Brooke Vitale

Brooke Vitale – Editor

Passionate children's book editor with 15+ years experience in picture books and middle grade fiction for companies like Disney and Penguin.

Overview

I have spent the past fifteen years working as a children’s book editor. There is nothing I love more than diving into a manuscript and helping to pull out all its potential. I believe in collaboration, but also brutal honesty. Too often as an author it is difficult to see where a story is not being true to itself. That’s where I come in. It's my job to tease out the scenes that are good and help you to make them great. To find the moments that aren't quite working and figure out how to turn them into the strongest scenes in the story. Together, we can shape your book into what you always dreamed it would be.

I began my career at Sterling Publishing, working primarily on nonfiction titles. Although I thought I wanted to be in fiction, I found that I loved the challenge of nonfiction. Helping to explain sometimes complex subject matter in a way children could understand and finding a new angle on content that had often been covered more than once was exciting, and I loved learning from my authors as I developed their books. Today I know more about the solar system, the ghosts haunting the White House, and how to start a successful babysitting company than I ever dreamed I would!

Following a new career opportunity, I moved from Sterling to Penguin. With the move came a change in the types of books I edited, and I began to work on picture books and middle grade fiction, as well as licensed tie-in books. This change to licensed books ultimately led me to Disney, where I spent eight years editing books tied to the Disney Parks and to Disney movies. This work provided a whole new challenge, as I helped authors to create stories that were new and fresh, expanding the worlds of beloved characters far beyond that envisioned by the filmmakers, all while staying true to the world of Disney canon. This is a skill I have found to be incredibly valuable in today's landscape of books featuring modern retellings of classic tales. I was also afforded the opportunity to create original fiction, and had a chance to return to my roots, with nonfiction titles based on Disney heritage. In my time at Disney, I edited over eight hundred books. Among my favorites (and my most successful) were Hide and Hug Olaf, by Kevin Lewis, which sold over 400,000 copies, and Olaf's Night Before Christmas, which sold over 250,000 copies.

Now, I'm excited to take on a new challenge: helping you to turn your book into exactly what you hope it will be. I look forward to working with you and, together, creating an absolutely fantastic book.

Testimonials:
“I’ve worked with Brooke for many years and can’t speak highly enough about her abilities as an editor. She has consistently elevated my work with her insights, and her creative comments never fail to inspire. I can’t imagine having written my books without her help, and consider myself fortunate to have worked with her.” --Jason Lethcoe, Author

"Although we’d had many years experience illustrating children’s books, Periwinkle Smith and the Twirly Whirly Tutu was the first picture book that was entirely ours, and Brooke’s guidance was invaluable. She’s a master at pacing a story, helping us know exactly where things should move along, and where a page turn should surprise with a big reveal. As illustrators it was interesting to see just how spot-on and almost cinematic her art suggestions were; quick spots, spreads, extreme closeups, and even bits of side business not mentioned in the text as extra fun for the reader. We can’t recommend Brooke’s editing skills highly enough. She’s a treasure."--John & Wendy, Authors

"Brooke is an excellent editor who inspires and guides the creative process in a highly competent and collaborative way. Having worked with her on several books now, I have no doubt that she similarly brings out the best in all of her authors."--Tania Zamorsky, Author
Services
Non-Fiction
Children’s Non-Fiction
Fiction
Picture Books
Languages
English (AUS) English (CAN) English (NZ) English (UK) English (US)
Certifications
  • Masters of Science in Publishing from NYU

Work experience

Self-employed

Jan, 2018 — Present

Freelance editor and writer for a variety of publishing companies, including Disney, HarperCollins, and Penguin Random House.

Disney Publishing Worldwide

Jul, 2010 — Jan, 2018 (over 7 years)

-Acquired and edited titles across all Disney Franchises, as well as books tied loosely to the world of Disney but with no preexisting story line.
-Worked closely with authors to shape stories and devise concepts for new story creation.
-Edited approximately thirty titles per year for Disney's trade list (which is available to all booksellers) and another sixty to eighty titles per year for the custom list (which sells to single stores seeking unique titles). Highlights include Olaf's Night Before Christmas, which sold over 250,000 units and Hide-and-Hug Olaf, which sold over 400,000 copies.
-Worked with managing editorial, design, and production departments to keep titles on schedule and on budget.

Penguin Random House

Apr, 2008 — Jul, 2010 (about 2 years)

-Acquired and edited approximately thirty children's fiction and nonfiction titles per year.
-Worked closely with authors to develop story ideas and determine what nonfiction subjects would be of interest.

Sterling Publishing

May, 2004 — Apr, 2008 (almost 4 years)

-Acquired and edited children's nonfiction titles.
-Developed book concepts myself, then hired authors and worked with them to shape and develop the books.

Portfolio

This deluxe box features a brand-new story about Olaf the snowman. Inside, children will also find a huggable Olaf plush. Following the hide-and-seek theme of the story, parents can hide the p... read more
Developmental Editing
'Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the house, not a creature was stirring . . . until a sound awakens Olaf. Read along as Olaf has the adventure of a lifetime with a mysterious ... read more
Developmental Editing
The Magic is in You

Hosten, Colin

In this unique offering of a book and CD recorded by Judy Collins, take a magical journey over the rainbow...This classic song has been transformed into a magnificent picture book and CD set. ... read more
Developmental Editing
Get ready for bedtime with this Storybook Collection featuring 18 all-new bedtime themed Disney Princess stories.
Developmental Editing
Andy Stanley has been named Keymaster of the mysterious Jungle Explorers' Society, but is he up to the challenge? He's about to find out, as he sets off on a journey to recover the legendary G... read more
Developmental Editing
Andy Stanley has never met his famous grandfather, renowned archaeologist and explorer Ned Lostmore. Then Ned goes missing on the search for a hidden temple deep in the Amazonian jungle, and e... read more
Developmental Editing
Disney Who's Who

Disney Book Group

With more than 500 characters, from Ariel to Miss Bunny and Peter Pan to Frozone, this is the perfect guidebook to all things Disney!
Developmental Editing
Join Minnie as she goes for a sail, plans a picnic, has a sleepover, and more! With 12 Minnie Mouse-themed stories that can each be read in 5 minutes, this padded storybook is the perfect fit ... read more
Developmental Editing
Prima Princessa invites budding ballerinas to explore the wonderful world of ballet!Is there any more enticing figure than the ballerina? Dressed in a fluffy tutu, wearing her pink pointe shoe... read more
Developmental Editing
A Frozen Heart

Elizabeth Rudnick

Anna is a princess of Arendelle. Locked away from the outside world for years, Anna is desperate to leave her lonely life behind. Her parents are gone, and her sister, Elsa—the only person who... read more
Developmental Editing
The action-packed conclusion to the Mysterious Mr. Spines trilogy!Edward McLeod is almost at the end of his journey. He has battled his way through the afterlife, mastered his Guardian powers,... read more
Developmental Editing
Cool, slithering snakes! Read along as animal expert Jeff Corwin tells you about his favorite snakes and the experiences he's had with them. Over forty photos help bring these fascinating crea... read more
Developmental Editing
What will you find in the Bermuda Triangle? Join supernatural expert Jeff Belanger as he explores the mysterious Bermuda Triangle! What exactly makes it so mysterious? And just how many ships ... read more
Developmental Editing
Developmental Editing
All across the U.S., there’s a strange kind of American “spirit” surfacing: the ghosts, specters, and wraiths that make up the country’s phantom population. They’re the native citizens of Haun... read more
Developmental Editing
Thunderbirds, Phantom Cats, Owlman, and Chupacabras: since the beginning of time, these and other mystifying creatures have appeared in tales from around the world. And every year, more and mo... read more
Developmental Editing
When most people hear the name Alcatraz, the first thing they think of is the escape-proof penitentiary that housed America’s toughest criminals. But the small island known as “The Rock” has a... read more
Developmental Editing
We all love shivery, scary stories about unquiet ghosts, bloodsucking vampires, wicked witches, and werewolves howling under a full moon. But do real monsters walk the earth—or are they just f... read more
Developmental Editing
What would it be like to walk on a Martian plain? Watch wild volcanoes on Jupiter? All it takes to find out is a touch of imagination and this entertaining guide to the solar system, illustrat... read more
Developmental Editing

Brooke has 269 reviews

Professionalism

Quality

Value

Responsiveness

Sydney D.

Sydney D.

Apr, 2024

Brooke was wonderful to work with. This was my first time writing and self-publishing a children's book, and she was so helpful with the editing process and pointing me in the direction of my next steps! I would definitely work with Brooke again in the future!
Louise C.

Louise C.

Apr, 2024

Brooke was fantastic. I selected her as my first editor to gain valuable experience from someone with extensive industry knowledge. She provided invaluable insights that propelled my story forward. While I initially thought my outline was strong, Brooke revealed new dimensions to the narrative. Her assessment guided me towards storytelling, a crucial aspect of children's books which rely less o...
Read more
Marie N.

Marie N.

Mar, 2024

Brooke's developmental review brought out the best in my book and in me. She provided honest and comprehensive feedback that I will be able to apply to future projects. Yes, I will definitely be using Brooke again.
Cesar F.

Cesar F.

Jan, 2024

Great and honest feedback during the developmental stages. Her insights are invaluable to me and her final editing hits the mark and helps me submit to publishers/agents with little concern. This is not the first time we've worked together, nor will it be the last.
C. S.

C. S.

Dec, 2023

I like Brooke's method of reviewing manuscripts in two rounds--first a big-picture edit before a close-edit round. I found this very helpful to getting my story to a better place. She also gave helpful tips on preparing manuscripts specifically for self-publishing versus submitting to agents. Most importantly, she was easy to work with--flexible with scheduling when I needed it and very open an...
Read more

Sign up to read more reviews

Create a free Reedsy account to connect with Brooke and thousands of other publishing professionals on Reedsy.

Professionals similar to Brooke

Get a range of offers by requesting quotes from multiple professionals.

Margie Markarian

Margie M.

Editor specializing in fiction and nonfiction for children 4-12, including easy readers, early chapter books, and picture books.

Boston, MA, USA

100% reply rate

View profile
Sandy Fuller

Sandy F.

Literary agent; picture book consultant and development editor; published author/illustrator; mentored by Maurice Sendak at Yale.

Vail, Colorado, USA

100% reply rate

View profile
Julie Breihan

Julie B.

Editor with over twenty-five years’ experience. Thorough and diligent, I strive to be fun to work with and to make your book shine!

Franklin, TN, USA

100% reply rate

View profile