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Publishing Director, Del Rey, Cornerstone

We are looking for a confident, ambitious and visionary Publishing Director for Del Rey and Inklore, Penguin Random House’s only bespoke Fantasy, Science Fiction and Manga imprints, with management experience who can lead the future success and growth of the list. 

The Publishing Director will be responsible for devising and implementing a three-year plan and publishing strategy for the Del Rey list which will be revised every year, and will focus on growth in identified areas. 

The Publishing Director will report to the Publisher of Century and be part of Cornerstone’s Heads of Departments team. They will be responsible for the creative and commercial success of Del Rey and will be expected to set a growth strategy for the imprint. They will be expected to acquire future SFF authors, to manage a team of four individuals, to set high standards for the editorial team and the list, and to lead inclusively.  

About Del Rey and Inklore 

Del Rey is the home of adult and young adult science fiction and fantasy at Penguin Random House UK, dedicated to publishing the very best in commercial and crossover SF, fantasy, horror and graphic novels, as well as a range of official licensing titles for Star Wars, Minecraft, Dungeons & Dragons, Stranger Things and more. Bestselling authors include Naomi Novik, Holly Black, Andy Weir, Ava Reid, Max Brooks, Hugh Howey, Rachel Smythe, Lev Grossman, Heather Walter, Chuck Wendig, A.E Warren, Alexandra Bell and many more. We are the sister imprint to Del Rey at Penguin Random House US. 

Inklore is Penguin Random House UK’s dedicated imprint for manga, manhwa, manhua, webcomics and graphic novels, both licensed and original, for adult audiences. Working closely with our Inklore US colleagues on this global pop-comics list, we are dedicated to celebrating the most popular, fan-driven tropes in visual storytelling, with a focus on the romance, fantasy, science-fiction, horror, and slice-of-life genres. 

Candidate Profile 

  • Previous experience of and a deep knowledge of the SFF market, as well as a passion for reading in this genre. 

  • Great publishing skills, will be driven by a desire to publish the very best books in the SFF genre, delivering high sales and able to set and meet ambitious financial targets. 

  • A strategic thinker who can articulate a vision for the imprint as a whole and communicate it in compelling ways, ensuring internal teams, agents and authors are engaged with the list. 

  • A strong negotiator who can successfully navigate complex deals and auction environments.  

  • A natural communicator who can bring books to life from the point of acquisition through to publication and onwards. 

  • A brand builder, who can develop authors’ books and careers into bestselling repeat brands.  

  • Creatively confident and distinctive, experienced in working with designers, marketeers and publicists to create standout covers and imaginative campaigns, perfect for the books and their audiences. 

  • Commercially astute and competitive, able to use a breadth of data to improve publishing decision-making, and motivated by the financial health of the imprint and how to grow its revenue and profile into a market-leading position. 

  • Socially conscious, able to take a clear leadership position ensuring Del Rey makes continuous progress towards its inclusion goals.   

  • A natural ambassador for Del Rey, Cornerstone and Penguin Random House; an instinctive connector who builds relationships across the wider company and industry. 

Core Responsibilities 

  • Will work with the Publisher, Managing Director and senior team to set clear strategic goals and targets for the imprint; a high degree of prioritisation and collaboration is required in partnership across the publishing teams, and especially sales, marketing and publicity.    

  • Publishing strategy, collaborating with the Del Rey editorial team on medium to long-term strategic growth plans, outlining the key priorities including key frontlist and backlist titles and their goals. 

  • Will take an active interest in developing the Del Rey backlist, guiding the team in the repackaging of key titles, developing a backlist sales strategy with revenue targets, and ensuring that key estates, authors and agents are kept updated. 

  • Will work closely with key stakeholders across the Cornerstone division, including senior marketing, publicity and UK and international sales colleagues to ensure a joined up strategy for all Del Rey authors , and to communicate with them to ensure absolute buy-in and commitment. 

  • Will keep abreast of competitors and maintain market awareness in the SFF and genre world in order to seek out new publishing opportunities. 

  • Will regularly liaise with and maintain a close relationship with Del Rey, Inklore and the Random House Worlds teams at PRH US regarding their Licensing, Manga and SFF authors that we share. 

  • Will manage and work with the Editorial Director, Inklore/Del Rey, to enhance Del Rey’s reputation for franchise publishing and be across the Manga list as a key growth area of the future. 

  • Will manage every aspect of the imprint’s day-to-day business including a razor-sharp focus on cost management and hitting editorial milestones on the publishing critical path.  

  • People management: will be responsible for the Del Rey and Inklore teams, setting clear annual goals; all goals to be SMART and discussed in monthly catch-ups, and at the beginning of each year to be shared within the imprint team. The Publishing Director should be able to paint a picture of what success looks like and then guide the team to achieve this success. 

Further information 

Size of team: 4, to include Inklore, PRH’s only manga imprint 

Compensation: highly competitive basic salary depending on how your skills and experience align to the role, plus bonus and benefits. 

Location: In 2024, the Cornerstone division will be based at our Embassy Gardens office in Nine Elms, London. 

Office attendance: 3 days per week (Monday, Tuesday and Thursdays). 

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: https://www.penguinrandomhousecareers.co.uk/what-we-offer/ 

Application instructions

Please apply with CV and cover letter, outlining why you are the right candidate for the role, by midnight on Sunday 3rd March. 

The recruitment process:  

You can read about our recruitment process at https://www.penguinrandomhousecareers.co.uk/how-we-hire/ 

As a Disability Confident Committed organisation, we offer interviews to candidates with a disability who meet the essential criteria for the role, and opt-in on their application form. There may be times when the volume of applications means we cannot take all eligible candidates to interview. 

We encourage you to tell us about any reasonable adjustments you may need by emailing PRHCareersUK@penguinrandomhouse.co.uk. 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 fee. 

Publishing Director, Del Rey, Cornerstone

Penguin Random House Group, London
Full-time, Permanent
Publisher
Administration, Publishing, Management, Communications, Finance, Editorial
Reference: 
Publishing Director, Del Rey, Cornerstone
Salary description: 
Competitive

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Great publishing skills, will be driven by a desire to publish the very best books in the SFF genre, delivering high sales and able to set and meet ambitious financial targets.