Hands-On Support

You’ve got big ideas and bold ambitions, and you’re prepared to put your time and energy into making your book the best it can be.

Our Author Services are perfect for you if you are:

  • Self-publishing a nonfiction book, and you want help with specific aspects of the writing, editing or publishing process
  • Pursuing a traditional publishing contract and need help developing your concept or getting your package ready for submission
  • Unsure about which path is best for you

Get the help you need.

We’re here to support your vision in exactly the way you need most, not to upsell authors on services they don’t need. That’s why our service packages are customized according to our clients’ requirements and budget. We’ll help you sort through your options to make sure your book gets the biggest bang for your buck.

Rather than bundling our services into cookie-cutter packages, we custom quote on every project. Like a reliable mechanic, we’ll tell you what’s essential, what’s nice to have, and what you can forget about.

It’s important to us that we’re a good fit for you, and you for us. Please fill out an application form for any of our services and we’ll get back to you within three business days.


Take your book project from half-baked glimmer in your eye to ready-to-write in as little as six weeks. Come away with a 12 to 16-page Book Plan that can be used as your writing road map or modified for use as a Book Proposal.

Starts at $4,500. Ask us for a custom quote.

  • Six one-hour sessions with a collaborative developmental editor
  • Guidance on format, title and structure
  • Done-for-you research of competing titles
  • Identify your target market
  • Written-for-you book synopsis
  • Development of a detailed chapter outline
  • With our optional Book Proposal Writing extension, turn your Book Plan into a submission-ready Book Proposal

Publishing Mentor Program

Why do so few self-published books read like “real books”? The difference is in the details. And there are a lot of details. When you’re not a publishing professional yourself, it’s nearly impossible to get them all note-perfect.

Our Publishing Mentor program is designed for highly motivated and talented writers who want to self-publish like a pro. Imagine having a team of smart and savvy publishing experts on call, who you can turn to for strategic advice, feedback and specialist support while you plan, write, design and market your book.

Call us for a one-off session, or retain us on a monthly basis and use your hours any which way you’d like.

Single session: One hour phone consultation with follow up email $275
Monthly membership: Up to four service hours $600
Additional service hours: (monthly members only) $175 each

Mentorship space is very limited; please apply below. Please note that unused hours can’t be rolled over to the following month.

  • Strategic advice: We’ll help you work out which publishing route is best for you, taking into account your career plans, your budget, timeframe, and the nature of your book.
  • Creative feedback: Need a professional opinion on your concept, outline, cover design, or marketing copy? Tap into the expertise of our entire team of specialists. We’re here to help and we won’t hold anything back.
  • Editing: We’ll comment on, edit or even rewrite whatever you need help with, from a chapter draft to a query letter or author bio.
  • Referrals: Shopping for a talented, reliable freelance editor or designer is really hard when you don’t know what to look for or who to trust. Don’t get lost in a quagmire of mysterious online profiles. Just ask us for an introduction! We only work with amazing people, and we’re not shy about sharing.
  • Research: Want to find out sales figures for comparative titles, breaking news on the latest publishing deals, or other industry-insider information? Tell us what you need to know, and we’ll do our best to dig it out for you.

Non-fiction Manuscript assessment

Most agents and traditional publishers acquire new non-fiction titles from Book Proposals rather than finished manuscripts, so if a traditional book deal is your goal, we strongly recommend you start with our Concept Development or Book Proposal Assessment service.

Having said that, there are cases when you might want to write your manuscript on spec, such as if you’re self-publishing, or you just can’t wait to get going. Great! We love a go-getter spirit – but that doesn’t mean you have to go it alone. Make your manuscript the very best it can be with targeted, actionable feedback from an industry-seasoned developmental editor.

Turnaround: Two to three weeks
Price: $300 per 10,000 words, with a $1500 minimum
Is your manuscript shorter than 30,000 words or longer than 100,000 words? Ask us for a special estimate.

Our non-fiction Manuscript Assessments will evaluate every aspect of your material. You’ll receive a 6-10 page report examining:

  • Concept: How original are your ideas? Are your facts well researched and your resources well documented? Can you put a new and compelling spin on the topic? How might you present your arguments more persuasively, or back them up with even stronger evidence?
  • Narrative: How effective is your use of storytelling? Are your case studies clear and compelling, and your interviews well integrated? Is your book engaging all the way through, or are there areas in which you can improve its readability or entertainment value?
  • Structure: Is the information in your book presented in a cohesive and organized way? Is it easy for the reader to follow along? Does each chapter build upon the previous one effectively and without repetition? Are the sections and chapters well organized?
  • Format: Is your manuscript an ideal length for its category and market positioning? Is your use of sidebars and other material effective? How are you planning to use charts, tables, graphs and illustrations, if any?
  • Tone and style: Does your personality come across in your writing? Is your tone of voice appropriate for your ideal reader, and your subject matter? Does the manuscript read overly stiff and formal, or jargon-heavy? Is your writing clear and uncluttered? How might you put your greatest strengths and unique characteristics to their best use?
  • Marketability: Is your book likely to be a strong competitor in its category? What might you do to enhance its most compelling features?

Book proposal assessment

A strong Book Proposal is essential for securing a literary agent, or winning a nonfiction publishing contract with a traditional publisher. Get your Book Proposal tuned up and ready to attract a top-dollar deal.

Price: Starts at $390
Ask us for a custom quote for editing or follow-up assessment.

  • Submit your Book Proposal (up to 50 pages), including sample chapter
  • We’ll send you a written report at least five pages in length with detailed recommendations to strengthen your submission package
  • Includes feedback on structure and formatting of your Book Proposal and the book itself, strength of concept, market positioning and audience, comparative titles, chapter outline, author bio and promotion plan, synopsis, sample chapters, and more.
  • Includes guidelines for pitching agents and publishers
  • Optional add-on: Hands-on editing of your Book Proposal and sample chapters by an experienced acquisitions editor.

Writing Coaching

The bad news: You’re not going to have a solid, productive writing practice when you first start writing your manuscript, even if you’re armed with a great idea and a determined attitude. No matter how ambitious, intelligent or passionate you are, the act of writing a book will almost certainly bring you frustration at times, along with confusion, loss of focus, logistical roadblocks, apathy, anxiety and possibly even dread.

What’s worse, those problems may never ease up on their own.

But that doesn’t mean you can’t be successful at writing your book. It just means you need a creative, collaborative and compassionate coach in your corner. (Sorry… we’re suckers for alliteration.)

Our writing coaches are some of the smartest and most supportive editors you’ll find in the industry. They have seen it all, and they know how to get around every one of your hurdles, from the practical to the emotional.

Jump start: Two 60-minute phone or Skype sessions: $350
Monthly coaching: Up to four 60-minute phone or Skype sessions per month: $690
Prices include coach’s session prep and one follow-up email per session. Unused sessions may be rolled over to the following month, at coach’s discretion.

Whether you just want a short series of sessions to jump-start your process, or you’re looking for a hand to hold until the last word is written, you can expect your LifeTree Writing Coach to help you with:

  • Practical issues: Create a writing schedule that suits your life, and a realistic plan that you can stick to all the way to completion.
  • Motivational issues: Stay on track and accountable with regular check-ins and milestone deadlines.
  • Creative issues: Find your strongest writing voice, learn how to liven up your prose, tell a better story and frame an argument more persuasively.
  • Confidence issues: Move past fear, insecurity, embarrassment and anxiety with the support of a patient and empathic ally.
  • Total stuckness: We don’t believe in writer’s block. Your coach has an arsenal of writing hacks, exercises, tips, tools, games and Jedi mind tricks to help get you over the hump, even if you feel like you’d rather go to prison than write another word. We have ways of making it fun.

Author website and platform building services

To build a successful career as an author today, it’s no longer enough to write a great book. You also need a strong online author platform where your Reader Tribe can gather around you and grow with you throughout your career.

When you’re just starting out, the world of online marketing can seem complex. But with the right guidance and a firm commitment to your own success, you too can use social media, a website and blog, newsletters and even video to build and grow an online following, even if you are starting from square one now. Let our experienced team demystify the arcane world of online book marketing and set you on the road to success.

Online content creation: $60 an hour
Author platform assessment
: $250
Author website design and development: $5,500
Online author platform building strategy and execution roadmap: From $1,800
Every author’s needs are different. Tell us where you’re at now and where you’d like to go, and we’ll give you a custom quote.

  • Author platform assessment: We analyze your current platform’s strengths and weaknesses and offer basic recommendations for improvement.
  • Online marketing strategy: For your social media and online marketing to be effective and sustainable, it must take into account your personal preferences and available time commitment, as well as the habits and expectations of your Reader Tribe. We can help you to identify which social networks and marketing tactics will make the best use of your skills and personality, leverage your existing network, and yield the best results for you.
  • Execution roadmap: We’ll map out a custom, step-by-step execution plan to build audience engagement and create an authentic bond with your fans that will grow along with your career. Finally, we give you the tools to monitor and measure your progress along the way.
  • Newsletter design and setup: From a weekly news bulletin to a monthly online magazine, we’ll get you up and running with a newsletter that your readers will love to receive and share, and that you’ll love to create.
  • Author website design and development: It’s not enough to have a business or corporate website; to build your online presence as an author, you need to have a website dedicated just to you and your books: It’s the Rome to which all your book marketing roads will lead. After mapping out the site components in consultation with you, we’ll design and develop an attractive online portal that reflects your branding and promotes your book and live events.