Good morning! Since people seem so interested in life behind the scenes or across the desk in publishing, I’ll occasionally be posting some “day in the life” posts where you can see how all this editor stuff goes. New year, new content, right? Buckle up, it’s going to be glamorous.
8am-9:00am: The first thing I did today was read. A new strategy I’m trying this year to make sure I allow time for personal, for-fun reading of already published books is to give myself an hour in the morning to read. Otherwise, the only material I end up reading is informational works, my clients’ works, and my slush pile. So before I check email for disasters or let the news into my apartment or even get out of bed, I roll over and grab a book. This morning it was Interborough, by Santino Hassell. I’m devouring it.
9-10am: I got out of bed and got ready for my day, with coffee and a spoon of peanut butter as breakfast. Don’t shame me, I love it. I also read The Skimm, my favorite daily news update.
10-11am: Replying to emails, including confirming a conference for May, recommending an editor friend for their faculty, replying to a local writer who wants to know how to get started in publishing, lots of emails about internal book scheduling, and some submission questions. As I work, I’m also watching a nature documentary series on Netflix, Frozen Planet. It’s informative and good company while I work all day alone in my apartment, and doesn’t require much concentration. I may make this a new habit, watching something gorgeously shot and and calming while I do office work. Though I will say there was a pretty dire seal hunt happening as I typed this.
11am -noon: After I finished email, I read the Publishers Weekly daily newsletter. Good news- “Unit sales of print books rose 1.9% in 2017, over 2016…The increase follows a 3.3% increase in 2016 over 2015 with units having risen every year since 2013. Since 2013, print unit sales are up 10.8%…Juvenile fiction unit sales increased 2.1% in the year.”
Now I’m sitting down for first round edits with a client manuscript. For that I turn off my documentaries or music, put the book on my kindle, and take notes in a notebook as I read. It helps to get off of the computer and away from screens for a portion of the day.
1:00-1:30: Lunch break! I used it to stretch and start laundry. Working from home is great/terrible that way.
1:30: Back to reading the client manuscript.
4:00pm: One of my clients’ books hit Netgalley, A Scandal By Any Other Name by Kimberly Bell so I stopped reading to go yell about that online. It’s hilarious historical romance with spina bifida representation, a scheming duke, a deep sister bond, and lots of hilarious antics. https://www.netgalley.com/catalog/book/127197
Then while I was at my computer, I handled another pile of email. Then back to reading til 4:30, when I had to stop to get ready for a chiropractor appointment. After dinner, I’ll do another hour or two of reading this client’s MS, then be done for the day.
See, very glamorous, just like I told you.
The reality is a lot of days are just like this one. Reading, email, little things that come up, more editing. Some days have contract negotiations and offers of publication and calls and meetings, and some days are just me spending quality time with a manuscript. Quiet days are nice days, though, and I’m happy to have them.
Any questions about this? Drop a note in the comments and I’ll be happy to answer.