Describe your role.
I field calls and welcome all the authors, illustrators and agents who come to see us at David Fickling Books. I’m also responsible for keeping the office running smoothly, including arranging team meetings and events, overseeing utilities and tradespeople, and generally ensuring our small, flexibly-working team runs efficiently. As David Fickling’s PA, I arrange his travel, diary and appointments.
What do you like best about your role?
The people. This is my first role in publishing and everyone at DFB and The Phoenix Comic, our sister company, has been so welcoming. Because it’s a small team, I’m lucky enough to be included in every stage of a manuscript’s journey to publication. I am learning so much. It’s a complete dream.
Which new projects or titles are you working on at the moment?
We are introducing a new database to the company, so I am assisting with getting that implemented. I am also preparing us for new GDPR rules, ensuring we are compliant with the Data Protection Regulations. I’m also looking forward to helping out with the organisation of different DFB author events throughout the year.
What skills do you need for your role?
You have to be able to multitask, prioritise and think for yourself. I’m not part of any one department but rather I oversee the whole team, and so you need to trust your own judgement and be confident in your decision-making. You obviously need to be organised as there are many spinning plates on a daily basis, but you also need patience, flexibility and good humour, because plans can change at a moment’s notice and you have to roll with it!
What advice would you give to those looking to work in the industry?
Self-promotion, perseverance and passion are key. Prior to this role I was working in London in an entirely different industry, so I had to prove to prospective employers that I had the transferable skills to work in publishing—I honed that cover letter! I persevered, applying for many roles, internships and workexperience placements, however I also ensured that I always applied for roles that truly interested me, at companies with lists I was excited by and could be passionate about.