A Publishing Anecdote

In my career on staff I edited hundreds of books and was involved in every step, from picking the cover scene to handling last-minute mistakes made by the printer. Once when I was at Dell Publishing, a signature (meaning 16 pages) from a book called The Happy Hooker was bound by mistake into a big printing of The Helen Keller Story, another book Dell was publishing. What a nightmare! We laughed . . . and then we got to work. Imagine the apology letter we had to write to parents, teachers, and librarians around the country. I was working in my first job at the time, in the promotion and publicity department at Dell, and from my boss and mentor, M.J. Jossel, I learned what a good publisher needs to be: smart, resilient, and gracious, with a very, very good sense of humor.