Ben LeRoy

Ben LeRoy - Editor

Madison, WI, USA

Freelance editor specializing in literary & crime fiction. 15+ years experience running two critically acclaimed publishing companies.

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Overview

Reviews (2)
I’ve got nearly two decades of experience in the publishing industry, most recently as the Publisher of Tyrus Books until it was acquired in the spring of 2017 by Simon & Schuster. Along the way, I’ve had to manage books from submission to shelf, including editing, interacting with the sales team, helping to plan marketing campaigns, and working closely with authors to make sure the book is the best it can be, all while adhering to critical deadlines.
Languages
English (US)
Non-Fiction
Biographies & Memoirs
True Crime
Fiction
Literary Fiction
Mystery & Crime
Short Story
Thriller & Suspense

Awards

  • Publishers Weekly "Fifty Under Forty"
  • Edgar Award Finalist - Soul Patch by Reed Farrel Coleman
  • Edgar Award Finalist - Head Games by Craig McDonald
  • Barnes & Noble Discover Award (Fiction) - Untouchable by Scott O'Connor
  • Okra Pick - Small Treasons by Mark Powell
  • Booklist Top Ten Debut Novel (2016) - A Hard & Heavy Thing by Matthew Hefti

Work experience

Executive Director

Independent Publishers Caucus
July, 2018 – Present (over 1 year)

I am the Executive Director of an organization dedicated to raising the collective IQ and profile of independent publishers.

Freelance Editor

Self-employed
May, 2017 – Present (over 2 years)

I work with new and established authors to make their books the best they can be, utilizing my 15+ years in the publishing industry (most recently at Simon and Schuster).

Publisher

Tyrus Books (a division of F+W Media, later a division of Simon & Schuster)
July, 2009 – April, 2017 (almost 8 years)

Founder and Publisher of critically acclaimed crime and literary fiction including the Barnes and Noble Discover Award winning "Untouchable" by Scott O'Connor, the USA Today bestselling "I Like You Just Fine When You're Not Around" by Ann Garvin, and the Okra Pick "Small Treasons" by Mark Powell. I sold Tyrus Books to F+W Media in 2011. F+W Media sold Tyrus to Simon & Schuster as part of a larger deal in 2017.

Publisher

Bleak House Books (a division of Big Earth Publishing)
January, 2000 – July, 2009 (over 9 years)

Founder and Publisher of critically acclaimed crime and literary fiction, including three Edgar Award finalists in 2008 (the only time a small press achieved that feat). While at Bleak House Books I was named to Publishers Weekly's "Fifty Under Forty" list. In 2005 I sold Bleak House Books to Big Earth Publishing and continued in my role as Publisher.

Portfolio (10 selected works)

Small Treasons

Mark Powell

With writing that is both devastating and tender, Mark Powell (The Sheltering) brings his acclaimed eye to an American marriage on the verge of rupture, spinning an all-too-current tale of the world we live in and the world we fear—and how we may not be able to tell the two apart—perfect for fans of Adam Johnson’s Fortune Smiles and Denis Johnson’s The Laughing Monsters.Tess Maynard is coming ... read more

With writing that is both devastating and tender, Mark Powell (The Sheltering) brings his acclaimed eye to an American marriage on the verge of rupture, spinning an all-too-current tale of the world we live in and the world we fear—and how we may not be able to tell the two apart—perfect for fans of Adam Johnson’s Fortune Smiles and Denis Johnson’s The Laughing Monsters.Tess Maynard is coming ... read more

I Like You Just Fine When You're Not Around

Ann Garvin

USA Today bestseller "I was intrigued by the strength of the main character, Tig Monahan, whose life begins to unravel as she comes to terms with her mother's advancing Alzheimer's. Though Tig makes mistake after mistake, she never gives up. As the chapters flew by, I laughed, I cried, I smiled. And when I turned the last page. I found myself feeling proud of Tig and looking up to her unwaveri... read more

USA Today bestseller "I was intrigued by the strength of the main character, Tig Monahan, whose life begins to unravel as she comes to terms with her mother's advancing Alzheimer's. Though Tig makes mistake after mistake, she never gives up. As the chapters flew by, I laughed, I cried, I smiled. And when I turned the last page. I found myself feeling proud of Tig and looking up to her unwaveri... read more

A Hard And Heavy Thing

Matthew J Hefti

Top 10 First Novels of 2016--Booklist 2016 Great Group Reads Selection Contemplating suicide after nearly a decade at war, Levi sits down to write a note to his best friend Nick, explaining why things have to come to this inevitable end. Years earlier, Levi--a sergeant in the army--made a tragic choice that led his team into ambush, leaving three soldiers dead and two badly injured. During the... read more

Top 10 First Novels of 2016--Booklist 2016 Great Group Reads Selection Contemplating suicide after nearly a decade at war, Levi sits down to write a note to his best friend Nick, explaining why things have to come to this inevitable end. Years earlier, Levi--a sergeant in the army--made a tragic choice that led his team into ambush, leaving three soldiers dead and two badly injured. During the... read more

A Perfect Universe: Ten Stories

Scott O'Connor

Scott O’Connor’s novels have been hailed as “astonishing” (Library Journal), and “so insistently stirring, you want to lean in close to catch every word” (The New York Times Book Review). Now, from the author of Untouchable and Half World comes A Perfect Universe, a piercingly emotional cycle of stories in the tradition of Jennifer Egan’s A Visit from the Goon Squad and Annie Proulx’s Close Ra... read more

Scott O’Connor’s novels have been hailed as “astonishing” (Library Journal), and “so insistently stirring, you want to lean in close to catch every word” (The New York Times Book Review). Now, from the author of Untouchable and Half World comes A Perfect Universe, a piercingly emotional cycle of stories in the tradition of Jennifer Egan’s A Visit from the Goon Squad and Annie Proulx’s Close Ra... read more

Dead Spider (A Loon Lake Mystery Book 17)

Victoria Houston

In the next installment of the Loon Lake Mystery series, Lewellyn Ferris and Doc Osborne must solve a murder that shatters the picturesque Wisconsin lake town community at the height of summer.On a lovely Sunday afternoon in late June, the annual Loon Lake Youth Fishing Tournament is coming to a close. People are happy, kids are full of ice cream, and teenagers are setting off firecrackers so ... read more

In the next installment of the Loon Lake Mystery series, Lewellyn Ferris and Doc Osborne must solve a murder that shatters the picturesque Wisconsin lake town community at the height of summer.On a lovely Sunday afternoon in late June, the annual Loon Lake Youth Fishing Tournament is coming to a close. People are happy, kids are full of ice cream, and teenagers are setting off firecrackers so ... read more

The Kill Jar: Obsession, Descent, and a Hunt for Detroit's Most Notorious Serial Killer

J. Reuben Appelman

Enthralling. Gripping. Cinematic. Raw. A cold case murder investigation paced like a podcast, as visually stunning as a film, and as brave and personal as our darkest memoirs. J. Reuben Appelman cracks open one of America’s most notorious murder sprees while simultaneously banging the gavel on his own history with violence. A deftly-crafted true crime story with grit, set amid the decaying spr... read more

Enthralling. Gripping. Cinematic. Raw. A cold case murder investigation paced like a podcast, as visually stunning as a film, and as brave and personal as our darkest memoirs. J. Reuben Appelman cracks open one of America’s most notorious murder sprees while simultaneously banging the gavel on his own history with violence. A deftly-crafted true crime story with grit, set amid the decaying spr... read more

The Midnight Man

David Eric Tomlinson

"Tomlinson meshes local politics, college basketball, and the South in this wonderfully gritty crime novel you just can’t put down." --Dave White, author of An Empty Hell Summer, 1994. Dean Goodnight, the first Choctaw Indian employed by the Oklahoma County public defender's office, pulls a new case--the brutal murder of a once-promising basketball star. The only witness is Caleb, the five-yea... read more

"Tomlinson meshes local politics, college basketball, and the South in this wonderfully gritty crime novel you just can’t put down." --Dave White, author of An Empty Hell Summer, 1994. Dean Goodnight, the first Choctaw Indian employed by the Oklahoma County public defender's office, pulls a new case--the brutal murder of a once-promising basketball star. The only witness is Caleb, the five-yea... read more

Of Sea and Cloud

Jon Keller

Nicolas Graves raised his sons to be lobstermen. Bill and Joshua (known as Jonah) Graves grew up aboard their father's boat--the Cinderella--learning the rules and rites of the antiquated business they love. But when their father is lost at sea and the price of lobster crashes worldwide, Bill and Jonah must decide how much they are willing to risk for their family legacy. Standing against them... read more

Nicolas Graves raised his sons to be lobstermen. Bill and Joshua (known as Jonah) Graves grew up aboard their father's boat--the Cinderella--learning the rules and rites of the antiquated business they love. But when their father is lost at sea and the price of lobster crashes worldwide, Bill and Jonah must decide how much they are willing to risk for their family legacy. Standing against them... read more

Graphic the Valley

Peter Brown Hoffmeister

Tenaya has never left Yosemite Valley. He was born in a car by the Merced River, and grew up in a hidden camp with his parents, surviving on fish, acorns, and unfinished food thrown away by the park's millions of tourists. But despite its splendor, Tenaya's Yosemite is a visceral place of opposites, at once beautiful, dangerous, and violent. When he meets Lucy, a young woman from the south sid... read more

Tenaya has never left Yosemite Valley. He was born in a car by the Merced River, and grew up in a hidden camp with his parents, surviving on fish, acorns, and unfinished food thrown away by the park's millions of tourists. But despite its splendor, Tenaya's Yosemite is a visceral place of opposites, at once beautiful, dangerous, and violent. When he meets Lucy, a young woman from the south sid... read more

The Done Thing: A Book Club Recommendation!

Tracy Manaster

In the tradition of Olive Kitteridge and The Woman Upstairs, this “deeply human and morally saturated novel” (Library Journal, starred review) explores how a terrible crime changed one woman’s life forever.Lida Stearl prides herself on always do the right thing—it has served her well throughout her life as she built a career as an orthodontist, maintained a happy marriage, and raised her young... read more

In the tradition of Olive Kitteridge and The Woman Upstairs, this “deeply human and morally saturated novel” (Library Journal, starred review) explores how a terrible crime changed one woman’s life forever.Lida Stearl prides herself on always do the right thing—it has served her well throughout her life as she built a career as an orthodontist, maintained a happy marriage, and raised her young... read more

Ben has 2 reviews

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

Brandon Lawniczak
I was extremely pleased with Ben's services. He's professional, friendly, and engaged. He read my draft carefully (with line edits to prove it). More importantly, he stepped back and, in my view, identified what I needed to do to take my book to the next level (sorry for the cliche). He articulated more precisely the same nagging doubts I had about my novel. During our call, we brainstormed o...
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Brandon Lawniczak, December 2018


K P
Ben is knowledgeable, thoughtful, and beyond generous. His articulation of elements (both strong and weak), and ability to plainly assess character, arc and prose helped me see my own words through a clear lens. It is my estimation that this is the biggest gift a writer can receive. I can't recommend him enough.

K P, December 2018

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