need editors. Even editors, when they write, need editors." What this *is* is a book about crafting the most polished, powerful prose possible -- so that when you do hire an editor you aren't wasting your money fixing things you could have & should have fixed on your own. When you are ready to hire an editor, or submit your manuscript to the traditional press, you know that the value the third-party editor brings to the process is taking a great work and making it awesome: not taking a flawed work and making it adequate.

Again, the comparison to Strunk is notable: every section in this book is both dense and immediately useful. A quick skim will improve your writing, your writing process, and make your rewriting time more efficient. And you can come back to it over and over. Any time you are about to sit down with the intent of transforming a first or second draft into a honed, final draft, you should pick up the Little Book of Self-Editing for Writers and remind yourself what to look for & how to make it better.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent resource for writers. Buy it! July 6, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Even in today's world of self-publishing, good editing can mean the difference between an okay story and a great one. Mistakes matter and it falls on the author to get rid of them before sending their work out. Whether sharing it with a publisher or a reader, we need to put our best foot forward and The Little Book of Self-Editing for Writers can help. Concise, yet descriptive, following this guide can only make your writing stronger.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book, excellent checklist! July 18, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is a great book to review every year or so, just to make sure you're not slipping into some bad habits as a writer. I discovered it at the perfect time -- just as I was finishing up the copy-edits and clean-up on my latest novel. I used the book and the free checklist at their website to polish up my novel. I think they saved me a day of work, if not more, and definitely saved me the potential embarrassment of anyone seeing my mistakes (including those nasty fish heads and fish tails! Don't ask -- just get the book).

Thanks for an excellent resource, at a great price.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Concise and Useful July 13, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I read the whole book in one bus ride, and it's already affecting my writing. McKenna keeps her advice short, uses simple, clear examples and includes a ready reference at the end--and this in a book that's easy to flip through already! I plan to refer to it often.

It's the best writing advice I've ever gotten for the price of a cup of coffee.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars D.G. Torrens - Every writer needs this book... July 18, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
I down-loaded this great book recently as I started writing my fourth book and needed to learn more about the editing process. I wanted to improve my writing and the flow of my story by obliterating those annoying gremlins we all use from time to time, filler words, over usage of words e.t.c

I read this book in one sitting. My writing has already improved tenfold, by following the tips suggested by Bridget you can only serve to improve your writing. I have learned things I was not aware of, so therefore I was not looking for them. The author takes you through various stages with concise explanation's and easy to follow tips, this book is a must for any author especially if you are a new writer on the scene. It's one you can constantly refer to when you need to jog your flailing memory!

Fabulous book, invaluable editing tips, and will teach everyone something they were not aware of...
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Vital Book for the Independent Writer Like Me August 20, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
In the turbulent marketplace authors are facing right now, every author needs more and more hats at times, especially the editor's hat. Bridget McKenna's book helps the author wear the editor's hat effectively whenever it's called for, and eases any subsequent work for the publisher's editor. The book is a must for anyone trying to publish - even the experienced author.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great April 13, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
After reading this book, I was able to read material with more precision. Thank you for taking the time to write this book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars good book March 27, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
It comes at the perfect time and is worth twice the price. I am still digesting the wealth of addition material links and I've added the zombie test to my self-editing.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars I bought this for my Kindle and enjoyed this book as an evening read
I bought this for my Kindle and enjoyed this book as an evening read. Sound advice. You'll benefit from this work. I sure did.
Published 8 months ago by Annie
5.0 out of 5 stars I've already learned so much in the first couple of pages.
There is no extra fluff or useless information and text. It's extremely easy to understand, plenty of examples, and the sources she links to in the beginning are a wonderful extra... Read more
Published 13 months ago by Megan
5.0 out of 5 stars A wealth of information
Undoubtedly some of the best self-editing advice I've ever received. I was able to implement the suggestions easily with a few quick Word searches, and Voila, my existing writing... Read more
Published 13 months ago by Susanne Webb
5.0 out of 5 stars Great help for the serious writer who wants to be published
Practical editing and writing advice from a master editor, writer and teacher. If you are writing a book save money on editing help by going through Bridget McKenna's advice.
Published 14 months ago by ira kalina
5.0 out of 5 stars Great advice, tough love
On my virtual shelf, next to Strunk and White. Tells you what you need to hear, especially if you're preparing your own book for publication.
Published 17 months ago by Araby Greene
5.0 out of 5 stars B.R.A.G. Medallion Honoree
We are proud to announce that "The Little Book of Self-Editing for Writers by Bridget McKenna is a B.R.A.G.Medallion Honoree. Read more
Published 20 months ago by indieBRAG
5.0 out of 5 stars An extremely good resource
I have gone through this book a section at a time while self-editing my book and it has made an amazing improvement on my writing. Read more
Published 20 months ago by Kiki Lewis
5.0 out of 5 stars For writers at every level!
As a writer myself, I find Ms. McKenna's tips and guidelines to be incredibly insightful and very practical. Read more
Published on December 26, 2012 by Jaq Greenspon
4.0 out of 5 stars The Little Book of Self-Editing for Writers by Bridget McKenna
Note: I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

This book was extremely interesting and helpful. Read more
Published on November 26, 2012 by Lauren Johnson
4.0 out of 5 stars Helpful
Very useful. A great value for the money and a quick and easy read. McKenna has some points I hadn't thought about regarding self-editing and others it was good to have a reminder... Read more
Published on September 27, 2012 by CSMD
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More About the Author

Bridget McKenna was born a hellish long time ago in Las Vegas, Nevada. She wrote her first--alas, unpublished--novel at the age of nine. In pencil. After taking a few years off to pursue other career options, she returned to the fiction writing racket with the publication of her first short story in 1972.

Since then she has written and edited fiction, nonfiction, computer games, websites, and to-do lists. She has been shortlisted for the Hugo, Nebula, and Shamus awards, and has never taken one home. She lives in Seattle, where she reads, writes, edits, watches more than her share of British TV shows, and continues her search for the ultimate butter masala.

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