HarperCollins Publishers

  • Acquisitions Editor - Children's Picture Books

    Job Locations US-MI-Grand Rapids
  • Overview

    Responsible for acquiring titles for Zonderkidz readers who are ages 0 to 8, which includes premium picture books, board books, general picture books, I Can Read books, storybook Bibles, and coloring or activity books. Strategize and manage title plans for product categories to ensure the publishing group produces the budgeted amount of product to meet annual fiscal goals; work with the Publishing Operations staff, Creative team, Sales team, and Assistant Editor to maintain work flow, quality product development, and on-time releases that support budget goals; develop and maintain excellent relationships with authors, illustrators, agents, and external partners; create strategic proprietary products; vision cast and oversee the product pipeline for four-color products; participate in weekly editorial meetings, and Kidz Executive Team meetings; present to Sales representatives; assist with outlining the annual publishing plan including potential drop-in titles; project manage a multitude of titles.


    The Acquisitions Editor may be assigned any and/or all of the following responsibilities for a particular title. In some cases, the AE will do the work themselves, in others they will work with the Senior Managing Editor, Managing Editor or Editorial Coordinator to assign resources including freelance vendors. But in all cases the project will be the responsibility of the Acquisitions Editor with accountability and collaboration with the resources for each project.


    • Craft the four-color front list product selections that support year-over-year revenue and EBITDA growth.
    • Acquire new product via work with authors, illustrators, agents, outside partners or proprietary development.
    • Develop new book concepts on trend for the current marketplace.
    • Conduct the macro edit on the first draft of any manuscript and ensure editorial excellence by assisting or writing content.
    • Communicate and collaborate effectively with internal and external stakeholders.
    • Meet or beat deadlines set by the Senior Managing Editor.
    • Review submissions from authors and agents as well as identify new authors to contract.
    • Develop and maintain strong relationships with authors, agents, illustrators, and partner organizations.
    • Maintain low expenses, meeting or beating the budgeted amount allowed for each project.
    • Coordinate with the Creative team to select illustrators, provide art direction, secure any author approvals, and make sure art enhances salability of the book.
    • Oversee cover direction and lead team discussions regarding the cover, titling, and details relating to each book.
    • Present titles to the Zonderkidz Executive Team and Sales Pub Board attendees for approval and support.
    • Complete and submit Product Development (PD) documents to the Managing Editor and work closely with the Managing Editor to ensure Advanced Profit and Loss (APLs) numbers are meeting benchmarks.
    • Complete and submit applicable Contract Request forms to the Senior Managing Editor in a timely manner.
    • Write and prepare proposals to present to authors and agents with the intention of acquiring products.
    • Collaborate with the Zondervan Trade team to coordinate plans and bring product to market in a timely manner.
    • Work directly with Marketing team members to introduce them to authors as well as brainstorm marketing and PR plans for each title.
    • Review product financials and write Deal Point Memos to secure agreements.
    • Report in project software on assigned tasks in a timely manner.

    In addition, the Acquisitions Editor is responsible for the following:

    • Serve as a member of the Kidz Executive Team and participate in discussions regarding acquisitions, titles, specs, covers, on-sale dates, etc.
    • Supervise or mentor student interns or new editors as needed.



    Knowledge: Ability to accurately, efficiently, and economically perform the above duties, producing quality books that reflect editorial excellence and support the HCCP mission statement.


    Work Experience: Minimum of 5 years editorial experience with at least 3 years of acquisitions and macro editiorial experience.


    Education: Bachelor’s Degree in English, Communications, or similar area


    Industry Knowledge: Working knowledge of the publishing industry. Experience creating children’s books and/or 4-color books or magazines. Experience communicating with authors or high-profile personalities.



    • Ability to discern quality of a strong children’s product both visually and editorially
    • Able to work collaboratively within a team to lead concepting of material and spearhead the development of resources
    • Proven editorial skills in shaping excellent written text
    • Competent computer software skills




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