Northwestern University Press

Senior Acquisitions Editor (Trade)

The Senior Acquisitions Editor will build and expand the Press’s trade lists in fiction, plays, drama, poetry, social justice dialogues, literature in translation, and Chicago regional publications, and work to engage the public with the dual goal of selling books and increasing philanthropy. In the latter capacity, work closely with Director and NUL and NUP development officer. The Senior Acquisitions Editor will be a member of a collaborative acquisitions team where they will shape the Press’s award-winning trade series and imprints including, TriQuarterly Books and Second to None, as well as commission additional general trade and specialist interest titles to complement the Press’s overall publishing program and vision. 

Please note: Travel may be required. May work remotely.

Specific Responsibilities:

  • Pursues appropriate book projects; reads and assesses submitted manuscripts and develops new projects geared toward the market. Works with Series Editors and faculty in representative departments to commission projects for the Press. Responsible for signing 20-25 books per fiscal year. The acquisitions will include books across trade and specialist markets.
  • Secure appropriate subventions, grants, or available funding relevant titles
  • Attends conferences to represent the Press, display the books, and stay abreast of new developments in relevant fields. Travels as necessary to acquire book manuscripts
  • Presents proposed books to faculty editorial board for final approval.
  • Prepares financial information on all prospective titles and negotiates relevant contracts.
  • Coordinates various aspects of the publication process of books and/or book series with other Press departments.

Minimum Qualifications:

  • Bachelor's degree or the equivalent combination of education, training and experience from which comparable skills can be acquired.
  • Minimum five (5) years’ work experience in acquisitions or related publishing experience.
  • Ability to travel.

Minimum Competencies: (Skills, knowledge, and abilities.)

  • Communication: Balancing listening and talking; communicates effectively one-to-one and in groups; writes precise, well-organized emails and proposals while using appropriate vocabulary and grammar; gives clear and manageable instructions.
  • Collegiality: Being helpful, respectful, approachable, and team orientated; building strong working relationships and a positive work environment.
  • Computer Skills: Excellent computer skills, including Microsoft Word, Power Point, Excel, and Outlook. Highly skilled in database management, record keeping and email. Adapts to new technology and uses computers to improve productivity.
  • Organization: Plans, organizes, and schedules in an efficient, productive manner; anticipates contingencies and pays attention to detail; targets projects or initiatives that require special attention and focuses on key tasks when faced with limited time and/or resources.
  • Judgment: Demonstrates logic, rationality, and objectivity; shows common sense; uses all available information to make educated decisions.
  • Collaboration: Facilitates open and effective communication, cooperation, and teamwork within and outside of one’s own team; respects the needs and contributions of others.
  • Efficiency: Planning ahead, managing time well, and pays attention to detail. Identifies and resolves concerns and problems in a timely manner. Demonstrates ability to work on multiple projects simultaneously.
  • Adaptability: Works effectively in an environment in which the parameters may change daily; adjusts behavior to meet the needs of different people and situations.
  • Coachability: Being receptive to feedback; willing to learn; embracing continuous improvement.
  • Initiative: Exhibits energy and desire to achieve; sets ambitious goals and acts decisively; takes action that no one has requested to improve or enhance job results and avoid problems.
  • Innovation/Creativity: Explores alternatives to existing products and services; identifies opportunities to improve procedures and practices; shows imagination.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Advanced degree or the equivalent combination of education, training and experience from which comparable skills can be acquired. Master’s or PhD preferred, especially in one of the areas of acquisition.

Preferred Competencies: (Skills, knowledge, and abilities)

  • Familiarity or experience negotiating subsidiary rights agreements
  • Knowledge on contracts
  • Developmental editing skills

Northwestern University is an Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action Employer of all protected classes, including veterans and individuals with disabilities. Women, racial and ethnic minorities, individuals with disabilities, and veterans are encouraged to apply. Hiring is contingent upon eligibility to work in the United States.


Please apply at, job ID 40520