Stacy here again. Today I’m sharing my job description.
So what’s a day in the life of an editor really like? Busy. And, lucky for me, no two days are the same. Just this morning, in fact, there was a scheduling crisis for one of my authors, which required multiple phone calls, emails and one-on-one chats with the agent and the senior editor. Then there was last week when the approved titles for a twelve-book series were suddenly ‘unapproved.’ Our team had to quickly schedule a brainstorming meeting to come up with twelve new titles. Oh, and the deadlines for that same series have moved up by a month—for the second time.
A lot of my day is taken up with project management issues like creating titles, gathering art information, compiling and editing front matter (dedications, bios, etc.), answering emails and phone calls, making payments, negotiating contracts, scheduling and rescheduling books, and implementing an author’s career strategy through my work in-house.
And I wouldn’t want to forget about the meetings. Meetings about where the company is headed and where its been, sales results, editorial acquisitions, production deadlines, discussions about current books and products, innovation for new books and products…you get my point.
I also spend quite a bit of time keeping track of trends in publishing by reading media publications and books published by other houses, meeting with agents and authors, and taking part in interviews, conferences, and other interesting opportunities, like this blog.
What about the actual editing, you might ask? Well, that’s in there, too: reading submissions from new authors, both agented and unagented; reading contracted material for approval; editing scheduled manuscripts; and writing many, many letters for revision and for rejection.
With all of this, it’s very difficult to find time to work on those new projects that have promise but also need a lot of work. I usually save the majority of my hands-on editing for the books already under contract. For new writers, I often give several big-picture notes in a revision letter and offer one opportunity—two, if the book really stands out—to whip a project into shape. After that, if the writer hasn’t made the project strong enough, then I have to pass on it.
But when I read something really good and the author revises it in such a way that it’s even better and then everyone in-house likes it as much as I do and then readers actually buy it…that’s when all the work I’ve put in during my days really pays off.