Rebecca Needes

Rebecca Needes – Editor

Pro editor with 9 years' experience at a UK trade publisher, passionate about fun, quirky titles with a commercial spin.


I'm an experienced, passionate editor of commercial non-fiction books, primarily in the lifestyle and gift market. I've commissioned and project-managed successful books, including the award-winning Londonist Mapped (a collaboration with the Londonist website, including specially commissioned illustrations) and children's non-fiction title The Woman Who Rode a Shark, and am an experienced copy-editor and proofreader. I can help you to develop and edit your book at any stage of its process, and can also assist you with finding, commissioning and briefing illustrators for your project.

My professional editorial experience is primarily in non-fiction ( I love history, travel, nature and anything with a sense of the curious or macabre), but I'm happy to discuss any potential book, whether that's fiction or non-fiction; my reading preferences include fantasy, young adult, mystery & detective and women's fiction. In my experience, absolutely anything becomes interesting once you're working on it! I believe that editing should be a collaborative process, so I'm likely to start out by asking you about your preferred ways to receive feedback in order to make the experience as comfortable for both of us as possible, particularly if you're a first-time writer.

I like to ask a lot of questions to encourage you to think about what you're writing and how it's coming across, but I will never force you to make any changes that I suggest; advice is for you to listen to and make use of or discard as you choose. I do think that it really helps if you're open to the editorial process and eager for feedback, but I know that hearing criticism can be difficult!

On the proofreading side, I'll really pay attention to sentence structure and making the writing flow as well as possible, as well as highlighting repetition and awkward phrasing (let's talk about adverbs, shall we?). I like semicolons and the Oxford comma, and advise against overuse of exclamation marks outside of Twitter.

If you're planning to self-publish I can also help with formatting and typesetting your book for print or ebook, and with writing cover copy and (if you need it) finding the right cover designer - I'm always full of opinions about what makes a great book cover.
Biographies & Memoirs Children’s Non-Fiction History Travel
Cozy Mysteries Fantasy Young Adult
English (UK) English (US)
  • Edward Stanford Travel Writing Awards 2017 - Londonist Mapped (commissioned and edited; winner in illustrated and photographic category)
  • Trade Commissioning and List Management (Publishing Training Centre, 2015)
  • Editorial Project Management (Publishing Training Centre, 2014)
  • Writing and Editing for the Web (Publishing Training Centre, 2013)

Work experience

AA Publishing (AA Media Ltd)

Jun, 2013 — Oct, 2019 (over 6 years)

My personal commissions in this role included gift titles Londonist Mapped and Londonist Drinks, and children's non-fiction title The Woman Who Rode a Shark. I also commissioned and managed a new series of British travel guides, and edited titles including Charley Boorman's autobiography Long Way Back.

AA Publishing (AA Media Ltd)

Jan, 2013 — Jun, 2013 (5 months)

AA Publishing (AA Media Ltd)

Feb, 2010 — Jan, 2013 (almost 3 years)

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