February is such a short month and this one was especially busy. On Feb 10 and 11th I spoke at AWP and learned a ton, especially from the “Directions in Trans Publishing” panel. I took lots of notes so I plan to share my insights with you all next week.
I was also part of the Toronto’s Caribbean Voices panel as part of the Toronto Public Library’s Black History Month programming. That was… an adventure. I actually recorded most of it and will post clips on my podcast in March.
I am psyched to announce my next event: I will be at BookNet Canada’s Tech Forum, hosting a panel called Minding The Gap: Advanced Sales Strategies For Diverse Lists. I’ve been waiting to have this conversation for years. We’re going beyond the basic “Why is diversity important” nonsense and diving into the heart of the matter: how do we make it a reality in publishing? Come with your thinking caps and notebooks because this will be jam-packed session. Practical problem-solving with people who sell books every day. It’s gonna be fantastic.
Thanks to BookNet’s generosity, I am also bringing a plus one! So much of my career has been shaped by the opportunities others have given me and I am so pumped to pay it forward. Shayanna Seymour is a soon-to-be graduate of Centennial’s publishing program and the Production Manager of On the Danforth magazine. She’ll be shadowing me throughout the day to learn, ask questions, and meet all of you. Come say hi!
The session I am most looking forward to would have to be Mining For Gold: How Wattpad Uses Data And Discovery To Spot The Next Bestseller. I’ve wanted to be a novelist for a number of years and Wattpad was the first platform that I used to share my writing. I joined the site in 2010 because I was interested in writing fiction, and having my work shared with other novice writers and unbiased readers. Wattpad is a platform that I no longer use to share my work, but I do still enjoy reading the work of others. I am interested in knowing the data and analytics behind deciding to publish someone who has no writing experience, yet is very popular and in demand on the site. When I first posted my stories on Wattpad, I wasn’t even dreaming of getting published through it, but these days it is the norm. Now, I appreciate that anyone can become an author–––no matter their ethnicity, monetary situation, or lack of agent–––but based on their work and their follow base, and I’d really like to learn more about that process.
Will you be at Tech Forum? Leave a comment so we can make plans to meet!