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Our Scholar is in residence, and blogging about…

…the power of the reader and our ability to read a book from beginning to end, and to follow and comprehend a complex argument. Read more…

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Director’s Message, Spring 2015 Catalogue

You might have received a notice about our Spring 2015 catalogue, or received a printed copy. If not, you can download it from our website. Four titles from the catalogue are already on our bookshelves; look for them at your favourite independent bookstore.

We also had a successful and eventful 2014, winning three major awards and facing some challenges that affected the publishing world. Please read our Director’s message detailing some of these triumphs and trials.

We have cause for celebration at the Press. Our senior editor, Peter Midgley, received the Tom Fairley Award* for Editorial Excellence for his work on The Last Temptation of Bond by Kimmy Beach. Author Paul Martin was awarded the Gabrielle Roy Prize** for his book Sanctioned Ignorance: The Politics of Knowledge Production and the Teaching of the Literatures of Canada. And Kevin Timoney received the Lane Anderson Award*** for The Peace-Athabasca Delta: Portrait of a Dynamic Ecosystem.

In addition there have been design awards for excellence from the Alcuin Society, the Alberta Book Awards, and the Association of American University Presses. Congratulations to the winning authors and everyone associated with the books involved.

During all the excitement and demands of our publishing program and celebrating award-winning authors and books we have been engaged in transitioning from our old (2001–2002) enterprise-wide publishing management system to a brand new system, BooksoniX, an efficient web-based book management system. I’m happy to report the transition is progressing well and we will soon power our fresh, new website from the BooksoniX platform.

Publishing has undergone an astonishing array of changes in the past few years. Print books to eFormats, a proliferation of self-published authors entering the field, the closure of many independent booksellers, and, in Canada, a change in legislation with, among other things, the addition of fair dealing. There is reason for concern among publishers and creators that the application of a broadly defined fair dealing policy will diminish the future availability of Canadian content in course material.

At the University of Alberta Press we are seeing the effects of all the changes and particularly a broad application of fair dealing that is not, we believe, supported by the change in legislation. Books which previously enjoyed regular, wide adoption for course use have lost sales. Therefore, we are asking educators to consider carefully the material they choose for their students and to recognize that without the publishers and creators being adequately compensated for the use of the material, Canadian publishers’ ability to continue to generate the latest high quality content and make it available to Canadian students at a reasonable cost is in jeopardy.


Linda D. Cameron, Director

* The Tom Fairley Award for Editorial Excellence, established in 1983 and presented annually by the Editors’ Association of Canada (EAC), recognizes the editor’s often invisible contribution to written communication.

** ACQL annually awards the Gabrielle Roy Prizes, one in English and one in French, for the best book-length studies in Canadian and Québec literary criticism.

***The Lane Anderson Award honours the very best science writing in Canada today.

AAUP Recognizes UAP Designs

Two U Alberta Press books were given design nods by the prestigious award competition of AAUP in the Trade Illustrated category.

The Winning Entries Are:

Climber’s Paradise: Making Canada’s Mountain Parks, 1906-1974  by PearlAnn Reichwein and Conrad Kain: Letters from a Wandering Mountain Guide, 1906-1933  by Conrad Kain, edited by Zac Robinson.

University of Alberta Press
Designer and Production Coordinator: Alan Brownoff
Acquiring Editor: Peter Midgley
Project Editor: Mary Lou Roy

Climber's & Conrad

Congratulations to all involved in creating these award-winning books!

About the AAUP Book, Jacket, and Journal Show:

For 50 years, the  AAUP Book, Jacket, and Journal Show, a juried design competition, has fulfilled its mission to “honor and instruct.” Approximately 275 books and 325 jacket and cover designs were entered. 46 books and 32 jackets and covers were chosen by the jurors as the very best examples from this pool of excellent design.

Our Scholar is in residence, and blogging about…

 … the responsibility of universities to create and disseminate new knowledge, and the threat of administrators’ status quo thinking to academic publishing. Read more…

CCI Press: A year later

One year ago, UAP acquired CCI Press, the publishing imprint of the Canadian Circumpolar Institute at the University of Alberta. Since then, much has been accomplished to integrate the imprint into our publishing program: administrative and production files were reviewed, metadata for the 140+ titles produced by CCI Press was created, we are digitizing the backlist, and two new titles are being prepared for publication.

As an imprint of UAP, CCI Press is mandated to publish and disseminate peer-reviewed social science, natural science, and humanities research on Canada’s Far North as well as the international circumpolar region. To that end, we have taken some significant steps:

First, we have established a specialized academic press committee for the CCI Press imprint. The committee’s responsibilities include approving proposed publications and advising UAP on emerging research directions and scholarly publication needs in the circumpolar research community. Three eminent northern scholars at U of A have accepted appointments to the committee: Fiona Schmeigelow, David Hik, and Noreen Willows.

Second, we have focused CCI Press acquisitions on scholarly monograph manuscripts as well as three important, established, and well-received series: Northern Hunter-Gatherer, edited by Andrzej Weber (U of A); Solstice, edited by Mike Evans (UBC-Okanagan) and Chris Fletcher (Laval); and Patterns of Northern Traditional Healing, edited by Earle Waugh (U of A). A new volume in the latter series is forthcoming in Fall 2015: Idioms of Sami Health and Healing, edited by independent scholar Barbara Miller. Also forthcoming in early 2016 is the monograph Care, Cooperation and Activism in Canada’s Northern Social Economy, edited by Frances Abele (Carleton) and Chris Southcott (Lakehead).

More manuscripts are under consideration and we warmly invite inquiries from Canadian Far North and international circumpolar researchers. Please contact Colleen Skidmore (cskidmor@ualberta.ca) or Linda Cameron (cameronl@ualberta.ca) regarding acquisitions.

2014 Mountain Guides Ball of ACC

Louise Olinger, the Silent Auction Co-ordinator for the 2014 Mountain Guides Ball of the Alpine Club of Canada and the Association of Canadian Mountain Guides, sent us this very kind note to let us know how the donation of our books from the Mountain Cairns Series contributed to the success of this yearly event. Thank you, Louise!

On behalf of the Alpine Club of Canada and the Association of Canadian Mountain Guides, I am writing to thank you for your very generous support of the 2014 Mountain Guides Ball. The event was an enormous success with a crowd of just under 300 outdoor enthusiasts. Your donation resulted in a significant contribution towards our fundraising efforts. What a fantastic array of titles! Three of them went for well above retail.

The funds from the silent auction will go toward constructing the Richard & Louise Guy Hut (at Mont des Poilus on the world-class Bow-Yoho ski traverse) which is scheduled to be built during the summer of 2015. The hut will be a demonstration site for green technologies and an extension of our commitment to long term sustainability in off-grid alpine locations, offering visitors the ability to leave a smaller footprint.

We greatly appreciate your donation to this project through your silent auction donation. Find out more about the project at alpineclubofcanada.ca.

We are looking forward to celebrating the completion of the Richard and Louise Guy Hut in 2015.  I hope you will support us again!

This has been a very active year for us and the Mountain Cairns Series. We published two wonderful new books in the series: Climber’s Paradise by PearlAnn Reichwein, and Conrad Kain, edited by Zac Robinson. Both garnered great interest at the 2014 Banff Mountain Film and Book Festival.


Counting Teeth by Peter Midgley

Our acquisitions editor, Peter Midgley, recently launched his own book, a travel memoir called Counting Teeth: A Namibian Story (Wolsak & Wynn). The book is available at your local independent bookstore and online. Here, Peter recounts his experiences of his book tour.


A Book Tour Blitz

It’s  the middle of the night and there’s a noise outside. No, it’s not outside, it’s by your bedside. It’s your alarm.  Fortunately, you’d put everything out the night before and the coffee drip kicks in automatically. You have planned all this carefully. Even the cab arrives on time to get you to the airport.

You arrive at your destination and get whisked off in the delightful company of your hosts. Before you’ve even found your land legs after the flight, they’ve put you in a chair and the TV cameras are on: you’re up for the first live TV interview. It’s over so fast you can’t remember what you said. What if someone actually SEES it? Can you ask them to retract it if it’s awful?

­­ ­­— It will be fine, says your publisher. You watch the livestream later. It is.

The room fills up—always a good sign at a reading. You read; you sign books. You have dinner with friends. You collapse. You wake up and do a workshop. More than double the number of people you’d expected arrive. Everyone scrambles to make more copies of materials. Afterwards, you spend a lovely afternoon with a fellow writer. So lovely, in fact, the two of you almost miss your flights as you chat at the airport lounge!

Then you’re back at your day job. Days later, you’re off again. You’re a pro at this travel thing by now. Everything goes smoothly. You’re at the airport by 5:30 am for a 6:30 flight. All good.

That’s when the descent into hell starts: This is the day they decided to schedule extra flights and to train an entire new security crew. This is the day they see something untoward in your carry-on bag and select you for a full body search. They make you unpack your bag. There’s nothing there. At 6:29 am, you wrap your arms around your scattered belongings and sprint for the gate. They had to pick the gate furthest from security. You hear your name on the intercom and run faster. You walk onto the plane and everyone starts clapping.

­­ ­­— Thanks for holding us all up, buddy. (You’re welcome. I couldn’t have done it without the expert help of Air Canada and Edmonton Airport Security.)

You repack your bag in your seat, trying desperately not to wake the baby in front of you. Then you settle down for a snooze. The baby awakes and plenty of crying he makes. Three hours of it.

­­ ­­— Nervous? asks your publisher when you land. The baby’s cries echo through your head.

Your publisher gets lost on the way to the reading. You use the phone GPS and you arrive on time. You’re the newbie in town. Luckily, your fellow reader, Christine Fischer Guy, is on home turf and rounds up people until the crowds flow out of the door. You recognize a few friends and colleagues in the audience. Afterwards, you chat.

By the time the alarm goes off the next morning, you’ve barely closed your eyes. Eye drops. You make it to the train for Toronto just on time. The guy next to you spills coffee on your trousers and the reading copy of your book. Luckily, you have plenty of time before the reading.

It’s only a 15-minute walk from the station to the hotel. You get lost. So does the GPS. Hours later, you drop your bag on the hotel bed. Wash trousers, salvage book. Dash to reading.

­­ ­­— You don’t look yourself.  You must be beside yourself with nerves, says your publisher when you arrive. (Where can I find coffee?)

The next morning, you’re back at work. Then it’s off to Red Deer. Then Calgary. In bed, you stare at the ceiling. It’s game night in Calgary and the hotel elevator beeps constantly. You try to count sheep but it’s the faces of people you’ve neglected to mention during your Book Blitz that haunt you. If writing really is a solitary activity, why are there so many people to thank? They start multiplying months earlier, while the book is still in production. There are festival pitches and invitations to readings to sort out. You, your publisher, the festival and readings series organizers and media people work non-stop to make something happen. The list in your head grows with each ping of the elevator. You cannot imagine doing this without the knowledge and support of those who’ve made it possible for you to be here. Writing is a communal activity. The handful of minutes you spend in front of an audience at a reading is the culmination of years of team effort.

The adrenalin rush won’t subside, so you get up. There’s a group of writers in the lounge. Festival season is a time to celebrate. You can rest later.

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Congratulations, Peter!


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