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Advice to publishers

26 September 2011

'The next time you parachute a non-editor into a commissioning role, take your best real editor and promote them to - let's call it - Structural Editor and pay them most of what you are going to pay the commissioning editor in lieu of the kudos (and the rest of the salary); let them work hand in hand with the commissioning editor and take care of the editorial work that the commissioning editor isn't really qualified to do. That is, open up a new way forward for editors who aren't going to be able to commission and don't want to manage. If you're going to reward someone for not bringing editorial skills to the commissioning role, at least try to find some way of recognising those who do have these skills. God knows, many commissioning editors, whatever their provenance, will be grateful for a more legitimate way of sharing the heavy editorial work that they barely have the time to do between meetings.'

Stephen Guise, former editor at Mitchell Beazley, Cassell and at Little, Brown.