Thought I'd let you know what my plans for maternity matters are, in case you need to know. From now until 1st July, it's business as usual. I am working full time, as ever, and engaging in consulting services as well. Holler if you want a good website or to learn how to make the most of your ONIX data!
From 26 weeks' pregnant, which is 3rd July - I'll be taking it a bit easier than I do now, although still working full time - except not at weekends. That means all major projects will be finished by now, like four-colour non-fiction books for 2009. We plan to have our Spring Summer 2009 plans finalised by end of August 2008, so in July and August my attention will be on making sure those plans are finalised, and all covers, typesetting, marketing materials, website details and so on are completed. Prospective authors, get your submissions in now! Also in this time will be the final preparations for Christmas - the sales and marketing for this has already started and will be finalised by mid July. Christmas books will be sent to the printer in early August and review copies sent out late August. During this period I'll be working 100% from home in't countryside, so no London meetings. No meetings of any kind, in fact: I have yet to have a single meeting in the last five years that I couldn't have managed over the phone or email, so whilst it's nice to put a face to a name, I'm going to enjoy the fact that I can squeeze a bit more efficiency out of my day by not having meetings and lunches. Yes, I know: networking, personal contact, blah - I've done enough in the last five years to tide me over for a few months, I reckon.
From 1st September, I imagine I'll be rolling around like a big walrus, hardly able to breathe or stand, so will be working at a minimum. I'll keep on top of emails, paperwork and so on, but all major projects will be finalised and it'll be more a question of keeping things ticking over.
From whenever the baby's born (meant to be 2nd October) for three months, I'll be working at a minimum - keeping on top of emails and finances only. Let's assume it's October, November, December. We don't publish any books in November and December, so it's quite good timing, really.
From January 2009 onwards, I'll be back working part time (which, don't mean to be funny, but frankly is many other people's full time) as I'll have childcare (in the home). From then on, assume it's business as usual and if I'm struggling, I'll tell you.
Whilst I'm working at a minimum, as usual Anna will be managing incoming submissions, and if there are any problems Rob will be covering for me. Indeed, I am spending the next few months compiling a Big Yellow Folder for him. It's so named because once, when I was at B&Q, I took a week's holiday (gasp!) Before I went, I typed up all the processes, instructions, updates, background to supplier issues, EVERYTHING that people could possibly need in my fleeting absence, indexed them and bound them in a yellow folder, and left a large A4 note on it, printed out, which said 'Everything You Need Is In Here'. I left it propped up against my screen. Of course, on my return I had 3500 emails, irate post-it notes all over my screen and desk, and 60-odd voicemails all clamouring for stuff that was ... yep, in the folder, which had remained unopened.
That's not going to happen this time! For one, Rob isn't an arse - excellent starting point. For two, I am going to use this blog to catalogue Snowbooks' major processes. My word, it'll be dull for some of you - so just don't read the posts. But I always find it interesting to read about how other companies work, so maybe some people will find it interesting.
So hopefully that gives you a bit of an insight into my plans. Bottom line: if you have an exciting new project you want to talk about with me - talk about it now!