I help people write and publish excellent, influential books.
Welcome to my blog. Make yourself at home.
You’re here because we both love books, writing and publishing.
- You want to write a novel, or a how-to book, or a memoir.
- You want to fix a problem, or help people, or share your imagination with friends you haven’t met yet, or become a renowned author, or win awards, or change the world, or even just share your memories and wisdom with coming generations of your family.
- You want to make your book good enough to catch the eye of a publisher or literary agent. Or you want to self-publish a book so excellent no one can tell you did it yourself.
- Or you are a fellow editor, and you want to improve your online presence and grow in skill and confidence.
I want to help you do these things, and that is why I write this blog.
A selection of my most popular blog posts, to get you started.
- Beta readers: What are they, and where can you find some?
- Blogging: How to build an online audience without enslaving yourself to your website.
- Editing your own book: What to do when you’ve finished the first draft.
- Memoir: Truth, fiction, or something in between?
- Social media: Twitter for writers — two golden rules.
- For editors: Why are book editors so expensive?
I write this blog to a standard, rather than a schedule, so you will find that sometimes there are gaps between posts. Subscribe (and receive a free ebook) to be notified by email when a new article is published.
I help people write and publish excellent, influential books.
- I’m a world traveller based in beautiful, sub-tropical Brisbane, Australia.
- I began as a journalist, became a specialist book editor in the mid-90s, and a freelance publishing consultant in the early 2000s.
- I coach writers who are working out how to get their book together, and make it sing.
- I’m also a speaker and love presenting practical workshops for writers, and inspirational speeches for readers.
- Degree in Communication (QUT, Brisbane)
- Award-winning former journalist
- Honours degree in Theology (Moore College, Sydney)
- 20+ years in books and publishing, including both traditional and self-publishing
- Editor of dozens of books, some of which have been reprinted multiple times, translated into other languages, become bestsellers, or won awards both in Australia and internationally
- Consultant and coach to many authors and self-publishers, especially in inspirational memoir, self-help, psychology, theology and non-fiction
- Ghost writer
- Multi-award-winning author of light memoir and fiction
- Personal experience of the unique fears, challenges and opportunities encountered in today’s self-publishing
- Lots of life experience!
My own books
I’m a writer as well as an editor. I know exactly what it’s like to be a writer in this strange new world — from the inside!
- My latest book, Dogged Optimism: Lessons in Joy from a Disaster-Prone Dog (2015), is about my fraught-but-funny life with the Small Blue Dog. It won Bronze in this year’s Forewords Reviews awards, and was a finalist in the Next Generation Indie awards.
- My debut novel Poison Bay (2014) won a Varuna Fellowship and an IPPY Silver Medal.
- My Bible meditations have been published by Scripture Union UK since the late 90s.
- Read my full qualifications and career profile on LinkedIn
- Follow me on Twitter
- My other blog about Real Life on a Beautiful Planet: www.belindapollard.com
- My website especially for writers of personal stories and inspirational memoir: writeyourlifenow.com
- Amazon Author page
- My Facebook page
- My Instagram profile, if you like dogs, trees and the sky!
Small Blue Dog services
For more information, including testimonials, click the arrow beside each listing.
MANUSCRIPT COACHING - learn more...
I have a limited number of slots for manuscript coaching, via Skype, at a time that suits both our time zones. Coaching sessions are $350 for the first session, then $275 per session of 60-75 minutes, payable by PayPal in US dollars (unless you are located in Australia, in which case it is AU dollars). Genres I coach in include:
- Memoir, especially inspirational
- Mystery/thriller novels
- Women’s fiction
- Non-fiction and how-to
- Christian living
- Psychology, especially self-help
If you’d like to know more about how manuscript coaching works, click to view my Coaching page at writeyourlifenow.com.
Molly Greene, Novelist
Molly is the author of the bestselling Gen Delacourt mystery series.
“(Belinda’s) suggestions for content and structural enhancements such as plot and character development are intuitive, spot-on, and jaw-dropping good. Belinda’s guidance has not only improved my work but made me a better, more creative, and much more skilled and capable writer. I’ve worked with other editors in the past, but now that I have Belinda in my corner, I wouldn’t consider working with anyone else. Ever!”
Fiona Ware, Middle Grade Fiction Author
Fiona is soon to publish her anti-bullying children’s story, Charming Charlie and the Spectacular Sophia.
“I have an amazing editor and her name is Belinda Pollard. When I was looking for an editor I needed someone who understood my dreams, valued what I was endeavouring to convey in my story and gave me hope that it is possible to get across the line to publishing. Belinda has done that and much more. When she first reviewed my manuscript she started with the strengths of the story and characters then pointed out the opportunities that would improve my story telling. She has really helped me to keep going and continues to give me encouragement and guidance. We are now on the home stretch.
Thank you for coming on the journey with me Belinda. I feel blessed.”
Wesley Leake, Author
Author of The Forgiveness Tool.
“Belinda goes way beyond what an editor normally does. She has insight into what will help a book sell. Can design book covers. Can work through your concept and make appropriate suggestions that not only improves the writing but improves the concept to make it much more marketable. You will enjoy the the whole process of working with Belinda and highly recommend her.”
Specialist editing: THEOLOGY - learn more...
I am available for selected projects in theological editing (Christian), and generally take only one or two new clients per year. I have an Honours degree in Theology from Moore Theological College, Sydney as well as a degree in Communication. I have edited multiple titles in the Reading the Bible Today commentary series, as well as a range of resources for daily life.
I help you improve the structure, clarity and expression of your work, check Bible references, and alert you to possibilities that a reader will get a different message than the one you intended. It is my policy not to identify a problem without suggesting possible solutions.
The fee for theological editing is $110 per hour. This fee is discounted from my normal rate, in recognition that many who require theological editing are operating as not-for-profits. (It covers the whole cost of running a business — I receive only about a third as my salary.)
If you’d like to enquire about theological editing, contact me.
George Athas, Director of Postgraduate Studies, Moore College and Author
I worked with George on his new Bible commentary, Deuteronomy: One Nation Under God.
“Belinda Pollard has all the qualities an author needs and expects from a first class editor. A skilled artisan in the writing craft, she understands the structures holding a work together. Her eye for detail picks up the finer points, and she makes corrections with delicate precision. Her suggestions add just the right amount of varnish to give the final work the sheen it needs to appeal to the reader. And she appreciates the author’s work with encouraging feedback. I’m very grateful for Belinda’s expertise and amiability. I know my work is so much the better for having been in her hands.”
David Seccombe, Former Principal (retired) and Roving Ambassador, George Whitefield College, Cape Town, South Africa
I worked with David on the entire process of self-publishing his academic text, The Gospel of the Kingdom: Jesus’ Revolutionary Message.
“Originally I approached Belinda to edit the manuscript of The Gospel of the Kingdom. She had previously edited my Dust to Destiny and I was well aware of her skill. She handled the editing for me but also walked me through the process of self-publication and helped me bring the manuscript to print as a quality book. Her knowledge of the whole publishing and printing business is extensive, and her help with the ins and outs of crowd funding was a bonus. The whole thing was an adventure and a pleasure. I throughly recommend Small Blue Dog and Belinda Pollard for your editing and publishing needs.”
Conrad Parsons, CEO Youth For Christ Australia and Author
Conrad is the author of Understanding evangelists, and currently CEO of Youth for Christ Australia.
“Belinda is an exceptional editor. Her thinking is crystal clear, she adds significant value to what I write and no mistake or weak idea gets past her. I have been dealing with her for 16 years and every time she delivers more than I expect for a lower price than I should be paying. I would never even consider looking for anyone else to edit my writing.”
Dr Ernest F. Crocker, Consultant Physician and Author
Ern is the author of the bestselling Nine minutes past midnight: Medical encounters with a miraculous God, available in English and German.
“I found Belinda to be highly professional in her approach, personable, creative and of high integrity. She was able to meet my time line and provided her services at a very reasonable cost. I have no reservations.”
Specialist editing: PSYCHOLOGY & SELF-HELP - learn more...
I have worked with several psychologists and psychiatrists since 2002, including Dr Pete Stebbins, The Stress Surfer, in the creation of many popular self-help resources. I enjoy the possibilities of books that help people with real-world problems, and will understand what you’re talking about and have useful suggestions for how to make your message more powerful.
My fee for this type of editing is $132 per hour based on rates established by the Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance.
If you’d like to enquire about psychology and self-help editing, contact me.
Dr Pete Stebbins, The Stress Surfer, Clinical and Organisational Psychologist
Pete is the author and publisher of The Stress Surfer series of resilience, work/life and leadership resources, as well as a series of other books and resources for use by psychologists in clinical practice.
“I have worked with Belinda for many years and find her services to be high value, client focused and flexible and adaptive to feedback. Her grasp of a diverse range of writing fields is quite impressive as is her design and desktop capability – excellent value for money – and someone I will use for the duration of my business career.”
BUSINESS editing - learn more...
I work with selected corporate Australian clients in the production of white papers and ebooks. My fee for this type of editing is $132 per hour based on rates established by the Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance. If you’d like to enquire about help with one of these projects, contact me.
I worked with Fiona, Chief Operating Officer of the Queensland Education Leadership institute, on a white paper/ebook.
“Belinda is an exceptional person with incomparable skills. I was so impressed – Belinda was able to understand the unique context and requirements of our customers very quickly, taking a range of existing material and editing and styling it to achieve an end product that simply exceeded expectations. I would not hesitate in recommending Belinda as a gifted consultant who is an absolute dream to work with – I called her “My Fairy Godmother”!”
FICTION editing - learn more...
Sophie Cayeux, Author
Sophie is the author of The Mauritius Migrants women’s fiction series.
“Working with Belinda felt very special. She really cared. She immersed herself into my writing. She took the time to get into my head. She edited it just like I would have done myself – except I hadn’t been able to do it. An exceptional experience.”
The Small Blue Dog team
Small Blue Dog Publishing was founded in 1998 to provide book editing and publishing support services. I co-ordinate a small team of carefully selected freelance specialists to produce trade quality books — both paperbacks and ebooks — for worldwide distribution.
Our editors and proofreaders are all Australian-based native English speakers whose work is of the very highest standard. They are all good friends of mine — even though some of them are cat people!
Our designers have that “something extra” which helps your book stand out from the crowd.
Our ebook formatters are highly accomplished, and can handle many different types of formatting, including the more difficult display layouts and complex footnoting requirements.
When I involve another team member in your project, I never just “hand the book over and forget about it”. I take a close personal interest in your book from start to finish. I work alongside each team member to ensure I have accurately communicated to them the vision for your book.
Editing and proofreading fees are based on the rates recommended by the Australian Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance. View the rate card here: 2011-2012_freelance_rates-1
Ebook formatting and cover design rates are based on industry standards for Australia.
Why the funny name?
The business was originally known as Write Angles, but no one could spell it. I noticed people naming their companies after yachts and racehorses, so in 2010 I decided to rename mine after my dog.
But her name was Killarney, and no one could spell that, either. So I decided on Small Blue Dog, after the blue-and-tan Aussie terrier of my heart.
I like the way the name captures the agile nature of our small team. As the old saying goes, it’s not the size of the dog in the fight that counts, it’s the size of the fight in the dog.
Killarney Pollard has passed the baton to our new mascot, Rufus the medium red dog, but the company continues to be named in her honour.
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