Craig Adams

Craig Adams – Editor

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

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 A. 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 A., 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)
Services
Non-Fiction
Biographies & Memoirs History Life Sciences Music Nature Philosophy Psychology
Languages
English (UK)
Certifications
  • MA - Linguistics and Spanish Literature; The University of Oxford

Work experience

HarperCollins Publishers

Jun, 2009 — Apr, 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.

Self-employed

Sep, 2015 — Present

Editing and proofreading for publishing and design houses since 2015

Portfolio

Music for the People: The Pleasures and Pitfalls of Classical Music
One Hundred and Four Horses
Title: Choir: Gareth Malone <>Binding: Paperback <>Author: Gareth Malone <>Publisher: HARPER COLLINS PUBLISHERS
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 yo... read more
The Secret Museum

Molly Oldfield

Title: Secret Museum <>Binding: Hardcover <>Author: Molly Oldfield <>Publisher: HARPER COLLINS PUBLISHERS
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 se... read more

Craig has 20 reviews

Professionalism

Quality

Value

Responsiveness

Dimitra D.

Dimitra D.

Sep, 2019

Pinned
Editing is a complex enterprise that requires a level of partnership and understanding only attainable with a master of the art. Craig is one of those masters. Generous, professional, insightful, intelligent, respectful, Craig has known how to connect with and "dance" with my project in a way I did not think was possible. I am very grateful for all his work and input.
Wim V.

Wim V.

Jun, 2024

Working with Craig Adams on my book, "The Bigger Picture - On the Origin of Everything," has been an enlightening experience. From the outset, Craig demonstrated a profound grasp not only of the mechanics of writing but also of the intricate philosophical underpinnings of my work. His editorial suggestions were meticulously detailed, enhancing the clarity and flow of my narrative without compro...
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Robert B.

Robert B.

Apr, 2024

Craig's contribution has been exceptional. He has helped me understand my own writing in a way that I hadn't previously considered. Though I was initially looking for a high-level assessment, Craig went deep into the details and, in doing so, delivered more than I had expected. As a result of my collaboration with Craig, I have greater clarity about what I'm trying to achieve in my book and I h...
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Robert P.

Robert P.

Jan, 2024

This is my second time working with Craig, and it was again an absolute pleasure. He goes above and beyond and is so personable and communicative. The experience working together is both extremely pleasant and extremely prosperous. While editing my manuscript, he took great care in evaluating and considering potential problems and suggesting clear, applicable solutions. He took the time to unde...
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Ken R.

Ken R.

Aug, 2023

Craig is everything I could ask for in an editor. He was tasked with taking the rough TOC and two rough chapters of my coming book and to help me focus and make this an interesting book for people wanting to know how to help young adults struggling in life. His report was received as promised and has greatly refined my focus and understanding of what the book truly is. This is my 2nd book, and ...
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