Abbie Headon

Abbie Headon – Editor

Wide-ranging, attentive and enthusiastic editor with expertise across humorous fiction, romance, crime, memoir, self-help and gift books.


My career in publishing has covered a wide range of genres, starting with popular science at Oxford University Press, progressing on to all kinds of general non-fiction at Summersdale Publishers, and focusing on humorous fiction at Farrago Books, an imprint of Duckworth Books.

Whatever project I'm working on, I always bring my full engagement and enthusiasm, and my greatest pleasure comes from working closely with authors. My role is that of a facilitator: my suggestions are based on my 18 years of publishing experience and market knowledge, and my goal is to help every book shine, in terms of structure, consistency, accuracy and tone of voice.

As well as being an editorial professional, I am also a published author, so I understand deeply how important communication is at every stage of the publishing process, and I know how tenderly manuscripts need to be looked after!

I offer Development Editing, Proofreading, Query Letter Review and Editorial Assessment. If you have any questions about my services and areas of expertise, please do drop me a line. I'd love to hear from you.

Finally, here are some testimonials from authors and companies I've worked with:

‘Abbie made the process of editing my books not just painless, but actively pleasurable. She has a terrific eye for detail, an astonishing ability to choose exactly the right words, and impeccable judgment and tact when it comes to what should stay and what should be cut. She also has a fine sense of humour and is stunningly efficient. In short, she is easily the best editor I have ever worked with.’

Beth Miller, author

‘I know I've said this before, but Abbie Headon really is terrific. I never want anyone else to be the first person to read anything I write.’

Isabel Rogers, author

Abbie is a joy to work with and always provides a diligent and careful proofread. She has been patient and flexible with project timings, with a very fast turnaround for urgent projects. Abbie is one of my most reliable proofreaders and I highly recommend her.

Emily Bedford, Senior Commissioning Editor, Canelo Books

‘Abbie is simply outstanding. She has a deep understanding of every aspect of the publishing process, from her unfailing instinct for the right tone for a tweet to an iron grip of schedules and budgets. It’s incredibly rare to find someone with her breadth of skills and experience who’s also creative and commercially savvy. (She’s also one of the world’s loveliest people, which is a bonus.)’

Alison Jones, Director, Practical Inspiration Publishing

‘We are so pleased to have Abbie on Team BookMachine. She is enthusiastic about everything relating to publishing; and has a great grasp on current trends and what the readership will be interested in. A great asset to a publishing team, with many skills – and definitely one to watch!’

Laura Summers, Co-Founder, BookMachine

Biographies & Memoirs Education & Reference Self-Help & Self-Improvement Writing & Publishing
Cozy Mysteries Humor & Comedy Romantic Comedy Women's Fiction
English (UK) English (US)
  • Bookseller Rising Star, 2018

Work experience


Apr, 2017 — Present

I provide a wide range of editorial services to publishing clients, including structural editing, proofreading, and submission assessment. I commission and edit articles for the BookMachine blog ( and I also provide social media help to various organisations. As well as private clients, I work with Bloomsbury, Canelo, DK, Duckworth, HarperCollins, Octopus and Quarto.


Dec, 2019 — Nov, 2020 (11 months)

I created original, trend-led new book concepts for the Gift & IP Team at HarperNonFiction. This involved contacting potential new authors and developing proposals with them, writing attention-grabbing copy and researching the market for each proposal.

Duckworth Books

Apr, 2017 — Feb, 2020 (almost 3 years)

I commissioned and edited over forty comic novels for the Farrago list of ‘fiction to make you smile’, as well as a popular science book and a historical novel for the Duckworth list. I set up a new content management system, and worked with Nielsen to approve the ONIX feed and collaborated with Bookswarm to design and build the Farrago website.
I had regular meetings with agents and authors, presented titles at book fairs and signed rights deals, and I also worked with authors, narrators and studios to create audiobooks.

Summersdale Publishers, Chichester

Aug, 2010 — Mar, 2017 (over 6 years)

I commissioned new titles across travel, gift and self-help, and I also wrote, edited and copy-edited typescripts and managed all production schedules. I implemented a new content management system across the company, developed a new company website and contributed to social media activities.

Oxford University Press

Sep, 1999 — Sep, 2005 (about 6 years)

I held a range of increasingly responsible positions, beginning as Editorial Assistant (Science Books) and progressing to Assistant Commissioning Editor, Biology. I project-managed books for academic and trade markets from proposal to publication, and prepared financial forecasts for all new projects, using Excel and SAP.


I Love You Mum

Abbie Headon

A mother's hug lasts for long after she lets go. There's nowhere warmer or safer than the embrace of a loving mother, and even as we grow older, our thoughts return again and again to the love we received as infants.Just like us, mums from the natural world ar... read more
The best thing in life to hold onto is each other. Lovebirds are so alike that it's hard to tell them apart. They stay together for their whole lives and, if separated, they pine just like humans do. They even sleep with their faces turned towards one another.... read more
Whether your problem is a commonplace challenge or a drastic decision, the world of literature is sure to provide an inspiring answer. Soothe your stresses with these heartfelt passages and let the beauty of the prose help you resolve the dilemmas in your life.
Whether your problem is an everyday conundrum or a life-changing decision, the world of poetry is sure to provide an inspiring answer. Seek a solution within these stanzas and let the rhymes and rhythms help you resolve the dilemmas in your life.
The Power of NO

Abbie Headon

Say yes to 'no'.No more confidence knocks, no more overwhelming workloads and no more hesitation. By using this single word and canny bible you will break the taboo that surrounds 'no' and come to understand your own needs.The Power of NO teaches you to value ... read more
The Power of YES

Abbie Headon

Discover the power of "yes" and all the amazing things it can do for you.So often we are afraid of failure, of disappointment, of being vulnerable, that we settle for "no". The practical tips and inspirational advice within these pages will help you embrace po... read more
Release your inner child and build yourself happy with LEGO® bricks.Are you failing to find inner peace on a yoga mat? Does life feel like all work and no play?Having fun and getting creative can boost your mood and your well-being. So if you're looking for wa... read more
**THE PERFECT GIFT FOR OUR TROUSERLESS TIMES** Office workers of the world, unite! (remotely.) You have nothing to lose but your trousers. Working from home has liberated many of us from the annoyances of office life. We no longer need to queue for the photoco... read more
Her new colleague is about to shake things up...When her love life crashed down around her, Edie found solace in work. But her job rapidly goes from uplifting to unbearable, with the departure of her work wife, Ruby, and the arrival in the office of new guy, C... read more
Holiday Hearts

Dana Volney

Love is in the air this Christmas, but will they take a chance on romance?The December DealLilia Carrigan is under pressure to raise money for her dad’s cancer treatment. Wealthy Vincent Morgenstern has to marry in order to inherit the company he loves so much... read more
Stanley and Elsie

Nicola Upson

The First World War is over, and in a quiet Hampshire village, artist Stanley Spencer is working on the commission of a lifetime, painting an entire chapel in memory of a life lost in the war to end all wars. Combining his own traumatic experiences with moment... read more
Are these newly trained Wrens ready to protect Britain’s coastline?Following a humiliating experience involving the man she thought she’d marry, Iris Tredwick signs up to the Wrens in order to escape and find ‘the right sort’ of man to please her mother. After... read more
When there’s so much to be afraid of, can May help bring festive cheer to the Ops Room?After failing to help evacuee siblings whom she witnesses being separated, May wishes she’d had the confidence to speak up. When Jess suggests a pantomime to boost morale on... read more
Murder is a dish best served ice cold... Margery and Clementine are enjoying a peaceful middle-age together in the small, idyllic town of Dewstow, and eagerly awaiting retirement from their work on the front line serving meals to the students at Summerview sec... read more
Can a running club help heal a broken heart?Following the death of her husband, Ffion moves back to her family hotel in Wales seeking home comfort. In the village of Cariad Cove, she reconnects with her family, and starts to find hope as she takes up running a... read more
Bad Terms

Alex Walters

Dark deeds in the Peak District refuse to stay buried... When a skeleton is unearthed at a building site in the village of Meresham, the police immediately link the case to a notorious missing persons investigation. Jayne Arnold was sixteen when she disappeare... read more
Lost Hours

Alex Walters

A vicious murder is committed, but who has blood on their hands?On a hot summer’s afternoon, Michelle Wentworth enjoys a rare few hours of relaxation. Sunning herself by her pool, she sends her lazy teenage son to fetch her a drink. But instead of a refreshmen... read more
Small Mercies

Alex Walters

A killer is sending a message. But who is it for?DI Annie Delamere and her colleague DS Zoe Everett are off duty and enjoying a walk on the Peak District’s vast moorlands when they stumble across a mutilated corpse. The victim is unclothed and his tattoos indi... read more
Next in Line

Marion Todd

A murder victim with celebrity connections spells trouble for DI Clare Mackay...Gaby Fox is known to many due to her successful TV career, so when her brother and his pals hire the salubrious Lamond Lodge for his birthday celebrations, it is noted by the St An... read more
What They Knew

Marion Todd

DI Clare Mackay starts the new year with a death... It is the stroke of midnight on Hogmanay when Alison Reid admits a caller to her home. When her death is later reported, DI Clare Mackay attends the scene. The initial evidence does not rule out murder, but i... read more
The Influencers

S. V. Leonard

A filter can hide all manner of secrets...When budding true crime blogger Maggie Shaw is invited to the Influencer of the Year awards, it feels like everything is finally falling into place. The party is held on a glamorous yacht and presents the perfect oppor... read more
The Islanders

S. V. Leonard

Her dream escape is about to become a nightmare... Kimberley King has spent the last five years trying to outrun the reason she left the police force. Her life is a mess and she’s desperate for change. So when she is randomly selected for the new series of the... read more
Glass Coffin

Gabby Hutchinson Crouch

The tyrannous Huntsmen have declared everyone in one village to be outlaws, since they insist on supporting the magical beings of neighbouring Darkwood. Why won’t they accept that magic is an abomination? Far from being abominable, the residents of Darkwood ar... read more
Such Big Teeth

Gabby Hutchinson Crouch

If you go down to the woods today, be sure of a big surprise. The Battle of Nearby Village is over, and deep in the Darkwood, Gretel and her friends journey into the hostile mountains of the north, seeking new allies in their fight against the huntsmen. There ... read more

Gabby Hutchinson Crouch

Magic is forbidden in Myrsina, along with various other abominations, such as girls doing maths. This is bad news for Gretel Mudd, who doesn’t perform magic, but does know a lot of maths. When the sinister masked Huntsmen accuse Gretel of witchcraft, she is fo... read more
Wish You Weren’t Here

Gabby Hutchinson Crouch

The Rook family run a little business: ghost hunting. And things has picked up recently. Something’s wrong. It’s been getting noticeably worse since, ooh, 2016? Bad spirits are abroad, and right now they're particularly around Coldbay Island, which isn’t even ... read more
Governor Bill Hoeksma of Michigan is a simple, gun-loving son of a billionaire who idolises George W. Bush. When a mysterious illness afflicts members of his inner circle, his conspiring advisors point to a rumoured viral weapons attack – via monkeypox-carryin... read more
Continental Riff

Isabel Rogers

A continental tour of Europe doesn’t go quite as planned! When Stockwell Park Orchestra goes on tour to Europe, it proves a challenge for even the most efficient German logistical planner. A teenage stowaway, brass players falling in canals and a sabotaged tim... read more
Bold as Brass

Isabel Rogers

Community music projects always spread harmony... don’t they? When players in Stockwell Park Orchestra fear they may be getting out of touch with the community, they invite children from two nearby schools to join them for a season. Supercilious, rich Oakdean ... read more
Classical music can be a dangerous pastime... What with love affairs, their conductor dropping dead, a stolen cello and no money, Stockwell Park Orchestra is having a fraught season. After Mrs Ford-Hughes is squashed and injured by a dying guest conductor mid-... read more

Beth Miller

Sally Marshall is just your ordinary suburban woman, who gets by performing as a tribute act to a pop star (Epiphanie, even more famous than Beyonce). She, along with dozens of others. Until one day she is asked by the real Epiphanie to do a life swap for a co... read more

Abbie has 5 reviews





Séamus M.

Séamus M.

Oct, 2022

When I finished writing my novel, I realised the daunting part lay ahead - getting published. Thankfully some unseen hand guided me to Abbie Headon. I engaged her expertise to fine tune my literary agent query letter. She carried me through that project with professional ease, but she gave me much more - bits of advice, reduced my angst around the publishing world, and let go of the bike saddle...
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Kate R.

Kate R.

Sep, 2022

I was very pleased with Abbie’s assessment and edits of my ms. She provided comments upon a range of aspects along with suggestions for improvement and I found her feedback clearly and sensitively explained; she gave me insight as well as enthusiasm for my work, for which I am grateful. I found Abbie professional and a pleasure to work with and would highly recommend her services.
Riya A.

Riya A.

Jul, 2022

The copyedit I received had some quality issues. The copyedited manuscript contained too many punctuation inconsistencies and punctuation errors either introduced or left uncorrected. Very nice editor, but too many missed opportunities for corrections.
Rebecca K.

Rebecca K.

Apr, 2022

I absolutely loved working with Abbie on the developmental edit of my nonfiction manuscript. She communicated very clearly in terms of when she would be available and hit the nose on that timetable, I think, to the minute! She provided me with a very thoughtful review of the structure, flow and title of the book, and then included notes throughout the entire manuscript, plus some proofreading ...
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Kevin C.

Kevin C.

Mar, 2022

Abbie is a terrific editor. I engaged her services for a developmental edit of my first novel. Her feedback was detailed, thoughtful and incredibly helpful. I felt that she really engaged with the manuscript and worked hard to help me make it a better novel. Her considerable book-editing experience shone through at every step of the process.

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