Jesse Aylen

Jesse Aylen – Editor

I'm a NY-based editor working widely in memoir, fiction, humor, food, culture, narrative nonfiction, and prescriptive nonfiction.


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 annually attend the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council's Workspace Salon, an incubator for writers, artists, poets, and creatives, as a guest editor.

I'm a member in good standing of the Editorial Freelancers Association, and have graduated from the University of Denver Publishing Institute, a highly regarded graduate-level program that touches on all aspects of the publishing sphere.
Art Biographies & Memoirs Entertainment Music
English (AUS) English (CAN) English (NZ) English (UK) English (US)
  • Publishing Certificate, University of Denver
  • Bachelor of Arts, Bard College

Work experience


Mar, 2017 — Present

-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 and contributor to Read It Forward, a Penguin Random House literary-oriented website
-Editor of fiction and nonfiction manuscripts on a select project basis

Penguin Random House

Dec, 2014 — Mar, 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

Penguin Random House

Feb, 2013 — Dec, 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


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: t... 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... 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 i... 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... 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... 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 searc... 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... 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... 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 ... 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 ... read more

Jesse has 1 review





Lee S.

Lee S.

Apr, 2019

Jesse is an excellent editor. I recommend him highly. He understood my book instantly and provided strong notes that made it deeper and better. He is a pleasure to work with.

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