Tag Archives: gvpl

Aldridge Street Print & Media

The Greater Victoria Public Library (GVPL) has programs and talks galore! Tonight, Darin Steinkey, Director & Principal of Aldridge Street Print & Media, gave a talk: ‘Steps to Publishing for the Independent Author’. Here’s the blurb from the library’s website:

Aldridge Street Presentation Blurb

Aldridge Street Presentation Blurb

Thirteen attendees. The lucky number. Evenly split between men and women (well, 7:6 ratio). A grey haired crowd, average age maybe in the sixties? It seems that writers need time to be able to write. A lot of people with experience publishing. One fellow was a journalist. Another lady had published a textbook for a course she taught. Quite a few people had published multiple books. Some had self-published; others had gone through publishing houses. There were even some who had done both. Lots of talent in Victoria, BC!

After working at Trafford Publishing, Steinkey saw a niche that needed to be filled: editing for independent authors. With his background in literature and teaching, he became an editor and started up Aldridge Street Print & Media in 2008 to fill the niche. Aldridge Street Print & Media actually offers more: they’re a one stop shop for the independent author, offering book design, layout, and printing services as well. What they don’t do, however, is marketing. The genres Steinkey specializes in are memoir and history. He helped a WWII code breaker, for example, publish her memoir. Cool!

Layout, cover design, writing (Steinkey suggested Stephen King’s On Writing and Strunk & White’s Elements of Style), and editing were covered in tonight’s one hour presentation. The focus was on editing. Self-published authors do a good job of getting their books out there, but they do a poor job of editing. Spelling mistakes or glitches in the layout take away from the writer’s credibility: that was the main message of tonight’s talk.

There are three different types of editors. The developmental editor makes sure the story works. The copy editor checks spelling, punctuation, and grammar. The proofreader checks layout and any mistakes introduced in the other layers of editing. Independent authors need all three. And preferably, they are different people: the more eyes, the better.

The takeaway for me tonight was the fee structure for an editor. An editor charges from $50-$75 an hour. They can edit seven to ten pages in an hour. Pages are 250 words. So, let’s take the preface to Paying Melpomene’s Price. It’s eight Microsoft Word pages. Eight Microsoft Word pages equals 4645 words. 4645 divided by 250 equals 18.58 pages (250 word pages). Since Paying Melpomene’s Price is an academic type work, it doesn’t read as fast as, say, most novels. So maybe an editor will go through seven pages per hour. At seven pages an hour, it would take 2.65 hours. Let’s say an editor charges midway between the $50 to $75 rate. At $62.50 dollars an hour times 2.65 hours, the cost comes to $165.63. But that’s just one editor. Three are required (developmental, copy, and proofreader). So the total cost to edit my eight Microsoft Word pages would come to $496.88. Let’s say each of my chapters is about the same length and that there’s nine more chapters. The cost of getting the whole thing edited would then clock in around $5000.

Good to know. Time to start saving. Thanks to Aldridge Street Print & Media for the talk and the gentleman in front of me for asking about editors’ fee structures.

Until next time, I’m Edwin Wong, and I need a second job while I’m Doing Melpomene’s Work.

Greater Victoria Public Library Launches Emerging Local Authors Collection

As an aspiring writer, I spend inordinate amounts of sitting at home and thinking. And what better thing to do while thinking than to accompany it with cookies and ice cream! Thinking, you know, requires mental horsepower. And sugar is just like rocket fuel for the engines of thought. Unfortunately, after too much rocket fuel, sometimes I don.t feel so hot afterwards! For this reason, its helpful from time to time for a change of scenery: the Greater Victoria Public Library, or GVPL for short. No distractions (besides the people on the cell phones)! No food allowed (besides the people eating potato chips on the fly out of their backpacks)!

The library is a great place for writers. Especially in the evening when it.s quieter. Actually, perfect quiet isn.t the most conducive. I like a sort of white noise. For Glenn Gould, white noise was the vacuum cleaner. He would run the vacuum cleaner so that he could better hear the different voices in counterpoint. For me, it.s coffee shop chatter where if you focus, you can hear the strings of conversations. But otherwise, it.s a background noise. The sound of life around you. On the second floor of the library, there.s a section that overhangs and is open to the circulation desk and main entrance. From there, one can see the courtyard. It.s got the best acoustics in town, so buskers busy themselves there. There.s even a preacher man with fiery red hair that gives a sermon once in a while. The best show ever was a young gypsy couple who dressed the part and played, among other things, Fleetwood Mac covers. The whole courtyard filled up that day. They had ‘it’, whatever ‘it’ is. You can hear all this through the windows. There.s also the chatter at the circulation desk and the volunteer Friendshop below. If you.re ever interested in hearing people.s life stories, be a fly on the wall at the Friendshop: for some reason, customers are inclined to unfold their life stories to the patient volunteers. Stories from WWII, nasty separations, contested wills: I.ve heard it all (at the same time assiduously working on the book, of course!).

What caught my eye last time was a little stand just inside of the library.s main entrance. It was a collection of works by local authors: the Emerging Local Author.s Collection:

Emerging Local Authors Collection Launched

Posted by on 10 April 2015


Our inaugural Emerging Local Authors Collection is now available! Come down to Central Branch to take a look, or browse the titles right nowLearn more >>

As of today, the collection is 174 titles strong. Last year they launched a collection of music by local artists. The Local Authors Collection must be part of the same plan.

Being myself a soon to be emerging author, I took a look through the display case. Books on yachting, fiction, travel, poetry, history: there was a bit of everything. What interested me was the copyright page (because I.d been reading about this in Baverstock.s The Naked Author). There was quite the range of information on the ISBN, copyright, printing press, and so on from none to the full meal deal. To me, books without ISBN or press seemed like they were self-published: they had that ‘indie’ look to them. There were some that I thought must have been professionally published. But when I googled the name of the press, nothing would show up in a lot of cases. It may be that those were also self-published, but done so to appear otherwise. So there appear to be two options, depending on the type of presentation the writer is trying to make: self-published which looks ‘indie’ or self-published which looks professional.

Colour, paper, and quality also make a large ‘first-impression’ impact. Especially font. Some books just had the right font. This was immediately pleasing and made me want to read. There were a lot of fonts in the books surveyed. Quite a few sans serif fonts.  I guess this is the one thing about self-publishing: maybe there.s almost too many options. But that.s one of the advantages of self-publishing as well. A few of the titles that looked professionally put together were from Spica Book Design. When the time comes, I.ll pay them a visit. And quite a few books came from Island Blue Print. The quality of the vast majority of books by Island Blue seemed indistinguishable from books in my own bookcases.

Kudos to the library for involving the community. It.s given me some inspiration. If they can do it, so can I! And if I can do it, so should you! Maybe one day we will have our books on the library.s shelves with a little gold star saying ‘Local Author’! And finally kudos to all the writers who took the time and effort and became published! It must be a happy day for them to see their books being proudly displayed.