Avner Landes

Avner Landes - Editor

Chicago, IL, USA

Professional editor, ghostwriter, and author of literary fiction and non-fiction who can help get you and your book across the finish line.

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Overview

When writing my first novel, Meiselman: The Lean Years (tortoise Books), I made every mistake a writer can make, and this history informs my everyday work as a ghostwriter and editor. Every step of the writing process—from the first lousy sentences one types through the final edits of a manuscript—carries the risk of derailing the writer from his or her vision. To write a rewarding and successful book, story, or article, whether you are new to the business of writing or a veteran, demands time, patience, and a conscientious and generous guide at your side.

Over the years I've helped fiction writers and industry and thought leaders shape their narratives. With fiction, my goal is to help the writer tell the story he or she is trying to tell. (Too many editors demand that their authors write the kinds of stories the editor enjoys reading.) Fiction is my passion, and I believe that whether someone is writing a novel, memoir, or self-help guide, the goal of the author is always the same: To tell a relatable and urgent story to one's readers. Nobody is obligated to read your book, and the reader can put down the book at any time, which is why every word counts.

On the non-fiction side, I've worked with wealth managers, hedge fund traders, attorneys, entrepreneurs, professional coaches, and technology consultants. In our work together, these professionals learned how to draw on their personal and work experiences to craft a compelling and illuminating narrative.

My general philosophy as a writer and editor is simple: Too many writers fail to appreciate the importance of learning how to read one's own work. Too close to the work for too long, writers have difficulty perceiving how a first-time reader will engage the prose. They make assumptions about certain elements of plot and characterization being clear and obvious. The job of an editor is to help the writer understand what he or she wrote, point out what is and what is not working with a piece, identify characterization and plot issues, and determine the spots where the pace is lagging. Finally, my work is about helping writers prepare their prose for publication, which is perhaps the most challenging hurdle to leap. Sharing our words and ideas with the world, after all, is the goal for writers. I'd love for you to share your work with me, so we can start a conversation.

I'm a graduate of Columbia University's MFA program, and I'm capable of guiding other candidates through the MFA application process, like directing applicants to the right schools based on specific talents and needs and helping with any requested application materials, i.e. portfolio, statement of purpose.
Languages
English (US)
Non-Fiction
Biographies & Memoirs
Political Science & Current Affairs
Sex & Relationships
Fiction
Contemporary Fiction
Historical Fiction
Literary Fiction
Short Story
Thriller & Suspense

Certifications

  • Columbia University, MFA

Work experience

Editor/ Writer

Texas-based Publishing Services Company
December, 2015 – June, 2018 (over 2 years)

Helping thought and industry leaders turn ideas into books. My specific job was to help authors structure their ideas and words into a coherent and compelling narrative.

Editor/ Writer

Self-employed
May, 2012 – November, 2015 (over 3 years)

Assisting MFA applicants with their writing samples and application process.

Portfolio (10 selected works)

Bite the Ass Off a Bear: Getting In and Standing Out On a Hedge Fund Trading Floor

Garth Friesen

Contrary to Hollywood mythologizing, there are no wolves on Wall Street. Ruthless, greedy, and power-hungry individualists actually make terrible hedge-fund traders. If you're going to succeed in this business, you need to understand not only how America's financial markets work, but how being a team player makes you the most valuable asset to your company and clients.In Bite the Ass Off a Bea... read more

Contrary to Hollywood mythologizing, there are no wolves on Wall Street. Ruthless, greedy, and power-hungry individualists actually make terrible hedge-fund traders. If you're going to succeed in this business, you need to understand not only how America's financial markets work, but how being a team player makes you the most valuable asset to your company and clients.In Bite the Ass Off a Bea... read more

The Black Belt Investor: A Martial Arts Guide to Wealthness; How to Kick Butt and Feel Rich!

Mary Hagerman

How is your relationship ... with money?If you're like most people, it's not as healthy as it could be. In her 30-year career as a financial advisor, Mary Hagerman has seen unhealthy attitudes about money warp and distort too many lives. She knew from personal experience that it didn't have to be that way.A practicing black belt in Karate, Hagerman believes that wellness comes not only from th... read more

How is your relationship ... with money?If you're like most people, it's not as healthy as it could be. In her 30-year career as a financial advisor, Mary Hagerman has seen unhealthy attitudes about money warp and distort too many lives. She knew from personal experience that it didn't have to be that way.A practicing black belt in Karate, Hagerman believes that wellness comes not only from th... read more

Catalyst: Leadership and Strategy in a Changing World

Joseph Kopser, Bret Boyd

It's an exciting and challenging time to lead. Globalization and technology are increasing the frequency of catalyst events - which trigger big changes with broad-reaching effects - ranging from innovations to socioeconomic crises. The consequences of these upheavals will transform industries, communities, and nations. Leaders who seek to ensure their organization's success in the evolving env... read more

It's an exciting and challenging time to lead. Globalization and technology are increasing the frequency of catalyst events - which trigger big changes with broad-reaching effects - ranging from innovations to socioeconomic crises. The consequences of these upheavals will transform industries, communities, and nations. Leaders who seek to ensure their organization's success in the evolving env... read more

Competing in the Connecting World: The Future of Your Industry Is Already Here

Gregg Garrett, Warren Ritchie

The rapid convergence of computing and telecommunications technologies into products, better known as the Internet of Things, coupled with strong human behavioral change has created the emergence of a technological discontinuity that is disrupting all industries as we know them. Information once "trapped" in products is being unleashed, creating a flow of Product in Use Data that is becoming t... read more

The rapid convergence of computing and telecommunications technologies into products, better known as the Internet of Things, coupled with strong human behavioral change has created the emergence of a technological discontinuity that is disrupting all industries as we know them. Information once "trapped" in products is being unleashed, creating a flow of Product in Use Data that is becoming t... read more

Shift the Work: The Revolutionary Science of Moving from Apathetic to All in Using Your Head, Heart and Gut

Joe Mechlinski

70% of the American workforce is disengaged. With every tick of the clock, millions of people inch closer to their breaking points--a growing epidemic of apathy and anxiety in the workplace that is affecting life outside of the office. But meaningful work-life integration is possible. In Shift the Work, Joe Mechlinski, the New York Times bestselling author of Grow Regardless, shares his person... read more

70% of the American workforce is disengaged. With every tick of the clock, millions of people inch closer to their breaking points--a growing epidemic of apathy and anxiety in the workplace that is affecting life outside of the office. But meaningful work-life integration is possible. In Shift the Work, Joe Mechlinski, the New York Times bestselling author of Grow Regardless, shares his person... read more

Beyond a Million: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Expanding Wealth, Freedom and Time

Jim Dew

It's exciting when entrepreneurs hit big financial success! At the same time, they are left with many questions. "What are my next steps?" "Who can I ask for help?" "Am I missing out on valuable information?" They are managing millions of dollars in personal assets, and the professionals in their lives--accountants, attorneys, and investment advisors--are often inexperienced in working with hi... read more

It's exciting when entrepreneurs hit big financial success! At the same time, they are left with many questions. "What are my next steps?" "Who can I ask for help?" "Am I missing out on valuable information?" They are managing millions of dollars in personal assets, and the professionals in their lives--accountants, attorneys, and investment advisors--are often inexperienced in working with hi... read more

The Office is No Place for a Cattle Rancher: How to Practice Empathetic and Mindful Management

Aryeh Brickner

Finally, someone with actual experience managing people has written a management book! The Office is No Place for a Cattle Rancher provides a refreshing look into the human side of management and is an eye-opening journey for managers at any level in an organization. Learn how to integrate compassion and empathy into your management style without surrendering your authority. Understand what se... read more

Finally, someone with actual experience managing people has written a management book! The Office is No Place for a Cattle Rancher provides a refreshing look into the human side of management and is an eye-opening journey for managers at any level in an organization. Learn how to integrate compassion and empathy into your management style without surrendering your authority. Understand what se... read more

Avner has 40 reviews

Professionalism
Professionalism
Quality
Quality
Value
Value
Communication & Punctuality
Communication & Punctuality

John Hendel
Avner was great to work with. As a first-time novelist, I was flying pretty blind, but he guided me though many issues. His suggestions were valuable to me and important to the book. He offered to be available for extra reads of how I implemented the changes he suggested, an extra step that is greatly appreciated. He made the process enjoyable.

John Hendel, October 2022

Avner Landes
Great working with you, John! Can’t wait to see the finished product one day.

Reply from Avner Landes


David Kurz
I was surprised by how much I gained from Avner. His style is a folksy storyteller; I expected a didactic instructor, telling me points one two three. I felt disappointed until I returned to my editing and discovered that I had absorbed his teaching and was using it without having to consciously recall it. It/he/I was flowing. Thank you, Avner.

David Kurz, September 2022


David Schulze
Avner is exactly what I hoped for in an editor. As his profile says, he helps authors write their own stories by gently pointing out flaws, story/logic gaps, and grammatical miscues that we sometimes miss from being too close to a piece of work for too long. I am currently revising my novel based on Avner's excellent advice.

David Schulze, September 2022

Avner Landes
Thank you for the kind words, David! You've written a great book, and I can't wait to see the finished product.

Reply from Avner Landes


Zulian Tjuatja
It was a pleasure working with Avner. He is detailed, thorough, and insightful in his edits. What I especially appreciated was that he edited without attempting to alter the original spirit of the book (which does happen with other editors). He focused on helping me make its central themes more powerful and convincing, which I found very constructive and informative. His experience as a publish...
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Zulian Tjuatja, August 2022

Avner Landes
Zulian, You wrote one heck of a book and I can’t wait for readers to read it. a

Reply from Avner Landes


Tracy Streeter
It was a pleasure to work with Avner. I don't consider myself as a writer, but he gave me the confidence to share my story and made me proud to share with the world. His insight is keen, and his approach is caring and personable, but never overbearing. I will definitely seek his help on the next project, if there is.

Tracy Streeter, July 2022

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