A DAY IN THE LIFE OF…. Bec Farrell by SJV
Next up in our series of A Day in the Life of feature is @TeamBATC member Bec Farrell!
What does an Editor do?
More than you might think! People often assume an editor just corrects spelling mistakes, but my job involves so much more, working with my colleagues in every department (Art, Marketing, Publicity, Sales, Production etc.), as well as authors and agents. I have the wonderful task of finding fabulous books to publish, of working with authors on the development of their manuscripts, of briefing cover designs and liaising with the entire team throughout every step of publication. Primarily, I’m the author’s main contact – and champion! – within the company, and that’s what I love!
Is there such a thing as a typical day, and if so what does it look like?
Lord, no! Every day is different and that’s both stress-inducing and exciting. I have regular weekly meetings (Cover Art, Editorial, Production – the list goes on…), and outside of those meetings I’m either editing a book, creating a cover brief or a title launch form, reading submissions, having smaller meetings about upcoming titles, meeting with authors and agents… There’s never a dull moment, and I have a long to-do list to keep me occupied should one ever occur.
For the record, if I was a budding debut author, faced with the dreaded blank first page, what would be your top tip to bestseller success?
Just get writing. I think it’s way too easy to put things off to another day or come up with countless reasons why you shouldn’t write and why it won’t work out, but the best thing you can do is just write some words and see where it goes. Agents and editors can edit words; we can fix words. What we can’t do is write the book for you, so don’t get too stressed about it not being “perfect” because no first draft ever is.
We’re obsessed with other people’s TBR piles, how high is yours? And do you have 2, one for work books and one for pleasure books?
My TBR pile is frighteningly high, and yes I do have a separate one for work. At any given moment I have a personal TBR pile, my own authors’ latest deliveries, new submissions from agents, comparison books in the market it’d be useful for me to read, and other books within S&S that I’ve heard so many good things about. It’s never-ending!
Have you got a best and worst part of the job?
The absolute best part is telling a debut author that you’re going to publish their book. Writing a book is hard, and I meet so many writers who dream of becoming a published author one day, so when you get to play a part in that dream coming true it’s such a great feeling.
I think the worst part is when a book you adore and have spent so much time working on doesn’t do as well as you’d hoped. There’s so much uncertainty around book sales and we can put absolutely everything into a book and have it not be picked up by a retailer or not sell-through well. Not every book can be a bestseller, but when there are so many that absolutely deserve to be read widely and they don’t work, that can be really hard.
Is there an author you’d sell a limb to work with?
John Green! I know he’s YA so it’s very unlikely to happen, but I adored his books as a teenager, and if he ever wants to venture into adult fiction I’ll be there to welcome him with open arms.
And lastly our quick fire trivia round…
Thing you’d never leave home without? My phone – sorry that’s really bad, isn’t it?
Favourite place to read? On my sofa, with the fairy lights on, wrapped up in a blanket with a cup of tea.
If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you live? Barcelona. I loved it when I visited a few years ago and I’ve always wanted to go back. I go through phases of learning Spanish just in case an opportunity ever arises.
What’s the secret to success? Learning from your mistakes.
What’s on your current reading pile? I’m dying to read The Hunting Party by Lucy Foley. It’s been on my kindle for ages!
Staying in or Going out? Staying in.
What’s your Signature dish? It’s usually safer if I stay out of the kitchen.
Beach break or city break? City break!
Favourite Literary Hero? Matilda Wormwood
Famous last words? You gotta laugh!