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Editor – Fiction

Usborne Publishing Ltd

Editor – Fiction

Role: Full-time

Salary: £36,240 - £38,291 (depending on experience)

Location: London

The Company

Usborne is an independent, family business, creating books which spark curiosity in children of all ages. These range from books for babies, such as the bestselling That’s not my… series of touchy-feely books, to YA fiction from acclaimed authors such as Holly Bourne and Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé – with everything from Magic Painting to Politics for Beginners in between. In the last five years Usborne fiction titles have been shortlisted for the Carnegie Medal, the Costa Book Award, the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize, the National Book Awards, the Books Are My Bag Readers Award, the Blue Peter Book Award and the Diverse Book Award.

Whilst the company is now a market-leader in children’s publishing and one of the best-known brands in children’s books, the company retains a friendly and familial feel. If you want to work somewhere close-knit enough for people to know your name, which has a first-class reputation around the world, Usborne is the place for you.

The Department

The Fiction Editorial Team is a committed and busy team of five. Passionate about children’s fiction, we all work on a list of thirty-five titles per year, across 7+ illustrated fiction, middle-grade fiction and YA publishing as and when needed, ensuring that we all have a strong grasp and working knowledge of our list and the titles within it.

The Role

This is a rare opportunity for a talented, enthusiastic and highly organised individual to join Usborne's award-winning fiction team. The role involves managing a variety of children’s titles through the editorial process – both autonomously and in support of the senior commissioning team – from manuscript delivery and cover briefing through to publication. It requires working collaboratively with authors and in-house colleagues in Design, Marketing, Publicity, Sales and Rights, as well as in our own editorial team.

Other key tasks of the role include:

  • Working on multiple projects both independently and in support of the senior commissioning team, including taking manuscripts from line-editing stage to production, liaising with freelancers on copyedits and proofreads, and potentially structurally editing after acquisition.
  • Project managing titles, alongside the commissioning editor, and creating and managing schedules.
  • Liaising with the production and design departments to ensure that projects are delivered within deadlines, and marketing, PR and sales teams on campaign plans.
  • Maintaining key author relationships day-to-day and ensuring effective communication about edits, deadlines, cover designs and illustrations, in conjunction with the commissioning team.
  • Writing copy for covers, TIs, catalogues and rights guides; adding and updating metadata and other title information on Biblio.
  • Reading and reporting on submissions, contributing to editorial meetings and creative brainstorms and discussing new acquisitions.

Skills required

We are looking for an individual who can respond well to working in a fast-moving department, who is able to multitask and confidently build effective working relationships with colleagues and external contacts.

We will also be looking for the successful candidate to have:

  • 2-3 years' experience in an editorial role in Children's Publishing, ideally as part of a fiction list.
  • A genuine passion and enthusiasm for and knowledge of children’s and YA fiction books.
  • Excellent author care and communication skills.
  • Meticulous attention to detail.
  • Excellent proofreading and copy-editing skills.
  • The ability to write strong sales copy and blurbs.
  • The ability to prioritise and use own initiative, juggling several projects at one time.
  • The ability to build effective working relationships with colleagues and external contacts.
  • Working knowledge of Biblio and InDesign would be an advantage.

Location and Benefits

We offer a 35-hour working week from our Farringdon office in London, where after a successful induction period we offer a hybrid working model of 3 days in the office and 2 days working from home which we feel optimises our opportunities for collaboration and contact with our colleagues.

In addition to our transparent salary grading structure, for this role we also offer a range of benefits including:

  • 25 days paid holiday entitlement plus bank holidays.
  • Industry-leading Pension Scheme and Life Assurance.
  • Employee Assistance Programme through Health Assured and Mental Health First Aiders.
  • Healthcare Cashback scheme.
  • Virtual GP service.
  • Enhanced Family Friendly benefits.
  • Paid Volunteer Day.
  • Rewards and Discount services and shopping.
  • Cycle to Work Scheme.
  • 50% discount on Usborne books.

Usborne is dedicated to building a diverse taskforce that reflects the wide range of communities that read our books globally. Decisions are made based on the individual’s skills and experiences and we particularly encourage applications from underrepresented demographics in Publishing.

Unfortunately, we are unable to offer visa sponsorship for this role and therefore applicants must have the right to live and work in the UK.

Recruitment Process

After an anonymised shortlisting process, we anticipate first interviews taking place in early June 2024, with second round interviews taking place by the end of June 2024.

Please let us know if you require reasonable adjustments at any point during the application and/or recruitment process.

Closing date: 02/06/2024

Editor – Fiction

Usborne, London
Salary description: 
£36,240 - £38,291 (depending on experience)

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2-3 years' experience in an editorial role in Children's Publishing, ideally as part of a fiction list. A genuine passion and enthusiasm for and knowledge of children’s and YA fiction books. Excellent author care and communication skills.