I work for a big publisher called John Wiley & Sons, Inc. It's a public company, which I was surprised to find out -- they're pretty quiet, and publicly traded publishers tend to be in the news (buying or being bought, having trouble with stockholders, all that jazz).
Wiley's business, like Gaul, is divided into three big parts. The one I'm in is "P/T," for Professional/Trade. It's then divided into a lot of smaller product lines, all with letter designations that I'll be figuring out for the next three years. I'm the Marketing Manager for what Wiley calls the "R-Line." The letters don't seem to stand for anything in particular; R is "Accounting."
It's actually not as boring as that sounds; yes, the line does include the usual study guides for people who want to become CPAs (which involves a grueling four-part test), and big fat annuals of very specific information (hello, GAAP and IFRS!), but there's some more interesting stuff as well. For example, coming up in a month or so is Cynthia Cooper's Extraordinary Circumstances, the personal story of the WorldCom whistleblower and co-Time magazine Person of the Year in 2002. A big piece of the business is books for high financial executives -- CFOs, controllers, auditors, and similar folks. I'm still figuring out the jargon, but some of this stuff is fascinating -- and I'll have a much better idea how American business actually runs one year from now than I do today.
I'm not an editor there, though I do work with a group of editors; my job is to see that people actually buy these books, which is something I've always been concerned with.
I work with a group of pleasant people who don't seem to expect that I'll have any idea what I'm doing for about six months, which is both encouraging and disquieting.
I have something like an office -- four walls that go up to about seven feet, plus a door, but no roof. It also got my name put on it just this Monday, so I now belong there.
I work in Hoboken, which means several good things:
- I'll no longer have to pay income taxes in two states
- I can -- and do -- take the train to work, which is wonderful
- my office is less than a five minute walk from the train station
All in all, it's much better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick. It's pretty nice, actually.
...except for the fact that my assistant, who actually knows how things work there, just gave her notice today. (She wants to go back to California.) So it looks like I'm going to hire two assistants, at vastly different jobs, within one year. 2007 has certainly been an interesting year for me, I have to say that.