Jan Johnson Drantell
Drantell Publishing and Editing Services
Publisher Emerita, RedWheel/Weiser, LLC
What I Do and How I Might Help You
I work with people who are writing or want to write a book. If you have an idea or a method of teaching something or knowledge or inspiration or a story to share but haven’t a clue how to get started, or got stuck in a first draft, or don’t know what to do now that you have a finished draft, I can help. I guide people through the process—writing to publishing—or any portion of the journey. I’ve worked in book publishing for more than 40 years as a coach, inspirer, task master, goal setter, idea clarifier, and editor.
I can help you:
- Explore whether a book is the best way to get your information or story out into the world.
- Clarify your goals in publishing your work.
- Write and polish your non‐fiction book proposal and inquiry letter.
- Decide whether you want to pursue traditional publishing, independent (self) publishing, or one of the new hybrid models out there.
- Set up a work schedule, with specific goals and deadlines, by being your go‐to accountability check‐in person as you work toward your goal.
- Make your book more accessible, comprehensible, entertaining, and/or enlightening for your intended audience, by providing an editorial report, with specific suggestions for revisions and rewrites.
I can provide:
- Feedback on your outline and your sample chapters, including, but not limited to, pointing out where your language might fall into jargon, where you might be incorrectly assuming that your reader knows where you’re going, where your work gets boring and your reader might put that book down.
- Tips for making your writing more succinct and lively, including, but not limited to, pointing out overuse of adverbs, unclear language, misuse (or no use) of topic sentences—and suggesting alternatives to all this and more.
- A sounding board for the overall organization of your book.
- Advice and ideas about which publishers (and, in some cases, agents) you might approach.
- Advice about other professionals you might approach as you get closer to publication—including, but not limited to, copyeditors, cover designers (if you’re publishing independently), marketing professionals and more.
How I work:
- I meet with potential clients on the phone or in person for 30‐ to 60‐minute sessions to determine whether we might work well together and what the task might be.
- I work with a limited number of clients. And if I don’t think I am the right person for you, I will tell you so, and, if I can, suggest others. I don’t line edit or copy edit full manuscripts, but I can refer you to experienced editors. (And I’m happy to give you a mini‐crash course in various kinds of editing.)
- I charge an hourly rate and always give you an estimate and negotiate overages.
Who I Am
Fifteen years ago, I cofounded RedWheel/Weiser, publishing books under the imprints Weiser Books, Conari Press, Disinformation Books, Hampton Roads Publishing, and Turning Stone Press. I am currently publisher emerita at Red Wheel/Weiser. I’ve worked in publishing for more than forty years, editing and acquiring primarily non‐fiction books, including memoirs, self‐help, alternative spirituality, and more.
I’ve worked with such bestselling authors as Julia Cameron, Anne Wilson Schaef, Mark Nepo, John Robbins, among others. Recently I spearheaded a cooperative publishing arrangement with the New York Open Center. I also founded the curated, author‐driven imprint Turning Stone Press. Prior to becoming publisher at Red Wheel/Weiser Books, Jan was the editorial director at Tuttle Publishing in Boston. Earlier I held those same positions at HarperOne (then HarperSanFrancisco) and Winston Seabury Press. In the past, I’ve also done freelance editing for Bantam Books, Ballantine, and Tarcher, among others. Under the name Jan Johnson Drantell I have published poetry, short fiction, two adult books, and several children’s books. I am currently working with a few writers to develop book projects and launching a series of middle grade biographies, Heroes Who Changed History.
I live in Marin County, California. I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.