Nomad Editing Services
I am a freelance editor who delights in helping people fall madly in lust with their own manuscripts. In the rest of my life, I work as a Book Coach for Author Accelerator and I’m an unabashed contest mentoring junkie: PitchWars, FicFest, NOQS, RWA…you name the contest acronym and if it has mentors, I’ll be there.
My own manuscripts tend to be all about love and fight scenes, as I write NA contemporary romance and adult romantic suspense. I’m represented by Naomi Davis of Inklings Literary and am the Amazon-bestselling author of eight paranormal suspense titles, and the award-winning author of an upcoming rock and roll romance series.
Currently I’m taking fiction manuscripts only–no non-fiction or self-help, and no Middle Grade or Picture Books. I specialize in YA, NA or adult fiction, especially romance, romantic suspense, thrillers, contemporaries, comedies, historical depending on time period, sci fi, fantasy, UF, and women’s fiction. I’ve worked with all types of diverse characters and diverse authors. If you’re not sure if I’m the right fit for your genre, please feel free to email and ask!
I do this work because I hate that there are so many writers out there, struggling through the query or revising trenches alone, uncertain how to push their writing to the next level. I’m also trying to keep my prices lower than industry standard in hopes of making editing more affordable for everyone, not just people who have scored great-paying jobs.
$20 for 2 passes of a developmental edit on your query letter. I’ll proofread, help you with hooks and phrasing, help you adjust for genre standards, and make sure you’re presenting your book in the best possible light. This is one of the most fun types of edit for me. As a FicFest and PitchWars mentor and a long-time beta reader for many querying authors, I’ve seen hundreds of queries and I’ve figured out a lot of shortcuts for what works and what doesn’t.
$30 for 2 passes of a developmental edit on your synopsis. I will proofread, make sure your language is grabby and unique, as well as making sure your synopsis accurately characterizes your book and includes all the major elements agents or publishers will be looking for.
Note: If you don’t have a draft of a synopsis yet, just ask and I have a couple of super simple articles I can send that will get you started right, and save you a lot of time and angst.
Twitter Pitches: $25
This price covers 4 pitches with 3 rounds of edits where I’ll help you develop the pitches and then workshop them. I’ll make sure you have pitches to highlight all the different areas of strengths in your manuscript, as well as pitches of varying structure and different types of appeal so you can cast the widest possible net for agents in Twitter pitch contests like #Adpit, #Pitmad, #SFFpit, #DVpit and others. We can also adjust pricing if you’d like to workshop more pitches at once.
Agent-Ready Package: $70-$99
$70- This includes an edit of your query, synopsis, and an overall assessment of your first chapter, which is everything you need to start querying agents. For the first chapter, I’ll summarize strengths and weaknesses and suggest ways to make it hook agents faster while avoiding common pitfalls that lead to rejection letters. This package does not include line edits or proofreading of the first chapter.
The Deluxe Agent-Ready Package includes everything above, plus line edits of your first chapter, for $99. This package is a significant discount over my normal assessment and developmental rates, because this is the package querying writers need most, and I want it to be accessible to as many people as possible.
This is comparable to an in-depth beta read. I will read the full manuscript and then write you a thorough edit letter explaining the big picture strengths and weaknesses, as well as some suggestions for how to fix them. I will address any recurring types of mistakes (like filtering or filler words), but no line edits or reaction comments. For example, I might mention sections where the pacing lags, or particular scenes that seem unnecessary, or characters that need to be filled out further. I also like to talk about your strengths and the things I enjoyed about the manuscript, because editing should be fun and rewarding, not like a chore list.
If your manuscript falls outside these ranges or very close to the cutoff point for wordcount/price changes, let me know and we’ll negotiate the most fair rate.
Developmental edit: $0.012 per word
This is the deluxe package. It’s a more in-depth manuscript assessment, plus line by line reader reactions and suggestions for revision. The developmental edit package is the best value for the price of all my services, and is the closest comparison to what you’d get at a very thorough publishing house.
This means, if I think your pacing lags in areas, I won’t just say, “Tighten up Chapters 2-4.” Instead, I will suggest cuts on a line by line basis. I’ll help you brainstorm how to fix plot holes. I’ll give you examples of how to make characters more consistent, more sympathetic, or more effective. I’ll give line by line suggestions for increasing tension, how to make your kisses sizzling, how to strengthen your themes with symbolism and subtle detail work, and/or how to make your dialogue more unique for each character. I’ll check your overall story structure and the timing of your major beats. If you’re planning to query, this package includes a query and synopsis edit (2 passes on each).
I will flag grammatical errors and typos. However, a developmental edit is not a copy edit, and its primary purpose is as a learning experience for the author. Therefore, if there is a grammar or punctuation rule that is consistently applied incorrectly, I will explain the rule, and demonstrate how to revise for it for the first 50 pages, after which it will be the author’s responsibility to revise accordingly.As my clients will tell you, I leave a LOT of comments. I like to have fun with this and highlight places where you are doing well and things I particularly enjoyed. That way, you can recognize your strengths and learn to use them to your best advantage. I will also help you learn how to fix every tiny weakness of your manuscript so it is publishing-ready.
Hybrid Option: Starting at $350, based on ms length
This is a full manuscript assessment, plus a developmental edit of the first 50 pages. This is perfect when you need feedback on your whole ms, and you really want some line by line help, but you can’t afford a full developmental. This allows you to get an in-depth analysis of your opening, which is the most important part for snagging agents and readers. It will also help you get a handle on any grammar problems that you might need to address through the entire ms. Most importantly, I’ll give line by line revision suggestions so you can not only see problems that need fixing, but get examples of how to fix them. This is my favorite package, because it allows you to get a lot of different kinds of feedback for the lowest possible price.
Customized Coaching Packages: $30/per hour
This is the package that allows me to customize to whatever you might need help with. If you need help planning your book, or want a marketing consult to figure out your strategy for pitching to agents, if you want to prepare to enter a contest, or maybe you’re stuck halfway through your rough draft…this is your package. We can put together a combination of editing services, instant messaging or phone calls so you can have the professional support you need to answer your questions or pull you through a rough spot with your writing.
Budget Option: $50
Look, if you’re freaking out a little because you really want professional editing but can’t afford a developmental, you’re not alone. That’s why I wanted to have a compromise option for people who need a boost, are not sure how to take their writing to the next level, and don’t have a lot of wiggle room in their budget.
$50 – This includes the equivalent of a manuscript assessment for your first fifty pages (1 page=250 words, so your first 12,500 words). This won’t polish your whole manuscript, as you might still have a sagging middle or issues with your ending, but the start is the most important part of any book. Your opening will make or break your book in today’s publishing world.
Also, this will give you a peek at what you need to work on. I’ll read and give you a comprehensive report on any grammar rules you’re breaking, if you’re starting your manuscript in the right place, if your characters are sympathetic in the way you introduce them, if your conflict is introduced appropriately, and any other big picture issue I see in the first fifty. You can then take my feedback and apply it to the rest of your book on your own. This is basically a manuscript assessment at the price of a copy edit, and it’s a great place to start. If you choose to upgrade from the budget option to a manuscript assessment or developmental edit, I’ll take the $50 you’ve already paid out of the final price.
Why do you want me as your editor?
I’m agented, published, and am a Book Coach with Author Accelerator, as well as certified to teach Story Genius and Pitch Track writing workshops. I have served as a PitchWars, FicFest, and Nightmare on Query Street mentor, as well as a judge (giving feedback and coaching) for many RWA contests. Many of my contest mentees and editing clients have gone on to sign with agents, sign book deals (sometimes multi-book deals!), win RWA contests, get into competitive agent showcases including PitchSlam, PitchWars, Sun vs Snow, and PitchMadness, or win nominations for the RITA Golden Heart Award.
I’ve worked with dozens of authors of all different genres and experience levels. I have a lot of experience spotting ways to improve a manuscript, and I have a talent for taking big picture feedback and showing you how to apply it on a line by line basis. Plus, my ten years of experience working in various types of counseling means that I know how to deliver feedback in a positive, constructive fashion that leaves my clients feeling energized and proud of their work instead of terrified or defeated at the idea of revisions.
I love working with writers, and I’m a tireless advocate and cheerleader for my clients. It’s fun for me to watch people improve and gain confidence, and I enjoy the process of opening people’s eyes anew to all the strengths of their writing. I know all too well how self-doubt, the querying trenches, or endless rounds of revisions can start to suck the fun out of the creative process. I like to find ways to make it fresh and rewarding again for my clients, and I’m here to help you figure out what it is that you don’t know. What’s holding you back? What’s needed for your writing to go from good to outstanding?
If you’re interested in more information, use the Contact Me form on this website. I’d be happy to provide samples of edit letters, in-line comments, and references from people whose manuscripts I’ve worked on. In the meantime, below are some quotes from those references:
“Your comments were so good—it’s like you have X-ray vision into a novel and can see all of the problems lurking beneath the surface.” -Mia Kerick, LGBTQ YA Contemporary
“Michelle is a fabulous editor, and she possesses the rare ability to excel in character, pacing, and all other ‘big picture’ concepts, as well as detailed line-by-line critiques. She’s both honest and constructive, and while she won’t hold back on areas for improvement, she is also quick to highlight strengths. She’s professional but highly personable, and treats my manuscripts as if they are her own. If you’re looking to improve your manuscript and/or query, and actually have fun doing it, I highly recommend Michelle.” -Andrea Contos, Adult Fantasy
“I feel so much more confident now about being ready for the querying process, whereas before, I felt a little like someone blindfolded me, gave me a shotgun and told me to aim for the ant on a pop can target. The blindfold is gone! Michelle was such an encouragement to me and my manuscript. Firm and honest, Michelle helped illuminate the hidden potential of my manuscript, while also addressing the elements that were suffocating the story. Would highly recommend Michelle; a true teacher and helper!” -Joel Bain, Urban Dark Fantasy
“Michelle not only connected with my novel, she also saw exactly how to make the interesting but unconnected pieces become a much more intricate single story. Her insight and our hard work together transformed my manuscript.” -CL Polk, LGBTQ Adult Fantasy with historical elements
“With her all-encompassing critical eye, and just the right balance of encouraging humor, Michelle Hazen is always my first and most trusted source for edits, no matter whether it be for a query critique or a full manuscript.” -Katie Golding, NA & Adult Contemporary Romance
“Michelle Hazen took my query letter from drooling baby to college grad! I highly recommend her if you need help polishing your query letter.” -Stacy Ryan, Adult Commercial Fiction
“Published or aspiring – every writer needs an editor. Michelle Hazen is more than just a red pen. She’s your novel’s best friend. With a keen eye for grammar and an in-depth knowledge of what it takes to make a good novel great, Michelle has what it takes to help you take your writing to the next level. I trust Michelle to give me clear, honest, and encouraging feedback and she delivers every time.” -Edith Lalonde, Adult Romantic Suspense
“I recently hired Michelle Hazen to do both a full manuscript assessment and a developmental edit of my first chapter. I write historical romance. When I finished reading Michelle’s suggestions my dominant feeling was optimism. She made me believe what I hoped—that my writing is good. I never felt that she was exaggerating her praise or stroking my ego.