Skip to main content

Editorial Director (Penguin Life), Penguin General

If you're a curious and ambitious acquiring editor with an eye for the biggest books in smart thinking, high performance, focus and productivity, we have an exciting opportunity for an Editorial Director to join the Penguin Life team, home of bestselling authors such as Cal Newport, Simon Sinek and Squiggly Careers authors Sarah Ellis & Helen Tupper.

About Penguin Life

Penguin Life has recently rebranded to incorporate an existing list which has long published the very best books on working smarter. As the market for actionable advice evolves and grows, we are looking for authors, and editors, who understand that the best advice isn't siloed to one part of our lived experience. At Penguin Life we aim for our books to equip readers with new ideas and skills which will improve every aspect of their lives, from work to relationships, health, psychology, communication, finance and behavioural change. Our authors range from business leaders to sporting legends, leading scientists, health professionals and exceptional journalists. What unites our authors is a focus on quality and integrity - they include James Nestor, Philippa Perry, Rangan Chatterjee, Eric Ries, Sharmadean Reid and Jefferson Fisher.

The Opportunity

In this role, you will work as part of a team that is collaborative and supportive, pro-active and entrepreneurial. We work hard to nurture individual talent as part of our collective success. At Penguin General, we strive for working life to be progressive, energising, motivating and rewarding for all our colleagues at every level. 

Reporting to the Publishing Director, and joining a team of seven, this role will be responsible for commissioning around 10 new non-fiction titles a year with a particular focus on big titles, career, performance and research-led behaviour change, ideally with international potential, that will sell for years to come.

In the role, you can also expect to be:

  • Generating books for publishing in part through being on top of trends and proactively seeking out new opportunities

  • Managing the complete publishing cycle of your books, liaising with key departments across the business, authors, agents and other external partners

  • Managing junior team members and motivating them to become confident, market-aware commissioners

  • Networking to create and maintain strong relationships with authors, agents and other partners in the UK and internationally

  • A strong team player and an advocate for your books and the Penguin Life list

What you’ll bring

We are looking for a creative, highly motivated individual with proven talent and high potential. You will be knowledgeable about the market, full of ideas and confident in collaborating in-house and out from start to finish of each book.

The ability to work effectively under pressure while keeping to schedule is essential, as are strong organisational skills and attention to detail.  You’ll be confident joining some projects halfway through and picking up where others left off.  You’ll be an excellent communicator, able to write persuasive cover copy and make convincing verbal pitches, as well as create and maintain matchless author relationships. You will also actively engage with Penguin Random House’s diversity and inclusion goals.

Non-fiction publishing experience is essential for this role.  As a candidate, you'll have an existing network to draw upon for your new ideas and understand how to make those books a success through your previous experience.

About Penguin:

We’re the UK’s largest publisher; made up of some 2,000 people and publishing over 1,500 books each year. Our doors are open to all kinds of talent. In a constantly evolving industry, we work hard to stretch the definition of the word publisher. Here, you’ll work with a breadth of talent who all play their part to make each of our books a success. Together, we make books for everyone because a book can change anyone.

How to apply

If this sounds like your next role, please apply with your CV and a cover letter by midnight on Sunday, June 23rd.

Salary:  The salary will be circa £55,000 depending on how your skills and experience align with the role, plus bonus and benefits.

Competitive benefits package: Our people are the heart of our business, and we work hard to support a culture of responsibility and recognition.

Our benefits include:

  • Financial – income protection, life assurance, childcare allowance

  • Wellbeing - healthcare cash plan, critical illness cover, health checks

  • Lifestyle – enhanced parental leave, tech scheme,

For our full benefits list please visit:

Hybrid working: We’re experimenting with a hybrid way of working that suits the needs of each team. While our offices across the UK are places to connect, collaborate and celebrate with colleagues, we recognise that flexibility around where you work is just as important. For this role, some meetings will need to be attended in person at our offices in Pimlico around three days a week.  Please note that over the course of 2024 all of our London-based teams will permanently relocate to our Embassy Gardens office in Nine Elms. We’ll be happy to answer any questions on this as part of the interview process.

The recruitment process: You can read about our recruitment process at

As a Disability Confident Committed organisation, we're part of the offer an interview scheme. This is where disabled applicants who meet the essential criteria for the role can opt in to get to the next recruitment stage. There may be some situations where volume of applicants means we can't take all eligible candidates to interview. We encourage you to tell us about any reasonable adjustments you may need by emailing Remember, you only need to share what you are comfortable to for us to support your request.

Please note, we are not able to accept agency CVs for this role. Any CVs sent speculatively will not be eligible for a fe

Editorial Director (Penguin Life), Penguin General

Full-time, Permanent
Administration, Publishing, Management, Communications, Editorial
Editorial Director (Penguin Life), Penguin General
Salary description: 
The salary will be circa £55,000 depending on how your skills and experience align with the role, plus bonus and benefits.

Share this job now

Non-fiction publishing experience is essential for this role. As a candidate, you'll have an existing network to draw upon for your new ideas and understand how to make those books a success through your previous experience.