Sunday 04 Dec 2016

The Extra Mile
AJ Robinson

Managers at Disney stop to pick up trash. This is an established fact, as I’ve seen many of them do it on numerous occasions. It’s not that it’s their job, or that the regular sanitation workers are being lax; it’s just that there are a LOT of guests at the various Disney parks and resorts, and they can drop a lot of stuff. That’s especially true of the little ones.

We all, as I’m a cast member, too, I pitch in to help keep the place looking nice. It’s one of those little extra things cast members do – along with trying to make every guest have a super-great time, every day to help. For myself, I do what I can; I always get a kick out of doing something to make a little kid smile or helping a family to build a memory.

The thing is I see this attitude spill over into other areas of my life. Now, when I walk Juliet, I make a point of picking up the little bits of trash I find along the way, trying to keep the apartment complex neat and tidy. I’ve applied it to my other work, my work as a publisher. Just recently, my wife and I decided to start our own little company, Cricket Cottage Publishing, and give authors a chance to publish. Unfortunately, the “Big Boys” of the publishing world won’t give you the time of day, unless you have a sure-fire hit on your hands, or you’re a major celebrity. I’m sure if the stars of some reality show, whichever one is the “flavor of the month,” wanted to “write” a book, publishing companies would be lined up around the block! For us common folk, the regular writers who work and strive to get our work published; there aren’t many inexpensive options.

We started our company, and, of course, the first books we published were mine. Yes, vanity rears its ugly head. After doing so, I noticed something. My books didn’t look like “real” books, such as books from the Big Boys. I saw this in other books published by other small firms like mine. Then I realized what was wrong; it was the format, the set up, and even the font didn’t look right. They were okay, don’t get me wrong; the books were fine, but they weren’t the best. One thing I learned from working at Disney is to go the extra mile.

Just recently, I signed a contract with a rather nice young fellow to publish his book and I decided to go that extra mile. I did some research, I found a template to follow and I started to format his book. It took much longer to format than with my own book, but there was an important difference: I knew that the product would look great. The cover page is nice, the font is great, the indent is correct and I even got his name and the title on opposing pages throughout the book, except at a chapter header, another industry standard.

In the end, it took much longer than I expected, but the feeling of satisfaction I got when I looked over the book made it all worthwhile. I can’t wait to see the proofs.

Click here to visit Cricket Publishing on-line.

Combining the gimlet-eye, of Philip Roth, with the precisive mind of Lionel Trilling, AJ Robinson writes about what goes bump in the mind, of 21st century adults. Raised in Boston, with summers on Martha's Vineyard, AJ now lives in Florida. Most of the time he writes, but sometimes he works at Disney World to renew his fantasies and get a few dollars more. AJ writes, with insight and passion, about his family and his dog. His liberal, note the small "l," sensibilities often lead to bouts of righteous indignation, well focused and true.

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