A day in the life of a small press publisher

Hello all! I thought it might be interesting if I recorded and detailed the duties of the day, to give an indepth look at what exactly a publisher does! In all, the below timeline is an example of a typical day. Some may be slower, while others might be more focused on a specific emergency, but today was just about maintenance with a bit of growth.

My work day today lasted from 8:30am to 9:30pm.

As a small press publisher, you have to have your hands in every single aspect of the publishing industry. From the creative, to editing, to marketing and sales and promotion. Every day is different work, and inevitably there are areas that only come to your attention once it’s an emergency. In addition, you have to keep part of your brain focused on the future, and think of opportunities for advancement and growth.

Everyone’s method of organization is slightly different, in my case, I live and die by my email inbox and google calendar. When a matter is dealt with or in someone else’s hands, I archive the message. Anything remaining gets looked over each day to see if it can be worked on or dealt with. I often email tasks to myself as they cross my mind.

If you notice below a lot of the recent work has been hiring freelancers for specific tasks to free up a bit more time for me to concentrate on growing the company instead of project coordination.

Below are the tasks completed of the day, in linear order of accomplishment:

  • coordinated travel to ComicsPro and Vancouver Fan Expo
  • took Sally the Sleuth Kickstarter shipping to the post office
  • followed up with tracking information to funders who requested it
  • followed up on unanswered pitch (X) from Z publisher
  • contacted printer to check on the status of two reprints
  • ordered a new banner for ECCC
  • confirmed X as the editor for X project
  • answered creative who pitched R project
  • wrote letter in support of Work for a Million’s documentary grant
  • updated Quickbooks with recent transactions
  • chose a release date for the DBD release of Love Beyond
  • talked to F production company about W project
  • phoned bank to review suspicious transactions on my corporate card
  • ordered a reprint of 2019/2020 release brochures for C2E2 ALA Roundtable
  • shipped 30 copies to Gothic Tales of Haunted Love for giveaway at C2E2
  • coordinated a signing event with ALA for C2E2 with Cecil Castellucci
  • learned how to make gmail lists, and created one for Gothic Tales
  • contacted designer to make a change to the newsletter sign up forms to be printed for comicspro
  • contacted Y about new distribution opportunity
  • messaged H convention for a possible table
  • coordinated with J festival regarding travel
  • set up meetings at Comicspro with other publishers
  • phoned publisher G to discuss ideas for me to improve my workflow
  • emailed Diamond to repair vendor services access
  • emailed current printer to switch shipping directly to distributor
  • emailed potential printer to ask about lowering their per unit print costs
  • hired a creative consultant for a short story in Maiden, Mother, Crone
  • hired a designer for Maiden, Mother, Crone
  • submitted Maiden, Mother, Crone to Diamond’s October releases
  • organized and relabelled files for editor, updated the status of the project internally
  • hired copyeditor for Maiden, Mother, Crone
  • sent a PO request to Diamond for Enough Space for Everyone Else and Love Beyond Body, Space, and Time
  • sent letterer edits for Work for a Million graphic novel
  • coordinated headshot session for March
  • checked grant deadlines and eligibility for Manitoba Arts Council
  • packed display and suitcase for ComicsPro and Vancouver Fan Expo
  • organized panel for Calgary Expo
  • hired editor for T project
  • hired consultant for T project
  • finished reading 1/3 of script of T project
  • emailed business consultant about requested proposal
  • created content (this article) to increase traffic to corporate website

And there you have it. Approximately 12 hours of work boiled down to a list of duties! Of course, some of that time was spent keeping tabs on social media.

You know, in case anything industry-important happens.