Mary Embree is an author, editor, literary consultant, and public speaker. In addition to writing, she edits books and doctoral dissertations, helping authors with their manuscripts from first to final draft. She also assists authors with their book proposals and query letters to literary agents and book publishers. When authors choose to self-publish, she guides them through the entire process from obtaining all the publishing forms (copyright registration, ISBNs, barcodes, and Library of Congress Control numbers) to interior layout, typesetting, and book cover design.
She is the co-founder of CLAS, California Literary Arts Society, as well as the creator and producer of the annual Ventura Book Festival. She is also the founder of SPAWN, Small Publishers, Artists & Writers Network. Both CLAS and SPAWN are 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations.
For most of her working life she has mixed freelance writing and editing with employment in television and film production in various capacities, including scriptwriter, researcher, and associate producer. During the 1980s she was a staff researcher and writer on the popular TV series This is Your Life. She also served as Assistant to the Producers on the top-rated TV sitcoms Good Times, One Day at a Time, and Three’s Company.
In the 1990s she began writing books. Her first was A Woman’s Way: The Stop-Smoking Book for Women (WRS Publishing). Shortly afterward her top-selling booklet The Stop-Smoking Diet for Women and her stop-smoking program for women were published by HealthEdco. She co-authored What’s in the Air: Natural and Man-made Air Pollution (Seaview Publishing), and has edited and helped produce over a hundred published books for her clients.
Among her most recently published works are the following:
- Starting Your Career as a Freelance Editor: A Guide to Working with Authors, Books, Newsletters, Magazines, Websites, and More, 2012; Allworth Press, an imprint of Skyhorse Publishing, Inc.
- The Author’s Toolkit: a Step-by-Step Guide to Writing and Publishing Your Book; now in its third edition, 2010; Allworth Press
- The Birds and Bees of Words: A Guide to the Most Common Errors in Usage, Spelling, and Grammar, 2007; Allworth Press.
(Author’s Toolkit and Birds and Bees of Words became Writer’s Digest Book Club selections.)
Embree is also the author of books of poetry, short stories, and word quizzes, as well as articles that have appeared in Writer’s Digest, The Writer magazine, and other publications.