Shay Totten

Shay Totten - Editor

Burlington, VT, USA

An experienced book editor who can help you tell your story, build your brand, and find the audience your work deserves. [he, him, his]

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Overview

I'm an experienced book editor with a background in working on award-winning and bestselling memoirs, biographies, how-to manuals, and books on topical public affairs.

The authors I've worked with have earned top book writing awards, placed commentaries in national newspapers, and had their book-length work adapted for niche and national magazines. In addition, I've developed marketing and sales plans to help land these books on industry bestseller lists (including The New York Times).

Whether it's creating a query letter, a complete book proposal, or providing full developmental editing from start to finish, I can help you develop your book from idea to the marketplace.
Languages
English (UK)
English (US)
Non-Fiction
Biographies & Memoirs
Business & Management
Economics
Nature
Political Science & Current Affairs

Work experience

Owner

Self-employed
September, 2016 – Present (over 6 years)

I provide a wide range of strategic communication services - from editing and ghost-writing to audience engagement and business development. Clients have included Inside Climate News, the News Revenue Hub, Local Independent Online News Publishers.

Communications Director

Rights & Democracy
March, 2016 – April, 2020 (about 4 years)

Oversee all internal and external communications for Rights & Democracy (RAD), a member-based, grassroots organization working in communities throughout Vermont and New Hampshire. This includes ghostwriting and editing commentaries, public speeches, and other forms of communication for organizational leaders - both in regional and national publications.

Director of Creative Content & Communications

Chelsea Green Publishing
January, 2011 – March, 2016 (about 5 years)

Managed the branding and external communications for Chelsea Green Publishing, an employee-owned book publisher, as well as day-to-day digital marketing efforts, including direct-to-consumer emails, social media, and online content on the company website. In addition, develop strategic marketing plans and publicity outreach for key books and authors.

Freelance Consultant

Self-employed
January, 2009 – Present (about 14 years)

I provide a wide range of editorial, audience development, and communication strategies to individuals, nonprofits, and media companies. From marketing plans to membership programs, my goal is to help individuals and organizations connect and engage with their audience. Clients have included the News Revenue Hub, Inside Climate News, ACLU of Vermont, Renewable Energy Vermont, and Local Independent Online Publishers, Banderas Canyonlands Alliance, among other individual clients.

Portfolio (10 selected works)

The End of America: Letter of Warning to a Young Patriot

Naomi Wolf

The End of America is now a feature-length documentary film by the award-winning filmmakers Annie Sundberg and Ricki Stern. Give Me Liberty: A Handbook for American Revolutionaries is the sequel to The End of America.It illustrates the breathtaking changes that can take place when ordinary citizens engage in the democratic system the way the founders intended and tells how to use that system,r... read more

The End of America is now a feature-length documentary film by the award-winning filmmakers Annie Sundberg and Ricki Stern. Give Me Liberty: A Handbook for American Revolutionaries is the sequel to The End of America.It illustrates the breathtaking changes that can take place when ordinary citizens engage in the democratic system the way the founders intended and tells how to use that system,r... read more

Pearls, Politics, and Power: How Women Can Win and Lead

Madeleine M. Kunin

The next generation of women is ready and eager to lead, but not always sure how to turn their sense of purpose into reality. Pearls, Politics, and Power will help ensure that this inspiration and idealism is not lost, but channeled into successful candidacies by America’s leaders of tomorrow—an infusion of new leadership that is sorely needed to address the major problems of our time.

The next generation of women is ready and eager to lead, but not always sure how to turn their sense of purpose into reality. Pearls, Politics, and Power will help ensure that this inspiration and idealism is not lost, but channeled into successful candidacies by America’s leaders of tomorrow—an infusion of new leadership that is sorely needed to address the major problems of our time.

When Technology Fails: A Manual for Self-Reliance, Sustainability, and Surviving the Long Emergency, 2nd Edition

Matthew Stein

Hurricane Katrina and 9/11 have made Americans farmore aware of the need to be prepared for the unexpected.Matthew Stein’s comprehensive guide to sustainable living skills gives you the tools you need to fend for yourself and your family in times of emergency or disaster.It also goes a step further, giving sound instructions on how to become self-reliant in seemingly stable timesand for the lo... read more

Hurricane Katrina and 9/11 have made Americans farmore aware of the need to be prepared for the unexpected.Matthew Stein’s comprehensive guide to sustainable living skills gives you the tools you need to fend for yourself and your family in times of emergency or disaster.It also goes a step further, giving sound instructions on how to become self-reliant in seemingly stable timesand for the lo... read more

Companies We Keep: Employee Ownership and the Business of Community and Place, 2nd Edition

John Abrams

Part memoir and part examination of a new business model, the 2005 release of The Company We Keep marked the debut of an important new voice in the literature of American business. Now, in Companies We Keep, the revised and expanded edition of his 2005 work, John Abrams further develops his idea that companies flourish when they become centers of interdependence, or “communities of enterprise.... read more

Part memoir and part examination of a new business model, the 2005 release of The Company We Keep marked the debut of an important new voice in the literature of American business. Now, in Companies We Keep, the revised and expanded edition of his 2005 work, John Abrams further develops his idea that companies flourish when they become centers of interdependence, or “communities of enterprise.... read more

The Essential Bernie Sanders and His Vision for America

Jonathan Tasini

Meet the essential Bernie Sanders—an authentic and uncompromising champion of the people.Independent United States Senator Bernie Sanders—with a thirty-five-year career in public service, first as Burlington, Vermont’s mayor, then as Vermont’s sole representative to Congress, and currently as a United States senator—is now campaigning to become president of the United States. His goal is to bu... read more

Meet the essential Bernie Sanders—an authentic and uncompromising champion of the people.Independent United States Senator Bernie Sanders—with a thirty-five-year career in public service, first as Burlington, Vermont’s mayor, then as Vermont’s sole representative to Congress, and currently as a United States senator—is now campaigning to become president of the United States. His goal is to bu... read more

How The Rich Are Destroying the Earth (Foreword by Greg Palast)

Hervé Kempf

A best seller in France, and already translated into Spanish, Italian, Greek, and Korean, Herv Kempf's "How the Rich Are Destroying the Earth" now appears in its first English edition. Bringing to bear more than twenty years of experience as an environmental journalist, Kempf describes the invincibility that many of the world's wealthy feel in the face of global warming, and how their unchecke... read more

A best seller in France, and already translated into Spanish, Italian, Greek, and Korean, Herv Kempf's "How the Rich Are Destroying the Earth" now appears in its first English edition. Bringing to bear more than twenty years of experience as an environmental journalist, Kempf describes the invincibility that many of the world's wealthy feel in the face of global warming, and how their unchecke... read more

Inquiries into the Nature of Slow Money: Investing as if Food, Farms, and Fertility Mattered

Woody Tasch

“We must bring money back down to earth.”NPR calls it a movement. Acres U.S.A. calls it a revolution. BusinessWeek online calls it “one of the big ideas for 2010.” Change.org calls it one of the top fifteen Ideas For Change.Yet could there be anything simpler than this?Inquiries into the Nature of Slow Money presents the path for bringing money back down to earth—philosophically, strategically... read more

“We must bring money back down to earth.”NPR calls it a movement. Acres U.S.A. calls it a revolution. BusinessWeek online calls it “one of the big ideas for 2010.” Change.org calls it one of the top fifteen Ideas For Change.Yet could there be anything simpler than this?Inquiries into the Nature of Slow Money presents the path for bringing money back down to earth—philosophically, strategically... read more

The Gort Cloud: The Invisible Force Powering Today's Most Visible Green Brands

Richard Seireeni

"Green" has gone mainstream and, for many companies, caring for the environment is not just a philosophy, it's a marketing strategy. So how does a company that's genuinely committed to green principles differentiate itself from its greenwashing competitors? Brand expert Richard Seireeni interviewed more than thirty eco-capitalists from a broad range of industries-home improvement, transportati... read more

"Green" has gone mainstream and, for many companies, caring for the environment is not just a philosophy, it's a marketing strategy. So how does a company that's genuinely committed to green principles differentiate itself from its greenwashing competitors? Brand expert Richard Seireeni interviewed more than thirty eco-capitalists from a broad range of industries-home improvement, transportati... read more

Finding the Sweet Spot: The Natural Entrepreneur's Guide to Responsible, Sustainable, Joyful Work

Dave Pollard

"Now what am I going to do?" is a question many people ask—and leave unanswered—at critical potential turning points in their careers. Perhaps you’re a new graduate, but instead of lining up for a boring entry-level job at a big corporation, you wish you could start your own sustainable and responsible business. Or maybe you’ve been stuck in a job you hate for a few years, but you still dream ... read more

"Now what am I going to do?" is a question many people ask—and leave unanswered—at critical potential turning points in their careers. Perhaps you’re a new graduate, but instead of lining up for a boring entry-level job at a big corporation, you wish you could start your own sustainable and responsible business. Or maybe you’ve been stuck in a job you hate for a few years, but you still dream ... read more

The Rabbit Between Us

Menza, Victor

Shay has 5 reviews

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

Clifford Michaels
Shay is very well versed in the political arena as well as working with Non-fiction. I used Shay for structural work and he threw in some copy editing along the way as well.

Clifford Michaels, February 2023


James Boggs
Shay provided insight in to the political and social issues genre that were excellent and helped me write a more balanced book. His detailed suggestions on style and format were useful and his emphasis on keeping the reader in focus was very helpful.

James Boggs, November 2022


Ed Chambliss
I hired Shay for developmental editing -- someone to read my manuscript, share their professional opinion on its viability, and help me refine it so the expression didn't detract from the ideas. In short, Shay did all of the above. But, just as importantly, he did so with a casual, supportive, and educational style that was invaluable to me as a first-time author. He helped me remove extraneous...
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Ed Chambliss, October 2021


Catherine Gregory
Shay is very professional, knowledgeable and was a great fit for our needs. He was responsive to our expectations and went above and beyond to connect us with professional indexers for a complex indexing process we haven't undergone before. Thank you, Shay!

Catherine Gregory, July 2021


Damien Coughlan
This is a review for Shay who worked with me over the course of a few weeks to fix the structure, tonality, grammar, and overall professionalism of my book. As this was my first ever book, I needed some guidance. Shay got on a call with me and walked through the changes along with a separate word document showing the areas I needed to make adjustments to, in terms of presentation, introducti...
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Damien Coughlan, April 2021

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