I've been with the publishing industry for close to 15 years now. To say that I've a career involving books would be an understatement. I breathe books. Heck, I'm around books 24/7. If you cut me, I will bleed books. And now, I'd like to think of my body as having reached Ulysses or Don Quixote proportions—the complete text with the detailed annotations.
During all those years, I've done basically everything. Coming up with the instructional design (for textbooks), looking for authors, following them up, checking their work, proofreading, copyediting, facilitating proofs production, checking galleys (argh, galleys don't exist anymore), and coordinating the conversion from print to e-format. I even have experience on having the books printed (from offshore printers no less!), brainstorming for covers, doing PR work for new titles, and even arranging book launches.
It's a wonderful and rewarding career, I tell you. And I would recommend it to anyone who has a passion for the printed word. I've always thought that I'd be a doctor, having majored in pre-med in college. But I think a career in book publishing is just as fulfilling. The money ain't bad either. Well, at least I've no complaints. (I still eat the requisite 3 meals a day, but I still live with my folks. So it's up to you to interpret that. Hehehe.)
In those 15 years, no book has ever been more helpful to me than the one I'm holding in the picture—The Chicago Manual of Style. It's now on its 16th edition. You can tell just how old a book editor is by the number of CMoS editions he or she has gone through. When I started, it was the 14th.
If you're curious about the entire book production process, the stringent rules of punctuation and usage, the detailed ways of writing bibliographic entries, and basically everything about the book, then get a copy, dear reader. It's a bit pricey, but it's so worth it. Think of the purchase as an investment. Besides, it does make a nice conversation piece when people see it in your shelves.