James Smart

James Smart – Editor

Experienced, attentive editor. Specialist in culture and travel. The Guardian, Lonely Planet, Rough Guides, Culture Trip, Time Out.


In almost two decades in editorial, I've edited and commissioned over a hundred books and worked across numerous newspapers, magazines and websites.

Here on Reedsy, I've edited and proofread memoirs and guides, and written copy. I'd love to hear what I can do for you.

My career so far has focused most strongly on travel, culture, food and outdoor activities. For Lonely Planet I've produced guides to Iceland, Ireland, the UK, Japan and more, collaborating on briefs, guiding structure, ensuring consistency and helping polish writing. My work at senior level as a Managing Editor has helped develop a strong grasp of strategy. While at Rough Guides, I edited titles including France, India and New Zealand alongside more general guides like Camping and Make the Most of Your Time on Earth.

I'm a very experienced writer, and my extensive history of book reviewing (for the Guardian, the Sunday Herald and the List) has given me further insights as well as honing my prose. I specialize in graphic novels and new fiction, and spent many years writing about pop music and club culture. I'm also a digital editor, skilled in Wordpress.

Working with writers has always been a strength - whether you want a careful, unintrusive edit, high-level guidance, tips on gaps in the market or help crafting that perfect sentence, I'm here to help.

Comics & Graphic Novels
Music Sports & Outdoors Travel
English (AUS) English (UK) English (US)
Works with
  • Allen Wright Award for Outstanding Contribution to Fringe Journalism

Work experience

Lonely Planet

Dec, 2012 — May, 2019 (over 6 years)

Rough Guides

Mar, 2007 — Dec, 2012 (almost 6 years)


Sep, 2000 — Present

Writing and editing for publications including the Guardian, DK, Culture Trip, the Scotsman, the List, Time Out, the Sunday Herald, the Edinburgh Evening News, DJ Magazine, Ministry Magazine


Lonely Planet: The world's leading travel guide publisher Discover the freedom of open roads with Lonely Planet Iceland's Ring Road Road Trips, your passport to uniquely encountering Iceland by car. Featuring five amazing road trips, plus up-to-date advice on ... read more
The Rough Guide to Graphic Novels is the ultimate companion to the expanding world of the “literary comic book”. Written by comic industry insider Danny Fingeroth, it includes the mediums history, from sequential art in Egyptian tombs, through the superhero bo... read more
#1 best-selling guide to JapanLonely Planet Japan is your passport to the most relevant, up-to-date advice on what to see and skip, and what hidden discoveries await you. Explore a bamboo grove in Arashiyama, marvel at Shinto and Buddhist architecture in Kyoto... read more
Lonely Planet: The world’s number one travel guide publisher* Lonely Planet’s Pocket London is your passport to the most relevant, up-to-date advice on what to see and skip, and what hidden discoveries await you. Rise over the city on the London Eye, uncover t... read more
Rough Guides' bestselling, inspirational travel book, featuring 1000 unique experiences around the globe, is now in its third edition. Make The Most Of Your Time On Earth is the product of the combined travel experience of Rough Guides' authors over the last 3... read more
Lonely Planet: The world's leading travel guide publisher Lonely Planet Scotland is your passport to the most relevant, up-to-date advice on what to see and skip, and what hidden discoveries await you. Sip the water of life, whisky, in an ancient pub, trace th... read more

James has 6 reviews





Syndicate A.

Syndicate A.

Aug, 2021

James work and work with me was near perfection.
James S.
Thanks Darius! It was a pleasure working with you on your powerful and honest account. Wishing you all the best for the future.
bruce E.

bruce E.

May, 2021

James was very professional and prompt with his edits and queries. He suggested better ways of doing things but always left the end decision with me. I'm very happy with the way he turned my scribblings into a professionally written book. I'd definitely recommend using James to edit your manuscript.
James S.
Thanks Bruce, working with you on Dixieland was a real pleasure - it's a great read and a lovely account of a time and a place.
Lucy F.

Lucy F.

Oct, 2020

James's experience is so valuable! I needed a final proofread and he did a perfect job spotting typos, inconsistencies, and other ways to optimise my manuscript. He immediately picked up on my ideal voice and his suggestions were exactly in line with the wider tone of the book. I also received some really useful comments for my style sheet and overall thoughts on his perspective as a reader. Th...
Read more
James S.
Thanks Lucy - I really enjoyed working on Mountain Song. You're a great writer and the book transported me to the Alps!
Andrew J.

Andrew J.

Sep, 2020

I recently used James to proofread a travel narrative book. He is incredibly thorough (the book had been proofread once before but he located numerous errors.) Beyond this however, is his ability to make suggestions that stay consistent with the author's voice. He was regularly in contact and updated me on progress. I plan on using him for future projects and would recommend him highly.
James S.
Thanks Andy! I really enjoyed working on the book and look forward to working with you again.
Michael N.

Michael N.

Aug, 2020

James was great to work with. Like a true editor he trimmed my manuscript to make it concise and easy to read. He has added value to my work and did it all in time beating even his own timeline! He was professional in all our communication right from day one till the end. thank you Mr. James S. and best of luck in all your future projects.
James S.
It was a pleasure working with Michael. He communicated promptly, was clear about what he required and worked thoughtfully with my edit - I wish him all the best going forward.

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