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What Does That Mean? Literary Definitions: Vol. 4

Ever come across a publishing term and wasn't sure what it meant? (Who hasn't?) This series will give you some clarity on literary definitions.

Ever come across a publishing term and wasn't sure what it meant? (Who hasn't?)

The Buried Editor and I are pairing up to start a series to help define some oft-used terms in the publishing world.

See Volume 3 here.

Literary Definitions: Vol. 4

All rights - (n.) Just like it sounds. When a publication or publishing house purchases all rights from you, they own it all. You can't sell it again, or use the characters again, etc.

BEA: stands for BookExpo of America - (n.) The premier American book conference. Publishers and independent booksellers converge every year to discuss the new season's books and to network. This year's expo is at the end of May in Los Angeles.

E-book reader (or e-reader) - (n.) An electronic device that allows a user to view both electronic versions of books or manuscripts. A very wonderful device for editors and agents since they can now carry hundreds of pages of manuscripts in a little eight-ounce device.

i.e. - an abbreviation for id est, Latin for "that is to say" or "namely." The phrase is used to clarify a point, as in this example: "Enclose a #10 (i.e., business-sized) self-addressed, stamped envelope with your submission."

Kill fee - (n.) A fee paid to a writer who has worked on an assignment that, for some reason, is not published. 
For example, you're contracted to write an article for a magazine and you turn it in. The article itself is satisfactory. But then the editor calls you and says they are changing the focus of the upcoming issue and they can't use your article as part of the package anymore. They have no more need for it, so they pay you a kill fee (approximately 25% of the original promised price), and all rights to the article revert back to you. Your best bet is to try and sell it elsewhere. Kill fees are rare.

Novella - (n.) A relatively short work of prose fiction comparable in length to a long short story or novelette, approximately 30,000-50,000 words.

Prepublication tour - (n.) A tour arranged by the publisher for the author before the release of the author's book. Unlike a normal author tour that centers around book signing opportunities, these tours are a chance for the author to meet booksellers and the media. They often center around trade shows like BEA.

To Query - (v.) The act of asking very nicely in the sweetest most professional way possible if you can pretty please submit your manuscript for the publishing house to review.

Simultaneous submission - (n.) A submission where the writer submits his work to multiple editors or agents at the same time. Submitting to more than one agent is common (and encouraged). Some agents will only review queries or manuscripts exclusively; however, they should be upfront about this quirk in their online writers' guidelines, and they should have a limited amount of time to be the only ones reviewing your work (one month, for example).

See Volume 5 here.

12 Weeks to a First Draft

Dive into the world of writing and learn all 12 steps needed to complete a first draft. In this writing workshop you will tackle the steps to writing a book, learn effective writing techniques along the way, and of course, begin writing your first draft.

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Tailer vs. Tailor vs. Taylor (Grammar Rules)

Tailer vs. Tailor vs. Taylor (Grammar Rules)

Let's look at the differences between tailer, tailor, and Taylor with Grammar Rules from the Writer's Digest editors, including a few examples of correct usages.

Advice on Writing Characters From a Psychologist

Advice on Writing Characters From a Psychologist

Go deeper into the minds of your characters where motivation lives with this advice on writing characters from psychologist and author Rebecca Alexander.

Plot Twist Story Prompts: Truth Denial

Plot Twist Story Prompts: Truth Denial

Every good story needs a nice (or not so nice) turn or two to keep it interesting. This week, have a character (or characters) deny the objective truth.

4 Questions To Ask When Writing Romantic Scenes

4 Questions To Ask When Writing Romantic Scenes

Whether you’re writing a romance novel or simply a romantic moment in your story, M.M. Crane poses 4 questions to ask yourself when writing romantic scenes.

Ben Acker: On Writing Scary Stories for Middle-Grade Readers

Ben Acker: On Writing Scary Stories for Middle-Grade Readers

Ben Acker discusses the joy of reading scary stories growing up that led him to write his new middle-grade horror collection, Stories to Keep You Alive Despite Vampires.

How Freelance Writers Are Using TikTok to Find Success

How Freelance Writers Are Using TikTok to Find Success

TikTok is one of the hotter social media platforms, but it's more than just BookTok. Author C. Hope Clark shares how freelance writers are using TikTok to find success.

Shanterra McBride and Rosalind Wiseman: On Trusting Each Other in the Co-Writing Process

Shanterra McBride and Rosalind Wiseman: On Trusting Each Other in the Co-Writing Process

Authors Shanterra McBride and Rosalind Wiseman discuss the experience of going from friends to writing partner with their new nonfiction book, Courageous Discomfort.

Poetry Prompt

Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 628

Every Wednesday, Robert Lee Brewer shares a prompt and an example poem to get things started on the Poetic Asides blog. This week, write a reflection poem.

Writer’s Digest Official Book Club Selection: The Weight of Blood

Writer’s Digest Official Book Club Selection: The Weight of Blood

The editors of Writer’s Digest are proud to announce the next book club selection, The Weight of Blood, by New York Times bestselling author Tiffany D. Jackson.