Evaluation framework: progress so far

Caleigh Minshall

When we applied for the internship grant from the Canada Book Fund, part of the application required that we list five goals, with 3-5 measurements per goal, in order to evaluate the success of the internship upon its completion. I have about four months left to go in the internship and Tim decided that’s as good a time as any to review how far I’ve come on those goals and how far I still have to go. (Completing these goals is non-negotiable!)

1. Draft blueprint for proposed Internship Partnership with Trent University’s ‘Public Texts’ programme by weekly updates to Intern’s Blog @


a) Word count on Intern’s Blog webpage (currently [at time of writing the grant in March] at 3,000 words) should add 500 additional words / week x 48 weeks = 27,000 words by completion.

Currently at 21,440 words (including this blog post), I’m way ahead of schedule, despite having missed one week’s blog. This is likely because even though the goals state that I’ll write 500 words a week, more often than not I end up with 700+ words. On three occasions I ended up with over 1,200!

b) Traffic to Intern’s Blog (currently 470 hits – 1 Sep 09 to 26 Mar 10) should add 100 hits / month = 1,300 hits by completion.

This one was a little tricky, because you might remember that before we had this fancy WordPress blog, my blog was located on a page called caleighm.html. Using data from Google Analytics, I added total page views (from May 1, start of the CBF internship, to the present) from caleighm.html to the current /blog/ page views. The result? 1,924 page views so far. Wowza! The impact of this number is slightly muffled by the fact that we received over 200 page views on a single day in August (when we first set up the WordPress blog and so were refreshing and fiddling with the page a lot) – but even if you take that day into consideration, our current total far exceeds expectations.

c) Written assessment of completed Intern’s Blog by Zailig Pollock, who runs the Public Texts programme at Trent University.

I’m not sure what the progress is on this, but it’s out of my control so I’m not worrying too much about it.

2. Digital pre-press to produce George A. Walker’s graphic novel Book of Hours.

a) Count number of lines of groff code required to produce pdf files of Book of Hours ready for imaging. Sample of typesetting code.

I don’t know how many lines of groff code were required, but I do know that since it was my first attempt at typesetting a book, it took me a really long time to write them! However, since there isn’t a minimum requirement for how many lines had to be written, I can safely say I achieved this measurement.

b) Copy of the finished product.


c) Author’s written assessment of the finished product.

I haven’t heard what George A. Walker thinks of the book yet. I have looked through it myself and can’t find any errors (although they are likely still lurking), and I hope that his assessment will be positive.

d) Third-party review notices of the finished product

The book hasn’t been in print for too long so to my knowledge there have been no reviews of Book of Hours – yet. I can say that Jim Horton provided a lovely endorsement of Walker’s art, however: ‘I think the image of the young girl at the beginning … could be the icon image of the 21st century.’

3. Leverage e-commerce opportunities afforded by googlebooks Partner programme, by listing entire PQL backlist (approximately 200 titles) with, and then linking the abebooks listings to ‘Buy Buttons’ through our PExOD interface.

a) Count number of PQL titles in googlebooks programme (from googlebooks Partner Programme, Reports).

There are currently 217 PQL titles in the googlebooks programme.

b) Count number of PQL titles offered for sale direct from the publisher via abebooks. (Print out of abebook search; and sample title pages from

There are currently 233 titles available direct from PQL on

c) Count number of PQL titles with Buy Buttons on (from MySQL database search).

Confound it! I can’t figure out how to perform a search on MySQL for this data. However, I’m confident that as I updated books to, I also updated their Buy Buttons on PExOD. Although at some point I’ll need proof of just how many Buy Button links there are, until I’m given reason to believe otherwise I’m pretty sure that the number of buy buttons will match the number of individual titles available for sale from PQ on So probably between 225-233 (taking into account that some of our older titles were published in multiple formats, e.g. hardcover & softcover, which would mean different pages on but only one title page on

4. Preparation of Spring 2011 list for presentation to the Literary Press Group Sales Force.

a) Tipsheets for six to seven new titles.

Although I have in fact written six tipsheets in preparation for Spring 2011, only five of those were presented to the LPG – one, a poetry collection, is now being held back for publication in Fall 2011. I’m not sure what this means in terms of my meeting this measurement, although I suppose we could always include the sixth postponed title’s tipsheet to show that at least the work was completed. And so, for this measurement, we’ll consider the result to be six tipsheets.

b) Sample onix file exported from pexod listing new titles.

Onix is a ridiculously dense-looking file type so I won’t include any here, but this won’t be a problem since, as I’ve already explained, you can see that the onix data is completed since the web pages for Spring 2011’s titles are already completed.

c) Screenshots of new web / title pages for six to seven new titles.

You can check them out right on the web: The Adventures of Alice in Wonderland, The Essential Richard Outram, Beasts of New York, Little Comrades, and Surpassing Pleasure.

d) Print catalogue for Spring 2011 list.

Also available online here.

e) Written assessment of presentation by LPG Sales Manager.

I’m not sure if this has been written yet or not, but I’m excited / nervous to see the results. I got a lot of help with these tip sheets from people more experienced than me so I’m hopeful the assessment will be mostly positive.

5. Update web addresses returned by searching on ‘Porcupine’s Quill’ Publisher (6,720 hits) to drive traffic to new website.

a) Measure traffic to recorded by Google Analytics (benchmark is 1,584 visitors / month; 7,338 Unique Visitors all time as of 26 Mar 10).

We receive between 1200 – 1900 visits per month. In September we received 2,200 visitors (due in part to my wild Google AdWords campaigns …), 1,972 in October, and 1,967 in November. Hopefully we’ll be able to keep up those numbers until March 31, although the budget for Google AdWords is dwindling and I’m not sure how the numbers will look without that boost. We’ve had 17,911 Unique Visitors all time, and specifically 9,367 Unique Visitors since May 1 2010, the beginning of my internship.

b) Measure traffic sources to recorded by Google Analytics (benchmark is 83 sources / month; 191 sources all time).

We’ve received traffic from 269 sources and mediums all time. In November, we received traffic from 84 sources; in October, 93 sources; and in September, 112 sources. Overall it appears we’ve kept over the benchmarks.

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.