A night at the Albert Campbell Library

Last night I had the pleasure of being one of the authors showcased at the Albert Campbell Library in Scarborough. This was part of a new series run by the library showcasing local authors put together by librarian Maria Samurin. I appeared alongside the following authors:

  • Elise Abram (author of “I Was, Am Will Be Alice”)
  • Tamara Hecht (author of “Welcome to Monsterville”)
  • Dylan Madeley (author of “The Gift-Knight’s Quest”)
  • M. Vyas (author of “The Enigma of her Longevity”)

We had time to talk with the audience before and after, and a chance for both a short reading as well as questions from both the MC and the audience.

From my personal view, the evening gave me a chance to see how other independent authors like myself approached the craft. It was surprising the variety of methods and tools that everyone brought, and I think I appreciated that opportunity as much as the opportunity to speak and listen to the crowd. It was also great to listen to the other authors speak about their books – their passions.

I’ll share some of the great ideas that I took away from this evening:

Publishing

My first book was self-published using CreateSpace – which ties directly in with Amazon. Other authors used a variety of other means – from a kickstarter campaign to indy-presses to creating their own press to offer the service to other writers.  I found this fascinating as I have been considering forming an independent publishing company moving forward.

It was also fascinating to discuss paper books vs eBooks vs audio-books.  There almost seems to be a divide between the fans of one or the other, and none of the authors present had audio-books of their works.  This is also something I had considered and started to look into for Immersion.

Marketing

One of the hardest elements of self-publishing is marketing. Several of the authors shared stories of their experiences, and noted some of the challenges. We also had some audience members who were studying marketing which invoked some conversations on approaches.  While there is no ‘magic bullet’ – coming out, getting exposure and trying to extend your reach were some of tools we all discussed.  This is when there was some interest in some of the related internet-based ways to market – such as blogs and podcasts.

This was where I was able to share some details about the 600 Second Saga podcast, considering another author was also a contributor, and several members of the audience were listeners. And those who had just heard for the first time were eager to learn more – both as listeners and potentially even as future authors.

There were some other interesting marketing tools which I’m going to look at moving forward. Many of the authors had nice professional bookmarks and displays. One had postcards made out of their cover art – very eye catching.  They also had a large fantasy map which was a great additional detail.

In summation – I was grateful for the opportunity, and loved presenting to the crowd, talking with them afterwards as well as networking with other local writers. This was a fantastic opportunity and I hope the Toronto Public Library and organisations such as Nanowrimo continue to support indy-authors.

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