Why You Want Me As Your Editor
I’m a freelance editor who delights in helping people fall madly in lust with their own manuscripts. In my own writing life, I’m double-agented: I am repped by Eva Scalzo, Speilburg Lit for romance, and Naomi Davis of BookEnds Literary for fantasy. Currently, I have nine award-winning books published and more on the way. As an indie and Big 5 published author, and a fanfic writer, I've been-there-done-that with all the different publishing paths, so I can provide help and guidance for writers at all phases of their journey.
I’ve been working as an editor and book coach since 2016, and I’m now a certified book coach! That means I’m not just a writer--I’ve been professionally trained to edit fiction manuscripts. I’ve also been a PitchWars, KissPitch and FicFest mentor for many years, and as of this writing, 100% of my past mentees have gotten an agent, a book deal, or both!
Currently I'm taking fiction manuscripts only, in Adult, New Adult and Young Adult. I'm not the right fit for picture books or middle grade. I’m LGBTQ-friendly and have worked with all sorts of diverse characters and authors. I don't currently provide proofreading, cover design, or audiobook narration, but I have recs for vetted professionals who do all those things, so let me know if you need a referral.
I know all too well how self-doubt, the querying trenches, or endless rounds of revisions can suck the fun out of the creative process. Are you ready to take your writing to the next level, and have fun along the way?
$35 Query Edit
Are you trying to get an agent but getting more rejections than requests? I can help with that! This package includes 2 passes of deluxe line-by-line edits, which means I don't just give you revision suggestions--I check the new version to make sure it's working. I'll proofread, help you with hooks and phrasing, and consult on current agent trends and pet peeves. Fun fact: the most common thing I find is that the book is actually better than the query makes it sound, and we just need to adjust the query to show off those strengths! As a PitchWars, Nightmare on Query Street and FicFest mentor, I've read thousands of queries and learned lots of tips and tricks to make yours shine.
"Michelle Hazen took my query letter from drooling baby to college grad!" -Stacy Ryan (Adult Commercial Fiction)
$49 Synopsis Edit
Are you avoiding querying agents who want a synopsis because you dread writing one? Don't risk missing your dream agent for lack of a synopsis--let me help! This package includes 2 passes of deluxe-level line-by-line edits, which means I don't just give you revision suggestions--I check the new version to make sure it makes sense to someone who hasn't read the book. I'll proofread, help you decide what to include and leave out, and assist in finding the snappiest phrasing for every line.
Note: If you don't have a draft of a synopsis yet, hit me up and I will send you a couple of great how-to articles to get you started.
"Writing novels is fun, but crafting a query and synopsis? I'd rather scrub a toilet. Michelle took so much of the pain out of polishing these materials with her thoughtful, focused, encouraging notes." -Adele Buck, author of Acting Out (Adult Romantic Comedy)
$25 Query Manager Materials
Have you gone to query an agent through the Query Manager portal, only to be stumped by their additional questions? You're not alone. I have a whole course on this to help writers prepare to query now that you need more materials than just a query letter.
This package includes 2 rounds of edits on those toughest of Query Manager prompts: Description of Target Potential Audience, 1-line pitch, 1-paragraph pitch, and how to best use the space in the "List of Similar Books" box when you've already put 2 comp titles in your query.
Note: this does NOT include an edit of your query & synopsis, though of course you submit those on Query Manager as well. For a package that includes all those pieces, check out my Agent-Ready Packages at the bottom of the page.
"Michelle has a great grasp of the big picture when it comes to story and ensures all plot points lead to the same climax. She’s professional and encouraging and her suggestions always get me thinking about how I can make a more gripping story. Often, she’ll make a suggestion that confirms what my gut was already quietly whispering. This has led to more confidence in my writing and sometimes asking myself, 'What would Michelle say?' during my own revision process." -Katherine Spearing, author of Hartfords (Historical Romance)
$0.025 per word Full Manuscript Edit - Deluxe
Edit Letter + Line by line comments.
I will read the full manuscript and write you an extensive edit letter explaining the big picture strengths and how to revise for any weaknesses. I will also add line by line edits showcasing my favorite parts and showing you in real time how to revise for any issues I'm finding.
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 specific suggestions for increasing tension, how to make your kisses sizzling, how to strengthen your themes with symbolism and subtle detail work, or how to make your dialogue more unique for each character. I will explain any reoccurring grammar or punctuation issues, but this should not be considered a replacement for a proofread, as I'm flagging issues to help you learn, not fixing every instance of an issue. 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.
This is the most fun type of edit, as you can see a reader's reactions to each line. It's also the highest level of support for knowing how to revise for any issues.
$150 Agent-Ready Package
This includes a line-by-line edit of your query, synopsis, and your first chapter, which is everything you need to put your best foot forward with agents. For the first chapter, I'll suggest ways to make it hook agents faster while avoiding common pitfalls that lead to rejection letters. This package includes 2 rounds of edits for query and synopsis, and 1 round of edits for first chapter. If your first chapter is very long, you can send up to the first 4000 words. This package is a discount over my normal rates, because this is the package querying writers need most, and I want it to be accessible to as many people as possible.
$170 Query Manager Ready Package
-Query (2 rounds)
-Synopsis (2 rounds)
-Query Manager Additional Materials (2 rounds)
-1st chapter up to 4000 words (1 round)
I haven't seen this package offered by any other freelance editors! These days, agents are asking for a lot more in their Query Manager forms. I share a complete list of what they ask for in my course here. For this package, I'll give you feedback on your answers for those trickiest of questions: Description of Target Potential Audience, 1-line pitch, 1-paragraph pitch, and List of Similar Titles.
Edit letter + line-by-line edits of the first 50 pages.
This is my favorite package, because it allows you to get a lot of different kinds of feedback for the lowest possible price. This is an edit letter for your full manuscript, plus line by line comments on the first 50 pages. This is perfect when you need feedback on your whole manuscript, and you really want some help with specifics, but you can’t afford a full deluxe edit.
This allows you to get an in-depth analysis of your opening, which is the most important part for hooking readers or agents. It will also help you get a handle on any grammar problems that you might need to address through the entire manuscript.
Priced at $0.025 per word for the first 12,500 words/50 pages, then $0.0125 per word for the rest of the manuscript.
Help Planning a Book!
Do you have a book idea and aren't sure where to start? Is this not your first manuscript rodeo, but you feel like there must be an easier way to plan a book?
Trust me, there is.
There are a thousand craft books on this topic, but you don't need a thousand answers...you need one. I've distilled several different methods into one comprehensive, character-driven, SIMPLE way to map out your book. The bonus? It's way more fun with two people. We can plan away problems that will save you weeks in the revision cave, and brainstorm creative solutions together for books that feel fresh and new--ones that read with the tight structure and craft of bestsellers. This is my favorite kind of work to do!
With flexible, per hour pricing, you can have as much or as little help as you really need.
$0.0125 per word Full Manuscript Edit - Standard
I will read the full manuscript and write you an extensive edit letter explaining the big picture strengths and how to revise for any weaknesses. I will address any recurring types of mistakes (like filtering or filler words) but this package does not include line edits or reaction comments. For example, I might mention sections where the pacing lags, or particular scenes that can be cut or combined, or places where you could more clearly showcase your themes through metaphor. I always include the things that are working well about the manuscript or bits I personally enjoyed, because I believe revising should be fun and rewarding, not a chore.
$50 Budget Option
Look, if you’re freaking out a little because you really want professional editing but can’t afford a full manuscript edit, you’re not alone. That’s why I wanted to have a compromise option for people who aren't sure how to take their writing to the next level, and don’t have a lot of wiggle room in their budget.
This includes an edit letter for your first 40 pages/10,000 words.
I’ll read and give you a comprehensive report on if you’re starting your manuscript in the right place, if you're breaking any grammar rules, if your characters are introduced in a way that makes them sympathetic, if your conflict takes off fast enough, and any other big picture issue I see in the first forty. You can then take my feedback and apply it to the rest of your book on your own. This is a great place to start, and easy on the wallet!
What Clients Say
"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, author of Witchmark, winner of the World Fantasy Award and finalist for a Nebula, Lammy, and Locus Award.