Can it be March already? Publishing has been as busy as ever as teams compressed print schedules and have had to live with shipping delays and paper shortages. Authors have been busy, too and it seems like Q1 has created high turnover as turnover as exhausted editors rethink their jobs.
I had a banner year last year! I ghosted 4 major books, edited 6 US versions of an international cookbook series, and posted dispatches from our annual wine trip to Burgundy. And I pushed my own boundaries with my food history column (What Adam Smith Ate) and moderated a month-long discussion group of Cory Doctorow’s Science Fiction. (I even read 50 books last year!)
So far, the 2022 news in publishing has centered around editor burn-out, turnover, and returns to the office.We’ve all been there, but with such high turnover, publishers, editors, and agents need an editor with experience. Expertise has value, and consulting editors can help pull projects together that require ghost writing, heavy development, author management, and delivery.
Here’s what I’m thinking today about the #editorlife.
Publishing Insights Q1 and Beyond 2022
1. Do What Terrifies You: When I reviewed my goals from last year, I noticed a theme in my 2021 “Top 10” list. Nearly every single thing I was most proud of was something that scared or intimidated me. My most significant achievements terrified me. I fought through imposter syndrome (I mean, really, who doesn’t?) and asked for some guidance. But ultimately, the coolest things seemed personally insurmountable when I started. My lesson? Set the goals or do the projects that terrify you.
2. Track Your Wins: One of the hardest things about working for yourself is recognizing your accomplishments. Short of walking around your own house patting yourself on the back, you have to make sure you don’t minimize your achievements. I keep a weekly journal where note “wins,” “lessons learned,” and even “discoveries.” Every week, I make sure that “wins” column is filled out, even if they’re small accomplishments. I add a quote each week to my planner and write them up at the end of the year.
3. Build Your Platform: Publishers are looking for influencers, and social media becomes important whether you embrace it or not. Your LinkedIn network or Instagram followers make a difference. One of my goals for 2022 is to work on building my personal and professional platform. While some consultants claim to have a magic formula, I’m learning more about what drives engagement experimenting with my own social media accounts. Want to help? Let’s connect:
4. Embrace Working from Home: When I managed a team in an office environment, I learned quickly that editors and publishing creatives can work from anywhere. Deadlines hold everyone accountable and while other managers weren’t comfortable with their teams working offsite. I learned early on to trust my team and set up metrics to keep us all on track. But this year, as I attended webinars, read books, and brainstormed with colleagues, I found that there’s a new legitimacy to working from home. And for those of us who’ve been doing it for a while, it’s a validation that we had it right from the beginning!
5. One Action Tip: Create a Zoom background and workspace for yourself! Webinars and video calls are here to stay. Love them or hate them, you need to give some thought to professionalizing how your present yourself. It’s not just about what you’re wearing, but how your environment compliments your overall look. The easiest thing you can do is to think about your background and camera angle. Consider a bookshelf, some art, and lighting. Watch out for windows, reflections, or large blank walls. Invest in an inexpensive ring light or window shades if you need them. (And if you’re a Zoom pro, add a second area or change things up.) Looking for a good resource? Follow Room Rater (@ratemyskyperoom) on Twitter for daily tips and ideas.
Publishers, editors, and agents, looking for a book doctor to help bring your client’s concept to life? Need someone for a comprehensive cookbook edit working directly with the authors or editors? Wanting to hire an editor experienced working with busy, name authors to deliver a manuscript? Let’s connect by email or phone.
I’m currently scheduling projects for Q2 2022 and beyond. My best clients come from referrals, and I would love to hear from you! Let’s connect and create something together.