Writers aren’t just writers anymore

One of the things I’ve been surprised to learn about the book publishing industry is how much of a crucial role today’s author must be willing to play in order to help promote their own work. 

Writers aren’t just writers anymore. They’re marketers, publicists, lecturers, and public speakers.

It seems naïve to me now, but last year I thought my only job was to write the best book I was capable of writing, then just be open to any suggestions regarding final edits and rewrites from my publisher.

After submitting my final draft of “With a Closed Fist: Growing up in Canada’s Toughest Neighbourhood,” a part of me was happy to be finally finished with the whole damn thing. After all, it had pretty much dominated my life day and night the entire time I was researching, then writing, and then editing the book.

Come to think of it, the research part took just as much- if not more- time than the actual writing part.

Yet even before I had finished the happy dance around my home office after completing the final draft and pressing “send” on the email to my publisher, I quickly realized that my job wasn’t quite done yet. Next I had to help find my readers.

I’m not sure what I used to think- that my book would somehow magically find readers on its own?

My publisher, Simon Dardick at Véhicule Press, has gone above and beyond in his support of “With a Closed Fist.” But I’m not his only author of course. Nor his last. As I’ve been quickly learning these past few months since my book’s launch in Montréal back in November, I have an important role in helping to get the word out there.

So I Twitter, try to update my Facebook status and website with any news about my book, happily accept all press interviews, speaking engagements, and swear a lifetime debt to the few individuals who- quietly behind the scenes- are trying to help me reach some other important goals in regards to my book.

But I admit, it feels a little weird sometimes. I’m a writer. I feel most comfortable sitting in front of my laptop, doing research and working on my current writing project.

Not that I’m complaining, because really I’m not. Talking about my book is actually turning out to be much more fun than I ever expected it to be.

But to be honest, I just hadn’t realized just how hands-on today’s writer has to be if they want to reach as wide of an audience as possible.



Kathy will be in the Cornwall area on February 13th, at the Ingleside Library at 6:30 pm, for a reading, signing, and discussion about her book, “With a Closed Fist: Growing up in Canada’s Toughest Neighbourhood.”

The journey of writing my first book: Part 1

I’ve learned a lot during this long journey of writing my first book and finally having it published. And there have been lots of surprises along the way. For example, I thought the hardest part would be…well, actually writing the book.

Boy, was I wrong.

The world of publishing holds many of its own unique challenges and, as I’ve recently learned, writing the book is actually only the first step. Once you finish bleeding all over the page, next you need to find an agent, followed by a publisher.

Oh, and then the real funs starts, the most important stage of all:  finding your readers. Because of course, without readers, what’s the point? I’m not one of those writers who writes just for myself. Yes, I know there are plenty of writers who do just that, saying they aren’t necessarily interested in a wider audience for their work. They write simply for the pure joy of…ahem, writing.

I admit, I write to be read. I need to feel connected to a reader. I need to believe that someone, somewhere, is eventually going to read my words. And although my ideal reader is one who also likes, hell, maybe even loves what I’ve written, it isn’t a necessity for me to write.

I just need to be read.


“With a Closed Fist” is at the printers!

My publisher will be getting my book back from the printers on October 27th! Whew. I was getting a little worried that it wouldn’t be printed in time before the book’s launch in Montreal on November 4th!

For anyone who already pre-ordered the book from Amazon or Chapters online, I’m sorry for the delay. I know it was claiming the book would be available on the 1st of October, but now it’s more like the end of October. So thank you to everyone for all of your patience, I really appreciate it.

I can’t wait to finally hold that baby in my hands. It really does feel a little like giving birth.

Okay, having giving birth to actual real babies at least a couple of times, that’s not quite true, heh. But still….