Westminster John Knox Press


Vice President of Publishing

100 Witherspoon Street, Louisville, KY, United States, 40202

Position: Full-Time

As a member of the executive staff, the Vice President of Publishing works in partnership with the President and Publisher and the Editor-in-Chief to define a strategic vision for the acquisition of high-quality books for the three main segments of WJK’s market: academic, clergy/professional, and general reader. The VP oversees an editorial team that carries out list development and acquisitions as well as a production department that takes books and curriculum from manuscript to completed project. The ideal candidate will have both editorial acumen and business sensibilities, along with experience with the religious, academic, or trade book markets.

Primary Responsibilities

The Vice President of Publishing will oversee the WJK book publishing program for the Press, including the publication of approximately 40-50 new titles each year; the acquisition of an equal number of projects each year, the attainment of goals for revenue, author diversity, and audience category; and the production of book titles on time in a quality manner that meets budgetary goals. These responsibilities include:

  • Setting acquisition goals and helping acquisition editors meet those goals.
  • Overseeing editorial meetings to review proposals and brainstorm topics and authors to consider.
  • Overseeing publishing meetings to approve projects, and assisting editorial, marketing, and executive staff colleagues in making financially sound decisions that also reflect the nature and mission of the Press.
  • Planning and managing seasonal lists, ensuring balance, diversity, and a steady flow of titles to market.
  • Successfully negotiating author contracts, including advances, royalty rates, licensing, etc., while minimizing financial risk.
  • Building and strengthening relationships with key authors, agents, and academic and church officials.
  • Working closely with marketing and sales colleagues to ensure that effective campaigns are developed for key titles.
  • Overseeing the implementation of the editorial strategy, including but not limited to acquisitions, author/agent relations, production quality control, and budgeting.
  • Acquiring and editing a select list of their own book projects (3-5 per year).
  • Supervising and mentoring editorial and production staff, giving people the tools to do their best work in an environment that encourages collaboration and fosters learning.
  • Representing the company at specific publishing, academic, and church events and conferences.
  • Staying abreast of trends and issues in publishing, academic religion, higher education, mainline religion, and religion and society.
  • Participating in quarterly meetings of the PPC Board of Directors.
  • Working as a member of the executive staff to carry out the work of the organization as it seeks to become a more anti-racist organization--in what it publishes, how it operates, and who it is.  


Reports to

President and Publisher

Reports

1 Editor-in-Chief (direct report) • 2 Acquisitions Editors • 1 Production Director (direct report) • 1 Senior Managing Editor • 1 Associate Managing Editor • 1 Desktop Publisher/Formatter • 1 Art Director • 1 Rights and Permissions Director (direct report)

Education

Bachelor’s degree required; advanced degree strongly preferred.

Desired Traits and Qualifications

  • Minimum of five years demonstrated responsibility in publishing or institutional leadership capacity, preferably with a religion or academic focus
  • Proven ability to lead and manage people
  • Outstanding communication and interpersonal skills across all mediums
  • Excellent organizational and problem-solving aptitude
  • Ability to remain calm in pressure-filled situations
  • Comfortable dealing with various fiscal responsibilities
  • Commitment to social justice, anti-racism, and progressive religious ideals
  • Passionate and enthusiastic about the books we publish and able to convey and spread that enthusiasm to the company, authors, and key stakeholders
  • Highly professional individual with integrity and initiative
  • A self-starter who is willing to go above and beyond the job description and pitch in wherever necessary to get the job done
  • Ability to formulate and carry out strategic plans
  • Ability to lead, coach, mentor, and offer constructive criticism
  • Must be dynamic, change-adaptive, marketplace- and editorial-driven, entrepreneurial, innovative, results-oriented, collaborative, deadline- and detail-oriented, and able to multitask and prioritize projects


Location

Louisville, Kentucky. Relocation preferred, but accommodation can be made for the right candidate.

To apply, please submit a cover letter and resume or c.v. via email to employment@presbypub.com. Application deadline is April 15, 2021.

PPC is an equal opportunity company and does not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, non-disqualifying physical or mental disability, national origin, veteran status or any other basis covered by appropriate law. PPC believes that diversity, inclusion, and a commitment to anti-racism among our teammates is critical to our success, and we seek to recruit, develop, and retain the most talented people from a diverse candidate pool. We celebrate diversity in our authors and the books we publish, and are committed to creating an inclusive, anti-racist workplace for all employees. The more inclusive we are, the better our work will be.

In addition to a competitive salary, the position offers an excellent health care plan with low premium, defined-benefit pension, optional 401k, optional dental and vision coverage, and flexible work schedule.

About Westminster John Knox Press:

The Presbyterian Publishing Corporation consists of several imprints, led by Westminster John Knox Press, a respected academic imprint in biblical studies, theology, and ethics. WJK also publishes books on social justice, Christian living, and spirituality for the general reader market, as well as preaching resources for the clergy market.

PPC is also home to a successful new children’s book imprint, Flyaway Books, with books from such authors as Barbara Brown Taylor, Katherine Paterson, Michael W. Waters, and Amy-Jill Levine. We also publish the denominational curriculum of the PCUSA in English, Korean, and Spanish.

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