Yesterday Gizmo Guy and I headed into Toronto. I was attending an “un-conference” called Book Camp TO – a free conference for anyone involved in the publishing industry – reps from small publishers such as Coach House to large publishers such as Harlequin and Random House participated, as well as marketing people and authors. There were topics such as “Death to DRM” and “Kindle Shmindle”, “Small is Beautiful”, “the Quagmire of International Copyrights”, and on and on. In a lot of cases I had a hard time choosing which talk I wanted to participate in. Yes, that’s right, participate in. It wasn’t the standard lecture style conference – attendees were encouraged to participate in the discussion.
I met up with fellow TRW members Margaret Moore and Kimber Chin as well as fellow Romance Diva Rob Graham. I went to the Author’s meet up, the discussion on the Kindle – which elicited a comment from a member who discussed how reading on a page uses a different part of the brain than reading on a screen and wondered what it would do to our brains as reading progresses to the digital era. Kimber and Margaret and I sat in a packed room as Malle Valik led a discussion on “listening to readers” and how authors and publishers respond to readers’ comments. And then we went to a topic lead by a marketer – I had some issues with a statement about how 90% of Canadians have DSL. I pointed out that my parents and sister (both Canadians in central Ontario) do not have access to DSL, and that my critique partner in Louisiana must worry about slower load rates and bandwidth limits. He shrugged off the US issue as being unimportant. I wish I’d pointed out how my webpage and blog attracts world-wide readers –just look at last week’s posts here and here about where everyone’s coming from, and how site owners need to keep everyone happy, not just those on DSL. I wish I’d pointed out that Canada garners only 5% of sales compared to the States, I wish I’d pointed out that my books (as well as Kimber’s and Margaret’s) sell worldwide. I wish I’d pointed out that DOT COM or even DOT CA does not mean only Canadians read the page and so they’re the only people I need to worry about attracting. Personally I think the gentleman leading the discussion is limiting himself in focusing only on the Canadian market, especially in today’s digital age.
Still in all, it was an interesting day and I’m glad I attended.
(Thanks to the BookCamp Flickr Group – photo taken by LexnGer – Creative Commons Attribution)
While I was discussing writing and publishing, Gizmo Guy took his camera around the city. Man, did he walk a lot. He took pictures of the beautiful architecture of the University of Toronto, and Queens Park (the Ontario Legislative building.) He haunted Kensington Market and Dundas Square, then wandered all the way down to the Sky Dome (I’m sorry, I will NEVER think of it as the renamed Rogers Centre. It’ll always be the Sky Dome to me), and the CN Tower. I love his photography and figured I’d share some of his shots:
Here’s the CN Tower from a distance (from King and John Streets – isn’t the architecture of the building on the left magnificent?)