Over the years I have helped countless writers solve their editorial problems - with book ideas and manuscripts as well as award-winning magazine issues and articles. Committed to excellence and attentive to detail, I have the expertise to give stories punch, turn a quiet read into a page-turner, and present it all with visual impact.

What's my philosophy of editing? Well, my aim is to preserve the author's voice and be an advocate for the reader. I believe in editing as much as is needed, but as little as one has to. Tell me about your project, and I'll let you know how I can help.

Though I specialize in nonfiction and illustrated books, I also critique fiction. It always helps to have an outside opinion on your manuscript: I can assess what's needed, then restructure, reorganize, or rewrite, cut and clarify, ensure consistency of voice, and do developmental or line editing, depending on your project.
I have edited both consumer and custom publications, generating ideas for stories and special issues, honing leads, shaping coverage, and editing for tone.
Feature Writing…
Areas of interest and expertise include travel, arts and culture, history, interviews, and profiles, as well as book reviews and essays.

As editor of Islands and National Geographic Traveler, I worked with nationally known writers, including Tony Hillerman, Fannie Flagg, Pico Iyer, Jan Morris, and Paul Theroux, and photographers like Bob Krist, Bob Sacha, Catherine Karnow, Nik Wheeler, Macduff Everton, and Gale Zucker.

Editing projects have included nonfiction books under contract to St. Martin’s Press, Dutton, Kensington, HarperCollins Business, Bantam, and Carroll & Graf, as well as manuscripts for several mystery and suspense novels. One project, Army Wives, by Tanya Biank, became the basis for Lifetime’s hit TV show, Army Wives, now in its sixth season.

My coffee-table book Island Dreams - Caribbean, with photographs by Nik Wheeler (Thames & Hudson), won the prestigious Gold Award for Best Travel Book in the 2006 Lowell Thomas Travel Journalism Competition, sponsored by the Society of American Travel Writers.

My tongue-in-cheek history/travel book, The Wild West on 5 Bits a Day, was published by Thames & Hudson in June 2010 and was an alternate selection of the History Book Club.

I've also written three books in Thames & Hudson's acclaimed Most Beautiful Villages and Towns series - on the Pacific Northwest (2010), on the Southwest (2009), and on California (2007), all with photographs by Nik Wheeler.

My Shear Spirit: Ten Fiber Farms, Twenty Patterns, and Miles of Yarn, with photographs by Gale Zucker, was published in April 2008 by PotterCraft. Also with Gale Zucker, I’ve written Craft Activism: People, Ideas, and Projects From the New Community of Handmade and How You Can Join In (PotterCraft, 2011), which was named one of the best craft books of the year by Amazon.com.

"Joan has the rare ability to improve without intruding, which makes writers grateful, and the insight to recognize how recasting a small part of a piece will benefit the work as a whole. She's thoughtful, assured and understands all aspects of the editorial process, which might be why you find her name on so many books and magazines."
- Steve Fox, reporter/editor with L.A. Times, Associated Press, and Investor's Business Daily.

"Joan Tapper knows her craft. She has been my editing angel. The pages of my manuscript reflect her fine work, which helped me get my first book published. Ever writer's work would benefit from Joan's talent and expertise."
- Tanya Biank, author of Army Wives.

"She can zero in on the couple of things that are wrong with a story and suggest how you fix them."
-Jerry Camarillo Dunn Jr., Santa Barbara News Press, "Woman" Magazine.

"Joan Tapper is one of those rare editors who can deftly help a writer tighten and clarify her work without altering the author's voice. Joan and her red pencil were nothing less than inspired on my book, Mr. and Mrs. Hollywood (Carroll & Graf)."
- Kathleen Sharp, featured at kathleensharp.com

“Joan Tapper is the second set of eyes, and second voice every author should have. Like a great foreign language translator her voice remains invisible in the editing process. Joan cut and tidied my text for Alice’s Garden, retained my words, retained my voice, held true to my message – but made it all so much better! In my ‘day job,’ as a project manager for systems integration projects, meeting timelines is critical. Joan’s rapid turnaround times kept my book on schedule and within budget.”
– Anne-Marie Castleberg, author of Alice’s Garden.

"Joan was instrumental in the development of my book, helping me to refine the story, heighten the suspense, and maintain the reader's interest. With her assistance I was able to bring added depth to my characters and more fully develop my plot. Always the professional, Joan provided invaluable guidance, while remaining sensitive to my opinions as the author and actual subject of the book."
- Demaree Inglese, M.D., author of No Ordinary Heroes.

In giving the Gold Award for Best Travel Book to Island Dreams - Caribbean, the competition judges commented: "The real test of a winner is whether the book compels you to pick it up again and again, makes you want to share it with friends and inspires you to launch a travel adventure of your own. This knowledgeable, experienced and talented writer-editor and the lush, artful images of a skilled photographer deliver on all counts."

Copyright@ 2012 Joan Tapper

603 Island View Drive
Santa Barbara, CA 93109
(805) 963-4211
e-mail: joantapper@joantapper.com