Hugh Barker

Hugh Barker – Editor

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


I'm an editor and writer, with many years of experience as a commissioning editor and publishing director at companies including Constable & Robinson, Michael O'Mara and (as author) Faber, W.W. Norton, Bloomsbury, Ebury and Atlantic. I have worked on a wide variety of subjects including art, history, science, mathematics, philosophy and most other areas, as well as fiction, memoir, crime, humour and gift books. I also have experience in the sales & marketing departments of several publishers, so understand their mindset, and have worked as an author and ghostwriter, having written over 20 books (under my own name and pseudonyms). I do my best to take every manuscript and improve it as much as I can, in whatever way I think is necessary. I will always go the extra mile to deliver a great job.

I understand where you are coming from as a writer, whether you are a beginner or a published author; I will be direct and honest with you, and aim to deliver the best result I can.

Biographies & Memoirs Business & Management Health & Wellbeing Humanities & Social Sciences Math & Science
Literary Fiction Mystery & Crime Romance
English (UK) English (US)

Work experience


Apr, 2016 — Present

I write books for several major publishers including Penguin and Hachette; some of these have been translated into more than 20 languages. My past publishers have included Constable, Faber, Atlantic Bloomsbury and W.W.Norton. 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. In addition, I contribute book reviews to a UK magazine.

Michael O'Mara

Apr, 2014 — Aug, 2016 (over 2 years)

As publishing director, I oversaw all the firm's editors and was fully responsible for the non-fiction lists. This deepened my knowledge of how the editing process works, at all levels, and how to make a book successful.

Constable & Robinson

Jan, 2004 — Apr, 2014 (about 10 years)

I had a variety of roles, starting in the sales department, then commissioning and acquiring hundreds of books, including both fiction and non-fiction, and ending up as a commissioning editor. I had numerous bestsellers, and brought in successful authors in numerous genres.


Jan, 2001 — Jan, 2004 (about 3 years)

This was my first job in publishing, although I previously worked as a proof-reader and in bookshops for several years. It was useful as a starter experience in understanding how publishing works, and what readers and publishers are looking for.


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, th... read more
Bookshop That Floated Away
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 ... 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 i... 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, h... 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 o... 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 feature... read more

Hugh has 273 reviews





Joseph Z.

Joseph Z.

Jul, 2024

Wonderful partner to work with. Really enjoyed working with Hugh all around. Great feedback and provided in a way that was not overwhelming as a newer author.
Daniel S.

Daniel S.

Jul, 2024

Hugh was brilliant! Great editing and advice. Thank you.
Gail R. -.

Gail R. -.

Jul, 2024

Hugh B was very thoughtful and kind in his approach to editing, in gerneral, and skilled and insightful, specifically with his recommendations.
AuthorInMe L.

AuthorInMe L.

Jul, 2024

I’d highly recommend Hugh; he combines meticulous attention to detail with a deep understanding of narrative craft. His ability to elevate a manuscript while maintaining the author's voice makes him an invaluable asset to any writing project.
Ryan M.

Ryan M.

Jun, 2024

I’m very grateful to Hugh for an exceptional editorial assessment of my manuscript. Not only was this exactly what I hoped for, but it exceeded my expectations in many ways. He is professional, understands what you’re trying to achieve with your work, and offers a very reasonable rate. I highly recommend Hugh, and won’t hesitate to reach out to him on future projects.

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