Craig Adams

Craig Adams - Editor

London, UK

Former HarperCollins editor and non-fiction specialist. Sounding-board and shaper of prose for authors with adventurous and complex ideas.

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Overview

I’m a developmental editor and published author with experience both editing and commissioning non-fiction. I specialise in books that mix elements of narrative, philosophical, historical and literary non-fiction, and authors with a core of specialised knowledge that reach out adventurously to adjacent areas.

I’ve edited the work of university lecturers, educational consultants, QI elves and foreign correspondents, as well as more mainstream narrative and memoir, and I’ve worked in a non-fiction imprint that published a wide range of genres in which I’ve read widely: natural history, philosophy, history, music, meditation and psychology. It’s that breadth of knowledge that I try to bring to author-editor discussions about complex ideas and how they are best explained - as well as a professional way of working combined with an open and relaxed manner.

I like to understand the full depth of an author’s ideas before helping them to marshal those ideas into a shape that shows off what’s most original, whilst also keeping a former publisher’s eye on what’s commercial too. Once the structure of a book begins to take shape I enjoy helping authors to hone their voice, whether it's a clear philosophical style, the adding of rhetorical flourish or a natural and conversational speaking voice. From the beginnings of your idea to the process of shaping your message and polishing your prose, I can provide everything from general guidance to a range of concrete suggestions for you to get the best out of your book - in a straightforward but sensitive way.



Testimonials

'Craig Adams was my editor for my first book of trade non-fiction. I was nervous about editorial involvement (writerly ego) but as soon as I met Craig I knew he would only help push my better instincts. He read my manuscript sensitively and deeply. There was nothing glib about his feedback and he offered me several very achievable options for thinking through the overall structure of the book in the final months of completion. His insightful contributions meant that the book was both tauter and more clearly voiced. Craig’s editorial contribution was a very significant part of my coming of age as a writer.'
-Sally Bayley

‘a special thanks to Craig for providing more than just feedback, research and ideas, but also a comprehensive lesson on how inspiring a hardworking editor can be.’
-Valentina D'Efilippo

‘credit must go to a man who must be one of publishing’s most tenacious editors, Craig Adams, who has in turn been editor, researcher, writer, diplomat and a dozen things besides.’
-James Ball

'Craig is a brilliant editor. I found him very reassuring throughout all of the stages of creating my first book, The Secret Museum: from the initial meetings, into the writing and research period and when the book came out into the world. Craig always made sure everything ran smoothly. During the writing period he always had my back, replying to my emails speedily with answers full of useful ideas and encouragement, which I found invaluable given this was my first experience of writing a book. He ensured everything ran smoothly as the illustrations and design of the book came together and I was so happy with the end result, a beautiful book. I highly recommend Craig as an editor - it wouldn’t have been the same without him.'
-Molly Oldfield

'I had long held huge ambitions to write a book but never ever thought Id be able to. For a start I knew nothing about it and had no idea how to start. With your help, I managed to write a particularly sensitive and personally hard story with confidence. You picked up up at every turn and pointed me in the right direction with empathy, understanding and crucial sensitivity. Writing a particularly personal recollection meant it felt a bit like giving birth to a baby and criticism of any kind can be hard to take. But you did it with a really light touch whilst at the same time, making sure the end product was artfully honed and chiselled into a far better result.'
-Alex Crawford, OBE (Special Correspondent, Sky News)
Languages
English (UK)
Non-Fiction
Biographies & Memoirs
History
Life Sciences
Music
Nature
Philosophy
Psychology

Certifications

  • MA - Linguistics and Spanish Literature; The University of Oxford

Work experience

Editor

HarperCollins Publishers
June, 2009 – April, 2013 (almost 4 years)

Commissioned, edited and project managed a wide range of books across general non-fiction, including TV tie-ins and illustrated books.
Managed and developed Collins’ publishing programme under The Times newspaper imprint.
Published a ST bestseller and a European Design-Award winning illustrated title.

Freelance Editor and Proofreader

Self-employed
September, 2015 – Present (almost 7 years)

Editing and proofreading for publishing and design houses since 2015

Portfolio (10 selected works)

The Private Life of the Diary: From Pepys to tweets

Sally Bayley

Diaries keep secrets, harbouring our fantasies and fictional histories. They are substitute boyfriends, girlfriends, spouses and friends. But in this age of social media, the role of the diary as a private confidante has been replaced by a culture of public self-disclosure. The Private Life of the Diary: from Pepys to Tweets is an elegantly-told story of the evolution - and perhaps death - of ... read more

Diaries keep secrets, harbouring our fantasies and fictional histories. They are substitute boyfriends, girlfriends, spouses and friends. But in this age of social media, the role of the diary as a private confidante has been replaced by a culture of public self-disclosure. The Private Life of the Diary: from Pepys to Tweets is an elegantly-told story of the evolution - and perhaps death - of ... read more

The Secret Museum

Molly Oldfield

Title: Secret Museum <>Binding: Hardcover <>Author: Molly Oldfield <>Publisher: HARPER COLLINS PUBLISHERS

Title: Secret Museum <>Binding: Hardcover <>Author: Molly Oldfield <>Publisher: HARPER COLLINS PUBLISHERS

The Infographic History of the World

Valentina D'Efilippo, Ball

HardCover. Pub Date :2013-06-20 Pages: 224 Language: English The History of the World. but not as you know it.A new type of history is here - all 13.8 billion years of it. exploded into a visually jaw- dropping feast of facts. trends and timelines that tell you everything you'd ever want to know about the history of the world.From the primordial soup to the technological revolution of the 21st... read more

HardCover. Pub Date :2013-06-20 Pages: 224 Language: English The History of the World. but not as you know it.A new type of history is here - all 13.8 billion years of it. exploded into a visually jaw- dropping feast of facts. trends and timelines that tell you everything you'd ever want to know about the history of the world.From the primordial soup to the technological revolution of the 21st... read more

Choir: Gareth Malone

Gareth Malone

Title: Choir: Gareth Malone <>Binding: Paperback <>Author: Gareth Malone <>Publisher: HARPER COLLINS PUBLISHERS

Title: Choir: Gareth Malone <>Binding: Paperback <>Author: Gareth Malone <>Publisher: HARPER COLLINS PUBLISHERS

One Hundred and Four Horses

Mandy Retzlaff

One Hundred and Four Horses

One Hundred and Four Horses

Music for the People: The Pleasures and Pitfalls of Classical Music

Gareth Malone

Music for the People: The Pleasures and Pitfalls of Classical Music

Music for the People: The Pleasures and Pitfalls of Classical Music

Making Business Child's Play

Adam Marc Margolin

Craig has 8 reviews

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

Patrick Ross
Craig's input into the book has been invaluable. He helped improve everything in the book, and improved my own confidence in my concept along the way. When I write my second book, Craig will the be the first person I contact.

Patrick Ross, June 2022


Robert Pantano
Craig was an absolute pleasure to work with, in every respect. He immediately understood what was needed and provided edits, notes, feedback, and general ideas that were genuinely comprehensive, useful, and interesting. He was thoughtful about the purpose of the book as well as my writing style. He was attentive to the details, and he communicated perfectly the whole way through. I couldn't as...
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Robert Pantano, June 2022


Bridgemind LLC
It was my pleasure to work with Craig Adams. He is nice and patient in answering my questions, and professional in offering his suggestions and comments, which greatly helps to improve my book readability. I feel lucky to meet an intellectual so knowledgeable, with professional language, patient and friendly, who made my book editing a happy experience.

Bridgemind LLC, December 2021


Elaina McGann
Collaborating with Craig was an absolute pleasure. He is an excellent communicator who approaches your work with respect and tact, but does not sacrifice the brutal honesty that is needed to make your work great. I was nervous going into the editing process due to the magnitude and complexity of the project, but Craig handled it with agility and skill. He provided not just detailed notes but a...
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Elaina McGann, August 2021


Aaron Zweig
Craig followed through on everything we agreed to, with thoughtful feedback after an honest reading. He gave great advice and I am thankful for his help!

Aaron Zweig, July 2021

Craig Adams
Thanks Aaron. It was a pleasure to work on your book.

Reply from Craig Adams

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