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.

Current affairs/politics

  • Venom: Vendettas, Betrayals and the Price of Power (HarperCollins)
  • Wounded Country: The Murray–Darling Basin, a Contested History (NewSouth)
  • The Smack Track (HarperCollins)
  • Making Medicare (NewSouth)
  • Climate Wars (MUP)
  • Documents on Australian Foreign Policy: Australia and the Rhodesian Problem (NewSouth)


  • The Lost Diggers (HarperCollins)
  • The AWU: A History (MUP)
  • Great Battles in Australian History (Allen & Unwin)
  • Jacka VC (Allen & Unwin)
  • Australia and the Vietnam War (NewSouth)
  • Flying the Southern Cross (National Library of Australia)
  • Palestine Diaries: The Light Horsemen’s Own Story (Scribe Publications)


  • Ricky Ponting: At the Close of Play (HarperCollins)
  • Black Caviar (HarperCollins)
  • Greats of Origin (HarperCollins)
  • The Peter Thompson Five: A Golfing Legend’s Greatest Triumphs (MUP)
  • A History of Australia through Sport (Pan Macmillan)


  • A Good Death: Companioning the Dying (Murdoch)
  • The Brain Book (Global Book Publishing)
  • Anatomica: The Complete Home Medical Reference (Global Book Publishing)
  • The Anatomy Student’s Self-Test Visual Dictionary (Global Book Publishing)
  • The Complete Guide to Men’s Health (Mitchell Beazley)


  • Gulpilil (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)


  • Encyclopedia of Gardening (Reader’s Digest)
  • Dig Deeper (Murdoch Books)
  • Grow Your Own Medicine (HarperCollins)
  • Let’s Propagate! (HarperCollins)

General reference

  • Transit of Venus (NewSouth)
  • Edible: An Illustrated Guide to the World’s Food Plants (Global Book Publishing)
  • Architectura: Elements of Architectural Style (Global Book Publishing)
  • The Shakespeare Encyclopedia (Global Book Publishing)
  • 100 Independent American Films (BFI Publishing)
  • Little Guides: Space (Weldon Owen)

Contact me

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