Cover Photo: The background of this image is an illustration of stacked books. In front are Polaroid pictures of each member of the Catapult production department.
Photographs courtesy of Wah-Ming Chang, Olenka Burgess, Laura Berry, and tracy danes/Illustration by Eliza Harris for Catapult

What Is Book Production?

A roundtable discussion with the production department of Catapult books.

This conversation is a discussion with Catapult’s full-time production team: vice president of corporate culture and senior managing editor Wah-Ming Chang (WMC); production manager Olenka Burgess (OB); production editor Laura Berry (LB); and production assistant tracy danes (TD). We hope you enjoy learning more about how the production team functions at Catapult, how they each arrived at publishing, and their recommendations for breaking into the industry.

Spell it out for us! What is the role of the production team? What other departments do you interact with—and what does your relationship with Catapult’s authors look like?

What has your professional journey been like? How did you arrive at publishing and, more specifically, production?

all my favorite things at the same time

alwaysWorld of Warcraft


What’s your position at Catapult? Can you give us a general overview of your role and/or describe what a standard workweek or workday looks like?

What would you recommend for people interested in breaking into the publishing industry?

What skills and/or interests do you think are ideal for pursuing a career in book production?

The Chicago Manual of Style

What’s something about the industry (or your position) that you wish were more transparent or better understood by those outside of it?

Eliza Harris is an editorial assistant for Catapult, Social Media Manager + Assistant Poetry Editor for DIAGRAM, and Director of Communications for The Speakeasy Project. She grew up in Durham, North Carolina, and is now based in Seattle, Washington. You can find her on Twitter and Instagram @elizaeharris.