IPEd Conference 2017

September 14, 2017

Held in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia, September 13 to 15, 2017.

Pre-Conference Workshop: Endnote

This was meant to be 4-hour workshop on learning some of the basics of the Endnote referencing software. However, we only had three effective hours after taking out 30 mins for afternoon tea, and 30 mins for a late start and the presenter dealing with those who, despite multiple emails and other information on the conference website months ago, had not downloaded the required software or sample files.

The actual presentation by Dr Hilary Cadman was good and I learnt a lot. I’d played with the software for a few days the week before the conference, so had some familiarity with it, but this answered lots of my newbie questions and gave me enough information to decide whether to purchase it or not.

Day 1: 14 September 2017

The first day of the conference started with the usual welcome speeches, including a ‘welcome to country’ from a local Aboriginal elder, followed by a keynote address by Sophie Cunningham who spoke about her editing life in the Australian publishing industry.

Freelancing Panel

This panel comprised six freelance editors, who each spoke for 5 minutes on one aspect of freelancing that they now know that they wished they’d known when they started. Even though I’ve had my own freelance business for nearly 20 years, I still learnt from their experiences. Some points made by the various presenters:

  • After taking out time for 4 weeks’ leave, 2 weeks’ sick leave, and 2 weeks’ for public holidays, you’re left with a possible 44 billable weeks. Assuming you can work 5 billable hours per day (some of the rest of the day may be business admin etc.) and that you work 5 days a week, then you have 1100 potential billable work hours in a year. To calculate your fee, work out the salary you need to earn, take off $5000 for expenses, and then divide the result by the number of billable hours (e.g. $60K salary less $5K expenses = $55K, divided by 1100 hours = $50/hour).
  • Networking as an introvert:
    • Move out of your comfort zone – talk to people in person.
    • Look for opportunities to connect anywhere
    • Be personal and supportive, whether in person or online
    • Present a professional image – personal, website, logo etc.
    • Be confident – in yourself, your services, your expertise.
  • Promoting ourselves online – sand, river, and ocean:
    • Sand: Foundation for our own promotion (website, mailing list of clients, create free product (e.g. videos, handouts)
    • River: Social media (choose three platforms – e.g. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn); online networking (e.g. answering questions on related forums, Quora)
    • Ocean: collaboration with 3rd parties (write for online ezines, IPEd website entry, bid for work on online editing sites)
    • Use a simple strategy
    • Do one marketing task every day.
  • Implement a structure – working in an office gives you a framework; as a freelancer, you need to create one for yourself. Structure time for:
    • Admin minutiae
    • Exercise, lunch, when you stop/don’t work
    • Have weekly and daily plans.
  • Be more efficient with your time by using technology such as IFTT (if this, then that for creating alerts for jobs posted on Twitter, LinkedIn etc.
  • Make sure your business is set up as a business:
    • Cultivate good long-term relationships
    • Take care of yourself – no money comes in if you’re not healthy, so good eating habits, good exercise, and set boundaries.

Editing for Education in a Digital World (Kylie Challenor and Lian Flick)

Kylie and Lian did a joint presentation on how the world of educational publishing has changed at Wiley in the past few years, from printed text books to far more interactive and online media. This was a good session marred by a slightly late start and then more than 10 minutes of the 45-minute session taken up with them discussing their backgrounds and history (much of which was in the printed program), thus leaving only about 25 minutes for the presentation and a short time at the end for questions. They handled the segues from one presenter to the other very well and it was very clear that they had practiced this beforehand.

How will editors adapt to an evolving digital future? (Dr Stephen White)

This was a fascinating look into the editing world of the Geological Survey of Western Australia, where digital atlases, maps, and virtual tours are becoming common. However, despite all the fancy technological innovations, editing existing text once it’s in the programs is still an incredibly manual and time-consuming exercise. What’s desperately needed are tools (external or built into the software tools used) that allow the metadata to be edited directly, or for the information to be tagged for changes.

Keynote: Monolithic and multilithic languages (Roly Sussex)

This was a super interesting presentation on the nature of languages and cultures. Monolithic languages are those that are pretty well fixed and rarely change (e.g. dead languages such as classical Greek, Latin, and Sanskrit; computer languages; and languages such as Icelandic [texts from 900 AD can still be read by Icelanders today], Estonian, and Latvian). Multilithic languages are those such as English, which have many variations (geography, dialect) and no fixed Academy to prescribe the ‘correct’ form of the language. He spent some time on the relationship between language and culture, an aspect that I found particularly interesting (e.g. L1/C1 means you speak the main language of the country and follow its cultural norms; L1/C2 – you speak the main language but follow another country’s cultural norms [e.g. speak Australian English, but follow Chinese cultural norms]; L2/C1 – you speak English as your second language but follow the cultural norms of the country you’re living in; and L2/C2 – you speak English as a second language, and follow the cultural norms of another country [e.g. new migrants]).


Day 2: https://cybertext.wordpress.com/2017/09/16/iped-conference-2017-day-2/

[Links last checked September 2017]


  1. […] The official newsletter/blog of CyberText Consulting – technical communication specialists « IPEd Conference 2017 […]

  2. […] notes are for me, and were taken while I was attending an Endnote workshop prior to the IPEd conference in Brisbane, Australia, in September 2017. I’m documenting them here as my ‘brain dump’ as I know I won’t be able to […]

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