When I tell people that I am a children’s book editor, the usual response is something like “Oh, it must be so nice to sit and read all day!”
If only that were true.
Let’s take a look at a day in my life from a few weeks ago…
7:30 Wake up, shower, and check my work email before heading out for the day.
8:15 Hop on the subway for my 45 minute commute to work. This particular morning, I read The One and Only Ivan. I try to get my personal reading done on the subway. I don’t get to read much for fun at home…
9:15 Finalize & print audio copy. Every season each editor records a blurb about their books for the sales team to use when preparing/driving to their sales calls.
9:45 Record audio for my Summer 2013 list.
10:15-11:45 Worked on interior finals for Gustav #2 Gustav Gloom and the Nightmare Vault. This is when I go over the proofed pages in layouts and do my final read of the book.
10:30 Call with publicist about author events.
11:00 Emailed with an agent about deal negotiation.
11:05 Call from an agent with a pitch. I requested the manuscript.
11:45 Worked on cover copy for one of my books.
12:15-1:00 Lunch. I typically eat lunch at my desk, but this day I had the chance to get lunch with my husband. While we were out, I received an email from the agent I was negotiating with earlier in the day saying the deal was finalized. There is a chance I might have yelled “BOOM!” in the park with my husband after reading the email.
1:30 Meeting with our sales & marketing about a series plan for one the series I edit.
2:00 Launch prep meeting for Fall 2013. Launch meetings are very important because that is when the majority of the sales/marketing/publicity teams hear about my books for the first time. This meeting was with the editorial team to discuss order and any special additions to the launch presentation.
3:00 I started work on the contract for the deal I closed at lunch. I didn’t get complete it until the end of the day because over the next two hours several things happened.
3:15 One of my authors called to discuss deadlines and upcoming events.
3:30 I sat down with one of our designers to discuss art comments for an upcoming picture I edit.
3:45 Another designer called me in to discuss the cover concept for the seventh book in Ann Hood’s The Treasure Chest series.
3:55 Confirmed agent lunch for next day.
4:00 Call with the publicist for the author I spoke with earlier in the afternoon to discuss events.
4:15 Sent a “Welcome to Grosset!” email to the authors of the deal I closed at lunch. This is one of my absolute favorite parts of my job.
4:30 Looked over revised sketches for Gustav Gloom #3. Spooky!
5:00 Let my boss know that we closed the deal for the new series and got back to work on drafting the contract.
5:45 Head home. Finished The One and Only Ivan on the train. There were tears.
Anyone notice the two things that I didn’t have a chance to do at all this day at the office? Editing and reading submissions!
Full disclosure: Most of my authors were revising this particular day, but this day would have been the same even if there had been a manuscript waiting for me to edit.
Trust me, I eye my submissions pile longingly each day, but I rarely get to read them at the office. That’s what my trusty ereader and my comfy couch is for.
An editor’s day is always busy. We attend many meetings and have lots of paperwork to complete. The days when we can just sit with a manuscript and edit are few and far between, but when those days occur it makes all the other work worth it.