Established in 1986
Prize winning authors
Worldwide offices

Commissioning Editor, Academic (Zed Books)

Salary Competitive
Location London
Mergefield Title {Mergefield Value}
Mergefield Title {Mergefield Value}

This is a Permanent, Full Time vacancy that will close in {x} days at {xx:xx} BST.

Commissioning Editor – International Development, Economics and African Studies (zed books), Academic Division

The opportunity

This is an exciting opportunity for a Commissioning Editor to lead rapidly growing lists in Bloomsbury’s award-winning Academic Division. Building on the best of Zed Books’ publishing in International Development, Economics and African Studies, the role will offer opportunities to work with major scholars, writers and institutional partners in these fields. Key books include Linda Tuhiwai Smith’s Decolonizing Methodologies and Yanis Varoufakis’ The Global Minotaur.

Working as part of a supportive and inclusive team, you will assume commercial responsibility and provide strategic direction for this growing list.

The role

  • Provides the strategic direction and is commercially responsible for the core Zed Books lists in International Development, Economics and African Studies.
  • Acts as the Editorial Subject Lead for Digital Resource products, working in collaboration with project teams, including commissioning and coordinating of ongoing editorial content
  • Researches new product lines and markets for Books
  • Identifies, manages and secures new and existing Book and Digital Resource publishing partnerships
  • Ensures that the Zed Books lists meet key business goals: global growth plans, revenue, budgets, no. of projects, product mix, profit.
  • Acts as a spokesperson for the list and the Bloomsbury Academic Division, representing its key values, objectives and policies

Skills, Knowledge and Experience

Commissioning & List Management

  • Identifies and pursues lucrative new opportunities (markets, product types, partnerships) within subject areas
  • Utilizes market awareness and understanding to inform future publishing strategy for products/lists/portfolios
  • Commissions to pre-agreed annual turnover and product line targets
  • Commissions and assesses proposals for new projects according to an agreed no. of titles and product mix (reference works, monographs, edited collections, textbooks, supplementary/trade titles, backlist revisions) 
  • Develops and maintains strong working relationships with authors, volume editors, series editors and third party publishing partners to ensure a high standard of author care throughout the publishing process
  • Coordinates peer review and market research so as to progress proposals to approval
  • Negotiates contracts with authors and partners 
  • Manages timetabling of projects under contract
  • Liaises with the Production Department to ensure that books are published to budget and schedule
  • Liaises with Marketing and Sales Departments for the effective promotion of the list and monitors sales performance.
  • Attends academic conferences and represents the company at events as appropriate
  • Ensures all metadata relating to frontlist and backlist is accurately managed within the team to a high standard and according to Key Dates

Staff Management

  • Potential to manage one direct report/s to meet annual business objectives.
  • Ensures direct report/s adheres to editorial guidelines, procedures and best practice
  • Provides clear direction and SMART (Specific Measurable Achievable Realistic and Time bound) targets for direct reports so as to enable them to meet publishing schedule, key dates  and MS handover targets

Coordination & Administration

  • Oversees the annual frontlist and keeps titles to schedule, budgeted revenue and profit targets
  • Performs annual list budgeting and reforecasting duties to a high standard, keeping slippage well below the 10% tolerance threshold for no. of titles that have slipped out of the fiscal year
  • Maintains databases and systems to ensure a high level of accuracy of information
  • Manages information systems for collection, retrieval, and use of data for decision-making

Additional information

The role is a full-time permanent position.  The role is based at our London office 50 Bedford Square, London, WC1B 3DP on a hybrid working pattern of 2 days office based / 3 days home based (or fully office based if preferred).  Allocated office days for this role are: Wednesday and Thursday


Please apply with a CV and covering letter addressed to Human Resources (Word or PDF format only) detailing how you meet the requirements outlined above for this role by Friday 14th January, 2022

Bloomsbury Benefits

As well as a fantastic opportunity to join a global award-winning organisation, Bloomsbury offers competitive benefits, generous staff discounts and flexible working arrangements.

Working Pattern

  • hybrid working pattern of: 2 days office based / 3 days home based (or fully office based if preferred)


  • 25 days holiday
  • 3.5 days Christmas company holiday

Other Benefits:

Flexible Fridays – take Friday afternoon off by working an additional 3 hours and 45 minutes earlier in the week

Season Ticket Loan

Share Save Scheme

In-house Doctor

Eye Care Voucher Scheme

Mob Group – online fitness classes, mindfulness, cookery classes, workshops etc.

Company culture! – Employee Voice Meetings, Staff Networks (BAME, Disability, Mental Health, LGBTQ+ and Parents, Guardians and Carers), 15 Mental Health First Aiders trained across the UK offices, Publishing Events and access to free Publishing Resources

For additional benefits see below

Bloomsbury is willing to make any reasonable adjustments throughout the recruitment process, please flag to the recruitment team if required

Applicants must have the legal right to work in the UK.


Bloomsbury Publishing Plc.

Bloomsbury Publishing is a leading independent publishing house, established in 1986, with authors who have won the Nobel, Pulitzer and Booker Prizes, and is the originating publisher and custodian of the Harry Potter series. Bloomsbury has offices in London, New York, New Delhi, Oxford and Sydney. Within Bloomsbury’s Academic division, it publishes under Bloomsbury, as well as under a number of prestigious and historic imprint names. Read Our Story for how it all began. 

 Bloomsbury is committed to creating a working environment that stimulates creativity and collaboration, is respectful of difference, is inclusive and ethical in its practice, and promotes well-being. We are determined to nurture and develop our employees to reach their highest potential, and we know that our success is down to the passion, commitment and hard work of our talented people. We recognise the urgent need to attract and support applicants from all backgrounds and identities to become part of the global publishing industry, allowing diverse voices to reflect and shape our culture and society.

Please read more on our Missions and Values here.

Please read our environmental policy here.


Flexible Working

Life Insurance

Staff Discount on Books

Employee Assistance Programmes (EAP)

Bike to Work

Here’s what some of our employees had to say about joining Bloomsbury:

“It’s a friendly team, I feel part of a community and there’s such a breadth and variety of publishing”

Marketing Executive, Academic

“There is a passion for books and authors. People want to read and that comes from the top”

Commissioning Editor, Special Interest

“Bloomsbury has a strong International outlook, it’s good to be part of a global publishing team.”

Intern, Education

To read more about what it’s like to work for us please click here.

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