Jesse Coleman

Jesse Coleman – Editor

Editor with a decade's experience working with best-selling and award-winning authors at Farrar, Straus & Giroux and Europa Editions.

Overview

I love working with authors. I've been an editor for over ten years and have been lucky enough to work for Europa Editions, Unnamed Press, and Farrar, Straus and Giroux. My experience ranges from publishing literary fiction in translation to books on popular culture.

Amplifying the voices of those with stories worth sharing with the world has always been my professional mission. I am constantly on the lookout for innovative ways to do this and reach the biggest possible audience. Roughly five years ago, I left traditional publishing to co-found an editorial company whose sole mission was to democratize the editing process by bringing professional editorial services to amateur and self-publishing authors.

Whether you are a professional author or are just experimenting with writing for the first time, you deserve to have a professional editor working with you to ensure that your book is the best version of itself. I'd love to be that editor.

“I had a great experience working with Jesse C. on Secret Historian. Jesse read through the manuscript several times, each time making gentle editorial suggestions for improvement. He has a fine eye for prose clarity, precision, and logic, and he also has an intuitive understanding of narrative. Moreover his easygoing manner made working with him a pleasure. During the course of the past twenty years I’ve written more than ten books (and I've also worked as an editor on many other people’s books) so I feel safe in saying that he's about as good as they come. I’d be very happy to work with him again.” —Justin Spring, author of Secret Historian, finalist for the National Book Award

“Jesse took the time to know my main character, not just in what he was doing and saying, but also his true nature. He found the core of my manuscript and helped cut out anything that diminished the consistency, the flow and ultimately the impact of the story. He made very clear suggestions, from simple things like word choice to more complex issues like an under-developed character, and was supportive and encouraging throughout the process. I couldn’t be happier to have found him.” —Chad Sanders

“Choosing to work with Jesse C. on my manuscript was one of the best decisions I made. Though I thought my project was polished and final, I was getting tepid responses from agents and editors. Jesse’s notes and insights helped me to see what was working in my novel, and more importantly, what was not working. His line edits were clear, straightforward, and immediately actionable. His editorial letter laid out for me exactly what needed reconsideration and revision, in terms of character development, scene structure, and tone. Most importantly, he presented his notes in such a thoughtful and encouraging manner that I wasn’t daunted by the revision work I had in front of me—I was excited to roll up my sleeves and dig in! I would highly recommend his services to anyone who wants to take their work to the next level.” —Thomas Kulesa

“It has been a pleasure working with Jesse C. He reads lucidly and has an incredible eye for detail, and was absolutely engaged with every step of the process. He’s a great person and a wonderful editor.” —Alejandro Zambra, author of Ways of Going Home

Services
Fiction
African American Fiction Contemporary Fiction Literary Fiction Mystery & Crime
Non-Fiction
Art Biographies & Memoirs History Political Science & Current Affairs
Languages
English (CAN) English (UK) English (US)

Work experience

NationBuilder

Sep, 2014 — Jul, 2019 (almost 5 years)

• Oversaw production, marketing, and distribution of new literary works, including trade print books, eBooks, journals, and NationBuilder’s Year in Review.
• Identified new authors and generated book ideas.
• Managed all aspects of two distinct eBook series from title conception to publication.
• Ghostwrote all NationBuilder eBook publications.
• Worked closely with authors such as Amy Henderson, founder of TendLab, and Katharine DeShaw, Deputy Director of Advancement and External Relations for the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures, to develop and edit trade books.
• Supervised production, editing, and design of NationBuilder Review.
• Directed production, editing, and design of NationBuilder’s annual Year in Review.
• Wrote all catalog, marketing, and jacket copy.
• Developed and maintained editorial voice for NationBuilder for all external communication.
• Reviewed, evaluated, edited, and copyedited text before approving for publication on the NationBuilder blog.
• Codified company-wide editorial standards; created and disseminated Style Guide for all employees.
• Oversaw NationBuilder company website.

Self-employed

Mar, 2013 — Present

• Run a bespoke editorial company, providing professional editorial services, including manuscript critique, developmental editing, ghostwriting, copyediting and proofreading, and press release composition, to authors, small businesses, and publishing companies of all sizes.
• Guide authors through the publishing process from manuscript to publication.
• Edit manuscripts and provide detailed critiques for independent authors and trade publishers, including Unnamed Press, Amazon, and AmazonCrossing.
• Ghostwrite manuscripts, blog posts, think pieces, and other long-form essays for independent authors and corporate clients.
• Edit, copyedit, and rewrite press releases for select corporate clients.
• Oversee a team of freelance editors, copyeditors, and proofreaders to meet client demand.

NY Book Editors

Mar, 2013 — Sep, 2014 (over 1 year)

• Cofounded internet-based company designed to provide professional editorial services to independent authors.
• Oversaw and maintained all aspects of our social media, including our Facebook page, website, and blog.
• Guided authors from the editing process through to publication or self-publication.
• Edited manuscripts of all genres, including YA, thrillers, horror, science fiction, detective novels, speculative fiction, literary fiction, women’s fiction, and nonfiction.
• Provided detailed critiques and actionable advice through comprehensive editorial memos.
• Supervised and trained 15 freelance editors, copyeditors, and proofreaders.
• Maintained editorial standards for all editorial work performed by our company.

Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Jan, 2010 — Mar, 2013 (about 3 years)

• Generated book ideas and discovered new authors, such as Andres Neuman, Laurent Binet, Juan Pablo Villalobos, Christian Kracht, and Paul LaFarge.
• Worked closely with authors to develop and edit trade books, including works by Nobel Laureates Derek Walcott and Mario Vargas Llosa, as well as National Book Award finalist Secret Historian (Justin Spring), National Book Critics Circle finalist HHhH (Laurent Binet), and Guardian First Book Award finalist Down the Rabbit Hole (Juan Pablo Villalobos).
• Wrote catalog, marketing, and jacket copy for at least five titles per season.
• Worked closely with all departments, including production, design, and publicity, throughout the entire publication process.
• Inherited large number of books, managed inherited authors and kept books on schedule.
• Negotiated advances and rights with agents and authors.
• Prepared P&Ls (Profits & Losses) in order to establish proper advances to be offered for each title.
• Presented proposals at editorial meetings; presented titles at launch meetings.
• Maintained a large stable of foreign readers in multiple languages.
• Hired, supervised, and mentored between 20 and 30 editorial interns per year.

Europa Editions

Sep, 2008 — Jun, 2009 (9 months)

As an Editorial Intern I was responsible for reading and evaluating submissions as well as writing cover and catalog copy. I assisted publisher Kent Carroll in the media campaign for national bestseller The Elegance of the Hedgehog.

Portfolio

Madness Treads Lightly

Polina Dashkova

Only three people can connect a present-day murderer to a serial killer who, fourteen years ago, terrorized a small Siberian town. And one of them is already dead.As a working mother, Lena Polyanskaya has her hands full. She’s busy caring for her two-year-old ... read more
Private Investigator Heredia returns as multiple-award-winning author Ramón Díaz Eterovic sends the most iconic figure in Chilean crime fiction down a dark alley of lost love, corruption, and murder.Private investigator Heredia has many phantoms—and one of his... read more
The first novel by multiple-award-winning Chilean author Ramón Díaz Eterovic to be translated into English—a landmark event for fans of crime fiction.Private investigator Heredia spends his days reading detective novels; commiserating with his cat, Simenon; an... read more
The Last Paradise

Antonio Garrido

Jack Beilis once lived the American dream: custom suits, new cars, and the best clubs. But by 1931, he has sunk so low he cannot feed himself or his ailing father. Now he barely has time to wipe the blood from his hands before he finds himself on a ship from N... read more
A humorous and charming investigation into what it really means to have proper mannersMost of us know a bit about what passes for good manners—holding doors open, sending thank-you notes, no elbows on the table—and we certainly know bad manners when we see the... read more
Quesadillas: A Novel

Juan Pablo Villalobos

A brilliant new comic novel from "a linguistic virtuoso" (José Antonio Aguado, Diari de Terrassa)It's the 1980s in Lagos de Moreno—a town where there are more cows than people, and more priests than cows—and a poor family struggles to overcome the bizarre dang... read more
A gripping novel about the assassination of Leon Trotsky in Mexico City in 1940In The Man Who Loved Dogs, Leonardo Padura brings a noir sensibility to one of the most fascinating and complex political narratives of the past hundred years: the assassination of ... read more
Norumbega Park: A Novel

Anthony Giardina

Richie Palumbo, the most prosaic of men, gets lost one night in 1969 while driving home with his family. He finds himself in the town of Norumbega—hidden, remote, and gorgeous, at the far edges of Boston's western suburbs. He sees a venerable old house and, wi... read more
Oonya Kempadoo's moving third novel, All Decent Animals, looks at the personal and aesthetic choices of a multifaceted cast of characters on the Caribbean island of Trinidad—a country still developing economically but rich culturally, aiming at "world-class" s... read more
Oblivion is a heartbreaking, exquisitely written memorial to the author’s father, Héctor Abad Gómez, whose criticism of the Colombian regime led to his murder by paramilitaries in 1987. Twenty years in the writing, it paints an unforgettable picture of a man w... read more
"Rome's genial new book . . . brings to life another era." ―Nicholas Lemann, The New YorkerThe first Earth Day is the most famous little-known event in modern American history. Because we still pay ritual homage to the planet every April 22, everyone knows som... read more
The English language is a battlefield. Since the age of Shakespeare, arguments over correct usage have been bitter, and have always really been about contesting values-morality, politics, and class. The Language Wars examines the present state of the conflict,... read more
Alejandro Zambra's Ways of Going Home begins with an earthquake, seen through the eyes of an unnamed nine-year-old boy who lives in an undistinguished middleclass housing development in a suburb of Santiago, Chile. When the neighbors camp out overnight, the pr... read more
"Even if I lived a hundred lives, I still wouldn't be exhausted." These words capture the intensity of the experiences of Claude Lanzmann, a man whose acts have always been a negation of resignation: a member of the Resistance at sixteen, a friend to Jean-Paul... read more
For five weeks—from April 14 to May 21, 1927—the world held its breath while fourteen aviators took to the air to capture the $25,000 prize that Raymond Orteig offered to the first man to cross the Atlantic Ocean without stopping.Joe Jackson's Atlantic Fever i... read more
A thrilling page-turner that also happens to be the biography of one of Russia's most controversial figures This is how Emmanuel Carrère, the magnetic journalist, novelist, filmmaker, and chameleon, describes his subject: "Limonov is not a fictional character.... read more
An outrageous, fantastical, uncategorizable novel of obsession, adventure, and coconuts In 1902, a radical vegetarian and nudist from Nuremberg named August Engelhardt set sail for what was then called the Bismarck Archipelago. His destination: the island Kaba... read more
A revelatory look at the life of the great American author—and how it shaped his most beloved worksJack London was born a working class, fatherless Californian in 1876. In his youth, he was a boundlessly energetic adventurer on the bustling West Coast—an oyste... read more
Searching for an inn, the enigmatic traveler Hans stops in a small city on the border between Saxony and Prussia. The next morning, Hans meets an old organ-grinder in the market square and immediately finds himself enmeshed in an intense debate—on identity and... read more
Down the Rabbit Hole: A Novel

Juan Pablo Villalobos

"A brief and majestic debut." —Matías Néspolo, El MundoTochtli lives in a palace. He loves hats, samurai, guillotines, and dictionaries, and what he wants more than anything right now is a new pet for his private zoo: a pygmy hippopotamus from Liberia. But Toc... read more
A decade after the publication of Haussmann, or the Distinction, his acclaimed novel about nineteenth-century Paris, Paul La Farge turns his imagination to America at the dawn of the twenty-first century.In September 2000, a young programmer comes home from a ... read more
Following The Broken Estate, The Irresponsible Self, and How Fiction Works—books that established James Wood as the leading critic of his generation—The Fun Stuff confirms Wood's preeminence, not only as a discerning judge but also as an appreciator of the con... read more
A subtle and enlightening novel about a neglected human rights pioneer by the Nobel Laureate Mario Vargas LlosaIn 1916, the Irish nationalist Roger Casement was hanged by the British government for treason. Casement had dedicated his extraordinary life to impr... read more
Drawn from the secret, never-before-seen diaries, journals, and sexual records of the novelist, poet, and university professor Samuel M. Steward, Secret Historian is a sensational reconstruction of one of the more extraordinary hidden lives of the twentieth ce... read more
HHhH: A Novel

Laurent Binet

HHhH: "Himmlers Hirn heisst Heydrich", or "Himmler's brain is called Heydrich". The most dangerous man in Hitler's cabinet, Reinhard Heydrich was known as the "Butcher of Prague." He was feared by all and loathed by most. With his cold Aryan features and impla... read more

Jesse has 33 reviews

Professionalism

Quality

Value

Responsiveness

J I.

J I.

May, 2024

I wanted a particular level of editing performed on my manuscript that didn't flag a number of items I knew may be unconventional but which I wanted to keep. Jesse listened carefully to my wishes and delivered the edited copy back to me precisely as I wanted, which saved me a great deal of time. The edits he did perform were thoughtful and made my overall story stronger. Jesse was fast, friendl...
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Leonce G.

Leonce G.

Apr, 2024

Jesse did an excellent job.
Patsy R.

Patsy R.

Mar, 2024

Jessie not only assessed my manuscript, but he also helped me polish my synopsis and query letter. As usual, he did an excellent job. As I move forward on my writing journey, I'll continue to use his services.
Patsy R.

Patsy R.

Feb, 2024

Jesse was the perfect editor to assess my manuscript. He provided a detailed report with recommendations for improvement, and after sending me his report, he set up a ZOOM meeting to ensure I had a good understanding of what changes were needed. His feedback was invaluable to me as a new author.
Tom F.

Tom F.

Feb, 2024

Jesse was precise in his line edits, helpful in his revision suggestions, and perceptive of my intentions. His work was stellar.

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