Short Saturday: A Day in the Life of a Children’s Book Editor

In one of those strange little twists of fate, the week I wrote the post about my Dream Job (you may have read it last week), I stumbled on this blog post from an Actual In-House Editor, Jordan Hamessley London at Grosset and Dunlap. I did the Happy Dance, and set it aside for you all.

It should be noted this lovely young woman must move very, very fast. She allows just forty-five minutes to wake up, shower, check her work e-mail, and walk to the subway for her forty-five–minute commute. No mention of breakfast. No mention of coffee. (I used to give myself an extra thirty minutes just so I could have my first cup sitting down.)

Other things you should notice:

I try to get my personal reading done on the subway. I don’t get to read much for fun at home …

That is, she leaves the office at 5:45, walks to the subway, and then has that forty-five minute commute, so she’s home between 6:30 and 6:45—and then she spends an (unmentioned) number of hours reading book proposals, which is still work. (Presumably she also has dinner and spends some quality time with her husband.)

And …

12:15-1:00 Lunch. I typically eat lunch at my desk, but this day I had the chance to get lunch with my husband. While we were out, I received an email from the agent I was negotiating with earlier in the day …

Notice there’s just forty-five minutes for lunch, which includes walking to and from the restaurant. That’s a really quick lunch. She also checks her work e-mail while she’s out. (I also typically ate lunch at my desk.)

Anyone notice the two things that I didn’t have a chance to do at all this day at the office? Editing and reading submissions!

*Full disclosure: Most of my authors were revising this particular day, but this day would have been the same even if there had been a manuscript waiting for me to edit. Trust me, I eye my submissions pile longingly each day, but I rarely get to read them at the office.

Did you catch that last bit? Even if she’d had a manuscript waiting to be edited, it wouldn’t have happened this day. Writers who have wondered why things take so long at the publishing house should wonder no longer. Because sometimes the day just gets away, between phone calls and the myriad other duties. Sometimes the whole week gets away.

Tweet: A day in the life of an Actual In-House Editor. Really busy!
Tweet: At home she spends an (unmentioned) number of hours reading book proposals, which is still work.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I have mentioned. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Posted in The Book Biz | Tagged as: , , , , , , | Bookmark the permalink | Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.

One Trackback

  1. […] some here about the various types of editors and what they do (you can start here and then check this). Quickly, though, acquisitions editors are the folks at publishing houses to which your agent is […]