book doctor
The Book Doctor is in, diagnosing clients' manuscripts.


As The Book Doctor, I provide editorial services, consultation and coaching to authors. During my long career as an arts journalist and teacher, I developed the eye, ear and insight to help others find their voices, improve their writing, and complete their projects. From editing and revising, to rethinking structure and style, to coaching and wise counsel, I offer the sympathy and professionalism that energize writers to get going and get published.

In addition to editing and polishing finished manuscripts, I’ve helped a remarkable array of writers complete and publish their novels, memoirs, Ph.D. dissertations, handbooks, spiritual guides, anthologies, magazine articles and textbooks.

One octogenarian lawyer-turned-novelist had given up on his thriller until we met, untangled the plot and he published his long-gestating book to good response, favorable publicity and healthy sales. Practitioners of several spiritual and Yoga disciplines have found their voices, completed and published their projects because of our work together. Other memorable clients include: an Algerian freedom-fighter customizing his memoir (a best-seller in French) for English-speaking readers; a Jungian psychologist needing to restructure her memoir of Japan; a business professor requiring tough editing before re-conceiving a Ph.D. dissertation in international business; several psychotherapists working on various pamphlets, books, and essays; a Yoga therapist writing a combined memoir and guide to self-healing; a photojournalist completing a book on teenagers in detention, and a team of academics seeking a keen eye and fresh insights for a college text on global theater. Some of their testimonials appear below.

Because the writing process is complex and runs deep, I first interview potential clients to help them define their needs and to gauge our suitability for working together. Next I read and analyze a proposal, chapters or a full manuscript. Then comes a work plan and the logistics of editing, revising, completing, pitching and publishing. Contact me at for details and fees, which include reduced rates for students and non-profits.

A journalist, critic, and editor for three decades, I served as dance critic for the Washington Star, and dance and theater critic for the San Diego Union-Tribune. My own work has appeared in newspapers coast to coast, magazines, literary journals, academic and trade books, as well as corporate publications. I earned a Ph.D. in English from the University of Rochester and have taught at The Smithsonian Institution, the University of California - San Diego, at San Diego State and the University of San Diego. I currently write on a free-lance or contract basis for newspapers, non-profits, trade publishers, corporations and small businesses. My corporate clients have included Qualcomm, Invitrogen, Time for Kids Books, Girl Scouts of the USA and Miriello Grafico. My long-researched first novel is titled Still Born.


Anne Marie Welsh is no ordinary editor. Her long experience as an arts critic has taught her to get into the very soul of a work and find its unique voice and purpose. She then makes clear, elegant suggestions for reorganizing, deleting and adding to bring out the best in a book – whether fiction or nonfiction.

I have worked with Anne Marie for over fifteen years, experiencing her agility and insight as an editor along with her prodigious intellect that quickly grasps any subject and finds that magic fulcrum on which the whole thing rests. As a developmental editor of college textbooks, I turned to Anne Marie several times to supply scholarly expertise and writing when the authors were unable to do the work themselves. Most notably, she took over the editorial development of a world drama anthology that was over two thousand pages in length and in need of a great deal of trimming and shaping, and shepherded the whole project into publication over a period of two years. As a writer of poetry, fiction and nonfiction books, I have consulted with Anne Marie countless times for lightning fast, incisive edits. I find her a delight to work with-tirelessly supportive, compassionate and clear thinking. Her suggestions make my writing better, and inspire me to keep going when I might otherwise begin to feel discouraged.

Marlane Miriello, author
Il Campo: The Gardens and Tables of a Tuscan Village


When I was looking for an editor for the book, I Became My Heart, I felt it needed someone who possessed two major qualities. The first was to be a capable (and very experienced) editor who could competently improve the readability of the material. The second quality would be sensitivity to the spiritual topic, someone who could appreciate the special nature of the content. In The Book Doctor - Anne Marie Welsh, I found both qualities in abundance. She was able to transform a manuscript still in bits and pieces into a book and imbue it with a higher level of quality. She was a delight to work with and offered her experience, enthusiasm and encouragement wholeheartedly. The communication with her was excellent and she managed to edit the material in a very timely fashion. I cannot recommend her highly enough. I will always appreciate her contribution as I now do her friendship.

Paul Gorsuch
I Became My Heart


Finding Anne Marie Welsh was a blessing in so many ways. My husband Jay had written an historical, time-traveling novel, Hammurabi’s Dagger, twenty years prior, abandoned it to write short stories, then finally finished it five years ago. For a number of years we searched for a good editor we could afford. Then Jay was diagnosed with Lewy Body Dementia and began losing the ability to edit his own work. Since life span is shortened with this disease, I was determined to get the book published so he could at last enjoy the fruits of his labors. I am a publicist and have edited non-fiction for clients but found I was unable to do anything productive with the manuscript beyond repairing grammar, punctuation and spelling. By chance I met another publicist who recommended Anne Marie. We met with her and she promised to do a full edit of the 300+ pages in ten days within budget, and amazingly, she did! Working with her was a pleasure and the final product turned out to be an excellent, exciting page-turner! The book was published and became available on Amazon in December 2012. Since then it has received great reviews, extensive publicity and is doing quite well. And my 86-year-old husband is thrilled to finally have his treasured book in his hands, as are all our friends and family. Without Anne Marie this would never have happened. She is a treasure!

Judy Cooper
for Jay Cooper, Lawyer and Author
Hammurabi’s Dagger


Anne Marie Welsh has been instrumental in jump-starting a stalled PhD thesis I began (in French) many years ago. Her shrewd sense of logic and structure, supported by an ability to make connections within the complex subject matter of International Business, proved vital to reconceiving - and therefore, completing-my dissertation. Her insights into the need for greater organizational coherence, a clearer argument and more polished style injected much needed direction into this project after I spent years slogging through academic research that led nowhere. Her ability to focus in on the essential meaning of a sentence and/or concept must be rooted in her career as a journalist writing well and accurately on deadline.

I unequivocally recommend Anne Marie Welsh to any writer requiring expert editing, sympathetic coaching and rapid results. Her innate intelligence and intuition, allied with an extraordinary set of skills, make her an invaluable resource for any written project.

Nicholas P. Gurney,
Small Business Consulting Progam
Department of Business Administration,
Sonoma State University


I have known and worked closely with Dr. Welsh since 1997 when she was hired by Addison-Wesley-Longman as an outside consulting editor on an anthology of 61 international plays, which was ultimately published in 2000 as The Longman Anthology of Drama and Theatre: A Global Perspective. I was the lead author on the project and I-and my two colleagues- found her insights into both the material and our treatment of it invaluable. When we compiled a subsequent anthology (The Longman Anthology of Modern and Contemporary Drama, 2003), we asked her to be a contributing author. Her treatment of many postmodern and feminist plays was outstanding and strengthened that book considerably.

We worked together on yet another text, Shakespeare: Script, Stage, Screen (2006) with glosses by textual scholar David Bevington (U. Chicago). Anne Marie served as lead author on that text. She is a writer and editor of the first order.

Michael L. Greenwald, Ph.D.
Professor of Theatre and English
Director: International Studies Degree Program
Texas A&M University


Because our paths have crossed in so many ways—over the course of many years—I am nearly at a loss as to just how to shine a light on Anne Marie Welsh's broad expertise, creativity, formidable skills, and professional strengths. As a publishing professional, I can attest that she is a highly skilled and extraordinarily versatile researcher, writer, and editor. As a former journalist, I can likewise affirm that Anne Marie distinguishes herself by dint of her impeccable research, careful writing, and exceptional ability to revise quickly and effectively. As a critic, she is knowledgeable, insightful, and provocative, in the best sense of the word. Oddly, I can also acclaim Anne Marie's confidence and brilliance in guiding and inspiring others through yoga. Intelligence, strength, warmth, grace, generosity, and good humor—Anne Marie brings all of these virtues (and many more) to bear on every project and challenge she undertakes. She is a truly rare talent, and I cannot recommend her heartily enough.

Robin Cruise, Principal
Red Pencil Consulting
Kirkland, Washington


Anne Marie Welsh provided me with much more than editorial services for the books in my Deliberate Happiness series. Because she opened herself to the message of the material and to my intentions, she was able to revise and streamline the texts, making them clearer and more engaging to readers. Eventually I trusted her judgment so much I asked her to add certain ideas herself and rewrite some sections. She did this while honoring my own voice and tone. She is a sensitive editor, sympathetic coach and an exceptional writer herself — traits that make her perfectly suited to be The Book Doctor.

Antoinette Spurrier, Counselor and Author
The Deliberate Happiness series
La Jolla, California


Anne Marie Welsh, dance and theater critic for the San Diego Union Tribune for twenty-five years, and author of eight books herself, edited the final manuscript, and I am immensely grateful to her for her most helpful comments and constructive critiques.

Lou Pechi, Author
I Am Lubo