write on, inc.
and Independent Publishing Consultant
Sandra Wendel is a highly experienced book editor who specializes in helping authors write, polish, and publish their manuscripts in many areas:
Business, Leadership, Sales and Marketing
True Crime (not to be confused with the first bullet)
Psychology and Self-Help/Consumer Health
Memoir (selected subgenres)
She helps authors organize and structure their manuscripts, choose an alluring title and subtitle, and decide how to publish their books — traditionally or independently, as a tree book or an ebook or audiobook or all formats.
As a published author (sharing the authorship of empowering consumer health books with a physician from Mayo Clinic), Sandra knows how to write to empower patients and help them make an impact on their health and wellness. She developed web content for eMedicine Health, MayoClinic.com, and other top online health sites.
Sandra teaches highly popular continuing education classes at Metropolitan Community College in Omaha, Nebraska, called “How to Write Your Book,” “How to Publish Your Book,” "How to Market Your Book,” and "How to Write Your Story."
Write On, Inc., is an editing and writing company based in Omaha, Nebraska.
Let's Discuss Your Writing Project
Contact Sandra Wendel: Sandra@SandraWendel.com or (402) 334-2547.
Let’s discuss what you’re writing and what you need to keep moving forward (a nudge, encouragement, a kick in the pants, homework assignments, a global view, or nit-picky editing).
Consulting fees are based on what your project needs and your wishes — and the limitations of your budget. Editorial work can range from a simple copy edit (making sure the commas are in the right place) to a major restructuring and reorganization (keeping the baby but changing the bath water).
Your initial conversation is at absolutely no charge with no obligation. Think of it like a speed date, without the pressure.
Why Contact Sandra Wendel, and When Should You Talk about Editorial Services?
Your mother said she loved your book. But she’s your mother. You want an objective opinion.
You’re ready to push the button and upload your book to an ebook site, but you hesitate because you know you’ll get slammed in reviews if you haven’t really had a professional edit (and you can’t erase those nasty comments about “really needed an edit” or “who taught this author about punctuation?").
Author publishing is your choice (congratulations), and you need editorial services.
You received an estimate for editing services, and you would like a second opinion on cost and what your manuscript truly needs.
It’s been many years since your high school English class. Does the period go inside or outside the quotation marks? Should you capitalize this or put commas around that?
What editorial style are today’s books using and does yours conform to standard publishing conventions?
Your friends said you have lived a fascinating life and ought to write a book about it. You want to tell your story, but where do you start?
You seriously want a thorough editorial evaluation on all aspects of your manuscript from title and cover design to structure and organization (and even the mechanical stuff such as commas and quotation marks).
Your New York publisher rejected your manuscript, and you’re about to lose a hefty publishing contract unless you revise. Help!
You can’t see the forest for the trees. You are too close to your words and story. Time for a fresh set of eyes on your galleys.
Enough already. You can’t get a literary agent to give you the time of day, no less an honest opinion about your proposal, so you want to discuss your publishing options with a professional to help guide you on your path to publishing.
Sandra's Book for First-Time Authors
Click the cover above to preview the book for free.
on Amazon in Editing & Writing Reference
“Irreverent.” “Funny.” “Essential.”
Read this book before you publish your book.
You just wrote your first book. And there you are. Stark naked. Vulnerable. Wondering what to do next to get your masterpiece published.
This is the one book you need to read and follow if you’re writing a book for the first time. Why? Because you’ve never written a book before. This is new territory.
To write a successful book, you need to find and work with an editor who shares your passion for your work and your message and who will help you make your book sing. And sing a smash hit. A blockbuster of a message, clearly and carefully constructed so readers love you and your work and leave you five-star Amazon reviews only because they don’t have more stars to give.
This is a toolkit for tinkering under the hood of your working manuscript so you, the author, can take your work as far as you can before an edit and production such as cover design and not dump a half-baked chocolate cake on some poor schlub of an editor to “fix.”
Get these questions answered (and more):
Why do I need an editor? How do I find an editor? What do editors do? And how much do they cost?
What are the levels of edit? Developmental? Line edit? Copy edit? Proofreading? How do I know what level of editing my manuscript needs?
Will an editor tell me if my manuscript sucks?
Why do words make a difference? Which words do I overuse? Which words should I never use?
How do I know when I’m done writing?
How can I work with a cover designer and audiobook engineer?
Can my local bookstore help me? Do I need beta readers?
Join the First-Time Author's Club
Learn how to survive the writing and publishing of your first book. The first-time author's club on Facebook is an open and safe forum for new authors who have written a book (or want to). Feeling overwhelmed? Want to know more about writing, editing, and publishing? Join us.
View Sandra Wendel’s appearance on
Sandra stopped by the Unusually Well-Informed podcast to discuss how first-time authors can get their manuscript polished and published. Watch her conversation with Tim in video form, or click below to listen to the podcast.
Other Books by Sandra Wendel
Being present at the bedside—and even at the moment of death—can become an experience embedded in the minds and souls of family members for generations. It is a deeply emotional time, one of relief and sadness. Anyone who has taken that final journey with a loved one will never, ever forget those moments.
Dr. Edward Creagan, a palliative and hospice specialist at Mayo Clinic, has dedicated his life to death. And now this esteemed medical doctor examines death, not only from a medical standpoint, but from an acutely emotional perspective as events beyond our control unfold. Sandra Wendel is the coauthor of Farewell: Vital End-of-Life Questions with Candid Answers.
For more than forty years, he has been at the bedside with patients, addressing the end-of-life questions patients and their families ask. This book is about navigating those last days, at the bedside, and saying farewell with hope, love, and compassion.
Indie Book of the Year, finalist, 2019
COVID changed everything. Welcome to the new world of healthcare with telemedicine, patient portals, and electronic medical records. Sandra Wendel coauthored with Edward Creagan, MD, of Mayo Clinic, the completely revised third edition of this award-winning consumer health book: How Not to Be My Patient: A Physician’s Secrets for Staying Healthy and Surviving Any Diagnosis. See more about Dr. Ed and this book at AskDoctorEd.com.
“Now let me turn to the one person who has been a catalyst, the flame, the engine driving this subject: Sandra Wendel. My tenacious and patient coauthor is the consummate wordsmith who magically transformed our ideas from a casual telephone conversation several years ago into a masterpiece — again.” Edward T. Creagan, MD, Mayo Clinic cancer specialist.
Benjamin Franklin Award, Silver (health)
Indiefab Book of the Year Award, Silver (health)
Midwest Book Awards, finalist
Chewish: 36 Recipes of Love with Stories from Nama’s Kitchen, a tribute to my grandmother, a bit of memoir with a dash of recipes (2016). Invited to be archived in the University of Iowa’s special collection on Iowa Jewish Women. Read more about the book at Chewish.com.
What Authors Are Saying
"My editor, Sandra Wendel, went above and beyond to turn my draft manuscripts into a professional book. I am grateful for her wisdom, experience, and generosity in sharing her gifts."
“Sandra Wendel deployed her expertise and experience as an editor to guide this novice author through the process of turning a manuscript into a book.”
Craig K. Svensson, PharmD, PhD
When There Is No Cure: How to Thrive While Living with the Pain and Suffering of Chronic Illness
Award-winning editorial contribution. Winner, 2017 Nebraska Center for the Book
Over 160 Years of History and Images
"Our book production team brought their expertise to the words and pictures. Sandra Wendel, the world’s most expedient, effective, and organized editor, we thank you for holding our hands and walking us through this process."
Michael Sandler and Jessica Lee
Barefoot Running: How to Run Light and Free by Getting In Touch with the Earth and Barefoot Walking: Free Your Feet to Minimize Impact, and Discover the Pleasure of Getting in Touch with the Earth
"To Sandra Wendel, my newfound friend. I know I used the word 'great' too much in this book, but I have to say you are a great editor. Thank you for helping me to continue living my dreams."
Undercover narcotics officer, Busting Bad Guys: My True Crime Stories of Bookies, Drug Dealers, and Ladies of the Night
"A big thanks to my friend, the consumer-health writer and editor Sandra Wendel. She took the time to walk me through the ins and outs of the editorial and publishing process, and she spent hours and hours getting this manuscript ready for printing."
Larry Axmaker, EdD
Real Men Get Prostate Cancer Too: The Information You Want Your Doctor to Tell You But You’re Too Scared to Ask
"Sandra Wendel…worked with an insane deadline and provided feedback that took the book to new heights."
ReWrite: The Journey from Self-Harm to Healing
"As my editor, Sandra Wendel nurtured, encouraged, and guided me for years."
Dr. Vicki Rackner
Caregiving without Regrets
The Bliss List: The Ultimate Guide to Living the Dream at Work and Beyond!
"Sandra Wendel gave us professional input and steadfast encouragement every step along the way. Sandy’s editing skills and knowledge of caregiving resources gave our book the heft it needed."
Colleen Nicol and Brian Nicol
Senior Days: Insightful Tales and No-Nonsense Help from the Frontlines of Eldercare
“Sandra Wendel . . . encouraged me, debated me . . . taught me things that never would have occurred to me. Your skills have made the book immeasurably better.”
Harmony at Work
"My editor, Sandra Wendel, knows what I’m trying to say and has the guts to tell me when I’m unclear. Working with her now on two books has been a delight. True to her craft, she’s encouraging but intent on slaughtering words to make them rise from the ashes. I couldn’t ask for a better wordsmith."
Benjamin Sledge and Michelle Saari
Dwarf Planet: A Practical Guide Through Depression
“To my editor Sandra Wendel, who took charge, told me the truth, and taught me more than anyone during the book writing process, including how to achieve my own ‘end game’ by helping me cross the finish line.”
The End Game
"I want to express my enormous gratitude to Sandra Wendel for her early encouragement and strong belief that my story needed to be told."
Long Journey Home: A Young Girl’s Memoir of Surviving the Holocaust
"Sandy...whose honest feedback helped refocus this book, and rightfully so."
Kori Reed and Mike Becker
ZagZig Parenting: (Mis)Adventures of a Career-Driven Mom and a Stay-at-Home Dad
"I couldn’t have done it without you. Thanks for everything. Enjoy the show!"
There’s No Business Without the Show! Using Showbiz Skills to Get Blockbuster Sales
"I wish to thank Sandra Wendel, our editor, for her interest, enthusiasm, support, generosity, and dedication in working with Ruti and preparing this English version for publication."
Warsaw Ghetto survivor, Youth in Flames: A Teenager’s Resistance and Her Fight for Survival in the Warsaw Ghetto and After