As part of our Tor Tour, a series of regular posts covering the varied publishing roles within the Tor imprint and across Pan Macmillan as a whole, I interviewed Holly Sheldrake, Tor's Production Controller. Here is my interview with her:
1) Could you explain a little bit about how you've reached your current position?
I started as a Production Assistant and got promoted to Production Controller. Before working here I worked for Ottakar’s/Waterstones for a fair few years. After selling books I thought it would be interesting to go and work and see how they were made.
My job involves me doing costings – to make sure that what we are printing makes money, but it also involves me getting all the material together to make sure we can meet the deadlines of getting the books into the warehouse on time.
3) What does an average day consist of?
Days vary but we do a lot of costings, placing orders, talking to printers, sending books to the typesetters, circulating corrections as well as talking to various departments – art, design, editorial services and editorial.
4) What do you enjoy most about your job?
I like to see the books come in once they are finished. Opening a box of books that have just come in from the printer is exciting but scary at the same time. Handing them over to the editors is also nice. You can see that they are relieved that all their hard work has paid off too.
We send all titles down to a meeting to decide how many we are going to print of a title called a PCM – Print Control Meeting. Preparing for this and doing around 40 costings can be rather boring.
6) How do you feel the digital age has affected book production?
I don’t think it’s affected book production much at the moment. There are still people who prefer to read a physical book so at the moment there will always be a need for it. There will come a time when book production will slow down due to the fact that more and more people are purchasing e-readers. Even when this happens there will still need to be a need for production as there will still need to be someone to help put the book together.
For those of you that missed the post on my exciting trip to the printers, click here.
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The Tor Tour is part of a series of regular posts covering the varied publishing roles within the Tor imprint and across Pan Macmillan as a whole. These are the posts so far:
INTRODUCING TEAM TOR by Tor UK Editorial Director Julie Crisp
TOR TOUR: NOT JUST EDITING by Tor UK Editorial Director Julie Crisp
TOR TOUR: A PUBLICITY DEPARTMENT EXPOSÉ by Publicity Manager Sophie Portas
TOR TOUR: COMMISSIONING & SOCIAL MEDIA by Senior Commissioning Editor Bella Pagan
TOR TOUR: THE MARKETOR by Senior Marketing Manager Rob Cox
TOR TOUR: THE EDITORIAL ASSISTANT by Editorial Assistant Louise Buckley
TOR TOUR: PRODUCTION CONTROLLER by Production Controller Holly Sheldrake
TOR TOUR: THE DIGITAL ZONE by Analytics Director, James Long
TOR TOUR: THE RIGHTS DEPARTMENT by Rights Assistant, Kerry Lagan
TOR TOUR: HEAD OF WEB DEVELOPMENT by our digital department's James Luscombe
TOR TOUR: THE AUDIO BOOK DEPARTMENT EXPLAINED by Audio manager Becky Lloyd