"Goes down easy, like a perfect cup of coffee." —Crimespree Magazine
"A fast-paced, atmospheric mystery. Sims shines." —Melinda Bargreen, The Seattle Times
"Spot on dialog and well drawn female characters." —Ryan G. Van Cleave, Scene Magazine
"Byrd is a very likable amateur sleuth and Sims is a really entertaining storyteller." —Andrea L.T. Peterson, Woman's Monthly
"Appealing characters, and a rabbit mascot." —Library Journal
"A nerve-tingling thriller, rich with characterization and humour." —Vancouver BC Public Library
"Hilarious. Lillian is a true original." —Kirkus Reviews
"Unforgettable characters, lovely moments and brilliant dialogue." —The Lesbian Review
"Elizabeth Sims proves herself a true writer's friend." —Jamie Morris, Director, Voice Heart Vision
"Sims' wry commentary on life in Hollywood is dead-on." —Publishers Weekly
"An intelligent thriller." —Jay Strafford, Richmond Times-Dispatch
"You just have to love Rita." —Kirkus Reviews
"Sims is a master of word choice, sentence structure, and plot development." —Mensa Bulletin
"I flat out loved this book." —Sheryl LeSage, Liberty Press
"Much charm and deprecating humor." —Kirkus Reviews
"A nifty little puzzle solved by a most intriguing female detective." —Rex E. Klett, Library Journal
"Don't overlook the work of this excellent and entertaining author." —Denise Pickles, Mary Martin Bookshop
"What more could a reader ask for?" —Cheri Fuller and Nikki Little, Curve Magazine
"The quality of writing and the entertainment value are high." —W Spice
"Packs a twelve-week writing course into 280 pages."
author of Keep No Secrets
"Intricate and surprising, this is a gripping read." —Kristine Huntley, Booklist
"The two leads, Rita and George, are engaging and believable." —Hallie Ephron, Boston Globe
"Sims orchestrates the action—and occasional comic relief—for maximum impact." —Publishers Weekly
"A rollicking good mystery." —Lori L. Lake, Midwest Book Review
"Your evening read will keep you up 'til dawn." —Whitney Scott, Booklist
"Colorful episodes involving trailer parks and luxury cars." —Kirkus Reviews
"Sims has created one of those heroines who you wouldn't like to be but you'd like as a friend." —Sharon Wheeler, Reviewing the Evidence
"You'll be surprised over and over." —Caroline McCullagh, Mensa Bulletin
"Each of these four stories is a tiny gem." —Neil S. Plakcy, author
"The approach is always positive and well worth the price of admission." —Ellen Hart, award-winning author
"A page-turner from stem to stern." —Kirkus Reviews
I'm sorry — I'm not currently accepting new clients. But the good news is I'm working on initiatives that will allow me to help more writers.
Elizabeth Sims - Mystery Ace
Services and Rates
I can help you with any book project, fiction or nonfiction, but I specialize in all forms of mystery novels:
Start here with a free consultation
Send me your first seven pages. I’ll read them and give you professional feedback via phone, Skype, or email. This alone can result in a significant breakthrough. If you’re considering hiring me, it gives you a concrete sample of my work.
Developmental Line Editing
This is the heart of what I do. I’ll read your manuscript and give you a deep, substantive line edit and constructive critique on multiple elements, such as plot, characters, structure, theme, and dialogue. I’ll include suggested revisions for awkward or unclear material. (This kind of editing is sometimes known as full content editing.) My focus is on helping you make your manuscript as professional and commercially viable as possible. I pay particular attention to plot and structure, as these are the most crucial elements for success. I also routinely check facts, such as historical references, product information, etc. This takes time on my end, but it makes your manuscript that much more bulletproof. I’m honest, straightforward, and never unkind.
A developmental line edit does not include a full copy edit. If your first goal is to land a traditional publishing conract, your publisher will copy edit your manuscript for free. But if I notice particular recurring issues with punctuation, spelling, usage, etc., I will bring them to your attention in my margin notes.
All edits will be made using Microsoft Word’s ‘track changes’ tool.
You’ll also get:
While I can work with any project at any stage, I encourage you to get your manuscript into the best possible shape before hiring me. You’ll get best benefit that way.
$4.50 to $6.50 per page (average of 250 words per page). I’ve found that every manuscript is different, every author is different, and every author’s needs are different. If you’re considering hiring me, I’ll ask for your first 50 pages, then will respond quickly with an exact quote. (There’s no charge for this.)
Free with Developmental Line Edit over $175: A copy of You’ve Got a Book in You: A Stress-Free Guide to Writing the Book of Your Dreams, personalized to you and autographed.
This is a full copy edit and proofread. It includes corrected spelling, grammar, usage, punctuation, and formatting, but not constructive critique or suggested revisions. If you do nothing else for your manuscript, get it copy edited before self publishing.
$3.00 to $4.00 per page (average of 250 words per page). As above with Developmental Line Editing, I’ll ask for your first 50 pages, then will respond quickly with an exact quote. (No charge for the quote.)
Free with copy edit over $120: A copy of You’ve Got a Book in You: A Stress-Free Guide to Writing the Book of Your Dreams, personalized to you and autographed.
Nifty Fifty Special
$400 gets you:
For short projects such as synopses, outlines, short stories or small collections, I charge my hourly rates, noted below. Total costs vary. Once I see your project, I can give you a quote. (No charge for this either.)
Just want to talk?
Get some custom writing coaching! This is all about you and your writing, from general to specific, with the goal of developing a complete literary work. If you’re working on a first draft or major revision, custom coaching from a professional can save you days of uncertain effort and spare you needless anxiety. We can also discuss strategies for building a career as a writer, including options for getting representation, publishing, and platform-building.
$95, via phone, Skype, or in person. You talk, I listen, we cut through difficulties together. If your project has hit a rough patch, or if you feel stuck or unsettled about your writing in general, this session can help you regain clarity, inspiration, and confidence. (I might note this is a great gift for any aspiring writer!)
These hours are devoted to reading, analyzing, and discussing your work in progress—as well as your career—via phone, Skype, and/or email. The hours can be spread over the course of days, weeks, or months, up to a year.
3 hours for $255
Free with Power Hour or Power Package
A copy of You’ve Got a Book in You: A Stress-Free Guide to Writing the Book of Your Dreams, personalized to you and autographed.
Ready to move forward?
Or not sure yet? Let’s talk. I’ll be glad to help you figure it out, whether you end up hiring me or not.
Working with Elizabeth Sims’ fine balance of exceptional skills is one of the most beneficial—and enjoyable—experiences I've had as a writer.
Her highly developed creativity, grounded in a deep understanding of craft, gets down into the work as if it's her own, yet never intrudes on the individuality of a voice—either the author's or the story's. She's as knowledgeable about structure, form, and every vital aspect of story as a seasoned architect is about design, yet also an advocate for what is unfailingly fresh.
Elizabeth is a clear and timely communicator, a pleasure to work with, and what she contributed to the process of my novel was a game-changer and turning point, for me and for my work.
Author of Snow Fence Road and other books
Elizabeth Sims made me reach far deeper into my writing education and myself than I thought possible. With her insightful critiques, guidance and support, I did the work, fixed the problems and built on the strengths. The result was not only a significantly improved manuscript and a solid voice; I am a much better writer now thanks to Elizabeth, and I'm halfway into my next novel, without encountering any of the stumbling blocks that were holding me back before.
With an author’s heart and a teacher’s mind, Elizabeth Sims coached me to confidence in her thoughtful review of the detailed synopsis of my mystery novel. She served as a sounding-board for my premise, stuck with me through the draft of my first fifty pages, and gave me the courage to expand on an edgy plot dynamic intended to create a stir among readers of traditional mysteries. I highly recommend her writing services.
Author of AppleJacked! (forthcoming)
I first began with Elizabeth in a Writer’s Digest webinar in the early stages of A Layer of Darkness. Her comments struck me in a way that others couldn’t. She has a unique ability to see through the opaqueness of average writing and understand an author's true intent. I think we all struggle with that to a degree—knowing what we want in our heads but failing to cogently put it into words. Elizabeth knows how to open those doors.
With a full book content edit, Elizabeth is like a literary HGTV show. She comes into it, takes out the trash, outlines the remodel and will leave you with the same house, but a greatly improved look. I look forward to working with her again soon with my next book, China Basin.
Author of A Layer of Darkness