Skip to main content

Head of Special Sales

Bloomsbury Publishing is looking for a Head of Special Sales to join our UK Sales Team. The candidate will lead our ambitious growth strategy for the Special Sales channel working across all Bloomsbury publishing divisions. Our list encompasses Children’s, Head of Zeus, Adult Trade, Cookery and Lifestyle including the following authors: William Dalrymple, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, Johan Hari, Elodie Harper, Dan Jones, SJ Maas, Madeline Miller, Poppy O’Toole, J.K Rowling and Katherine Rundell.

The role presents an exciting opportunity for an experienced, enthusiastic and sales/profit driven professional. The candidate should demonstrate a genuine passion for Special Sales and an understanding of the diverse range of existing retail opportunities in this space. The candidate should also have the ability to plan for the future by seeking out and developing new business opportunities.

The Head of Special Sales role will focus on creating and implementing Special Sales strategy and driving new business alongside managing the Special Sales key account team; the role will report into the Children’s Sales Director. They will be responsible for representing the Special Sales channel to key stakeholders internally and externally and responsible for reporting against ambitious budget targets.

Based in our Bedford Square office this will be a hybrid-working position.

The role

  • Creating, implementing and guiding Special Sales strategy across all Bloomsbury lists. Build and report against an ambitious budget in line with wider organisational goals.
  • Effectively build collaborative relationships across all Publishing Divisions, championing Special Sales deals and customers, and be a lead voice in the acquisitions process, providing market analysis and context to UK acquisition figures.
  • Build a strategic, profitable and attractive year round backlist offering with Key Account manager, in collaboration with publishing teams.
  • Nurture an extensive and diverse list of existing retailer relationships to maximise revenue and profit opportunities, constantly reviewing processes and alignment to wider publishing strategy to maintain best possible return on investment.
  • Strong focus on opening up new channels and business opportunities for Bloomsbury and support team in developing new customer relationships.
  • Work effectively with key stakeholders across Publishing, Production, M&P and Operations teams to support team in driving forward bespoke Special Sales projects in line with organisational strategy.
  • Manage and develop the Special Sales team, inspiring each team member to achieve their best and drive towards organisational objectives. Line management and account management responsibility TBC.
  • Demonstrate commercial awareness and support the wider business in presenting regular sales data/analysis and market trends/customer activity insights.
  • Provide written contributions for author and agent pitches.

Knowledge, skills and experience 

  • Account and team management experience and leadership qualities.
  • Solution driven - able to identify and highlight potential obstacles to achieving objectives and propose solutions where appropriate.
  • Assertive and assured decision-maker, and able to work under pressure.
  • Possesses a high level of resilience and drive, able to be flexible and change direction as required.
  • Excellent time-management and organisational skills, with a keen awareness of deadlines and ability to multi-task.
  • The interpersonal skills necessary to develop and sustain effective relationships internally across all levels of the business, and on behalf of the Company with external bodies and with its suppliers.
  • Strong and confident communicator, well-practiced in presentation skills across all mediums.
  • Highly numerate and comfortable with negotiation, forecasting, budgeting and data analysis.
  • Leads by example and possesses a high degree of integrity.
  • Excellent attention to detail and focus on efficiency at all times.
  • Strong IT skills, particularly Microsoft Excel, PowerPoint, Word and Teams.
  • Experience of publishing specific systems such as Biblio, Nielsen Bookscan, Cognos and Vista would be beneficial.

Additional information

The role is a full-time, permanent position.

Salary Range: £50,000 – £60,000

The role is based at our London office 50 Bedford Square, London, WC1B 3D on a hybrid working pattern of 2 days office based / 3 days home based (or fully office based if preferred).  Allocated office days for this role are: Monday and Tuesday.

Please apply with a CV and covering letter addressed to Human Resources (Word or PDF format only) via the ‘APPLY NOW’ button detailing how you meet the requirements outlined above for this role by 8th January 2024.

Bloomsbury reserve the right to close the role early if we exceed the required number of applications

Bloomsbury Benefits

As well as a fantastic opportunity to join a global award-winning organisation, Bloomsbury offers the following competitive benefits package:

Working Pattern

  • hybrid working pattern of: 2 days office based / 3 days home based (or fully office based if preferred)


  • 25 days holiday
  • 3.5 days Christmas company holiday

Other Benefits:

  • Two paid Personal Wellness Days
  • Flexible Fridays – take Friday afternoon off by working an additional 3 hours and 45 minutes earlier in the week
  • Season Ticket Loan
  • Sharesave Scheme
  • AXA Healthcare Plan (Private Medical Insurance)
  • In-house Doctor
  • Eyecare Voucher Scheme

Company culture – Employee Voice Meetings, Staff Networks (Bloom (BAME), Accessibility, Mental Health, Pride, and Parents, Guardians and Carers) and 21 Mental Health First Aiders trained across the UK offices, Publishing Events and access to free Publishing Resources

For additional benefits see below

Bloomsbury is a place where anyone of any background, race, ethnicity, religion, sexuality, gender identity, age, ability, or socio-economic status can thrive, feel comfortable, and be heard and accepted. We are an equal opportunities employer and welcome applications from all sections of the community.

We are willing to make any reasonable adjustments throughout the recruitment process, please flag to the recruitment team if required

Applicants must have the legal right to work in the UK.

The Company

Bloomsbury Publishing Plc.

Bloomsbury Publishing is a leading independent publishing house, established in 1986, with authors who have won the Nobel, Pulitzer and Booker Prizes, and is the originating publisher and custodian of the Harry Potter series. Bloomsbury has offices in London, New York, New Delhi, Oxford and Sydney. Within Bloomsbury’s Academic division, it publishes under Bloomsbury, as well as under a number of prestigious and historic imprint names. Read Our Story for how it all began. 

 Bloomsbury is committed to creating a working environment that stimulates creativity and collaboration, is respectful of difference, is inclusive and ethical in its practice, and promotes well-being. We are determined to nurture and develop our employees to reach their highest potential, and we know that our success is down to the passion, commitment and hard work of our talented people. We recognise the urgent need to attract and support applicants from all backgrounds and identities to become part of the global publishing industry, allowing diverse voices to reflect and shape our culture and society.

Head of Special Sales

Bloomsbury Publishing plc, London
Full-time, Permanent
Administration, Management, Communications, Sales, Special Sales, Business Development
Salary description: 
£50,000 - £60,000

Share this job now