Cristen has proven to be a critical component of my manuscript preparation. She executed her role [as developmental editor] with professionalism, which includes timeliness and integrity. I tend to be direct when I talk, and she worked well with that. She wasn’t afraid to be critical where and when appropriate and didn’t hesitate to acknowledge when her initial comments may have been off a bit.
There are two things I wanted from a developmental editor that I found in her:
Shortly after I began processing her edits, I told her I felt like I should have paid her more.
I was blessed (or lucky if you prefer) to have found her.
Larry Mandelberg, a 5th generation entrepreneur, business coach, speaker, and author of Businesses Don't Fail. They Commit Suicide: How to Survive Success and Thrive in Good Times and Bad
"Cristen Iris provided expert editorial services, encouragement, and most important, wise counsel. She consistently went above and beyond the call of duty to help me get this book published." Stephen M. Sagar, MD, author of Vitamin C: A 500-Year Scientific Biography from Scurvy to Pseudoscience (Prometheus Books, 2022)
"To Cristen Iris, who kicked the book over the goal line. It was a true pleasure writing with you. Your ability to streamline, unpack, and create story is impeccable. For me, for what is so emotional, raw, and too close to be fairly objective, you brilliantly bridged the gap so that our reader can have the best experience and a-ha moments one chapter at a time."
Alicia Robertson, founder of Lemonade Life and author of Make Lemonade: Thrive Through Divorce by Transforming Your Life
Cristen is a phenomenal and dynamic editor. I have had the opportunity to work with her and hear her exceptional speeches on several occasions, and I am always impressed with her wisdom and industry knowledge. I have recommended Cristen to clients and will continue to recommend her to writers and industry professionals as a valuable resource. As a peer she is always considerate and generous, as a professional she is honest and hard working. She is a spectacular human!
Stacey Smekofske, editor and publishing coach
"When I came to Cristen as a first-time author, I had what could best be described as a book outline with a few chapters written. She was quickly able to develop a structure behind my work, directing my efforts down a clear, constructive path.
Just as important, she provided what I imagine all authors need: an experienced industry professional to discuss ideas with and guide one through the often challenging process of not only completing the book you have the potential to write, but a proposal as well.
As the first major acquisition editor who saw my book proposal commented, 'For a first time author, this certainly is not a first time proposal.'
Simply put, without Cristen as my editor I would never have the opportunities in front of me that I do today."
Steve Adelman, co-founder of the Avalon Nightlife brand worldwide and author of Nocturnal Admissions: Behind the Scenes of Tunnel, Limelight, Avalon, and Other Legendary Nightclubs (Santa Monica Press, 2022)
"As much as I stamped my foot, resisted, overate, got a little depressed, and slept in for five years, Cristen's lovingly comprehensive and direct insights were just the ticket. I could not have gotten here without her."
Craig Copeland, author of Disruptors: The Gateway to Genius Level Thinking
"I cannot speak highly enough about Cristen Iris as a developmental editor. Six months before my manuscript was due to my publisher, I started working with her. I gave Cristen a monstrosity of a draft that was refusing to yield into the meaningful book that I knew it could be. I had been working on the draft for a year. It was over 30% longer than I had promised my publisher and had major problems with redundancy and presenting complex concepts. The feedback Cristen provided gave me a clear vision on how to restructure the manuscript and to simplify my presentation of information. She provided a detailed letter addressing specific questions I had posed to her as well other insights she had about the manuscript. Cristen also shared notes on each of the chapters and the manuscript that was marked up with comments. Perhaps the most valuable feedback was several hours of videos that Cristen provided about my manuscript. Watching them was like taking a master class that tailored for me. I have learned so much through working with Cristen, and my manuscript is turning into the meaningful book I had envisioned."
Lisa Schelbe, PhD; Associate Professor Florida State University, College of Social Work
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)
"For a first-time author, finding someone who understands your concept can be hard. Thankfully, book doctor and now friend Cristen Iris understood what I wanted to create. Idaho Waters would not exist without her. Much more than an editor, Cristen was the perfect combination of cheerleader and taskmaster. She showed me how to keep going and provided a strong professional hand and the much needed structure for completion."
David R. Day, professional landscape and commercial photographer and author of Idaho Waters, a Rediscovered Books Top 10 Bestseller 12/6-12/12/2021
"Thank you for your wise counsel! Thank you for being brutally honest with me. It made your encouragement all the sweeter when you understood my vision and goals."
Anneke Brown, Founder at Equip Caregivers LLC
"I felt an immediate connection the first time we talked. You understood my heart and leaned into this [book collaboration] project by giving everything you have and encouraging me to be vulnerable and give readers everything I have. Thank you for your patience and commitment."
Clayton Moore, author Good Cop, Black Cop: Guilty Until Proven Innocent, NYC Big Book Award winner
"Every once in while an angel blesses us in our lives. I have
been fortunate to meet a true angel in writing this book. My
dear talent manager, content editor, and now friend Cristen
Iris is the embodiment of excellence, grace, and humility.
Thank you Cristen for believing in me and taking me under
your wing. Your genius input created a flow to the book that
I could have never imagined."
Gary Buckmann, former USA National Team Coach (gymnastics) who has worked with 5 Olympic Gold Medal winners and author of Broken to Brilliant
Cristen is the most BRILLIANT editor I have ever worked with. Her editorial comments on my novel ... helped me recognize several patterns in my writing style, both good and bad. She has an eye for what good writing should read like, and every single comment she made was 100% accurate. That kind of editing is a gift that few people possess. She will always be my go-to editor.
Etaf Rum, debut novelist A Woman Is No Man, New York Times Bestseller and TODAY Show Read with Jenna Book of the Month pick, available in English, Arabic, French, Italian, Greek, Vietnamese, and Portuguese
"During the process [of writing this book], I engaged with Cristen Iris, a substantive editor extraordinaire. Without Cristen's attention to detail and style, this book would not have been finished." M.V. Maddux, author of Shadows to Light
"I was extremely fortunate to be referred by my literary agent to Developmental Editor, Cristen Iris, last year. She took the first draft of my memoir and turned the stories I’d written into a manuscript with an actual story arc. She created intriguing chapter titles and improved my dialogue when needed. In addition to manuscript work, she sent videos via email explaining things to me as if we were sitting together. Probably most importantly, she understood the message of my book and made sure that it stayed uppermost as the story unfolded. Her upbeat, but realistic, attitude made her a real pleasure to work with. She is outstanding."
Linda K. Olson, retired physician, motivational speaker, author of Gone! A Memoir of Love, Body, and Taking Back My Life, listed by Parade Magazine as one of the 24 best memoirs to read in 2020
Cristen is a true professional on every level. As a leader for the Nonfiction Authors Association, she provided support, training and encouragement for her team. Her enthusiasm is contagious and she never hesitates to go above and beyond to exceed expectations. She has been a valued asset to our organization and will no doubt continue to dazzle all those she works with in the future.
Stephanie Chandler, CEO and founder, Nonfiction Authors Association
"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
"Cristen, I handed you a mess, and you created structure and an actual, readable book."
Colleen Higgins, R.Ph., author of The Cannabis Prescription: How to Use Medical Marijuana to Reduce or Replace Pharmaceutical Medications
"Thank you for the excellent direction you gave us during your developmental edit of our novel last July. Even though it took awhile, we deconstructed and then reconstructed the [suspense] novel. Following your advice, we managed to eliminate several plot lines, eliminate at least 7 characters, and greatly simplify the novel while retaining many of the unique plot points and unique characters. On top of that, 3 beta readers since the deconstruct/reconstruct effort have given the novel really good reviews. And, our current beta reader said, 'You've got me hooked. I want to read more.'" aspiring author, pen name TBD
"I just wanted to thank you once again for your notes on my manuscript. I can’t begin to tell you what a significant difference your thoughts made on my ability to tweak the writing and take it to a new level. Your advice was, I felt, so spot-on and I really just can’t thank you enough. All this time I’ve been sending to agents and editors and hearing, 'I like it but I’m not connecting,' with no thoughts on what they’re not connecting with or how to fix it. Yours was the first real advice I’ve been given and I’m just beside myself."
C.H. Armstrong, author of Roam (Cathie subsequently secured a traditional publishing contract with Central Avenue Publishing.)
Through a series of phone calls, well, more like countless times of me bugging Cristen, she always greeted me with grace, kindness, and at times mercy…. Anyone who, whether a professional or a novice like me, is looking for some help and assistance with writing, your one stop is Cristen Iris. It’s an over-stated cliche, but I literally could not have done this without her. I had a beat and a concept, but she helped make it solid.
Billy Kilson, GRAMMY Award (R) winning drummer, author of The Solid Beat Concept: A Modern Method for Musical Advancement
“As a presenter, teacher, author, and Toastmaster, I am always delighted to find someone as talented, graceful, and professional as Cristen Iris. She exudes confidence, displays high organizational skills, while being able to deliver each person’s needs in a training setting. She’s a gem in our community, and I’m thankful to know and work with her.”
Sherry Briscoe, author and workshop organizer for the Idaho Writers Guild
Finding Cristen Iris was one of those instances that you look back on in awe and wonder how you were so fortunate to find a person that you didn’t even know you needed. However, that’s what happened. Without Cristen, I don’t think my book would have ever been published. Cristen gave me the honest feedback and encouragement that I needed to keep going. Not only did she understand the need of my industry (the legal industry) she also nailed my ideal reader (attorneys).
Months after our official work finished, she’s continued to reach out to me with ideas and connections to help me in my book launch. I couldn’t be more grateful to have had the opportunity to work with Cristen. I highly recommend Cristen to anyone going through the book writing process.
Lee Holcomb, author of Lifestyle Lawyer: The Female Attorney's Guide to Designing a Law Career You Love
"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, consultant, author, speaker
It was a privilege to work with Cristen. She is a highly knowledgeable editor and a wonderfully precise thinker. Her skill, commitment to excellence, and ability to understand my intent, inhabit it, and articulate it improved my manuscript tremendously. Our editing process was a fun partnership and I highly recommend her!
Heather Sears, founder of Kinsho Kitchen and author of Mind to Mouth: A Busy Chick's Guide to Mindful Mealtime Moments
"Amazing insight. Really appreciate the transparent, no-holds-barred presentation. Tremendous help!" —Jake Levya
“Thank you for sharing your insights during your Anthropology at Work: From Education to Employment, College to Career presentation. It was the most inspirational fifty minutes I've experienced since returning to university studies!” —Katherine Kappelman
Your efforts have made this book the best one yet, so thank you so much for working on the project. You have taught me many things regarding the editing process. It is a great relief to see this book almost completed.
Scott Marchant, author of the Hiking Idaho series
"The handout is great and a good resource for later ... excellent talk. You're my role model. I want to be as informed and professional as you are." —CS Kjar
…you….are so incredibly… AWESOME!!! I love you! Thank you for your brilliance, and your deep contributions to this work. I am so grateful for you.
Tanya Sood, author of She Has Risen: Resurrect Your Divine Feminine Wisdom and Celebrate Your Miraculous Girly Bits
"Cristen's engagement with the audience was phenomenal. The information was well presented. She is a dynamic, knowledgeable, and engaging speaker. I highly recommend her as a presenter."
Thank you to my sharp-eyed editor Cristen Iris. I’m grateful for your sense of humor and fiercely productive availability.
Laurie Buchanan, PhD; author of The Business of Being: Soul Purpose In and Out of the Workplace
"I love the line and copy edits you made to my manuscript. Every edit was reflective and well thought out in a way that preserved and/or enhanced my voice as the author without muddling it with your own. This is not easy to do but exactly what you should be doing and what every person like me can only dream of finding in an editor. You really hit the target, so thank you."
Susan Dorsey Sivadon, award-winning writer and debut novelist
Cristen Iris is an excellent speaker who is known for her editing skill and professionalism. She clearly expresses relevant material that I can immediately apply in my business. I appreciate Cristen’s ability to readily handle questions and offer well-researched methods and ideas. I know I will always come away with valuable takeaways when I hear her speak.
Kim Foster, freelance book editor and co-founder of the Idaho Writers and Editors Association
I had the great pleasure of working with Cristen Iris on my second novel. She maintained impeccable professionalism throughout the editing process. Her work was thorough and always reflected a keen attention to detail. Cristen is a highly skilled and knowledgeable editor. I recommend her services without hesitation.
Chrissy Lessey, screenwriter and award-winning author
"My writing wouldn't make as much sense without my content editor, Cristen Iris. Cristen, you helped me turn a pile of ingredients into a well-seasoned dish, and I can't thank you enough."
Lauren Hermann, M.S. CCC-SLP and author of But My Speech Is Fine! Speech-Language Pathology: True Stories of a Misunderstood Profession
"Thank you for your wise counsel! Thank you for being brutally honest with me. It made your encouragement all the sweeter when you understood my vision and goals."
Anneke Brown, aspiring author
Memoir is the most personal type of writing there is, and yet it cannot be done alone. Cristen pushed me to develop my characters, show instead of tell, and to delve deeper into the most powerful and painful parts of my book. Thanks to Cristen's ability to edit, her literary business knowledge, professionalism, and personality, I have a complete manuscript that is ready to share."
Jennie Withers, author of A Backpack, a Eurorail Pass, and Some Serious
"The insights Cristen shared were motivational and also practical. She helped me think about the writing process from multiple perspectives which will inevitably result in more powerful writing whether fiction, nonfiction, memoir, whatever. Plus, her professionalism and expertise seem to be only matched by her warmth, approachability, and sincere desire to help others."
Monica Pierce, Idaho Writers Guild Literary Luncheon attendee, August 2019
"Cristen exudes great confidence and knowledge in her craft. She provides detailed information/advice and urges her coaching clients to think for themselves, while giving them a push in the right direction. I have the utmost faith in her ability and what she can do for my business. I highly recommend her to anyone seeking a well-qualified, effective business coach."
"I have been a recipient of Cristen's coaching for awhile now and feel tremendously grateful for her knowledge, compassionate critiques, and accountability. Cristen sets the standard high for quality work and gives all the support necessary to achieve it. When I was struggling with maintaining the motivation to write my book, Cristen was the perfect mix of encouragement and accountability. Cristen helped me navigate my way through choosing the best publishing option for me when I felt overwhelmed and intimidated by all of my choices. It was great to have a guide walking me through the process. If you are looking for an honest, hard-working, collaborative, and encouraging book coach with personality to boot, Cristen is your gal. You won't be disappointed!"
Jillian Landis, professional mediator, relationship and self-worth coach