This page contains reports on the state of diversity in the romance publishing industry.
I intend to self-publish a novella in 2018.
The tentative title is ‘Incompatible.’ It’s a historical romance.
I’ll be documenting my journey, while also providing tips on self-publishing.
Note: The information provided is applicable to Canadian authors.
Step 1: The First Edit
I printed out my draft and started editing.
Scheduling when I was supposed to finish each chapter was immensely helpful with staying on track. Refer to 2015 Guide to Self-Publishing, Revised Edition: The Most Comprehensive Guide to Self-Publishing‘s checklist (pg. 31) to help you plan the entire self-publishing process.
I also regularly attended writing groups to ensure that I worked frequently.
Step 2: Hire an Editor
For tax/legal purposes, I used the contract template available at Editors Canada to formalize the terms with my editor.
Step 3: Get the ISBN
In Canada, the ISBN can be obtained for free via Library and Archives Canada (LAC).
You must create an ISBN Canada account. The publisher name, address, email and phone number you provide will become publicly available online. For privacy/business purposes, consider registering with a business name and/or getting a postal box. You can rent a postal box at Canada Post, UPS, or elsewhere.
Try and register with LAC as early as you can, because processing your account will take 1-2 weeks. You don’t need to have an officially registered business name to use it as your publisher’s name.
Once you get your login information, you can sign in and obtain an ISBN for your work. Note that the hardcopy and ebook version of your book will need their own ISBNs for keeping track of sales.
An ISBN can also be obtained via Amazon, if you publish with them, but I decided on registering my work through LAC.
You can also view my tutorial on how to sign up as a publisher:
Showing off my manga haul for this year. I purchased the following:
- Library Wars: Is about a collective resisting the censorship laws of the government by protecting libraries.
- Descending Stories: Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu: Is about the life and times of a few Rakugo performers. Its anime adaption is the best show I’ve seen this year.
Also, here are some other irrelevant photos I took.
I attended the Festival of Literary Diversity (FOLD) recently in Brampton. The FOLD continues to provide diverse authors and audiences with a platform to connect and address the issues of diversity in the literary scene.
You can find some recorded panels on their Facebook page.
I took some photos at the festival and of the city:
Here’s my book haul:
- Yiddish for Pirates by Gary Barwin
- The Conjoined by Jen Sookfong Lee
- Hope has two Daughters by Monia Mazigh
A few hashtags/points I’d like to point out to writers are the following:
- “A story not told is a dead story” – Eden Robinson
For my fellow librarians/information professionals, we too can play a role in promoting and investing in diverse CanLit. It was mentioned at one panel that teachers and librarians are usually the first and best at generating buzz about books and purchasing them for their students/patrons. If we want to continue supporting diverse fiction, we can do so actively through our work.
The OLA Super Conference 2017 was held from Feb 1-4. It was a great experience and I gained a lot of practical knowledge.
The first session I attended was When Things Get Personal: Privacy vs Access in Online Community History, hosted by Irene Robillard, Cindy Preece, David Bott and Melissa Redden. They spoke about their digitization projects and the issue of balancing access to information while also enacting policies to protect the privacy of individuals appearing in their content.
Here are links to the collections/resources mentioned:
- Federated Women’s Institute of Ontario Digital Collections
- St. Catharines Public Library: Local History & Genealogy
- Clarington Public Library: Genealogy & Local History
- Laurier University Archives Digital Collection
- OurOntario.ca – aggregated search that includes various archives
Next, I attended Are you User Experienced? A Beginner’s Guide to UX Testing, hosted by Micheal Laverty. Attendees were told about the process and strategies to design good UX in their physical library and on their sites.
Resources and terms to highlight are:
Lastly, I attended the The User Experience Design Sprint, hosted by Aurelia Engstrom and Graham Lavender. They spoke about the steps needed to run a successful UX project: setting a project plan, a discovery phase/competitive analysis, research, engaging users and stakeholder engagement.
Mentioned methods for UX testing involved:
Below are miscellaneous photos and my book haul.