Thinking Like Your Editor
How to Write Great Serious Nonfiction and Get It Published
Distilled wisdom from two publishing pros for every serious nonfiction author in search of big commercial success.
Over 50,000 books are published in America each year, the vast majority nonfiction. Even so, many writers are stymied in getting their books published, never mind gaining significant attention for their ideas—and substantial sales. This is the book editors have been recommending to would-be authors. Filled with trade secrets, Thinking Like Your Editor explains:
• why every proposal should ask and answer five key questions;
• how to tailor academic writing to a general reader, without losing ideas or dumbing down your work;
• how to write a proposal that editors cannot ignore;
• why the most important chapter is your introduction;
• why "simple structure, complex ideas" is the mantra for creating serious nonfiction;
• why smart nonfiction editors regularly reject great writing but find new arguments irresistible.
Whatever the topic, from history to business, science to philosophy, law, or gender studies, this book is vital to every serious nonfiction writer.
- September 2003
- 5.5 × 8.3 in
/ 288 pages
- Territory Rights: Worldwide including Canada, but excluding the British Commonwealth.
Endorsements & Reviews
“Many how-to's have been written by the dubiously credentialed. This one, with inside knowledge, has a clear and positive effect and is eminently readable.” — Booklist
“Avoids feeding fantasies in favor of detailing necessities.” — Library Journal
“Starred Review. Useful advice on every page.” — Publishers Weekly
“In 45 years in publishing I have never read better advice than this book offers. Bravo!” — Hugh Van Dusen, HarperCollins Publishers
“What a smart and useful book Thinking Like Your Editor is.” — Gerald Howard, editorial director, Broadway Books
“[A]n excellent book, one of the best I've ever read on the art of serious nonfiction.” — Iris Chang, author of The Rape Of Nanking
“[S]hould be required reading for any writer of serious nonfiction.” — Laura N. Brown, president, Oxford University Press USA
“This smart, straight-talking, profoundly encouraging book is an invaluable guide for authors and editors alike.” — Sara Bershtel, Associate Publisher, Metropolitan Books
“[Rabiner's] guide to succeeding with nonfiction is every bit as good as her submission letters: the best in the business.” — George L. Gibson, President and Publisher, Walker & Company
“Likely to become the gold standard for anyone hoping to be successful in trade publishing.” — Juliet B. Schor, author of The Overworked American
“The path from good idea to great book is anything but a straight line, Rabiner and Fortunato know every precipice and crevice.” — John Paulos, author of A Mathematician Reads the Newspaper
“[W]ill be the standard text for non-fiction authors.” — Herbert P. Bix, author of Hirohito, winner of the 2001 Pulitzer Prize
“Rabiner and Fortunato take you through the corporate Oz of the publishing world, behind the smoke and mirrors.” — Dale Maharidge, author of And Their Children After Them, winner of the 1990 Pulitzer Prize in nonfiction