This site uses cookies. To find out more, see our Cookies Policy

Senior Commissioning Editor, HQ (Non-Fiction) in London at HARPERCOLLINS

Date Posted: 5/11/2018

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.

HQ is the newest fiction and non-fiction division of HarperCollins, one of the UK's most prolific, diverse and innovative multi-platform publishers. Specialising in commercial, high-volume fiction and innovative digital publishing, HQ publishes a wide range of commercial fiction titles including crime, women's fiction and saga, historical and book club fiction, and a curated boutique non-fiction and YA list in print, and digital first list. Combining rapid growth with commercial success, in its first year HQ successfully launched the bestselling phenomenon Behind Closed Doors and Sunday Times bestsellers from Tom Daley, Anne O'Brien, Sarah Morgan and Ross Armstrong. We have since gone on to publish Rose McGowan's Brave and launch 2018's biggest new cookery brand BOSH!

HQ is looking for an ambitious, clever, creative Senior Commissioning Editor to help build and develop the list. The Senior Commissioning Editor will editorially develop and manage up to 24 projects (including 2nd formats) a year, some of which have been commissioned by the outgoing Editorial Director, and Executive Publisher. They will take editorial ownership of these projects, providing creative input and critical assessment, and ensure they are delivered on schedule and within budget. This is a role that requires a clear understanding of the non-fiction market, the ability to spot trends and publishing opportunities for the list, and the chance to play a part in establishing bestselling debuts and building author brands, and work in a growing, ambitious and collaborative team.


  • Identify new publishing opportunities within commercial non-fiction including but not limited to memoir, self-help, narrative non-fiction, humour, music, sport, cookery, business and beyond, and commission commercial, exciting projects to fill our non-fiction slots
  • Ensure all deadlines are met and costs controlled
  • Share information/communicate with all departments
  • Manage large complicated projects
  • Nurture strong contacts with agents
  • Make author care a priority
  • Develop strong awareness of market trends and competition
  • Explore gaps in the market and new ways of doing things to help us be a trend setter and a market leader
  • Prepare reports on specific market areas/demographics when necessary
  • Cost all projects accurately
  • Assist in successfully positioning and promoting all titles
  • Communicate key selling points of all titles to maximise sales performance
  • Contribute to overall profile and brand development

Key Skills/Experience

  • Significant successful commissioning experience working on a high profile list
  • Demonstrate entrepreneurial publishing talent
  • Excellent author/agent relationships
  • Good team player, willing to carry through projects commissioned by others and reinvent backlist
  • Global thinker - someone able to think 'beyond the book' and help us develop digital, e-book and audio
  • Excellent communicator (presentations) and writer (catalogue, cover copy)
  • Proven editorial skills
  • Detail-orientated and cost-aware
  • Comfortable with taking responsibility and owning decisions (plumping for a book, even at a high advance)
  • Organised multi-tasker, who delivers briefs, edits and so on to schedule

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.


  1. Editor Jobs
  2. Copy Editor Jobs