LeVar Burton with Lindy Humphreys
Lindy sits diagonally across from my desk, in a warmly lit, comfortable office. She’s my island of calm on hectic days and I love that we can see each other perfectly from across the hall. She’s a very quiet, very hard worker, that Lindy, and is always here long after I leave.
But what does she really do? I only ever see her sit at her computer. How does she do her job? Let’s start with the basics.
What is your title?
I don’t remember…wait… Director of Digital Assets and Technology.
How many books have you made digital?
Depending on the platform, between 200 and 250. [and with thanks to Chris Blank, you can see them all here: http://www.abramsbooks.com/ebooks.html]
Do we sell a lot of digital books?
We did in 2012 and I will let everyone know how we will celebrate very soon! eBooks are about 3 – 5% of our print books.
Who actually makes the books into digital code?
Production and Design gives us files for each book, which Francis works some magic on (preparing them for all the different formats and for our archive, which IT Director Chris Raymond oversees) and then they get sent to codeMantra. They write the codes for each individual kind of device for each book and I oversee all of that. We tell codeMantra where each kind of file goes after some managing editorial work that Melanie Sanders and I do. We’ve got about 42 books going digital for spring and about 57 for fall this year, give or take. For Barnes and Noble (Abrams Books For Young Readers) titles, Melanie and I have to create the code files ourselves.
How long does it take to make a book a digital book?
It really depends on the design. It could be as little as five hours but it usually isn’t. From files to codeMantra to final approval by me it’s generally a month.
What do you think is the biggest misconception about what you do for a living?
That I just push a button and an eBook is created.
I do know that isn’t true as I watched as Lindy worked through an extremely tough deadline to get all 7 Diary of a Wimpy Kid books into digital format for the same release date on all platforms.
She did it and they are amazing looking!
My view of Lindy and how she looks most of the time: thoughtful.
Merle Browne is Executive Assistant to ABRAMS CEO, Michael Jacobs.