Tag Archives: editor

Monday Tips: How to avoid cliches when polishing your prose

I have a date with my editor next month, so I’m busy polishing the manuscript for my new novel, AN UNSUITABLE SUITOR, which I hope to publish in February 2013. (Yes, all of you faithful followers on my blog are the first to hear about this new novel!) Set in the early 1920s in Georgetown, Washington DC and Berlin, Germany it is a tale of forbidden love, family secrets and identity.


In the course of polishing the text, my task is to get rid of clichés. So I make a list of words that I think I’m using too often so that I can go back and do a search to figure out just how many times I’m using these words.

Here is a partial list of my words:







With that knowledge, I can then open one of my huge dictionaries and find a more unusual or interesting word. I suggest that you make lists of words when polishing your text.

Have a wonderful week!

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Filed under About Cynthia, Craft, How to Publish Your Novel

How to survive pub board

If you have acquired an agent, sold your book to a publisher, and gained the attentions of its editor, you could be forgiven for thinking that all you need do is put your feet up, and have a chocolate truffle (or several).

Unfortunately not.

Your book could still be denied publication.

How can that be? you ask. After all, I have an agent and editor behind me now. So how can my novel fail to get published?

In two words: pub board.

What is pub board?  This is the meeting at which your editor presents your novel to the people at sales and marketing. Your editor has to convince sales that your book is actually going to sell. Your editor has to educate the people at marketing, so that they know what your book is about, in order to promote it.

And this is where your novel can fall down.

Is there anything you can do about this, as a writer?

  1. Know your market. Who is going to enjoy reading your book? Which genre does it belong to? Which novels does it compare with? Where does it fit on that bookshelf.
  2. Have a platform, because yes, in these days of chaos in the publishing industry, you will be required to help sell your book. Do you have a website? A blog? Are you an active participant on Facebook and Twitter?
  3. Take the sales people at your publishing house out to lunch or coffee, or find some way of visiting with them so that you can talk about your novel and answer any questions they may have. The more they know, the better job they will do at selling your book.

If you have any stories you would like to share about your own publishing ventures, please feel free to comment in the comment box.

–Cynthia Haggard writes novels.  She is currently seeking representation for HE MUST BE SOMEONE,  a novel about identity, forbidden love and family secrets. For more on her creative writing, go to spunstories. (c) 2011. All rights reserved.

Next: Publisher’s Marketplace

Image: www.touchstone-books.net

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Filed under How to Publish Your Novel, Promoting Yourself