Editorious is the nom-de-biz of Suzanne J.E. Tourtillott, a senior editor · acquisition editor · development editor · copy and line editor · ghostwriter and proofreader. I offer a full range of editing services for publishing professionals.
From a written concept, the outline gets shaped into a rough manuscript. In consultation with publishing team or author, additional material may be suggested. Interim deadlines are established, art needs assessed and budgeted, and technical consultation—if needed—is scheduled. Print/digital marketing and sales plans are explored; design consultations take place. Art, marketing, and editorial support is coordinated as the client requires. Ghostwriting may be explored as an option.
Style, voice, continuity, and clarity are the goals. Book elements are evaluated for relevance to the whole and to the original concept. The subject is thoroughly plumbed, and manuscript organized as necessary into chapters, sections, sidebars. Art plan is executed, reviewed, and keyed to the text. Facts are checked. Syntax is polished, and intra-book references established.
The text receives a final close read. The book structure (chapter heads and subheads) is verified, and loose threads are tied. A preliminary index may be created; book elements/files are checked and organized.
The manuscript is readied for layout. Measurements and spelling are verified, and files checked for format issues and nonprinting characters. Book elements are compared to the contents page. Inter-book references, heds, and art markup are checked.
“Suzanne is all those things a great editor should be: smart, conscientious, detail-oriented, motivated, and thoughtful. She has a great eye and has always been interested in using technology as a tool to better her editing skills. She’s funny, too!”
—Valerie Shrader, Senior Editor, Lark Books
“Suzanne is a creative thinker and a can-do collaborator. She is one of the most innovation-focused persons I know, continually learning new processes and technologies to improve or enhance the way projects are executed. Suzanne rides on the leading edge of technology, trends, and good ideas.”
—Chris Bryant, Senior Art Director, Lark Books
“Suzanne and I worked together on a book project. She was very detail-minded and focused on being sure the creative team saw and shared the vision for the book. She was proactive about communicating and planning so that the project was high-quality and stayed on budget. She has excellent experience as a book editor.”
—Eileen Paulin, Owner, RL4C Communications, Inc
“As an art director, I collaborated with Suzanne on a number of projects at Lark Books. Suzanne has a fine visual sense and was able to offer exactly the kind of input an art director needs to do his job. She is particularly sensitive to photography, color and type; and her comments helped me achieve a better understanding of the subject and ultimately a better-looking book.”
—Cindy LaBreacht, Owner, LaBreacht Design
“Suzanne was fantastic to work with on digital projects! She always came to the table with great ideas and was able to quickly adapt her approach to the capabilities of the digital space. I would recommend her as a creative editor and great person to work with.”
—Elizabeth Christensen, Digital Marketing Coordinator, Sterling Publishing
“Suzanne worked for our division, Lark Books, and was a superb and integral part of our editorial team. Her books consistently performed at high levels of success and were well reviewed by a diverse range of media. She has an uncanny acquisitions eye and the ability to bring those acquisitions to fruition. I would highly recommend her for any editorial position.”
—Charles Nurnberg, CEO & Publisher, Sterling Publishing
“Suzanne is a very creative out-of-the-box thinker and it was a pleasure to collaborate with her on digital marketing promotions at Lark / Sterling.”
—Kate Rados, Director, Digital Markets, Sterling Publishing
“Suzanne is passionate about books, embracing of new technology, and an imaginative and inventive thinker about how publishing can evolve and thrive in an increasingly digital world. She will bring high standards, creative ideas, and dedication and commitment to any project.”
—Paige Gilchrist, Editorial Director, Lark Books
“Suzanne is a creative and motivated professional who eagerly embraces innovation and technology, ever seeking new ways to aid productivity and group process. ”
—Greg Evans, IT Support Analyst
“Suzanne knows her stuff. As an acquisitions editor and senior editor for Lark Books, she produced some amazing titles. Many of the books she acquired and drove with vision involved ceramics, of which she is an expert, but she did a thorough job even with the books she was assigned. I worked with Suzanne on only a couple projects, but I found her a demanding yet understanding senior editor. She knew what she wanted for the book and she’d help you get there. There’s a lot involved with producing a book for a serious publisher, and Suzanne knows every facet. I'd work with her again. In fact, I hope I do. She’s driven to excellence, and nothing makes a stronger impact on a team than a beautiful, successful finished product. Hire her now before someone else does!”
—Mark H. Bloom, Assistant Editor, Lark Books
“Suzanne is a dedicated and talented editor. I watched her build a successful ceramics list at Lark Books, and then I watched her sell it in-house, market it, and bring in top authors. There were no obstacles she couldn’t overcome. By the way, Suzanne is also a wonderful photographer with a great eye. I recommend Suzanne wholeheartedly.”
—Joe Rhatigan, Editorial Director, Lark Books
“Wonderful to work with, Suzanne is someone who is very talented and delivers everything she says she will in a timely manner. I highly recommend her”
—Benjamin Porter, Photography Curriculum Director, McDowell Technical College
“Suzanne Tourtillott is a dynamic thinker and creative. She asks probing questions, provides out-of-the-box answers, and attacks problems and finds solutions with intelligence, wit, and persistence. Suzanne also is a heart-centered, supportive team member who passionately champions her projects and people.”
—Ray Hemachandra, Senior Editor, Lark Books / Sterling Publishing Inc.
“I worked with Suzanne Tourtillott as a curator and writer for the major content of a book on ceramic art that Lark published: Porcelain Masters: new works by leading ceramists. Suzanne was a delight to work with, very organized, efficient and thoughtful. She knows the publishing business well, and works well with authors. I highly recommend her; you couldn't do better.”
—Richard Burkett, Professor, San Diego State University
“Suzanne is intelligent, fair, and dedicated to creating quality books. She was one of my favorite clients.”
—Susan Huxley, Editor and Creative Director, Huxley Communications, LLC
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The call for entries for 500 Animals in Clay galvanized some of the ceramics world’s provocateurs and theorists. I had first met future juror Joe Bova during a photo shoot of his figurative piece for The Penland Book of Ceramics, and tapped him to jury this collection because fauna is his forte. The genesis for this book’s concept came from having seen two very powerful (though polar opposite) sculptures by Adelaide Paul and Beth Cavener Stichter.
The pub date for this book-plus-DVD is May of 2013. It was exciting to work with Simon, of the noted Leach pottery family. He is a born teacher, and has a loyal YouTube following. I edited the manuscript as well as streamlined some 14 hours of his raw video how-to and made them ISO-ready for the replicator.
I liked handing the marked-up manuscript to an art director who, in a previous life, had studied ceramics. She knew the design was likely to be propped open on a dusty studio shelf, and made sure even the grittiest details would be accessible and engaging.
This UK translation (of Wege zur Japanischen Keramik), is a comprehensive ceramics survey based on the collection of two German microbiologists. The manuscript contained a huge number of kanji, transliterations, diacritical marks, and precisely hyphenated terms, so this project proved to be a rewarding editorial challenge. Fortunately, the authors assisted at all design-proof stages. Their corrections brought me to an appreciation of the fact that in Japan, an error is as good as an insult.
A background in art photography and education suited me to this project. I contracted artists to create design projects (digital and analog) that made imaginative use of snapshot imagery. Feeling inspired, I contributed a few of my own to the mix. Only recently have I realized that the intervening years have transformed this book into a kind of private snapshot of an especially happy time in my own life—the very message I intended for my readers.
As an editor, I scrutinize a manuscript at an intense level. To ensure that a book᾿s text and art will be able to guide even the greenest novice, I have to follow each stage of a how-to description in my mind᾿s eye. Another aspect of this kind of editing is making sure that photos and illustrations are as tactile and accessible as possible. While working on the techniques chapter for EQK, I took a few reference shots for the illustrator. Their degree of specificity was such that the snaps were used in the book. (Those are my fingers holding the needles.)
Sometimes an editor᾿s job feels more like pleasure than work. When the illustrator and author of a how-to manuscript are one and the same, well, it just doesn't get much better than that. Author Aimee Ray᾿s fluid and well-developed visual vocabulary was readily apparent during the project review. And, as book sales ultimately proved, that fresh look proved to have enormous appeal.
Craft bloggers challenge online followers to post apron and quilt and knitted-sock pieces on deadline: reality show, or inspiration for the Craft Challenge series? This first title, on the theme of pillowcases, had a really short nose-to-tail production schedule—much shorter than the usual 12 to 15 months. I headed a team of in-house editors plus a technical editor, who got it to the art department in an unheard-of four months. Its fresh-looking cover probably belies the fact that the cover design process was one of the most, er, challenging ever.
Needlecrafts, Authored, Other Series
Andrew Martin approached me at an educators’ conference with his black-and-white self-published book in hand. I liked how smoothly it took a creative idea from drawing to clay model to mold to cast piece—problem solving made maybe not simple but at least accessible. To my delight, he agreed to recreate every demonstration and finished piece so they could be re-photographed in color. We streamlined the original text before I turned the heavy lifting over to my favorite freelance editor, took a chance on an unknown (though excellent) photographer, and brought the book to publication in under a year. It debuted at the next year's conference.
I packaged this Lark book, which is set to launch in early April, 2013. All of the photography is mine (with a couple of noted exceptions). Finding these great designers took a lot more time than I had calculated but it was so worth the effort.
The first book I ever edited was this English co-edition of La Joyeria. The author knew not a smidgen of English; neither was the translator a jeweler. The work turned out not to be merely swapping out blocks of Spanish text with fresh English. What a stroke of luck to find a technical consultant who had lived in Spain while studying jewelry design. His help in reconciling differences in European tools, materials, and techniques was probably my saving grace.
I supervised the editing of this book, managed its budget and production schedule, and collaborated with the editor and art staff.
Nathalie Mornu and I had a lot of fun co-authoring this “crowd-sourced” project book. In addition to calling on familiar, local designers, we also surfed the Web for bold and clean wire-centric pieces. We emphasized their thoroughly modern look to the book team by showing them laid out on modern ceramic tableware.
As editor, I managed this book’s budget, production schedule, and the jurying process.
My supervising editor suggested an unusual approach for this book on artistic journaling: pair book artists (the “making” half of the partnership) with visual journalers (the “keepers”) who would then collaborate on unique journal designs. I loved seeing the finished structures and lively journal entries up close, during the shoot.
I wrote and edited this book, managed its budget and production schedule, and collaborated with the contributing designers and art staff all the way through the blue-line stage.
I developed the content for and edited this project book, working with designers and art staff all the way through the blue-line stage.
I edited this book, which included managing its budget and production schedule and collaborating on design and marketing ideas with sales, the art director, and cover designer all the way through the blue-line stage.
In a rare departure from the norm, entry selection took place at jurors Elaine and Tom Coleman’s home studio in Las Vegas. After a few hundred slides of cups had gone by, I asked them what kinds of things they looking for. “A handle,” Tom said, &8221; should look as graceful and effortless as a brush stroke.
I pitched the pitcher topic at one of our regular-Monday-morning editorial meetings. Once it was approved, I managed its budget, the jurying process and production schedule, and was a collaborative member of the book’s design and marketing teams.
I proposed this book’s topic at one of our regular-Monday-morning editorial meetings. My responsibilities were to choose the juror, and manage the budget, jurying process, and production schedule.
Vases are often part of the pantheon of functional ceramics, so they seemed a natural choice for a 500. As for all titles in the series, I nuzzled this book through the editorial process, setting the production schedule, minding the budget, choosing a juror, and working with sales and marketing staff, the art director, and the cover designer.
For the location photography on this book, the art director and I secured a variety of architectural styles; these included a 1930s-era bungalow, a Queen Anne pile, and an Appalachian mountaintop cabin. Its projects and sidebars discuss lighting, furniture, plantings, and all manner of idle summertime pursuit.
As part of the book team, I collaborated at every phase of this title’s production process: development, editing, and art planning, plus design and proof-stage reviewing.
I was the senior editor for this book, the first in the Ceramics for Beginners series. Using sample text and art elements, the art director developed a design template for review by the book team. I managed the budget and production schedule; suggested marketing ideas to its author; and collaborated with the sales and art teams. Wheel Throwing is another title in this series.
Other Series, Ceramics
I was the senior editor for this book. Its topic came forward at a presentation meeting. I managed its budget and production schedule and collaborated creatively with the juror, sales and marketing staff, the art director, and cover designer.
As the senior editor for this book, I managed its budget and production schedule, and collaborated with the author, photographer, and the art director on location shoots that embodied the rustic (Celo, Seagrove) to thoroughly practical (Penland) to downright stylish (Atlanta corridor).
I was the senior editor for this book, managed its budget and production schedule and collaborated creatively with the author, sales and marketing staff, the art director, cover designer, and photographer. A top seller in its field.
I was the editor for this book. I managed its budget and production schedule and collaborated creatively with the sales and marketing staff, art director, and photographer. A top seller in its field.
The author, Kelly Deal, of the Breeders, is the sort of fearless artists one sometimes meets in the knitting world. She was such a dream to work with (no rock-star demands of any kind) that when the Breeders came to town I sent a giant bowl of colorful custom-printed M&Ms backstage. To give the book’s look some street cred, the art director scored an actual recording studio for the week of shooting.
I can't help but love repeat authors like four-time Lark Books author Iris Shreier. They’re confident and knowledgable about what it takes to write a book, and the whole process just flows.
This topic came forward at a concept meeting. As development editor, my job was sign designers to make imaginative pieces of maternity knitwear. I also managed the budget and production schedule and collaborated creatively with the sales and marketing staff, the art director, cover designer, and photographer. We photographed actually expectant models because we never could lay hands a fake “bump.”
Finding a ceramist to commit to a book is harder than one might think. Ceramics is a labor-intensive calling, and writing a how-to book at the same time requires a lion heart. While looking for a suitable author for this second volume in the Ceramics for Beginners series, I was attracted to Emily Reason’s warm, engaging work. Having assisted John Britt with his thousands of test tiles on The Complete Book of High-Fire Glazes, Emily had already had her test by fire.
Ceramics, Other Series
As the senior editor for this book (part of a “Masters of…” series), I managed the budget and production schedule; and collaborated creatively with the juror, sales and marketing staff, the art director, cover designer, and photographer.
The Penland School of Craft nominated a dynamite roster of contributing artists for this, the first in the “Penland Book of…” series. I took over the work when my senior editor’s schedule got too crowded—just in time to attend a photo shoot of Joe Bova constructing a piece. To write intro passages for the standalone chapters let me draw on my background in studio art.
Ceramics, Other Series
I edited the English translation of this Danish title, keeping watch over its budget and production schedule and making sure that the materials and tools used in it were also available for the U.S.-Canada market.
A 500 title on sculpture first suggested itself to me while seeing exhibits in the year that the National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts (NCECA) met in San Diego. As for all 500 titles, I managed this book’s budget and production schedule, and collaborated creatively with sales and marketing staff, the art director and the cover designer.
As a senior editor, I presented the subject at a concept meeting; managed the book’s budget, production schedule, and jurying process; and collaborated creatively with the juror, sales and marketing staff, the art director, and cover designer..
This one’s the mother of the 500 series. Each ceramics title presents broad snapshots of contemporary artistic practice, and remains timelessly relevant to makers, teachers, and collectors around the world. To my photography-loving eye, many of the teapot images, reproduced in the pre-digital age of book publishing, are especially sharp and luminous.
Individually, a tile can be a miniature canvas and a group of tiles, well planned, can create a wall-sized canvas. In her introduction, the juror Angelica Pozo wrote, “The tile truly must be the perfect universal vehicle for artistic expression in clay.” Angelica’s wide network of tile artists drew thousands of submissions.
This book was a lot of fun to work on. In a kind of organic coming-together process, all of us—authors, contributors, editor, art director, and photographer—gathered at one time and in one place to show how the how-to happens. In the back of the book is a picture of our happy, tired group at the mountaintop photo location. Those were some good times.
Overseeing a major revision of the second edition of this book was my first work on a ceramics title.
I edited the English translation of this ceramics book, which was first published in Spain. Readying a foreign publication for the U.S. market is a bit of an art in itself. I managed the editorial production schedule and collaborated with the art director and translator to make sure the translated text would fit well into the original design layout.
When an author is as incredibly upbeat, organized, and energetic as Jennifer Heynen, a big savings in time, money, and editorial angst is realized. (we should make sanity a line item!). This book had the shortest, easiest photo shoot ever: a day and a half.
This book is regarded as a gold standard in tile-making circles. Author Angelica Pozo, who also juried 500 Tiles, really impressed the book team with her vision, organization, and clarity. Her how-to writing and staging of the processes for the camera were so well done that the editing process was a joy.
Top-notch ceramics writers are rare as hen’s teeth. I loved working with Paul on Alternative Kilns & Firing Techniques so much that we were anxious to collaborate on another project. This definitive title entered the market at just right time, and Paul vigorously promoted it with book signings, workshops, exhibitions, and articles. A top seller in its category.
A lovely and loving treatment of the ceramic art as practiced in an historic pottery enclave of North Carolina. It felt like a privilege to edit author Charlotte Vestal Brown’s lyrical descriptions of handmade pots.
Clark Snell is brilliant with unwieldy materials. Why doesn't everyone build storage with 2x4s?
Few books had been written on the subject of making shoes by hand, so this one had a pretty good shot at the market. During the editing stage, I laid out the author’s sample pieces in my office and invited colleagues to suggest titles for them. As it turned out, the colorful designs elicited such fancifully narrative names as “Madame Butterfly Scuff” and “Desert Sunrise Moc.”
Ambitious, this one. How else to explain a single title that shows how to felt from wool, use polymer clay, do lamp work, and forge metal?
Industry perk: drooling over the projects when copyediting a craft book. The author’s fanciful intros, her steel designs, and the accompanying sketches really captured my interest. I almost always fall in love with my subjects.
I recruited a group of the top figurists in the country for this title. Executing the logistics of essay drafts and far-flung photo shoots was particularly challenging, and taxed my assistant rather mightily. Still, the title remains a lovely rarity in ceramics publishing.
Intense and lengthy collaborations between author, art director, cover designer, and editor helped weave this manuscript’smyriad elements—summaries, developmental guides, formulas, relational charts, test tiles, and supporting gallery—into a tightly effective whole. And though it’s now out of print, CGHFG remains a benchmark volume on the subject. I treasure my autographed copy.
CeCe Wire has a talent that is essential for the how-to author: visual thinking. As a seasoned workshop instructor she knew which stages of the making process would need stepped-out photos, and her close collaboration with the metal clay manufacturer guaranteed that the technical bits would be perfectly right.
Most of the books on this site were authored by experts in their field of craft. For collections or showcases of work by independent contributors, the publisher assigned author credit to me because I wrote its supporting text.
Before we talk, some points to consider.
Projects flow smoothly with a production schedule and an estimated budget. After consultation, we can decide how to schedule the work. Development or copy editing usually includes making recommendations for illustration and photography more than either line editing or proofreading.
If you plan to self-publish, a review of some sample material can help me recommend the necessary edit level. For illustrated projects, part of my development work or copy editing can be to help balance your manuscript’s needs against the budget. Together, we can decide whether a flat fee or an hourly rate for my time works best.
Work agreements are usually established with a written contract; a deposit may be required.
When ready, send an email to Editorious. I look forward to learning more about your project and how I can help it get ready.