Job title: Commissioning editor
Salary: Up to £32,000 p.a.
Location: Field-based


The BCS Publishing team is seeking a quality-driven, commercially-focused and personable Commissioning Editor to drive forward their well-established portfolio of leading IT books.

You will be forward thinking and proactive, with the ability to work collaboratively with key stakeholders to build breadth and depth into the BCS Publishing programme.

Help us to write the future of tech.

BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT, is committed to making IT good for society. We use the power of our network to bring about positive, tangible change. We champion the global IT profession and the interests of individuals, engaged in that profession, for the benefit of all.

About the role

A key role with responsibility for the definition, development and delivery of high-quality, dynamic, practitioner-focussed book publishing programme across print and digital publication formats. The Commissioning Editor will commission, develop and manage title delivery in line with customer requirements, working to meet key editorial, time-to-market and budgetary objectives.

Key responsibilities:

Work with the Head of Publishing to develop and deliver a robust practitioner publishing programme in line with the BCS themes and BCS L&D strategy.

  • Develop and prioritise a list of new title ideas based on key BCS themes and reputation, competitor analysis, target audience needs and market reach;
  • Engage in desk research, member and customer surveys, author/industry workshops and relevant BCS/industry events to identify emerging and established customer needs for practitioner publications;
  • Maintain engagement across all relevant BCS boards, committees, branches, specialist groups, forums and with individuals to build relationships, promote and develop the practitioner publishing programme;
  • Ensure that the practitioner publishing programme is aligned with BCS product build plans and BCS community activities as appropriate;
  • Explore appropriate print and digital publication types and features as required to support title delivery and meet or exceed customer needs.

Commission and manage new print and digital publications, leading the P&L review process, from concept to contract.

  • Ensure completion of new title proposals, including peer review by appropriate internal and external stakeholders and subject matter experts;
  • Create incremental delivery plans in consultation with authors, editors and contributors for each title, including staged chapter peer review;
  • Collate a P&L for each title through market research, author, editor and contributor input, and in consultation with the Director of Sales, Publishing, for approval by the Head of Publishing (and/or higher level management, if required);
  • Negotiate author, editor, contributor and reviewer contracts in a timely and effective fashion, in line with the P&L targets, for authorisation by the Head of Publishing (and/or higher level management, if required).

Manage the editorial development of titles, from contract to handover to production, applying incremental delivery to meet business objectives.

  • Manage author, editor, contributor and reviewer relationships, working to apply incremental delivery and review of chapters / manuscripts;
  • Ensure regular and timely communication with authors, editors, contributors and reviewers to confirm status and progress of titles in line with contractual terms;
  • Ensure appropriate peer review of draft chapters / manuscripts by internal and/or external reviewers in a timely and effective manner prior to acceptance for publication, initiating corrective actions as necessary;
  • Manage available budget and timescales for title development, maintaining an adequate register of risks associated with delivery against target, highlighting and escalating any issues, delays or other matters arising in a timely fashion;
  • Track and report on progress and evaluate titles against set key performance indicators and recommend approaches to improve performance as necessary;
  • Gather, collate and prepare manuscript materials and associated documentation for handover to the Production Manager in a timely and effective fashion for each title.

Prepare sales & marketing collateral and contribute to planning for successful release of new titles.

  • Liaise with authors, editors, other contacts and external organisations to prepare sales & marketing collateral and contribute to the planning of release campaigns, with a particular focus on industry- and audience-engagement;
  • Produce appropriate sales & marketing collateral – including metadata, blurbs, USPs and keywords – to support standard title promotion and to inform the social media and web content for title release;
  • Consult and engage with relevant BCS colleagues to align sales & marketing collateral across Product, Press and PR activities for successful title release.

Work with colleagues to continuously improve the BCS publishing programme.

  • Make recommendations for the improvement of processes and procedures across publishing lifecycles and product types;
  • Liaise with BCS Product Managers on the alignment of the practitioner publishing programme within the wider BCS strategy and build plans as relevant;
  • Actively engage and communicate with customers / contacts as an ambassador for BCS, to build relationships, develop new ideas for the practitioner publishing programme and to promote the wider BCS strategy and build plans as relevant;
  • Support planned or ad hoc Learned Society publishing activities where required, in collaboration with the publishing team and external stakeholders.
  • Flexibility is required of all job holders to adjust responsibilities as required from time to time by their Line Manager/Divisional Director;
  • All staff will live BCS’ values and support our purpose;
  • Continually looking at ways to make improvements to systems, processes and procedures;
  • The content and reporting lines detailed in this job description may be reviewed and changed from time to time to reflect organisational requirements.

Who are we looking for?

Education and qualifications
  • 5 GCSE’s or equivalent at Grade C or above, including Maths & English


  • Degree level qualification or equivalent
  • Publishing qualification
  • Formal project management qualification
  • Demonstrable experience of book and/or practitioner publishing
  • Demonstrable experience in commissioning and editorial development, including managing authors, editors, contributors and reviewers
  • Demonstrable experience of writing book cover texts, sales & marketing collateral
  • Demonstrable experience of title management and list administration, including contract, timescale and budget management


  • Managing freelancers and suppliers, including copy editors, proof readers and typesetters
  • Learning & development content design, development and delivery
  • Facilitating committees, workshops, working groups
Competencies and skills
  • Excellent project management skills and the ability to provide full product lifecycle management
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and the credibility and confidence to build relationships with internal and external stakeholders
  • Strong written communication, oral communication, report preparation and presentation skills
  • Commercially focussed, an ability to work under pressure, to prioritise workload to achieve deadlines
  • Ability to produce well researched proposals and P&Ls
  • Excellent judgement and decision making, with an ability to think logically and deliver against business objectives


  • Digital product management skills
  • Publishing industry practices, print and digital title commissioning and development lifecycles


  • Understanding of business and IT practitioner audiences, their needs and wider market trends
Special conditions
  • Regular travel to BCS office(s)
  • Occasional travel throughout UK with overnight stays where necessary
  • Potential requirement for some overseas travel (1 per year)

BCS is dedicated to providing training and development to help all staff realise their potential, and also offer a generous benefit package.

BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT are committed to promoting equality at every opportunity as an employer. This statement and our policies are designed to ensure our recruitment and employment practices and procedures actively promote equality of opportunity and value diversity.

All applicants must be eligible to work in the UK upon application.

PLEASE NOTE: This vacancy may be removed before any listed closing date once a sufficient amount of applications have been received.

In the event that we receive a high number of applications for this vacancy, we may be unable to provide an individual response to every candidate, therefore if you haven’t heard back from us within 4 weeks of the closing date, please consider your application unsuccessful on this occasion.

How to apply

Please send your CV with a covering letter to