The process of planning and publishing a magazine is no small thing, but all that effort is without purpose if the magazine doesn’t land in the hands of readers. If you are a subscriber to one of our two magazines, Bird Watcher’s Digest and Watching Backyard Birds, then you can thank our circulation director, Melody Carpenter, for ensuring that your issues make it from the printer to your mailbox for you to enjoy!
Melody came to Bird Watcher’s Digest almost seven years ago, first serving as merchandise/shipping agent before moving to fulfillment and then to her current role of circulation director—which as Bill Thompson, III, used to say, means basically that she keeps the BWD train running on the track!
“I determine press run numbers for both Bird Watcher’s Digest and Watching Backyard Birds and work with the printer to make sure the magazines are mailed on time,” says Mel. Among her myriad of duties, she schedules renewal notices and works with the mailing house, keeps track of inventory for all mailings, oversees data entry, helps organize promotional efforts, and provides customer service by answering phone calls and customer emails.
When asked about her favorite part of the job, Mel says, “I have to say the people I work with, they are such a great group of people! And our subscribers are the best, too!”
Mel adds that she’s also gained a lot of knowledge about birds that she would not have otherwise. “I’ve always loved to be out in nature but didn’t really pay much attention to birds. But since I have been working at BWD, when I see an unfamiliar bird, I try to determine what it is. I have recently acquired my first pair of binoculars and have been enjoying them. I may turn into a birder yet!”
Mel’s first birding adventure was at one of BWD’s very first Reader Rendezvous at North Bend State Park, West Virginia, kayaking with a group led by Julie Zickefoose. “It was so much fun! That is when I first saw the pileated woodpecker—what a beautiful bird! I’ll also never forget the tree swallows—equally as beautiful!”
Most of Mel’s free time is spent with her family: getting together for cookouts, watching sports with her boys, or helping out with home remodeling projects. In the warmer months she loves spending time in her flower and vegetable gardens.
“I just love nature in general,” she says. “Whether I’m gardening, hiking, enjoying cookouts with the family, or just sitting on the back porch with a glass of sweet tea listening to the birds—if I am outdoors, I am happy!”