IPPY awards and more

Caleigh Minshall

Only two weeks of work have gone by, and I already have exciting news to share: three PQL titles won medals in the 2010 Independent Publisher Book Awards, also known as the IPPY awards! Margaret Avison’s autobiography, I Am Here and Not Not-There, won Silver in the Canada-East: Best Regional Non-Fiction category, while the fabulous David Carpenter’s Welcome to Canada (which I am reading right now, actually) won Gold in the Canada-West: Best Regional Fiction category, and Kenneth Sherman’s What the Furies Bring won Gold in the nation-wide Essay/Creative Non-Fiction category. Powerful stuff, I know.

Other exciting news include the acceptance I received from Simon Fraser University for their Book Publishing Immersion program this coming July, and the confirmation that yes, I will be in southern France next year teaching English as a second language to high school students. So, all in all, not a bad week (the beer in hand helps, too.)

But what’s that? You say hearing news about my personal life is not, in fact, why you read this blog? That my personal life is kind of, well, boring? Oh, is that so? Well then, let me tell you about what I’ve been up to on the job.

I said at the beginning of this post that only two weeks have gone by — yes, two weeks, and already my to-do list is, as they say, on a biblical scale. (I should, however, at this moment take the time to acknowledge that my to-do list is not nearly so large as the lists of the big fish in town, that is, Tim and Elke Inkster.) Every day is spent on something new: one day I am uploading bibliographic data to so that the little ‘Buy’ button on each book’s page exists and actually goes somewhere; the next day I am editing front-material for Walker’s Book of Hours; two hours later Tim is teaching me all the intricacies of digital pre-press (that is, preparing the pages of a book on the computer so that they can be printed). At the same time I am also contacting webmasters to update their links to PQL and working, at a near-frantic pace, on our application to the Ontario Arts Council for the Devil’s Artisan — the application is due on June 1, after all.

The work doesn’t end when I get home, either. I anticipate that tomorrow I’ll spend an hour or so uploading information from our old website to our new one, and that I’ll spend another hour on top of that contacting American libraries to tell them about new books they may want to purchase, based on what WorldCat says they already have in their collection (and based on the fact that three of our authors just won IPPY awards!). We have 124 libraries in our database right now, and those are only the libraries that have purchased a significant and recent amount from us; there are a whole lot of others on WorldCat that our database doesn’t even know about yet. I think that the art of contacting libraries may make an appearance in a future post — and I’ll be asking for advice as much as giving it.

Time for another beer. I spent today looking after my mother (who has pink eye) and my father (who has the flu), so I think I earned it. Wait, too much personal information again? Too bad. Before I go, here’s a last personal factoid: the busted family car, I’ll have you know, goes to the shop on Monday.

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.