Editing and Coaching Services
As an author myself, I understand how invested you are in your work and how challenging this business can be—whether you’re planning to indie publish or have your heart set on a deal with a major house. I’ve learned a lot along my author journey, and it’s my pleasure to be able to pass that on—whether through teaching, coaching, or editing.
I write women’s fiction with speculative elements, adult romance, and young adult fantasy. Essentially, if it’s got bantering, kissing, and at least a hint of the paranormal, it’s my jam—though I edit in many more genres than I write. My first novel, THE MEMORY THIEF, was a New York Times bestseller and Target Emerging Authors pick, and the first novel in my young adult fantasy series, SWORD OF THE SEVEN SINS, is a finalist for a Foreword INDIES Award. I’ve got experience working with a Big Five publisher as well as a small press, and am happy to bring that perspective to my clients.
In addition to my career as a novelist, I’ve served as an editor at small presses and magazines, and have been a freelance editor for over two decades, working with authors to help make their manuscripts shine. Currently, I teach writing workshops for Authors Publish. I was a 2017 Pitch Wars mentor, and am proud to share that my fantastic mentee landed a publishing deal. I also had the privilege of working with author Margarita Montimore on the manuscript of her book Oona Out of Order, which went on to become a Good Morning America Book Club Pick.
It’s my goal to demystify the world of writing and publishing, help authors make what’s on the page match the vision in their heads, and offer support at every step along the way, including:
- brainstorming ideas
- working through thorny plot issues
- finding the heart of your story
- overcoming frustration and falling in love with your book all over again
- honing setting, plot, character, dialogue, point of view, and other crucial elements
- polishing a manuscript and getting it ready to query
- discussing career crossroads
What Genres Are a Good Fit for Me?
I’m best suited to edit manuscripts (or provide consultation) in the following Adult, Young Adult, and New Adult genres:
- Romantic suspense
- Women’s or “book club” fiction, including family sagas
I’m not a good fit for:
- Middle grade, chapter, or picture books
- Memoir or other non-fiction, including self-help
- Police procedurals
What’s My Approach?
As a fellow writer, I know how close your manuscript is to your heart and how much it means to you. I approach all of my feedback with kindness and the goal of preserving your voice—helping your vision for your work shine through. My mission is to offer suggestions and guidance, giving you an involved, invested partner by your side as you move through the next phase of your writing process—whether that’s moving from idea to outline, outline to messy first draft, draft to polished revision, or revision to querying.
What I Offer
Query Letter: $35
Are you getting ready to pitch your book? I’ll do two passes of your query letter, making sure it’s genre-appropriate, has a strong hook, and presents your book in an ideal way to appeal to agents and editors. I’ll also proofread it for any errors and tighten/rephrase language as needed.
I’ll do two passes of a developmental edit on a synopsis of your story, making sure that the finished product is clear, dynamic, engaging, and has what it takes to grab an agent’s or editor’s attention. I’ll go line by line, addressing clarity of language as well as plot, character, theme, and pacing. I’ll also proofread to make sure your synopsis doesn’t contain any typos or grammatical errors.
Manuscript Assessment/Reader Report: $400-$500
I’ll read the entire manuscript and then give you a comprehensive edit letter outlining the manuscript’s strengths, as well as suggestions for how to fix any areas that I believe need improvement (plot, setting, theme, dialogue, character, pacing, etc.). Though I will point out any consistent patterns or recurring habits/errors, I won’t do a line edit or mark up the manuscript the way I would with a full developmental edit.
$400: Manuscript of up to 55,000 words
$450: Manuscript of up to 75,000 words
$500: Manuscript of up to 100,000 words
Developmental Edit (.05 cents per word)
I will edit the first five pages free of charge, to make sure we're a good fit. Should you decide to proceed, I'll provide a comprehensive read-through and edit of the manuscript, with a focus on tone, plot, structure, character, setting, point of view, and story. I’ll make three passes through the manuscript, delving more deeply with each one. I may make suggestions about how to strengthen the plot, clarify characters' motivations, heighten the stakes, improve dialogue, tighten prose, and make the overall story more believable or compelling. I may also suggest ways to restructure the story as a whole (i.e., opening the manuscript at a different point in time; altering point of view; collapsing several scenes into one; or altering the role that a given character plays). During a developmental edit, I will also point out obvious errors in language, grammar, or spelling. I typically make all of these editorial suggestions using MS Word's Track Changes function. Once my third pass through the manuscript is complete, I will write an editorial report to accompany the annotated manuscript, giving an overview of what I believe the author did well and what needs improvement (essentially, summarizing the issues, suggestions, and comments from the annotated manuscript).
This package includes as many follow-up emails as you need to discuss my comments, as well as a 1-hour phone or Zoom session to delve more deeply if you choose.
Manuscript Assessment/Reader Report + Developmental Edit of 1st 50 Pages: $750
This option includes everything I provide with a manuscript assessment and reader report, plus a developmental edit of the first fifty pages of your manuscript. I’ll read your whole manuscript and give you feedback on what’s working and what isn’t, as well as line-by-line feedback on the opening chapters (the most important chapters of the book, when it comes to grabbing an agent or editor’s attention). You can then take the feedback I’ve given you in the editorial letter and the specific comments I’ve made on the first fifty pages and apply them to the rest of your manuscript. This is a great option if you’re budget-conscious and want to get the benefits of the manuscript assessment as well as the deeper insight of a developmental edit.
Consulting Calls: $75/hr
Want to talk with me about craft, publishing, next steps in your career, the querying process, a particular project, or any other aspect of your writing life? Reach out to me and we can set up an appointment for a Zoom or phone conversation.
Consulting Packages: $399/month
Want a partner on your writing journey who will give you in-depth feedback on wherever you are right now—and help you reach the place you want to be? Someone to bounce ideas off, delve deeply into your creative process, work through writers’ block, discuss next steps in your career, help you find the heart of your novel-in-progress, or get ready to query? If this sounds like you, and you think a single conversation won’t get you where you need to go, I offer consulting packages to help you realize your dreams and find the path that’s right for you. Every package is customized to fit your needs and may include a combination of writing exercises, editorial services, and phone, email, or Zoom conversations. Please reach out if you’d like to chat about whether this option is right for you!
“Emily’s editorial guidance is remarkable and any writer's work is sure to benefit from her insights. Not only does she provide helpful feedback on a macro level, but also on a sentence level. Her fabulously thorough line edits enabled me tighten my story's pacing and improve the overall quality of my prose. I could not be more enthusiastic in recommending Emily's editorial services.”
—Margarita Montimore, Oona Out of Order, a Good Morning America Book Club Pick
“Let's start with the fact that Emily Colin is a terrific writer and storyteller--two things you definitely want in an editor. She spots weak characterizations, dubious motivations, and lackluster descriptions while offering suggestions that can help bring your writing to life. But her real strength lies in her ability to identify problem areas in your manuscript, especially issues with plotting and pacing. She's helped me refine a published short story and shape a full-length novel that I'm about to send out for submission. She's the plot monkey on my back, and I'm glad she's there. Generous with her time. Overflowing with patience. Emily will help you be the writer you want to be.”
—John Klekamp, Emmy award-winning reporter and YA author of “Over Time” (Unbound: Stories of Transformation, Love, and Monsters, Five Points Press)
“In much the same way Michelangelo confronted a piece of marble, Emily Colin has the uncanny ability to look at unpolished manuscript and discern its ultimate form. With a keen eye for language and character, she will help you chip away at excess to reveal the beating heart of the true narrative within. Emily helped me to cut away bloat and pinpoint each character’s motivation. She is a pure joy to work with and I credit her 100% for breathing the life back into my writing process.”
—Lisa Amowitz, Moonbeam-award-winning author of Breaking Glass and Until Beth
Want to Work Together?
If you’re interested in working with me, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with the details of your manuscript, including genre, word count, and any marketing copy you’re able to provide (such as a synopsis or hook). If you don’t have the latter, that’s fine—having it will just help me get a better sense of your project. Please also let me know what kind of time frame you have in mind. I’ll then write back and let you know if we’ll be a good fit, as well as what my current schedule looks like. If you’re interested in a developmental edit and we haven’t worked together before, I can edit the first five pages of your manuscript free of charge to make sure our styles mesh.
I do all of my editing work using Microsoft Word’s Track Changes, so you can clearly see my comments and suggestions, and incorporate them as you choose. If we decide to work together, I’ll invoice you through Paypal for 50% of my fee up front and the other 50% once my work is complete.
I look forward to hearing from you and helping you make your writing shine!
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