Not Just Kids Stuff
E-mail allows you to communicate with many suppliers, editors, artists, etc. in a faster format. You can have a written record if you want, because you can print it out. It's more immediate.
The down side is if you are out of the office, you need to have the system sending messages back saying, "I'm not in so don't expect me to pick it up." But lately even when I travel in Asia I bring a small laptop and can pick up my e-mail messages.
Q: Have you reached the point that everyone is using e-mail?
A: There are some companies in the U.S., even in New York, that still do not have a company e-mail, which I find amazing. I'd say the bigger companies usually have e-mail, but there are still some on the printing/binding side that don't. Some of the smaller ones are hesitant or they may not have individual mailboxes. I think the overseas suppliers jumped in quickly because it's a great way to communicate with the time difference.
Q: What do you do day to day?
A: I have a staff of five. I have three production managers, one production coordinator and a production associate. We're responsible for doing production on approximately 300 new books a year, plus all the children's reprints, which can range from 400 to 800, depending on the number of bestsellers you have that year. It's a pretty significant workload with a very small number of people.
Q: How have you organized your department?
A: At one point one person was assigned per imprint or per printer, and when I arrived I decided that everybody would work across the imprints and everybody would work with all printers. My thought was that if someone were to leave, it's much easier if everyone knows how something operates than to have it be one sole person's knowledge, which would mean that if that person leaves it can cripple your department.