An Accomplished Editor
Previously Senior Commissioning Editor at Hodder & Stoughton
Before joining The Novelry, Josie Humber was a Senior Commissioning Editor at Hodder & Stoughton, a division of Hachette, home to authors including Jodi Picoult, Stephen King, David Nicholls and Erin Kelly.
Josie began her publishing career at Transworld, a division of Penguin Random House, before moving to Mantle, an imprint of Pan Macmillan. Specialising in book club fiction, she worked with a mixture of bestselling brand authors, such as Kate Mosse, Kate Morton and Joanna Trollope, as well as debut authors like Laura Shepherd-Robinson, Mary Paulson-Ellis and Ray Celestin.
At Mantle, she loved editing a wide range of fiction, from Natalie Haynes’s A Thousand Ships, which was shortlisted for the Women’s Prize for Fiction 2020, to Laura Shepherd-Robinson’s Daughters of Night, which was shortlisted for the Theakston’s Crime Novel of the Year 2022 and the Historical Writers’ Association Gold Crown, and was a Book of the Year in The Times, the i, and the Guardian.
At Hodder & Stoughton, she worked on both the commercial Hodder Fiction list and the literary Sceptre list, allowing her to indulge in her love of plot-driven historical fiction, crime, thrillers, and women’s fiction, as well as upmarket character-driven novels with prize-winning potential.
As an acquiring editor, Josie has read literally hundreds of submissions from literary agents over the years, gaining an incredible insight into what agents and commissioning editors are looking for in a novel, and what the acquisitions team would be discussing when your book is submitted. And this is something she loves to share with authors when editing their novels; helping them see the commercial potential in their writing, showing them how to hone their hook and pull it to the forefront, whilst still telling the story they want to tell. Josie loves nothing more than getting into the nitty-gritty of why a novel is working, or indeed, not, and working collaboratively with authors to help them to see ‘the wood for the trees’, leaving them feeling energised and full of ideas for how to make their novel the very best it can be.
A ‘Superb’ Editor
‘Josie Humber’s vision for my novel far exceeded mine. Her creative and insightful suggestions enriched the story and earned praise from reviewers and literary judges. Always willing to listen, always able to give constructive but diplomatic feedback, Josie is a superb editor.’ —Ann Weisgarber
‘Josie is a dream of an editor: intelligent, incisive, and creative in her thinking. As well as an eagle eye for spotting problems, she is full of suggested solutions, and ideas about how to make a draft even better.’ —Laura Shepherd-Robinson
I love working in close partnership with my authors, giving them the tools they need to let their stories shine off the page and grab an agent’s attention from the very first line.
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