Media / Digital Media

Commissioning Editor

Commissioning editors select new authors, titles and ideas for publication that they think will sell well.

  • Entry-level education

    Bachelor’s degree

  • Job outlook

    1 2 3 4 5

What does a Commissioning Editor do?

Commissioning editors select new authors, titles and ideas for publication that they think will sell well. They also monitor the performance of published titles.

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Work activities

As a commissioning editor, you would:

  • keep up to date with trends in hardcopy and online publishing
  • identify future markets and new products
  • evaluate book proposals and manuscripts
  • develop ideas for publications and identify suitable authors
  • prepare publishing proposals, including costings, projected sales and income
  • issue contracts to authors and agents
  • in magazine publishing, commission writers to produce articles and features
  • make decisions on reprinting or revising publications, and on putting titles out of print
  • make sure that publishing schedules are followed and deadlines are met.
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Key skills and interests

To become a commissioning editor, you would need:

  • excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • negotiating skills
  • project management and planning skills
  • financial management and budgeting skills
  • the ability to work to deadlines
  • to be commercial savvy
  • familiarity with word processing and publishing software.
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Working hours and conditions

Working Hours

Commissioning editors work long and irregular hours, including evenings.

Conditions

As a commissioning editor, you would usually be based in an office, but would travel to meet with clients and authors. You may have the opportunity to travel nationally or internationally, to attend publishing fairs, for example.

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How to become an Commissioning Editor?

Entry Level Education

You would usually require a degree in communications, journalism, professional writing, English, media studies or a related field. To get into these courses you usually need to gain your senior secondary school certificate or equivalent with English.

Commissioning editors are usually senior editorial staff with extensive experience in the publishing industry, having progressed through roles such as editorial assistants and copy editors. You may also need to provide evidence of a wide range of reading and general interests.

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Job outlook

  • 1 2 3 4 5

Employment of editors and commissioning editors is projected to remain neutral, as hardcopy media continues to face strong pressure from online publications.

Despite some job growth for commissioning editors in online media, the number of jobs in print / book publishing is declining and will temper overall employment growth.

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