Maritime publishing: ‘no reason to go outside the region’

Glenna Jenkins never thought her books would be stamped with a red star.
The star on her book Somewhere I Belong marks it as being of exceptional calibre. It is on the Canadian top 100 list of Best Books for Kids and Teens.
Her work can be found in libraries across Canada.
As well as being a historical drama writer, Jenkins is an editor for Editors East, an editing and writing company she co-founded in N.S.
When she was looking for a publisher she had her sights set on a big firm in Toronto, but wanted to start out with a small humble publishing house. That’s why she picked Acorn Press, she said.
“I would never go anywhere else after this experience.”
Jenkins has friends who work with Toronto publishers. They have been ignored or forgotten, which she would have been if she hadn’t stayed local, she said.
“Their work has fallen between the cracks.”
She has developed personal relationships with editors and publishers here. All of her launches had great turnouts, which helped with book sales.
“If I had a launch in Toronto and the six people I knew didn’t show up, I’d be in a room of empty chairs.”
Besides having her book published in Atlantic Canada, she likes keeping the production of her book here as well.
The cover for Somewhere I Belong was designed by someone from P.E.I. and her editor is based in Halifax. There’s a lot of really good talent in the Maritimes, she said.
“There is no reason to go outside the region.”
Jenkins isn’t the only author who relies on Acorn Press.
Finley Martin is the author of four books. He lives in Montague and has published his last two mystery novels, The Reluctant Detective and the Dead Letter, with Acorn Press.
He had been writing poetry for years before switching to short stories, but it was after he retired from teaching high school English for 27 years that he was able to focus on his novels.
He’s working on a memoir – Sailing in Circles, Goin’ Somewhere – which will be published in May with Nimbus Publishing based in Halifax. It’ll take another month to write the last 25 pages, said Martin.
“I need to let it simmer in my head a little while before I give it to my editor.”
In the beginning he had a hard time finishing his stories. Years later, he learned he needed to sketch out the ending before putting pen to paper.
“It’s kind of a long grueling affair to do a novel.”
His process is to write downstairs. He buried himself in the basement for a year, he said.
“There’s a lot of time invested when you don’t know if you’re going to get published or not at the very end of it.”
His writing was an experiment, but at the end of it he found an editor who found promise in his work.
“That was just the beginning to it.”

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