Christina Vasilevski

Toronto Writer/Editor for Content Strategy and User Experience.

Publishing links roundup #1

The publishing world is always full of new and interesting announcements. Here are some articles that have caught my eye recently:

Update, 11:30 AM: The CBC has just announced its longlist for this year’s Canada Reads competition.

This year the gimmick is a “turf war” between the various regions of Canada – what are the best books originating from each of 5 regions (BC & the Yukon, the Prairies & North, Ontario, Quebec, the Atlantic), and which region’s book will be the ultimate winner?

Here are a few thing’s I’ve noticed about this year’s selection:

  • Although the Quebec longlist contains The Beautiful Mystery by Louise Penny (a crime/detective novel), I don’t any other genre books in the running – just staid, “serious” books from the CanLit monolith. If I’m wrong, let me know in the comments.
  • The Ontario longlist incudes books by Margaret Atwood, Robertson Davies, and Michael Ondaatje, 2 of which I had to read in high school. How adventurous!
  • The Quebec longlist contains only 3 novels originally published in French. Fittingly, one of the English novels on Quebec’s longlist is Hugh MacLennan’s Two Solitudes.
So, what are your thoughts on this year’s crop of Canada Reads selections?

Imagining a Book from the Ground Up

My most recent work at Ryerson has left me in a tizzy – a midterm and an assignment due for the same class on the same day. I think I did well on the midterm, but the number crunching on the assignment kept me up late. I’m not bad at math, but the particular formula I needed to remember just wasn’t coalescing. So eventually, I just figured “I know what answer I need to get, I just don’t know exactly what he prescribed for us to get there.  I’ll just use my own fomula to get to the same conclusion.”

I don’t know if it worked, but at least I’m still here!

Now, the interesting thing is that I’ve also received my next book production assignment: design your own book.

You heard me!

Imagine that you’re a production designer giving a printer the specs for any book in your imagination. YOU have to figure out what information the printer needs, including such things as page count, trim size, page breakdown, paper stock, etc. Then, on top of that, you have to figure out the interior design. It’s rather scary sounding, but maybe it’s just the kick in the butt I need to give InDesign a whirl.

I’ve decided to use this as a platform to imagine the published version of a story I’ve got running around in my own head: A quasi-post-apocalyptic thriller involving people who can heal others without the need for medical implements, and those who want to control them.

I’m imagining 6X9 trim size, groundwood paper stock, and maybe some embossing on the cover – and yes, perfect binding, thank you. I’m intending to make a generic mass-market book. What’s really interesting is that I never knew how much went into making a book before; now I feel a little better about paying full price for one.

Other than that, I’d like to give a shout-out to a lovely artist, Dylan Meconis, who draws the comic Family Man. I emailed her today because her most recent comic showed that one of the female leads enjoys reading The Metamorphoses, and as friends of mine know, I love me some Ovid. If you’re interested in webcomics involving German academics in the 18th Century, Jewish converts, and werewolves, check the comic out. Plus, Ms. Meconis will be in Toronto during the second weekend of May, so I can’t miss that!