PubPro: Editorial archiving & lean publishing 3

Editorial Archiving

by Megan Brand; discussion led by Roma Ilnyckyj

Attendees from various private and public organizations compared their companies’ archival strategies, or lack thereof, regarding what to keep, recycle, or shred. Publishing houses, the BC government, CGA Canada, UBC and SFU were said to have vastly divergent document-retention policies, which run the gamut from keeping all emails and hard-copy editorial files to ruthlessly discarding them. Liability issues, possible historical value, and simply the need to reminisce were cited as the main reasons for choosing to keep documentation. Recent archives were also said to be a strong training resource. However, the sheer volume of material can prove crippling for users attempting to settle disputes over stylistic decisions. And although the digitization of hard copies is one solution (scanning them as PDFs), attendees questioned the point at which digital files are rendered useless as the programs required to open them become obsolete. Ultimately, companies need an archival plan, no matter how ad hoc.


Lean Publishing: Lessons Learned at Leanpub

by Lana Okerlund; presented by Peter Armstrong

After a fast and furious presentation of over a hundred slides in 20 minutes (honest!), Leanpub co-founder Peter Armstrong wowed PubPro attendees by creating a pretty darn good-looking e-book with just a few keystrokes. Had this not just been a demo, the book would have been immediately available for readers to buy and comment on. (Fun side tip: Check out hipster Ipsum the next time you need filler text.)

“A book is a startup: a risky, highly creative endeavour undertaken by a small team with a low chance of success,” Armstrong said as he explained the epiphany for Leanpub. Following serial entrepreneur Steve Blank’s suggestion to “get out of the building” and talk to customers, Leanpub allows authors to connect quickly (“frictionlessly” in Leanpub lingo) with readers and use their feedback to improve (“pivot”) their work until they have it right (“achieve a product/market fit”).

Making a fascinating and convincing comparison of Leanpub’s model with Victorian-era serial publishing by Charles Dickens (another serial entrepreneur) and Mary Elizabeth Braddon (the 1860s version of fan fiction writer E.L. James)—not to mention Dostoyevsky—Armstrong explained how authors today need to “get work out there and generate buzz,” and how anything standing in the way of putting words in front of readers, including editors, was just procrastination. “Everyone is optional,” he said. “There should be no gatekeepers. We all need to earn our place. At Leanpub, authors and readers are equally our customers, and we need to balance their interests.”

PubPro 2014: The highlights 2

On May 24, 2014, managing editors and publication production professions from BC and Alberta converged at Harbour Centre for the second annual PubPro 2014 unconference, co-hosted by EAC-BC and Publishing at Simon Fraser University. This unstructured event allows attendees to come with presentations and discussion topics and has proven to be an excellent forum for experienced pros to learn from one another. From that pool of ideas, we finalized the day’s agenda at the first session of the morning.

Over the next few weeks, we’ll be posted highlights from the event thanks to volunteers Megan Brand, Lara Kordic and Lana Okerlund, who kindly took notes in the sessions and reported back on what they learned.

Here’s the first of many summaries:

Indexes in Adobe InDesign Creative Cloud
by Lara Kordic; presented by Judy Dunlop

This session focused on the use of the indexing feature in the recently launched Adobe InDesign Creative Cloud (CC) and included a wider discussion on indexing concerns and workflow issues. Judy Dunlop began the session by asking participants to identify indexing problems they have encountered in the past; she then went through the basic capabilities of InDesign CC and how its indexing feature could be incorporated into the digital workflow. Some index concerns mentioned include the challenge of assessing the quality of an index or potential indexer, tight schedules, and the difficulty of estimating the length of an index before it is created. Although these issues cannot be directly remedied by using InDesign CC, there are certain aspects of the indexing process that can be improved through the use of CC.

As in previous versions of InDesign, CC can generate an index using tags inserted into the electronic file. Unlike previous versions, CC allows indexes to be linked in multiple digital formats, such as PDF, EPUB and HTML. In some ways, indexing with CC requires indexers and publishers to work together more closely than before because the indexer is working directly in the live (InDesign) file, as opposed to a PDF, and may be involved in the proofreading and revising of the index. In addition to being proficient in InDesign and familiar with Creative Cloud, the indexer must be working in the same version of InDesign as the designer because they are working in the same file. The indexer may still use dedicated indexing software (Cindex, Macrex, Sky etc.), which is recommended for more complex indexes, but it is also possible to create the index directly in InDesign, with the indexer editing and revising the index while embedding markers into the document. Overall, the indexing feature in CC is considered to be a step up from previous versions of InDesign. With some training and closer coordination between publisher and indexer, this could become a viable option for many indexing projects.

Image by Megan Brand.

Technically editing Reply

by Amy Haagsma

Editing offers a wide variety of career avenues. And as technology makes it easier to distribute content, the demand for well-written, professionally-edited material continues to rise. Enter technical editing: a growing specialty that brings with it a diverse and rewarding career path.


Book launch: More Than Two Reply

Author Eve Rickert along with partner/co-author Franklin Veaux are releasing advance copies of their newest book on Friday, May 30 at 8PM at the Railway Club (579 Dunsmuir Street).

More Than Two: A practical guide to ethical polyamory is a comprehensive guide to the polyamorous lifestyle and explores the often-complex world of living polyamorously: the nuances, the relationship options, the myths and the expectations.


June 9: Something Fierce fundraiser Reply

What: Fundraiser for Carmen Aguirre, author of Something Fierce: Memoirs of a Revolutionary Daughter
When: 730-10PM, June 9, 2014
Where: 3102 Main Street at Heritage Hall, Vancouver
Cost: $20-500, or  make a donation

Carmen Aguirre, author of the national bestseller Something Fierce: Memoirs of a Revolutionary Daughter, which won CBC’s Canada Reads in 2012, was owed $60,000 in royalties when D&M Publishers when bankrupt later that year. She never received any of that money. Carmen makes her living as a writer and an independent theatre artist. Whatever is raised through this campaign will go directly to her.

You can attend in person or donate online. Online donors will be thanked by name during the evening’s program. The live event portion of the night features readings and performances by Carmen other guest artists.