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Publisher, Narrative

To head up the narrative side of the HarperNonFiction list encompassing Mudlark, HarperElement and HarperEntertainment, with line management responsibility for two Publishing Directors and their teams. Personal commissioning and publishing responsibility for the Smart Thinking list including soft business, money, life goals, careers, journalism, politics and popular science.

Develop long-term profitable publishing plans across the imprints, encompassing backlist management and new-title development in line with the Division's overall Publishing Strategy. The ideal candidate will have strong contacts with a wide range of literary agents and rights professionals both in the UK and across Europe and the US. Detailed understanding of how to develop successful titles will be allied with a clear and informed view of how our books are best brought to market, promoted and sold.

The role is one of the key roles in the Division and the successful candidate will join the HarperNonFiction Publishing Board.                                                              


  • Work with the Mudlark, HarperElement and HarperEntertainment Publishing Directors to ensure each profit centre has a clear identity and strategy, and each PD has a clear career development plan.

  • Plan, champion and execute a profitable and market-orientated publishing strategy for the Smart Thinking list, and ensure the Publishing Directors and their teams deliver the same for their profit centres.

  • Develop titles appropriate for the market in both UK trade and non-trade, international and rights. Focus on all formats and titles with backlist potential. Acquire titles through both agent submission and self-driven ideas development.

  • Ensure that titles are delivered in an appropriate and timely way with all costs controlled and to budget.

  • Identify market trends and publishing opportunities through close contact with the market, agents and talent managers.

  • Deliver viable, creative, innovative publishing that is commercially successful and contributes strongly to the Division's growth targets.

  • Review, develop, maintain and deliver profitable publishing plans in line with Divisional targets. To include creating and maintaining publishing schedules, responding to changing market needs as appropriate.

  • Deputise for the MD & Publisher in chairing divisional meetings when necessary

  • Jointly run the divisional Launch meeting

  • Run the Narrative teams Editorial meeting

  • Liaison between sister companies within HarperCollins and News UK

  • Develop long-term relations with authors and agents, plus News Corp journalists to secure future deals for HarperCollins in preference to competitors

  • Promote excellent author care

  • Manage and develop relationships with agents, talent managers and partners

  • Contribute to sales and marketing plans

  • Ensuring strong and effective involvement of the Sales, Publicity and Marketing teams in each publication.

  • Effective influence of sales, publicity and marketing plans through informed market knowledge.

  • Working with the Sales, Publicity and Marketing teams to ensure the plans are acted on

  • Contribute to overall strategy, forecasting and budgeting process of the NonFiction business.

  • Work with Production and Pub Ops to ensure titles run to Critical Path, and to maintain the schedule of publishing for all titles.

  • Work closely with the senior team to maximise all opportunities afforded by world rights including Rights, Audio and Harper 360.

  • Ensuring titles have co-ordinated digital strategies and priority titles are pitched for promotions and metadata is optimised.

Experience and Skills Required

  • Robust experience of trade publishing experience at publisher level.

  • First-class editorial expertise.

  • Creative thinker willing to ‘think outside of the box’

  • Commercial risk taker but will change view if presented with relevant evidence

  • A team player with strong team management skills

  • Excellent communicator

  • Strategic vision

  • Strong business acumen, organisation and analytical skills

  • Proven track of entrepreneurial commissioning

  • Experience of establishing and developing effective business partnerships


  • Hybrid working model (3 days in the office)

  • 28 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 

  • Summer Hours  

  • 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 

  • Relocation Rent Support Loan  

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

  • 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  2 volunteering days 

  • 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 with subject heading ‘Vacancy Query’ plus the job title and we will aim to get back to you within 5 working days.

To apply for the role, please submit a cover letter and CV.

Publisher, Narrative

HarperCollins, London
Full-time, Permanent
Administration, Commissioning Editor, Publishing, Management, Communications, Editorial
Publisher, Narrative

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Robust experience of trade publishing experience at publisher level. First-class editorial expertise. Creative thinker willing to ‘think outside of the box’