Michael Weinstein’s 31-year work history reads like a list of top publishing companies: Macmillan, Pitman Publishing, Addison Wesley, Random House, McGraw-Hill, HarperCollins and Pearson Education, among others. Currently, Weinstein is vice president, EDP (editing, design and production) and manufacturing, at Oxford University Press.
Weinstein’s career achievements now are being recognized with his induction into the Publishing Executive Hall of Fame. He is only the second executive from a university press to receive this prestigious award in the Hall of Fame’s 17-year history.
The Value of Experience
Weinstein attended Lehman College, a branch of the City University of New York. His first foray into publishing was on staff—and eventually as editor—of the college magazine. “… those all-night re-write, typing, paste-up sessions hooked me,” he says.
In 1977, Weinstein got his first professional job in publishing at Human Sciences Press in New York, where he oversaw the production of six quarterly journals; bought services such as composition (including hot metal) and printing; hired and managed freelance copy editors and proofreaders; designed a journal and a book cover; and more.
Since then, Weinstein has been employed by 12 publishing houses. Today, he oversees a staff of approximately 50 people in two locations in production, manufacturing and more for Oxford University Press projects produced in the United States—approximately 900 titles per year—including academic, trade, medical, higher education, reference, legal titles and Bibles.
“We’re responsible for [the entire process from] manuscript through [getting the books to the] warehouse—including editing, proofreading, design, production and manufacturing,” he says, “[and] for production of companion Web sites.”
Among his favorite aspects of his job, Weinstein says, is “working with all parts of the company to figure out the issues (e.g., content management, multiple deliveries, process/workflow, costs, etc.) and moving the department and company forward.”
The greatest challenge he faces? Finding “even more” efficiencies in time and money, he says. “Production directors are always being asked for more. We need to serve the needs of our company without burning out our staff or putting our vendors out of business. It means being more creative … ,” adds Weinstein.
They Knew Him When...
Sandra Steiner, executive director of the Adams County Education Consortium—who hired Weinstein as the director of production for Prentice Hall Business Publishing in the late 1990s—says, “[He is an] outstanding choice of a recipient for this award. Michael is one of the most progressive managers I have ever known. … He is constantly looking for ways to sensibly innovate, to enhance opportunities, and never forgets that the people of his department and his authors are … the support he needs to achieve the great success only possible through collaboration.”
Peter Conway—vice president of Courier Cos. Inc., a book publisher and manufacturer in North Chelmsford, Mass.—has known Weinstein for more than 15 years. “Michael’s greatest strength is his ability to understand what is important and what is not,” he says. “It’s not that he disregards the ‘not important’ stuff, but he focuses on the important tasks first.”
Conway adds, “I think Michael is a genuine, nice guy, who happens to be in the publishing industry.”
Besides being a nice guy, Weinstein is also passionate about promoting literacy. He is proud of his work as co-chairman of the Bookbinders’ Guild of New York Charity Committee for the past 15 years, which has raised well over $300,000. All of the funds raised go to local organizations helping those who have made the commitment to learn to read.