Toronto’s Word on the Street

A day to recuperate and organize my thoughts about Five Rivers’ experience this year at Toronto’s Word on the Street. In a word: fabulous!

Last year we had a booth in the Fringe Beat section, nestled amid philosophers of morality and inarticulate sword-masters, of foul-mouthed publishers of twisted dystopia, and hawkers of a better life. We crammed ourselves into a microscopic space of five feet. But it was a start, and we put out the word we’re here, and hopefully here for a long time. We sold two books.

This year we were in the publisher’s section, right at the intersection of Hoskin Avenue and Queen’s Park Crescent West. We doubled our footprint. And increased sales by 310%. But more importantly, we launched Alicia’s Hendley’s debut novel, A Subtle Thing, and had a book signing by Nate Hendley for his two new books, Al Capone: Chicago’s King of Crime, and Motivate to Create: a guide for writers. We sold out of the Al Capone book, and very nearly sold out of the writer’s guide and Alicia’s novel.

We met lots of great people, made new contacts and acquaintances, renewed old ones. We discussed the state of the book and book publishing. We expounded on the discipline of a writer’s life. We laughed at our own foibles and commiserated about shared difficulties. We celebrated with our fellow Canadians a love of literature and the vibrancy of our multi-cultural society. And in the end we packed our goods and our gear and made the long trek back to Neustadt and a bucolic countryside, idiot grins in place and burgeoning plans for next year.

My thanks to both Nate and Alicia Hendley for taking part in a fabulous day. My thanks to all the people who stopped by the booth.

We’ll see you next year, hopefully in a larger space yet, and with even more new titles.

P.S. We  hope to have some pictures posted over the next few days. You have no idea how many people came to Alicia’s launch!

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