06 Mar 2013
We’ve recently been running a few process pieces about how things work in publishing, trying to give readers an insight into the industry and dispel some of the myths surrounding traditional publishing. They seem to have gone down rather well, and so we’ve started to put together a series of blog posts that will give you a greater insight into the script to shelf route. This will run all the way from manuscript acquisition through to getting that final book in-store and delivered to you (in a format of your choice) and will include all the various people involved in the process.
Over the coming months you’ll have posts from editorial, art, sales, marketing, publicity, production and the authors themselves. Publishing laid bare as it were . . . or a Tor Tour! If you have any questions, and if there are any subjects you’d particularly like to be discussed – then just post and ask. We can’t guarantee we’ll be able to answer all of them, but where possible, we’ll certainly try.
So kicking off this period of insightful enlightenment, let’s introduce you to the all singing, all dancing members of Team Tor:
Me – Editorial Director of Team Tor: Or perhaps Empress of Tor as I like to be called in the office. :-) I’ve been running Tor UK now for just over four years (as a genre fan, total dream come true!). Until recently – it was single handed, now we have a whole team and so the list is going from strength to strength. My editorial desire has always been to acquire a wide variety of quality speculative fiction – books that, as a genre fan myself, I’d read personally and from authors that I hope you as readers will also love and enthuse about. As for the day-to-day aspects of the job? That’s all to come in another blog post – there’s just not enough space in a single paragraph . . . patience my young Padawan.
Bella Pagan – Senior Commissioning Editor: So, as the description goes, I do commissioning and editing, plus a whole bunch of other stuff. But they ran out of space on the business card to fit all those other words in ;) The commissioning part involves liaising with agents and looking through our open submissions pile to buy books that Tor can publish. And I also edit these books once bought, this being the ‘structural edit’ part of the multifaceted editing process, looking at how characters, pacing, worldbuilding and internal logic etc. work to make sure the story is as good as it can be. Other aspects to the job are briefing the cover, writing the jacket blurb, attending a *lot* of meetings, working on social media and drinking a few pints of coffee per day. Those are some main areas covered!
Louise Buckley: Editorial Assistant: My job is to assist with the day-to-day running of Team Tor’s editorial department. It is part-PA (organising meetings, taking minutes, booking lunches…), part-admin (updating databases and internal systems, sending out books, sorting out invoices, etc.) and part-editorial (editing manuscripts, drafting cover copy, liaising with authors). And this is just the basics! On any given day I can be doing any number of things. I love how varied the job is and getting to work with such fantastic authors is a definite plus!
James Long – Editorial Director, Digital: I’m responsible for our digital publishing projects across all of Pan Macmillan’s fiction and non-fiction. This means working with editors on ebook publishing strategies, being publisher of our Bello imprint, and running projects that bring great writing together with new technologies. I’ve been in the books and publishing world all of my working life – there’s nothing else I’d rather be doing. I read a lot of varied stuff but I have a deep love of science fiction, from Clarke and Asimov, to Ballard and Vonnegut, Peter F. Hamilton to Raymond E. Feist and more. On Twitter as @ricoeurian
Sophie Portas – Publicity Manager: I handle publicity for a wide range of fiction titles, including the Tor list in full. When I’m not reading manuscripts or accompanying authors to bookshop events you’ll probably find me in a gallery, at a SF convention or at the swimming pool!
Rob Cox – Senior Marketing Manager: Anytime you see an advert for a book in a magazine, or a poster on the Tube or a train platform, that’s me. I’ve booked the space and had them designed, printed and delivered. Not all of them, of course: that would be mental. Just the ones for Pan Macmillan. I also work closely with our online team to establish a social media presence for a whole host of authors, organise brand partnerships, plus keep an eye on all the day-to-day publishing stuff like managing budgets and reading proposed acquisitions. In my downtime I’m a massive gamer and reader. Tell me what you’re playing/ reading/ watching /listening to @robcox85
This is the small and immediate team. In actuality there are a lot more people involved: Contracts, UK Sales, International Sales, the Rights team, the Design team and Production. And over the coming months we’ll be looking at providing an insight into what each person does, how the process works and how much time, effort, creativity and enthusiasm is involved in getting a script to the shelf.
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The Tor Tour is part of a series of regular posts covering the varied publishing roles within the Tor imprint and across Pan Macmillan as a whole.
These are posts so far:
INTRODUCING TEAM TOR by Tor UK Editorial Director Julie Crisp
TOR TOUR: NOT JUST EDITING by Tor UK Editorial Director Julie Crisp
TOR TOUR: A PUBLICITY DEPARTMENT EXPOSÉ by Publicity Manager Sophie Portas
TOR TOUR: COMMISSIONING & SOCIAL MEDIA by Senior Commissioning Editor Bella Pagan
TOR TOUR: THE MARKETOR by Senior Marketing Manager Rob Cox
TOR TOUR: THE EDITORIAL ASSISTANT by Editorial Assistant Louise Buckley
TOR TOUR: PRODUCTION CONTROLLER by Production Controller Holly Sheldrake
TOR TOUR: THE DIGITAL ZONE by Analytics Director, James Long
TOR TOUR: THE RIGHTS DEPARTMENT by Rights Assistant, Kerry Lagan
TOR TOUR: HEAD OF WEB DEVELOPMENT by our digital department’s James Luscombe
TOR TOUR: THE AUDIO BOOK DEPARTMENT EXPLAINED by Audio manager Becky Lloyd