Fame and fortune

Caleigh Minshall

Today was very exciting. Remember that publicity campaign for Doors Open I told you about last week? Well, my emails paid off and this morning I visited Erin Radio (101.5 FM) for what I thought would be a quick interview, but was actually a whole hour of chatting live on the radio about the upcoming Doors Open, the news and our favourite ways to drink coffee. At first I was really nervous, but the host, Erin Montgomery, and Ethan the intern really made me feel right at home. I hardly even noticed that everything I said was being broadcast to our whole community. I had such a great time that I’m now considering making the switch from publishing to radio.

(Just kidding.)

On Friday we also received our proofs of Book of Hours in the mail — newly notated by editor Doris Cowan. I finally got to open it and read over Doris’s comments yesterday afternoon. And wow, so much effort and detail goes into editing! For example, Doris had circled the word ‘regimental’ in George’s preface to the book. ‘Regimental routine’, the text read. At first I was confused. I didn’t, of course, think that Doris had made a mistake (Tim tells me she pretty much never does), but I didn’t get the problem. Doris’s note explained everything. Did you know that ‘regimental’ actually refers specifically to the military — as in, military-like — and that the word we actually wanted was ‘regimented’? I never would have noticed it as an editor. (Well, I will now.) There were a couple other examples like that, too. ‘Peruse’ versus ‘read’ versus ‘scan’ — all have different nuances. ‘Mindless’ versus ‘thoughtless’ versus, what we finally decided on, ‘self-complacent’ (which has a whole different tone, but we thought it was more accurate). Wild, right? Doris also has to do all of the fact-checking, which in the case of Book of Hours meant double-checking all of the author names, book titles and publication dates cited in the introduction and preface.

I’ve been reading up on copyediting in particular in a book called The Copyeditor’s Handbook by Amy Einsohn. Although it has an American focus, Einsohn does make sure to indicate important disagreements between American and British/Canadian style. I’m about a third of the way through the book, and my god — it’s complicated! (But Einsohn makes it a lot of fun anyway.) I can tell by the exercises that I’m improving a lot, so hopefully by the end of the summer I won’t be so overwhelmed by Doris’s detailed notation.

Finally, a long time ago I promised to feature some backlist beauties as I discovered them while updating our new website and creating ‘Buy’ buttons on AbeBooks. Well, I found one! (I’ve found lots, actually, but I thought this one was neat.) The Crown Prince Waits for a Train is a chapbook of poetry by Tim Inkster himself, and is one of only two Porcupine’s Quill publications from the 70s available in the original edition and at the original price. It’s thirty-two pages and (best of all?) the price, if you can believe it, is just $2.95. For a new copy! One of the poems was featured the 1975 edition of the Penguin Book of Canadian Verse.

Anyway, that’s all for now. I’ve already finished most of my pre-workshop assignment for the Publishing Immersion, although I think that means I should go over it again and make sure everything makes sense. All that’s left (apart from review) is to write up the P&Ls and costing sheets for each of the five book ideas I came up with. An English lit. major doing math? Watch for explosions, folks.

Caleigh Minshall

About Caleigh

Intern at the Porcupine's Quill.
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The Porcupine's Quill would like to acknowledge the support of the Ontario Arts Council and the Canada Council for the Arts for our publishing program. The financial support of the Government of Canada through the Canada Book Fund (CBF) is also gratefully acknowledged.