“If you have knowledge, let others light their candles in it.”
— Margaret Fuller
Collaboration: As an experienced book editor, writer, and collaborator, I know what is required to develop a simple idea into a multi-layered, interesting, and valuable book – and I make the process as anxiety-free, straightforward, and enjoyable as possible. Working with a collaborative writer allows you to author a book without taking valuable time away from your professional life and other responsibilities to do all of its writing.
No matter where you live I can help you craft a winning proposal, a highly acceptable manuscript, a well-written and researched crash book, or a fascinating article – on deadline. It starts with an initial meeting to discuss your idea and strategize how best to organize it. At least one in-person session helps me capture your unique voice. I can and do travel but I have collaborated on numerous books successfully right from my desk thanks to the wonders of technology, including Skype, Google Hang Out, email, and the quaint, old-fashioned telephone. After meeting and gathering notes, I start to write – supplying you with drafts of chapters or sections, which we work on until we are both happy.
Once the book is completed, I stay with you through the entire publishing process. That means I will review all copy generated by the publisher, including catalog, flap, and jacket copy; press releases; and other material. I can craft provocative media pitches, speeches, white papers, web content, blogs, presentations, op-eds, and any other written material that can help promote the book and forward your message.
Proposal development: A strategically crafted book proposal grabs the attention of agents and editors. It tells them why your book idea is marketable and necessary; why you are uniquely qualified to write it; how your platform can position the book to reach the desired audience; and identify the readers who are most likely to buy and enjoy it. I have an excellent track record of writing proposals that sell to major publishers for significant advances.
Book proposal writing is an art as much as it is a science. Working closely with you, your company, or your organization, I help develop your idea or brand into a book concept a publisher will be interested in. That includes coming up with a logical organization or table of contents with a strong narrative drive (yes, even non-fiction needs a dramatic arc, and a beginning, middle, and end); researching and documenting competing titles; identifying target audiences; and writing compelling sample material written in your voice or the voice that best represents your brand.
Writing: If you have a book deal or a publisher is already interested in publishing your book I can write the book with or for you — in your distinct voice and with your unique point of view — with or without cover credit depending on the particulars of the project.
“Crash” books: If you are a publisher who wants to bring a topical book to market quickly, I am the fastest keyboard in the East. For instance, The Secret of The Secret (St. Martin’s Press, July 2007) was researched and written in 5 weeks, including interviews with more than 50 sources. Publisher’s Weekly said of it, “Kelly’s straightforward writing style, inherent grasp of the content’s subtleties and natural skepticism give readers a big-picture view of The Secret and its success. Readers who want to examine the real facts behind the phenomenon will not be disappointed.” The book was sold worldwide and earned out its advance several times over before it was published. My 55,000-word section of Early Bird Specials 1,937 Deals Exclusively for Seniors (Reader’s Digest, Fall 2008) was also written on a tight 5-week deadline, and included original research and interviews.
Editing/Book doctor: If you have already written a book (or proposal) and it needs work, I can edit, rewrite and ready it for sale, or for acceptance and publication.
Research & Development: If you are working on a book and need assistance in developing your topic, researching material or interviewing sources, my team of highly qualified (Ph.d level) “Kelly Girls” and I can help. My small team has been trained to produce a high level of research and statistics, and insights into this data as it relates to your project.
Consulting: If you are working on a book idea and would like specific advice on how to organize it and make a convincing case for it, my written analysis and one hour telephone consultation and written notes will provide you with targeted information that you can use to proceed on your own. Hourly fees apply: $100 an hour, with a minimum of three hours, which includes reading time, discussion and notes.
Introductions: Most often my clients already have an agent and sometimes even a publisher. However, that is not always the case. If you don’t have representation and we work together, it means I think your idea is a good one since I do not like to waste my time or your money on a book I do not think will sell. If you do not have a literary agent, I can facilitate introductions to reputable agents who may be interested in selling your work
Group instruction: I can provide step-by-step seminars on effective proposal writing to your business, group, or organization.
Recipe development and testing: If you need help developing, perfecting or testing recipes, or writing recipes for publication in a cookbook, I can help in my professional-level kitchen or yours. I am a professional recipe developer and tester, and many of my original recipes have been published in Natural Health, Prevention and Yoga Journal.
Fees: I am an experienced professional and therefore, I never work “on spec” – no exceptions. I charge standard industry fees for proposals, which vary somewhat depending on the complexity and length of the proposed book. If we collaborate on a book, I normally take an agreed-upon percentage of the advance and royalties, depending on the amount of the advance and the particulars of the project. My literary agent negotiates these fees and terms.
Writing and “doctoring” fees and royalties are set on a per-project basis, as are crash projects. Again, my agent normally negotiates terms. The fee for seminars varies depending on the venue and number of sessions you would like (i.e., one basic session or multi-part sessions that leads the group through the entire process, from idea to completed proposal). Recipe development is charged on a per-recipe basis. Consulting fees are charged at an hourly rate, with a minimum of three hours.
Disclaimer: There is no guarantee that any proposal will sell to a publisher.