Course Description

Acquisitions editors (sponsoring or commissioning editors) are responsible for building publishing programs. Typically full-time employees, though sometimes part-time or contract employees, acquisitions editors work with authors to review book proposals, synopses, and manuscripts in order to assess the potential of each project. Acquisitions editors help shape book projects and then champion them to the publishing house’s editorial board, calculate profit-and-loss statements, and negotiate publishing agreements with authors and/or literary agents. Acquisitions editors review manuscripts, usher them through the production process, and work with sales, marketing, and publicity teams to help boost unit sales, both pre- and post-publication.

In Introduction to Acquisitions Editing, students will learn about the roles and responsibilities of acquisitions editors; become familiar with the day-to-day work of acquisitions editors; learn how to assess book proposals, novel synopses, and manuscripts; review publishing agreements and focus on common points of negotiations. Generally focused on trade publishing, the course will also touch on association publishing, university presses, and educational publishing. 

Students in the Editing Certificate may take this course as an elective. 

"Online self-paced" refers to course start and end dates. "Online fixed date" refers to the synchronous session schedule fully available under "Section Notes."

Applies Toward the Following Certificates

Enroll Now - Select a section to enroll in
Section Title
Introduction to Acquisitions Editing
Online, self-paced
Mar 03, 2025 to Apr 05, 2025
Online, fixed date
9:00AM to 10:30AM
Mar 08, 2025 to Apr 05, 2025
Schedule and Location
Contact Hours
  • Online
Delivery Options
Course Fee(s)
Tuition Fees non-credit $1,320.00
Section Notes

Synchronous sessions are conducted on Saturdays, 9-10:30 AM CT.

Dates: March 8, 15, 22, 29, and April 5.

Required Text: Peter Ginna, ed., What Editors Do: The Art, Craft, and Business of Book Editing

Required fields are indicated by .