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Editorial Director, 4th Estate

4th Estate is one of the most innovative and eclectic imprints in the industry, with a reputation for publishing a wide variety of critically-acclaimed and beautifully-produced titles and making them bestsellers. Some recent fiction includes the conclusion to the Wolf Hall Trilogy, The Mirror & the Light by Hilary Mantel; My Dark Vanessa by Kate Elizabeth Russell; Still Life by Sarah Winman and Early Morning Riser by Katherine Heiny. Some notable non-fiction includes One Pot, Pan, Planet by Anna Jones; How to Fail by Elizabeth Day; Slay In Your Lane by Yomi Adegoke and Elizabeth Uviebinene; Notes on Grief by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie; and One Two Three Four by Craig Brown. We pride ourselves on publishing books for the independent reader.

Purpose of the Role

We are looking for someone to join our team who has their finger on the pulse of commercial literary and crossover fiction and non-fiction. 

This role will be responsible for identifying new publishing opportunities for the 4th Estate imprint and commissioning approximately a dozen titles a year. We are looking for someone who can keep on top of trends, talent scout, and liaise with agents and production companies to identify exciting new commercial voices and build established authors and brands into household names.

The Editorial Director will drive creative, innovative strategies and editorially manage projects, ensuring they are delivered on schedule and within budget. They will also be responsible for creatively managing a portion of the backlist, reinventing older titles when possible.

Key Responsibilities

  • Nurture strong contacts with agents, talent scouts, authors, influencers, and the media.

  • Make author care a priority.

  • Develop strong awareness of market trends and competition to identify and commission a list of new titles.

  • Explore gaps in the market and new ways of doing things to help us be a trendsetter and a market leader.

  • Support the Publisher with publishing strategy, budgeting, forecasting, cost control, exploring sales opportunities (home, export, and special sales).

  • Contribute to overall profile and brand development of the imprint.

Candidate experience

  • Demonstrated ability to take creative projects from idea to a finished product.

  • Knowledge of the publishing industry and media landscape.

  • Experience working with creative talent, authors and/or agents.

  • Good team player.

  • Global thinker – someone able to think 'beyond the book' and help us develop digital, e-book and audio publishing.

  • Excellent communicator and effective at pitching projects.

  • Strong editorial eye.

We welcome applications from people of all backgrounds and with all different kinds of life experiences.

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

Editorial Director, 4th Estate

HarperCollins, London
Full-time, Permanent
Administration, Publishing, Communications, Sales, Business Development, Editorial
Editorial Director, 4th Estate

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Significant successful commissioning experience working on a high-profile literary list