writing

The Self-publishing Journey (Part 1)

This year, I intend to self-publish a novella.

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

You can find someone via Fiverr, UpWork, Editors Canada, personal connections, etc.

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:

The FOLD Festival (#FOLD2017)

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:

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A few hashtags/points I’d like to point out to writers are the following:

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.

My NaNoWriMo Adventure (#NaNo2016)

Last month, I participated in National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). The objective was to write at least 50,000 words within a month. Although I didn’t win, I was still able to get a lot of writing done. It was also a great time to socialize with fellow local writers.

The Toronto Public Library has been involved by hosting write-ins and author spotlight events. You can learn more about NaNoWriMo and how the TPL is involved by reading this blog post.

NaNoWriMo is an incredibly productive, chaotic and fun experience; I encourage all writerly types to try it. One should also consider participating in Camp NaNo in April and July, where you set your own word count goal.

Short Story Publication

I’m happy to announce that my short story ‘Making the Myth’ has been published in Existere: A Journal of Arts & Literature (vol. 35, no. 2). You can obtain a copy of the issue by purchasing a subscription or visiting a bookstore that sells the journal.

Creative writing was and always will be my first passion. Seeing one’s work in a bookstore is surreal and a dream come true, to say the least. Below are photos of the issue.