Shari Last

Shari Last – Editor

Editor and author of children's books and non-fiction, with 15+ years' experience editing for Penguin Random House, Hachette, DK and others.

Overview

I am a freelance editor and author with more than 15 years of experience at Dorling Kindersley and Penguin Random House, where I primarily worked on children's non-fiction. As a freelancer, I write/edit books across all genres for traditional publishing houses, and I consult with self-publishing authors on their manuscripts and Amazon's KDP self-publishing platform.


I have worked on a wide variety of books, from official guides to the latest Star Wars movies and groundbreaking LEGO build and play books to superhero encyclopedias, self-help books, a Disney-themed craft book, contemporary YA fiction, and even some great British classics, including Oliver Twist and Gulliver's Travels.


I co-wrote the New York Times bestselling LEGO Star Wars Character Encyclopedia and was the editor of the groundbreaking LEGO Ideas Book, which spent more than 60 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list and has sold more than two million copies worldwide. I was part of a team of authors who re-imagined the classic levelled reading books, Keywords with Peter and Jane, for a modern readership.


As an editor, I pride myself on being thorough, accurate and decisive. I am a line/copy editor and an editorial problem-solver – able to rework problematic text for maximum readability, sense and pace, while retaining the author's voice. I provide honest, detailed feedback in the form of notes on the manuscript, as well as a document with general points, comments, questions and advice.


As an author, I am creative and versatile. I can write to many different styles and for many types of reader. I love to write preschool poetry just as much as I love crafting page-turning prose for a thriller. I am equally capable of following a brief or coming up with ideas myself. I am a good communicator and am happy to work as collaboratively or independently as the projects, or clients, require.

Services
Fiction
Action & Adventure Children's Thriller & Suspense
Non-Fiction
Biographies & Memoirs Business & Management Children’s Non-Fiction Entertainment Judaism
Languages
English (UK) English (US)

Work experience

Self-employed

Aug, 2020 — Present

I am a children's book author, writing for traditional publishing houses (including Penguin, Hachette, Thames & Hudson, Simon & Schuster, and Hinkler) as well as smaller indie and digital publishers. Recently, I have worked on books about children's mental health, space, kindness, inclusivity, the history of Halloween, Star Wars, Disney Pixar, Jewish holidays, dinosaurs, the human body, and Pokemon.

Self-employed

Aug, 2020 — Present

I am a professional editor with more than 15 years of experience working for traditional publishing houses. I edit a range of genres, but specialize in children's books and non-fiction. I have edited hundreds of picture books, in both rhyme and prose, children's chapter books, middle grade, and non-fiction books for kids. I've copy edited books about birds, dinosaurs, religion, penguins, and outer space, as well as several long-form narrative non-fiction memoirs and adult thriller novels.

Penguin Random House

Dec, 2009 — Aug, 2020 (over 10 years)

I wrote and edited a range of licensed, illustrated books. I developed books right from the concept stage, through planning and layout, to writing and/or editing the text. Books include The LEGO Ideas Book, LEGO Star Wars Character Encyclopedia, LEGO Star Wars in 100 Scenes, Star Wars Year By Year, Star Wars Maker Lab, Star Wars: Be More Leia, Star Wars: Solo The Official Guide, Marvel Studios: Character Encyclopedia.

Portfolio

Shari has 32 reviews

Professionalism

Quality

Value

Responsiveness

Carol M.

Carol M.

May, 2024

I enjoyed working with Shari. Her editing suggestions were clear and improved my manuscript immensely. I would happily work with her again.
kelly H.

kelly H.

Mar, 2024

I enjoyed working with Shari. She was professional providing valuable input to my first children's book. She was very responsive and I would not hesitate to use her again.
Agnieszka S.

Agnieszka S.

Mar, 2023

I am very happy how the collaboration went overally. Shari is very responsive. Every step was really straightforward. All the aspects were great, but most importantly- the final outcome exceeded my expectations! I requested an editorial assessment. The project came back merked considerably with thorough and extremely helpful comments and recommendations. I am more than happy as now I know (fi...
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golan V.

golan V.

Feb, 2023

Shari is a real professional and pleasure to work with. She too my book to the next level!
Mark L.

Mark L.

Jan, 2023

Shari submerged herself in the story, providing clear, helpful comment on improving the readers experience. My experience has been wholly positive, the collaboration continues as thankfully, Shari has left the door open for any future questions. As a novice writer, the developmental edit has provided me with skills that I can implement with all my writing. If you are lucky enough to have Shari...
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