Commissioning Editor


    Commissioning editors are responsible for managing publishers’ book lists and signing agreements for new publications.Their aim is to build up a publisher’s list and secure profitable material. They commission work by finding authors or responding to book proposals from authors and agents. Their role is rather like that of a buyer.


    Employers of Commissioning Editors

    Commissioning editors are typically employed by publishing houses and academic publishers. Other sectors sectors in the publishing industry that employ Commissioning editors include:

    • business media
    • directories
    • news agencies
    • online, digital publishers



    • negotiating agreements/contracts with literary agents/authors
    • planning, organizing and monitoring the progress of projects
    • undertaking market research/investigating market trends
    • reading, evaluating and commissioning titles
    • liaison with authors, literary agents, marketing and production staff including designers and printers
    • supervising the work of editorial staff
    • attending book fairs
    • writing reports.



    This area of work is open to all graduates, although academic, professional and scientific publishers may prefer graduates with subject-specific expertise.

    A degree in publishing may increase your chances but is not essential. Several years of publishing, copy-writing, editing, journalism or media sales pre-entry experience are essential.



    • interpersonal and communication skills
    • planning and organizational skills
    • negotiating skills
    • research skills
    • tact and diplomacy
    • the ability to think creatively and commercially
    • the capability to work to tight deadlines
    • a proactive approach to work
    • tenacity and self-motivation
    • financial management skills
    • the ability to work well in a team
    • an aptitude for project management
    • competence in IT.