Nurturing creative talent

Editorial are the heart of the publishing process, making sure that all the teams have the information they need about the book to do their best work. They oversee the project from agent, all the way through to publication and beyond. Our Editors find and buy brilliant books, and spend their time liaising across the business, reading manuscripts, and talking to agents and authors.

Illustration of three colleagues. One is stood on top of books, with a magnifying glass on the manuscript. Another is on a laptop pointing to a bar chart, with the other talking to them.


Editors oversee and champion all parts of the book’s life-cycle, bringing together the different elements: from proactively seeking out new books to publish, to reading the manuscript and commissioning an author, to identifying an audience and helping to decide the direction of a book cover.

Editorial act as the internal point people for the book, working to ensure all teams working on the book are joined up and have all they need from one another in service of making the books as successful as possible.

Once a book has been commissioned, editors concentrate on the text as a whole – problem-solving, shaping the narrative, and making the writing its very best. This happens alongside their writer in a highly collaborative process.

It comes down to three things: how do we help this writer to write the very best work they can, and publish it in the very best way possible, in order to reach the widest possible number of readers?

Roles can vary across each publishing house, but these teams manage the editorial process from the point at which the commissioning editorial teams are happy with a book and want it to proceed to publication.

Managing editorial are responsible for overseeing the copy-editing stage, working closely with Legal and Production, and once they’re happy a project is ‘clean and ready for press’, the presses roll!

Managing editorial (Ed2)

Audiobook editorial

Our Audio editorial team do things a little differently from their publishing house counterparts. Editorial are part of the very early acquisition conversation, which gathers together key members of the business to decide whether to buy, or ‘acquire’, a book.

They’ll judge whether a work has profitable potential in audio, commission a recording, handle any initial decisions about how best to translate the printed text into audio, and work with the author, editor and our network of voice and talent agents to find exactly the right voice or voices to narrate our edition.

Penguin Offices (174 of 202)

Commissioning inclusively

Books are a portal to enter new worlds, to inhabit someone else’s shoes, to open one’s eyes to new perspectives. Everyone should be able to see themselves, and their communities, authentically reflected in the books they read.

The authors and books we publish need to reflect and reach all areas of society, to help our readers understand more about themselves and the world around them. One of our company-wide inclusion commitments aims to have all new authors to reflect society by 2023. Our commissioning editors are a key part of this process and help us drive our diversity inclusion goals.