Helping Writers to Rise and Thrive
In 1962, I started my career in publishing as an acquiring editor at Macmillan, went on to World Publishing in 1967, and became Editor-in-Chief at The Dial Press in 1972. During this time, I acquired the manuscript of a first novel called The Scarlatti Inheritance by an unknown author named Robert Ludlum, worked on it with him for over two years, and saw it become a national bestseller. I edited Bob’s next eight books, including The Bourne Inheritance, and acquired and edited books by more than 100 writers, including James Baldwin, Mira Rothenberg, John Yount and David Morrell. In 1978, I was given my own imprint (“Richard Marek Publishers”) at G.P. Putnam’s, and moved it to St. Martin’s Press (“St. Martin’s/Marek”) where, among many other books, I acquired Thomas Harris’ The Silence of the Lambs and Robert Greysmith’s Zodiac. In 1989, I became President and Publisher of E.P. Dutton, where I edited bestselling books by Peter Straub, Judith Rappoport and Trudi Chase.
After Dutton became a subsidiary of Viking/Penguin, I spent four years as Editor-at-Large for the Crown Publishing Group, a division of Random House, but I tired of the corporate world and became an independent editor, evaluating manuscripts, editing and ghostwriting, a glorious and rewarding career.
In the past 10 years, I’ve edited some 120 books at the behest of publishers, agents and unrepresented writers (one of my services is to try to pair their edited books with a literary agent), of which a good percentage found publishers; no freelance editor can guarantee publication of all the books he edits. Lately, I’ve turned more and more to ghostwriting—I write in the mornings, edit in the afternoons. I am the ghostwriter of fourteen books (and counting), fiction and nonfiction, among them Trisha Meili‘s I Am the Central Park Jogger (a national bestseller), James Patterson’s Hide and Seek (a national bestseller), Brian Weiss’ Same Soul, Many Bodies, Stephan Rechtschaffen’s Timeshifting, Ilanna Rubenfeld’s The Listening Hand, David Grand’s Emotional Healing at Warp Speed, and David Hackworth’s Steel My Soldiers’ Hearts.