Publishing 2.0: Tips and Traps – 2014 PD Workshop from The Writers’ Union of Canada

Screen Shot 2013-12-15 at 2.54.34 PMI am truly delighted

to have been selected as one of two presenters for Publishing 2.0: Tips and Traps, The Writers’ Union of Canada’s cross-country series of professional development workshops for 2014.

My fellow presenter is the noted fiction author Caroline Adderson, who has five books of fiction for adults and several books for young readers to her credit. Caroline will be talking about the traditional route to publishing – how to find a publisher, how to prepare your manuscript for a publisher, working with agents and editors, and doing promotion once your book is out.

I will be talking about independent publishing – why you might want to consider it, even if you’re a traditionally published author (as I am)  – e.g., for getting your out-of-print backlist out quickly, and maximizing your returns on sales –  as well as how to actually manage the self-publication of a book. I’ll be talking about finding editors and book designers, how to publish cost-effectively, managing distribution and, of course, I’ll be sharing what I’ve learned about promoting self-published books.

With the help of John Degen, executive director of TWUC, former literature officer with the Ontario Arts Council, former executive director of the Professional Writers Association of Canada (PWAC) and the former communications manager for Magazines Canada (formerly Canadian Magazine Publishers Association) – John is also a writer – we’ll also be covering contracts, royalties, and copyright issues, and discussing the current state of the publishing landscape from a writer’s perspective.

Appearing East, West and On A Computer Near You

The first installments of the tour will take place in Eastern and Central Canada in February, 2014. Dates and locations for the one-day (9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.) workshop have now been announced:

  • Monday, Feb 3 Moncton, NB
  • Wednesday, Feb 5 Halifax NS
  • Monday, Feb 17 Montreal QC
  • Tuesday, Feb 18 Ottawa ON
  • Friday, Feb 21 Toronto ON

We will visit four additional cities – in Western Canada – in the autumn of 2014. Dates and locations for those are still to be announced. It is anticipated that the workshop will also be available for purchase in digital format after the series of live presentations is complete.

It is not necessary to be a member of TWUC to attend its PD workshops.

About The Writers’ Union of Canada

Screen Shot 2013-12-15 at 2.54.45 PMThe Writers’ Union of Canada is Canada’s national organization of professional writers of books, and has approximately 2,000 members. TWUC was founded 40 years ago to work with governments, publishers, booksellers, and readers to improve the conditions of Canadian writers. I have been a member of TWUC for a long time, and highly recommend joining – not only does it serve as a highly effective advocate for and promoter of writers with governments, the cultural industry and the public,  membership offers a host of wonderful advantages that range from a community of writers to dental benefits.  For more information, visit the TWUC website.

Although membership in TWUC is currently restricted to writers with “a trade book published by a commercial or university press, or the equivalent in another medium,” at its May 2013 annual general meeting, in a unanimous vote, members of the Union approved a resolution opening membership to professional, self-published authors. The resolution will be presented to the entire TWUC membership in a referendum, and will come into force with a two-thirds majority. For more information, view the Union’s June 1, 2013 media release.

In the meantime, I hope to meet you in person at one of TWUC’s PD gigs this year!

8 responses

  1. Great info as I will be publishing my first book this week and live in Toronto. I was reading an article earlier in the year about TWUC opening up to self published authors but there were stipulations. I will look further into this, thanks.

    • Congrats on the publication of your book. That is very exciting!

      Yes, there is still quite a bit for the Union to hammer out regarding admission of self-published authors, but it is a huge, huge step for TWUC to even be considering this and we should all be ecstatic about even that part for now. “Vanity publishing” has been considered a very unprofessional activity for most of the union’s 40 years, by all of its members (including me until a very few years ago. I have now become a champion of self-publishing by those who choose to do it).

      One of the central criteria for membership in TWUC has always been that authors were peer-reviewed or at least editorially approved by an established press before they were eligible to be admitted. The published book (which could not be a catalogue, how-to, etc.) was the evidence. This was such an entrenched criterion that I am astounded that the vote has passed last May, but if the referendum passes (I think it’s happening fairly soon) the details will still need to be worked out to ensure that TWUC members are able to maintain a high standard of writing as a criterion for eligibility. Peer review of some sort will definitely be necessary — and I am in agreement with that. If you have looked at the piles and piles of crap that his been self-published in the past few years, you will know why. :) The guidelines will be clarified, so just keep watching the Union pages.

      In the meantime, I am happy that you are considering attending Publishing 2.0 — I look forward to meeting you!

      • Thanks Mary, this sounds exciting. I certainly would love to become a part of TWUC. I will follow more publications and keep up to date. I wholeheartedly agree with you that there are those who think they can crank out a crappy drafted book and so easily hit publish. Of course there must be guidelines to avoid accepting certain books. I was just questioning the criteria and wasn’t sure who and what constituted the ‘peer reviews’. :)

        • I didn’t think you were, D.G., but I thought I’d take the opportunity to address the issue from my POV in case other readers stopped by who were wondering about it. :) It is very exciting. It’s an exciting (and thoroughly aggravating) time to be a writer, period. :)

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