I am pleased to announce that we have hired Megan Fitzpatrick as the editor at Lost Art Press. She is our company’s first employee, and I cannot think of anyone I’d rather have in that position.
I am not going anywhere. I will be the publisher. That means I’ll be deciding what titles we’ll print, what tools we will make and – most important to me – I’ll be writing many more books for Lost Art Press (my real love).
Why are we doing this? During the last few years our company has grown to the point where it cannot function with only me, John and a few part-time contractors. We now ship more than 60,000 books a year. And we make tools and apparel, too. We have dozens of supply chains and more than 50 books that have to be managed – plus another four or five new titles every year.
I have resisted hiring employees because I don’t want to manage people. And I don’t want to control anyone’s livelihood. Luckily, Megan does not have to be managed.
Megan and I have worked together for about 20 years now. I first met her when she was on the marketing team at F&W Media about 1998, and she had no problem bossing around my boss when he was late. I immediately liked her. I later hired her as my managing editor at Popular Woodworking Magazine, and she made quite an impression on her first day. When the IT guy (a former Marine) repeatedly failed to do his job, she quietly but fiercely (and correctly) explained his shortcomings to him and reduced him to tears.
Megan was a beginning woodworker when I hired her, and she quickly latched onto anyone on the magazine’s staff who would teach her things. Her skills advanced quickly. After I left the magazine in 2011, there was some shuffling about on the staff and she ended up as editor. And I was one of her freelance authors.
After so many years of working together in different roles, Megan and I can (mostly) read each other’s minds. We (mostly) don’t annoy one another. And we both agree 100 percent on how to make good woodworking books and how to treat our authors.
So not much will change here, except for the fact that I’ll have more time to write books and blog entries. And Megan will be in charge. She’ll continue to teach woodworking classes here and elsewhere. And I hope she will continue to write for Fine Woodworking as well.
Please congratulate Megan on her new job. And I hope we get to work together for another 20 years (and that she never has to make me cry).
— Christopher Schwarz
(Ed. note: I will never try to make authors, customers or Chris cry. The guy he’s talking about, though, absolutely deserved it.)