Meet the Staff: Amanda Hackwith

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A home office, coffee shops, dedicated gaming, and writing books. This week we meet Editor and Project Manager for Rockable Press, Amanda Hackwith.

What is it like working for Envato, and what are some of the jobs you’ve had with us?

Wow, working at Envato during the last two years has certainly been a whirlwind trip, but it’s been full of opportunities I never dreamed possible. The great thing about working at Envato is you are constantly being presented with new opportunities and challenges.

I’ve worked for Envato since January 2009. Hard to believe it’s been more than two years! After being a long-time buyer and participant in the marketplaces as a corporate designer, I applied for a Site Manager position, interviewed with Cyan, and got brought on to manage the not-yet-released marketplace that no one had heard of: GraphicRiver. Getting to manage GraphicRiver from inception up to what it is today was such an amazing gig and I was lucky to get to work with some really amazing talent in our community!

In addition to GraphicRiver, I also worked on FreelanceSwitch, first as a Community Manager and then as a Editor in May 2010. FreelanceSwitch is a huge site with very discerning readers so it was a fantastic experience. During that time, I also got approached by Rockable Press to complete a survey on FreelanceSwitch, do some interviews, and write a book about the results. That eventually grew into Freelance Confidential and my currrent job at Rockable!

Now I’m Editor and Project Manager for Rockable Press, Envato’s publishing company. That means I work with Naysan Naraqi on all aspects of new books and projects. I work with writers and readers while they write the manuscripts, designers while we build the layout, and the rest of the Envato staff on everything else. It’s interesting because I get to do a bit of everything, writing, editing, design, promotions.

What projects are you working on at the moment?

We just finished publishing my own book, Freelance Confidential. Right now, we’re working on getting all Rockable books available through as many sources as possible. Freelance Confidential was our first book published on Amazon and available in mobi and epub formats. We’re looking to get as many titles as possible available through different sites, devices, and traditional bookstores. It’s a big undertaking because each source has it’s own requirements, but we’re excited about the potential for our authors and readership. We’ve got a ton of titles planned for this year!

Describe your workspace.

I spend most of my time working out of my home office. It’s a spare bedroom in our house which I made sure to stake out when we moved in. I painted it something bright and cheerful and have been working on covering the walls with artwork one piece at a time–it’s a designer thing. I keep things pretty neat but my office is usually populated with book proofs from Amazon, various design projects, and whatever furry family decides to keep me company. (We love animals and have two cats, two dogs.)

For a change of scenery, I’ll occasionally go down and camp out in the Panera Bread coffee shop that’s just down the street from my neighborhood. I’m there enough for a couple of the baristas to know me by name and score some discounts on coffee. Sweet!

What does your average day look like?

Like every Envato staffer, I have to say it really varies by the day! My husband, Levi, works the regular 8-to-5 so I tend to get up with him and set a similar schedule. I work the best in the morning so I tend to focus on attention-intensive activities first thing: design, writing, developmental editing. I try to get a major project like those out of the way before I open my email. Then I move on to the inbox and smaller tasks like promotions and research. In between all that, I live on Rockable Press’ Twitter (@rockablepress) and Facebook (facebook.com/rockablepress) since we’re trying to build more of a sense of community with our readers. (If you haven’t already, please give us a follow and say hi!)

I tend to wrap up early afternoon and take a short break to go to the gym or do errands, then I’m back online for another hour or two to catch up with the Australian crew as they get up. I try to stay off duty during the evenings so I can spend some time with family.

What do you do when you’re not working?

I guess a lot of the community knows I’m a pretty dedicated gamer. You’ll usually find me playing the latest RPG, open world, or strategy game–I’m a huge fan of anything made by Bioware. I have and on-and-off relationship with World of Warcraft where I play with a really rocking group of girls in the Daughters of the Alliance/Horde guilds (www.dota-guild.com). I am MOST looking forward to the Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic MMORPG when it comes out next year. Seriously. It combines three of my favorite things: Bioware games + Star Wars + MMORPGs. I may have to plan vacation time for launch. I keep trying to convince Collis that we “need” to launch a gaming blog…

When I’m not geeking it up, I’m also a big reader (love my Kindle) and writer. I blog occasionally (less often than I should) at my personal site (www.amandahackwith.com) and Levi and I post our attempts at (very) amateur photography on Flickr. We also spend a lot of time fiddling with new board games or trying out new foods and recipes (we’re kind of food geeks as well). We both like to contribute to good local causes, especially the local Humane Society, Shakespeare on the Green, and other educational projects. We never run out of projects!

  • http://nvmind.com Ignacio

    Great interview, I’m a big fan of Amanda, I really enjoyed her last book it’s actually helping me a lot with my current web business

  • http://cudazi.com cudazi

    Great interview Amanda, what a nice office!

  • http://graphicriver.net/user/Raincutter Raincutter

    Great interview of a great person. Thanks for making that community amazing, Amanda.

  • http://www.wholesalejeweler.ca jeweler

    It’s a really nice office. More clean then mine. :)

    I bought the last book of Amanda and I like it. It’s useful to compare to other Freelance.

  • http://www.magento-themes.jextn.com/ Magento Themes

    This is nice interview with Amanda..This is nice article.Your books are giving good inspiration about life.When will you publish the next book? I’m eagerly waiting for that.
    thanks for this good article

  • Elizabeth

    Amanda! Awesome interview. Yes, its hard to believe its been 2+ years. So glad to see this article. Recognition long deserved for a super person.

  • http://graphicriver.net/user/RafaelOliveira/portfolio?ref=RafaelOliveira Rafael

    Awesome Interview!
    Thx for made our community better!

  • eamejia

    Great interview Amanda, love the lamps in your office ;)