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So, you've written a book. The next step isn't necessarily to get it published. Competition for placing a book with an agent is fierce, and finding a publisher willing to take on new writers is even more difficult. So, consider that the next real step is to give your book an edge—have it professionally edited—then find an agent or a publisher. And even if you're one of a million writers thinking about going print-on-demand (POD) so that you control everything about your book, you will still need to give your book that professional edge in this increasingly popular market.

We've been there. We've had agents, we've placed our books with traditional publishers, and we've taken control of our books and used print-on-demand. And yes, we've even entered the e-book market. So, if you're interested in getting your manuscript professionally edited before submitting it to an agent, publisher, or POD company, you've come to the right place for assistance, expertise, and making your book the best it can be.
AboutSubmissionsContact (ron@rldbooks.com) • Prepress ServicesEvaluationsPricing
   
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Memberships...

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Two Brothers Press is a proud member of the Editorial Freelancers Association.

Links for serious writers...
Preditors and Editors: A list of publishers and publishing services for serious writers. (Where appropriate, this site also posts warnings about agents, publishers, and editors.) Algonkian Novel Workshops Agent Query/Publisher List (claims to be "the internet's largest and most current database of literary agents") Print-on-Demand and Ebook Producers (list)
Litline: a website for the independent literary community

Tips on writing from Two Brothers Press...

Narrative Voice in Storytelling: a discussion of point of view and verb tense and how these elements affect the story.

Fastest Gun in the West: writers often assume readers will fill in the details. Dialog: The elements and art of dialog in fiction
Novel Openings: Creating compelling openings for novels

Description: The red meat of storytelling

Flashbacks: Hey, who's in here with me? This is my flashback.

Freelancing Pitfalls: Editors beware of disturbed writers; writers beware of editors with an attitude.
Word Oddities: Is it Bring or Take? It depends on the destination...really.
Writing/Publishing Resources

IntegrativeInk
Integrative Ink is a resource that offers similar services to Two Brothers Press; thus, we are eager to share additional resources for you, the writer, to make your best choices. We understand that the people at Integrative Ink are responsive and helpful.


InkBug
Two Brothers Press has partnered with InkBugDesign for the best of book cover design, among a whole host of other services. When you're ready for that stage of your book, contact us or go directly to InkBugDesign.

Two Brother Press
Books
&
Books Edited by
Two Brothers Press
Plans are in the works to expand the select authors of Two Brothers Press. Watch the Submissions page of this site for announcements. Currently writers can turn to us for full copyediting, including the basics and extensive. But perhaps even more important is "developmental" editing that goes beyond the "rules" and "regulations" to the meat of the story.

News...
August 2014—
We're gearing up to become an independent editing company, unlike those editing factories that hire hundreds of freelance editors. We will service one client at a time, but when necessary we will only bring in a select few personally vetted editors.
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Our Four-Step Editing Services Program*
  1. Submit your complete manuscript via email (see submissions guidelines).
  2. We will edit the first 10 or more book pages free to give you an idea of the depth of editing your manuscript needs (see evaluations) and then return the manuscript via email for your consideration, along with a detailed assessment.
  3. If you decide to hire Two Brothers Press to complete the editing on your manuscript, you simply send an email requesting a complete edit.
  4. We will send you the payment processing link at that time based upon the word count of your manuscript. Once we have received payment we will immediately begin editing your manuscript and return it to you within two to four weeks, depending upon its word count. See the Pricing" for the breakdown of costs.
*Note: Some writers have sent only sample chapters for TBP's free evaluation editing—in some cases to "test" our editing. Our policy is to accept only the entire manuscript. While we are happy to provide our free evaluation, which will indicate our expertise, we are not in business to provide free editing, either as a test or for incomplete works.

Typesetting/Cover-Design Services
We also offer consultations on typesetting and cover design services. If you are "self-publishing" your book, which means sending it to your own chosen printer or sending it to one of the print-on-demand (POD) companies that allow authors to submit fully formatted, .pdf-ready files, Two Brothers Press can guide you in your needs. Please see Prepress Services for a more detailed explanation of this service.

The Power of Punctuation

goofMany new writers and even some who are experienced often fail to grasp how a few simple commas or other marks of punctuation in the wrong place (or lack thereof) can change the entire meaning of a sentence. To demonstrate the power of punctuation to change meaning, study the three examples below. None of the words have been changed—except by punctuation marks.

Hide the cows outside.
Hide! The cow's outside.
Hide, the cow's outside.

Can you guess the meaning of each of these sentences? (Hint: the third  example is not a sentence, really, unless it's in response to a question.) They are all completely different, and all that was necessary to completely change their meaning was to play with punctuation.

If you can't reason out three different meanings, then maybe you will be interested in what Two Brothers Press has to offer.

Here are the meanings:

Conceal the cows.
Conceal yourself.
Where does leather comes from?


Here's another example, where just a single mark of punctuation can change the focus of a single word:

He read through the newspaper furiously underlining certain passages.

The word to wonder about is "furiously."
He read through the newspaper furiously, underlining certain passages.
He read through the newspaper, furiously underlining certain passages.
Because the word "furiously" is placed where it is, without the comma, we are unsure which action the word modifies: read furiously or furiously underlining. In other words, some readers might think he is angry about the newspaper and is reading it "furiously." Or he might be quickly and furiously underlining certain passages.

Punctuation Quick List

A Useful Reminder of How to Use Punctuation
In my thirty-four years as an editor of  technical manuals, non-fiction, and fiction, I have found that if a writer can keep straight just a few universal concepts of punctuation, his/her writing will usually pass muster as a submitted manuscript. Once these punctuation "rules" are firmly embedded and instinctive, all the rest can be handled by The Chicago Manual of Style, The Assoicated Press Style Guide, and other formal style guides.

Period
End mark of sentence.
Used in abbreviations, but usually not acronyms.

Exclamation Point
End mark of a sentence, used to show strong emotion!
It's waaaay overused!
Don't use it! Let the words in the sentence and dialogue description do the job of showing strong emotion.
Question Mark
End mark of a sentence that is in the form of a question—only. It is not used when the question is narrated: He asked why she was there. (Note we don't use a question mark in this case.)

Comma
Divides elements in dates and addresses: 415 S. Monaco, Anytown, NM, 88005.
Separates phrases in a sentence when not doing so can cause confusion.
In pairs, sets off parenthetical expressions, as when renaming a noun or adding detail.

My father, who was a rancher and farmer, lived to be eighty-three.

Divides list items within a sentence, including before the serial "and."
Used in series of short clauses.

John went north, Jerry went south, and I went west.

Apostrophe
Does NOT form plurals—except rarely (as in the case of "dot all the i's and cross all the t's" where the acronym or abbreviation is a single letter).
Shows possessive noun.
Shows a contraction of two words.
I'd (I had) he's (he is) can't (can not), etc.

Semicolon
Divides two independent clauses where the two clauses are closely related.
Divides two clauses where a relational word is used: We went to the store; however, we didn't need to go.
Is NOT a substitute for a colon.
Is NOT used as a comma.
Does not introduce a list; a colon does that.
Divides list items from one another when there are commas within a list item.

Colon
Used to set up an extensive list, following a clause. "The rules governing this body are as follows:"
Used sparingly.

Parentheses
Always comes in pairs: (...) within text to add information within a sentence, but parentheses can be used to set off numbered items (generally the closing parenthesis): 1), 2), 3), etc.

Quotation marks
Comes in pairs to set off speech or set off a unique word or phrase. Use double quotation marks, unless there is a quote within a quote. Use single quotation marks inside double quotation marks : "...'...'..." All bets are off if you're British, Canadian, or Australian.

Hyphen
Used between words in a compound adjective that modify a noun, but not always used in a compound noun. There are no specific rules on using hyphens to form compound nouns. For example, "ink well" can  also be written "ink-well" or "inkwell"—all are correct spellings. However, you should use a hyphen to eliminate ambiguity.

Is NOT used as a dash, although two hyphens together are sometimes used as a dash.
Dash
Often used in pairs—like this—to set off an interrupting thought within the flow of a sentence.
A single dash is used at the end of a dialogue sentence to show that a speaker has been cut off: "Just tell me one thing, Donald, that you've ever—"
Used sparingly.
Ellipses
This is perhaps one of the most overused and misused writing tools besides the exclamation point. They do not necessarily need to be used in pairs, but they can and should not be combined with the dash...like this—because it causes visual chaos. Ellipses are often used to indicate that words have been left out of long quotes that is attributed to a source. But in the speech of characters, ellipses are used to  show left out words, hesitant speech...uh...I mean...uh...as well as trailing off.

Used to excess in modern writing ellipses causes the book to  look like a Victorian romance novel.


Two Brothers Press is happy to report the creation of the Two Brothers Press Blog.
I have been an editor since 1980, and in the past ten years, I've been an editor for Amazon's POD self-publishing company CreateSpace. It is safe to say that I've edited over four hundred books in many genres, evaluated another two hundred books, and have seen the writing style of almost a thousand writers. I've also seen thousands of mistakes that new writers make, and this has given me extensive experience in editing and evaluating manuscripts. The exciting fact is that no two writers think or write alike, so I have learned to customize my responses to individual authors. In the coming months, I will be sharing what I have learned about writing (mainly fiction) and the numerous ways to approach deconstructing the novel in my blog. Check back often!