Samantha Zaboski

Samantha Zaboski - Editor

North Haven, CT, USA

A developmental and line editor adept at making novels shine, with 8 years of publishing industry and 4 years of literary agency experience.

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Overview

*~August 2022 Update: I'm currently booked until January 1, 2023. Please feel free to request if you're happy to begin with a later date for your edit.~*

I'm a developmental editor, line editor, and copyeditor with eight years of experience in the publishing industry. I received my master's in Publishing and Writing from Emerson College and my bachelor's in Professional Writing from King's College, with a second major in Psychology. My master's degree program included coursework in manuscript editing, copyediting, book publishing, marketing and publicity.

My editing style focuses on strengthening while maintaining voice. My comments and suggestions will be framed not just to suggest what should change, but to explain why I'm suggesting a change. In this way, I aim to equip my authors with a deeper understanding of tactics for mastering voice, plot structure, pacing, and character development. Ultimately, our goal as we work together will be to find the best resolutions that fit your vision and the message you want your stories to convey. Guided by our work together, your drafts of future manuscripts will improve.

I check in with my authors regularly to update you on my progress. I'll also communicate with you so that we can discuss any larger edits prior to incorporating them. Together, we'll make your book shine.

FREE SAMPLE EDIT
Please take a look at my services below. I provide a free sample edit of first pages to determine if we'd be a good fit, so please don't hesitate to reach out with a sample so that we can start discussing your project.

GENRE SPECIALIZATIONS
-Young Adult Contemporary
-Young Adult Fantasy/Sci-Fi
-Fantasy/Sci-Fi
-Literary/Contemporary Fiction

I am very excited to work on projects featuring LGBTQIA+ characters and manuscripts written by BIPOC authors.

I'm not the best fit for religion- and philosophy-heavy fiction, political satire, or animal allegory.

TESTIMONIALS
"Great working with Samantha on making my first manuscript ready for publishing! She provided great, clear, constructive feedback. Will definitely use her services again!"—Bianca L. Bradley (To Have It All)

"Would highly recommend Samantha Zaboski. She did a hell of job getting my manuscript ready for submission."—Brandon McNulty (Bad Parts)

BACKGROUND
I worked for literary agent Lana Popovic, previously of Chalberg & Sussman, for four years. While working for Lana, I read dozens of manuscripts with an eye toward improving each manuscript's saleability to publishers. For each manuscript, I wrote a report critiquing the story, outlining issues with plot, characters, themes, and overall narrative arc. I would explain what worked, what didn't, and why, always offering suggestions on how to resolve the manuscript's issues. I also fielded all of Lana’s queries, which required knowledge of the current market. Once manuscripts were ready to pitch to publishers, I created submission lists of editors appropriate for each project, as well as a pitch that would become the basis of her pitch to the editor.

For 6 years, I worked for the University Press of Florida as a publicist and a rights manager. I worked directly with authors to promote their books, pitched authors to media outlets and bookstores, and negotiated and managed all rights deals and permissions requests.

I'm a reviewer for Shelf Awareness, where I review YA titles prior to publication, staying abreast of the current book market.

I'm happy to answer any questions you may have prior to working together. I look forward to hearing from you!
Languages
English (US)
Fiction
Fantasy
Literary Fiction
Science Fiction
Thriller & Suspense
Young Adult

Certifications

  • Master's in Publishing and Writing (Emerson College)
  • Bachelor's in Professional Writing (King's College)

Work experience

Editor

Self-employed
May, 2014 – Present (over 8 years)

I specialize in fiction editing for both young adult and adult audiences, particularly in contemporary and science fiction/fantasy genres.

Reviewer

Shelf Awareness
November, 2017 – Present (almost 5 years)

I review adult, YA, and children's fiction and nonfiction books

You can view my reviews by searching Zaboski on Shelf Awareness's website.

Literary Agency Reader

Lana Popovic (Chalberg & Sussman)
September, 2014 – February, 2018 (over 3 years)

While working for Lana, I read dozens of manuscripts with an eye toward improving each manuscript's saleability to publishers. For each manuscript, I wrote a report critiquing the story, outlining issues with plot, characters, themes, and overall narrative arc. I would explain what worked and what didn't, always offering suggestions on how to resolve the manuscript's issues.

Additionally, I read queries daily and created submission lists of editors at publishers for client manuscripts.

Together with Lana, I helped edit the following published books, all with fantasy elements:
-The Love That Split the World by Emily Henry (Penguin Random House)
-A Million Junes by Emily Henry (Penguin Random House)
-The Hidden Memory of Objects by Danielle Mages Amato (Harper Collins)
-The Dark Beneath the Ice by Amelinda Berube (Sourcebooks Fire)
-Here There Are Monsters by Amelinda Berube (Sourcebooks Fire)

Rights Manager and Publicist

University Press of Florida
July, 2014 – May, 2020 (almost 6 years)

I worked at the University Press of Florida in various capacities. I began work as a publicist, marketing and promoting authors' books and events, pitching books for review and awards, and pitching authors for appearances, readings, and book exhibits.

As subsidiary rights manager, I pitched, negotiated, managed, and tracked all translation, film/tv, audiobook and other rights deals. I also managed all permissions requests.

My work involved continual communication with authors, media outlets, and book stores, as well as with international subagents and publishers.

Portfolio (16 selected works)

A Million Junes

Henry, Emily

The Hidden Memory of Objects

Amato, Danielle Mages

The Dark Beneath the Ice

Bérubé, Amelinda

Here There Are Monsters

Bérubé, Amelinda

The Holding Deal

Heffron, John Robert

Samantha has 9 reviews

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

Jason Nord
Samantha delivered more than I could have hoped for and exactly what I wanted. Her line edits were thorough and insightful, and they definitely helped elevate my manuscript. I could not recommend her more strongly (but fear she will be too busy when I need her services again). Not only were the edits great, but her professionalism and regular communication were terrific. I am so grateful for th...
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Jason Nord, March 2022


Yania Padilla Sierra
Samantha has provided me with actionable suggestions to improve my manuscript. Her communication throughout the entire process was excellent, and she finished our collaboration before the deadline. I'm grateful to Samantha for her editorial eye and recommend her without reservation. Thank you!

Yania Padilla Sierra, January 2022


Kari Balak
Samantha has edited five of my books now, and every time has smoothed word flow, clarified meaning, punched up characterization, and aligned disparate timelines. She is unfailingly professional and a pleasure to work with.

Kari Balak, October 2021


Jesse Bailey
This is the second book that Samantha has edited for me, and she blew me away with her attention to detail. Not only did she demonstrate her excellent grasp and expertise on grammar, but also showed numerous times that she pays attention to the plot, character details, and genre. She caught minuscule inconsistencies I'd introduced from book 1 to book 2, and helped this story shine even brighter...
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Jesse Bailey, August 2021


Michael Karolewski
Working with Samantha was a treat! She provided a thorough review of my plot, characters, and themes, highlighting what was working and where there were areas for opportunity. She also included helpful comments throughout the manuscript that really helped me gauge the pacing and what a reader would be thinking throughout. After incorporating her suggestions, my story feels way stronger! She als...
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Michael Karolewski, May 2021

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