Skip to main content

Commissioning Editor - The Borough Press

  • Team: Borough Press - Fiction
  • Salary: Permanent
  • Location: London, UK
  • Closing: 11:59pm, 12th Oct 2022 BST

    Overview of the Role

    As Commissioning Editor, you will be a key member of the Borough team, working alongside the other editors, acquiring literary fiction and narrative non-fiction that feeds into the acquisition strategy of the list and actively grows the literary side of the Borough list.

    You will have ownership of your own stable of existing authors, seeing them through from acquisition to publication for both physical and digital editions. Although commissioning experience is desirable, more important is your ability to demonstrate that you have solid experience of owning and driving your own publishing successfully and strategically, and the market awareness, taste and hunger to commission. You will have an extensive range of industry contacts that you can call on, and the ability to build strong relationships with key internal and external stakeholders.

    The successful candidate will be commercially savvy, having an extensive knowledge of the literary fiction and non-fiction markets and a passion for the books that Borough publishes.

    About The Borough Press

    Specialising in literary and literary-commercial fiction along with narrative non-fiction, The Borough Press operates like a boutique imprint within the HarperFiction division. Combining quality publishing with commercial success, Borough has a stellar record in launching fiction superstars such as Joanna Cannon (The Trouble with Goats and Sheep), Susie Steiner (Missing, Presumed), Bridget Collins (The Binding) and most recently, Bella Mackie (How to Kill Your Family), along with an array of outstanding bestsellers including Tracy Chevalier, Lionel Shriver and Neal Stephenson.

    Key Accountabilities

  • Acquiring titles in line with Borough’s acquisition strategy, widening the breadth of Borough’s literary publishing, in particular for the UK and US markets.

  • Taking ownership of and being the main point of contact for own stable of authors, seeing them through from acquisition to publication for both physical and digital editions.

  • Managing and editing a list of existing Borough authors, maintaining communication with authors and agents and developing publishing strategies.

  • Presenting titles at monthly International, Rights meetings, sales and marketing meetings.

  • Negotiating deal memos and progressing contracts for all acquisitions.

  • Liaising closely with the production team and pub ops director to keep all books in line with critical path.

  • Understanding and wider reading of literary fiction and narrative non-fiction/memoir market, resulting in strong market knowledge and market-focused publishing strategies across the board.

  • Briefing market-informed jackets and liaising with designers, seeing covers through from start to finish, particularly keeping in mind deadlines for retailer sell-in.

  • Briefing, overseeing and checking sales/marketing material, e.g. catalogues, sales presenters etc. as necessary.

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

  • Ownership 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.

  • Continuing to build and foster relationships with agents, acting as one of Borough’s key ambassadors within the industry, cultivating the established relationships we have already, developing new ones and identifying more agencies to work with.

  • Liaising with teams across the business including sales, marketing, publicity, rights and production.

  • Working in conjunction with the Marketing and Publicity Managers on author events/launches where necessary.

  • Attending launches, industry events and festivals.


  • Previous experience of working on literary fiction

  • Owning, devising and implementing publishing strategy

  • Experience working at editor level or above

  • Be able to demonstrate sound market knowledge of literary fiction

  • Experience of desk editing processes

  • Full knowledge of publishing processes

  • Experience of working directly with authors

  • Demonstrable commissioning experience desirable

  • Experience working on narrative non-fiction and memoir desirable


  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills

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

  • Own and drive own workload

  • Ability to work individually and as part of a team

  • Takes initiative

  • A problem solver

  • Quick-thinking

  • Creative 

  • Extremely organised

  • A keen eye for detail

  • Interpersonal and diplomacy skills

  • Strong awareness of market trends

  • Computer skills: Word, Excel, PowerPoint


  • 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 - The Borough Press

HarperCollins, London
Full-time, Permanent
Administration, Commissioning Editor, Editor, Publishing, Communications, Business Development, Editorial
Commissioning Editor - The Borough Press

Share this job now

Previous experience of working on literary fiction Owning, devising and implementing publishing strategy Experience working at editor level or above