Neat and tidy

BEHOLD the glory that is Gal Friday* Sarah’s insane filing skillz.

A file box with dozens of neatly labeled, colour-coded files

That is almost three years of contracts, paperwork, tax documents, and other files right there. It’s COLOUR-CODED, people.

That’s right, it’s COLOUR-CODED. And broken into sub-sections.


This is the realities of running a small press, by the way: accounting, filing, checking and reconciling receipts, keeping up on royalties and sales, managing contracts, managing expenses. It ain’t all glamour and glitz, not by a long shot – it’s a lot of administrivia, in addition to all that editing and design (which is the fun part).

I handle most of that myself, but there are a lot more things than I’d like that get away from me – or things that take time away from the precious, wonderful thing that is reading manuscripts, editing novels, designing books, and generally creating amazing books with insanely talented people. Having a right-hand person who is a friggin’ organizational ninja helps – I’m something of one in my own right, but I have a tendency to put blinkers on when it comes to tasks I hate, like filing, and ignore them until they come back to bite me – and stress tends to throw me into ostrich mode.

Moving shop?

Uh, stressful.

So man, am I grateful for an on-staff Gal Friday who’s made of win and awesome and mad filing skillz, in addition to her impeccable taste, editing acumen, and unerring ability to tell me when I’m being dumb.

This is also where I think I warn you all about the business realities of publishing. Whether you’re a writer, an agent, an editor, or thinking of getting into self-pub or running a small press, do your homework. Be careful. There’s a lot more involved here than “merely” writing, editing, and printing a good story. It’s a business. It generates heaps of paperwork, and takes crazy amounts of time to make sure the business end of things is handled correctly.

Brace yourself. The daily grind ain’t all pretty words and pretty covers. It’s work, no doubt about it.

But I wouldn’t have it any other way.


*Note: Sarah wears many hats – most of them impossibly fabulous and usually with feathers; on this particular day, she was in full-on Gal Friday mode, reading slush, organizing my not-bad-but-only-sporadically-implemented filing system, and shredding the crap out of old documents. She compressed two big file boxes into one neat one. Wow.

**And yes, I think Sarah does offer fixer-for-hire services, if you pay her enough.

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