Commissioning Editor Job Description

What is the job description of a Commissioning Editor? What are the duties and responsibilities of a Commissioning Editor? What does a Commissioning Editor do?

Job description of a Commissioning Editor

Commissioning editors buy authors, book titles or ideas for publication. 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. They also ensure authors deliver typescripts to specification and on time.

The role is most associated with book publishing. In magazine publishing, commissioning editors commission writers to produce articles and features. This occupation is a mid/senior-level post requiring suitable experience and ability. An initial entrant is likely to be recruited into a more junior position, such as editorial assistant, which may then lead on to a career as a commissioning editor.

This Commissioning Editor job description example includes the list of most important Commissioning Editor duties and responsibilities as shown below. It can be modified to fit the specific Commissioning Editor profile you're trying to fill as a recruiter or job seeker.

Commissioning Editor Duties and Responsibilities

Commissioning Editor job description should contain a variety of functions and roles including:

  • Planning, organizing and monitoring the progress of projects;
  • Attending book fairs;
  • Liaison with authors, literary agents, marketing and production staff including designers and printers;
  • Supervising the work of editorial staff;
  • Writing reports.
  • Undertaking market research/investigating market trends;
  • Reading, evaluating and commissioning titles;
  • Negotiating agreements/contracts with literary agents/authors;

Commissioning Editor Requirements / Skills / Qualifications

Commissioning Editor job description should include these common skills and qualifications:

  • A degree in publishing
  • Masters degree in publishing is an added advantage
  • Interpersonal and communication skills
  • Planning and organizational skills
  • Negotiating skills
  • Research skills
  • Tact and diplomacy
  • Ability to think creatively and commercially
  • Capability to work to tight deadlines
  • Proactive approach to work
  • Tenacity and self-motivation
  • Financial management skills
  • Ability to work well in a team
  • Aptitude for project management
  • Competence in IT.

As a hiring manager, recruiting an ideal Commissioning Editor starts with crafting a good job description. Use this Commissioning Editor job description template to save yourself time and help you attract the most qualified candidates. Feel free to revise it to meet your specific needs.

Job seekers interviewing for the role of a Commissioning Editor may also reference it in preparation for the interview.