Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Meet a Lerner: Rebecca Rowell

Today, meet Rebecca Rowell, our digital intern.

1.      What brings you to Lerner?
I’m here to help the Digital team and to learn about eBooks. This summer will mark ten years that I’ve been freelancing (I edit, write, proofread, fact-check), which can be a feast-or-famine affair. This year has been particularly slow. Wondering what to do, the opportunity to intern at Lerner came up. I knew nothing about eBooks and thought learning even just a bit about the digital aspect of publishing would be good for me. And the department needed help, so I became an intern in March.

2.      Describe a day in the life of a digital intern.
Mostly, I QA interactive books—at least that’s been the case thus far. This involves listening to the audio to make sure it matches the text in the book. I check other things, too, such as links.
            Another task is noting phrasing for interactive books, which have three speeds of audio. Speeds 1 and 2 highlight by word. Speed 3 highlights by phrase. Marking phrasing in the PDF version of a book shows the development team how to highlight text for that speed.
            Sometimes, I help with eBook creation by cleaning up code (i.e., HTML) and working with metadata. Occasionally, a special project comes up, such as testing an e-reader app or doing some research. And I contribute a blog post here and there.

3.      What are you reading now?
Honestly, for leisure, I’m not. I check out books from the library regularly to read for fun, but I rarely get to them. Recent topics include gardening and typography. Reading more has been on my to-do list for years. Someday, I’ll do it. Otherwise, I read a lot of nonfiction children’s books for work.

4.      What’s your best source for finding new book recommendations?
Sometimes, I hear about a book from people I know. More often, I just wander through the stacks at the library and see what catches my eye.

5.      Top 5 (or so) favorite books. Go!
Pat Conroy is my favorite author, so I’ll pick a couple of his titles for starters: The Prince of Tides and My Winning Season. Several years ago, I remember laughing out loud on the bus while reading David Sedaris’s Me Talk Pretty One Day. And I recall thoroughly enjoying Tom Robbins’s novel Jitterbug Perfume many, many moons ago. And Kate DiCamillo’s The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane is lovely.

6.      Who do you admire, living or dead, and why?
Hmm…I can’t think of any particular person. I do admire creative types: people who can sit down at a piano or pick up a guitar and play something beautiful seemingly effortlessly, people who can draw and paint, people who can get on stage in front of a crowd and do improv or belt out a song.

7.      What is your ideal vacation?
Generally speaking, truly letting go of doing and just being. As for where, there are so many places I’d like to visit. Since childhood, I’ve wanted to go to Holland in spring to enjoy the fabulous flowers. I lived in Austria briefly, near Vienna. I would have liked to have visited Salzburg (and much more of Europe, such as London, Prague, and Florence). I’ve been to the ocean but never in it. Australia would be great for the animals, and I’ve heard the people there are quite friendly. Thailand appeals to me, too. And I’ve seen so little of Minnesota and the United States. Goodness, I need to get traveling! During my journeys, perhaps I can do some reading while relaxing.


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