Colleen Sell

Colleen Sell – Editor

Highly skilled editor with extensive experience, working collaboratively with authors and publishers to craft impactful, marketable books.


My editorial career of more than three decades includes seven years of editorial management and broad experience in book & magazine publishing. As a freelance editor and writer since 1999, I have edited 160+ books in numerous genres, including 40 volumes of the best-selling Cup of Comfort anthology series. I've also authored and ghostwritten several nonfiction books, including the national bestseller One Simple Idea (McGraw-Hill).

I currently offer line editing, copyediting and proofreading services to authors and publishers. I also offer editorial evaluation, developmental editing, and ghostwriting services on a limited basis.

Recent projects include:

— The Healing Series, Mary Ruth Velicki, Alley Press: Healing with Spirit, 2021; Healing with Awareness, 2019; Healing through Chronic Pain, 2013 (1st ed), 2019 (2nd ed). Developmental & copy edit, proofreading. Currently collaborating on the author's fourth book.

— Feminist Fairytale: A Woman Leader's Guide to Surviving Sexism, Beth Rogers & Allison Mayer-Oaks. Editorial assessment, chapter outline. 2020.

— Finding a New Normal: Living with Chronic Illness. Suzan Jackson, 2020. Copyedit.

— Ramping Your Brand: How to Ride the Killer CPG Growth Curve, James F. Richardson, PhD, Premium Growth Solutions, 2019. Developmental & copy edit, proofreading.

— Target Funding: Discover a Proven System to Get the Money & Resources You Need to Start or Grow Your Business, Kedma Ough, McGraw-Hill, 2019. Proposal, ghostwriting, edit, proofreading.

— ReducedEffort Changeover: The LEAN Way to Quickly Reduce Changeover Downtime, Ron Heiskell, ReducedEffort LLC (1st edition), 2018; Taylor & Francis (2nd edition with new chapter), 2020. Developmental & copy edit, proofreading.


"Targeting a wider audience has worked perfectly for me, and it was Colleen who saw this opportunity. She helped me attract the right audience and fulfill my book’s true potential!"

--James Richardson, PhD, Ramping Your Brand

Please see Dr. Richardson's article "Writing for the Right Audience."

"Colleen S.'s attention to detail is matched only by her knowledge of the publishing process. I've continually found her to be one of the most responsive authors and editors I've ever worked with."

—Meredith O'Hayre McCarthy, Managing Editor, Adams Media/Simon & Schuster

"My book, One Simple Idea, reached #1 in three Amazon categories, was in the top 20 of all books sold on Amazon, and received over 50 five-star reviews within a few weeks of its release. This never would have happened without the great work of Colleen S., my ghostwriter. She made my content easy to read and found my voice."

—Stephen Key, One Simple Idea and One Simple Idea for Startups & Entrepreneurs

"Colleen has remarkable command of the English language. Her comments and questions helped me clarify and expand the messages in my books, and her changes made the text accurate and easy to read while maintaining my voice."

—Mary Ruth Velicki, 3-volume The Healing Series

"Without you this book would not exist. You understood what I was trying to say and said it eloquently. Thank you so much for your tireless editing and wonderful writing."

—Ron Heiskell, Reduced Effort Changeover

Business & Management Health & Wellbeing Home & Garden Inspirational Parenting & Families Psychology Self-Help & Self-Improvement Travel
English (US)

Work experience


Sep, 2012 — Jun, 2014 (over 1 year)

As editor-in-chief of GRAND: The Lifestyle Magazine for Awesome Grandparents (part-time, freelance), my responsibilities included:
* Content management: editorial calendar; sourcing, acquiring, and curating contributed content; developing content in-house
* Sourcing and managing columnists
* Editing and proofreading
* Writing: celebrity profiles (cover stories) and departments
* Photo editor (multi-media): sourcing and acquisition of images as well as audio and video content

Adams Media, a division of Simon & Schuster

Jan, 2001 — Dec, 2011 (almost 11 years)

As the work-for-hire anthologist/editor of the national best-selling Cup of Comfort book series, I:
* Developed the series in collaboration with the publisher
* Solicited and vetted more than 75,000 submissions
* Compiled and edited (developmental and line) 40 Cup of Comfort books -- 39 anthologies of personal essays and one annotated cookbook (recipes, stories, cooking tips, photographs)
* Copyedited Christian-themed volumes compiled by other editors. Compiled and edited the final Christian-theme Cup of Comfort book.
* Wrote the Cup of Comfort blog, bimonthly e-newsletter, and website content
* Promoted the series via hundreds of media interviews and bookstore appearances


May, 1999 — Present

* Line editing, copy editing, proofreading: nonfiction books (all genres), fiction books (all genres), and magazines (consumer and trade)
* Developmental editing: nonfiction books (all genres)
* Book proposal development: nonfiction books (all genres)
* Editorial Evaluation: nonfiction book manuscripts
* Ghostwriting: nonfiction, corporate legacy books, magazine articles, online content
* Anthologist: curation, editing: creative nonfiction / personal essay
* Editorial management: books, magazines, print & digital media
* Copywriting: book marketing (cover, dust jacket, description, synopses), corporate communications

Note: Prior to becoming an independent (freelance) editor and writer, I moonlit as a book editor (remote) for various trade publishers while holding staff positions as a magazine editor, technical writer, and copywriter.

Aster Publishing

Jul, 1994 — May, 1999 (almost 5 years)

As editor-in-chief of two award-winning consumer magazines—Biblio: Exploring the World of Books (monthly) and Mercator's World: The Magazine of Maps, Exploration, and Discovery (bimonthly)—my responsibilities included:
* Content acquisition, development, and management
* Art direction and management
* Maintained editorial and art/design budgets
* Managed all in-house editorial, design, and production staff
* Sourced freelance writers, illustrators, and photographers
* Editing and proofreading
* Occasionally wrote feature articles
* Collaborated with advertising, marketing, and circulation departments
* Created promotional material
* Represented magazines at trade shows and promotional events

Biblio was named #3 of the best new magazines of 1995, by New York Times' magazine editor.
Mercator's World recipient of Folio award for design excellence.


In this book, I outline a 4-Part approach to thinking smarter about growth as a CPG entrepreneur. It is based on years of anthropological research into how and why consumers pay for premium-priced CPG items and intensive 4P pattern analysis among an elite club... read more
Healing with Awareness is for all who wish to increase their awareness of the body-mind-spirit connection and to use this connection to heal on all levels. Key characteristics of the healing process are presented using stories from Mary Ruth Velicki’s personal... read more
With must-have updates, a new edition of the bestselling method that shows how anyone can turn their one simple idea into millions – without lifting a finger!Stephen Key is an award-winning inventor who has licensed more than 20 product ideas. In 2011, he shar... read more
From award-winning entrepreneur, inventor, and business owner Stephen Key comes the highly anticipated follow-up to his bestseller One Simple IdeaHow many times have you seen a product and thought, I know how to make that better? Or not seen a product and thou... read more
You don't have to sit under a bodhi tree and meditate as the Buddha did to become enlightened. With this easy, engaging guide, you can start bringing more compassion, joy, serenity, and happiness into your life today, right from your own home. Not only will yo... read more
Matters of Consequence

Copthorne Macdonald

MATTERS of CONSEQUENCE is a comprehensive map of the human situation that explores what is really important in life, addresses our personal search for meaning and significance, and deals with humanity's future in a positive, solution-oriented way. It presents ... read more
"Ayurveda: A Quick Reference Handbook is an excellent addition to the library of any Ayurvedic student or practitioner, and is written in a clear style for beginners. It summarizes all of the basic Ayurvedic knowledge in beautiful charts that make finding the ... read more
You're getting divorced. You want out or he wants out, but either way you're tempted to bend over backward just to get it over with. The result: You get screwed. How screwed? Consider this: the average woman experiences a 45 percent drop in her standard of liv... read more
All roads lead to enlightenment but the choice of which to travel is yours. From Sedona to Lourdes to Mecca, there are certain divinely blessed places that can inspire you to renew your sense of wonder, revitalize your spirit, and restore your faith. In this b... read more
Discover the targeted funding and resources available to support YOUR small business or ideaTarget Funding ensures that the struggle to obtain funds will never again come between you and your dreams.Too often, great business ideas fail to see the light of day ... read more
In his book entitled Against The Grain, Graham Harris, describes how one day, dissatisfied with his lot as a factory print worker, he decided to change his life. Working from his garage in his free time, he invented and developed the Tri-Creaser, a device that... read more
“We worked with Ron to implement the ReducedEffort® process and saw a 30% output improvement after just three days. The real bonus came with the unleashing of employee engagement.”— Nick Wilson, President of Morrison Container Handling Solutions; Past Chairman... read more
Each Cup of Comfort book features over 50 exceptional stories of ordinary people who have overcome great obstacles, persevered through thick and through thin, and found the power to control their own destinies. Readers will laugh and cry out loud as they share... read more
Puzzle enthusiasts of all ages will love this book! With 300 all-new easy crosswords from renowned puzzlemaster Charles Timmerman, this collection entertains gamers of all skill levels. Beginners will appreciate simpler clues and shorter answers, and even more... read more
When a young girl noticesthat the grumpy-growly moodthat began in her family is spreading around the world like a bad cold, shevows to reverse it. See how a simple act of kindness, a hug, reverberates far and widethroughout our universe and brings joy and well... read more
Offers an overview of Microsoft Word's features and functions, discussing document creation, editing and format, templates, graphics, and multimedia.
No parent or educator can afford to ignore this groundbreaking work! Bestselling authors H. Stephen Glenn and Jane Nelsen have helped hundreds of thousands of parents raise capable, independent children with Raising Self-Reliant Children in a Self-Indulgent Wo... read more
Provides advice on how to achieve healthy skin, including information about laser surgery, acid peels, and plastic surgery.
You can never be too rich or too thin...or too happy, smart, young, sexy or stress-free. In this book, you'll find the daily tips, tricks, and tried-and-true tactics you need to be all these things—and more. Each day's entry offers advice for a different aspec... read more
Hidden Faces Of The Soul

Sheldon Z. Kramer

Hidden Faces Of The Soul combines the ancient teaching of the Kabbalah with modern psychology to give you powerful insights that will change your life! Using the timeless wisdom of the mystical teachings of the Kabbalah,you will learn to recognize the ten face... read more
Organization. Time management. Study skills. These are the three critical skills students need to perform well in school. Most students lack at least one of these skills; many lack all three. Yet without a sound understanding of this all-important learning tri... read more
Pull up a chair or gather round the campfire and get ready for creepy tales of ghostly hauntings, eerie happenings, and other strange occurrences in the Hoosier State. Whether read around the campfire on a dark and stormy night or from the backseat of the fami... read more
In the realm of African spiritual pathways, no tradition is so widely embraced and practiced as the West African religion Orisa. Awakened by her own spiritual journey, Tobe Melora Correal, an initiated priestess in the Yoruba-Lukumi branch of Orisa, guides us ... read more
Hobby Farms Beef Cattle: Keeping a Small-Scale Herd for Pleasure and Profit, written by Ann Larkin Hansen, serves as an excellent introduction to raising cows for food or simply to graze while mowing and fertilizing the pasture. This colorful guide offers expe... read more
An insider's guide to the publishing industry covers the complete process from getting started to printed pages, with step-by-step guidelines on the different publishing markets, contract negotiation tips, developing a proposal, promoting one's work, and more,... read more
Describes how to make more than fifty dishes that look disgusting but taste delicious, in a book that includes crossword, connect-the-dots, and word search puzzles.
He gave you your eye color, your love of old movies, and the inspiration for countless inside jokes that only a father can appreciate. He's your Dad.A Cup of Comfort for Fathers celebrates the indescribable link between father and child through fifty stirring ... read more
If stories are medicine, then this collection will help keep hopes up and spirits alive on the road to recovery. Readers will applaud the bravery of 50 exceptional survivors as they tell their unique experiences with breast cancer. Every breast cancer survivor... read more
As every writer knows, keeping the faith isn't always easy. On those days when you find yourself literally at a loss for words, you may long for a little writer's TLC. In A Cup of Comfort for Writers, you'll meet more than fifty writers who, just like you, hav... read more
A diagnosis of a childÆs special need can be extremely difficult for parents. However, every day, these children accomplish small victories and make great strides that improve their own livesùand brighten their parentsÆ days. This collection brings to life fif... read more
Presents a collection of inspirational stories that highlight canine love and devotion.
"A mother's love endures through all." Washington Irving. Is your mom your best friend? Or your biggest fan? Your loyal confidante? No matter what she means to you, Mom is always the one you turn to when you need a shoulder to cry on, sound advice, and uncondi... read more
Mothers and daughters share more than just life, death and love; they exchange wisdom, advice and intimate secrets unlike that of any other relationship. The three stories in Mother/Daughter Stories You'll Love explore the strength and depth of women's unbreak... read more
In True Stories of Courage, you’ll find the heroines and heroes who have transformed the lives of everyone who knows them. These three stories will kindle your spirit and offer you hope whenever you need it. It’s nothing less than a supporting friend a powerfu... read more
More than Petticoats: Remarkable Missouri Women celebrates the women who shaped the Show-Me State. Short, illuminating biographies and archival photographs and paintings tell the stories of women from across the state who served as teachers, writers, entrepren... read more
The definitive collection of Texas's odd, wacky, and most offbeat people, places, and things, for Texas residents and anyone else who enjoys local humor and trivia with a twist.
The state of Vermont is illustrated through gorgeous photographs and evocative essays, showcasing 50 iconic places, events, inventions, foods, and objects from the Green Mountain State.
Since ancient times, stories have abounded concerning the existence of ghost animals. From the Native American animal spirits, to the menacing demon dogs of medieval England, to present day encounters with animal apparitions, there can be little doubt that ani... read more
'If our best thinking comes by making connections and building patterns, then what would these patterns look like, and what might they be based on'--ask the authors. Most importantly, how could they be used? Developing Connective Leadership shows you how Think... read more
What personal stories do you live by, and what internal scripts rule your life? What stories were you told as a child that still affect you? Which of these stories and scripts have helped you, and which are hindering you? Be the Hero of Your Story empowers you... read more
If you have ever been touched, or had your life changed, by a song, film, book or performance, you inherently understand the transformative power of the arts. In this new book based upon interviews conducted for the documentary film, Making Light in Terezin, R... read more
Whether you are already an entrepreneur or you are dreaming of being an entrepreneur, read this book now! "Glenn, stand in the heat--don't freak out!" This is the message that Glenn Carver very clearly heard from his conscience, God or someone in between on th... read more
This ingenious book uses the postures and movements of zoo animals to teach yoga movements to children. The first part of the book covers theoretical and practical information for parents and teachers working with yoga. Part two takes readers to every part of ... read more
Shooter is a visual portrait of war--the perseverance, heroism, and survival--narrated through stunning photographs and powerful essays from a female combat photographer.
ISIS terrorists are plotting to kill the Pope during his visit to America. The plan: Hijack a hospital ship in Haiti, convert it to a missile launcher, and cruise into Miami Harbor, unnoticed. Their only obstacle: Dr. Scott James is a volunteer on the ship, an... read more
Chaos erupts in a small town when a hidden missile base is suddenly discovered by a local doctor. A criminal mastermind is developing his own fleet of deadly laser-firing drones. An ISIS terrorist cell is building a secret missile base deep in rural North Caro... read more
Nikki is a lovely young woman with sparkling blue eyes. She loves to dance and swim. She loves pizza and Coke, and hates eggs and cleaning her room. Nikki is also autistic. Written with unwavering positivity, candor, and courage, Through a Glass Brightly is an... read more
21 Days to Wealth, Well-Being, and Abundance Now! is a practical guide that links smart money-management and healthful living for people who care as much as about their financial health as they do about their personal health. Written by seasoned financial advi... read more

Colleen has 2 reviews





Suzan J.

Suzan J.

Dec, 2019

Colleen is an experienced and meticulous editor, and her efforts definitely made my book better. She was devoted to the project and stuck with it as long as was needed to get it just right.
Colleen S.
It was my privilege and pleasure to collaborate with Suzan Jackson on her new book, which I am certain will be of great comfort and value to people who are living with chronic illness. Sue is a ta...
Read more
James R.

James R.

Oct, 2019

Colleen is a wealth of editorial experience and constantly learning. She brings a keen editorial eye not only to structure but to the finer details of phrasing. She is effective at challenging authors as well, when that's required and even cites research to educate them. I'm convinced I'm a better a writer now for having worked with her. Can't recommend her highly enough!

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