Describe your role
As publishing director, I’m building my own list of authors as well as overseeing the fiction publishing at HQ. We’re a new list so there’s lots to do. I might be reading submissions, editing books for next year, briefing covers, analysing overnight sales and working with our editorial team to shape our list going forward.
What do you like best about your role?
I never have the same day twice. Every book is at a different stage in the process; authors are always having exciting ideas and agents are pitching something they are passionate about. So there’s something new coming in every day. Being a new imprint, there’s a real sense of collaboration and the list growing, plus there’s been lots to celebrate which is fun.
Which new projects or titles are you working on at the moment?
I’ve just snapped up an American début called It’s Always the Husband by Michele Campbell which is perfect if you’re missing “Big Little Lies”. The size of our list means we can be fast and responsive to the market which is an advantage.
What skills do you need for your role?
The ability to think creatively about a book one minute and then strategically about it the next. You need to be able to switch between projects within seconds, so being an excellent juggler helps. And you’ve got to be a good communicator, whether you’re discussing editorial notes with an author or presenting a book to the whole company at a conference.
What advice would you give to those looking to work in the industry?
Read the bestseller lists, stand in a bookshop and look at what’s working. Then get involved in whatever way you can; blog, tweet or follow people who do, go to meet-ups and find out who’s recruiting. Have an opinion and don’t be afraid to share it. And don’t worry if you’re thinking of joining the industry from a non-traditional route. Publishers are now more open-minded about candidates coming from different backgrounds.