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In House: Book Promotions at Guernica Editions
With a small, but exceptionally mighty staff, Guernica Editions publishes dozens of books every season for all kinds of book lovers—from fiction to poetry to literary and cultural essays the press is a treasure trove of books. Today, we meet two members of staff to talk book promotions and publicity: Dylan Curran, a sales and marketing associate, keeps the team connected virtually to a multitude of partners and platforms; and Margo LaPierre, freelance editor and Guernica’s acting publicist connects readers to their next great read. Below, Dylan and Margo give us a peek behind the sometimes mysterious veil of book promotions and share some publicity tips for writers. (Plus they prove their skills in book promotions because our TBRs are a little bit bigger now.)
A book that inspires meWe can’t pick favourites, but Fuse by Hollay Ghadery inspires me. There’s an art to the kind of truths embedded in each chapter of her memoir. Mental health has felt taboo for too long — I’m glad Michael took a chance on Hollay’s work. I’m proud to represent her voice within the mosaic of Canadian experiences published by our press. These past months, I’ve learned so much from the review quotes, Goodreads comments and — ultimately — Hollay’s own story. There’s something special that comes along with fostering these gentle, quiet admirations for others within the literary community. A career in publishing has its ups and downs, but I certainly find it rewarding on days like today. Ping! Zoom meeting with Margo in 10 minutes.Wish me luck!
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A book I wish I’d writtenGuernica’s Spring 2021 roster of fiction, non-fiction, and poetry is phenomenal, but if I had to pick just one book that made me wish I had written it — in a totally non-jealous and adoring way of course — it would be Pineapple Kisses in Iqaluit by Felicia Mihali. The novel follows a cynical, “unlikeable” teacher in her early 30s named Irina and I adore her. She gives me permission to be my grumpier self. It’s set in contemporary Canada but it has all the good parts of a historical novel in that it delves into the extensively researched dual histories (colonial/settler and Inuit) of Iqaluit and the Northwest Passage. It’s my hope to write a novel as nuanced and complex as this one. But lucky me — I got to edit it!
* * *Dylan Curran (she/her) is a writer and publishing professional. She has studied at Trent University (BA English Literature and Linguistics), Plymouth University (BA Creative Writing) and Humber College (Creative Book Publishing). She currently works as a Sales and Marketing Assistant for Guernica Editions.Margo LaPierre (she/her) is a Canadian editor and author of Washing Off the Raccoon Eyes (Guernica Editions, 2017). She is newsletter editor of Arc Poetry Magazine, membership chair of Editors Ottawa-Gatineau, and member of poetry collective VII. She won the 2020 subTerrain Lush Triumphant Award for Fiction. Her work has been published in the /temz/ Review, Room Magazine, Arc Poetry Magazine, filling Station, CAROUSEL, PRISM International, carte blanche and others. Find her on Twitter @margolapierre.