TEC Blog

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The Tyranny of "He or She"

Language & Editing

The Chicago Manual of Style and I disagree on something.   This almost never happens. I look at Chicago the way some people look at the Bible: as a source of comfort, guidance, and authority. But section 5. 227 of Chicago says this: “The only gender-neutral pronoun in English is it, which doesn’t refer to humans. ”   Oh, Chicago, Chicago, why hast thou forsaken me?   In fact, gender-neutral pronouns...

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Connectivity in eBooks

EBook Technology & Services

I am a reluctant adopter of the eBook. Much of the time I prefer to read physical books – to hold them in my hands. When I was starting my business last year I bought a few business books for inspiration. Since business books have more of a functional purpose I decided that I didn’t need a hard copy, so I to tried out a few eBooks....

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Bits from the Digital Editor: DRM and Your eBooks (or not)

EBook Technology & Services

  eBooks are a hot discussion topic among publishers and readers these days, but it's not always good press about the benefits of pre-ordering the next Dan Brown book. In fact, eBooks are often prone to sparking an awful lot of controversial discussions. On one front, we see the perpetual war where eBooks and print books compete with each other for higher sales numbers and legitimacy, each trying to...

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On Completing My Internship at The Editing Company

Office Happenings

The Cold Call As a college lecturer in Pakistan, I had never been reduced to making cold calls. As a newcomer to Canada, however, things were entirely different, and I had to turn to this very undesirable method of finding my way around the professional world. And with relief and some happiness I confess that cold calls are not all that bad. Or maybe it is the Canadian...

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Bits from the Digital Editor: Adventures in eBook Construction

EBook Technology & Services

  If you were anything like me as a child, then you too dreamed of having adventures when you grew up. Maybe future-you would be digging up dinosaur bones in the desert. Maybe you would be a code breaker, routing the forces of evil by figuring out their secret messages just in time. Maybe you dreamt your future was up in space, and you would help discover other...

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What's Up @ TEC!

Office Happenings / Social Media & Community

We have big news this month! Thanks to the energetic efforts of Max and Jessie, our social media coordinators, we now have over 300 followers on Twitter. Thank you, Max and Jessie! Other big news … well, just keep reading!    Academic Manuscripts In our last update, we let you know that we had just wrapped up a compelling manuscript for University of Toronto Press about the Chinese population in Malaysia and...

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Creative Women Doing Sixty: Rita MacNeil, Cape Breton's First Lady of Song

Creative Women Doing Sixty

"I don't read and write music, I just feel it, and it all comes at once. " – Rita MacNeil   On Monday, April 22, residents of Cape Breton will gather at St. Mary’s Church in Big Pond, Nova Scotia, to celebrate the life of one of the greatest voices of Canadian country and folk music: Rita MacNeil. She passed away on April 16, 2013, due to complications in surgery;...

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Bits from the Digital Editor: A Primer for eBook Terminology

EBook Technology & Services

  Welcome to the first post in our series on eBooks: Bits from the Digital Editor. This series is geared towards helping you, the confused reader, become a little more technologically savvy, and understand just what the big deal is with all those eBooks and eReaders you’ve been hearing about.   In this series, we’ll look at issues that are affecting publishers, readers, and authors alike. For our...

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Can’t Wait to Meet You, Neighbour: Spelling and Grammar Are Political

With the first Canadian Target stores opening in Guelph, Milton, and Fergus last month, Canadians no longer have to wait for weekend road trips to Buffalo to get their fill of the telltale red-and-white bullseye. The news was unwelcome to many Canadians, who fear that the intrusion of yet another American big-box chain will hurt indigenous businesses. So when Target began promoting themselves north of the border, they...

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The Waiting Game

Books And Reading

I’m sure this has happened to you, too. You pick up a real page-turner from the bookstore. It’s so good that you can’t put it down until you finish it, not even to eat or sleep. You enjoy reading it so much that you don’t want to finish reading it, because then you won’t get to continue reading it, but you can’t stop. Finally, you reach...

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Creative Women Doing Sixty: Jan Wong’s Out of the Blue: A Review

Book Reviews

Jan Wong has become something of a household name for newspaper reading Torontonians. Her hard-hitting journalistic style being her claim to fame. It also became the reason for her to step aside from the love of her life: her career.   In her memoir, Out of the Blue, Jan Wong shares the most painful aspects of her life, taking us through her work-related distress that led to severe...

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How Storytelling Led Me to an Editing Career & Mentorship

Guest Blogger

I love stories. As part of my first career as an assistant manager at Ten Thousand Villages, I got to tell and listen to a lot of stories. The mission behind Villages is to connect customers with the people who make the products that they buy. So if a customer ever asked “Who made this?” I could tell them about the artisan, the group that they worked...

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Rescue Me, Can’t You See That I’m Lonely? Or, The Parallels between Online Dating and Marketing Analytics

Technology

Before meeting my current partner the traditional way, I spent several years, on and off, navigating the perilous world of online dating. I was reminded of this experience recently when I was given the task of reviving The Editing Company’s monthly eNewsletter (which you can sign up for on our home page).   How is creating an eNewsletter campaign similar to online dating? If you’ve done both, you probably already know....

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Book Clubs: A Three-Act Blog

Book Clubs

Act One – A Booklover’s Quest for Satisfaction Around the time I finished my English degree, I began to realize that unless you’re connected to Twitter or Goodreads every second of the day (I’m not), you might have difficulty finding Real Book Lovers to talk about Book Things with. After all, unless you’re the person who manages Random House’s Facebook page, posting a cover image of your current read as...

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Creative Women Doing Sixty: Jeanne Lamon Takes Home Centre Stage

Creative Women Doing Sixty

Even as she was learning to co-ordinate fine motor skills using her tiny fingers at three years old, Jeanne Lamon knew she was meant to play the violin. It was as if her soul was reflected in the music produced by the instrument. She began studying the violin at the age of seven in her hometown of Queens, New York. She made it a lifelong career choice...

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What's Up @ TEC! February 2013 edition

Office Happenings

Greetings, gentle readers, and happy belated New Year! Here at TEC, we’ve returned from a restful holiday break with enough renewed energy to dig our way out of Toronto’s “worst snowstorm in five years” and get back to work. (Hey, at least no one called in the army this time…)   Here’s a look at what’s been keeping us warm and dry in these opening months of 2013.   eBook Services TEC’s...

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A Love Letter to Anthropology (or: In Defence of an Arts Degree)

Proofreading

“Anthropology!” said a chatty tech support guy who insisted on doing small talk rather than fixing my bank account problem. “That’s, like, about the human body and stuff, right?”   No. Not quite that. Sorry.   Is anthropology such a mystery to the average person? Based on the confused face I get whenever I mention my degree, that might just be the case.   Perhaps people can’t help picturing an explorer...

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Creative Women Doing Sixty: Review of Dear Life by Alice Munro

Creative Women Doing Sixty

It is nothing particularly groundbreaking or controversial to announce that, at eighty-one years old, Alice Munro is still one of the most brilliant writers in Canada. Unlike Margaret Atwood, probably the peer who invites the most comparison, Alice Munro does not experiment freely with form.   Apart from one novel, published in 1971, Munro deals solely in short stories, mostly about women and mostly set in rural areas. There...

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Creative Women Doing Sixty: Old Age Is ...

Guest Blogger

When I turned 40 someone sent me a postcard with Bette Davis holding a pillow stitched with the words Old Age Ain’t No Place For Sissies. It was like a battle cry for me to do something with my life. So, I finished a degree I had started when I was 18, learned to tap dance and drive a car, got married and moved to Canada.   In...

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Creative Women Doing Sixty: Celebrating the Marvellous

Creative Women Doing Sixty

  In 1994, when Gloria Steinem turned sixty, she published a collection of essays entitled Moving Beyond Words. Ms. Steinem is, of course, the founder of Ms. magazine, a founder of New York magazine, an author, and a public lecturer. When she spoke at Convocation Hall at the University of Toronto sometime that year, I was in the audience.   At one point in her lecture, she...

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On Organization: Packing, Permissions, and Persistence

Copyright And Permissions

Two big events are happening for me this month. The first is that I’m a dozen items and a handful of loose ends away from completing the gigantic permissions project I’ve been chipping away at since I started my time at TEC. The second is that I’m moving house and having, after years of spontaneous accumulation and haphazard stacking, to not only impose order on my personal library,...

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Working with Words and with WordPress: A Career Path

Technology

When I graduated from university, I didn’t imagine that my career would involve working on websites. However, I’ve found the work to be useful and satisfying.   I also work as an editor and writer, and in many ways, the three things – writing, editing, and web/content management – require the same skills: focus and attention to detail. So how did I get here, and what about my path...

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What's Up @ TEC!

Office Happenings / Social Media & Community

It’s getting cold out there in Toronto. Though the heap of projects on our desks grows ever larger, we TEC editors have still been finding the time to appreciate the small things — from watching the first of winter’s flurries out the window to sneaking snacks from the office’s ever-popular jar of treats.   Here’s a look at what’s been keeping us busy over the past few months.   Academic Manuscripts As...

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How to Lose Your Mind in 72 Hours: The 3-Day Novel Contest

Writing

The Challenge I am a perfectionist.   I realize this might not be the most shocking admission for an editor to make. Still, while it serves me well at work, there are many occasions in life where perfectionism is less an asset than a useless exercise in self-obstruction.   The second-biggest challenge in writing a novel is forcing yourself to make the time and do it. But the very biggest is...

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