In preparation for her appearance at the Dublin Book Festival’s Trade Day as part of Publishing Ireland’s panel on commissioning, Deirdre Nolan addresses some of the intricacies of her role as a commissioning editor. Stay tuned for more insights leading up to Trade Day!
What are some of the challenges in managing the list for a publisher of Gill’s size and
We publish books on a huge variety of topics, so there are many areas you need to know about, and you become a Jill of all trades. However this is an aspect of the job that I love, I think I’d be bored if I was tied into a niche and restricted in what I could publish!
What’s the worst mistake a commissioning editor can make?
Not knowing the market! Sometimes that can come down to underestimating the market – not realizing that a book that seems limited to you has the potential to reach thousands of readers. But perhaps worse is overestimating the market – believing your famous author or trendy topic will go further than they will, which can lead to high advances and expensive mistakes.