Jaclyn Swope is a Publisher Account Manager on the Book Research team at Nielsen BookScan, where she assists a variety of publishers with understanding and utilising both retail sales and consumer data, through training sessions, presentations and bespoke analysis of book industry trends.
8:41 (okay okay more often 9am): I get the train from Surbiton to Woking, appreciating that I’m going the opposite direction of most commuters as I easily find a seat. Occasionally I’ll be going the other direction into London, if I have a meeting or training session at any publishers’ offices – typically at least once a week I’ll be out of the office in some capacity.
9:30 Settle in, COFFEE, boot up my email, see what has come in since I left yesterday. Chances are there’s at least one password reset. I have around twenty publishers on my BookScan client list, and then three colleagues with similar lists, so with that many users, resets are needed often! And I choose to view this as a sign that lots and lots of people are using BookScan, which is always good news!
10:00 It’s Tuesday, which means charts day. BookScan will be loading the latest week’s sales this afternoon, so our Production team spends the morning making sure everything is on track and there are no anticipated problems.
10:15 Right now I’m finishing up our monthly newsletter that goes to clients, in which I sum up how book sales in the UK and Ireland are doing this year so far (good news, they’re up!). I usually try to pick an extra topic to write more in-depth about, and this month I’ve decided on Christmas books – specifically, books with ‘Christmas’ in the title, and how many of them are in the BookScan charts over the past month. (And then I remind myself it’s only mid-November and Christmas is still over a month away.) I’m also using our Books & Consumers data to look at books specifically bought as Christmas gifts, to see how buying behaviour differs.
11:30 Receive an email about a password reset. Done!
11:45 I look through some contract renewals that I have coming up in the next couple of months, and start to put together proposals to send to those clients that outline what’s covered in their subscriptions.
12:45ish Time for lunch – I usually just eat at my desk, or maybe pop into town if I need to pick anything up. More often than not I’m watching YouTube videos or reading Buzzfeed/other various articles…
2:00 BookScan goes offline to upload the latest data, and we’re warned not to log in lest we disrupt the process and ruin the afternoon for everyone.
2:30 We send out weekly UK and Irish charts, and some extra reports to various clients. Inevitably we’ll discuss amongst ourselves what does or doesn’t surprise us about the week’s bestsellers (the new David Walliams sold HOW MANY COPIES this week?!).
3:00 BookScan comes back up – time for another password reset! Fixed with the click of a mouse.
3:15 A query comes through from a publisher on the best way to run a specific chart, as the results she got were different than expected. I walk her through running the chart and try to pinpoint what might have gone wrong.
3:45 I’m doing a webinar soon on how to access and use market share data in BookScan, so I take some time to run through what I’m going to cover, and come up with potential questions that attendees might ask. It’s a bit nerve-wracking – I’m used to training rooms of people but speaking into a computer and being recorded adds a different aspect!
4:30 A couple more emails have come in, one password reset and a query about running BookScan data. I answer those and go through and make sure I haven’t missed anything throughout the day. A lot of my day-to-day is very reactive to what my clients may need or ask for; I never really know what may come up, which keeps things interesting!