Here’s what a few of the 300+ authors I’ve worked with since the turn of the century have to say about my work.
American Holistic Health Association, Suzan Walter, M.B.A., president, founder
Whenever a consulting client or an AHHA member practitioner authors new material for our website, I recommend Barbara. She has the unique perspective of being both a published author and a professional editor. In addition to her superb skills, I particularly appreciate that she never imposes any of her “stuff” into the author’s creation. I am proud that [from 2003 to the present] Barbara has also edited the AHHA Monthly Updates and my President’s Letters.
Adam Linn, author of American Sexy (Spectacular Story Publishing, 2012)
I never could have finished my first novel without Barbara’s sharp editorial eye and her keen insight when it comes to understanding story structure. Barbara made a million little line edits and also helped me rewrite the ending. Thank goodness for her ability to see both the small things, and the big picture at the same time. Barbara is also patient and incredibly flexible. I am blind and was not able to use the standard system of “marked up” texts. So using my MacBook with speech software, I reviewed written notes Barbara sent me, and we worked through the whole text like that. Thank you, Barbara, you’re the best!
Judith Lambert, author of The Light: A Modern-Day Journey for Peace (2016)
Barbara is a great editor turned mentor. She has the ability and energy to step up to any task thrown her way. Her well-oiled knowledge base was invaluable in making my work both grammatically and culturally accurate. Advising when and where needed, she caught things that enhanced the professionalism of my work. It was great fun as Barbara and I traveled the book together, backpack in one hand, editor’s pen in the other, on an aerial trapeze as we maneuvered through scenes and philosophies of Egypt, Syria, India, and beyond. She simply threw herself into the process. Thus, Barbara has an uncanny ability of building relationships with her authors. Her support followed me well after the completion of my project; so much so she is now editing my website blogs. Barbara, thank you, again!
Don Leflet, who writes as Ra Lynn LoneWalker, author of The Personification of Love, 2011; On the Other Side of the Golden Gate, 2012; The Giggling Boy, 2014, and other works and works in progress.
Barbara has been my editor since 2010. That’s five novels and other works. Whenever I create a new novel I’m always excited to get my work over to Barbara. Her editing skills are beyond my expectations, but more than that—it’s her comments and suggestions that I enjoy so much. Her comments and suggestions usually lead to an online discussion that is rich with ideas. Her knowledge of my various subjects has also been a huge benefit to my work. I have found her to be honest, dependable, and incredibly hard working. I’ve worked with other freelance editors, proofreaders, and marketing people enough to know how flakey they can be. It’s never a good experience to have a freelance professional put your work on the back burner while demanding payment. But Barbara is talented and funny and has always been a joy to work with. I remember when she and I were working on The Giggling Boy and she read the opening scene. She wrote me a comment saying that it was “creepy, haunting, scary. Attaboy!” If I can get my editor to feel the emotion of the book I know I’m not only doing my job, but I’m doing a good job. I live for those Attaboys! She also tolerates me, as I know I can be frustrating to work with at times. Currently we are working my new book. I’ve written this damn book three times and am still not satisfied with it. And poor Barbara has had to read through every rendition and work over my mistakes. It is through her guidance, patience, humor, and a human approach to my work that I believe we have come to be friends.
Nathan Gottlieb, author of The Hurting Game, 2012; The Punishing Game, 2013; The Killer Sex Game, 2013; The Payback Game, 2014; The Death Dealing Game, 2015; The Zero Tolerance Game, 2016
Before I gave my first Frank Boff book to Barbara, I thought I was a terrific editor and doubted I needed someone to work on the book. Boy, was I wrong! Barbara did a tremendous job in not only editing my book, but enhancing it. By closely studying her edits, I realized I needed to more clearly identify who was speaking in scenes and that I was deficient in “stage directions.” She also taught me about the importance of keeping track of props in a scene. I also saw that my book lacked details that would bring scenes more to life. Based on all that I had learned, I went back and re-edited books 2 and 3 in my series and greatly improved them. Perhaps above all, Barbara is wonderful to work with. We really have a lot of fun together. She loves to interact with writers she is editing and always respects the writer’s style, never imposes her own. I would recommend Barbara to anyone who cares about making their books the best they can be. I’m working on my seventh book in the series now, and she is eagerly awaiting it. It’s a nice feeling knowing my editor likes reading/editing my books. If you’re a writer in need of an editor contact Barbara ASAP. I may not be Good Housekeeping but she has my seal of approval.
Leon Kelly, author of Surviving Darkness (self-published 2007)
It was during an online search for editors that I discovered Ms. Ardinger. Barbara began editing my autobiography in November 2005,. She worked with me on my autobiography from 2005 to 2007. She was patient with me and encouraged me through the writing process, often emailing me to keep me on track with my writing. And, boy, was I satisfied with the amazing work she did. Barbara is an ultimate professional. She delivers in a timely fashion and does not disappoint. She is an absolute joy to work with. She is down-to-earth and makes herself available. She walked me through the edits and turned my jumbled words in to readable material. Barbara has a wealth of editing experience, and it shows in her edits and in the notes she so generously shares, regarding how to make my work better. In 2015, I enlisted Barbara to edit my second book, and although I procrastinate for much of the time, Barbara remains patient and is ever so encouraging and understanding. She is easy to work with. She makes suggestions on how to make the manuscript better, but does attempt to change the meaning of my work. Although Barbara and I come from starkly different backgrounds, we get along very well. There is so much respect there. She respects my opinions and beliefs, and I respect hers also. To me, she is simply amazing. Her work speaks for itself. I am so happy I found and connected with Ms. Ardinger.
Ray M. Vento, author of Nonno’s Pocket Watch (Vengiugno Press, 2012)
Not long ago, I completed writing my first children’s book. I was counseled that my story needed someone to help polish my text. I was referred to Barbara Ardinger, who had broad editing experience working with new and established authors. After Barbara’s first read of my book, she sent back all of her suggested changes. Upon reading her edited comments, it was if she lifted a veil from my text revealing a story with much more punch and clarity. As a new author, I found it easy to discuss and negotiate with Barbara all of her suggestions. By the end of the process, I had a better story largely attributed to Barbara’s professionalism and easy manner. What a relief to find Barbara who helped this writer along the road to publishing his first children’s book. [Note: I have edited many children’s books, including some in verse, for which I fixed the rhymes and scansion.]
Larry Burk, MD, CEHP, author of Let Magic Happen: Adventures in Healing with a Holistic Radiologist (Healing Imager Press, 2012)
Barbara, thanks so much for being my editor for Let Magic Happen. I knew you were a perfect fit for my book when I found out that not only were you an English Ph.D. who had edited over 250 books, but that you had written eight of your own in the pagan/Goddess genre, as well as edited the AHHA monthly newsletter. I was unexpectedly surprised at how much fun the hard work of editing was as we went through the chapters one by one. I especially appreciated the way you rearranged my sentences without losing the meaning or intent of the stories. I tell my friends it sounds just like me, only better!
Martha Bourke, author of Jaguar Sun (2012) and Jaguar Moon (2012)
When I had my first phone conversation with Barbara, I knew that we would get along well. The editing process can be stressful in general, and this was Jaguar Sun, my first Young Adult book to be published. But Barbara was very easygoing on the phone, and that helped to make me feel comfortable and relax. With Barbara, I get the best of both worlds. She has an incredible amount of editing experience, but our work is always peppered with lots of fun conversations, often about the crazy words (like “shiznit”) that young people use today. So when it came time to edit the second book in the series, there was no question in my mind that I wanted to work with her again. The flow of my books is always so polished when we finish. It’s a truly rewarding experience.
Patrick Knight, author of Blessed to Survive: The Thanksgiving Day Massacre (Campbell Well Press, 2012)
Barbara made sure that my voice remained in the writing while she greatly improved the flow and consistency. Although Barbara is a pagan and my book is a Christian faith-based book of survival and inspiration, she had the ultimate respect for my message and helped improve upon my message despite her own beliefs. She is a respectful editor that makes the process fun (even though her humor runs the spectrum of charming, witty and off-the-wall). I highly recommend her to any aspiring writers.
Peter Chapel, author of Having the Time of My Life (2011)
In 2010, at a meeting at the Greater Los Angeles Writers Society (GLAWS), I listened to a panel of book editors and decided to speak to one of them. Barbara is highly qualified, has many years of editing experience, and is a published author. She seemed to have the maturity I felt was necessary to understand where I was coming from. We had a very good relationship working together for over a year on my project. I had originally published my memoir with Xlibris, but that was my very first attempt at writing a prose book; what I submitted to Xlibris was my first draft, and I had not read a book in 55 years prior to that. There were errors on every page. I hired Barbara to edit the revised version. Mine is a documentary memoir. I didn’t want any changes in the facts or my philosophic leaning, but I realized that much could be done to make the narrative move more smoothly—not to be burdened by pages of repetitions due to encroaching short-term memory loss as I entered my ninth decade. Much of the printed documentation became more effectively paraphrased. Barbara, being steeped in the classics and up to date with modern successful works of creative writing—touching on form—brought to my attention the need to start out with a dedication followed by an itemized list of contents and a “Prologue to a Long Life” before opening up with Chapter 1. Occasionally we disagreed on some matter, such as inclusion of some pictures where there was the possibility of infringement of copyrights and cost of litigation, but I did not fear that. I used material essential in detective story fashion to identify a person and unravel a mystery. I was grateful to Barbara when it came to finalizing a title to each of the 32 chapters of my 680-page book. Where I was uncertain what would be appropriate, she remembered what had transpired therein and contained the essence. When I thought I had come to the end of this memoir, Barbara surprised me. “You must finish it with an afterword,” she said. She gave me suggestions and I became surprised at what an important part of my memoir I would have passed by. Kudos to Barbara Ardinger.
Bodie Parkhurst, author of Redeeming Stanley and Good on Paper (Magic Dog Press, 2009)
The day we handed in our first papers for grading, my Honors Comp professor started his lecture by saying, “Having your paper edited is a bit like paying someone to cut off your baby’s legs so it’ll fit into the cradle.” I’ve often had cause to think of that terrible image in the years since, as I’ve written articles for magazines and newspapers, and then my own books. I’ve thought of it each time I handed my tender, perfect, literary “baby” over to an axe man—or woman. Each time I have faced that moment, I have said that I “expect to be edited.” What I really meant was that I expected the editor to read every gleaming word, throw up his or her hands in amazement and exclaim, “But this is perfect! Absolutely perfect!” And then refer me to their very special friend at Doubleday, who would take the book for immediate publication. This has never happened. I have found that the editing process in most cases does indeed feel like paying someone to cut off my child’s legs to fit it into the cradle. But with Barbara, it doesn’t feel like that. It feels more like putting on orthopedic shoes, maybe a brace, possibly a cast. Her editing is less a matter of cutting away at my “baby” than it is strengthening, directing growth, reinforcing weak spots. And in the end, my wordy child is better and stronger, able to stand on its own two feet. I’m still waiting for that dream book that I present to the world whole and perfect in every way, direct from my hand. Until then, I have Barbara. And that’s a very good thing to have.
Marcus F. Griffin, author of Slaughter, a novel (Alexandrian Archives, Inc., 2009), and (as Lord Foxglove) Advancing the Witches’ Craft (New Page Books, 2005)
Barbara proved to be invaluable in helping me discover my true author’s voice and in bringing my writing skills to a previously unrealized level. For me, the most bothersome and time-consuming parts of writing were (and still are) proper grammar and avoiding the pitfalls common to most new writers. Working with Barbara allowed me to get on with the creative process without having to sweat the little things. With each of my books so far, she helped turn what could have been a real nightmare of a project into an enjoyable and spiritual experience. Barbara is an honest, hardworking, and intelligent, a highly experienced expert in her field. She is a rare find and a bargain at twice the price.
Elizabeth Hazel, author of Tarot Decoded (Weiser, 2004) and The Whispering Tarot: Softly Spoken Secrets (Kosmic Kitchen Press, 2008)
Some of my literary projects are right there on the edge of the esoteric goomsplat (that’s “event horizon” for you Muggles). This never seems to shock or worry Barbara, although it probably should. She rolls up her sleeves and digs in, uprooting those pesky punctuation problems and carving through my excessive prolixity with her editorial machete. My diamonds in the rough come back with a polished princess-cushion cut. Doctor ba improves my writing and makes me better writer at the same time. She has the guts, I get the glory. If she wasn’t sitting behind her computer, she’d blind us all with her dazzling excellence. And I swear on the Flying Spaghetti Monster that’s not hyperbole. [Hey, Liz—when are we gonna finish that cool novel I hope you’re still writing?]
Ricki Lewis, Ph.D., author of Stem Cell Symphony (Trafford Publishing, 2007)
I came to Barbara after having published four college-level life-science textbooks, a collection of essays, and thousands of articles ranging from a cover story inDiscover to soft porn in Playgirl. But I’d never written fiction (not even the Playgirl article). Barbara showed me how. She turned my feeble attempts, but good ideas, into flowing conversations among real-sounding people. She vastly improved my first novel.
Andre Aki, author of Letters from One Christian to Another (Trafford, 2007) and A Quest for Truth (privately printed).
An editor is not like a translator or an interpreter who gives the reader a good translation. An editor may be a skillful writer, but she is more than that, for she must be able to convey the essential characterization and true meaning of the original author [in this case, Andre’s mentor, a Calvinist theologian named H.Th. Lilipali]. This kind of “translation” was executed by Barbara in both my books, which were originally was written in the Dutch and German languages. Those who speak foreign languages know that if the “interpretation” is used in a bad sense, it could make our works become only a tedious manipulation of words. I must say that Barbara is an honest and first-class scholar and that she has a sensibility particularly in interpreting meaning along with a flawless understanding of style, correct word choice, and consideration of the reader. [Note: I have edited books about many theologies and faiths.]
Arthur Cridland (Prague, Czech Republic), author of College Days: Tales from the Life of a Professor-errant (Trafford, 2006)
Barbara turns a shotgun blast of mispunctuation, grammatical and typographical errors, and obscure expressions into a smoothly flowing document that is a pleasure to read. She squashes misused participles like the cockroaches soiling the text that they are, and renders long, tortuous sentences into readable prose. She has a marvelous knack of suggesting just the right succinct expression for awkwardly expressed thoughts. She is a fount of provocative questions and requests for clarifications that lead an author to self-improvement. She works quickly and accurately, does a tremendous job of keeping in touch, responds to e-mails promptly, and provides a running log of activities and expenses so authors know exactly where they stand at each time of contact. It’s a pleasure to work with her.
Mashallah Ali-Ahyaie (Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran), author of Seven Articles on the Qiblah: The Case of the Taj Mahal (Trafford Publishing, 2006) and New Insight into the Qiblah, Through the Application of Sciences (Trafford)
I had always wished publishing a part of my works in English, to be able to convey my ideas to others, since I thought the opportunity for translating my works from Persian to other languages was rather low. Dr. Barbara Ardinger not only edited my two manuscripts, but her comments as a reader made the books more understandable. She followed my wishes to keep the style intact as much as possible. Dr. Ardinger is very precise, straightforward, and honest. I do not hesitate to recommend her for editing projects to authors around the world.
Ronald Howard, Ph.D., Professor of Psychology, Prairie View A&M University (Prairie View, TX), author of An Affective Approach to Therapy: Treating Invisible and Inaudible Clients (Sandpebble Publishers, 2006)
I am thrilled to write about my experience in having Barbara Ardinger edit my university textbook. Barb was very realistic as she presented numerous issues that I would encounter in getting my book to print. Throughout the editing process, her openness and commitment went well beyond my expectations. She persistently pushed me in a bold fashion as she challenged me to produce a clear and concise document that was practical, readable, meaningful, and competitive. Among other things, she formatted the case studies to remove the impersonal APA style and make the clients talk like real people. After the book was published, Barb has edited my website text, marketing letters, and related introductions of my book. Our collaborative relationship continues to this date. Being a first-time author without any awareness of the editing process, I doubt that I would have engaged the process with such intensity and without Barb’s support and friendship. [Note: Ten years later, I’m still editing occasional website articles for Ron.]
Bobby “Boris” Pickett, author of Monster Mash: Half Dead in Hollywood, a Memoir (Trafford, 2005)
The monumental task of editing a book is not to be taken lightly. Barbara is a master at this process. My personal experience while working with her on my autobiography was both enjoyable and educational as I learned many things along the way. My admiration for her extreme talent at rearranging paragraphs, correcting, spotting glitches, etc., is boundless. She took a mish-mash of bad syntax, misspellings, poor grammar, rotten punctuation, and on and on, and made the final product something readable and hopefully enjoyable. If she’d let me, I’d start a writers’ fan club for her. She’s the best!
Terence Lee, L.L.M. (Sydney, Australia), author of Time Camera (Trafford, 2005)
Barbara was of the greatest assistance to me in the preparation of my novel. Among many other things, she assisted in breaking sentences that were too long by half into shorter ones, by rearranging the order of words in order to assist the flow, and in checking to ensure that my Australian/British English would be understandable to the American public for whom the book was principally written. Barbara introduced me to the Chicago Manual of Style, which I now keep on my bed-side table. Her editing is remarkably in accordance with the Manual. My book is fiction but based heavily upon historical fact. It was Barbara who suggested that I include a bibliography and who made many invaluable suggestions as the writing progressed. By way of appreciation, I included her in the book in a cameo role. That is my way of saying thanks for her assistance, unfailing good humor, and innovative ideas.
Grey Cat, co-author of American Indian Ceremonies: The Good Red Road (Three Moons Publishing, 2003)
Barbara edited American Indian Ceremonies when Dr. Medicine Hawk and I got the chance to reissue it after it went out of print. Working with her on this project was remarkably painless and quick. While she’s an absolute bear for perfect grammar, she understands that some books should be a little less formal and that it’s important to retain the author’s “voice.” I can remember only one occasion when I felt that her corrections changed the intent of the sentence, and we quickly arrived at a compromise acceptable to us both. At one point when I felt her sieve had gotten a bit too fine, I asked her to “lighten up,” and she understood what I meant and complied with my request. Best of all, we completed the job in record time.
Shannon Dorey (Ontario, Canada), author of The Master of Speech (2002, rev. ed., 2010) and The Nummo (Trafford Publishing, 2004)
I was very pleased with the help Barbara has given me in the editing of my two books about the Dogon religion. The subject matter in both books is very complex and a considerable amount of research was involved. Barbara is a wonderful resource and provided me with the names of numerous books that were relevant to the subjects I was researching. She also helped me with correct English usage and taught me to be more precise with etymologies and cognates. She also helped me to rework some of my ideas, making them more palatable for my reader. Overall, I am very appreciative of her help.
Waheed Cisse (Lagos, Nigeria), author of The Soul of an African Man
Barbara Ardinger’s brilliant editing will vehemently fascinate your craft to publishers easily, effortlessly and omniprofitably. I’ve learned new things in each sentence of her work. I will summarily say Barbara Ardinger is an expert on book editing quality by letting your alphabets dance in front of your publishers. I wrote to publishers years ago, but kept getting rejects letters. Barbara edited my first book and now more than two publishers are now looking ahead for the whole manuscript after reading the first three chapters. What a great job by Barbara. I’ve also learnt a lot from her work and I’m putting her editing techniques into practice right away in my next books that are soon to follow. She will continue being my editor!
Lise Patt, Ph.D.
Barbara edited my 2003 dissertation, That Which Stimulates and Numbs Us: The Museum in the Age of Trauma. The study, written through the City University of New York, Graduate Center, to complete my Ph.D. degree in Art History, is 218 pages long and includes 476 footnotes. That Which Stimulates and Numbs Us is a theoretical study that straddles the fields of psychoanalysis, visual studies, museum studies, and post-Foucauldian French philosophy. Barbara was responsible for line editing and editorial suggestions that created a more fluid and understandable text. Her attention to detail and very knowledgeable questioning of key passages produced a final product that was acceptable to four diverse dissertation committee members with very few changes. I am indebted to her for creating a clear, concise text out of a jumble of sentences that through five years of work had often become more jumbled. Her editing advice, always given in a timely manner, helped me work through the last stage of my dissertation with confidence and grace. I was very pleased with her work and give her my highest recommendation. [Note: since editing Lisa’s dissertation, I have edited numerous master’s theses and doctoral dissertations in several disciplines, including a Doctor of Ministry project for a Unitarian-Universalist minister and five Ph.D. theses for candidates at Lancaster University in northern England.]
Pedernales Publishing, LLC, Barbara Rainess and Jose Ramirez
We referred authors who submitted their manuscripts to us to Barbara from 2012 to 2015. We have never had a client come back to us dissatisfied with Barbara’s editing or their experience. In fact, most of our clients include her in their acknowledgments as being indispensable. Because she has a Ph.D. in English, and is also a published author, Barbara understands the process and the writer’s commitment and emotional involvement. She knows the writer has already been hard at work on his or her book. Her literary knowledge and years of industry experience thus make her first rate. This is because Barbara teaches as she edits. Her method is interactive, so you understand why you are making changes. Emerging and veteran authors alike appreciate the professionalism and polish their books acquire after her thorough editing. Barbara edits without changing the author’s voice. Manuscripts are improved by better word choice and order, organization, chronology, and the elimination of habitual errors and/or amateur errors, and her editing includes reasonable fact checking as a matter of course. Although she is faster than many editors, Barbara is also more thorough than most; her page-per-hour rate is impressive. The right editor with the right credential and experience is essential to the success of a market-viable book. We have seen Barbara take ehhh writing to GOLDEN, and some of Barbara’s edits have made us “jumping up and down happy.”
Adams Media, Brett Palana-Shanahan, associate copy chief
Barbara has copyedited several titles for me and I always find her work professional and well researched. Her knowledge of Wiccan subject matter has been invaluable to the progress of our New Age titles. She often brings new insight into the project and helps the authors structure their thoughts in a more concrete manner. I always feel that Barbara is personally invested in any project I give her and that she gives her all to each project to make sure she delivers it back to me in a superior form. She is dedicated, hardworking, and intelligent. Working with Barbara has been wonderful. [Written in 2005]
Llumina Press, Deborah Greenspan, publisher
[From 2003 to 2005], Barbara Ardinger [was] one of Llumina Press’s top editors. Whether editing or writing a critique of a manuscript, she unfailingly provided our authors with the full benefit of her skills, as well as a respectful attitude for their sensibilities. We [were] able to assign her manuscripts from all genres. Business, New Age, memoirs, science fiction—you name it, she has the background to handle it. Barbara provided service that is on time (and often early). And her willingness to work within our editing structure/protocol was a valuable attribute. I value her contributions to Llumina Press and wholeheartedly recommend her for her editing skills.
Physical Optics Corporation
For our company in 2003–04, Dr. Ardinger edited scientific and technical research and development proposals for Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) grants and contracts for all branches of the Department of Defense (DoD) and for the Department of Energy (DoE). She edited abstracts and introductory material to present complex concepts in non-technical language and helped to ensure compliance with prescribed format and content requirements as detailed in applicable solicitations. The greatest challenge in this work is overcoming language barriers. The scientists are immigrants from Russia, China, Korea, and other non-English-speaking countries. As a result, English is not the primary language of any of the scientists, and many have had little experience writing in English. Some of them actually write their material in their native language and then apply a software translation program, which often alters their intended meaning. The problem is compounded by the subject matter, which focuses on complex theoretical concepts and state-of-the-art scientific and technological developments.