My Job in 5: Federico Andornino
- Describe your role.
As Editorial Director at W&N I acquire accessible literary fiction, sharp suspense and crossover, LGBTQ+ literature, graphic novels and fiction in translation. Acquiring is the easy part of the job: I am then responsible for liaising across departments to deliver the best publishing experience for our authors and their books.
- What do you like best about your role?
The actual editing of a book, working closely with an author to restructure, rewrite, reimagine: a huge privilege and often quite a lot of fun. And we have a pretty ace team at W&N: watching my colleagues do their thing makes me a better publisher.
- Which new projects or titles are you working on at the moment?
I was thrilled when Red at the Bone by Jacqueline Woodson was longlisted for the Women’s Prize. And I am currently busy introducing readers to Charlotte Wood, one of Australia’s best writers: her novel The Weekend comes out in June. And I have just bought a vital book I am incredibly proud of: How Contagion Works by Paolo Giordano. We should all read it now.
- What skills do you need for your role?
I think it’s crucial to keep an open mind: you’ll never know what book might surprise you. When I first started in the industry I thought I should only publish Booker Prize winners: my then boss taught me that every story has its worth and – crucially – its readers.
- What advice would you give to those looking to work in the industry?
Most people want to work as editors, but you should try getting work experience in different departments to see what you are best suited for – or even just to cross out jobs you know you won’t enjoy.