Awash in Abbreviations

I’m not sure every publishing house uses abbreviations to the extent we do. They’re everywhere, in every department, and have been for many years. In fact, one of the first documents we give to new people in the editorial sphere is a glossary and list of abbreviations. Ever hear of a PE? For us, that’s a production editor, whose job is to create a series-specific layout and move it through the production workflow. How about a RD? This is a rough dump. I know, you’re thinking eew. But really, it’s the first InDesign version of a fully edited manuscript, minus photos, captions, etc. PR? That’s a photo researcher. One is assigned to every photo-driven book we publish.

All of our major imprints have abbreviations: CR, MP, LP, TFCB, and GU. Ongoing series have them too. Managerial people use their initials to sign off on projects as they move from department to department. Since we’ve kept most production processes in-house, we see JobEnv2 many more stages of each project—and consequently sometimes comment more—than I suspect people in other houses do. Here’s a photo of a job envelope that’s routing with a new cover.

While our abbreviation system isn’t nearly as sophisticated as texting, it does remind me of it somewhat. Does that mean we were ahead of our time? Honestly, IDK.