Cristen Iris Project Specialties PNG


“I handed [Cristen] a mess, and [she] created structure and an actual, readable book.”

“Thank you for helping me in the most profoundly professional and inspired collaboration.”

“After 15+ years in publishing, I can say that Cristen sets the gold standard for freelance editing.”

“Cristen Iris is the embodiment of excellence, grace, and humility.”

“[Cristen] is a wonderfully precise thinker.”

“Outstandingly informative.”

I understand that aspiring authors have different goals, preferences, and budgets. With that in mind, options below range from 1.5-hour consulting sessions to 6-month ghostwriting projects.

coaching/consulting sessions


Nonfiction Book Proposals & Fiction Query Letters

Book Proposal Review

Query Letter + First 50 Pages Review

Schedule a Free Consultation

If you've already written your book proposal and sample chapters and want an editor whose clients are represented by literary agents and have contracts with traditional publishers to offer feedback for what will work for you and what may work against you, I offer this book proposal and sample chapter(s) review service.

In addition to written feedback, I provide custom video tutorials to help you develop a deeper understanding of the publishing industry and how to strengthen your proposal while preserving your vision and voice.

3 thousand

Project Launch to Delivery: 2 weeks

Schedule your free, 30-minute consultation -->

The traditional publishing space is extremely competitive. Not only must you have an exceptional novel, your query letter and writing sample must immediately grab the attention of literary agents and acquisition editors and keep it.

For authors who aspire to be traditionally published, I offer a query letter and first 50 pages review.

I'll be looking at structure--does your story start in the right place?--and if and how you establish an immediate connection between readers and your protagonist.

2 thousand

Project Launch to Delivery: 2 week

Schedule your free, 30-minute consultation -->


Nonfiction Ghostwriting, Book Doctoring, & Developmental Editing

Ghostwriting/book collaboration

Book Doctoring

developmental editing

Ghostwriting and book collaboration are two publishing industry terms used to describe the same type of strategic relationship.

I specifically designed this premium, 5-phase service for authors whose reputation and goals require them to produce a high-quality book.

As your ghostwriter/book collaborator, I develop a deep understanding of who you are, what you do, and who you serve. I keep your goals and ideal reader in mind as I organize and shape your ideas into a book that matches your vision and voice while clearly articulating your ideas.

44 to 54 thousand (rate based on word count, genre, manuscript complexity, and whether you also need a book proposal)

Project Duration: 6 months

Schedule a free, 30-minute consultation below.

Book doctoring is a cross between developmental editing and ghostwriting.

This is a good fit for the aspiring author who's written a manuscript that doesn't match their vision and who wants help bringing it up to the level it needs to be for publication.

I start with a full developmental edit. After we agree to revisions, I go to work rewriting the manuscript. You then review the new draft, and I make final revisions based on your feedback.

This service also includes publishing consulting to position you for success whether your preferred publishing model is traditional Big 5, traditional indie, or self-publishing.

18 to 28 thousand

Project Duration: 3-5 months

Schedule a free, 30-minute consultation below.

As your developmental editor, I review your complete manuscript and make revision recommendations based on my tried-and-true, 11-inspection-point methodology and knowledge of the book market to help you craft a commercially viable book.

Deliverables include:

  • a multi-page developmental editing report
  • in-manuscript comments
  • a list of additional resources
  • custom video tutorials
  • a project launch and a post-delivery consulting/brainstorming call

Through the process, you gain a better understanding of the craft of writing and have a deeper understanding of the publishing industry and how to navigate it with confidence.

4 to 6 thousand (rate based on word count, genre, and complexity)

Project Launch to Delivery: 1 month

Schedule a free, 30-minute consultation below.

Documentary Film Story Consulting

I help experienced and first-time documentary filmmakers develop a structure to bring their vision to life. We consider the ideal viewer, time and budget constraints, interviewee lists, filming locations, and more.

For documentary film story consulting rates, please contact me to discuss the scope of your project.


what literary agents & acquisition editors say

"After 15+ years in publishing, I can say that Cristen sets the gold standard for freelance editing. She recently worked with us on a client's memoir proposal, including an extensive amount of co-writing of sample chapters. From the start of the process, I was highly impressed with her writing, her ideas, and just how much organization and inspiration she brought to the project. Her writing was beautiful, clear, and very true to the author's unique voice. Collaborating with her has been a joy for both author and agent. She had tremendous impact on this project, and we will look forward to working with her on many more, given our experience." --Lilly Ghahremani, JD, MBA, literary agent and co-founder of Full Circle Literary


A literary agent recently said, "I'm glad [client] worked with you to hone the proposal because the hard work shows and cohesiveness shows." (October 2021)


According to client Steve Adelman, "The first major acquisition editor who saw my book proposal commented, 'For a first time author, this certainly is not a first time proposal.'"



Can you help me find a literary agent or publisher? Yes. I see myself as a literary matchmaker. If I know an agent or acquisition editor who I think is a great fit for you and you for them, I will pitch your project directly to them. This is by no means a guarantee that I will pitch you to people in my network nor is it a guarantee that if I do they will be interested. The market is far more competitve than authors (and uninitiated editors and ghostwriters) imagine, and I respect the time and energy of the literary agents and publishers in my network. I do not trespass on their good will by pitching authors and projects that do not fit their stated requirements (author platform) and preferences (genres, topics, etc.).

Can you help me with marketing and promotion? Absolutely. A big part of any book proposal is the marketing plan section. We'll be discussing this from day 1. The execution of the plan is up to you, but I'm here to help with strategic planning and to offer as-needed advice for the life of your book.

If you ghostwrite/serve as my book collaborator, do you own the copyright? No. I'll be doing work for hire. You own your copyright.

Do you work on commission? Rarely. But if you're already contracted with a literary agent or publisher, we can discuss partial payment in the form of a percentage of your advance and book royalties.

Do you offer straight hourly rate consulting? In addition to my hourly rate book proposal consulting, I offer a 1.5-hour stand-alone consultation for $250.


Specialties/Areas of Interest

Narrative Nonfiction: human rights/equality; animal rights/veganism; evidence-based medicine/plant-based diet; epidemiology and medical anthropology; environmentalism/sustainability; film, television, pop culture; sports; science; technology; personal and professional development; legal; disability and neurodiversity

Academic-to-Trade Crossovers: anthropology, psychology, sociology, neurology

Memoir: celebrity and high impact, platform driven

Fiction: literary and upmarket

Documentary Film: See narrative nonfiction, academic-to-trade, and memoir lists above.

PLEASE NOTE: The services above reflect my current rates and ways of doing things. I reserve the right to change my rates, services, and processes as the market changes and I find more effective ways of getting results for my clients.

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