Lucia Zitelli, the book lover who read so much she lost her voice
As you may have read in the previous “Meet the tribe” post, I always ask the latest tribe member portrayed to choose who (s)he’d like to read about next. Michele chose Lucia Zitelli, our newly appointed StreetLib USA C.O.O.
If you are a bit attentive you know we weren’t fibbing when we said we were going global. Last move to show for it: instead of two we are now four on the StreetLib Global team. You’ll read later about Callum, who’s basically an added brain and arm for me to manage English copy writing and communication (it’s like suddenly getting an extension to my flat to put all the things I wasn’t able to fit before: it is awesome!), let’s now stay focused on Lucia.
Lucia is far from a newby in the StreetLib team. In fact, she joined our team in 2011 when we were still called Simplicissimus. As most of our members, Lucia wasn’t recruited with a regular interview following a vacancy announcement:
“Someone I knew shared an event on Facebook: the “EbookCamp”, organized by Simplicissimus Book Farm. A few minutes later, I was writing to Simplicissimus’ website to propose myself for an internship. I received an automatic reply saying they were not hiring, so I wrote to the boss and Antonio replied after about 45 minutes saying “I will be very honest, we are not looking for anybody at the moment, but if you want to come and see how we work you are welcome”. I went of course. I just wanted to learn, I didn’t know anything about ebooks. Things worked out very well: I’m still here. :)”
I don’t think there are many requirements to be part of the StreetLib tribe. If there is a good feeling when you first contact Antonio and it happens that there may be a spot for you, there is a chance it’ll work out, whoever you are. But the love for books is kind of an unspoken requirement. She might not have known much about eBooks but one thing is sure: Lucia was and still is a book lover.
“As a kid, I used to read like crazy. I remember I used to read out loud (I still do it sometimes), and one day I woke up and realized I had completely lost my voice. Since then, I have kept reading a lot, but mostly in silence.”
This love for books and extensive reading were a perfect fit for the concept Antonio Tombolini had launched for the Simplicissimus online bookstore: human booksellers for an online bookstore. Imagine getting the comfort of an online service and purchase (close to unlimited catalog, easy search and filtering abilities, etc.) and add to that the pleasure of having a person you get to know and gets to know you, here to advise you on what to read and always available to answer your questions: That’s kind of the dream bookstore! and that’s exactly what Ultima Books was. With a bit of luck, this is also what we’ll find back on StreetLib Stores one day (I’m certainly rooting for that on my side but the difficulty now is the global scale of our bookstore: we’d most probably need at least one bookseller per language of books available in our catalog and that’s a lot!)
During my interview with Lucia to get all the information needed for her portrait, I was asking about her passions and the one to come second was a bit surprising:
“Weight lifting and HIIT circuits. I am not a bodybuilder of course but I love squatting, deadlifting, etc.”
I do not share the same passion (or motivation?), I actually had to look up “HIIT”. Even though we are a widespread team, I did meet Lucia a few times and yes, she did look pretty healthy and fit but I wouldn’t have guessed she actually had a gym in her garage and a personal trainer !
Now that I think about it, it makes a lot of sense for the role she took on at StreetLib after being a bookseller: Customer Care! First assisting with Italian self publishers she then went on to manage the whole Care team and let me tell you that takes some weight lifting!
Of course, caring for our StreetLibers is pretty much our favorite thing about StreetLib: we get to know authors and publishers around the world and to help them fulfill their publishing dreams, what could be best?
The weight lifting happens with the management of a community of about 15K authors and 1.5K publishers. Keeping up with all the messages, pending requests, specific needs…
Lucia was up for the task and never got put off as she now has joined the StreetLib USA team to work side by side with the CEO Giacomo D'Angelo, to manage our international community and conquer the world with the best support and care ever known to Man.