Meeting Notes – April 22, 2016

Attendance

  • Brian Buckley (Coordinator)
  • Mark Allen (Guest)
  • Judy Brody
  • Rebecca Neuman
  • Lori Paximadis
  • Julia Phelps
  • Ben Trube (Guest speaker)

Time

7:00 – 9:00 p.m.

Format

In person. WSBA conference room, 403 West Main Street, Westerville, Ohio 43081.

Opening comments

Welcome, introductions, etc.

Discussion of chapter business

No one submitted their name as a candidate for officer – Coordinator, Treasurer, or Secretary – and there were no proposals, so there was nothing to vote on (which is fine). Brian will continue to act as Coordinator, and the latter two roles are unfilled at the moment, although Rebecca was kind enough to act as note-taker this time around.

We currently have 14 members. Our newest members are:

  • Aileen Wagner – Columbus area
  • Cheri Dellelo – Cleveland area
  • Rebecca Neuman (joined during this meeting) – East of Cleveland area

What software tools and shortcuts do you use?

Brian gave an initial list of what he’s found useful, and others added their own ideas. Good discussion.

MS Word

  • Ctrl + Alt + Hyphen (Number Pad). Insert em dash: —
  • Ctrl + Num Lock + Hyphen (Number Pad). Insert en dash: –
  • Ctrl + Home. Jump to beginning of document.
  • Ctrl + End. Jump to end of document.

Brian was curious if there was a keyboard shortcut to paste text into Word (from another source) without formatting. Nobody knew of one, but someone (Lori?) said there’s a setting in Word to make format-less pasting the default.

Web browser

  • Ctrl + Shift + V. Paste into text box without formatting.
  • Click link with scroll wheel. Open in new tab.

Any window

  • Windows key + arrow key. Move window to left or right half of screen.

Google search

  • site:whatever.com Limit search to pages in the given website.

Google Ngrams – Compare two words or phrases (e.g., judgment vs. judgement) to see which comes up more often in Google’s corpus of books. Note that the library of searched text only goes up to 2008, so recent usage shifts will not show up.

Subscription to Merriam-Webster Unabridged ($32 per year). Basically the same as Merriam-Webster but with more words, and ad-free (and hence much faster page load times).

PerfectIt (30-day free trial, $100 one-time cost for license). This is an add-on for Word that looks for all sorts of common copyediting concerns, like acronyms being used before they’re defined, phrases capitalized in one place and not in others, and variant spellings (grey vs. gray). There is also a free online version, though it’s a little more cumbersome. Some limited features are available free.

Paint.net is downloadable image editing software (free for all use).

Photoshop Elements is a relatively cheap version of Photoshop that still has a lot of functionality.

A programmer named Paul Beverley has a suite of free Word macros available. This includes the ProperNounAlyse tool, which (as you’d guess) checks for problems with proper nouns.

There was discussion about anti-plagiarism checkers, but it doesn’t seem that we settled on any tools in particular.

Alt codes can be handy – for instance, Alt + 0169 creates the © symbol. (Numbers must be entered on num keypad.)

Much of the above is Windows stuff. For Mac users, Parallels allows you to run PC programs on a Mac, although it can be cumbersome.

There’s a Mac program called TextExpander that allows you to store a word, phrase, or paragraph and easily enter it in a document. (There’s a Windows version too, but it seems to be newer and less sophisticated. There’s a similar program called PhraseExpress for both Mac and Windows.)

Some discussion of time-tracking software, though it doesn’t seem that there were any specific recommendations.

For invoicing, QuickBooks is a powerful solution, but can be on the expensive side.

Ben Trube’s presentation

Local (Columbus) author Ben Trube gave a half-hour talk on building relationships with authors, self-publishing finances, and the reality of publishing today. The presentation is something he created specifically for this meeting, and was well received.

Ben’s PowerPoint presentation

Open discussion and networking

We exchanged business cards.

General discussion about the direction we might want to take the chapter. Ideas included:

  • Make a more active effort to recruit Ohio-based EFA members, and reach out to ACES members as well.
  • Create a mailing list for the chapter so that it’s easy to email everyone, rather than having to copy and paste (or reply all) to the large and ever-growing list of email addresses.
  • Create a page (possibly Facebook) with a mini directory of members, including photos and contact information.

Other general discussion:

  • If you’re looking for self-published authors as potential clients, Kindle Scout might be a good place to start.
  • For future meetings, an earlier time (6:00 instead of 7:00) would work better for most people.

After the meeting

Drinks and dinner for those who were interested.

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