Editors BC at Word Vancouver 2015 3

By Roma Ilnyckyj

On September 27, Editors BC made our annual appearance at Word Vancouver, joining local literary organizations, publishers, writers, and other word lovers in a celebration of all things written.

Luckily it was sunny, although chilly, for our volunteers outside at the Editors BC booth. We handed out information about the organization and chatted to people about what editors do. Our booth was next to the Association of Book Publishers of British Columbia, which provided a great opportunity to meet some people we’ve only ever communicated with through email and to strengthen our ties with like-minded organizations. I got some good ideas for promotional materials to think about for the future and picked up the adorable postcard pictured above (far right).

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An interview with Roma Ilnyckyj, EAC-BC’s programs chair 1

Written by Frances Peck; copy edited by Meagan Kus

Roma Ilnyckyj WCERoma Ilnyckyj is an editor at Vancouver-based Talk Science to Me. She sits on the EAC-BC executive as programs chair, which involves organizing the monthly meetings and social events.

Here, she tells EAC-BC member Frances Peck about the twisty road that led her to editing (a road that passed, interestingly, through China). She also talks about her book, her volunteer work, and her favourite editing habits and moments.

Tell us a bit about the editing you do. What sorts of projects do you work on?
I work for a science communications company, and I do mostly copy editing and proofreading. I work on research reports, some books, and also websites. Lately I’ve been working a lot on blogs—editing blog posts but also doing search engine optimization and helping out with social media.
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Event review: Advanced Proofreading with Ruth Wilson Reply

Written by Roma Ilnyckyj; copy edited by Karen Marshall

Review of seminar Advanced Proofreading with Ruth Wilson (offered by EAC-BC on September 20, 2014)

Ruth Wilson’s advanced proofreading workshop was exactly what I had expected: fun, loaded with information, and the quickest six hours you could hope for when you’re indoors and just steps from the Seawall on a sunny late-September day (see photo). As an editor who is not quite a beginner but also not sitting on years of experience, I found this workshop a perfect match for my needs. Although you can’t become an advanced proofreader in one day, this seminar taught me three things that I can actively work on in my quest to become one.

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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.”