Johnny Cash, author of CASH: An Autobiography:
“Mark—Thank you for all your help and guidance on my autobiography.”
“Mark is not only brilliant but also embodies a rare degree of kindness.
“I had three best sellers due, in no small part, to Mark’s marketing savvy, exceptional abilities as a literary editor, and capacity to do market driven editing without ever suggesting changes that would rob my work of its literary—or other—value to the reader.
“Mark made corporate publishing a joy for me. The publishing industry can be rough and intimidating. Without Mark, I don’t think I would’ve survived in it.
“He helped me have confidence in my writing and myself, so I could stand my ground when needed for my art and my career.
“Like many writers with their own style, I’d been given bad input about my craft. But Mark repeatedly supported parts of a manuscript that had been naysayed previously. Some were groundbreaking and became models for other books in my field, but without his support they would’ve been erased or changed beyond recognition.
“Mark, thank you for everything I’ve described here and so much more.”
Stephanie Kane, author of Blind Spot and Seeds of Doubt:
“Mark Chimsky has the gift of combining excellent insight with astute business sense. Before coming to him, I’d published four novels at mainstream houses. Mark helped me apply what I knew to nonfiction, an entirely new market, and structure a book proposal that landed the first agent who read it. In addition to his dedication and talents, Mark is also a delight to work with!”
Harry MacLean, Edgar Award-winning author of In Broad Daylight:
“My editing experience with Mark was excellent. He spotted the weaknesses in the novel and suggested ways to fix them. He took good scenes and found ways to make them even better. He respected the voice and was able to work within it, which is not always easy for editors to do, especially with fiction. I have been edited many times, and this was without doubt the most effective, positive process. I would recommend him highly for even the most challenging piece of work. “
Dr. Paula Bloom, co-author of “Why Does He Do That? Why Does She Do That?”:
“Mark Chimsky is the best editor an insecure writer could ever have!”
Nava Atlas, author of The Literary Ladies’ Guide to the Writing Life:
“Much gratitude goes to my editor, Mark Chimsky, for pushing me to go further at every stage and with every detail, helping me to turn up my “voice,” and lending his astute eye to the aesthetics of [my] book.”
Susan Conley, author of Many Brave Fools:
“My book Many Brave Fools has found a home with Trafalgar Square Books. They offered me a contract within four weeks of submitting. Mark, thank you so much for the work you did [on my manuscript]. It clarified so much…and you also provided many opportunities for insights, both structurally and thematically. It was a brilliant experience working with you.”
Katherine Crowley and Kathi Elster, authors of the best-seller, Working with You Is Killing Me:
“We worked with Mark Chimsky from February, 2002 until July, 2003. During that time, he was our editorial consultant. Mark helped us conceptualize, structure, and write a first-rate book proposal that our agent loved, and Warner Books bought within six weeks of receiving it.
“With Mark’s clarity and excellent guidance, we were able to reorganize a proposal that we knew had promise, but we didn’t know how to package properly. Mark showed us
- how to approach our reader
- how to appeal to potential publishers
- how to craft a proposal that our editor at Time Warner now sends out as an example for others to follow.
“As seasoned management consultants, we were delighted to work with someone as professional, encouraging, and competent as Mark. When we submitted various drafts of our proposal to Mark, his feedback was always constructive, always perceptive, always helpful.
“Mark also held us accountable for completing certain deadlines. This was important because we constantly juggled two competing priorities—running our business and completing the proposal.
“We recommend Mark highly to anyone interested in really pursuing the proper packaging of a book. He is an expert in every sense of the word.”
“Thank you very much for the copies of Creating a Life. It’s a most handsome production and I’m as pleased as can be to be included in it. You’ve made a worthy contribution with such a book and I send my congratulations.” (March 16, 2009)
Robert Funk and The Jesus Seminar, authors of the best-seller, The Five Gospels:
“We are indebted to Mark Chimsky for recognizing the value of this project. The aphorism recorded in Thom 39:1 all too often characterizes the way of scholars: “The scholars have taken the keys of knowledge and hidden them.” Mark Chimsky helped us find the keys and unlock doors too long bolted shut by a combination of elitism and technical jargon.”
Evan Forster, coauthor of The MBA Reality Check: Make the School You Want, Want You:“Without Mark Chimsky and his editorial everything, there would be no MBA Reality Check and perhaps no Auntie Evan.” –Evan Forster aka Auntie Evan
Joseph Bailey, author of The Speed Trap:“Mark Chimsky has been an ideal editor—challenging, encouraging, and helpful during each step of the process.”
Arthur Hertzberg and Aron Hirt-Manheimer, authors of Jews: The Essence and Character of a People:
“Like all good editors, Mark Chimsky has cajoled and occasionally even flattered the authors but, much more important, he saw very clearly that this book had to be written as a very direct and personal act of communication with the reader—and Mark had the courage to hold out for this view even as the last deadline extension was running out.”
Former Congressman Rev. Floyd H. Flake, author of the best-seller, The Way of the Bootstrapper:
“A special debt is owed to Mark Chimsky…who ushered me through the editorial process of writing my first book.”
Louise DeSalvo, author of Writing as a Way of Healing:
“My editor, Mark Chimsky, always said the right thing at the right time and sent me back to work knowing exactly what I needed to do; his editorial acumen and vision of the book kept me on track.”
Richard Jones, coauthor of A Dude’s Guide to Babies:
“Mark Chimsky is an outstanding editor. I say this without fear of contradiction and with no weasel words. It’s fact. He was able to take the body of a pretty good book and worked with me to turn it into something wonderful. A Dude’s Guide to Babies wouldn’t be nearly as good as it is had Mark not had his sure hand and compassionate vision so finely tuned to producing the best book of which I was capable.
“Often times, Mark would suggest something he felt the book needed. I would then produce said necessary thing and, possibly, be just a bit off. Mark would then use an amazing shorthand to show me exactly what he was thinking. He would write the passage or sentence or paragraph as if he were me. The first couple of times this happened, I was blown away. I thought I’d written the bits and then forgotten about them in some sort of word-bloated blackout. After a while, once I accepted that it was not only possible, but real, I could begin to tell the difference between my words and the words of Mark as me. He had my authorial voice down pat. Even better, at no point did he try to substitute his words for mine. He would show me what he’d written and then let me decide to either rewrite it or use what he’d written. Usually we ended up with a sort of hybrid, taking a little from Mark as me, a little from me, mixing them together and getting a finished product.
“It truly was a joy working with Mark Chimsky on my book. I think of him as the very best kind of athlete: The one who’s so good he makes those around him better.”
Best-selling author Melody Beattie:
“I’ve been writing professionally for twenty years now and Mark Chimsky is one of the top two editors I’ve ever worked with. I appreciate his professionalism, his understanding of what it means to be an editor, and his complete willingness to give himself to the project he’s working on.”
Beryl Bender Birch, author of the best-selling Power Yoga:
“I want to thank the Universe for my editor, Mark Chimsky, one of the most balanced, joyful, and rewarding people to work with on the planet.”
Scott Kern, founder of the Portland Writers Group:
“I’ve heard plenty of rave reviews from many of our members who attended your presentation on writing and getting published at the Think Tank. In fact, you seemed to have inspired a great many of them to keep writing, start writing again, or write even more.”
David Black, award-winning producer/director, and author of The Magic of the Theater and Falling off Broadway
“My editor, Mark Chimsky, was all I could have asked for. He is an informed and zealous theater buff, and he provided inspiration as well as talent.”
Myles Mellor, top crossword writer:
“Over the past couple of years I have had the pleasure of working with Mark Chimsky. Mark is a unique individual in that he is both an encouraging editor and a demanding one.
“I am a crossword writer and Mark insisted on correct word usage and spellings and I was grateful for his attention to detail.
“At the same time, he was fast and encouraging. The result was we were able to create fine books together, which I am confident are error free and also enjoyable. Mark does not regard his work as a chore. He wants to help you create excellent work and you feel that when you work with him. He also has a great sense of humor. I found myself laughing a lot of the time we worked on the books.
“I highly recommend Mark as an editor and will be writing a novel shortly and will once again come to him for help with this.”