Carl Smith

Carl Smith – Editor

A fiction editor with experience working with UK and US writers, including NYT bestsellers, Agatha Award winners, and first-timers.


‘You are a fantastic editor – honestly, the best I've ever had’ – New York Times bestselling author, Teresa Messineo

'You are also a top-notch editor and I learned a lot from you' – Anthony and Agatha Award-winner, Elaine Viets

'Imaginative, collaborative, good-natured and eagle-eyed, Carl has that invaluable set of skills that make him the perfect editorial accomplice' – Agatha, Anthony, Lefty and Macavity Award-winning author, Catriona McPherson

‘You made my books better, and made me look smarter in the process – a pretty heavy lift. Working with you has been a joy’ – Shamus and International Thriller Award-nominated author, Gwen Florio

Over the past five years I’ve developmentally edited commercial fiction published in the UK and US for Canongate Books and Severn House. I’ve collaborated with Agatha, Macavity, Left Coast Crime and Edgar Award-winning authors, New York Times bestselling authors, and first-time authors across crime, thrillers, horror, YA and more.

When editing fiction I analyse pacing, structure, plot points, character development, and writing and narrative style. I do this via Microsoft Word’s track changes feature. I like to educate authors on the choices they make and how or why they are – or aren’t – effective. If we worked together, that’s what I’d do that for you.

I pride myself on creating harmonious working relationships with my authors and believe in accentuating the positives just as much as highlighting the aspects I think could be developed further. You'll have put your all into your writing, and you deserve an editor willing to do the same.
Action & Adventure Contemporary Fiction Historical Fiction Literary Fiction Mystery & Crime Romance Thriller & Suspense
English (UK) English (US)

Work experience


Aug, 2018 — Apr, 2023 (over 4 years)

- Sought out titles and authors for the company’s list. These titles range from crime, thrillers, horror, and science fiction
- Liaised with agents in order to acquire titles for the company
- Structurally edited 2-4 novels a month: editing for consistency, tone, plot, characterisation and more

Lume Books

Jan, 2023 — Jun, 2023 (5 months)

- Structurally edited select novels: editing for consistency, tone, plot, characterisation and more
- Line-edited selected titles for grammar, spelling and tone
- Wrote promotional copy for the titles

Pushkin Press

Sep, 2022 — Present

- Proofread fiction commercial titles ahead of publication

Severn House

Apr, 2018 — Aug, 2018 (4 months)

- Structurally edited 3-4 novels a month: editing for consistency, tone, plot, characterisation and more
- Oversaw the publishing schedule for the novels I and the Publisher edited, including marking up proofs
- Organised freelance proofreaders and worked closely with typesetters (Palimpsest) to finalise files
- Created prelims, AIs, cover briefs and cover copy for titles I worked on
- Updated Biblio with product and author information
- Proofed adverts, jacket copy and other promotional material
- Ran the company’s social media channel

Carlton Books

May, 2017 — Mar, 2018 (10 months)

- Proofread full-colour, illustrated plotters for Carlton Books, including children’s STEM and craft titles
- Assessed both UK and US versions of titles for consistent use of appropriate spelling and grammar
- Managed the critical path for the sales and marketing material
- Coordinated content for backlist and frontlist catalogues, working closely with designers on flat plans
- Copy-edited AIs and proofread marketing material for high-profile brands (FIFA, Minecraft, Jurassic World etc.) to ensure a consistent voice and tone and SEO was optimised
- Ensured all product metadata was accurate and up to date within the company’s CMS


Sep, 2013 — Aug, 2016 (almost 3 years)

- Sub- and copy-edited, and proofread, editorial and marketing content for the company
- Researched editorial content for accuracy and legal reasons
- Liaised directly with writers, internal team members and external agents (freelancers and printers)
- Oversaw the critical path of the company’s editorial and marketing content (60-70 products a week)
- Developed and implemented a consistent style guide for the use across the company’s products
- Worked across print, online only, email and eBook products – overseeing the production of each
- Researched and approved/rejected third party advertising for the company


A Quiet Teacher

Oyebanji, Adam


Anderson, Kevin J.

The Rough Cut

Corleone, Douglas

Island of Time

Bunn, Davis

The Quake Cities

Wheaton, Mark

Prime Directive

Bunn, Davis

What We May Become

Messineo, Teresa

Carl has 14 reviews





Parker F.

Parker F.

Jan, 2024

Carl is an amazing editor! He was easy to work with, his communication was superb, and he delivered quality feedback that far exceeded our initial agreement. He was timely, reasonable, and responsive to all my many questions. The level of thought, knowledge, and detail in his work was extraordinary. I would highly recommend him!
Alex G.

Alex G.

Jul, 2023

I was extremely impressed with my collaboration with Carl and grateful we were able to work together on my first book. He did a superb job of developmentally editing my book-- helping me identify which plot points and character arcs to continue fleshing out and which to potentially abandon. His editorial report was a comprehensive document showcasing what worked, what didn't, and what could wit...
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Michael C.

Michael C.

Jul, 2023

Hard working, sensitive, and intelligent, with a deep understanding of story and characters, Carl is a dream editor. He's clearly passionate about what he does and it comes through in his work. He thinks deeply about each manuscript, enabling him to provide the perfect balance of praise and constructive criticism. In addition, he's always available to answer follow-up questions no matter how si...
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Yosha G.

Yosha G.

Apr, 2023

Carl is an INCREDIBLE editor and an all-around lovely person to work with. There’s a lot of choices out there - and I considered quite a few, but if you’re looking for a mystery editor, Carl is the best. I chose Carl for a variety of carefully considered reasons. (1) Carl is very experienced in mystery editing - his portfolio of edits include novels that I respect and have been well received. (...
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Kevin E.

Kevin E.

Apr, 2023

Truly, an awesome editor to work with. Valuable feedback.

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