Joel Bahr

Joel Bahr - Editor

Competent. Sincere. Reliable. Trustworthy. Writing a great book is hard. Work with an editor who cares about your writing as much as you do.

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Overview

A do-it-all editor of 10+ years and 100+ titles, my specialty is helping authors build, shape, and refine their novels. Through thorough and thoughtful editor's essays and margin notes, my feedback both strengthens your story as it is and reveals what it could be. Feedback from me is both extensive -- usually 10,000 or more words of feedback -- and highly collaborative. You want your work to be great. That makes two of us.

At this time I'm primarily interested in editorial assessments and developmental editing projects, though copy/line editing and proofing exceptions can be made for promising works. Send me your most beloved sections as a sample. I can't wait to talk with you about it.

Notable authors/books that I've worked with in the past include:

Paul Pen, "Light of the Fireflies"

Corina Bowman, "The Moonlit Garden", "Storm Rose", and "Butterfly Island"
▪ Moonlit Garden was a #1 Kindle Bestseller

David Machado, "The Shelf Life of Happiness"
▪ Winner of the European Union Prize for Literature (2015)

Languages
English (US)
Non-Fiction
Biographies & Memoirs
Sports & Outdoors
Fiction
Fantasy
Horror
Literary Fiction
Mystery & Crime
Thriller & Suspense
Women's Fiction

Work experience

Developmental Editor

Amazon Publishing
January, 2013 – Present (almost 10 years)

Provided developmental and line edits for 30+ titles. Genres include: translations, fantasy, romance, crime, fantasy, horror, women's and contemporary literature

Portfolio (26 selected works)

Kathmandu (Leo Keane International Thriller)

Luke Richardson

“Luke Richardson’s right up there among the best writers I’ve come across” STEVEN MORE, BESTSELLING AUTHOR“A brilliant thriller that hooked me from the very beginning” AMAZON REVIEWER“Awesome book. Fabulous” AMAZON REVIEWERSome people go missing. Others choose not to come back.When Leo’s girlfriend disappears on a Thai island, he throws himself into finding her. But two years on he’s still got... read more

“Luke Richardson’s right up there among the best writers I’ve come across” STEVEN MORE, BESTSELLING AUTHOR“A brilliant thriller that hooked me from the very beginning” AMAZON REVIEWER“Awesome book. Fabulous” AMAZON REVIEWERSome people go missing. Others choose not to come back.When Leo’s girlfriend disappears on a Thai island, he throws himself into finding her. But two years on he’s still got... read more

Six Heirs (The Secret of Ji)

Pierre Grimbert

The Known World is a sprawling region ruled by mortals, protected by gods, and plied by magicians and warriors, merchants and beggars, royals and scoundrels. Here, those with the gift of the Erjak share a psychic bond with animals; a far-reaching fraternity unites criminals of every persuasion in a vast army of villainy; and upon the mighty river Alt, the dead will one day sail seeking vengean... read more

The Known World is a sprawling region ruled by mortals, protected by gods, and plied by magicians and warriors, merchants and beggars, royals and scoundrels. Here, those with the gift of the Erjak share a psychic bond with animals; a far-reaching fraternity unites criminals of every persuasion in a vast army of villainy; and upon the mighty river Alt, the dead will one day sail seeking vengean... read more

Shadow of the Ancients (Secret of Ji)

Pierre Grimbert

From Romine’s Deep Tower to the Grand Temple in Ithare, from the Murky Mountains to the Warrior’s Vale, the heirs continue their desperate quest—whose outcome will decide the fate of the Upper Kingdoms. Will they have to recklessly desecrate one of the gods’ most jealously guarded secrets? Every discovery condemns them.Armies gather, conspirators reveal themselves, schemes are unveiled. The he... read more

From Romine’s Deep Tower to the Grand Temple in Ithare, from the Murky Mountains to the Warrior’s Vale, the heirs continue their desperate quest—whose outcome will decide the fate of the Upper Kingdoms. Will they have to recklessly desecrate one of the gods’ most jealously guarded secrets? Every discovery condemns them.Armies gather, conspirators reveal themselves, schemes are unveiled. The he... read more

The Orphans' Promise (Secret of Ji)

Pierre Grimbert

The second installment in the internationally bestselling and prize-winning Secret of Ji fantasy seriesThe Known World’s greatest secret has proven a heavy burden for the last heirs of the Ji emissaries: a death sentence from the goddess Zuïa and her band of implacable Judges and a fleeting glimpse of another world that could devastate the Upper and Lower Kingdoms. Now, after barely eluding a ... read more

The second installment in the internationally bestselling and prize-winning Secret of Ji fantasy seriesThe Known World’s greatest secret has proven a heavy burden for the last heirs of the Ji emissaries: a death sentence from the goddess Zuïa and her band of implacable Judges and a fleeting glimpse of another world that could devastate the Upper and Lower Kingdoms. Now, after barely eluding a ... read more

Dead Woods

Maria C. Poets

The body of thirty-four-year-old software developer Philip Birkner is found in the forest. Tracks at the scene of the crime point to several possible killers. Lina Svenson and Max Berg of the Hamburg Homicide Division investigate and soon discover more than one dark secret in the dead man’s past…

The body of thirty-four-year-old software developer Philip Birkner is found in the forest. Tracks at the scene of the crime point to several possible killers. Lina Svenson and Max Berg of the Hamburg Homicide Division investigate and soon discover more than one dark secret in the dead man’s past…

1988: I Want to Talk with the World

Han Han

After a long day of driving, Lu Ziye just wants a good night’s sleep and decides to stop at The Golden Triangle, a seedy but convenient motel. There he meets Shanshan, a pregnant prostitute with an open heart and a traumatic past. After surviving a strange night together and a run-in with the police, the two hit the open road, on the lam and intent on a mysterious quest. Traveling along China’... read more

After a long day of driving, Lu Ziye just wants a good night’s sleep and decides to stop at The Golden Triangle, a seedy but convenient motel. There he meets Shanshan, a pregnant prostitute with an open heart and a traumatic past. After surviving a strange night together and a run-in with the police, the two hit the open road, on the lam and intent on a mysterious quest. Traveling along China’... read more

A Painted Goddess (A Fire Beneath the Skin)

Victor Gischler

When the gods go to war, who will stand against their divine fury?In the thrilling conclusion to the A Fire Beneath the Skin trilogy, the enchanted kingdom of Helva faces a nightmarish future of endless bloodshed, and Rina Veraiin—a young warrior-duchess armed with mysterious, magical tattoos—must use her fantastic powers to save her home from eternal war.As her far-flung friends scour Helva f... read more

When the gods go to war, who will stand against their divine fury?In the thrilling conclusion to the A Fire Beneath the Skin trilogy, the enchanted kingdom of Helva faces a nightmarish future of endless bloodshed, and Rina Veraiin—a young warrior-duchess armed with mysterious, magical tattoos—must use her fantastic powers to save her home from eternal war.As her far-flung friends scour Helva f... read more

The Tattooed Duchess (A Fire Beneath the Skin)

Victor Gischler

In the second installment of the A Fire Beneath the Skin trilogy, Rina Veraiin has youth, beauty, and strength. She is a born warrior, able to outride any man, deal death with her fierce blade, and command awesome and mysterious forces granted to her by a set of magical tattoos. Now as the newly minted duchess of Klaar, Rina confronts a menace that threatens her world in a divine conflict that... read more

In the second installment of the A Fire Beneath the Skin trilogy, Rina Veraiin has youth, beauty, and strength. She is a born warrior, able to outride any man, deal death with her fierce blade, and command awesome and mysterious forces granted to her by a set of magical tattoos. Now as the newly minted duchess of Klaar, Rina confronts a menace that threatens her world in a divine conflict that... read more

The Elven (The Saga of the Elven)

Bernhard Hennen, James A. Sullivan

The international bestseller and epic adventureA fierce and merciless demon has been unleashed on the world, spreading destruction and bloodshed in both the human and the elven realms. Northlander Jarl Mandred witnesses the ruthless attack on his men, and he seeks vengeance with the help of the elf queen, Emerelle. Despite Mandred’s barbaric human nature, the queen orchestrates an elfhunt join... read more

The international bestseller and epic adventureA fierce and merciless demon has been unleashed on the world, spreading destruction and bloodshed in both the human and the elven realms. Northlander Jarl Mandred witnesses the ruthless attack on his men, and he seeks vengeance with the help of the elf queen, Emerelle. Despite Mandred’s barbaric human nature, the queen orchestrates an elfhunt join... read more

Elven Winter (The Saga of the Elven)

Bernhard Hennen

An ancient war reignites as the international bestselling fantasy saga continues…At the height of its power, the elven court of Queen Emerelle revels in the joyful Festival of Light. Yet, as tribes gather to reaffirm their loyalty to the queen, treachery festers within the nobility. An assassination attempt leaves Emerelle severely injured and plunges the realm back into the throes of an ancie... read more

An ancient war reignites as the international bestselling fantasy saga continues…At the height of its power, the elven court of Queen Emerelle revels in the joyful Festival of Light. Yet, as tribes gather to reaffirm their loyalty to the queen, treachery festers within the nobility. An assassination attempt leaves Emerelle severely injured and plunges the realm back into the throes of an ancie... read more

The Black Tongue

Marko Hautala

For generations, the urban legend of Granny Hatchet has plagued the quiet residential area of Suvikylä in northern Finland. As the story goes, this immortal killer murders her victims with a hatchet, then buries the hearts in a potato field and eats them after they’ve rotted black. But not everyone is convinced it is just a story.Maisa Riipinen has returned to her hometown to complete her diss... read more

For generations, the urban legend of Granny Hatchet has plagued the quiet residential area of Suvikylä in northern Finland. As the story goes, this immortal killer murders her victims with a hatchet, then buries the hearts in a potato field and eats them after they’ve rotted black. But not everyone is convinced it is just a story.Maisa Riipinen has returned to her hometown to complete her diss... read more

The More Known World (The Oddfits Series)

Tiffany Tsao

The Quest of the quirky Oddfits continues—and this time, beyond the Known World lies something unspeakable…Two years after Murgatroyd Floyd joined the Quest to understand and catalogue the wonders of the More Known World, the rash-prone, blue-eyed Oddfit starts having doubts about his exploratory skill. And while that’s enough to give his mentor, Ann Hsu, pause, it’s not what’s bringing the Qu... read more

The Quest of the quirky Oddfits continues—and this time, beyond the Known World lies something unspeakable…Two years after Murgatroyd Floyd joined the Quest to understand and catalogue the wonders of the More Known World, the rash-prone, blue-eyed Oddfit starts having doubts about his exploratory skill. And while that’s enough to give his mentor, Ann Hsu, pause, it’s not what’s bringing the Qu... read more

The Oddfits (The Oddfits Series)

Tiffany Tsao

Eight-year-old Murgatroyd Floyd doesn’t fit in—not as a blue-eyed blonde living in Singapore, not in school, and certainly not with his aloof expatriate parents, who seem determined to make his life even harder. Unbeknownst to him, there’s a reason why he’s always the odd boy out: he is an Oddfit, a rare type of human with access to the More Known World, a land invisible to most people. Yet un... read more

Eight-year-old Murgatroyd Floyd doesn’t fit in—not as a blue-eyed blonde living in Singapore, not in school, and certainly not with his aloof expatriate parents, who seem determined to make his life even harder. Unbeknownst to him, there’s a reason why he’s always the odd boy out: he is an Oddfit, a rare type of human with access to the More Known World, a land invisible to most people. Yet un... read more

Butterfly Island

Corina Bomann

From the bestselling author of The Moonlit Garden comes the sweeping, romantic tale of one woman’s quest across two continents and one hundred years of history to unearth her family’s deepest secret.Diana Wagenbach is the sole survivor in a withering family tree fraught with secrets. When the first in a trail of clues is handed down to Diana by her great-aunt on her deathbed, along with a plea... read more

From the bestselling author of The Moonlit Garden comes the sweeping, romantic tale of one woman’s quest across two continents and one hundred years of history to unearth her family’s deepest secret.Diana Wagenbach is the sole survivor in a withering family tree fraught with secrets. When the first in a trail of clues is handed down to Diana by her great-aunt on her deathbed, along with a plea... read more

Storm Rose

Corina Bomann

When newly single Annabel Hansen moves to the coastal town of Binz, all she wants is to leave her former life behind. Soon after settling into a beautiful home overlooking the Baltic Sea, she stumbles upon an old fishing boat in a nearby harbor and discovers another purpose: to convert the bullet-riddled Storm Rose into a floating café.Yet there’s more to this project than peeling paint and a ... read more

When newly single Annabel Hansen moves to the coastal town of Binz, all she wants is to leave her former life behind. Soon after settling into a beautiful home overlooking the Baltic Sea, she stumbles upon an old fishing boat in a nearby harbor and discovers another purpose: to convert the bullet-riddled Storm Rose into a floating café.Yet there’s more to this project than peeling paint and a ... read more

The Moonlit Garden

Corina Bomann

Lilly Kaiser had come to terms with her solitary, uncomplicated life after becoming a young widow. So when a stranger delivers an old violin to her Berlin antiques shop and tells Lilly it belongs to her, she’s completely bewildered. Why should she be the one to inherit such an exquisite instrument?Together with her best friend, Ellen, and handsome musicologist Gabriel Thornton, Lilly sets out ... read more

Lilly Kaiser had come to terms with her solitary, uncomplicated life after becoming a young widow. So when a stranger delivers an old violin to her Berlin antiques shop and tells Lilly it belongs to her, she’s completely bewildered. Why should she be the one to inherit such an exquisite instrument?Together with her best friend, Ellen, and handsome musicologist Gabriel Thornton, Lilly sets out ... read more

In the Mouth of the Dragon

Myriam Millán

An evil force is mutilating people in modern-day London, and the horror resembles that of another era.In the 1600s, a small town in Transylvania grew increasingly panic-stricken as more than five hundred young women lost their lives to a mysterious fiend. Some believed that a demon lurked in the woods, craving the blood of girls. But most locals never questioned that the fate of their daughter... read more

An evil force is mutilating people in modern-day London, and the horror resembles that of another era.In the 1600s, a small town in Transylvania grew increasingly panic-stricken as more than five hundred young women lost their lives to a mysterious fiend. Some believed that a demon lurked in the woods, craving the blood of girls. But most locals never questioned that the fate of their daughter... read more

Love in Exile

Ayşe Kulin

The bestselling author of Last Train to Istanbul returns with a tale of love defying all boundaries.Sabahat, a beautiful young Muslim woman, is known in her family for her intelligence, drive, and stubbornness. She believes there is more in store for her life than a good marriage and convinces her parents to let her pursue her education, rare for young Turkish women in the 1920s. But no one—le... read more

The bestselling author of Last Train to Istanbul returns with a tale of love defying all boundaries.Sabahat, a beautiful young Muslim woman, is known in her family for her intelligence, drive, and stubbornness. She believes there is more in store for her life than a good marriage and convinces her parents to let her pursue her education, rare for young Turkish women in the 1920s. But no one—le... read more

To the Sky Kingdom

Tang Qi

When the immortal Bai Qian finally meets her intended husband, the heir to the Sky Throne, she considers herself in luck—until an old enemy returns to threaten everything she holds dear…When a mortal woman enters the immortal world to be with her true love, she sparks a jealousy that ends in tragedy…And when a war god depletes his spiritual energy, his devoted student sustains his body with he... read more

When the immortal Bai Qian finally meets her intended husband, the heir to the Sky Throne, she considers herself in luck—until an old enemy returns to threaten everything she holds dear…When a mortal woman enters the immortal world to be with her true love, she sparks a jealousy that ends in tragedy…And when a war god depletes his spiritual energy, his devoted student sustains his body with he... read more

The Shelf Life of Happiness

David Machado

Ripped apart by Portugal’s financial crisis, Daniel’s family is struggling to adjust to circumstances beyond their control. His wife and children move out to live with family hours away, but Daniel believes against all odds that he will find a job and everything will return to normal.Even as he loses his home, suffers severe damage to his car, and finds himself living in his old, abandoned off... read more

Ripped apart by Portugal’s financial crisis, Daniel’s family is struggling to adjust to circumstances beyond their control. His wife and children move out to live with family hours away, but Daniel believes against all odds that he will find a job and everything will return to normal.Even as he loses his home, suffers severe damage to his car, and finds himself living in his old, abandoned off... read more

Wake in Winter

Nadezhda Belenkaya

Nina’s graduate program at Moscow University isn’t exactly cheap. So when she is offered work translating for Spanish families looking to adopt orphans from the provincial town of Rogozhin, she quickly agrees. Besides the much-needed money it brings, the job is a great opportunity for Nina to use her education to help people in hardship.But soon she finds that nothing is as it seems. By the ti... read more

Nina’s graduate program at Moscow University isn’t exactly cheap. So when she is offered work translating for Spanish families looking to adopt orphans from the provincial town of Rogozhin, she quickly agrees. Besides the much-needed money it brings, the job is a great opportunity for Nina to use her education to help people in hardship.But soon she finds that nothing is as it seems. By the ti... read more

Never Again So Close

Claudia Serrano

Where do the pieces of us end up, the ones that we traded for love?Antonia is ready for her life to start. A young woman from a small town in southern Italy, she wants to pursue her long-held dream of writing a novel. But when she moves to Milan and meets the alluring and charismatic Vittorio, he upends her world and changes her priorities. Their whirlwind relationship is as thrilling as it is... read more

Where do the pieces of us end up, the ones that we traded for love?Antonia is ready for her life to start. A young woman from a small town in southern Italy, she wants to pursue her long-held dream of writing a novel. But when she moves to Milan and meets the alluring and charismatic Vittorio, he upends her world and changes her priorities. Their whirlwind relationship is as thrilling as it is... read more

A Tree Grows in Daicheng

Lu Nei

Through interconnected stories spanning four decades, A Tree Grows in Daicheng is a rich, multilayered portrait of life, love, and longing as the neighbors on Rose Street grapple with disease and poverty, marriage and society, during a transformative time when China’s old ways wither and fade. The tight-knit neighborhood of Rose Street, Daicheng, China, is an enclave seemingly untouched by the... read more

Through interconnected stories spanning four decades, A Tree Grows in Daicheng is a rich, multilayered portrait of life, love, and longing as the neighbors on Rose Street grapple with disease and poverty, marriage and society, during a transformative time when China’s old ways wither and fade. The tight-knit neighborhood of Rose Street, Daicheng, China, is an enclave seemingly untouched by the... read more

Defenseless (Somerton Security Book 1)

Elizabeth Dyer

How far will she go to protect the sexiest guy in tech?When ex-marine Georgia Bennett left the military for high-end private security, it was supposed to soften her snarky attitude. Instead, her short fuse just earned her a punishment of an assignment: protect smart-ass tech genius and Department of Defense contractor Parker Livingston. It should have been easy—only no one warned Georgia that ... read more

How far will she go to protect the sexiest guy in tech?When ex-marine Georgia Bennett left the military for high-end private security, it was supposed to soften her snarky attitude. Instead, her short fuse just earned her a punishment of an assignment: protect smart-ass tech genius and Department of Defense contractor Parker Livingston. It should have been easy—only no one warned Georgia that ... read more

Relentless (Somerton Security Book 2)

Elizabeth Dyer

Ethan Somerton doesn’t do safe or easy. He’s all about the challenge. The risk. In order to rescue one of his agents, Ethan must infiltrate the ruthless Vega cartel. One tiny error—just one—and he’s dead. Which means he needs Natalia Vega. Bright, beautiful, and cut sharper than the most lethal blade, she’s finally reached her breaking point. Now Ethan must find a way to make her surrender.Cau... read more

Ethan Somerton doesn’t do safe or easy. He’s all about the challenge. The risk. In order to rescue one of his agents, Ethan must infiltrate the ruthless Vega cartel. One tiny error—just one—and he’s dead. Which means he needs Natalia Vega. Bright, beautiful, and cut sharper than the most lethal blade, she’s finally reached her breaking point. Now Ethan must find a way to make her surrender.Cau... read more

Murder Notes (Lilah Love Book 1)

Lisa Renee Jones

New York Times bestselling author Lisa Renee Jones’s heart-pounding thriller of a woman’s secrets—and a past that’s about to come out of hiding…As an FBI profiler, it’s Lilah Love’s job to think like a killer. And she is very good at her job. When a series of murders surface—the victims all stripped naked and shot in the head—Lilah’s instincts tell her it’s the work of an assassin, not a seria... read more

New York Times bestselling author Lisa Renee Jones’s heart-pounding thriller of a woman’s secrets—and a past that’s about to come out of hiding…As an FBI profiler, it’s Lilah Love’s job to think like a killer. And she is very good at her job. When a series of murders surface—the victims all stripped naked and shot in the head—Lilah’s instincts tell her it’s the work of an assassin, not a seria... read more

Joel has 47 reviews

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

Lif Strand
This was my second round of editing with Joel and all I've got to say is that Joel knows his stuff. He has provided me with a huge amount of excellent criticism and suggestion, and he addresses my concerns with clear replies. He's totally professional and yet accessible.

Lif Strand, September 2022

Joel Bahr
Thanks Lif! I appreciate your kind words and our continued partnership

Reply from Joel Bahr


Haven Qualman
Joel's feedback was invaluable and led to effective revisions. I appreciated his insight and guidance.

Haven Qualman, August 2022


Melodie Bolt
Joel ready went the extra step to make sure he addressed my concerns regarding my manuscript. Not only did he reply to what worked and what didn't, he supplied points that needed to be fleshed out or cut for clarity. Joel is very easy to work with and his professionalism is top notch. He's worth the money.

Melodie Bolt, July 2022


Dan Brown
Joel is a delight to work with. On the business side, he clearly communicated expectations and timelines. To the extent that timelines had to be adjusted, Joel communicated far in advance and created a work-plan that was practical and easy to adjust to. On the manuscript side, Joel's investment was evident in his final notes. He wrestled with central themes, sorted out structure, and was a stro...
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Dan Brown, July 2022


Jonah Bushman
Very informative was Joel with his edit, bringing new perspectives to my manuscript. Very professional. Thank you!

Jonah Bushman, June 2022

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