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Commissioning Editor/Senior Commissioning Editor - HQ Non-Fiction

HQ Non-Fiction is a young, award-winning imprint at HarperCollins. We pride ourselves on publishing books that are bold, brave, inclusive and always with a compelling story to tell. We publish books across a wide variety of subjects, and story and personal growth will always be at the heart of what we do. Sharing women’s stories that have hitherto never been told or helping readers navigate 21st century dilemmas is our mission. Our primary audience is women; specifically, smart, dynamic and curious women. And our primary objective is to create a truly diverse commercially successful list. Some of our recent best-selling authors include: Davina McCall, June Sarpong, Owen O’Kane, Joe Wicks, Claudia Winkleman, BOSH!, James Davies, Dr Amanda Brown and Stuart Sandeman.

We are very trend aware especially in genres such as memoir, smart-thinking, health, lifestyle, well-being and cookery. Finding authors and helping them to build their brand, reaching wider audiences and finding new ones, inspiring and guiding, or moving from niche to mainstream is what we love to do.

This commissioning role requires a clear understanding of the non-fiction market, with a focus on narrative titles. You need to have the ability to spot trends and publishing opportunities for the list, and the chance to work with a growing, ambitious collaborative team.

Desirable candidates will have excellent contacts with a wide range of agents, authors, ghostwriters, talent managers etc with whom we can develop publishing partnerships, and a proven track record in publishing successful, bestselling titles in the categories above. The role will suit digitally-savvy and commercially astute candidates who have both initiative and energy, who are excited to think creatively about how we commission and publish our books and with the ability to develop and implement a profitable publishing strategy across a wide range of titles.  Line management experience and skills are highly desirable.

Key Accountabilities

  • To commission, edit and publish titles successfully and profitably for the HQ list.

  • To read and respond promptly to agent submissions.

  • Build relationships with agents, with a view to bringing in the best talent to HQ.

  • Ownership of and main point of contact for your own stable of authors across memoir, smart-thinking, pop-psychology and trend-led subject areas and brands with scope to grow.

  • To maintain strong relationships with authors and agents, providing regular updates on publishing strategy, sell-in and sell-out for ongoing authors.

  • To work closely with the production team, desk editor and pub ops manager to keep both mono and 4-colour illustrated titles on critical path.

  • Understanding and wider reading of UK commercial non-fiction market, ensuring strong market knowledge and market-focused publishing strategies.

  • Briefing jackets and liaising with designers, seeing covers through from start to finish.

  • Copywriting, creating and checking sales/marketing material, e.g. catalogues, sales presenters, etc.

  • Creating strategy documents for key titles, and presenting these to the wider team as required.

  • Clear direction 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, Right, Sales and Marketing meetings.

  • To negotiate and create deal memos and progress contracts as required.

  • To delegate effectively when required, supporting the growth and development of junior staff.

  • Work closely with the in-house Publicity & Marketing teams to ensure maximum exposure for authors and titles, according to agreed priority list.

 Skills and Competencies

  • Demonstrate entrepreneurial publishing talent and commercial awareness

  • Excellent author/agent/talent manager relationships

  • List building and strategic skills

  • Line management skills

  • Good team player, willing to carry through projects

  • Global thinker--someone able to think 'beyond the book' and help us develop digital, international and audio sales

  • Cross-company thinker: someone who can work across Newscorp when possible to best effect

  • Excellent communicator (presentations) and writer (catalogue, cover copy)

  • Proven editorial skills including some four-colour illustrated publishing

  • Detail-orientated and cost-aware
  • Computer skills: Word, Excel, PowerPoint, ideally InDesign
  • Trend aware, passionate about commercial and diverse non-fiction


  • Hybrid working model (2+ days in the office)

  • 26 days holiday plus bank holidays (option to buy and sell holiday days)

  • Enhanced pay for maternity, paternity, adoption and shared parental leave

  • Private healthcare cover and life assurance

  • Free access to HeadSpace, employee assistance programme (24 hour helpline), mental health first aiders, and a wellbeing portal

  • Season ticket loans (from day 1 for entry level) and cycle to work scheme

  • Employee networks: HC All In (open forum), Elevate (for ethnic minority colleagues), HarperParents, Menopause at Work and Pride at HC

  • Unlimited training on our Learning and Development portal, management courses (up to MA level) and mentoring programmes

  • Virtual GP and eyecare vouchers

  • Gym membership discount

  • Onsite physiotherapy (London only)

  • Charitable donation matching and volunteering day

  • We're a certified Carbon Neutral company

  • Free e-books and audiobooks, newspaper subscriptions and discounts on books

  • Subsidised canteen and retail discounts

  • Onsite prayer room

If you wish to discuss anything regarding this position and/or your application to this role, please reach out directly to our Talent Acquisition Manager at with subject heading ‘Vacancy Query’ plus the job title and we will aim to get back to you within 5 working days.

Commissioning Editor/Senior Commissioning Editor - HQ Non-Fiction

HarperCollins, London
Full-time, Permanent
Commissioning Editor, Editor, Publishing, Editorial
Commissioning Editor/Senior Commissioning Editor - HQ Non-Fiction

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Demonstrate entrepreneurial publishing talent and commercial awareness Excellent author/agent/talent manager relationships