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Writing Your Own Adventure

February 24, 2012 blog, Notes on Editing Comments Off on Writing Your Own Adventure
Writing-Your-Own-Adventure-Blog-Post

It doesn’t take an industry insider to realize that publishing is evolving. The advent of e-readers and digital publishing has shattered traditional definitions of “book” and “publisher,” and the possibilities for writers seeking publication are more diverse than ever before. Digital hasn’t killed paper-and-ink books or brick-and-mortar publishing houses, but it has opened more doors for aspiring authors.

Pitching to a publisher, working through an agent, and self-publishing are all viable options that have been successful for a number of authors. Not sure which path to take yourself? Take these three shining examples, who all went in different directions in their journeys toward publication.

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Our Egghead Name

October 10, 2010 blog, Notes on Editing Comments Off on Our Egghead Name
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Cogitate [koj-i-teyt]

To cogitate is to think long and hard about a person, place, thing, or idea. This what we do at Cogitate Studios. Our clients choose us because we think carefully about words, the ideas behind them, and the ways that they are conveyed. Given the definition above, appropriate synonyms for Cogitate  include ponderous, deliberate, expert, Scrabbe-licized, cross-worded, stet-meisters, free-agents, Stumptowners, and eggheads! See our list of published titles and/or about us for more about our work.

Massaging the Text

October 4, 2010 blog, Notes on Editing Comments Off on Massaging the Text
massagingtext

It’s amazing how much work a good idea takes to develop into a publishable concept. This is especially true of nonfiction that is written for a general audience, which is composed of readers who may or may not care about your book topic until they’ve had a chance to digest your words on the matter. If you have a lot of data-rich content, such as facts, figures, theories, and other empirical minutia from studies and articles, the challenge is often retaining your readers’ attention. You either grab ’em and hold on tight, or you lose ’em.

To take hold of readers, you must re-contextualize the data and make it interesting in some way. Contrary to popular belief, however, this does not mean you dumb down content so that even the most beetle-browed of knuckle-draggers out there will be able to comprehend your words. It’s about speaking to people on common ground in an interesting way; it’s about your approach, and the best way I’ve found to do this is—as it is with fiction—by showing, not telling.

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Drumroll Please

June 21, 2010 blog Comments Off on Drumroll Please

Yesterday was a special day for Cogitate; it marked the five-year anniversary of our editorial partnership. We celebrated with some take-out and the Cogitate Studios Writers’ Contest questionnaires. What a way to spend the day! Thank you to all who participated.

While we had a lot of fun reading your answers, the judging was…well, it was excruciating. We had such a hard time because there were many amazing responses. So many, in fact, that we decided that instead of just picking two grand prize winners, we decided to add two honorable mentions. So, without further ado. Here are our winners:

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Everyone Loves Perfect Timing (by Jill Mansell, not the David Lee Roth song)

January 11, 2010 blog, Some Edited Titles in Print Comments Off on Everyone Loves Perfect Timing (by Jill Mansell, not the David Lee Roth song)

In this fresh and funny contemporary romance by bestselling author Jill Mansell, Poppy Dunbar’s whole life gets turned upside down after a chance encounter. This was the fourth Jill Mansell book Sourcebooks hired me for; the assignment was to get this romp ready for its stateside edition, which included Americanizing (to a certain degree) pop-culture references and some punctuation, while maintaining some British spelling and grammar to keep its tone accurate.

I love Jill Mansell’s work and highly recommend it; keep an eye out for her upcoming novel, Rumor Has It, which will be released in the US in May 2010 by Sourcebooks Casablanca (and which I had the joy of working on as well). ~Gretchen

Pub. Date: November 2009
Format: Trade paperback
Pages: 431
ISSN: 9781402226748
Dimensions: 5.5 x 8

The Grove Review

January 11, 2010 blog, Some Edited Titles in Print Comments Off on The Grove Review
aucontest-tgr_cover_issue1_tn

In this fourth issue of the Grove, we managed the art and editorial, which included overseeing submissions, editing, permissions, the interior and cover, and proofing. The issue produced a lot of blood, sweat, and tears, but it was well worth the effort.

… Continue Reading

Ghostwriting

May 4, 1977 blog, editing services, ghostwriting Comments Off on Ghostwriting
writing150x150

Ghostwriters make you shine.

Many different walks of life have hired us to ghostwrite for them and, in each case, we’ve had varying degrees of involvement. Sometimes we’ve been hired to edit and clean up a rough draft, and other times we’ve done the majority most of the writing ourselves, based often on an outline provided by the author. For some projects, a substantial amount of research was required, like taping and transcribing interviews. One non-fiction project took a full year to research, write, and edit for a client. We’ve also completed projects as short as query letters to agents and acquisitions editors, and press releases for book launches.

Email us at [email protected]: in your message, include a description of your project and its word count, as well as a sample of the writing if you want to attach one. We’ll be in touch about availability, turnaround time, and rates.

 

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Book Proposals

May 4, 1977 blog, book proposals, editing services Comments Off on Book Proposals
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Well-read book proposals get published.

Sometimes you don’t have to write an entire manuscript before submitting a proposal. In the case of many non-fiction and graphic novel projects, for example, publishers, literary agents, and commissioning editors will ask for more work based simply on a cogent, stellar proposal with sample material.

However, it’s essential to establish some kind of platform to stand on and to follow the correct format to increase your chances of snagging the book deal you’re after. To ensure this, several areas must be addressed. We can help you craft your proposal so that it fits with who you are and what your work represents.

Email us at [email protected]: in your message, include a description of the work and its word count, as well as a sample of the writing if you want to attach one. One of us will be in touch about availability, turnaround time, and rates. We like to start the whole process off by sending you a questionnaire to fill out. Its focus is on all the questions you want to ask yourself about positioning your book (because they’re the same ones agents, editors, marketers, and publicists will be asking). After you return the questionnaire to us, whichever editor you choose (and/or whoever we think would fit best) reads it and, armed with your questionnaire and any notes, is usually able to build and deliver a targeted proposal in 3–4 weeks, though some can take longer, of course. When it’s complete, we send it back to you with an invoice. Net-30 terms with PayPal or check.

Every project is unique, but in the past, it’s taken anywhere from 30–60 hours to build a proposal from scratch. Email us at [email protected].

And as always, we follow the Editorial Freelancers Association rates.

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Developmental Editing

May 4, 1977 blog, developmental, editing services Comments Off on Developmental Editing
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Developmental editing digs deep.

More radically address the content of your work:

• Main premise
• Plot structure
• Character development
• Overall organization
• Writing style
• Word choice
• Dialogue

This kind of editing, because it requires rewriting and/or reorganization, should be completed before submitting to publishers and agencies, or before self-publishing.

Email us at [email protected]: in your message, include a description of the work and its word count, as well as a sample of the writing if you want to attach one. One of us will be in touch about availability, turnaround time, and rates. Whichever editor you choose (and/or whomever we think would be the best fit) to read your work then marks-up your document using track changes in Word. We ask for a minimum turnaround time of 4–6 weeks for each pass of developmental editing on a full manuscript. When your mark-up is complete, we send it back to you with an invoice. Net-30 terms with PayPal or check.

Our rate for developmental editing is $40–60/hour. As always, we follow the Editorial Freelancers Association rates.

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Proofreading

May 4, 1977 blog, editing services, proofreading Comments Off on Proofreading
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Proofreaders save the day.

Proofreading is the last major stage of the editing process. As always, reading and consistent marking remain essential. When we proofread, we read word-for-word, noting all punctuation, paragraphing, capitalization, and italics, and ensure that any editing has been correctly interpreted. We also watch for the kind of errors missed by a computer’s spell checkers and grammar bots:

• Double-checking word breaks
• Hyphenation
• Typeface
• Font
• Headings and subheads
• Set-off material
• Page numbers and running heads
• Illustrations and tables
• Page length, table of contents
• Article or chapter titles
• Footnotes
• Index
• Cross-references
• Half title and title page
• Jacket copy
• Spine
• Overall sense of appearance

Email us at [email protected]: in your message, include a description of your project and its word count. One of us will be in touch about availability, turnaround time, and rates. Whichever editor you choose (and/or whomever we think would fit best) to read your work then marks-up your proof pages in Adobe Professional. We ask for a minimum turnaround time of 3 weeks for each proofreading pass on a full manuscript. When your mark-up is complete, we send it back to you with an invoice. Net-30 terms with PayPal or check. We follow the Editorial Freelancers Association rates.

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Copyediting

May 4, 1977 blog, copyediting, editing services Comments Off on Copyediting
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Hire a copyediting guru.

Copyediting requires attention to every word in a manuscript, a thorough knowledge of the style to be followed, and the ability to make quick, logical, and defensible decisions. This type of editing, sometimes referred to as line editing, is usually undertaken when a manuscript is being prepared or has been accepted for print or online publication, but this is not a hard-set rule.

The full scope of our copyediting services fall into two orders of concern: substantive and mechanical copyediting:

Substantive copyediting

Substantive copyediting deals with the organization and presentation of existing content. It involves:

• Rephrasing for smoothness or to eliminate ambiguity
• Reorganizing or tightening text
• Reducing or simplifying documentation
• Recasting tables and other remedial activities

Mechanical editing

Mechanical editing deals mainly with grammar, syntax, formatting, and usage at the most basic level:

• Consistency in capitalization, spelling, hyphenation, table format, use of abbreviations, and citations
• Correctness of punctuation, including ellipsis points, parentheses, and quotation marks
• Consistency between numbers, tables, illustrations, and so forth

How does it work?

Email us at [email protected]: in your message, include a description of the work, its word count, and attach a sample of the writing. One of us will be in touch about availability, turnaround time, and rates. Whichever editor you choose (and/or who we think would fit best) to read your work then marks-up your document using track changes in Word. We ask for a minimum turnaround time of 3–4 weeks for each pass of copyediting on a full manuscript. When your mark-up is complete, we send it back to you with an invoice. Net-30 terms with PayPal or check.

As always, we follow the Editorial Freelancers Association rates.

 

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Query Letters

May 4, 1977 blog, editing services, query letters Comments Off on Query Letters
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We’re former agents and in-house editors

We’ve seen hundreds of pitches. As query letter ghostwriters, we’ve helped many authors find publishers. The unique set themselves apart because they know how to speak the language, and we help isolate and define the essence of your work and then craft a letter that speaks to agents and editors.

Email us at [email protected]. In your email, include a description of your work, and we’ll be in touch with a free estimate on turnaround times and rate.

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Reader Reports

May 4, 1977 blog, editing services, reader's reports Comments Off on Reader Reports
readers-report

The fastest, least expensive avenue

Whether it’s a short story, inspirational memoir, fictional novel, nonfiction book, old query letter, or new book proposal, we give the material a full review, covering a whole gamut of pertinent editorial issues, including:

• Main idea(s), theme(s), and book positioning
• Plot and character development
• Dialogue and other transitioning
• Macro/micro organization
• Sentence structure and syntax
• Grammar and mechanics
• Fact checking and use of resources
• Overall thoughts and next steps

Email us at [email protected]: In your message include a description of your project and its word count, as well as a sample of the writing if you wish to attach one. One of us will be in touch about availability, turnaround time, and rates. We ask for at least a 3–4 week turnaround time for every report, but manuscripts of monstrous proportions have sometimes taken more than a month. When your report is complete, we send it back to you with an invoice. Net-30 terms with PayPal or check.

In addition to books, we read many of book-related documents, so rates differ accordingly. Please inquire further by emailing us at [email protected].

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Lend us your type and trust, and we'll give you our minds.

~The Editors

Email: info (at) cogitatestudios (dot) com for more information.

Basic Book-Editing Services

Ghostwriting

writing150x150

Ghostwriters make you shine. Many different walks of life have hired us to ghostwrite for them and, in each case, we’ve had varying degrees of involvement. Sometimes we’ve been hired to edit and clean up a rough draft, …

Book Proposals

book-proposals150x150

Well-read book proposals get published. Sometimes you don’t have to write an entire manuscript before submitting a proposal. In the case of many non-fiction and graphic novel projects, for example, publishers, literary agents, and commissioning editors will ask for …

Developmental Editing

developmental-editing150x150

Developmental editing digs deep. More radically address the content of your work: • Main premise • Plot structure • Character development • Overall organization • Writing style • Word choice • Dialogue This kind of editing, because it requires rewriting and/or reorganization, should be completed …

Proofreading

proof-reading150x150

Proofreaders save the day. Proofreading is the last major stage of the editing process. As always, reading and consistent marking remain essential. When we proofread, we read word-for-word, noting all punctuation, paragraphing, capitalization, and italics, and ensure that …

Copyediting

copy-editing150x150

Hire a copyediting guru. Copyediting requires attention to every word in a manuscript, a thorough knowledge of the style to be followed, and the ability to make quick, logical, and defensible decisions. This type of editing, sometimes …

Query Letters

query-letter-3

We’re former agents and in-house editors We’ve seen hundreds of pitches. As query letter ghostwriters, we’ve helped many authors find publishers. The unique set themselves apart because they know how to speak the language, and we help isolate and …

Reader Reports

readers-report

The fastest, least expensive avenue Whether it’s a short story, inspirational memoir, fictional novel, nonfiction book, old query letter, or new book proposal, we give the material a full review, covering a whole gamut of pertinent editorial issues, …