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"This is the worst-edited book I have read in years,"
wrote the Milwaukee Journal in its review of Southern Daughter: The Life of Margaret Mitchell (Oxford University Press).

The review's headline proclaimed: "Sloppy editing
mars Pyron's well-written, thorough book."

Typos, misspellings, and other goofs from bargain-basement copy editing diminish a book's credibility and embarrass author and publisher. Less obvious is the lack of developmental editing, which can cause a book to miss its market.

In a developmental edit, MARKET-SAVVYSM BOOK EDITING guides an author in producing a more salable book.

Below are four of my clients' success stories, as they appear in
JOHN KREMER's best-selling 1001 WAYS TO MARKET YOUR BOOKS, 5th edition.

Editing a Professional Book to Reach a Consumer Audience
The Battering Syndrome is a successful $79 hard cover marketed directly to professionals by the National Crisis Prevention Institute. The publisher knew the same information could benefit lay readers as well. So I was brought in to revise the book as a $14.95 soft cover. I introduced a conversational style, cut the length, and simplified the vocabulary and sentence structure. Even the new title is designed for the trade market: He Promised He'd Stop: Helping Women Find Safe Passage From Abusive Relationships.
Clear and Simple is Best
  Good Housekeeping magazine reprinted a chapter from The Safety Minute, telling its publisher, Safety Zone Press, that they decided to buy the rights because the book's content was presented so clearly they could easily select the material most appropriate to their 5 million readers. Then Mademoiselle used the book's lists of safety tips as interview points in creating a new article about the book. Developmental editing had turned the author's great content into a most readable book by stripping away excess wording, rewriting each tip as a direct command for action, and presenting the text in an inviting format.
Clear Editing from the Beginning for Easy Sub Rights Sales
  The public television series Ancestors selected the first title from Sonters Publishing, Genetic Connections, for its companion guide to the series — the only resource picked for the PBS segment on genetics. The book (a Benjamin Franklin award winner) was easily condensed in time for the broadcast because I'd already edited its highly technical content to make it clear and user-friendly.
Begin at the Beginning
  Even authors who market their manuscripts to agents and publishers can benefit from professional editing— before submission. When Jeanne Dams sent her first manuscript to Walker & Co., they offered her a two-book contract (since expanded many times) and published The Body in the Transept with no changes. She credits this extraordinary reception for a new author to having a well-edited manuscript to submit. When this first book won a 1996 Agatha Award for best first mystery by a new author, sales jumped and HarperCollins bought the paperback rights. Thoughtful editing had helped a very talented new writer withstand intense scrutiny by editors, publishers, and mystery fans.

The above article was written by Chris Roerden for John Kremer's best-selling 1001 Ways to Market Your Books. It appears in the 5th Edition. 702 pp, ISBN 0-912411-481 and on the web page www.bookmarket.com/1001edit.html.

To order 1001 Ways to Market Your Books: 800-796-6130 or: www.bookmarket.com