Laura Roberts

Laura Roberts – Editor

Children's editor for over 18 years, making bestselling, award-winning books for leading UK publishers including Bloomsbury and Macmillan.

Overview

Freelance editor, publishing consultant and writer for children's books, with over 18 years of experience working for leading publishing houses including Macmillan, Bloomsbury, Oxford Children's Books and Scholastic. I've developed, commissioned and edited over 100 illustrated books for children, specialising in picture books and also working on branded, licensed, non-fiction, young fiction and chapter books.


I've had the privilege of commissioning and publishing a wealth of fantastic picture books, such as the UK edition of the #1 New York Times bestseller ALL ARE WELCOME by Alexandra Penfold and Suzanne Kaufman, YOU'RE CALLED WHAT? by Kes Gray and Nikki Dyson and CAKE by picture book superstars Sue Hendra and Paul Linnet. I've also worked on some of the biggest brands in illustrated children's books including 'The Gruffalo', 'Dinosaur Roar!' and 'The Macmillan Alice's Adventures in Wonderland'.


I provide a wide range of editorial services to new and established authors and illustrators, such as:

- Manuscript critique

- Story development

- Text editing

- Illustration direction

- Series planning

- Writing

- Support with self-publishing

- Advice on seeking agent representation and getting published


I've helped a number of new writers to secure an agent and go on to have their work published, including Karl Newson, author of I AM A TIGER (that I also had the pleasure of publishing), which has achieved huge international sales and won a number of UK book awards and nominations before growing into a successful picture book series.


My working style is friendly, honest and very approachable. The feedback I provide is thorough, detailed, and rooted in sound market knowledge and strong industry experience. I will always offer clear ideas and creative solutions in order to help give an idea or a text its strongest chance of publication. I take pride in ensuring that authors and illustrators feel they can trust my judgement and direction on their work -- after all, it is their art and I want them to feel assured that together we will create a great book!


Here's what my published authors have to say:


“Laura is without doubt one of the best people I’ve met in the publishing world. I’m certain I would not be where I am today had I not met her by chance at a book launch party . . . She was instrumental in shaping my confidence back then . . . I’ve learnt so much from our discussions. Her feedback is always brilliant and delivered in the most encouraging and uplifting way; she knows how to get the best out of one’s writing.” - Karl Newson, Author


“Laura has been instrumental in supporting and shaping my writing career and championing my stories . . . I always really enjoy the editing process with Laura. Her feedback is honest, thorough, thoughtful and constructive, and she has a wonderful way of molding stories to bring out the best in them.” - Lucy Rowland, Author

Services
Non-Fiction
Children’s Non-Fiction
Fiction
Middle Grade Picture Books
Languages
English (UK) English (US)

Work experience

Self-employed

Aug, 2018 — Present

Working with new and established authors and illustrators to provide:
- Publishing consultancy
- Manuscript critiques
- Story development
- Text editing
- Series development
- Writing and illustration advice
- Proofreading and copy editing
- Support and project management for self-publishing
- Contract management

Working for publishing houses on a freelance basis to provide:
- Project management
- Story development
- Text editing
- Series planning
- Author and illustrator care
- Scouting
- Writing and creative development
- Agent and contract negotiation

Clients include:
Farshore/Egmont
Hachette Children's Group
Scholastic
Oxford University Press
Flying Eye Books
Nosy Crow
Bloomsbury

Bloomsbury Children's Books

Aug, 2017 — Jul, 2018 (11 months)

Deputising for the Publishing Director, I was the key contact with agents and authors for new publishing opportunities and I devised publishing strategy for the list. I composed some major pitches to agents and licensors, made book signings and negotiated those acquisitions, while at the same time working closely and openly with authors and illustrators both established and new in the creative development of their work.

With a strong company emphasis on collaboration between the UK and US arms of the business, publishing for cross-Atlantic audiences played a key part in my role.

Macmillan Children's Books

Oct, 2010 — Jul, 2017 (over 6 years)

I built a new commercial strand within the picture books list, focussing on making books with instant child appeal. I enticed leading authors and illustrators and was fortunate to work with many other celebrated names in picture books while also nurturing and growing exciting new talent. Together we created a number of bestselling and award-winning picture books, including YOU'RE CALLED WHAT? by Kes Gray and Nikki Dyson, I AM A TIGER by Karl Newson and Ross Collins, CAKE by Sue Hendra and Paul Linnet, and LITTLE RED READING HOOD by Lucy Rowland and Ben Mantle. I also worked on key illustrated children's properties including 'The Gruffalo', 'Dinosaur Roar!' and Macmillan's 'Alice's Adventures in Wonderland', creating new titles to grow the brands. And I was honoured to work on Commander Chris Hadfield's semi-autobiographical picture book THE DARKEST DARK and the illustrated children's edition of Nelson Mandela's autobiography LONG WALK TO FREEDOM.

Portfolio

All Are Welcome

Alexandra Penfold

The #1 New York Times bestselling picture book, celebrating diversity and inclusivity.No matter how you start your day,What you wear when you play,Or if you come from far away,All are welcome here. Follow a group of children through a day in their school, wher... read more
Ice Cream Cone Worm. Monkeyface Prickleback. Pink Fairy Armadillo. You're called WHAT?!Welcome to the Ministry of Silly Animal Names where all the creatures have one thing in common: they want to change their names. A unique and rip-roaringly funny, tongue-twi... read more
The Darkest Dark

Hadfield, Chris

I am a Tiger

Karl Newson

Winner of the Leicester Our Best Picture Book Award, and the West Sussex Picture Book Award. A hilarious and original story about a little mouse with big ideas!The bold little mouse declares "I am a tiger." and manages to convince a raccoon, a fox, a snake and... read more
Long Walk to Freedom

Mandela, Nelson

Cake

Hendra, Sue

Whilst leaving footpaths should never be done, Straying from stories is all sorts of fun!Little Red Reading Hood loves reading books and making up stories of her own. When she meets a cunning wolf while on her way to the library, he convinces her to stray from... read more

Laura has 31 reviews

Professionalism

Quality

Value

Responsiveness

Violet C.

Violet C.

May, 2024

I enjoyed working with Ms. Laura, it was easy and appreciated. I received great feedback very quickly, and loved the ideas, and changes I was given. I am working on revising my story and hope to work with her again. She was very professional, and I would recommend her to anyone needing help.
Richard W.

Richard W.

May, 2024

Laura really listened to my project and provided invaluable feedback for each of my stories. I would highly recommend working with her at any stage of your literary journey.
Kate M.

Kate M.

May, 2024

The feedback Laura provided exceeded my expectations. It was a very comprehensive report. I really appreciate the time Laura took and the instructive and helpful advice she gave me. It may have been helpful if I had given more information at the beginning about what I wanted the book to be and the way I was seeing it in my mind. Would definitely like to use Laura's expertise again in futu...
Read more
Natalie F.

Natalie F.

Apr, 2024

It has been a pleasure working with Laura. The detail of her feedback has enabled me to progress my story to another level. I have learnt so much already, and her invaluable advice will allow me to progress in my storytelling further. I look forward to working with her again in the future.
Salvador J.

Salvador J.

Mar, 2024

The depth and quality of her analysis are commendable. Thank you Laura.

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