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Commissioning Editor (12m FTC)

Role closes - 10:00am, 29th Sep 2020 BST (Europe/London)

Up to 12 month fixed term contract

London, UK

Specialising in commercial fiction and innovative digital publishing, HQ publishes a wide range of fiction titles including crime, thriller, contemporary fiction, saga, historical and book club, alongside our curated boutique non-fiction list, and thriving digital-first imprint.    

Combining rapid growth with commercial success, HQ has a stellar record in launching fiction debuts such as BA Paris’s Behind Closed Doors, Louise Hare’s This Lovely City and Christina Dalcher’s Vox, along with an array of outstanding brand Sunday Times bestsellers such as Adele Parks, Linwood Barclay and Sarah Morgan.

This fixed term role requires a clear understanding of the fiction market, the ability to spot trends and publishing opportunities for the list, and the chance to work with a growing, ambitious collaborative team. You will be responsible for covering for the Editorial Director, who will be on maternity leave. You will be responsible for the Editorial Director’s list of authors and publishing, seeing titles through from acquisition to publication in all formats. You will be desk-editing all of your own titles, and working with key teams to create effective publishing strategies, successful launches and build long-term sales. For the right candidate, there may also be the opportunity to commission your own fiction projects for HQ Fiction and HQ Digital. You’ll already have strong agent relationships, and will have experience managing your own projects. You will represent HQ at trade events and help grow HQ’s presence in the fiction market.

This is a role with a great amount of potential for growth, and the new Editor will be an important member of a dynamic fiction team. It will suit candidates who have both initiative and energy, and who are excited to think creatively about how we publish our books. 



  • To read and respond promptly to submissions from agents

  • To edit, desk-edit and publish the Editorial Director’s list of commercial fiction titles successfully and profitably for HQ, both print and digital lists

  • Ownership of and main point of contact for the Editorial Director’s stable of authors, working across categories including women’s fiction, psychological suspense, crime/thriller, book club and historical as required

  • 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 and pub ops manager to keep titles on critical path; collating author and copyeditor queries on to manuscripts when necessary

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

  • Briefing jackets and liaising with designers, seeing covers through from start to finished proof

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

  • Ownership of metadata/AIs for individual authors, ensuring this fits with emerging trends in the market, and is completed in line with critical path

  • To present titles at regular meetings, both internally and externally

  • Opportunity to commission your own fiction projects


  • Working to ensure best in class metadata at all times on own titles

  • Working in conjunction with the Digital Marketing Manager to create innovative digital campaigns which aim to get digital titles to the top of the charts


  • Ensure a strong awareness of what physical retailers require in terms of packaging and positioning

  • Ensure that Sales, International Sales, Audio, Digital Sales and Rights teams have all the advance sales information that they require


  • Work closely with the in-house Publicity Manager to ensure maximum exposure for authors, according to agreed priority list

  • Work in conjunction with the Publicity Manager on author events/launches where necessary.

  • Attend launches and festivals as required

Person Specification

Skills / Competencies

  • Experience working within a commercial fiction editorial team

  • Some commissioning experience is desirable

  • Takes initiative

  • A problem solver

  • Creative 

  • Extremely organised

  • A keen eye for detail

  • Interpersonal and diplomacy skills

  • Technically competent

  • Computer skills: Word, Excel, PowerPoint

  • Strong awareness of market trends


  • Passionate about commercial fiction, energetic and enthusiastic,

  • Enjoys a challenge

  • Remains calm when working under a heavy workload

  • Dynamic team member

  • Diplomatic

Commissioning Editor (12m FTC)

HarperCollins, London
Contract, Full-time
Commissioning Editor
Commissioning Editor