I had a manuscript that needed to be beaten into better shape and Dana did this in very little time with a wealth of great ideas and suggestions, including a better title. He is a gem.
I have to thank Dana Isaacson for more than I can adequately say: tireless and expert editing skill, along with real friendship.
Dana cast his beady eyes on a dozen or more of my mystery novels and never let me get away with anything, bless him and damn him. He read the lines, and between the lines, and over and under the lines, catching what I’d meant to say and hadn’t, circling what I’d said and shouldn’t have, finding meaning that could be deeper if I worked at it, and making every book better than it ever would have been without him. I’ve always known how lucky I’ve been to have him editing me; I felt a clutch of panic when he left my publisher to go rescue other writers. He’s amazing and great and I love him and I can’t recommend him enough to writers who really want to dig the best out of their own work. He’ll find it. He even found my best-ever title for me that was buried in my own writing but which I had not recognized as significant until he showed it to me. Plus, he’s a dear man.
Dana made me think carefully about the meaning and cadence of every sentence I had written and the order of every section and every chapter in a very long and complicated book. The New York Review of Books’ verdict was that ‘Goodwin... writes with verve and can be read with pleasure.’ What more can you ask of an editor?
Dana is a crackerjack editor, and brings sensitivity and expertise to the task.
Dana Isaacson’s unfailing editorial instincts have improved my books in ways ranging from a light feather polishing to demolition and reconstruction ever since my first publication in 1993. His wit, wisdom, kind soul, and keen understanding of how to work with writers makes collaborating with him a joy.
Dana Isaacson possesses some sort of manuscript magic. I have never encountered anyone else who can so seamlessly consider a book’s totality and its tiniest pieces at the same time. Somehow, the brilliantly talented Dana can divine the seamless, intelligent, and compelling book you meant to write—then gently, patiently, and respectfully lead you to understand how you might actually write it. He is a gem and a treasure.
Dana Isaacson is an amazing and brilliant freelance editor who helped me rethink, reshape, and then rewrite my book.
It’s been my pleasure and privilege to have worked with Dana Isaacson on a number of my non-fiction books at Simon & Schuster and Random House. He’s been a consistently outstanding content and line editor—sharp, sensitive, and utterly professional. Not incidentally, he’s also a delightful human being.
An author is only as good as their editor. Dana Isaacson is constructive in his criticism, ruthless with his line edits, and sharp with his insight into what makes a compelling page-turner. I’ve worked with Dana on multiple projects in the past and will continue to hire him in the future.
Dana’s edits are both sharp and compassionate, and I soon learned that he knew—and cared for—my characters as much as I did. This meant that the changes and rewrites he suggested made sense—and made for a better story.