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The Frugal Editor: Do-It-Yourself Editing Secrets, from your query letters to final manuscript to the marketing of your new bestseller. (How To Do It Frugally series of books for writers) by [Carolyn Howard, Johnson]
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The Frugal Editor: Do-It-Yourself Editing Secrets, from your query letters to final manuscript to the marketing of your new bestseller. (How To Do It Frugally series of books for writers) Kindle Edition

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Editorial Reviews

Review

 
Reviewed by Billie A Williams
 
The Frugal Editor by Carolyn Howard-Johnson is like having an editor ina box, or more correctly, between two covers of a book. Concise down-to-earthadvice about how to edit your manuscript before you even begin to think aboutsending it out into the red pencil world of publishers, where their editors getthe first chance to evaluate your hard work.
 
Frugal Editor is a veritablethesaurus of how to spot the gremlins that can mess up your prose. If edits andeditors paralyze you with fear, take heart. Carolyn Howard-Johnson makes thewhole process palatable. She intersperses her directives with light heartedhumor making the whole process nearly enjoyable.
 
If there is an error yourmanuscript could contain, you'll find the method for search and eradication inthis delightful book. You'll want to read it cover to cover, but then you willkeep it by your side as you write, rewrite and edit so you can be frugal whenyou do decided to hire that editor to give it one last polish before you submitit anywhere. As Howard-Johnson says; "The lesson here for all of us is thatattention to detail and craft counts, and that even experienced writers canflub an opportunity if they don't pay attention to the last great step towardpublishing, a good edit."
 
Howard-Johnson explains thedifference between and editor and a typo hunter. She also cautions that "...nomatter how skilled an editor is, the author needs to know a lot about theprocess too. The cleaner the copy you hand over to your editor, the moreaccurate she can be and her edit may cost you less in time and money." WhenHoward-Johnson says frugal in her book titles she means it and she goes togreat lengths to insure the reader gets her/his money worth by providingresources with links, examples of the often scary Query letter construction,and more. She doesn't leave the reader high and dry at any point. Furtheradvice or learning is a matter of using the comprehensive index to find thedetail you need and then following the advice, link or resource mentioned toguide you in your search for excellence.
 
The twenty plus pages of appendices is not mere fluffor padding of book length or word count, it is more than a bibliography ofrecommended reading (though it also contains that). You will find samples andlinks such as the query letters mentioned above, helpful groups to investigate,grammar helps and books. It's hard to believe more could be contained in anybook on your shelf. Spare no gremlin--search and destroy, polish and perfectbefore you send out your hard work. This book is the tool to help you do that. Ihighly recommend this power house of methods and means that will not onlyenhance your chances of publication, it will help you make any publishing housesit up and take notice - perhaps even pushing your book to the covetedbest-seller lists faster than you ever imagined

Review

The Frugal Editor won USA Book News Best Business Book Award and it won the Reader Views Literary Award for books for writers. The marketing campaign for the book won the New Generation Marketing Award and that same organization gave the book an honorable mention.

Product Details

  • File Size: 2104 KB
  • Print Length: 288 pages
  • Publisher: HowToDoItFrugally; 1st edition (January 1, 2014)
  • Publication Date: January 1, 2014
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0011EK6VC
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #786,361 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Billie A. Williams on September 28, 2007
Format: Perfect Paperback Verified Purchase
THE FRUGAL EDITOR,
Put your best book forward to avoid humiliation and ensure success.
by Carolyn Howard-Johnson
ISBN 978-0-97851-7-4
Red Engine Press
Reviewed by Billie A Williams

In this day an age, when according to some studies, over 81 percent of Americans feel they should write a book and more than six million of them actually have at least written the manuscripts. What are your chances of getting published when that is just over two percent of the population? Most of these manuscripts however, are doomed to failure because they don't understand the intricacies of polishing (read that as editing) their manuscripts before sending them out, and/or hiring an editor to give it the final tweak before they send them off.

According to a recent article by Robert McCrum in The Observer and I quote,
"...according to the New York Times, there's a new book published in the United States every half an hour, and - wait for it - that's just fiction. RR Bowker, the company that compiles the Books in Print database in the USA, has calculated that no fewer than 175,000 new titles were published in 2003. That's one book roughly every 20 seconds." And as you can imagine that trend has only increased since then. As McCrum says, the new books have the shelf life of yogurt, but that quality will always stand above the rest and will persevere. So how do you bring that quality to your own work?

The Frugal Editor by Carolyn Howard-Johnson is like having an editor in a box, or more correctly, between two covers of a book. Concise down-to-earth advice about how to edit your manuscript before you even begin to think about sending it out into the red pencil world of publishers, where their editors get the first chance to evaluate your hard work.
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Format: Perfect Paperback
Good book but mixed feelings. Here's my take on the pro's and con's of the Frugal Editor.

The Format of this book: It is noted that it is a 208 page book, but it's actually 192 pages. Subtract from that, 29 blank pages and 6 pages of paragraph length chapters and you have a 158 page book for 18.95. Now in her book, the author states that formatting standards of what side a chapter should start is the culprit of white pages (because chapters should begin on the right side). However, this standard gets overused, so the format stretches a small book into a roughly 200 page book. This is a huge pet peeve of mine. As it seems lately, many self-published books are using this tactic. I don't mind purchasing a 90 page book filled with excellent information as long as it is priced right. But a 150 page book for $19 plus shipping made me feel cheated.

On the plus side, she does include shaded boxes to highlight important tidbits or summaries of information, which I found extremely helpful, especially for the visual learner.

Now for the content. On her website/blog, she promotes how this book goes into the Flesch-Kincaid Readability tool. Something that I was really interested in knowing and it is what finally prompted me to purchase the book. But the only info. her book delves into is on how to access it. She does NOT offer any concrete interpretation on what the Flesch scores mean and how to specifically use it. She does, however, send you to a link of audio files she produced on using the Flesch for an additional cost, of course. Albeit, you can't even purchase that audio because it is not even available on the websites listed within the book. For me, that was slick advertising and left me really disappointed. Thankfully, I own another book by James V.
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Format: Perfect Paperback
As the literary market continues to tighten its proverbial belt, today's writer must assume more of the responsibilities surrounding book publishing than ever before. No longer can a writer depend on a publisher or agent to accept a manuscript in need of editing, and submitting a manuscript that isn't as near perfect as possible will, in all probability, result in rejection. To the rescue comes acclaimed author Carolyn Howard-Johnson with The Frugal Editor, the latest in her How to Do It Frugally series. This little gem is a must-have for any writer, published or not, bestselling or unknown. Filled with valuable tips, The Frugal Editor touches on all aspects of self-editing, such as how to spot common grammatical errors, from superfluous adverbs to confusing dangling participles, as well as how to organize the workspace, format the manuscript, and use Word's tools to the fullest. Also included are sample query and cover letters, and pointers on correcting intrusive taglines, when to use an ellipsis, and correct spacing, to name a few. The book takes the reader step-by-step through the editing process, from rough draft to galley. No questions are left unanswered, no topics left uncovered. This generous writer goes so far as to recommend resources through other books and websites, with plenty of advice from agents and editors.

The Frugal Editor is one of those reference books every writer should have by their computer for constant use and study. Highly recommended.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Do not buy this book on Kindle - I mean it! It's basically unreadable. Words run together, letters are separated within words with large spaces, random periods and other punctuation all over the show, random capital letters in the middle of words - I cannot describe how bad it is. I mean, it's not just one or two formatting errors, it is hundreds of them throughout the entire book! The author has NO credibility - lecturing readers about how they should be aware of their formatting and of their readers' experience. The author preaches (at length) about the importance of supervising the e-book edition of your book. Really? Is she serious?? How can she bleat all this and then put out such a shocking online edition? If you don't believe what I say, get the free sample before you pay the ridiculous amount of money for it. You'll see it's completely unreadable and thus not useful.
Maybe there were some useful things in this book. I'll never know. The formatting was so bad that I literally (not figuratively) couldn't read it! It was nonsense.
I'd advise Carolyn to read her own book and put into practice some of the advice regarding the importance of good formatting.
I note that a previous reader has offered the same criticism and she has done nothing about it. Why hasn't she fixed the issues? Why would she continue to sell a product that she knows is sub-standard?
I expect more from a supposedly experienced author who has written a book advising other authors.
Disgusting.
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