Teen Publisher Extravaganza: A Day in the Life of a Macmillan Editor
Hello blog readers! Today I have Anna, an Assistant Editor at Feiwel and Friends, stopping by to share what her daily life is like at work. Enjoy!
Hi there! I’m Anna Roberto, assistant editor at Feiwel and Friends.
It surprises me how regularly I get asked what I do on a typical day in the office. I usually have to pause for a moment and try to visualize what types of things are sitting on my desk or in my inbox at that moment.
So let’s just jump right in, shall we? Allow me to present the current state of my desk:
I would’ve cleaned my desk and then snapped a picture, but that’s hardly the reality. So here it is! Uncensored! At any given time there is a giant stack of manuscripts to comb through and at least 20 books on my desk. Whether they are F&F galleys, finished bound books, personal books for reference, or galleys from other houses–their presence is felt. A lot.
The range of my duties at F&F is something to behold so any given day is going to be filled with different tasks, so I’ll just touch on the basics. Ready? Let’s break it down.
The biggest and most time consuming part of my job is reading—but I’m sure you probably guessed that! The reading could be anything from agented submissions to revisions on already acquired projects. With submissions, I usually read as much as I need to make an informed decision, and then I send my wonderful manager, Liz Szabla, an email of what I thought along with a brief synopsis. From there we decide if it would be a good fit for the F&F list. Which leads me to the rejection letter… It is a delicate and difficult task, so I take tips from our office’s ever-present Ryan Gosling “Hey Girl…” posters (Fun Fact: This particular one is hanging outside my cubicle.)
With revisions, however, it’s a little different. There’s a good chance I have already read a version of the story before so I’m looking for the areas the author has altered and/or fleshed out as per our editorial letters. At this point, it’s much more collaborative. Liz and I will sit down and talk out how we felt about the changes and if the story is ready for transmittal to copyediting. If not, it’s back to the editorial letter drawing board!
Books, books, and more books!
I’m constantly stocking our take shelves in the office. It has every book that F&F has ever published! Isn’t it a beautiful sight?
Also, each season I send copies of the newly published books to the respective authors/agents/illustrators. It’s one of my favorite parts actually, because I can’t even imagine how exciting it must be to open a package that’s chock-full of your brand new book. Amazing!
Stets, transposition marks, commas–OH MY!
Another aspect of my job is reviewing incoming copyedited and proofread manuscripts. I make sure that all changes are a-ok and that all queries are answered by either me or the author. Here’s an example of a copyedit change that was okayed:
So that’s a very brief look into my life as an assistant editor. There’s an entire list of things I didn’t even get into but that, in short, is a day for me. From meetings to photo research and everything in between—I do whatever I can do make sure the books we publish are great! I love being a part of an author’s ride from manuscript to book. And I have to say, working here wouldn’t be nearly as much fun if it weren’t for my coworkers. Everything is much more enjoyable when you can have a few good laughs along the way.