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Reporting back on new directions in self-publishing: A summary of challenges, opportunities and resources
Editors Toronto paired with PWAC Toronto Chapter to present a panel on self-publishing. The following post is from the PWAC Toronto Chapter blog, Networds. Thanks to editor Suzanne Bowness for giving BoldFace permission to share the post.
by Suzanne Bowness
If you’re one of the unfortunate PWAC members who couldn’t make it to the self-publishing panel held on March 27, which was co-organized by PWAC Toronto Chapter and Editors Toronto, you’re in luck: I took notes for you. It’s not quite the same as being there, but here are a few tips and images to give you a flavour of the event.
If there were a quote to summarize the evening, perhaps it was one of the first to be projected on the big screen in the University of Toronto (U of T) lecture hall, where we all gathered:
“Self-publishing used to be a scar; now it’s a tattoo.”
That’s from Greg Cope White, author of The Pink Marine: One Boy’s Journey through Boot Camp to Manhood. I forgot to take a picture, but the quote still sticks in my mind days later.
If the evening had a theme, it was how much has changed in the world of self-publishing, even in the last five years. Seriously, most panellists said those exact words or similar.
Hosted by the Creative Writing program at the School of Continuing Studies, U of T, the panel consisted of four industry pros, who all did a great job of dividing this big topic into digestible sections, providing a helpful mix of new information and personal anecdotes, which allowed their talks to flow together nicely. You can read the panellists’ biographies here, in our original post advertising the event. (more…)
By Dimitra Chronopoulos
How do independent bookstores in Toronto survive and thrive in today’s day and age? By knowing and caring about their customers, participating in conferences and community events, hosting events, and specializing. These were just some of the answers Editors Toronto and PWAC members heard during Editors Toronto’s inaugural bookstore crawl on Saturday, November 19, 2016.
We started at Ben McNally Books (366 Bay Street), a handsome and inviting space intentionally designed to accommodate special events. The dark wooden shelves and tables showcase history, biography, and hardcover fiction, but the store is known for carrying books you can’t find anywhere else and for fulfilling special orders. The staff know their customers and they listen carefully to match readers to the right books. Owner Ben McNally shared so much with us: what it’s like to have a TV show film in the store, why prices are printed on books (against the wishes and better interests of so many), how the economic downturn in 2008 affected his business, and why he fears Amazon but not Indigo (Indigo and McNally’s are in the same business and complement each other; Amazon is “a threat to neighbourhood culture”). One challenge of operating a bookstore in the downtown core? The lack of parking. The solution? Bookstore staff will stand on the sidewalk and hand orders to customers who drive past. Now that’s service. (more…)