Senior Commissioning Editor Current Affairs & Modern History
Department: Trade & Academic Editorial
Reporting to: Editorial Director: Trade & Academic
Full Time – 35 hours per week
Salary Range: Depending on experience
Experienced Senior Editor required to work on Yale University Press London’s award winning Trade and Academic list, commissioning high quality, academically rigorous and intellectually stimulating books, focusing equally on Current Affairs and 20th Century History. Extensive academic knowledge and contacts, skilled project management and commercial acumen will be key.
Purpose of job
To proactively commission books focusing on topics related to Current Affairs and Modern, 20th Century History, split equally, to an agreed target level of revenue and profitability. To acquire 15 books a year, publishing 10 to 12, aimed at a general intelligent readership, aiming to acquire world (or world English) rights for the vast majority of these books, with the remainder being UK and Commonwealth only.
Originally founded in New Haven Connecticut in 1908, Yale University Press has a unique position as the only American university press with a full-scale publishing operation in Europe, publishing serious non-fiction that contributes to a global understanding of human affairs. Our diverse and prize winning list includes numerous prestigious museum and gallery partnerships, the Pevsner architectural guides series, and books by globally respected authors including Carmen Bambach, Terry Eagleton, A.C. Grayling, Richard Holloway, Clive James, Yasmin Khan, Geoffrey Parker, Nicholas Penny, Aileen Ribeiro, David Rieff, Sir Roy Strong, Zeynep Tufekci and Amanda Vickery.
Yale University Press London is an equal opportunities employer and welcomes applications from all suitably qualified persons regardless of their race, sex, disability, religion/belief, sexual orientation or age. We value, promote and seek diversity.
- To read, evaluate and proactively commission books split equally between Modern, 20th Century History and Current Affairs, to an agreed target level of revenue and profitability.
- To keep abreast of global developments in these areas, research markets and investigate market trends.
- To seek out suitable authors and subject areas with a broad appeal, and identify subjects that will meet the needs of the target audience.
- To develop networks and good working relationships with members of the academic community and relevant academic departments, appropriate journalists, think-tank and policy specialists, literary agents and suitable foreign publishers.
- To liaise collaboratively and effectively with colleagues in Editorial, Sales, Marketing and Production to ensure the acquisition of titles best suited to Yale’s list and strengths.
- To develop proposals and sample chapters and provide feedback on manuscripts, particularly structure and coherence, offering constructive advice on revisions as necessary to ensure the final manuscript is appropriate for the subject and market.
- To manage the whole commissioning process on schedule and within budget, including identifying suitable readers to comment on proposals, writing submissions for transatlantic editorial meetings and the Publications Committee, and monitoring profitability of titles in production on an on-going basis.
- To be responsible for title management, briefing Editorial and Production colleagues with cover and text designs appropriate for the book and the market.
- To skilfully negotiate commercial agreements between the agent/author and internal contracts department.
- To present titles at UK and US sales conferences (including other editors’ titles when necessary).
- To participate in Editorial, Launch and other company meetings (London and transatlantic).
- To promote Yale University Press by competent performance internally and persuasive performance externally.
Person Specification – Key knowledge & skills
- Extensive specialist knowledge of the Modern History and Current Affairs book market, both scholarly and trade
- Extensive contacts throughout trade and academic worlds
- Entrepreneurial instincts
- Highly organised, proactive and efficient with strong attention to detail
- The ability to prioritise effectively, using initiative and adhering to agreed targets and deadlines
- A creative, ideas driven approach to Acquisitions
- Strong commercial and financial understanding of environment and marketplace for history and current affairs books
- Strong interpersonal and communication skills and good team player for smooth and effective internal liaison and author management
- Good financial knowledge to understand and manage project P&Ls and budgets
- Able to work well under pressure
- Capable of meeting deadlines
- Good project management skills
- Scrupulous approach to contracts and legal
- Advanced IT skills, computer literacy and experience of Microsoft Excel and Word
- Degree level education or equivalent
- Extensive knowledge of wider publishing industry developments
What we can offer:
Yale University Press London offers a generous package of benefits including accommodation deposit and travel loans, a generous pension scheme, a cycle purchase scheme, and a lively social scene. As Co-organisers of the annual Bedford Square Arts Festival, our staff enjoy access to the Bedford Square gardens at lunchtimes throughout the summer months.
The role will be based in our offices on Bedford Square in Bloomsbury WC1, with convenient access to the Northern and Central lines as well as many bus routes.
Please send your CV and supporting covering letter (including availability, notice period details and current salary) to:
Robert Owen (Head of People & Office Operations): email@example.com
Closing date: Friday 15th March 2019 at 5.30pm
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