Editing. Writing. Coaching.
When most authors think of an editor and editing, they think of someone who corrects grammar and punctuation. While that is a critical part of the editing process, you might be surprised to learn that it’s not where the editing journey begins. Editing starts with the developmental phase after the author’s draft is complete. After you receive developmental feedback and address the big-picture issues that can make or break your book then you send it off to a qualified copy and line editor for a grammar and punctuation (among other things) scrub and polish.
Of course that assumes you have a full manuscript. As a coach, I help aspiring authors clarify and organize their ideas. I also help them stay focused and motivated. Gone are the days when they languished at the keyboard. We get in and get things done efficiently and as enjoyably as possible. But what if you just have an idea or a partial or very rough manuscript and no time to finish or write it?
No problem. In addition to being a developmental editor, I’m a substantive editor and ghostwriter, I can organize and articulate your ideas into a manuscript you can move forward with while you spend time doing what you do best. This is a collaborative process, so your book will reflect your ideas, story, and voice, but I’ll take on the writing part because I love it and want to do it.
So, whether you’ve got a rough idea, an outline, a rough draft, or an I-think-I’m-ready-to-put-this-thing-out-there manuscript, I’ve got an option that might just be what you’ve been looking for. But you might be thinking, Yeah, but anyone can call themselves a writer or an editor. Why should I consider working with you?
If that’s what you’re thinking, you are absolutely correct. It’s a “buyer beware” market. So, I invite you to visit my About and Testimonials pages to see if my educational and professional backgrounds meet your standards and to see if the types of clients with whom I work are authors you’d be proud to be listed among.
If you answer yes to those questions, here’s how I might be able to help you.
Manuscript Evaluations— I designed this service specifically for fiction authors who plan to submit to literary agents. It’s a great way to see if your book “has legs.” I’ll read your entire manuscript and provide a report of my observations and recommendations based on my knowledge of the traditional publishing industry and feedback from literary agents and bookstore owners with whom I have professional relationships.
My primary focus is on craft. Think of it as a light developmental edit with a focus on whether your manuscript might appeal (in its current state) to literary agents, publishers, and/or the professional market.
Developmental Editing-– My methodology and 9- and 12-point approaches to developmental editing identify strengths and weaknesses, and my comments, reports, and custom video tutorials are designed to help you do more than just improve your current manuscript. I’ve designed them to work as custom mini craft and business workshops you can refer to again and again.
Copy and Line Editing— I work with authors who submit to literary agents or publish (indie or self) books that meet the highest standards of the publishing industry and readers. Therefore, I copy and line edit per Chicago Manual of Style, sixteenth edition and Garner’s Modern English Usage, fourth edition.
This requires multiple passes through a manuscript. With each pass, I refine the manuscript further until the content and wording are clear and precise. It’s about putting forward a manuscript that reflects your brand and the level of excellence readers and peers expect from you.
If–after a 30-minute complimentary consultation–you’re interested in working with me, I’d be happy to send you a sample of my editing report, which includes my methodology.
Substantive Editing— For those of you who’ve got a book in you and a partial manuscript sitting on your computer, I offer a service that bridges the gap between developmental editing and ghostwriting. You don’t have to go it alone. This is also an excellent way to get your book finished if you don’t have the budget for a ghostwriter.
Ghostwriting— If you have a burning desire or business need to get your message out but don’t have time to write your book, I can help you get it done. As a ghostwriter, I get what’s in your head out and into a written form that reflects your style and voice, allowing you to focus on other projects and the things you do best.
Consulting and Coaching
Book coaches help authors develop strategies to efficiently complete their book projects. I’ll help you better understand the publishing industry and navigate the ups and downs of the writing process.
“I’ve referred at least a half-dozen clients to Cristen and will likely send her dozens more. The reason is simple: she does excellent work, serves clients well, and treats each project with incredible care and focus. Cristen is a true professional. She carries herself with confidence and poise while making a genuine effort to connect with those around her. As a colleague, she’s a valued sounding board; as a community leader, she invests considerable time in elevating the writing and editing industry. Cristen is tireless in her desire to learn and grow, and she puts in the effort few others will. Basically, she’s amazing!” –Stacy Ennis, CEO and Founder at Creatively
With Whom Do I Work?
Traditionally Publishing Authors: authors seeking agent representation and to be traditionally published (fiction and nonfiction)
Indie Authors: authors with strong voices, visions, and established platforms who are committed to producing books that match the standards (craft and production) of traditionally published books (I primarily work with nonfiction authors in this category. However, I make exceptions for experienced writers and/or established authors of fiction.)
What I Edit
I’m interested in literary, upmarket, and dystopian fiction, suspense/thriller, and some fantasy. I enjoy stories with high stakes, complicated situations and characters, and endings that reflect the complexities of life. Happily ever after bores me. I look for authors with big ideas, strong voices, and bold senses of style.
When reading and editing fiction and narrative/creative nonfiction, I crave braided narratives, rich prose, and stories that explore meaning and place. I’m quite fond of short story and essay collections.
My taste in nonfiction is broad. I enjoy science, sociology, social responsibility and justice, leadership and personal development, business, and health and wellness. I’m always looking for exceptional personal stories written as narrative/creative nonfiction essays and full-length memoirs.
I do not edit romance, YA, paranormal fantasy, children’s books, or poetry.
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