Position Description
Press Michigan State University Press
Acquisitions Editorial


The Michigan State University Press seeks an experienced and energetic Editor-in-Chief who will direct the Michigan State University Press editorial program, targeting growth from the current 42 books a year, to 60-65 books a year.

The Editor-in-Chief will also acquire approximately 20-25 books per year, primarily in political science and history.

Reporting to the Press Director, the Editor-in-Chief manages the press’s acquisitions program and editorial strategy; supervises the acquisitions staff; consults with the Director and other managers on overall press strategy and policy; and originates ideas for significant trade books and new publishing programs that enhance the reputation and financial stability of the Press.

More specifically, duties include:

- Annually signs 20-25 books (beyond those generated by existing series) by actively soliciting submissions in political science and history and at least one other area depending on the candidate’s experience, and oversees several established MSU Press series. Works with authors in developing their manuscripts, manages the peer review process, and negotiates contracts. Guides authors toward completing their manuscripts and the timely delivery of manuscripts, provides guidance on the proper preparation of a manuscript for production, and transmits the manuscript into production and marketing.

- Supervises one acquisitions editor and confers regularly with the Director on the Director’s acquisitions.

- Helps to create and sustain an environment conducive to the acquisition of excellent scholarly books and trade books by building author and reviewer networks, working with the marketing department on the creation of marketing strategies, and attending key academic conferences.

- Coordinates the meetings of the Editorial Board and assists in the selection of faculty members to serve on it.

- Oversees those aspects of the Press budget that relate to acquisitions.

- Participates in the development of overall press strategy, identifying new opportunities for the press, advising the director on new trends and technologies, and participating in outreach to both academic communities and the local community.

The Editor-in-Chief must be familiar with all aspects of the production and editorial processes, sales and marketing, and trends in scholarly communication. The successful candidate should have extensive knowledge of all practical, contractual, and financial issues in scholarly publishing, both print and digital world. Familiarity with journals is a plus. 

Candidates should have five or more years of work in scholarly or serious nonfiction trade publishing with a substantial record of acquisitions.   Candidates should have two to three years of people management experience.  Master’s degree or equivalent preferred. The candidate must work on site in East Lansing.

NOTE: The MSU Press has engaged Jack Farrell & Associates (www.jackfarrell.com) to find the winning candidate for this position. Interested candidates should provide a resume by email to Amy Morse (amy@jackfarrell.com; PH 323-963-5449).  JO 201805053

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