We could not ask for more in an editor than Rick Benzel has been — keen analysis, creativity, judgment, sensitivity, tact, and directness when needed. Rick has guided us to [many] successful books.
Rick Benzel is an extremely talented writer and editor. Without his efforts, I would not be the author of two books.
It was a real pleasure of working with Rick Benzel as my editor. He was everything you want from a partner in excellence. He has a true facility with clear, compelling language; a passionate creative mind that will challenge and elevate your ideas; and a deep understanding of how to architect a book that the industry and readers reward. He is a true asset to any project and helped We First become a New York Times bestseller and force for change.
Simon Mainwaring, author of We First: How brands and consumers use social media to build a better world
Rick Benzel has gone above and beyond to help us with our book proposal. He brainstormed with us before we even had a book proposal; told us how to format our nonfiction book proposal; and most importantly, his vision and belief in our idea of a career guide for Millennials shaped our entire concept. Without this help we never could have created such a strong book proposal. We cannot say enough about him.
Alexis Irvin and Chip Hiden, authors of the forthcoming book, Live Your Dreams: A Guide For Millennials Seeking Passionate Work
Words cannot describe the experience of working with Rick and Susan. It was over the top.
Nita Cuellar, budding author developing a book project
Rick Benzel is a writing jewel for all who work with him and my project is all the better for his contributions. Over the years, I’ve had the opportunity to work with Rick on 2 huge projects, all requiring an expert wordsmith, which Rick is and more. The first was my book, Visions of America—Photographing Democracy, a body of work I compiled over 30 years while photographing the 50 United States. While the images have been published more than 200,000 times in the worldwide media, I had never taken the time to assemble them along with 13 essays into one cohesive book. Published in 2009 as a tabletop book (1 foot square and 6 pounds), it immediately garnered a Gold and Silver Medal award. In 2012, Readers Digest heard of the book and acquired the Direct Mail rights and invested almost $1 million into the marketing and printing of it. All the essays were written by myself, but honestly, I couldn’t have done it without Rick’s expertise and hand-holding. He helped flush out the concepts, weed out the redundancies,and polish the prose. I could not have done this without him.
Rick and I later modified the book essays to be the basis for a script for my: Visions of America: A Photo Symphony. The narration was read and recorded by Clint Eastwood, and our symphony concerts have now performed with the Philly Pops (2009), Boston Pops (2012) and New West Symphony in 2013—and all performances received a standing ovation. Our concerts feature 5 original songs by Alan and Marilyn Bergman (songwriters for 65 Barbra Streisand songs), and an original soundtrack by Grammy winning and Oscar nominated Roger Kellaway. Our female singers have included Grammy winning Patti Austin, Judith Hill who is currently featured on NBC’s “The Voice,” and Grammy winning Steve Tyrell. More than 40,000 people have experienced our “Photo Symphony” — and most whom I speak with all comment about the quality of the writing that Mr. Eastwood reads. Again, I couldn’t have done it without Rick Benzel’s skills and talents.
Joe Sohm, photographer and author of Visions of America—Photographing Democracy