Wednesday, August 06, 2014

When Hats Collide

I have long stated that I love my career as a bookseller; particularly since it often intersects so brilliantly with my career as a writer.

Take my position at Kobo as the director of self-publishing and author relations, for example.

Having been a writer for three decades, I have a pretty solid understanding of a writer's perspective, and that has helped me to champion particular aspects of the creation of Kobo Writing Life that would appeal to a writer. And having been a bookseller for more than two decades provides me the retailer's perspective -- which can be quite handy for a writer to understand. When I took on my role at Kobo in October 2011 it was two of my greatest passions coming together.

Colliding, you might say.

This morning I'm bound for Calgary, Alberta, to attend When Words Collide, a conference that brings readers and writers together and is one of best annual conferences for writers according to more than a dozen writer friends who have attended it over the years. I have long wanted to attend this conference and this year I'm one of the featured guests, alongside Jacqueline Guest, DJ McIntosh, Brandon Sanderson and Jack Whyte (among dozens of other distinguished writers, publishers and publishing professionals)

Tomorrow I'll be leading two half-day workshops that combine my experiences as a bookseller, writer and my role at the helm of Kobo Writing Life.  In the morning I'll be presenting Marketing Best Practices and in the afternoon an examination of the merits of Hybrid Publishing with dozens of examples from my own experience as well as from authors and publishing folks I have interacted with over the years, outlining strategies for success, potential rabbit-holes to failure and studies of past performances.

Friday through Sunday I'll be leading discussions and Q&As as well as sitting on panels, doing readings and a keynote and also meeting with authors and publishers to discuss Kobo and how they can use Kobo Writing Life to reach new global audiences.

Oh yeah, and, with my publisher, Atomic Fez, I'll be doing the pre-launch celebration for my first full length horror novel I, DEATH, with a limited special When Words Collide edition of the novel on Saturday.

Special WWC limited edition cover for I, Death

Looking forward to a fantastic string of days where the hats I wear as Kobo's author relations guy and writer collide so brilliantly.

It's really hard to figure out when I'm working and when I'm just following a lifelong passion. What a fantastic problem to have.


Jodi McIsaac said...

Looking forward to meeting you, Mark! Bummed that I couldn't make your pre-festival workshop.

Robert L. Slater said...

Awesome, Mark.
Sometimes the stars align and only the words collide!

Cookie’s Mom said...

Mark, thanks for your energy and enthusiasm today. Lots of great tips and resources. I especially appreciated your insights into pricing and the value of free books and swag. Thanks for the groovy pen!

Mark Leslie Lefebvre said...

LOL, Rob - it's wonderful when words collide all in the right order.

It was great meeting you Jodi (and, of course, using an example from you in my marketing talk) :)

Thanks so much, Cookie's Mom - glad you enjoyed it!