Meet the Mantle team: Josie Humber

21 July 2016

By Pan Macmillan

At least ten people work on each book that Mantle publishes, all helping to get the author’s words into the hands of readers. First up in our series introducing the Mantle team is Josie Humber, Mantle editorial assistant.

Describe your job in one sentence.
Assisting the Mantle editors in bringing their books to life.
 
How would your friends describe you?
I’d hate to ever find out...
 
Any secret hobbies/skills?
Yoga and Game of Thrones. Not at the same time.
 
What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?
Turn artwork sideways and proofread the spine. Twice. I live in fear of a misspelt author name.
 
What was your greatest piece of luck?
People (at various points in my life) seeing the potential in me and not worrying too much about things like ‘experience’ or ‘quantifiable skills’.
 
What makes you happy?
Good friends. Great books. Triumphant underdogs. Unsolicited gratitude. Well-written Buzzfeed articles.
 
What was the book that made you fall in love with reading?
I vividly remember sobbing my eyes out in a hostel common room when reading The Time Traveller’s Wife. It taught me that books can move you in ways you didn’t know possible in circumstances you definitely know are inappropriate.
 
Which book do you most often recommend to friends?
I’m not going to be enlightening anyone here, but I found I could recommend Gone Girl to avid readers and one-book-a-year friends alike. It had that universal pulling power.
 
What do you love about Mantle books?
I love that they’re well-written but don’t forget to tell an incredible story at the same time.
 
Who is your favourite literary character?
Cheryl Glickman – the narrator of Miranda July’s The Last Bad Man. She was absolutely bonkers and I loved her for it.
 
Who would be in your dream book club?
The cast of the My Dad Wrote a Porno podcast.
 
What has been the highlight of your career to date?
I like to think the really dazzling highlights are still to come.
 
What advice would you give to someone wanting to work in publishing?
Read. Read. Then read some more. Knowledge of the industry and its trends will get you further in an interview than anything else.
 
What advise would you give someone who wants to become a published author?
Really think about what makes your book different to everybody else’s. A great hook and a one line pitch will also help no end.