My Job in 5: India Darsley
- Describe your role
I am the Managing Editor at Pushkin Press, an independent publisher focusing on literature in translation. I work across all of our imprints (Pushkin Press, ONE, Pushkin Vertigo and Pushkin Children’s) and am responsible for managing the production cycle of Pushkin’s beautiful books from scheduling and receipt of manuscript to delivery of printed and digital content and stock management. The role at its core involves creating internal processes and schedules to ensure that everything delivers on time for publication. I work closely with the in-house team, authors, translators, sales teams, freelance copy editors, proofreaders, typesetters and cover designers.
- What do you like best about your role?
I love working for a small independent press. You get to be involved in more aspects of the publishing process than you might at somewhere larger, so my role is incredibly varied, creative, and always changing. Working across all of our imprints means that my days are spent working on incredible translations, fresh English language voices, rediscovered crime and adventurous children’s titles. We have a wonderful team at Pushkin, and it's inspiring to see everyone throwing all hands to the pumps and achieving fantastic results.
- Which new projects or titles are you working on at the moment?
We’ve got a bumper crop of beauties in production for this Spring and I’m in love with them all! Two of my favourites are She Would be King by Wayétu Moore, a blend of history and magic as three protagonists discover that the magical gifts which have plagued them since childhood are now vital in the fight for freedom in Liberia, and Crossing by Pajtim Statovci, a staggering second novel from the author of My Cat Yugoslavia, delving deep into the social constructs of personal identity via the crossing of borders, nationalities, gender and time.
- What skills do you need for your role?
Publishing is a creative industry and plans can change at the last moment while a lot of other plates are spinning, so you need to be organised and efficient with your time, but flexibility and a positive attitude are also key. You should have a strong eye for detail and clear communication skills.
- What advice would you give to those looking to work in the industry?
Do not automatically rule out jobs outside of editorial or fiction. My entry role was Production Assistant at Polity Press, an independent academic publisher. Production is the perfect fit for my set of skills and I might have missed out on it entirely if I hadn't broadened my search. Even if you use it as a stepping stone on to something else, you are guaranteed to learn a lot about the industry and meet wonderful people along the way.