Scott Pack

Scott Pack – Editor

I am a publisher and editor with more than twenty years' experience and several award-winning and bestselling books to my name.


I am a publisher and editor. In the early 2000s I was Head of Buying for the Waterstones book chain, in charge of all the books they bought and sold. I then moved into publishing, working for big and small publishers including seven years running my own imprint of HarperCollins in the UK. These days I work in a number of roles – as a freelance editor, as a lecturer at Oxford Brookes University, a public speaker and I write questions for TV quiz shows. I am also an author myself, with my seventh book recently published. So, basically, I understand most sides of the industry and how they work. I can use this knowledge to help you.

I have edited and published books that have been longlisted, shortlisted and won prizes including the Folio Prize, Wellcome Trust Book Prize, Portico Prize, DSA South East Asian Literary Prize, Gordon Burn Prize, Green Carnation Prize, Bisto Children's Book of the Year, Thurber Prize and the Jerwood Fiction Uncovered Prize. Listed further down the page are just a small selection of the books I have commissioned and worked on over the years.

I wrote a popular column for The Bookseller magazine for several years and have had journalism published in The Times, The Observer, Private Eye and elsewhere. I regularly host a Masterclass for the Guardian newspaper in the UK on How to Perfect Your Submission, the content of which has been turned into a bestselling book.

My 2020 book, Tips From a Publisher: A Guide to Writing, Editing, Submitting and Publishing Your Book, is on the recommended reading lists of creative writing degrees across the UK, including Birkbeck, Reading and Canterbury Christ Church universities.

I can work with you in a number of ways. If you want a deep dive into your manuscript, then my developmental edit will provide line-by-line analysis. Or maybe you just want a publishing professional to read your book and offer feedback, in which case an editorial assessment might do the job. If you are happy with your manuscript but unsure how to navigate the submission process, then I can help you with your query, synopsis and submission package. Some authors hire me as a mentor over a period of time to help with various aspects of writing.

I have listed the genres that I have worked in more frequently but I can handle most areas. You will see from my feedback and reviews that I have a lot of very happy clients on Reedsy.

Feel free to get in touch if you want to discuss your needs.

Finally, here are some testimonials about my work:

'Shut up and listen to everything he has to say’ – Caimh McDonnell, bestselling author of The Dublin Trilogy

‘Scott knows the publishing industry inside-out and whenever I work with him, I know my authors are in good hands’ – Charlotte Seymour, literary agent

‘The best editor I've ever worked with’ – Ray Robinson, author of The Mating Habits of Stags

Biographies & Memoirs Writing & Publishing
Fantasy Historical Fiction Mystery & Crime Science Fiction Thriller & Suspense Women's Fiction
English (AUS) English (CAN) English (NZ) English (SA) English (UK) English (US)

Work experience

Abandoned Bookshop

Dec, 2016 — Present

Abandoned Bookshop is a boutique publishing house that seeks out forgotten gems from the history of literature and reissues them for contemporary readers. Our titles include Appius and Virginia by G.E. Trevelyan ('Groundbreaking fiction' – Guardian), The Iron Chariot by Stein Riverton (voted the greatest Norwegian crime novel of all time) and Childless by Ignat Herrmann ('Beautiful. Wise. Utterly humane. Uplifting in the best sense.' Tim Murgatroyd, author of Taming Poison Dragons).

Oxford Brookes University

Nov, 2016 — Present

I teach on the Editorial Management module of their MA in Publishing, voted the #1 such university course in the UK. Essentially, I teach people how to become editors.

Eye Books & Lightning Books

Sep, 2016 — Jun, 2020 (over 3 years)

I acquired, edited and published fiction and non-fiction for Eye Books and Lightning Books, two sister imprints. Books include the #1 Amazon bestseller, The Cornershop in Cockleberry Bay by Nicola May, Sour Grapes by Dan Rhodes, The Exphoria Code by Antony Johnston (optioned for TV) and The Imaginary Lives of James Poneke by Tina Makereti (film rights bought by Taika Waititi's production company).


Jan, 2015 — Apr, 2019 (about 4 years)

I worked with the world's first crowdfunding publisher for a number of years, acquiring and launching titles on their platform. These included books by Brian Bilston, Kristin Hersh, Natalie Fergie and many more.

The Friday Project, HarperCollins

Oct, 2006 — Dec, 2014 (about 8 years)

I joined The Friday Project as Commercial Director but was promoted to Publisher when the business was bought by HarperCollins in 2008. During my time there, books that I published were longlisted or shortlisted for the Wellcome Trust Book Prize, The Folio Prize, the DSA South East Asian Literary Prize, the Gordon Burn Prize and the Green Carnation Prize. I also published books that won the Bisto Children's Book of the Year, the Thurber Prize in the US, and twice won the Jerwood Fiction Uncovered Prize. 'Blood, Sweat and Tea' by Tom Reynolds was turned into the Channel 4 television series, 'Sirens', which was then adapted into a US series by Denis Leary.

Authors I published include Brian Aldiss, Andrew Kaufman, Kristin Hersh, Stewart Copeland, Julie Schumacher, Niven Govinden, Nikesh Shukla, Dr Benjamin Daniels, Dr Nick Edwards, Tom Reynolds and John Lenahan.


May, 2000 — Sep, 2006 (over 6 years)

As Head of Buying for the Waterstones book chain I was in charge of the team that purchased new books for the 100+ bookshops across the UK and Europe and was responsible for delivering over £100m of sales every year.


'Wonderfully dark, extremely funny' proclaimed ADAM KAY, author of the No.1 bestselling This is Going to Hurt'A filmic romp with great characters, a jet-propelled plot, and a winning premise' said the GUARDIANJASON MANFORD thinks it's 'Hilarious. You'll never ... read more
Above the Law

Adrian B.

Adventures in a helicopterAdrian Bleese spent twelve years flying on police helicopters, and attended almost 3,000 incidents, as one of only a handful of civilian air observers working anywhere in the world.In Above The Law he recounts the most intriguing, cha... read more
A COMPELLING AND CLAUSTROPHOBIC THRILLER‘Once I’d started reading I could not put it down’ IAIN MAITLANDWhen burned-out investigative journalist Adam Budd’s estranged mother dies, he inherits her estate. This includes Stone Heart House, a huge, ramshackle mans... read more
The Darlings

Angela J.

THE DARING NEW NOVEL FROM THE AUTHOR OF THE EMERGENCE OF JUDY TAYLORWhen Mark Darling is fifteen years old, he is the golden boy, captain of the school football team, admired by all who know him. Until he kills his best friend in a freak accident.He spends the... read more
LOST LOVES AND PAINFUL TRUTHS AGAINST THE BACKDROP OF LIVERPOOL’S FALL AND RISELONGLISTED FOR THE PORTICO PRIZELiverpool 1981.As the city burns during inner city riots, Paul meets two people who will change his life: Nadezhda, an elusive poet who has fallen ou... read more
‘Dan Rhodes is a true original’ – Hilary MantelWhen the sleepy English village of Green Bottom hosts its first literary festival, the good, the bad and the ugly of the book world descend upon its leafy lanesBut the villagers are not prepared for the peculiar h... read more
Rachel Klein is sacked from her job at the White House after she sends an email criticising Donald Trump. As she is escorted off the premises she is hit by a speeding car, driven by what the press will discreetly call 'a personal friend of the President'.Does ... read more
‘Harrowing, funny and 100% true’ Ginger WildheartThe tale that follows is not another clichéd collection of rock’n’roll debaucheries (sorry) nor is it another tired fable of triumph over adversity (you’re welcome).It’s the story of a half-deaf kid from a tiny,... read more
A GOTHIC STORY OF MADNESS, REVENGE AND URANIUM-235Midsummer, 1968. When Frank Banner and his wife Gail move to the Suffolk coast to work at a newly built nuclear power station, they are hoping to leave violence and pain behind them.Gail wants a baby but Frank ... read more
A REDISCOVERED WORK BY ONE OF THE MOST EXCITING NOVELISTS OF THE 1930S‘One of the most important novelists of our day’ TIMES LITERARY SUPPLEMENT (1938)Virginia Hutton embarks upon an experiment. She will take an ape and raise it as a human child.She purchases ... read more
>'Terrific... fresh, funny, surprising and – oh yes – heroic' JOHN HIGGS, author of The Future Starts Here'A standout book of the decade' TIM EWINS, author of We Are Animals'Imaginative, entertaining and thought-provoking' CHARLES LAMBERT, author of The Childr... read more
Marrow Jam

Susan A.

'As addictive & glorious as a scrumptious cream tea' NICOLA MAY, author of The Corner Shop in Cockleberry BayMURDER, MYSTERY...AND MARROWSSome people would describe Beattie Bramshaw as a pillar of the community. Many would applaud her numerous successes in the... read more
London, 2050. The socio-economic crisis of recent decades is over and consumerism is thriving.Ownership of land outside the city is the preserve of a tiny elite, and the rest of the population must spend to earn a Right to Reside. Ageing has been abolished tha... read more
James Pōneke is a young Māori orphan, raised by missionaries, with a burning desire to travel and explore the world. When an English artist on a tour of New Zealand invites James to return home with him, the boy eagerly accepts and agrees to become a living ex... read more
A darkly comic dystopian crime novelDetective Kilroy is assigned to investigate a horrible murder. He’s a fine cop, from the brim of his hat to the soles of his brogues, but his inquiries, far from solving the mystery, lead him into a deeper one – and to Cynth... read more
For the first time ever all three Suptertoys stories are collected in one essential volume. Featuring one of Brian Aldiss’ most renowned works, ‘Supertoys Last All Summer Long’, which was adapted into the 2001 film ‘A.I.’ directed by Steven Spielberg. David is... read more
Forget about Lisbeth Salander... here comes Brigitte SharpIn The Exphoria Code, MI6 officer and elite hacker Brigitte Sharp foiled a terror attack on London that used stolen military drone software to deliver a ‘dirty bomb’.Now Bridge is back, battling a serie... read more
1333. Edward III is at war with Scotland. Nineteen-year-old Sir Harry de Lyon yearns to prove himself, and jumps at the chance when a powerful English baron, William Montagu, invites him on a secret mission with a dozen elite knights. They ride north, to a cru... read more
A biography of Borges, by his translator. Jorge Luis Borges, known as Georgie to his friends, married Elsa Astete Millán in 1967. Borges was sixty-eight years old at the time of the wedding; Elsa, a widow,with a son in his twenties, was eleven years younger. I... read more
One of Jules Verne’s final novels, The Kip Brothers is part naval adventure, part crime thriller. Inspired by real-life events, it tells the story of a merchant ship on an ill-fated voyage around New Zealand in the late nineteenth century.When a gang of roguis... read more
A remarkable memoir from the legendary drummer with The Police. Stewart Copeland is a genuine rock legend. As the drummer with The Police he was part of the biggest rock band in the world. They sold over 50 million records, won 2 Brits and 6 Grammys and were i... read more

William W.

An extraordinary story of war and friendship from one of America’s most revered authors of the 20th Century Two teenagers form an unlikely friendship in pre-War Philadelphia. Al is obsessed with lifting weights, looking good and chasing girls. Birdy is obsesse... read more
The book that inspired the movie Field of Dreams. The voice of a baseball announcer tells the Iowa farmer Ray Kinsella: "If you build it, he will come." "He" is Shoeless Joe Jackson, Ray's hero. "It" is a baseball stadium which Ray carves out of his cornfield.... read more
24 themed chapters. Each with 10 numbered paragraphs. Each paragraph with precisely 120 words. The sum of a life. In his beautiful and haunting new book, Charles Lambert explores the fragmentary nature of memory, how the piecing together of short recollections... read more
Everybody at the Women’s Institute in the village of Upper Bottom is eagerly awaiting the arrival of a very special guest speaker: the world famous evolutionary biologist Professor Richard Dawkins. But with a blizzard setting in, their visitor finds himself tr... read more

Emma S.

They said she was a tyrant, a murderer, and "the most wicked woman in history." She kicked her way into the male spaces of politics and demanded to be recognised as an equal and an leader. For her audacity, she was murdered by her son and reviled by history. S... read more
“Every football fan will enjoy this” – John Cross, Daily Mirror“Beautifully written. A book to lift the spirits.” – Ian Ladyman, Daily Mail “A heart-rending, life-affirming joy” – Charlie Connelly, bestselling author of Attention All Shipping“Reminds us what t... read more
Shakespeare clone and would-be playwright Billy has just arrived in an English seaside town with his sister Sally, who was cloned from a hair found on the back of a bus seat. All Billy wants is a cheap B&B, an ice cream and a huge hit in the West End. Little d... read more
At twelve years old, Lev Parikian was an avid birdwatcher. He was also a fraud, a liar and a cheat. Those lists of birds seen and ticked off? Lies. One hundred and thirty species? More like sixty.Then, when he turned fifty, he decided to right his childhood wr... read more
A Long Shadow

Caroline K.

‘Brilliantly weaves the past with the present...I couldn’t put it down’ – Joanna LumleyWhen farmer Dan Maddicott is found shot dead in one of his fields, he leaves behind a young family and a farm deep in debt. Although the coroner records accidental death, vi... read more
A journalist, columnist, humorist and musician, Miles Kington began his writing career at Punch, where he created Franglais, a hugely popular fictional language, before going on to write a daily column for The Times, followed by the Independent. He wrote over ... read more
Since forming the seminal art rock band Throwing Muses while still in her teens, Kristin Hersh has been at the forefront of alternative music, acclaimed for her raw, visceral and poetic songwriting.Here, collected for the first time, are the lyrics to one hund... read more
Over 100,000 copies sold'A tapestry of strong characters and accomplished writing' Herald ScotlandIt is 1911, and Jean is about to join the mass strike at the Singer factory. For her, nothing will be the same again. Decades later, in Edinburgh, Connie sews cod... read more
The Miner

Natsume S.

The Miner is the most daringly experimental and least well-known novel of the great Meiji writer Natsume Soseki. An absurdist tale about the indeterminate nature of human personality, written in 1908, it was in many ways a precursor to the work of Joyce and Be... read more
Joker Face

Steve B.

Stewart Lee has seen a ghost but doesn’t believe in the afterlife. Rob Beckett can peel a banana with his feet. Viv Groskop gave birth to a baby next to a dishwasher. What do you get when you combine unknown facts about some of Britain’s best-lovedcomedians wi... read more
From the author of ‘Black Bread White Beer’. The East Coast of America, 1980. Anna Brown, a dying artist, works on her final portrait. Obsessive and secretive, it is a righting of her past failures; her final statement. John Brown, her husband and life-long mu... read more

Nikesh S.

The second novel from Costa First Novel Award shortlisted author Nikesh Shukla. 'The first and last thing I do every day is see what strangers are saying about me.' Kitab Balasubramanyam has had a rough few months. His girlfriend left him. He got fired from th... read more
When literary reprobate Foster James wakes up in a strange country house, he assumes he's been consigned to rehab (yet again) by his dwindling band of friends and growing collection of ex-wives. But he soon realises there's something a bit different about this... read more
We’re living in the #InstaFit and #Fitspo era where fitness is more visible than ever. You can open up Instagram and watch minute-long videos of your fave fitness star’s workout or marvel at how perfectly they can execute a yoga pose on white, sandy beaches. B... read more
You Took the Last Bus Home is the first and long-awaited collection of ingeniously hilarious and surprisingly touching poems from Brian Bilston, the mysterious ‘Poet Laureate of Twitter’.With endless wit, imaginative wordplay and underlying heartache, he offer... read more
A Theban adventure from the master of Science-Fiction, here proving himself adept at imagining historical worlds. Part of the Brian Aldiss Collection. In Jocasta, Aldiss brings vividly to life the ancient world of dreaming Thebes: a world of sun-drenched lands... read more
At the age of 23, Ash Dykes became the first person to walk, solo and unsupported, across Mongolia. His journey took 78 days and saw him trek over the Altai Mountains, the Gobi Desert and the Mongolian Steppe. It was an expedition filled with danger and extrem... read more
NEW SPIES. NEW RULES.Brigitte Sharp is a brilliant but haunted young MI6 hacker. When she decodes encrypted online messages, which she believes are connected to her best friend's murder, Bridge uncovers evidence of a mole inside a top secret Anglo-French milit... read more
‘The founder of the modern Norwegian crime novel’ – Jo NesboOn a blazing hot summer’s day, holidaymakers at a guesthouse on a Norwegian island are shocked to discover a fellow guest has been found murdered out on a desolate plain. The nameless narrator, an aut... read more
An elderly local artist plunges 100 feet to her death at an overstretched London hospital and the police immediately sense foul play. The hospital cleaner, a Syrian refugee and loner, is arrested for her murder. He protests his innocence, but why has he given ... read more
A Lord of the Rings for the 21st century. Only a lot shorter. And funnier. And completely different. The complete Shadowmagic trilogy. Including Shadowmagic, Prince of Hazel and Oak and Sons of Macha. Shadowmagic is a fantasy adventure for young adults (althou... read more
From a handy introduction to how the publishing world works, and how authors fit into it, to practical tips on writing your book, strategies for editing and re-writing, Tips from a Publisher is an indispensable guide for authors.Helping you create the perfect ... read more
The first time somebody tried to kill him was an accident. The second time was deliberate. Now Paul Mulchrone finds himself on the run with nobody to turn to except a nurse who has read one-too-many crime novels and a renegade copper with a penchant for violen... read more

Scott has 131 reviews





Nick H.

Nick H.

Sep, 2023

You must hire Scott! He's the best developmental editor I've worked with. Hones in on your strengths and weaknesses with unswerving precision, honesty and perception. Has helped me enormously to focus on what I can and can't do (eg. better at non-fiction than fiction). Quickly gets what your book is trying to do and what needs to be done to make it succeed. Also very good value for the quality ...
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Natalie G.

Natalie G.

Aug, 2023

Scott was professional, tough and great to work with. He gave me detailed and insightful feedback to push my novel to its full potential. Although his notes were brutal, (be prepared) they were exactly what I needed as I couldn’t see the wood for the trees. He showed me with some tweaks, how I could elevate my plot and characters to the next level. Thank you Scott, you’re fab :)
David P.

David P.

Jul, 2023

Some editors present themselves as caring, kind, considerate, encouraging. Others operate more toward the brutally honest, coldly analytical end of the spectrum. Personally, I wanted the latter. I think if you've reached the point where you're prepared to spend money on an editor, you should be beyond wanting to be told how great your writing is and that, yes, you are the one the publishing ind...
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Sophie M.

Sophie M.

Jul, 2023

Scott was professional and responsive, happy to go round a few times until we were both happy with the end result. It was such a help having his experience and knowledge of the Publishing industry on my side! He did an editorial review of my full submission package for agents and I know it's given me the best chance of catching their attention. Thank you Scott!
Clare Reader C.

Clare Reader C.

May, 2023

Scott is a pleasure to work with - he's very professional and offered feedback that was was both insightful and actionable. I would recommend him to other writers (in fact I already have).

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