Book Publishing Operations: A Day in the Life of a Book Publisher

7 Mar

snow-on-highway.jpg5:00 am Automated wake up call at Best Western in Abilene, Texas

5:05 am Make coffee extra strong by using two coffee pods crammed into coffee maker in room

5:15 am Consider going to fitness center while listening to sleet hit room’s window

5:40 am Drink more coffee and contemplate going to fitness center

6:00 am Try to figure out how treadmill works at fitness center

6:10 am Begin working out on treadmill and listen to iPod

6:30 am Knock iPod off of treadmill and, while trying to pick up it up, shoot off back of treadmill and slam into wall

6:55 am Finish workout and get food at hotel’s breakfast buffet to eat in room

7:30 am Begin checking email

8:00 am Get Google maps, campus maps, and school directories off of Internet for today’s sales calls

8:30 am Get cleaned up, pack stuff in school’s 2008 Ford Fusion, print off research at business center, and check out

9:30 am Have meeting with instructor at the Abilene campus of TSTC West Texas about potential textbook project

10:30 am Leave building to discover it has snowed two more inches but go ahead and head over to Hardin-Simmons

11:30 am Drop off desk copies of books at different departments but find—due to inclement weather?—not that many people on campus and so leave for Cisco, 40 miles to the east on I-20 which is moderately slick but not too bad

11:37 am Decide not to be a big wimp because of weather and go ahead with plans visit Cisco Junior College and Ranger College on way back to Waco

11:45 am Traffic comes to dead stop in the middle of nowhere on the interstate due to massive amounts of snow and ice

Noon Still not moving, call office to see if anything exciting is going on there (not particularly)

12:05 pm Still not moving, call wife to see if any sympathy can be engendered (not much)

12:10 pm Still not moving, begin making day in the life time line

12:20 pm Begin moving, slowly, and average 10-15 mph for the next 45 minutes and stare at blinking hazard lights of black Honda Accord in front of car

1:00 pm Decide discretion is the better part of valor and to just go back to Waco instead of fighting way to schools have got to be closed already due to weather

1:05 pm Head south on Highway 6 at Eastland with snow piled high enough between ruts on road to continuously hit bumper and underside of car

1:10 pm Turn up stereo REALLY LOUD to cover thumping noises from snow and ice

1:15 pm In the middle of nowhere with no one around school’s 2008 Ford Fusion decides to begin fishtailing and try to skitter off road

1:16 pm Prayers are answered and school’s brand new car decides to stay on road.

1:17 pm Turn car stereo WAY OFF

1:18 pm Contemplate the consequences of a misspent life

2:00 pm Traffic comes to a standstill on between De Leon and Dublin as semi is jackknifed across road.

2:05 pm Still not moving, update DITL time line

2:15 pm Begin heading south again

2:00 pm South of Dublin snow and sleet thankfully turns into merely cold, miserable rain

2:45 pm Finally back to thinking that contemplating consequences of a misspent life is overrated

4:15 pm Fill up at gas station at China Spring cutoff and calculate that a trip from Abilene to Waco that would normally take 3 hours will take 5 today

4:30 pm Pull up into driveway and fall into arms of loving wife

5:30 pm Eat two steaming bowls of chili and Fritos

7:00 pm Collapse into bed and go to sleep.

(Repeat as necessary until publishing operation is in the black.)

Mark

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