Self-publishing in Canada ~ help is needed!
Writing this turned out to be a most interesting challenge.
When I began to research articles or websites or associations in Canada to offer support and/or information to indie authors, I hit the proverbial brick wall. It was quite a shock.
The wall continued to block my efforts to find statistics on sales, trends, and anything else that might be related to author-publishers in Canada. It’s almost as it does not exist in our vast country. Fortunately, I know that to be completely erroneous. But apparently there is a dearth of assistance for interested Canadian indie authors to find good information unless they go to Amazon or Kobo.
In spite of extensive efforts to search words in every possible combination, I came up empty. The only sites that appeared were vanity publishers, offering to“help you self-publish,”along with their price list. Also, selfpublishing.ca came up consistently, leading to one author who published a book on the subject that I could not find for sale anywhere but the website.
A major writers’ group in Canada recently changed their membership rules and now accept self-published authors. This national organization of professional writers of books was founded 40 years ago to work with governments, publishers, booksellers, and readers to improve the conditions of Canadian writers.
It was exciting to see they were recognizing the self-publishing dynamic. One would assume there would be good information on their website. Here’s what I discovered:
“SHOULD I SELF-PUBLISH?
If you self-publish you add—to the difficult job of writing a book—all the additional work of a publisher. It is extremely difficult to get self-published books placed in bookstores, which makes it even more difficult to make money. There are a few success stories but the majority of self-published books may never see a bookstore. Self-publishing may be appropriate if you want to give copies of your book to your friends and family but if you want to make it a commercial success you have a lot of work ahead of you.”
Hello and welcome to 2015. May we introduce the subject of ebooks to you? Bookstores are not where most authors derive their living today. It is time to hear from the many indie authors in Canada who are making a decent income (and often more than most who are with traditional publishers) from selling ebooks as well as print copies.
However, checking with authors who attend many of the excellent writers’ conferences across the country, they confirmed that the focus is still very much on pitching with agents and publishers.
In an article in the Toronto Star in 2013 (the most recent I could find) praising self-publishing in Canada, negativity remained.
“Still, not everyone is as enthusiastic about the trend to self-publishing. Carolyn Wood, executive director of the Association of Canadian Publishers, doesn’t think traditional publishers see it as an opportunity, despite forays into the field by Simon & Schuster and Penguin. “Our members — most traditional independent publishers — object to self-publishers co-opting that term,” she says. “They need to call it author publishing. They are not independent publishers.””
My entire publishing experience has revolved around self-publishing, and I learn something every day. However, that comes from networking within online groups such as ALLi. Every essential topic is covered including the craft of writing, the most effective marketing and promotion opportunities, designers, editors, formatters, critique groups, tax info … all based on the experience of other members and experts called in to share their knowledge. All of this information needs a voice in Canada. How we go about achieving that is the challenge.
Enter this giveaway from Patricia: