Monday, November 14, 2011

Around the Word

Ghosts in high places. You never know who's writing what. In a strange ghostwriting story, Mike Winder, the mayor of West Valley City, Utah, has admitted to penning articles for local media outlets under a pseudonym. The Salt Lake Tribune reports that Winder felt local newspapers had cut their coverage of city government after layoffs, and he wanted to "try to restore balance." The mayor "defended using a pen name, citing famous authors who wrote under pseudonyms, including Benjamin Franklin, Alexander Hamilton, and James Madison." What do you think -- dishonest or smart?

Why you? Why now? Are you struggling to perfect your nonfiction book proposal? Over at her blog, Gotham Ghostwriting friend Ally Peltier has a got plenty of advice for you. Her article "Beat Intimidation: Start Writing Your Nonfiction Book Proposal" gives a meta view of the proposal-writing process, with prompts to get you thinking about what the different aspects of your proposal need to do to be successful.

How does a book become a book? Unless you work in the media industry, you may find the book-publishing process a bit mystifying. But fear not: Publishing Trends has a great piece that clearly illustrates the whole thing. "Life Cycle of a Book" details everything a manuscript goes through on its long trip toward publication. Watch video clips of industry professionals in all the different roles to gain a clearer understanding of what to expect once you get that book deal.

Bully for you. All writers get edited; of course, some appreciate the process more than others. At The Chronicle of Higher Education's Lingua Franca blog, Carol Saller asks, "Are copyeditors bullies?" Fortunately she concludes that they're not, saying, "Although I can't deny that bad editing happens, there is almost always recourse. Starting with the assumption that you can work things out is the best way to get results." Do you agree? Have you ever felt bullied by your copyeditor? Tell us in the comments.

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