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Commissioning editors commission or buy authors, book titles or ideas for publication.
1. Entry requirements
You’ll usually need:
- a degree
- experience in publishing, as an editorial assistant or copy editor
You could take a postgraduate qualification in publishing or digital publishing, but this isn’t essential.
You could also try job shadowing to get some experience before applying for your first job in publishing. This is also a good way to develop contacts, as many jobs are not advertised.
Creative Choices has useful information about careers in editing and publishing.
2. Skills required
- negotiating skills
- planning and organisational skills
- financial management skills
- project management skills
- business skills
- administration and IT skills
3. What you'll do
Your day-to-day duties could include:
- keeping up to date with trends in the book market
- identifying future markets and new products
- deciding whether to accept submitted manuscripts
- developing ideas for books and identifying suitable authors
- preparing publishing proposals, including costings, projected sales and income
- making decisions on reprinting, revising, and producing new editions
- making sure schedules are followed and deadlines are met
You may also supervise editorial staff.
Starter: £20,000 to £24,000
Experienced: £28,000 to £38,000
Highly Experienced: £40,000 or more
You may receive a bonus if your commissions are successful.
These figures are a guide.
5. Working hours, patterns and environmentYou might need to work long hours, including evenings, to meet deadlines in busy periods.
You'll usually work in a busy office environment, but you’ll also travel to meet with clients, agents and authors.
You may travel overseas to attend book fairs and conferences.
6. Career path and progressionWith experience, you could progress to senior commissioning editor, editorial manager, director, or work as a freelance consultant.
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Last updated: 11 September 2018