Northern Waters Books

Margaret Copeley Editing ~ Writing ~ Self-publishing

Testimonials 2019-07-27T04:57:20+00:00

Testimonials & Reviews

Roman Feeser, writer & producer at CBS News, playwright, musician:
I can’t say enough about my experience working with the incredible Margaret. I had been working with so many different editors and had been sent down so many stylistic paths regarding the direction of my investigational memoir, A Stranger at the Table, until I met Margaret. Margaret miraculously lit my path with light and helped me focus on the important aspects of my story. I am a better writer because of her. I have never met Margaret face to face, but after a year of working with her I consider her a dear friend, mentor, and cohort. Her tools and abilities as well as her experience in the field are top notch.
Francis P. Karam, New York securities fraud attorney, author of The Truth Engine:
The Truth Engine Book
“The best book I’ve seen on cross-examination in ages – maybe ever.”
— Bryan Garner, editor in chief, Black’s Law Dictionary
Margaret did nothing less than help me achieve a lifelong dream. When I first came to her, I had notes, ideas and one or two disconnected chapters. Margaret pulled everything together. She helped me create an outline and break the book into manageable parts. This helped me overcome my writer’s block and kept the book project moving in the face of all the obstacles in life and work that tried to stop it. She worked with me all the way through publication, even designing the cover, overseeing the layout, and creating marketing materials. I cannot overstate the admiration I have for Margaret, and her excellence as an editor and a person.
Kenneth Hogan, author of Batting 10th for the Yankees and America’s Ballparks:

Batting 10th for the YankeesAmericas Ballparks

Margaret’s work went well beyond what I imagined. She is professional and thorough and was in constant communication with me. Every one of her suggestions made my book better. Margaret also did a good deal of fact checking before this was a finished product. I would never use anybody else for future projects.
Law Professor:
I am delighted to recommend Margaret’s work. Dealing with her was a pleasure as she set forth an orderly regimen to flawlessly copyedit my 350-page dissertation in the field of criminal justice. She worked efficiently, with clear and reasonable billing. My dissertation passed my committee without need for revisions.
Associate professor of management:
Margaret came highly recommended by my previous editor, who was retiring. I have worked with her for the past year on two peer-reviewed papers and two conference papers. I have found her work detailed and creative. She can always be counted on to provide the best support, no matter what stage your writing is in. When I could not get my tracked changes to work, we talked by phone as we worked to a solution. Her touch on papers creates the professionalism I am looking to project. I highly recommend Margaret for any editing needs that you have.
Associate professor of management and marketing:
Margaret is a professional editor who possesses proficiency in English, a wealth of intellectual knowledge, and the eyes of an eagle. Deep thanks for energizing my papers!

— Wing Lam, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University

Assistant professor of physics:
Margaret Copeley provides high-quality and rapid editing. I have hired her many times over the past five years and strongly recommend her to anyone.

— Viva R. Horowitz, PhD, Assistant Professor, Physics Department, Hamilton College

New PhD scholar:
Working with Margaret has been one of the best decisions I’ve made in my career. I previously worked with other editors, but found they lacked attention to detail for my articles and grant applications to support my research. I didn’t even realize how lost I was after finishing my PhD, and what it was going to take to find a teaching position. Since working with Margaret, I’ve published several articles and an edited book and received a competitive grant. I would highly recommend Margaret to my colleagues and others.
PhD dissertation student, University of British Columbia:
Margaret is much more than an editor. She has been a coach, a teacher and a mentor. She helped me strategize around applying for funding for my doctorate; with her guidance and her edits, I won over $250,000 in grants over five years. She has helped me learn how to do research, take notes, and write. So far I have published one paper and I am on track to advance to candidacy by summer of 2019. Under Margaret’s guidance I am developing into a stronger writer. To top it all off, she is a delight to work with.
Giora Carmi, author of Opening Intuitive Flow through Artwork (Self-published):

Opening Intuitive Flow Through Artwork

My book introduces a new approach to the use of art for psychotherapy. It is also a spiritual book, as this approach to therapy is also a very effective way to develop spiritually.
The editing presented many challenges. First, the book presents a new approach to two disciplines, using ways of understanding reality, therapy, and spirituality that are unfamiliar to art therapists. Second, I was born in Israel and English is not my mother tongue. In many places my English wasn’t wrong but didn’t sound like American English. Next, in many places it seemed that there might be a better way to explain, but changing the wording could change the meaning. And finally, in many places my writing wasn’t clear enough.
Margaret is very flexible and as we edited the first chapter we easily learned to work together. After this the work flowed well. I felt how the language improved in clarity and correctness with Margaret’s editing. In places where my explanations weren’t clear enough, she asked me to explain in a different way and she used my new explanations to improve the text. There was one chapter that, as I wrote it, I liked less than the others. I felt it wasn’t as alive and engaging as the other chapters. When Margaret got me to explain my ideas in other ways and she integrated my new explanations, the chapter became so much better, as alive and interesting as the others. I felt that the chapter was saved and indeed I am thankful.
Through our work together Margaret and I have become good friends. This doesn’t happen with every editor. So if you want an editor who is flexible and responsive to your needs, who can come up with good ways to improve your text, and is friendly at the same time, Margaret is the editor for you.
In the year since my book was published I haven’t found any errors in it. Many therapists have read the book and have started using its ideas in their practice. In addition, the book is now required reading in the art therapy department at NYU. These outcomes are all a testimony to the quality of Margaret’s editing.
Betsy M. Cohen, author of Illness to Wellness: Reclaiming Your Life After a Medical Crisis (Self-published):

Illness to Wellness

Margaret is a professional, candid, patient, and gracious editor. She consistently provided clear, valuable feedback without ever compromising my voice. She gave me the confidence and tools to improve my writing and helped me to create a book whose content, organization, and mechanics were worthy of our effort and topic. I would not hesitate to recommend her or to work with her again!
Assistant Professor of Anthropology and Sociology:
I began working with Margaret in the spring of 2012 as a foreign professor newly arrived in the American academic world. Margaret has helped me with every step of my process of establishing myself professionally, from job searches to publishing in the United States.
Margaret is the best editor anyone could wish for. She has broad knowledge and understanding of many fields, as well as skills in several languages, which is of value to non–English-speaking writers. As English is my third language, I benefit from Margaret’s ability to understand not only the French language but its mindset as she edits my work, untangling the twists and turns I take to express my ideas. Somehow Margaret navigates through my writing with ease without anything being lost in translation.
Working with Margaret had been the best investment in my academic career and in my personal life as well. Without her I would not have landed my current job as an assistant professor in a tenure-track position. I no longer fear presenting at conferences nor dread publishing in English. Margaret has empowered me in my abilities and knowledge through her help with my journal articles, conference presentations, and a book. Our conversations and work notes are not only professional, but inspiring, giving me confidence in my intellectual ability. Through all these years, even though we have never met in person, I have come to value our work relationship and to cherish our friendship. Our mutual respect for each other’s work has been key to the success of my writing projects over our years of collaboration. I feel not lucky but privileged to work with Margaret.
Shakti Navran, author of Jewelry & Gems for Self-Discovery (Llewellyn 2008):

Jewelry and Gems

Without Margaret’s magic touch I would never have been able to write and publish my book. First of all, she guided me through the whole process of organizing my thoughts and main concepts by asking questions my readers might have asked and that would have never occurred to me, being so deeply involved in my subject.
Second, I am not a native speaker of English. What I needed was not just an editor and spell checker but somebody who would truly understand what I wanted to say. Margaret was truly amazing in getting what I wanted to express and then finding a very elegant way of getting my writing to the clearest point of what I wanted to express.
I believe that without Margaret’s fantastic query letter I would not have been picked up by a publisher. You’re very lucky if you’ve found Margaret and she decides to work with you. She is a master of her art.
PhD dissertation student, clinical psychology:
I began working with Margaret, who has become so much more than an editor, while working on my doctoral dissertation in clinical psychology. English is my second language and, although I’m fluent in it, with a toddler, a baby on the way, and an extremely critical committee, I wanted an editor to make sure I wouldn’t have to do multiple revisions.
Margaret helped me with wording, to cut down my German run-on sentences, and to be more clear and concise. She also kept me on a timeline! Her work ethic, timely delivery, professionalism, and enthusiasm for the work inspired me to get my writing done on time and encouraged me to keep working when I really didn’t want to anymore. Halfway through writing my dissertation, I encountered a huge problem with my data that put my dissertation in jeopardy. I felt comfortable confiding in Margaret and her encouraging words and sensitivity helped me cope and fueled me to explore new avenues. I can now proudly say that my dissertation is comfortably situated between Freud, Jung, and Winnicott on my bookshelf.
Margaret also helped me with my internship application essays. Clinical psychology internship applications are extremely competitive and I believe that Margaret’s editorial skills were a factor in obtaining a placement at my top internship site choice. I’ve been working with Margaret for three years. Her rates are very competitive and affordable, even for someone in grad school! I highly recommend her for any kind of work.

— Caroline Schiek-Gamble, Ph.D.

PhD student from China at a U.S. university:
I worked with Margaret on my dissertation and several articles for publication. First of all, she is the most responsible editor I have worked with. She cared about the work I did and the quality. Second, she did great work. Articles edited by her have never been criticized for language issues by reviewers. She also helped me with the flow by pointing out repeated content. Third, she takes my deadlines seriously. She has never let me down by missing a deadline. She finishes the editing one or two days before the deadline so I have time to revise the paper before submitting it. I think of Margaret as a writing coach, more than an editor.
External review of a book published by a top-tier university press that I edited extensively for content and style:
I like this ms. very much and I recommend that it be published with a few relatively minor revisions. The ms. breaks new ground and is very well written. It makes a major contribution to [the topic]. . . . I judge the scholarship of the ms. to be good to superior. The pertinent authors and texts are discussed, fairly, accurately, and intelligently, and they are clearly and logically connected to the main argument being made by the author. . . . There are many things about this ms. that I like and that I could consider as being among its best features (the main argument itself, the detailed and convincing discussions in each chapter, the clarity and force of the writing. . . . I am very pleased to report that the ms. does not suffer from the sclerotic academic jargon that infects so many manuscripts these days. The prose used here is not turgid and tangled and so does not force the reader to have to guess what point the author is making. I also like the author’s inner chapter divisions. They make sense and they help drive home the arguments the author is making. . . . The content, language, and treatment of subject are all quite suited for course work. I can see it being the main text for new or existing courses.
Second reviewer of the above book:
I strongly recommend publication. . . . It reads well and is well organized. The prose is clear and engaging. The author conveys complex ideas without getting bogged down in theoretical jargon.
Textile artist (website text):
I’m a textile artist who specializes in recycled cashmere accessories. I learned about Margaret through my husband as she previously worked on his website and he was very pleased with her work. Margaret started by getting a clear understanding of my business, my customers, and my goals and she created a specific brand image around those for the website. She offered advice on my whole website and wrote all of the text and product descriptions. Her writing resulted in a more professional presentation of myself and my products and helped me take pride in what I do. In fact her work on my website helped me to grow my business, because I felt more confident and ready to create new products. I found Margaret very easy to work with—great response and turnaround time. Both I and my business benefited from her professionalism, encouragement, and kindness.
Author of two books about gardening and the history of a company:
I am a retired professor of Communication Studies who is interested in cultural studies and marketing, especially all things garden related. I have written four books. The last one, about marketing and garden history, was named “best garden book of the year” by Spectator Magazine. Margaret edited two of my books. Her task was to get the manuscripts in shape for submission to publishers (one academic and one trade publisher), in accordance with their specific requirements. This required some work on the content to improve the organization and clarity as well as copyediting of the text, endnotes, and bibliography. This type of work is routine for Margaret and you can trust her to do a great job with it. You can also count on her to make your manuscript reader friendly. I especially noticed that Margaret kept to a schedule, which was very important to me.