Book Publishing Operations: Spring 2007 Production Cycle Winds Down

28 Mar

Thankfully, the spring production cycle is beginning to near its end. That is, because we normally only print enough books for one semester’s worth of sales at a time—this keeps us from having too much inventory on hand, reduces storage costs, and allows us update books from semester to semester—we’re in the process of shipping files off to print for our new books as well as ones we’ve published earlier, about 20-25 all told. All of our books for summer sales will be at the print shop no later than end of next week and, the true end point of the semester, the publishing interns’ luncheon will be about three weeks from now. After that, we will have a week or so of downtime in the office with just the full-time staff and a couple of student workers as we regroup and prepare for what, as it happens, will be a much busier summer production schedule.

I would say that, informally, all book projects go through about three stages. First, it seems like you have an endless amount of time in front of you to get a book done and published. Then, as time goes by, for each project you encounter a unique set of problems—that is, challenges—that have the cumulative effect—either sooner or later—of making you want to spin around on the floor a la Curly of The Three Stooges. Finally, once you’re done indulgently expressing yourself vaudeville style, you become determined to close each project out and, to that end, we make a list of the exact elements each project lacks to be completed.

So, for example, on the white board across from my desk, I wrote this morning:

    CLOSE OUT!!!

1. Developmental math books: finish updated cover designs and resolve binding issues
2. Dental on-job-training manual: final proofing and corrections
3. Advanced dental science: final proofing and corrections
4. Safety book: finalize cover, final proofing and corrections
5. Home technology integration technology forecast: get cover image, final proofing & corrections
6. Algebra book: final proofing

As you can see, we’re down to essentially finish work on these projects—just making sure all the last details are taken care of—so nothing falls through the cracks.

On another note, today the job posting went online to fill our vacant publishing editor position. Anyone interested/qualified may look at the job description in MS Word here. To apply, just visit our AMS (applicant management system) here.

Mark

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