About me

I am a Sydney-based freelancer with more than 30 years’ experience in Australian and British book publishing. I offer copyediting, structural editing, proofreading and project management services.

I work on general non-fiction, adult titles, ranging from lavishly illustrated reference books to text-only titles. I’m a generalist, working across a big range of genres, including sport, film, biography, memoirs, health, food, Australiana, gardening, business, history, military history and general reference. I also edit corporate and government publications.

I am member of IPEd, the Australian Institute of Professional Editors.

Image: ©iStockphoto.com

What I do

MANUSCRIPT ASSESSMENT  I provide a detailed report on the strengths and weaknesses of your manuscript, and show you how you can improve it.

STRUCTURAL EDITING  Sometimes a manuscript needs an initial structural edit. I look at the structure of your book to see if the text matches your overall objectives, rework problematic text and recommend other changes. 

COPYEDITING  This is a deep-dive into the text, and involves catching typos and grammar problems, improving clarity and narrative flow, and ensuring consistency of style and expression. Basically,  I polish your copy and make it shine.

PROOFREADING  I make sure there are no typos, inconsistencies or other problems.

What I’ve done

Here’s a selection of publications I’ve copyedited in recent years.


  • Victory: The Inside Story of Labor’s Return to Power (HarperCollins)
  • Venom: Vendettas, Betrayals and the Price of Power (HarperCollins)
  • Making Medicare (NewSouth)
  • Dear Prime Minister: Letters to Robert Menzies (NewSouth)
  • The Teal Revolution (Hardie Grant/Crikey)

Current Affairs

  • Everything You Need to Know About the Voice (NewSouth)
  • Rogue Corporations (NewSouth)
  • Gen F’d?: How young Australians can reclaim their uncertain futures (Hardie Grant/Crikey)
  • Leaning Out: A fairer future for women at work in Australia (Hardie Grant/Crikey)

Military History

  • Born of Fire and Ash (UNSW Press/Australian War Memorial)
  • The Lost Diggers (HarperCollins)
  • Great Battles in Australian History (Allen & Unwin)
  • Jacka VC (Allen & Unwin)
  • Australia and the Vietnam War (NewSouth)


  • Ricky Ponting: At the Close of Play (HarperCollins)
  • Black Caviar (HarperCollins)
  • Greats of Origin (HarperCollins)
  • Kevin Sheedy’s Icons of Sport (Affirm Press)
  • The Peter Thompson Five: A Golfing Legend’s Greatest Triumphs (MUP)
  • The Fairytale: A real and imagined history of Australian sport (Pan Macmillan)
  • Fishing in the Good Old Days (MUP)


  • Beyond DNA: How Epigenetics is Transforming Our Understanding of Evolution (MUP)
  • A Good Death: Companioning the Dying (Murdoch)
  • The Brain Book (Global Book Publishing)
  • Anatomica: The Complete Home Medical Reference (Global Book Publishing)
  • The Complete Guide to Men’s Health (Mitchell Beazley)


  • The Sparrows of Kabul (privately published)
  • Gulpilil (Pan Macmillan)
  • No One Left Behind (Pan Macmillan)
  • Ricky Ponting: At the Close of Play (HarperCollins)
  • Supercoach: The Life and Times of Jack Gibson (Allen & Unwin)
  • Nathan Hindmarsh: My Life Story (Pan Macmillan)


  • Dig Deeper (Murdoch Books)
  • Encyclopedia of Gardening (Reader’s Digest)
  • Grow Your Own Medicine (HarperCollins)
  • Let’s Propagate! (HarperCollins)
  • Edible: An Illustrated Guide to the World’s Food Plants (Global Book Publishing)


  • Architectura: Elements of Architectural Style (Global Book Publishing)
  • Merchant Builders: Celebrating a Fifty-Year Legacy (MUP)
  • Great Properties of Tasmania (MUP)

Contact me

For further information, please email mappsj@bigpond.net.au