In late December, our publisher was informed that a major portion of the shipment that was en route to our distributor was lost. She acted fast, looping in the Design Manager, Operations Manager, and me, the Project Manager, and we did some major troubleshooting. FedEx was attempting to locate the shipment, hopeful that it would be found after the holiday backlog cleared. The publisher reached out to Ingram, our distributor, to see if it was feasible to use their print-on-demand service to ensure we would have books in time to meet the industry deadline for new titles. Because of many factors (timing, holiday closures, and staffing numbers), the success of this option was not guaranteed. Ultimately, moving the publishing date forward a month was the best solution.
Editing involves exposing harsh truths, making tough decisions, and facilitating collaboration. So how can an editor—especially a new one—make sure that their decisions, suggestions, and occasional wing-clippings are fair? The answer lies in the ability to separate what we want a story to be (which is subjective and infinite) from what the story and author needs.
As I sat in my first executive meeting for Ooligan Press, I nervously observed everyone around me. Their heads bent toward one another, they talked about the various books that were in the works, the assignments they had completed over the break, and the teams they would be joining this quarter. I felt like an outsider looking in. I couldn’t help but sink a little lower in my seat. Did I even belong here?
Fresh advance reader copies had their spines stretched one by one as Melissa signed first pages and gave copies away with her thanks to all the attendees, many of whom shared connections with the Asian elephants of Portland.
From the beginning, the goal for Odsburg was to make this book unique, successful, and as beautifully odd as the story it contained. We all had similar ideas about where this book should end up; getting there, however, was an entirely different matter.
Ooligan Press is mostly made up of students in either their first or second year of the master’s in book publishing program at PSU. This means that every student is working on a book project team or as a department manager in addition to taking another two or three classes. And who can find the time to create cover and interior designs as we juggle up to six books in development at once? The key is collaboration. By trusting each other as managers, creators, and book lovers with valuable feedback to give, we work toward a fully designed book that best reflects the essence of the final manuscript.