Friday, February 26, 2010

This Blog

This Blog

Every day I come across new information. As a researcher, I never stop learning.

Gaining the knowledge isn’t the problem. Communicating it to my authors, however, is.

I’ve tried sending info via email. While some respond positively, others turn a blind eye to what I’m trying to inform them of and instead ask when they will be on the NYT bestsellers list.

Kind of like preaching to the choir.

Here, with a blog, I don’t have to worry about ruffling feathers, misunderstood reactions, etc. And I don’t have to worry about who I need to tell what.

My goal is to offer my perspective of the publishing industry. Entwined with the statistics, facts, and trends the publishing industry follows are my personal thoughts, experiences, strategies, and dreams for literature and publishing.

I hope you find this blog informative and helpful. And entertaining. There’s just no point to it if it isn’t at least a little fun!

Question: What have you found to be the best way to communicate the new things you learn about your industry to your peers?

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

My Resume

My professional life has taken many unexpected twists and turns.

For a few years I was the personal assistant of a senior pastor/evangelist (which involved event booking, publicity, etc.). With an anticipated future in ministry, these were crucial years for me, both spiritually and professionally. I learned a LOT during that time period.

Then God used a change of heart to direct me down a different path.

For a while I spent time building my writing portfolio, freelancing, and offering consulting services—finally making use of that BA in English.

My “big break,” you could say, came when I joined Tate as an Editor (most editorial positions in this industry start with copyediting, internships, or performing as editorial assistants). Later I moved up to Associate Conceptual Editor (managerial position). In 2008, executive staff asked me to join the marketing staff. So almost two years later, here I am.

I am a returning judge for the ECPA (Evangelical Christian Publishers Association) book awards, a member of the Young-to-Publishing association (an offshoot of the Association of American Publishers), and various other industry-minded organizations. I’ve edited hundreds of books and have been involved in the marketing of a great collection of titles. Authors I’ve worked with have been featured on national television (interviews, etc.), reviewed in numerous publications, won prestigious awards, and found success in building a brand and retaining a readership (which translates into sales).

I can’t tell you how fulfilling it is to wake up every morning excited about my work day. Oh, sometimes the menial things get to me—just like they do to everyone else—but at the end of the day, I know that because of what I’ve done, God has the opportunity to impact another life.

Years ago, when I was a simple sixteen year old with great dreams for my future, I felt lead to the ministry. I assumed that meant as a pastor’s wife with a ministry to hurting teenage hearts. Then, as I stated above, God redirected my path.

For years I thought that I had misunderstood him, writing off that “calling” as a youthful, impetuous dream manufactured by emotions and the desire to please those around me.

But I didn’t misunderstand him. All of us, as Christians, are called to ministry. It just looks different. In my life, ministry is in helping authors spread the message and passion God has given them, showing love to fellow Christians (both in my personal and professional life), and taking advantage of every opportunity I can to point someone to Christ.

So that is how I approach every task I get to do for my authors: this is real-time ministry. It’s using the skills, gifts, and interests God has given us to change others’ lives.

When you boil it down, that’s really all that matters.

Question: So what about you? What does the call to ministry look like in your life?

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

a little background information

Some of you have known me for years. Some of you have yet to even speak with me (hey—let’s chat soon. Give me a call).

I want each of you to know who I am and where I’m coming from.

My love for literature began at an early age; in first grade I was reading my brother’s books and writing reports (my first experience writing reviews! Ha)…he was in seventh grade.

When the love of my life proposed, God laid out a completely different path for me. I’d like to say I accepted it without questioning him, but I didn’t. I’m only human. But I did accept it, and the next year saw me married and living in Oklahoma City (which I never thought I’d do!).

The mainstays of my life right now are reading, baking, volunteering (through my involvement in a few social & philanthropic organizations), spending time with friends and family, and mothering my two little four-legged babies: Barron Darcy and Tycoon Bingley (Catahoula Leopard Dogs: they have godparents, birthday parties, and their own room).

We make a lovely little family, I must say. Barron has my personality, and Tycoon is just like my husband. They are nearly three years old, and I am so proud of them!

My favorite television shows are LOST, GLEE, HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER, and BIG BANG THEORY. My favorite movies are mostly the old classics, although I love Drew Barrymore's recent HBO film GREY GARDENS.

My husband and I eat out constantly (dining is a hobby for us!), so I can certainly point you to the best food in OKC.

If I had to identify myself with a character from a movie, it would probably be Bette Midler's character on the latest version of STEPFORD WIVES: loud, obnoxious, creative, and completely oblivious to domestic chores. Much to my husband's delight, I am working on increasing my domestic skills. But sometimes, it's just easier to hire someone to cook, clean, or do the laundry.

The main food groups, in my opinion, are Chocolate, Bread, Bacon, and Cheese. That’s really all you need to survive….well, that, and Diet Dr Pepper. Note that none of those require much preparation! :)

Personality tests show that relationships are my number one concern, and I most enjoy playing the role of Encourager. This means that I take it personally when I’ve disappointed someone—that to me is the definition of failure, which my brain tells me is not a wise perception—and sometimes I struggle to leave work at work.

I tend to always have an ongoing list of projects, and I’m very deadline oriented. I tend to over-commit myself personally, and the hardest thing for me to do is keep my house presentable for company (my house, by the way, is a 1929 historic estate. The original 1929 Jewett refrigerator system, which was built into our kitchen, has recently been restored and works like a charm).

Through my life experiences, I’ve grown to be what I call a cynic. Most others correct me and inform me that I am merely a realist.

Regardless, I am a walking contradiction, as I tend to live my life by this statement: it never hurts to ask. Even though I anticipate the worst (and usually am right), I have enough optimism to consider the possibilities of what COULD happen. That’s probably the artistic side within me.

I’m five feet tall (husband is 6’4”), but let me tell you: loud things come in small packages. Wait---I mean...oh, who am I kidding. What I lack in height I make up for in personality. I give everything 110%, or else it’s not worth doing (in my opinion).

Well, that's ME. Hope you like the version of me that I see.

Now it's YOUR turn. I want to know about YOU!