An unconventional day in a publishing house

When I was asked to take part to the Day of Archaeology writing about my job, I felt kind of an intruder. I don’t work in a museum, or in a University and I don’t excavate. I’m an editor, and I spend the most of my days laying out books. BUT I’m an archaeologist, before being editor. I work for an archaeological firm in Italy and even if for the most the firm excavates, we have also a little publishing house, focused on archaeology. Even if many of my colleagues are horrified by the idea of spending days in front of a desk, I love it. But let me start from the very beginning of my professional adventure, that is my job interview.It was a bit odd: my boss, basically the most pragmatic person I’ve ever known, told me in black and white that if I was looking for a full-time job, I should create that, as the publishing house at that time couldn’t afford a full-time salary. That was really challenging, but also very stimulating to me: how could I increase the sector in order to earn a living? So I read a dozen of books about “being an editor”, but quickly I realized that my strong point was being an archaeologist, before being an editor, so I can really help authors with plates and copy editing. I can also look for new and interesting studies or themes, and the right person to write about them.

My Day of Archaeology was really exhausting, and unconventional (thank goodness, and you will find out why!). It started as everyday, checking out mails, doing some calls and stuff like that. In these days I’m working on three books, at various stages, so it is not uncommon to me to work to all of them during the day. In the morning I started working on a new book. I love this work-phase: reading the book, laying out pictures together with the text, verifying scales and bibliography. I know what you’re thinking: “this is NOT exciting at all,” but I can tell you that it is wonderful to see the book grow in your hands.

In the afternoon I received some corrections from an author after the proofreading of another book, and yes, this is a bit boring: after the first proof, the book seems to me almost finished, but authors need to proofread from 1 to 4 times, and each time I have to adjust the text. The first one is ok, but the fourth is really boring to me.

My workplace!

My workplace!

In late afternoon I had to modify the cover of the third book, as I’m still searching for the perfect match for the picture and other colors.

I work with the window behind my back, so I didn’t notice that the weather was getting worse. Anyway, finally I noticed that for the whistle of the wind and for the beating of the window. Soon it started raining A LOT, so much that some water started coming inside, penetrating under the door. Yesterday I went to the typography and some of the archaeology books I brought back to the office were still on the floor, and they were under threat! Quickly I moved them on a shelf, and together with my brother and one of his friends I went looking for something to use to stop the water. We found some shreds and it stopped raining so we could mop the floor up. But this wasn’t the end of the adventure: going back home we had to pass through a road with water 50 cm high, and our car broke just in the middle, so we had to stay inside with the waves created by other cars passing in the road. It was like being in a boat, but less funny. Finally one of the friends of my brother came rescuing us.

My car broken in the middle of the road. O_O

My car broken in the middle of the road. O_O

Safe and sound I can now tell you Happy Day of Archaeology, see you next year!