On a Road Less Traveled
The company recently released its first e-book (Croce's I Feel Great, And You Will, Too!). Content conversion was a snap, says Teacher; the distributor, BarnesAndNoble.com, was able to use the original files from the publisher to republish in electronic form.
Asked if he'll release more titles as e-books, Teacher says, "Sure,
why not? "It's a simple thing to do," he adds. "We want to make our works as available as possible and allow readers to access text how-ever they choose, in print or e-book format."
And so, Philadelphia, Benjamin Franklin's beloved city and the hub of Colonial-era publishing, progresses into the 21st century.
Workflow Tips From Running Press
How do only 85 employees each year keep 175 new titles and complicated book-plus projects on track? In addition to tried-and-true tactics, such as setting realistic production schedules and hiring talented employees, Running Press staffers use the following strategies:
View meetings as public forums. The creative team (editors, designers and production personnel) meet monthly to discuss current and upcoming projects. "We look at where everything is in production," says Jennifer Worick, editorial director. "The meetings are like public forums, so employees are all aware of successes and problems. Attendance at the meetings helps keep everyone up-to-date and accountable."
Fix problems and move on. Don't fight about them, says Rachel Cabrera, production manager.
Consciously foster teamwork. "Go for cohesiveness," says Peter Horodowich, production director.
Don't overwhelm employees with work. In a tightening economy, it's tempting to reduce staff and expect the remaining employees to produce more. But, says Bill Jones, design director, you can't get extraordinary work out of people who are swamped. "Assign workloads to staffers according to their skill level and available time."
Do your homework when choosing vendors. That's Publisher Buz Teacher's advice: "Place the project carefully the first time, then leave the files with the book manufacturer for easier reprint production. Everyone makes money with reprints: publisher, printer and author."