A Day in the life of A Presents Editor
Pippa Roscoe lifts the lid on a day in the life of an Editor at Romance HQ!!
by Editorial Assistant Pippa Roscoe
I’m a bit of an early bird and will arrive in the office at 8.20. It’s my favourite time of the day, when the office is still fairly quiet and I can go through emails before everyone arrives and more importantly indulge in my first addiction of the day; coffee. And then my second… Compulsive list making! I’ll add any new tasks from the morning’s email to last night’s ‘to do’ list. This could be anything from author requests for their covers, lovely manuscripts arriving for reading and meeting requests.
This is also the time that I get to respond to authors and have a bit of an email catch up. There’s usually at least one American author who is still up and about to have a quick gossip over who is our favourite tv hero of the moment!
It’s 9.30 and there are some meetings that will happen each month and today it’s titling. I love this part. The editor of each book for that month will send over suggestions, including any thoughts that the author might have. As a team we get together and brainstorm all eight titles together, along with the names of any miniseries that the individual titles may belong too.
Sometimes the titles can roll right off the tongue and flow right onto the covers and sometimes they can be a little tricksy. But these tricky ones often result in some of the best, and certainly my favourite, titles. They can also be some of the funniest meetings ever that can deliver various song titles and lines throughout the office for all to enjoy! Joanne and Laura like to keep me going with jelly babies. Sugar highs aside… It’s one of the best parts of my job.
This meeting takes about an hour and a half, and now it’s time for tea! (And perhaps a sneak peak at the treat shelf? Although this close after Christmas it’s full of healthy things rather than delicious chocolate treats sadly. L)
Back at my desk there are a few more emails to answer – some are queries from authors, some from colleagues checking on the delivery status of my author’s manuscripts, and some checking on Presents deadlines. With so many dates, you’ll not be surprised to hear that my walls are covered in schedules!
11.30 With a little time before lunch, I start a first read on a full manuscript from one of Harlequin’s fabulous authors. It’s a Historical and this is one of the things I love about my job… You could cut me in half and I have Presents written through me! But being able to work with authors across the different series is so much fun and offers so much variety! I’ll try to spend the afternoon reading this, but know that it will be interspersed with a few tea breaks and emails, so before I start reading, I just need to respond to the email demanding to know what I thought about Sherlock.
(It’s a short email, but to the point. ‘AMAZING’)
I’ve barely blinked and it’s 13.00. I’ve started the New Year as I’m hoping to continue by bringing my own lunch with me, but I also know that it’s important to get out of the office and take a walk. I’ve worked in many places in London and non are as pretty as Richmond, so I try to go down to the river even just for five minutes.
Back from lunch and North America are awake and calling! There are this month’s covers to proof read, approve and return – it’s so exciting to see all the beautiful covers with the back cover copies finalised. There are two extracts for me to source for the marketing department which will be used for promotional material. These I fire off before getting back to the first read.
It’s an absolute delight! Fun, racy, full of humour and has some incredibly powerful conflicts for the hero and heroine. I don’t quite manage to finish the manuscript before the end of the day, but so far it’s brilliant. I’ll collate my notes and after finishing it tomorrow, I’ll put a letter together to send to the author. This goes on my end of day list!
As the end of the day comes round, I will clear my desk and make sure that my list is the first thing I can see in the morning. If it’s a Tuesday or Thursday, I’ll head to my martial arts class, and if not, I’ll go home and go straight to the kitchen. I love cooking and it’s the perfect way to finish the day.
A glass of wine will see me through the evening’s trashy tv delight (typically Revenge, Alcatraz or Made in Chelsea) and with my early morning start, I’ll be in bed by 10.30.
So Ladies, now that I’ve lifted the lid on a day in the life, was there any part of my job, or the world at Romance HQ that you wanted to hear more about?