Sunday, August 2, 2009

57 hours

Two p.m. today marked my 57th hour at Savas Beatie (us part-timers calculate how much we’ve worked on the last day of every month), and what a day it was: I forgot my laptop at home.

When I first realized I didn’t have it with me, I freaked out. Basically all of my work involves using Excel, Word, e-mail, or the Internet. I stepped into Sarah’s office hesitantly, fearing she’d tell me to go home (I live too far from the office to ask my mom to come and bring me my laptop).

Coincidentally, (and luckily) most of the projects she had planned for me today required old-fashioned, technology-free work.

I spent the majority of my time helping Veronica record this month’s inventory. By the time we finished, I truly appreciated the organizational skills of the librarians at the ancient library of Alexandria. Like them, we had to do it by hand. Veronica counted up the number of copies of each book, how many boxes we had for each one, etc., (while I noted everything down) and then she organized the storage room as she went. I guess bigger publishing companies and stores like Amazon must have everything computerized, and I can’t imagine having to do this periodically in a place with 100 times the number books Savas Beatie has in its storage room.

What’s interesting:

v Sarah showed me a newsletter from SPAN (The Small Publishers Association of North America). I found an interesting article about the “Millennial Generation”—Americans born between the years of 1981 and 2001. The article claimed that the “motivating factors” for America’s future leaders and customers are “convenience, customization, community, and ‘cool’”. As a representative of the Millennials, I found the article both hilarious and intriguing. Companies seek advice on how to better appeal to adolescents? How odd. The author even went into detail on how “cool” is defined and achieved. I found the section on “customization” particularly interesting:

“The Espresso Book Machine (EBM) has the capability to combine stories or chapters of different books under one cover. The machine is a robotic copier that accesses electronic files to create bound books on location in minutes,” it said.

And I thought publishing meant old-fashioned printing presses . . .

Before I go, I wanted to mention that the newly printed editions of The Ultimate Basic Training Guidebook came in today (Poor Veronica; she spent all that time organizing that stack and now she’ll have to do it again). See you on Monday!

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