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How to Edit Query Letters, Synopses, Elevator Pitches, and More! (self-paced online course, register by February 10)


78 seats available

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Product Description


This four-lesson, self-paced class is meant for editors who would like to offer additional services to authors beyond manuscript editing.

In this class, you’ll learn how to edit:

  • query letters and story synopses for authors planning to follow the traditional publishing path
  • elevator pitches for authors planning to attend conference pitch sessions or who just want to be able to talk about their book to potential readers
  • blurbs—those brief book descriptions that go on the back of the book or in the online book listing/catalog
  • pull quotes—quotes from the book that authors use to help promote the work on social media (why do they always pick terrible quotes?)
  • author bios, both brief bylines for use in marketing/promotion and longer “about the author” bios that go in a press kit or on a website

The course materials discuss the purpose of each of these items, what those reading/reviewing them are looking for, and how editors can help authors fine-tune their work to make it as compelling as possible. Exercises with answer keys are included to help your practice the techniques described.

“Self-paced” means that students read the lessons and do the exercises at their own pace. There is no instructor feedback. You will have six months to access the course materials, which can be downloaded for your future reference.

Registrations will be taken until February 10, 2020, at which time the class will be closed to new enrollment.

Course designer Jennifer Lawler is the author or coauthor of more than 30 books, including a number of novels under various pen names. A former college English teacher—try not to hold that against her—she now works as a freelance writer and book development editor. She has worked as an acquisitions editor for a romance imprint and was once a literary agent. In her spare time, she teaches copyediting for the University of California–San Diego. She earned her PhD in medieval English literature from the University of Kansas and a black belt in Taekwondo at approximately the same time. She has not quite decided which has been more useful.

A Note About the EFA's Self-Paced Online Courses

Our online courses are conducted through Sakai, a learning management system (LMS). Self-paced courses are undertaken by the student at their own pace and no instructor feedback is provided. Students will have six months to access the course site and may download the course materials for later review. Information on how to access the course will be provided one to two business days after registration. All participants in EFA courses must abide by our anti-harassment policy, which you can find here.