It has, in the fullness of time, come to me to be the new face of Balance of Seven Press, as its managing director, so I’d like to say a few words by way of introduction.
Once, in what increasingly feels like a lifetime ago, my first grownup job was as a font coder and messenger at a press in Beirut, Lebanon. My career has taken me through academe and libraries, but has brought me back, in a real sense, to where I began.
Transitions of any sort are a challenge, and involve some measure of uncertainty. But they are also an opportunity for new beginnings and still greater heights, if only we embrace that measure of uncertainty. We can rise to that challenge today.
I am Dr. Nyri A. Bakkalian, and I’m the new Managing Director of Balance of Seven. Some of you already know me as one of the press’s authors– I’ve participated in 3 of its anthologies; the press has also published two of my novels. To say I have a stake here is an understatement: I am living proof of how this press changes lives and trains up professionals.
When I began with Balance of Seven as an author, I was a new PhD graduate who suddenly had to reinvent herself in the face of a callous world and being overqualified or too risky for every job she applied for. All I had from which to build a new career was my writing, and I was worried about being the archetypal Starving Artist. Founder and outgoing CEO Ynes Freeman taught me how to think like a businesswoman even as I grew as a creative. In the years since then, I’ve become a successful freelance author, scholar, streamer, and podcaster, able to make this work my full time focus. I have also learned to constantly hone my understanding of project management, social media marketing, and bridge-building with individuals and organizations in and around the publishing and book selling industry. I am eager to bring that to bear in this new role.
It is gratifying that I am not alone. Tod Tinker will continue in being a central figure in the press’s operations. Several others from among our authors will be stepping up as well in a staff role. We come from a variety of backgrounds and bring a variety of skillsets, all of which will be instrumental in where we hope to take the press next. I will be better positioned to be my best as director with their help, and am humbled to work alongside them, for their presence will keep me honest in turn. There is a Japanese expression: minoru hodo atama o sagaru inaho kana 実るほど頭が下がる稲穂哉. The rice-stalk that bears the most, bows the lowest.
We have some fantastic new titles and projects coming your way this year, which you’ll be hearing about soon. We will also be improving how we get our books farther and into more hands, and further sharpening the ways in which we help our authors hone their skill at advocating for their own and each other’s works.
In short, we will all rise and be raised together.
So. Are you ready?