Swoon Spotlight: Anna R.
As part of our ongoing effort to give you a glimpse behind the scenes of publishing, we are bringing you: Swoon Spotlight! This week we are featuring Anna R., a Swoon Reads staff member who has volunteered her time, energy, and enthusiasm to the imprint—while still being amazing at her regular job!
Briefly describe your job.
I review incoming submissions, acquire and edit manuscripts, write flap copy, send authors copies of their books (!!!), miscellaneous administrative work, and tons more.
How long have you been in your current position?
What’s your favorite part of your job?
Collaborating with authors. Definitely. And it’s really funny to me that we work so closely with authors for YEARS and still never meet them in person. So it’s also great to finally meet them in the flesh!
What’s your least favorite part of your job?
Losing a book that I really want to acquire. It’s heart-breaking.
Thoughts on Publishing
That it’s a cut-throat business like in the movie Elf. The children do love the books, and no publisher would ever be so Grinch-y as to not advise a reprint to fix a huge error so thousands of little children can find out what happened to a certain puppy at the end of the story. (If you haven’t seen Elf, you will not understand this answer).
If you could have any other job in book publishing for one day, what would it be?
Probably publicity since I majored in PR and I’d like to see if I’ve still got it–and then I’d immediately come crawling back to editorial. I respect those publicists, man! One day in that position and I’d be toast.
Funniest way you’ve heard a friend or family member describe your job?
After telling my family about some upcoming projects, my brother-in-law chimed in with, “Books don’t sleep.” Which, in a way, he’s right about. Editorial is more than just a 9-5 job.
I was a mass communications major with a double emphasis: public relations and electronic media. And for good measure, I minored in psychology. All of this took place at a small college in a town predominately populated by fields, cows, and Mennonites. Oh look, here’s DJ Tanner repping my alma mater. No big deal.
Do you use your degree in your current job?
Surprisingly enough, I do. Public speaking, communication skills—it’s all used.
What’s the weirdest job you’ve ever had?
I was a shampoo girl at a hair salon. I guess that’s not too weird. But to wash grown women’s hair is empirically odd. And when you really think about it you start to fall apart emotionally, especially when your fourth grader teacher comes in for a wash and cut.
How did you get into publishing?
I was always an avid reader and then one day at my Spike TV internship, I realized that I was reading more at that job than actually doing work (they didn’t have much for me to do).
It dawned on me—maybe I can be an editor!
I decided that’s what I liked and what I wanted to do for the rest of my life, so I read more than ever, researched like a madwoman, and stalked every publisher/agency until someone would interview me. Shout out to Jo Volpe for giving me my first publishing job! Behold! Our natural, effortless beauty:
What made you want to be involved with Swoon Reads?
I loves me the romance.
What do you like most about working with books for young adults?
I know that these are the books that will stick with young readers forever. They will help them, guide them, provide escape, and forever be a part of who they are. At least, that’s what they did for me.
What’s your favorite genre of romance?
What’s the first romance you ever read?
Oh man, I barely remember. I loved the little romances in Lois Duncan books, but my first solid romance was probably The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen.
Odds and Ends
I’m not sure what else to say but horrific.
Blubber by Judy Blume
(This is the edition I read when I was in the 5th grade)
- What piece of advice would you give your younger self?
Don’t be so scared of being yourself. Don’t be so shy. Stop sulking and listening to so much Dashboard Confessional. Also, your math teacher isn’t out to get you, so just relax. Hug your family more. It’s totally worth it. But most importantly: