Sunday, June 10, 2012

Week It Was, What A Week It Was, It Was

Wow.  Between last Sunday and today I have certainly packed a heck of a lot of special moments in.

The challenge, in all honesty, would be ensuring I capture each highlight, from beginning to end.

Here goes.

On Saturday June 2nd I flew out to New York to prepare for UPublishU, a pre-BEA event focused on self-publishing authors.

Sunday June 2nd, I sat on a panel with Hamilton's Bob Young (Hamilton TiCat owner and CEO of and got to share some tips for authors looking at self-publishing.  Immediately after our panel, I caught a taxi back to LGA to fly back to Toronto to introduce the brilliant and talented Terry Fallis as MC of the CBA Libris Awards dinner and reception.  Because of a delay coming through customs, I was just arriving as Terry was onstage pretending to be me and kicking off the evening.  I commented, after dinner, when I officially "introduced" Terry as the evening's host, that I'd never looked so handsome)

On that same evening, I not only got to present Michael Ondaatje with his Author of the Year CBA Libris Award (quite the honour, since I've long been a fan of his writing), but I also got to present that evening's special honoured guest, Margaret Atwood with the CBA Libris Lifetime Achievement Award.

Twitter pic from @RandomhouseCA of me presenting award to @MargaretAtwood
It was a special honour to get to share the stage with Terry Fallis and present awards to literary icons such as Ondaatje and Atwood (And what a fantastic way to end off my term as CBA President!)

I was back in New York the following day to meet with Kevin J. Anderson, explore some fantastic craft brews at The Pony Cafe and discuss self-publishing, writing, the thrill of being a writer during this time of dramatic digital change, and, of course, the new Clockwork Angels novel that he wrote with Neil Peart of Rush and will be released as the band begins touring for the new album.

On the morning of Tuesday June 5th, Kevin J. Anderson and Bella Andre joined Michael Tamblyn (EVP of Content, Sales & Merchandising at Kobo) and I with media representatives that included folks from Time, Oprah Magazine and Publishers Weekly to announce Kobo Writing Life, the new self-publishing portal for authors at a breakfast and open discussion about eBooks and self-publishing.

It was fantastic to finally share something that I have been working on since I joined Kobo back in the fall of 2011 as Director of Self-Publishing & Author Relations.  KWL is the result of 6 months of really fun and exhausting requirements gathering by listening to the self-pub and author communities on all the elements needed for successful indie author publishing of eBooks.

There is a video of me talking to Mercy Pilkington of Good eReader that took place immediately after the media breakfast . . .

Of course, there's an even better and longer video of Michael Tamblyn sharing the KWL and general Kobo love . . .

I spent the next several days talking to hundreds of small publishers and authors about Kobo Writing Life; do back to back media interviews with a variety of wonderful folks, and got to meet some fantastic authors and bookish folks who I had only previously known through social media.  (And despite not pausing to do more than gobble down a quick cereal bar for lunch each day, I still didn't get a chance to meet with everyone I had been hoping to touch base with . . . I DID manage to get about 3 to 4 hours of sleep each night, though, so one might think that perhaps if I had skipped that "lost time" I might have gotten more productivity in to each day -- that, or drop dead of exhaustion at the end of the week)

On Wednesday June 6th I had an opportunity to sit down in the Kobo booth with Michael Connelly and talk with him about writing, what it's like having published his first novel (the one that introduced Harry Bosch to the world) 20 years ago with the publication of The Black Echo and various aspects of the universe he has created featuring Bosch, Mickey Haller (portrayed by Matthew McConaughey in The Lincoln Lawyer) and other wonderful characters.  Part of our discussion was captured on video and will likely be shared with aspiring thriller/mystery writers via the Kobo Writing Life portal Learning Centre.

Because so much was packed in to the past week, I'll likely be putting up separate blog posts regarding some of the specific details mentioned above in the next few days.

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