Jay Blotcher

Jay Blotcher - Editor

New York, NY, USA

Editor since 1991 of memoirs, fiction, nonfiction and LGBTQ books. I strengthen prose and offer tips on improving plots and characters.

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Overview

A veteran book editor since 1991, I have provided developmental editing and copyediting for books that were published by St. Martin's Press and Random House, as well as other mainstream houses. I work quickly but accurately, guaranteeing great care and fast turnaround. My forte lies in memoirs, fiction, and non-fiction, particularly those manuscripts that address entertainment (TV, film, theatre) and progressive political and social issues.

Having been a grass-roots community activist since the 1980s, I bring this firsthand knowledge to my work.

Bonus: Since 1980, I have had a parallel career in journalism, writing for magazines and newspapers. Therefore, I have a sharp instinct for storytelling, pacing, character development, fact-checking, proofreading, and other methods for strengthening an author's narrative.

The books I have edited range from memoirs by political prisoners to self-help books for people on the dating scene. I have edited historical fiction and murder mysteries. I have improved the narrative power of humorous essays and confessional volumes.

I will be your editor, your life coach, your therapist and your cheerleader. I have connections with established literary agents as well. I have edited 29 authors in my three years on Reedsy. I have edited over 60 books and plays in my three decades as an editor.

For every Reedsy client who hires me, I provide an hour-long telephone conversation after editing is completed, so the author can ask questions about my editing choices. This service is included in my fee.
Languages
English (US)
Non-Fiction
Biographies & Memoirs
Entertainment
History
LGBTQ Non-Fiction
Sex & Relationships
Fiction
Cultural & Ethnic
Historical Fiction
LGBTQ Fiction

Work experience

Owner

Self-employed
October, 2020 – Present (over 1 year)

Since 1991, I have provided developmental editing, manuscript critiquing and line editing for memoirs, nonfiction manuscripts, history books, self-help books and fiction. Authors include:
Queer in America by Michelangelo Signorile (Random House, 1993)
Healing from Family Rifts by Mark Sichel (McGraw-Hill, 2004)
Evidence of Harm: Mercury in Vaccines and the Autism Epidemic: A Medical Controversy by David Kirby (St. Martin's Press, 2005)
Queer Political Performance and Protest: Play, Pleasure, and Social Movement by Benjamin Shepard (Routledge, 2009)
Animal Factory by David Kirby (St. Martin's Press, 2010)
Death at SeaWorld: Shamu and the Dark Side of Killer Whales in Captivity by David Kirby (St. Martin's Press, 2012)
The Day My Brain Exploded by Ashok Rajamani (Algonquin Press, 2013)
Sally Field Can Play the Transsexual by Leslie L. Smith (PressLess Books, 2014)
When They Come for You by David Kirby (St. Martin's Press, 2018)
When You Wish Upon a Star by Marc Huestis (seeking publisher)
Art as a Political Tool by Gilbert Baker (seeking publisher)
Commissioned by Sterling Lord Literistic and the estate of Gilbert Baker to line-edit unfinished memoir by the late community activist and creator of the iconic Rainbow Flag.

Book Publicist

Self-employed
December, 1990 – November, 2020 (almost 30 years)

Public Impact has been handling author PR since Michelangelo Signorile’s Queer in America (Random House) in 1993.

In many cases, we are brought on board to complement the efforts of the PR department at the publisher. Public Impact will go deep in promoting your book — not only to book reviewers, but to news and feature people, talk show hosts and bloggers. Authors we have served in the past four years have included AIDS activist and businessman Sean Strub, historian and memoirist Martin Duberman, activist-author Anne-christine d’Adesky, global gay business leader Lord John Browne, novelist Leslie Smith (who wrote the first novel about PrEP) and gay youth pioneer Aaron Fricke.

We partnered with Simon & Schuster in 2014 to promote Sean Strub’s memoir, Body Counts. We played a decisive role in maintaining his social media channels, reaching out to LGBT and HIV media, creating a promo video, organizing the launch party and promoting readings across the country to obtain local interviews.

Portfolio (32 selected works)

Rainbow Warrior: My Life in Color

Gilbert Baker

In 1978, Harvey Milk asked Gilbert Baker to create a unifying symbol for the growing gay rights movement, and on June 25 of that year, Baker’s Rainbow Flag debuted at San Francisco’s Gay Liberation Day parade. Baker had no idea his creation would become an international emblem of freedom, forever cementing his place and importance in helping to define the modern LGBTQ+ movement. Rainbow Warrio... read more

In 1978, Harvey Milk asked Gilbert Baker to create a unifying symbol for the growing gay rights movement, and on June 25 of that year, Baker’s Rainbow Flag debuted at San Francisco’s Gay Liberation Day parade. Baker had no idea his creation would become an international emblem of freedom, forever cementing his place and importance in helping to define the modern LGBTQ+ movement. Rainbow Warrio... read more

Death at SeaWorld: Shamu and the Dark Side of Killer Whales in Captivity

David Kirby

From the New York Times bestselling author of Evidence of Harm and Animal Factory―a groundbreaking scientific thriller that exposes the dark side of SeaWorld, America's most beloved marine mammal park Death at SeaWorld centers on the battle with the multimillion-dollar marine park industry over the controversial and even lethal ramifications of keeping killer whales in captivity. Following the... read more

From the New York Times bestselling author of Evidence of Harm and Animal Factory―a groundbreaking scientific thriller that exposes the dark side of SeaWorld, America's most beloved marine mammal park Death at SeaWorld centers on the battle with the multimillion-dollar marine park industry over the controversial and even lethal ramifications of keeping killer whales in captivity. Following the... read more

Healing From Family Rifts : Ten Steps to Finding Peace After Being Cut Off From a Family Member

Mark Sichel

Ten steps to surviving a family rift, finding peace, and moving on A family rift is one of the most traumatic experiences a person can face. It can have a profound effect on virtually every aspect of life, causing depression, relationship problems, and even physical illness. Healing From Family Rifts offers hope to those coping with a split in their families. Family therapist Mark Sichel addre... read more

Ten steps to surviving a family rift, finding peace, and moving on A family rift is one of the most traumatic experiences a person can face. It can have a profound effect on virtually every aspect of life, causing depression, relationship problems, and even physical illness. Healing From Family Rifts offers hope to those coping with a split in their families. Family therapist Mark Sichel addre... read more

Queer in America: Sex, the Media, and the Closets of Power

Michelangelo Signorile

In this tenth-anniversary edition, journalist Michelangelo Signorile updates his classic Queer in America, the bestseller that exposed the hypocrisy and prejudice that pervade mainstream American institutions. This third edition includes a new preface and a new chapter with an eye-opening critique of present-day America and its attitude toward gays and lesbians.

In this tenth-anniversary edition, journalist Michelangelo Signorile updates his classic Queer in America, the bestseller that exposed the hypocrisy and prejudice that pervade mainstream American institutions. This third edition includes a new preface and a new chapter with an eye-opening critique of present-day America and its attitude toward gays and lesbians.

The Day My Brain Exploded: A True Story

Ashok Rajamani

After a full-throttle brain bleed at the age of twenty-five, Ashok Rajamani, a first-generation Indian American, had to relearn everything: how to eat, how to walk and to speak, even things as basic as his sexual orientation. With humor and insight, he describes the events of that day (his brain exploded just before his brother’s wedding!), as well as the long, difficult recovery period. In th... read more

After a full-throttle brain bleed at the age of twenty-five, Ashok Rajamani, a first-generation Indian American, had to relearn everything: how to eat, how to walk and to speak, even things as basic as his sexual orientation. With humor and insight, he describes the events of that day (his brain exploded just before his brother’s wedding!), as well as the long, difficult recovery period. In th... read more

Sally Field Can Play the Transsexual: Or I Was Cursed by Polly Holliday

Leslie L. Smith

A 2015 Reader's Favorite Finalist, this tale of sex, loss, redemption and pharmaceuticals in the modern AIDS era that will make you laugh, break your heart, and inspire you. Leslie L. Smith's #SFCPT is a coming-of-age story - a teenage gay runaway turned hustler, David Matthews, is on a journey to find himself and his community. Along the way he is visited by a ghost, meets a transsexual nurse... read more

A 2015 Reader's Favorite Finalist, this tale of sex, loss, redemption and pharmaceuticals in the modern AIDS era that will make you laugh, break your heart, and inspire you. Leslie L. Smith's #SFCPT is a coming-of-age story - a teenage gay runaway turned hustler, David Matthews, is on a journey to find himself and his community. Along the way he is visited by a ghost, meets a transsexual nurse... read more

New Hardcover with dust jacket

Evidence of Harm: Mercury in Vaccines and the Autism Epidemic: A Medical Controversy

David Kirby

In the 1990s reported autism cases among American children began spiking, from about 1 in 10,000 in 1987 to a shocking 1 in 166 today. This trend coincided with the addition of several new shots to the nation's already crowded vaccination schedule, grouped together and given soon after birth or in the early months of infancy. Most of these shots contained a little-known preservative called thi... read more

In the 1990s reported autism cases among American children began spiking, from about 1 in 10,000 in 1987 to a shocking 1 in 166 today. This trend coincided with the addition of several new shots to the nation's already crowded vaccination schedule, grouped together and given soon after birth or in the early months of infancy. Most of these shots contained a little-known preservative called thi... read more

Play, Creativity, and Social Movements: If I Can't Dance, It’s Not My Revolution (Routledge Advances in Sociology)

Benjamin Shepard

As we play, we step away from stark reality to conjure up new possibilities for the present and our common future. Today, a new cohort of social activists are using it to create social change and reinvent democratic social relations. In contrast to work or routine, play must be free. To the extent that it is, it infuses a high-octane burst of innovation into any number of organizational practi... read more

As we play, we step away from stark reality to conjure up new possibilities for the present and our common future. Today, a new cohort of social activists are using it to create social change and reinvent democratic social relations. In contrast to work or routine, play must be free. To the extent that it is, it infuses a high-octane burst of innovation into any number of organizational practi... read more

The Accidental Tsundere: Dating for Late Bloomers, Loners and Misfits

L.M. Bennett

L.M. Bennett is a late-bloomer who began dating at the age of thirty-five after bariatric surgery. She found herself twenty years behind the dating curve, navigating body issues, and matched with people who had been playing the game longer and harder than her. The Accidental Tsundere is a humorous, painfully honest summary of her missteps and often sardonic observations of “on the job” trainin... read more

L.M. Bennett is a late-bloomer who began dating at the age of thirty-five after bariatric surgery. She found herself twenty years behind the dating curve, navigating body issues, and matched with people who had been playing the game longer and harder than her. The Accidental Tsundere is a humorous, painfully honest summary of her missteps and often sardonic observations of “on the job” trainin... read more

My Magical Kippah

Kandi M Siegel

My Magical Kippah is about a young boy named Avram who is preparing for his upcoming Bar Mitzvah. With his voice starting to change, Avram is even more nervous about standing in front of his family and the entire congregation of his Temple to chant prayers. Avram's Zadi gifts Avram with a "magical" kippah that not only changes his life, but also the lives of those around him. This book is a he... read more

My Magical Kippah is about a young boy named Avram who is preparing for his upcoming Bar Mitzvah. With his voice starting to change, Avram is even more nervous about standing in front of his family and the entire congregation of his Temple to chant prayers. Avram's Zadi gifts Avram with a "magical" kippah that not only changes his life, but also the lives of those around him. This book is a he... read more

Impresario of Castro Street: An Intimate Showbiz Memoir

Marc Huestis

DELUXE COLOR EDITION: The inside story of San Francisco's burgeoning gay history and Hollywood's trials and tribulations. Marc Huestis' showbiz memoir is an entertaining and personal retelling of his coming out in the streets of San Francisco in the early ’70s, his relationship with Harvey Milk, his award-winning early AIDS documentary work, and 20 years of memorable experiences and behind the... read more

DELUXE COLOR EDITION: The inside story of San Francisco's burgeoning gay history and Hollywood's trials and tribulations. Marc Huestis' showbiz memoir is an entertaining and personal retelling of his coming out in the streets of San Francisco in the early ’70s, his relationship with Harvey Milk, his award-winning early AIDS documentary work, and 20 years of memorable experiences and behind the... read more

Fag Hags, Divas and Moms: The Legacy of Straight Women in the AIDS Community

Victoria Noe

The history of the AIDS epidemic has largely been told from the perspective of gay men: their losses, struggles and contributions. But what about the women - in particular, straight women? Not just Elizabeth Taylor and Princess Diana, but thousands whose accomplishments have never been recognized?For almost forty years, straight women have have been affected by HIV/AIDS. They have fought for t... read more

The history of the AIDS epidemic has largely been told from the perspective of gay men: their losses, struggles and contributions. But what about the women - in particular, straight women? Not just Elizabeth Taylor and Princess Diana, but thousands whose accomplishments have never been recognized?For almost forty years, straight women have have been affected by HIV/AIDS. They have fought for t... read more

The Stranger: The Story of Sister Sarah Shamlan

Zahreddine

The first in Barakunan's keystone science fiction series titled the Flower of Asour, The Stranger, the Story of Sister Sarah Shamlan leads you by the hand into the luxurious island of Asour, the nexus of a tumultuous cosmic and geo-political shifting that will carry the world of Barakunan into a new age. Set at the beginning of Asour's development, the story is told from the perspective of Sar... read more

The first in Barakunan's keystone science fiction series titled the Flower of Asour, The Stranger, the Story of Sister Sarah Shamlan leads you by the hand into the luxurious island of Asour, the nexus of a tumultuous cosmic and geo-political shifting that will carry the world of Barakunan into a new age. Set at the beginning of Asour's development, the story is told from the perspective of Sar... read more

Sister Stories: In Their Own Words

Heather Jacks

A remarkable book documenting The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence through personal Interviews and stunning photography.In bright make-up and habits, San Francisco's drag nuns are a well-established cultural fixture. The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence formed in 1979 as an "order of queer nuns". Since then, they've become a powerful presence for charity and social activism, across the country a... read more

A remarkable book documenting The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence through personal Interviews and stunning photography.In bright make-up and habits, San Francisco's drag nuns are a well-established cultural fixture. The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence formed in 1979 as an "order of queer nuns". Since then, they've become a powerful presence for charity and social activism, across the country a... read more

The L.E. Bennett Story: Living the Dream

Sharon Bennett-Williams, SHARON BENNETT-WILLIAMS, MOORE-HARRIS, BEATRICE

This is a book about the Bennett Family History.

This is a book about the Bennett Family History.

Blue-Collar Actor: Tips, tales, & recollections to help you get in the acting game

Andy Guze

Both a handbook and personal reflections by a real working actor, Blue-Collar Actor is as informative as it is entertaining. Ever thought of pursuing acting as a full-time career or as a means to earn some extra income? Want to get in the acting game as soon as possible? Want to be an actor, but don't want to go to drama school or move to Hollywood? This is the book for you. The author believe... read more

Both a handbook and personal reflections by a real working actor, Blue-Collar Actor is as informative as it is entertaining. Ever thought of pursuing acting as a full-time career or as a means to earn some extra income? Want to get in the acting game as soon as possible? Want to be an actor, but don't want to go to drama school or move to Hollywood? This is the book for you. The author believe... read more

Postpartum: A Story of Unraveling and Becoming

Flow Belinsky

"Flow's unfiltered truth brings awareness to something that isn't talked about enough." - Miquela Millard, Birth Doula and Mother Flow doesn't sugar coat the new mother experience in her candid debut work, Postpartum: A Story of Unraveling and Becoming. In a frank yet lyrical style, Flow gives an unfiltered view into her life-shattering first year of motherhood. Written as expressive therapy f... read more

"Flow's unfiltered truth brings awareness to something that isn't talked about enough." - Miquela Millard, Birth Doula and Mother Flow doesn't sugar coat the new mother experience in her candid debut work, Postpartum: A Story of Unraveling and Becoming. In a frank yet lyrical style, Flow gives an unfiltered view into her life-shattering first year of motherhood. Written as expressive therapy f... read more

The Last Lead Holder

Richard Deatherage

Remember pencils....? "Designing and Drafting homes became my passion" Author Richard Deatherage has created a memoir that will likely be a standard toward which all future memoirists will reach. Not only is the book beautifully written as a coming of age story, but it also is a reflection on Americana - the way we have lived and the impact of history on our families and our lives.In a sensiti... read more

Remember pencils....? "Designing and Drafting homes became my passion" Author Richard Deatherage has created a memoir that will likely be a standard toward which all future memoirists will reach. Not only is the book beautifully written as a coming of age story, but it also is a reflection on Americana - the way we have lived and the impact of history on our families and our lives.In a sensiti... read more

Eric Rhein: Lifelines

Doty, Mark, Michael, Paul Michael, Rhein, Eric

Upper East Bride

KIRBY, DAVID

Buggin' Out

Schmitz, A.J.

Jay has 31 reviews

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

Paul Phillips
Having no previous experience with an editor, I had no idea what to expect. But working with Jay was delightful and daunting. His thoroughness went beyond anything I could have imagined, helping me to trim 70 pages/17,000 words from my overly wrought manuscript. He was a compassionate and patient taskmaster, who always made the extra effort to sooth my wounded ego and help me believe that I had...
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Paul Phillips, May 2022

Jay Blotcher
It is a rare thing when an author gives his total trust to his editor. Paul has done that and therefore working together has been mutually enlightening. I am so grateful.

Reply from Jay Blotcher


Frank Nguyen
Jay did a wonderful copy-editing job for my book. He has a good passion and the love for well-written, error-free content, especially when it comes to simplicity and conciseness.

Frank Nguyen, March 2022

Jay Blotcher
It was an honor to work on Frank's memoir about the horrible life-and-death experience he survived during the Vietnam War. It is a story that deserves to be read. I helped him trim excess words to ...
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Karen Jones
I was not sure if my writings were of book quality. I hired Jay for an editorial assessment. Much to my surprise his report was almost 14 pages detailing how my writings could become a book. His inspiring comments have convinced me I will be able to finish this project!

Karen Jones, December 2021

Jay Blotcher
Karen is a sincere writer who has invested years in writing an openhearted and brave story of an imperfect love affair. She has relied on her instincts to tell the story and they are very good. My ...
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Greg Gulbransen
Easy to work with, a very talented writer and quite fast with his turnaround time.

Greg Gulbransen, October 2021

Jay Blotcher
Very satisfying to work with you. Thank you!

Reply from Jay Blotcher


natalie zett
Above and beyond. That's Jay. I would have been pleased with a basic copyedit, which is why I hired Jay, but he did a lot more. He was able to point out the repetition, inconsistencies, funky formatting, and more. (I just counted the numbers of the times he wrote, "YOU ALREADY COVERED THIS IDEA." That alone is gold!) At this moment, I'm incorporating his feedback into my novel. I am gob...
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natalie zett, September 2021

Jay Blotcher
I am honored by Natalie's complete trust. From the moment I read her powerful and emotionally rich submission sample, I knew I wanted to work on this project. The complete manuscript showed an ast...
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