Becky Alexander

Becky Alexander - Editor

London, UK

Very experienced Commissioning/Managing Editor. I have worked for Bloomsbury, HarperCollins and Penguin RandomHouse.

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Overview


I am a very experienced non-fiction book editor. I worked as a Commissioning Editor and Managing Editor for over 20 years at Bloomsbury, HarperCollins and Penguin, with many very high profile authors. I now work freelance and my main client is Penguin Random House (Ebury and Vermilion) – I have edited or proofread over 30 books for them.

I specialise in food, health, parenting, wellbeing, popular psychology and fitness books. My Reedsy ratings are all 5-star.

I can edit to your brief - whether you want a proofread, a structural edit, help with cutting your book, or anything else you can think of! I love working with first-time authors and know that your book is a culmination of months of hard work. My aim is to make the editing process collaborative and enjoyable, and that you end up with a book that is at UK/US industry professional standard.

If you plan to submit a proposal/pitch to agents, I can advise on your cover letter, contents list and sample chapters. You only get one shot at pitching so it pays to get it right.

Recent books include:

Manifesto, Michaela Coel
The new hot, Meg Matthews, Penguin Random House
Little veggie eats, Rachel Boyett, Penguin Random House
The four thoughts that fxxx you up, Daniel Fryer, Penguin Random House
The modern midwife, Marie Louise, Penguin Random House
The depression cure, Stephen S Ilardi, Penguin Random House
Find your voice, Caroline Goyder, Penguin Random House
The energy plan, James Collins, Penguin Random House
F*** you cancer, Deborah James, Penguin Random House
Miracle of Mindfulness (new edition), Thich Nhat Hanh, Penguin Random House
Man's search for meaning (new edition), Viktor E Frankl, Penguin Random House
Ageless body, timeless mind (new edition), Dr Deepak Chopra, Penguin Random House
Fear Less, Dr Pippa Grange, Penguin Random House
Self-care cookbook, Gemma Ogston, PRH


Languages
English (UK)
Non-Fiction
Cooking, Food, Wine, & Spirits
Health & Wellbeing
Parenting & Families

Certifications

  • BA Hons English Literature and Language
  • The Publishing Centre Commissioning and List Management
  • The Publishing Centre Copy Editing

Work experience

Managing Editor

Bloomsbury
March, 2015 – October, 2015 (7 months)

Managing Editor in the adult non-fiction and fiction team (Alexandra Pringle's list) which includes literary novels, food, biography and thrillers. I project-managed a Sunday Times bestseller, Philip Larkin, Life, Art and Love, by James Booth and edited or proofread many more including a thriller set in Tuscany, an illustrated book about Gallipoli, an agent's memoir and cookery titles.

Freelance Senior Editor

Self-employed
January, 2008 – Present (almost 15 years)

Freelance senior editor and proofreader for leading UK publishers including Penguin Random House (Vermilion, Ebury and Dorling Kindersley), Bloomsbury and Nourish. I have been part of the commissioning team in Penguin and Bloomsbury so have a real understanding of what publishers are looking for.

I specialise in non-fiction, particularly food books. I helped two Great British Bake Off finalists prepare the contents list and pitch for their books. I have edited and proofread many cookery books including Social Suppers (Jason Atherton), 80 Cakes (Claire Clark), Leith's Pastry and More Home Comforts (James Martin).

I am also an author myself so I know what it's like on the other side! Packed was published by Nourish Books and featured in The Guardian, The Times, Delicious, Coast and many more magazines. I understand the complete publishing process from both the writer and editor's point of view, from writing a proposal to finding an agent and working with an international publishing company.

When not working in-house I work as a freelance editor, mostly for Penguin RH. Books this year include the follow-up to Amazon's bestselling ever book Who Moved My Cheese called Out of the Maze. Proofread Deborah James' F*** You Cancer. I am currently working on a big-budget food and health title that will be out in Jan 2019!

Contract Managing Editor/Senior Editor

Dorling Kindersley
January, 2004 – February, 2011 (about 7 years)

Worked in-house at Dorling Kindersley (now part of Penguin Random House) on various non-fiction projects including The Fairtrade Cookbook, Nutrition for Life and A Slice of Organic Life. Edited many children's food titles too, including many by Annabel Karmel.

Portfolio (7 selected works)

Packed: Lunch hacks and recipes to squeeze more nutrients into your day

Becky Alexander, Michelle Lake

The workday packed lunch so often a repetitive and disappointing affair is easier than you think to get right; it just requires a little forward planning. Throw out the soggy sandwiches and fill your Thermos or lunch box with nutrient-packed goodies that are simple to prepare, delicious - and full of things that are good for you. Contemporary and seasonal recipes are supported by sound nutriti... read more

The workday packed lunch so often a repetitive and disappointing affair is easier than you think to get right; it just requires a little forward planning. Throw out the soggy sandwiches and fill your Thermos or lunch box with nutrient-packed goodies that are simple to prepare, delicious - and full of things that are good for you. Contemporary and seasonal recipes are supported by sound nutriti... read more

Healthy Speedy Suppers: Quick, Healthy and Delicious Recipes for Busy People

Katriona MacGregor

Bursting with quick, simple and deliciously healthy recipes, "Healthy Speedy Suppers"will inspire anyone who feels too tired or busy to cook at the end of the day.Katriona MacGregor started her Speedy Weeknight Suppers column for"The Telegraph"online in 2013, after a move back to exhausting London office life caused a slump in her diet. Resolving to break away from eating ready meals and chees... read more

Bursting with quick, simple and deliciously healthy recipes, "Healthy Speedy Suppers"will inspire anyone who feels too tired or busy to cook at the end of the day.Katriona MacGregor started her Speedy Weeknight Suppers column for"The Telegraph"online in 2013, after a move back to exhausting London office life caused a slump in her diet. Resolving to break away from eating ready meals and chees... read more

Philip Larkin: Life, Art and Love

James Booth

Philip Larkin was that rare thing among poets: a household name in his own lifetime. Lines such as 'Never such innocence again' and 'Sexual intercourse began / In nineteen sixty-three' made him one of the most popular poets of the last century. Larkin's reputation as a man, however, has been more controversial. A solitary librarian known for his pessimism, he disliked exposure and had no patie... read more

Philip Larkin was that rare thing among poets: a household name in his own lifetime. Lines such as 'Never such innocence again' and 'Sexual intercourse began / In nineteen sixty-three' made him one of the most popular poets of the last century. Larkin's reputation as a man, however, has been more controversial. A solitary librarian known for his pessimism, he disliked exposure and had no patie... read more

More Home Comforts: 100 new recipes from the television series

James Martin

More Home Comforts introduces 100 new recipes from James Martin, favourites that you will want to cook time and time again.This brand new book features super-fast Instant Comforts, including Pea and Parmesan Soup and Keralan Prawns; Sharing Comforts for when you have a tableful, like Lamb Belly with Barbecue Sauce or Dahl Chicken with Naan Bread; Childhood Comforts such as soothing Fish Pie or... read more

More Home Comforts introduces 100 new recipes from James Martin, favourites that you will want to cook time and time again.This brand new book features super-fast Instant Comforts, including Pea and Parmesan Soup and Keralan Prawns; Sharing Comforts for when you have a tableful, like Lamb Belly with Barbecue Sauce or Dahl Chicken with Naan Bread; Childhood Comforts such as soothing Fish Pie or... read more

Becky has 11 reviews

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

Niki Louw
I truly enjoyed collaborating with Becky. She was professional but really understanding and very supportive. It was easy to discuss issues and her replies were prompt, to the point and often provided many useful tips. Her guidance and skills as a wordsmith were really great. My confidence has grown in these weeks and I extend my sincere appreciation for this opportunity to prepare a manuscr...
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Niki Louw, September 2022

Becky Alexander
It was a true pleasure to work for Niki. Her book is insightful, interesting, warm and timely and I hope it finds the the large readership it so deserves.

Reply from Becky Alexander


Niki Louw
Becky is not only an excellent wordsmith but very understanding and help. Due to my circumstances we had a break in collaboration soon after starting, but after much consideration we are right back on track having restarted the collaboration. I look forward to the end result. Thank you Becky for your wonderful support and understanding

Niki Louw, August 2022


Brian Finucane
I am very satisfied with Becky's work. She went above and beyond my expectations. Very happy!

Brian Finucane, July 2022


Eli Ricker
Becky more than exceeded my expectations! Working with her was a dream. She helped me cut my manuscript down by over 20% (bringing it back into the range the publisher had asked for), and she made the book more visually and textually skimmable and readable. Becky asked questions that made me think more deeply about how to introduce specific concepts. There were places where I was too close to t...
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Eli Ricker, April 2021


Natalie van Unen
Working with Becky was an exceptional experience, and surpassed my expectations. Becky is extremely thorough and thoughtful in her editing feedback, and I would highly recommend her for editing services. Thanks so much Becky for outstanding service.

Natalie van Unen, August 2020

Becky Alexander
Thank you Natalie. It was a pleasure to work for you! Becky

Reply from Becky Alexander

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