Author: Lisa C. Chen

Reblog: Roundtable: What is holding librarianship back from being more inclusive of visible minorities?

Editor Tamara Noor has gathered multiple perspectives on the diversity issues in the LIS field for the Partnership Journal.

Read the publication here.


Publication: “Unearthing History” in “Over the Rainbow” Anthology

“Unearthing History”, my short story, has been published in Over the Rainbow: Folk and Fairy Tales from the Margins. My work will appear along side stories by authors such as Fiona Patton and Karin Lowachee.

This anthology aimed to “play with traditional fairy tale tropes in unconventional ways” and “explore new family dynamics and relationships, fairy tales that explore different bodies, and fairy tales that push boundaries into the strange and otherworldly.”

I’m proud to be included in a diverse anthology that aims to be unconventional and challenge the status quo.

“Unearthing History” was set in Toronto, where some humans are descended from mythical creatures. Others have supernatural abilities. How does society manage to maintain order with fantasy abound? The short story, with its fantastical roots, is bound to earthly issues that impact people of colour.

The setting was specifically in North York, Toronto. It’s an area with great differences in wealth among residents. The richest part, known as Bridle Path, was where my main characters Cindy and Rochelle attended the party.

Cindy, the main character, is descended from the sanzuwu (aka. three-legged crow). I used Google maps to describe what she sees as she flies across the city.

Rochelle, the second main character, is a vodou priestess. Despite what you may have seen in media, vodou is a religion centered around healing. The ideas of zombie and wax dolls are misconceptions. Readings I would recommend to learn about Haiti and vodou are:

  • Mama Lola: A Vodou Priestess in Brooklyn
  • Vodou in Haitian Life and Culture: Invisible Powers
  • A Skin for Dancing In: Possession, Witchcraft and Voodoo in Film
  • Taking Haiti: Military Occupation and the Culture of U.S. Imperialism, 1915- 1940

The Self-Publishing Journey (Part 3)

After the work has been published, there are just a few more things to consider.

Step 11: Contributing to the Legal Deposit

Since I registered as a publisher with Library and Archives Canada, I’m expected to send my novella (hardcover and eBook editions) to the Legal Deposit. The appropriate form also needs to be sent. Incompatible will be preserved for future generations to access.

The LAC record is available to view. Here’s the WorldCat record.


Step 12: Creating the eBook

Formatting the eBook is a little bit different compared to the hardcopy. Check out Kindle’s eBook formatting instructions. Looks at other eBooks and see how they’re set up. A few things to keep in mind when you’re creating your file:

  • Don’t include header or footer material (i.e. the page number, author, title)
  • Create a table of contents
  • Page margins are even; you don’t have to worry about physical binding. Edit the gutter to 0″
  • Font’s bigger (12-16 size)
  • Front cover is mandatory, a back cover is optional
  • Remove review comments from your document
  • The author bio can just be the last page

Step ??: Filing your taxes

This step could occur anytime, depending on the time of year.

Keep receipts of everything. If you paid an editor or cover designer, you can include that on your taxes. If you made money on your book, report that in your taxes.

Step ??: Marketing

You should have some kind of marketing plan before your work is published. There are many ways to promote a work. You can participate in literary events/readings, for example. Who’s your target audience? There are various indie author events out there.

Tell all your friends/family/coworkers about it.

Setup an online presence as an author. This can include creating a Facebook fanpage, twitter, Goodreads, etc. Kindle has KDP Select, which can help you with advertising on Amazon.

The SELF-e program provides you with an opportunity to have your eBook reviewed by Library Journal and available for library patrons to read throughout North American library branches.

Marketing will depend, ultimately, on what you want to do.

Final Thoughts

The writing, editing, and publishing process taught me a lot about myself and who I am as a writer. Planning and self-discipline are the most important things for self-publishing. The lessons learned will assist me with future endeavours. I will definitely be self-publishing more in the future!