6.30am: Wake to large orange cat sitting on chest, aggressively asking for his breakfast.
6:45am: Have fed starving beast. Peace and quiet again. Tell myself to go to the gym, but somehow instead go to the sofa and read submissions with a cup of a tea.
7:30am: Get ready for day. Outfit decided on basis of what doesn’t need to be ironed. Add some red lipstick to give illusion of having made an effort.
8:39: Train to work. Try to simultaneously listen to a podcast, continue reading submissions, and avoid falling over when packed into aisle with nothing to hold onto. Usually succeed at one of the three.
9:30: Arrive at offices. Immediately seek out more caffeine, then go through emails. Revaluate and redo my to-do list – after all, a tidy list is a tidy mind. Yes, I’m that person…
10:45: Organise my London Book Fair diary. It’s an annual three-day event in April that brings together publishers and literary agents from around the world. We aim to meet with as many people as we can, and as peoples’ diaries fill up fast, everybody starts sorting them months ahead. A lot of big book deals happen at the Fair, so it can be an exciting time!
12:30pm: lunch with a literary agent. There’s a lot of socialising involved in being an editor; it’s important to keep in regular touch with agents so that they know what you’re looking to acquire and will keep you in mind when they’re submitting a manuscript to publishers. And as a new addition to the Borough team, I’m currently keen to meet with as many agents as possible, as I’m looking for my first acquisition. Also, there’s literally nothing not to love about a lunch spent chatting about books!
2pm: Check metadata and keywords online for titles publishing in the next few months. We need to keep on top of these as new advance quotes come in. Metadata is becoming ever more important and having eye-catching, punchy copy for online retailers can massively affect sales.
3pm: Spend some time on Twitter. Look for any chatter around our books or authors – so much author promotion and word-of-mouth happens on Twitter, so it can be a vital tool in highlighting upcoming titles.
3:30pm: Catch-up with publicist and marketer to discuss plans for forthcoming publication. Go through timeline of events leading to publication day and talk about how to maintain the buzz through the following months.
4:15pm: Turn down some submissions. This is never a nice thing to have to do, but is unfortunately an essential part of the job. We try to get back to agents in a timely manner, as it’s always best to let them know that we’re not interested so that they can pursue elsewhere.
5pm: Phone call from an agent, who’s pitching an awesome-sounding new submission. Get overly excited during call, and send manuscript to Kindle as soon as it hits my inbox. Reading sorted for tonight.
5:15pm: Coffee and catch-up in HarperCollins canteen with colleague from Sales team. Feel a bit like the new girl still, and am keen to get to know as many people as I can. Hardly an onerous task as publishing is rightly renowned for being a super friendly industry!
6pm: Check I have Kindle and head off for evening. Walking across London Bridge, I am overwhelmed by the incredible view and take a moment to savour my awesome job. Then it’s right back to putting out the sharp elbows and fighting through the hordes of commuters all heading for the train station.
7pm: If there’s not a book launch or another industry event, it’s straight home to the sofa, the starving orange beast (who turns into a lovely lap cat once fed) and the next exciting submission to be read.