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A Day in the Life Of… a Publishing Coordinator

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Hiya, I’m Hannah and I’m the Publishing Coordinator at Trigger! If you want to know a little about what I do, then keep reading … Abz

Give us a brief overview of your job details.

“Jack of all trades, must be able to fill in where necessary and do the odd job now and again” – that’s what is says on my job description. OK, well I may be reading between the lines a little. But seriously, I know enough about every stage of the book publishing process to set deadlines, ensure delivery and plan for delays. The majority of my job lies in production: dealing with printers, distributors, shippers, eBook and audio conversions. However, I also handle contract negotiations and liaise closely with the designers on jacket design.

So, what do I actually do? Exactly what my job title implies: coordinate the team to make sure that all of the pieces of what makes a book come together in time for publication.

Why did you choose that role/how did you get into it? 

I actually fell into my role. I was previously a Sales and Marketing Assistant at another small indie publisher when I decided to run away to the Alps for a few months. Just before I set off for France, a mutual friend introduced me to Adam Shaw (founder of Trigger and The Shaw Mind Foundation) and he offered me this job! So of course, knowing that jobs in publishing are hard to come by, I accepted straight away (starting after my three-month alpine escape of course). It just goes to show how important networking is!

Give us a brief description of your typical day. 

Wow, that’s a hard question for someone whose day is never the same. I come in in the mornings, make a coffee immediately and crack on with a to-do list. In general, I tend to prioritise manuscripts that need to go to print.  But my job can consist of any of the following really: stock management, metadata maintenance, contract negotiations, jacket briefs, quality checks on typeset manuscripts, phone calls with authors and/or our printers and distributors, audio uploads and, well, that’s all I can think of right now!

What are your favourite aspects of your job? Why? 

Oversight! I love the fact that I can see a project through from start to finish. I also love that I have an understanding of all the elements that go into producing a book, which is fairly rare of other roles in the industry. Giving the jacket briefs (and sometimes seeing my own ideas come to life) is pretty cool too.

If you dare, your least favourite parts (the coffee run doesn’t count!) 

Without sounding censored (I promise I’m not!), I don’t actually particularly dislike any part of my job. I guess the less interesting parts are the contract negotiations (because I have to speak in legal jargon) and some of the metadata maintenance is less than thrilling …

Is there anything you’d love to edit/pitch/design/commission/etc? What would your perfect project be? Why?

I’d really like to publish a children’s book, mainly because I’m very visual and have always wanted to create something beautiful! Other than that, there is a general hunger in the team to publish some fiction … so watch this space!

Advice for people looking to get into that role / publishing in general. 

Perseverance and networking. Before getting my first role in publishing, I’m pretty sure I was rejected at least 50 times. But hey, look at me now! Perseverance pays off.

When I mention networking, I don’t mean “force yourself into awkward conversations with people you don’t have any natural connection with or to”. I mean “go to publishing events, join the society of young publishers, connect with people on LinkedIn and Twitter” – the “networking” starts to happen more naturally! The book trade is a small industry and a friendly one. You’ll start to see regular faces throughout your career, so having conversations with people will get you a long way.

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