Job vacancy: Books Editor

Lawrence and Wishart is an independent political publisher. We aim to facilitate the sharing and networking of ideas based on our values of openness, pluralism and democratic left-wing political formation. We’re looking for a new Books Editor to join our three-person team of co-managed part-time staff. The Books Editor will work three or four days a week predominantly at our office in Chadwell Heath (with potential for some working at home).

The Books Editor role is interesting and varied, with the opportunity to channel an enthusiasm for current politics into L&W’s content and publication strategy. The role encourages editorial and commissioning creativity, to support the political development of the organisation. We welcome a wide range of skills and experience, providing you meet the essential requirements listed in the person specification below. You will need to be a reliable, resilient self-starter with excellent organisational skills and strong attention to detail, who is interested in and committed to the values and politics of Lawrence and Wishart.

The person we appoint will be confident working in and co-managing a non-hierarchical structure, and will be willing to be accountable to colleagues. We need someone who is keen and quick to learn, happy making decisions and taking the initiative, as well as being prepared to take on the day-to-day practicalities of running a small business in a collegial, well-supported environment.  We offer flexible working and opportunities for learning and professional development.

We’re willing to accept applications for both 3 and 4 days per week because we’re taking the opportunity of this vacancy to restructure our office-based working. We’re hoping to expand our lists and commissioning work, and are seeking to free up editorial time for this. This means we’re open to what you can bring to the organisation in terms of ideas for the future, both in terms of politics and the business.

If you have any questions, or if you wish to discuss your application further, please feel free to contact the team on 02085970090 or email

Deadline for applications: please note that the deadline for applications has been extended to midday on Monday 19 November 2018
Interview dates: week commencing 26 November 2018
To apply, please read the person specification below and fill in our online application form.

Salary: £28,230 pro rata
Start date: flexible (preferably asap)
Duration: permanent, subject to probation
Hours: 3-4 days/week – number of days negotiable

Person specification

Educated to degree level or equivalent
Editorial experience (copyediting, proofreading etc)
Political commitment and awareness of the political landscape
Excellent attention to detail and time management skills (ability to independently manage a varied workload and meet deadlines)
Excellent communication skills (written and verbal)
Excellent numeracy and organisational skills, ability to prioritise and manage workloads
Good working knowledge of appropriate software (including Word/Excel)


Experience working in small organisations, including strategic planning, financial management
Experience designing/managing budgets
Good understanding of networking, and forming and maintaining external relationships
Project management experience (in an editorial context would be most useful)

Job description

1. Books: end-to-end book production; project management (often of multiple simultaneous projects); editing (full editing, copyediting and proofreading); strategic planning for future book projects; stock management; organising/repurposing backlist; permissions/rights management.
2. Politics: networking and representing L&W at external events; building on L&W political strategy; managing political partnerships and community building; strategic planning; ideas generation for future publications and projects.
3. Relationship management: with authors and freelancers; with Board of Directors and Editorial Board; with stakeholders and political networks; customer service; supporting colleagues and working as part of a collaborative team.
4. Financial/business management: overall financial management collectively with other staff, strategic planning for both the business and the political direction of L&W; monitoring and reviewing figures; producing sales figures spreadsheets; writing/confirming books budgets.