professional book editing services

Book Editing, Proofreading, Book Design,

Indexing, and Manuscript Submission Services


PEGGY CAMPBELL has been editing nonfiction books for more than two decades, working for both top university presses and trade publishers, and several authors return to her for each book they write. She works as a developmental/line editor/substantive editor, copy editor, and proofreader, and is an expert user of the Chicago Manual of Style/Turabian.

She began freelancing after a long career at a newspaper reporter and editor at metro dailies, including editing stints at the San Jose Mercury News and Newsday. Her areas of expertise are history (especially American history), including biography, memoir, and autobiography; journalism; and politics and government, public affairs, and public policy; and equine subjects.

Books on whose manuscripts she worked have won a number of awards and named honors, including New York Times Notable Book of the Year; the Tankard Award; Choice Outstanding Book of the Year; National Jewish Book Award; Choice Outstanding Academic Title—and those are the ones she knows about. She has been privileged to edit forewords by such authors as John Kenneth Galbraith and Morely Safer. Campbell's own work as a reporter and that of her reporters was nominated for several Pulitzers by various newspapers.

Her background makes her ideally suited for the academic who wants to write for a general audience—she is familiar with the mores and cadences of the academy but has never lost the ear for plain language that she developed as a journalist. Her standards are high, but her motto is "Never give a critic a free lunch." She regards editing as a collaborative process and wants to help authors produce their best work, leaving nothing (as the horseracing people say) at the gate, Her attention to detail is ferocious—authors are amazed by her ability to catch discrepancies, inconsistencies, and redundancies hundreds of pages apart. Her favorite compliment from an author? "You make me sound like me—only better!"

Copyediting Credits

A Very Private Public Citizen: The Life of Grenville Clark. Nancy Peterson Hill (2014).

An American Bride in Kabul: A Memoir. Phyllis Chesler (2013).

Be Free or Die: The Amazing Story of Robert Smalls' Escape from Slavery to Union Hero. Cate Lineberry (2017).

CBS's Don Hollenbeck: An Honest Reporter in the Age of McCarthyism. Loren Ghiglione (2008).

Dark Days in the Newsroom: McCarthyism Aimed at the Press. Edward Alwood (2007).

Ed Koch and the Rebuilding of New York City. Jonathan Soffer (2010).

Hot, Hungry Planet: The Fight to Stop a Global Food Crisis in the Face of Climate Change. Lisa Palmer (2017).

In Their Voices: Black Americans on Transracial Adoption. Rhonda M. Roorda (2015).

On the Parole Board: Reflections on Crime, Punishment, Redemption, and Justice. Frederic G. Reamer (2016).

Six Billion Shoppers: The Companies Winning the Global E-Commerce Boom. Porter Erisman (2017).

Straight News: Gays, Lesbians, and the News Media. Edward Alwood (1996).

Superfuel: Thorium, the Green Energy Source for the Future. Richard Martin (2013).

The Wizard of Waxahachie: Paul Richards and the End of Baseball as We Knew It.

Warren Corbett (2009).

Young China: How the Restless Generation Will Change the Country and the World. Zak Dychtwald (2018).

An American Bride in KabulBe Free or DieFrom Chocoalte to MorphineOn the Parole BoardStraight NewsWizard of Waxahachie

Developmental/Line Editing Credits

Heart of a Lion: The Life, Death and Legacy of Hank Gathers. Kyle Keiderling (2010).

Olympic Collision: The Story of Mary Decker and Zola Budd. Kyle Keiderling (2016).

The Perfect Game: Villanova vs. Georgetown for the National Championship. Kyle Keiderling (2012)

Shooting Star: The Bevo Francis Story. Kyle Keiderling (2005).

Trophies and Tears: The Story of Evansville and the Aces. Kyle Keiderling (2012).

The World War II Desk Reference. Michael E. Haskell and Douglas Brinkley, eds. (2004).

Neyond Affirmative ActionHeart of a LionOlympic Collision


"Peggy Campbell is a consummate professional with a magic touch for shaping manuscripts into marketable products." —Kyle Keiderling, Shooting Star; Heart of a Lion; Incident in LA; The Perfect Game; Trophies and Tears

"Peggy Campbelll, copy editor extraordinaire, made both my writing and my thinking more precise. In addition, she contributed many kind words and humorous anecdotes." —Peter Murphy, Studs, Tools, and the Family Jewels

"Peggy Campbell skillfully copyedited the text, immeasurably improving its flow and accuracy." —Bruce S. Jansson, The Sixteen-Trillion-Dollar Mistake

"Peggy Campbell copyedited [my book] with a deft but light hand." —Warren Corbett, The Wizard of Waxahachie

"We are greatly indebted to Peggy Campbell, copy editor extraordinaire." —Andrew Weil, M.D., and Winifred Rosen, From Chocolate to Morphine, rev. ed.

"Peggy Campbell[’s] . . . editorial guidance was invaluable. It was a joy to work with someone as skilled as Peggy because she really grasped the nuances of my ideas and knew exactly how to push and direct the book in progress. She made a difficult process a lot more fun." —Robert A. Ibarra, Beyond Affirmative Action

"I have been fortunate to have as my copy editor Peggy Campbell, whose sharp editorial skills and passionate interest in the news business helped enormously to make this a better book." —Edward Alwood, Straight News

"Peggy Campbell . . . proved quite extraordinary and greatly aided the quality of the manuscript." —David R. Colburn and Jeffrey S. Adler, eds., African-American Mayors

"Peggy Campbell was the best copy editor I can imagine." —Michael Robertson, Stephen Crane, Journalism, and the Making of Modern American

"Peggy Campbell, an outstanding copy editor, substantially improved the book's
—Virginia E. Richardson and Amanda S. Barusch, Gerontological Practice for the Twenty-first Century