Commissioning Editor (Maternity Cover)

Legend Times is looking for 12 months Maternity Cover from March 2021 for its Commissioning Editor role for Legend Press, its fiction publishing company.


This role will be focussed on developing and implementing the editorial strategy for the list, including managing and structurally editing already commissioned titles where applicable as well as reviewing and sourcing new titles for 2022 and onwards.


This is an opportunity to work in a varied, dynamic and key role and would be a great fit for someone who enjoys identifying and securing opportunities, working creatively, building relationships with authors and overseeing the full publishing process.


Key Duties


  • Implementing the existing and further evolving the editorial strategy for the fiction list in conjunction with management.

  • Reviewing submissions both from literary agents and direct submissions from authors. Deciding which to further review, including contacting the agent or author for the full manuscript and requesting any further information that would be helpful to decide whether to publish the work.

  • Costing of projects to ensure meeting of schedule and budget requirements and then proposing works for publication in 2022 and onwards at regular acquisitions meetings.

  • Identifying key trends in the market and sourcing the authors to write within these trends as well as keeping existing authors informed of trends for their own writing. An awareness also of packaging trends.

  • Create a strategy for boosting the quality, range and relevance of submissions, including working with new agents, publishers and other organisations, as well as outreach to directly discover talented new fiction writers.

  • Negotiating and agreeing deals for new titles with authors directly or via agents in line with agreed acquisition budgets and targets and issuing of contracts.

  • Where required, structural editing of existing books, to include initial discussion and detailed editorial notes, several rounds of changes and resubmission from the author until the work is fully creatively developed and ready to proceed to line editing.

  • Management of full editorial process through to publication, including sending to relevant persons for line-editing, proofreading and typesetting through to creation of final files by production and maintaining these deadlines.

  • Setting out an editorial timetable with each new author and liaising with relevant team members to ensure books are correctly listed, announced and promotional and sales plans created for them by the appropriate persons.

  • Helping to ensure that all books are produced to the highest possible standard both for editorial and design.

  • Working closely with authors through the editorial process and onwards once their books are launched.

  • Managing or completing tasks relating to own titles including: writing blurbs and AI copy, producing and leading cover briefs, liaising with designers, authors and team members, signing off proofs and support of title metadata.

  • Presenting list and editorial direction of lists at sales reps conferences as requested by the sales team.

  • Take part in regular reviews of sales performance with the overall team to help inform the future editorial direction of the lists.

  • Attend book fairs and publishing conferences where applicable.




  • Support general office administration as required in a small closely-working team.

  • Being able to work to and achieve pre-agreed work targets and to present and provide updates to the Legend Times Board as requested.


Experience/Skills Required


  • Minimum 3 years publishing or applicable experience, preferably including editorial experience and working with fiction.

  • Knowledge of the relevant market and the strategy of potential competitors.

  • Vital to have strong editorial ability, both in creativity and also in attention to detail, as well as strong verbal and communication skills.

  • Ability to adapt well within short time frames.

  • Strong interpersonal skills in particular working with and enthusing authors and making them feel valued and key to the process.

  • Excellent time-management skills and ability to handle a diverse workload under pressure. Thorough organisation skills including updating the progress of each project and monitoring deadlines.

  • Experience in developing and implementing an ambitious but achievable strategy.

  • Good at working to targets in a fast-moving business environment with a strong appetite for learning and personal development as well as a passion for new challenges.

  • Enthusiasm for existing titles as well as pitching new projects.

  • Good working knowledge of standard software, such as Microsoft and Adobe programmes and Google sheets.


Place of work: 51 Gower Street, London WC1E 6HJ*. Your standard working hours will be 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday. You will need to be flexible and work longer hours as required.


*Due to the current Covid-19 pandemic, all staff are working remotely from home with flexibility likely to continue over the next year and onwards. It is therefore likely that the role will include both home and office work once government rules allow a return to offices.


To apply: Interested candidates should submit a CV and cover letter, including salary requirements, to The deadline for applications is Friday 22nd January 2021.

Work Experience

We are currently offering 2 week (unpaid) work experience placements, covering a wide range of areas including editing, sales, media and marketing, please email with your CV and cover letter.