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New website shines light on local literary community

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Harleen Khangura Jun 07, 2017 2:13 pm 212

For decades, BC publishers have had to rival with giant multi-national companies that have long dominated the literary world.

In order to help BC publishers gain exposure in the local community, the Association of Book Publishers of British Columbia has launched a new website, Read Local BC, that will showcase BC’s authors, publishers, bookstores, and libraries.

Amongst the website’s many offerings is a weekly bestseller list of BC published books, recent publishing news, author interviews, excerpts from newly released books, and listings of literary events taking place in the province, including those organized by Read Local BC and other local publishers.

People can also sign up for a quarterly newsletter or check out Read Local BC’s Facebook or Twitter profiles to get the latest scoop on BC’s literary community.

In a press release, ABPBC’s executive director, Heidi Waechtler, said, “The Read Local BC campaign encourages readers to be book aware” as well as learn about and support independent publishers and booksellers that provide an outlet for local stories and voices.

Marketing local books is not an easy feat these days. Waechtler told the Daily Hive that decreasing spaces for editorial book coverage motivated them to conceive of new ways to inform people about locally published books.

This makes sense.

With more people turning away from print media and towards digital media as their go to source for information and news, websites such as Read Local BC offer publishers and authors an effective avenue for book promotion with the ability to reach a wider audience.

Waechtler hopes that the website will, in particular, help in bringing more underrepresented voices forward by showcasing the diversity of local authors and publishers, such as Theytus Books, an Indigenous-owned press located in Penticton or Arsenal Pulp Press, which publishes many LGBTQ authors.

Issues of race, indigenous history, and gender equality also seem to be some of the running themes on the site with books like Neil J. Sterritt’s Mapping My Way Home: A Gitxsan History, Vivek Shraya’s even this page is white, and Andrea MacPherson’s What We Once Believed getting special mention under the Features section.

Outside of the website and a growing social media presence, Read Local BC also presents free events in the spring and fall time usually planned around a theme and featuring readings from a number of local authors. The ABPBC is currently planning similar curated events for the fall.

To find out more about these upcoming events or to discover an exciting new locally published read, check out www.readlocalbc.ca.


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Harleen Khangura
Daily Hive Arts Contributor

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