What started as two friends meeting over lunch has blossomed into a small company of eight. This week, we spoke with the rest of the Fuze team, from our book designer to our accountant, asking them to reflect on our third anniversary.
Several team members recently joined Fuze. Sarah Blankenshipmanages our shipment department and shared the many favorite parts of her job: “Since I am also a stay-home mom, I like that it is not a typical 9-to-5 job. I can work from home (and the post office), and the days/times are fairly flexible. I like that it is with a publishing company, as I love books and reading, and look forward to being exposed more to the world of publishing. Another bonus is thewonderful people I work with!”
Lenore Elam, C.P.A., handles all accounting aspects for Fuze. Though a newcomer to the publishing world, she “enjoys being involved with the publishing field and watching Fuze grow.”
Erin McDowell, a Spring semester intern from Southern Oregon University, said this of his time with Fuze: “I’ve learned that I have a decent hand at editing, and it’s something that I really love to do. This has helped me realize how more effectively to decide what classes I should betaking, and it’s also given me a feeling of accomplishment that keeps me going when class work seems pointless.” Erin also told us he’d “love to be a line editor, and hopefully I’ll be able to find a similar position with a publishing company when I graduate.” Good luck, Erin!
Mary Lee, a long-standing intern from SOU, whose many responsibilities include managing our twitter and facebook accounts, shared what she learned this year: “Persistance! Once someone subscribes to your social media, it’s even more important to keep up. Fans want to know what you’re up to 24/7.” She also aspires to a career in publishing, saying, “I love helping transform someone’s literary work into something special!”
Ray Rhamey, who’s been with Fuze for nearly a year, designs the book covers and interiors, and promotional materials such as postcards and bookmarks. A publisher and talented author in his own right, (http://www.rayrhamey.com
Ray comments on the future of the publishing industry and Fuze: “As volatile as publishing is and the Internet as strong as it is, and considering the vast changes in the last five years with ebook publishing, it’s impossible to make sound predictions five years out. Where Fuze might be depends on the success of its business model, and that’s still, in a sense, being tested. As for the industry, I think print books will still be a strong factor and will be the dominant mode even then, though ebook publishing will be a larger proportion than it is now.” In a more playful moment, Rhamey said, “Fuze will be huge and I will be wealthy!”
Our Director of Marketing and Public Relations, Meg Tinsley, joined the Fuze team a year and a half ago, as the editor of the Fuze weekly enewsletter, but as is often the case with a small company, she began doing a bit of this and that, including developing Fuze’s social media department. “Fuze has grown from a small enterprise to one that has a significant social media presence,” Tinsley comments. “Bloggers are eagerly reviewing our books, and our newsletter has quadrupled its audience.” Her vision for the future? “When I put my practical hat on, I see Fuze growing steadily and surely, becoming more established in the publishing world, perhaps branching out into a few more genres, but sticking to what we do best–quality writing, quality stories. Our digital sales will continue to rise, though I think our print copies of books, at least close to each book launch, will have a solid sales record. We will have lots more authors, several more staff people, more editors, a larger marketing department, and a bunch of 20-year-old’s who tweet for us all week long!”