I love the open-endedness of the question I’ll be answering today: “Hmm, maybe…what are some fun facts about publishing that might surprise readers? I don’t even know what I might not know!”
Here are some publishing “fun facts” I gathered from all areas of Bethany House.
“Verso” and “recto” are the formal names for the left and right pages when printing.
Our designers have often used Photoshop to fix small historical inaccuracies in images used for cover, like a model with a tattoo on her wrist in Regency England or some red nail polish in biblical times.
We split the year into just three seasons on our publishing calendar: spring is January through April, summer is May through August, and Fall is September through December. That’s why we sometimes joke that at Bethany House, there isn’t any winter.
Sometimes book sellers and catalog producers want to take photos of the physical books to market them before the book is printed. In order for that to happen, we make a mock-up of the book, which includes printing off the book cover on printer paper, taping it to a different book of a similar size, and some work with an Xacto knife.
At Bethany House, we have a Bell of Triumph in one of our conference rooms that you can ring after any kind of hard-won victory, whether personal or work-related, and record the reason in a notebook next to it.
We have a giant stuffed cat in the office—formerly brought to trade shows when we were publishing the popular Mandie series for kids by Lois Gladys Leppard.
Every year on National Oreo Day (March 6th), we celebrate with a sampling of many varieties of the sandwich cookie and other activities (a bracket, trivia, and, last year, a flowchart personality quiz). It has nothing to do with publishing. We just have two editors, Jeff and Jen, who like Oreos.
Lots of books come in and out of the office doors. On average, Bethany House ships 520 packages every month (not including larger mailings like author copies or influencers, which ship from our warehouse).
Three of the five authors currently in the Christy Hall of Fame are there because of awards won for Bethany House novels: Lynn Austin, Davis Bunn, and Karen Hancock.
How about you, readers? Anything fun or unusual about your line of work that you’d like to share with us?