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Senior Acquisitions Editor
Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois
Date Posted 03/03/2021
Admin-Other Administrative Positions
Employment Type Fulltime
Application Deadline Open until filled

The Senior Acquisitions Editor builds and expands the University Press’s lists of scholarly and general books in a number of humanities and social science disciplines. Areas of acquisition will include philosophy, film and media studies, critical ethnic studies, literary criticism, Jewish studies, literature, and other areas as suits the needs of the Press. The Senior Editor is a member of the acquisition team, and is heavily involved in discussions of focus and direction of the publishing program. She or he will also actively seek grants and subventions to support the list, and represent the Press both on campus and at academic conferences and other external events.

Please note: Some travel required. Working remotely may occur.

This position will be on-site on the Evanston campus for a minimum of 20% of time (one day a week) immediately upon hire, with the expectation that the individual will work on-site 100% as in person staffing levels on campus resume. This will continually be evaluated and terms may change based on business needs and/or as conditions related to the pandemic evolve.

Specific Responsibilities:

  • Pursues appropriate book projects; reads and assess submitted manuscripts and develops new projects geared toward the market. Works with faculty series editors and other advisors to evaluate and commission projects for the Press.
  • Acquire across scholarly lists and series signs approximately 30-40 books per year.
  • Works closely with authors on developing and revising manuscripts and oversees acquisitions coordinator, graduate assistants, interns and other student workers, and editorial fellow as they do the same.
  • Presents proposed books to faculty editorial board for approval.
  • Prepares financial information on all prospective titles, negotiates relevant contracts, and seeks subventions and grants.
  • Coordinates various aspects of the publication process of books and/or book series with other Press departments.
  • Attends various conferences to represent the Press, display the books, and stay abreast of new developments in relevant fields, as well as acquire new book manuscripts.


  • Performs other duties as assigned.

Minimum Qualifications:

  • Bachelor's degree or the equivalent combination of education, training and experience from which comparable skills can be acquired.
  • Minimum four (4) years’ work experience in acquisitions or related publishing experience.

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.
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