Posted by: Kathy Temean | January 7, 2013

Mary Kole – Agent, Author, Editorial Consultant – One Busy Lady

mary-kole1Agent Mary Kole has always been busy, but she has broken her own record recently. Not only is she running and building the Children’s Department at Moveable Type Management, and  fulfilling her role as an agent, she also writes a well-known blog ( ) and attends writer conferences around the world. 

In december her first book on the art of writing novels for teens: WRITING IRRESISTIBLE KIDLIT hit the book shelves.  It was written for and published by Writer’s Digest.  Now I find out she has opened a new business to provide writer’s with her editorial services and expertise.  That is why I say she is one busy lady.

I am sure everyone wishes Mary much success in her new endeavor.  I thought you might be interested in reading about her services.

Mary says, “I provide a number of services for writers, from consulting and feedback at the idea stage to a rigorous full manuscript edit. No matter where you are in your writing career or what you need, I can help. Detailed descriptions of my services are below.”


Consulting Services

Writing is an artistic calling. But publishing is a business. How do you reconcile the two? Success in this industry is part writing talent, part dedication, and part education. Does your story idea work? Is there a market for what you’re writing? Are all of your story elements in place and working well? Should you jump headfirst into developing an app? Should you pursue traditional publication or go independent?

There are many myths, misunderstandings, and questions out there when you’re trying to become a published author. If you aren’t familiar with the industry and if you haven’t had the opportunity to work with an agent or editor, you are not alone. Most of the mistakes I see in my slush pile, day after day, start very early at the idea stage. After all, if your premise is flawed, turning a three-page synopsis into a 300-page book isn’t going to fix it. These early mistakes are completely avoidable if you bounce your idea off someone who can help you refine it for success. An early consultation about your premise will set your story on a stronger foundation–and it could save you time and heartache as you move toward your dream.

It is literally my job to turn writers into published authors. I offer a range of consultations to help you with your work.

Query Consultation

I will read your query letter and synopsis (if you have one) and give you thorough notes on voice, tone, content, presentation, and more. I’ll also share my thoughts on your story idea and its chances in the market. A great book starts with a great premise. I will let you know whether or not your story idea–as presented in your query–has the right stuff to stand out in the slush.

Digital Proposal Consultation

If you’re intrigued by the possibilities of digital publishing (apps, ebooks, etc.), I can work with you on your idea and show you how to turn it into a proposal that might catch the eye of a digital publisher or developer. If you want to take the independent publishing route, I will review your idea and give you an actionable and specific plan to get you started.

30 Minute Strategy Call

Even if you don’t have pages to show me, you can still pick my brain about your story idea or the publishing industry. Come prepared with good questions about agents, publishing, and market trends. Bounce around ideas and get instant feedback. You’ll be surprised by how much you can learn.

Editorial Services

Give yourself the best possible chance for success and publication. I will provide in-depth, honest and compassionate guidance for your fiction manuscript, with a practical, get-down-to-business bent. I’ll work with you to inspire a stronger manuscript, a more confident writer, and clearly-defined next steps for your revision.

These are the benefits that are part of my editorial services, no matter how many pages we work on together:

  1. Thorough notes. You will get detailed notes on all the major components of your novel: character, tension, stakes, dramatic arc, plot, voice, imagery, setting. A macro, bird’s eye approach to how your story works as a book.
  2. Line editing. A micro approach with careful, page-by-page notes in your manuscript on sentences, structure, syntax, word choice, as well as any copyedits to address clarity, typos and other common issues. You will see notes on every page of your manuscript… that means an extremely close read and hours of my undivided attention.
  3. Market analysis. I’ll analyze your project’s potential success in the market and help you avoid any pitfalls. I might also suggest comparative titles for you to read or other books in the same vein that will help you continue your education.
  4. Next steps. I will brainstorm next steps for you, like an editor or agent would, to help guide you in your revision. Sometimes the task of revising a novel seems daunting. Here I will provide a written map for how best to proceed after you receive your feedback.
  5. A Query Letter Consultation. As an added bonus, feedback on your query letter is, of course, included with every edit.

Haven’t you always wanted in-depth feedback from a publishing gatekeeper? Make this the manuscript that changes everything. I offer the following scope of editorial services, with an editorial package for every skill level and budget.

Submission Package Edit

You can still benefit from my editorial guidance even if you don’t invest in a partial or full manuscript edit. I’m more than happy to comment on your submission package with the same level of detail, and here’s why: In 95% of cases, I stop reading slush submissions after the first paragraph. Don’t sabotage all of your hard work with an ineffective sample. With this edit, you’ll learn how to make your novel opening as strong as possible. A query and ten pages of prose is the standard submission that most agents and editors request. For our purposes, this length of sample is also enough for me to get a sense of your writing and your individual challenges. I will read the first ten pages of your work and critique the writing, the scenework, the dialogue, the action, the pacing, the “promise of the novel” (this is very important, yet few writers ever think about it), the characters, and more. Your Submission Package Edit will include a line edit, actionable advice, feedback on your writing, and thoughts on what’s going through my mind as you begin your story. With my notes, you’ll have the confidence and know-how to make your work shine throughout. This consultation is for novels only. For picture books, please see below.

Picture Book Edit

The picture book market is rebounding, and a lot of writers are trying the fun and challenging craft of picture book writing. This is an edit of your strongest picture book manuscript (up to 1,000 words, per the prevailing word count requirements in the industry today) and will provide you with valuable feedback about your plot, characters, illustration potential, voice, and more. As with the Submission Package Edit, a Query Consultation is included, as well as feedback on up to three more picture book story ideas (pitched in a paragraph or less), if you have them. Today’s picture book readers need a really strong grasp of the form as well as many saleable ideas that will attract the eye of an editor or agent. Most agents will not sign up a picture book creator unless they have at least three truly stellar, home-run ideas. This edit will help you refine your craft and, more importantly, your thinking about writing for this very specific audience.

100 Page Edit

With a bigger page sample, I can really dig into the important elements of your work: story, plot, tension, stakes, structure, and character. These higher-order concerns are what absolutely make or break a story once an agent or editor gets past those crucial introductory pages. Not only will you get editing for your beginning, but you’ll benefit from my insights as you launch your story and gain momentum. You’ll also learn whether or not you’re falling into any common “Muddy Middle” traps that wreak havoc novels as they develop. Notes for this sample length are much more thorough than notes on the ten-page sample, as I can really see your craft elements at work over time, and you will get even more ideas about revising so that the rest of your project can shine.

Full Manuscript Edit

This is the most comprehensive, time-consuming, blood-sweat-and-tears service that I offer. You will get notes from the first page of your manuscript to the last. You will also be trained, in the process, to self-edit and revise, so you can really get the maximum benefit of my feedback and use my advice on plot, structure, tension, voice, and character for the rest of your writing life. Since I can see your whole story, your character arcs, your tension architecture, and your full intention with the piece, I’ll be able to give the most definitive and revelatory feedback I can offer. Only the most serious and dedicated writers need apply. My availability for this type of edit is extremely limited.

How To Hire Me As Your Consultant or Editor (Scroll to the bottom of the page when using this link) You will find pricing information.

Mary good luck in all that you do.  I hoep that you will still have time for the writers in New Jersey.

Talk tomorrow,



  1. OK, now I’d like to know when she fits in sleeping and eating 😉

    Good luck, Mary!


  2. Mary’s critique skills and her book are fantastic!


  3. Had to come and read this as I just found out that Mary will also be attending the Asian Festival of Children’s Content. Thanks, Mary, for sharing all that you do…kind of amazing! And thanks, Kathy, for spotlighting someone who offers services many of us may be needing.:)


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