A DAY IN THE LIFE OF…. Emma Capron by SJV
What does an editor do?
Whenever I talk about my job, people always say how lucky I am to sit and read all day – I wish this was the case! If only we could sit soft all day with a pile of books (more likely with a kindle – we save paper where we can!).
First we read all the manuscripts, then we buy them from an agent, then we edit (once, twice, maybe three times) and then the text goes off to be copyedited before it is set into book form. It then goes off for proofreading. And that is just the text! We also write cover copy and liaise with the art department to get the most beautiful cover possible, and talk to Marketing, Publicity, BATC and Sales about getting the novel from manuscript to bestselling book!
Is there such a thing as a typical day, and if so what does it look like?
My schedule varies completely from day to day, but it can always be relied upon to start with me reading submissions on my kindle on the tube, and most often ends that way too. When I get into work I catch up on emails and do a bit of admin, before cracking on with the books.
If one of my authors delivers a manuscript (my books tend to be on quite tight schedules), I tend to drop everything for the day and get stuck in. I often hide myself away somewhere in a meeting room for some peace and quiet.
I do of course have lots of meetings too, but when I’m not editing (or book doctoring as SJV would have it) I will be working on taking a raw manuscript and turning it into what you eventually see on the page.
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?
It is rare that the beginning of your book will remain the same by the time it publishes, so get those words down on paper (screen) and see where they take you. Have confidence in yourself, and if you are really struggling with that concept, get a friend or family member to read your first few chapters and shower you with praise – that’ll give you the boost you need to power on!
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?
Thankfully my work TBR pile is on my Kindle, so I can’t see how high it is… I think I could probably build a fort around my desk if I were to print all the submissions out!
My home TBR pile is pretty cracking, and you’d be surprised about how old some of them are. It’s a bit of a wishful thinking pile really, as I just keep buying more and the others sadly get pushed further back. One day I’ll take a sabbatical and read allllllll the books!
Have you got a best and worst part of the job?
Best part – discovering a new author and getting to publish a book that you absolutely love to bits!
Worst part – losing out to another publisher on an author you really want to work with.
Is there an author you’d sell a limb to work with?
Now that would be telling… safe to say there are many on my list!
What book do you most recommend to others?
This is the point where I list all of my authors… you know who you are! Oh wait, I guess all you readers probably don’t… Catherine Bennetto, Holly Hepburn, and last but by no means least, Heidi Swain. Not to mention all of the other fantastic authors I have the pleasure of helping out on.
Outside of S&S… hmmm… most recently, a book that has had a bit of a resurgence of late: A Testament of Youth by Vera Brittain. It isn’t actually fiction, it is her memoir, but it reads like the novel I wish I could publish.
And lastly our quick fire trivia round…
Thing you’d never leave home without? My Kindle
Favourite place to read? On a beach (cocktail in hand, natch)
If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you live? Italy (oh… that took me by surprise!)
What’s the secret to success? Happiness
What’s on your current reading pile? Kill the Father by Sandrone Dazieri, Chase the Rainbow by Poorna Bell and something top secret and exciting for the Digital Originals list that you will hear about soon…!
Staying in or Going out? Staying in – better for reading!
What’s your Signature dish? Spaghetti Bolognese
Beach break or city break? Beach break – less walking around, more reading!
Favourite Literary Hero? Agh! There are so many to choose from… To avoid the clichés, I’m going to go with Aragorn from LOTR
Famous last words? Fake it until you make it!