Course: What the Supremely Confident Commissioning Editor/Publisher Needs to Know


When we’re new to a publishing/commissioning role, we often lack confidence but even when we’ve been in the role for a few years, the weight of responsibility of managing a successful list or of being targeted with increasing a company’s market share can be overwhelming. This one‐day course will help you take practical steps to achieving more confidence in the responsible role that you have in your organisation.


  • Defining the role of a Commissioning Editor/Publisher: what sort of person do you need to be? What skills, experience, and approach is needed to be successful?
  • What tactics does a Commissioning Editor employ to develop new concepts, find new titles, nurture new author relationships?
  • What difference does digital make? Should our commissioning approach be any different to print?
  • Understanding how we need to instill confidence in colleagues so that proposals are accepted and are given the resource they require
  • Developing confidence in your market: how to develop market‐led proposals for products your customers will want to buy
  • How to develop relationships with the best authors and ensure your authors deliver on time
  • How to hone your business common sense so that your commercial approach will help you plan for profit and improve market share


  • A set of practical tools to present commercial, market‐focused proposals to your acquisitions board and instil your colleagues with confidence
  • More confidence to work assertively with authors and get them to deliver on time to support in‐house tight publishing schedules
  • More self‐assurance to be accepted as the in‐house expert of  your own market sector and practical skills to help you develop better market knowledge
  • A better idea of the in‐house commercial world of publishing and how you have to earn the respect of senior colleagues in order to best support your own publishing


  • New, inexperienced commissioning editors/publishers who want to be taken seriously
  • More experienced commissioning editors/publishers who want to assert their authority amongst peers, authors, sales representatives or senior management and be respected for the responsibilities they fulfill
  • All commissioning editors/publishers who may be daunted by the prospect of building a significant list or who have tough sales targets to meet
  • All commissioning editors/publishers who experience one or two tricky relationships in their role, but know they have to engineer a strong team approach to tackle the challenges of successful publishing


Mary James has more than 20 years’ experience in educational publishing, working across full curriculum range from primary through to secondary and post-16 college work. She has always faced the editorial challenge of creating new products in a competitive marketplace to grow market share with enthusiasm. Her last corporate role  was at HarperCollins Publishers in London as Editorial Director in their Educational division.

Mary set up innoved  to provide research and consultancy services for the schools market about 8 years ago and helps publishing organisations identify exactly what it  is teachers want to use in the classroom. She also helps publishers develop their own market research skills by  providing bespoke, in-house training sessions. Mary has delivered training and presentations for the Publishing Training Centre, London, The Society of Authors and a range of publishing companies, including Nelson Thornes, Hodder, Oxford University Press,  and  the Catholic Truth Society.

Date: 4 April 2011, Monday
Time: 9:00am – 5:00pm
Venue: Imagination Room, Level 5, National Library

For more information or to register, visit us at Please read the Terms and Conditions carefully before registering.

Tel: (65) 6848 8290

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