Joed Elich - Faces of Brill
Position: Publishing Director
Short job description:
As a Publishing Director for the publishing areas Language & Linguistics, Asian Studies, African Studies and Middle East and Islamic Studies, Joed manages a department consisting of eight other acquisitions editors. In addition, he also manages his own publishing program. “A publishing director attends many academic conferences, acquires new publications (books, journals, databases, etc.), develops new long-term strategies and also takes care of financial tasks,” Joed explains.
Joed has been working for Brill since 2000.
What is your favorite part of the job?
What are your thoughts about publishing?
“The industry has changed a lot since I started,” Joed says. “Brill adapted to the development of electronic and online innovations, which improved the way we work. Marketing and sales benefit from new promotional methods, and the company is now more outward looking. This is really important for the future.”
Joed’s opinion is that even though Brill is a small company and not always able to make big steps, there is still room to move with new developments in the industry.
What are you working on at the moment?
Just like other publishers at Brill, Joed is working with many different publications at the same time. For the Index Islamicus a new indexing software program was installed and this still needs to be fine-tuned. “This will be a big improvement to the resource with many new opportunities,” Joed says.
Joed, can you give us an example of a good experience you had while working at Brill?
“There is a journal based in Italy called Oriente Moderno which is 92 years old. Everybody said they would never move to another publisher. I visited Rome once explained what we could offer as a publishing partner: improved distribution outside Italy, additional resources to handle administrative tasks, allowing them to focus more on aspects like peer review, etc. They were afraid that the Italian ‘flagship’ journal would disappear in the larger European market. But given Brill’s experience with publishing in many languages (they still publish some articles in Italian), the decision to move to Brill was quickly taken."
Another good anecdote Joed told was about a delegation of ten people from Iran who visited the Brill office. “They thought our office was a bookshop and expected to be able to buy books on the spot. Several colleagues collected the required titles from our shelves, so they walked out with their pockets full of books!”
What makes Brill special?
“The traditional focus on history and languages is really important for Brill,” Joed says. “Being able to handle complicated manuscripts – for example in Arabic, Hebrew or Chinese – and still produce a high quality end result, this is something that makes Brill special. Our close relationship with authors is also important for the future.”