Lee Motteler

Lee Motteler – Editor

I perform the highest quality book editing, with a wide range of experience, attention to detail, and retention of author's voice.


After earning a BA with a major in geography and minor in history, I worked as map librarian for the Hawaii Institute of Geophysics in Honolulu, Rand McNally & Co. in Chicago, and the Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum, again in Honolulu. At the Bishop Museum I became an expert on Hawaiian and Pacific Islands geography and place names, compiling "Pacific Island Names: A Map and Name Guide to the New Pacific." I then served as Acting State Geographer for two years, before moving to the Big Island of Hawaii. Here I learned to edit on the computer.

Much of my work has been copyediting scholarly nonfiction books and reference materials for university presses. I have gained a reputation for highly detailed work with a record of on-time performance while keeping within budgets.

I have had a successful rapport with a great many authors, some of whom have expressed their satisfaction with my work. My favorite comments, perhaps, came from Steve Bein, who authored Compassion and Moral Guidance (University of Hawai‘i Press, 2013). He wrote the following to the managing editor: “I just sent the files back to Lee. I told him this already, but I’ll tell you too: I think he’s very good at his job. He is the third copyeditor I’ve worked with, and he has been by far the most professional, with the keenest eye and the lightest hand. I really appreciate a copyeditor who does not also want to be a stylist.” I strive to maintain this degree of rapport with every author's work.
Education & Reference Geography History Political Science & Current Affairs
English (CAN) English (UK) English (US)

Work experience


Jun, 1990 — Present

• Self-employed owner of a small home-based business now specializing in freelance editing (1986–present)
• Freelance editing projects for University of Hawai‘i Press, Honolulu (1993–present)
• Freelance editing projects for miscellaneous clients (1990–present):
 ABC-CLIO, Santa Barbara, CA
 Bess Press, Honolulu, HI
 Cambridge University Press, through New York City client
 East-West Center, Honolulu, HI
 Kamehameha Publishing, Honolulu, HI
 MIT Press, Cambridge, MA
 MTM Publishing, Inc., New York
 Mutual Publishing, Honolulu, HI
 Oregon State University Press, Corvallis
 University Press of New England, Lebanon, NH
 Westchester Publishing Services, Danbury, CT


Loyal to the Land is a sweeping history of one of the United States' largest working ranches, the Big Island of Hawaii's Parker Ranch. Dr. Bergin chronicles the ranch from its establishment on two acres purchased for ten dollars by John Palmer Parker to the ye... read more
This heartfelt and often personal work continues the story of the Big Island’s Parker Ranch, one of the largest and most beautiful cattle ranches in the United States. It begins with the dynastic transition in ranch management from the formidable A. W. Carter ... read more
A large-format atlas includes 250 geographical, topographical, and reference maps; 215 color photographs, charts, and graphs; an introduction to Hawaiian place names; and essays on the state's physical, biological, cultural, and social environment. Simultaneou... read more
First published twenty years ago, Pacific Island Names: A Map and Name Guide to the New Pacific has become an essential reference and the official source for standard rendering of the names of the myriad islands of the oceanic Pacific. This fully revised secon... read more
Compassion is a word we use frequently but rarely precisely. One reason we lack a philosophically precise understanding of compassion is that moral philosophers today give it virtually no attention. Indeed, in the predominant ethical traditions of the West (de... read more
"The only complete cruising guide to the islands of the Pacific . . . a must." ―Islands"A trove of information for the cruiser planning to set sail for the Pacific. . . A very readable, easy-to-follow guide." ―SantanaThe fifth edition of this sailing standard ... read more
Winner, 2003 Ka Palapala Pookela Award for Excellence in Text or Reference BooksIn his latest book, John Clark, author of the highly regarded "Beaches of Hawaii" series, gives us the many captivating stories behind the hundreds of Hawaii place names associated... read more
Features of the ninth edition of this full-color, topographic map of the Valley Isle include detailed road networks, large-scale inset maps of towns, points of interest (historic, natural, and cultural), hiking trails, parks, beaches, waterfalls, peaks, and ri... read more
Features of the ninth edition of this full-color, topographic map of the Big Island include detailed road networks; large-scale inset maps of towns; points of interest (historic, natural, and cultural); hiking trails, parks, and beaches; waterfalls, peaks, and... read more
Bangalore is often heralded as India’s future―a city where global technologies converge with multinational capital to produce a cosmopolitan workforce and vibrant economic growth. In this narrative the city’s main challenge revolves around its success: whether... read more
What is the relationship between the Hebrew Bible and modern science? To answer this question, Robert Goldman invites the reader on a carefully guided intellectual journey spanning centuries of theological, philosophical, and scientific thought, before arrivin... read more
Hawaiian Language: Past, Present, Future presents aspects of Hawaiian and its history that are rarely treated in language classes. The major characters in this book make up a diverse cast: Dutch merchants, Captain Cook’s naturalist and philologist William Ande... read more
Mahathir Mohamad’s legacy as Malaysia’s longest serving prime minister (1981–2003) is deeply controversial. His engagement with Islam, the religion of just over half Malaysia’s population, has often been dismissed as partisan maneuvering. Yet his willingness t... read more
Over the winter of 1977–78, anyone within shouting distance of a two-mile stretch of Boston’s Commonwealth Avenue―from Fenway Park to the trolley curve at Packard’s Corner―found themselves pulled into the orbit of college hockey. The hottest ticket in a sports... read more
As the movement for legalization of marijuana spreads across the country, it is important to weigh the possible benefits and pitfalls of cannabis use. Cannabis Consulting is both a handbook and a report from the front lines of medical marijuana use. Writing fr... read more
A giant statue of a six-pipe musical instrument stands in the heart of Kaili city. Yet despite its prominent placement, intended to convey the essence of the city, residents hold extremely low opinions of music-making in Kaili, particularly when compared to th... read more
Kamehameha the Great

Julie Stewart Williams

Highlights commonly accepted accounts of events and personal characteristics of the leader who united separate island chiefdoms into one Hawaiian nation.
When itinerant singers from China’s countryside become iconic artists, worlds collide. The lives and performances of these representative singers become sites for conversations between the rural and urban, local and national, folk and elite, and traditional an... read more
Over the last few decades historians and other scholars have succeeded in identifying diverse patterns of connection linking religious communities across Asia and beyond. Yet despite the fruits of this specialist research, scholars in the subfields of Islamic ... read more
The Whale and His Captors is an important firsthand account of the golden age of American whaling, chronicling both its lore and science as practiced from the inception of the fishery to the mid-1800s. Late in the composition of Moby-Dick, Herman Melville foun... read more
Written in the same accessible style and format as the highly successful The Hikers Guide to O‘ahu, this updated and expanded volume includes the best day hikes and backpacks on the Big Island, Kaua‘i, Maui, and O‘ahu. Each island is represented by thirteen hi... read more

Lee has 1 review





Daniel S.

Daniel S.

Jul, 2021

Lee is great to work with. He makes suggestions concerning layout, such as one column or two-column, footnotes or endnotes, and if you agree resets your document accordingly. He consults you on matters of style where your habits may not match current standards, explaining the issue and allowing you to make the final decision. He completed the project well before the time allowed and posted t...
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