My Résumé & Experience

Sally Ann Berk
Oakland, California

Areas of Expertise
– Content Writing and Editing
– Research and Reporting of original and relatable stories
– Business development plans
– Marketing plans along with advertising copy and collateral development – catalogs, brochures, and direct mail pieces
– Social Media
– Corporate communications strategies
– Quick reaction, quick turnaround projects with high visibility
– San Francisco Bay Area Transportation and Transit agencies; freeways and transit systems

Highlights and Successes
– Wrote 12+ non-fiction books — positive reviews — 36 million copies sold worldwide; available in several languages. Titles include: The New York Bartender’s Guide, The Big Little Book of Jewish Wit & Wisdom, and The Martini Book. The Farmers Market Guide and Cookbook  was recognized by Mothers and Others as one of the best food books for families.
– Developed and implemented nation-wide marketing plans for over 100 books, representing popular authors such as Maurice Sendak, Martha Stewart, Jean Auel, and Robert Fulghum.
– Designed, created and produced well-received documents for a variety of purposes, from reports and proposals to press kits and newsletters, email blasts and social media.
– Analyzed police reports 24/7 in the San Francisco Bay area to immediately synthesize and post short, informative alerts on commuter website. Wrote incident reports and created special site for posting. Mastered customized software applications and multiple social media sites with no training or ramp-up time.
– Provided attentive client service and sales at the retail level with positive feedback from both store managers and customers.
– Led and participated in fundraising campaigns to raise millions of dollars.

Partial List of Publications

Columnist (2014). Oakland Local. Oakland, CA:
Author (2012). The Martini Book: 201 Ways to Mix the Perfect American Cocktail. New York, NY: Black Dog & Leventhal.
Author (1996, 2010). The Naturalist’s Herb Guide: How to Find, Select, Grow, Apply, Dry, Brew, and Cook with Nearly 300 Herbs. New York, NY: Black Dog & Leventhal
Author (1994, 2006, 2009). The New York Bartender’s Guide: 1300 Drink Recipes for the Home and Bar. New York, NY: Black Dog & Leventhal.                                                           Editor-in-Chief (2002 to 2009). The Omer monthly magazine. Oakland, CA: Temple Beth Abraham.
Author (2004). Deluxe Smoothies, Shakes, and Sparklers. New York, NY: Black Dog & Leventhal.
Author (2000). The Big Little Book of Jewish Wit and Wisdom. New York NY: Black Dog & Leventhal.
Co-Author with T. Tumbusch (2000). Tomart’s Encyclopedia of Action Figures, The 1001 Most Popular Collectibles of All Time. New York, NY: Black Dog & Leventhal.
Author (1996). The Farmer’s Market Guide and Cookbook/Farmers Market Cooking. New York, NY: Black Dog & Leventhal.
Co-Author with J. G. Wakeman (1996). A Reasonable Affliction: 1001 Love Poems to Read to Each Other. New York, NY: Black Dog & Leventhal.
Author (1994). How Smart You? Test Your Country Music IQ. New York, NY: Black Dog & Leventhal.
Contributor (1991). Publishers Weekly. New York, NY: Reed International (Cahners).

Work History
– Self-Employed, Writer/Editor/Researcher, Oakland, CA, 1990 to present Group, Operator/Data Specialist, Oakland, CA, October 2007 to June 2016
– Armin Brott (, Producer/Researcher, Oakland, CA, May 2006 to May 2007
– Restoration Hardware, Sales and Customer Service, Berkeley, CA, October 2006 to September 2007
– CompuServe, Community Manager, Systems Operator, Remote, 1995 to 1999
– Captain Mike’s Holy Smoked Salmon, Sales and Marketing, San Francisco, CA
– Random House, Villard Books, Publicity Director, New York, NY, and Los Angeles
– Crown Publishers, Publicity Department, Associate Director, New York, NY

AB, English, Bryn Mawr College, Bryn Mawr, PA
English Studies in scholastic partnership with Haverford College, Haverford, PA
French Studies, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA

Community Service
Oakland Unified School District, Volunteer, Oakland, CA, August 2015 to present. Prepared classrooms for first day of school
Temple Beth Abraham, Director, Oakland, CA, June 2002 to June 2009. Led policies and rules development; managed member programs; produced special events, launched publicity and marketing campaigns, reached out to new members; raised millions for capital campaign.
Hadassah, Board of Directors, January 2001 to January 2003
Planned Parenthood, Fundraiser, Los Angeles, CA, 1990 to 1991

References available upon request

Confessions of an Illiterate, Part Two

Not reading books has changed me. Once a championship speller, my speling is now terribole. My grammar has deteriorated. Sometimes I’ll mumble a word if I’m not sure about it, or recast a sentence in a different tense. That used to be one of my favorite things to do with words, only now, well, I’m not so sure my new sentence would be correct.

But grammar and spelling are mechanics. Not reading books has cut me off from Book people. I miss talking about books. I miss browsing in bookstores. Hanging out in libraries. Meeting the author. The world of books was always my home. I feel diminished. I feel cast out.

What I’ve learned from all of this is that reading has profound, positive effects on us. This isn’t news, of course, but it’s been a strangely reaffirming experience, seeing the truths about reading proven true firsthand. When you stop for a while, things start to fade away and the world seems a lot more ordinary, the mind, less sharp. Perhaps more than anything, I miss my escape.


Some of you have suggested I try Books on Tape. It’s a good idea. It feels a little too passive for me, but I’m giving it a try with Go Set A Watchman.


Next time I’ll talk about what I do read.

One Flew East, And One Flew West


So, I haven’t written in this blog for two months. I have a good reason. I was depressed. I am depressed. I hope that soon I will not be depressed.

I’ve been on temporary disability since June. You’d think I’d be writing about this experience “as it happens,” but I haven’t been interested chronicling anything. There are still a few things I can force myself to write. That’s another blog entry for another day.  I have not been writing, I have not been reading books. It’s been summer, and I wasn’t even eating peaches.

More than one doctor has told me that I’m not getting better. More than one doctor has advised me to enter a day program for adults with severe depression. My only other option is ECT (electro-convulsive therapy.) I reject ECT. I choose hard work and therapy, neither of which is a favorite.

I had my intake at the hospital today. I start the program on Monday. I’ll be writing about it here. I’m ready to talk about depression.

Feminism “No, dear. That is not at all what I meant…

Let’s say this was pre-Ms. Magazine and leave it at that. 

“No, dear. That is not at all what I meant. I detest male-bashing. I meant equal pay for equal work & that means for men as well as women. I mean everyone, men and women, should have reproductive rights. Feminism could have been the great equalizer, but it was hijacked and misrepresented by so many men and women, it’s become a derogatory term. I’m proud to be a feminist. I’m not proud of the women and men who think feminism is a license to be abusive towards men.”

My answer to someone equating Feminism with Male-Bashing just happens to be my definition of Feminism.

It’s my blog so I figure it’s OK to quote myself. I promise I won’t do it often.