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Publisher, Character

About Walker Books

Walker Books UK is part of the vibrant international Group that includes Candlewick Press, Holiday House, Peachtree and Pixel + Ink in the USA and Walker Books Australia. Renowned for its truly original publishing and outstanding quality, the Walker Books Group is home to a wide range of children's and young adult books.

Award-winning authors and illustrators for the group include Angie Thomas, Sydney Smith, M.T Anderson, Patrick Ness, and Jon Klassen. We are also enormously proud to publish beloved family brands including Lucy Cousin’s Maisy, Michael Rosen’s We're Going on a Bear Hunt, Sam McBratney and Anita Jeram’s Guess How Much I Love You and Martin Handford’s Where’s Wally?

About the Role:

A rare opportunity has arisen to join Walker Books to lead our hugely successful Character team, focussing on growing all key properties and primarily Guess How Much I Love You, Maisy and Where’s Wally.

The Publisher will drive the strategic direction and create an international plan for the profitable development of the Character list.

They will commission and create new projects and manage the backlist to ensure the list meets identified market needs, sales growth and profitability.

Key responsibilities:

  • Define the creative and strategic future of the Character list to grow the profile of the properties worldwide, and manage and develop Character publishing, strategy and workflow to ensure growth, profitability and quality.
  • Manage all aspects of the Character team’s titles through the publishing process: including costings, contract negotiation, schedules
  • Identify and direct team to seek out publishing opportunities, developing and proposing acquisitions and projects to grow and enhance list profitably
  • Responsible for all commercial aspects of own projects and the list overall
  • Develop and maintain strong relationships with authors and agents
  • Represent and promote the Character list internally, communicating marketability of the books to sales and marketing and presenting own titles at sales conferences/launch meetings
  • Liaise with colleagues in other departments (both at home and internationally across the Walker Group, as required) such as sales, marketing, production and business affairs to ensure smooth process of Character list at all stages.
  • Training and management of junior editorial staff, to include: development, performance reviews and appraisals, assessing and managing workloads
  • Help Editors develop market awareness and commercial judgement, and help with the development and shaping of sound proposals and pitches.
  • Ensure excellent market knowledge and insight into the latest trends
  • Represent Walker by attendance at trade fairs, conferences, creative writing courses and other relevant events and online

Please note the above is not an exhaustive list and does not necessarily include all the duties the job holder may have to perform. This job description may be amended to meet changing needs of the business.

Skills and Experience

To be successful in this role, you will be able to demonstrate evidence of the following skills and/or experience:

  • Proven depth of experience in brand/character publishing demonstrating a track record of success both creatively and commercially.
  • Demonstrable experience working as an Editorial Director or equivalent level within children’s publishing, including programme planning, negotiating and preparing contracts and budget management
  • A thorough understanding of the children’s book market and the ability to apply sound commercial awareness and judgement
  • Management capability and ability to demonstrate initiative
  • Keen eye for design

 Why join Walker Books?

We offer:

  • Competitive Salaries
  • Hybrid work (at least two days in the office per week) once you have successfully passed probation
  • 22 days annual leave per year plus Christmas closure period and bank holidays (with annual leave increasing with length of service up to 27 days)
  • Enhanced Pension Scheme
  • Health Insurance and Health Cash Plan
  • Life Assurance
  • Enhanced Maternity and Paternity Pay
  • Access to an Employee Assistance Programme
  • Cycle to Work Scheme
  • Plus, other great benefits!

We are an equal opportunities employer and believe that a diverse and inclusive workforce encourages creativity and innovative working environment. We are committed to equal treatment and prohibit discrimination and harassment of any kind. It is important that our teams represent all our readers, their families and their communities and we welcome and encourage all applications.

If you have any queries about this role or require any reasonable adjustments for your application or throughout the recruitment process, please let our team know by contacting us at

​Please note we reserve the right to close vacancies before the closing date where we have received sufficient applications. We recommend submitting your application as early as possible to avoid disappointment.

Publisher, Character

Walker Books, London
Full-time, Permanent
Administration, Commissioning Editor, Publishing, Management, Communications, Project Management
Publisher, Character

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Proven depth of experience in brand/character publishing demonstrating a track record of success both creatively and commercially.