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Publishing Director, HQ Digital

HQ Digital is the digital-first list of HQ, specialising in innovative digital publishing across the commercial fiction market, from contemporary fiction, historical fiction to crime and thrillers.  Recent bestsellers have included How to Kill Men and Get Away With It by Katy Brent, Murder by Candlelight by Faith Martin and The Marriage Lie by Kimberley Belle, and we’re proud to have launched stellar careers for a host of digital bestselling authors both in the UK and internationally, including Rebecca Raisin, Lisa Hall, Portia Macintosh, Neil Lancaster and Holly Martin.

A key role in the HQ division, you will be excited by the opportunity to manage our digital-first list, and have a clear, informed view of digital fiction publishing, with innovative, inspiring ideas as to how to bring the very best fiction ebooks to market.  This is a senior role which harnesses both a creative and strategic approach driving growth for the HQ Digital list, encompassing new title launches, ongoing author strategy, and backlist management.   

The role requires a passion for digital publishing, the ability to respond quickly to trends and publishing opportunities, and the chance to work with an enthusiastic, ambitious team.  You will be an energetic champion of both your books and the list, working closely with the sales, publicity, marketing and rights teams, supporting junior colleagues in their development.

Reporting to the Commercial Fiction Publisher, you will be responsible for implementing a profitable publishing strategy, acquiring new titles and encouraging our commissioning editors in their digital publishing, ensuring that HQD remains at the forefront of this exciting, fast-moving part of the fiction market.  

Key Responsibilities

Publishing Strategy:

  • Plan, champion and execute a profitable and market-orientated digital publishing strategy for HQD.

  • Acquiring new titles for the HQ Digital list, creating bestselling digital brands and global bestsellers, through both acquisition and IP.

  • To review and develop profitable publishing plans in line with divisional targets; setting and sticking to publishing schedules, responding to changes in the market when needed.  

  • Identifying gaps on the list and jumping on emerging digital trends, both home and internationally, ensuring our team of fiction editors is fully aware of the opportunities to commission to the heart of the digital market.  

  • Sharing your understanding of the UK digital publishing market, competitor awareness and helping our editors build market-focused publishing strategies.


  • Responsibility for delivering budget revenues and controlling costs, delivering sales and profit. 

  • To be key driver in the budgetary process, working with Sales and Marketing colleagues to set sales targets and play a strong part in delivering those targets.


  • Working closely with your own list of authors, overseeing titles from acquisition to publication.

  • Publishing your authors creatively and profitably, while advising editors on how to maximise their own ebook publishing.  

  • Promoting excellent author care within the team, building a supportive and inclusive author community, and building good relationships with agents to ensure HQD is a destination publisher.  

  • Identifying opportunities for HQD titles in physical retailers, including supermarkets and The Works.

  • Briefing covers and liaising with designers on covers and copy.

  • Checking sales and marketing material, e.g. catalogues, sales presenters.

  • Reading, circulating and rejecting submissions as required.

  • With an assistant, managing HQD’s submissions inbox.

  • Presenting titles and imprint at key meetings in-house and externally.

  • Ensuring best-in-class metadata at all times.

  • Building HQD’s brand at trade events, such as as Book Fairs and Festivals, and to author communities.

Sales & Marketing:

  • Leading our international digital publishing; helping our fiction editors find the best routes to market and developing long-term plans for author growth in the US and Canada; building strong relationships with our international partners – 360, Australia, India and Canada.

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

  • Liaising with Digital Sales to plan key promotions and pricing strategies throughout the year.

  • Ensuring other teams (Digital Sales, Pricing, International Sales, Audio and Rights) have all the advance information that they require to deliver on all opportunities.

  • Work with the Marketing team to maintain and share advice and best practise to authors and colleagues.    

  • Responsible for delivering our digital sales budgets, developing both title-level strategy and an over-arching acquisition strategy to help drive growth.

Line Management:

  • Line management of an editorial assistant.

Skills and Experience Required

  • Robust experience of trade publishing experience at Editorial Director or Deputy Publishing Director Level

  • Proven track of entrepreneurial commissioning

  • Experience of establishing and developing effective agent relationships

  • Negotiation skills

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

  • In tune with digital innovations within the industry and strong awareness of market trends

  • Excellent communicator

  • Proven leadership skills

  • Strategic vision and strong business acumen

  • Strong organisation skills and analytical skills

  • Innovative and creative thinker

  • Passionate about commercial fiction

  • Flexible – able to work evenings and weekends as required to attend launches/events


  • 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 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  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.

Please note, if you are interested in the role you would need to submit your application via Applied. We do not accept email applications.

Publishing Director, HQ Digital

HarperCollins, London
Full-time, Permanent
Administration, Analyst, Commissioning Editor, Publishing, Management, Communications
Publishing Director, HQ Digital

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Robust experience of trade publishing experience at Editorial Director or Depurty Publishing Director Level Proven track of entrepreneurial commissioning Experience of establishing and developing effective agent relationships Negotiation skills