One of the reasons I got my first job in publishing–working as a developmental editor at Charles E. Merrill Publishing Company in Westerville, Ohio–was my PhD in psychology. I could work on books across the curriculum in psychology and management. Furthermore, I could work on statistics books, a topic that most students and editors dreaded. I have no idea why people don’t like statistics, even fear it. I enjoy it almost as much as crossword puzzles.
So, when the editorial lists were reorganized across Addison-Wesley (the third publishing company I worked on staff at) and Benjamin Cummings, I was assigned to develop the sixth edition of Marty Triola’s very successful statistics book. It held close to 90 percent of the market it its niche. The challenge was to develop it so that it would maintain that top position through multiple future editions. I also had a personal challenge: I was pregnant with my first child. I had to set up the development plan so that I could hand off the detailed work to a freelance development editor, another first for me.