Sarah Varrow

Sarah Varrow – Editor

Non-fiction editor with 8+ years' experience, specialising in food & drink, mind body spirit, nature, gift and general reference.


Hello! My name is Sarah and I'm a senior editor who specialises in non-fiction, illustrated publishing, particularly in the areas of food & drink, mind-body-spirit, lifestyle, gardening and health. My passion for these subjects isn't just work-based - these are subjects I am immersed in in my personal life, which brings a real enjoyment to the books I work on.

Having working the publishing industry for over eight years, I have vast experience in creative briefs, project management and development, copy-editing and proofreading, as well as having knowledge and insight into past and current trends in the non-fiction market, that I'd be happy to share. During this time I have also worked with American clients, and as such, I can offer advice on Amerincaization, or making your book work for multiple markets.

I'm adaptable, approach work calmly and creatively, and have a fondness for good organisation. I love to see a book idea take shape and come to life, and believe that I have much expertise to help you do that. If you book is based on a subject that's loosely linked to my areas of specialty, I'd still be happy to take a look and advise on next steps.

Cooking, Food, Wine, & Spirits Health & Wellbeing Home & Garden Nature Religion & Spirituality Self-Help & Self-Improvement
English (UK) English (US)
  • The Science of Nutrition and Healthy Eating - The Open University

Work experience

HarperCollins Publishers

Nov, 2020 — Present

• Senior Editor for the non-fiction Custom Publishing team at HarperCollins UK, covering a broad range of subjects including food & drink, wellness, MBS, puzzle books, and gift & humour, working across all HC imprints.
• Responsible for project managing books from the initial idea all the way though to the printed book, including the scheduling, commissioning and briefing of all freelance colleagues involved, from authors to illustrators and designers, picture researchers to other editorial collaborators such as proofreaders, indexers and Americanisers.
• Presents pitches to HarperCollins’s UK trade and non-trade sales teams in order to gain insight to their markets, and with the aim to decide if we wish to publish a UK edition of the books that we take forward with our US publishing customers. Because of this I endeavour to lead the editorial and design vision to create pitches suitable for a UK and US audience, looking to find and draw on trends in both markets.
• Schedules are often time-sensitive, which I work well towards keeping.

Ryland, Peters & Small

Jun, 2019 — Nov, 2020 (over 1 year)

• Project managed and copy edited new and re-purposed food and drink books in-house, working with expert and experienced chefs and food writers, and food and drink brands.
• Stayed attuned to current food, drink and lifestyle trends for my strong personal interest and professional knowledge, for which material is collated to present new book proposals at wider company meetings.
• Created new food and drink books from the backlist collection of RPS recipes, taking each project from an initial idea to solid concept, for which relevant recipes are sourced, sorted into chapters and a working flatplan.
• Liaised with authors and other freelancers, to produce the best possible version of each book, all within an often tight timeframe created between myself and design and production colleagues.
• Frequently wrote and edited recipe and book introductions, where applicable. Also wrote engaging copy for sales and marketing material, with particular focus on Amazon’s metadata requirements

Octopus Publishing Group, Hachette UK

Aug, 2015 — Jun, 2019 (almost 4 years)

I started work at Octopus Publishing Group providing administrative support to the publishers of two imprints, working my way up to become the Junior and sole Editor for one of those imprints, for the year before moving to Ryland, Peter's and Small.

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