Commissioning and List Management


Group studying a chartThis is the definitive course for commissioning editors who seek the skills necessary to build profitable publishing lists.

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 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 publications and work with colleagues performing other functions, particularly sales and marketing. You'll also get a clearer understanding of financial management and costings, and discover ways of managing yourself and your time to better effect.

A case study is a key part of the course. Working in a group, you'll develop a full publishing project - from title and content, through costings to marketing plans - and present your proposals to a 'board of directors'.

Group sessions are led by expert tutors, ensuring a variety of teaching styles, experience and pace. The elegant venue provides an atmosphere conducive to learning and networking, resulting in hugely rewarding relationship-building opportunities. After four days of hard work, you'll leave the course tired but inspired!

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.


Enrol on this course

Learn how to…

  • develop a publishing list that meets company 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
  • 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 world of publishing
    • The role of the commissioning editor
    • Digital decision-making
    • Introduction of the case study
  • Day 2
    • Understanding publishing finance
    • Understanding and sizing the market
  • Day 3
    • 21st-century sales and marketing
    • Contracts, permissions and the law
    • Working with authors
  • Day 4
    • Strategic list management
    • Case study presentations
    • Presentation of project proposals to 'board of directors'
    • Feedback and conclusions

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
Residential Monday to Thursday, date shown is the first day of the course


  • 17 September 2018
  • 23 September 2019


A number of discounts are available

Delegate feedback:

"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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Copyright © 2014 The Publishing Training Centre, 6 Bell Yard, London, WC2A 2JR
The Publishing Training Centre is a registered charity. Registered name: The Publishing Training Centre Foundation, a company limited by guarantee incorporated in England and Wales.
Registration number: 1253854. Registered office: 16 High Holborn, London WC1V 6BX. Tel: +44 (0)20 8874 2718