Posted 16.11.15 by prhcareers
“I get to work on great titles, come up with new ideas, be creative … all whilst wearing really bright clothes instead of a suit.”
Hello Grace – so you’re an Editorial Assistant – what does that mean?
I’m the first port of call for the team for any queries – from covers to proofreading, I’m your woman. I check proofs, write copy, take minutes, write sales points and liaise with authors, agents, proofreaders, designers and illustrators amongst many other things. I also assist the Senior Editorial Director and look after his diary as well as the diaries of two other Directors. Aside from helping out with admin, I have my own titles and am currently working on 15 of them, ranging from illustrated non-fiction to black and white fiction.
Where were you before Penguin Random House?
Backpacking for 4 months. I’ve managed to run away to India and Brazil this year even though I have a job now.
What’s it like to do Editorial at Penguin Random House?
My first job in publishing after university was with Penguin Random House so I can’t really compare. It’s incredibly fun and you get to work with some of the best people in the business. I did work experience with Penguin Random House whilst I was at university and immediately knew they were the company I wanted to work for. When I graduated I worked at M&S for a few months to support myself whilst I was doing work experience.
What’s the culture like in your team?
I’m fortunate to work with two fantastic Editors who are amazing and are both very supportive/ answer my constant questions/put up with my messy desk. We are incredibly busy but there’s always time for bad puns. I also work alongside two Editorial Directors who are great.
What’s the most exciting thing that’s happened to you at work this week?
I’ve finally sent a very long book off to print. I’ve been working on it since February so it’s slowly turned into my baby. It’s always a bit nerve-wracking sending a book off to print because you worry that you might have missed something out and wake up in the night worrying about whether you’ve misspelt the title or not. The bound copies are coming in soon so let’s not joke about that actually…
Best thing about your job?
My job is incredibly varied which I love as no book or author is the same. I get to work on great titles, come up with new ideas, be creative and work with designers on illustrated titles all whilst wearing really bright clothes instead of a suit. My job’s pretty awesome.
Biggest challenge to your job?
The ability to juggle multiple tasks at the same time. Learning how to write a good to do list and excellent time management skills are key.
Also living in constant fear that you’ve misspelt something.
All-time favourite book/story?
The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway. By Jove that man could write.
The Spice Girls.