I'm Helen, and I'm here to help you.
With an Ivy League education, a PhD from the University of Edinburgh, and 45 years of editorial experience, I was literally born into the world of editing. My mother was the managing editor at Cornell University Press, and I worked side by side with her for decades, learning everything I possibly could. As a little child, the stories she brought home from the press fascinated me. It wasn't difficult to coax her into writing The Fine Art of Copyediting (Columbia University Press, 2002), and I helped at every step along the way to publication. It’s a gem.
As a professor, world traveller, and ethnomusicologist, I have learned to deal with many many different types of authors around the world. Everyone has a story to tell! The Indian villager that I hired to help me in India ended up writing his own book!
Beginning in 1976, twenty years working with Macmillan, London, gave me the chance to learn practically every aspect of the editing business: project management, manuscript development, copyediting, fact checking, developmental editing (two 500-page bestselling books in ethnomusicology were the result), proofreading and more proofreading, indexing very complex material, rewriting manuscripts from translations and by authors for whom English was not their first language, and supplementing writing as necessary with thorough and careful research. But it is always about the authors, helping them to publish their ideas.
Of late, I have been working with academic publishers in the United States, England, Egypt, and Jamaica. The range of subjects has been enormous, from biology to biography, memoires to metaphysics. You'll see in my Selected Recent Projects the many and varied clients I work for.
My favorite aspect of editing has always been my interaction with the author. It is more than correcting commas and semicolons (but yes, I sure do that!); it is interacting with a person who has something important to share with the world. Author and editor at work: making a better book. With that shared goal, amazing results are possible.