Michele Alpern

Michele Alpern – Editor

Copy editor for Penguin Random House for 18 years, experience with bestselling authors of women's fiction, romance, mystery/thrillers.


I’ve been a freelance copy editor for Penguin Random House for twenty years, and I’m happy to bring my professional skills and experience to independent authors. I’ve copyedited hundreds of books in the genres of women’s fiction, romance (contemporary, historical, paranormal, suspense), mysteries, thrillers, and young adult fiction. It’s been a pleasure for me to see the books on the shelves of stores, read reviews of them, and get word that authors want me to work on their next books, continuing the cycle.

I’ve had some writing published myself, so I’m extra sensitive to respecting the author’s voice and style and take scrupulous care to present each novel in its best light. Authors have told me they appreciate that they can trust me with the work they have labored so hard on. When I copyedit for independent writers, I can help them ensure that their manuscripts are as polished and clean for publication as those at a major publishing house.
Contemporary Fiction Historical Fiction Mystery & Crime Romance Thriller & Suspense Urban Fantasy Women's Fiction Young Adult
English (CAN) English (US)

Work experience


Jan, 2000 — Present

I’ve copyedited many hundreds of fiction manuscripts as a freelancer, primarily for Penguin Random House (New American Library, Ballantine, Berkley). My specialties are women’s fiction, romance (contemporary, historical, paranormal, suspense), mysteries, thrillers, and young adult fiction.


Jan, 2000 — Present

I’ve written four young adult books published by Chelsea House, as well as magazine articles and reference book essays in the area in which I received an MA from Columbia: comparative literature with an emphasis on women’s literature and art.


Sebastian St. Cyr thought a notorious killer had been brought to justice until a shocking series of gruesome new murders stuns the city in this thrilling historical mystery from the USA Today bestselling author of Who Speaks for the Damned. It's October 1814. ... read more
The USA Today bestselling author presents a heartfelt novel about two sisters struggling toward new lives and loves.Welcome to Hartley-by-the-Sea in England’s beautiful Lake District, where two sisters who meet as strangers find small miracles tucked into the ... read more
Bought the Farm

Peg Cochran

In the third Farmer's Daughter Mystery from the national bestselling author of Sowed to Death, finding a dead body in her own backyard lands blogger and farmer Shelby McDonald in one trough spot...Wedding preparations are in full swing at Love Blossom Farm as ... read more
British intelligence operative and hardened assassin, Max McLean, battles a nightmarish enemy in this stunning debut thriller from an award winning war correspondent. When it comes to killing terrorists British intelligence has always had one man they could re... read more
The Lies We Told

Camilla Way

The highly acclaimed author of Watching Edie returns with a new novel of dark psychological suspense that explores how those closest to us have the most to hide...A daughterBeth has always known there was something strange about her daughter, Hannah. The lack ... read more
From New York Times bestselling author Tracy Anne Warren, the first in a series about the most dashingly dangerous men in London. Pay a call to the most seductive address in London and meet the Rakes of Cavendish Square... Lord Leo Byron is bored with the aris... read more
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Karen chance has written a paranormal—with bite.Dorina Basarab is a dhampir—half-human, half-vampire. Unlike most dhampirs, though, Dory has managed to maintain her sanity. Now Dory’s vampire father has come to h... read more
Sarah Piper's lonely, threadbare existence changes when her temporary agency sends her to assist a ghost hunter. Alistair Gellis-rich, handsome, scarred by World War I, and obsessed with ghosts- has been summoned to investigate the spirit of nineteen-year-old ... read more
The Broken Girls

Simone St. James

The "clever and wonderfully chilling" (Fiona Barton) suspense novel from the award-winning author of The Haunting of Maddy Clare...Vermont, 1950. There's a place for the girls whom no one wants--the troublemakers, the illegitimate, the too smart for their own ... read more
A movie star is typecast as a killer in the second Dangerous Type Mystery from the New York Times bestselling author of To Helvetica and Back. It’s January, and the Star City Film Festival has taken the Utah ski resort town by storm. Movie stars are everywhere... read more
A young Amish boy ventures from Pennsylvania to California in this richly imagined historical novel from the author of An Unseemly Wife.1867. Growing up among the Pennsylvania Amish, eleven-year-old Joshua knows that his father is a respected church deacon who... read more
New York Times Bestselling Author Katie MacAlister delivers with a new Dark Ones book!Tempest Keye’s life is just beginning.Growing up in a religious cult, Tempest could only dream of the world outside. Once free, Tempest is determined to live her life to the ... read more
Enjoy her wedding shower…or receive a cold dunking? In addition to running her flower shop, planning her wedding, and juggling two mothers who both want to host an elaborate bridal shower, Abby Knight is facing another complication. Her ditzy cousin Jillian as... read more
College freshman Claire Danvers has had enough of her nightmarish dorm situation, where the popular girls never let her forget just where she ranks in the school's social scene: somewhere less than zero.When Claire heads off-campus, the imposing old house wher... read more
Haven Lake

Holly Robinson

New from the author of Beach Plum Island... A natural-born storyteller presents a gripping story about grief, anger, and the healing power of love. Sydney Bishop hasn’t returned to Haven Lake, her idyllic childhood home, since a pair of shocking, tragic deaths... read more
From Paris in the 1920s to London after the Blitz, two women find that a secret from their past reverberates through years of joy and sorrow....As recovery from World War II begins, expat American Nora Tours travels from her home in southern France to London i... read more
Detective Helen Grace faces her own dark compulsions in the twisty new thriller from the author of Pop Goes the Weasel and Eeny Meeny.In the darkest corners of the city, there is a thriving nightlife where people can let loose and cross the lines of work and p... read more
When a cold case is reopened, a murderer re-emerges deadlier than ever in this thriller in New York Times bestselling author Karen Rose’s Baltimore series. Baltimore Homicide Detective Stevie Mazzetti has suffered losses no woman should have to endure. And, de... read more
New York Times bestselling author Lynn Viehl’s enthralling new series continues as a valiant warrior sets out on a dangerous quest for immortality…and endless love… Jamys Durand has survived being made an immortal Darkyn, horrific torture, and years of gruelin... read more
In the new Blacktop Cowboys® Novel from the New York Times bestselling author of Hillbilly Rockstar strange bedfellows find common ground after the lights go down…Flower child, vegetarian and humanitarian Harlow Pratt and gruff and strapping cattle ranch forem... read more
In New York Times bestselling author Victoria Laurie’s newest Psychic Eye Mystery, Abby Cooper senses a convicted killer is innocent, but she’ll need hard evidence to save the woman before it’s too late… A ticked-off judge has tossed Abby in the slammer for co... read more
John Fitzhugh Wyckerly has been the spare heir all his life, supporting himself with gambling and charm. The news that he’s inherited the bankrupt title of Earl of Danecroft shatters his indolent world. Even penniless, he’s always paid his debts, but now the e... read more
The New York Times bestselling Driven series continues with a standalone story about finding love where you least expect it… Behind the wheel, racing champion Zander Donavan is at the top of his game. But after too much excess in his personal life, he’s forced... read more
From New York Times bestselling author Christina Dodd comes the second book of DARKNESS CHOSEN, a seductive paranormal series about an ancient, dark evil that lives in the modern world ... A thousand years ago, a brutal warrior struck a terrifying bargain. In ... read more
Sue Margolis’s “sexy British romp[s]” (USA Today) have captivated readers who enjoy an “irreverent, sharp-witted look at love and dating” (Houston Chronicle). Now she returns with a novel about a suddenly single mom whose life needs a lift.When her gambling ad... read more
Modern Girls

Jennifer S. Brown

A dazzling debut novel set in New York City’s Jewish immigrant community in 1935... How was it that out of all the girls in the office, I was the one to find myself in this situation? This didn’t happen to nice Jewish girls. In 1935, Dottie Krasinsky is the ep... read more

Michele has 16 reviews





Paul C.

Paul C.

Jun, 2021

Michele did an incredible job copyediting my novel. Of course she caught every grammatical mistake, misspelling, and clunky phrase but she also highlighted inconsistencies and continuity errors I'd missed despite reading the manuscript myself a billion times. Professional from the start, she delivered exactly on deadline. Highly, highly recommended.
Brian S.

Brian S.

Apr, 2020

A true pro. I worked in the publishing industry for twenty years, and I've never come across a better copy editor than Michele. She is talented, eagle-eyed, honest, and punctual. Top marks. Highly recommended.
Janet B.

Janet B.

Oct, 2023

Michele was so very kind in her copy editing of my manuscript. Her style sheet was amazing and very detailed. She gave me the encouragement I needed to continue on and perhaps go on writing! I would definitely utilize Michele's talents again!
Anne J.

Anne J.

Apr, 2022

Michele is professional, considerate, and understanding when things come up.
Jim C.

Jim C.

Sep, 2020

I hired Michele to copy edit a novel. Her demeanor and communications were friendly and professional throughout the process. I'm still processing her edits, but after reviewing the first few chapters, I'm glad I spent the money. Her feedback and suggestions are targeted and concise, her questions around language use are clear, and she's identified several writing ticks I was unaware I have. ...
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