Just like a paperback novel, the kind the drugstores sell

No secret, I love books.
Take a piece of paper, fold it in half, in half again, staple it along the spine and I will love it infinitely more than in it’s original 8.5″ x 11″ formation.

I made my first book when I was in Mrs. McBride’s Grade 3 class. It was called “The Magical Pop from the Magical Shop” and it was based loosely on the uber-Canadian phenomenon The Pop Shoppe  and probably too many Christopher Pike novels (and maybe my very early reading of Pet Semetary). Some day I’ll scan the pages and make an ebook to share my crummy drawings and expansive imagination.

Starting a publishing company on a break-even model last year, I know how expensive publishing can be. I’m *positive* Mrs. McBride’s teacher’s wage did not cover the hours and hours of laminating and cerlox binding needed to publish 30 first editions for her students. So if anyone should be in my lifetime list of thank yous – she’s high on the list. I’m not sure if “The Magical Pop…” was the kingpin in my decision to be an indie publisher, but it definitely had a supporting role.

So – how does an artist/writer/photographer find the money and time to publish a book?


Money is tricky, but not impossible – my good friend Myra Greene currently has a campaign for her new book, “My White Friends” on the ubiquitous crowdfunding site Kickstarter (which charges a hefty 5%… in addition to Amazon’s 3-5% – ouch!)

And the soon to be published book by Michelle Wilson, A Tale of Two just wrapped up a campaign on Indie Go Go (4% if funding goal is met +3% transaction fee, otherwise 9%). The crew at Anchorless Press is very excited to be the Canadian publisher of this insanely gorgeous photowork.

There are lots of other options, but for a self-funded project – drawing on your own network of contacts & supporters is often the best bet. It helps you set a printing budget, and realistic first edition run.

And those lucky few who invested in you when you were just starting out? Might find they have a first edition Cover to Cover on their shelves in a couple years time.

As for time… well, let’s bold it, as it is as important (if not more) as money:
Don’t sleep. Treat your book as a second (or third) job and pretend you are getting paid a living hourly wage. This is the ONLY way to get it done. If you wait until you have time, you will never finish it.*

And once it’s done… make sure everyone can get a copy… easily! All that hard work and lost sleep shouldn’t be for naught.

Good luck to all the bookmakers, stuffmakers, pagecreators, etc. out there. If you have a campaign for your next release up, feel free to link it in the comments section (within reason 😉 )

*Disclaimer: that above note might just be a little self-motivator. If your name isn’t Robyn, you can ignore that and GTD, Pomodoro or whichever method suits you best. I never thought my blog would be my external motivator, but ah well.

Title credit: Gordon Lightfoot, If You Could Read My Mind (okay okay, I might be a little homesick)


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