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Episode 5921st March 2023 • Writing Break • America's Editor
00:00:00 00:12:34

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I am reviving an old money-making idea and answering an editing question I’ve refused to answer for 20 years.

"It Follows Me" by Humans Win

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Rosemi Mederos:

If you have plot bunnies coming out of your plot holes, it’s time for a writing break.

Break time, writers. I am reviving an old money-making idea and answering an editing question I’ve refused to answer for 20 years. It is a drizzly day in the book village we are visiting, so dress accordingly.

But first, let’s take our usual table in The Writing Break cafe, and I’ll fill you in on some publishing news.

If you have an Amazon author page, you can now see how many followers you have on Amazon by going to the Reports and Marketing tab on your Amazon Author Central account.

Check the show notes for a link to further instructions from Amazon.

Traditional publishing is dealing with a lot lately: inflation, lower sales at the end of last year, and the paper shortage. Do you remember when I wouldn’t shut up about the paper shortage?

Traditional publishers are coping by raising the cost of books, of course. And now two of the Big Five publishing companies, Hachette and HarperCollins, are working on reducing staff by offering limited-time voluntary programs to encourage employees to resign or retire.

Hachette’s program takes an aim at employees aged 50 and over who have 15 or more years of experience with the company. HarperCollins is targeting employees with at least 25 years with the company. Earlier this year HarperCollins announced plans to reduce its workforce by 5%, so I suspect employees who meet the criteria and do not volunteer for the program might find themselves forcefully resigned or retired in the end anyway.

% in the:

Check the show notes for links to all of these articles. Speaking of articles, I have a question I would like to ask you on the Overthinking Couch. I’ll see you there.

and blog posts written before:

Your gift today is a link to an 8-step guide on how to write a blog post. This guide comes from Grammarly, but this is not sponsored by or affiliated with Grammarly in any way. None of my content is sponsored, fool that I am.

A while back we visited Hobart Book Village in New York, and many of you seemed to enjoy that, so today we’re going to Wales to visit the original book town.

n Wales, with a population of:

It all began in 1961 with Richard Booth who heard that many libraries in the USA were closing, so he stocked up on enough books to open his own bookstore, with several other villagers following suit. There are more than twenty bookstores in Hay, many of which have their own niche market. Check the show notes for a 4-minute video about Hay-on-Wye.

Now, let’s stroll around the many different bookshops and check out an independent author.

Today we’re looking at The Saga of Roland Inness, a much-loved 7-part series by Wayne Grant, which began as bedtime stories the former US Army Captain and Pentagon senior official would tell his children.

The series begins when Roland Inness is 14 years old and already has extraordinary skill with a longbow, and the saga follows him into many battles as an adult. “It is a story of courage, loyalty, honor and treachery. Most of all, it is a story of high adventure set in a time so filled with drama it has spawned legends that fascinate people to this day. It is the time of Richard the Lionheart, Robin Hood, Eleanor of Aquitaine and William Marshall, legendary figures all--some real and some fictional.”

All seven books in this series have been published, and they’re available in ebook, audible, and paperback formats. You can read them for free with Kindle Unlimited.

Now, let’s settle into some cozy armchairs for today’s writing tip.

People who meet me outside business hours have many strange reactions when they find out I’m a book editor, and I might share some with you bit by bit over time. But one thing that some people will ask is, “What’s the biggest mistake writers make?” And if you remember, I answered that in Episode 45, which speaks to what authors do during the writing process. But then the person says, “No, I mean, when they write.” Which doesn’t make any sense because I was talking about when they write, but my entire job depends on being able to understand what someone meant to say. So, I venture into characters with no dimension, rushing through a scene, and so on, and the person again says, “No, no, no, like in the writing. Like typos and grammar and stuff.” This has happened more than a handful of times.

At this point, I realize the person has no idea what I really do for a living or maybe even what an author does. So, I say, “Oh, that really varies from author to author.” And I end the conversation and my entire association with this person as quickly as possible.

But here’s an answer for you, a true writer, who would never ask me about typos. There is one error, not the biggest error, but a simple little typo that often makes it all the way through to publication on best sellers. And that is, a missing period at the end of a paragraph.

I can theorize why this happens. Maybe it’s a riveting part, and everyone working on the manuscript is really into the story. Maybe it gets accidentally deleted during manuscript clean up. Maybe our brains fill in the punctuation at the end of a paragraph. I don’t know exactly. But it’s always worth checking for during copy editing and proofreading.

Either way, it’s not the writer’s job to worry about typos. Just write the damn thing.

OK, break’s over. Thanks for listening. As always, you deserved this break.

If you would like us to visit your favorite independent bookstore, feature your favorite independent author (even if it’s you), or discuss something you’re overthinking about, please email me at

Thank you for making space in your mind for The Muse today.

Writing Break is hosted by America’s Editor and produced by Allon Media with technical direction by Gus Aviles. Visit us at or contact us at




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