October 28, 2019
People of the Press is back this week! Inspired by the Association of University Presses celebration of the people of AUPresses, we would also like to celebrate our dedicated publishing professionals throughout our 60th anniversary year.
Today we’re featuring our production coordinator, Sara Thaxton.
Hello Sara, what do you do for the Press?
Short version: I talk/cry a lot about e-books, and I magically transform Word files from chaos to order.
Long version: I’m the Book Production Coordinator which encompasses several things. I typeset two-thirds of our front-list titles, adapting our template designs to blend well with the cover design. I love working on books with lots of tables! I also assist with all of our backlist reprints and ushering those off to printers. The area other than typesetting I’m most proud of is our e-books: I finagle all of our front-list titles into e-pub format, thanks to our XML-first workflow.
How long have you worked at UA Press?
Two years in August but I’ve been typesetting since 2005!
The University of Arizona Press is committed to helping contribute to an informed society and enlightening readers. What’s one thing you’ve learned from your work?
I’ve learned that there is a wildflower colloquially known as “bog cheetos” (Polygala lutea L., orange milkwort) and that Charles Darwin’s daughter waged a one-woman war on a particularly strange-looking mushroom by wandering the forest with a spear.
What would people be surprised to learn about your work?
Typesetters think in an entirely different numbering system than most people. We go by picas/points and in multiples of 12s rather than 10s. We’re also probably the least-visible cog in the book publishing machine, but we’re always very proud of every book we create! Also, e-books are harder to make than they look!
Tucson has a thriving literary and scholarly community. What’s one of your favorite spots to hear authors, find a good book, or just curl up and read?
When I lived near the north Georgia mountains, I loved being able to sit by the Tallulah River and read during camping trips. I hope to find a similar spot in some of the higher-altitude wilderness surrounding Tucson!