Jon Bentley-Smith

Jon Bentley-Smith - Editor

Cambridge, UK

Editor and proofreader. Politics/History. Once spotted that the i and e in Tolkien were the wrong way round while flicking through a book.

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Overview

I spent almost five years in the editorial department of Oneworld Publications, an award-winning independent publisher in the UK, working across their wide-ranging non-fiction list. During my time there, I was valued, in particular, for my sharp eye for detail. Among other things, I assessed non-fiction proposals, carried out structural edits and line edits, and proofread book texts, covers and marketing materials. I worked on bestselling popular histories, a winner of the FT McKinsey Business Book of the Year Award and a book that was longlisted for it, and a winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Explanatory Reporting.

As a freelancer, I have edited, copy-edited, proofread, and written editorial prescription reports on works of fiction and non-fiction. Indeed, I love working on - and reading - a wide variety of titles, and I've been fortunate enough to work closely with authors of crime fiction, current affairs, history, literary fiction, memoir, Middle Eastern studies, nature, philosophy, politics, popular culture, and popular science. I am precise and adaptable, tuning my approach to the nature of the piece and its intended audience. Ultimately, I'm here to help books become the best possible versions of themselves, and I'll write wrongs along the way. Oh no, wait--

(Sense of humour is retained under pressure.)
Languages
English (UK)
English (US)
Non-Fiction
History
Political Science & Current Affairs

Certifications

  • BA Creative Writing

Work experience

Editor (non-fiction)

Oneworld Publications
April, 2017 – August, 2019 (over 2 years)

I continued* to work across the non-fiction list and, in addition, became the sole editor of titles.

*please see below

Assistant Editor (non-fiction)

Oneworld Publications
February, 2016 – March, 2017 (about 1 year)

Assisted the non-fiction commissioning editors, including with editing manuscripts, and carried out line edits.

Editorial Assistant (non-fiction)

Oneworld Publications
January, 2015 – January, 2016 (about 1 year)

I assisted the non-fiction commissioning editors on titles that ranged from popular histories to academic monographs. Among other things, I assessed proposals, wrote cover copy, proofread jackets, and carried out final checks on book pages before they were sent to the printer.

Freelance Editor, Copy-Editor, Proofreader

Self-employed
September, 2009 – Present (about 11 years)

As a freelancer I have edited literary fiction and collections of short stories, flash fiction, and poetry; copy-edited crime fiction; and provided editorial prescription reports on non-fiction manuscripts.

Portfolio (14 selected works)

Black Tudors: The Untold Story

Miranda Kaufmann

Shortlisted for the Wolfson History Prize 2018 A Book of the Year for the Evening Standard and the Observer A black porter publicly whips a white Englishman in the hall of a Gloucestershire manor house. A Moroccan woman is baptised in a London church. Henry VIII dispatches a Mauritanian diver to salvage lost treasures from the Mary Rose. From long-forgotten records emerge the remarkable storie... read more

Shortlisted for the Wolfson History Prize 2018 A Book of the Year for the Evening Standard and the Observer A black porter publicly whips a white Englishman in the hall of a Gloucestershire manor house. A Moroccan woman is baptised in a London church. Henry VIII dispatches a Mauritanian diver to salvage lost treasures from the Mary Rose. From long-forgotten records emerge the remarkable storie... read more

Posh Boys: How English Public Schools Ruin Britain

Robert Verkaik

Imagine a world where leaders are able to pass power directly to their children. These children are plucked from their nurseries and sent to beautiful compounds far away from all the other children. They are provided with all the teachers they need, the best facilities, doctors and food. Every day they are told this is because they are the brightest and most important children in the world. Ye... read more

Imagine a world where leaders are able to pass power directly to their children. These children are plucked from their nurseries and sent to beautiful compounds far away from all the other children. They are provided with all the teachers they need, the best facilities, doctors and food. Every day they are told this is because they are the brightest and most important children in the world. Ye... read more

We Used to Be Kings

Stewart Foster

Populism: A Beginner's Guide (Beginner's Guides)

Simon Tormey

Every day we hear that the rise of populism threatens democracy around the world, but is this really true? Did populism cause the current crisis, or is it the other way around? To understand the state of our politics right now, we must get to grips with this contested concept. Simon Tormey breaks down the defining aspects of populism, what sets it apart from other styles of politics, and what ... read more

Every day we hear that the rise of populism threatens democracy around the world, but is this really true? Did populism cause the current crisis, or is it the other way around? To understand the state of our politics right now, we must get to grips with this contested concept. Simon Tormey breaks down the defining aspects of populism, what sets it apart from other styles of politics, and what ... read more

Imperial China: A Beginner's Guide (Beginner's Guides)

Dr. Peter Lorge

In 221 BCE, the Qin state conquered its neighbours and created the first unified Chinese empire in history. So began the imperial era, where dynasties claiming divine assent ruled for more than 2,000 years, until the last emperor abdicated in 1912. It was a period of immense change and claims to consistency. As borders shifted and rulers struggled to exert control over every region of their di... read more

In 221 BCE, the Qin state conquered its neighbours and created the first unified Chinese empire in history. So began the imperial era, where dynasties claiming divine assent ruled for more than 2,000 years, until the last emperor abdicated in 1912. It was a period of immense change and claims to consistency. As borders shifted and rulers struggled to exert control over every region of their di... read more

175 Years of Persecution: A History of the Babis & Baha'is of Iran

Fereydun Vahman

For almost two centuries, followers of the Baha'i faith, Iran's largest religious minority, have been persecuted by the state. They have been made scapegoats for the nation's ills, branded enemies of Islam and denounced as foreign agents. Since the Islamic Revolution of 1979 Baha'is have been barred from entering the nation's universities, more than two hundred have been executed, and hundreds... read more

For almost two centuries, followers of the Baha'i faith, Iran's largest religious minority, have been persecuted by the state. They have been made scapegoats for the nation's ills, branded enemies of Islam and denounced as foreign agents. Since the Islamic Revolution of 1979 Baha'is have been barred from entering the nation's universities, more than two hundred have been executed, and hundreds... read more

Walk Like You (Chrissy Livingstone Book 2)

Linda Coles

When a major railway accident turns into a bizarre case of a missing body, will this PI’s hunt for the truth take her way off track?London. Private investigator Chrissy Livingstone’s dirty work has taken her down a different path to her family. But when her upper-class sister begs her to locate a friend missing after a horrific train crash, she feels duty-bound to assist. Though when the two d... read more

When a major railway accident turns into a bizarre case of a missing body, will this PI’s hunt for the truth take her way off track?London. Private investigator Chrissy Livingstone’s dirty work has taken her down a different path to her family. But when her upper-class sister begs her to locate a friend missing after a horrific train crash, she feels duty-bound to assist. Though when the two d... read more

Out of Our Minds: What We Think and How We Came to Think It

Felipe Fernández-Armesto

"A stimulating history of how the imagination interacted with its sibling psychological faculties—emotion, perception and reason—to shape the history of human mental life."—The Wall Street Journal To imagine—to see what is not there—is the startling ability that has fueled human development and innovation through the centuries. As a species we stand alone in our remarkable capacity to refashio... read more

"A stimulating history of how the imagination interacted with its sibling psychological faculties—emotion, perception and reason—to shape the history of human mental life."—The Wall Street Journal To imagine—to see what is not there—is the startling ability that has fueled human development and innovation through the centuries. As a species we stand alone in our remarkable capacity to refashio... read more

Shadow Wars: The Secret Struggle for the Middle East

Christopher M. Davidson

For more than a century successive US and UK governments have sought to thwart nationalist, socialist and pro-democracy movements in the Middle East. Through the Cold War, the ‘War on Terror’ and the present era defined by the Islamic State, the Western powers have repeatedly manipulated the region’s most powerful actors to ensure the security of their own interests and, in doing so, have give... read more

For more than a century successive US and UK governments have sought to thwart nationalist, socialist and pro-democracy movements in the Middle East. Through the Cold War, the ‘War on Terror’ and the present era defined by the Islamic State, the Western powers have repeatedly manipulated the region’s most powerful actors to ensure the security of their own interests and, in doing so, have give... read more

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