We’re very proud of our books here at Oxford Australia, and we’re even more proud of the hard work that goes into creating the perfect textbook or digital product. There are a lot of different people involved in getting a book from conception to consumer; today in Spotlight On we introduce you to Christine Fotis, a Senior Production Controller with our Secondary Education division.
Name: Christine Fotis
Title: Senior Production Controller – Secondary
When did you start at Oxford: Oct 2011
Sum up your job in 3 words: The Go Between
What are your day-to-day tasks?
It really varies from day to day, basically I’m the organiser and the middle person – a project manager of sorts. I answer all queries from designers, the editorial team, printers, publishers, illustrators etc about anything to do with the production of the book; I look after schedules and costings; I process invoices and manage supplier compliance; I send pages back and forth between the in-house team and external suppliers; I commission and manage artwork; I send off book purchase orders to the printers; I organise the online extras such as worksheets, etc etc etc! Lots of different things that all go together to keep the book moving along from manuscript stage to stock arriving in the warehouse and all of the digital extras being up online when they need to be.
The word ‘controller’ is quite misleading in my job title, I’m like one of those performers with the multiple spinning plates on poles that has to keep them all going and not let them fall, moving back and forth between each one and keeping them spinning, rather than controlling anything!
I’m also a manager of two people in the production team and a member of the Green Committee.
What product or project are you most proud of working on?
Oxford Literacy Independent – the in-house team and our group of freelance designers have been amazing, we’ve refined the workflow and procedures, it’s really quite a smooth process for something that involves 100 plus books on a really tight schedule!
What is your favourite thing about working in publishing?
Holding the finished book in my two little hands, it’s pretty amazing to be able to hold the physical product after about a year’s worth of production! Also working with the designers and illustrators, seeing the amazing creations they come up with.
What advice would you give to someone interested in a role like yours?
There are lists, lots of lists!
What are you reading right now?
Leonard Cohen – Beautiful Losers