David Samuel Levinson

David Samuel Levinson – Editor

Novelist, editor, and book coach with 30 years of experience editing award-winning literary fiction, psychological thrillers, and mysteries.


I've been writing and editing professionally for a long, long time and have published two novels, TELL ME HOW THIS ENDS WELL (Crown Books, Hogarth, 2017) and ANTONIA LIVELY BREAKS THE SILENCE (Algonquin Books, 2013), as well as a collection of stories, MOST OF US ARE HERE AGAINST OUR WILL (Viking Penguin, 2005). Over the last thirty years, I've helped edit several books from authors such as Michael Thomas, Dale Peck, Jason Antoon (yes, the actor), and Lisa Dierbeck. I provide all levels of editing for limited collaborations and, as your potential book coach, can now guide you through the entire process, from the first draft to the final version.

A client of mine published his first novel, GREENLAND (Atria Books), back in June 2022. Another client won the IMPAC, an international literary award from Dublin, for his book, MAN GONE DOWN. As a writer, I know the ins and outs of plotting a successful novel and how hard it is to get your book where you want it. I offer different levels of editorial service, depending on a client's needs. I'm just as comfortable copyediting as I am editing developmentally, taking apart your manuscript scene by scene to help you see what's working and not working yet. Whatever issue you're having, and no matter where you are in the process, I can show you how to move your plot and story forward and finish what you started or begin anew with a revision.

I've helped writers throughout every stage of the editorial process and have shepherded several books to market—most recently Karin Fitz Sanford's awesome mystery, THE LAST THING CLAIRE WANTED, and Brian Cuban's fantastic thriller, THE AMBULANCE CHASER.

Contemporary Fiction Cozy Mysteries Historical Mysteries LGBTQ Fiction Literary Fiction Psychological Thriller Short Story
English (US)
  • The Atlantic Monthly Prize
  • MFA, The New School (2001)

Work experience

Penguin Random House

Apr, 1999 — Feb, 2008 (almost 9 years)

I copyedited and proofread manuscripts for various imprints like Ballantine, Knopf, and Little Random. I edited titles by Michael Chabon, Joanna Scott, Ethan Canin, and John D. MacDonald among others.


Jan, 2013 — Present


A Reliable Wife

Goolrick, Robert

Wonder Boys: A Novel

Chabon, Michael

Liberation: A Novel

Scott, Joanna

Loosing My Espanish

Carrillo, H.G.


Shavers, Rone

Did Jew Know?

Emily Stone

This handy primer on all things Jewish is filled with funny, surprising and informative facts about Jewish life, culture, and religious practice—all presented in an entertaining and witty voice and accompanied by bold illustrations that pack a graphic punch. J... read more
Man Gone Down: A Novel

Thomas, Michael

David Samuel has 43 reviews





Karin S.

Karin S.

Oct, 2023

Great as always...you can count on David for honest, helpful, and insightful comments.
Grant K.

Grant K.

Sep, 2023

Very good work, and fast
Robert C.

Robert C.

Aug, 2023

STAY AWAY! He's expensive, pretentious and his work is totally worthless. Actually of negative value as you have to waste your time reading it. I asked him certain specific questions regarding my manuscript and he didn't even try to answer any of them. Instead he sent me a pile of academic ****** cribbed from articles on the internet, that were irrelevant to what I retained him to do. He's u...
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David Samuel L.
I dislike it when clients aren’t satisfied. But Robert never asked for what he wanted in the brief and decided that it’s my fault his book isn’t better than it could be. I’ve never had such a lousy...
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Karin S.

Karin S.

Jul, 2023

David is a topnotch editor: insightful, professional, dedicated, big-picture. During our extremely valuable follow-up Zoom meeting, he made some brilliant creative suggestions that'll make my book better. This was my second experience with David and I can't imagine going through the process without him. He goes above and beyond. Never rushed. A delight to work with...ten stars, if possible!
David Samuel L.
Karin, you are an absolute star and a fantastic writer. Please start another Wine Country Cold Case, so I can enjoy it while editing! DSL
Robert C.

Robert C.

Jul, 2023

Very responsive, insightful commentary
David Samuel L.
Hmmm. Five stars all around except for value? Gosh, Robert, I’d say I’m surprised by this, but given what I read and edited, I’m definitely not. Good luck!

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