Many people think that being an editor is a great job because you get to sit in a large, comfy chair, sip coffee, and read books all day long. Well, it is a great job (and you do get to drink a lot of coffee!), but as Ylva Publishing’s senior editor, I actually spend most of my time doing other things.
So, for those of you who are curious: welcome to a typical day in the life of a senior editor (not that there actually is a typical day; no two days are completely alike).
7 a.m. – I don’t set an alarm clock, but my biological clock usually wakes me right on time. Since being an editor and writer means spending the next twelve (or more) hours sitting at my desk, I start off the day with a half hour of exercise trainer. Then it’s breakfast time—usually my own mix of muesli.
8 a.m. – I make the long commute to my office. Okay, it’s just a few steps from the kitchen. Since I’m a writer in addition to being an editor, my mornings are usually dedicated to writing. I strive for 2,000 words a day, but if there are fires to be put out in my editing job, I don’t always make it. Right now, I’m working on Heart Trouble, a lesbian medical romance with a twist.
1 p.m. – Lunch. I try to eat healthy—and it’s yummy too!
2 p.m. – I made my 2,000 words today! Yay! Time to put on my senior editor hat. I take a look at my e-mail—no fires to put out today. In fact, there’s a lot of fun stuff in my in-box: the print cover for our upcoming anthology, which our graphic artist wants me to review; an e-mail from an author with whom I’m brainstorming title ideas for her book, and several e-mails from our editors and proofreaders who want to know whether Ylva allows point-of-view switches in the middle of a scene (no), whether Ylva uses the Oxford comma (yes), and whether to hyphenate godawful in a manuscript using Australian spelling (yes, and it’s actually capitalized too, even though that looks God-awful to me!). This is also when I accept or reject new submissions that authors sent in. The former is one of my absolute favorite parts of my job.
3 p.m. – Time to check my to-do list, the most important tool for any project manager at Ylva Publishing. For the authors I manage, I’m involved in every step of their books’ lives—from submission, editing, proofreading, and cover creation to publication and marketing. Today, I’m editing the blurb (sales description) of a romance novel that will be published in 2017. Yes, we’re planning that far ahead.
4 p.m. – This is usually the time I read new submissions or edit manuscripts. Today, it’s Vellmar the Blade, the next book in Fletcher DeLancey’s science fiction series, and I’m happy to reconnect with one of my all-time favorite characters, Salomen. I love my job!
5 p.m. – Fletcher delivers pretty clean manuscripts, so today I actually have some time to work on a non-Ylva manuscript. Every year, I try to mentor two new writers via the Golden Crown Society Mentoring Program. It’s a great way to give back to the community of LGBTQ+ writers.
7 p.m. – On Tuesdays, we have our weekly team meetings, where we go over the production schedule to make sure all of our projects are on track. On other days, I have Skype conference calls with Ylva authors or staff. Today, there are no calls on my schedule, so I use this time to work on material for my Five Core Elements of Fiction workshop that I’ll hold at the Lesvos Lesfic book holiday.
8 p.m. – Time to wrap up work. To be honest, on most days, that just means I move to the living room to proofread one of my manuscripts, answer a few more e-mails, or do some research. But today, I actually stop working and watch a few episodes of The Walking Dead.
Midnight – I’m heading off to bed, ready to do it all over again tomorrow.