University of Alberta

Acquisitions Editor

University Press

Competition No.  -    A101739231
Closing Date  -    Jul 29, 2019

The Acquisitions Editor (AE) is responsible for soliciting, developing, and acquiring manuscripts for University of Alberta Press, both scholarly (primarily humanities disciplines: history, literary and cultural studies, cinema and media) and literary (poetry, short fiction, literary nonfiction). The AE reports to the Director and Publisher and functions as a member of the Press’ management team. All activities of the position must operate within the budgets, policies, procedures, and processes of the Press. The role of AE is to focus on list building and is thus critical to the Press’ publishing program. 

University of Alberta Press is located on the University of Alberta North Campus.  

Responsibilities include:

1. Solicit manuscripts

Activities include:

  • Meet with potential authors at university campuses, scholarly conferences, literary festivals, and in-office to discuss new book projects, research trajectories, publishing experiences, and to make a case as to why UAlberta Press is (or is not) the right publishing home for their work.
  • Analyze new proposals and manuscripts to evaluate scholarly or literary contribution, scale of audience, scope and costs of project, and general fit with UAlberta Press’ publishing program.
  • Read partial or full manuscripts and discuss with authors ways to improve analytical and editorial quality of work.
  • Identify appropriate peer reviewers, acquire readers’ reports, process paperwork including payment for readers, present materials to the Press Committee, and make recommendations to the Press Committee.

2. Guide and become a resource to the authors

Activities include:

  • Guide authors in their response to peer reviews and, once manuscripts are approved for publication by the Press Committee, guide authors in revising their manuscripts with a view to addressing readers’ comments, promoting reader comprehension, and developing the best possible book.
  • Work with authors to ensure all necessary permissions are in place. The Acquisitions Editor must be aware of copyright issues for textual and visual materials, reprography, and digital copies.
  • Solicit foreword and supplementary material as required.

3. Prepare title budgets

Activities include:

  • Market analysis: examine sales and prices of comparable books to establish reasonable print-run and pricing, in consultation with colleagues.
  • Consider, recommend, and, where appropriate, prepare applications for possible funding sources to assist with the cost of publication for each title acquired, e.g., Awards to Scholarly Publications Program (ASPP) and Alberta Historical Resources Foundation (AHRF).
  • Search out and recommend the possibility of co-publishing arrangements.

4. Participate in project planning

Activities include:

  • Consult with the production editor and designer regarding preparation of front matter, including acknowledgements – personal and funding bodies – editing, proofreading, format, design, layout, and printing of books.
  • Consult with the marketing department regarding marketing and promotion of books.
  • Ensure complete and accurate data concerning acquisitions is up-to-date in the Press database and planning documents.

5. Ambassadorial – Promote and enhance reputation of the Press

Activities include:

  • Represent the Press at professional meetings, scholarly conferences, literary festivals, seminars, and other public functions as required.
  • Serve as a public resource formally and informally via lectures and responding to queries.

6. Recommend new subject areas and expand the Press’ publishing program

Activities include:

  • Identify gaps in literature.
  • Identify potential authors.
  • Identify areas of strength at the University of Alberta.
  • Approach authors with manuscript proposals.
  • Invite author submissions.

7. Coordinate poetry and short fiction submission competitions

Activities include:

  • Select a shortlist, normally six to ten entries, from the annual submissions or work with a series editor to do so.
  • Recruit editorial board members for poetry and short fiction submissions, and work with members to shape the quality and focus of these lists.
  • Send the shortlisted manuscripts to the editorial board for review, coordinate evaluation, and select three to five manuscripts with which to proceed, while discussing editorial suggestions and comments.

Qualifications:

The position of Acquisitions Editor demands a complex skill set both socially and academically. Typically, the incumbent should have three to five years of book publishing experience (preferably in acquisitions), a graduate education (preferably in the Humanities), and feel comfortable engaging in an academic environment. A familiarity with Canada’s literary landscape is an asset, as is a background working with literature and/or scholarship at the intersections of Indigeneity, race, migration, gender, and sexuality. In support of the University of Alberta’s strategic plan (For the Public Good), the Press seeks candidates who are committed to principles of equity and inclusion. The AE must have strong organizational skills and should be able to juggle a multitude of personalities and manuscripts while moving them along to publication. Collegial skills are important to ensure harmonious relationships with Press personnel, reviewers, and authors. Good analytical abilities are highly desired to both assess manuscripts and to find peer reviewers. A familiarity with the overall publishing industry as well as scholarly publishing in Canada is useful in order to be effective. Communication skills are paramount as the AE represents the house to the author and the author to the house. Publishing is a business and a good financial lens is important from which to evaluate possible books. Finally, the AE should be both culturally and academically literate in order to be able to recognize a good manuscript when one presents itself, or to solicit one when the opportunity is ripe.

In accordance with the Administrative and Professional Officer (APO) Agreement, this full-time continuing position offers a comprehensive benefits package found at Faculty & Staff Benefits and annual salary range of $62,475 to $104,123.

When applying please include your resume and the names of three references. 

For further information, please contact Olenka Li at: olenka.li@ualberta.ca.

How to Apply

Apply Online

Note: Online applications are accepted until midnight Mountain Standard Time of the closing date.

All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply; however, Canadians and permanent residents will be given priority. If suitable Canadian citizens or permanent residents cannot be found, other individuals will be considered.

The University of Alberta is committed to an equitable, diverse, and inclusive workforce. We welcome applications from all qualified persons. We encourage women; First Nations, Métis and Inuit persons; members of visible minority groups; persons with disabilities; persons of any sexual orientation or gender identity and expression; and all those who may contribute to the further diversification of ideas and the University to apply.