Swoon Reads Behind the Scenes: Managing Editorial
Many people don’t realize that Managing Editorial is even a department in all publishing houses—I certainly didn’t for a long time! There’s a misconception that managing editors are just editors, but there’s a big difference between the two positions. An editor acquires titles for the house, and then works with the author to shape the editorial content of the book. A managing editor oversees the making of the entire book from when the company acquires it until it’s printed.
Essentially we act as the middlemen between departments. We coordinate the schedule for each book and set due dates for the many moving parts (manuscript, jacket, sales materials, etc.) to make sure everything runs smoothly. Spoiler alert: It rarely does! Any given day, I work with Design, Production, and Editorial. I love working with so many different faces all the time.
Managing editors are also grammar nerds. Manuscripts go through rounds of professional copyediting and proofreading, and the managing editors oversee that process every step of the way. Because there aren’t enough hours in a day, we freelance the copyediting and proofreading out to other professionals.
We also maintain metadata (or basic information about the book. Think: trim size, price, age range, etc.) using our title management system for frontlist and backlist titles. This includes sending out reports to the company to let everyone know if a title is on track for publication and updating any information as needed.
One Swoon staffer said, “The publishing process can be pretty hectic sometimes, but without Managing Editorial, it would be absolute chaos.”
Want to learn more about the publishing process? Check out the other entries in our Swoon Reads Behind the Scenes series: