This account of Daryl's day may just have you reaching for your trainers.
My day starts at 6:00 am with the alarm clock. I'd like to say that I leap out of bed with enthusiasm, but the truth is that I have to drag myself out from under the covers. Twice a week I throw on my gym kit and head for Clapham Common for what is called ‘Boot Camp’. Steph, our trainer, sets the class exercises and we complain that she is being too tough on us! I am back home by 7:15 and, if it's term-time, I get the kids out of bed, get ready myself and shepherd them off to school. I head for the tube and often look at my phone on the way to see if there are any urgent e-mails to deal with.
The Exact Editions office is in Rosebery Avenue. I get the tube as far as Temple and enjoy the walk up through the Law Courts to the intersection of Gray's Inn Road and Clerkenwell Road. Our office used to be very close to the British Library and St Pancras Station and I miss not passing their majestic facades each morning. However, the area around Temple Inn holds some nostalgic memories for me as my very first job, in 1985, was at Macmillan Publishers who were then based in Little Essex Street. I worked in the sales and marketing department of Nature, the international science journal. I can still distinctly remember the day when there was some concern that the so-called ‘electronic job bulletin boards’ might supersede the journal's lucrative print classified section.
“I could have not imagined, back then, that I would now be working with magazines in a purely digital environment …”
I could have not imagined, back then, that I would now be working with magazines in a purely digital environment, making them available in a searchable format to individuals and institutions on the web and on tablets.
I pick up a latte at the local Prêt and head to my desk. As it's the start of the week, we have a team meeting so that we can quickly catch up on any issues that need a speedy resolution or that need prioritizing. We have been planning our communications on behalf of The Week, which we are starting to promote to libraries. I catch up on e-mails and make a few phone calls. There is a note that I must call the ABC office – the audit bureau for magazines.We have been working closely with them to ensure that our publishing partners can claim their digital subscriptions on their circulation audits. Amy at ABC tells me that we are the first digital supplier to pass their accreditation scheme!
I call Luca, who is a Brand Manager at Haymarket, to discuss the progress of the Gramophone archive. We have been working with them to digitize their back issues going back to the inaugural copy in 1923! I report that we have finished the development on the new interface for the iPad, so that users will be able to drill down issues by decade and by year as well as by individual issue. They will also be able to readily search the whole archive online and on an iPad or Android device.
My screen flashes and I see that it is my colleague Adam Hodgkin, Skyping me from his office in Florence. We usually video-chat on Skype a couple of times a day. I consistently feel envious when I see the sun resplendent behind his desk and there is a grey vista out of my window. He tells me that he has written a chapter on the philosophy of Twitter for a book he is penning in his spare time and that he has included an excerpt on the Exact blog (http://blog.exacteditions.com/). We also discuss when the Kindle Fire will launch in Europe and how tablets are becoming increasingly prevalent in libraries.
It is 11:00 am and I pack my iPad into its case and head out for a publisher meeting. I have a diary date with the circulation team at The Spectator at their exquisite offices near St James's Park. They want to discuss their pricing strategy and our planned developments for their iPad app. We work with The Spectator across several fronts – selling online subscriptions to individuals and libraries and selling app subscriptions. They also offer a digital version of the weekly title to all their print subscribers and we fulfil the digital element. It is important that their digital pricing is in keeping with their other current offers and we agree a way forward. They like the idea that we are adding direct Twitter and Facebook links to their content online and on their apps.
Back at the office, it is lunchtime and I head to Exmouth Market, just two minutes' walk away. The dilemma of what to have for lunch never abates and today I plump for the delicious Spanish wrap with chicken, chorizo and salad. The stall owner knows me well enough now just to include a few chilli flakes and not too much mayonnaise!
There is good news from the development team when I am back at my desk: we have had another app accepted on Apple's Newsstand. It is a football magazine and we are sure that it will sell well with its international appeal. The publisher is contacted to convey the pleasing news and we discuss which other football titles it would be good to have in our arsenal (pun intended!).
At 5:30 pm I leave my desk to return home. On the way home I make the transition from managing director and work colleague to mum and wife!I think about what I am going to cook and what homework I might be asked to help with. If it's French or English I am pleased, but if it's Latin or Chemistry, any assistance I can give is extremely limited! With homework completed and meals digested by 8:00pm, I sometimes take our working cocker spaniel, Lola, for a last trek around the block. If it's a Monday night I head to Pimlico to play netball with some friends. We are the oldest team in the league and are increasingly injury-prone but we enjoy nothing more than a fiercely competitive game to finish off the day!
“On the way home I make the transition from managing director … to mum and wife!”