Next in the “Introducing AMACOM” series is Production Assistant Taylor Pitts. Welcome, Taylor!
What did you do before you joined AMACOM in January?
Before joining AMACOM, I gained publishing experience through an internship with FinePrint Literary Management, where I assisted agent and CEO Peter Rubie with his day-to-day workload. I trudged my way through the slush pile and alerted Peter to any gems I found, read the partial and full manuscripts of those we requested, drafted reader’s reports, and followed up with editors on various projects. Before that, I completed my bachelor’s in English Literature at Missouri State University while working a remote internship with a small, independent publishing company and tutoring students at the university’s writing center.
What are some of your responsibilities as Production Assistant?
Some of my responsibilities include applying for copyright for each of our titles; corresponding with and sending books to the Library of Congress and Cataloging in Publication Program; processing invoices and requesting purchase orders; helping our managing editor, Andy Ambraziejus, keep track of reprints and general scheduling; copyediting and proofreading manuscripts; and updating our database and corresponding with our outsourcing production company, Neuwirth & Associates. I also occasionally partake in riveting discussions about grammar, the Chicago Manual of Style, and the infamous Oxford comma with the other members in our department, and anyone close by who happens to care enough to share an opinion.
What are the big challenges you face in your job?
I would say one of the biggest challenges I’ve faced in my job so far is familiarizing myself with the timeline of the publishing industry and keeping track of the entire production process. There are so many steps that go into making a book that I never realized before accepting this position at AMACOM. I feel I’ve learned so much already—but I still refer to our production schedule for just about everything.
What AMACOM book are you most excited about right now?
I’m really excited about one of our titles coming out this fall, Sell with a Story. Being a writer myself and a natural storyteller, I can really relate to some of the tips and scenarios Paul Smith includes in his book. Although I would never describe myself as a salesperson, I understand the importance of being able to craft an authentic and entertaining story as a means of connecting with the people you’re trying to reach.
What else have you been reading recently?
Currently I’m reading My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante, the first book in her Neapolitan Novels. I’m completely hooked and have hardly been able to put it down. She’s quickly becoming one of my new favorite authors, which is something I haven’t been able to say with fervor since Flannery O’Connor or Faulkner (or, more recently, George R. R. Martin and his A Song of Ice and Fire saga). Before that, I read Erik Larson’s The Devil in the White City, Slaughterhouse-Five, and The Luckiest Girl Alive.
What would you be doing if you weren’t in your position at AMACOM?
If I weren’t the Production Assistant at AMACOM, I would likely be in grad school pursuing Comparative Literature or a similar field. Either that or you’d find me satisfying my wanderlust by teaching English abroad.
Thanks, Taylor! For more posts in our Introducing AMACOM series, please click here.