Saturday, October 22

fourth and flint


I am in the middle of editing an index for a book about Texas wineries. when the book is ready to be published, it'll come out with our spring season--just a few months away now.

there are also checklists on my desk for two manuscripts that still need copyediting. those won't come out till next fall. right now they're waiting on our production department to approve all the artwork. (after the copyediting comes the indexing, the design, the typesetting, the proofing, the printing, the binding, the shipping, and so on. it all takes forever and ever.)

in my inbox are instructions for prepping one of our clothing/textile books book for the compositor and tagging it for a CIP request. this one is right behind the winery book, I think--set to come out sometime in the spring.

earlier this week I did a bit of research for a Finnish fellow who's working on a book about Route 66, and then spent a few days sorting invoices for the finance department, while they all worked on very important royalty-related stuff.

in the short not-even-two-months-yet that I've worked at the Press, I've coded a handful of manuscripts to be sent out to freelance editors, proofed dozens and dozens of pages, sold a few books at the cowboy symposium, met and/or emailed a couple of authors, watered some plants, answered the phones, made plenty of copies, sent a few packages, and compiled a humongous spreadsheet of manufacturing costs for all the books we've published from 2006 up to now.

now I'm editing an index. it's quite fun.

tidbits I have learned so far, from all these various assignments:
given long enough to sit on a shelf or in a file, rubber bands start sticking to paper, and breaking apart, and being useless. 
the press saves every tiny thing in files associated with each book it publishes. every email, every draft, every decision, every review, every order, every shipment.

there is a town called Pittsburg, Texas. 
copyeditors charge about $3.50 per page. 
hardcover books are usually called 'clothbound'--that seems like a thing I ought to have known before, somehow. 
we still use terms like 'compositor' and 'typesetting,' even though it's all digital these days. we also still use words like 'manuscript,' even though none of it's handwritten anymore. hrm.
I'm sure there's a lot more. I wish I could tell you all about these forthcoming books, and how interesting they are, even when you're only skimming through to add type codes, or jumping around checking the references for their indexes. it kind of boggles my mind that I am an impossibly thin slice of the pie chart of effort that goes into producing these published works. I get to see them all in different stages of unfinished, so far. and when a box full of any of these titles finally shows up in the office, each copy all shiny and shrink-wrapped, that will be a pretty cool day.

3 comments:

Happy Mom said...

Very cool post! What a great job! It makes me want to do it too!

Chris said...

I still want your job. Give it to me.

amelia said...

it is fun to be a part of.

chris, the other editorial assistant is finishing her PhD sometime next semester... so maybe you can take over for her then. i'll put in good words for you. :) in the meantime... isn't there a university press somewhere in you-land? go bug them until they let you work there.