Andy Ambraziejus is AMACOM’s Managing Editor. He started working for AMACOM in August 1999. He runs the Production Department, which includes the Associate Editors who work on the editorial side of things getting the books copyedited, proofread, index, and designed. Lydia Lewis, the Production Manager, is also part of the department of course. Lydia works with our typesetters and printers, among many other tasks.
What were you doing before you joined AMACOM?
Before I joined AMACOM, I worked in the Random House Reference division, which published dictionaries and various other titles. And before that Macmillan Reference and William Morrow and Company, which published trade books.
What are some of your responsibilities as a Managing Editor?
Scheduling–Keeping things moving and getting the books out on time [Editor’s note: Andy would have prefered this in all caps :)]. Always fun, especially when books need to be published on a rush schedule. It’s about asking, demanding, pleading, begging, nudging, inquiring, wheedling, reminding—I do what I need to keep things moving. Over the years I’ve learned different situations demand different skills.
I also work with the Associate Editors in hiring freelancers (copyeditors, proofreaders, indexers, designers); it’s important to get the best people with the right experience and then match them up their strengths to each title.
Additionally, I work closely with Rosemary our Marketing Director and Ashley in developing our electronic initiatives. It’s a whole new world out there—so different from the one which I found when I started in publishing 30 years ago (egad!). So many things are now done electronically, and our customers (readers, authors, book buyers), expect that our books will be available in various formats: online, as ebooks (Amazon’s Kindle and others), on mobile devices, and yes—in print too. I don’t think print will go way—we just have to provide for the entire range of formats to our customers.
What are the big challenges you face in your job?
Time, time, and less time for everything. In scheduling, everything’s faster, so it’s tough keeping so many balls in the air, as we all do.
The changes wrought by electronic media also present a new challenge. It’s both exciting and exhausting sometimes, trying to keep up with all the changes. I think the days are gone when people thought “you just push a button” and the computer does it all for you, but then again, I still get those comments.
What AMACOM book are you really excited about right now?
I’m actually excited about a couple right now:
Just Listen by Mark Goulston. A great book on communicating with people and getting through to them. I know there are a lot of books out there on this topic, but the author has a great talent for zeroing in on people and understanding where they’re coming from.
Pricing for Profit by Dale Furtwengler. A nice book for business people. It provides advice on pricing for their services and not underselling themselves. Really a solid little book with great information. [Editor’s note: I am holding my tongue about ebook pricing at this point]
What book are you reading at the moment?
Free by Chris Anderson, which I got at BEA. About how publishers and other businesses are using the concept of Free to make money. A paradox? Read the book.
What book do you want everyone to discover?
What would you be doing if you weren’t here at AMACOM?
Traveling to the North Pole, climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro, exploring the temples at Angkor Wat and Macchu Picchu, exploring the Western Desert in Egypt, lolling on a beach in Zanzibar or St. Lucia. I still intend to do a few of these things before I go to that great big bookmark in the sky.
To read all our “Introducing AMACOM” posts, click HERE.