My Job in 5: Rebecca Souster

My Job in 5: Rebecca Souster

Describe your role. 
My role is probably quite different to other people with the same job title. We’re a small team with a lot of ideas, so I’m very hands on. I spend much of my time supporting my team, managing workflows, designing covers and signing off royalties, but that’s just the day to day. The other part of my role involves strategy. This is the exciting part where I look at our long and short-term growth plans for Lume Books.

What do you enjoy about your role?
I love having a small team with strong ideas. I believe in non-hierarchical organisations so it’s important to me to always be open and accessible. I try to nurture a flexible and supportive working environment as best I can, which means that everyone has an opportunity to bring ideas to the table. That, and the variety my role brings. 

What are you working on at the moment?
As with all publishers, we’ve been adapting our publishing schedule to deal with the effect of Covid-19 on the publishing world. We’re bringing new digital releases forward and pushing new print releases back to allow for the print supply chain to get back on its feet. We’re also working on significantly expanding our audiobook list—this is an exciting growth area for Lume Books. 

What skills do you need for your role?
I can very proudly say that I am the jack of all trades and the master of none. This used to be an insult, but today I think it is irrelevant. I got to where I am today because of my need to know how to do things, whether that’s formatting metadata, typesetting a book, designing a cover, or negotiating contracts with distributors. You need to be inquisitive and interested in everything, from data to design to supplychain. 

What advice would you give to those looking to work in the industry?
Care about everything even if it’s not your passion—when you do things to the best of your ability, people notice. Be curious. Be excited. Be optimistic. Don’t pigeonhole yourself.