““I have gotten to know Bruce Bortz in the course
of his editing and publishing the novels of a colleague and
friend, Arch Montgomery, and then in the editing, publication
and promotion of a novel of my own, Paul and Juliana. The
latter was my fifteenth published book, and never in my writing
life have I worked with someone who was more responsive, literarily
acute, or more infectiously enthusiastic.
“Bruce is a fine writer, which, I suppose, is how he
manages to be responsive and helpful to such a wide variety
of texts and voices. He shares the kind of intelligence that
can quickly come to terms with the literary task at hand,
shape it, clarify it, tease it out into its best self. He
is a good example of the kind of writer and editor who was
at large when the publishing business was about advancing
literature, not merely marketing. I recommend Bruce for his
intelligence, writing acuity, and quick, courteous delivery
of what he promises.”
—Richard Hawley, Author of The Headmaster’s
Papers, Headmaster of Cleveland
School , and founding president of the International
Boys’ School Coalition
“In 1999, my novel, The
Reappearance of Sam Webber, was published by Bruce
Bortz’s Bancroft Press. It was a small work that was
intensely dark and brooding. Upon Bruce’s request, I
took it home and carefully lightened aspects of the story,
however slightly, and gave it back. At that point, he said,
‘enough’ might sound minor, but it is actually
huge. Knowing when to stop editing is as important as recognizing
what a book needs, what is missing, and what should be missing.
Bruce has a keen eye for these details. He has a great zeal
for books and pages and rhythm and intention. Without his
efforts, The Reappearance of Sam Webber would’ve
lacked air. With his efforts, it breathed, and that breath
fanned a fire.
“Bancroft Press, Bruce Bortz’s small, esteemed
house, launched my career. Before The Reappearance of
Sam Webber, I was an unpublished author. When all was
said and done, just one year later, I was a multi-award winning
writer with a well-known book and a very hot career. Bruce
not only published the book, but he carried it through the
ins and outs of the industry. He navigated treacherous terrain
and got my work seen and read. I don’t believe there
are many people out there with his singular ability and desire.
“Would I hire Bruce to handle my work? Absolutely!
He can guide a writer through the intricacies of a story arch
to the final, polished product. Then, if need be, he can carry
a book through secret, often-closed passageways, from anonymity
“Since my days with Bancroft, I have published another
award-winning novel with Candlewick Press. This winter (2003-04),
I had a third novel come out. Since 1999, I have had a children’s
book published by Houghton Mifflin, and a graphic novel published
by Warner Bros./Vertigo. I now have a readership at home and
overseas, and, obviously, I have worked with numerous editors.
Bruce is very talented. That’s rare.
“Now, I should say, I don’t think any individual
can create this type of magic every time. That would be impossible.
But I have no doubt that a man as driven as Bruce to show
the world beautiful, important works of literature will get
luckier—if luck is what you call it—far more frequently
than many in the industry can possibly imagine.”
—JonathAn Scott Fuqua
“I am happy to learn that
Bancroft Press is entering the editing/ghostwriting business.
Its wonderful services are much needed. Many writers I know
have interesting and very provocative book ideas—ideas
that, if well constructed, could be fashioned into good, marketable
books that will sell well. But these days, unlike in the past,
many editors at most large commercial publishers are so overwhelmed,
they have very little time to help an author shape a book—even
one with significant potential. I’ve found editors unable
to spend time even talking with me about an array of ideas
I wanted to incorporate into books they’d just purchased.
The response I received was, ‘Just go ahead and put
it in the book. I’ll see how it works.’
writer will attest to the fact that the relationship with
an editor is key to his or her success, and, truthfully, to
the success of a book. My friends and I frequently lament
the absence of this close working and nurturing relationship.
However, I and many of my fellow book writers have pledged
to spend our own money, if necessary, to have that important
interaction with an editor willing to take the time to understand
what we’re trying to achieve with our books and help
us reach that goal.
“Because of his work on my first book, I wouldn't
hesitate to employ Bruce Bortz or his company as an editor.
I want and very much need not simply a good, competent editor,
but one who’ll take the time to understand what I want
to accomplish in a book, and in so doing, help me become a
better writer. I certainly will tell my friends about the
availability of Bancroft’s services. Given Bruce Bortz
’s incomparable skills, it should be a supreme success.”
-- Jonetta Rose Barras
, author of the acclaimed Last
of the Black Emperors (Bancroft Press, 1998) and
Daddy’s Little Girl (Ballantine One World,
“I’ve had the
privilege to work with Bruce Bortz on several writing and
editorial projects. He is the master! When ghostwriting, he
has a unique talent for drawing out those things from the
author that make a difference to the storyline. When editing,
he instinctively knows what needs to be done to the manuscript
in order for it to touch its reader with the greatest impact.
And he always has the long-term interest of the project in
mind. He begins planning the marketing campaign the first
day he is introduced to a work, including how the cover should
look and how to gain the most attention from the media. I
got much more than I expected from Bruce and highly recommend
him as an integral member of any publishing team.”
—Jill Bertolet, Publisher, Tapestry Press