Professional Resume | Toby Press Recommendation | A Personal Note
"Show me the books he loves and I shall know the man far better than through mortal friends." - S. Weir Mitchell
As a voracious reader, and the former editorial director of a publishing house that published a wide range of fiction, I can contribute my expertise to all kinds of works. While at the Toby Press, I edited literary fiction set in locales ranging from Arkansas to New York, from Europe to the Middle East. I edited historical mysteries set in fifth-century Italy and medieval Germany, and modern crime fiction set in New Orleans and California. I edited a novel whose protagonist was a fourteen-year-old girl from the Deep South, living in the fifties, and a novel whose protagonists included a preacher, voodoo practitioners, and the great city of New Orleans (itself practically a living, breathing character). I edited works translated from French, Spanish, Italian and Hebrew. For a list of many of the books I edited, check out my Works page.
I can help with whatever is needed: with a critique, I can tell you, honestly, if your novel is good enough, and give you tips as to where it needs improvements and rewrites. With a developmental line-edit, I can help you with plot, character, and language so as to take your novel to the level it needs to be. Your book might need a simple 'polish' - or it might need more. In today's extremely competitive and over-burdened publishing market, it is vital to get your manuscript into the best shape possible before it crosses an agent's desk, if it is to have a hope of passing muster. And if you are thinking of publishing it yourself, as many are these days, you have even more reason to make sure an editor has helped you get it where it needs to be before it is available for the public to read. Every author needs an editor.
Works of non-fiction need just as much help as fiction, although the focus is different. Are you getting your ideas across concisely and clearly? Does your argument develop logically, or does it take strange leaps that a reader will not be able to follow? I have worked on a range of non-fiction books, from the relatively straightforward annual Guide to Israeli Wines, to works of political history and religious thought. I have always been interested in history, religion, and nutrition, so those subjects draw me. My own personal background gives me greater expertise in the area of Jewish and Israeli history, and Judaism, but as most bibliophiles will know, a reader is never limited to their own cultural background. That said, I'm unlikely to be the best editor you could choose to work on a physics textbook!
You may have already looked at my Testimonials page, but if not, that's where you'll find direct feedback from some of the many authors I have worked with. If you'd like to see my official resume, you can find it here. This is the recommendation I was given by my boss, publisher Matthew Miller, when I left Toby Press. If you'd like to know a little more about me, here is a more personal note. And because he meant a lot to me, I'm going to include my tribute to the late, great Donald Harington, once called "America's greatest unknown novelist," whose last four novels I was privileged to edit at The Toby Press. I wrote the tribute the week after he died, in November 2009.