Writing is one of the hardest jobs in the world, not only for the time and effort it requires, but for the lack of recognition received. You’ve poured your heart and soul into your manuscript, and you deserve to have someone take it as seriously as you do.
I want to prove that I know what I’m doing, that clients are happy with the services I provide, and that I care.
Below, you’ll find reviews from my clients and, with their permission, a link to their social media(s). These are real people with real opinions, and if you still aren’t sure about contacting me, I encourage you to go ask them.
Jack’s support as I (re)write my first book, a memoir, has been invaluable. She stands apart from other editors I’ve worked with in a few ways.
First, she TEACHES! Her suggestions are always clear and provided with context. Because of this, she has taught me a LOT about writing in mere months, things I hadn’t learned in formal classes nor years of group feedback sessions.
Second, she is lovingly forthright. Her critiques are thorough, her compliments genuine, and her approach blunt. (She’s like Dwight when Pam’s pregnant.) She’s also adaptable, as I recognized both when observing her approach with another writer and when I once came to the editing process feeling especially sad. No matter where you are today, she knows how to share what you need to take a step forward.
Finally, she SEES POTENTIAL! She has sat with me and my messy spreadsheets and helped me craft not just a series of memories but a story, the one I knew was there but couldn’t articulate. She inspires me to step up to meet the book she knows I can write.
If you’re hesitant, ask her for a sample – you’ll be blown away by her work.
The only way to see yourself is in a mirror, and Jackary is one of the best mirrors out there. Jack took the time to review my current book in progress, a length tome in the sci-fi/fantasy. It was clear to me after reading her comments that she understood what I was trying to achieve. Jack dissected the plot, the goals, and the problems with laser-like precision. She gave me deep insight into my own writings at the high level and explained the book’s shortcomings at the detail level. She helped me understand how passages would be perceived from the reader’s perspective and gave me tactics to improve reader engagement from the writer’s perspective. I found her comments blunt but always necessary. If I can take my book to the next level, she will have everything to do with it. The best thing that can happen to your writing career is to run into an editor as talented as Jack.
I’ve always been suspicious of effusive reviews (of anything). I mean, how great was it, really? Five stars and a thousand smiley faces and dancing unicorns? Seems a bit much. So here I am, struggling to find words that sound positive but not hyperbolic about J. Salem’s beta read of my most recent science fiction novel.
Simply put, she’s exceptional. Her insights are clear, concise and delivered compassionately even when the message itself might be highly (and justifiably) critical. She takes the time to understand not merely the words on the page, but your intent as an author and the context of the story. She moves easily between major thematic issues and minor plot points without missing a beat. And she’s more than willing to help find solutions to any of the problems she identifies.
If this form allowed me to post eleven stars, I would, but absent stars or emoticons, let’s just say she’s f***king fantastic.
Jackary is fabulous editor. Her insightful feedback regarding plot, character, and pacing guided me through several drafts of my novel, ultimately making my final draft much stronger. On top of this, she works within a swift turnaround time and provides detailed notes with every exchange. I could not recommend her enough!
J.Salem was excellent in helping me make the necessary changes to my book. The fiction novel she went through was my first written work and she was able to help me see the weak points in them. She is exceedingly supportive and friendly and you can feel safe and confident about your work when she takes up editing. I will certainly be giving her another try, and also be crediting her for the editing of my work. Thanks again J. Salem.
I had a book edited by J. Salem recently and she did an excellent job redefining and tightening up that novel so I could get it self-published properly. Just the typos alone, which seem to be invisible to me no matter how many times I edit, are great to have finally weeded out of there. I greatly appreciate all the time and effort she put into making this novel what it is now. I would recommend her to anyone!
The turn-around time here is so amazing you won’t believe it! Other people have taken weeks to get back to me, but Salem was finished with a 100K+ manuscript in two days! Not only did I get a document with notes, but they also worked with me in a conversation to help address the points I asked for and offer ideas about solutions for problem areas!
Her alpha read of my fantasy novel, which she finished well before any of my other readers, laid out all my editing needs. I was lost in the process and she gave me a map. With labels and a compass.
Through all the time I’ve spent working on my manuscript, I’ve hired a fair number of beta readers and editors. I can state, without qualification, that Jack is one of the best I’ve ever worked with.
The level of detail provided in the critiques blew me away. I’m immensely grateful for the effort and attention that went into the feedback I received. It’s not a given when you hire an editor that you’ll find someone as invested in helping your story succeed as she is. Jack clearly has a passion for helping authors that is only matched in magnitude by the talent she wields to achieve such ends. If you work with her, you are putting yourself in a position to end up with the best possible version of your story.
After I reviewed her comments, Jack spent a great deal of time helping me sort out these new changes in my head—some of them quite substantial—until I felt comfortable enough to act on them. Issues were brought to my attention I had never considered, and I’m confident my work will be vastly improved by addressing them.
It goes without saying that for all future projects, Jack will be one of the first people I contact. Any success I find with my work down the road will be due in no small part to the efforts she took that were entirely above and beyond what I could’ve expected. Hiring Jack as an editor is one of the best investments you can possibly make.
Jack is a great editor. I had spent the last six years writing my Master’s thesis and I wouldn’t have finished it without her. Jack went through multiple rounds of editing with me, including thematic and line-by-line edits. Her edits were very timely and she conferenced with me on the phone multiple times to go over everything. She was so supportive throughout the process and very encouraging. I couldn’t recommend her more!
I joined Twitter specifically for my writing and am so happy that I did, because it led me to working with Jack. I have asked her questions about everything from query letters, to synopsis, to PitMad pitches, to writing workshops/conventions, to developmental editing. I absolutely love working with her and truly value her thoughts. She has this amazing way of pointing out issues or redirecting writing without making you feel like someone is taking your baby from you. Her approach is direct, but kind and you can see her passionate throughout every conversation. She has stayed up hours talking to me, answering every writing question I have and making sure I have enough examples and answers to feel better about moving forward. I would highly recommend her for all types of editing. I’ll be sending out my first round of query letters his month and doing so extremely confidently because she helped with them. I am also using her for my current work in progress and am very excited to see how our journey turns out.
Finding a great beta reader is like finding that elusive needle in a haystack. Fortunately, I found J. Salem on Twitter, and my works-in-progress are better because of her efforts.
J. Salem’s greatest strength is that she can be both direct and non-combative at the same time. One of my works-in-progress had some significant flaws, which J. Salem effectively pointed out. Of course, I wasn’t thrilled at the prospect of a page-one rewrite. However, I was a software tester, where it was important to detect and resolve defects as soon as possible. I would much rather have J. Salem highlight my flaws than have to become the butt of many internet jokes.
Also, when she enjoys reading a work, she is not shy about expressing it. She read another work-in-progress. As expected, she highlighted areas that needed improvement. However, her comments also included several encouraging comments ranging from “lol” to detailed explanations why she enjoyed a particular section or chapter.
J. Salem is worth her weight in gold. I highly recommend her to any author striving to release a high-quality work.
As an amateur writer just getting started, I tend to make mistakes, whether it’s grammatically, narratively, or with pacing. J. Salem looked over my story, and offered helpful advice and tips to improve the grammar and the overall flow of the story to make it easier to read. Through her feedback, I discovered new avenues to take with the particular story I wrote to make it even more engaging and interesting than it already was. I’ll be using her edit as a reference tool for any future writing, and if possible, I’ll certainly ask her to look over any future stuff I create.