Illustrated Publishing
Illustrated Publishing
Publishing, project management and editing for beautiful illustrated books



Illustrated publishing is about making books that celebrate creativity, passion and knowledge. These are books to browse, imagine, journey or cook from. Simply put, they’re books with pictures but their power lies in the balance of words and images - both carry equal weight. When words and pictures work together they tell a much more meaningful story.

With more than 20 years experience in illustrated publishing, I can help you take a book from an idea to a beautiful object in your hands. You might be an expert in your field but not a confident writer. You might be wondering how to get a book published. Perhaps your work needs clarity or polish. Or you might be a publisher needing someone to manage the creative team. If there is a project you think I can help with, please get in touch.

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Katrina O'Brien


I’m a publisher, project manager, editor and writer who specialises in illustrated books. I have worked with the very best authors and creatives during five years as Publishing Manager at food and lifestyle imprint Penguin Lantern, where I was responsible for managing a large team to produce 25 books a year to the highest standard of  excellence. Some of the books I managed include The Cook’s Table by Stephanie Alexander, Wendy Whiteley and the Secret Garden by Janet Hawley, Shelter by Kara Rosenlund, Obsessive Creative by Collette Dinnigan, Greek by George Calombaris and Living Design by Jamie Durie and Nadine Bush. Before that I was Managing Editor at Murdoch Books for three years, working on the food and lifestyle titles, editing or managing titles including Etcetera by Sibella Court and One by Victoria Alexander.

Earlier in my career I worked at Hachette, McGraw-Hill and Parragon Books (UK). I’m also the author of Australia’s bestselling walking guide, Sydney’s Best Harbour & Coastal Walks (60,000 sold), and travel guides Footprint Australia Travel Guide and Footprint West Coast Australia Handbook.





Direct a book from idea to printed copies
Collaborate with authors to create a strong concept
Prepare a proposal for presentation to publishers
Brief and review photoshoots, moodboards, design concepts and page proofs
Editorial consulting


Project Management

Manage every creative and practical aspect of producing a book
Commission a team of talented creatives tailored to suit each project
Develop and maintain budgets and schedules
Plan and manage photoshoots
Step in at any stage of the project when help is needed


Manuscript assessment
Structural editing to bring clarity and focus to manuscripts


Writing/Content Creation

Create content for websites or blogs
Write book blurbs, catalogue copy, press releases, newsletters
Ghost write book introductions, narrative features or articles



Katrina I have loved every minute of working with you – your grace, your thoughtfulness and your knowledge shine through everything you do.
— Belinda Jeffery, Author
For both our Edible Garden Design and Living Design books we were lucky enough to have Katrina on our team as our Managing Editor. She guided us gently and wisely on every aspect of producing these two titles. Katrina’s encyclopedic knowledge of all things publishing meant we could confidently lean on her for advice on every aspect of creating our books, from the business end of matters, such as negotiating contracts through to every creative decision. Katrina helped us set the tone and editorial direction of both titles, was firm with us when she needed to be, kept us on track through the timelines that she’d set out for us and was always good-humoured and patient, even when we didn’t get our ‘homework’ in on time.  Best of all, we both felt we could go to her with any crazy idea, confident that she would listen and take our ideas on board, mull them over in her calm and measured way, and always give her honest, concise feedback. 
— Jamie Durie and Nadine Bush, Authors
With you, Katrina, as the Editor and Project Manager for my second book ‘One’ I could not have asked for more. Your uncanny knack of calmly, actively listening and your considered responses, always delivered thoughtfully, are things I continue to be grateful for.
— Victoria Alexander, Author
Katrina has been a joy to work with. Her warm style, coupled with her intrinsic understanding of my project, made for a very comfortable and effective working relationship. She has worked in the capacity of both editor of my journals and copywriter for my website and I have no doubt that this is just the beginning of our working relationship.
— Janelle Ruthven,
It’s been great working with you on the wellness book. Your guidance and leadership has been invaluable through the process. Thank you for working so closely with us to deliver the book.
— Natalie Mendan, Community & Corporate Relations at Baker Heart & Diabetes Institute

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Katrina O'Brien
Surry Hills, Sydney