One of the things that I do as an author, is to take my work out into the world and try to find others who are willing to risk buying my books for their reading pleasure. I love writing books … for the most part. However, once a book is written, the life of the book is just beginning. When I first began writing, it was important to me to have what was written, read by others.
My very first publishing effort was as a grade twelve student. I was in a group of about five or six others who had decided to put together a youth journal. The local YMCA in Ottawa gave us a place in the building to met and plan what we were going to put in the magazine. This was in the late sixties, when organisations such as the Y were opening their doors to youth to hang out, play chess, play music, and simply become a tribe. Once we had our material ready, the YMCA provided the Gestetner stencils, copy paper, and the machines so that we could print the journal.
Being the sixties, and being young meant that we would likely get into trouble as we distributed the journal. We each headed out to our respective high schools and tried to give them away for free. Yes, that caused a reaction that soon had us tossed out of the schools with our journals. Of course that only made the words on paper that much more wanted by the students we were trying to reach. We then stood just outside of the schools and gave the journal to any passing student who wanted a copy … that is until there were no copies left. Of course, we were able to run off more copies back at the Y. However, that soon came to an end as well. The YMCA shut us down with pressure from the school authorities weighing heavily upon the organisation. The Y didn’t want to risk their primary outreach programs.
That was then. Our journal made it into the National Archives of Canada and we were bona fide published writers. I didn’t realise it at the time, but that designation had to do with the number of copies of the journal reaching readers hands. In Canada, once the number of books produced is 100, there is a legal requirement to send the National Library two copies. For eBooks, a legal deposit of one copy is also required, as long as the book is published.
All of that above is perhaps interesting trivia, but what is vital to us as writers, especially with this genre of naturist fiction, is that our work gets put out there in the public. It isn’t enough to make a few copies of a book, give them to family and friends, and place them in our home libraries. We need more. We need to go public with our work. But even that is not enough, we need to find homes for our work, a reading public/.