Dianne Jacob           •Coach  •Editor  •Writer
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Coaching and Editing Services

When you have a coach, you’re not alone anymore, procrastinating, spinning, wondering how to get your writing done and whether it's any good. Instead, we work together, and you will feel encouraged, confident and energized by your progress.

Working with me means your chance of success increases. That’s because as an editor, I have been on the receiving end of writing submissions for decades. I know what other editors want to see when they look at your work. And based on years of working with writers, I will use my skills to help you crystalize and focus your ideas, improve your craft, and, if appropriate, figure out what makes your project salable. While other kinds of editors concentrate on crafting sentences and fixing grammar, my specialty is understanding the big picture of how your article or book will succeed in the publishing world.

I've also worked with people who want to self-publish. I help them evaluate the pros and cons, find resources, and edit their work.

"I hired Dianne to help me find a traditional publisher for my self-published books. She gave me excellent suggestions to make my query letter stand out. She also researched a list of literary agents who would have the most interest in my subject. I felt more confident immediately."

-- Patricia Noel Drain, Author and Speaker, Phoenix, AZ

My success depends entirely on yours. You'll find I am a resourceful and strategic asset, and an encouraging editor, helping you to see the beauty and strengths of your own work.

Help with a non-fiction book proposal

Many of the people I work with want to write a non-fiction book. It could be their first or tenth. Non-fiction requires writing a book proposal. A book proposal is like a sales pitch. It tells the agent or publisher why they should be interested in your book, and sells the idea.

You and I will work together on focusing your book, ensuring that the idea is exciting and sellable. You will write each part of the proposal with my guidance. I provide ideas, resources and additional information as appropriate. Once you have written a draft of a section, I'll edit it and give you suggestions on how to improve it. It might take a few passes until we get it right. Eventually I will make direct edits to your work, specifically to improving your writing, structure and focus.

When the proposal is complete, I edit it again, ensuring it is consistent, flows properly and is exciting enough to send to an agent or publisher. You will learn how to approach an editor or agent for maximum success. I have connections to agents, and can make introductions.


"Perhaps desperation was inspiration. I had no clue and no connections.You bridged that gap. Hiring you gave finality to my project, justification, and confimation.You made it real. With you, I went from trying to doing. Otherwise, the book and proposal would still be floating out there in my mental soup."

--Melissa Guerra, McAllen, TX, Dishes of the Wild Horse Desert, Wiley, 2006

"I got out three query letters today and already have answers from two who want to see the proposal. One agent replied about 2 minutes after I hit the send button! You ROCK! "

-- Judy Barnes Baker, Mt. Vernon, WA, Carb Wars, 2007

"Working with you has been very helpful. I have very much appreciated your focus, your insights, your clear vision. Your suggestions have helped me to see what does need to be done next on this proposal."

-- Anitra Kitts, Santa Rosa, CA

Book doctoring and editing

As a veteran editor, I evaluate manuscripts, sample chapters or essays. As a developmental editor, I look at the pieces as a whole and make written comments about structure, style, content, and characters, plus specific comments on the page.

I edit manuscripts and other writing. I untangle sentences, check spelling and grammar, move paragraphs around, and other line edits. I work on memoir, essays and all kinds of non-fiction. I have evaluated fiction, and I specialize in editing recipes.

"Dianne's assistance in evaluating my manuscript was invaluable. She offered not only detailed and practical advice, but also provided the encouragement that is of such importance for the confidence of a first time author. Her suggestions are going to result in a better book. Thanks Dianne!"

-- Roger Franklin, New South Wales, Australia

Coaching for freelance writing, or starting a blog

You might be a published writer who wants to write for more successful, bigger publications. I can help you take the next step. Or perhaps you've never written for a publication before.

Either way, we'll figure out which publications would be most likely to publish your work, find the right story idea, and I'll show you how to write an irresistible query letter. I've also helped people work on stories once they get assignments.

Some people want to start a blog as a way to find out what they'd like to write about. Through exercises and conversations, you'll start writing a collection of posts that will form the beginnings of a rewarding blog. Others have been blogging for a while but want more readership or a change. I have helped many writers in both categories begin or refine their blogs.


"During the few months I have worked with Dianne, she has been respectful and encouraging, yet realistic and firm. She listened to my vision and gave me milestones (with due dates) to help me accomplish my goal. First, she helped me set up a new blog with a much tighter focus than the one I had previously. Then she gave me a gentle push to aim for a bigger magazine for my pieces. We worked on one story idea and query letter. When it was accepted, she helped me polish my essay -- and the editor only changed one word. That was the start I needed and now I'm writing my tenth food article for Oakland magazine.”

--Anna Mindess, Oakland, CA, East Bay Ethnic Eats

"Thought you'd like to know what happened with my query to the (national magazine) editor. She responded within minutes of me sending the query. She said she loved all three ideas, and would discuss with the senior editor to see where they could fit stories into their calendar. Thanks again for your help!”

--Colette Martin, author, Learning to Bake Allergen-Free



Next step

Now that you have an idea of how  we might work together, either call me for a free consultation, or send an e-mail describing your book idea or the type of help you'd like. For contact information, please click here

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Last updated July 8, 2013