Susan Wels

Susan Wels - Editor

Mill Valley, CA, USA

I'm a New York Times best-selling author, historian, and editor and a specialist in memoirs and corporate/organizational publications.

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I have edited text and written extensively on subjects including history, health care, business, science, natural history, green technology, engineering, education, technology policy, the media, architecture, travel, history, art, and music. My work has been published by Time-Life, HarperCollins, Simon & Schuster, Viking, Running Press, Chronicle Books, the New York Post, Stanford Magazine, Parenting Magazine, Diablo Magazine, Health Care Business, and The Independent newspaper in the U.K. It has been praised by The New York Times Book Review, the Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, People Magazine, the Smithsonian, Publishers Weekly, the American Library Association, Booklist, Library Journal, the San Francisco Chronicle, San Francisco Magazine, San Francisco Arts Monthly, the San Francisco Examiner, and the San Jose Mercury-News.

I have edited numerous books and am the author of many, including AN ASSASSIN IN UTOPIA (Pegasus, 2023); TITANIC: LEGACY OF THE WORLD'S GREATEST OCEAN LINER (Time-Life Books, 1997), a 14-week New York Times bestseller; PEARL HARBOR: AMERICA'S DARKEST DAY (Time-Life Books, 2001); AMELIA EARHART: THE THRILL OF IT (Running Press, 2009); SAN FRANCISCO: ARTS FOR THE CITY (Heyday, 2012); SF JAZZ: THE FIRST 30 YEARS (Chronicle Books, 2012); CALIFORNIA ACADEMY OF SCIENCES: ARCHITECTURE IN HARMONY WITH NATURE (Chronicle Books, 2008); STANFORD: PORTRAIT OF A UNIVERSITY (Stanford University, 1999); and THE OLYMPIC SPIRIT: 100 YEARS OF THE GAMES (Collins, 1995).

I have also worked on assignment around the world and served as correspondent on the Titanic Research and Recovery Expedition, blogging daily from the site of the Titanic in the North Atlantic.

I'm a Stanford University graduate with a B.A. in English and communication/journalism and an M.A. in history from San Francisco State University.

Specialties: Writing and editing; corporate, academic, narrative, organizational, and family history and memoir development.

Clients have said:

"Whenever I work with Sue on a project, I have absolute confidence that the book will be phenomenal. Not only is she a great writer and editor, she is a terrific collaborator. Sue is inquisitive, curious, and brings passion and professionalism to all that she does. She has deep research skills and captures the tone and voice that fits each subject. We have worked on multiple projects over the years, and each one has been a complete success. When a great project comes my way I always think of her first. She is the best."

"I couldn’t have asked for a better partner. [My] book has benefited immeasurably from her fine writing skills and excellent judgment every step of the way. I can never thank Susan enough for that collaboration and her innumerable contributions to the final product.”​

“Susan is a phenomenal writer, editor, mentor and colleague. Her talent and passion shines through in all that she does to support a collaborative, organized, and most effective writing process. Her capacity to capture a voice that is true to an author, relevant to the subject matter they must address, and then most accessible to an audience is outstanding. Susan is a gem to be admired for all that she brings to a project.”

English (US)
Biographies & Memoirs
Writing & Publishing

Work experience

Owner and Principal

September, 1983 – Present (over 39 years)

Portfolio (12 selected works)

Which Side of History?: How Technology Is Reshaping Our Democracy and Our Lives

James P. Steyer, Cheri Vandenheuvel, Kyle Chappel, full cast, Chronicle Prism

Grand Canyon: The Great Abyss

Stegner, Page, Garton, Jeff

Canyons of Color: Utah's Slickrock Wildlands (Genesis)

Nabhan, Gary Paul, Wilson, Caroline, Garton, Jeff

Yellowstone: Land of Fire and Ice (Genesis)

Ehrlich, Gretel, Clay, Willard, Clay, Kathy

Yosemite: Valley of Thunder

Zwinger, Ann, Cook, Kathleen Norris

Grand Teton: Citadels of Stone (Genesis Series)

Schmidt, Jeremy, Schmidt, Thomas, Clay, Willard, Clay, Kathy, Clay, Willard, Clay, Kathy

Glacier & Waterton: Land of Hanging Valleys (Genesis Series)

Schullery, Paul, Garton, Jeff, Garton, Jeff

Susan has 1 review

Communication & Punctuality
Communication & Punctuality

Rick Bommelje
Inviting Susan to edit the manuscript was the best decision we made. Her expertise was immediately apparent with the first edits. She transformed the manuscript into a significantly better product that we are proud of. Susan shared her edits for each chapter and provided the space for a dialogue process. She exceeded our expectations and we highly recommend her.

Rick Bommelje, September 2022

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