Stacey Donovan

Award-Winning Ghostwriter, Author, and Book Editor

Co-Author of the Red Shoe Diaries series — Erotic Romance

STACEY DONOVAN is a ten-time published book author of both fiction and non-fiction. DIVE, Her first, critically acclaimed novel was published in 1995 (Penguin) and reissued in 2015 (Open Road Media). THE ART OF LONELINESS, a sexy novella, is currently available on Kindle. Co-authored by Donovan, the four-book series based on Zalman King’s RED SHOE DIARIES is also available.

Donovan has edited or ghostwritten dozens of published books for her clients, many of which have received critical acclaim: Two became New York Times Bestsellers (Mystery); another won International Thrillers Awards First Novel Finalist (Thriller); another won Independent Publisher Book Awards (IPPY) 2017 Silver Medal Award (Memoir), Foreword Reviews 2017 INDIES Book of the Year (Memoir), and Stories of Mighty Women Top Biographies 2016; another won Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA) 2017 Ben Franklin Award, Bill Fisher Best First Book (Fiction).

Professional Summary

  • AMERICAN CIVIL LIBERTIES UNION (NYC): Copywriter, Special Assistant to Membership Services Manager Direct mail to sustaining and new member client list
  • EQUITY ADVERTISING AGENCY, INC. (NYC): Account Executive Copywriting recruitment and general display advertising, monthly newsletter; coordinate ad copy and layout for newspaper, magazine, trade publications
  • LEWIS ADVERTISING AGENCY, INC. (NYC): Public Relations Press release and trade article copywriting for in-house corporate use; real estate publications
  • ASTORIA STUDIOS (Queens, NY): Production Assistant in the filming of Francis Ford Coppola’s “Cotton Club”
  • ANN ELMO LITERARY AGENCY (NYC): Assistant to Ann Elmo Manuscript preparation for submittal to publishers
  • Writing non-fiction for 20+ years (Memoir, Creative Non-fiction, How-to, Financial)
  • Writing fiction for 20+ years (Contemporary/Mainstream; Caper/Detective; Erotica; Gay/Lesbian; Literary Fiction; Mystery; Psychological Thriller; Suspense; Women’s Fiction; Young Adult)
  • Publishing strategist for 10+ years (i.e., manuscript preparation, submission materials, literary agency representation)
  • Social media strategist (i.e., the when and where of user-created online content)
  • Conducting celebrity interviews for 3 years


Developmental Editing Services

  • Detailed critique/evaluation of your manuscript
  • Developmental/structural/stylistic edit of your manuscript
  • Complete revision of your manuscript
  • Collaborate with you in a mentoring capacity as you edit your manuscript
  • Collaborate with you on a query and/or synopsis when the manuscript is ready for publication
  • Determine with you which literary agent would be suitable for representation
  • Determine with you whether to pursue mainstream, small, or self-publishing
  • Consultation on your initial and/or ongoing Social Media strategy


Book Editor Reviews

“I was pleased with the network’s very prompt response to my initial query. The information on your website regarding each of the editors was very helpful. I was most interested in working with Stacey Donovan and this proved to be the best choice I could have made. Before officially working together, Stacey took the time to truly understand the scope of what I needed, showing me how she would be able to assist me. This was enormously beneficial and reassuring. Working with Stacey was a phenomenal experience. I learned a great deal in the process as she asked all the right questions and effectively guided me in writing a much better book. Stacey always responded in a timely manner and addressed every issue that I brought up. It was a thoroughly enjoyable experience that exceeded my expectations.” Loretta Coha, PhD

“Stacey Donovan is outstanding! And your web site and communications which brought me to her are excellent.” Keith Wadsworth

“Stacey was was thoughtful with her edits, and taught me plenty about the craft of writing. In addition when I was struggling with the technical aspects of writing, she pointed me to some helpful articles. She was also very encouraging without being patronizing. I felt she gave an honest assessment of my work. Actually I’d say her assessment was invaluable. I was even able to bounce ideas off her long after the editing was finished. In addition she helped me with marketing aspects of my work.” Edward Larkins

“I utilized Stacey Donovan’s services for developmental editing and proofreading of my first novel. She was immensely helpful. She was prompt in her communications and responsive to all questions and inquiries. The enthusiasm she showed for my early draft and throughout the process was very encouraging. She found the areas in my earlier drafts that needed work. Areas I just couldn’t see any more from rewriting it so much. She helped point me in the right direction to ratchet my novel up to the next level and make it shine. All constructive criticism is done with a positive and optimistic approach making the spoonfuls of critiquing go down easy. I would certainly recommend you consider utilizing her editing services.” Peter Archon, author of Transforming Tommy

“Stacey was fabulous to work with: professional, insightful, and very helpful. The manuscript critique she did for me was very detailed and specific. It was clear that she’d put a lot of time and thought into her critique. She raised a lot of good points, complimented aspects of my work, but also identified trouble spots and places that needed work. She encouraged me, and she challenged me. Most important, there was little if anything in her critique that I didn’t agree with. On top of that, she was generous with her time in terms of answering my questions, and her email responses were always timely.

“As for the Network, I liked the fact that they had a number of editors with different areas of expertise and interests. That made it easier to find an editor who I thought would be a good fit for me. And the free sample edit was a bonus, a chance to “test drive” an editor before having to commit to paying them. Obviously, since I was very pleased with the work I got from Stacey, I was also very happy with the Network. If she is indicative of the caliber of editors on the Network, then it is an impressive group.”

“How much do I love Stacey Donovan? Let me count the ways: professional, industrious, intelligent, sensitive, encouraging, communicative, supportive, precise, punctual thoughtful . . . and she led me to publication of my fiction and non-fiction books.” – Peter W. Yaremko

“Stacey is a phenomenal editor. Her content edits of my book identified areas that I believe will enhance the quality of my characters, the strength of the story line, as well as trimming off the unnecessary fillers. She was even able to find the most minute errors such as a time mistake I made on how long a character traveled. Her attention to detail and thoughtfulness with my book as well as how she explained her recommendations/changes makes me feel that the final product I will publish will be a book that represents me well.” – Marise Flewellyn

“I found her work to be thorough, insightful, thought-provoking, and even downright funny at times. Without a doubt, the manuscript is far better than it was after receiving feedback from my beta readers. I would recommend Stacey to any writer or author seeking to take their work to the next level.” Avanti Centrae

“She is an outstanding editor. As an academic, I have vetted countless (potential) books and papers, and know hard work and quality when I see it. As this was my first foray into fiction, I decided to rely on someone else’s expertise, and Ms. Donovan did not disappoint. I cannot recommend her highly enough.” Historian

“Was very impressed with the quality of work my consultant put into my memoir proposal. She went above and beyond in every aspect, especially the research involved, to make sure my project stands out. While her own style and experience in proposal writing shine through beautifully, she was also very mindful in formatting the work to the satisfaction of my agent. The further she got into the project, the more I felt it meant as much to her as it does to me. As a veteran journalist, I can’t express how priceless that is.” Catherine Bosley

“As a first-time writer, I felt baffled when it came the time to look for professional help editing my novel. After researching for a good while, I felt that Book Editing Associates was a serious option with time-honored professionals doing real work for authors. Of their long list of editors, I chose Stacey Donovan, which turned out to be a perfect match. During the whole process she was extremely attentive and responsive to all of my inquiries, and during the developmental full edit that she provided, she brought up the plethora of issues that dragged my story down and needed re-writing. Her counsel is serious, objective and down to earth, while her delivery is gentle and empathetic. I will certainly continue to work with her on this and, hopefully, other projects to come.”

“Ms. Donovan was very professional in all of her communications and deadlines. She displayed a keen interest in my writing and put her heart and soul into the edit she created for me, as well as the wonderful synopsis, personal feedback, and style sheet.” Sara Mare

“Stacey treated my work as if it was her own. She listened to all of my requests and at the end she won herself one satisfied client. I do hope to work with her and the network again.” Chantol Aspinall

“Stacey was amazing! As a first time writer, I was lost and she offered direction at a time when I needed it most. She was extremely patient and really helped get me on track.” Diana Scorpio

“I accepted almost all of Stacey’s editing recommendations. Simply stated, better is better. Her insights were honest. Stacey showed a deft hand with making the writing flow smoothly, creating a much better reading experience. I felt my writing style maintained its integrity.”

“I’m published by a boutique house that hires editors with specialized knowledge for each title, and it took us a long time to find a freelance resource for editors who had the level of professional experience needed for my mystery series. By the time we found Stacey Donovan, the deadline was short, but she not only delivered a detailed and very helpful edit of the manuscript, she did it on time and in budget. I was very happy to discover that her work was the same high quality as the editing I got at the Big Five publisher I used to be with.” Jonelle Patrick

“I was pleased with my initial responses from the network seeking an editor for my fictional novel. Several writers immediately provided edited passages of my work to solicit my business. Then when I selected Stacey, I was very pleased with the communications between us. When I emailed her, I always received a response no later than the next day. Given another opportunity, I would definitely use the network and Stacey again.” Nancy Tervalon

“The Editing Network’s webpage was extremely helpful in making the critical choice of an editor. I chose Stacey Donovan because her credentials and experience coincided with the erotic genre of book I’m writing. Stacey’s critique assisted me in seeing weaknesses in characters, writing technique and grammar issues and the all-important plot issues. The critique consisted of four pages and eighty-eight feedback comments listed throughout the manuscript. Overall, the critique and comments will surely strengthen my manuscript, making it more satisfying to my readership. I have gained valuable knowledge that I will use again in future books.” Nolan Clark

“As a first-time writer, I felt baffled when it came the time to look for professional help editing my novel. After researching for a good while, I felt that Book Editing Associates was a serious option with time-honored professionals doing real work for authors. Of their long list of editors, I chose Stacey Donovan, which turned out to be a perfect match. During the whole process she was extremely attentive and responsive to all of my inquiries, and during the developmental full edit that she provided, she brought up the plethora of issues that dragged my story down and needed re-writing. Her counsel is serious, objective and down to earth, while her delivery is gentle and empathetic. I will certainly continue to work with her on this and, hopefully, others projects to come.”

“Stacey Donovan has been an outstanding choice for me. She understands my voice, she is an editor extraordinaire, and she offers so much more than just editing. She is encouraging, easy to reach, and she has access to all sorts of resources that have been helpful in my writing.” Cheryl Oreglia

“Stacey is very supportive. Her positive statements are not excessive, so I can feel assured of their sincerity. Criticism is in the form of suggestions for change, which are very helpful. I believe she is interested in the work and wants to help make it better. I’m glad to have the benefit of her knowledge and experience.” Ed Haynes

“Stacey did an amazing job of evaluating my manuscript. I didn’t expect the detail, insight, and feedback she provided. There’s absolutely no question her feedback will make my book more engaging and salable. I couldn’t be more pleased with her work. She was also ahead of schedule! And another thing–She was easy to get in touch with-very responsive.” Phillip Pace

“Stacey Donovan was very knowledgeable, experienced, and easy to communicate with. She was also very helpful on steering me on the correct path for the style of writing for my career.” Alicia Santana

“I loved the process from the beginning! I was quickly matched with a consultant that I was confident could help me. I knew what to expect from the start. Stacey has been easily available by phone and email.” Amy Simper

“Stacey is a consummate professional. She provided specific and clear suggestions for strengthening plot, character development and style. I applaud her ability to deliver a no-holds-barred critique with the tact and sensitivity that left me feeling inspired to go back and work to make my manuscript better.” Carol Milot

“I have completely enjoyed working with Stacey and look forward to finishing my book with her. Stacey exceeded my expectations in the critique and edits she provided. Her emails were professional and fun, and she keeps it real.” Paula Quinene

“This was my first experience working with an editor, so I had no idea what to expect when I hired her. I think I got damn lucky. Stacey did an excellent job. I was impressed by the depth of commentary she provided about my manuscript, and the organized way she reported it. I thought her critique was particularly insightful, and I liked that she described in detail her opinions on the strength and weaknesses of the characters and the story. I had several follow-up questions, and saw the same attention to detail in her responses. I am working on the revisions, and there’s no doubt that the story has improved as a result of her input. I would work with Stacey again, and I recommend her work to anyone looking for a thorough evaluation of a manuscript. She’s a pro.” Vicki Marie Stolsen

“Stacey Donovan is a writer’s dream. With an incisive mind, she doesn’t let a scintilla of careless writing go by. The barnacles she knocked off some my prose gave it so much lilt and lift, it often made my jaw drop. Her critique of plot, POV, and characters gave me the feeling I had entered a graduate level tutorial, with this difference-the “˜instructor’ was my partner and cared invested in my success. That said, I do not mean to suggest for a moment that Stacey holds back criticism. She is a “˜tough love’ editor. With equal emphasis on each word.” Les AuCoin

“I received a very intense, thorough evaluation of my book manuscript. I had follow-up questions and she answered all my questions and gave insightful suggestions.”

“Talk about seeing the forest through the trees, Stacey Donovan clearly has a gift. She identified what was working with my manuscript and what wasn’t, then explained why, and provided suggestions and guidance on how to improve the story (and my writing) and make them all work together. This was much more than a critique of style or plot structure based on established notions of story structure, Stacey dove deep into the story and characters. Before hiring Stacey, I felt confident that I had my plot twists and turns points plotted out in a dramatic way, but I sensed something was missing, something was not adding up and ringing true. With the issues now identified, and a much better understanding of how a reader might respond to my characters actions, I’m heading into my rewrite! Fingers [email protected]!!”

“I could not be more thrilled and delighted to have worked with Stacey Donovan. She is a consummate professional who wears many hats; editor, psychologist, cheerleader, spiritual advisor and oracle, not sure what that hat looks like but she wears them all quite well. The best recommendation I can give for Stacey is that I’m looking forward to working with her again and would not think of looking elsewhere.” Dana K. Schwartz

“It is with pleasure that I recommend to you Stacey Donovan. Her editing skills, impeccable professionalism, humor, integrity and willingness to help a young writer are what make recommendation of her easy. Stacey edited my work and as I have told many, “She made me sound a whole lot better than I could have ever hoped or dreamed.” Stacey has been a wonderful resource for publishing ideas and editing. Her help has often extended far beyond her contract to do so. I know you will find as I have that she is a wonderful resource that is available to the publishing world.” John Weisinger

“Ms. Donovan was pleasant, professional and communicative. Her services were great. Her attention to detail was impressive and her enthusiasm for her work really shines.” Deborah Cardillo

“Stacey is knowledgeable, witty and a pleasure to work with. She was very thorough in her evaluation/review of plot, characters and narrative mode. She also suggested areas that needed improvement and made a recommendation for the next step (in my case a copy editing). She completed the work almost three weeks ahead of schedule and was very prompt in answering questions. I do recommend Stacey.” Grace Karmadi

“I am grateful for her candid criticism and prodding from Stacey that had nudged me into stripping bare the “˜love’ scenes in my novel. She has pointed out some key structural issues that had escaped my notice. I am glad to have had my work reviewed by a professional like Stacey prior to publishing.” Sindhu S.

“I found her to be personable, funny, insightful, and helpful. We did not always see eye to eye. Nevertheless, I found her to be engaging and encouraging, even after our contract ended.” Timothe Davis

“Stacey is smart, patient, witty and really good at what she does. She has gone far above the contract by being a cheerleader, hand holder, and friend. Her editing and general advice about writing was the best but her personality and accessibility set her apart and really added to the process.” Allison McBane

“I knew my manuscript needed a major overhaul, but I was afraid that, at 119,000 words, I wouldn’t find someone who would or could do a thorough job, especially because it was dark, sexual, possibly controversial, and maybe not even publishable. I was wrong. I’m very fortunate to have had Stacey Donovan take on my project. She exceeded my expectations beyond anything I could have imagined. I still don’t know that my novel will see publication, but I’ve probably quadrupled my chances now that Stacey has given me some guidance and direction.” Catherine Dix

“Working with Stacey has been a thoroughly rewarding experience one which has far surpassed my expectations. She consistently went above and beyond in working on my manuscript, providing both insightful and thought-provoking feedback, which opened my mind to hitherto unexplored areas and ideas. To top it all off, she even helped me with my submission strategy as well as the query letter and synopsis for which I am hugely grateful.”


“Stacey did an absolutely fabulous job. I can’t recommend her enough. She went above and beyond her line of duty and her critique was thorough, catching many plot details and errors that I previously missed. Thank you so much!” Christine Catlin

“Had it not been your network, I would not have found, Stacey. Aside polishing my work, she was dedicated to my personal development as a writer. I now have a manuscript that I’m proud of, thanks to you, Lynda. I shall forever be indebted to you for organizing these excellent editors” Constancia E. Matanawui

“I owe my writing career to Stacey Donovan. I was astounded at her instincts and her talent to not only point out opportunities for improvement, but to offer concrete guidance as to how to implement necessary changes. I had no idea that inspiration, editing excellence, and patient teaching could all be wrapped up in one individual. Now that I’m working on my fifth book, I look back with gratitude to Stacey who so generously shared her expertise and provided such valuable direction.” Patricia Gussin, MD

“Stacey Donovan is the right woman at the right time. I was with a terribly muddled manuscript more like jottings than a real piece of writing. Stacey worked her magic on my writing and suddenly (well not so sudden in her mind probably, in fact, rather laborious for her) the writing came to life. But that wasn’t the best part of what she brought to bear on my manuscript. It was the level of organization she found. Yes in some sense it was inherent already waiting to be born but after years of my messing with the book (as well as several other editors who tackled the job and failed), I didn’t seem to have what it took to give birth to this baby on my own. Let’s say Stacey was the mid-wife or the doula. She is the one who birthed it and made it a coherent whole. I recommend her unconditionally to anyone who is writing challenged for any reason.” Dr. Jane Goldberg

“Last year, on a friend’s recommendation, I sent the manuscript for a novel I had just completed to Stacey for review. Not only did I find her critique to be inspired and precise, I also found her to be totally supportive and encouraging. Her feedback was invaluable, for not only was she unafraid to point out what she saw as shortcomings in my work, but also showed great enthusiastic for those elements of the work she digged. I would have no hesitation recommending Stacey to anyone looking for an honest, intelligent review of their work.” Brett Morris

“If you want an editor who will not give up on making your work, be it fiction or nonfiction, the best it can possibly be, then Stacey Donovan is the right choice. I’ve worked with Stacey on several published works, and the one indefatigable quality that defines her is an unwavering dedication to excellence. She is a writer’s writer intuitive, resilient, tireless with an emphasis on craft, authenticity, and surprise. Stacey knows down to her bones what is ineffable in any creative work.” Elise D’Haene

“Because of Stacey Donovan’s insightful questions and belief I could do better and reach deeper, the novel I was writing went from being a rather predictable story to one full of surprises that kept the pages turning. The story was told from three points-of-view, and Stacey helped me develop each narrator’s story and knit them into a cohesive whole. She stayed involved throughout the entire project, including my query letter and strategy for approaching agents. While the novel didn’t sell, it did land an excellent agent, who has continued to be responsive to me based on that effort. Stacey taught me to be precise in my word choice and how to more effectively use details to evoke character. In addition, she was a pleasure to work with and very knowledgeable about the industry and current marketplace. She consistently kept to our agreed upon schedule and was always available for my endless questions. I am a much stronger and more confident writer for having worked with her.” Laura Stein

“Working with Stacey has been very rewarding. Her thoughtful and thought-provoking insight lingers. She doesn’t make changes just for the sake of making changes, or just because she knows better (which she does), but shares her reasoning with you so it’s a learning process. Understanding where her changes come from allows you to then apply the knowledge you’ve acquired to the next proposal draft or any new piece of writing. She’s always so responsive and often has an amusing anecdote to share to illustrate her point. I truly appreciate her candor and refreshing sense of humor along with her extensive experience. Having your work edited can be a painful process but Stacey has made it less so by being willing to share why as well as how.” Anne O’Connell

“Stacey Donovan is more than a good editor. What makes her better than just good is an unerring ability to work with an author. She brings to the table not just an eye for weakness, but the creativity to make suggestions that the author can work with. Naturally, the writer’s talent is a factor, but with an editor’s help, the writer can give it his or her utmost. Stacey makes you work and work better than you ever thought possible.” Robert Boris Riskin

“Stacey Donovan was an inspirational individual in my writing career. Self-possessed, passionate, and well-informed about the industry Stacey brought out the best in my efforts and advised me on how to present my work to the trade. As a developing memoir writer, I possessed exceptional life experiences and the intellectual capital to articulate them. But without the guidance, instilled confidence, and empowerment that Stacey Donovan provided to me, I would not have been able to bridge the great divide that ultimately produces a book. Besides being a decisively insightful first reader, Stacey enabled me to visualize the vehicle that transformed my string of anecdotes into a cohesive well-formed framework. My personal story used a vast vocabulary of nautical vernacular; without it, the authenticity of my story would have been lost. Stacey was instrumental in enabling me to cull colloquial expressions to create just the right amount of edge; treading the fine line between believable authenticity and illusive expression. Our work sessions challenged and elevated my desire to express myself with clarity and joy.” Pat Mundus

“My experience with Stacey Donovan spanned 2 years. As a first time novelist, I remember our first meeting well. I showed up with a shopping bag of journalistic writing and a good idea. Thanks to Stacey’s experience and creativity, my idea grew wings and substance. With her direction, character development, plot continuity, tone and language were expertly handled, I can rightfully say, without Stacey’s skill and direction, Love at First Site would never have become a novel. With great appreciation and thanks.” Bobbie Braun

“I approached Stacey to get her advice on my work so far for my first novel. She was very friendly, honest, professional and diplomatic in her approach. The way she communicated constructive criticism didn’t come across as criticism at all, rather articulated suggestions followed by advice backed with industry experience. I will be continuing to seek Stacey’s advice and would heartily recommend her to any writer, new or established.” Kishun Gohl

“My first ever foray into the world of website-making was fraught with fear of going live into the big world out there, knowing that everyone I’ve ever known would be reading through my site and commenting, either in their heads, or letting me know what I could’ve done better. Having Stacey Donovan check me out before pressing GO was an insurance policy to keep my stress level below a roar and clean up the rough spots. After all was said and done, I got more compliments than complaints because Stacey’s important nudges moved things in the right direction. Now I know to always get a professional to look me over first and make me look good. Stacey’s eye for quirky, edgy and hip allowed me to be myself in the copy, and still sound sharp and smart. I didn’t lose my voice or color in the editing process; all I got was clarity. Thanks Stacey!” Eve Springwood Minson

“I wanted to let you know that the manuscript is being published by Wayward Ink Publishing. The scheduled release is late August or early September, 2015. I truly believe the key to our success was your input and I can’t thank you enough.”

“Stacey has an eagle eye and helped clean up my novel. She was thorough, on-time, very helpful, and it was a pleasure to work with her.”

“I’m very pleased with the editing service provided by Stacey Donovan. Her editing far exceeded my expectations. Its’ not often I’ve experienced contracted services performed at this high level.” Trent Liter

“I feel fortunate to have had Stacey take on my manuscript. She discovered weaknesses in my story and suggested ways to strengthen it that will make my story stronger. Her edit memo was thorough and insightful and a source to which I constantly referred during my final revisions. She’s diplomatic in her approach and communicated her criticism in a positive, constructive fashion. She’s especially pleasant to work with. Smart, witty, professional, and always responsive.” Kim Hamilton

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