Want to hear how easy it was to get me to delay my trip home on Monday?? I was planning on heading home shortly after we checked out of the hotel but I had to drop Becca off at Baker Book House (yes, #justblamekayla applies 😉), since she was going to spend the day there until she had to head to the airport. Well, when we walked up to Chris’s desk to say hi, she asked if we still wanted to tour Baker Publishing Group (which was apparently discussed with Becca but because she didn’t think it was possible she didn’t mention it). Talk about making a girl’s day!!! So with directions to the location and a name to ask for when we arrived, Becca and I got back in the car and headed to the publishing house 🙂
Once we arrived we were introduced to a lovely woman named Sara who had offered to give us the tour of the publishing house. Her official title is Inventory Manager which means she’s responsible for deciding how many books to print along with how to handle over-prints, however she also does more than that.
Sara decided to take us on a tour relatively in order of how things move through production at the company. She started us off in editing. (Forgive me for not sharing images here, but they were really just small offices and cubicles and I didn’t want to disrupt anyone). She said that contrary to what people may believe, they really don’t take manuscripts from people that send them directly in. They are typically vetted in some way either through agents, or representatives who visit author events (like ACFW). She said “it really is who you know, not what you know.”
Next up we were shown the Rights and Permissions Department. There they handle more of the legal side of production, from contracts to translating books into other languages and having audiobooks produced.
Next we walked down a hall and through the room that doesn’t exist. There’s nothing to talk about because it doesn’t exist 🤣
The next room we entered was Production. There they handle the ordering and checking for last minute corrections that need to be done before sending to print. Their goal is to not have to reprint a book for at least 4 months. It’s a pretty tough job determining just how many copies are going to fly off the shelves once a book is released! This is one of the reasons why pre-ordering can be helpful, because it helps them see what the interest is prior to the book being released.
The next department we walked by was Visual Communications. There they design things like book covers and promotional ads. I have to admit I would have loved a deeper look inside this area but we were also trying to not disturb anyone who was hard at work.
The final office area that we walked through was the Sales, Marketing, Accounting, and Administration section. They’re pretty self-explanatory but obviously also very important.
The next few places we journeyed were the ones with quite the WOW factor 🙂 We stopped for a brief moment at Sara’s office so she could grab a key. She also handed us each a few books that she had on her shelf 🙂
The key grabbed was for the archives room. She said it’s not typically a place they show off, but she had a feeling we would enjoy it (and boy, did we)! On average, Baker publishes about 300 books a year, with about 2100 books currently in-print. That’s a whole lot of books! In the archives room there is at least one copy of each book that they’ve ever published (both currently in-print and not). That’s a whole lot of books!
It took us a while, but we finally left the room and headed towards the warehouse. There we saw a room with endless rows of books in boxes ready to be snatched up and shipped off to readers. There were several conveyor belts that transported the boxes throughout the room. Behind that room was their “big boy” location that stores even more books. I have no idea how tall those shelves were, but you can see just how small Becca and I are compared to them!
The warehouse was the final stop on our tour, and sadly it was time to go. We snapped a few last minute photos together before giving our thanks and leaving. This was truly a memorable experience and I’m beyond blessed to have had the opportunity to go on this adventure!
Want to see more from my trip? Just click the links to see my posts for each of the days 🙂