My Job In 5: Sally Williamson, Commissioning Editor, Harlequin Books

My Job In 5: Sally Williamson, Commissioning Editor, Harlequin Books

Describe your role.

I’m commissioning editor at Harlequin and head our Mira list, which is the commercial fiction imprint of the company. Author management, acquiring new books and developing the strategy for the imprint are my key focuses.

What do you like best about your role?

It’s hard to think of something that beats acquiring a new author whose book you have absolutely fallen in love with . . . And my job wouldn’t be the same without the fantastic people I work with.

Which great new titles are you working on at the moment?

Where do I start? I can’t stop raving about The King’s Sister by Anne o’Brien—a truly memorable story about the sister of Henry IV. We also have some incredible books coming up in 2015—I’m so proud and excited about what we’re publishing next year. one of our key growth areas has been in crime, so look out for A Meditation on Murder by Robert Thorogood (a Death in Paradise novel) and The Spider in the Corner of the Room by Nikki owen.

Do you publish more e-books than physical books?

Yes—retail space is shrinking, while there is no limit to the opportunities at digital. I look after both the retail and digital side of Mira, which is amazing because you can take any experience from one to the other. I’d be lost without paperbacks (though I’d certainly have a lot more room in my house), but I love publishing in digital because you can move so much faster and react quickly to trends. We’ve had some brilliant successes with our e-books, and digital can no longer be thought of as the poor relation.

What advice would you give to those looking to work in the industry?

Persevere—and I’m going to dash any illusions about an editor’s job being glamourous . . . it’s really hard work! But if you genuinely love books, it’s absolutely worth it.