That's me, Hal Clifford, at the National Magazine Awards.

That's me, Hal Clifford, at the National Magazine Awards.

I've helped many authors with their books. That help takes all forms. Sometimes I start with an author who simply has an idea. Sometimes the author has a half-finished manuscript. Sometimes the author has a finished text that needs polishing. Always the work is deeply collaborative. 

My authors have been published by Simon & Schuster, HarperCollins, the University of Texas, PoliPoint, Vantage Press, Rare Bird and others.

I work on all kinds of books, but this is my focus: business, entrepreneurship, personal finance, current affairs, memoir and biography.

In addition to the work I describe on this website, I am Head of Outlines at Book In A Box, a fast-growing company that helps first-time authors get their nonfiction books out of their heads and into the world. In this capacity I work with scores of authors each year, shaping their books and coaching my team of a dozen book developers. Since we opened the company we have undertaken more than 500 book projects, and I've been involved in most of them.

I've written three published nonfiction books (here, here and here), and three unpublished novels (everybody's got at least one of those kicking around in a shoebox, don't they?). I know what it's like to live and breathe a subject for months or years. And I know how very much you want your book to succeed.

I’ve made my career as an author and editor in books, magazines and newspapers. My books were published by HarperCollins (that one won a prize), Sierra Club Books, The Mountaineers Press and Longstreet Press.

For seven years I was the executive editor at Orion magazine, where a story I edited was a finalist for a National Magazine Award for Best Essay. Other pieces I edited were included in Best American Science and Nature Writing (read them here and here). During my tenure Orion won the Utne General Excellence Award.