I am an award-winning editorial professional with over 25 years of experience in the book industry including not only editorial but also sales, marketing, and bookstore management positions. Such deep and wide-ranging experience enhances my ability to assess your book proposal, working title and subtitle, primary sales hook or "elevator pitch," as well as the focus, structure, length, and details of your manuscript from an experienced editorial perspective and a keen focus on improving salability and appealing to account buyers and end consumers.
I have done project edits, copy edits, line edits, or developmental edits on over 200 nonfiction books and have exceptional organization, project management, communication, and writing skills, with an M.A. in Writing (literary nonfiction emphasis) from DePaul University and feature writing and book reviews published in various outlets. My primary areas of interest and expertise are biography/memoir, parenting, education, history, popular science, women's interest, narrative journalism, popular culture, regional (Midwest) interest, and young adult and middle grades nonfiction (no picture books).
I consider myself an author's chief collaborator, champion, and cheerleader who can help you produce the very best version of your work as well as offer insider advice on what it takes to capture a publisher's interest. A lifelong Midwesterner, I strive for respectful, collaborative, and friendly relationships with my authors. You can read a sampling of their generous recommendations below, or visit my LinkedIn page for more testimonials.
"Lisa took on my immensely complicated and dense manuscript and piloted it through the entire editorial process with great skill and integrity. Her compassion for the people involved in the story gave me great confidence in her as a teammate who understood my goals and ideas for the book, and who therefore could help me put out the book I wanted to while helping me understand the realities of today's market." —Thomas Lowenstein, founder of the New Orleans Journalism Project and author of THE TRIALS OF WALTER OGROD: The Shocking Murder, So-Called Confessions, and Notorious Snitch That Sent a Man to Death Row
"Lisa is not only professionally gifted but also extremely genuine. In the years we've worked together, Lisa has been my go-to person for advice on planning, drafting, pitching, writing, and editing my projects, and her input has made the end result better every single time." —Bethanie Hestermann, coauthor of MARINE SCIENCE FOR KIDS and ZOOLOGY FOR KIDS
"Lisa is incredibly knowledgeable, very helpful, and always supportive. Her edits and observations showed amazing insight . . . she found contradictions and duplicate thoughts where we never saw them. She is as good as they get. I wish she could always edit anything I am connected with.” —Louis Grumet, coauthor of THE CURIOUS CASE OF KIRYAS JOEL: The Rise of a Village Theocracy and the Battle to Defend the Separation of Church and State
"Lisa is one of the most responsive and kind editors I've had an opportunity to work with! From every aspect of pitching to acquisitions to production, she is on top of every detail, while making sure the needs of her authors are considered. With such devotion to the craft, the results are exceptional books that encourage readers to learn, research, and grow." —Victoria Selvaggio, literary agent/partner, Storm Literary Agency
Common Good Editorial offers a full suite of editorial services, including
*editorial and publishing consultation
*proposal and manuscript assessment
*structural and line editing
*copyediting and proofreading
I work on nonfiction only and particularly encourage inquiries from socially and environmentally conscious nonprofit organizations, foundations, authors, publishers, agencies, and corporations whose work inspires and fosters positive change and contributes to the common good.
As senior editor at Chicago Review Press I acquired general adult nonfiction including biography, narrative reportage, regional interest, parenting, women’s interest, popular science, as well as children’s and young adult nonfiction. I:
*sought, assessed, and shaped proposals and pitched them to the internal editorial team
*negotiated contracts with authors and agents
*conducted developmental and line edits as appropriate on all manuscripts
*worked closely with other editorial, production, design, marketing, publicity, and sales staff to usher books through all stages of production and ensure a successful launch
*kept in continuous communication with authors, collaborating closely and keeping them informed throughout the editorial and publishing process
*wrote catalog copy, author bios, sales and marketing points, and all jacket or back cover copy
A sampling of acquisitions includes: ALGREN: A Life; BALANCE: A Dizzying Journey Through the Science of Our Most Delicate Sense; HEMINGWAY AT EIGHTEEN: The Pivotal Year That Launched an American Legend; THE RAGGED EDGE: A US Marine's Account of Leading the Iraqi Army Fifth Battalion; SCREEN SCHOOLED: Two Veteran Teachers Expose How Technology Overuse Is Making Our Kids Dumber; WOMEN HEROES OF WORLD WAR II: 26 Stories of Espionage, Sabotage, Resistance, and Rescue; and ZOOLOGY FOR KIDS: Understanding and Working with Animals, with 21 Activities
As developmental editor I conducted all the duties of a project editor (detailed below) in addition to assessing manuscripts and undertaking intensive structural edits, suggesting and enacting manuscript additions, cuts, restructuring, and rewriting; doing close line edits for sense, flow, grammar, and consistency; and annotating manuscripts with queries and comments.
As project editor I shepherded dozens of books through the production process, keeping authors informed every step of the way, from preparing the edited manuscript for copy edit and design to overseeing and assessing the copy editor's work and resolving queries with authors to reviewing typeset pages and ushering them to proofreaders and indexers to preparing final files for the printer and reviewing final page proofs. I also did copy edits and proofreads myself when conditions dictated that those functions be done in-house.
A division of Chicago Review Press, Inc., IPG is a leading independent book distributor representing over 300 publishers around the United States and abroad. As content manager I shaped strategy and directed the company’s online content initiatives, including website content strategy and maintenance, ebook distribution, development of web-based resources for client publishers, and database management. I led a team of copywriters to produce sales and marketing copy for six print catalogs biannually—proofing and editing copy for style, grammar, and effectiveness. In addition, I served as part of the marketing team that advised client publishers on publishing plans for forthcoming titles, including salability to book trade; book-jacket design; and content, pricing, and positioning of titles.
As online editor at McDougal Littell, a leading secondary textbook publisher, I researched, wrote, and produced features, services, promotions, and articles for the company website. Previous positions included marketing and technology development coordinator—in which I managed a wide variety of projects including grant research, contract maintenance, and industry and market research initiatives, and edited the department's biweekly marketing newsletter—and inside sales associate, assisting six outside sales representatives with telephone sales, customer service, and creation of presentation materials, sales aids, and cost proposals.
After working as a bookseller and then assistant manager, I was promoted to store manager. As manager I trained, supervised, and evaluated staff in store operations, bookselling and customer service skills, merchandising, marketing, and loss prevention. I collaborated regularly with authors, publishers, and book distributors to arrange successful book signings, book fairs, and other special events.
A tireless champion of the downtrodden, Nelson Algren, one of the most celebrated writers of the 20th century, lived an outsider’s life himself. He spent a month in prison as a young man for the theft of a typewriter; his involvement in Marxist groups earned him a lengthy FBI dossier; and he spent much of his life palling around with the sorts of drug addicts, prostitutes, and poor laborers wh... read more
“My dear Uncle Charles,” twenty-two-year-old Genevieve de Gaulle wrote on May 6, 1943. “Maybe you have already heard about the different events affecting the family.” The general’s brother Pierre had been taken by the Gestapo; his brother Xavier, Genevieve’s father, had escaped to Switzerland. Genevieve asked her uncle where she could be most useful—France? England? A French territory? When no... read more
Deployed to Iraq in March 2004 after the overthrow of Saddam Hussein, US Marine Michael Zacchea thought he had landed a plum assignment. His team’s mission was to build, train, and lead in combat the first Iraqi Army battalion trained by the US military. Quickly, he realized he was faced with a nearly impossible task. With just two weeks’ training based on outdated and irrelevant materials, no... read more
Some low-frequency sounds—such as noise from storms or truck engines—can make you feel dizzy and nauseated. An index finger’s light touch can stop people from losing balance. You are more prone to trip when you think someone is watching you. A breakthrough in improving balance as we age might just come through the study of the Achilles tendon. A person gets “falling down drunk” due to a tiny s... read more
Over the past decade, educational instruction has become increasingly digitized as districts rush to dole out laptops and iPads to every student. Yet the most important question, “Is this what is best for students?” is glossed over. Veteran teachers Joe Clement and Matt Miles have seen firsthand how damaging technology overuse and misuse has been to our kids. On a mission to educate and empowe... read more
There was never anything calm about Vincent. Her sisters used to say that she had a bee chasing her. Edna St. Vincent Millay (1892–1950), known as Vincent, was an acclaimed American poet who came to embody the modern, liberated woman of the Jazz Age. From the fiery energy of her youth to the excitement and acclaim of her early adulthood in New York and Paris, to the demands of living in the pu... read more
Marie Curie, nicknamed “Manya” by her family, reveled in reading, learning, and exploring nature as a girl growing up in her native Poland. She went on to become one of the world's most famous scientists. Curie’s revolutionary discoveries over several decades created the field of atomic physics, and Curie herself coined the word radioactivity. She was the first woman to win a Nobel Prize and t... read more
Named one of Publishers Weekly’s Best Books of 2014 All-pink aisles in toy stores, popular dolls that resemble pole dancers, ultra sexy Halloween costumes in tween sizes. Many parents are increasingly dismayed at how today’s media, marketers, and manufacturers are sexualizing and stereotyping ever-younger girls but feel powerless to do much about it. Mother of two Melissa Atkins Wardy channele... read more
Award-winning journalist Michele Weldon provides a potent antidote to the harried single mom stereotype in this beguiling memoir of raising three sons alone in the face of cancer, an ambitious career, and the shadow of her ex. Untethered from a seemingly idyllic life with a handsome but abusive attorney husband, Weldon relates the challenges and triumphs of the years that followed her divorce ... read more
The 1968 US men's track and field team featured such legends as Tommie Smith, Bob Beamon, Al Oerter and Dick Fosbury and they won 12 gold medals and set six world records at the Mexico City Games, one of the most dominant performances in Olympic history. Fifty years later, the Black Power protest of Tommie Smith and John Carlos on the victory stand in Mexico City remains one of the most enduri... read more
An engaging book that encourages young nature enthusiasts to explore the world of birds This generously illustrated, full-color book teaches kids that birds can be seen almost anywhere: in city parks and streets, zoos, farms, and backyards. Using “Try This,” “Look For,” and “Listen For” prompts, Birdology promotes independent observation and analysis, writing and drawing skills, and nature lit... read more
An interactive introduction to working with animals Zoology for Kids invites the next generation of zoologists to discover the animal kingdom through clear, entertaining information and anecdotes, lush color photos, hands-on activities, and peer-reviewed research. Young minds are introduced to zoology as a science by discussing animals’ forms, functions, and behaviors as well as the history be... read more
"...[A] fascinating glimpse into how the natural world can bolster children's growth." -- Library Journal Wits Guts Grit is inspired by the many questions acclaimed science writer and mother Jena Pincott explored about the natural forces that shape children's minds and health. What if we identify the microbes that support stress resilience and find ways to expose our kids to them? What if we r... read more
There is a place for all girls and young women—not just the science fair winners and robotics club members—in STEM classes and careers To succeed in science and tech fields today, girls don’t have to change who they are. A girl who combines her natural talents, interests, and dreams with STEM skills has a greater shot at a career she loves and a salary she deserves. The authors present compell... read more
When 14-year-old Florence Kelly and 11-year-old Russell Park left their hometowns for summer vacations in Europe in 1939, they considered themselves awfully lucky. Many of their friends’ families were struggling during the Great Depression and couldn’t afford fancy trips. But the young pair would soon face life-threatening troubles of their own as it became clear German dictator Adolf Hitler w... read more
On July 6, 1944, thousands of fans made their way to Barbour Street in Hartford, Connecticut, to see the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus performance. Not long after the show’s start, a fire broke out and spread rapidly as panicked circus-goers pushed and scrambled to escape. Within 10 minutes the entire big top had burned to the ground, and 167 people never went home. Big Top Burning... read more
The horrific 1988 murder of four-year-old Barbara Jean Horn shocked the citizens of Philadelphia. Plucked from her own front yard, Barbara Jean was found dead less than two and a half hours later in a cardboard TV box dragged to a nearby street curb. After months of investigation with no strong leads, the case went cold. Four years later it was reopened, and Walter Ogrod, a young man with auti... read more
An Italian immigrant who spoke little English and struggled to scrape together a living on her primitive family farm outside Chicago, Sabella Nitti was arrested in 1923 for the murder of her missing husband. Within two months, she was found guilty and became the first woman ever sentenced to hang in Chicago. Journalist Emilie Le Beau Lucchesi leads readers through Sabella’s sensational case, s... read more
Winner of: 2014 Notable Social Studies Trade Books for Young People There was a full moon on the evening of September 22, 1943, when Pearl Witherington, age 29, parachuted into France to aid the French Resistance as a special agent for the British Special Operations Executive (SOE). Out of the 400 agents sent to France during the German occupation, 39 were women. Pearl, whom the SOE called “co... read more
They were called sleuths in skirts, guardian mothers, copettes, and police in petticoats. It would be a long time—well over 150 years—before women in law enforcement were known simply as police officers. Balancing the stories of trailblazers from the past with those of today’s dedicated officers, chiefs, FBI agents, and forensics experts, this collection of riveting biographies traces the evol... read more
An Amelia Bloomer List Recommended Title A VOYA Nonfiction Honor List Selection Noor Inayat Khan was the first female radio operator sent into occupied France and transferred crucial messages. Johtje Vos, a Dutch housewife, hid Jews in her home and repeatedly outsmarted the Gestapo. Law student Hannie Schaft became involved in the most dangerous resistance work--sabotage, weapons transference,... read more
Martin and Bobby follows the lives and experiences of Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert Kennedy, showing how and where their work intersected and how their initially wary relationship evolved from challenging and testing each other to finally “arriving in the same place” as allies fighting poverty and racism. King’s courage showed Kennedy how to act on one’s moral principles, and Kennedy’s gro... read more
In the summer of 1917, Ernest Hemingway was an eighteen-year-old high school graduate unsure of his future. The American entry into the Great War stirred thoughts of joining the army. While many of his friends in Oak Park, Illinois, were heading to college, Hemingway couldn’t make up his mind and eventually chose to begin a career in writing and journalism at the Kansas City Star, one of the g... read more
“The real book about the manned space program would be a book about George Abbey.” —Richard Truly, former astronaut and Administrator of NASA One of the most elusive and controversial figures in NASA’s history, George W. S. Abbey was called “the Dark Lord,” “the Godfather,” and “UNO” (unidentified NASA official) by those within NASA. He was said to be secretive, despotic, a Space Age Machiavel... read more
Born Betsy Bowen into grinding poverty, the woman who reinvented herself as Eliza Jumel was raised in a brothel, indentured as a servant, and confined to a workhouse when her mother was in jail. Seizing opportunities and readjusting facts to achieve the security and status she so desperately craved, she obtained a fortune from her first husband, a French merchant, and nearly lost it to her sec... read more
Recollections from the sixth man to ever walk on the Moon, for young adult readers. On February 5, 1971, Edgar Mitchell jumped off the last rungs of a ladder connecting him to NASA’s Antares spacecraft and landed with two feet on the Moon. Following the disastrous Apollo 13 mission, Mitchell was one of three astronauts to successfully complete the Apollo 14 journey to the Moon, though it wasn’... read more
In 1921, four men ventured into the Arctic for a top-secret expedition: an attempt to claim uninhabited Wrangel Island in northern Siberia for Great Britain. With the men was a young Inuit woman named Ada Blackjack, who had signed on as cook and seamstress to earn money to care for her sick son. Conditions soon turned dire for the team when they were unable to kill enough game to survive. Thre... read more
Known for her beauty and angelic voice, Mercedes Santa Cruz y Montalvo, la Belle Créole, was a Cuban-born star of nineteenth-century Parisian society. She befriended aristocrats and artists alike, including Balzac, Baron de Rothschild, Rossini, and the opera diva La Malibran. A daughter of the creole aristocracy, Mercedes led a tumultuous life, leaving her native Havana as a teenager to join h... read more
When you think of the American Revolution, perhaps you envision the Boston Tea Party, Paul Revere’s infamous ride, or George Washington crossing the Delaware River. But there are many other, lesser-known stories of the war that engulfed women’s lives as it did the lives of their fathers, husbands, and sons. Some women served as spies, nurses, and water carriers; some helped as fundraisers, wri... read more
Crime novelist and former police officer Nigel McCrery provides an account of all the major areas of forensic science from around the world over the past two centuries. The book weaves dramatic narrative and scientific principles together in a way that allows readers to figure out crimes along with the experts. Readers are introduced to such fascinating figures as Dr. Edmond Locard, the “Frenc... read more
Of the 38 Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASPs) confirmed or presumed dead in World War II, only one—Gertrude “Tommy” Tompkins—is still missing. On October 26, 1944, the 32-year-old fighter plane pilot lifted off from Mines Field in Los Angeles. She was never seen again. Seized by the Sun is the story of a remarkable woman who overcame a troubled childhood and the societal constraints of her t... read more
What can parents and other concerned adults do to prevent the next Sandy Hook? Are there red flags that warn us if our children might become victims or perpetrators of bullying, or of sexual assault? How do we know when a child or young adult is at risk for suicide, or just moody? These are certainly questions most parents have wondered about, especially at a time when childhood dangers seem i... read more
The Camper Book will captivate all those who dream of waving good-bye to the rat race from the window of their own moveable home, be it a camper, RV, travel trailer, camper van, or tiny camper. Not just for placid retirees anymore, camper culture has sprung up among simplicity-seeking millennials, retro-loving “glampers,” sports and movie stars, aging hippies, contract workers, “road-schoolers... read more
On July 24, 1915, the SS Eastland, filled to capacity with 2,500 passengers and crew, capsized in the Chicago River while still moored to the pier. Happy picnic-goers headed for an employee outing across Lake Michigan suddenly found themselves in a struggle for their lives. Trapped belowdecks, crushed by the crowds attempting to escape the rising waters, or hurled into the river from the upper... read more
Mother-daughter book clubs are a great way to encourage reading, bonding, and socializing among mothers, daughters, and their friends. But these clubs can do more than that, suggests educational psychologist and parenting coach Lori Day. They can create a safe and empowering haven where girls can freely discuss and navigate issues surrounding girlhood. In Her Next Chapter, Day draws from exper... read more
Off the Beaten Page encourages avid readers, particularly those in book clubs and other groups, to leave the security of their living rooms and seek to experience in person the places they’ve read about. Inspired by years of excursions with her own book club, award-winning journalist Terri Peterson Smith offers lively, expert guidance through fifteen US destinations ideal for anyone eager to m... read more
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. loved the fried catfish and lemon icebox pie at Memphis’s Four Way restaurant. Beloved nonagenarian chef Leah Chase introduced George W. Bush to baked cheese grits and scolded Barack Obama for putting Tabasco sauce on her gumbo at New Orleans’s Dooky Chase’s. When SNCC leader Stokely Carmichael asked Ben’s Chili Bowl owners Ben and Virginia Ali to keep the restaurant... read more
One of just a handful of women reporting on the Vietnam War, Kate Webb was captured by North Vietnamese troops and presumed dead—until she emerged from the jungle waving a piece of white parachute material after 23 days in captivity. Le Ly Hayslip enjoyed a peaceful early childhood in a Vietnamese farming village before war changed her life forever. Brutalized by all sides, she escaped to the ... read more
2015 IPPY Award Silver Medalist in the Parenting Category In moving and refreshingly candid prose, Rescuing Julia Twice tells Traster’s foreign-adoption story, from dealing with the bleak landscape and inscrutable adoption handlers in Siberia, to her feelings of inexperience and ambivalence at being a new mother in her early forties, to her growing realization over months then years that some... read more
A complete biographical look at the complex life of a world-famous entertainer With determination and audacity, Josephine Baker turned her comic and musical abilities into becoming a worldwide icon of the Jazz Age. The Many Faces of Josephine Baker: Dancer, Singer, Activist, Spy provides the first in-depth portrait of this remarkable woman for young adults. Author Peggy Caravantes follows Bake... read more
National Outdoor Book Award Honorable Mention in the Children's category 2017 Outstanding Science Trade Books for Students K-12 (National Science Teachers Association - Children's Book Council) Did you know . . .Trees have many talents—they can feed and house animals, create windbreaks, protect watersheds, and help prevent soil erosion. Researchers believe they have found the oldest tree in th... read more
With expert guidance and abundant resources, this practical and inspirational guide is for women at all stages of life who want to achieve political leadership and be influential voices on public policy. It teaches women how to surmount public barriers, conquer private fears, and run winning campaigns -- with joy, humor, confidence, and no apologies. In her no-nonsense, woman-to-woman style, R... read more
Perfect for preschool through elementary–level educators seeking to enhance classroom lessons or parents and other caregivers looking for fun and creative hands-on activities for children, Make It! Write It! Read It! includes field-tested bookmaking projects that encourage self-expression while building both art and literacy skills. Seventeen easy-to-follow blank book designs—such as Accordion... read more
Ludwig van Beethoven was a great innovator who expanded the limits ofclassical music to write some of the biggest, boldest, most complex and revolutionary compositions of all time. This fascinating man and his works are brought vividly to life and made relevant to today in Beethoven for Kids. Young readers will be intrigued by Beethoven’s hardscrabble childhood and turbulent family life, his e... read more
Swirling, curling brushstrokes. Vivid colors. Thick layers of paint. These are the hallmarks of a painting by Vincent van Gogh, whose work his fellow artist Paul Cézanne once called “that of a madman.” But Van Gogh and the Post-Impressionists for Kids moves beyond the image of the mad pauper to reveal a complex young man who loved nature and reading, spoke four languages, and enjoyed a success... read more
Giuseppe Verdi dominated Italian opera for 50 years, and his operas are performed throughout the world today. Verdi for Kids offers young readers an accessible, behind-the-scenes peek into the exciting world of opera and traces Verdi’s path to fame, delving into the great composer’s childhood, musical training, family tragedies, and professional setbacks and successes. Kids also learn about th... read more
Michelangelo Buonarroti—known simply as Michelangelo—has been called the greatest artist who has ever lived. His impressive masterpieces astonished his contemporaries and remain some of today’s most famous artworks. Young readers will come to know Michelangelo the man as well as the artistic giant, following his life from his childhood in rural Italy to his emergence as a rather egotistical te... read more
She has been called intelligent and scheming, ambitious and ruthless, sensual and indulgent. Cleopatra and Ancient Egypt for Kids captures the excitement of Cleopatra’s story, including portions of her life that have been largely neglected, such as her interest in literature and science and her role as a mother, and leads readers to draw their own conclusions. Included throughout are many aspe... read more
Just in time for the 60th anniversary of the blaze that changed American fire laws, The School’s on Fire! follows the path of the December 1958 fire that killed 92 kids and 3 teachers at Our Lady of the Angels School in Chicago. Recounted in a fast-paced, blow-by-blow and classroom-by-classroom narrative, the tragedy is made accessible to kids by focusing on the survivors’ stories of courage, ... read more
If there is any hope for Afghanistan, veteran journalist Peter Eichstaedt asserts, it is with its people. After spending 2004 in Afghanistan working for the nonprofit Institute for War and Peace Reporting and helping build Afghanistan's first independent news agency, Eichstaedt returned to Kabul in 2010. Exposing himself to grave dangers, Eichstaedt crisscrossed the country to interview an ast... read more
Winner!Best of Political/Current Affairs by the 2015 International Latino Book Awards. America's legendary border with Mexico is now a frontier of fear. Veteran journalist Peter Eichstaedt roams this fabled region from Tucson, Arizona, to El Paso, Texas. He meets with migrants, border security advocates, and communities ravaged by cross-border crime. He rides with the U.S. border patrol. He fi... read more
At some point most parents wonder whether their child’s behavior is “normal.” He won’t focus on his homework—could he have ADHD? She seems sad a lot—is she depressed? She’s falling behind at school—could she have a learning disability? Such anxieties can plague parents, who are often hesitant to seek help for fear of stigmatizing their child or are unsure where to turn. Will My Kid Grow Out of... read more
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Memoir, self help, history and nature: developmental editor and copyeditor, writing teacher, ex-bookseller and former literary agent's PA.
PhD with 10+years as editor and proofreader for nonfiction and plays. Author of two successful books and four plays.