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    Dreaming of Elsewhere

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    Sanctioned Ignorance: The Politics of Knowledge Production and the Teaching of the Literatures of Canada

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    Just Getting Started: Edmonton Public Library's First 100 Years, 1913-2013

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    Shy: An Anthology

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    The Peace-Athabasca Delta: Portrait of a Dynamic Ecosystem

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    At the limit of breath: Poems on the films of Jean-Luc Godard

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    Boom and Bust Again: Policy Challenges for a Commodity-Based Economy

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    Ethics for the Practice of Psychology in Canada, Revised and Expanded Edition

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    Healing Histories

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    Canada's Constitutional Revolution

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    Canadian Folk Art to 1950

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    Game Plan: A Social History of Sport in Alberta

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    Countering Displacements

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    Cross-Media Ownership and Democratic Practice in Canada

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    Civilizing the Wilderness

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    The Grads Are Playing Tonight!:

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    The Beginning of Print Culture in Athabasca Country

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    The Measure of Paris

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    Emblems of Empire: Selections from the Mactaggart Art Collection

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    Ukrainian Through its Living Culture: Advanced Level Language Textbook

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    J.B. Harkin: Father of Canada's National Parks

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    People of the Lakes: Stories of Our Van Tat Gwich’in Elders/Googwandak Nakhwach’ànjòo Van Tat Gwich’in

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Royalties

Royalty season means much staring at computer monitors.

Royalty season means much staring at computer monitors.

Sharon is initiated into the myriad mysteries of royalty payments.

Sharon is initiated into the myriad mysteries of royalty payments.

Royalty season has come and gone. It seems like an extended process, seeing that it starts with the physical inventory count at the end of March, and ends with the cheques arriving near the end of June. The technical side of things isn’t that difficult: we import the data from all sales sources into our database, and it is exported into a spreadsheet that includes the royalty payee information (name and address, contractual details), sales and complimentary copies, and other payments.

It sounds easy, doesn’t it? For instance, that innocent phrase, those “other payments.” They are actually a huge headache, because there is nothing “automatic” about distributing these rights payments, such as Access Copyright, NetLibrary, or ebrary. We have to collect all the various payment information—much of it electronic now, fortunately, and group it by title. We manually add in the payee (author) names and their payee IDs. Next, we split it appropriately between the publisher and the payees, and the final amount is added it to the royalty cheque. Quite an effort for an amount that is often comes less than $5! It’s no wonder we ask all of our authors to sign up with Access Copyright, to ensure they receive their payments directly from that organization.

And one last beef: why is it that creators remember to tell everybody and their dog about their change of address, but don’t remember to tell their publisher? Each year we discover more authors who have moved, or possibly passed away, leaving us with no way of contacting them or the holder of their estates.

And so, with a sigh of relief, we say goodbye to another royalty season.

Relief! The cheques are out.

Relief! The cheques are out.

Yoko beams her delight as she finishes her final round of royalty payments, in spring 2008. She retired the following fall.

Yoko beams her delight as she finishes her final round of royalty payments, in spring 2008. She retired the following fall.

University of Nebraska Press, 2008 Independent Publisher of the Year

At BookExpo America, ForeWord Magazine named the University of Nebraska Press our 2008 Independent Publisher of the Year. Here is the speech delivered by ForeWord‘s publisher, Victoria Sutherland:

“…we’d like to honor today a publisher that excelled in its role of keeper of the cultural heritage. A university publisher that has deliberately made a place for itself in the world of trade as the curator of consistently wonderful books in several special markets. This university press not only publishes scholarly work, fine translation, classic reprints, and regional fiction and poetry, but it has made a name for itself in the categories of memoir, combined with history and travel, and in sports.

This publisher fulfills its roles of editor and curator in a way that makes them indispensable in libraries and bookstores. Whomever or whatever they choose to look at, to listen to, to get to the bottom of, is important or beautiful or entertaining, and always, always enduring. At ForeWord, we are always excited to receive a new catalog from them because we’ve discovered over the years that if they’ve chosen to publish a book, then it is surely a contribution to the world library, not just another wet noodle.

Please join us in recognizing the University of Nebraska Press as the 2008 ForeWord Magazine Independent Publisher of the Year.”

See full speech at http://www.forewordmagazine.com/blogs/soundoff/

Writer’s Block? Try Wapping.

Dear Liza,

A friend of mine believes that there is no writer’s block two glasses of wine won’t cure. Now I could have the number wrong, but with some sixteen books of his own propping him up when he spoke these immortal words, I’m convinced to some measure of their veracity. However, in vino fertilization doesn’t work for everyone. Personally, I’m a wapper. I insist that wapping is the most effective way of getting a book written. Wapping, or Work Avoidance Processing, is a time-honoured method of getting the job done by the deadline.

Wapping works best in conjunction with the Stew Theory: if you let thoughts stew long enough, they come out juicy and tender and ready for consumption. Wapping, one could argue, is the writer’s equivalent of the pressure cooker. During the best wapping sessions, I have even convinced myself that creative juices flow best under extreme pressure, when the fault lines in my constitution allow eloquent phrases to seep through the permafrost of my brain.

The argument in favour of wapping is simply that, like good beer, good thoughts take time to brew. (Although my mother insists that the only thing I’ve ever brewed successfully is trouble.) Yet the proof, they say, is in the eating (or the alcohol content). So while you wait for the beer to brew or the food to stew—whatever takes your fancy—find other things to avoid: Mending the fence. Taking the dogs for a walk on a winter’s day. Anything.

Avoid, avoid, avoid. Above all else, avoid thinking about avoidance. Or write a piece about writer’s block. Works every time.

QED.

Yours by the bucketful,
Henry

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