Meet Eleanor…Remember when people used typewriters?


Eleanor Elliott is the Director of Digital Commerce and has worked in the digital space for 14 years – 10 of those at Harlequin. For Carina Press, Eleanor is responsible for Marketing & Sales. She’s currently working on the development of the Carina Press eBook Store. In addition to books, she loves television – sci-fi, reality, drama, comedy – you name it. She is very happy that her TV boyfriend (Chuck Bartowski) has returned from hiatus, but will not be in complete television heaven until the next season of LOST begins. She lives with her husband, her toddler son, and two cats. She also plays a mean drum solo in Rock Band 2.

When I was 6 years old, I received my most memorable Christmas present from my childhood. A typewriter. It was a plastic children’s typewriter, but a typewriter nonetheless. It was red and white, and I adored it.

I remember sitting on the floor with the typewriter between my legs, a children’s book on the other side of my knees open to a story about the Princess and the Pea. I was determined to retype that story perfectly. What I intended to do what that typewritten sheet, I have no idea – but even as a child I wanted to do more than just read the story, I wanted to transform it.

I guess it’s no surprise that I ended up in publishing. But even now, after ten years of working for Harlequin on the Internet business, I still have moments where I need to pinch myself.

I had such a moment recently after a Carina Press acquisition team meeting – where I was able to share with the team my excitement over a truly delightful manuscript I had just read, and then I got back to my desk and saw a first draft of one of the mock covers the team is working on (featuring some very sexy cowboys). Reading great books and contemplating the sexiness of cowboy A vs. cowboy B. Is this really part of my job now? On second thought, please don’t pinch me! I’m not sure I want to wake up!

In my ‘other life’, I’m the Director of Digital Commerce – I’m normally consumed with strategic planning, and budgets, and sales figures, and inventory, and customer service, and promotions, and eNewsletters, and ad creative, oh and meetings, meetings, meetings. Reading the books we sell has always been a bonus. Now, as a member of the Carina Press team, I am involved in a side of publishing I’ve never seen before. I have the privilege of seeing a book at the most tender stage, and helping to bring the author’s vision to life as a published novel.  It’s a stage in the publishing process that is ripe with possibility and it’s extraordinarily exciting.

I’m not sure it’s quite as exciting as seeing that typewriter for the first time on Christmas morning – but it’s pretty darn close.

14 thoughts on “Meet Eleanor…Remember when people used typewriters?”

  1. Amy Wilkins says:

    Haha, clearly the Carina team is full of Chuck fans! I’ll may have to fight you for him for my TV boyfriend, though, Eleanor. (hmmm, I have a feeling someone could write a book about a nerdy accidental spy and we’d go gaga over it!)

  2. Angela James says:

    I love Chuck. I have from day one. Since I rarely get to watch TV during the week, it’s often the show I hoard, so I have something entertaining to watch when I’m traveling (or sick). That and CSI Las Vegas

  3. Sabrina says:

    I’m a huge Chuck fan. Such a great show and Adam Baldwin is a wonderful actor who steals every scene!

  4. Karen says:

    ***(hmmm, I have a feeling someone could write a book about a nerdy accidental spy and we’d go gaga over it!)***

    Sh! I’ve got a GLBT with an FBI Terrorist Financing Operations Section forensic accountant…No flooding inboxes with the geeky spy thang until I’ve mailed my baby off. Y’all are going to flood the market. LOL

  5. Angela James says:

    No worries, Karen. If I had that power, the market would have been flooded with FIREFLY knock-offs long ago :P I hope we’ll get a peek at your book when it’s ready, it sounds fascinating!

  6. Howdy Eleanor! Yes, I love Chuck too, and Angela, I can’t miss NCSI, although I’m not much for TV. Eleanor, I’m old enough to remember typing medical records on real typewriters when I first started working. All I can say, is God bless the computer!

  7. Anna Murray says:

    Hi Eleanor! I’m looking forward to the Carina eBookstore! Will it include an interesting business model, like offering a “Frequent Buyer” discount or other membership-type account?

    I’m looking for something that will be “sticky” — something to make me buy books directly from Carina ebook store.

  8. It’s so great to hear from someone so enthusiastic about publishing! That’s what we, as authors, live for, those moments when someone expresses enthusiasm for a book we created.

    And that little girl and her red and white typewriter… what a great story!

  9. I STILL have my mini-typewriter I got when I was eight or nine. Believe it or not, my kids were fascinated with it when they were small, and once in a great while it still gets dragged upstairs to fill in forms. Great post, Eleanor!

  10. @Amy – oh, there’s enough Chuck to go around for the both of us! Although I will admit to being a little dismayed with his hair in the most recent episode…it was a little ‘feathered’ for my taste. I like my geeks tossled, not stylized!

    @Anna – While we don’t have a ‘rewards’ club or anything like that in the works, we definitely will give purchasers access to exclusive offers, coupons, etc through our email program. In addition, we’ll have standard discounts off of all titles, and regular on-site promotions. Right now we’re focused on the nuts and bolts….but once we’ve got the store built, Aideen and I are going to come up for plenty of attactive offers to make a great place to buy books.

  11. Anna Murray says:

    Excellent. Thanks!

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