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Lisa Kaufman

Lisa Kaufman - Editor

New York, NY, United States

Editor & book consultant with 30 years' experience working for major adult trade publishers. Narrative nonfiction is my forte.

Overview

Drawing on thirty years’ experience as a book editor and marketing executive for major trade book publishers in New York, and a decade-plus teaching creative writing, I help writers shape ideas and words for maximum impact.

I provide editorial services ranging from conceptual and structural editing to swift, straightforward line editing and manuscript polishing. I also work with writers at earlier stages of book development to help develop proposals, elicit and shape material, and coach progress.

My approach to editing and content development is informed by my expertise in book marketing. Publishers, agents, and individual authors appreciate my awareness not only of what it takes to turn a good idea into a good book, but what it takes to distinguish a book in a competitive marketplace.

Services
Non-Fiction
Biographies & Memoirs Health & wellbeing History Parenting & Families Politics & Current Affairs Psychology Self-help & Self-improvement Sex & Relationships Social & Behavioral Sciences True Crime

Work experience

Freelance Editor and Marketing Consultant

Self-Employed

December, 2014 – Present (about 2 years)

I provide a full range of editorial and marketing services to book publishers, literary agents, and individual authors, including proposal development, conceptual and line editing, book doctoring, ghost writing, marketing plan development and execution, and copywriting.

Clients include book publishers PublicAffairs, Portfolio/Current, DaCapo Lifelong and Running Press; authors developing books for Cambridge University Press and Nation Books; as well as PR firm RFBinder, the Open Society Institute, the Center for the Study of Affect Regulation, and individual agents and authors.

V.P. Marketing Director & Senior Editor

PublicAffairs

September, 1997 – November, 2014 (about 17 years)

I helped to found and provided creative direction for this 'small but noisy' independent nonfiction trade book publishing company for 17 years, while also acquiring and editing books. Books I've acquired and/or edited have been New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, and regional bestsellers; and winners of and finalists for the Overseas Press Club, Helen Bernstein, Ralph Gleason, Action Against Hunger, Harry Chapin, and Books for a Better Life awards; among others. Authors with whom I worked to craft compelling books for general readers include investigative journalists, historians, psychologists, doctors, professors, and public figures; among them were actor Jane Alexander, actor/comedian Richard Lewis, musician Joe Jackson, former White House presidential spokesman Scott McClellan, journalists Letty Cottin Pogrebin and Lynn Povich, and global public health pioneer Paul Farmer. I also developed and executed brand and title marketing campaigns for more than fifty books each year, which involved writing both internal and consumer-directed selling materials. I know what publishers look for in acquiring books, what they need to sell them to colleagues and consumers, and how to help authors develop book proposals and manuscripts that deliver.

Senior Editor

Carol Publishing Group

November, 1996 – June, 1997 (7 months)

Acquiring editor for a now-defunct, pop-culture-oriented publisher. Specialized in self-help, spirituality, quiz books and travel guides.

Senior Manager, Advertising & Promotion

Viking Penguin

July, 1992 – August, 1995 (about 3 years)

Managed copywriting for and production of all annual catalogs, consumer ads, and promotional materials for Viking and Penguin imprints, and cover copywriting for all Penguin paperbacks. Wrote Penguin Classics reading group guides cited by booksellers as the best available from any publisher (Publishers Weekly).

Editor

Viking Penguin

September, 1988 – April, 1990 (over 1 year)

Acquired and edited books in diverse genres for both hardcover and paperback imprints, with particular responsibility for mysteries. Some of my favorites: Feature Filmmaking at Used Car Prices (in print for 20+ years in two editions) by indie filmmaker Rick Schmidt and Rock Critic Murders by Austin-based rock guitarist Jesse Sublett.

Associate Editor

Viking Penguin

May, 1986 – September, 1988 (over 2 years)

Editorial Assistant to the Associate Publisher

Random House

December, 1984 – May, 1986 (over 1 year)

Worked on books including ABC news anchor Sam Donaldson's "Hold on, Mr. President!" Alan Dershowitz's "Reversal of Fortune: Inside the von Bulow Case," and "Torture in Brazil", a shocking report by the Archdiocese of Sao Paulo.

Project Assistant to James A. Michener

University of Texas

November, 1982 – December, 1984 (about 2 years)

Assisted the internationally bestselling author during the writing of his novel Texas.

Portfolio (15 selected works)

What Happened: Inside the Bush White House and Washington's Culture of Deception

Scott McClellan

In the bestselling book that provoked a media sensation, former White House press secretary Scott McClellan takes readers behind the scenes of the presidency of George W. Bush. Scott McClellan was one of a few Bush loyalists from Texas who became part of his inner circle of trusted advisers, and remained so during one of the most challenging and contentious periods of recent history. Drawn to ... read more

In the bestselling book that provoked a media sensation, former White House press secretary Scott McClellan takes readers behind the scenes of the presidency of George W. Bush. Scott McClellan was one of a few Bush loyalists from Texas who became part of his inner circle of trusted advisers, and remained so during one of the most challenging and contentious periods of recent history. Drawn to ... read more

The First 1,000 Days: A Crucial Time for Mothers and Children—And the World

Roger Thurow

Based on compelling new scientific and social science research on early childhood malnutrition, a new generation of activists have been inspired to re–think old approaches to ‘feeding the world.’ The new target in the assault on malnutrition: the first 1,000 days of a child’s life, starting from gestation. Proper nutrition during the 1,000 days can profoundly influence an entire life, particul... read more

Based on compelling new scientific and social science research on early childhood malnutrition, a new generation of activists have been inspired to re–think old approaches to ‘feeding the world.’ The new target in the assault on malnutrition: the first 1,000 days of a child’s life, starting from gestation. Proper nutrition during the 1,000 days can profoundly influence an entire life, particul... read more

How to Be a Friend to a Friend Who's Sick

Letty Cottin Pogrebin

Everyone knows someone who’s sick or suffering. Yet when a friend or relative is under duress many of us feel uncertain about how to cope.Throughout her recent bout with breast cancer, Letty Cottin Pogrebin became fascinated by her friends’ and family’s diverse reactions to her and her illness: how awkwardly some of them behaved; how some misspoke or misinterpreted her needs; and how wonderful... read more

Everyone knows someone who’s sick or suffering. Yet when a friend or relative is under duress many of us feel uncertain about how to cope.Throughout her recent bout with breast cancer, Letty Cottin Pogrebin became fascinated by her friends’ and family’s diverse reactions to her and her illness: how awkwardly some of them behaved; how some misspoke or misinterpreted her needs; and how wonderful... read more

Detroit Hustle: A Memoir of Life, Love, and Home

Amy Haimerl

Journalist Amy Haimerl and her husband had been priced out of their Brooklyn neighborhood. Seeing this as a great opportunity to start over again, they decide to cash in their savings and buy an abandoned house for $35,000 in Detroit, the largest city in the United States to declare bankruptcy.As she and her husband restore the 1914 Georgian Revival, a stately brick house with no plumbing, no ... read more

Journalist Amy Haimerl and her husband had been priced out of their Brooklyn neighborhood. Seeing this as a great opportunity to start over again, they decide to cash in their savings and buy an abandoned house for $35,000 in Detroit, the largest city in the United States to declare bankruptcy.As she and her husband restore the 1914 Georgian Revival, a stately brick house with no plumbing, no ... read more

The Biology of Desire: Why Addiction Is Not a Disease

Marc Lewis

The psychiatric establishment in the Western world has unanimously branded addiction a brain disease. And the idea that an addict has an incurable illness, as opposed to a contemptible moral weakness, has served an historically important role in changing how addiction is understood, researched, and treated throughout the world. But as renowned developmental neuroscientist and recovered addict ... read more

The psychiatric establishment in the Western world has unanimously branded addiction a brain disease. And the idea that an addict has an incurable illness, as opposed to a contemptible moral weakness, has served an historically important role in changing how addiction is understood, researched, and treated throughout the world. But as renowned developmental neuroscientist and recovered addict ... read more

Your Healthy Pregnancy with Thyroid Disease: A Guide to Fertility, Pregnancy, and Postpartum Wellness

Dana Trentini, Mary Shomon

At minimum, 27 million Americans have thyroid disease. Despite being the majority of thyroid sufferers, women rarely know that thyroid problems increase their risk of pregnancy complications, including infertility, preeclampsia, miscarriage, premature delivery, and low birth weight. This awareness gap affects patients and doctors, who know little about the ramifications of an undiagnosed or un... read more

At minimum, 27 million Americans have thyroid disease. Despite being the majority of thyroid sufferers, women rarely know that thyroid problems increase their risk of pregnancy complications, including infertility, preeclampsia, miscarriage, premature delivery, and low birth weight. This awareness gap affects patients and doctors, who know little about the ramifications of an undiagnosed or un... read more

Smaller Faster Lighter Denser Cheaper: How Innovation Keeps Proving the Catastrophists Wrong

Robert Bryce

In the face of today’s environmental and economic challenges, doomsayers preach that the only way to stave off disaster is for humans to reverse course: to de-industrialize, re-localize, ban the use of modern energy sources, and forswear prosperity. But in this provocative and optimistic rebuke to the catastrophists, Robert Bryce shows how innovation and the inexorable human desire to make thi... read more

In the face of today’s environmental and economic challenges, doomsayers preach that the only way to stave off disaster is for humans to reverse course: to de-industrialize, re-localize, ban the use of modern energy sources, and forswear prosperity. But in this provocative and optimistic rebuke to the catastrophists, Robert Bryce shows how innovation and the inexorable human desire to make thi... read more

The Good Girls Revolt: How the Women of Newsweek Sued their Bosses and Changed the Workplace

Lynn Povich

It was the 1960s––a time of economic boom and social strife. Young women poured into the workplace, but the “Help Wanted” ads were segregated by gender and the “Mad Men” office culture was rife with sexual stereotyping and discrimination.Lynn Povich was one of the lucky ones, landing a job at Newsweek, renowned for its cutting-edge coverage of civil rights and the “Swinging Sixties.” Nora Ephr... read more

It was the 1960s––a time of economic boom and social strife. Young women poured into the workplace, but the “Help Wanted” ads were segregated by gender and the “Mad Men” office culture was rife with sexual stereotyping and discrimination.Lynn Povich was one of the lucky ones, landing a job at Newsweek, renowned for its cutting-edge coverage of civil rights and the “Swinging Sixties.” Nora Ephr... read more

I'm Dying Up Here: Heartbreak and High Times in Stand-Up Comedy's Golden Era

William Knoedelseder

In the mid-1970s, Jay Leno, David Letterman, Andy Kaufman, Richard Lewis, Robin Williams, Elayne Boosler, Tom Dreesen, and several hundred other shameless showoffs and incorrigible cutups from all across the country migrated en masse to Los Angeles, the new home of Johnny Carson’s Tonight Show. There, in a late-night world of sex, drugs, dreams and laughter, they created an artistic community ... read more

In the mid-1970s, Jay Leno, David Letterman, Andy Kaufman, Richard Lewis, Robin Williams, Elayne Boosler, Tom Dreesen, and several hundred other shameless showoffs and incorrigible cutups from all across the country migrated en masse to Los Angeles, the new home of Johnny Carson’s Tonight Show. There, in a late-night world of sex, drugs, dreams and laughter, they created an artistic community ... read more

Car Crazy: The Battle for Supremacy between Ford and Olds and the Dawn of the Automobile Age

G. Wayne Miller

In Car Wars, G. Wayne Miller, author of Toy Wars: The Epic Struggle Between G.I. Joe, Barbie, and the Companies That Make Them and Men and Speed: A Wild Ride through NASCAR’s Breakout Season, takes readers back to the wild and wooly years of the early automobile era—from 1893, when the first U.S.-built auto was introduced, through 1908, when General Motors was founded and Ford’s Model T went o... read more

In Car Wars, G. Wayne Miller, author of Toy Wars: The Epic Struggle Between G.I. Joe, Barbie, and the Companies That Make Them and Men and Speed: A Wild Ride through NASCAR’s Breakout Season, takes readers back to the wild and wooly years of the early automobile era—from 1893, when the first U.S.-built auto was introduced, through 1908, when General Motors was founded and Ford’s Model T went o... read more

Haiti After the Earthquake

Paul Farmer

“Paul Farmer, doctor and aid worker, offers an inspiring insider’s view of the relief effort.”—Financial Times “The book’s greatest strength lies in its depiction of the post-quake chaos In the book’s more analytical sections the author’s diagnosis of the difficulties of reconstruction is sharp.” —Economist “A gripping, profoundly moving book, an urgent dispatch from the front by one of our fi... read more

“Paul Farmer, doctor and aid worker, offers an inspiring insider’s view of the relief effort.”—Financial Times “The book’s greatest strength lies in its depiction of the post-quake chaos In the book’s more analytical sections the author’s diagnosis of the difficulties of reconstruction is sharp.” —Economist “A gripping, profoundly moving book, an urgent dispatch from the front by one of our fi... read more

The Summer of Beer and Whiskey: How Brewers, Barkeeps, Rowdies, Immigrants, and a Wild Pennant Fight Made Baseball America's Game

Edward Achorn

Chris von der Ahe knew next to nothing about base¬ball when he risked his life’s savings to found the franchise that would become the St. Louis Cardinals. Yet the German-born beer garden proprietor would become one of the most important—and funniest—figures in the game’s history.Von der Ahe picked up the team for one reason—to sell more beer. Then he helped gather a group of ragtag professiona... read more

Chris von der Ahe knew next to nothing about base¬ball when he risked his life’s savings to found the franchise that would become the St. Louis Cardinals. Yet the German-born beer garden proprietor would become one of the most important—and funniest—figures in the game’s history.Von der Ahe picked up the team for one reason—to sell more beer. Then he helped gather a group of ragtag professiona... read more

Destiny Disrupted: A History of the World Through Islamic Eyes

Tamim Ansary

We in the west share a common narrative of world history. But our story largely omits a whole civilization whose citizens shared an entirely different narrative for a thousand years.In Destiny Disrupted, Tamim Ansary tells the rich story of world history as the Islamic world saw it, from the time of Mohammed to the fall of the Ottoman Empire and beyond. He clarifies why our civilizations grew ... read more

We in the west share a common narrative of world history. But our story largely omits a whole civilization whose citizens shared an entirely different narrative for a thousand years.In Destiny Disrupted, Tamim Ansary tells the rich story of world history as the Islamic world saw it, from the time of Mohammed to the fall of the Ottoman Empire and beyond. He clarifies why our civilizations grew ... read more

The Intuitive Parent: Why the Best Thing for Your Child is You

Stephen Camarata

You already have everything you need to raise a healthy, happy, intelligent childParenting today is practically a competitive sport, and marketers are all too happy to cash in. Scare tactics and scientific-sounding jargon make it seem like parents are in constant danger of hard-wiring their children’s brains for failure.In fact, this state of parental anxiety is totally unnecessary—and possibl... read more

You already have everything you need to raise a healthy, happy, intelligent childParenting today is practically a competitive sport, and marketers are all too happy to cash in. Scare tactics and scientific-sounding jargon make it seem like parents are in constant danger of hard-wiring their children’s brains for failure.In fact, this state of parental anxiety is totally unnecessary—and possibl... read more

Me, Myself, and Us: The Science of Personality and the Art of Well-Being

Brian R Little

In the past few decades, personality psychology has made considerable progress in raising new questions about human nature—and providing some provocative answers. New scientific research has transformed old ideas about personality based on the theories of Freud, Jung, and the humanistic psychologies of the nineteen sixties, which gave rise to the simplistic categorizations of the Meyer-Briggs ... read more

In the past few decades, personality psychology has made considerable progress in raising new questions about human nature—and providing some provocative answers. New scientific research has transformed old ideas about personality based on the theories of Freud, Jung, and the humanistic psychologies of the nineteen sixties, which gave rise to the simplistic categorizations of the Meyer-Briggs ... read more

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