Karen Ball

Karen Ball - Editor

London, United Kingdom

The Bookseller Rising Star 2017. I edit adult, YA & children's fiction with empathy & vigour. Published author.

Request a quote
Reedsy profile URL https://reedsy.com/ball-karen
Verified identity

Overview

Reviews (4)
“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 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, and it's my hope that people find me easy to work with. No question too stupid or small!

Languages
English (UK)
Fiction
Fantasy
Mystery & Crime
Romance
Thriller & Suspense
Women's Fiction
Young Adult
Children's
Middle Grade
Romance
Paranormal Romance

Awards

  • The Bookseller Rising Star 2017

Work experience

Director

Self-employed
September, 2016 – Present (about 3 years)

I aim to help content generators with their stories and concepts. I work with authors, agents, publishers and licence holders and speak regularly at university courses and industry events. Listen to my podcast interview on The Bestseller Experiment to learn much more!

Publisher

Little, Brown Books For Young Readers
August, 2013 – August, 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.

Head Of Editorial

Working Partners
August, 2005 – August, 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 (13 selected works)

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 attic room of their family home in the forests of Norway.But the accident has left Eva without her most recent memories, and not everyt... read more

'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 attic room of their family home in the forests of Norway.But the accident has left Eva without her most recent memories, and not everyt... 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 another young woman disappears, Detective Francis Sullivan and his team fear a serial killer walks the streets of Brighton. His team ident... read more

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 another young woman disappears, Detective Francis Sullivan and his team fear a serial killer walks the streets of Brighton. His team ident... read more

The Little Book of Sewing

Karen Ball

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 and contains all you need to channel your creative energy and start sewing today. It will show you how to: Sew yourself calm, thread a nee... 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 and contains all you need to channel your creative energy and start sewing today. It will show you how to: Sew yourself calm, thread a nee... read more

Princess in Practice

Connie Glynn

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 Rosewood, Lottie and Ellie are close as ever, and learning more about their new roles. But strange things are happening at Rosewood. Wi... read more

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 Rosewood, Lottie and Ellie are close as ever, and learning more about their new roles. But strange things are happening at Rosewood. Wi... read more

Liccle Bit (Crongton)

Alex Wheatle

Liccle Bit

Liccle Bit

Team T. Rex: Book 14 (Frankie's Magic Football)

Frank Lampard

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 transported to a prehistoric land of dinosaurs. Can they reunite a baby pterodactyl with its mum, and avoid being eaten by a hungry T-Rex? The ... read more

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 transported to a prehistoric land of dinosaurs. Can they reunite a baby pterodactyl with its mum, and avoid being eaten by a hungry T-Rex? The ... read more

Ferno the Fire Dragon

Survivors: The Gathering Darkness #1: A Pack Divided

Erin Hunter

The first book in an epic new series about the Survivors dogs From Erin Hunter, #1 nationally be....

The first book in an epic new series about the Survivors dogs From Erin Hunter, #1 nationally be....

Joe All Alone

Joanna Nadin

Spooktacular! (My Sister the Vampire)

Sienna Mercer

Spooktacular!

Spooktacular!

Karen has 4 reviews

Professionalism
Professionalism
Quality
Quality
Value
Value
Communication & Punctuality
Communication & Punctuality

Andrea Mill
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.

Andrea Mill, August 2018


Rachel McCollin
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.

Rachel McCollin, November 2017


George Jankovic
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.

George Jankovic, August 2017


Cara Thurlbourn
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.

Cara Thurlbourn, June 2017

Explore the Reedsy Community

Reedsy is a community of top publishing professionals. Join Reedsy today to browse 1000+ profiles.

Harrison Demchick

The world's most thorough content editor. Expert in fiction and memoir. More than 70 books and 60 authors guided toward publication.

Hyattsville, United States

Shelly Stinchcomb

Dedicated, compassionate, honest writing coach who has polished manuscripts for both new and best-selling authors. I make your work shine!

Oklahoma City, OK, USA

To view 1,000+ more profiles, Join Reedsy