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Thinking Like Your Editor

How to Write Great Serious Nonfiction and Get It Published

Susan Rabiner, Alfred Fortunato


List Price: 16.95*
* Individual store prices may vary.

Other Editions of This Title:
Hardcover (2/17/2002)


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.

Praise For Thinking Like Your Editor: How to Write Great Serious Nonfiction and Get It Published

Avoids feeding fantasies in favor of detailing necessities.
— Library Journal

Starred Review. Useful advice on every page.
— Publishers Weekly

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

What a smart and useful book Thinking Like Your Editor is.

— Gerald Howard, editorial director, Broadway Books

[W]ill be the standard text for non-fiction authors.
— Herbert P. Bix, author of Hirohito, winner of the 2001 Pulitzer Prize

In 45 years in publishing I have never read better advice than this book offers. Bravo!
— Hugh Van Dusen, HarperCollins Publishers

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

Likely to become the gold standard for anyone hoping to be successful in trade publishing.
— Juliet B. Schor, author of The Overworked American

[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

W. W. Norton & Company, 9780393324617, 288pp.

Publication Date: September 17, 2003

About the Author

Susan Rabiner is the former editorial director of Basic Books. She was a senior editor at Oxford University Press and Pantheon Books.

Alfred Fortunato is a freelance editor and writer.