Wednesday 02 October 2019

Commissioning Content: Working effectively with authors and editors

Please contact to find out if this course is running in 2020. It is available as an in-house event to ALPSP members. Please contact for details.


This course considers ways in which to develop and manage a commercially successful academic journal and book programme. Taking delegates step-by-step through the commissioning process, it aims to provide practical advice, relevant tips and techniques to commission and solicit successful content and titles – from market scanning and community development through to proposal management and eventual publication. It also considers appropriate financial forecasting models.


  • Commissioning – key activities and considerations
  • Commissioning and soliciting content for existing journal titles
  • Commissioning a new journal launch title
  • Commissioning a new book title – from proposal to publication
  • Preparing a proposal, including market scanning techniques and financial planning
  • Building effective relationships with authors and editors
  • List management and development
  • Relationships with key stakeholders in journals and book publishing
  • Identifying high-profile authors to target for article content
  • Influencing skills and change management
  • Key business issues affecting managing editors and publishers

What will you learn?

Utilise appropriate market scanning techniques, approach potential new authors and editors with increased confidence, prepare more effective proposals and develop successful lists, analyse and critically evaluate commercial opportunities, manage contracts and schedules effectively and develop techniques to avoid bad decisions.

Who should attend (Level 2)

This course is aimed at commissioning editors and managing editors involved in a new launch programme or book list commissioning role with one to two years’ experience. Staff newly appointed to these positions will also benefit.

Delegate Comments

“This was a truly enlightening course. Full of best practice tips to empower the commissioning editor.” Helen Lewer, PEI Media

"Great dynamic between the presenters, I am confident that the course will add polish to my commissioning skills.” James Tyrrell, IOP Publishing

"Perfect mix of detailed and broad topics, some really great tips." Lauren Gonnella, Springer London

It was so generous of you to share all of your tricks and secrets with the rest of us. I had no idea how to start commissioning, and now I feel like I have a plan and a lot more confidence.

Nicole Edmondson, UCL IOE Press


Merlin Fox, World Scientific Publishing

498 Merlin FoxAfter a spell in environmental science research, Merlin began his publishing career as an assistant editor at the Royal Society of Chemistry in 2004. He moved to the RSC books department in 2006, and aside from commissioning books was also involved in the RSC eBook programme, and a series of visits to university libraries across the USA. Since 2014 he has been commissioning books across several scientific disciplines for World Scientific Publishing. Merlin gives regular masterclasses to MA publishing students at UCL and Anglia Ruskin University and he has previously tutored on the ALPSP Taking eBooks to Market course.

Nicola Davies, Microbiology Society

Nicola Wise PictureNicola has over 10 years’ experience of working in STM Publishing having held various publishing positions at the Microbiology Society and the Royal Society of Chemistry. She is experienced in managing and launching new journal titles; setting, developing and implementing journal strategies; and developing best authorship and readership for journals.

Early bird rates for members - Book by 2 July 2019*

Not an ALPSP member?  Want to take advantage of the reduced member rates? Click here to find out how your organization can join ALPSP

Members early bird            £382.00 (+VAT where applicable)
 full price             £425.00 (+ VAT where applicable) 
Non Members full price     £619.00 (+VAT where applicable)
Academic rates are available, please contact

Venue: West One (De Vere), 9-10 Portland Place, London, W1B 1PR, T: +44 (0)20 7034 9700 (map)
This course will commence at 09:30 (registration, with tea/coffee, from 09:00) and end at approximately 17:00
 Melissa Marshall T: +44 (0)1622 871035 E: 

How to book
Please note that you will need to log in to your account or register a new account to book a place on this training course. If you have any questions about this please email Melissa Marshall or any of the ALPSP team.

*In order to take advantage of the early bird discount for ALPSP members, you must (i) make a booking by 2 July 2019 and (ii)
 be an ALPSP member on the date of the event. In the event that you cancel your membership prior to the event, you agree to pay ALPSP the difference between the discounted price and the full price for the event.”

Any discounts will be applied at checkout.


Upcoming Dates for this event

  • Wed 02 Oct 2019
  • Wed 02 Oct 2019
  • West One, ,