Book and magazine editor Liz Reed will speak on the topic “Every Writer Needs an Editor: The Editor’s Role in Honing a Manuscript.” This free workshop will conclude a three-part Local Author Workshops series the Birmingham Public Library began in March to assist area authors in preparation for BPL's 2018 Local Authors Expo taking place on Saturday, August 11, 9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m., in the Central Library's East Grand Reading Room.
Liz Reed and her husband, Jim, have operated Reed Books in downtown Birmingham for 38 years. Liz Reed is art and layout editor at Birmingham Arts Journal, a quarterly publication. Her husband is the magazine’s general editor. In addition to being a book store owner, Liz Reed has built a reputation as a book editor and independent book publisher. Her company, Blue Rooster Press, has assisted several writers in fine-tuning their books and published several manuscripts for local authors.
Her July 21 Local Author Workshop will share tips for writers who need help getting their manuscripts suitable for publishing. She said the publishing industry has changed dramatically today, with few big publishing firms taking risks on first-time authors. That has led to an explosion of self-published books, which are often filled with mistakes, Reed said.
Reed said the most common mistakes would-be authors make are:
- Poor cover design: “A good design determines whether people will buy the book or not,” Reed said.
- Bad content, which Reed calls “speed bumps” that confuse readers. “When a reader has to stop and try to figure out what the writer was trying to say, that is a speed bump,” Reed said. “A good book editor can take out the speed bumps.”
- Bringing in a manuscript that is not print-ready. Reed shared the story of one prospective author who took a CD to a printer that she thought was ready for publication. “The book was not suitable for printing until seven proofreads later,” Reed said.
Reed is looking forward to sharing advice to help local writers in Birmingham area make their publishing dreams a reality. I’m hopeful that people who attend this workshop will leave with an even stronger desire to publish their own book,”