Category Archives: Self-publishing

From Self to Traditional Publishing

  Around this time two years ago, I began the process of self-publishing the manuscript I’d spent the better part of three years working on. At the time, my father’s health was failing and I was driven by a need to complete the work we’d started together. By the following March, my father’s health had improved and we had a book. Nothing could have pleased me more than placing his story into his hands. That spring, a new local publisher started their business with the focus Read more [...]

Farewell, Reading Town

Reading Town Ville Lecture wraps up this weekend in Sudbury. It was such an exciting week filled with opportunities to engage with readers and writers that it was impossible to be everywhere at once. If you haven’t heard of Reading Town, let me give you a few details. It’s a week long event organized by the National Reading Campaign to promote reading, books and authors. As a reading promoter in both my roles as a writer and teacher, I was thrilled to hear that my hometown was hosting this Read more [...]

Quick and Slow Writing

When I’m teaching writing to my high school students, I often have them start with quick writes. I give them a prompt, an object, a visual or a video and a short space of time to create a response, a poem, a scene, or a story. I remind them to keep the pen on the page or fingers on the keyboard, silence their inner critic, and ignore errors in grammar, spelling and punctuation (we’ll fix that later). Instead, we focus on letting our ideas flow. It’s a great way to jumpstart the creative Read more [...]

Reflections on a Memorable Year

A year ago, last December, I decided to pull my manuscript from the small presses I had approached earlier that spring and self-publish my father’s memoir.  Looking back, it was a decision I made because of concern for my father’s health and a desire to share his story with others while he could still participate. In fact, at the end of January, my father was hospitalized after my mother found him splayed out on their frozen driveway.  Within a few days of hospitalization, the colour returned Read more [...]

Time, Energy and Space for a Writing Life

Everyone’s busy. I get it. If you’re like me you probably take on too many commitments and get involved in too many activities, just to find yourself overwhelmed when projects are due, deadlines are looming, and everyone needs your attention. Although I’d like to imagine I can do everything, the reality is I can’t do everything well. I used to believe I could multi-task, but really I was only shuffling between tasks, not giving any one thing my full attention.  For a long time, writing Read more [...]

10 Tips for a Successful Book Launch

My experience with book launches is limited to two, one of which was my own, so perhaps I’m not the authority on this subject.  But, as always, what I didn’t know led me to read, investigate, ask questions, and eventually follow my own path. What I learned along the way suggests that book launches are as varied as the books they are celebrating and as unique as the individual writers. With that in mind, I offer my tips for creating a memorable book launch based on my first experience. Celebrate! Read more [...]

The Universe Conspires

Paulo Coelho wrote, “And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.” I always liked this idea, but I didn’t really know how it could be possible.  The whole universe? Conspiring? Really?  A month has passed since I launched my family memoir about my father’s experiences as a young Finnish sailor in a Nazi concentration camp.  Before its release on March 19, two months ago, I blogged about the process of self-publishing and all of those things I Read more [...]

How My Book Almost Didn’t Happen

The following is a version of my talk at the book launch for The Day Soon Dawns on Sunday, April 19 at Parkside Centre. I thought I’d tell you a little about how the book came to be . . . or rather how it almost didn’t happen. I was about fifteen, my daughter’s age, when I learned about World War II in history class at Lo-Ellen. Even then, I knew my father had stories, but I couldn’t really make sense of them. He didn’t say too much, and I was afraid to ask. Even then, I vowed to Read more [...]

One Journey Ends and Another Begins

Spring has finally arrived, although it is difficult to tell as a layer of fine icing sugar snow fills the air and clusters on the deck outside my patio doors.  It has been a whirlwind of a week now that my book is finally published. Appropriately, I think, the official publication date was on the last day of winter.  I started self-publishing at the beginning of December and what a journey it has been!  Like waiting for spring, it took several weeks longer and was more blustery than I initially Read more [...]

Indie Author with a Day Job

There are several benefits to being a writer with a day job. At least, that’s what I remind myself when my regular work gets hectic and my writing is pushed to the bottom of the list.  Unfortunately, the thing I am most passionate about is often set aside for career and family life considerations, leaving me frustrated at my inability get words on the page as regularly as I’d like.  That’s when I have to remind myself of the reasons why having a day job while being an indie author has Read more [...]