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The key to a successful program of scholarly book publishing lies with the knowledge, creativity, and drive of the commissioning (acquisitions) editor. Peer review is a useful tool for testing and confirming the editor’s judgment and arguing the case for publication, but the role of peer review alone can often be overrated. Too many funding and appointment systems are based on a fetishised image of this concept. Despite the debates and changing perceptions about scholarly books, it is editorial excellence that underlies the quality and importance of a list. While journals rely more on the formal process of peer review, the role of the entrepreneurial journal editor also remains important to scholarly communication.