Canada is the guest of honour at the 2020 Frankfurt Book Fair, an international trade fair where people from the publishing and media industry come together. Naturally, Canada’s book industry is incredibly enthusiastic about this opportunity as they gear up for the event.

What does this have to do with me? When the email came in from SaskBooks small-time prairie author, editor, and self-publisher that Angels and Avalon had a listing in the international book fair, I didn’t fully believe it. I had to check a few times. That’s probably due to the imposter syndrome a lot of authors and business owners face. Sometimes it can be really difficult to accept and internalize success.

Angels and Avalon always had a bit of an international following. It sells well on Amazon in the US and Canada, does well in local bookstores too, but it also has been held in the hands of readers from Italy, Britain, and India. I’m not sure it has really sunk in, but now my publication is reaching even more international readers through this important Frankfurt Book Fair in two years.

In case you weren’t aware, I plan on finishing the series by 2020 and I have a few other novels planned after that. It has been an uphill climb and often I run into road bumps. Currently, I’m running into a shortage of funds for publishing. I pay for publishing my works out of the money I make editing and the meagre royalties I earn from book sales. It will eventually pass, but it may delay when the book gets to readers.

It costs about $8000-10,000 to publish one of my books and that includes editors, designers, photographers, formatters, a small print run of a few books, some promotion online for a few months, and the other team members like my amazing assistant to get the book to readers as a paperback and ebook. That doesn’t include the costs to get an audiobook published, subsequent print runs, or any of the other expenses involved in writing and publishing and running a business. In comparison, most writers make about $10,000 a year. I do not make that much with my writing, yet, not even close so I supplement with income earned and time spent editing for other authors.

It takes a lot to publish a book. SaskBooks has been incredibly supportive and provided opportunities I wouldn’t otherwise have had access to. It’s still a tough industry for indie and self-published authors. There is stigma as a self-published author and a few poorly behaved self-published authors which don’t help. It can be difficult to receive feedback, but I am still astounded by the defensive and even aggressive way some authors react. From what I have seen, they are in the minority thankfully. Most authors are willing to consider constructive criticism and grow into even better authors.

SaskBooks keeps inviting me to participate in events and promoting my books alongside the other talented and successful publishers and their authors, so they must see something in my work. No other organization I have connected with has been as supportive, involved, and available to discuss the industry as SaskBooks. They are enthusiastic, engaging, and efficient with their small staff compliment, and they really love books and the book industry.

You can see it in their presentations, their hard work, and their dedication to what they do.

I am filled with gratitude for the support the organization has offered me, and cannot express enough how freaking exciting it is to be listed in that amazing Frankfurt Book Fair. I wouldn’t be a successful author and publisher without the support I’ve had. Thank you to those friends, family, colleagues, mentors, readers, other authors, associations, and people who believed in me. Thank you so much. Also, thank you to Whiskers for ensuring I stay on track with my writing and for proving that cats really do rule the internet by having more followers than I do.

I strongly recommend you visit Canada FBM2020 and SaskBooks online catalogues and support the Canadian book industry and amazing authors we have.