Sally Collings

Sally Collings – Ghostwriter

I specialize in book proposals and manuscript development, winning deals with Big 5 publishers and creating bestselling titles.

Overview

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With 20+ years’ experience in book publishing, I know what makes a great book proposal and an outstanding manuscript—and I know how to write them. Former non-fiction publisher for HarperCollins and editorial director for Amber Books, I now work as a ghostwriter and developmental editor, specializing in non-fiction book proposals and manuscripts.


My author clients are represented at several agencies, including Park & Fine Literary & Media, Talcott Notch Literary, The Palgon Company, and Marsal Lyon Literary Agency. Some have published with HarperBusiness, St. Martin’s Press, Simon & Schuster, and Chronicle Books, while others have successfully self-published their books or worked with leading hybrid publishers.


I’m most drawn to business memoirs and personal leadership titles. Projects with a health or medical spin are a good fit too: I speak fairly fluent “physician.”


Born in Australia, I now call Northern California home, and I get my kicks literally, though my newfound love of kickboxing.


Fee Structure:

In the past 12 months I've written 3 book proposals that drew offers from one or more literary agents within a month of submission. My standard fee for a book proposal (including sample chapters) is $22,000.


Selected Testimonials:


“I truly value your time, creativity, and expertise so much, Sally. I couldn’t afford NOT to work with you.“

– Mickey Rowe, actor, director, autism advocate


“Sally is not only one of the most brilliant writers and editors, she’s a pleasure to work with.”

– Fiona Henderson, Simon & Schuster


“Sally came in after I had written three chapters in seven months and took the reins and crossed the t’s and dotted the I’s and asked the good questions that needed to be asked without ever getting in the way.”

– Shay Butler, digital entrepreneur & vlogger

Services
Non-Fiction
Biographies & Memoirs Business & Management Health & Wellbeing Self-Help & Self-Improvement
Languages
English (AUS) English (UK) English (US)
Awards
  • North American Book Awards, silver medalist (Shift)
  • Walkley Award for non-fiction book (Killing Fairfax)
Certifications
  • Bachelor of Arts (Journalism & Radio Production)
  • Bachelor of Literature & Communication
  • Master of Arts (Lit. Comm.)

Work experience

Self-employed

Apr, 2006 — Present

I run a company that provides ghostwriting services to private clients and publishers. Our expertise is in founder stories and narrative non-fiction (especially business inspiration).

HarperCollins Publishers (Australia)

Aug, 2002 — Apr, 2003 (8 months)

Commissioning and budget responsibility for motivation, self-help, biography and business titles. Creating bestsellers with leading authors such as wine critic James Halliday, cookbook sensation Donna Hay, and surfing legend Mark Richards.

Focus Books

Jul, 2001 — Aug, 2002 (about 1 year)

I was responsible for running the editorial and design team for a custom publishing program, producing prestige books for business and government.

News International (London)

Jan, 1995 — Dec, 1995 (11 months)

I managed a team producing award-winning CD-ROMs using content from The Times and Sunday Times as well as newly commissioned content.

Amber Books (UK)

Apr, 1994 — Apr, 2001 (about 7 years)

Setting the editorial direction for a leading UK book packager, specializing in international co-editions of non-fiction titles. My job involved commissioning writers, designers, photographers and illustrators; attending international book fairs; overseeing budgets and schedules; and leading a strong in-house team of editors, photo researchers, and designers.

Websters Multimedia (a Microsoft vendor)

Jan, 1993 — Dec, 1994 (almost 2 years)

My job was to head up a unit producing CD-ROM content for Microsoft’s Encarta World Atlas and other interactive reference titles. We localized content supplied from Microsoft US and commissioned new content from UK academics and authors.

Portfolio

Identity Theft follows Stanford professor Debra Meyerson's journey to recover from a severe stroke that initially left her physically incapacitated and unable to speak. In addition to providing realistic expectations for the hard work needed to regain everyday... read more
Both scientific and industry research suggest that paying close attention to psychological safety has tangible benefits, not just to personal health and well-being, but to workplace productivity and performance. In 2015 Google released the findings of some com... read more
***ALL the profits from Shift will go to World Bicycle Relief.***This is a must-read book for anyone looking to change their perspective and live a more purposeful life. Michael O’Brien (OB to his friends) shows that the secret to becoming our best starts with... read more
Family Spirit

William Grant & Sons

Glenfiddich Single Malt Scotch Whisky is proud to share Family Spirit, celebrating the perseverance and triumphs of 12 remarkable family-run companies. Featuring gorgeous full-color and back-and-white photographs from the archives of participating families, Fa... read more
AMAZON BEST SELLER IN PHILANTHROPY & CHARITYA single promise can change a life forever. We all make promises constantly. ''Yes, I'll be there.'' ''Sure, no problem!'' But do we really mean what we are saying? What is the impact of a broken promise? And what ha... read more
In today’s world where fast-food restaurants, soda, and processed foods reign supreme, does “fat dad” have to mean “fat kid”? Digital entrepreneur and beloved vlogger Shay Butler and his preteen son, Gavin, decided to find out the answer for themselves.Before ... read more
From the pediatrician who became an Internet sensation with the “Hamilton Hold” in a YouTubevideo about how to calm a crying baby, comes a one-of-a-kind resource to guide you through the earliest moments of your child’s life—and help you to parent with common ... read more
Heartbreakingly honest, moving and inspiring, Chloe Maxwell and Mat Rogers share their journey of discovery with their autistic son, Max. 'It feels terrible for your son to want to hurt you so bad that you bleed, and to look into his beautiful eyes and see not... read more
There are love stories and then there's the story of Kristian and Rachel Anderson. When Kristian wanted to show his wife Rachel how much he loved her after learning he was terminally ill, he ended up winning millions of hearts around the world, thanks to the n... read more
From the star of the film Kenny, the story of his long road to overnight success. After the film 'Kenny' catapulted him to national and international fame, actor, writer, producer Shane Jacobson was told by people that he had a talent for acting. Which was gre... read more
KILLING FAIRFAX: PACKER, MURDOCH AND THE ULTIMATE REVENGE - an incisive, hard-hitting and utterly compelling exposé of media, powerful mates and multimillion-dollar deals that reads like a thriller. "Not since tHE LAtHAM DIARIES came out in 2005 has a book del... read more
Never Say Die

Chris O'Brien

In November 2006, Chris O'Brien was diagnosed with glioblastoma multi-forme, a malignant and extremely aggressive form of cancer. As one of the country's most eminent cancer specialists, O'Brien knows that the chances of beating the brain tumour are tiny; even... read more
Sophie's Journey

Sally Collings

It could have been anybodys child. ten days before Christmas. A room of children, napping on mattresses in their childcare centre, waiting for Santa to arrive. It's a peaceful scene. Until a car crashes through the doors at head height, smashing into the midst... read more
A child's-eye view of life, love and chocolate cake. Kids tell it like it is. And they know some very useful stuff indeed. Such as the fact that you can't hide a piece of broccoli in a glass of milk. Or it's never a good idea to try to baptise a cat. You just ... read more
Parenting with Soul

Sally Collings

The only sense of wonder I have in my day is wondering how three kids can make such a mess. Do you want more soul in your life? Parenting with Soul is for every parent who feels that purpose and meaning are things they lost under a pile of nappies, crayons and... read more
Positive

Sally Collings

For anyone going through cancer, as well as their friends and family. Can good things emerge - unexpectedly - from the cancer journey? Reeling from the death of her mother from cancer, Sally Collings saw nothing positive whatsoever about the disease. But then ... read more

Sally has 3 reviews

Professionalism

Quality

Value

Responsiveness

Mickey R.

Mickey R.

Aug, 2020

Sally was incredible, both as a mentor and in helping with my proposal. After working with Sally I received an offer of representation from a great literary agent four days after sending out our proposal! I so appreciated all of Sally's expertise and guidance and would definitely work with her again.
Sally C.
It was such a pleasure to work with you, Mickey. Wishing you every success with your book!
Beth C.

Beth C.

May, 2019

Sally is great! Her thoroughness allowed me to really think through my book concept and set me on a path towards getting it done. I appreciate her flexibility to work with authors at all levels, from writing or editing, to simply organizing. I will absolutely continue to work with her through various stages of making this dream a reality.
Mi N.

Mi N.

May, 2018

Sally has been excellent in helping us write our proposal. She took our ideas, carefully listened to our points and wrote in our voice the points we wanted to make. She truly cares for her work and her clients and never clock watching which was very important. Very professional, highly recommended and look forward to working with her again very soon. Thank you Sally

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