Not Just Kids Stuff
My own basic role is administrative but I also do handle day-to-day production. Usually we divide the list up among five of us, and the sixth person strictly runs our package room for us.
The basic thing is that all of us work as a team. No matter how crazy we get, we know that if someone gets overwhelmed, we can go to one another and have a backup. I don't want anyone to feel as if they are so overwhelmed they cannot do their job.
Q: What do you expect of people that work for you?
A: I like to give my staff a lot of freedom to do what they need to do to get the job done, but they also know that if they have any questions or are not sure how to pursue a certain course of action I am available for discussion.
I want to encourage them to think independently; I want to encourage them to be problem solvers, to think of more than one avenue. I want them to realize that we are a service department. We service the editors, the art directors, the sales and marketing people -- even the warehouse people. We are a central area for information on where a book is, whether it's a first print or a reprint, and industry changes or advances in technology.
While editorial is seen as a profit center, production is seen as a deficit center. We're spending the company's money but we should treat it as our own money. If we can save a quarter of a cent on a book's cost, and that is multiplied by the number of books, that adds up to some significant dollars.
I tell them: Just think you have a job in the U.N. Our job is to make peace and keep everybody happy in the most efficient and economical fashion.