Monday, June 19, 2006

Bringing it In-House: Chronicles of a New Managing Editor

A couple of months ago, I left both the Textbook Mills and the Freelance Lifestyle for a new job as the managing editor of a small textbook company. After fifteen years in the business, my new employer thought he should have an editorial department in-house, and hired me to start it.

He furnished me with a big desk, a sexy laptop computer, a minion junior assistant, and the formatted, unreviewed, unedited preliminary pages for a secondary school textbook that had be in development for three years and is due to go to press in mid-July, for distribution along with a Teachers' Guide (TG) and Student Activity Book (Workbook) in September.

Two months in, we're incorporating changes from the reviewers and getting the beast ready for copy editing. Everything takes longer than I want it to. I'm learning a lot, am convinced we're not doing things optimally, and fear the looming deadline. My TG authors are not responding to e-mails. My lead author is also the lead salesperson for my book. My publisher gives me almost unlimited authority. I'm generally exhilerated and terrified.

And I'm going to share all my learning experiences here.

Stay tuned.


Anonymous said...

So whatever happened to the chronicles of a new managing editor? Blog fatigue? ;-)

jennie said...

Note to the anonymous poster who first commented on this:

Yep, you're right. I'd prefer not to leave much more indentifying information on my public blog, though.

Suffice it to say that I can see where some difficulties would arise. If you're interested in discussing this further, we can do so off-blog.

jennie said...

Hey Brant,

Blog fatigue and realizing that I'd been IDd happened. About the time that I decided not to care that I'd been IDd, I ran out of blogsteam and began to question the wisdom of discussing my problems online.

I've decided to trust my own best judgement, and to let my employer in on the blog, so that should be okay. More Chronicles are forthcoming, as soon as I have time to look up an write them.