Monthly Archives: September 2011

Podcast: Susan Reed on the Power of Corporate Diversity

In a new American Management Association podcast, Susan Reed, an award winning journalist and author of  The Diversity Index: The Alarming Truth About Diversity in Corporate America…and What Can Be Done About It, talks about how companies are leveraging diversity in to create new products, markets, and empower their employees.

In the age of increasing globalization, corporate diversity in America remains relevant. Studies have shown that companies with greater diversity at the executive level outperform their competitors. In this episode of Edgewise, Susan Reed, author of The Diversity Index, explains ways employers are leveraging diversity by empowering their employees to create new products and explore untapped markets as well as how to broaden their spectrum of emerging leaders.

Listen to the podcast here.

Susan E. Reed is an award winning journalist who has covered almost every aspect of the workplace for 25 years for CBS News, the New York Times, the American Prospect, and other publications. She writes a business column for the international news web site, GlobalPost.com. Her latest book is The Diversity Index.

A First-Time Author’s Guide to the Production Process

The following is a guest post by Managing Editor Andy Ambraziejus on what to expect when you’re expecting a bound book, or what happens when your manuscript goes to the AMACOM Production Department.

Your editor has accepted your manuscript for publication and transferred it over to the production department. What can you expect over the course of the next few months before publication?

– The Associate Editor—Your Main Contact. Your manuscript will be assigned to an associate editor. The associate editor is your main contact during this time. He or she will be overseeing all aspects of the production process, watching the schedule, coordinating freelancers (copyeditors, proofreaders, designers, indexers), and making sure everything gets done in a timely manner.

The associate editor will also give the author a general sense of schedule, which will be finalized when the copyedited files are sent to the compositor (see below). A note about schedules; the schedules mentioned below are considered normal. Each stage can be completed much more quickly, or take longer, depending on various circumstances.

— Manuscript Evaluation.
The associate editor checks to make sure the manuscript files are complete, including all art (charts, graphs, illustrations). Occasionally, because of time constraints, we allow a missing part of the manuscript, such as a foreword, to come later.

Copyeditor Queries– Copyediting. The manuscript files will be sent to a copyeditor. Copyeditors are the people who “dot the I’s and cross the T’s.” They make sure grammar, spelling, and punctuation are correct, watch for consistency, and query the author if anything seems incorrect or unclear.

An important point to remember: Copyeditors never want to change what the author wants to say—their job is to make what the author wants to say as clear and succinct as possible. On a regular schedule, this takes a few weeks.

— Author Queries.
After copyediting the files are sent back to the author to answer the copyeditor’s queries, add anything that might have been missing from the manuscript previously, and do a quick, final check before the manuscript goes to composition. The author is asked to return the files with queries answered within a week or two, depending on the schedule.

– Design. While copyediting is being done, the associate editor is working with designers and compositors to come up with an appropriate design for the book. Various considerations come into play: the length of book announced in the catalog, the overall size (i.e., known as the trim size—6 x 9 inches, 8-1/2 x 11 inches, etc.), the kind of art, if any, as well as the subject matter and the market for the book.

Compositor Order Specs– Composition and Pake Makeup. Once the associate editor has received the final copyedited files with all queries answered and prepared them for the compositor and the design has been set, the files are sent to a compositor. The compositor confirms the final schedule, and within a few weeks, the compositor produces proofs.

– Proofreading. Both the author and a proofreader are sent PDF files of the proofs. The corrections need to be returned to the associate editor within a week or two. The associate editor collates both the author’s and proofreader’s corrections, resolves the proofreader’s queries with the author, and transmits the corrections back to the compositor.

There are a few more stages of proof that only the associate editor sees, always checking that the corrections from the previous pass have been made correctly.

– Indexing. During this time, the proofs have also been sent to an indexer, who is busy compiling the index.

– Final Files. Once the associate editor feels confident that all the bits and pieces have been completed satisfactorily, he or she asks the compositor for final files, which are then sent to the printer.

– Electronic Files & EBooks. AMACOM keeps an archive of electronic files. The PDF files in this archive are sent to a conversion house, which converts the files to necessary specifications and sends them to various vendors to be sold as eBooks.

Upon signing a short agreement, the author can also request a copy of the files, small portions of which can be put on the author’s website to publicize the book.

– Bound Books. Bound books appear a few weeks after the files have been sent to the printer. Marketing and publicity have already started, but now they shift into high gear to get the word out about the book about to be published.

Andy Ambraziejus is AMACOM’s Managing Editor, responsible for scheduling, developing electronic initiatives, hiring freelancers, and working with the Associate Editors to get the books copyedited, proofread, index, and designed. He previously worked in the Random House Reference division, which published dictionaries and various other titles, Macmillan Reference, and William Morrow and Company, which published trade books. For inquires regarding freelance copyediting, proofreading and indexing, visit our website.

Susan Shearouse on Five Conflict-Dissolving Goals This Fall

Susan ShearouseThe following is a guest post by Susan H. Shearouse, author of Conflict 101, on resolutions to make this fall on solving problems and clashes with others.

Maybe it’s all those years of school – the Tuesday after Labor Day always feels like New Year’s Day to me. Time to put away the summer fun and get back to work. No more leaving early on Friday afternoon. All those meetings and groups we canceled until September are back on the schedule.

And with every New Year, we make our lists of Resolutions. Sometimes they go down easier if we think of them as Goals. When I set Resolutions, I don’t expect them to last long. Goals, on the other hand, we can keep working on, striving for. If we fall down, we can get up gracefully and give it another go.

The word “Conflict” usually strikes fear in our hearts. When it’s something that matters, it feels like there is a lot to fear:

  • We fear change and the loss that change might bring.
  • We fear making a mistake and being seen as incompetent, weak, or unworthy.
  • We fear ‘losing face’ – losing our reputation or our pride, honor, dignity.
  • We fear being hurt. And we fear hurting someone else.
  • We fear what the conflict might say about the other person, or about current our relationship.
  • We fear being disrespected or dismissed; we fear being embarrassed.
  • We fear losing control; we fear feeling powerless.

In the middle of those fears, we lose sight of what resolving the conflict can do. Getting to the other side of a conflict can strengthen relationships, give everyone some valuable lessons, create new processes and answers that no one thought were possible before. Here are a few resolutions – er, goals – for you to apply to the conflicts that are bound to be waiting around the corner before you are putting the pumpkin on the porch for Halloween.

  1. Try something new. If you usually walk away when the conversation begins to get tense, stay in the discussion. If your habit is to make unilateral demands and statements, pull yourself back. Resist the urge get back to that comfortable place you know so well.
  2. Listen. Be curious. Reflect back to the other person what you heard, and let them confirm that you got it right before you respond.
  3. Take a moment. Suggest that you come back and discuss this further at a later time – maybe after lunch or tomorrow morning. It will give both of you a little time to think about what you really want and care about.
  4. Pay attention to the relationship when you are NOT disagreeing. Demonstrate concern and interest in the other person. Build trust by keeping your word and valuing others’ competence. Where trust is high, people can work through virtually any difference. Where there is no trust, the simplest disputes are difficult to resolve.
  5. As Gloria Steinem once said, “The bible says the truth shall set you free, but first it’s going to really (tick) you off.” Conflict – disagreement – is inevitable. Step into the moment with courage, and you may find some real treasures there.

Cover Image of Conflict 101
Susan H. Shearouse is the author of Conflict 101: A Manager’s Guide to Resolving Problems So Everyone Can Get Back to Work. She has a Masters Degree in Conflict Resolution and served as Executive Director of the National Conference on Peacemaking and Conflict Resolution. Her clients have included Lockheed Martin, Philip Morris, the IRS, the US Environmental Protection Agency, the US Army Corps of Engineers, and many others.

5 Tips to Help Your Son Get Ready for School

The following is a guest post by Executive Editor Christina Parisi about preparing boys to start school.

As a parent of two boys, I can’t help but notice all the press about how boys are not doing well in school. While recently signing my eldest up for kindergarten, I was given a packet of information 30 pages long listing everything he was expected to know before entering–from his personal information, to tying his own shoes, to basic literacy. Not only are kids expected to already be reading simple words before they enter kindergarten, but by the time they finish first grade they are expected to write poetry. I’m not talking about a super-special kindergarten either. This is my town’s public school system.

According to some research, girls’ brains are built differently than boys’ are, and those differences help girls learn to read faster than boys. While the boys can eventually catch up, during those first few years of school they get progressively behind, which affects their work as well as their self-esteem and interest in school.

Book jacket, Why Boys FailRichard Whitmire, author of Why Boys Fail: Saving Our Sons from an Educational System That’s Leaving Them Behind, suggests this is a critical stage for boys, because if you don’t get the early literacy part right and get the boys interested in school, they will have trouble later on, as is already evident. Higher-education consultant Tom Mortenson put together a report tracking men for the past five years. He has found that “for the first time in American history, young men today are less likely to be college-educated than their fathers.” And if you’re watching the economy, you can see that their job prospects are affected by that. At one point in the recession, nearly 80 percent of the job losses were among men. If boys are not getting the education they need now, how will they get jobs in the future? As parents we have to be more involved so that our sons stay engaged in school.

Here are five quick tips for busy parents to help their sons succeed:

  1. Read to your son. Boys especially like adventures. Have him read to you or better yet, trade off characters where you are the bad guy and he is the good guy. This is less intimidating to him than alternating reading a page and then having you read a page. If your child is too young to read, then have him pretend to read to you or to a younger sibling after you have read him the same story. This will help engage him and improve his memory, attention span, and narrative abilities, which are all related to basic literacy.
  2. Have your son make up stories about his favorite characters. This can be done anywhere, at any time. The key is to get him talking and telling stories. It also provides you with the opportunity to teach him new vocabulary in a context he is more likely to remember.
  3. Ask him to show you his work, not just his homework. Ask to see what he did in the class and what they talked about. This shows that it’s not just important to go to school and to get the work done, but that you are personally interested in what he does while he is there.
  4. Talk about the things you loved about school and why. Or if you hated school as a child, talk about why education is important and the kinds of things you can achieve through education.
  5. Have him practice a routine that will help him be successful. This includes preparing his bag and clothes the night before, getting up on time, eating breakfast, and considering his schedule the night before. These basic routines help relieve anxiety about being unprepared and will help him transition into taking care of himself.

Taking an active role in your child’s literacy and school experience will help him learn the skills he will need for later success. The American Management Association prides itself on teaching skills to keep America working, and we support programs for kids to learn such skills early. But arming your kids with skills for them to succeed later depends on a partnership, and that begins with you. Good luck.

Christina Parisi is an Executive Editor at AMACOM and the Director of AMA Self-Studies. She has been with AMACOM for 12 years and acquires books in management, leadership, training, HR, and general business. For submission guidelines, see our website.

Cliff Ennico at eBay on Location

Photo of Cliff EnnicoCliff Ennico, author of The eBay Seller’s Tax and Legal Answer Book, will be presenting at eBay on Location in Orlando.

eBay: On Location promises an engaging experience designed to help sellers harness the power of eBay, the world’s largest online marketplace

Cliff’s session will be Legal and Tax Aspects of Your Business on eBay, an introduction to the legal and tax issues involved in starting and running a successful business on eBay.

Thursday, September 8, 2011
2 – 3:30 pm

Hilton Orlando
6001 Destination Parkway
Orlando, FL 32819

Jacket imageCliff Ennico is a lawyer specializing in legal and tax issues for small businesses, and is a popular instructor at eBay University. The host of the PBS show MoneyHunt, he is a frequent contributor to Entrepreneur magazine and the author of Small Business Survival Guide. His weekly syndicated column Succeeding in Your Business appears in dozens of newspapers and websites.