Jim Thomas

Jim Thomas – Editor

Crafting a work of fiction is a gloriously arduous process. With over twenty years of experience at one of the big NYC houses, I can help.

Overview

After more than twenty years at Random House in New York City, I’m out on my own, specializing in what brought me to publishing in the first place: Editing.

It’s a passion. When you entrust your story to me, I dedicate myself to it, surrounding myself with your characters, living your plot arcs, hearing your voice, and tracking your themes. I study your story from the inside out to see what more it can be, and offer strategies for how to get there.

My particular area of expertise is fiction for middle-school and high-school kids, but as a freelancer I've worked with writers on everything from romance to cyber thriller. I treat each of my writers as if they’re destined to be the next New York Times bestseller.

Take a look at the webinar I recorded for Reedsy about the old writer's axiom "show, don't tell:" https://blog.reedsy.com/live/show-dont-tell-rule-reason

If you’re ready to invite a professional editor into your process, I’d love to hear from you. Let’s dive in!

“The gold standard of editors. Jim's sensitivity to divining an author’s intent is uncanny. He possesses the requisite skills of a midwife, and the bedside manner of a beloved small town doctor. I can’t envision the project that wouldn’t benefit from his discerning eye.”
—Mark Frost, New York Times bestselling author of The Paladin Prophecy, and co-creator of Twin Peaks

“Jim is an excellent coach, one gifted with an eye for potential and an intuition for how to realize it. He sees where I’m pulling my punches and shows me where I can jump higher. Dumbfoundingly, I jump higher, and then I do it again.”
—Rachel Hartman, New York Times bestselling author of Seraphina and Shadow Scale

“Jim Thomas achieves a perfect balance between an editor’s two contradictory jobs: to be thoroughly picky and at the same time constantly encouraging. He made me stop and think, and he made me eager to keep going. I could not have had a better editor.”
—Jeanne DuPrau, New York Times bestselling author of The City of Ember
Services
Fiction
Action & Adventure Coming of Age Dystopian Fantasy Middle Grade Middle Grade Fantasy Post-Apocalyptic Young Adult
Languages
English (AUS) English (CAN) English (NZ) English (SA) English (UK) English (US)

Work experience

Random House

Jan, 2007 — Apr, 2013 (about 6 years)

Random House

Jan, 1993 — Jan, 2007 (about 14 years)

Portfolio

Wren Larkin has a lot of things working against him­­––too tall, too thin, and living in a house that looks like an old boot. His only friends are a group of noisy crows that are always bringing him random trinkets. Needless to say, he’s not the most popular k... read more
SHAKESPEARE SHAPIRO HAS ALWAYS hated his name. His parents bestowed it on him as some kind of sick joke when he was born, and his life has gone downhill from there, one embarrassing incident after another. Entering his senior year of high school, Shakespeare h... read more
How far would you go to save the only family you have left? Victoria "Vic" Asher is finally finding some balance in her life. Though she's still reeling from her parents' death in a plane crash, she's content with waiting tables at the Clock; window shopping w... read more
Brain Jack

Brian Falkner

A Top Ten YALSA Pick for Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults! Fans of Cory Doctorow's Little Brother and M. T. Anderson's Feed will love this high-octane cyber thriller.In a dystopian near-future, neuro-headsets have replaced computer keyboards. Just slip on a... read more
WHAT IF THE MILLENNIALS WENT ON STRIKE AND SHUT DOWN THE INTERNET AND DIGITAL INFRASTRUCTURE? THIS IS THE EPIC STORY AND WARNING OF ARCHIMEDES SLAKED. In an all-too-familiar alternative current day, America has been torn apart by extreme ideologies and politic... read more
In This Life

Christine Brae

Lovers don’t finally meet somewhere, They’re in each other all along. RUMI It starts out so simply. Anna runs away to Thailand, drags her best friend Dante with her and spends a few weeks away, taking on other people’s problems while getting away from her own.... read more
Heart of a Shepherd

Rosanne Parry

When Brother's dad is shipped off to Iraq, along with the rest of his reserve unit, Brother must help his grandparents keep the ranch going. He’s determined to maintain it just as his father left it, in the hope that doing so will ensure his father’s safe retu... read more
Readers who love Percy Jackson, the Unwanteds, and Beyonders will discover that 100 cupboards mean 100 opportunities for adventure! The bestselling and highly acclaimed 100 Cupboards series starts here. What dangers are locked behind the cupboard doors? Henry ... read more
An inventive and action-packed mix of fantasy, science fiction, and mythology, all in a realistic contemporary setting. Rowan has won a battle, but not the war. With proper allies, Rowan’s armies could storm the demon stronghold, capture its ruler, and end the... read more
Seraphina took the literary world by storm with 8 starred reviews and numerous “Best of” lists. At last, her eagerly awaited sequel has arrived—and with it comes an epic battle between humans and dragons. The kingdom of Goredd: a world where humans and dragons... read more
Seraphina

Rachel Hartman

Lyrical, imaginative, and wholly original, this New York Times bestseller with 8 starred reviews is not to be missed. Rachel Hartman’s award-winning debut will have you looking at dragons as you’ve never imagined them before… Seraphina is a half-dragon, descen... read more
From the co-creator of the groundbreaking television show Twin Peaks comes an exciting adventure series with a unique combination of mystery, heart-pounding action, and the supernatural. Meet your new action-adventure addiction!Will West is playing a dangerous... read more
From the co-creator of the groundbreaking television show Twin Peaks comes an exciting adventure series with a unique combination of mystery, heart-pounding action, and the supernatural. Will West is a student of the Center—a school for an elite group of stude... read more
From the co-creator of the groundbreaking television show Twin Peaks comes an exciting adventure series with a unique combination of mystery, heart-pounding action, and the supernatural. Meet your new action-adventure addiction!Will West is careful to live lif... read more
A modern-day classic. This highly acclaimed adventure series about two friends desperate to save their doomed city has captivated kids and teachers alike for almost fifteen years and has sold over 3.5 MILLION copies! Lina and Doon escaped the dying city of Emb... read more
A prequel to the modern-day classic The City of Ember. This highly acclaimed adventure series has captivated kids and teachers alike for almost fifteen years and has sold over 3.5 MILLION copies! Nickie will grow up to be one of the first citizens of the city ... read more
A modern-day classic. This highly acclaimed adventure series about two friends desperate to save their doomed city has captivated kids and teachers alike for almost fifteen years and has sold over 3.5 MILLION copies! Lina and Doon have led the citizens of Embe... read more
A modern-day classic. This highly acclaimed adventure series about two friends desperate to save their doomed city has captivated kids and teachers alike for almost fifteen years and has sold over 3.5 MILLION copies! The city of Ember was built as a last refug... read more

Jim has 25 reviews

Professionalism

Quality

Value

Responsiveness

Daria A.

Daria A.

Feb, 2024

I had the opportunity to work on the first chapter of my debut novel with Jim. I was seeking in-depth line-by-line editing that could teach me how to approach the process. I am absolutely satisfied with the result and look forward to implementing the comments. I am sure this will take my chapter to the next level. Thank you, Jim!
Max D.

Max D.

Sep, 2023

Jim provided an excellent edit. From his efforts I gained both a vast improvement to existing prose and a clear highlight of existing story / plot issues in my draft (as well as proposed solutions). He invested a significant amount of effort that was concisely phrased and clear throughout. I hope to work with him again and would certainly recommend him to others.
Jane L.

Jane L.

Nov, 2022

Jim worked through my debut sci manuscript, completing a full developmental edit. A true professional, working with him is a delight. He is creative and knowledgeable. He is generous with his advice and suggestions, and always polite and kind. That is who he is as a person. When you get to the stage of being heartedly sick and tired of your manuscript, and you are serious about being a writer, ...
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RJ H.

RJ H.

Oct, 2022

Jim is great! After spending time with my manuscript he produced around 75 pages of in-text annotations in addition to copious margin notes. His suggestions are clear and he takes time to explain his reasoning. He is also careful to point out things that do work when he comes across them and note strengths that can be built on. I am confident I will be able to produce a much stronger story as a...
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Elliott S.

Elliott S.

Aug, 2022

Working with Jim has been fantastic. Jim was extremely responsive throughout the entire process, and sent the feedback in chunks so that I could read the notes as they were coming in. The feedback itself was like getting a textbook written into my book: literally over 50 pages of notes in the manuscript itself, plus many more added as comments on the text. Like others have said, the notes reall...
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