To start this week, I had 31 items on my "To-Do" list. Some things on that list were quick and easy, such as I needed to email Kathleen Ernst with information she needs so we can put photos of particular antiques in her next book, Heritage of Darkness. But I also needed to read four full manuscripts, each one taking at least half a day. My biggest item on the list was to acquire two manuscripts for the Winter 2014 season - and that I can't quantify. Does anyone want to guess how many items are crossed off my To-Do list? 10.
10 out of 31. Yikes.
Ok, to the nuts and bolts of what I do daily. First I check my email and respond to anything that has exploded overnight. Second, I get a cup of tea. Then all heck breaks loose. :)
There are any number of meetings I may have to attend -
- a one-on-one meeting with my boss, the Publisher
- the weekly acquisitons meeting where the acquiring editors present the books we want to publish. Most weeks I have nothing, other weeks I might have three or four books.
- vision meeting - once we have decided to go forward on a book, there is small group meeting where we discuss content and what changes we may want the author to make.
- production planning - the physical nuts and bolts meeting - how many pages, any artwork/photos, etc.
- launch meeting - the BIG meeting. here we decide on the title, cover direction, series name, etc.
- cover meeting - after the designer has put together mock up covers, a small group chooses what cover we like best, make suggestions for changes and then the designer finds an artist to produce/illustrate the final cover.
Besides scheduled meetings, at any time the cover designer might pop over for a quick question on the cover direction, or ask my opinion on an element or an illustrator.
I see every routing that happens for a book. Cover design, back cover copy, galley copy, and catalog copy. I have to read and sign off on all of them. It isn't unusual for any of those routings to route 3-4 times.
I was just interrupted, so I have forgotten what I was going to say next! Hmmm... I no longer have to create and negotiate contracts, I do negotiate the offer. That can be as simple as a day or over a week. Right now I have two offers and I am waiting to hear back from the agents. When those agents accept the offers, then I send our contracts person all the info she needs.
Since today is Friday, it is generally a meeting free day. We only schedule meetings on Fridays if the meeting is time sensitive and we can't work it in earlier in the week. So today I will spend the day trying to find another book for my Winter 2014 catalog. Everything else on the list will have to wait. Which means I will start Monday with a list of at least 21 To-Do items. :(
And the reality of my day is that I have no idea what shape my day will take. The process of walking a book through production is long and requires a lot of steps along the way. I will save the nuts and bolts for another post, but a village of people work on every book. We work collaboratively with each other and with the author to produce the best book possible.
I didn't include writing a blog post on my To-Do list, so sadly, I don't get to cross that off. So I better get back to reading submissions. And maybe I can cross that off my list next week.