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Publishing Director - HarperFiction

Introduction to the role

The role will sit within the division’s successful General Fiction list, known for its market-leading commercial publishing, commitment to quality, and understanding of what it takes to create brands of the future while nurturing creative talent. The role will have specific responsibility for driving the strategy and editorial acquisitions for thrillers and other commercial fiction as well as well as hands-on management of authors.  The Publishing Director will build and manage a list of popular and bestselling authors, taking their books from pitch to publication.  

Being a senior part of the team is a key element of the role, working alongside colleagues in the immediate team as well as the wider publishing division.  Building strong relationships across departments will be crucial, ensuring that this busy list continues to deliver the excellent results it is renowned for.

Key tasks and accountabilities

  • To drive strategy for the relevant genres and authors in line with requirements from the Publisher and Exec Publisher, ensuring growth targets are hit for expansion of the list across a number of key areas.
  • To steer editorial strategy for their areas at all times and deliver creative, innovative publishing that is commercially successful, and contributes strongly to the division’s growth targets.
  • To identify market trends and publishing opportunities, feeding these into the acquisition strategy for the list.
  • Superb author care: day-to-day responsibility as editor for a wide range of authors, including some of the most significant authors on the list, taking their books from pitch to publication and driving strategy for their publishing as well as delivering editorial vision, hands-on editing and regular publishing updates.
  • To use agent and scout contacts to attract the best new submissions and talent to the list, looking for bestseller of the future and ensuring HC sees all the biggest new books
  • To oversee timely and cost-conscious publishing management of their list, working with Production and Pub Ops to ensure titles run to Critical Path
  • To review, develop, maintain and deliver profitable publishing plans in line with divisional targets, setting and maintaining publishing schedules and responding to changing market needs as appropriate.
  • Ensure best-in-class publishing across the list and the very best care of your own stable of authors.
  • Work closely with the senior team to maximise all opportunities afforded by world rights including Rights, Audio and Harper 360.

Core responsibilities

  • Plan, champion and execute a profitable and market-orientated publishing strategy for their titles across all formats including digital and audio

  • Take responsibility for delivering budget revenues and profitability

  • Develop and execute the commercial thriller publishing strategy

  • Develop long-term relations with authors and agents to attract the biggest commercial bestsellers and manage and retain our talented writers

  • Contribute fully to sales, marketing and plans, ensuring strong and effective involvement of the Sales and Marketing teams in title, brand and author development

  • Effectively influence sales, marketing and publicity plans through informed market knowledge

Experience/skills required

  • Track record of publishing bestsellers, with a specific track around thrillers and other commercial fiction

  • An innovative and creative approach to publishing

  • Strong understanding of the publishing process and relationship management

  • P&L responsibility

  • Experience in a senior role

  • Strong financial/commercial awareness, including analysing sales data and market trends

  • Excellent communication skills

  • A network of strong agent, rights director and scout contacts in the UK and US

  • Track record of excellent author management and relationships


  • 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.

Publishing Director - HarperFiction

HarperCollins, London
Full-time, Permanent
Administration, Publishing, Management, Communications, Business Development, Customer services, Finance, Editorial
Publishing Director - HarperFiction

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Track record of publishing bestsellers, with a specific track around thrillers and other commercial fiction An innovative and creative approach to publishing