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THIS SAVAGE SONG makes the Indie Next List! And an important reminder about preorders……

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A couple of weeks ago I got the wonderful news that THIS SAVAGE SONG, which comes out in just 6 weeks, made the Summer Indie Next List, a pretty hard-to-land-on list of new and upcoming titles that will be featured in independent bookstores across the country. And as someone for whom indies have been absolutely vital, I couldn’t be happier.

Here’s the review that landed me on that list:
This Savage Song, by Victoria Schwab
(Greenwillow Books, 9780062380852, $17.99, available July)
“August and Kate live in a broken world where violence breeds actual monsters. Kate wants to embrace her monstrous side, while August would do anything to be human. This Savage Song takes the darkness of the world around us and gives it form. Schwab has gifted readers with a fascinating — if gory — urban fantasy world, a pair of unforgettable protagonists, and a question that will linger long in the minds of readers: What does it mean to be inhuman in a world where humans do such monstrous things?” —Nicole Brinkley, Oblong Books & Music, Millerton, NY
And while we’re talking about indies, now’s a GREAT time to remind you that if you pre-order THIS SAVAGE SONG through either Parnassus Books or Books of Wonder (two of my favorite indies), you will receive:
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–A signed/personalized hardcover!
–A set of limited edition HUMAN/MONSTER tattoos!
–My undying affection!*
*Pre-ordering a book is like a gift from present you to future you. It’s also one of the best ways to show a publisher there’s excitement for a book/series. It’s not a necessary thing, by any means, but it really does help.

On Little Gods

I’ve been thinking a lot about control. As a writer, you sculpt a world from scratch, populate it with people, with stories, and control them all. From the geography to the folklore, the smallest details to the largest plots. It’s in your hands.

In that sense, as a writer, you become a ‘little god’.

But in publishing–that business side of the art, your control dissolves.

You don’t control whether the book sells.

You don’t control the marketing budget if he does.

You don’t control the publisher’s investment.

You don’t control your place in-house.

You don’t control the sales plan.

You don’t control the cover art.

You don’t control the jacket copy.

You don’t control how the book is portrayed, publicized, given, sold to the world.

You don’t control anything.

Or at least, it can feel that way.

Because, of course, you still control one thing.

The words.

The content between the front cover and the back.

In the cyclone of publishing, it’s easy to forget how important that is. Easy to feel like the words don’t matter as much as a six-figure marketing campaign, a national tour, a lead title push.

They can feel like big gods.

It can be terrifying, if you let it.

(Sometimes I let it.)

But it can also be freeing, if you let it.

(I try.)

Because marketing is fickle. Publishers are fickle. The industry is fickle. And in that cyclone, the solid ground–the only patch of solid ground–is the story you want to tell. Your words on the page.

Yes, marketing matters.

Yes, a good cover helps.

Yes, you’re fighting an uphill battle to be seen, to be heard, to be read.

But.

The single greatest thing you can do–the only thing you can do–is write.

The big gods will throw around money and mountains, but the little gods with their delicate sculptures, those are the ones that matter. Those are the ones that last.

So go.

Pick up your pen.

Tune out the noise.

Focus on the thing in your control.

And write.

Behind the scenes of the ADSOM TV deal!

Hi lovelies!

So, it’s a well-known fact that publishing is 90% waiting, and a large part of that waiting for me lately has been waiting to share a piece of news! I hinted at it now and then, mentioned working on a script, but yesterday, Deadline finally broke the news…

Deadline

You guys.

You guys.

ADSOM is being developed for TV! Not just for TV, but for a limited series. Think Game of Thrones, or Daredevil, or any of the incredible shows rocking the 10-12 episode format.

I’ve been sitting on this news for the last 6 MONTHS. 6 months of working hand in hand with my producer Danielle as she showed me the ropes of script-writing, and worked tirelessly with me to get it right.

Here’s what Danielle had to say:

“Victoria is the ultimate world builder. I knew I had to be a part of this project when I started dreaming in Red London. Schwab’s writing is so vivid you start to see it and imagine it all around you. She has a very special gift. We are thrilled to be a part of helping her bring ADSOM to life.”

Excuse me while I draw hearts around that quote.

I actually went out to LA in the fall to meet with Danielle and talk through the project, and she surprised me with an ANTIQUE MAP OF LONDON. You guys. We’re meant for each other. I think Danielle has read ADSOM even more times than *I* have.

Now that the news has broken, there are a few things I want to address:

Q: You’re writing the script?!?!

A: I am indeed. When the producers asked me if I wanted to write the pilot, I thought long and hard about whether it was the right decision. One of my primary reasons for agreeing to adapt the material was the creative control, the opportunity to dictate the aesthetic and story. My producers have involved me in every decision, and promise to continue doing so, and I’m immeasurably grateful. This means that if ADSOM comes to TV, it will do so with my seal of approval.:)

Q: Have you already written the script?

A: I’ve been working on the pilot script for the last 6 months! It’s buffed and polished and almost ready to conquer the world. Or at least LA.

Q: Please don’t mess this up.

A: I am trying very hard not to.

Q: Does this mean that ADSOM will definitely be airing on my TV?

A: Of course not, nothing is that simple. As with most high-risk, high-reward pursuits, there are many doors left to unlock. BUT ADSOM is off to an incredible start, and we’ve got a lot of people on our side, including YOU. The best thing you can do for the series is keep reading it, so those people in Hollywood know it’s worth the time and money.

Iamherebecauseyouarehere

 

 

 

 

Everything you need to know about the GATHERING OF SHADOWS tour!!

Hey there, lovelies.

A DARKER SHADE OF MAGIC just came out in paperback this week, and it’s hard to believe we’re little more than a month away from the sequel hitting shelves!!

It’s also hard to believe that Tor is sending me on my first ever official, national tour.

This post will serve, as the subject suggests, as a source of EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW.

First, the official tour schedule on my site looks like this:

FullTourAGOS

What that list DOESN’T tell you is all the AMAZING authors I’m signing WITH. So, a breakdown:

Friday, January 22nd
Livonia Barnes and Noble @ 7 p.m. (with Susan Dennard, John Scalzi, Wesley Chu, Max Gladstone, Greg van Eekhout, Lawrence M. Shoen, Tom Doyle, Cherie Priest)Livonia, MI

Tuesday, February 23
Parnassus Books @ 6:30 p.m.
Nashville, TN

Wednesday, February 24
Blue Willow Bookshop @ 7 p.m. (with Rachel Hawkins)
Houston, TX

Thursday, February 25
One More Page @ 7 p.m.
Arlington, VA

Friday, February 26
Rediscovered Books + Downtown Boise Public Library @ 7 p.m.
Boise, ID

Saturday, February 27
Borderlands Books @ 3 p.m. (with Margaret Stohl and Stephenie Kuehn)
San Francisco, CA

Sunday, February 28
Barnes & Noble @ 2 p.m. (with Gretchen McNeil and Marie Lu)
Los Angeles, CA

Monday, February 29
Mysterious Galaxy @ 7:30 p.m. (with Kiersten White and Cecil Castellucci)
San Diego, CA

Tuesday, March 1
Third Place Books @ 7 p.m. (with Jason Hough, Kerry Schafer, and A.R. Kahler)
Seattle, WA

Wednesday, March 2
Old Firehouse Books @ 7 p.m. (with Brenna Yovanoff and Emily Hainesworth)
Fort Collins, CO

Thursday, March 3
Poisoned Pen @ 7 p.m. (with Sam Sykes and Rae Carson)
Scottsdale, AZ

Saturday, March 5
Malaprop’s Bookstore/Café @ 3 p.m. (with Jessica Khoury, Delilah S. Dawson, and Ryan Graudin, moderated by Beth Revis)
Asheville, NC

Tuesday, March 8
Joseph-Beth Booksellers @ 7 p.m. (with Gwenda Bond and Julie Kagawa)
Lexington, KY

Next…

this past week I also revealed the super exclusive fifth AGOS card, available only to those who come to see me on tour. Here is the two-sided RHY IN TORMENT/RHY IN MAJESTY.

Photo on 1-18-16 at 11.44 AM #2

Onto some FAQ:

*All answers are about my personal preferences and don’t apply to all authors.*

NOTE: Most bookstores understandably require you to buy at least one book at the event, but it doesn’t have to be mine (I am signing with some AMAZING authors), and I am more than happy to sign as many books as you bring with you, too.

NOTE: Please don’t record an event without asking.

NOTE: I often get asked if people can bring me things (it’s a very sweet gesture), and while I LOVE presents, I will ask that you please don’t bring homemade treats. My favorite things, if you’re so inclined, are: fanart, dark chocolate peanut butter cups, hugs.

NOTE: I am more than happy to take photographs!

NOTE: The thing about authors to remember is that we’re as scared of you as you are of us. Don’t fret about being nervous, or awkward. We are nervous and awkward and most certainly not judging you.

Give the Gift of *MAGIC*

“Books make great gifts because they have whole worlds inside them. And it’s much cheaper to buy somebody a book than it is to buy them the whole world.” ~Neil Gaiman

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I’m always talking about how books make wonderful presents, and I’m of the (admittedly biased) belief that ADSOM makes a particularly nice one. That’s why, this holiday season, I want to reward people for giving the gift of MAGIC.

And so, to that end…

If you:

-Buy A DARKER SHADE OF MAGIC for someone on your holiday list, &

-Send proof of purchase* to viciousveschwab@gmail.com by Dec 18th, along with a mailing address and the name of the recipient (even if it’s you)…

I will:

-Send you a signed/personalized bookplate to put with your book under the tree!

*Proof of purchase can be a screencap of an online order, a picture of the receipt with date, or a photo of you standing at a cash register holding the book and making a thumbs up.

*Open internationally.

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And in case that’s not enough tinsel for your tree…

REMINDER: If you pre-order A GATHERING OF SHADOWS and send proof of purchase to viciousveschwab@gmail.com, you’ll receive these gorgeous AGOS art cards illustrated by Victoria Ying.

Announcing the ADSOM fan-art contest!

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When it comes to fan-art, the ADSOM community has been truly magical. Over the last 8 months, we’ve seen SO many amazing pieces of ADSOM art. Now, to celebrate the readership’s penchant for the visual, as well as the upcoming launch of A GATHERING OF SHADOWS, the amazing team at Tor has launched an EPIC fan-art contest!!!!

Now, if you can’t draw, do not fear. Fan-art takes many forms, from illustrations to cover designs to quote art to cosplay. And all of them are eligible. (Keep in mind, you can’t use copyrighted images.)

Here are just a few ideas:

–Dress up as Lila!

–Draw a picture of Sad Holland!

–Redesign the book covers!

–Fan-edit the Dane twins!

–Doodle Rhy in all his princely hotness!

–Design Holland’s curse!

–Make Kell’s necklace of coins!

I really, really hope you’ll enter! I even put on pants and made you a video!

Feeling fired up?

For contest details and entry, go HERE.

Today I got a key tattoo. Let me tell you why.

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Today I got a key tattoo. I want to tell you why.

It is not, in fact (or at least, not exclusively), a key to the Archive. It’s based on a very real antique skeleton key I carry with me, a relic from a little market in the corner of Paris.

This key is the culmination of planning, of waiting, of earning.

This key is my author icon. Rather than a pen or quill, or set of letters, this is what marks me as a storyteller, a gatekeeper, providing my readers with the keys to new worlds, whether or not they choose to step through the door.

This key is my personal totem, so that all the doors in life–or at least, the right doors–will open for me.

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And this key is my reward.

For moving to another country.

For finishing three books and surviving grad school at the same time.

It is my reminder that I can take risks, push myself, and succeed.

My reminder that I can take the hard door.

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Announcing the GATHERING OF SHADOWS pre-order campaign!!!!

ETA: OPEN!

We are getting more AGOS trading cards in stock in December! That means this offer is officially reopened!

ETA: CLOSED.

So many people turned in their preorder receipts in the first week that we ran out of stock. Hopefully we’ll be able to offer more closer to release, but in the meantime, this giveaway is closed. Check back later.

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Hello, lovelies!

Over the past week, Tor has been teasing the gorgeous AGOS art cards designed by Victoria Ying. And now that they’ve finally been revealed in all their glory, it’s time to kick off the pre-order campaign!

First a moment to appreciate these beautiful cards, featuring four of the tournament magicians in A GATHERING OF SHADOWS. Those who’ve read A DARKER SHADE OF MAGIC will recognize two of them😉

  

Long-time readers know that I love providing incentives for those dedicated enough to pre-order, both because I love my readers, and because publishers pay a lot of attention to pre-release statistics.

So here we go!

I have 200 sets of these cards! The giveaway is open internationally, and all you have to do is send:

-proof of pre-order (ex: screencap of receipt)

–a mailing address to:

viciousveschwab@gmail.com

Also, a sneaky little heads-up! There will be a super exclusive FIFTH card featuring a certain prince, and available ONLY at in-person events next spring😉

I HAVE BOOK DEAL NEWS!!!!

You guysssssss.

Late last night, a Monday PW post went up early and broke the news.

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First of all, let’s have a moment of OMG FOUR BOOKS FOUR BOOKS FOUR BOOKS.

AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!

OKAY.

Now that I’ve gotten that out of my system…

  1. What are these four books?!?!
    1. Well, one of them is the sequel to VICIOUS!!!! And one is the third book in the SHADES OF MAGIC series!!! And one is the ‘Devil Book’ I’ve mentioned here and there around the internet–aka the book of my dark soul and probably the only love story I’ll ever write–and the fourth is a secret.
  2. I thought VICIOUS was a standalone!
    1. VICIOUS was, in fact, always designed to be the first in a series, but I feel very strongly that first books should always be able to stand on their own. That said, many people who’ve finished VICIOUS have rightly suspected that I wasn’t done with Victor Vale and the rest of the book’s motley crew.
  3. How many books are in the SHADES OF MAGIC series?
    1. That’s a very good question! I thought it was going to be a trilogy, but it’s safer to think of it as a series. I have always had the arc planned out, and known where it was going and how it would end, but as the world and cast have grown, the adventure has, too. I don’t believe in adding for the sake of adding, so the series will only be as long as it needs to in order to tell the story. Whether that’s 3 or 4 books, I’m not totally sure.
  4. Wait let’s get back to VICIOUS!!! Does the sequel have a title? When is it coming out? What can you tell me??
    1. Haha, right now, I can only tell you what’s in that PW announcement😉 You’ll have to stay tuned for more.

Right now I just want to say thank you. Thank you to my incredible agent, Holly, the hardest-working champion in the world. And thank you to my amazing editor, Miriam. I want to make book babies with you forever.

But most of all, thank you to my readers. NONE of this would happen without your love and support. Thank you for buying books, for spreading the word, for demanding more Victor Vale. Thank you for helping me make this dream of mine a reality.

Thank you.

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9 Editors Share *THEIR* Day in the Life

Hey lovelies!

As a follow-up to last week’s DITL post, it was suggested that I do one from the OTHER side of the desk, so to speak. And so, without further ado, a VERY special treat. A look at the schedules of nine editors!

Martha Mihalick, Senior Editor, Harper/Greenwillow: 

One of the things I love about my job is that no day is completely the same. Some days are all about writing copy or letters or calling/emailing authors about their manuscripts. Some are all meetings with sales and marketing or agents or our own team to discuss projects that are in the works or in the future. And of course, the books and authors change from season to season., and none of those are exactly the same every time. So this is an example of how one day might go…

6:45am: Alarm radio goes off with NPR Morning Edition, so that I can listen while I’m getting ready for work and pretend I know things about the world.
8:00am: Get on subway, aka submission-reading time. Hopefully seated.
8:45 or so unless the MTA gods are particularly wrathful: Get to my office and GET COFFEE.
Gently pat the manuscript I printed out and WILL EDIT TODAY.
Open email, catch up on anything that happened after I left the office last night, check facebook and twitter, the saved searches I have on all the authors.
Respond to emails. Answer questions. Soothe nerves.
Somewhere in here, I probably also talk to either our editorial assistant or our publisher about something we’re all reading (either submission or new draft).
Oh, hey, the phone is ringing. It’s an agent with a new project to pitch. Or someone who needs info on an upcoming book or author. Or maybe my mom, even though I keep telling her I’m busy at work.
Mechs for a picture book or a jacket that are circulating through the imprint hit my inbox, and I review so I can pass them on. If it’s the picture book I have coming out in Fall ’16 (yes, that’s how far ahead we are working), then I’m probably giggling and/or “awwww”ing at my desk.
An author sends in answers to a Q&A or a blog post, and I read it and ask managing ed to copyedit it, then review any copyediting changes or queries and pass it on where it needs to go.
Marketing brings over or sends an ad for us to approve, so I look at that.
Our art director got new comps in for a jacket, so we discuss those.
I gently pat that manuscript I’m totally going to edit after lunch.
Wait…is it already 2pm? Maybe I should get lunch.
While I’m buying food, two more submissions come in.
More emails from authors/agents/marketing/sales to weigh in on.
Managing ed has a manuscript back from copyediting, ready for me to review and pass on to the author.
Throughout the day I’m occasionally checking social media to see if there’s anything happening for authors or books or in the industry in general that I should know about.
Write copy—catalog copy, jacket copy, selling copy, a letter for a mailing, tip sheet copy, paperback copy, who knows what it could be this particular day?
Finally, it’s 5pm and starting to get a little quiet. Maybe I can edit 10 pages before I go home.
Oh, except there’s that question from earlier in the day I forgot to answer.
And now it’s dark out. Load any new submissions on ipad, grab 50 pages of that manuscript and head out. Maybe I’ll get it done at home?

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Miriam Weinberg, Editor, Tor Books:

This is an interesting question to answer–and one I constantly try to express to my family members, who still think I get to read books all day, which was my childhood dream (I WISH).

Basically, a day in the editorial life on average includes very *little* actual editing, but a huge amount of what I would call “invisible paper mountain excavation.” That includes: copy writing, looking over cover mechanicals/proofs, sitting in on various meetings (marketing, production, random), updating interior systems for sales and external processing, and navigation of the Death Star trench run that is my inbox. Honestly, the majority of my editorial time is spent out of the office–either on weekends or, if swamped, during a day out of the week–as is the majority of my reading. HOWEVER, I have recently acquired a violently regal reading chair for said office, so I’ve been trying to come in half an hour or so early to get reading done, which, being a person who dislikes the morning, has been a rough go. But let us imagine that this is easily repeatable in a pretend (v. productive and non-interrupted with random book-related fires) Wednesday:

-Come in before 9am, try the new fancy coffee machine (the old one gave up bitter poltergeist tears of roast ghosts), hope to go someone in marketing/ad-promo came in earlier than me to make coffee. I make coffee, whole scoop of grounds, half the water, the way my mother taught me.
-Eat yogurt (/Lucky Charms) and check twitter, if I hadn’t loaded on my way in to read on the commute
-Read until someone knocks on my door or calls; check inbox and re-write to-do list (or highlight/color code previous to do list for daily priority)
-Answer emails in order of priority; check in with bosses Patrick Nielsen Hayden and Liz Gorinsky to see if they need assistance with anything (mailing, orders, copy writing/processing, follow-up on upcoming seasonal tasks)
-I am currently in charge of the Tor intern program (and have been for a couple years), and my current intern comes in after their morning class, around 11. Go by their desk, chat a bit, see how their last task was going, assign new ones.
-Bring intern with me to morning production meeting; dodge the Eeyore faces of production
-Reassess TDL, email a gif to author,  check twitter
-Check over quotes for a book that needs an offset transmittal so I can compile front sales; teach intern to do transmittals
-Look up previous contract for author who I’d like to buy another book from, think about math, think about marketing, make P and L spreadsheet, ponder. Talk to Tom; discuss author’s last book, weekend plans.
-Prep email with offer for agent; wait at least half hour to send, so that I can check again before I push GO.
-More emailing.
-Twitter (guys, I know, but I LOVE TWITTER and also get a weird amount of business done on there for someone who potentially tweets more gifs than words?)
-Write/look over notes taken while reading new revision of manuscript, start compiling into editorial letter and/or streamlining MS comments (I often in-text edit, over long editorial letters, depending on the author/book/style–each one is different!).
-Look at Cover, debate how you feel about the color orange, take office poll about hue (try to not make puns).
-Have I eaten lunch? Probably eat lunch. I am already hungry because I likely have forgotten to eat lunch twice already today.
-Surf the internet while eating, try to not look at work things, stare
down anyone who knocks on my door
-Check back in with intern, set them up with some mailings and ask them to pull my royalty statements, which I will spend tomorrow morning
-Sighing/kvelling over (mostly b/c MATH/STATISTICS MY OLD FRENEMY)
-At this point, try to take reading break, possibly write blog post that you keep forgetting you owe to Tor.com, realize something is going to auction, or look over reading reports from intern.
-Meet with friend in marketing to discuss current/upcoming tumblr campaign for a book, once we finish our notes/needs, discuss anime/fandom concerns. Make puns.
-Twitter
-Email
-Other things?
-Reassess TDL, print out/pack up current reading pages (trying to give my eyes electronic breaks which is NOT nice for my back, but oh well, live hard/die in a paper avalanche), go home!

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Kelly Galluci, Editor, Bookish:

I loathe mornings and value sleeping above all else. So I’ve managed to get my morning routine down to a quick 15 minutes, enabling me to stay asleep until 6:45. By 7:45, I’m on a train barreling towards New York City, and deep into whatever book I’m reading—this week it’s Marissa Meyer’s Scarlet. After battling the midtown crowds, I arrive at my office, which is blissfully silent early in the morning. I’m always the second person there and spend the hour or so before the rest arrive eating breakfast (no coffee here), checking our social media, and browsing the internet for literary news.

From there, each day of the week is different. On Tuesdays, I look over and approve the newsletter. On Wednesdays, I eagerly wait for 1 p.m. to hit so I can go to Chipotle. On Thursdays, I playfully bug my coworkers until they send in books for our Friday Reads post. The time before lunch is always filled with answering publicity pitches, commissioning interviews or guests posts, editing articles, and ensuring that articles are built and have the appropriate art. I have the bad habit of working through my lunches when I stay in, but I’m trying to break that. After lunch (once I’ve had my Diet Coke fix), I focus on writing my own articles. Then I look over the new books that have been delivered throughout the day, and sometimes I use them to update our Instagram with something fun. By 6:30 I’m back on the train for more reading, and then head straight to the gym to get those endorphins pumping, because if I learned anything from Elle Woods it’s that fitting in time to work out makes you happy no matter what is going on around you.

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Diana Pho, Editor, Tor Books:

I’m going to start by mentioning what I do before I go into the office, because it all plays into how I try to keep a work-life balance. As an editor, it is very easy to have your work consume your entire life. So, I get up, do some light exercise to keep me focused (and prepped to sit and stare at a screen for the next 8+ hours).

Once in the office, my daily schedule tends to change very quickly. I keep of Task List of major and minor things I have to do for my current book projects that (hopefully) will have an item or two crossed off by the end of the day. I also handle responsibilities outside of my own book projects – assisting others, doing sales work for Seven Seas Entertainment, whatever miscellaneous side-quest the day tosses my way.

If I’m lucky, I would get in an hour of actual editing on a project done. Sometimes, I have to put on the headphones, blare my music mood of the day, and try not to answer any emails or anything until I make some progress. The editing process is pretty slow for me, and I usually come into the office for a few hours on the weekend so I have some time/head space to work. I usually end up reading submissions while I commute or at home.

Hope that doesn’t come off as too boring/stressful. I really love my job!😄

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Richard Shealy, Copyeditor:

(Get some coffee first, because this is about as exciting as lukewarm oatmeal!)

My day is largely molded on the standard nine-to-five schedule, as my wife commutes to work by train; given that we downsized to one car many years ago, I drive her to and from the train station, and I won’t do that before the second cup of coffee is kicking in (word to the wise: don’t drive in NJ if you’re half asleep!). The alarm goes off at six; I get up and make a cup of coffee, then run through email and social media while my wife gets another half hour of sleep. I get her up around 6:30, we feed and medicate the cats, she showers, and we get in the car before 8 to get her to the train. When I return, I clean out anything new that has popped up and then start work.

The work itself: It takes its own pace. I take breaks freely to head off waning attention or deal with question-pondering. Also, the pace varies drastically between beginning and end; early on, I’m considering possibilities and authorial intent, but by the end, those questions have largely been answered and the work accelerates dramatically from day to do. That shift is even greater when I have access to an author who is both willing and able to answer/discuss questions (my productivity will superficially appear to be at a standstill for hours early on while consulting with the author, but with all the universal-effect issues resolved, the pace can become blistering, and I’ll end up working late or even asking my wife to take a cab home because the work is flowing too well for me to feel comfortable stepping away from it).

I don’t set a standard pace and try to stick to it; I learned early on that this would hamstring the overall quality of my work and not help any one internal part of it. Front-loading the thought, the analysis of “What’s really going on here?” is functionally far more effective for me than is assigning page-number goals per day. Page/word totals will come if I let the work itself set its pace . . . and guess what? The pace almost always averages out in the end to roughly the same. And there’s no set schedule outside of getting up at the same time, taking my wife to and from the train station at the same time, and feeding/medicating cats at the same time (they simply refuse to understand!). I come to perceive the rhythm that the particular project sets, and I follow that wherever it leads.

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Carly Silver, Assistant Editor, Harlequin:

I’ve just begun a new role at Harlequin as assistant editor for our Romantic Suspense line, which is very exciting. My day consists of everything from revising backlist cover copy to working on line edits, reading slush to Googling pictures of hot guys to serve as art references.

I adore working at Harlequin – romance is a fun business to be in!

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Michael Damian Thomas and Lynne M. Thomas, Editors-in-Chief of Uncanny Magazine:

An Average Day at Uncanny Magazine Headquarters

WAKE UP!
1- Check email to see if anything is on fire. Answer the email fires that are easy to put out.
2- Check social media. RT nice things said about the magazine. Quick meeting to go over the upcoming day.
BREAKFAST! PUT DAUGHTER INTO WHEELCHAIR AND ONTO THE BUS!
3- Check website, approve comments, make sure everything is fine.
4- Check to-do list.
5- Email people to see if that draft/contract/approval/interview/whatever will be ready soon since it’s past the deadline.
6- Answer queries. Put out the delicate email fires.
MESS AROUND ON TWITTER!
7- Look at submissions and sort them.
8- Read some submissions and make notes about pluses and minuses of the pieces for the later meeting.
9- If it’s post-meeting, send out rejection and acceptance emails.
LUNCH!
10- Create contracts for the acceptances.
11- Pay people who have sent back their contracts.
12- Fill in spreadsheets to keep up-to-date on issues’ Tables of Contents and the general status of things.
13- Look at some artwork for possible covers.
14- Send out some social media updates.
15- Email the staff about where we are today. Schedule things. Send some supportive emails.
IM WITH COLLEAGUES ABOUT LATEST SF/F KERFUFFLE!
16- Look over some purchased manuscripts and make some line edits.
17- Look over copyedits and send to the author.
DAUGHTER COMES HOME!
18- Email potential advertisers.
DINNER! WATCH A TV SHOW! PUT DAUGHTER TO BED!
19- Record a podcast.
20- Discuss things, make decisions.
21- Take care of some Kickstarter things
22- Read more submissions.
BEDTIME!

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Melissa Frain, Senior Editor, Tor Books:

I currently go back and forth between two offices—most days I work from my home in Pennsylvania, but I pop in to my NY office at Tor as needed. PA days and NY days are totally different—when I’m in New York, it’s pretty much all meetings. But on an average day in PA, I get up (read: my cats wake me up) at 7:30ish and I go for a run. Then I make the long commute across the hall and usually settle in at my desk around 9. I’m obsessive about my email, so I start every workday by answering and filing away as much as I can. Then I make a to-do list of the most pressing things that must get done that day.

When I was a baby editor, I had the fairly typical delusion that it would be all reading, all the time. In reality, I do most editing and reading submissions on nights and weekends. The actual day-to-day varies a lot, since I’m always working on a lot of different projects at the same time. A debut YA fantasy publishing next month has way different stuff going on than a media tie-in that pubs in a year. A lot of the job is figuring out what each individual project needs at a particular time and getting it done. But the broad strokes are pretty consistent: I clean out my email. I make my to-do list. I try to save the more creative tasks (editorial letters or brainstorming sessions, writing jacket/catalog/internet copy, coming up with cover concepts, etc) for the afternoon, so that they can float in the back of my mind and take shape for a while before I actually sit down to write them out. In the meantime, I do things like reviewing contracts before they go out for signature, writing rejections (or, on happier days, working up offers for new projects), providing key selling points or other information for the sales department, working with marketing and publicity on plans for books further in the process, and of course managing email as it comes in. When 5:30 hits, I grab whatever manuscript I’m working on and edit in bursts until bedtime.

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Aimee Friedman, Executive Editor, Scholastic:

What I love about being an editor is that I get to be involved in every stage, and aspect, of a book’s life–sometimes from the tiniest seed of the idea all the way through the book launch party, and beyond! This means that no two days are ever quite the same: sometimes it’s day of back-to-back meetings with various colleagues; sometimes I’m catching up on submissions; sometimes I’m in the middle of an auction and making a zillion phone calls; sometimes I’m having lunch with an author and/or an agent, sometimes (if I’m lucky) I get to hide out in my office (or work from home if need be) and just dive into the editing of a manuscript.

It’s a Tuesday afternoon as I write this, so this morning I went to our editorial staff meeting, where we talked about upcoming industry conferences and our own upcoming in-house meetings and what we need to prepare for them. We also discussed general trends we’d noticed and potential ideas and some movies and books: fun stuff. Then I got a big iced coffee (crucial) and sat down to answer emails–a lot had accumulated because I’d been out for a few days. After taking care of the most urgent requests, I shut my office door and focused on the copyedited manuscript I had just received back from the production editor. I went through the copyeditor’s comments, made my own, and sent it off to the author. Later, I will probably call this author to discuss any questions or issues that might be tricky. Then I’ll grab a salad from Sweetgreen (my new favorite place) and eat at my desk, answering more emails, maybe reading submissions, or skimming Vulture if I want to take a break. Then I’ll try to clear out my non-virtual inbox: signing off on routing covers, going through second passes with proofreader comments, etc. Often I’ll have to talk with the production editor about how the schedule is coming, or meet with the designer to discuss any concerns I might have about the jacket. Then I have my bi-weekly meeting with my supervisor, where we’ll go over outstanding issues and I’ll ask all the questions I’ve saved up for him. I usually get a cookie at some point around 4 pm, and chat with my colleagues for a little impromptu break. I’m a night owl, so I’ll generally stay at the office late–I’ll get a burst of productivity after everyone else has gone home! And of course, like I lot of editors, I often take reading home, or I’ll read on the subway. And who knows what tomorrow will bring?

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