Have you ever wondered about the staff members that keep BOA running? Well, wonder no more! We’ve created a short interview series so you can get to know the BOA staff. Next up, we have Ron Martin-Dent (He/Him), BOA’s Director of Publicity & Production.
BOA: Hi Ron! Tell us about your role at BOA!
Ron: I wear many hats! My official title is Director of Publicity & Production, but I also serve as BOA’s marketing director. In a nutshell, I make sure the books are all printed on time (including ebooks and now audiobooks), and I help spread the word far and wide about BOA’s latest releases. I also oversee our contests, help train our interns, and answer questions sent to us via email.
BOA: How long have you been working at BOA Editions?
Ron: I started working at BOA at the tail end of 2016, right after Thanksgiving.
BOA: What is your favorite part about working for the press?
Ron: My absolute favorite part of working for BOA is interacting with our amazing, incredible authors. It's been such an honor and a privilege to get to know each and every one of the authors I've worked with these past five years. They are all so warm and supportive—and they're doing such excellent, excellent writing as well.
BOA: What makes our press unique?
Ron: In sports terms, we pull well above our weight. People are often surprised to hear that our staff is as small as it is—just a handful of people—but we pour a great deal of energy, passion, and care into every single book that we publish. We focus on what we do best, we take on exactly as many new manuscripts each year as we can handle, and we specialize in crafting high-quality books for two amazingly rich literary genres that don’t always get the attention of larger publishers.
BOA: What's one thing you love about BOA’s home city of Rochester?
Ron: There are so many things! Rochester is this perfect blend of small towny neighborhoods and the types of arts and cultural opportunities you'd expect in a larger city. I'm a big fan of the Rochester Public Market, Leaf Tea Bar, the Dryden Theatre at the George Eastman Museum, and all the nearby apple orchards in the fall. It's been great to bike along the Erie Canal Trail and up to Lake Ontario during the pandemic as well.
BOA: What's a fun fact about yourself and/or a hobby that you enjoy?
Ron: Before the pandemic, I used to swim a mile three times a week. The local YMCA permanently closed all of the branches in my part of the city, though, so I’m in dry dock for the foreseeable future. Aside from that, I enjoy cooking, baking, gardening, drinking tea, reading books—I live a pretty quiet life, to be honest.
BOA: Are you a writer? If so, what genre(s) do you write?
Ron: Not currently. For the past few years, I’ve joked that all of my writing has been in the “marketing” genre—which is its own skill, to be sure! I wrote some creative nonfiction and short stories in college that I’m still pretty proud of, so who knows, maybe I’ll pick it up again someday.
BOA: Anything else you’d like to share?
Ron: It’s been a while since I've really concentrated on these skills, but I used to do some amateur bookbinding and letterpress printing in my spare time. I'm hoping to dive back into book arts again before too long.
Read our previous interview with BOA Executive Director and Publisher Peter Conners here.