Create Productive Production Schedules

June 2009
by Jessica Tribble

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Create Productive Production Schedules

by Jessica Tribble

For many, a production schedule seems like a frustrating list of minutiae. But although they may seem low-tech, production schedules help us be better publishers—publishers who provide a better product, communicate more effectively with their authors, and provide sturdy support for the authors in terms of marketing.

In simplest terms, a production schedule helps keep track of our titles as they travel through the various stages of production. But I like to believe that it tracks a life-or-death situation. I visualize one of those white boards that surgeons use to track patients, with a hastily scrawled surgeon’s name next to a room number and the words “heart transplant” slapped next to that. OK, so maybe nobody’s life depends on the efficacy of my production schedule. But the schedule does do something nearly as magical as saving a life—taking an idea, the text, the art, the binding—and creating a book that affects lots of lives.

Like those surgeons, publishers need schedules to show when each action must be performed to complete the overall task. A surgeon would not start operating without being sure that the anesthetic had taken effect, or stitch up a patient until the organ had been transplanted. Likewise, a publisher woul…IBPA Members – Click here to view the full article (login required).

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