I’ve been working with authors, books, and publishers for nearly twenty years. Here are some of the editorial services I can provide. If there’s something you need that isn’t on the list, let me know and I’ll customize a plan for you.
I’ll read your book, make light notes on the document using Microsoft Word and then provide a 3-5 page editorial letter that gives you my thoughts on big picture issues like plot, pacing, characters, writing style and voice.
If you’re looking for a deep dive into your manuscript, this is the one. In addition to a heavily marked up manuscript and a long editorial letter, we’ll have a lot of back and forth collaboration about your writing process, what your intentions were when you started, and how you realized them.
QUERY LETTER REVIEW
Hate writing and overthinking your query letter. I understand. Having read thousands of them over the years, I know what works and doesn’t. Let me help you put your best foot forward with agents and publishers.
I’m available to write on a variety of topics on deadline. Although I can cover a lot of ground, I’m especially dialed into music, sports, politics, religion, and American pop culture. From blog posts to full books, I’m ready to write.
ONE ON ONE TEACHING
If you’ve got specific needs that aren’t covered by any of the above services, I can customize an editorial/consultant program for your book or situation. This can be a one time instance or an ongoing concern. Let me know what you need.
Have a few questions about writing or publishing? In the course of my publishing career I was responsible for the publication of over 120 books. I’d be glad to answer your questions about the writing process and the business of publishing over the phone.
SALIDA WRITERS’ RETREAT
Want a week’s worth of one-on-one time in the mountains of Colorado to discuss your book, interact with other writers, and immerse yourself in nature? Come join me at the 2019 Salida Writers Retreat in September. For more info, click here.
NON-ACCREDITED, NO RESIDENCY MFA PROGRAM
Want to be a writer, but having a hard time finding something to write? Need a life affirming journey to learn about the world around you in ways you may have previously left undiscovered? Do you have dreams of American road trips? Well, if you’re adventurous, wanting to write, and not looking to pay $30k a year to get an MFA from a college with dubious credentials, I’ll gladly put together an itinerary and fill up the car with gas.
Interested in working together? Tell me a little about you and your project and I’ll get back to you with a quote and my thoughts. Emails can be sent here.
“Ben LeRoy is that rarest of things – an editor who understands his writers’ intentions even better than they do – which means he isn’t just an editor but an accomplice, a facilitator, and, at times, a magician. Working with Ben not only made Small Treasons a better book; it made me a better writer. His editorial guidance has been—and remains—one of the treasures of my writing life.”
MARK POWELL, author of Small Treasons
“Long story short, there are few individuals I’ve spent so little face-to-face time with who have had more of an impact on my life. From the notes on Ruthless that made all the difference in helping me get an agent and a Big Five publishing contract to serendipitously inspiring my stand-up comedy, I owe a lot to Ben LeRoy. He’s one of the good ones, you guys.”
CAROLYN LEE ADAMS, author of Ruthless
“Ben LeRoy gets writers. He knows story. He understands character and human connection. And most importantly, he goes with his gut. That’s how he built two successful publishing companies. That’s how he shepherds books like mine through the process of becoming the best they can be. The guy’s got vision. Ben LeRoy changed my life. If you’re smart, you’ll let him change yours.”
JOE NELMS, author of Formerly Fingerman and The Last Time I Died
“I’ve been following Ben’s blogs since he was at Tyrus books, and when I found out he was offering editorial services, I JUMPED at the chance. I can’t think of anybody else who combines the experience of running a publishing company, a thorough understanding of the crime and thriller genre, an editorial background, and outstanding professionalism. His initial comments on my novel gave me the encouragement to finish it, and his editorial advice was invaluable. With his help, my book took on a polish and tightness that resulted in an offer from an agent. I absolutely believe that I’m an agented author now due to Ben’s knowledge, kindness, and willingness to give every project his all.”
“Ben is knowledgeable, thoughtful, and beyond generous. His articulation of elements (both strong and weak), and ability to plainly assess character, arc and prose helped me see my own words through a clear lens. It is my estimation that this is the biggest gift a writer can receive. I can’t recommend him enough.”
Ben LeRoy was born and still lives in Madison, WI. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee where he double majored in English and Philosophy. Ben started Bleak House Books in 2000 and ran it as Publisher until 2005 when he sold it to Big Earth Publishing. He left Bleak House to start Tyrus Books in the summer of 2009. In 2011 he sold Tyrus Books to F+W Media, but continued in his role as Publisher. Late in 2016, F+W Media sold Tyrus Books to Simon & Schuster/CBS. In April of 2017, Simon & Schuster folded the Tyrus Books line into their existing Gallery imprint. Since 2017, Ben has worked as a freelance editor.
Books published by Bleak House and Tyrus won or were finalists for a variety of awards including the Barnes & Noble Discover Award for Fiction, the Edgar Award, the Barry Award, the Anthony Award, and Booklist’s Best Debut Novels of the Year. Books also made a variety of national and regional best seller lists including the USA Today list.
Publishers Weekly’s named Ben to the magazine’s “Fifty Under Forty” feature. He spoke at dozens of conferences and writing workshops across the country. In 2018 he launched the Salida Writers Retreat with editor and former literary agent, Anita Mumm.
Though a lot of his life has been centered around words, Ben is also a big music fan, a constant traveler, a rock climber, an internal explorer, and endlessly fascinated by the world around him. In 2014, after the death of a friend, he created the Be Local Everywhere project that focused on doing volunteer work in all fifty states. He is at work on a variety of novels and podcasts.
Ben LeRoy is currently the Executive Director of the Independent Publishers Caucus.