Commissioning and List Management


CLM 119625870

If you're an editor with responsibility for acquisitions and list-building in educational, academic or professional publishing, this unique programme – an intensive residential course – will give you the best-possible start.

Supported by top UK and international publishers, it's considered by many to be an essential element on any commissioning editor’s CV.

You'll learn how to create market-led proposals, plan a project and work with colleagues across your organisation, particularly sales and marketing. You'll also get a clear understanding of financial management and costings, and think about your own role to be as effective as possible.

Group sessions are led by expert tutors, with an unparalleled range of experience across more than 15 publishing companies and organisations. That experience brings a broad range of teaching styles to the course. And you’re welcome to bring specific questions for our tutors to address in session or 1-2-1.

A case study is a key part of the course. Working as a team, you'll develop a full publishing project - from thinking about the customer and content, through costings to marketing and launch plans - and present your proposal to a 'board of directors'. The case study is an opportunity to work through the complete project-development process and to think about your own editorial, content-creation and project-management issues.

There are opportunities for feedback and reflection throughout the week.

The elegant venue is well located near London, Oxford and Heathrow and provides a great  atmosphere for learning and networking.

After four days of creative work, you'll leave the course inspired, better connected and ready for the next phase of your commissioning career!


Who will benefit from this course?

Development editors, commissioning editors, research editors, acquisitions editors and managing editors who work in educational, academic, reference and professional publishing.

Past delegates have joined us from UK and EU educational publishers, universities, the charitable sector and professional organisations with publishing arms.


Enrol on this course

Learn how to…

    • think about and understand your role as a commissioning editor
    • develop a multimedia publishing list that meets organisational strategy and management goals
    • structure and present commercially attractive publishing proposals
    • evaluate markets and exploit publishing opportunities
    • find and keep valuable authors and negotiate author contracts
    • understand and evaluate financials
    • understand the essentials of copyright, contracts and IP ownership
    • plan for profit and return on investment.

This course contributes to PUB 2, PUB 6, PUB 11 and PUB 12 of the Book & Journal Publishing National Occupational Standards.


  • Day 1
    • The role of the commissioning editor
    • Digital decision-making
    • Introduction to the case study
    • Dinner with guest speaker
  • Day 2
    • Understanding publishing finance
    • Understanding the market: market research
  • Day 3
    • 21st-century sales and marketing
    • Contracts, permissions and the law
    • Working with authors
  • Day 4
    • Next steps: strategic list management
    • Case-study presentations
    • Presentation of project proposals to 'board of directors'
    • Feedback and conclusions

Your case study runs throughout the week.

Course Director

Paul Cherry


Venue Information

Our residential courses take place at Milton Hill House in Oxfordshire. Your course fee includes your accomodation for the duration of the course.

Related Blogs

Please read our Terms & Conditions
A four-day residential course
Commissioning and List Management will be taking a break in 2019 but will return in 2020.


A number of discounts are available

Delegate feedback:

“Everyone was telling me how good this course was and everyone was right!”

Commissioning Editor, Hodder Education, September 2018

"The course was excellent and I feel like I've learned a lot. It was certainly intense, but that was a positive, as it seemed to make everyone more focused. Paul led the course extremely well – he was always personable, upbeat and gave everybody a lot of his time. All of the speakers maintained a good balance between being authoritative and helpful.”

RIBA delegate, September 2018

 “I had reservations about enrolling on the course but it exceeded my expectations. As a freelancer, it was a big outlay for me but I'm so glad that I made this investment to increase my skills and knowledge of the publishing industry. Everything taught was so valuable and covered commissioning in just the right depth.  Thank you to all the presenters, the PTC staff and the hotel.”

Freelance Editorial Consultant, September 2018

“The element on strategic list management was excellent and one of the most useful sessions, as previously I was not very clear about this. Lots to think about! Also the tutor of contracts, permissions and law presented a potentially dry topic with flair and insight. Very useful.”

Institute of Ismaili Studies delegate, September 2018

“I achieved all my objectives. The course was excellent and gave a thorough overview of the commissioning role.  It reinforced my current skills and gave me greater confidence when pitching proposals and in my day-to day-role.” Commissioning Editor, Oxford University Press delegate, September 2018

“The course was extremely enjoyable, challenging and beneficial to my career development. All the sessions were excellent and I now feel much more confident about applying for Commissioning-level roles in the future.”

Freelance Senior Development Editor, September 2018

“The course was excellent with lots of information to go away with and digest. Really valuable that the sessions were led by publishers with a deep knowledge of their subject, rather than specialists such as accountants and lawyers.” Commissioning Editor, Oxford University Press, September 2018

I thoroughly enjoyed the course! The group work (case study) was excellent. At first, it seemed quite intimidating, but it gave a fantastic opportunity to collaborate with publishers from a variety of backgrounds and companies, and by the end we all felt that we'd really pulled together and made a plausible, detailed proposal!”

Commissioning Editor, Hodder Education, September 2018

"I succeeded in getting exactly what I wanted out of the course, and gave a very a well-paced overview of commissioning with just the right amount of detail."
Freelance Commissioning Editor, 2017

"I now feel confident with financials - and more knowledgeable on the legal side. Generally, my confidence in my role and work has increased as a direct result of the course."
OUP delegate, 2017

"I enjoyed the course very much and have found the content, as well as the case study exercise, very pertinent and helpful in developing my confidence/experience within the role".
Pearson delegate, 2017

"A very good all-round introduction to commissioning and list management. I would definitely recommend that commissioning editors participate in this course during their first years in the position."
Samfundslitteratur Delegate, 2017

"This was my second PTC course. I found it very beneficial, informative, and challenging. The course leaders are very professional, well-connected and welcoming individuals (making the effort to speak to all and include them)."
Elsevier delegate, 2017

"I would not hesitate to recommend it. The quality of the sessions was very high. I go away feeling inspired!"
Pearson Education delegate

"I thoroughly enjoyed this course and feel I have gained a great deal of valuable knowledge which will be hugely beneficial in my new role. I’ve developed an enthusiasm and confidence in my commissioning abilities and look forward to putting these skills into practice."
Hodder Gibson delegate

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