That’s me with a copy of our newest publication, Education in China. I’m not married and I don’t have any kids, so the proudest and happiest days of my life so far are made up of graduations, moving countries, finding a job, and days spent with loved-ones. Now, I can add opening a package and finding this baby inside to the list! Because ever since I decided (just like I “decided” one day I was going to study Chinese, and I haven’t been doing anything else ever since) I wanted to work in academic publishing, my goal has been to have an officially published book with my name in it. Not on it, that honor goes to our editor Qiang Zha and editorial board members Heidi Ross and Ruth Hayhoe, but in it. And now, we’ve reached that goal!
I say “we,” not “I” because this has truly been a group effort. The project already existed before I even got to Berkshire, so I continued the work of my predecessors. For this particular volume, we have seventy-four authors from around the world who contributed the articles and dedicated their valuable time and expertise to this project. Our editor, editorial board, and reviewers then read the articles and gave advice on how to improve and finalize the pieces. Next, the copyeditors polished grammar and style; interns and Berkshire staff made further reading lists consistent and added Chinese characters and transcription; our graphic designer created a wonderful cover and page lay-out; and project coordinators (me, in this case) cracked whips to make deadlines. We proofed, we previewed, and finally, we printed.
A little pang of pride and joy definitely shot through me when I held the 444-page hardcover copy in my hand. And at the same time, a little wave of fear rolled in. Fear of discovering a typo or mistake that we missed despite all our hard work and focused attention. And I am sure we will discover those, because no matter what we do, we are still human, and prone to make mistakes. You’ll just have to forgive us for that (and, if the error is too big for you too ignore, let us know, so we can fix it for next time!).
But after this moment of celebration and feeling of accomplishment, it’s onwards to the next project. No rest for the wicked (or publishers)! Now that Education in China is out in the open and available to all our readers in hardcover, paperback, on ChinaConnectU, and (soon) ebook format, we are shifting our attention to finishing more Berkshire Essentials (including the forthcoming Internet in China) and This World of Ours books, finalizing the first three volumes of the Berkshire Dictionary of Chinese Biography, and developing online seminars and trainings.
And I, personally, have to set me a new goal, now that we’ve reached this one….