Day in the Life (Remote): Katie Gould
Associate Editor, Andrews McMeel
Day: Monday, March 29
I prepare my morning coffee and a bowl of oatmeal. One of the things I’ve learned during the pandemic is that a morning ritual is a must, and for me that means a dose of caffeine and some food in my stomach. I’ve also learned that an outdoor space is essential for my mental health, so I take my breakfast outside to my balcony and check my email as I wake up.
I’ve kept an eye on my inbox over the weekend for any emergencies, but now I can plan out my day and follow up on anything pressing. I also take this time to go over the rights guides that a UK publisher sent me before our 10:00 Zoom. There are a few titles that have piqued my interest for my own list and some others for my fellow editors that I want to keep in mind.
I join a Zoom meeting with the UK publisher’s lovely rep, along with the head of calendar acquisitions from my own company. I’m glad to take this meeting and represent our book editors’ needs, but it’s nice to have a familiar face from Andrews McMeel there, too. I’m also grateful that I’m more experienced in video chats after this year of working from home, as it’s easy to jump onto the call and strike up a conversation. After going over the rights guide, we discuss what AMU is looking for in books and calendars and plan to follow up with more material on several titles in the next few weeks.
I join my weekly team chat with my boss, Jean Lucas, and my two closest coworkers, Kevin Kotur and Sam Jones. We call ourselves the Fab Four! This meeting mostly consists of going over our plans for the week, discussing titles we plan to bring to acquisitions or our editors meeting on Wednesdays, and troubleshooting any problems we are currently facing. I share with them some of my finds from the 10:00 call and discuss some manuscripts I’m focusing on this week. We also talk about our weekends, and Kevin mentions his newly acquired motorcycle. I plan to avoid most roads in Kansas City for the near future…
I look through the 2nd pages for one of my titles. It’s a lovely flash fiction collection, and we’ve finally settled on the right amount and proper placement of the artwork. I thank the designer for his hard work and send it off to the author for his input. It’s really exciting seeing a title come together.
I break for lunch, enjoying some leftover pasta while snuggling with my cat, Duck Newton.
I start to go over the files for another manuscript, but have some questions for the designer, so I wait to approve anything. I also set up a meeting with one of my authors to discuss her plans for another title. Her last book, The Honest Enneagram, was one of my favorites of 2020, and I’m really excited to see what she wants to focus on in the future.
I follow up with a few more authors on smaller questions and update the specs of another book in our database. After receiving the unit cost for a book I hope to acquire, I go back to our database to run a profit & loss report. The new cost I received makes more sense for the format, and the P&L looks great. I send the report with my thoughts on next steps to my boss.
I look through my favorite website for trends and titles: Kickstarter! It’s always so exciting to see people’s hard work pay off with successful fundraising, or to see what’s gaining interest and what’s not. I’m really interested in graphic novels and RPG-adjacent titles at the moment, and some of my favorite titles came from Kickstarter, so I’m always looking there to find something new.
I receive pages for a new coloring book I’m working on and spend my time going over the files. I also communicate with my boss over teams regarding the P&L I sent her earlier today and talk about our next steps.
I spend the rest of the day going over the acquisition memos for our meeting tomorrow and responding to emails. One of my titles is going to a sensitivity reader, so the production editor and I discuss the book’s schedule and when we will need the reader to send back the pages. I also go over all of my 2021/2022 titles in preparation for a strategy meeting later this week.