Hugh Barker

Hugh Barker - Editor

London, UK

I'm an enthusiastic writer/editor/publisher with decades of experience. I love editing commercial 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, 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
Philosophy
Political Science & Current Affairs
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 151 reviews

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

Jonathan Elliott
Hugh's editing and notes are clear and easy to follow. Thank you for the help.

Jonathan Elliott, July 2022


Rebecca Kelly
Hugh was most clear and helpful with my query letter, and getting me oriented. His experience and comments were just what I needed at this point in my journey. I would highly recommend him.

Rebecca Kelly, July 2022


Isabella Antinozzi
There's nothing better than honest feedback, except for honest feedback delivered in a tactful, constructive and exquisitely witty way. Thanks Hugh

Isabella Antinozzi, June 2022


Toby As
Mr Barker had such clarity of thought on what makes a scene or, indeed, the overview work. One can become too involved as to miss the wood for the trees but to 'hold it up to the light' and see, assisted tremendously. His detail was consummate and his advice never fell into nagging or make me feel like I was back at school. The suggested options to my outline made sense and I could just leave t...
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Toby As, June 2022


Karl Rehder
This was my second time to use Hugh’s editorial services. Like the first time, I was not disappointed. His work is thorough, complete, and exceptionally detailed. His suggestions and comments are relevant and accurate. In my 75k word manuscript, he caught several plot inconsistencies, some of which were small and inconspicuous. I could not be happier with the edits Hugh provided. I will contin...
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Karl Rehder, June 2022

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