Midnight Publishing is a professional and affordable book editing and content editing company based in Phoenix, Arizona, helping authors and businesses all over the world with their words. As a rule of thumb, we always encourage our writer friends and potential clients to have their “author toolbox” filled with the books, tech items and other references needed to write their book easily and efficiently. Below is a list of Midnight Publishing’s must-have items to streamline your book writing experience, and prepare you for the editing and revising process with us! Save time, save money, and write your best book possible utilizing these tools:
1. A reliable computer (preferably a laptop)
Seems self-explanatory, right? Well, Midnight Publishing has had several clients with handwritten content or even full manuscripts, and though we are very happy and capable of transcribing it to a computer before the revising process, already having the content on your computer saves a significant amount of time and money. The other danger with handwritten work is that there’s one copy—if it gets damaged or lost, it’s lost forever. Invest in a reliable computer or laptop (for the ease of travel), and then purchase a USB flash drive to also save all of your work to. If that computer is stolen or breaks down, the USB flash drive still holds the content.
2. Your book arsenal
You don’t have to spend a lot of time or money on books telling you “how” to write (that takes practice and a professional editor’s detailed feedback to highlight your strengths and problem areas—contact Midnight Publishing to schedule an editing consultation today!). However, there are a few grammatical manuals and writing gems that Midnight Publishing always recommends to our editing clients:
- ON WRITING by Stephen King—part biography, part how-to, Stephen King’s iconic writing manual is a small tome that manages to discuss and provide valuable writing advice on nearly every topic necessary when it comes to authoring a book. He also says to listen to your editor, which of course makes us love the book even more.
- THE ELEMENTS OF STYLE by William Strunk Jr. and E.B. White—even smaller than King’s book, this tiny manual may have been published in 1920, but it’s still just as appropriate and helpful today. Read some of Midnight Publishing’s series of posts on writing mistakes to get a snippet of some of Strunk and White’s tips, like avoiding verbosity and “fancy” words, and not identifying who is speaking.
- THE CHICAGO MANUAL OF STYLE—on its 16th edition, this giant book (it could double as a weapon) answers every grammatical question you could ever pose, and then some. How to correctly spell numbers, format quotes, utilize punctuation, etc.—it’s all there. As editors, the CHICAGO MANUAL OF STYLE is more our territory, but we still think it’s a fantastic book for you to read if you want to better grasp the concepts of commas, semi-colons, em-dashes, italics and much, much more in your writing.
- A dictionary/thesaurus combo—surprisingly handy, a dictionary/thesaurus combination reference book like Merriam-Webster’s is crucial for double-checking the meaning and spelling of words you use, as well as exploring synonyms to avoid repetition. Did you know that “smile/smiling” is one of the most commonly used and repeated words in most fiction Midnight Publishing edits? Buy a dictionary/thesaurus combo book to avoid this writing pitfall and many others!