Thursday, June 28, 2012

We have a conference booth! With free stuff!


WE'VE GOT FREE promotional literature STUFF!
WE'VE GOT T-SHIRTS on our bodies AND FOOD for Carolyn and me AND LOTS OF BEER in our fridges at home.

Sigh (I didn't actually sigh, but I typed it).  I see the big-shot journals published by the mega-publishers are going to be giving away enticing stuff at their conference booths.  I'm pretty proud of the promotional literature I designed, but it can't compete with free t-shirts.  I suppose someone could tape a bunch of our CFN postcards together and wear them like a t-shirt, but I doubt that would be comfortable.

What is this conference, and what are we doing there?
It's a joint conference between several ecological and evolutionary societies, meeting here in Ottawa July 6-10.  The societies are:
Our journal has not done much promotional work in the past.  That is going to change.  We need to recruit more authors, readers, and subscribers for CFN.  In particular, we need to make biologists aware of the big changes that are going on with CFN.  Having a journal website, faster manuscript turnaround times, and increased media exposure of CFN articles should all appeal to academic biologists.  Also, our constructive editorial process is unlike those employed by many other journals who simply send accept/reject letters with reviewers' comments attached; our editors work with authors to get their manuscripts in publishable shape if the research is solid.  This constructive approach is especially helpful for students and other novice authors as they learn and gain confidence in the publication process.  Most biologists have heard of CFN, but we want them to make the connections between their work and publication opportunities in our journal.  I just hope biologists care about publication opportunities more than free t-shirts.

How can we compete with the mega-publishers?  They burn money like firewood (even pennies - don't they know pennies are valuable now?).  We, on the other hand, are non-profit, and keep our subscription fees low so even small conservation and wildlife groups can afford to subscribe.  But we do have passion and powerful* friends.
* may or may not be powerful

My good friend Dan Conroy is a graphic designer and designed an awesome banner for us.  He also edited our owl logo so it is more crisp, with a transparent background.  You will not notice a difference, but you would have noticed it in a bad way if he had not done his graphic Jedi work (these are not the pixels you're looking for...).

I designed some promotional postcard-sized materials telling biologists why they should consider publishing with CFN.  Crude jpg images of the postcards are below (they look better on paper).  All of our materials are published on FSC-certified (i.e., enviro-friendly) paper, with eco-solvent ink for our banner.  And I made a banner for the conference's mobile phone app.  And I figured out how to add those weird barcode thingies (QR codes) so people with magic phones can scan them on our literature and go to our website.  This owl is tech-savvy.

Our new Editor-in-Chief Dr. Carolyn Callaghan and I will be at the booth for the conference.  I'll also be giving a talk at Monday July 9 at 9:00am on the consistency (and lack thereof sometimes) of butterfly trait information across field guides and atlases.  Carolyn is fantastic (come meet her!) and we're both looking forward to meeting fellow biologists and learning about some exciting new research.  Just bring your own t-shirt.

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