One of the distinct privileges of working for Zondervan Academic is the face-to-face interaction I am able to have with some of today’s foremost Christian scholars. I’m not trying to brag, and I will do my best not to “name drop” in what follows. Rather, I simply want to acknowledge that I am blessed to work at Zondervan. And it’s not just because Grand Rapids, MI is such a sunny vacation spot and/or a cultural mecca (sigh...) but I’m blessed because of the interactions I have with authors who genuinely love the Lord Jesus, and who have devoted their life to glorifying him in their scholarly pursuits. These are driven, brilliant people who, on occasion, I get to interview as a result of my work. This, for me, is the highlight of the annual ETS and SBL meetings.
Why write this up today? Because I think others might want to attend these meetings for different reasons. Some might just want to go for the discounted books alone (read: disinterested librarians). Some others might only be interested in hearing papers on the bleeding edge of research within their discipline (read: rabid doctoral students). And still others are likely there just to network (read: most everyone else). Me? I like to interview professors about the textbooks they are writing. Nerdy, I know, but here’s why:
The annual ETS and SBL meetings (and the weeks leading up to them) are THE busiest weeks of the year for Zondervan Academic. Our days at these meetings are packed with activity, literally 6am to midnight. On these days our team sets up displays, hauls books, carts around signage, catches cabs, runs-down-busy-city-blocks-in-dress-shoes-with-heavy-copy-paper-boxes-of-fliers, keeps Mike Bird out of jail, and a myriad of other tasks related to putting on a good showing at a conference. We also entertain authors, agents, journal and magazine editors, event planners, publicists, potential authors, and retail managers at these shows. We have to be at our best, and “on” all the time. We must be ready to answer questions at any moment, and to represent Zondervan well. Not to mention the weeks leading up to the shows that are filled with meetings, deadlines, and emails all focused on creating great booths and fun and productive meetings with authors.
It’s all very exhausting. Fun, but exhausting. I’m sure our colleagues at Baker, B&H, or any of the other fine publishing houses that attend would say the same.
But back to the author interviews....