Melanie Madden

Melanie Madden - Editor Tick

Jersey City, NJ, USA

Hello :) I'm a book editor with more than 10 years' experience in the NYC publishing industry (Quarto, Sterling). See my portfolio >

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Overview

Welcome!

I'm on a mission to make incredible ideas and artistry as widespread and impactful as possible. The Internet has given many worthy ideas a platform, but it has also become fragmented and overrun with chaff. As an "editorial midwife" with more than a decade of experience in the NYC book publishing industry, it has become my life purpose to help separate the wheat, so to speak, and make it thrive across all platforms: great ideas and artistry connecting people everywhere. OK, "you may say I'm a dreamer". . . but where would our world be without dreams?

After some early publishing excursions in London and Seattle, in 2007 I landed in New York City and never looked back. I've worked for some magazines and a boutique science fiction publisher, but illustrated books are where my heart is. Working in the acquisitions departments at Sterling Publishing and The Quarto Group, I've had the privilege of working with a variety of foremost thinkers and trend-setters, including polymath Clifford Pickover, planetary scientist Jim Bell, designer Jonathan Adler, restaurant industry survivor Darron Cardosa (aka "The Bitchy Waiter"), former High Times publisher Mike Edison, longtime NYTimes environmental journalist Andrew Revkin, data scientist Talithia Williams, lifetime geek/home cook Cassandra Reeder (aka "The Geeky Chef"), and YouTube fantasy hairstylist Shannon Burns (aka "Silvousplaits"). I was also honored to receive a very eloquent foreword from billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates for a book on Thomas Edison.

My primary areas of expertise are nonfiction categories including science, math, memoir, humor, health, psychology, and lifestyle, but I'm comfortable handling a much wider range of categories. A complete development edit begins at $500 (10K words) and includes structural editing, visual/textual content suggestions, as well as a detailed line edit and spot fact-check. Looking for more general/less detailed feedback on your manuscript? I can provide a complete structural evaluation with visual/textual content suggestions (no line edit) for $500 (up to 50K words). Of course, feel free to reach out with a custom request, and I will do my best to accommodate you.

Free of additional charge: My services begin at $500, but all writers who choose to work with me get a few complimentary extras. These include (1) practical advice on maximizing your chances of a book deal from an NYC publishing insider, (2) information on the publishing process at many major book publishers in our current economic climate, and (3) potential referrals to industry contacts, including agents and editors.

Happy writing! <3

Sincerely,
Melanie

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“Melanie’s superb editing of the manuscript in all its stages turned a rough draft into a complete book. She possessed the right vision of how to organize the complex material into parts, chapters, and sidebars, making the stories come alive and their heroes shine. Melanie wisely made me see what needed further explanation or expansion and what could well be omitted, and I am deeply indebted to her for her great insight and talent.”

--Amir Aczel, author of the international bestseller "Fermat's Last Theorem"
Languages
English (US)
Non-Fiction
Biographies & Memoirs
Earth & Space & Environmental Sciences
Education & Reference
Health & wellbeing
History
Home & Garden
Life Sciences
Psychology

Work experience

Acquiring & Development Editor

The Quarto Group
November, 2016 – August, 2018 (over 1 year)

*Acquired and developed books on the subjects of math, science, pop culture, art technique, beauty, and self-help
*Managed and edited books on the subjects of cooking, art technique, math, science, pop culture, and beauty
*Prepared contracts, detailed book proposals, Profit & Loss estimates, book maps, cover copy, and marketing copy

Associate Editor

Sterling Publishing
February, 2008 – November, 2016 (over 8 years)

*Directed the schedules and development of 5-10 books per year, including the Sterling Milestones series of illustrated books
*Acquired books in the categories of science, mathematics, psychology, health, humor, and history
*Line-edited nonfiction books in the categories of science, mathematics, psychology, history, business, humor, and health
*Prepared contract drafts, term sheets, Profit & Loss estimates, and manuscript transmittals, which involved the creation of book maps, fact sheets, art logs, and design briefs
*Proofread layouts, jacket copy, and catalog copy

Portfolio (20 selected works)

The Physics Book: From the Big Bang to Quantum Resurrection, 250 Milestones in the History of Physics (Sterling Milestones)

Clifford A. Pickover

Following the hugely successful The Science Book and The Math Book comes a richly illustrated chronology of physics, containing 250 short, entertaining, and thought-provoking entries. In addition to exploring such engaging topics as dark energy, parallel universes, the Doppler effect, the God particle, and Maxwell's demon, the book's timeline extends back billions of years to the hypothetical ... read more

Following the hugely successful The Science Book and The Math Book comes a richly illustrated chronology of physics, containing 250 short, entertaining, and thought-provoking entries. In addition to exploring such engaging topics as dark energy, parallel universes, the Doppler effect, the God particle, and Maxwell's demon, the book's timeline extends back billions of years to the hypothetical ... read more

The Space Book: From the Beginning to the End of Time, 250 Milestones in the History of Space & Astronomy (Sterling Milestones)

Jim Bell

We live in a truly golden age of astronomy and space exploration that may allow us to unravel some of the biggest mysteries of all: How did the Universe begin? Are there other Earth-like planets out there? Are we alone? The Space Book is a gateway into these kinds of questions—and more—for anyone interested in the worlds beyond our planet. Expanding the series that began with the highly succes... read more

We live in a truly golden age of astronomy and space exploration that may allow us to unravel some of the biggest mysteries of all: How did the Universe begin? Are there other Earth-like planets out there? Are we alone? The Space Book is a gateway into these kinds of questions—and more—for anyone interested in the worlds beyond our planet. Expanding the series that began with the highly succes... read more

The Psychology Book: From Shamanism to Cutting-Edge Neuroscience, 250 Milestones in the History of Psychology (Sterling Milestones)

Wade E. Pickren

What could be more fascinating than the workings of the human mind? This stunningly illustrated survey in Sterling's Milestones series chronicles the history of psychology through 250 landmark events, theories, publications, experiments, and discoveries. Beginning with ancient philosophies of well-being, it touches on such controversial topics as phrenology, sexual taboos, electroshock therapy... read more

What could be more fascinating than the workings of the human mind? This stunningly illustrated survey in Sterling's Milestones series chronicles the history of psychology through 250 landmark events, theories, publications, experiments, and discoveries. Beginning with ancient philosophies of well-being, it touches on such controversial topics as phrenology, sexual taboos, electroshock therapy... read more

The Biology Book: From the Origin of Life to Epigenetics, 250 Milestones in the History of Biology (Sterling Milestones)

Michael C. Gerald, Gloria E. Gerald

From the emergence of life, to Leewenhoek's microscopic world, to GMO crops, The Biology Book presents 250 landmarks in the most widely studied scientific field. Brief, engaging, and colorfully illustrated synopses introduce readers to every major subdiscipline, including cell theory, genetics, evolution, physiology, thermodynamics, molecular biology, and ecology. With information on such vari... read more

From the emergence of life, to Leewenhoek's microscopic world, to GMO crops, The Biology Book presents 250 landmarks in the most widely studied scientific field. Brief, engaging, and colorfully illustrated synopses introduce readers to every major subdiscipline, including cell theory, genetics, evolution, physiology, thermodynamics, molecular biology, and ecology. With information on such vari... read more

The Medical Book: From Witch Doctors to Robot Surgeons, 250 Milestones in the History of Medicine (Sterling Milestones)

Clifford A. Pickover

Following his hugely successful The Math Book and The Physics Book, Clifford Pickover now chronicles the advancement of medicine in 250 entertaining, illustrated landmark events. Touching on such diverse subspecialties as genetics, pharmacology, neurology, sexology, and immunology, Pickover intersperses “obvious” historical milestones--the Hippocratic Oath, general anesthesia, the Human Genome... read more

Following his hugely successful The Math Book and The Physics Book, Clifford Pickover now chronicles the advancement of medicine in 250 entertaining, illustrated landmark events. Touching on such diverse subspecialties as genetics, pharmacology, neurology, sexology, and immunology, Pickover intersperses “obvious” historical milestones--the Hippocratic Oath, general anesthesia, the Human Genome... read more

The Bitchy Waiter: Tales, Tips & Trials from a Life in Food Service

Darron Cardosa

Millions of people have, at some point in their lives, waited tables. Some only did it in college, or got out by sheer determination, good luck . . . or suicide. Others took it on as permanent employment. And many remain haunted by nightmare scenarios where they are the sole server in a restaurant packed with complaining patrons. For all those disenchanted current and former food service emplo... read more

Millions of people have, at some point in their lives, waited tables. Some only did it in college, or got out by sheer determination, good luck . . . or suicide. Others took it on as permanent employment. And many remain haunted by nightmare scenarios where they are the sole server in a restaurant packed with complaining patrons. For all those disenchanted current and former food service emplo... read more

You Are a Complete Disappointment: A Triumphant Memoir of Failed Expectations

Mike Edison

“You are a complete disappointment.” On his deathbed, Mike Edison’s father gasped those words to his son—and that was just the beginning of his devastating salvo. For anyone who has ever suffered from parental bullying, this often-hilarious yet intensely heartbreaking memoir from the former High Times publisher will provide both solace and laughter. It begins with a child’s hunger for love and... read more

“You are a complete disappointment.” On his deathbed, Mike Edison’s father gasped those words to his son—and that was just the beginning of his devastating salvo. For anyone who has ever suffered from parental bullying, this often-hilarious yet intensely heartbreaking memoir from the former High Times publisher will provide both solace and laughter. It begins with a child’s hunger for love and... read more

Edison and the Rise of Innovation

Leonard DeGraaf

Edison presents, in intimate detail, the man who helped engineer the modern world. One of history's most prolific inventors, and perhaps America's first celebrity, Thomas Alva Edison did more than bring incandescent light into every household and industry; he created a world-renowned brand, raised capital to support research and business, and pursued patents for his 1,000+ inventions. Leonard ... read more

Edison presents, in intimate detail, the man who helped engineer the modern world. One of history's most prolific inventors, and perhaps America's first celebrity, Thomas Alva Edison did more than bring incandescent light into every household and industry; he created a world-renowned brand, raised capital to support research and business, and pursued patents for his 1,000+ inventions. Leonard ... read more

Jonathan Adler 100 Ways to Happy Chic Your Life

Jonathan Adler

Live happily, live stylishly! Celebrity designer Jonathan Adler's newest book is a vibrant, hilarious mash-up of style bible, decorating tome, and self-help guide. In gorgeous, full-color spreads, 100 bold ideas for Happy Chic dwelling, decorating, and entertaining are revealed. As a bonus, five project gatefolds invite readers to create their own Happy Chic handicrafts, including a macramé ow... read more

Live happily, live stylishly! Celebrity designer Jonathan Adler's newest book is a vibrant, hilarious mash-up of style bible, decorating tome, and self-help guide. In gorgeous, full-color spreads, 100 bold ideas for Happy Chic dwelling, decorating, and entertaining are revealed. As a bonus, five project gatefolds invite readers to create their own Happy Chic handicrafts, including a macramé ow... read more

Death and the Afterlife: A Chronological Journey, from Cremation to Quantum Resurrection (Sterling Chronologies)

Clifford A. Pickover

Throughout history, the nature and mystery of death has captivated artists, scientists, philosophers, physicians, and theologians. This eerie chronology ventures right to the borderlines of science and sheds light into the darkness. Here, topics as wide ranging as the Maya death gods, golems, and séances sit side by side with entries on zombies and quantum immortality. With the turn of every p... read more

Throughout history, the nature and mystery of death has captivated artists, scientists, philosophers, physicians, and theologians. This eerie chronology ventures right to the borderlines of science and sheds light into the darkness. Here, topics as wide ranging as the Maya death gods, golems, and séances sit side by side with entries on zombies and quantum immortality. With the turn of every p... read more

Catherine the Great, CEO: 7 Principles to Guide & Inspire Modern Leaders

Alan Axelrod

In this sixth volume of Alan Axelrod's popular CEO series, he dispenses the wisdom of a female monarch for the first time since his Businessweek bestseller Elizabeth I, CEO. Catherine the Great traveled from Germany to Russia at only 14 years of age, and rose to become one of the most remarkable, powerful, and captivating rulers in history. Axelrod profiles this strong and beloved leader, exam... read more

In this sixth volume of Alan Axelrod's popular CEO series, he dispenses the wisdom of a female monarch for the first time since his Businessweek bestseller Elizabeth I, CEO. Catherine the Great traveled from Germany to Russia at only 14 years of age, and rose to become one of the most remarkable, powerful, and captivating rulers in history. Axelrod profiles this strong and beloved leader, exam... read more

Power in Numbers: The Rebel Women of Mathematics

Talithia Williams

Prepare to be inspired. Power in Numbers: The Rebel Women of Mathematics is a full-color volume that takes aim at the forgotten influence of women on the development of mathematics over the last two millennia. You'll see each eminent mathematician come to life on each page, women like the astronomer-philosopher Hypatia, theoretical physicist Emmy Noether, and rocket scientist Annie Easley. Pow... read more

Prepare to be inspired. Power in Numbers: The Rebel Women of Mathematics is a full-color volume that takes aim at the forgotten influence of women on the development of mathematics over the last two millennia. You'll see each eminent mathematician come to life on each page, women like the astronomer-philosopher Hypatia, theoretical physicist Emmy Noether, and rocket scientist Annie Easley. Pow... read more

The Golden Ratio: The Divine Beauty of Mathematics

Gary B. Meisner

The Golden Ratio examines the presence of this divine number in art and architecture throughout history, as well as its ubiquity among plants, animals, and even the cosmos. This gorgeous book—with layflat dimensions that closely approximate the golden ratio—features clear, enlightening, and entertaining commentary alongside stunning full-color illustrations by Venezuelan artist and architect R... read more

The Golden Ratio examines the presence of this divine number in art and architecture throughout history, as well as its ubiquity among plants, animals, and even the cosmos. This gorgeous book—with layflat dimensions that closely approximate the golden ratio—features clear, enlightening, and entertaining commentary alongside stunning full-color illustrations by Venezuelan artist and architect R... read more

Organize Your Way: Simple Strategies for Every Personality

Katie McMenamin, Kelly McMenamin

Stressing over the mess? Discover YOUR personal organizing style—and stay organized forever! Organization isn’t one-size-fits-all. Different people need different solutions. Fortunately, Katie and Kelly McMenamin—the organizing gurus behind PixiesDidIt!®—have found the key to making organization stick, with strategies that work for every personality. Whether you’re OCD or a little less fastidi... read more

Stressing over the mess? Discover YOUR personal organizing style—and stay organized forever! Organization isn’t one-size-fits-all. Different people need different solutions. Fortunately, Katie and Kelly McMenamin—the organizing gurus behind PixiesDidIt!®—have found the key to making organization stick, with strategies that work for every personality. Whether you’re OCD or a little less fastidi... read more

Your Personal Prescription Checklist: How to Maximize Medication Safety and Efficacy in the Age of Personalized Medicine

Richard W Snyder, Koroush Khalighi

For anyone on more than one medication or supplement, this is an essential tool. Although most medical professionals won’t openly admit it, taking prescription medication is like playing Russian roulette. With expertise from two highly regarded physicians and decades of pharmacokinetic research, Your Personal Prescription Checklist will help you manage an ever-increasing list of prescriptions,... read more

For anyone on more than one medication or supplement, this is an essential tool. Although most medical professionals won’t openly admit it, taking prescription medication is like playing Russian roulette. With expertise from two highly regarded physicians and decades of pharmacokinetic research, Your Personal Prescription Checklist will help you manage an ever-increasing list of prescriptions,... read more

Weird Hollywood: Your Travel Guide to Hollywood's Local Legends and Best Kept Secrets

Joe Oesterle

Known as the “Movie Capital of the World,” Hollywood is chock-full of offbeat characters, peculiar activities, and strange sightings. With California resident and humorist Joe Oesterle as your guide, meander through bizarre back alleys and darkened theaters, observe the kitschy Singing Chairs of Santa Monica (a pair of 15-foot-tall harmonizing thrones), and take a walk down the haunted Bouleva... read more

Known as the “Movie Capital of the World,” Hollywood is chock-full of offbeat characters, peculiar activities, and strange sightings. With California resident and humorist Joe Oesterle as your guide, meander through bizarre back alleys and darkened theaters, observe the kitschy Singing Chairs of Santa Monica (a pair of 15-foot-tall harmonizing thrones), and take a walk down the haunted Bouleva... read more

100 Prompts for Romance Writers (Writer's Muse)

Annette Elton

Conquer that dreaded writer's block!With originally self-published works like Fifty Shades of Grey turning into mind-blowing blockbusters, both traditional and indie authors have embraced the romance genre as never before. But when you're left staring helplessly at a blank page, what can help you move forward? This pocket-sized, affordable collection of romance story-starters offers 100 prompt... read more

Conquer that dreaded writer's block!With originally self-published works like Fifty Shades of Grey turning into mind-blowing blockbusters, both traditional and indie authors have embraced the romance genre as never before. But when you're left staring helplessly at a blank page, what can help you move forward? This pocket-sized, affordable collection of romance story-starters offers 100 prompt... read more

100 Prompts for Science Fiction Writers (Writer's Muse)

Jarod K. Anderson, Leslie J. Anderson

Conquer that dreaded writer's block!From Jules Verne and H.G. Wells to Isaac Asimov, Ray Bradbury, Ursula LeGuin, and William Gibson, science fiction is one of the most enduring and popular genres. Whether on the page or on TV and film (Dr. Who, the Star Trek franchise), it grips the imagination. For a science-fiction author, the dream is to go boldly where no one has gone before, but sometime... read more

Conquer that dreaded writer's block!From Jules Verne and H.G. Wells to Isaac Asimov, Ray Bradbury, Ursula LeGuin, and William Gibson, science fiction is one of the most enduring and popular genres. Whether on the page or on TV and film (Dr. Who, the Star Trek franchise), it grips the imagination. For a science-fiction author, the dream is to go boldly where no one has gone before, but sometime... read more

The Book of Knights

Similar in scope and vision to best-selling titles The Book of Angels and The Book of the Dragon, this sumptuously illustrated volume presents legends of that romantic, noble medieval warrior, the knight. In magnificent full-color spreads, author and award-winning illustrator L.A. Williams provides a brief background on the real life, training, and weaponry of the historical knight, before lea... read more

Similar in scope and vision to best-selling titles The Book of Angels and The Book of the Dragon, this sumptuously illustrated volume presents legends of that romantic, noble medieval warrior, the knight. In magnificent full-color spreads, author and award-winning illustrator L.A. Williams provides a brief background on the real life, training, and weaponry of the historical knight, before lea... read more

Lightning Strikes: Timeless Lessons in Creativity from the Life and Work of Nikola Tesla

John F. Wasik

Seventy years after his death, Nikola Tesla has become a rock star. Lightning Strikes examines his complete life and legacy, including Tesla’s profound influence on everything from systems integration to drone warfare. Engineers, entrepreneurs, and academics will find it invaluable not only for the never-before-published interviews and archives, but also for the creative principles that vision... read more

Seventy years after his death, Nikola Tesla has become a rock star. Lightning Strikes examines his complete life and legacy, including Tesla’s profound influence on everything from systems integration to drone warfare. Engineers, entrepreneurs, and academics will find it invaluable not only for the never-before-published interviews and archives, but also for the creative principles that vision... read more

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