People often wonder what we do here at the University Press of Florida. Here’s a little numerical insight:

Estimated hours lost to work-related travel: 288 (an average of one 3-day trip per month)

Estimated hours spent in meetings each year: 194 (a conservative estimate)

Estimated hours spent preparing for meetings: 48 (also a conservative estimate)

Maximum available hours actually sitting behind one’s desk: 1,270

Total number of books published by UPF each year: 95

Average available work hours, per staff member, per book: 13.37 (1,270 divided by 95)

Average number of days the average staff member has available to focus exclusively on the marketing and promotion of a single title—including, but not limited to: writing and editing descriptive copy, preparing metadata feeds, putting together review lists, writing press releases, preparing exhibit materials, designing ads and flyers, and responding to all inquiries about sales and promotional efforts: 1.5

Total number of staff members in the sales and marketing department: 4

Combined average total of number of days we are able to devote to each title, on average: 7.5 (exactly one and a half weeks)

Of course, our tongues are planted firmly in our cheeks. It’s impossible to itemize the amount of time spent on each individual title—and not all titles require the same time and attention from each member of the department. Some need more advertising, others need a greater publicity push, others need special sales efforts, etc. In addition, much work travel and all meetings are, ultimately, about how to maximize sales for present and future publications.

We always lament that we don’t have time to do more, and seeing things boiled down so starkly is attention-getting even to us. For our authors, hopefully this can help offer some insight into why it may take a few days to receive an e-mail response, why we ask for a minimum of two weeks’ notice if you’d like to hand-carry flyers to a conference, why we ask you not to place an order the night before an event, and why we sometimes forget to thank you for all you do to help spread the word about a wonderful group of books.

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