Louise Harnby | Crime Fiction & Thriller Editor

Louise Harnby | Fiction Editor
Job title
Editor and proofreader
Membership Grade
Advanced Professional Member

About Louise



Want to craft a novel that's ready for readers? I’m a specialist commercial fiction editor who helps independent authors prepare their books for market.

You write crime fiction, mysteries, thrillers, espionage or suspense. I specialise in editing those genres. That means your novel’s with an editor who gets you and knows the landscape.

View my editing portfolio


Action thriller | Cosy crime | Courtroom drama | Crime thriller | Detective fiction | Espionage | Hard-boiled crime fiction | Legal thriller | Locked-room mystery | Murder mystery | Mystery thriller | Near-future crime fiction | Noir | Police procedural | Political thriller | Psychological thriller | Science fiction thriller | Spy fiction | Techno-thriller

Get in touch with Louise


Nervous about working with an editor? Don't be. I'm your counsel, not your judge. ​Whether this is your tenth novel or your first, I have one job – to work with you to craft the best book possible.

Not a seasoned author? No problem. Although I've been working in the publishing industry for over 30 years, many of my clients are beginner and emerging writers.

Perhaps your writing needs smoothing to ensure it engages your reader. Or maybe industry-standard grammar, spelling and punctuation are your sticking points. I’ll work carefully through your narrative and dialogue, attending to flow, clarity and consistency.

Get in touch with me


I offer several different options for independent authors, from stylistic line editing through to self-editing guidance in a book. Take a look at my services and decide what suits your book and your budget.

  • Full stylistic line and copyedit: You’ve nailed your story and are happy with the structure. Now it’s time to focus on readability so that your readers stay on the page and immerse themselves in your prose. A stylistic line and copyedit corrects and smooths – artfully but invisibly. PRICE: Subject to review of sample
  • 10k-word agent teaser: I'll work on the first 10,000 words of your novel. This is a scaled-down version of the full line and copyedit, and ideal for authors who want something polished to wow an agent with. PRICE: £450
  • Full proofread: Your book has been copyedited. A proofread is the final tidy-up that looks out for any problems that have slipped through previous rounds of editing and formatting. It's the last line of defence before you publish. PRICE: Subject to review of sample
  • Sample edit: A sample edit shows you how I work. I'll correct and smooth 1,000 words of your prose, ensuring your narrative and dialogue engage your readers and flow well on the page. ​PRICE: £75
  • Self-editing guidance in a book: Want to do your own line editing? Editing Fiction at Sentence Level shows you how to give your novel a stylistic sentence-level workout.
    ‘My one-stop-shop resource.’ – Andy Maslen, crime and thriller writer


'I love the clean impact you've brought to my writing – am very happy!'
Thomas R Weaver, thriller writer

‘I have to say, your work is fabulous. I'm absolutely thrilled. The way in which you’ve brought my story to life with your brilliant editing has filled me with such admiration for you. I can't thank you enough for bringing such vibrancy to my work.’
David Palmer, crime and thriller writer

'Deft and precise, Louise enhances what is written so it is crisper and more elegant, revealing the writer's voice.'
Kess Goldland, thriller writer

'If you want your writing to be better, then you need to get Louise to edit it. I can't recommend working with her highly enough.'
David Unger, mystery writer

'I like working with people who have strong work ethics, and they don’t get stronger than Louise’s responsiveness, thoroughness, patience, skill, and professionalism. I can’t imagine publishing another work without Louise scouring it first. I wholeheartedly recommend her services ... Just don’t hire her when I need her.'
Jeff Carson, mystery and thriller writer

'You are by far the best literary editor I've had. Your interventions are right on target, not to mention that I've learned a lot from your comments. Thank you.'
Nina Fitzpatrick, novelist, dramatist and screenwriter

'Cooking for Cannibals is a better book because of your careful, professional edit. And I'm a better writer. I can’t think of a higher compliment. But that’s the truth of it ... I'm a better writer because you edited my book.'
Rich Leder, novelist and screenwriter

'I wanted to say a heartfelt and huge thank you for all of your exceptional hard work. To say I am thrilled is an understatement. You have taken my words and done much more than simply polish them; you have given them (and me) a new purpose.'
Nic Winter, domestic noir writer

'Sincere thanks for a beautiful and elegant piece of work. First class.'
J B Turner, crime and thriller writer

Get in touch with Louise


Discover a suite of resources specifically for independent writers. No email signups, no fee, no strings – just useful stuff to make your writing life easier.

Access the library


Hosted by Louise Harnby and Denise Cowle, The Editing Podcast is a fortnightly exploration of practical tips and guidance for editors and proofreaders who want to improve their practice and grow their businesses.

Listen to episodes


Use these books to dig deep into fiction editing, marketing, business planning, social media, branding, blogging and content.

Explore the books

  • Editing Fiction at Sentence Level
  • Editing Fiction Containing Gender-Neutral Pronouns (CIEP guide)
  • Making Sense of Point of View
  • Making Sense of Punctuation
  • Making Sense of 'Show, Don't Tell'
  • How to do Content Marketing
  • How to Build an Editorial Blog
  • How to How to be Visible with Social Media
  • How to Brand Your Editing Business
  • How to Earn Passive Income
  • How to Develop a Pricing Strategy
  • Business Planning and Marketing Collection
  • Business Planning for Editorial Freelancers
  • Marketing Your Editing & Proofreading Business
  • Living Fiction


Being visible gets you found. Being trusted gets you hired. Building skills gives you confidence. Learn how to achieve all three with these courses.

Explore the courses

  • 10 Ways to Get Editing Work Quickly
  • Blogging for Business Growth
  • Branding for Business Growth
  • Editor Website Essentials
  • How to Edit Slurs in Dialogue
  • How to Line Edit for Suspense
  • How to Punctuate Dialogue
  • How to Write the Perfect Fiction Editorial Report
  • Marketing Toolbox for Editors
  • Narrative Distance: A Toolbox for Writers and Editors
  • Preparing for Submission: 11 Ways to Make Your Prose Pop
  • Social Media for Business Growth
  • Style Sheets for Fiction Editing
  • Switching to Fiction
  • To Visibility and Beyond



Associated skills

Download Professional Portfolio

Disclaimer note

The CIEP Directory of Editorial Services should be considered a point of first contact and prospective clients must satisfy themselves that members are capable of the work on offer. The Institute cannot be held responsible for the quality of work provided by any member listed in the directory. The members themselves are responsible for the maintenance and accuracy of their entries in the Directory and the CIEP has not made any attempt to vet them. The institute cannot be held responsible for any inaccuracies in the Directory. Inclusion in the Directory as a freelance does not necessarily mean that the member is self-employed as defined by HM Revenue and Customs and the Department for Work and Pensions.


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