JBU Alumna Proves Developing Relationships as Key to Successful Editorial Company

By Coby Dolloff '21
Monday, October 2, 2017

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“I've always wanted to be an editor,” Amber Helt, JBU alumna class of 2015, said. “Well, I've always wanted to be a bestselling author, but I thought editing was a much more reliable career choice.”

Although not yet a bestselling author, Helt has now made her dream of becoming an editor into a reality as the owner of Rooted in Writing LLC, a full-service editorial company based in Texas.

Rooted in Writing LLC is dedicated to helping new authors reach their goals by providing services that include developmental editing, copyediting, writing coaching, proofreading, ghostwriting, manuscript evaluation, book layout and book design. In short, Rooted in Writing LLC can do anything from revising the grammar to writing an entire book based on the author’s original vision.

“My job is to translate the author’s mind-blowing idea into an immersive experience on the page,” Helt said.

While Helt’s editorial company is now running successfully, it was not her first career choice. Helt worked as an editorial assistant in a publishing house right out of college.  After two years, she knew she wanted something more.

“I wanted to work with authors and develop deep, meaningful relationships with them as they embark on their publishing journeys,” Helt said. “I didn't want to give them a quick fix but a new understanding of storytelling and language.”

With this vision in mind, Helt set out to discover what authors truly wanted in an editor. She searched for online writing communities, joined the Editorial Freelancer’s Association and freelanced as an editor in Dallas. In all these endeavors, she continually gathered research as to how she could best serve her clients as an editor.

Nearly a year later, Helt launched Rooted in Writing, and authors were already waiting in line. 

Today, Rooted in Writing LLC includes Helt, her team of two full-time editors, and six contracted editors, who help authors across the country turn their literary ideas into published works.

Helt’s JBU experience was an impactful part of her journey to where she is now. The biggest lesson she learned, she says, was a better understanding of how to learn.

“People look at a task or a subject and think, ‘Well, I can't do that. It's beyond me,” Helt said. “But everyone learned at some point, and my professors taught me how to ask the right questions and sort through piles of information efficiently.”

In a sense, Amber is passing this same lesson on to her clients. Many aspiring authors have brilliant ideas, but consider publishing a book a monumental and impossible task. Amber and her team come alongside them to make their dreams attainable.

In addition to expanding her skill set, Rooted in Writing has given Helt the opportunity to do Kingdom work, engaging in Gospel conversations while teaching and learning from her clients.

“A lot of writers use themes from their own experiences in their work, and that opens up a conversation between me as an editor who's dissecting the piece and the writers themselves about those scenes and ideas,” Helt said. “I've had so many great conversations with authors about what it means to be loved, to have faith, to feel loss and to be human. Working in my field gives me the opportunity to learn the lessons God taught others through their stories as I help them find the words to do so.”

Rooted in Writing LLC serves as an excellent example of alumni using their God-given talents, which JBU refines, for the glory of God and the good of others.

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