Query Critiques, Editing & Book Coaching Services

Hi there! *waves* If you’re on this page, you might be in need of some assistance, whether it be a query critique, editing, or coaching in that you’ve always wanted to write a book but can’t quite find the time. If you read through everything here and think I might be able to help you, please contact me through the contact page or at kristi (at) kristihelvig.com. These services are for both traditionally and self-published authors. Aside from being a published author, I’m also a licensed psychologist and certified life coach, so don’t hesitate to ask about my “book coaching” services as well.

My style regarding all these services: Though I’m very nice, I tend to take the tough love approach in most things in life (just ask my children!). If you only want to hear that your writing is great, save yourself the money and send your work to your mom instead. I call things like I see them and am just as ruthless with my own work. In fact, I believe my own “tough love critiquers” are the reason I’m a published author who received multiple offers of representation from agents. Please note the payment options at the bottom of the page, and don’t hesitate to ask me any questions about the following services. Thanks for reading!

QUERY CRITIQUES — $45 (24 hour turnaround time in most cases)

Is your manuscript ready to submit to an agent/publisher but you want to make sure your query is compelling enough to hook the reader and make them want to see more? I’ve done hundreds of query critiques and it’s one of my favorite things to do. Send me your query and I’ll give you a detailed critique on what works and what I’d change. The price will also include one follow-up critique of your revised query. Also, before you hit send on the query, please review the query advice posts I’ve written for some great query tips.

Testimonial: ‘I asked Kristi for a query critique and was beyond pleased with her feedback. I’d definitely recommend her services. Her suggested edits really tightened my query and brought it to the next level. She was also happy to provide advice on agents and the submission process. Plus, she’s fast! She sent my revised query back to me within the same day!’ — BRIAN Z. (who accepted an agent’s offer of representation shortly thereafter!)


QUERY LETTER-$100 (48-hour turnaround time in most cases)

If you would like to have me write a query letter from scratch based on a 1-5 page synopsis of your book that you provide, I can do that too! (Note: I can’t read your entire book due to time constraints, and if you want me to read your whole book, you might as well spring for the Developmental Edit Lite and I’ll throw in the query for free!)

DEVELOPMENTAL EDIT “LITE” — $400 (2 week turnaround)

Whether you self-publish or traditionally publish (or both), it’s helpful to have someone read your manuscript to check basic overall things such as plot, pacing, story structure, characterization and dialogue. I’ll carefully read your work and write up a detailed summary where I go over your strengths and areas for improvement in each of those key areas. Unlike some editors, I always include what you do well in my summary because I think it’s good to recognize your strengths as a writer too. This write-up is approximately 3-4 pages long and does not include line edits within the work itself. For a novel longer than 100K words, additional charges apply.

DEVELOPMENTAL EDIT “GRANDE” — $800 (3 week turnaround)

This edit includes all of the analysis above with the 3-4 page document, as well as detailed line edits within the manuscript itself (usually with Track Changes). Additionally, I’ll offer some specific suggestions as to how to fix things that I think need improvement rather than just tell you what’s not working. You don’t have to use those suggestions but I’ll throw them in anyway! And same as above, additional charges apply if the novel is longer than 100K words (since it takes more time and all!)

BOOK COACHING—$300/month (3 month minimum)

Do you have a book inside you but feel overwhelmed with how to turn it into an actual, ya know, book? Are you already self-published or traditionally published but feel like you need that little extra push to meet your deadline? Whether you’re just starting out and are unsure where to start or how to carve out time to write the darn thing, or you’re seasoned but want to be held accountable, then a professional coach might be just what you need. As a psychologist and life coach, I’ve coached people in many areas such as starting a new business, losing weight, finding a life partner, and yes, writing a book. By breaking things down into manageable steps and acting as part taskmaster/part cheerleader, I’ll guide you through the writing journey until you have a finished book at the end. You will have “homework” each week that will push you through the hard initial stages and guide you through the difficult middle section of your story until you reach those magical words “the end.” This includes an initial one hour phone call or Skype session regarding your goals, plus weekly emails and writing assignments, as well as 2 additional phone calls/Skype per month.

The Book Coaching does not include developmental editing; however, if you would also like either of the editing packages after you complete your book, you will get a 15% discount.

*NOTE: These above services do not guarantee you will get an agent/book contract/bestseller status/etc. “Dammit Jim, I’m a doctor not a magician.” I just had to include a Star Trek reference somewhere! Believe me, if I could sprinkle magic publishing dust on all of you, then I would. This is the next best thing. 😉


I accept payment through PayPal or Square. Query Critique services must be paid in advance. For both the Developmental Edits “Lite” and “Grande,” I require half of the payment up front and the other half when I send your 3-4 page document back to you. For Book Coaching, I require the first month paid in advance, and then monthly payments after that. There is a 3-month minimum for the Book Coaching, but the average client I see has been for a duration of 4-6 months. If you’ve had Book Coaching from me and want editing services in the future, you will get a 15% discount.


Kristi Helvig is a Ph.D. clinical psychologist and Certified Professional Coach (CPC) turned sci-fi/fantasy author. Her first novel, BURN OUT (Egmont USA), which Kirkus Reviews called “a scorching series opener not to be missed,” follows 17-year-old Tora Reynolds, one of Earth’s last survivors, when our sun burns out early. In the sequel, STRANGE SKIES, coming 4/28/2015 from Egmont USA, Tora makes it to a new planet only to discover a whole new host of problems—and the same people who still want her dead. Her newest work is featured in a speculative fiction anthology through Wicked Ink Books called TICK TOCK: 7 Tales of Time. Order Kristi’s books through Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or your favorite local retailer.

Kristi muses about Star Trek, space monkeys, and other assorted topics on her blog at www.kristihelvig.com and Twitter (@KristiHelvig). You can also find her on Facebook. Kristi resides in sunny Colorado with her hubby, two kiddos, and behaviorally-challenged dogs.