Skip to main content

Desk Editor, Fiction (6m FTC)

This role is fills a temporary key need in our busy general Fiction team, home to some of the biggest popular fiction brands in the business: Cecelia Ahern, Bernard Cornwell, Lucy Foley, Dawn O’Porter, Susan Lewis, Barbara Taylor Bradford, Fern Britton and Gail Honeyman. We are looking for someone to join the team to cover a maternity leave gap and to support our Executive Publisher, Kim Young, on her titles with full desk-editing and structural editorial support, working both with the Executive Publisher and directly with authors. We are a high-volume, ambitious team focused on delivering bestselling fiction with page-turning appeal and developing our authors’ long-term careers, as well as delivering digital success for our titles. The successful candidate will help us to deliver the strongest books possible, working with our authors, supporting them and making sure our publishing is focused, strategic and efficient.

Core responsibilities

  • Structural and detailed line-editing work on major titles: working with the Publisher on structural edits, developmental edits, redrafts and line-edits; working with some authors directly to implement the editorial work and manage a title through various drafts

  • Full desk-editing responsibilities – seeing titles through from manuscript to finished copies for a range of fiction titles, including digital formats, and managing freelance copy-editors and proof-readers, ensuring plant costs are in line with budget for each project

  • Liaising with authors over the progress of the book through production, copy approval and day-to-day editorial matters

  • Writing jacket copy (hb and pb) and selling copy for external sites, drafting jacket briefs and delivering covers to critical path

  • Managing editorial information and metadata about the titles (AIS, Plan G Acquisitions, Metadata, P&Ls) to ensure accurate and up-to-date title/list information is available internally and externally

  • Working with the General Fiction team to deliver team objectives on diversity and inclusion, author care, critical path and reaching readers

  • Reading manuscript submissions for the Publisher, and reporting on these, noting market context

  • Act as a key point of contact for internal and external teams and stakeholders in each title

Experience required

  • Substantial experience editing commercial fiction

  • Substantial experience working on large structural edits directly with authors

  • Considerable desk-editing and project management experience

  • Direct relevant experience with author care and agent relationships throughout the publishing cycle

  • Experience working in a commercially focused team within a major publishing house or within a major group

Skills required

  • Strong structural and line-editing skills and the ability to deliver the Executive Publisher’s vision for the work needed by working with the author

  • Being a key, energetic and positive member of a busy, creative editorial team; flair and passion for books; calm under pressure

  • Strong interpersonal skills and confidence managing numerous relationships involved in each title

  • Strong organisational skills and self-motivated

  • Must be confident, prepared to work on own initiative, be able to present solutions to senior editorial team, liaise effectively and decisively with design and production and capable of working efficiently to tight deadlines

The company

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.

Our values tell a STORY…

Stories - We believe in the power of great publishing. From fiction, children’s and non-fiction to education and reference, our authors and content are at the heart of everything we do

Team - We help each other, work collaboratively, behave with integrity and always strive to communicate in a timely, open, honest and fair manner.

Out as well as in - We aim to lead the industry by looking out as well as in. Through observation of the marketplace, the consumer and the competitive environment we gain a better understanding of our business.

Resourcefulness - We support smart risk-takers and innovators, learning from experience without blame and being both curious and willing to change

You - We embrace difference, champion diversity of thought and being. We treat each other with respect and enjoy what we do.

Desk Editor, Fiction (6m FTC)

HarperCollins, London
Contract, Full-time, Maternity Cover