Richard Arcus

Richard Arcus - Editor

London, UK

A 10-year track record at Hachette UK, editing Booker-nominated authors and Sunday Times bestsellers. Memoir, Lit Fiction, Crime/Thriller.

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Overview


Hello, my name is Rich and I’d love to work with you and your writing. My background is as a Commissioning Editor of non-fiction/memoir, crime/thriller and literary fiction at Quercus Books: an award-winning division of Hachette UK, Britain’s second-largest corporate trade publisher.

I have edited Booker-longlisted and Booker-shortlisted authors, Richard & Judy Book Club crime writers, and have commissioned Waterstones Thriller of the Month selections, BBC Radio 2 Book Club picks and
Sunday Times bestsellers. I have edited first-timers, old-hands and translations.

Although I value professional integrity above all else, I favour a personable approach over a formal or fusty one, and pride myself on bringing a sense of purpose and a sense of humour to everything I do. Moreover, all of my work is scrupulously monitored by my round-the-clock supervisor: a British Blue kitten named Colin.

So . . . whether you wish to capture a literary agent’s imagination, scale an editor's towering to-read pile, polish up or trim down your manuscript ahead of submission or self-publication – or if you’re simply hankering for an honest opinion from an objective viewpoint – I'd love to hear from you.

Languages
English (AUS)
English (UK)
English (US)
Non-Fiction
Biographies & Memoirs
Entertainment
Sports & Outdoors
Travel
Fiction
Contemporary Fiction
Mystery & Crime
Short Story
Thriller & Suspense

Awards

  • BA (1st Class Hons) Medieval and Modern History

Work experience

Commissioning Editor

Quercus Books
June, 2010 – February, 2020 (over 9 years)

Commissioning narrative non-fiction, literary fiction and crime/thriller for riverrun imprint.

Office Manager

Janklow & Nesbit UK
March, 2010 – May, 2010 (2 months)

Working in the boutique UK outpost of America’s most prestigious literary agency.

Editorial Intern

Profile Books
January, 2010 – February, 2010 (about 1 month)

Trainee at the UK’s most successful independent publisher of non-fiction.

Editorial Intern

Penguin Random House UK
September, 2009 – December, 2009 (3 months)

Two internships at the heritage Viking imprint, within the UK’s largest corporate publishing house.

Portfolio (12 selected works)

Unfollow

Megan Phelps-Roper

LOUIS THEROUX: 'For anyone who enjoyed Hillbilly Elegy or Educated, Unfollow is an essential text'PANDORA SYKES: 'Such a moving, redemptive, clear-eyed account of religious indoctrination' NICK HORNBY: 'A beautiful, gripping book about a singular soul, and an unexpected redemption'DOLLY ALDERTON: 'A modern-day parable for how we should speak and listen to each other'JON RONSON: 'Her journey - ... read more

LOUIS THEROUX: 'For anyone who enjoyed Hillbilly Elegy or Educated, Unfollow is an essential text'PANDORA SYKES: 'Such a moving, redemptive, clear-eyed account of religious indoctrination' NICK HORNBY: 'A beautiful, gripping book about a singular soul, and an unexpected redemption'DOLLY ALDERTON: 'A modern-day parable for how we should speak and listen to each other'JON RONSON: 'Her journey - ... read more

The Book of Forgotten Authors

Christopher Fowler

'JOYOUS . . . READERS WILL LOVE THIS FASCINATING BOOK' CATHY RENTZENBRINK'A GODSEND WITH THE PRESENT SEASON APPROACHING' IRISH INDEPENDENT'THE PERFECT GIFT FOR A BOOK-OBSESSED FRIEND' STYLIST, 50 UNMISSABLE BOOKS FOR AUTUMN 2017'EXCELLENT . . . SHOULD BE READ BY ANYONE WHO LOVES BOOKS' EVENING STANDARDAbsence doesn't make the heart grow fonder. It makes people think you're dead.So begins Chris... read more

'JOYOUS . . . READERS WILL LOVE THIS FASCINATING BOOK' CATHY RENTZENBRINK'A GODSEND WITH THE PRESENT SEASON APPROACHING' IRISH INDEPENDENT'THE PERFECT GIFT FOR A BOOK-OBSESSED FRIEND' STYLIST, 50 UNMISSABLE BOOKS FOR AUTUMN 2017'EXCELLENT . . . SHOULD BE READ BY ANYONE WHO LOVES BOOKS' EVENING STANDARDAbsence doesn't make the heart grow fonder. It makes people think you're dead.So begins Chris... read more

Europe United

Matt Walker

AS SEEN ON BBC FOOTBALL FOCUS AND BT SPORT'Excellent and thoroughly enjoyable' Sunday Sport'One man and his quest to see a game in every UEFA nation in one season' Paul Doyle, GuardianEUROPE UNITED follows Matt Walker's unprecedented challenge to experience top-division football in all 55 UEFA countries in a single season.In June 2017, Matt said farewell to his job, surrendered his Fulham FC s... read more

AS SEEN ON BBC FOOTBALL FOCUS AND BT SPORT'Excellent and thoroughly enjoyable' Sunday Sport'One man and his quest to see a game in every UEFA nation in one season' Paul Doyle, GuardianEUROPE UNITED follows Matt Walker's unprecedented challenge to experience top-division football in all 55 UEFA countries in a single season.In June 2017, Matt said farewell to his job, surrendered his Fulham FC s... read more

Out of Thin Air

Anthony Adeane

THE SENSATIONAL TRUE CRIME STORY THAT SHOOK ICELAND - COMING TO NETFLIX THIS YEAR.It is the most shocking miscarriage of justice in European history. And now - in the most stunning true crime narrative you will read this year - OUT OF THIN AIR spotlights Iceland's strangest ever murder case.Iceland, 1974. In two separate incidents, two men vanished into thin air. Then, out of it, came 6 murder... read more

THE SENSATIONAL TRUE CRIME STORY THAT SHOOK ICELAND - COMING TO NETFLIX THIS YEAR.It is the most shocking miscarriage of justice in European history. And now - in the most stunning true crime narrative you will read this year - OUT OF THIN AIR spotlights Iceland's strangest ever murder case.Iceland, 1974. In two separate incidents, two men vanished into thin air. Then, out of it, came 6 murder... read more

A Different Drummer

William Melvin Kelley

'More than lives up to the hype' Observer'Set to become a publishing sensation' Kirsty Lang, BBC Front Row'An astounding achievement' Sunday Times'The lost giant of American literature' New YorkerJune, 1957. One afternoon, in the backwater town of Sutton, a young black farmer by the name of Tucker Caliban matter-of-factly throws salt on his field, shoots his horse and livestock, sets fire to h... read more

'More than lives up to the hype' Observer'Set to become a publishing sensation' Kirsty Lang, BBC Front Row'An astounding achievement' Sunday Times'The lost giant of American literature' New YorkerJune, 1957. One afternoon, in the backwater town of Sutton, a young black farmer by the name of Tucker Caliban matter-of-factly throws salt on his field, shoots his horse and livestock, sets fire to h... read more

Spoonbenders

Daryl Gregory

'As gripping as it is hilarious' Steven Rowley'Funny and charming . . . magical' New York Times Book Review'Hilarious' GuardianTeddy, Maureen, Frankie, Irene and Buddy were the Amazing Telemachus Family, who achieved widespread fame for their magic and mind reading act. Until, that is, the magic decided to disappear one night, live on national television.We encounter this long-forgotten family... read more

'As gripping as it is hilarious' Steven Rowley'Funny and charming . . . magical' New York Times Book Review'Hilarious' GuardianTeddy, Maureen, Frankie, Irene and Buddy were the Amazing Telemachus Family, who achieved widespread fame for their magic and mind reading act. Until, that is, the magic decided to disappear one night, live on national television.We encounter this long-forgotten family... read more

Minds of Winter

Ed O'Loughlin

Longlisted for the Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction 2017.'Ed O'Loughlin is a skilled cartographer of both the Arctic and the human heart. What a magnificent novel' Ron Rash'A brilliant paean to the obsessions of the polar explorers . . . stupendously good' Australian'Vastly entertaining' Sunday TimesFROM BOOKER-LONGLISTED ED O'LOUGHLIN: THE PERFECT NOVEL FOR FANS OF AMY SACKVILLE'S TH... read more

Longlisted for the Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction 2017.'Ed O'Loughlin is a skilled cartographer of both the Arctic and the human heart. What a magnificent novel' Ron Rash'A brilliant paean to the obsessions of the polar explorers . . . stupendously good' Australian'Vastly entertaining' Sunday TimesFROM BOOKER-LONGLISTED ED O'LOUGHLIN: THE PERFECT NOVEL FOR FANS OF AMY SACKVILLE'S TH... read more

Hello and Goodbye

Patrick McCabe

Welcome to Hello and Goodbye: two dark tales from two deceased narrators - bottled-lightning treats that will make you gasp, gurn, shiver and squirm. HELLO MR BONES: two damaged souls have, thanks to each other's love, turned their lives around. But as London's weather takes a turn for the worse, so do their fates, when raw evil runs riot the night of the impossible hurricane. GOODBYE MR RAT: ... read more

Welcome to Hello and Goodbye: two dark tales from two deceased narrators - bottled-lightning treats that will make you gasp, gurn, shiver and squirm. HELLO MR BONES: two damaged souls have, thanks to each other's love, turned their lives around. But as London's weather takes a turn for the worse, so do their fates, when raw evil runs riot the night of the impossible hurricane. GOODBYE MR RAT: ... read more

Six Four

Hideo Yokoyama

'This novel is a real, out-of-the-blue original. I've never read anything like it' New York Times Book ReviewTHE MILLION-SELLING JAPANESE CRIME PHENOMENON, NOW A UK BESTSELLER.SHORTLISTED FOR THE 2016 CWA INTERNATIONAL DAGGER.NAMED IN NEW YORK TIMES 100 NOTABLE BOOKS OF 2017.SIX FOUR.THE NIGHTMARE NO PARENT COULD ENDURE. THE CASE NO DETECTIVE COULD SOLVE. THE TWIST NO READER COULD PREDICT. For... read more

'This novel is a real, out-of-the-blue original. I've never read anything like it' New York Times Book ReviewTHE MILLION-SELLING JAPANESE CRIME PHENOMENON, NOW A UK BESTSELLER.SHORTLISTED FOR THE 2016 CWA INTERNATIONAL DAGGER.NAMED IN NEW YORK TIMES 100 NOTABLE BOOKS OF 2017.SIX FOUR.THE NIGHTMARE NO PARENT COULD ENDURE. THE CASE NO DETECTIVE COULD SOLVE. THE TWIST NO READER COULD PREDICT. For... read more

Too Close to Breathe

Olivia Kiernan

'Truly first class. Just knock-out' C. J Tudor, author of The Chalk ManPolished. Professional. Perfect. Dead.When Dr Eleanor Costello is found hanging in her immaculate home, something about the scene doesn't add up.DCS Frankie Sheehan, a trained profiler, is handed the case and immediately spots foul play. What at first looks like an open and shut case of suicide quickly starts to fall apart.... read more

'Truly first class. Just knock-out' C. J Tudor, author of The Chalk ManPolished. Professional. Perfect. Dead.When Dr Eleanor Costello is found hanging in her immaculate home, something about the scene doesn't add up.DCS Frankie Sheehan, a trained profiler, is handed the case and immediately spots foul play. What at first looks like an open and shut case of suicide quickly starts to fall apart.... read more

Sorrow Bound

David Mark

NO GOOD DEED GOES UNPUNISHED - THE THIRD DS AECTOR MCAVOY THRILLER FROM THE RICHARD & JUDY FEATURING, SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLING AND KINDLE CHART-TOPPING AUTHOR OF DARK WINTER.Philippa Longman did what we all aim to do. She did the right thing. She's about to pay for it with her life... DS McAvoy has spent his career playing by the rules. He has the scars to show for it. And his latest case will... read more

NO GOOD DEED GOES UNPUNISHED - THE THIRD DS AECTOR MCAVOY THRILLER FROM THE RICHARD & JUDY FEATURING, SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLING AND KINDLE CHART-TOPPING AUTHOR OF DARK WINTER.Philippa Longman did what we all aim to do. She did the right thing. She's about to pay for it with her life... DS McAvoy has spent his career playing by the rules. He has the scars to show for it. And his latest case will... read more

Goodbye to the Dead

Brian Freeman

PAGE-TURNING PSYCHOLOGICAL SUSPENSE FROM BESTSELLING AUTHOR BRIAN FREEMAN'This man can tell a story' MICHAEL CONNELLY'Gripping, shocking, and moving...A master of psychological suspense' LISA GARDNERTo shed light on a recent murder in Duluth, Jonathan Stride is forced to relive the darkest days of his and the city's past...NINE YEARSIt is almost a decade since Duluth said goodbye to its innoce... read more

PAGE-TURNING PSYCHOLOGICAL SUSPENSE FROM BESTSELLING AUTHOR BRIAN FREEMAN'This man can tell a story' MICHAEL CONNELLY'Gripping, shocking, and moving...A master of psychological suspense' LISA GARDNERTo shed light on a recent murder in Duluth, Jonathan Stride is forced to relive the darkest days of his and the city's past...NINE YEARSIt is almost a decade since Duluth said goodbye to its innoce... read more

Richard has 10 reviews

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

mark wilkes
Richard did a great job and added editorial value where I didn't even expect it - eg, he researched how long it would take for an object to fall from the golden gate bridge so my narrative would feel accurate. There were a handful of other great extras in his service on top of a good editorial eye.

mark wilkes, October 2020


Laura Tonwe
Rich is the perfect combination of a talented, focused editor, and a passionate, creative lover of fiction. His talent and passion helped my draft immensely. Rich understood what was needed to make my novel draft ready to publish. He understood both the big picture of my novel's arc and the minutiae of how to clean up each sentence. I wouldn't hesitate to hire him again. In fact, I did!

Laura Tonwe, August 2020


Iyorwuese Hagher
Richard Arcus is very enthusiastic, very professional and a helpful editor who has a fine eye for details. working with him on my novel The Conquest of Azenga was a delight. He instilled confidence and expanded insights as well as developed mutuality. I would love to work with him again on another project. I. H Hagher

Iyorwuese Hagher, July 2020


Chris Mathison
Rich was very personable and did a very good job analyzing the major strengths and weaknesses of my manuscript. I was particularly interested in the latter and, after taking his suggestions to heart, I revised my novel accordingly. I can already see that it is much improved. Authors are too close to their own story and often need the viewpoints of a professional editor who is encountering the w...
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Chris Mathison, July 2020


Giulia Remondino
It was great to work with Rich. Not only was he very punctual and professional, but he managed to make the process pleasant. His comments were always very delicate and sensitive, and he really did an amazing job at copy-editing my book. Extremely recommended!

Giulia Remondino, May 2020

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