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Self-publishing for writers - event overview
Monday, December 3, 2012 (All day)

Thanks to three erudite, entertaining and engaging presenters, PWAC Toronto Chapter put on another fantastic professional development seminar.

About 60 people turned out to listen to self-published authors Mark Lefebvre, Paul Lima and Harry Van Bommel speak about their adventures in self-publishing.

Our presenters tackled numerous topics, and were never at a loss to answer audience questions, which covered topics ranging from preparing to pricing (and making sure your cut is healthy) to promoting the book.

Each author has discovered specific niches. Mark’s include horror and history, Paul’s is the business of freelancing, and Harry’s includes elder care and writing other people’s memoirs. They spoke about how they make their niches viable as the audience listened attentively and busily took notes.

They also offered specific insights and tips to aspiring self-published authors:
- The author is the brand, so sell yourself first.
- Consider who your target market is—who wants to buy your book?
- Create books for multiple platforms, including print (on demand), epub, Kindle, Kobo, and Barnes and Noble Nook.
- Mark Lefebvre never gets tired of watching books printed on demand by Espresso Book Machines (there’s one in Hamilton and one in Toronto).
- Work hard to avoid typos or you’ll fall victim to the still-persistent (though fading) stigma against self-publishers.
- Check out companies such as CreateSpace and Lightning Source to get your book published on multiple platforms.
- Harry runs specific organizations that lend his books credibility, both of which lead to speaking engagements.
- Paul used to sell books from his website, but he has since moved sales to print-on-demand outfits to get out of the loop (except for receiving cheques, presumably)

After our seminar, about 20 people met at the nearby Madison Pub to relax, talk shop and generally hang out.

Come join PWAC Toronto Chapter for more professional development events in the new year, and be sure to join us at the Madison (we can't get away from the place) for our Ho Ho Holiday Cheers with Peers on December 6 at 8:15 p.m.!


- Luigi Benetton


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