I love helping other writers bring their stories to life. Writers I’ve worked with have gone on to land top-tier agents and contracts with the Big Five publishing houses. Here’s an example: Three weeks after my engagement with Elizabeth Wafler ended, she landed one of her dream agents.
I’m proud to be a book coach both at Author Accelerator and via my own private book coaching and editing service.
To work directly with me via my private book coaching/editing practice, please take a look below at the services I offer.
Yes, you can request to work with me if you decide to go through Author Accelerator. Whether you request me or not, if you get in touch with them, please let them know I sent you!
I’d love to help you bring out the magic of your story.
I’m currently working with fiction, memoir and nonfiction writers. In the made-up world, I’m particularly well-versed in mainstream fiction, book club fiction, women’s fiction and romance.
I’m well aware that any money you pay toward my services could otherwise be spent on your child’s baseball uniform, your electric bill or that big-deal writing conference you’re dying to attend. For that reason, I do my best to provide honest and straight-forward feedback. I’ll tell you what you’re doing right, but won’t sugarcoat those areas that need improvement. You want me to help your writing and storytelling get better. I do my best to honor that fact.
I’ve been studying the craft of writing for years. I’m an alumni of multi-day programs such as Robert McKee’s Story seminar and Donald Maass’s Writing the Breakout Novel workshop. Through my work at Author Accelerator, I coach other writers using Lisa Cron’s Story Genius method. I’ve delivered writing workshops on the regional and national level. In addition to being a traditionally published author, my stories have reached the finals and won several writing contests. I’m a member of the Women’s Fiction Writers Association and am currently the chair of the forums in which members pitch to agents seeking women’s fiction manuscripts. I was a member of Romance Writers of America for years and attended several of their highly-educational national conferences. My debut novel was a finalist for their Golden Heart award. My three-decade career as a corporate trainer, mentor and employee advocate gave me teaching and counseling chops that dovetail nicely into book coaching. In other words, I’m ready to teach, coach, prod and hold you accountable to produce your best work.
Here are my standard editing packages. I also offer custom packages if there’s something different you’d like to discuss.
“Give Coaching a Try” Package
This package includes a two-page editorial letter on the first fifty pages of your manuscript. I’ll provide feedback on big picture topics, such as how well you’ve drawn the reader into the story and how quickly and clearly you introduce the problem that will drive the story forward.
“Sheila is Waiting for My Pages”
$175 per month
My clients on this package love knowing that I’m waiting on the other end for their pages every week. This accountability spurs them to get their work done. Submit up to ten pages per week, every week, and receive in-line edits, plus a recap note that addresses big picture items such as character development, increasing obstacles, maintaining the reader’s interest and narrative drive. We would also have one thirty-minute phone call each month. This package requires a minimum three month commitment. Pricing is also available if you would like to commit to submitting more than ten pages per week. Go, you!
Full Manuscript Editorial Letter
After a complete reading of the manuscript, my deliverable to you would be a four to six-page WORD document recapping what I see as its strengths and weaknesses, as well as an analysis of big picture topics such as character development, narrative drive, voice, increasing obstacles and other aspects of storytelling. This pricing assumes a manuscript up to 325 pages. Pricing is also available for longer manuscripts.
Full Manuscript Edits
$4.50 per page
My deliverable to you would be in-line edits on most, if not all, pages, plus a WORD document as described in the Full Manuscript Editorial Letter section above. I leave a lot of comments–both positive and to show areas of improvement–so this is a way to get the most robust feedback.
Interested in one of these packages?
Looking for a different kind of help?
I’m happy to chat.
Please email me at SheilaAthensBooks@gmail.com. Be sure to include the following information:
- the genre in which you write
- where you are in your writing journey
All manuscripts should be in standard industry format, including one-inch margins, double-spaced and Times New Roman, 12 point font.
Phone calls: The work outlined above does not include phone consultations except as described in the “Sheila is Waiting for My Pages” package. Phone consultations are available with other work at a rate of $30 per half hour.
Payment in full is due in advance and should be paid via PayPal.
Please understand that I will sometimes flag typos, misused words and grammar errors, but the services I provide are not copy editing or proofreading services. When there is an ongoing pattern throughout the manuscript, I will flag it the first few times and leave it to you to identify the remaining instances. My primary mission is not to fix these small errors. My primary mission is to help you make your story stronger.
Photo of file folder courtesy of Elizabeth Wafler.