Alyssa Matesic

Alyssa Matesic - Editor

San Francisco, CA, USA

Passionate book editor who's worked with bestselling authors at Penguin Random House on thrillers, historical fiction, and book club reads.

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If you're an aspiring author, I have good news: It IS possible to publish that book you love so much — and feel proud of it. I know how intimidating and downright discouraging the publishing process can feel at times, which is why I offer a unique combination of editorial expertise and industry insight to help you take your story from rough draft to a sparkling diamond in the rough.


I’m a passionate developmental editor dedicated to helping writers feel more confident in their stories and get one step closer to their dream of seeing them published. Between my time at publishing houses, a top-tier literary agency, and editing independently, I’ve worked with 300+ book writers at all stages of their careers — from first-time novelists to New York Times bestselling authors.

With nearly a decade of industry experience, I’ve evaluated and edited hundreds of novels, and I’ve seen what top-notch book publishing looks like at its highest level.

I've held roles at the following:

→ Penguin Random House (Ballantine Books)

→ Macmillan (Henry Holt & Company)

→ The Book Group literary agency

Authors I've worked with are represented by WME, ICM, and Triada, among other literary agencies.


I am a developmental/structural editor — think of me as the first line of defense once you've finished your draft. My feedback will focus on big-picture elements like plotting, pacing, character development, structure, and organization. The goal? Help you tell the best possible version of your story and realize your vision.

My services include:

→ Editorial Assessments
→ Manuscript Makeovers (a comprehensive package including an editorial assessment, a developmental edit, and coaching)
→ Query Reviews (including query letter reviews, synopsis reviews, and sample pages reviews)


It’s critical to ensure the editor you choose has a skillset and background that align with your needs and goals. I truly believe in partnering with writers whose genres and needs sit within my specialties, so I can get you the best possible results.

I offer developmental and structural editing for the following genres:

✓ Thrillers, mystery, and suspense

✓ Contemporary women’s fiction

✓ Historical fiction

✓ Literary fiction

✓ Memoir

✓ Anything that can be devoured in one sitting!

There’s nothing I enjoy more than supporting aspiring authors throughout their book writing journey. When I’m not editing books, you’ll find me sipping an espresso martini, reading about the Titanic, or cuddling my goldendoodle, Luka.

I can't wait to discuss your project!

English (US)
Contemporary Fiction
Historical Fiction
Historical Mysteries
Literary Fiction
Psychological Thriller
Romantic Suspense
Women's Fiction
Young Adult


  • Certificate in Book Publishing, New York University
  • BA in English and American Literature, New York University
  • Minor in Creative Nonfiction, New York University

Work experience

Developmental Book Editor & Publishing Consultant

August, 2018 – Present (over 4 years)

Evaluate submissions and provide extensive editorial feedback on client manuscripts for a group of top-tier New York City literary agents, including projects by New York Times bestselling authors. Complete full-novel developmental editing, editorial assessments, and query letter reviews for aspiring authors.

Editorial Assistant

Penguin Random House
May, 2017 – July, 2018 (about 1 year)

Independently edited novels from acquisition to publication through multiple rounds of revision. Assisted in editing books by New York Times bestselling authors, composing extensive editorial letters and providing constructive line edits. Evaluated dozens of monthly fiction submissions.

Genres: thriller/suspense, historical fiction, and women's fiction.

Literary Agent Assistant

The Book Group
September, 2015 – April, 2017 (over 1 year)

Composed detailed editorial letters for leading literary agents regarding clients’ manuscripts before submission to editors. Independently managed agency's submissions inbox, reviewing hundreds of queries and determining whether to consider them or pass.

Genres: thriller/suspense, historical fiction, women's fiction, and literary fiction.

Editorial Staff

Macmillan (Henry Holt and Company)
June, 2015 – August, 2015 (2 months)

Evaluated submissions from agents and wrote editorial letters to strengthen novels prior to publication.

Genres: literary fiction and narrative nonfiction.

Editorial Assistant

Gibson Square Books
February, 2015 – May, 2015 (3 months)

Line edited and proofread manuscripts for independent London publishing house, working with writers through rounds of revision.

Genres: humor, thriller, nonfiction, and self-help.

Portfolio (18 selected works)

Keep You Close: A Novel

Cleveland, Karen

In Her Shadow: A Novel

Miller, Kristin

Tell Me Everything: A Novel

Brockman, Cambria

Lost Roses: A Novel

Kelly, Martha Hall

The Winters: A Novel

Gabriele, Lisa

Tangerine: A Novel

Mangan, Christine

The Little Clan

Cohen, Iris Martin

Need to Know: A Novel

Cleveland, Karen

Bad Girl: Hush Money Mystery Series, Book 2

T. E. Woods, Xe Sands, Tantor Audio

The Marriage Pact: A Novel

Richmond, Michelle

Alyssa has 170 reviews

Communication & Punctuality
Communication & Punctuality

Lizzie Molloy
I absolutely loved working with Alyssa! She understood the essence of my story and knew how to make it better while still maintaining its integrity. Her suggestions and feedback were valuable and I feel so much more confident in my story. I know that on my own, I never would have realized or seen the things she easily picked up on. With her guidance and coaching, she made me feel like I had ...
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Lizzie Molloy, January 2023

L. B. Knight
Alyssa was absolutely amazing during our collaboration. She went above and beyond in answering all of my questions. I would recommend Alyssa to anyone needing an editor at any stage of their manuscript. Being new to the editing world, Alyssa was able to help me begin my journey to becoming a published author.

L. B. Knight, December 2022

Michael Gilbreath
Alyssa completed a comprehensive editorial review that showed she had spent a good deal of time reading and understanding the manuscript. She provided outstanding guidance on ways to improve the work, both in approach and structural layout of the book. I think she did a wonderful job, and I look forward to working with her as I refine the book for ultimate publication.

Michael Gilbreath, December 2022

Alison Roach
Alyssa was wonderful to work with on my synopsis and first 50 pages. Her feedback was not only constructive, but I also appreciate that she gave specific examples on how to address her comments. My synopsis needed heavy revisions and she promptly gave further context on some of the areas where I was struggling to incorporate changes. Extremely professional and friendly, I’ve already recommended...
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Alison Roach, November 2022

John Baker
Alyssa is great! I would definitely recommend her to a friend. Plus, her YouTube channel is great, too.

John Baker, November 2022

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