Book Publishing Operations: Spring 2007 Production Schedule

2 Jan

Now that our winter break is over we’re all—more or less—back in the office preparing for the upcoming spring production schedule. Even though we’re classified as “staff” over here—as opposed to “faculty”—we essentially work on a semester schedule for a couple of different reasons. First of all, we have interns from both TSTC Waco and Baylor University who are on semester schedules. In addition, the bulk of our sales are adoption sales to school bookstores around the country so we always need to finish up each semester in a timely fashion to make sure the subsequent semester’s print run is ready for the next round of classes.

Each semester we have a list of projects to complete. “Complete” usually means layout and design work to get a book ready to go to print. Actually, most books take 2-3 semesters to complete—one or two semesters for editorial work and graphics plus one more for page layout and design. The projects for this upcoming semester include—but are not limited to—the following:

1. The first book we are completing—in the next couple of weeks—is an HTI (home technology integration) technology forecast. This is part of the ongoing series of forecasts produced by Michael Bettersworth at TSTC System Operations. Most of the layout work was done in December so this one should be finished in short order.

2. Next on our list of projects is a safety in healthcare facilities textbook for our biomedical equipment program. The manuscript is complete and prepped for layout. Now it’s just a matter of page layout, cover design, a handful of graphics, and other odds and ends before we send this to print.

3. The third book we’ll be completing is a hand tools book for, once again, the biomedical equipment program. Unlike the previous two books, this one is very graphics intensive, with 300 separate illustrations. We will have several different interns, a work study, and a student worker working on these illustrations exclusively, maybe 50-60 hours a week total between them. The idea is that once the first two books are complete that we’ll have the illustrations for this book done and can assemble it quickly in time for summer sales.

4. The last book firmly on our production schedule is another technology forecast, this one focusing on mechatronics. As I understand it, the manuscript is complete; it’s just a matter of laying it out and, as always, spending much of our time making sure the cover design fits in with the earlier forecasts in the series.

5. Finally, one of our strategic initiatives is to begin selling stand-alone technical graphics and illustrations. We’re going to have two interns work exclusively on producing line drawings of biomedical equipment and schematics for the whole semester. I’m hoping that we will have at least 150-200 illustrations online for sale by the end of April. Then, we’ll see how well—if at all—those are selling.

As always, though, there are other things we’ll be working on as well: direct mail pieces for our current publications, a cookbook for a local junior high band fund raiser (maybe), a new issue of our journal Best Practices, equations for a math book we’re doing for next fall, and more editorial work on our official history of Texas State Technical College.

(All of this is, of course, subject to change as dictated by particular circumstances.)


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