Monday, June 11, 2007

Book Publishing

Somehow I've managed to end up in book publishing. After giving up a job on campus (a story deserving of a post in and of itself) a friend recommended me for an internship with a children's book publishing company. The company is run by an older couple, David and Judy. I interviewed with David at a Denny's (he called it "his Denny's") wherein I ordered a Coke and he had plain toast. The odd interview was the setting for what has become an extremely odd, but entertaining part of my employment history thus far.

David and Judy are quite the couple, their constant bickering is reflective of many of the Jewish couples I've met in L.A. thus far. They are very traditional, refusing even to upgrade their hopelessly outdated Windows 95 based computers. In fact, as I work on book proposals which often number in the 15-20 page range, it will often take me a half hour to print out drafts as the computers crash after printing out 5 or 6 pages and I'm forced to restart the PCs. Not surprisingly, they also steadfastly cling to their dial up modem, making the research I do on potential clients an hour long journey to just browse a few dozen pages.

It would normally follow that such a behind the curve philosophy at the office would translate to an equally out of date business plan, but ironically the company is still afloat. David has smartly capitalized on the media hysteria related to the environment and global warming. He has angled our products to offer something to large corporations that most companies cannot- educational, positive PR.

So while working for David and Judy is somewhat absurd, for now it pays the bills. And while David my shirk in fear when I clear my throat (Do you have a cold? Would you like some tea? Don't touch the keyboards!), he is the boss.

Speaking of publishing, a story I worked on is going to be published in a collection entitled "Tomorrow's Leaders." And the the battle I fought with their editors is what I'm going to share next time.