Past Events
Thursday 04 October 2018

Commissioning Content: Working effectively with authors and editors


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

"It was useful to hear about strategies and generating leads; this doesn’t seem to be something that is passed on within the industry generally.” Jennifer Barratt,Thomas Telford Ltd

"An excellent overview of the commissioning process with really useful tips and common sense suggestions." Hannah Patrick, Cambridge University Press

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 is Publisher at the Microbiology Society where she oversees the Editorial and Development team for the journals portfolio. She joined the Microbiology Society in 2016 having previously worked at the Royal Society of Chemistry for seven years in a variety of publishing roles. She is experienced in managing and launching new journal titles; setting, developing and implementing journal strategies; and developing best authorship and readership for journals.

Booking for this event has now closed.

Early bird rates for members - Book by 9 July 2018*

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            £372.00 (+VAT where applicable)
Members full price             £413.00 (+ VAT where applicable) 
Non Members full price     £601.00 (+VAT where applicable)
Academic rates are available, please contact

Venue: Prince Philip House, 3 Carlton House Terrace, London, SW1Y 5DG T: +44 (0)20 7766 0625 (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 5 July 2018 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

  • Thu 04 Oct 2018
  • Thu 04 Oct 2018
  • Prince Philip House, ,