Melaina Balbo

Melaina Balbo - Editor

Editor of Best-selling books (NYT / WSJ / USA Today), Publishing Consultant, Literature Doctorate, fluent in Italian.

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Overview

I turned my love of reading into an editorial career.

From managing editor to proofreader and in every position in between, I've always loved the work of helping authors get their work published in its best form.

Whether the author is a former navy SEAL and an authority on piracy, a sex therapist, a former ambassador, or world class triathlete, a best-selling novelist or a first-time novelist, my job is to make sure the author's voice is heard loud and clear.

It has been a gift to be able to a part of so many interesting projects and I look forward discovering those yet to come.
Services
Languages
English (US)
Non-Fiction
Biographies & Memoirs
Humanities & Social Sciences
Political Science & Current Affairs
Travel
Fiction
Classics
Literary Fiction
Mystery & Crime
Romance

Work experience

Freelance Editor and Writer

Self-employed
December, 2002 – Present (over 18 years)

I tackle a variety of editing projects, from trade fiction and nonfiction to scholarly and academic titles. My writing projects span a broad range of topics including lifestyle topics, wellness, personal profiles, travel, and equine topics. I manage multiple projects simultaneously while consistently delivering high-quality work.

Clients for whom I edit scholarly and trade books include Kirkus Media, Amazon Publishing, Rowman & LIttlefield Publishing Group, VeloPress, Smithsonian Institute Scholarly Press, Crescent Hill Books, ISI Books, Paper Chase Publishing, Cadmus Communications. I have also worked directly with authors to prepare manuscripts for submission to agents and publishers.

My writing has appeared in numerous print and online publications including Skirt, Cake & Whiskey Magazine, Saratoga Today, The Saratoga Special, Equicurean Magazine, Chronicle of the Horse, UnTacked Magazine, Horseplayer Magazine, The Blood-Horse, Breeder's Cup Magazine, and

Other writing experience includes website content, internal reports, and publications, catalogs, grant proposals, expressions of interest, and marketing proposals for clients including Global Emergency Group, Saratoga Marketing Group, and numerous independent marketing consultants as well as reader reports for an independent literary agent.

Stallion News Editor / Staff Writer

Blood-Horse Publications
September, 2012 – November, 2013 (about 1 year)

Edited the Stallion and Breeding News pages for the weekly Blood-Horse magazine. Contributed graded stakes stories to the publication with a focus on breeding of winning horse.

Contributed written profiles and features for the Blood-Horse magazine. Previewed and recapped Thoroughbred races and wrote news articles for. Engaged readers in the sport of Thoroughbred racing through content sharing on social media channels.

Edited the annual Stallion Register, the industry standard publication for horses at stud.

Managing Editor, Production

Potomac Books, Inc.
January, 2010 – April, 2011 (about 1 year)

Managed an editorial staff of seven, including hiring and performance reviews. Evaluated, hired, and supervised freelance and contract editorial staff. Updated and revamped house style guide.

Oversaw departmental project budgets and generated monthly reports. Established and cultivated relationships with vendors, solicited bids, and negotiated vendor terms.

Collaborated with authors on manuscript/project development and other editorial matters. Reviewed and advised graphic designers on cover design, working in concert with acquisitions and marketing departments.

Set and managed production schedules. Directed weekly department meeting. Collaborated with other department heads on interdepartmental matters.

Editor, Acquisitions

Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group
June, 2002 – September, 2004 (over 2 years)

JASON ARONSON imprint:
Integrated the then newly-acquired Jay Aronson imprint into the company workflow. Evaluated manuscript preparation and scheduled them to determine production needs.

Drafted contracts, worked with authors, secured permissions for publication. Solicited peer reviews and edited cover blurbs. Worked closely with production and design departments on book production, publication schedules, and cover designs.

UNIVERSITY PRESS OF AMERICA imprint:
Initiated the re-establishment of the company's co-publishing program, developing collaborations with scholarly, political, and professional societies, organizations, and associations. Aquired titles in the fields of literature, linguistics, and language, and religion and cultural studies.

Represented the press at academic conferences around the country while promoting new titles, hosting book signings and events, and developing new industry contacts.

Manager/Editor, Production

Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group
September, 2000 – June, 2002 (over 1 year)

Managed production from manuscript to bound book for an average of 23 titles simultaneously. Coordinated and approved the review of sample pages for camera-ready book projects.

Edited and/or proofread select manuscripts and proofs. Set style for manuscripts, assigned, reviewed, and approved work of freelance editorial staff.

Set production schedules for projects; set style and interior designs for books; coordinated typesetting of texts and hiring editorial freelancers.

Managed budget for each title and finalized financial documentation related to each project's costs and profits.

Portfolio (18 selected works)

Conquering the Rapids of Life: Making the Most of Midlife Opportunities

Ruth K. Westheimer, Pierre A. Lehu

Written in her characteristically breezy and humorous style, Dr. Ruth expertly explains the unique challanges and opportunities encountered with the onset of middle age, including issues of health, family, and career. Designed for both singles and couples, and employing numerous case studies, Conquering the Rapids of Life candidly offers solid, practical advice to help one cope with the physic... read more

Written in her characteristically breezy and humorous style, Dr. Ruth expertly explains the unique challanges and opportunities encountered with the onset of middle age, including issues of health, family, and career. Designed for both singles and couples, and employing numerous case studies, Conquering the Rapids of Life candidly offers solid, practical advice to help one cope with the physic... read more

In Twenty Years: A Novel

Allison Winn Scotch

Twenty years ago, six Penn students shared a house, naively certain that their friendships would endure—until the death of their ringleader and dear friend Bea splintered the group for good. Now, mostly estranged from one another, the remaining five reluctantly gather at that same house on the eve of what would have been Bea’s fortieth birthday.But along with the return of the friends come old... read more

Twenty years ago, six Penn students shared a house, naively certain that their friendships would endure—until the death of their ringleader and dear friend Bea splintered the group for good. Now, mostly estranged from one another, the remaining five reluctantly gather at that same house on the eve of what would have been Bea’s fortieth birthday.But along with the return of the friends come old... read more

The Statesman: Reflections on a Life Guided by Civility, Strategic Leadership, and the Lessons of History

Ambassador David Abshire

The late Ambassador David Abshire lived a quintessentially American life, one that spanned the Great Depression, World War II and the Cold War. He graduated from West Point, fought in the Korean War, earned a doctorate in history from Georgetown University, and served in government during the Vietnam War. He also co-founded one of the world’s preeminent think tanks in the Center for Strategic ... read more

The late Ambassador David Abshire lived a quintessentially American life, one that spanned the Great Depression, World War II and the Cold War. He graduated from West Point, fought in the Korean War, earned a doctorate in history from Georgetown University, and served in government during the Vietnam War. He also co-founded one of the world’s preeminent think tanks in the Center for Strategic ... read more

1968: The Rise and Fall of the New American Revolution

Robert C. Cottrell, Blaine T. Browne

The year 1968 retains its mythic hold on the imagination in America and around the world. Like the revolutionary years 1789, 1848, 1871, 1917, and 1989, it is recalled most of all as a year when revolution beckoned or threatened. On the 50th anniversary of that tumultuous year, cultural historians Robert Cottrell and Blaine T. Browne provide a well-informed, up-to-date synthesis of the events ... read more

The year 1968 retains its mythic hold on the imagination in America and around the world. Like the revolutionary years 1789, 1848, 1871, 1917, and 1989, it is recalled most of all as a year when revolution beckoned or threatened. On the 50th anniversary of that tumultuous year, cultural historians Robert Cottrell and Blaine T. Browne provide a well-informed, up-to-date synthesis of the events ... read more

A Merciful Secret (Mercy Kilpatrick)

Kendra Elliot

In this Wall Street Journal bestseller, a pair of ritual murders could expose Mercy Kilpatrick to something terrifying: her own past…Raised off the grid by survivalists, Mercy Kilpatrick believed in no greater safeguard than the backwoods of Oregon. Unforgiven by her father for abandoning the fold for the FBI, Mercy still holds to her past convictions. They’re in her blood. They’re her secrets... read more

In this Wall Street Journal bestseller, a pair of ritual murders could expose Mercy Kilpatrick to something terrifying: her own past…Raised off the grid by survivalists, Mercy Kilpatrick believed in no greater safeguard than the backwoods of Oregon. Unforgiven by her father for abandoning the fold for the FBI, Mercy still holds to her past convictions. They’re in her blood. They’re her secrets... read more

The Art of Public Speaking (AmazonClassics Edition)

Dale Carnegie, Joseph Berg Esenwein

Dale Carnegie and Joseph Berg Esenwein’s The Art of Public Speaking will teach you to use your voice and gestures effectively, cultivate and exude real confidence, and convert listeners to your cause. Whether you’re making a toast, debating in town hall, leading a business meeting, or presenting in front of a classroom, this essential guide’s tried-and-true methods will prepare you for the big... read more

Dale Carnegie and Joseph Berg Esenwein’s The Art of Public Speaking will teach you to use your voice and gestures effectively, cultivate and exude real confidence, and convert listeners to your cause. Whether you’re making a toast, debating in town hall, leading a business meeting, or presenting in front of a classroom, this essential guide’s tried-and-true methods will prepare you for the big... read more

Death and Her Devotion (Rogue Vows Book 1)

Kendra Elliot

In the first Rogue Vows novella, Zane and Stevie are about to get an unexpected wedding present…and it’s a deadly one.It should be the happiest weekend of Officer Stevie Taylor’s life. She’s finally going to marry Police Chief Zane Duncan and live happily ever after in Solitude, Oregon. But all wedding plans grind to a halt when a dead body is found at a nearby campground. A vacationing A-list... read more

In the first Rogue Vows novella, Zane and Stevie are about to get an unexpected wedding present…and it’s a deadly one.It should be the happiest weekend of Officer Stevie Taylor’s life. She’s finally going to marry Police Chief Zane Duncan and live happily ever after in Solitude, Oregon. But all wedding plans grind to a halt when a dead body is found at a nearby campground. A vacationing A-list... read more

Burned by Her Devotion (Rogue Vows Book 2)

Melinda Leigh

In the second Rogue Vows novella, the town of Solitude, Oregon, will learn that good TV makes for terrible reality.When Chase Ryan, a popular crime TV star, turns up dead, the entire town of Solitude is shaken—but the show isn’t over yet. The confessed murderer is violently abducted on the way to the county jail, and now Detective Seth Harding must find both the killer and the kidnapper.Seth’s... read more

In the second Rogue Vows novella, the town of Solitude, Oregon, will learn that good TV makes for terrible reality.When Chase Ryan, a popular crime TV star, turns up dead, the entire town of Solitude is shaken—but the show isn’t over yet. The confessed murderer is violently abducted on the way to the county jail, and now Detective Seth Harding must find both the killer and the kidnapper.Seth’s... read more

The Art of Marriage Maintenance

Sylvia R. Karasu

Given the fact that 50% of marriages end in divorce, you would think marriage wouldn't be so popular, but getting married is one of the most popular of all life events. In fact, many new couples are willing to face considerable debt for the wedding ceremony alone! It seems that many people spend more time on planning the wedding than on thinking about marriage and what it entails. The Art of M... read more

Given the fact that 50% of marriages end in divorce, you would think marriage wouldn't be so popular, but getting married is one of the most popular of all life events. In fact, many new couples are willing to face considerable debt for the wedding ceremony alone! It seems that many people spend more time on planning the wedding than on thinking about marriage and what it entails. The Art of M... read more

Essential Supreme Court Decisions: Summaries of Leading Cases in U.S. Constitutional Law

John R. Vile

The only reference guide to Supreme Court cases organized both topically and chronologically within chapters so that readers understand how cases fit into a historical context, the 17th edition has been updated with 20 new cases, including landmark decisions on such topics as campaign finance, Obamacare, gay marriage, the First Amendment, search and seizure, among others. Updated through the e... read more

The only reference guide to Supreme Court cases organized both topically and chronologically within chapters so that readers understand how cases fit into a historical context, the 17th edition has been updated with 20 new cases, including landmark decisions on such topics as campaign finance, Obamacare, gay marriage, the First Amendment, search and seizure, among others. Updated through the e... read more

The Hunt: A Novel (Hunt Country Suspense)

Jan Neuharth

The complex and romanticized lifestyle of elite fox hunters is revealed in this thrilling murder mystery. An attractive and wealthy lawyer and horseman, Doug Cummings personifies the old-money equine subculture of Middleburg, Virginia. Driven to succeed, Cummings’s climb to the top is halted when he becomes the target of a twisted scheme to frame him for the murders of his former lover and hor... read more

The complex and romanticized lifestyle of elite fox hunters is revealed in this thrilling murder mystery. An attractive and wealthy lawyer and horseman, Doug Cummings personifies the old-money equine subculture of Middleburg, Virginia. Driven to succeed, Cummings’s climb to the top is halted when he becomes the target of a twisted scheme to frame him for the murders of his former lover and hor... read more

Virtual Caliphate: Exposing the Islamist State on the Internet

Yaakov Lappin

In 1924, the last caliphate—an Islamic state as envisioned by the Koran—was dismantled in Turkey. With no state in existence that matches the radical Islamic ideal since, al Qaeda, which sees itself as a government in exile, along with its hundreds of affiliate organizations, has failed to achieve its goal of reestablishing the caliphate. It is precisely this failure to create a homeland, jour... read more

In 1924, the last caliphate—an Islamic state as envisioned by the Koran—was dismantled in Turkey. With no state in existence that matches the radical Islamic ideal since, al Qaeda, which sees itself as a government in exile, along with its hundreds of affiliate organizations, has failed to achieve its goal of reestablishing the caliphate. It is precisely this failure to create a homeland, jour... read more

The Salem Witch Trials: A Day-by-Day Chronicle of a Community Under Siege

Marilynne K. Roach

Based on over twenty years of original archival research, this history unfolds a nearly day-by-day narrative of the Salem Witch Trials as the citizens of Salem experienced the outbreak of hysteria.

Based on over twenty years of original archival research, this history unfolds a nearly day-by-day narrative of the Salem Witch Trials as the citizens of Salem experienced the outbreak of hysteria.

Fast-Track Triathlete: Balancing a Big Life with Big Performance in Long-Course Triathlon

Matt Dixon MSc

In Fast-Track Triathlete, elite triathlon coach Matt Dixon offers his plan of attack for high performance in long-course triathlon―without sacrificing work or life. Developed for busy professionals with demanding schedules, the Fast-Track Triathlete program makes your PR possible in Ironman®, Ironman 70.3®, Rev3, and Challenge triathlon in about 10 hours a week. Training for long-course triath... read more

In Fast-Track Triathlete, elite triathlon coach Matt Dixon offers his plan of attack for high performance in long-course triathlon―without sacrificing work or life. Developed for busy professionals with demanding schedules, the Fast-Track Triathlete program makes your PR possible in Ironman®, Ironman 70.3®, Rev3, and Challenge triathlon in about 10 hours a week. Training for long-course triath... read more

Cultural Policy and East Asian Rivalry: The Hong Kong Gaming Industry (Asian Cultural Studies: Transnational and Dialogic Approaches)

Anthony Y. H. Fung

Hong Kong was once an established hub of creativity in Asia recognized internationally for its cinema, Bruce Lee and Kung Fu. Cantopop, its particular form of pop music, was popular throughout China and East Asia from the 1970s. So why is Hong Kong’s creative industry today in a state of stagnation?Cultural Policy and East Asian Rivalry unravels the challenges faced by the creative industries ... read more

Hong Kong was once an established hub of creativity in Asia recognized internationally for its cinema, Bruce Lee and Kung Fu. Cantopop, its particular form of pop music, was popular throughout China and East Asia from the 1970s. So why is Hong Kong’s creative industry today in a state of stagnation?Cultural Policy and East Asian Rivalry unravels the challenges faced by the creative industries ... read more

Pirate Hunting: The Fight Against Pirates, Privateers, and Sea Raiders from Antiquity to the Present

Benerson Little

For thousands of years pirates, privateers, and seafaring raiders have terrorized the ocean voyager and coastal inhabitant, plundering ship and shore with impunity. From the victim’s point of view, these attackers were not the rebellious, romantic rulers of Neptune’s realm, but savage beasts to be eradicated, and those who went to sea to stop them were heroes. Engaging and meticulously detaile... read more

For thousands of years pirates, privateers, and seafaring raiders have terrorized the ocean voyager and coastal inhabitant, plundering ship and shore with impunity. From the victim’s point of view, these attackers were not the rebellious, romantic rulers of Neptune’s realm, but savage beasts to be eradicated, and those who went to sea to stop them were heroes. Engaging and meticulously detaile... read more

Breeding Ground: Afghanistan and the Origins of Islamist Terrorism

Deepak Tripathi

Beginning with the Communist Saur Revolution of 1978 and continuing through Gen. David Petraeus’s 2010 appointment replacing Stanley McChrystal as commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, this book is an inside account of one of the most vicious conflicts fought between the two Cold War superpowers: the Soviet war in Afghanistan (1979–89). Analyzing the behind-the-scenes decisions made in Mosc... read more

Beginning with the Communist Saur Revolution of 1978 and continuing through Gen. David Petraeus’s 2010 appointment replacing Stanley McChrystal as commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, this book is an inside account of one of the most vicious conflicts fought between the two Cold War superpowers: the Soviet war in Afghanistan (1979–89). Analyzing the behind-the-scenes decisions made in Mosc... read more

FAKE: Fake Money, Fake Teachers, Fake Assets: How Lies Are Making the Poor and Middle Class Poorer

Robert T. Kiyosaki

Robert Kiyosaki ― author of the #1 Personal Finance book of all time ― has built a legacy around simplifying complex and often-confusing subjects like money and investing. He continues to challenge conventional wisdom and asks the questions that will help readers sift through today's information overload to uncover ways to assess what's real… and what isn't. And use truth and facts as a founda... read more

Robert Kiyosaki ― author of the #1 Personal Finance book of all time ― has built a legacy around simplifying complex and often-confusing subjects like money and investing. He continues to challenge conventional wisdom and asks the questions that will help readers sift through today's information overload to uncover ways to assess what's real… and what isn't. And use truth and facts as a founda... read more

Melaina has 2 reviews

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

Joe Colicchio
Melaina has been responsive, reliable, professional, and encouraging.

Joe Colicchio, August 2020


Thomas Dimauro
Melaina has been great to work with right from the start. When choosing an editor, its important to have a connection not only to your writing but to your personality as well; it provides the context where your story came from. I am fortunate to have found an editor with Melaina’s writing and editing skills as well as her ability to personally relate to my story. Her developmental edits have...
Read more

Thomas Dimauro, July 2020

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Charles Annis

I'm a bibliophile who has spent over thirty years in the field of book production, including design, copy editing, and manufacturing work.

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Andrea Dobbin

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Melbourne VIC, Australia

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