Steven P. Miller

Steven P. Miller - Editor

Saint Louis, MO, USA

Motivated, versatile editor with 15 years of experience in book publishing. Ph.D. in U.S. History (specialties: religion and politics).

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Overview

I am a historian, editor, and author whose books have garnered positive reviews in such publications as the New York Times Book Review, Wall Street Journal, and Chronicle of Higher Education. During my career, I have had countless opportunities to perform developmental and copy editing work, including for manuscripts published by Basic Books and Oxford University Press. Below is a selection of the books I have edited, evaluated, contributed to, or authored. I have a Ph.D. in American History (Vanderbilt University) with research specialties in religion, politics, and the American South. I also have more than a decade of experience teaching World History.

Looking at the totality of my career, including my time as a professor, I can honestly say that my first love has always been editing--whether it involves working with an outline, a book proposal, a first draft, or a near-final draft.

I'm not kidding! I enjoy all aspects of editing, especially helping authors sharpen their arguments by way of sharpening their writing (and, in the process, finding their voice). No project is too big or too small.

So please take a look around my profile page, and drop me a line if you have any questions. I look forward to working with you.


TESTIMONIALS:

>>>>> "Steven Miller is uniquely gifted as an editor. He combines big-picture awareness with sharp technical know-how, and ably manages different authorial voices and audiences. I learned that firsthand when working closely with him on Anointed With Oil. Eager to provide concrete advice where brass-tacks issues (and inefficiencies) of structure were concerned, he also pressed me to think through the larger implications of my scholarly claims, and about the best way to communicate them with a light touch of the pen. And he delivered all of that feedback with his own light touch, and with a balance of patience and precision that is welcomed by any author anxious to finish a book." -- Darren Dochuk, author of Anointed With Oil: How Christianity and Crude Made Modern America (Basic, 2019)

>>>>> "Steven Miller is a meticulous editor and generous critic. He is also an insightful reviewer. As an experienced writer himself he has a keen sensibility for assisting authors with enlivening their prose. He’s able to suggest ideas for a well-placed phrase or to present a sterling insight that will help writers clarify their argument. His editorial practice simultaneously addresses granular details of sentences, clauses, and general prose while encouraging authors to connect the dots between larger claims their projects try to make. As an editor, he will skillfully study your writerly voice and provide feedback that will help you to ultimately speak more clearly, crisply, and energetically with your words. I offer this endorsement from personal experience. Seven read the manuscript of my 2015 book Salvation with a Smile: Joel Osteen, Lakewood Church, and American Christianity and his editorial commentary vastly improved its readability. As an expert in religion and politics, his suggestions about the book’s larger conceptual aims helped me to keep a focused narrative. I remain grateful for his work and heartily recommend his editorial services." -- Phillip Luke Sinitiere, Scholar in Residence at the W. E. B. Du Bois Center (University of Massachusetts Amherst)

>>>>> “Steven served as a peer reviewer for an article submission to the journal that I edit. He exceeded all of my expectations. In addition to identifying weaknesses in the manuscript, he offered solutions. His interventions ranged from clarification of sentences, to help with framing (including a revised title), to suggestions of additional secondary literature for the author to engage. He even provided a full mark-up of the article draft, which went above and beyond what peer reviewers are typically asked to do. He provided feedback in a way that made sense to the author, and the result was a much stronger manuscript.” -- Elesha J. Coffman, editor, Fides et Historia; and author, Margaret Mead: A Twentieth-Century Faith (Oxford, 2021)

Languages
English (CAN)
English (UK)
English (US)
Non-Fiction
Biographies & Memoirs
Christian Non-Fiction
Education & Reference
History
Political Science & Current Affairs
Sociology

Work experience

Developmental and early-stage book and script editor

Self-employed
August, 2012 – May, 2021 (over 8 years)

Projects have included:

- Darren Dochuk, Anointed with Oil: How Christianity and Crude Made Modern America (Basic, 2019).
I worked closely with the prize-winning author over a two year period. My primary work involved detailed developmental and line edits. I also reviewed the original proposal to publishers, prepared summary memos, and addressed specific author queries. Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, Kirkus, and Publishers Weekly are among the outlets that have praised Dochuk’s opus.

- PBS American Experience documentary, Billy Graham (Sarah Colt Productions, 2021).
I consulted with Sarah Colt Productions over a three year period to reshape and refine the script for his two hour film produced by renowned documentary maker Sarah Colt. I also appear in the film as an expert on Billy Graham and American evangelicalism.

- Phillip Luke Sinitiere, Salvation with a Smile: Joel Osteen, Lakewood Church, and American Christianity (NYU Press, 2015).
I provided extensive chapter-by-chapter developmental edits on drafts of this highly regarded book. I summarized my questions and recommendations in an easily digestible ~800 word memo. Sinitiere’s book received a starred review from Publishers Weekly.

Book proposal and article reviewer

Self-employed
September, 2010 – June, 2020 (over 9 years)

I have reviewed book proposals (including, in some cases, draft chapters and manuscripts) for a range of major publishers, including Bedford/St. Martins, Oxford University Press, Cambridge University Press, and Routledge. In each case, I prepared a substantive reader report recommending for/against publication and/or proposing changes. In appropriate contexts, I included developmental edits. I have performed a similar service for a number of journals, including the leading publication for historians of the United States (Journal of American History).

Books included:
- Molly Worthen, Apostles of Reason: The Crisis of Authority in American Evangelicalism (Oxford, 2016). I evaluated two drafts of this book by a New York Times contributing author. Worthen’s study received favorable attention in numerous publications, including Slate, The Nation, and Christian Century.
- Matthew Avery Sutton, Jerry Falwell and the Rise of the Religious Right: A Brief History with Documents (Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2012). I prepared a detailed reader report (include select line edits) for this volume in the popular Bedford Series in History and Culture. The author has subsequently received a National Endowment for the Humanities grant, and his most recent work was published by Hachette.
- David Swartz, Moral Minority: The Evangelical Left in an Age of Conservatism (University of Pennsylvania, 2011). I provided a comprehensive reader report on the original draft of this manuscript. The author subsequently received a book contract. Swartz’s book was reviewed in The New York Times, and he discussed his work on MSNBC.

Author

Oxford University Press, University of Pennylvania Press, and other publishers
July, 2006 – August, 2021 (about 15 years)

I am the author of two books, Billy Graham the Rise of the Republican South (University of Pennsylvania, 2009) and The Age of Evangelicalism: America’s Born-Again Years (Oxford, 2014). The former received a glowing review in The New York Times Book Review, among many other venues, while the latter received positive reviews in The Wall Street Journal, Chronicle of Higher Education, American Interest, and other publications. I have discussed my work on numerous NPR affiliates, ABC Radio, Sirius Radio, and other outlets. I have been quoted or cited in outlets including the Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Salon, and the Associated Press. I have also authored numerous scholarly and popular articles, as well as dozens for book reviews in a host of publications as different as the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Religion and Politics, and The Page 99 Test.

Portfolio (13 selected works)

GOD'S PUNISHMENT

De La Chica, Julian

Billy Graham: American Pilgrim

Finstuen, Andrew, Wacker, Grant, Wills, Anne Blue

Steven P. has 16 reviews

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

Dom Lindars
Thank you Steven! Your copy editing was professional, insightful, and very helpful. Much appreciated!

Dom Lindars, August 2022


Robert Todd
I couldn't be more happy with my collaboration with Steven P, Miller. Our agreement was for him to provide a developmental editing. He suggested various structural moves in my manuscript of The Last Days Walk of Jesus. He informed me that many authors would not be willing to make those changes. He was right. I ended up with a great ending in my book by following his advice. He didn't give up be...
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Robert Todd, July 2022


Thomas Richards
Steven was prompt, reasonably priced, and most importantly extremely helpful with his editorial feedback. I highly recommend!

Thomas Richards, July 2022


Joseph Ball
I cannot begin to tell you how satisfied I am with the work of Steven Miller. His work was professional, prompt, and very useful to me. He has really saved me from a lot of mistakes and offered insights I might never have picked up. I cannot recommend anyone more highly. He really knows his craft and applies it well. I would definitely work with Steven again.

Joseph Ball, June 2022


marty berry
My previous editor was a disaster and left me not knowing if I would even write again. Steven brought back my joy of writing. It was a delight to work with Steven. His critique of my work was spot on. If I renew my writing of yet another book I will definitely ask to have Steven be my editor.

marty berry, June 2022

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