I’m a developmental editor with more than two decades of New York publishing experience. I began my career at Simon & Schuster, helping writers brainstorm ideas, shape compelling stories, and put the finishing touches on their manuscripts. I have a passion for #ownvoices stories from African-American writers and most recently directed the editorial program for Dafina Books, an imprint of Kensington Publishing Corp. My first love is romance novels, and I grew up on a steady diet of the classics: Jude Deveraux, Julie Garwood, and Iris Johansen. New York Times best-selling and award-winning authors I’ve worked with include Bella Andre, ReShonda Tate Billingsley, Janet Chapman, Wahida Clark, Dorien Kelly, Mary Monroe, Mary B. Morrison, Caridad Piñeiro, and Carl Weber.
“Selena was my very first editor and gave me my first traditional book deal. I will never forget what she has done for me and will be forever grateful that she took a chance on my words and believed in me.”
—Shanora Williams, New York Times & USA Today Bestselling Author
“Selena is a true professional. She knows readers, she knows story, and she knows how to get the best out of her authors. Working with her was a joy, and the results speak for themselves. I was a new, relatively unknown author and she turned me into an award-winner. I highly recommend her!”
—Becca Whitham, co-author of The Promise Bride
"The best thing that happened to me as an author was meeting Selena James. When my agent was pitching my first novel, The Strivers’ Row Spy, to various publishers, it was Selena who gave the book a perfect home and helped make my dream come true. I ended up working with her on two novels. She made me feel comfortable and at home. I always felt like Selena was digging to understand what I was trying to accomplish and, as a result, helped feed my creative process. She is a tireless editor who gives superb feedback and certainly helped make both of my novels much better. Her insight was invaluable. I will be forever grateful and cannot recommend her enough."
—Jason Overstreet, author of Beneath the Darkest Sky
"Working with Selena James was a very rewarding experience for me. For thirteen years, her amazing editorial expertise, guidance, and creative nourishment helped increase my self-confidence and improve my writing skills tremendously."
—Mary Monroe, New York Times Bestselling Author
"Insightful, caring, and collaborative are the words that come to mind when I think of Selena James. I had the pleasure of working with her on five novels while she was an editor at Kensington Publishing. I was in awe of her ability to locate weak points in my manuscripts and succinctly suggest ways to correct the problems. At the same time, she always respected my writing style and voice, and the original intent of the story. I consider myself lucky to have worked with such a wise and caring editor. In the world of writing, Selena gets a five-star recommendation from me."
—Pat Esden, author of His Dark Magic
"Selena’s expertise, experience, and professionalism as an editor played a key role in my books receiving two Publishers Weekly starred reviews, as well as ranking #1 on the Amazon and Barnes and Noble bestseller lists. I highly recommend Selena to writers at every level; definitely, her brilliance and knowledge of salability have been invaluable to my author career."
—Lisa Jones Baker, author of Promise at Pebble Creek
Let's work together.
I offer a range of editorial options to help you at every stage of your creative process. My rates are based on the unique needs of each project. Contact me for an individual quote.