Dominic Wakeford

Dominic Wakeford - Editor

London, UK

Experienced book editor formerly @ HarperCollins and Little Brown, working on a range of fiction including literary, commercial, crime + YA.

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Overview

Having previously worked as a commissioning editor at two of the UK’s largest publishing houses, HarperCollins and Little, Brown (a division of Hachette), I know exactly what makes a book stand out in a crowded marketplace.

Whether you’re querying agents for the first time, and would like some advice on making your submission letter as strong as possible, or if you’d like someone to cast an experienced eye over your manuscript, I’m your editor.

I’ve worked on bestselling, prize-winning fiction and non-fiction titles across a range of genres: from literary to commercial, from crime to romance. I know what sells and what doesn’t, and can let you in on the tricks of the trade to ensure your book will go to the top of an editor’s towering to-be-read pile.

I'm available for:

-manuscript appraisals
-query letter assistance
-structural editing
-copyediting
-proofreading

There's nothing I care more about than authors and their work, and helping them to navigate the ever-more complicated world of book publishing – rest assured that working with me will be a fully collaborative experience, and never a dictatorial one.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch; I so hope we can work together on your book.
Languages
English (AUS)
English (UK)
English (US)
Fiction
Coming of Age
Contemporary Fiction
Historical Fiction
LGBTQ (Fiction)
Mystery & Crime
Romance
Women's Fiction
Young Adult

Certifications

  • Publishing Training Centre – Proofreading for Editors course

Work experience

Senior Commissioning Editor

HarperCollins
July, 2018 – October, 2019 (over 1 year)

As Senior Commissioning Editor for the HQ imprint, my brief was to acquire and publish upmarket commercial fiction. My acquisitions included Cold Storage, a thriller published simultaneously with Harper’s global offices in September 2019, the New York Times bestseller A Woman is No Man and Pizza Girl, a literary debut which Doubleday are also publishing in summer 2020. I also acquired the major non-fiction anthology The Queer Bible for publication in 2021.

Working closely with HarperCollins’ 360 and Global Publishing Programmes from the outset gave me an invaluable insight into joined-up international publications, building on my existing experience in this area from Hachette.

Given my personal interest in this area, I was also tasked with monitoring potential film/TV-related opportunities for our team, as well as actively looking for projects that could have life in another medium.

Commissioning Editor

Little, Brown Book Group
January, 2014 – July, 2018 (over 4 years)

As Commissioning Editor for the Piatkus Fiction imprint, I acquired and edited a wide range of commercial fiction titles, project-managing books from acquisition through to final publication, as well as assisting on structural edits for the ‘superlead’ titles. I also acquired fiction and non-fiction for the Dialogue, Corsair and Constable imprints.

Copywriting formed a substantial part of my role – this included writing cover copy, sales and marketing material, as well as preparing social media posts.

I was also tasked with preparing contract, design, marketing and sales briefs for my books, and liaising across in-house departments, all the while communicating with authors and agents, in order to collaboratively produce the best possible product.

I managed submissions to the imprint, reading and reporting on them, as well as logging any communication from agents.

Working to tight and often simultaneous deadlines on a wide range of projects, this role required diligent organisational skills and superior time and people management, as well as foresight and market awareness.

Portfolio (16 selected works)

The Last Romeo

Justin Myers

'If you liked Bridget Jones's Diary, try this' BBC News'So funny and sharp, yet tender and emotional too. I loved it!' Jill Mansell'I adored The Last Romeo . . . funny, clever and warm' Adam Kay, author of This is Going to Hurt'Funny, smart, tart' Russell T Davies, creator of BBC drama Torchwood 'A savagely funny and poignant journey' Red Magazine'A frothy and insightful debut . . . an all-too... read more

'If you liked Bridget Jones's Diary, try this' BBC News'So funny and sharp, yet tender and emotional too. I loved it!' Jill Mansell'I adored The Last Romeo . . . funny, clever and warm' Adam Kay, author of This is Going to Hurt'Funny, smart, tart' Russell T Davies, creator of BBC drama Torchwood 'A savagely funny and poignant journey' Red Magazine'A frothy and insightful debut . . . an all-too... read more

This Brutal House

Niven Govinden

SHORTLISTED FOR THE GORDON BURN PRIZE 2019'Vivid prose reinventing ideas of motherhood, belonging and taking us into the community of drag balls and protest, both personal and political' Jenni Fagan'A vital book' Andrew McMillan'A powerful and poetic book' Kerry Hudson'Niven Govinden is a true force of fierceness and beauty' Olivia Laing'Tremendously powerful and illuminating. It held me capti... read more

SHORTLISTED FOR THE GORDON BURN PRIZE 2019'Vivid prose reinventing ideas of motherhood, belonging and taking us into the community of drag balls and protest, both personal and political' Jenni Fagan'A vital book' Andrew McMillan'A powerful and poetic book' Kerry Hudson'Niven Govinden is a true force of fierceness and beauty' Olivia Laing'Tremendously powerful and illuminating. It held me capti... read more

A Death in the Dales

Frances Brody

A murder most foul When the landlord of a Yorkshire tavern is killed in plain sight, Freda Simonson, the only witness to the crime, becomes plagued with guilt, believing the wrong man has been convicted. Following her death, it seems that the truth will never be uncovered in the peaceful village of Langcliffe . . . A village of secretsBut it just so happens that Freda's nephew is courting the ... read more

A murder most foul When the landlord of a Yorkshire tavern is killed in plain sight, Freda Simonson, the only witness to the crime, becomes plagued with guilt, believing the wrong man has been convicted. Following her death, it seems that the truth will never be uncovered in the peaceful village of Langcliffe . . . A village of secretsBut it just so happens that Freda's nephew is courting the ... read more

Time to Win

Harry Brett

'The Godfather in Great Yarmouth' Ian Rankin'An atmospheric and riveting tale' Guardian* * * * * The Sun'Harry Brett writes a fun plot with witty elegance' The TimesWhen local crime boss Richard Goodwin is pulled from the river by his office it looks like suicide. But as his widow Tatiana feared, Rich collected enemies like poker chips, and half of Great Yarmouth's criminal fraternity would ha... read more

'The Godfather in Great Yarmouth' Ian Rankin'An atmospheric and riveting tale' Guardian* * * * * The Sun'Harry Brett writes a fun plot with witty elegance' The TimesWhen local crime boss Richard Goodwin is pulled from the river by his office it looks like suicide. But as his widow Tatiana feared, Rich collected enemies like poker chips, and half of Great Yarmouth's criminal fraternity would ha... read more

A Tapestry of Treason

Anne O'Brien

‘Gripping’ The Times ‘Fans of Philippa Gregory and other historical fiction writers will love Anne O’Brien’s A Tapestry of Treason’ Yours Her actions could make history – but at what price? 1399: Constance of York, Lady Despenser, proves herself more than a mere observer in the devious intrigues of her magnificently dysfunctional family, The House of York. Surrounded by power-hungry men, inclu... read more

‘Gripping’ The Times ‘Fans of Philippa Gregory and other historical fiction writers will love Anne O’Brien’s A Tapestry of Treason’ Yours Her actions could make history – but at what price? 1399: Constance of York, Lady Despenser, proves herself more than a mere observer in the devious intrigues of her magnificently dysfunctional family, The House of York. Surrounded by power-hungry men, inclu... read more

A High Mortality of Doves

Kate Ellis

'Haunting' Independent'A powerful story of loss, malice and deception' Ann CleevesThe first gripping historical thriller in the Albert Lincoln series by bestselling crime writer Kate Ellis.1919. The Derbyshire village of Wenfield is still reeling from four years of war. Just when the village has begun to regain its tranquillity, a young girl, Myrtle Bligh, is found stabbed and left in woodland... read more

'Haunting' Independent'A powerful story of loss, malice and deception' Ann CleevesThe first gripping historical thriller in the Albert Lincoln series by bestselling crime writer Kate Ellis.1919. The Derbyshire village of Wenfield is still reeling from four years of war. Just when the village has begun to regain its tranquillity, a young girl, Myrtle Bligh, is found stabbed and left in woodland... read more

The Mechanical Devil

Kate Ellis

The compelling twenty-second mystery in the bestselling Wesley Peterson series, by acclaimed crime writer Kate Ellis. 'A beguiling author who interweaves past and present' The TimesSecrets never stay buried for long . . . When archaeologist Neil Watson unearths a long-buried mechanical figure in a Dartmoor field, he is determined to discover the truth behind the bizarre find.Soon, however, the... read more

The compelling twenty-second mystery in the bestselling Wesley Peterson series, by acclaimed crime writer Kate Ellis. 'A beguiling author who interweaves past and present' The TimesSecrets never stay buried for long . . . When archaeologist Neil Watson unearths a long-buried mechanical figure in a Dartmoor field, he is determined to discover the truth behind the bizarre find.Soon, however, the... read more

Closer Than You Think

Darren O’Sullivan

‘Dark, gripping and with a twist that leaves you breathless’ John Marrs He’s watching. She’s waiting. The unmissable new thriller from Darren O’Sullivan, author of Our Little Secret and Close Your Eyes. Having barely escaped the clutches of a serial killer, Claire Moore has struggled to rebuild her life. After her terrifying encounter with the man the media dubbed The Black-Out Killer, she bec... read more

‘Dark, gripping and with a twist that leaves you breathless’ John Marrs He’s watching. She’s waiting. The unmissable new thriller from Darren O’Sullivan, author of Our Little Secret and Close Your Eyes. Having barely escaped the clutches of a serial killer, Claire Moore has struggled to rebuild her life. After her terrifying encounter with the man the media dubbed The Black-Out Killer, she bec... read more

Penhaligon's Pride

Terri Nixon

The stirring second installment in Terri Nixon's Penhaligon Saga series1910. Anna Garvey and her daughter are still running the Tin Streamer's Arms in Caernoweth, Cornwall, and it finally seems like she has left her tumultuous history behind in Ireland. Meanwhile Freya Penhaligon has blossomed and is now the object of increasing affection of Hugh, the elder son of the wealthy Batten family.Aft... read more

The stirring second installment in Terri Nixon's Penhaligon Saga series1910. Anna Garvey and her daughter are still running the Tin Streamer's Arms in Caernoweth, Cornwall, and it finally seems like she has left her tumultuous history behind in Ireland. Meanwhile Freya Penhaligon has blossomed and is now the object of increasing affection of Hugh, the elder son of the wealthy Batten family.Aft... read more

The King's City

Don Jordan

'The cruelty and magnificence of Restoration London provides endless fascination . . . there's much to delight in this volume' The Times'Don Jordan's history captures the shifts [Charles II] engineered in trade and culture' NatureDuring the reign of Charles II, London was a city in flux. After years of civil war and political turmoil, England's capital became the centre for major advances in t... read more

'The cruelty and magnificence of Restoration London provides endless fascination . . . there's much to delight in this volume' The Times'Don Jordan's history captures the shifts [Charles II] engineered in trade and culture' NatureDuring the reign of Charles II, London was a city in flux. After years of civil war and political turmoil, England's capital became the centre for major advances in t... read more

Seven Days of Us

Francesca Hornak

'One of the best books of the year' Hello!The joyful, sharply observed and life-affirming Christmas story for fans of One Day. Also a Radio 2 Bookclub pick.It's Christmas, and the Birch family is gathering for the first time in years.Olivia, the eldest daughter, has returned from treating an epidemic abroad and must go into quarantine for seven days. Her mother has decided it's the perfect opp... read more

'One of the best books of the year' Hello!The joyful, sharply observed and life-affirming Christmas story for fans of One Day. Also a Radio 2 Bookclub pick.It's Christmas, and the Birch family is gathering for the first time in years.Olivia, the eldest daughter, has returned from treating an epidemic abroad and must go into quarantine for seven days. Her mother has decided it's the perfect opp... read more

The Palace of Lost Dreams

Charlotte Betts

A sumptuously evocative story set in 18th century India from bestselling author Charlotte Betts, perfect for readers of Dinah Jefferies, Lucinda Riley and Jenny Ashcroft.'Romantic, engaging and hugely satisfying' Katie Fforde on The Apothecary's DaughterIndia, 1798. Beatrice Sinclair, a grieving young widow facing financial destitution, has travelled from Hampshire to Hyderabad to visit her br... read more

A sumptuously evocative story set in 18th century India from bestselling author Charlotte Betts, perfect for readers of Dinah Jefferies, Lucinda Riley and Jenny Ashcroft.'Romantic, engaging and hugely satisfying' Katie Fforde on The Apothecary's DaughterIndia, 1798. Beatrice Sinclair, a grieving young widow facing financial destitution, has travelled from Hampshire to Hyderabad to visit her br... read more

Rainbow Milk

Paul Mendez

AN OBSERVER TOP TEN DEBUT 2020'Sensuous and thrillingly well written', Observer 'When did you last read a novel about a young, black, gay, Jehovah Witness man from Wolverhampton who flees his community to make his way in London as a prostitute? This might be a debut, but Mendez is an exciting, accomplished and daring storyteller with a great ear for dialogue. Graphic Erotica Alert! Don't read ... read more

AN OBSERVER TOP TEN DEBUT 2020'Sensuous and thrillingly well written', Observer 'When did you last read a novel about a young, black, gay, Jehovah Witness man from Wolverhampton who flees his community to make his way in London as a prostitute? This might be a debut, but Mendez is an exciting, accomplished and daring storyteller with a great ear for dialogue. Graphic Erotica Alert! Don't read ... read more

Pizza Girl

Jean Kyoung Frazier

Great inventiveness, unfailing intelligence and empathy, and best of all a rare and shimmering wit’ Richard Ford Eighteen years old, pregnant, and working as a pizza delivery girl in suburban Los Angeles, our charmingly dysfunctional heroine is deeply lost. She's grieving the death of her father (whom she has more in common with than she'd like to admit), avoiding her supportive mom and loving... read more

Great inventiveness, unfailing intelligence and empathy, and best of all a rare and shimmering wit’ Richard Ford Eighteen years old, pregnant, and working as a pizza delivery girl in suburban Los Angeles, our charmingly dysfunctional heroine is deeply lost. She's grieving the death of her father (whom she has more in common with than she'd like to admit), avoiding her supportive mom and loving... read more

Dark Corners

Darren O’Sullivan

From digital bestseller Darren O’Sullivan comes a gripping thriller with a killer twist! You thought you’d escaped your past It’s been twenty years since Neve’s best friend Chloe went missing. Neve has never recovered and promised herself she’d never go back to that place. But secrets can come back to haunt you When Neve receives news that her first boyfriend Jamie has gone missing, she’s forc... read more

From digital bestseller Darren O’Sullivan comes a gripping thriller with a killer twist! You thought you’d escaped your past It’s been twenty years since Neve’s best friend Chloe went missing. Neve has never recovered and promised herself she’d never go back to that place. But secrets can come back to haunt you When Neve receives news that her first boyfriend Jamie has gone missing, she’s forc... read more

Arrowood and the Thames Corpses

Mick Finlay

A gripping historical crime novel, perfect for fans of C. J. Sansom ’Crackles with energy and wit’ The Times South London, 1896. William Arrowood, Victorian London’s less salubrious private detective, is paid a visit by Captain Moon, the owner of a pleasure steamer moored on the Thames. He complains that someone has been damaging his boat, putting his business in jeopardy. Arrowood and his tru... read more

A gripping historical crime novel, perfect for fans of C. J. Sansom ’Crackles with energy and wit’ The Times South London, 1896. William Arrowood, Victorian London’s less salubrious private detective, is paid a visit by Captain Moon, the owner of a pleasure steamer moored on the Thames. He complains that someone has been damaging his boat, putting his business in jeopardy. Arrowood and his tru... read more

Dominic has 32 reviews

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

T. Michael Roman
After looking through several other potential editors I found myself being drawn to Dominic's page. There was something about him that made me feel like he would be the best person for the job and after our collaboration I was more than right. He was more than generous with his time, his skill, and his understanding of me being a first time author. He answered every question I had and questions...
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T. Michael Roman, July 2020


Raymond Noland
It was a great experience working with Dominic on my manuscript. His feedback was professional and he polished my book right up with keeping my entire vision intact. Dominic made the whole process quick and easy to understand and I would recommend Dominic to anyone especially if you're a new author working on your first book.

Raymond Noland, July 2020


Mark Raynor
Dom was very responsive throughout our collaboration and finished well before our agreed upon completion date. I appreciated his professionalism.

Mark Raynor, July 2020


Ursula Rabar
Working with Dominic was very enjoyable, he does his part as promised, giving context and feedback professionally and openly which is very much appreciated. The enthusiasm for what he does transpires in his work and I will collaborate with Dominic again.

Ursula Rabar, July 2020


Lish Troha
I'm grateful to Dominic for his timely and thorough assessment. He helped with comp titles (something I'm not great at, though I definitely agreed with his recommendations), responded quickly in all communication, and is open to additional questions. His editorial assessment was a necessary step for me to take in the novel-writing process. I recommend him to anyone looking for a thoughtful, pro...
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Lish Troha, July 2020

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