Staff Stories: An Interview with Lindsey Auten
Tayler Lord is one of UNP’s newest staff members. She works tirelessly as a publicist, cool aunt, and dedicated Beyoncé fan. For the Press’ 75th anniversary—and out of her own curiosity—she is interviewing her more experienced co-workers to put a face on the twelfth-largest university press in the country.
Lindsey Auten is a Production Design Associate at UNP.
Tayler Lord: What’s your current job at UNP and how long have you held it?
Lindsey Auten: My current job is production designer, and I’ve been a production designer since January.
TL: That kind of leads into the next question! Have you held other positions with the Press?
LA: I have! I started as a typesetter in 2013, in the fall. I did that for a while and now I’m designing, which is exciting.
TL: Very cool! What did you study?
LA: I studied undergrad journalism and public relations and minored in graphic design, which kind of translates to typesetting and design. Then I went to grad school for arts journalism in Chicago, so that was fun.
TL: Where were you in Chicago?
LA: The School of the Art Institute.
TL: So cool!
LA: It was awesome!
TL: The Art Institute is one of my favorite museums.
LA: It’s amazing. When I was there I got free access to the museum. I mean, not when it was closed.
TL: That’s great! I had no idea you’d gone there. Did you do your undergrad at UNL?
LA: I went to Concordia in Seward, Nebraska.
TL: What brought you to UNP?
LA: I’m from Nebraska. I came back from Chicago kind of looking for related jobs. I write on the side but publishing is something that I’ve always wanted to explore. So I found this job and I got it! I’ve been here ever since.
TL: Cool! Could you describe one of your most memorable moments or interactions at the Press?
LA: That’s a tough question. I remember my first day was really overwhelming because they introduce you to everyone. But everyone was so warm and welcoming! I also used to sit in this cube area out here with Weston and Michael and Grey and we would have some funny conversations. We have this thing where we flip a desk calendar every day, except we’ve all kind of dispersed, but that’s a nice office rapport thing.
TL: I’ve found so far that those are my favorite moments, the office hangouts.
LA: Yeah, the jokes. All the different kinds of humor.
TL: It’s pretty fun here. Which book have you enjoyed working on the most? Or which book taught you the most?
LA: There have been so many! I remember the Prisoner of the Vampires of Mars.
TL: I haven’t even heard of that one!
LA: It was translated from French. I remember doing a proof check and I ended up reading it while I was checking it. I really like that one because it’s kind of a wild card. You know, it’s a fiction translation so it was something out of the ordinary for us to get out there. And I do like our African Poetry books. Those are really wonderful.
TL: I really love them, too.
LA: They’re kind of hard to typeset sometimes, but I think they’re really great.
TL: Which forthcoming book are you most excited about?
LA: I’m really excited about the Poland (Haters: Harassment, Abuse, and Violence Online). It is one of the first ones that I designed and I’m excited to have something in our list that’s social media-related and so current. Not that everything else isn’t, but it’s an interesting one.
TL: When you say you designed it, what do you mean?
LA: I designed the cover, which is done. I also designed the interior.
TL: Is there an author that you’ll never forget?
LA: I mean, Willa Cather is pretty unforgettable. She’s classic. And we’ve done so much about her, which I think is great.
TL: I agree. I don’t know if you go to events very often, but we have a question about one of your most memorable interactions with a reader or author at an event. Do you have one?
LA: I don’t usually go but I have been going to the First Fridays at the Great Plains Museum and I kind of observe people. It’s really cool that they’re looking closer at some of our most memorable covers.
TL: What advice do you have for people starting a career in publishing?
LA: Ask questions! Publishing is this crazy, wonderful world of craziness. And it’s always important to ask questions so it’s not as crazy!
TL: That’s a perfect description of what the publishing world is!
LA: Yeah, there are so many elements to publishing, especially university publishing. So questions are great.