From the president

by Susan Keogh DE

Although the committee hasn’t had a meeting in the last month, we have continued to be active, with both the professional development and events subcommittees busy with planning. We did have our penultimate event for the year, with around 60 people packing out a room at CQ Functions to hear ‘What publishers want’. I hope all of you who attended have sent your CVs to the publishers who were there, and that some of you may already have been booked for some work as a result of this networking opportunity. We’ve also had another professional development session, with Peter Riches on software tools for running an editing business. And unfortunately, one of our committee, Sally Holdsworth, has had to resign. On behalf of the committee, I’d like to thank Sally for her contribution, particularly in helping to organise ‘What publishers want’.

Behind the scenes, your branch has integrated itself more fully into the national IPEd structure, with our files moving from the care of the branch to the national office, and also with brand-new email addresses for all committee members (you can find them here). If you want to contact a committee member, please make sure you use a new email address – one with the structure edvic.[something] – otherwise, your message will bounce. Of course, as with all IT projects, there have been just a few hiccups along the way – files disappearing and the like – and Charles Houen has been putting in the work to make sure that nothing actually vanishes.

I’ve begun my task of talking to you, the branch members, and one subject that has come up is making imprint credits to editors a standard practice, or at least more standard (in the same way that typesetters and designers are given a credit more often than not). A few publishers do this; most don’t. What’s your feeling? Would you like your name (or your business name) to be included as a matter of course for editing and proofreading work? Note that we couldn’t include ourselves just on work we were happy with: if we start prosecuting our case for this, it would be for all work, whether or not our editorial and proofreading corrections were actually followed. Let me know what you think (on that new email address –!

The issue of credits is one that, if we all feel strongly enough about it, will have to be pursued nationally; it is a perfect example of why we need a strong national organisation. By the time you read this, IPEd’s national AGM will have been held. I know that membership fee increases are never welcome but we have them only because we must. If we are to ask our national executive to talk to the APA – the publishers’ body – about credits or to coordinate national conferences or to do any of the other things we want to do, we need to have the funds to pay our national executive. It’s not something that can be done by volunteers. And while another way to increase our funds might have been to plonk everything in the bank account on Winx, good governance won’t let us do that, so fee increases are what we are left with – as well as making sure that we have good reasons for spending every cent.

Finally, I want to add my personal acknowledgement that this branch and this country recently lost one of its greatest editors and advocates for editors in Janet Mackenzie HLM DE. In The Editor’s Companion, some of her wit, wisdom and just plain practical advice lives on.

Susan Keogh DE