Last week my boss, associate publisher Susan Pines, sent out the following announcement:
Our new workbook product line manager is...
...Lori Cates Hand!
As you all know, Lori has done a great job managing our trade line, which has more than doubled in sales. Now she's ready for more responsibility and challenge. Effective immediately, Lori is taking on the workbook product line as well.
In her first few years at JIST, Lori edited several workbooks, including Job Savvy, which is currently in revision. She's also worked with many of our key workbook authors, including Vern Ludden, Mike Farr, Kathy Troutman, and Bob Orndorff.
Please join me in thanking Lori for her many contributions to JIST and congratulate her on her new, expanded role.
This all came about because of Dave Anderson's departure a few weeks ago. He had been managing the workbook product line (as well as the smaller assessment product line). When he left, the idea was to replace him with another product line manager. But the more I thought about it, the more sense it made for me to volunteer to take on another line. In return, I requested that we use the open "head count" to hire a development editor (whom I will supervise) to take over more of the detailed, day-to-day editing tasks from me. It will be easier to find someone with those sorts of skills. Plus, it really does advance my career by making my responsibilities more "big picture."
Workbooks have always been the bread and butter of JIST, because they appeal to our core non-trade markets. Trade has suffered a bit of an image problem, especially since our merger with EMC/Paradigm, because the retailers take such a big discount and send back so many unsold books. We have to sell a lot more trade books to make the same amount of money that we do on workbooks. So in JIST terms, taking over workbooks is a good move.
So wish me luck during the transition period--before I get someone hired and up to speed. It's going to be busy for me.
As an aside, my parents had a big week in the filial bragging department last week. My younger sister resigned her position as Manager of Customer Research with Hilton Hotels' corporate office to take a higher-paying research job with FedEx in Memphis. Her job is to figure out who customers are, what they want, and what will convince them to buy. Her first order of business will be to test FedEx's upcoming Super Bowl ads.