Wednesday 21 September 2016

Commissioning Content: Working effectively with authors and editors

This course will be running again in 2017. Please contact Melissa Marshall for dates. For in-house enquiries (members only), please contact Amanda Whiting


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

By the end of the course delegates will be able to

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.


Mila Steele, SAGE PublishingMila Steele

Mila is Senior Commissioning Editor for Media, Communication and Cultural Studies at SAGE Publications. With over ten years’ experience in academic publishing, she still works across both books and journals. She is experienced in launching journals, applying new business models to journal launches, commissioning original textbooks and bestselling new editions, getting the best out of authors and creatively managing the transition from print to online.

Merlin Fox, World Scientific PublishingMerlin Fox

After 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

 Delegate comments

"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

This course will commence at 09:30 (registration, with tea/coffee, from 09:00) and end at approximately 17:00
Members           £365.00 (+ VAT where applicable)
Non Members   £530.00 (+VAT where applicable)
Venue: 41 Portland Place, London, W1B 1QH, T: +44 (0)20 3176 2182 (Map)
Contact: 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.

Great course pitched at the perfect level and pace.

Thijs v Vlijmen,Springer

Upcoming Dates for this event

  • Wed 21 Sep 2016
  • Wed 21 Sep 2016
  • 41 Portland Place, Academy of Medical Sciences, London