Philip Rappaport

Philip Rappaport – Editor

25 years shaping nonfiction at Big Five publishers. Known for clear communication, insightful feedback, and helping authors gain clarity.


With a quarter century of experience as a nonfiction editor across various genres and major publishing houses like Penguin Random House and Simon and Schuster, as well as in academic publishing, I bring a deep understanding of crafting impactful nonfiction narratives.

Here's what I offer:

Developmental Editing: I specialize in guiding writers to craft clear, engaging nonfiction manuscripts.

Proposal Refinement: Whether crafting from scratch or revitalizing existing proposals, I excel in articulating a work's unique value proposition to capture the attention of agents and publishers.

Manuscript Evaluation: Providing comprehensive feedback to enhance manuscripts and strengthen their overall impact.

In addition, my experience as an educator at Emerson College and City College of New York reflects my commitment to sharing industry insights and best practices in publishing.


"Philip, my full-time editor and part-time counselor, agreed to shape the book and shepherd it through the Free Press and Simon & Schuster. He read every word at least twice and changed a surprisingly large number for the better." -- Dr. Martin Seligman, bestselling author of Authentic Happiness

"Thanks and gratitude to . . . the most enthusiastic editor an amateur writer could ever wish to have, for giving the book a home." -- Maxwell Ryan, author and creator of the award-winning website Apartment Therapy

"To my editor . . . for his enthusiasm and intelligence and for getting me through my first book. I've loved every second." -- Adam Roberts, author of The Amateur Gourmet

"Philip has been a sweetheart of an editor. Immersing oneself in narcissism can activate anger, and Philip’s kindness and optimism helped me to keep my balance throughout the revision process." -- Sandy Hotchkiss, author of Why Is It Always About You? The Seven Deadly Sins of Narcissism

"Philip's incisive eye, thoughtful comments, and personal support across the whole arc of this project have made it a privilege to work with him." -- Mitch Horowitz, author of Occult America

"Philip is a great editor and friend." -- Dr. Leslie Baumann, bestselling author of The Skin Type Solution

"At the Free Press the manuscript found a sympathetic, thoughtful, challenging, and generous friend in my editor; I appreciate his skill and his tenacity." -- James Garbarino, author of Lost Boys: Why Our Sons Turn Violent and How We Can Help Them

Biographies & Memoirs Health & Wellbeing History Judaism LGBTQ Non-Fiction Parenting & Families Psychology Self-Help & Self-Improvement
English (CAN) English (US)

Work experience

Bantam Dell/Random House

Oct, 2002 — Dec, 2009 (about 7 years)

- Acquired in popular culture, self-help, lifestyle, memoir, and narrative non-fiction.
- Edited leading writers and personalities including Howie Mandel, Jon Kabat-Zinn, Richard Rodriguez, Tahir Shah, Leslie Baumann, Maxwell Ryan, Mitch Horowitz.
- Worked on a selective group of Jewish-themed books including: Beaufort: A Novel (orig. Hebrew), The Auschwitz Violin: A Novel (orig. Catalan), The Liberators: America's Witnesses to the Holocaust, The Bantam- Megiddo Hebrew and English Dictionary, Revised.
- Edited PEN and Books for a Better Life award-winning titles.


Jun, 2022 — Present

Proposal reviews, developmental editing, marketing assessments, publishing consulting, publishing education, etc.

Open Road Media

Nov, 2012 — Sep, 2021 (almost 9 years)

- Managed direct reports in editorial, production and rights.
- Supervised nine full and part-time editors and consultants.
- Identified new revenue opportunities from the 10,000-title backlist catalog.
- Notable departmental backlist acquisitions included Graham Greene, Joan Didion, Gloria Naylor, Eden Robinson, Madelaine L’Engle, Gerald Durrell.
- Acquired over a dozen key LGBTQ+ backlists including Paul Monette, May Sarton, David Wojnarowicz, Doris Grumbach, Ned Rorem, Jane Rule, Christopher Bram, Valerie Miner, Barbara Wilson, Paula Gunn Allen, Joseph Caldwell, and more.

The Free Press/Simon and Schuster

May, 1996 — Sep, 2002 (over 6 years)

- Acquired and edited popular psychology, health, and child development titles.
- Published numerous transformative books including work by James Garbarino, Jeanne Safer, Sandy Hotchkiss, James Stigler, and others.
- Cultivated a relationship with Martin Seligman that resulted in bringing him to the Free Press, and publishing Authentic Happiness, which spearheaded the positive psychology movement.


Developmental Editing
Beyond Religion

The Dalai Lama

A guide to leading an ethical, happy, and spiritual life beyond religion and cultivating key human values, from a beloved world religious leader.Ten years ago, in the best-selling Ethics for a New Millennium, His Holiness the Dalai Lama first proposed an appro... read more
Authentic Happiness

Martin E. P. Seligman

A national bestseller, Authentic Happiness launched the revolutionary new science of Positive Psychology—and sparked a coast-to-coast debate on the nature of real happiness.According to esteem... read more
Developmental Editing
Made with Reedsy
Play: A Path to Genius

Daedone, Nicole

Developmental Editing
Editorial Assessment
Developmental Editing
Apartment Therapy

Maxwell Ryan

From not enough space and too many things to not knowing what color to paint the living room walls, many of us struggle with our homes. Now Maxwell Gillingham-Ryan, frequent makeover expert on... read more
Developmental Editing
In the tradition of A Year in Provence and Under the Tuscan Sun, acclaimed English travel writer Tahir Shah shares a highly entertaining account of making an exotic dream come true. By turns h... read more
Developmental Editing
Developmental Editing
Developmental Editing
True North

Bernie Finkelstein

One of the all-time greats in Canadian music recounts his life and times in the business from the 1960s to the present. Whether acting as a producer, record label owner, or manager of great si... read more
Developmental Editing
REVISED AND UPDATEDFORGET EVERYTHING YOU THOUGHT YOU KNEW ABOUT WHAT’S GOOD FOR YOUR SKIN—AND LEARN THE TRUTH. Take the simple questionnaire inside this book and within minutes discover which ... read more
Developmental Editing
Developmental Editing
Why is TV writing different from any other kind of writing? How will writing a spec script open doors? What do I have to do to get a job writing for TV? Writing for television is a business. A... read more
Developmental Editing
The Liberators

Michael Hirsh

At last, the everyday fighting men who were the first Americans to know the full and horrifying truth about the Holocaust share their astonishing stories. Rich with powerful never-before-publi... read more
Developmental Editing
Lost Boys

James Garbarino

In the first book to help parents truly understand youth violence and stop it before it explodes, national expert Dr. James Garbarino reveals how to identify children who are at risk and offer... read more
Developmental Editing
Developmental Editing
A fascinating and dramatic account of a controversial figure in twentieth-century psychiatry.In this “dazzling and provocative”* biography, Gail Hornstein brings back to life the maverick psychiatrist Frieda Fromm-Reichmann. To Redeem One Person Is to Redeem t... read more
The Normal One

Jeanne Safer

In the first book of its kind, renowned psychotherapist Jeanne Safer examines the hidden trauma of growing up with an emotionally troubled or physically disabled sibling, and helps adult "norm... read more
Developmental Editing
In this groundbreaking book -- the first popular book on narcissism in more than a decade -- clinical social worker and psychotherapist Sandy Hotchkiss shows you how to cope with controlling, ... read more
Developmental Editing
Available for the first time in the United States, this international bestseller reveals the secrets of nonverbal communication to give you confidence and control in any face-to-face encounter... read more
Developmental Editing

Ron Leshem

By turns subversive and darkly comic, brutal and tender, Ron Leshem’s debut novel is an international literary sensation, winner of Israel’s top award for literature and the basis for a prizewinning film. Charged with brilliance and daring, hypnotic in its int... read more

Philip has 7 reviews





Brett M.

Brett M.

Mar, 2024

Phillip saved my book, there's no other way to put it. This was the first time I had written anything like this, and I learned more from his editing than I would have through years of trial and error. He not only made me stay on point and make a more readable product, he helped me find an appropriate way to express ideas that are very important to me. I am so grateful for his guidance, professi...
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Marcus R.

Marcus R.

Oct, 2023

Philip was fantastic to work with as we made it through a unique and challenging manuscript. He stuck with the project, provided extremely in-depth notes and analysis, and he was professional at every level.
Dipkar U.

Dipkar U.

Jan, 2023

As a developmental editor, Philip provided swift, professional service, clear communication, and strong organizational skills. His use of questions helps his client flesh out their written content while encouraging critical thinking. His direct communication style makes it easy to work with him and he goes the extra mile to keep himself available for his client. We would be happy to work with ...
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Rose Z.

Rose Z.

May, 2024

Philip’s thoughtful, thorough editorial process revealed a discerning sensibility that encouraged deeper thought and analysis. He is a respectful guide who greatly improved the clarity of my text. I am thankful for his involvement.
Tony L.

Tony L.

Mar, 2024

After rewriting my manuscript to incorporate Philip’s developmental edit, The quality of my reviews has changed. Now when I make a writing mistake, people are upset that I’m interrupting their experience. They are in the narrative! Now all I have to do is internalize lessons learned and repeat. Thanks, Philip. Good edit.

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