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Assistant Commissioning Editor, William Collins in London at HARPERCOLLINS

Date Posted: 10/4/2018

Job Snapshot

Job Description

HarperCollins is one of the UK's foremost, diverse and innovative multi-platform publishers. We publish a wide range of books, from cutting-edge contemporary fiction, to block-busting thrillers and from fantasy literature to children's literature and enduring classics. We also publish a great selection of non-fiction titles, including history, celebrity memoirs, biographies, popular science, dictionaries, maps, reference titles and education books, and our digital business is thriving. With nearly 200 years of history, we publish some of the world's foremost authors, from Nobel prize-winners to worldwide bestsellers. In addition, we also publish the works of Agatha Christie, JRR Tolkien and CS Lewis.

Our William Collins and 4th Estate division are looking for an Assistant Commissioning Editor in a newly created role within the William Collins team. In this role you will not only be supporting the Religious Publishing Manager on the religious list, but you will also be acquiring your own list. Reporting to and working closely with the Publishing Directors in William Collins, you will have ownership of your own stable of authors, seeing them through from acquisition to publication. You will acquire across different genres, encompassing religion, mindfulness, spirituality, philosophy, politics and other contemporary ideas. This is a role with a great amount of potential for growth, and the Assistant Commissioning Editor will have opportunities to play a part in establishing a new list and building author brands.


  • To support the Religious Publishing Manager in growing the list.
  • To commission, edit and publish titles successfully and profitably for the William Collins list.
  • Build and foster relationships with agents, with a view to bringing in the best new talent and commissioning new titles for William Collins.
  • Working closely with HCUS imprints, in particular Harper One, to maximise world English publishing opportunities for relevant books.
  • To foster strong relationships with authors and agents.
  • To work closely with the production team and publishing operations teams to keep titles on critical path.
  • Ensuring strong market knowledge to inform publishing strategies.
  • Briefing jackets and liaising with designers, seeing covers through from start to finished proof.
  • Copywriting and checking sales/marketing material.
  • Creating strategy documents for key titles, and presenting these to the wider team as required.
  • Ownership of metadata/AIs for individual authors, ensuring this fits with emerging trends in the market, and is completed in line with critical path.
  • Writing cover/catalogue/ copy as required.
  • Presenting titles at monthly International, Rights meetings, sales and marketing meetings.
  • To raise and check contracts as required.

Key Skills/Experience

  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • Self-starter/ takes initiative
  • Ability to see a project through from ideation to completion
  • A problem solver
  • Quick-thinking
  • Creative
  • Quick reader
  • Well-versed in understanding commercial opportunities within the religious market.
  • Extremely organised
  • A keen eye for detail
  • Interpersonal and diplomacy skills
  • Technically competent
  • Computer skills: Word, Excel, PowerPoint
  • Passionate about religion, spirituality, mindfulness, philosophy and politics
  • energetic and enthusiastic,
  • Curious
  • Enjoys a challenge
  • Dynamic team member
  • Diplomatic
  • Excellent at building relationships
  • Flexible - able to work evenings and weekends as required to attend launches/events

We're based in the News Building which we share with our News UK and Dow Jones colleagues in the newly-established London Bridge Quarter, opposite the famous Borough Market. Our new open-plan office has amazing views across London, and includes a variety of break-out areas to aid inspiration and a collaborative approach, a multi-media suite, and a fabulous canteen floor and book shop.

Please apply via the link below with your CV, cover letter and salary expectations. Early applications may be prioritised.

Please note: We consider all applicants based on their skills, experience and ability to do the job. We do not unfairly discriminate on the basis of convictions or other personal information. We do require candidates to undergo employment screening in accordance with the relevant local legislation. This will only happen at the point an offer of employment is made.

Overview of HarperCollins

Our mission at HarperCollins is to harness the power of great publishing and to amplify it through world class marketing, global strength, and relentless innovation. We are all working towards the same goal, and we do it guided by what matters most to us. The culture at HarperCollins is defined by our six values, which inform our everyday actions and the way we behave. From Finance to Editorial, our values shape the way we work.

PUTTING OUR AUTHORS AT THE HEART OF EVERYTHING. Their success is our first concern.

WORKING TOGETHER. Sharing responsibility, helping colleagues, listening well, embracing difference, and enjoying what we do.

LEARNING & ADAPTING. Taking smart risks, learning from experience without blame and being both curious and willing to change.

LOOKING OUT AS WELL AS IN. Understanding the consumer, the marketplace and the competitive environment.

LEADING NOT FOLLOWING. Staying ahead, looking to the future, being bold and always aiming to be the best.

INTEGRITY IN ALL WE DO. Timely, open and honest communication, being fair, principled and respectful.


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