Introduction to the role
The role will sit within Voyager, HarperCollins’ hugely successful and growing SFF imprint, with responsibility across both Voyager and Magpie, the new YA fiction imprint. The role will have specific responsibility for driving the strategy and editorial acquisitions for both imprints as well as hands-on management of authors. The Publishing Director will build and manage a list of popular and bestselling authors, taking their books from pitch to publication and beyond.
HarperVoyager and Magpie Books is proud to lead the Science Fiction and Fantasy markets and is looking for a publishing director who wants to set the new trends as well as honouring the heritage of the imprint. We don’t look for the bestsellers of today, we look for the bestsellers of the future.
Being a senior part of the team is a key element of the role, working alongside colleagues in the immediate team as well as the wider publishing division. Building strong relationships across departments will be crucial, ensuring that this busy list continues to deliver the excellent results it is renowned for.
Key tasks and accountabilities
Drive strategy for the relevant imprints and authors in line with requirements from the Publisher and Exec Publisher
Steer editorial strategy for their areas at all times and deliver creative, innovative publishing that is commercially successful and contributes strongly to the division’s growth targets
Identify market trends and publishing opportunities, feeding these into the acquisition strategy for the list
Superb author care: day-to-day responsibility as editor for a wide range of authors, including some of the most significant authors on the list, taking their books from pitch to publication and driving strategy for their publishing as well as delivering editorial vision, hands-on editing and regular publishing updates
Use agent and scout contacts to attract the best new submissions and talent to the list, looking for bestsellers of the future and ensuring HC sees all the biggest new books
Oversee timely and cost-conscious publishing management of their list, working with Production and Pub Ops to ensure titles run to Critical Path
Review, develop, maintain and deliver profitable publishing plans in line with divisional targets, setting and maintaining publishing schedules and responding to changing market needs as appropriate
Ensure best-in-class publishing across the list and the very best care of their own stable of authors.
Work closely with the senior team to maximise all opportunities afforded by world rights including Rights, Audio and Harper 360
Plan, champion and execute a profitable and market-orientated publishing strategy for their titles across all formats including digital and audio
Develop and execute the publishing strategies for authors
Develop long-term relations with authors and agents
Contribute fully to sales, marketing and plans, ensuring strong and effective involvement of the Sales and Marketing teams in title, brand and author development
Contribute positively to sales, marketing and publicity plans through informed market knowledge
Experience / skills required
Track record of publishing bestsellers within the genre
An innovative and creative approach to publishing
Strong understanding of the publishing process and relationship management
Experience in a senior commissioning role
Strong financial/commercial awareness, including analysing sales data and market trends
Excellent communication skills
A network of strong agent, rights director and scout contacts in the UK and US
Track record of excellent author management and relationships
HarperVoyager is the Science Fiction and Fantasy imprint of HarperCollins Publishers and in 2023 was awarded Imprint of the Year at the British Book Awards, with Publisher Natasha Bardon crowned Editor of the year and Babel by R.F. Kuang becoming the Fiction Book of the Year.
Voyager publishes some of the biggest names in the genre, such as George R.R. Martin, Ray Bradbury, Isaac Asimov, Robin Hobb, Jay Kristoff, R.F. Kuang, Sue Lynn Tan and Shannon Chakraborty. Magpie Books is a new YA fiction imprint which launched in January 2023 and includes YA fantasy, science fiction, speculative romance and horror.
Hybrid working model (2+ days in the office)
28 days holiday plus bank holidays (option to buy and sell holiday days)
Enhanced pay for maternity, paternity, adoption and shared parental leave
Private healthcare cover and life assurance
Free access to HeadSpace, employee assistance programme (24 hour helpline), mental health first aiders, and a wellbeing portal
Season ticket loans (from day 1 for entry level) and cycle to work scheme
Employee networks: HC All In (open forum), Elevate (for ethnic minority colleagues), HarperParents, Menopause at Work and Pride at HC
Unlimited training on our Learning and Development portal, management courses (up to MA level) and mentoring programmes
Virtual GP and eyecare vouchers
Gym membership discount
Onsite physiotherapy (London only)
Charitable donation matching and volunteering day
We're a certified Carbon Neutral company
Free e-books and audiobooks, newspaper subscriptions and discounts on books
Subsidised canteen and retail discounts
Onsite prayer room
If you wish to discuss anything regarding this position and/or your application to this role, please reach out directly to our Talent Acquisition Manager at email@example.com with subject heading ‘Vacancy Query’ plus the job title and we will aim to get back to you within 5 working days.