Hugh Barker

Hugh Barker - Editor

London, UK

I'm an enthusiastic writer/editor/publisher with decades of experience. I love editing interesting fiction, smart non-fiction and memoir.

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Overview

I'm an editor and writer with many years experience in a wide variety of publishing roles and houses including Constable & Robinson, Michael O'Mara and (as author) Faber, W.W. Norton, Bloomsbury, Ebury and Atlantic - I have worked on everything from cosy crime to comic novels, and non-fiction including art, history, science, philosophy and most other areas. I also have experience in the sales departments of publishers, so understand their mindset, and have worked as an author and ghostwriter, having written about fifteen books myself (under my own name and pseudonyms). I can also help with formatting books for those who want to self-publish.
Languages
English (UK)
English (US)
Non-Fiction
Biographies & Memoirs
Business & Management
Math & Science
Fiction
Holiday
Humor & Comedy
Mystery & Crime

Work experience

Freelance writing, book creation and editing

Self-employed
April, 2016 – Present (over 6 years)

I write books for several major publishers including Penguin and Hachette. I also work regularly as a freelancer for publishers around the UK and the US, as well as taking on a wide variety of jobs via Reedsy, which I find endlessly enjoyable and fascinating.

Publishing Director

Michael O'Mara
April, 2014 – August, 2016 (over 2 years)

Commissioning Editor

Constable & Robinson
January, 2004 – April, 2014 (about 10 years)

I had a variety of roles, starting in the sales department, then commissioning and acquiring hundreds of books and ending up as a commissioning editor

Sales Manager

Quarto
January, 2001 – January, 2004 (about 3 years)

My first job in publishing, although I previously worked as a proof-reader and in bookshops for several years.

Portfolio (13 selected works)

Hedge Britannia: A Curious History of a British Obsession

Hugh Barker

This is the story of how Britishhedgerows contribute to our national identity and our wildlife. Overthe centuries we have proved ourselves to be a nation of hedge growers,marking boundaries or trimming them into fantastical creations. Fromformal garden features to emphatically rustic barriers, Hugh exploresour hedges in all their diversity.Hedge Britannia offers a wittyinsight into the history... read more

This is the story of how Britishhedgerows contribute to our national identity and our wildlife. Overthe centuries we have proved ourselves to be a nation of hedge growers,marking boundaries or trimming them into fantastical creations. Fromformal garden features to emphatically rustic barriers, Hugh exploresour hedges in all their diversity.Hedge Britannia offers a wittyinsight into the history... read more

Faking It: The Quest for Authenticity in Popular Music

Hugh Barker, Yuval Taylor

Musicians strive to “keep it real”; listeners condemn “fakes”; ... but does great music really need to be authentic? Did Elvis sing from the heart, or was he just acting? Were the Sex Pistols more real than disco? Why do so many musicians base their approach on being authentic, and why do music buffs fall for it every time? By investigating this obsession in the last century through the storie... read more

Musicians strive to “keep it real”; listeners condemn “fakes”; ... but does great music really need to be authentic? Did Elvis sing from the heart, or was he just acting? Were the Sex Pistols more real than disco? Why do so many musicians base their approach on being authentic, and why do music buffs fall for it every time? By investigating this obsession in the last century through the storie... read more

This Book Will Send You to Sleep

Professor K. McCoy, Dr Hardwick

A Brief Guide to Business Classics: From The Art of War to The Wisdom of Failure

James M. Russell

The world of business books is a curious place where one can find everyone from great businesspeople like Warren Buffett, Steve Jobs and Elon Musk, to the most spectacular business failures such as Enron and the sub-prime business market. There are geniuses, hard workers, academics and entrepreneurs as well a few charlatans and hucksters. There's even room for Donald Trump., The 70 titles cove... read more

The world of business books is a curious place where one can find everyone from great businesspeople like Warren Buffett, Steve Jobs and Elon Musk, to the most spectacular business failures such as Enron and the sub-prime business market. There are geniuses, hard workers, academics and entrepreneurs as well a few charlatans and hucksters. There's even room for Donald Trump., The 70 titles cove... read more

Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops

Jen Campbell

'Can books conduct electricity?''My children are just climbing your bookshelves: that's ok... isn't it?' A John Cleese Twitter question ['What is your pet peeve?'], first sparked the "Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops" blog, which grew over three years into one bookseller's collection of ridiculous conversations on the shop floor. From 'Did Beatrix Potter ever write a book about dinosaur... read more

'Can books conduct electricity?''My children are just climbing your bookshelves: that's ok... isn't it?' A John Cleese Twitter question ['What is your pet peeve?'], first sparked the "Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops" blog, which grew over three years into one bookseller's collection of ridiculous conversations on the shop floor. From 'Did Beatrix Potter ever write a book about dinosaur... read more

We're Going on a Bar Hunt: A Parody

Emlyn Rees, Josie Lloyd

We're going on a bar hunt.We're going to find a cool one.The babysitter's booked.We're not old!Bestselling authors Emlyn Rees and Josie Lloyd also happen to be parents, so they understand the complications of organising a rare night out. In this parody of the famous children's book, two parents set off for a night on the tiles, and encounter a series of watering holes and bars before an alarmi... read more

We're going on a bar hunt.We're going to find a cool one.The babysitter's booked.We're not old!Bestselling authors Emlyn Rees and Josie Lloyd also happen to be parents, so they understand the complications of organising a rare night out. In this parody of the famous children's book, two parents set off for a night on the tiles, and encounter a series of watering holes and bars before an alarmi... read more

You've Done What, My Lord?: Hilarious tales from a country estate

Rory Clark

You've Done What, My Lord? Rumshott is one of the finest landed estates in England. However, when James Aden takes up the position of Deputy Agent he does not realise the full extent of what the job entails. He finds himself spending his days negotiating with royalty, farmers, and even wildlife, as well as the imperious Lady Leghorn. Full description

You've Done What, My Lord? Rumshott is one of the finest landed estates in England. However, when James Aden takes up the position of Deputy Agent he does not realise the full extent of what the job entails. He finds himself spending his days negotiating with royalty, farmers, and even wildlife, as well as the imperious Lady Leghorn. Full description

The Bookshop That Floated Away

Sarah Henshaw

Bookshop That Floated Away

Bookshop That Floated Away

Create Your Own Universe

Greg McLeod, Myles McLeod

If you have ever wanted to create a comic, graphic novel, animation, film, television series, or even a book, then Create Your Own Universe is here to help you get started. A fun, imaginative and interactive guide to creating your own characters and worlds, this is a great starting point for producing your own stories.Be inspired and collect information on all your characters, locations and ba... read more

If you have ever wanted to create a comic, graphic novel, animation, film, television series, or even a book, then Create Your Own Universe is here to help you get started. A fun, imaginative and interactive guide to creating your own characters and worlds, this is a great starting point for producing your own stories.Be inspired and collect information on all your characters, locations and ba... read more

Hugh has 175 reviews

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

Jack Rathmell
Great work so far, project ongoing

Jack Rathmell, November 2022


A.J. Sendall
Hugh did a great job and delivered on schedule. His edits were thorough and well explained without in any way altering the voice or style. Highly recommended.

A.J. Sendall, November 2022


kim donlan
As a first-time author, I wanted someone to help me deliver a book I would be proud of. Hugh asked for a sample of the work to assess what he'd be getting into and wanted to see the outline to ensure I had at least done the developmental work necessary for him to stick mostly with editing. These small exchanges allowed us to create sound expectations and a clear sense of what we were getting in...
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kim donlan, October 2022


Jeff Sliger
Lacking. Collaboration requires communication and response. What was received was criticism for an exorbitant fee. What had been expected was for there to be communication, questions that could be answered for the work to be improved. It is not to say that his opinion was lacking, however that is not what was paid for. Had there been actual collaboration something great could or would have be...
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Jeff Sliger, October 2022


Sarah Smith
This is the third time I've used Hugh to proof read an MS and you always get more than correct punctuation and spelling. Hugh takes the time to add thoughts on sentence construction and give positive and, when necessary, constructive negative feedback which, more often than not, will improve the MS. I have no hesitation in recommending him. Also, very fair pricing. A great choice for what can b...
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Sarah Smith, October 2022

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