Recently I spoke with Jeanne Busmeyer, of Hyde Park Publishing Services. She was kind enough to let me know about her thriving Cincinnati business providing editing and writing services. I’ll let her do the talking:
How did HPPS get started, and what is your overall goal as a publisher?
I started HPPS in the early 1990s after being “downsized” from my job as an acquisitions editor at South-Western Publishing Company. South-Western (now Cengage Learning) published business textbooks, and I had worked there for 16 years. In my job as an acquisitions editor, I traveled to colleges and universities around the country looking to sign authors who had ideas for new books. In my early years at the company, I learned to perform all of the activities involved in publishing a textbook–including developmental editing, copyediting, proofreading, indexing, page layout, photo research, the reviewing process, and many more. When I started HPPS, I drew from the expertise I gained early on. So, I’m not a publisher, per se, rather a provider of publishing services. Textbook publishers started “outsourcing” the editing activities I mentioned above about the time I started HPPS, so I was very fortunate to have been trained in those skills. I have been busy continuously since I started the company.
Do you consider the HPPS to be strongly tied to this community? If so, what kind of projects or interests tie you to Cincinnati?
I opened my first office in Hyde Park above “Soho” a few months after leaving South-Western, and am now working out of my fourth location in the neighborhood. I located here because my major client–you guessed it, South-Western–was down the street on Madison Road in Oakley. But, HPPS could operate from anywhere, given that virtually all of our communication is now done via the Internet. (I actually got my first email account–a Prodigy account, I believe–while working out of that first office.) When I visit my parents, I work from my “Florida office.”
What sort of writing/content do you most commonly represent?
HPPS works on textbooks almost exclusively, at both the high-school and college level. Having earned an MBA in Marketing from Xavier University (courtesy of South-Western), my development expertise is in the area of business. However, HPPS has worked on virtually all topics over the years. (My favorite book to date was a high school book I worked on last year with National Geographic Learning on Environmental Science.) We work on the development of the textbook itself, and then also produce the “ancillary” products such as the teacher’s edition or manual, study guides, and loads of items delivered electronically to students.
Anything exciting that HPPS is involved in right now that you’d like to mention?
We are currently writing scripts for videos that accompany college-level accounting books. This is an example of an ancillary item delivered electronically to students, as mentioned above.
What does the future hold for HPPS?
People always ask me whether I think the transition from print to electronic delivery will affect my business. At first, I would always say, no, it won’t because the content still needs to be developed and edited. But it seems that publishers are not willing to spend as much money as they once did in ensuring quality, error-free books. And they are outsourcing the production of the books to companies in India, and then instructing them to hire U.S. editors. The fees they offer now are crazy low, and I’m kind of glad I’m nearing the end of my career! Seriously, though, I am grateful to have found this niche and to have worked continuously on my own terms for 20+ years doing something I love.
2499 Madison Rd, Apt 10
Cincinnati, OH 45208