Carly Cantor

Developmental Editing, Manuscript Evaluations and Critiques, Manuscript Assessment Services, Ghostwriting

200+ books edited for major publishers and independent authors

CARLY CANTOR is a published author and publishing industry veteran who worked for several years as an acquisitions editor at a New York publisher where she acquired and edited numerous hardcover and trade paperback titles every year on a variety of nonfiction subjects. Her extensive experience includes critiquing and development editing.

As a freelance book editor, she edits memoir, history, current events, health, judaica, marriage and family, women’s issues, how-to, and pop culture books, as well as romance novels, women’s fiction, and literary fiction.


Carly edits fiction with an appreciation for how the brain works and for the fact that readers like to pick up clues while they read, as they do in real life, and figure things out rather than be constantly told how to interpret what characters are thinking and feeling. She pays attention to pacing, descriptive detail (the Goldilocks rule: should be just right; not too much, not too little), narrative arc, character development, dialogue, and general writing issues.

She knows the New York publishing world (and has access to the current thinking about what is hot and what is not).

One novelist said of her, “I have been guided by a number of different editors throughout my career. Without any hesitation, I can say that [she] is the best editor I have ever worked with.”


Carly often works with academics, psychologists, and medical doctors on high-caliber material in the social and life sciences, helping to make their writing more accessible to a trade audience. One happy client, a medical doctor, said of her, “She is a consummate wordsmith, with the facility of not only understanding and integrating scientific and technical material but also illuminating arcane and otherwise opaque descriptions.”

She has also worked closely with memoir writers and has a knack for preserving an author’s own special voice while helping him or her avoid narrative mistakes that come across as awkward or amateurish. Some of her memoirists have been people documenting struggles with mental illness, addiction, and/or abuse; an adoptee who found her birth mother; a man convicted of the mercy-killing of his wife; a Korean woman who grew up feeling oppressed by her culture’s sexism; a man prosecuted for federal crimes he did not commit; a son of a Holocaust survivor who learned his father’s story after 50 years of silence; just to name a few.

She has authored two history books. For several years, she was an acquisitions editor at Carol Publishing Group, New York, NY, where she acquired and edited numerous hardcover and trade paperback titles on a variety of nonfiction subjects, mostly in the areas of self-help, health, history/current events, how-to, memoir, and pop culture.

Books Edited/Published

The Jewish Family Fun Book Chasing America Senseless Secrets The Moses Mystery But What if She Wants to Die? Mindstorms After He's Gone A THriver's Journey Seven Percent God Optional Judaism To Kill a Tiger Phodography The Mexican War Rating the Presidents 5 Reasons We Overeat MotherMe Wedding Photography Unveiled Francisco de Coronado Creating Animation for Your Web Page Two Jews Confidence with Assertive Communication Brother Against Brother Christine Todd Whitman The End of Affirmative Action Where Do We Go From Here? Happy Accidents Smart Parenting for African Americans The Shakedown Bringing Photos, Music, and Video Into Your Web Page


Discovering Black New York (Travel)—by Linda Tarrant-Reid (Citadel Press)
Fifty Black Women Who Changed America—by Amy Alexander (Kensington)
Smart Parenting for African Americans—by Dr. Jeffrey Gardere (Kensington)
Soul in Management (Business)—by Richard F. America (Birch Lane Press)

Biography, Current Affairs, History

The Age of Extremism—by James Gardner (Carol Publishing)
Brother Against Brother: The Lost Civil War Diary of Lt. Edmund Halsey—by Bruce Chadwick (Citadel)
Christine Todd Whitman—by Art Weissman (Birch Lane Press)
Devil’s Pact (about the Teamsters)—by Duke Zeller (Birch Lane Press)
The End of Affirmative Action—by Darien McWhirter (Birch Lane Press)
For a Good Cause: How Charitable Institutions Become Powerful Economic Bullies—by John Hawks
(Birch Lane Press)
The Legal 100: A Ranking of the Individuals Who Have Most Influenced the Law—by Darien McWhirter
(Birch Lane Press)
The Moses Mystery: The African Origins of the Jewish People—by Gary Greenberg (Birch Lane Press)
The Prosecution Responds—by Hank Greenberg (an attorney in the O.J. Simpson trial) (Birch Lane Press)
Rating the Presidents—by Bill Ridings and Stuart McIver (Citadel Press)
Senseless Secrets: The Failures of U.S. Military Intelligence From George Washington to the Present—by Lt. Col. (Ret.) Michael Lee Lanning (Barnes & Noble Books)
Toxic Deception: How the Chemical Industry Manipulates Science, Bends the Law, and Endangers
Your Health—by Dan Fagin and Marianne Lavelle (Carol Publishing)


Income Double, Half the Trouble—by Jonathan Flaks (Dog Ear Publishing)
The Science of Sales Success—by Josh Costell (AMACOM)
Moneymaking Moms—by Caroline Hull and Tanya Wallace (Carol Publishing)
Soul in Management—by Richard F. America (Birch Lane Press)


Artist Biographies—8-book series (Enslow)
Internet Library—8-book series (Enslow)
Kids’ Book of Soccer—by Brooks Clark (Citadel Press)
Proud Heritage–Hispanic Library—8-book series (The Child’s World, 2003)
“Why Do We Have to Move?”—by Cynthia MacGregor (Lyle Stuart)
“Why Do We Need Another Baby?”—by Cynthia MacGregor (Lyle Stuart)

Domestic (Cooking, Entertaining)

The Cheapskate’s Guide to Entertaining—by Lori Perkins (Citadel Press)
The Cheapskate’s Guide to Home Decorating—by Jo Stewart Wray (Citadel Press)
The Feng Shui Cookbook—by Elizabeth Miles (Carol Publishing)
The Wicca Cookbook—by Jamie Wood and Tara Seefeldt (Citadel Press)


The Art of Sensual Female Dominance—by Claudia Varrin (Citadel Press)
Erotic Surrender—by Claudia Varrin (Citadel Press)
How to Seduce a Man and Keep Him Seduced—by Laurie Sue Brockway


The Coach House—by Florence Osmund (CreateSpace, 2012)
Daughters— by Florence Osmund (forthcoming in 2013)
Fireflies of the Empire—by Toshio Nishi (forthcoming)
Love Is Definitely Greek to Me—by Carolyn Giglio (iUniverse, 2007)
The Secret (of Happiness)—by Demosthenes Armeniades (Tinseltown Press)
Stingy Jack—by R. Scott Taylor ( Inc., 2007)

Health / Diet

The Five Reasons Why We Overeat: How to Develop a Long-Term Weight-Control Plan That’s Right for You—by Cynthia Last (Birch Lane Press)
Holistic Sleep—by Dr. Frank Buda (Citadel)
Mindstorms: The Complete Guide for Families Living with Traumatic Brain Injury—John Cassidy (Da Capo, 2009)


God-Optional Judaism—by Judith Seid (Citadel Press)
The Jewish Family Fun Book—by Danielle Dardashti and Roni Sarig (Jewish Lights Publishing, 2008)
The Jewish Woman’s Book of Wisdom—by Ellen Jaffe-Gill (Citadel)
The Moses Mystery: The African Origins of the Jewish People—by Gary Greenberg (Pereset Press, 2008)
Two Jews Can Still Be a Mixed Marriage—by Azriela Jaffe (Career Press)

Family Issues / Marriage

After He’s Gone: A Guide for Widowed & Divorced Women—by Barbara Jowell and Donnette Schwisow (Citadel Press)
The Caregiver’s Manual: A Guide to Helping the Elderly and Infirm—by Patie Kay and Gene B. Williams (Citadel Press)
The Exceptional Seven Percent: The Nine Secrets of the World’s Happiest Couples—by Greg Popcak (Citadel Press)
The 501 Best and Worst Things Ever Said About Marriage—by Ronald Shwartz (Citadel Press)
Mother, Me—by Zara Phillips (Gemma Media, 2010)
Smart Parenting for African Americans—by Dr. Jeffrey Gardere (Kensington)
Two Jews Can Still Be a Mixed Marriage—by Azriela Jaffe (Career Press)
“Why Do We Need Another Baby?”—by Cynthia MacGregor (Lyle Stuart)
“Why Do We Have to Move?”—by Cynthia MacGregor (Lyle Stuart)


But What If She Wants to Die?—by George Delury (convicted of the mercy-killing of his wife) (Birch Lane Press)
Chasing America: Notes from a Rock ‘n’ Soul Integrationist—by Dennis Watlington (Thomas Dunne Books / St. Martin’s Press, 2006)
Inside, Outside, and On the Ropes: Life Lessons from Q-School and The Majors—by Keith Gockenbach (South Nine Publishing, 2011)
Shakedown—by Steven E. Whiting (Franklin Press, 2012)
A Thriver’s Journey—by Dan Himmel (forthcoming from Argo Navis, 2013)
To Kill a Tiger—by Jid Lee (Overlook Hardcover, 2010)

Popular Culture

Beyond Mulder and Scully (The X Files)—by Andy Mangels (Citadel)
Chick Flicks: A Movie Lover’s Guide to the Movies Women Love—by Jami Bernard (Citadel)
Did He or Didn’t He?—Mart Martin (Citadel)
Here to Stay: Rock and Roll through the ’70s—G.W. Sandy Schaefer, with Donald Smith (Dorset Group-University of Arizona, 2007)
The Seinfeld Universe—by Greg Gattuso (Citadel)
Starring John Wayne As Genghis Khan—by Damien Bona (Citadel)
Who Is the Greatest, Elvis or the Beatles?—Mike Shellans & Bill Slater (Dorset Group, 2007)

Women’s Issues

“Did You Say Something, Susan?”: How Any Woman Can Gain Confidence With Assertive Communication—by Dr. Paulette Dale (Birch Lane Press)
Ninjitsu for Women—by Ashida Kim (Citadel)
The Single Woman’s Travel Guide—by Jackie Simenauer and Doris Walfield (Citadel)
A Woman’s Book of Yoga—by Dr. Machelle Seibel and Hari Kaur (Avery Trade)


Design: A Journey Through Time—by Jacques Giard (Dorset Group-University of Arizona, 2008)
The Invisible Fist (ninja)—by Ashida Kim (Citadel)
Italian Pride: 101 Reasons to Be Proud You’re Italian—by Federico and Stephen Moramarco (Birch Lane)
The Psychic Yellow Pages (occult)—by Dr. Hans Holzer (Citadel)
Pure Goldie (Goldie Hawn bio)—by Marc Shapiro (Citadel)
A Witch’s Runes (wicca)—by Susan Sheppard (Citadel)



“Carly provided great insight and clear comments when she critiqued my latest manuscript. She was professional and completed all work before the contracted date. She was easily accessible and quick to respond.”

—Darlene Batrowny

“Carly was the perfect fit for my project. She did a fantastic job. She was thorough and insightful in her comments on my manuscript. Carly was always easy to reach, helpful, and delivered her critique in advance of the deadline. Working with Carly and the network was a great experience and I would highly recommend both.”

—Barak Bassman

“I love your editing. … I wish I had met you sooner.”

—Charles Anderson

“I deeply appreciate your insightful critique on the structure of the book but more importantly directing me concisely on much better technique of my storytelling skills. It is a challenge to have a whole story in one’s head and tell it one word at a time. I am beginning work on a re-structure of the basic storyline and then employing the POV suggestions you have made. You were absolutely correct in the observation that the story is written more like a screenplay. I have studied screenwriting and want to make this and other stories easily adaptable to the medium but I have come up short on ‘character’ development and engaging storytelling in the novel form. I will make a much better writer with your continued assistance.”

—Bill Powers

“Carly was indispensable for the birth of my memoir. She helped me to not only tighten my writing but also improve the structure of the narrative to make it more thrilling. I found a very effective, inspirational guide in her ability to culturally translate my experience in Korea for American audiences.”

—Jid Lee
Author of To Kill a Tiger (Overlook, 2009)

“I carefully researched editors that matched my criteria and am extremely pleased with the consulting and admonition I received in the critique of my work. I firmly believe when you hire a professional to give you an opinion you should listen very carefully. Too many times people are upset because they don’t hear what they want to hear and that is completely missing the point. I agreed with what I was told to do with reference to my material and am proceeding forward with my work based on the direction given by my editor.”

—Bill Powers

“I am with the depth of your critique and edits—so much more than I’d anticipated for this first phase. Many, many thanks for the time and thought you put into this.”


“My personal experience in working with Carly has been very rewarding. She has the grit to drill down into the material so that nothing is taken for granted. She also demonstrates an intuitive skill to help add an overarching structure to the work that helps expand its scope, further increasing the book’s accessibility to those audiences we wish to reach. Her persistence in getting the content to seamlessly flow from one technical subject to the next is a true gift.”

—John W. Cassidy, MD
Author of Mindstorms: The Complete Guide for Families Living with Traumatic Brain Injury (Da Capo Press, 2009)

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