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New Directions in Self-publishing

Date: Tuesday, March 26, 7:00 – 9:30 pm
Location: Health Sciences Building, University of Toronto, 155 College St., Room 610

Branch/Twig: Toronto

Meetings and events | Branch meetings | Executive committee meetings

  • What’s new about the current crop of online editorial services and self-publishing platforms, and how can writers and editors make the most of this evolving system?
  • What do authors and editors need to know about the publishing business to determine which solutions work best in a hybrid industry?
  • What’s driving professional standards within self-publishing, and what do higher expectations mean for writers and editors?

Self-publishing has come a long way since the first print-on-demand services surfaced in the late 1990s. Driven by technological change, shifting reading habits, and proliferating formats, self-publishing is a constantly evolving space where success can be elusive, but where the odds improve with detailed knowledge of the industry, investments in professional editing and design, and a willingness to adapt to changing conditions.

Join Editors Toronto and the Toronto chapter of the Professional Writers Association of Canada (PWAC) on March 27 for a panel discussion about the current state of the industry, led by four seasoned professionals whose work has involved them in all areas of self-publishing, from POD, hybrids, and ebooks to crowdfunding, audiobooks, and online reading and writing communities. This event is co-sponsored and hosted by the Creative Writing Program at the University of Toronto’s School of Continuing Studies, and is geared to writers, editors, other publishing industry professionals, and students.

You’ll hear hot takes about self-publishing from:

  • Meghan Behse, the president of PubLaunch Inc., a new online marketplace and crowdfunding platform where writers, readers, and publishing professionals join forces to get books published;
  • Nina Munteanu, an internationally published author of eight science fiction novels; an experienced editor of traditionally published and self-published books; and the author of award-winning stories, essays, and non-fiction books;
  • Stephanie Fysh, a Toronto-based freelance editor of independent authors in a variety of genres, including fantasy, science fiction, YA, romance, and erotica; and
  • Mark Leslie Lefebvre, the author of more than a dozen traditionally published and self-published books, a professional speaker, a digital publishing advocate, and a bookseller with more than a quarter century of experience.



Meghan Behse began her career as an editor for Colborne Communications and helped bring the hybrid publishing model to Canada through her work launching and later operating Iguana Books. In her role as publisher, Behse steered Iguana through a new world of digital and print-on-demand publishing, while experimenting with unique royalty arrangements and funding models. She’ll talk about how PubLaunch Inc. is using emerging technologies to help overcome the obstacles writers continue to face within the self-publishing industry, particularly in Canada.

Stephanie Fysh is a Toronto-based freelance editor of fiction and non-fiction for publishers and independent authors. In this market, she specializes in fantasy, science fiction, YA, romance, and erotica. She also works with hybrid publishers on projects that range from harrowing memoirs to comedy, and still enjoys a textbook project that she can learn something from. Fysh will talk about what self-publishing authors look for in an editor, and how that differs from the roles we’ve built into traditional or hybrid publishing.

Mark Leslie Lefebvre self-published his first book in 2004 and created Kobo Writing Life, a self-publishing tool that now represents one in every five book sales in Kobo’s global catalogue. With more than a dozen traditionally published and self-published books to his name (including Haunted Hospitals, Macabre Montreal, and A Canadian Werewolf in New York), Lefebvre will explain what prompted him to self-publish “ten years before any self-respecting writer would admit to such a foul thing.” And he’ll tackle the big-picture questions: “What is currently wrong with self-publishing, and how can we work together to fix that?”

Nina Munteanu is an award-winning Canadian ecologist and internationally published author of eight novels, including Darwin’s Paradox and The Splintered Universe Trilogy. A frequent contributor to Amazing Stories and the current editor of the European science fiction portal Europa SF, Munteanu teaches writing at George Brown College and the University of Toronto and has published short stories, essays, and non-fiction books. Her latest book is Water Is…The Meaning of Water, a scientific study and personal journey as limnologist, mother, teacher, and environmentalist. Munteanu will speak about evolving professional standards in self-publishing, and what these changes mean for writers and editors.


ABOUT THIS EVENT: New Directions in Self-Publishing is a joint professional development program presented by PWAC Toronto and Editors Toronto. It is co-sponsored and hosted by the Creative Writing Program at the University of Toronto’s School of Continuing Studies. Everyone is welcome.

NEW LOCATION: This event takes place in the Health Sciences Building at the University of Toronto, 155 College St., Room 610. (From the foyer inside the front entrance, take the elevator to the sixth floor, then turn left.) Editors Toronto monthly meetings will resume at our usual location, the Centre for Social Innovation, in April.


FREE for members of PWAC and Editors Canada.
FREE for students and faculty in the University of Toronto’s Creative Writing Program.
All other full-time students at the University of Toronto and at other institutions: $5 (please book online, here, and bring your student card to the venue).
Non-members: $10 with online pre-registration, here, or $15 at the door.

All free tickets must be booked online, here, and require an access code. The access code for Editors Canada members should have been sent to you in an email. To book your ticket, visit the event site, click on the Get Tickets button, and follow the prompts, inputting the access code before checking out.

Problems booking your ticket or finding your access code? Contact the Editors Toronto programs chair at

RAFFLE: Remember to pocket a toonie! Enter our raffle to win valuable prizes and support the University of Toronto’s Creative Writing Bursary for emerging writers.

Cost: $2/ticket, $5 for three tickets, or $10 for seven tickets.

Prizes: a free one-hour consultation with award-winning author and self-publishing expert Mark Leslie Lefebvre, valued at US$197; two of Lefebvre’s books; one $50 gift certificate to any Oxford Properties Group shopping centre (includes the Scarborough Town Centre); three copies of Toronto author Georgie Binks’s successful self-published novel A Crack in the Sidewalk, donated by Ms. Binks; books edited by Stephanie Fysh and written by Nina Munteanu; and one coffee table book donated by Vancouver’s Greystone Books.

Editors Toronto and PWAC Toronto would like to thank the Creative Writing Program at the School of Continuing Studies, University of Toronto, Mark Leslie Lefebvre, Stephanie Fysh, Nina Munteanu, Meghan Behse, Georgie Binks, the Oxford Properties Group, the Scarborough Town Centre, and Greystone Books for generously supporting this event.


Program details for Tuesday, March 27, 7:30 to 9:30 PM

PLEASE NOTE: This month’s meeting takes place on the University of Toronto’s downtown campus. Next month, we return to our usual location at the Centre for Social Innovation, 215 Spadina Ave.

LOCATION: Room 610, Health Sciences Building, University of Toronto, 155 College St. (Please use the front entrance and take elevator to the sixth floor, then turn left.)

7:15 PM           Doors open
7:30 PM           Introductory remarks by PWAC and Editors Toronto members
7:40 PM           Program
8:50 PM           Q&A
9:20 PM           Closing remarks and raffle