Production Editor Tasks

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Here is a detailed list of tasks that one could/should expect a book production editor to do.

Contents

Oversight

• review project status constantly

• keep on schedule and within budget

• coordinate and/or set meetings with authors, editor, and other staff as needed

• coordinate web postings, marketing miscellany, contracts issues, deliveries to warehouse/distributor, etc.

Planning

• assess manuscript

• determine goals and constraints with author/project leader

• check on technical complexity; test print on laser printer to check for TrueType fonts

• coordinate with editor on other needs (“save as” to new file name to eliminate embedded type)

• assess complexity of figures

• assess references—complete? consistent? was manuscript received with a bibliography?

• do character count and divide by baseline to determine number of standard manuscript pages (2,200 characters per manuscript page at RAND)

• check for color versus black-and-white figures

• assess artwork for permissions and resolution

• correspond/problem-solve with team on ongoing basis

Estimate

• run specs through estimator

• funnel estimates through managing editor for quick check on numbers

• check all specs in estimate

• send estimate memo to project stakeholders for approval

• follow up to ensure estimate is understood and approved

Schedule

• integrate author-team time constraints with project needs and cycle time best practices

• enter days in PWD scheduler

• review and refine schedule

• follow up to ensure schedule is understood and approved

Budget

• enter budget into PWD for tracking

• break out production, distribution, and printing costs

• estimate and record add-ons

Design

• coordinate cover design with art director, designer, author, etc; track cover cost separately

• coordinate design and reviews of design alterations

Print Pricing

• run specs through print price calculator; relay prices to unit

• coordinate decisionmaking on final print quantities and costs based on format options with stakeholders (marketing, etc.)

Preflight Files

• preflight cover electronic file

• look for: styling instead of real fonts, proper color designation (process versus spot), embedded EPS's, images with wrong rez, two different versions of Pantone colors (like 265cv vs. 265cvu)

Print Vend/Coordination

• open purchase order

• create and record work order

• send estimated costs to unit for approval

• complete vending-purchasing paperwork and review for accuracy and completeness — worksheet, quality-check form, cover quality check form, PWD record printout, abstract form, bids, purchase order

• FedEx package with paperwork, proofs, and CD to printer

• review and approve or correct bluelines and cover proofs

• follow up and check on corrections, deadline, and delivery; resolve any problems

Dissemination

• coordinate posting on the web

• ensure abstract, metadata, ready date go to distributor, internal and external databases

• ensure that copies go to disparate stakeholders on time

Doc Wrap Memo

• summarize and report on project success against the initial plan including budget and cycle time

• record final summary in PWD record and resolve any open issues

End Game

• ensure all invoices in and processed on time

• ensure info captured in PWD and related files

• close out PWD record

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