Over at Nature Network, we have a group called "Ask the Nature Editor", where scientists (frequently young ones as it turns out) can ask questions about the publication process, how to format their papers, how to successfully apply for an editorial job, and so on. It's quite a serious and worthy enterprise. Today, I read the most wonderful photo-essay there called A day in the life of a senior editor. It is brilliant, as well as hilarious. I can't post an extract here and do it justice, so all I can do is to say that no other editor could have a life like this, and no other editor could describe it in such terms. Please, just go and read it. Pay special attention to the captions.
In the interim between reading this account and being able to write this post about it, the author of it, Henry Gee, has been busy. He's published three books at Lulu, the print-on-demand service. Henry writes: "I have to say that using Lulu was simplicity itself. Even I didn’t screw up. I managed to load all three books, write blurbs, format covers and so on in around three hours." Each book costs about £5. There is a great discussion in the comments, in which it emerges that Henry sent the link to his agent, who has thereby purchased the three books. What a great way to send your agent a book, rather than paying the postage and photocopying costs, and having to bind the book up, you can get it all done by Lulu and end up with something in much more readable format for your agent and potential publishers. I also learned that you can delete your book from Lulu if your efforts get you a publishing contract, and other useful tips. Have a look for yourself.
Nature Network, "the" social website for scientists and those interested in science, is free to access, but registration is required. You can read everything, but if you want to comment, you have to register (which is quick and simple, and also free). The comment threads are true demonstrations of the beauty of blogging, but I will draw a veil over some of the tags.