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Senior Commissioning Editor, Fiction

  • Application Deadline: June 30, 2021
  • London
  • Application Deadline: June 30, 2021
  • London

Job title: Senior Commissioning Editor, Fiction

Reports to: Executive Publisher

Location: Victoria House, Bloomsbury Square, London

Imprint: Fiction

Department: Children’s

Salary range: £37,000 - £40,000 per annum

We are looking for an experienced Senior Commissioning Editor to join our Hot Key Books and Piccadilly Press children’s and YA fiction imprints. You would be a key part of the editorial team, commissioning and editing a range of titles from young fiction through to YA.

Piccadilly Press books are fun, family-orientated stories in any genre, that capture readers’ imagination and inspire them to develop a life-long love of reading. Our titles can be standalone stories or part of a series, using design and illustration that is integral to the content when appropriate. We aim to create future classics for 5 – 12 year olds.

The content of a Hot Key book is defined by originality of voice and challenging, thought-provoking stories that resonate on a global stage. Always memorable and stimulating, these books can create new waves in any genre for teen and older readers.

General summary
Commission and edit commercially viable books for the Fiction lists, ensuring the books are of the quality and accuracy required, and published to schedule.

Essential job functions/responsibilities


  • Work as part of the Children’s Fiction editorial team to acquire books that support the vision and ethos of the Hot Key Books and Piccadilly Press lists
  • Be aware of current successes in the children’s fiction market and use that knowledge when commissioning
  • Commission books for young fiction, middle grade, teen and YA markets, with a focus on young fiction and middle grade
  • Consider a wide range of submissions via agents or authors directly
  • Proactively reach out to and create strong relationships with authors and agents
  • Be aware of emerging authors and artists with a view to approaching them
  • Review submissions brought by other members of the editorial team to editorial meetings
  • Play an active part within the team in new idea discussions
  • Lead pitches - if required - for hotly contested titles, working with the Design, Sales, and Marketing teams
  • Be aware of the different needs and schedules for books where and when world rights are acquired
  • Negotiate commercial terms directly with authors/agents, with support where needed from the contracts team
  • Structurally edit acquired texts by working closely, creatively and sympathetically with the authors of the texts
  • Work closely with the Design team and/or freelance designers to brief artwork for cover and inside illustrations
  • Work closely and supportively within the small Fiction editorial team
  • Speak passionately about your books to the wider Sales, Marketing, Publicity and Rights teams, from acquisition stage and throughout the book’s publishing life
  • Editorially guide the books through the publishing process, by working with the Desk Editor, Production and Design teams to ensure that all sales material and final files are timely and accurate
  • Copyediting skills desirable
  • Writing AI copy, cover copy and sales copy as required

List and Project Management

  • Project-manage your books in partnership with the relevant Desk Editor, Design and Production, making sure key milestones are kept to and final files are supplied on time
  • Project-manage a range of books, of appropriate number and complexity
  • As required, liaise with, negotiate fees and manage 3rd-party contributors, for example freelance designers
  • Problem-solve and/or escalate problems in the correct manner and in good time
  • Additional ad hoc duties related to commissioned titles, including maintaining Biblio information and writing information sheets
  • Draw up editorial P&Ls for approval by the Executive Director
  • Attend and present at regular new acquisitions meetings and sales meetings
  • Work with the wider teams to produce appropriate sales material including cover copy, marketing material and material for bookfairs

Work with great people

Alex Alexandrou
Head of Commissioning - Children's
"When I joined Igloobooks, I saw it as an exciting opportunity that would offer a completely different experience to any other design environment — I still like it after being here for over five years!"
Sahina Bibi
Marketing Executive
"My team is vibrant and fun — brilliant minds brimming with wonderful ideas. Though we each manage our own projects, we're always bouncing ideas off one another and brainstorming fresh new initiatives."
Shane Hegarty
Head of Operations
"From my earliest days in the company I have been encouraged and enabled to have an appreciable input into how, when and what gets done — which is a rare thing to obtain, or sustain, in any company."
Nick Stearn
Art Director
"My first impressions when I joined Bonnier Books UK were: "'Wow, this company is so different." It acts in a different way, it has energy, it's exciting."

Skills & Requirements

Qualifications and experience

  • A demonstrable track record of commissioning profitable, successful titles in the children’s fiction arena
  • An advanced understanding of formats, age-ranges and subject matters
  • An advanced understanding of the editorial process
  • A good understanding of the marketplace and our target audiences
  • Excellent people-management skills
  • Excellent interpersonal skills
  • Excellent motivational skills
  • Excellent problem-solving and trouble-shooting skills
  • A good communicator
  • A commercial thinker
  • An insightful organiser
  • A good role model with a positive, can-do attitude
  • Analytical and forward thinking
  • A flexible and cooperative team player

Bonnier Books UK is committed to building a diverse workforce through positive action. Currently, Black, Asian and Multi-Ethnic employees are under-represented in our workforce and we actively encourage applicants from these groups. For further information, please read our Diversity & Inclusion Action Plan here.

Great Place to Work

  • Competitive Salary

  • Working with a team of passionate, talented people

  • Internal learning and development programmes

  • Career Development opportunities

  • Fun social events

About the company

Bonnier Books is a major UK publisher with group sales of £80m. Home to three divisions and 16 adult and children’s imprints, we publish across a wide variety of genres, for different ages. From crime to reading group fiction; memoir to self-help; activity to reference – we believe every book matters.

For more information about Bonnier Books UK please visit our website: www.bonnierbooks.co.uk

Erika Van Aken | Contact Person

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Bonnier Books UK

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