Meet the Boydell Team: Julia Cook

We are excited to introduce our readers to Julia Cook, Production Editor in our US office.

What led you to your current role at Boydell & Brewer?
I started as an editorial intern in the US office in 2011 while I was completing my PhD in music, and was hired on as a full time assistant editor after I finished my degree. In the US office, editorial staff work on University of Rochester Press titles (including titles in the Eastman Studies in Music series) and titles in our Camden House (German studies) imprint. My academic background was in German studies and music, so it seemed like a perfect fit. Over the years I’ve worked in both acquisitions and production/pre-press, handling all aspects of the editorial process. Today I work primarily in pre-press, working mostly on music titles, but I also do some acquisitions for the University of Rochester Press’s ethnomusicology series.

What advice would you give to someone who wants to start a career in pre-press?
I would say first of all not to undervalue the experience you can get from an internship, if you’re able to afford that (and if internships continue post-COVID-19). Another way in is through freelance editing work. Some words of advice if you want to work as a freelancer for B&B: please email (DON’T call!!) and be gentle but persistent. We may not be able to get back to you right away, but if you catch us at just the right moment, you might find yourself on our freelance roster for years to come.

What’s the absolute best part of your job?
My favorite part is seeing the Word document that the author submits—a piece of scholarship that has been thoughtfully crafted over years but is still rough in many ways—transformed into a carefully edited and beautifully formatted set of page proofs.

Briefly outline a normal working day for you.
Today I’ll be going through some page proof corrections from an author (for a book on klezmer music in New York), reviewing them to make sure the corrections are all valid and then inputting them into our typesetting software. I’ll also be working on lining up a copyeditor for a title that was recently handed off from acquisitions (an edited volume on Nordic music) and reviewing the online supplemental material for a recently published music theory title before passing it on to be posted on our website.

What’s the view from your desk?
From my home office, I look out into the woods—my house backs up to one of the many parks in the Rochester area. At the moment, there is a very persistent sparrow who has been hanging around my window for the past few days, much to the interest of my three cats. I feel bad for the poor guy—there must be something more important he should be doing!

Image author’s own

What are you currently reading?
I’m between books, but I hope to pick up a good dark Scandinavian mystery in the near future.

What’s your beverage of choice?
Daytime: coffee! After hours: beer! I have to admit that I’m a sucker for a good IPA.

What’s your favourite historical novel, film or play?
I’m not really much for historical fiction, but I do love the Name of the Rose—both the novel and the film.