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Jesse Aylen

Jesse Aylen - Editor

New York, NY, United States

I'm a NY-based editor specializing in memoir, humor, and pop culture, with experience ranging from Penguin Random House to WME Entertainment

Overview

I'm an editor with over 10 years' industry experience, ranging from editing pop culture (memoir, humor, and music books) for Penguin Random House imprints Crown Archetype and Three Rivers Press, to working with book contracts at William Morris Endeavor (WME Entertainment), to content consultation for Read It Forward, Bomb Magazine, and other literary-oriented websites.

My work is deeply rooted in developmental and content editing; one of my great passions is partnering closely with writers to help them define their message, hone their authorial voice, and produce a proposal or manuscript that is polished, organic, and creatively true to who they are.

Professionally, I have attended the Unicorn Writers Conference as an editor and a panelist, routinely volunteer as a Center for Fiction reviewer, and regularly attend the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council's Workspace Salon, an incubator for writers, artists, poets, and creatives, as a guest editor.

Services
Languages
English (AUS) English (CAN) English (NZ) English (UK) English (US)
Non-Fiction
Art Biographies & Memoirs Entertainment Music

Certifications

  • Publishing Certificate, University of Denver
  • Bachelor of Arts, Bard College

Work experience

Editor & writer

Self-employed
March, 2017 – Present (10 months)

-Developer of narrative essays and original reportage from concept stage and in concert with rights holders and independent producers
-Partner with literary agents and authors as co-writer/ ghostwriter on book proposals leading to publisher submission
-Freelance content editor for Read It Forward, a Penguin Random House literary-oriented website
-Editor of fiction and nonfiction manuscripts on a select project basis

Assistant Editor (Crown Archetype & Three Rivers Press)

Penguin Random House
December, 2014 – March, 2017 (about 2 years)

-Supported Editorial Director and Senior Editor by entering manuscript edits and clearing rights for photo inserts and book interiors with individual photographers and photo agencies
-Acquired and edited narrative nonfiction across genres (memoir, music, humor)
-Crafted digital retailer search engine optimized and metadata-friendly copy to boost book discoverability
-Sourced new talent from traditional channels and emerging digital platforms
-Tracked amendments, contracts, and author payments

Editorial Assistant to the Publisher (Crown, Crown Archetype, Hogarth)

Penguin Random House
February, 2013 – December, 2014 (almost 2 years)

-Reviewed manuscripts, wrote evaluations, and drafted publisher rejections
-Trafficked bound galleys, copy, and cover materials at high volumes for review and revision
-Attended and contributed to weekly editorial meetings
-Acted as front of office for Publisher and Associate Publisher, providing overall administrative support and scheduling duties

Portfolio (10 selected works)

How to Weep in Public: Feeble Offerings on Depression from One Who Knows

Jacqueline Novak

In her darkly funny memoir meets brother-in-arms guide to the depression life, comedian Jacqueline Novak provides the first and only book for depression sufferers--short term visitors or lifers--that promises not to offer any help overcoming depression...only comfort, company, and tips for life inside the grey fog. Advice that ranges from practical (Chapter 17: Do Your Crying on a Cat) to phil... read more

In her darkly funny memoir meets brother-in-arms guide to the depression life, comedian Jacqueline Novak provides the first and only book for depression sufferers--short term visitors or lifers--that promises not to offer any help overcoming depression...only comfort, company, and tips for life inside the grey fog. Advice that ranges from practical (Chapter 17: Do Your Crying on a Cat) to phil... read more

How Music Works

David Byrne

*Updated with a new chapter on digital curation*How Music Works is David Byrne’s incisive and enthusiastic look at the musical art form, from its very inceptions to the influences that shape it, whether acoustical, economic, social or technological. Utilizing his incomparable career and inspired collaborations with Talking Heads, Brian Eno, and many others, Byrne taps deeply into his lifetime ... read more

*Updated with a new chapter on digital curation*How Music Works is David Byrne’s incisive and enthusiastic look at the musical art form, from its very inceptions to the influences that shape it, whether acoustical, economic, social or technological. Utilizing his incomparable career and inspired collaborations with Talking Heads, Brian Eno, and many others, Byrne taps deeply into his lifetime ... read more

Walk Through Walls: A Memoir

Marina Abramovic

“I had experienced absolute freedom—I had felt that my body was without boundaries, limitless; that pain didn’t matter, that nothing mattered at all—and it intoxicated me.”In 2010, more than 750,000 people stood in line at Marina Abramović’s MoMA retrospective for the chance to sit across from her and communicate with her nonverbally in an unprecedented durational performance that lasted more ... read more

“I had experienced absolute freedom—I had felt that my body was without boundaries, limitless; that pain didn’t matter, that nothing mattered at all—and it intoxicated me.”In 2010, more than 750,000 people stood in line at Marina Abramović’s MoMA retrospective for the chance to sit across from her and communicate with her nonverbally in an unprecedented durational performance that lasted more ... read more

Mother, Can You Not?

Kate Siegel

Based on the wildly popular Instagram account @CrazyJewishMom, Kate Siegel's essay collection about life with the woman who redefined the term "helicopter mom." There is nothing more wonderful than a mother’s love. There is also nothing more annoying. Who else can proudly insist that you’re perfect while simultaneously making you question every career, fashion, and relationship decision you ha... read more

Based on the wildly popular Instagram account @CrazyJewishMom, Kate Siegel's essay collection about life with the woman who redefined the term "helicopter mom." There is nothing more wonderful than a mother’s love. There is also nothing more annoying. Who else can proudly insist that you’re perfect while simultaneously making you question every career, fashion, and relationship decision you ha... read more

Infinite Tuesday: An Autobiographical Riff

Michael Nesmith

Michael Nesmith’s eclectic, electric life spans his star-making role on The Monkees, his invention of the music video, and his critical contributions to movies, comedy, and the world of virtual reality. Above all, his is a seeker’s story, a pilgrimage in search of a set of principles to live by. That search took Nesmith from a childhood in Dallas, where his single mother Bette invented Liquid ... read more

Michael Nesmith’s eclectic, electric life spans his star-making role on The Monkees, his invention of the music video, and his critical contributions to movies, comedy, and the world of virtual reality. Above all, his is a seeker’s story, a pilgrimage in search of a set of principles to live by. That search took Nesmith from a childhood in Dallas, where his single mother Bette invented Liquid ... read more

1: Tune In: The Beatles: All These Years

Mark Lewisohn

Now in paperback, Tune In is the New York Times bestseller by the world’s leading Beatles authority – the first volume in a groundbreaking trilogy about the band that revolutionized music. The Beatles have been in our lives for half a century and surely always will be. Still, somehow, their music excites, their influence resonates, their fame sustains. New generations find and love them, and w... read more

Now in paperback, Tune In is the New York Times bestseller by the world’s leading Beatles authority – the first volume in a groundbreaking trilogy about the band that revolutionized music. The Beatles have been in our lives for half a century and surely always will be. Still, somehow, their music excites, their influence resonates, their fame sustains. New generations find and love them, and w... read more

Not Dead Yet: The Memoir

Phil Collins

Phil Collins pulls no punches—about himself, his life, or the ecstasy and heartbreak that’s inspired his music. In his much-awaited memoir, Not Dead Yet, he tells the story of his epic career, with an auspicious debut at age 11 in a crowd shot from the Beatles’ legendary film A Hard Day’s Night. A drummer since almost before he could walk, Collins received on the job training in the seedy, thr... read more

Phil Collins pulls no punches—about himself, his life, or the ecstasy and heartbreak that’s inspired his music. In his much-awaited memoir, Not Dead Yet, he tells the story of his epic career, with an auspicious debut at age 11 in a crowd shot from the Beatles’ legendary film A Hard Day’s Night. A drummer since almost before he could walk, Collins received on the job training in the seedy, thr... read more

Spaceman: An Astronaut's Unlikely Journey to Unlock the Secrets of the Universe

Mike Massimino

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to find yourself strapped to a giant rocket that’s about to go from zero to 17,500 miles per hour? Or to look back on Earth from outer space and see the surprisingly precise line between day and night? Or to stand in front of the Hubble Space Telescope, wondering if the emergency repair you’re about to make will inadvertently ruin humankind’s chance... read more

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to find yourself strapped to a giant rocket that’s about to go from zero to 17,500 miles per hour? Or to look back on Earth from outer space and see the surprisingly precise line between day and night? Or to stand in front of the Hubble Space Telescope, wondering if the emergency repair you’re about to make will inadvertently ruin humankind’s chance... read more

Crossings: A Doctor-Soldier's Story

Jon Kerstetter

Every juncture in Jon Kerstetter’s life has been marked by a crossing from one world into another: from civilian to doctor to soldier; between healing and waging war; and between compassion and hatred of the enemy. When an injury led to a stroke that ended his careers as a doctor and a soldier, he faced the most difficult crossing of all, a recovery that proved as shattering as war itself.Cros... read more

Every juncture in Jon Kerstetter’s life has been marked by a crossing from one world into another: from civilian to doctor to soldier; between healing and waging war; and between compassion and hatred of the enemy. When an injury led to a stroke that ended his careers as a doctor and a soldier, he faced the most difficult crossing of all, a recovery that proved as shattering as war itself.Cros... read more

In the Name of Gucci: A Memoir

Patricia Gucci

The gripping family drama—and never-before-told love story—surrounding the rise and fall of the late Aldo Gucci, the man responsible for making the legendary fashion label the powerhouse it is today, as told by his daughter. Patricia Gucci was born a secret: the lovechild whose birth could have spelled ruination for her father, Aldo Gucci. It was the early 1960s, the halcyon days for Gucci—the... read more

The gripping family drama—and never-before-told love story—surrounding the rise and fall of the late Aldo Gucci, the man responsible for making the legendary fashion label the powerhouse it is today, as told by his daughter. Patricia Gucci was born a secret: the lovechild whose birth could have spelled ruination for her father, Aldo Gucci. It was the early 1960s, the halcyon days for Gucci—the... read more

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