Content Editing vs. Copy Editing vs. Proofreading

The Gnome Tree

This e-published book, a fantasy novel for the teen and young adult readers, is a collaboration between James Ross and Mark Graham Communications.

There is often a mistaken perspective in the world of publishing – and self-publishing in particular – that editing, copyediting, and proofreading are the same, or at least cut from the same cloth. They aren’t. The similarities are important; but the differences are even more so.

Let’s begin with an overview of editing.  At Mark Graham Communications, we have two levels of editing that we offer our clients: developmental editing and content editing.

In both cases, you are looking for someone who can review your material, but also make substantive changes to the text that are meant to improve the pace, flow, and the overall quality of your writing.  With both developmental editing and content editing, your editor is working directly on the language of your piece. He or she might massage the dialogue, remove redundancies, add or subtract descriptions, and manipulate the action. Developmental editing goes a step further with suggestions and/or comments on where you as the author might make additional changes.

The goal is to bring your work to the highest level of presentation.  Continue reading

The Book Synopsis vs. The Book Description

Fallen Medicine: A Nurse's Dark Journey Through Ptsd, Drug Abuse and Sexual Addiction

This fascinating story of a nurse suffering from PTSD was a collaboration between D. F. Thompson and Mark Graham Communications.

Pretend you’re sending inquiries about your book to literary agents or publishers. Pretend you’re marketing your book on Amazon or GoodReads or Facebook. The former requires a synopsis of your book. The latter calls for a book description or book blurb meant to entice your readership.

Let’s begin by saying that a book synopsis and book description are not synonymous.  There are differences, and authors like you and I would be well-served to know what the differences are.

At Mark Graham Communications, we are frequently asked to define the two. A synopsis gives a concise but entertaining summary of the plot of your novel, the events behind your biography, or the driving message behind your business book or self-help book. A well-written synopsis mirrors the voice, tone, and style of the actual book. A synopsis needs to grab the attention of the agent or publisher you’re querying and sell your idea. If it’s a novel or biography, you have a finite number of words to blow your reader away with regarding your plot and your characters. If it’s a business book or self-help book, you have the same limited number of words to sell the uniqueness of your message and why you are the right person to write such a book.

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Ghostwriting a Commercially Viable Self-Help Book

There is a baseline message for every successful self-help book. In short, it says to the reader: “You can’t live without this. It will help you achieve what you want to achieve and get exactly what you want to get.”

This message is exactly what the reader wants to hear and expects to hear, and that is the beauty of it.  Remember upfront that whatever “self-help” tool, lesson, or product you are writing about, your reader wants to be convinced that your message will aid them in changing their lives.

A commercially viable self-help book is not fluff. If all you have is fluff, you might want to think about writing a different book. Your reader has a goal; your job is to present practical and practicable tools to reach that goal.

At Mark Graham Communications, we believe a step by step layout of your self-help message serves three purposes:

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Learning to Write

Don't Miss That Sale: Home Performance - Based Selling

This how-to business book that teaches methodology on home performance based selling is a collaboration between Arne Raisanen
and Mark Graham Communications.

Writing like the writers that you admire may not be as impossible as you imagine it.  They have all gone through the same struggles that we all go through.  They have all had to learn to rewrite, edit, and rewrite again.  They all have a process. They might not want you to be aware of the process, because then you’d be able to mold your average first draft into a magnificent second draft and an even better third draft.

At Mark Graham Communications, we have a saying: Writing is like mining. What you initially dig up might not look like much, but once it’s been cut and polished, it starts to look and read like the gem you were hoping to find.

Here are a few tips for taking that first draft of yours and enhancing it into that very special book you’ve dreamed of for years.

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Ghostwriting a Powerful Memoir

This eye-opening memoir from a Vietnam POW was written by Robert Wideman, Cara Lopez Lee and Mark Graham Communications

A memoir can be as powerful and moving as any work of non-fiction and more compelling than any novel. There is nothing like a true story, and it is very likely that you have an event or series of events in your life that have the potential to entertain and exhilarate readers of all ages.

At Mark Graham Communications, we have helped hundreds of people bring their memoirs to life, and there are several rules that we always share with our clients and make absolutely certain are part of their books.

First. It is important that you know the difference between a memoir and a biography. A biography covers a person’s life from beginning to end. A memoir narrows the focus on to a snapshot, if you will, from your life. This event, or events, may cover a month, a year, or five years, but there is generally one theme that carries the story. Think of it like this: if you were taking six months to tour the European continent, your memoir would focus on the most exciting, compelling week.

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A Great Idea Doesn’t Necessarily Make for a Great Book

#5 Samaritan Court

This moving and powerful biography was written by Maria Mai-Thuy Swenka and Mark Graham Communications.

Everyone has said this at one time or another: “I have a great idea for a book.”

The percentage of those people who actually follow up on that great idea is, well, practically none.

Writing is work.  Hiring a professional ghostwriter is work. Both take time, commitment, and resolve.  Starting isn’t necessarily the problem. Many people with a great idea have actually picked up a pen and written a few words.  Many people have actually placed a call with a professional ghostwriter. Starting is not the problem. Finishing is.

If your goal in writing that amazing book is to make money, you might start, but you probably won’t finish. Why? What’s missing?  Answer: passion. Answer: the desire to see that wonderful idea in print with your name on the cover.  Now that is a great feeling.

At Mark Graham Communications, we always ask our clients: Why do you want to write this novel, or this biography, or this business book? If the answer comes from a place deep in the soul, then we’re onto something special. Continue reading


Wow Moments

This engaging how-to business book on customer interaction is a collaboration between Mark Kent and Mark Graham Communications

There are literally thousands of business men and women with proprietary knowledge and years of experience in their particular field worthy of a business book.

This is knowledge you should share for several reasons.  One, there are many entrepreneurs and would-be entrepreneurs who would benefit from your knowledge and experience. Two, the workplace is starved for innovative thinking, and successful business people need to share such thinking. Three, your legacy as a successful business person deserves preserving.

You may be asking: what do I know about writing a book? Even if the answer is absolutely nothing, there are means available to you that many others in your position have utilized.  As a successful business owner or manager, you have always hired the best people and allowed them to do their jobs.  Writing a book is no different. Hire the best ghostwriter you can; let him or her shape your knowledge and experience into something very special.

Let’s start with things you need to know.

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The Questions Every Great Ghostwriter Asks

This wonderful self-help book on teaching horsemanship to children with autism is a collaboration between Nacon Wilde and Mark Graham Communications.

This wonderful self-help book on teaching horsemanship to children with autism is a collaboration between Niki Wilde and Mark Graham Communications.

Whether you are hiring a Ghostwriter to assist you in writing a novel, biography, business book, or self-help book, the ones who really know what they are doing will ask a number of very important questions. If they don’t ask them, then they are probably only in it for the money, and if that is the case, keep looking.

At Mark Graham Communications, our first question is always, why? Why do you want to write this novel or biography? Why is it important to share your business acumen or your self-help message? If there is passion in your answer, we always hear it, and we always tap into that passion. If you’re only writing your book hoping for a big payday, we hear that too and understand that the key element in creating a special book is missing.

Our next question is about your audience. Who are you trying to reach?  Who are you trying to entertain or instruct?  Your answer affects everything moving forward.  We tailor the voice, tone, and style specifically to that audience. We find out what about your story or your message, your life lessons or business lessons appeal to that audience. We consider ways to broaden your audience without diluting the core message you’re delivering.

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The Importance of a Great Author Bio


This self-improvement book was written by Jason D. Tuzinkewich and Mark Graham Communications.

Writing an impactful author bio is important on a number of fronts.  Whether you’ve authored an article or a book, this is your opportunity to give the reader a small but vital snippet about who you are.  It can be frustrating, because your space is limited. In an article, you have a very small paragraph.  For your book, it’s not much more.  The idea, of course, is to maximize every word, so it’s actually a good exercise.  It is also an opportunity to invite readers to your author website or your social media presence.

At Mark Graham Communications, we don’t take the creation of your author bio lightly.  Here are a few rules that we generally employ:

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Finding the Right Ghostwriter for Your Novel

This page-turning historical fiction was written by Kirk Raeber, Mario Acevedo and Mark Graham Communications.

This page-turning historical fiction was written by Kirk Raeber, Mario Acevedo and Mark Graham Communications.

When you are looking for the absolutely best ghostwriter to help create the novel you have been dreaming about for all these years. Finding exactly the right ghostwriter or professional editor for your novel is like choosing the right tree for exactly the right spot in your yard.  It’s a critical decision.  One thing our years of experience at Mark Graham Communications has shown us is this: Before you truly commit to your book, the more you have finalized the plot of your story, the further down the road you will be; the better developed your cast of characters, the more memorable they will be; the more committed you and your ghostwriter are to the voice, tone, and style you decide on, the more you’ll be able to dive in head first without second guessing yourself.

As a ghostwriter, there are four key elements that we want to consider up front.

  • Creating a storyline that fits your audience.
  • Developing characters that your readers find exciting and worth investing their time in.
  • Making certain a story arc that has exactly the right flow, pacing, and emotional appeal.
  • Writing dialogue that fits your characters and sound authentic.

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