Last week, Toronto hosted the inaugural INSPIRE Toronto International Book Fair which was a great event for publishers, authors, and book lovers alike. The fair featured workshops, guest speakers, and lots of booths and author signings. Publishers big and small gathered for this literary celebration, including the vibrant, self-published author community.
Let's begin by saying a big "thank you" to the Association for Art and Social Change for producing this international book fair for Canada! It was a great way for indie authors to promote their new books and to meet the fans. Otherwise, authors would have to travel to Book Expo America in New York, an incredible book fair and completely worth the trip, but it's not always in the budget for indie authors.
The Toronto booths included a wonderful representation of Canada's indie authors, including Wendy Hewlett, author of The Taylor Sinclair Series; Tara Antler, spiritual teacher and author of The Healing Manual; Sam Thiara, author of Personal Storytelling; Nico Murray, author of the modern vampire book Winterblood; and so many more talented writers. The fair also launched the new self-publishing award The Creation of Stories: Canada Self-Publishing Award.
However, it was the story of Prince Edward Island indie author Patti Larsen, a brilliantly accomplished young adult author of over 50 paranormal books, that really caught my attention. During the book fair she won the international World's Best Story contest for her new novel Family Magic, beating out over 1,000 other entries from across Canada and the US. Her prize worth $50,000 included a North American book tour, a distribution deal, and help with turning her book into a film! Here's the CBC news coverage of her award.
I am so happy for all these indie authors who were able to carve out a niche for themselves at the INSPIRE Toronto International Book Fair and to bring much-deserved attention to their work.
Onward and upward, self-pubbers!