How I edit, and the 4 editing mistakes to avoid

Why self-editing doesn’t work and the 4 common editing mistakes writers should avoid if they want to get published.


This week I’m going to stop my yammering for a whole five minutes and let Jarrett have center stage. If you’re new around here (hi!), Jarrett is my husband, and he’s a reformed attorney turned writer and thinker at a Washington D.C. based think tank.

Here’s us getting married; here’s us fighting over the best seat in the house; here’s a few cocktails he’s made over the years that have kept me very happy.

Jarrett helps with a few things behind the scenes here at c&b but mostly spends his time fending off the overbearing editor he lives with who routinely harangues him about headlines and fluffy words.

So today, we’re sharing the real-life story of how he sold a piece to NPR’s James Beard Award-winning blog The Salt, how we edited it together, and how revising anything can kick your butt up and down the page so hard you’ll turn to the bottle mason jar of moonshine.

But I’ll let Jarrett tell the story.

common editing mistakes

Here’s Jarrett, who only hates me a smidge after we went through this editing process:

I do a lot of writing in my job. Nearly every week I have to write something: a blog post, an op-ed, or a longer policy report. A substantial portion of my job also includes pitching freelance articles to outside publications.

This requires, uh, patience? Yes, lots of patience. And hard work. And humility.

Recently, I was fortunate enough to write a piece for NPR’s James Beard Award-winning food blog, The Salt. (It’s also one of Alton Brown’s favorite food blogs, which makes us excited.) It was a cultural piece on the modern moonshine boom. You know all those mason jars of booze you’ve started seeing in liquor stores? Yeah, those contain modern day moonshine.

Moonshine traditionally meant illicitly made alcohol, but nowadays moonshine is any unaged whiskey made by licensed distillers. Since Maria and I live in Virginia–ground zero for much of the moonshining of yesteryear–I decided to write specifically about the rise and fall (and rise again!) of Virginia ‘shine.

So that’s the fun part. The part that the world sees. The finished product. (Click here, if you wanna read the piece!). But it took a long journey to get there. Like, really long.

Here are 5 things I had to do before I could even type a word of the article:

  1. I had to come up with a unique idea (no easy task since there are so many wonderful food and drink publications out there that are covering every angle of the drinks world).
  2. I had to draft a 1-2 paragraph pitch, which went through several rounds of editing from myself and Maria.
  3. I had to send the pitch around to see if any publications were interested. (I’m planning a follow-up post about the pitching process, for any writers looking to break into freelance short-form writing.)
  4. After the pitch was accepted, I had to do the research. That meant many interviews, both in person and over the phone.
  5. Finally, I had to organize and cull the material I gathered.

After all that, I could finally sit down to start writing. I wrote an initial draft, which writing greats like John McPhee have described as the hardest draft to complete. Then I re-wrote and self-edited my way through, oh, probably another 10 drafts. Next was self-editing for stylistic issues. Then, finally, I sent it to Maria.

That’s when things got real, yo. A significant portion of Maria’s job involves writing and editing about food. She also writes this blog, of course, and studied English and Journalism in college. (And she’s a bonafide food writer herself, as you all know from her work for The Kitchn and other publications. #wifebrag)

So, yeah, she was the perfect person to read and edit my piece. And Maria is a ruthless editor. Which is amazing! Every writer needs a great editor if they want to produce great work. After Maria edited a hard copy of the article, we talked about it after dinner one night and bounced ideas and revisions off each other. Then I added more edits to her edits.

Here’s what that edited hardcopy looked like:

NPR editsNPR edit 2

As you can see, we savaged the piece. And thank goodness we did, because it needed it.

The draft Maria edited wasn’t worthless–we both thought it had good bones. But it needed re-working in certain sections, some condensing in others, and some polishing everywhere. And the edits above were only a fraction of the edits this piece went through. The hardcopy was already draft #10 of the article, and after I incorporated Maria’s edits, I edited it again several more times. Then, I ran it by the in-house editor at my job, who edits all my pieces, for yet another round of revisions. After all that, I finally–finally–sent it off to NPR.

What did we learn from this? For one, self-editing isn’t enough. No matter what techniques, tips, or guides you use, a writer cannot self-edit and get the best possible result.

Here are 4 more common editing mistakes to avoid, which we’ve learned the hard way:

4 common editing mistakes to avoid

  1. Writing only one draft. Too often I see self-described good writers (“I’m a fantastic writer!,” said no good writer ever) who think the first thing they throw on the page is solid gold. Instead, what you should want at the first draft stage is a work-in-progress. If your first drafts seem like they’re ready to go, you’re either not looking hard enough or you’re not relaxing into drafting and letting loose on that first go. In fact, as Maria always likes to point out, the writer Anne Lamott has said that “almost all good writing begins with terrible first efforts.” (Click here for an Anne Lamott art print Maria made!)
  2. Relying on self-editing alone. It’s not just about skill–it’s about fresh eyes. It’s extremely valuable to have an experienced editor hack their way through the weeds of your work, and part of their value is that they are not you. Having fresh eyes on a piece, even if they are not highly trained, will improve your work immeasurably and save you from the blind spots and pitfalls you can’t ever see from the ground level of your piece.
  3. Calling it done before four drafts. I know, it sounds extreme. But if John McPhee, easily one of the most respected writers alive today, needs four drafts, the rest of us probably need closer to 10. My piece for NPR went through 15+ drafts, and even so, I’m sure it wouldn’t take much poking to find flabby spots. Remember: the first draft is the shell; the other drafts are the filling that bring the piece to life.
  4. Thinking that if it’s hard then you’re not a born writer. As humans, we tend to focus so much on the end product–what Maria calls “reaping day”–that we neglect what came first. Writing is not a skill bestowed upon certain people by nature and God; it’s the result of raw effort, determination, and patience. As Maria says, talent is a myth, and hard work and stubbornness is the truth.
  5. Maria should take a handwriting class. Seriously. Who can actually read those edits?

We hope this helps bring some sanity and perspective into your editing–and remember, it’s all a little easier if you have a great editor to lean on. Preferably one who can write legibly and is legally bound not to leave you over a cheesy headline.

Get one email per week with publishing advice + book printables delivered to your inbox!


Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

We’re between Ann Arbor and Long Branch, NJ this week to spend Thanksgiving with our families, but publishing links and dinner plans will be back next week.

Wishing you and your families a few days of warmth, gratitude, and lots of pie. 🙂

Read More

A 1-minute exercise to help you stop procrastinating

How to stop procrastinating and write: with this easy, 1 minute exercise you can overcome procrastination, stop struggling to start writing, and finally just start writing without stopping.


It’s like carrying a goat on your shoulders. Have you ever seen someone sling a full-grown goat over their shoulders?

(Maybe not, but let’s use our imaginations here.)

It weighs them down and pushes their head toward the ground and makes them generally wish it weren’t there.

That’s how I think of big projects I’m procrastinating on. Everything’s going dandy and then—bam—I remember I have to write something big tomorrow or finally face editing a tricky section of a proposal. It’s a bummer. Not because I don’t like the work of writing and editing (I love it), but because the anticipation makes me anxious, and every time I wonder if I’ll be able to actually do that writing and editing and do it well.

Instead, I’m tempted to distract myself with the easy stuff: emails, phone calls, contracts, and whatever else is less intimidating. And that goat of a project keeps weighing me down subconsciously, bleating to be done and generally stressing me out with how difficult it seems.

All procrastination is fear

Steven Pressfield calls this burden “resistance” in The War of Art. It’s resistance to start the difficult work. Elizabeth Gilbert said “All procrastination is fear” in Big Magic, and I don’t think I’ve ever underlined a sentence in a book so many times. We’ve all felt it, and every writer I’ve ever worked with has struggled with it at one time or another.

But what are we really afraid of? I’ve heard every fear you can think of from writers and bloggers, and here’s just a little sampling from the cornucopia:

Fear of not being able to stay focused. Fear of giving up and escaping to something easy instead. Fear of never finishing that book. Fear of it not selling. Fear of no one caring. Fear of having lost the magic that allowed us to write last time. Fear of being untalented. (But talent is a myth, and here’s why.)

Essentially, fear of it being hard—really, really hard.

But over the years, I’ve learned a few techniques from my authors and from plain ol’ trial and error that has taken the wind out of my procrastination sails. Now, I feel anxious if I procrastinate at all, and I try to do the hardest things first thing in the morning, when I can.

easy stop procrastinating writing

How can we stop procrastinating and finally write?

The key is realizing this: procrastination is not real. All those thoughts that race through our minds when we’re trying to wheedle our way out of writing are just thoughts. They are not reality. They are not who we are. They are not what’s happening in this moment now.

They are a story we are telling ourselves, a story no one can hear but us. And the way to hear, understand, and edit the stories we tell ourselves, just as we do with a piece of writing, is to practice mindfulness.

I think of mindfulness and writing as two sides of the same coin: one helps us fully live our own story from moment to moment, the other helps us live the stories of others. Both require a good amount of focus; both build compassion and empathy; both are a practice; both can kick your butt they are so hard.

Luckily, I work with authors who are much wiser than me, and so I wanted to share with you today a 1-minute practice I learned recently from my author, Jillian Pransky, which can help writers breathe through the fear and keep working on their manuscripts and books.

Jillian shares a remarkable program in her book, Deep Listening, which is just out from Rodale, called the Calm Body, Clear Mind, Open Heart program. She’s taught it all over the world for over 25 years, and you should see the devotion her students have for her. Her work is soaked in the magic of life-changingness—that light people get when they’re talking about something that changed a deep part of them.

Deep listening jillian pransky cover

The book is full of stories, reflections, practices, prompts, and mini-resets that are perfect for yogis but would also help any writer feel a little more brave and a little less anxious about their writing. But here’s one easy practice that I think will especially help writers overcome procrastination and the fear that whispers behind it.

This practice takes just 1 minute, and you can use it when you’re about to sit down to work or in moments where you feel resistance and procrastination rising. Go ahead and give it a try now! Read it through once, then close your eyes, do the practice, and see how you feel after.

A 1-minute exercise to help you stop procrastinating and start writing

Excerpted from Deep Listening by Jillian Pransky.

Instant Pause and Reset: Label and Let It Be

Pause to instantly reset your attention several times a day. Take a moment to notice the activity in your mind and body. Notice if you are “somewhere else,” doing “something else.” And draw yourself back into the present.

  • Pause and sense where your body meets the ground. Soften excess squinting and gripping in your face, neck, and shoulders. Let yourself land completely.
  • Notice what is going on in your mind and body right now. Label whatever you find…are you planning, worrying, sleepy, sad, happy. Maybe your body is achy, tight, or energized. It doesn’t matter what you find, you are just taking a moment to notice how you are and to label it and let it be.
  • Kindly bring your attention to your next three breaths and mentally chant for the length of your inhale, “I am” and for the duration of your exhale, “here now.” I am, here now.
  • Pause at the end of your third breath and notice your body and how you are meeting support. Open your awareness fully to the immediate space around you.
  • Welcome yourself into the moment just as you are. Slowly continue into your next activity.

Whew. I hope that helped you relax and face your writing with less tension and anxiety.

How to stick with it and stop procrastinating for good

If you found this exercise helpful, try bookmarking this page with a catchy tag like “Do this before writing.” I can’t ever seem to implement new practices unless I have them front-and-center with a “do this when/if/before” type of tag, and my computer is littered with documents like “Start here before writing a post” “Check this before submitting a proposal” etc.

So, in case your brain is as porous and forgetful as mine us, tuck this practice someplace safe and visible so you have a refuge next time the urge to procrastinate rises. And I hope it’ll help you put down that heavy goat of fear and procrastination so you can walk tall into the work that matters.

And if you want to learn more about Jillian’s practices, read more about Deep Listening:

“World-renowned restorative yoga teacher Jillian Pransky came to the practice of yoga to heal herself. For much of her life, she subscribed to a relentless work hard/play hard mentality, burying parts of herself beneath the pursuit of busy-ness and accomplishment. It wasn’t until a devastating personal loss and health crisis thrust her into suffocating anxiety that she stopped racing around. As she began to pause and examine her actions and emotions, she found herself able to unlock deeply seated tension in her mind and body. Since then, Pransky has been devoted to studying and teaching mindfulness practices, deep relaxation, and compassionate listening.

In Deep Listening, Pransky presents her signature Calm Body, Clear Mind, Open Heart program―a 10-step journey of self-exploration that she’s taught around the world. Derived from the techniques that healed her, the practice of Deep Listening invites you to pay close attention to your body, mind, and heart. You’re taught how to tune inward and relax into a state of openness, ease, and clarity. This is the new frontier in integrative wellness―mindfulness designed for healing.

Pransky doesn’t ask you to ‘be your best self,’ or ‘do more!’ She asks you to ‘be here’ and ‘do less.’ She guides you gently through the stages of Deep Listening, from being present and noticing your tension to welcoming what you discover with softness and compassion. She integrates tools like guided meditations, journaling prompts, and restorative yoga poses to help you regard yourself with kindness and curiosity. Immersing yourself in the practice of Deep Listening will allow you to nurture your own well-being.”

To find more practices for relaxation and centering, order a copy of Deep Listening on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or from your favorite local bookstore!

Get one email per week with publishing advice + book printables delivered to your inbox!


Class I’m Excited About This Week

literary agent books blog

Guys, Food Blogger Pro is open again! I know a lot of you signed up during the last enrollment period, and I hope you’ve been enjoying all the class material and videos as much as I’ve been.

In case you’re not familiar with Food Blogger Pro, it is one of only two classes I’ll recommend for bloggers. It’s, by far, the best way to learn how to start and grow a blog, even if you blog about things other than food. I feel so strongly about it for a few reasons:

  1. Lindsay and Bjork of Pinch of Yum are at the top of the blogging world, and they make as much as $30,000+ per month on their blog, with millions of page views per month. Because I work in publishing, I’m always highly skeptical of people who tout themselves as experts but don’t have the numbers to prove it. But I also think when you find someone who is clearly one of the best and is willing to teach you everything they know, you have to jump on it. I did–I’ve been a member of FBP for 3+ months, and I feel so much better about blogging knowing I have the huge FBP archive and community at my fingertips. It’s been so much more fun to blog now that I feel less in the dark about how to do it!
  2. I actually think it’s a ridiculously good deal. I work with or know a lot of experts who sell their Everything-I-Know classes for hundreds or even thousands of dollars, so at $29 a month, FBP feels like a steal. (I mean, I spend more on dog treats for Pepper. And my ROI is a big fat zero on those.)
  3. A lot of the very best bloggers, who have now become bestselling authors, went through Food Blogger Pro. It’s a class and community that I admire because it shows you how to build a site and spread your work with integrity–after all, you don’t want to learn how to grow a blog from the shouty, annoying types on the internet. To me, FBP provides a clear North Star-like guide to making this blog better for you all, instead of forcing me to sift through weird or flash-in-the-pan advice that pops up on Pinterest or Google.

But enough from me, you can read more about the class and sign up for Food Blogger Pro here! And if it feels like a fit for you, you can use my promo code to get 10% off a yearly membership or $3 off the monthly membership.

(If you do decide to try FBP, would you consider using the links above? It provides a small commission to fund the hours of work we put into c&b. Hope to see you inside Food Blogger Pro–if you join, say hi!)


What I’m Reading This Week

5-Minute Meditation With Mindfulness Expert Jillian Pransky (Forbes): If you’d like to go deeper right now, try this beautiful 5-minute video meditation with Jillian. It’s the instant breath of fresh air your mind needs!

How Information Overload Robs Us of Our Creativity: What the Scientific Research Shows (Josh Jones on Open Culture): Scientific proof that we need to wash and wring out our brains every once in awhile if we’re going to be creative.

The 6 Things Always on Your Writer’s To-Do List (Rachel Geisel): “As writers, we write and we read. And at a basic level, this is all you really need. But you don’t have to be writing 24/7 to be involved in your writing life, and you shouldn’t try to.”

The Angsty Relationships Between Writing and Sales (Andi Cumbo-Floyd on JaneFriedman.com): “…it’s really okay to promote your own work, even if people tell you it’s not. You are proud of what you write, teach, provide. Put it out in the world. Let your flowers rise up toward the sun.” Amen.

Radhika Jones, Vanity Fair’s Surprise Choice, Is Ready to Go (Sydney Ember for The New York Times): And in industry moves, the Editorial Director of the books department at the Times is heading over to Vanity Fair.


What We’re Eating This Week

Because last week was such a garbage fire of busy, this week I’m trying this new thing called eat like a normal person and actually cook at home, you lazy sack. The Yelp reviews for dinner at our house this week would be a solid 4 stars–we’re not the best, but hey, we could be worse.

Sunday: Ropa Vieja, made from a recipe given to us by a friend from an old Cuban cookbook. This alone dragged our dinner table Yelp rating up by at least 1/2 a star.

Monday: “We’re trying to be healthy”: a phrase I say dozens of times per week, usually while eating salad bathed in ranch dressing and feeling delusionally virtuous. We made the Teriyaki Chicken Cauliflower Bowls from SkinnyTaste: Fast and Slow, and they were a huge hit, maybe because I added wasabi mayo dressing, extra teriyaki sauce, and 2 glasses of wine as a side to the recipe. But hey, the book still says 236 calories per serving, so I’m going with that.

Tuesday: Glorious, cheesy pasta: Brussels Sprouts and Three-Cheese Pasta Bake from Smitten Kitchen Every Day. Because we were healthy yesterday, you know?

Wednesday: My lovely author Robyn’s White Chicken Chili recipe, which I’m doggedly trying to teach Jarrett to make and he’s doggedly flattering that “I make it best.” Stand-off continues; war looms.

Thursday: I’m running two book auctions this week, so Thursday will be beautiful, effortless takeout. Pizza or Chinese? That’s the only decision my brain can handle after the frenzy of an auction.

Friday: The most basic ground beef tacos, because hey, we’re a 4 star joint, not a 5-star one. Deal with it.

Cheers!

Read More

Are you a homebody? These cute & free bookmarks are for you!

These cute & free printable fall bookmarks are perfect for cozy fall book reading–download the free printable bookmark PDF here!


I squirmed and shifted in my seat. I pulled my elbows in closer to fit the 18 inches of personal space allotted to me. I turtled into my scarf and brought my book closer to my face. I thought really, really hard about what Eleanor’s apartment looked like and how really, really nice it would be to be there instead of here.

That’s the only way to survive a plane flight, isn’t it?

Especially if you’re in a tiny discount airline seat. Especially if you’re so cold you might put on every piece of clothing inside your one included personal item. Especially if the person next to you is an armrest hog and a chatterer. (Ugh, isn’t that the worst combination?

I was on a discount airline flight like that last week on our way to Ann Arbor, and it made me think long and hard about how good I have it at home. (I shared an inside peek at my reading nook recently, if you missed it!)

reading nook mistakes

I travel a lot for work and non-work, which is hilarious because I’m such a homebody. I’ve always found it supremely comical that Jarrett and I were long-distance for 5 years and that now I travel nearly every other week for work. Because if you’ve seen me, you know I’m the least graceful traveler on every plane, train, or automobile.

If there’s something to complain about (and when is there not?!) I. Am. On. It. (First of all, it’s too cold in here; second of all, I’m really thirsty; third of all…)

Are you a homebody, too?

If so, I have some hard news for you: there’s no way to see the world (and the world is great!) unless you get into a tin can hurtling through time and space every once in a while.

But, there are little things you can do to make the whole experience a bit cozier and less get-me-off-this-damn-thing-before-I-scream-y. (Now there’s an adjective for ya.)

First, figure out what comforts you during rough moments. For me, it’s yoga pants, extra warm socks, 10 or so layers of clothing, a scarf to hide in, a book to escape into, a jacket to drape like a blanket, and the largest damn cup of coffee they can legally sell me. (I wasn’t kidding about that high maintenance thing.)

Maybe you like those things, too? And want to have a reminder of them with you no matter what tiny little crevice of the world you’re reading in?

You, reader, need a cozy fall bookmark.

free printable fall bookmarks

I designed this bookmark last year to celebrate the arrival of all things cozy and fall, and this year I wanted to redesign it to make it a bit fresher and brighter.

This free printable bookmark is the perfect way to mark your spot between sips of cider, or to remind you to pack up your cozy essentials before you hit the road with your reading.

So if you love books + blankets + hot coffee + warm socks as much as I do (and I know you do!) then head on over to The Library and download this free printable bookmark.

I loaded this fall bookmark up with all the cozy fall essentials you’ll need, as well as one of my favorite John Green quotes:

“Reading forces you to be quiet in a world that no longer makes place for that.” — John Green

 

This printable bookmark is also perfect if you ever find yourself in a spot with chatterers (ahem…) and want a little bit of quiet in your world. When you stick it out of your book just so, that loud person in 22B will have a subtle reminder that “Shh…I’m reading.” And it’s okay if the loud person in 22B is your husband. He needs to pipe down every once in a while, too.

I hope this fall themed bookmark helps you get lost in a book while surrounded by your favorite cozy things, no matter how tight your next airline seat might be!

free printable fall bookmarks

Click here to download this free printable bookmark!

Get one email per week with publishing advice + book printables delivered to your inbox!


What I’m Reading This Week

Smitten Kitchen’s Deb Perelman Talks Food Blogging and New Cookbook (Shay Spence for People): Stonesong’s own Deb Perelman had a lovely print feature in People this week! My favorite quote? “Though Perelman sacrifices counter space in the tiny apartment in the big city, the minimalist lifestyle fits with her brand of simplified cooking. ‘My feeling is if it’s too crowded in here, it’s not because the apartment is too small, it’s because we have too much stuff,’ she says. ‘We’re not living fancy, but I get to work for myself and raise a family in the city I love. I’m so thankful because I feel like I have a really good life.’

How Creative Subheadings Can Make or Break Your Content (Erika Fitzgerald for The Write Life): Maybe you’re tinkering with a subhead for an article; maybe you’re deciding on a subtitle for your book; maybe you want to throw up your hands and burn it all down. Well, put down the flamethrower and read this first. Subheads are extremely important, and it’s worth taking a deep breath and getting them right.

Blogger Gets Cookbook Deal With 1-Sentence Email (Dianne Jacob): An interesting piece on how trend-driven cookbooks come about…worth reading if you’ve ever been approached by a small or medium sized publisher and want to know what it might be like!

Great Writers on the Letters of the Alphabet (Maria Popova of Brain Pickings): Oo, I love this. An ode to each letter of the alphabet with drawings by David Hockney and micro-essays by Susan Sontag, Seamus Heaney, Martin Amis, John Updike, Joyce Carol Oates, Erica Jong, Kazuo Ishiguro, and others. What’s lovelier than that?


What We’re Eating This Week

Oh, I give up. Do you ever hit 6 pm and think that? I never, ever do because I work on cookbooks and always cook out of them. (Narrator: she didn’t.) But let’s play a game called Fantasy Dinner Theater where I talk about all the things I want to cook and eat, and then you tell me how delusional I am. Okay? Let’s go!

Monday: On Monday, we’ll enjoy a fine roast duck with mashed potatoes (with all the butter and all the cream, of course), plus perfectly charred Brussels sprouts in a duck fat vinaigrette.

Tuesday: I’ll finally cook a vintage recipe from The New York Times Cookbook. Probably something with aspic, which I’ll flawlessly execute and also miraculously transform into something people want to eat.

Wednesday: I’ll take a break from excellence and order Peter Chang’s, and I won’t even ask them to make it less spicy because I’m very sophisticated like that.

Thursday: Thursday feels like a day for soufflé, yes? I’ll pop a few soufflés in after work, throw together a vegetable gratin, and we’ll sit down to eat a steaming hot and perfectly balanced meal at 6:30 on the dot.

Friday: I take it easy with a make your own pizza station with dough I hand-kneaded at 6 in the morning, mozzarella I fresh-pulled right after that, sauce made with tomatoes from my imaginary garden, and 10-12 perfectly chopped complementary toppings in 10-12 little bowls, which I won’t even complain about washing.

Saturday: Fantasy Dinner Theater is cancelled after a short and and record-settingly unsuccessful run, and now we’re back to our regular programming of panic and laziness. Enjoy the show.

Cheers!

4 unexpected ways to make your book a perennial bestseller

The 4 best takeaways and a book review of Perennial Seller: The Art of Making and Marketing Work That Lasts by Ryan Holiday–plus a free downloadable PDF art print to inspire you to become a perennial seller!


“That book has taken on a life of its own.”

I blinked at this—what did that mean? It was 2009, and I was working at a Big 5 publisher in New York.  I had asked one of the senior editors about a backlist book that was still selling and selling, even after 10 years.

The book was a perennial seller for the publishing house. It had built momentous word-of-mouth and now needed almost no help from the author or publisher to keep it selling steadily.  You can recognize these books because they wave you down with numbers: “2 million copies sold,” “now published in 15 countries!”

how to write a perennial seller book 1

What I wanted to know was exactly how that book had become a perennial bestseller. Was it the author’s platform? Was it the idea? Had they marketed the heck out of it?

Read More