Stet.: Notes from the Managing Editor

In one of our upcoming books, Rewriting the Break Event, author Rob Zacharias writes about Russian Mennonite migrants in the 1920s living in the midst of multiple temporalities­—the timeless world of a theologically based agrarian community that is shocked by revolution and the nation-state into understanding itself as a historically rooted people.

UMP staff doing the traditional flip-thru of a book that had just arrived from the printer!

It gets me thinking about scholarly publishing, where the work of making books is in some sense timeless, and in other ways, these days at least, keeps changing.

In the UMP editorial office, we’ve been spending our recent days looking at almost-final versions of fall titles, making our last corrections, and ensuring that no page breaks shift after the books get sent out to be indexed.

The familiar editorial tasks are only interrupted by the short lineups for coffee found on a quiet university campus in August.

But into that moment the past and (usually digital) future always intrude: puzzling over EPUB 3 validation errors; FTPing files to set up a new system for distributing e-books; figuring out the electronic rights on some UMP titles from the 1970s and 1980s; and learning ever-new ways to sort and send out our metadata (the super-detailed electronic descriptions of books that, thank your lucky stars, you needn’t worry about).

I like navigating the possibilities of digital publishing, but still find comfort in the rootedness of reconsidering an editorial change and writing “Stet.” on a page proof.

– Glenn Bergen, UMP’s Managing Editor