As an Editor
I’m on hiatus from offering editing help, but you can still find my Reedsy profile here.
For someone who’s been laid off three times, twice because his companies were sold out from under him, and who narrowly missed getting laid off another time due to a company sale, I’ve actually led a pretty charmed life as a book editor. I’ve had great bosses who have supported me and whom I’ve trusted, and my co-workers have been invariably as collaborative and innovative as I try to be. One, Eric Nelson, even became my agent post-Wiley and sold my novel before going to Portfolio as executive editor (he now runs Broadside). You can see my full history and my titles lists on my LinkedIn page, but these are the highlights.
As of July 2019, I’m an executive editor at Kevin Anderson & Associates, which bills itself as a ghostwriting firm, but is so much more. I work with authors, agents and publishers to build books at every stage of the game, from developing the idea to overseeing the writing to editing the ms to writing the book proposal and query letter. It’s all the creative fun of publishing without the bullshit (especially the commuting). I also developed a cultural accuracy reading service, which is this close to going big.
From December 2016 to June 2019, I was an executive editor at Thomas Dunne Books, an imprint of St. Martin’s Press. In that time I had six NY Times bestsellers: On the House by John Boehner (my first #1); Two Paths by John Kasich; The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump, edited by Bandy Lee, which had changed the conversation about Trump’s mental fitness to serve (then Fire and Fury showed that everything that the book speculated about was true); Team of Vipers by Cliff Sims, Ladies Who Punch by Ramin Setoodeh and Beyond Charlottesville by Terry McAuliffe. I also worked on President Carter by Stu Eizenstat; The Happiness Curve by Jonathan Rauch; Live Long and… by William Shatner; Where We Go From Here by Bernie Sanders; and When All Is Said by Anne Griffin.
For the previously three years , I was a senior editor at Amacom, the publishing arm of the American Management Association, where I handled “books for bosses”: leadership, management, HR, entrepreneurship and general business. My personal goal was (and remains) to create books that turn us away from the dystopia of shareholder capitalism and towards the more equitable world of stakeholder capitalism–and to make sure those books sell. My book We Are Market Basket by Daniel Korschun and Grant Welker won the CEO-READ award for Best General Business Book of the Year while two other books I did were longlisted for CEO-READ awards: Winning Well by Karin Hurt and David Dye, and Lead Right for Your Company’s Type by William E. Schneider. I also worked on Lead with Humility by Jeffrey Krames, The 10 Laws of Trust by Joel Peterson and David Kaplan, The Hidden Leader by Scott Edinger and Laurie Sain, which was a Washington Post bestseller twice, and Smart Mom, Rich Mom by Kimberly Palmer.
Prior to that I was a senior editor for more than thirteen years at Wiley, where I handled history, science, sports, pop culture, biography and narrative nonfiction. I had NY Times bestsellers with Tedy Bruschi’s Never Give Up, Don Felder’s Heaven and Hell and Keith Olbermann’s The Worst Person in the World. EJ Wagner’s The Science of Sherlock Holmes won an Edgar Award. I also edited books by top golf teachers Hank Haney, Jim McLean, and Mike Bender; Hall of Famers Yogi Berra and Bob Griese; NPR’s Scott Simon and Kee Malesky; rock god Yngwie Malmsteen, rock god producer Ken Caillat, and rock god chronicler Ian Christe; and historians Jim Brady and Stephen Dando-Collins.
I got my start in publishing at Avon, which was assimilated by HarperCollins. There I started a history imprint, worked with Brandon Tartikoff on his imprint, and worked on books in pretty much every genre except romance (which I, nonetheless, have a great appreciation for). An editor, not to mention a writer, couldn’t have found a better place to learn how books and their business work. The two SF series I worked on were Nancy Holder’s Gambler’s Star series and Chet Williamson’s The Searchers series.