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Are you an author based in San Francisco, Contra Costa, Napa, Alameda, San Mateo, or another county in the Bay Area?
Have you written a book that is ready to be edited?
One of the following 15 top book editors in the Bay Area might be able to help.
1. Conor Welter
Conor Welter is a meticulous editor with a background in media production based in San Francisco. He holds a BFA in film and television production and a MA in media, culture, and communication from New York University. He has been working as a freelance editor for the last three years, before which he worked at several reputable companies, including Fox Broadcasting Company, Original Film, and Eleven11 Productions.
Conor offers developmental editing and editorial assessments to writers who specialize in writing fiction, focusing on the genres of epic fantasy, gaming, LGBTQ fiction, young adult fantasy, urban fantasy, and science fiction. “The Last Angel Warrior” by John W. Wells III, “The Book of Briars” by C.J. Bernstein, and “When Colour Became Grey” by A.C. Lorenzen are among books that he has contributed to as an editor.
Speak to Conor Welter today!
Award-winning author and accomplished editor Michelle Richmond works out of San Francisco, California. Winner of the Hillsdale Award for Fiction, Catherine Doctorow Innovative Fiction Prize, and the Associated Writing Programs Award, among others. For the last eleven years, she’s offered freelance services as an editor, manuscript consultant, and writing coach.
Michelle can work with Australian English, American English, British English, and Canadian English material. She extends her services, including query letter review, editorial assessment, and development editing, to writers working on biographies, literary fiction, short stories, and women’s fiction. For an idea of her own writing style, be sure to look at a few of her own published books, including “Hum,” “No One You Know,” and “The Year of Fog.”
Rely on Michelle Richmond to help improve your writing.
Ben Fong-Torres is a reputable writer and editor who has worked for acclaimed publications, including Parade, GQ, and Rolling Stone. He’s been a self-employed editor, journalist, and writer for over two decades. Ben is considered a tough editor who delivers clear advice and structured steps to improvement for authors who write about music or specialize in biographies and memoirs.
Ben’s history in and around music and entertainment has allowed him to develop proofreading copyediting and developmental editing skills, not to mention editorial assessment. His excellent command of grammar and writing structure will prove invaluable for writers. His writing style is on display in works he’s written such as “Rice Room,” “What’s that sound: The contemporary music scene from the pages of Rolling Stone,” and edited, like Quincy Jones’ “12 Notes: On Life and Creativity” and “No Static: A Guide to Creative Radio Programming.”
Go to Ben Fong-Torres for any music or entertainment-related writing you’re completing.
A native of Trinidad, Danielle Goodman has been based in San Francisco since 2012. With stops in Miami and Los Angeles before arriving in San Francisco, Danielle has the benefit of hearing what writers and speakers sound like all across the country. She’s passionate about helping authors find their voice, which might mean adjusting certain phrasal patterns or vocabulary choices in order to connect to their desired audiences.
After stints at Pepperdine University’s Graziadio Business Journal and IBISWorld, both as managing editor, Danielle began freelancing as a developmental editor in 2007. After over fourteen years in the position, she still looks forward to hearing new book proposals and ideas from writers and is eager to help them bring their creations to life on the page. She’s particularly skilled in books on business, finance, health, humanities, new age, parenting, religion, and self-help. Books that have been accredited to her including John Perkins’ “Touching The Jaguar,” “A Beautifully Foolish Endeavor” by Hank Green, and John Hope Bryant’s “Up From Nothing.”
Contact Danielle Goodman to find out more!
Cicerone-certified and the winner of the 2014 U.S. Gourmand Drinks Award, William Bostwick is a talented editor and author of books on food and drink. As an independent journalist, writer and editor, he’s had over fourteen years of experience working with well-known names in the culinary world, including the magazine Bon Appetit, Top Chef, and Nestle.
Past clients will describe William as detail-oriented and a gifted writer and editor. Along with books on cooking and food, he also edits material including literary fiction, as well as books about architecture, design, humanities and sports. “Difficult Men: Behind the Scenes of a Creative Revolution: From the Sopranos and The Wire to Mad Men and Breaking Bad” by Brett Martin, and “The Man Who Ate Too Much: The Life of James Beard” by John Birdsall are among books that he’s edited.
Go with William Bostwick for your next work in progress!
Alice Underwood is an experienced copyeditor who has helped writers publish their work for over a decade. Her professional goal is to clarify the writer’s goal and ensure that the writing reflects the intention and purpose. Alice is comfortable working in both British English and American English and focuses her services on books about history, humanities, social sciences, political science, and current affairs.
Currently, Alice is in her eighth year working as a copyeditor at Stanford University. Additionally, she has experience working with publications such as Russian Life Magazine, Shmoop, and also for the educational software company Grammarly. She’s been responsible for the successful publication of books through companies like Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and Lexington Press. Her edited works include “From Cold War to Hot Peace: An American Ambassador in Putin’s Russia” by Michael McFaul and “Mythos and Voice: Displacement, Learning, and Agency in Odysseus’ World” by Charles Underwood.”
Start a conversation with Alice Underwood about how she might be able to help you with your book!
Oakland-based Sarah Cadorette is an editor with fluency in Australian English, Canadian English, New Zealand English, British English, and American English. Her understanding of the different varieties allows her to edit English-language books on poetry and sociology, regardless of the author’s background. Whether it is proofreading, copyediting and developmental editing, or providing query letter reviews or editorial assessments, Sarah is prepared and capable of stepping in.
Sarah has been working as an independent editor, completing edits for academic papers and copyediting for manuscripts on history, Japanese haikus, and novels. She also served as developmental editor for Merit Press in 2017, gaining valuable experience contributing to her current level of expertise and confidence. Her portfolio consists of works including “The Wolf’s Travels” by Yendor D. Wolf and “The Cow in the Elevator: An Anthropology of Wonder” by Tulasi Srinivas.”
Have a closer look at what Sarah Cadorette can do for you!
8. Joshua Grubb
After completing his undergraduate degree in kinesiology, Joshua Grubb successfully completed a Master’s degree in novel writing. As a professional working in San Jose, he’s worked as a freelance editor and writer for over eleven years. In addition, he worked as an editorial assistant for WestGate Community Life and as an English teacher at Archbishop Mitty High School.
Joshua’s academic and professional experience makes him the perfect editor for writers of epic fantasy, literary fiction, biographies, Christian non-fiction, as well as books on health, self-help, and writing. He provides services like developmental editing, copyediting, editorial assessment, proofreading, and query letter review. “End Average: A Man’s Journey to Growth in Faith, Relationships, Health and Finances” by Ryan Hansen and “There was Music” by J.D. Grubb are a couple of examples of his best editing.
Go with Joshua Grubb for support on your next work!
9. Shelly Davis
Bay area editor Shelly Davis is an experienced copyeditor and developmental editor based out of San Jose, California. She is a member of the American Copy Editor Society (CES), Editorial Freelancers Association (EFA), Association of Independent Publishing Professionals (AIPP), and the Women’s Fiction Writers Association (WFWA). Along with his Master’s of Arts in Sociology, she holds a Poynter ACES Certificate in editing.
Shelly’s professional history includes over eleven years serving as an HR manager in Biotech, as well as working as a freelance editor since 2008, providing services including copyediting, developmental editing and proofreading. Her past clients are authors of historical fiction and women’s fiction. Shelly has helped edit books like “Out of the Bronx: A Memoir” by Irene Sardanis, “Bound: A daughter, a Domme, and an End-of-Life Story” by Elizabeth Anne Wood, and “Love Proof” by Luanna Stewart.
Learn more about Shelly Davis here.
10. Jed Bickman
A former associate editor at The New Press from 2012 to 2018, Jed Bickman has worked as an editor at Callisto Media for the last two years. Holding an MFA in nonfiction writing, he aims to help authors identify a clear target and create text that is attractive to readers and successfully communicates the writer’s ideas and opinions.
Non-fiction authors working on books on antiques, economics, health, humanities, parenting, political science, and self-help will find an incredible resource in Jed’s editing. His editing is known to be direct and might come across a bit strong for some, but it will undoubtedly be of value to authors who value an editor capable of specific constructive criticism. You might want to look at “A History of America in Ten Strikes” by Erik Loomis and “Rap on Trial: Race, Lyrics, and Guilt in America” by Erik Neilson, Andrea Dennis, and Killer Mike for a few examples of his editing work.
Communicate with Jed Bickman directly to learn about his style and determine if you might benefit from his editing!
11. Andy Ross
Oakland-based literary agent and editor Andy Ross offers writers support, including developmental editing, editorial assessment, and query letter review. He is a member of the Association of Author Representatives (AAR) and the author of “The Literary Agent’s Guide to Writing a Non-Fiction Book Proposal.” Andy’s worked as a self-employed literary agent and editor for over thirteen years, and the quality of his work reflects his experience and expertise.
From historical fiction, literary fiction, thriller, women’s fiction, and non-fiction books on history and political science, Andy is someone who can take your writing to the next level. His portfolio includes titles such as “Beauty of the Broken” by Tawni Waters, “The Doomsday Machine: Confessions of a Nuclear War Planner” by Daniel Ellsberg, and “The Woman in Black” by Erik Tarloff.
Communicate with Andy Ross to get a better idea of what he’s capable of and how he can help you.
12. Meri Furnari
Meri Furnari is a professional copy editor based in Oakland, California. She is more than capable of taking your writing and refining text, removing unnecessary passages, and identifying and reinforcing your core messages. Meri’s work experience includes more than fifteen years working as a professional editor for Pyatok Associates and Jordan Woodman Dobson.
Since 2008, Meri has been working as a self-employed editor. She’s worked on books written in multiple writing styles, with multiple collaborators, and even with non-native English writers. Meri has completed proofreading and copyediting for books about architecture, art, biographies, engineering, health, and self-help. Her past edited works include “Ennio Morricone: Master of the Soundtrack” by Maurizio Baroni, “Applied Wisdom for the Nonprofit Sector: Eight Practical Insights for Leaders” by James C. Morgan, and “Applied Wisdom: Bad News Is Good News and Other Insights That Can Help Anyone” by James C. Morgan, Joan O’C. Hamilton.
Speak to Meri Furnari for additional information!
13. Joel Bahr
Amazon Publishing’s developmental editor Joel Bahr is an editor with copyediting, developmental editing, and proofreading expertise. Past clients have commented on the quality of work that Joel delivers and his professionalism and care for the writers he works alongside. Working out of Oakland, California, his work includes translations through Amazon Crossing and other reputable groups like Montlake, Thomas & Mercer, and 47North.
A few categories that Joel has completed edits for include biographies, fantasy, horror, and books on sports, mystery, thriller, and women’s fiction. His portfolio includes over fifty books, including the Leo Keane International Thriller “Kathmandu” by Luke Richardson, “Six Heirs” by Pierre Grimbert, and “Dead Woods” by Maria C. Poets.
Go with the experience and expertise of Joel Bahr!
Joanna Steinhardt holds a Ph.D. in cultural anthropology and, appropriately, is an editor with a strong interest in non-fiction writing. The 2020 Los Angeles Review of Books Publishing Workshop fellow provides indexing, proofreading, and developing editing as part of her freelance services as an editor. Writers will benefit from her post-graduate research abilities and her analytical approach to editing academic writing.
Along with her professional and academic background, Joanna’s professional experience is wide-ranging and lends itself directly to her work as an editor. In the past, she’s worked at MycoWorks as a communications consultant, at The Exploratorium as a user experience researcher, and at Dovetails Labs as a research consultant and writer. These experiences, along with her apparent abilities as an academic researcher, allow her to provide high-quality editing for writing regarding non-fiction topics like environmental sciences, social sciences, nature, technology, or writing and publishing.
Look to Joanna Steinhardt for support on your next academic piece of writing!
15. Madeleine Calvi
Berkeley, California is home to Madeleine Calvi, a professional freelance editor, proofreader and writer. She prides herself in being able to understand the author’s intention in a short period of time, allowing her to focus on finessing the text to best deliver the author’s message.
Madeleine has worked at various publishing companies in an editorial capacity, including North Atlantic Books, Rare Bird Books, Counterpoint Press, Insight Editions, and Weldon Owen International. Since 2019, she has been working as an independent editor and proofreader, focusing on non-fiction books about nature, entertainment, and self-help, as well as biographies, LGBTQ non-fiction, and non-fiction comics. “Mickey Mouse: From Walt to the World” by Andreas Deja, “How I Accidentally Started The Sixties” by Howard Bloom, and “Two Breaths, One Step: Hiking Across the Himalayas” by Sylvia Verange are a number of books that Madeleine Calvi’s editing has benefited.
Learn more about Madeleine Calvi’s abilities and services here.
Some More Top Book Editors in the Bay Area
16. Marisa Belger
Since 2004, Marisa Belger has worked as an independent editor. Based in Berkeley, California, she specializes in supporting authors of non-fiction material like books on health and wellbeing, parenting, self-help, and relationships. Her personal and professional passion is to help authors complete books that will be of help and assistance to their readers.
Her editorial services range from developmental editing to editorial assessments, and writers who have worked with her have gone on to publish with companies including Harper Collins, ABRAMS, and Simon & Schuster. She has completed editing such books as “How to Be Well: The 6 Keys to a Happy and Healthy Life” by Frank M.D. Lipman, “The Living Clearly Method: 5 Principles for a Fit Body, Healthy Mind & Joyful Life” by Hilaria Baldwin, and “Lazy Environmentalist” by Josh Dorfman.
Contact Marisa Belger to learn more about her approach.
17. Laura Atkins
Award-winning Laura Atkins is a children’s book author, teacher, and editor. The Berkeley-based publishing professional completed her MA in Children’s Literature at Roehampton University and her MFA in Writing for Children at Young Adults at Vermont College of Fine Arts. Her multiple awards for her writing, editing, and teaching include winning the Rhode Island Children’s Book Award in 2003.
Laura’s worked as an editor with various publishing organizations, including Children’s Book Press, Orchard Books, and Lee & Low Books, before finally starting to freelance in 2006 as a children’s book author and editor. She edits non-fiction children’s books, fiction for middle grade and young adult reader, and picture books for younger children. Titles that she’s worked on in the past include “Love to Langston” by Tony Medina, “The Pot that Juan built” by Nancy Andrews-Goebel, and “Barnabas the Bad-Mannered Bulldog” by Chris Gray.
Communicate to Laura Atkins about what sort of children’s book you’re putting together.
18. Diana Smith
Diana Smith is a professional editor who specializes in travel literature. Her academic credentials include an undergraduate degree in media studies from the University of California, Irvine, and an MFA for creative writing from Emerson College. She’s worked as an editor and writer for a number of reputable companies and organizations in the past, including Faultline Literary Journal, The Culture-ist magazine, and at the University of California, Berkeley.
Currently, she works in Berkeley, California, and is an associate editor of Moon Travel Guides with Hachette Book Group. She has been working there for the last two years, helping to assess manuscripts, edit language, indexing, and providing feedback to writers, including developmental and copy editing for books on travel. She’s edited books like “Moon Virginia: With Washington DC” by Michaela Riva Gaaserud and “Moon Niagara Falls: With Buffalo” by Joel A. Dombrowski.
Speak to Diana Smith if you’re interested in writing travel books and want to speak to someone with the kind of experience she has.
19. Katie Mock
Since 2012, Katie Mock has worked as an independent copyeditor and copywriter. Out of her location in the Bay area, Katie specializes in LGBTQ non-fiction and fiction, science fiction, young adult, fantasy, self-help, and religion. Her approach amplifies the author’s original voice and message rather than artificially adding or changing anything about the narrative.
Katie holds professional certification from the Denver Publishing Institute. Additionally, she’s spent years accruing professional experience before starting to freelance in 2012, working with the Girl Scouts of Northern California as a copywriter, Seal Press as an editorial intern, and Hachette Book Group as a marketing associate. She’s proven herself capable of helping writers get published with works in circulation to accredited to her editing, including “Under This Beautiful Dome: A Senator, A Journalist, and the Politics of Gay Love in America” by Terry Mutchler, “Mary Jane: The Complete Marijuana Handbook for Women” by Cheri Sicard and “The Digital Mystique: How the Culture of Connectivity Can Empower Your Life—Online and Off” by Sarah Granger.
Katie Mock will help get your book into the hands of the customers who need to read it!
Hiten Vyas is the Founder and Managing Editor of Writing Tips Oasis.