PubPro 2016: Event recap and session summaries (part 3)

PubPro2016_scheduleIntroduction by Iva Cheung, PubPro facilitator

The fourth annual PubPro unconference for managing editors and publication production professionals welcomed participants from across Canada and the U.S., as it was, for the first time, offered as a workshop immediately before the Editors Canada national conference. Although not as many attendees came prepared with talks, all participants came prepared to talk, many of them stepping up to lead discussions on different aspects of publication project management. PubPro volunteers Connie Behl, Ellen Michelle Koehler, and Yvonne Robertson took notes and have summarized the sessions.

Working with visuals: A discussion led by Lara Smith
Written by Ellen Michelle Koehler; copy edited by Maggie Clark

In this session, the group discussed the various problems that come up when working with visuals. A common problem among participants was finding good artists, photographers, and data visualists. The best recommendation was to check that the artist, photographer, or data visualist’s portfolio and previous work match the style of the document or publication that they will be working on. Even if their work is spectacular, if it doesn’t match the desired style, it won’t succeed.

Another issue that came up is becoming more and more popular in the media recently: infographics. These graphics are mainly used for social media channels to present detailed information quickly and concisely, but they are expensive and time-consuming to create. The verdict was to determine whether or not the cost to produce them is worth it for each project budget, deadline, and audience.

Ask the indexers: A discussion led by Iva Cheung and Andrea Hatley
Written by Connie Behl; copy edited by Maggie Clark

During this session, Iva Cheung said that there is an intuitive understanding that indexes are efficient at allowing people to find what they need. Indexes are almost always included in Amazon’s “Look inside” feature, suggesting that they can affect buying decisions and influence book sales. Indexes also add to accessibility, so when documents include an index, it says a lot about transparency.

When preparing a book, it is best to start thinking about the index early in the process. Indexing is a very analytical task and involves the use of specialized software such as SKY Index, TExtract, CINDEX, or MACREX, so Iva asks for two weeks to prepare an index.

The hardest part about making an index is dealing with poorly organized text. Novice indexers may also find it hard not to introduce bias into the index, but additional training can help them become more objective.


Ellen Michelle Koehler is a graduate of SFU in English with a focus on publishing as well as a current student of SFU’s Editing Certificate program.

Connie Behl graduated with a business studies degree from the University of Westminster, UK. She recently completed her Professional Communications diploma at Douglas College. She has volunteered with Editors Canada for the last two years and is currently a member of the professional development committee.

Maggie Clark is a post-secondary student whose goal in life is to work as a professional editor. On her way to achieving that goal, she has recently graduated from Royal Roads University’s Bachelor of Arts in Professional Communication program. Her next step is to learn and graduate from the Editing Certificate program at SFU.  

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