To work as a publisher means in the first place handling all the different stages of making the books. That can be disappointing and exhausting, but also exciting.

In my case, I first of all worked in a team. In our office, the only permanent staff consisted of my boss and me. We were the heart and the core of both projects: the literature website and the publishing company. There were also wonderful, indispensible interns and the author of the first two books, who at the same time is best friends with my boss and co-starter of the company.

Luckily, there are and were no problems in the team - I've never felt so much part of something. In a way social life and work gets mixed up, when we had sandwich parties on Thursdays, fun promotion events and trips to Berlin underground musicians.

Then there is outside communication:
For the first book, a marketing idea consisted of getting confectionists to help us with a recipe for "Harald"- the chocolate-bean-chocolate cake, the main protagonist of the children's picture book. We got two recipes, one for Harald and one for cupcakes, for the kids to bake.

The illustrators:
Here you can be lucky or not. For our second book we employeda wonderful illustrator who almost feels part of the team. She quickly adjusted to our ideas, made different cover versions, combined the best ideas and even adjusted minor things in no time. This makes work easy and fun.
Other things can be a bit tricky, especially if your illustrator is also friends with the author and sees the project as a freetime fun thing. It's a balancing act between getting the necessary changes done and not coming across as a mean publisher who wants to destroy the original ideas behind the project. I would say there are some aspects a publisher just knows better about selling the final edition. Still, our goal was to suit the book and the author more than just making profit - being an alternative to popular publishers.

Last: the printing agency
I'm so glad we had an understanding printing agency. Otherwise, we would have been lost. There are so many things you have to learn about printing and without their help and support we could have messed up bad and be utterly disappointed with the results. (well, we don't have the books yet, but I'm confident)
Now we know how to
- layout the printing file,
- what format it has to be,
- what pdf x-3 is,
- that ICC profile are a hassle,
- what book sizes are better than others,
- which fonts are totally stupid,
- how to use a ftp server,
- which paper is suitable,
- the difference between CMYK and RGB,
- and all the other choices you have to make before your job can be done.

In the next few weeks, I might take part in a smartphone customers insights survey, which would mean that I will blog frequently about choosing, buying and using a smartphone. More daily news on my new tumblr.


  1. Alex J. Cavanaugh said...
    Sounds like a lot of work!
    Be curious which smart phone grabs your attention. I don't have one, but since I have an iPad, iTouch, and iPod, I'm sure I would select the iPhone.
    And I hope you enjoy my book!
    Amy Saia said...
    Very interesting! Congrats and good luck on your work here.
    Nahno McLein said...
    Thanks, you two.
    An Iphone will be on the list, but I'm sure that this is not gonna do it for me - I'll explain later.

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