Jessica Clark, Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences
Last Friday, it was my privilege once again to attend the Salon du livre de Montréal on behalf of the Federation and the Awards to Scholarly Publications Program (ASPP). The Salon is a paradise for book nerds of all persuasions, this girl included! As always, I enjoyed soaking in the bright colours of the booths, mountains of gorgeous books, and the frisson of energy that permeates the hall. After a little browsing I turned my attention to my main purpose for attending the Salon this year.
We were very fortunate to have arranged a special workshop on the ASPP as part of the Salon`s professional development day for book industry professionals. We were hoping to introduce the program to some new publishers who could benefit from its funds, and reconnect with publishers who have applied for ASPP in the past.
We met and spoke with about 10 publishers. The audience also included an author, a translator and a “book coach” – all of whom were very interested in how the ASPP might support their work. Anne-Marie Fortier, chair of the ASPP’s Academic Council, presented an overview of the program, outlining all of its main elements, while Nadine Tremblay, editorial director at the Presses de l’Université de Montréal, gave her perspective as a publisher applicant. Tremblay gave those gathered some excellent guidance on how to conduct an academically rigorous peer review, which is the core element of the ASPP.
While our session was relatively small, I was pleased to see that everyone who attended seemed genuinely engaged and many of them asked excellent questions.
As always, I came away from the Salon impressed by the passion and professionalism of the publishers I spoke with. Publishing scholarly books is largely a matter of passion, not profits, and I feel fortunate to coordinate a program that supports such a noble endeavour. I hope that these publishers and their authors will call on the support of the ASPP soon!
Credit: Home page image by Jean-Guy Thibodeau.