In book publishing, a commissioning editor is essentially a buyer. It is the job of the commissioning editor to advise the publishing house on which books to publish. Usually the actual decision of whether to contract a book is taken by a senior manager rather than the editor. Some magazines also employ commissioning editors.
The other roles of commissioning editors vary between companies. Usually they are also responsible for ensuring that authors under contract deliver typescripts to specification and on time. They thus have an author management role. They usually have responsibility for ensuring that typescripts are of sufficient quality. In this, especially in textbook and reference publishing, commissioning editors may be assisted by development editors or assistant editors. Furthermore, in textbook companies, this role is responsible for managing title revisions, signing new authors, and ensuring products are profitable.
In some (usually small) companies, commissioning editors are also responsible for overseeing the copy-editing, typesetting, proofreading, and design of books, although in other companies this responsibility is assumed by other staff e.g. Managing Editors, House Editors, and Production Editors.
Commissioning editors are also often responsible for managing books that have already been published, for example by ensuring that stock levels are adequate and advising on when a book needs to be reprinted.
Commissioning editors may commission in a number of ways:
Sometimes the phrase Acquisitions Editor is used. This is a near synonym for Commissioning Editor. Possibly the word "Acquisitions" implies more emphasis on types (4) and (5) above.
Commissioning has not been formulated into a profession. There is little formal training available. Recently there has been some attempt in the UK to articulate and establish professional standards. Most commissioning editors work up to the post through experience in other roles e.g. Editorial Assistant. Some editors see the post as a stepping stone to a senior management job (e.g. Publisher, Editorial Director, Publishing Director); others are content to remain in the post and to build a reputation as a star editor.
There is little consensus on what makes good commissioning editors, though most people in the industry would agree that the following are desirable and important:
An author is the creator or originator of any written work such as a book or play, and is also considered a writer. More broadly defined, an author is "the person who originated or gave existence to anything" and whose authorship determines responsibility for what was created.
Publishing is the activity of making information, literature, music, software and other content available to the public for sale or for free. Traditionally, the term refers to the distribution of printed works, such as books, newspapers, and magazines. With the advent of digital information systems, the scope has expanded to include electronic publishing such as ebooks, academic journals, micropublishing, websites, blogs, video game publishing, and the like.
Editing is the process of selecting and preparing written, photographic, visual, audible, or cinematic material used by a person or an entity to convey a message or information. The editing process can involve correction, condensation, organisation, and many other modifications performed with an intention of producing a correct, consistent, accurate and complete piece of work.
Random House is an American book publisher and the largest general-interest paperback publisher in the world. It is part of Penguin Random House, which is owned by German media conglomerate Bertelsmann.
Content management (CM) is a set of processes and technologies that supports the collection, managing, and publishing of information in any form or medium. When stored and accessed via computers, this information may be more specifically referred to as digital content, or simply as content.
Copy editing is the process of revising written material to improve readability and fitness, as well as ensuring that text is free of grammatical and factual errors. The Chicago Manual of Style states that manuscript editing encompasses "simple mechanical corrections through sentence-level interventions to substantial remedial work on literary style and clarity, disorganized passages, baggy prose, muddled tables and figures, and the like ". In the context of print publication, copy editing is done before typesetting and again before proofreading. Outside of traditional book and journal publishing, the term copy editing is sometimes incorrectly referred to as proofreading, or the term copy editing sometimes includes additional tasks.
John Wiley & Sons, Inc., commonly known as Wiley, is an American multinational publishing company founded in 1807 that focuses on academic publishing and instructional materials. The company produces books, journals, and encyclopedias, in print and electronically, as well as online products and services, training materials, and educational materials for undergraduate, graduate, and continuing education students.
Taylor & Francis Group is an international company originating in England that publishes books and academic journals. It is a division of Informa plc, a United Kingdom–based publisher and conference company.
A financial analyst is a professional, undertaking financial analysis for external or internal clients as a core feature of the job. The role may specifically be titled securities analyst, research analyst, equity analyst, investment analyst, or ratings analyst. The job title is a broad one: in banking, and industry more generally, various other analyst-roles cover financial management and (credit) risk management, as opposed to focusing on investments and valuation; these are also discussed in this article. The term “financial analyst” is not usually taken to include quantitative analysts, or “quants”.
Routledge is a British multinational publisher. It was founded in 1836 by George Routledge, and specialises in providing academic books, journals and online resources in the fields of humanities, behavioural science, education, law, and social science. The company publishes approximately 1,800 journals and 5,000 new books each year and their backlist encompasses over 70,000 titles. Routledge is claimed to be the largest global academic publisher within humanities and social sciences.
Publishers Weekly (PW) is an American weekly trade news magazine targeted at publishers, librarians, booksellers, and literary agents. Published continuously since 1872, it has carried the tagline, "The International News Magazine of Book Publishing and Bookselling". With 51 issues a year, the emphasis today is on book reviews.
In academia and librarianship, conference proceeding is a collection of academic papers published in the context of an academic conference or workshop. Conference proceedings typically contain the contributions made by researchers at the conference. They are the written record of the work that is presented to fellow researchers. In many fields, they are published as supplements to academic journals; in some, they are considered the main dissemination route; in others they may be considered grey literature. They are usually distributed in printed or electronic volumes, either before the conference opens or after it has closed.
A managing editor (ME) is a senior member of a publication's management team. Typically, the managing editor reports directly to the editor-in-chief and oversees all aspects of the publication.
A contributing editor is a newspaper, magazine or online job title that varies in its responsibilities. Often, but not always, a contributing editor is a "high-end" freelancer, consultant, or expert who has proven ability and has readership draw. This contributing editor would regularly contribute articles to the publication but does not always edit articles. Here the title "editor" implies a certain level of prestige rather than a more traditional editing role. In other instances, however, a contributing editor may oversee projects or specific aspects of a publication and have more regular editing duties. At smaller magazines, the title can imply a staff member with regular writing responsibility and some editorial duties. Magazines, websites, books, sources, and journals utilize contributing editors.
Materials management is a core supply chain function and includes supply chain planning and supply chain execution capabilities. Specifically, materials management is the capability firms use to plan total material requirements. The material requirements are communicated to procurement and other functions for sourcing. Materials management is also responsible for determining the amount of material to be deployed at each stocking location across the supply chain, establishing material replenishment plans, determining inventory levels to hold for each type of inventory, and communicating information regarding material needs throughout the extended supply chain.
A chief procurement officer (CPO) undertakes an executive role within an enterprise, focusing on sourcing, procurement, and supply management.
Omniscriptum Publishing Group, formerly known as VDM Verlag Dr. Müller, is a German publishing group headquartered in Riga, Latvia. Founded in 2002 in Düsseldorf, its book production is based on print-to-order technology.
The term director is a title given to the senior management staff of businesses and other large organisations.
Developmental editing is a form of writing support that comes into play before or during the production of a publishable manuscript, especially in the area of non-fiction writing. As explained by Scott Norton in his book Developmental editing: a handbook for freelancers, authors, and publishers, developmental editing involves "significant structuring or restructuring of a manuscript's discourse". Developmental editors are a type of language professional.
Clarke, Irwin & Company was a Canadian publishing house based in Toronto, Ontario. Established in 1930, it was purchased by Thomas Nelson Publishing in 2002. The company published works by prominent Canadian authors, artists, and poets, including Robertson Davies, Emily Carr, A.Y. Jackson, Adele Wiseman, Timothy Findley, and Alden Nowlan. The company was also known as a producer of educational works and textbooks.
The standard work on the subject is Gill Davies' Book Commissioning and Acquisition (Routledge).