Writing a book is hard work, often sandwiched between all kinds of life responsibilities. It's lonely, too: just you, your thoughts, and the blank page (or glowing screen). Maybe you find yourself thinking: "Does this make sense?" or "Is this interesting to someone other than me?"
As an independent nonfiction editor and writer since 2008 and having held editorial acquisition positions at HarperCollins, William Morrow, Simon and Schuster, and Macmillan, I have demonstrated editing experience in many nonfiction categories, including science, psychology, important social and cultural trends, wellness, lifestyle, women's issues, family issues, workplace and career issues, personal improvement, and selected narrative nonfiction. My clients have been published by Penguin Random House, HarperCollins, Simon and Schuster, Public Affairs/Hachette, Rodale, and Workman.
I can help you zero in on the "what" and the "why" behind your book and offer ideas for making your manuscript more clear, cogent, and compelling.
I can provide insight from the point of view of an interested-but-questioning reader, pinpointing areas that are confusing, unconvincing, repetitive, or otherwise disruptive to the process of discovering your ideas and learning from you.
One of the challenges of writing is that we can't talk to our readers beforehand and ask them whether they "get" what we're doing. Working with a trusted editor is like having that conversation at a point when it can make a startling and positive difference in the quality of your work.
I hope to have that conversation with you.
“Toni [Sciarra Poynter], has been my brilliant editorial consultant for Mind in the Making. She has been my first, middle, and last reader. Every conversation with Toni—via e-mail, over the phone, or in person—brings me joy, deeper insight, and new understandings."
--Ellen Galinsky, cofounder of the Families and Work Institute, author of Mind in the Making: The Seven Essential Life Skills Every Child Needs (HarperCollins)
“Writing a book is not easy, as anyone who has attempted it will attest. Working with Toni Sciarra Poynter has certainly made that task truly enjoyable. . . . Toni has a sharp wit to match her mind, a tremendous work ethic, and a high standard of professionalism for her craft. . . . Toni has been a joy to work with throughout this endeavor. This book would not have been possible without first her encouragement and later her elegant crafting of the thoughts I envisioned. To her I give my first and most sincere thanks.”
--Joe Navarro, author of Louder Than Words: Take Your Career from Average to Exceptional with the Hidden Power of Nonverbal Intelligence (HarperCollins) [served as collaborating writer]
“To Toni Sciarra Poynter, who is divinely inspired in taking all forms of intuitive knowledge or ideas and expertly turning them into thoughtful, understandable, logical prose. You made this book journey a pleasure. Your ideas are genius and you are a good friend to boot.”
--Sara Horowitz, founder and executive director of Freelancers Union and author of The Freelancer’s Bible (Workman Publishing) [served as collaborating writer]
"My thanks to . . . [m]y collaborator Toni Sciarra Poynter for keeping me on track, kicking my butt, and going above and beyond anything I expected to help make this book a success." --Vishen Lakhiani, author of
“[Toni Sciarra Poynter's] unending encouragement and uncanny ability to help me hone my words and fine-tune my thoughts brought my ideas into focus in a way that regularly amazed me. Working with Toni was a pleasure and an experience I truly cherished.”
--Steven Craig, Psy.D., author of The 6 Husbands Every Wife Should Have: How Couples Who Change Together Stay Together (Simon & Schuster)
“Working with three authors could only have been handled so expertly by Toni Sciarra Poynter. Her skill, thoughtful organization and unfailing sense of humor have been astonishing. We are truly grateful. We couldn’t have done it without her!”
--Ann Blumenthal Jacobs, Patricia Ryan Lampl, and Tish Rabe, authors of Love for Grown-Ups (Harlequin Nonfiction) [served as collaborating writer]
- Vassar College B.A., English. Phi Beta Kappa, General and Departmental Honors, Thesis Distinction
- Publishing Institute, University of Denver
- Women's Media Group (WMG) past co-president
- Authors Guild
I provide nonfiction editing, collaboration, and publishing know-how for projects with breakout potential in science, psychology, important social and cultural trends, wellness, lifestyle, women's issues, family issues, career and workplace issues, personal improvement, and selected narrative nonfiction. Publishers include HarperCollins, Simon and Schuster, Penguin Random House, Public Affairs/Hachette, Rodale, Harlequin Nonfiction, Guideposts, and Workman. Detailed bio and client testimonials at Publishers Marketplace.
Acquired and edited nonfiction by respected brands and authors with impressive credentials and profile in health/medicine, psychology, science, lifestyle, social trends, family and women's issues, and personal improvement, including Mayo Clinic (4 books, including 2 editions of the classic 1,400-page Mayo Clinic Family Health Book, Emily Post Institute (13 titles), trainer Jack Canfield, lifestyle author Alexandra Stoddard (13 titles), business psychology expert Robert Cialdini, Ph.D., retired FBI Special Agent Joe Navarro's international bestseller What Every Body Is Saying, and child researcher Alison Gopnik, Ph.D. Enhanced backlist sales of valued house authors, including Robert Pirsig’s Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, Gary Zukav’s The Dancing Wu Li Masters, Leonard Shlain’s Art and Physics, Margaret Mead’s Coming of Age in Samoa, and other classics.
William Morrow & Company
Acquired and edited practical nonfiction and selected narrative nonfiction. Responsible for major franchises and noted authors and brands, including: Mayo Clinic, Families and Work Institute President Ellen Galinsky, Salk Institute neuroscientist V.S. Ramachandran, M.D., Ph.D., bestselling author Spencer Johnson, New York Times science writers Gina Kolata and Sandra Blakeslee, New York University Medical School Women’s Health Service (4-book series), the American Pharmaceutical Association, and Good Housekeeping (a series of parenting guides and a household encyclopedia). From 1994-1999, held dual positions managing Quill Trade Paperbacks along with full hardcover acquisition responsibilities. Oversaw rapid expansion of Quill program from 24-30 titles per year to approximately 60 titles annually.
Prentice Hall Press, an Imprint of Simon & Schuster
Acquired breakout practical nonfiction and worked with leading authors and brands, including the American Society of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons, Earl Mindell’s Herb Bible (more than 2 million sold in multiple editions), bestselling psychologist Paul Pearsall, Ph.D., early QVC success Flatter Your Figure by Jan Larkey, and a parenting series with Sesame Workshop (then Children’s Television Workshop).