Expert Nonfiction Editor and Writer
When I started working as a young editorial assistant in publishing, I was quickly drawn to nonfiction -- I loved learning about methods for self-improvement and was fascinated by people’s real-life stories. Over the years, my own life has been enriched so much by reading the work of authors with whom I’ve worked.
I was lucky enough to work at some of the best nonfiction publishers, including HarperCollins, Doubleday, and Hyperion. In those jobs, I learned not only how to be an editor but what it takes to make a project commercially viable. After working twelve years in-house, I switched over to working independently in 2009, which gave me the opportunity to focus on my favorite part of the job: working with authors.
My role as an editor or writer is to find out what my clients need and to provide honest yet supportive feedback to help them bring their story and information to the page in a compelling way. I love working with authors to help them find their voice and communicate their ideas in the clearest way possible. Whichever project I’m working on, my goal is to make it “sing” – to make the words leap off the page and engage the reader.
I enjoy working collaboratively with authors to bring a project to its highest professional level; to make it enlightening as well as entertaining. As an editor, I bring not only my expertise in editing gained from working as an acquiring editor at major publishing houses, but also my industry savvy, guiding clients as they navigate the publishing world.
My specialties are memoir, health, spirituality, inspiration, how-to, reference, and lifestyle. Books I’ve edited include Gorgeously Green by Sophie Uliano (New York Times bestseller); Righteous Porkchop by Nicolette Hahn Niman (Barnes & Noble Great New Writers selection); Piggybanking by Jeff D. Opdyke; (Books for a Better Life Awards nominee); Survive!: Essential Skills and Tactics to Get You Out of Anywhere – Alive by Les Stroud (the Discovery Channel’s “Survivorman”); Becoming Starlight by Sharon Prentice, Ph.D.; Bardisms: Shakespeare for all Occasions by Barry Edelstein; Back in Control: A Spine Surgeon’s Roadmap out of Chronic Pain by David Hanscom, M.D.; The Fab-YOU-List: List It, Live It, Love Your Life by Susan Campbell Cross, For the Love of Letters by Samara O’Shea, and The Makeover Myth by Bethanne Snodgrass, M.D.
“There are no words in existence to fully express my gratitude for Anne Cole Norman, editor extraordinaire. Her tender and supportive manner was evident in her editing from the first page; her support and guidance and expert editing were a saving grace for me. Thank you, Anne, for giving me your best. Working with a novice writer can never be easy for someone as experienced and talented as Anne but, somehow, she managed to survive me and, because of her expertise, Becoming Starlight emerged the way I always wanted it to.”
--Sharon Prentice, Ph.D., author of Becoming Starlight
"Anne Cole Norman edited my book Bardisms: Shakespeare for All Occasions, and I could not have asked for a better experience. Anne made positive and often transformative contributions to the book on countless levels. She supplied crucial insights on its conception and structure, she provided gentle nudges regarding its tone, and she offered astute and sensitive thoughts on the copy. Her every suggestion was leavened with kindness, and not a jot of feedback came at any other than exactly the right moment. And best of all, Anne’s a lovely person, possessed of great good humor and a love of writing. She’s the one you want in your corner."
--Barry Edelstein, author of Bardisms: Shakespeare for All Occasions
“I’ve had the great pleasure to working with Anne on two projects and will say that she is truly a treasure. Anne is a writer’s best friend for life. She is flexible yet assertive, with a deep insight into taking a good story and making it great. Anne is a great sounding board for the writer’s creative process and offers constructive feedback and smart solutions. I highly recommend working with Anne.”
--Carolyn Babiyans, author of Mask of Smiles: A Memoir
Services & Fees
Having reviewed thousands of proposals and taken part in many acquisitions meetings where proposals were discussed, I know what goes into a great one. I offer a wide range of services, including helping you organize, develop, and edit your material, crafting it into a smooth, finished proposal.
I typically offer a flat-rate fee that depends on how much work is involved. For each project, I have an initial conversation with the author on email or on the phone, and then ask for sample material (if available, 10-20 pages) to see how much work is needed, and quote you a price. My fee includes help with a query letter if the author is seeking a literary agent/publisher and consultation on the best way to find an agent/publisher, if needed.
If you would like help writing a proposal or book, I offer ghostwriting services to collaborate with you and create a compelling work that’s in your voice. My fee for ghostwriting depends on a few different factors such as the subject matter and whether research would be involved. The ghostwriting process consists of me interviewing you either in person or on the phone to generate material; I record the interviews and then have them interviews transcribed. I use the transcriptions to come up with chapters and then send them to you for your review. All along, I work to hone and polish the material to produce the highest quality work.
For manuscripts, I typically do an initial developmental edit where I review the content, ask questions, mark any “holes,” and read to make sure that everything makes sense. The second edit is a “line edit,” where I edit for flow, sentence structure, word choice, voice, consistency, and repetition, among other aspects. At the end, the manuscript will be “publishing ready,” bringing edited with the same attention and level of expertise that I would to a book that I edited while an in-house editor.
After an initial conversation and reviewing sample material, I let you know what my flat fee would be. This fee includes consultation on what route you’d like to take when you have a final product, whether it’s self-publishing, hybrid publishing, or pitching it to publishers, and the best way to go about that process.
If you're interested in working together, please email at or fill out this section, and I'll get back to you. Thanks!