Thursday, February 5, 2015

Where are you right now?

I'll give you two clues:

It starts with L 

and ends with os Angeles.

And it's AWESOME!!!

Like palm trees and walking around in a cardigan in February kind of awesome.

And what's even more awesome is the reason I'm here.

I'm at a publishing conference called PubWest and I get to spend the next few days geeking out with and learning from lots of other people who make books. It's pretty darn cool. 

Today, I feel like I'm in the movies.

Have you ever noticed how many people in movies work in publishing? Especially if the movie is set in New York. Then it's almost guaranteed that one of the characters will be an editor.

Most of the time being in publishing isn't all that glamorous. In fact, there's some quote about books and sausages—the two things you never want to see being made. I'm too lazy to look up the actual wording, but it's kind of true sometimes. Watching a book go from mere concept to tangible object, and every step in that process, can feel like a long, slow-motion car crash. A fascinating, can't-look-away mess.

Except that makes it sound dramatic and remarkable, when really it's just lots and lots and lots of emails and lots and lots and lots of spreadsheets. I won't bore you guys with all the details about packaging and specs and print runs and RFQs that I work through every day. 

I'll just tell you about this one day, today, when I feel a movie-version of a publishing professional. Today is the kind of day when I woke up early to catch a flight and while I was at the airport I called a printing press to give them the go-ahead to print a big run of one of our backlist titles. And then on the plane I brainstormed ways to make my team more efficient in this one specific process that I'm not going to tell you about in case any of them are reading this. (Hi, guys. I miss you. Thanks for covering for me while I'm off feeling like a movie star.)

Then when we arrived at the hotel, I met up with another one of our printers who was full of praise for me and our books. And I got to meet his colleagues and some other folks. Then I came up to my hotel room and wrote ad copy, which is the little blurb about a book that goes onto websites and in catalogs. And the whole day I was answering emails and making sure things were still running smoothly back home.

I felt like I was on top of my game.

These are the kind of days that make all the other days seem cooler. 

Not that I mind the other days. I actually love my job every day, even on the days when all I do is answer a million emails and fill in a million spreadsheets. But some days, like today, are just a little extra awesome.

And the palm trees are a nice touch.

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