Need It Now?
Each week, each of us hold open one slot on our calendars for an on-demand review. The first person to book the slot and upload their table of contents and the first 50 (double-spaced, Times New Roman, 12-pt. font) pages of their manuscript by noon Mountain Time on Monday will receive our 9-Point First 50 Evaluation Report with comments and recommendations (see below) by Friday 5:00 p.m. Mountain Time.
personal & Professional Development
social justice & advocacy
Survivor, medical, and entrepreneurial memoir
Cristen is a former National Chapter Director for the Nonfiction Authors Association, book awards judge and judge coordinator, and professional writer and editor with a high percentage of award-winning clients.
She uses her proven methodology and eye for nuance to educate and empower clients to produce high quality, high impact books.
Cristen doesn’t just teach; she does. Her creative nonfiction, risk management and insurance, general business, and writing craft articles can be found in IDAHOmagazine, the Idaho Business Review, Unbound Northwest, and on the Nonfiction Authors Association site.
She is a firm believer that impact grows as word count shrinks and helps her clients say more by saying less.
blockchain & information technology
Ian is a co-author, magazine contributor, and content creator. He provided challenge and support to IT Architect Jeffrey Bolden in developing, shaping and co-authoring the content of an IT project management book, which was drawn from Bolden’s decades of experience as an at-times CIO, IT Architect, and partner at Blue Lotus Systems Integration and Data Conversion.
Ian is also a contributor to ABC News/Good Morning America and produces and co-hosts podcasts such as The Blockchain Report and is an experienced multimedia journalist (voted “Rookie of the Year” by the Idaho Press Association).
His experience with script writing and short-form content production allows him to focus on the core message and offer recommendations that will help you present your value proposition in a way that engages your ideal reader.
As one of seven children and the mother of five, Sandy has heard many stories in her lifetime, some good ones and some whoppers. And as an avid reader, she sees how those stories translate to and from the page.
Sandy is a deep listener, poet, and painter who uses her ear and eye for nuance and beauty to identify the hidden treasures in the attic of your legacy memoir—the stories and artifacts from your life that your children and grandchildren will want to see, touch, and feel—the things that can teach and comfort those you love for years to come.
She is the perfect choice if you’re a first-time author who wants to self-publish a well-developed book for an intimate audience and if you want the help of someone with an objective perspective and gracious style.
9-Point General Nonfiction Evaluation
Table of Contents—A great table of contents is a tool. It tells a story and helps the reader navigate. We’ll evaluate and offer suggestions for how to make your TOC simple and strong, something that shows the value of the content that follows it.
Your Ideal Reader—Is the identity of your ideal reader obvious, and does your manuscript meet them where they are and solve a real problem or educate them in a way that’s appropriate for that group?
Perspective and Authority—We’ll look at your unique selling and value propositions and emphasize what sets you apart and makes you the right person to write this book right now.
Theme and Thesis, Structure of Argument, Supporting Evidence, and Overall Persuasiveness—Non sequiturs and other logical fallacies and a lack of reliable and properly cited sources undermines your authority and will not pass inspection. We pay particular attention to these things.
Tone and Voice—Are you striking the right tone, a tone your ideal reader will welcome (not preachy, know-it-all, flippant, or bored)? And how does your voice stand out from others who are talking to your readers too?
Language Use—We’ll watch for intentional versus unintentional communication: jargon and unconscious bias for example.
Engagement and Readability—Will the manuscript engage your intended reader? Do you communicate in a way that connects with people of all communication styles? We’ll evaluate its basic structure and how images, charts, call outs, and other visual elements enhance or detract from the message and identify ways to improve its visual appeal and memorability.
Marketing, Book Promotion, and Affinity Groups—We look for opportunities to capture a wider audience and elevate your reputation and raise brand awareness.
Risk Management—We’ll put our risk manager hat on and look for potential claims of defamation, plagiarism, breaches of confidence, copyright and/or trademark infringement; financial, reputational, and other types of brand risk. We may refer you to author and intellectual property attorney Brad Frazer or another attorney or to articles Brad has written.
9-Point Memoir Evaluation
Table of Contents—A great table of contents is a tool. We’ll evaluate and offer suggestions for how to make your TOC intriguing.
Rhythm and Pacing—Does your story immediately pull the reader in and establish place?
Inconsistencies and Choppiness—We’ll evaluate your style, voice, and general storytelling, looking for ways to improve your reader’s experience.
Tension, Suspense, and Interest—We’ll make recommendations regarding ways to crank up the heat and keep readers’ attention.
“Info dumping” and Telling vs. Showing—This is one of the biggest challenges for writers, especially first-time authors. We’ll make specific recommendations for when and where to avoid or use each to accomplish specific goals.
Uniqueness and Overall Appeal—We’ll put ourselves in the place of your ideal reader and offer examples of what’s likely to grab them and where you might lose them.
Diction and Dialog—We’ll let you know if your dialog is stilted or affected and how you can maximize dialog tags to show (not tell).
General Sentence Structure, Style and Usage—We will make general recommendations regarding deviations from Chicago Manual of Style—the publishing industry’s standard for grammar, structure, and usage. This is neither a copy nor a line edit. We simply identify common deviations from style and major, repeated deviations that you can learn to recognize and correct yourself.
Risk Management—Publishing a memoir places you at risk for several different types of legal claims, including defamation. We may refer you to author and intellectual property attorney Brad Frazer or another attorney or to articles Brad has written.