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Commissioning Editor

Personality type:
Print and Media

The Lowdown

  • Approving and buying new ideas, writers and stories for a book or magazine publisher
  • Making sure all work is completed by writers on time

Is this role right for me?

For this role, you will need to:

  • Be able to find new stories and writers that you can nurture into a successful book or magazine article
  • Make important business decisions based off of analytical data
  • Stay well informed of the latest trends in the publishing and book markets
  • Stick within a strict budget
  • Ensure that writers are staying within a strict schedule and all deadlines are met

What does a Commissioning Editor do?

A Commissioning Editor is in charge of buying new authors, proposals or manuscripts for a book publisher, or articles and ideas for a magazine publisher. In essence, the role is about buying into concepts and people that could grow your portfolio and your company.

Commissioning Editors will quite often research into developing in trends in the market, and seek to commission works relating to what the audience is most likely to respond to.

A Commissioning Editor is also likely to help develop the ideas further and assist the writers in meeting their deadlines. In some businesses, the role is split amongst a team of editors.

Will I need a qualification?

Being a more senior role, obtaining a relevant degree is recommended. If you have a specific publishing house in mind, it might be worth looking into a degree based around what they publish, but English Literature is the most accepted degree for the field.

What’s the best route in?

As a mid-level position, you would usually work up from within the publishing company. Typically, you’d start as an editorial assistant and work underneath the commissioning editor, allowing you to learn about the job as well as proving your dedication and value.

Where might the role take me?         

Skilled commissioning editors can often cycle around other various editing positions, or go on to become a Head Editor.

Interested? Find out more…

For more information on job roles in the creative industries, take a look at Hiive's job roles.  




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