Karen Ball

Karen Ball – Editor

The Bookseller Rising Star. I edit adult, YA, children's fiction. My debut adult novel is publishing with Viking, PRH in 2024.

Overview

“I have always admired Karen’s editorial instincts. Her eye for the ingredients of a good story is second to none.”

— Claire Wilson, literary agent, Rogers, Coleridge & White


"Karen is a delight to work with and her expert eye was critical in my transition to writing for teens.”

— Alex Wheatle, author of Carnegie-longlisted Liccle Bit


“Karen is creative, efficient and a consummate professional, and I love working with her.”

— Sam Eades, Editorial Director, Trapeze


With 25 years' publishing experience, I have commissioned some of the most successful children's series including Agent Zaiba Investigates, Beast Quest and Frankie's Magic Football, selling millions of copies worldwide.


I also have experience of structural edits on commercially successful adult novels, working closely with authors and publishers to crack genres from thriller to crime, romance to historical.


My strengths lie in creative collaboration, working closely with authors on structural edits and reader reports to ensure that the shape, plot, commercial hook and voice are all working as strongly as possible. I bring empathy, humour and an eye for detail to this process. My approach is relaxed and informal, whilst always professional.

Services
Fiction
Fantasy Middle Grade Mystery & Crime Paranormal Romance Romance Thriller & Suspense Women's Fiction Young Adult
Languages
English (UK)
Awards
  • The Bookseller Rising Star 2017

Work experience

Self-employed

Sep, 2016 — Present

I aim to help authors and publishers with their stories. I work across the industry from break-out voices to bestselling authors. Listen to my podcast interview on The Bestseller Experiment to learn much more!

Little, Brown Books For Young Readers

Aug, 2013 — Aug, 2016 (about 3 years)

I joined Little, Brown UK to launch a children's imprint, LBYR. I managed a list of approx. 50 titles a year and commissioned a range of fiction and non fiction, including Carnegie long listed novels, Liccle, Bit, This Is Not A Love Story and Joe All Alone, and successful commercial series such as Frankie's Magic Football with celebrity author, Frank Lampard.

Working Partners

Aug, 2005 — Aug, 2013 (about 8 years)

Working Partners is a London and New York-based book packager of internationally successful commercial children's series fiction. I commissioned and managing lead series, including Beast Quest (worldwide sales in excess of 10 million), Survivors (winner of starred Kirkus reviews), My Sister The Vampire and Sea Quest. This role gave me extensive experience of developing Intellectual Property and managing a team of editors.

Portfolio

Lottie Pumpkin is an ordinary girl who longs to be a princess; Ellie Wolf is a princess who longs to be ordinary. When fate puts them in the same dorm at Rosewood Hall, the two come up with the perfect solution: to swap places.Now back for their second year at... read more
Looking for a new calm in this crazy world? The Little Book of Sewing is your pocket-sized guide to creating your own zen with nothing more than a needle and thread. This little book is packed with essays, anecdotes, quotes, how to guides and practical tips an... read more
Her Last Breath

Alison Belsham

He leaves his victims fighting for life,And with the mark of death...After old remains resurface in a heatwave, a young woman is attacked and left fighting for her life in hospital. 24 hours later she dies and a deadly tattoo is discovered on her body. When an... read more
Lake Child

Isabel Ashdown

'Had me gripped throughout.' IAN RANKINYou trust your family. They love you. Don't they?When 17-year-old Eva Olsen awakes after a horrific accident that has left her bedbound, her parents are right by her side. Devoted, they watch over her night and day in the... read more
Spooktacular!
Joe All Alone

Joanna Nadin

The first book in an epic new series about the Survivors dogs From Erin Hunter, #1 nationally be....
Ferno the Fire Dragon
Frankie and his team love playing football. There's always time for a game. And now that they have their magical football they're playing against teams they never imagined! While on holiday at a summer camp, Frankie, Charlie, Louise and Max the dog are transpo... read more
Liccle Bit

Karen has 4 reviews

Professionalism

Quality

Value

Responsiveness

Andrea M.

Andrea M.

Aug, 2018

Karen was a pleasure to work with. She gave me a very thorough and super-helpful editorial assessment of my manuscript. Her experienced eye was just what my writing needed to point me in the right direction for the next version. She had great ideas and advice and I'm more than grateful for her input. In all communication she was personable, friendly and encouraging.
Rachel M.

Rachel M.

Nov, 2017

Karen has been a pleasure to work with. She met all deadlines and provided me with a thorough edit of my work which I can see will much improve it. She also provided me with development tips for the manuscript and for my writing, which is over and above what I contracted her to do. Highly recommended.
George J.

George J.

Aug, 2017

Karen is a very nice person and a quick editor. Once I received and digested her suggested changes, we discussed several of those I didn't quite understand. I plan to use her again.
Cara T.

Cara T.

Jun, 2017

Working with Karen was an absolute pleasure and she went above and beyond the copy-edit I'd asked for, making helpful plot suggestions throughout. Communication was great and everything was completed bang on time. Would highly recommend.

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