Michael Rowley

Michael Rowley – Editor

I'm a former Editorial Director of Del Rey at Penguin Random House UK, published Andy Weir's THE MARTIAN and love all things genre fiction.

Overview

I currently work as Senior Commissioning Editor for Fiction and Non-Fiction at Rebellion Publishing, home of the Solaris and Abaddon Books imprints, working with wonderful authors such as Derek Kunsken, Mary Robinette Kowal, Dave Hutchinson, Mike Brooks, Justina Robson and Adrian J. Walker. In my spare time, I work as a professional freelance fiction editor based in the North West of England.

While Editorial Director of Del Rey at Penguin Random House UK I published many exciting writers including Andy Weir, author of the Sunday Times bestselling The Martian, the award-winning Kameron Hurley, Mark Hodder and Liesel Schwarz, epic fantasy writer Django Wexler and more.

Before that I was a professional Head Office Fiction Buyer and Bookseller at Waterstones for 15 years, specialising in genre fiction from SF & Fantasy to Crime, Romance, Westerns, Graphic Novels and Manga.
In today’s competitive market, making sure your manuscript is as ‘submission-ready’ as possible will give you the greatest chance of placing your work with an agent or publisher.

I have a unique blend of experience in both publishing and the retail book trade and my aim is to work closely with you to make your book as submission or self-publishing ready as possible. I offer various services, from a full developmental structural edit to a ‘first-look’ reader report, as well as practical advice on how to proceed at the beginning of your project.
Services
Fiction
Dystopian Horror Mystery & Crime Technothriller Urban Fantasy
Languages
English (AUS) English (CAN) English (NZ) English (UK) English (US)
Certifications
  • MA in Science Fiction Studies, The University of Liverpool
  • BA (Combined Honours) in English Literature and History
  • Copy-Editing and Proofreading, The Publishing Training Centre
  • Creative Copywriting, Punch It Up

Work experience

Rebellion Publishing

Feb, 2018 — Present

I have recently joined Rebellion Publishing to commission across their Solaris and Abaddon Books imprints, specialising in Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror.

Self-employed

Jan, 2016 — Present

I'm now working as a full-time freelance fiction editor and publishing consultant, based in the North West of England.

Ebury Publishing, Penguin Random House UK

Apr, 2011 — Dec, 2015 (over 4 years)

As the Editorial Director of Science Fiction and Fantasy at Ebury Publishing, I launched and ran Del Rey, the dedicated Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror imprint of Penguin Random House UK. During my time there I was the editor for many exciting authors and books, including the Sunday Times bestseller and Richard and Judy selection THE MARTIAN by Andy Weir, The Shadow Campaigns series by Django Wexler, the award-winning Del Dame Apocrypha series by Kameron Hurley and the second Burton and Swinburne Adventures trilogy by Mark Hodder.

Waterstones Head Office

Jun, 2004 — Aug, 2011 (about 7 years)

During my time as a Head Office Fiction Buyer I had various roles. I worked as a Core Range Buyer, where I managed the whole backlist fiction range for the company, to Category Buyer then Campaign Buyer looking after all genre fiction, including Crime, Science Fiction and Fantasy, Graphic Novels, Manga, Classics, Romance Fiction, Westerns and Erotic Fiction.

Waterstones

Aug, 1996 — May, 2004 (almost 8 years)

At the Waterstones Manchester Deansgate Branch I looked after various sections, specialising in Science Fiction, Fantasy, Horror and Graphic Novels. At various times, I also looked after the Crime Fiction, Reference, Foreign Languages, Humour, Audio and Board Games sections. I particularly enjoyed running many author events and edited the in-house genre fiction magazine Enigma.

Portfolio

Cold Water

Hutchinson, Dave

The Carnival of Ash

Beckerlegge, Tom

The Devil's Detective

Simon Kurt Unsworth

WELCOME TO HELL. Solving crimes was the purpose of the Information Men, yet they almost never achieved it, and even when they did, the facts they scraped free were lost, buried again in the labyrinthine mess of the Bureaucracy.When an unidentified, brutalised ... read more
The first in a ground breaking, action-packed and exciting new science fiction series from the best-selling author of The Quantum Magician.Life can exist anywhere. And anywhere there is life, there is home. In the swirling clouds of Venus, the families of la c... read more
"HITLER IS GONE. PLAN Z IS DEFEATED. BUT THE DEAD STILL WALK.Jun is a deadhunter—and a damn good one. For her, patrolling Northern Italy with Sergeant Josiah and his elite squad, eradicating zombies and searching for survivors is nothing new.When the squad enc... read more
A thrilling science fiction masterwork of experimental disaster from the bestselling author of the Fractured Europe series The Guardian labelled "Magnificent". When journalist Alex Dolan is hired by multibillionaire Stanislaw Clayton to write a book about the ... read more
In the desert colony of Khandar, a dark and mysterious magic, hidden for centuries, is about to emerge from darkness.Marcus d’Ivoire, senior captain of the Vordanai Colonials, is resigned to serving out his days in a sleepy, remote outpost, when a rebellion le... read more
The Human Son

Adrian J Walker

Solaris Spring 2020 Lead Title from critically acclaimed author, Adrian J. Walker A startling, emotional, beautiful (and at times funny) book – one that feels like the best sort of science fiction, a book that should be enjoyed widely, a book that speaks of wh... read more
** Voted Best Science Fiction and Fantasy Book of 2017 **'Frost-demons have no interest in mortal girls wed to mortal men. In the stories, they only come for the wild maiden.'In a village at the edge of the wilderness of northern Russia, where the winds blow c... read more
The Martian

Andy Weir

The Sunday Times Bestseller behind the major new film from Ridley Scott starring Matt Damon and Jessica Chastain.I’m stranded on Mars.I have no way to communicate with Earth.I’m in a Habitat designed to last 31 days.If the Oxygenator breaks down, I’ll suffocat... read more
The Goblin Emperor

Katherine Addison

Maia, the youngest, half-goblin son of the Emperor has lived his entire life in exile, distant from the Imperial Court and the deadly intrigue that suffuses it. But when his father and three sons in line for the throne are killed in an "accident," he has no ch... read more
Disco Sour

Giuseppe Porcaro

A politician addicted to dating apps embarks on an existential odyssey to save democracy from being swiped away.In the aftermath of a continental civil-war, nation-states have collapsed, the European Union™ holds on, preventing anarchy. Bastian Balthazar Bux i... read more
Angela is obsessed with death. This powerful fixation has driven her to pursue a ruthless career as the CEO of one of the world’s largest biotech and pharmaceutical empires and she diverts much of her organisation’s research budget towards finding a cure for a... read more
"An original, philosophically minded Western adventure."-Kirkus Reviews"...the refreshing, sparkling prose simply shines;"-Midwest Book Review"The writing is purposeful!"-Readers' Favorite"...vivd and almost poetic style of the writing."-Awesome IndiesNever Su... read more
Ashael is a hunter-gatherer woman, apprenticed to Bhearra, the healer and spiritual leader of their tribe. The Zanthar are invaders from another world who extend their own lives by stealing the life-force of everything around them. They were last seen on KalaD... read more
Transilience

Kevin Bragg

Daniel Helmqvist is a private investigator in New London, the only city on Mars. He’s good at what he does, but people aren’t exactly lining up to hire his services. When two big cases land in his lap at once, he makes the mistake of believing his fortunes are... read more
After Earth

Peter David

Experience a novelization unlike any other. From Peter David, the veteran sci-fi author, this is the complete, never-before-seen chronicle of an extraordinary family who’ve been across the galaxy and back. RAIGE RUNS IN THE FAMILYGeneral Cypher Raige comes fro... read more
Shortlisted for The Arthur C. Clarke AwardNyx is a bel dame, a bounty hunter paid to collect the heads of deserters – by almost any means necessary.‘Almost’ proved to be the problem.Cast out and imprisoned for breaking one rule too many, Nyx and her crew of me... read more
Toby Greene has been reassigned. The Department: Section 37 Station Office, Wood Green.The Boss: August Shining, an ex-Cambridge, Cold War-era spy.The Mission: Charged with protecting Great Britain and its interests from paranormal terrorism.The Threat: An old... read more
Isaac Vainio is a Libriomancer, a member of a secret society founded five centuries ago by Johannes Gutenberg. As such, he is gifted with the magical ability to reach into books and draw forth objects.But when Gutenberg vanishes without a trace, Isaac finds hi... read more
WEWELSBURG CASTLE, 1940.The German war machine has woken an ancient threat – the alien Vril and their Ubermensch have returned. Ultimate Victory in the war for Europe is now within the Nazis’ grasp.ENGLAND, 1941Foreign Office trouble shooter Guy Pentecross has... read more
Arctic Rising

Tobias S. Buckell

The Arctic Cap has all but melted, oil has run low and Anika Duncan, former mercenary turned United Nations Polar Guard pilot, patrols the region to protect against pollution and smuggling.In a daring plan to terraform the planet, the Gaia Corporation develops... read more
EVERYBODY LOVES A CONSPIRACY. DON’T THEY?When Ambrose Wells dies jumping out of his bedroom window in Axton House, forgetting to open it first, a distant relative with an unusual companion takes possession of the gothic estate at Point Bless, Virginia. But as ... read more
There is only the war.Otto Behr is a German agent, fighting his Russian counterparts across three millennia, manipulating history for moments in time that can change everything.Only the remnants of two great nations stand and for Otto, the war is life itself, ... read more
For centuries after a devastating battle between the immortals, humanity has been protected from the Chaos realm by an invisible barrier known as the Legacy.But sealed behind the weakening barrier, the traitor Daemron makes one last, desperate bid for freedom:... read more
In a Golden Age where spark reactors power the airways, and creatures of Light and Shadow walk openly among us, a deadly game of Alchemists and Warlocks has begun. When an unusual cargo drags airship-pilot Elle Chance into the affairs of the mysterious Mr Mars... read more
Dark Vision

Debbie Johnson

Lily McCain is cursed.With just one touch she can see a person’s future, whether it’s a good fortune or a terrible fate. Afraid of the potent visions she foresees, she distances herself from the world, succumbing to a life of solitude.But at the touch of a mys... read more
Book One in the EX Series The Mighty Dragon. Stealth. Gorgon. Regenerator. Cerberus. Zzzap. They were superheroes fighting to make Los Angeles a better place.Then the plague of living death spread. Billions died, civilization fell, and the City of Angels was l... read more
Nobody leaves Osiris.Adelaide RechnovWealthy socialite and granddaughter of the Architect, she spends her time in pointless luxury, rebelling against her family in a series of jaded social extravagances and scandals until her twin brother disappears in mysteri... read more
Destined to die.Saved by Fate.1585. When Edward Kelley and his master, Dr John Dee, discover a dark secret at the heart of the Countess Elizabeth Bathory’s illness, they fear the cure will prove more terrifying than death...2013. When Jackdaw Hammond learns of... read more
The Beast has been summoned.History will be unmade. Freshly knighted by King George V for discovering the source of the Nile, Sir Richard Francis Burton has been made an agent of the Crown.His mission: solve a series of high profile disappearances and – even m... read more
Dark Run (Keiko)

Mike Brooks

The Keiko is a ship of smugglers, soldiers of fortune and adventurers, travelling Earth’s colony planets searching for the next job. And nobody talks about their past.But when a face from Captain Ichabod Drift’s former life send them on a run to Old Earth, all... read more

Michael has 69 reviews

Professionalism

Quality

Value

Responsiveness

EJ D.

EJ D.

Apr, 2021

I had a great experience with Michael. He gave me direction and assisted in tightening up the scope of my story.
Gary F.

Gary F.

Jan, 2021

joy
Nathaniel H.

Nathaniel H.

Jul, 2020

Working with Michael was a pleasure. Not only was he thorough and thoughtful when digging through the dense material of my novel, he made a real effort to help me fulfill my vision of my book (rather than forcing it through some predetermined template). His report was detailed and proved to be a great reference, and his Skype sessions allowed for immediate feedback. My beta readers were impres...
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Charles W.

Charles W.

Apr, 2020

I am so deeply thankful for Michael's thorough and insightful work. I had been vacillating on a large question about structure in the book. In my mind, there was no clear path, just choices. Michael not only immediately saw through the thicket, but he also was able to concisely explain why one option was not only better, but necessary. I trusted him and now can say, the novel is transformed and...
Read more
Alex K.

Alex K.

Dec, 2019

Both the quality and quantity of the feedback provided was stellar. Michael excels at striking the balance between being fair and being considerate. My work is far better for his input and I hope to collaborate with him again in the future.

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